The press release issued by the Repsol Honda team after the final day of testing for Marc Marquez at Sepang:
The weather offered the HRC riders another window of opportunity on the final day of testing at Sepang, with the track dry enough for a few more hours of riding on Wednesday. Marc Marquez leaves the circuit as fastest of the two full-time MotoGP riders, the young Spanish rookie unable to match his time from Tuesday as he worked through a range of set up options ahead of the test in February. A longer run had been planned at the end of the day, but the return of the rain put a halt to any such ambitions.
Alvaro Bautista was also slower on the final day of testing, his gap to Marquez consistently just under six tenths of a second, just as it was on Tuesday. Bautista spent more time evaluating the Showa suspension and new brake parts from Nissin, as part of a program to decide whether to continue with the Japanese-built suspension and brakes or not. At the end of the test, Bautista told Jose Maroto of Spanish magazine Motociclismo that he and the team had decided to continue with the Showa suspension, a decision that will please HRC, as Honda plan to use Showa suspension on their production racer to be launched in 2014.
Press releases from the Repsol Honda team and Go & Fun Gresini after the second day of testing at Sepang:
Press releases from Repsol Honda and Go&Fun Gresini after the first day of the Honda test at Sepang:
Rain continues to plague MotoGP testing, this time severely curtailing testing for the Honda teams out at Sepang. Dani Pedrosa's decision to sit this test out may well prove to be sensible, with rain looking likely to severely restrict testing over all three days at Sepang.
The first day of the test saw Marc Marquez, Alvaro Bautista, and Honda test riders Kousuke Akiyoshi and Takumi Takahashi sit out part of the morning session, waiting for the weather to clear and the track to dry. It eventually did, giving the Honda men a couple of hours' dry track time after noon before the rain cut the test short again at 2pm local time. The temperatures, humidity and rain left the track dirty and lacking grip, but that did not prevent Alvaro Bautista from getting close to the existing race lap record at the Malaysian circuit, though the Go&Fun Gresini rider was nearly 2 seconds off pole time. Bautista had spent the day testing uprated suspension supplied by Showa, in an attempt to allow him to close the gap to the Ohlins runners.
Katsuyuki Nakasuga is to replace Ben Spies in the factory Yamaha team for the final race of the season at Valencia. Spies, who had to undergo surgery on the shoulder he damaged in the race crash in Sepang, has been ruled out of the rest of the season. The race at Phillip Island had come at too short notice for Yamaha to find a substitute for the injured Spies, but the Valencia race allowed them to secure the services of Nakasuga.
The choice of Nakasuga is a safe and very conservative one, but it was always the most probable outcome. Nakasuga is Yamaha's MotoGP test rider, and would have been on hand in Valencia anyway. Nakasuga made an appearance at Motegi this year, where he finished a creditable 9th. Fans had been lobbying for either AMA champion Josh Hayes or former BSB champion Tommy Hill to take the ride. Hayes, in particular, had proven his worth with an impressive outing as a replacement for Colin Edwards at Tech 3 in Valencia last year.
Maverick Viñales today issued a formal apology in the form of a press release. The translated version, taken from the official MotoGP.com website, is show below:
Firstly I would like to publicly give my sincerely apologies to those that were harmed or affected by my behaviour in Sepang. I'm here to come forward, ask for forgiveness and take responsibility for my mistakes. I have returned to continue fighting with my Blusens Avintia team for the runner-up spot in the championship. There are many people who deserve it. Sponsors, technicians and the fans.
My hasty departure from the Malaysian GP was certainly not good. But with the tension generated by my position in the team, I fell into a state of anger and frustration that was certainly not an ideal state of mind to ride a bike in – especially ride it at the limit.
Ben Spies' miserable year in MotoGP continues without let up. The Texan damaged his shoulder in a crash during the race at Sepang on Sunday, and has