The 2013 MotoGP schedule took one step closer to being finalized on Tuesday. Dorna announced that two of the question marks remaining over the schedule have at last been resolved. The contract with Jerez has finally been confirmed through the next three seasons, securing the race for May 5th, and ensuring it remains on the calendar through 2015. And as predicted, the German round of MotoGP has been moved back a week to avoid a clash with the German Formula One Grand Prix, with MotoGP visiting the Sachsenring on the 14th of July.
The updated MotoGP calendar can be found below, with the most up-to-date version always available on this page. The press release from Dorna announcing the contract with Jerez and the moving of the Sachsenring date is also shown below:
Dorna Sports has confirmed that the Gran Premio bwin de España will take place in Jerez until at least 2015 after reaching an agreement today, whilst the 2013 eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland has been shifted back a week.
The date of the German round of MotoGP at the Sachsenring is once again surrounded by uncertainty. A minor readjustment of the Formula One calendar means that the German F1 and MotoGP races are once again scheduled for the same date, July 7th, meaning that the Sachsenring race could well be forced to move, with the following week, July 14th being an option, according to German-language website Speedweek.de.
The clash between the two series was caused by Formula One rescheduling the German F1 GP, the second time it has done so. A previous change had forced the Sachsenring to move from July 14th to July 7th, to accommodate F1 on the 14th. But now, the German F1 GP has been moved forward a week, to allow an extra race to be inserted in the calendar on July 21st.
Under an agreement between MotoGP and Formula One, the two series attempt to avoid schedule clashes as much as possible, and especially not to race in the same country on the same date. Holding both F1 and MotoGP in Germany on July 7th would cause major dilemmas for TV companies around the world, but especially in Germany, as to which to focus their resources on.
The FIM today issued a revised version of the 2013 MotoGP calendar. The new calendar is only a minor update to the initial calendar issued on September 21st, with only one real change, the switching of the Sachsenring to a week earlier. That move was forced on the FIM, as Formula One had scheduled the Grand Prix of Germany at the Nurburgring for the same date. Holding an F1 race and a MotoGP race in the same country and on the same date was not a viable situation, and so the Sachsenring race was moved.
The other update to the calendar was not a change, but a confirmation. The Grand Prix of the Americas has been confirmed as taking place on April 21st, at the brand new Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. That had been widely expected, but could not be confirmed until contracts were signed. The continuing dispute between the Circuit of the Americas and Kevin Schwantz over the rights to organize the Austin round of MotoGP will not affect the scheduling of the race.
Below is the MotoGP calendar for 2013:
2013 MotoGP Provisional Calendar Leaked: 3 US Rounds, 4 Spanish Rounds, 2 Italian Rounds, And Late March Start
The provisional MotoGP calendar has taken a little longer than normal to appear. An initial calendar had been expected at Brno in late August, but no calendar was forthcoming at the Czech Grand Prix. The next rumored date for the calendar to be released was the weekend of the Misano round of MotoGP, but once the paddock assembled at Misano, it became apparent it would emerge a few days later - MotoMatters.com was told by an IRTA representative that the calendar would be announced on Tuesday or Wednesday this week. On Tuesday, the Austin Statesman newspaper reported that the calendar would be out on Friday, but the excessive enthusiasm of Loris Capirossi saw the former racer and current MotoGP safety advisor leak the 2013 calendar on his Twitter page on Thursday night.
It has been an intense week or so for speculation about the next and biggest cog in MotoGP's Silly Season merry-go-round. The question of Valentino Rossi's future has filled the media, with multiple sometimes conflicting stories appearing in the international press. That Rossi should dominate the headlines is logical. After all, with Casey Stoner retiring, and the futures of Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez all settled, Rossi's decision will determine not just where he lands, but to a massive degree who will fill the rest of the seats in MotoGP next year.
Rossi's choice is fairly straightforward: he can elect to stay at Ducati and hope that Filippo Preziosi can provide him with a competitive bike soon; he can take up the offer he is believed to have from Yamaha to join the factory team; or he can accept a ride with a satellite Honda team aboard a full-factory RC213V. During his daily briefing with the press at each race weekend, Rossi has suggested that his primary focus is to stay with Ducati and make the Desmosedici competitive. Yet all of the news stories in the past 10 days have been suggesting that Rossi is close to signing a deal with Yamaha, with the sponsors backing the deal varying depending on the source.
At the Sachsenring, after the introduction of KTM's Moto3 GPR production racer, MotoMatters.com spent five minutes with KTM's Head of Motorsports Pit Beirer. We spoke to him about a number of subjects, including the evolution of the factory's Moto3 chassis, their cooperation with Kalex, and whether two strokes would be better than four strokes for racing.
The chassis of the KTM had undergone two evolutions since the beginning of the year, Beirer had explained during the press conference, with the final iteration being introduced at Silverstone. This revision of the chassis will form the basis for the production racer for next year, and was a good enough base for KTM to continue their development around.
What changed between the first two chassis options before you arrived at the final chassis in Silverstone?
KTM has joined Honda in producing a standard production version of its Moto3 race machine, for sale to racers in local series around the world. The machine was presented to the press at the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring on Saturday night by KTM's head of motorsport Pit Beirer, the former MX racer telling the media that the bike will be very similar in spec to the factory bikes being raced by Sandro Cortese, Danny Kent and Zulfahmi Khairuddin.
The difference in horsepower is minimal, according to KTM, just 2 HP separating the production machine from the factory bike. The real difference will be in the running gear: where KTM's factory bike is fitted with top of the line WP Suspension and Brembo brakes, the GPR production racer has to make do with lower spec equipment. The factory bike also makes much greater use of much more expensive carbon fiber and titanium for various components. The production racer will be identical to the machine to be used by the Red Bull Rookies from 2013 onwards, providing a logical path for young riders to progress along in their career.
Bridgestone issued their usual post-race debrief press release after the Sachsenring. This time, Shinji Aoki touches upon why they recommended to the Factory Yamaha riders that they use the hard tire instead of the soft.
There was one glaring omission from the post-Sachsenring round up I wrote on Sunday night. Well, two actually, but the biggest was that I neglected to give Dani Pedrosa the attention he deserved for a fantastic win, his first in over nine months. Pedrosa managed the race brilliantly, starting on a bike which had seen massive changes ahead of the race, and which he took a few laps to get accustomed to. He did so by dropping behind Stoner, and following in the wake of the reigning World Champion, until he was comfortable enough to make a pass. He accomplished this with ease, and the pair engaged in some synchronized drifting to the end of the race, when Pedrosa upped his pace and forced Stoner into an error. The Australian may have believed that he had the pace and the move to beat Pedrosa, but the fact that he crashed would suggest that Pedrosa was forcing Stoner much closer to the limit than the champion realized.
Bold and fearless or brash and ill-advised? There was a lot of that sort of thing at the Sachsenring on Sunday, in all three classes. The most obvious example begging that question was what would have been Casey Stoner's last-corner lunge past Dani Pedrosa, had it not gone horribly wrong as he lined the pass up the corner before. We'll come to that later, but with a Moto3 race run in drying conditions and a Moto2 race where one of the favorites had to start from well down on the grid, there were plenty more to choose from.
Moto3 turned into the usual war of attrition among the more psychotic contingent of the paddock - or more precisely, teenagers on fast motorbikes - with the coolest head of the front runners eventually prevailing. With Luis Salom and Alexis Masbou pushing Sandro Cortese down to the wire, it could have gone horribly wrong, but Cortese had saved his tire for the last few laps, pushing to break his two wild-eyed pursuers before he crossed the line, and preventing any late lunges which could have ended in tears. It was a race worthy of a champion, by Cortese, despite the massive pressure on him at his home round. In the press conference, he thanked his team manager Aki Ajo, for bringing some Finnish coolness to calm Cortese's Italian heritage.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring:
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after Sunday's German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring: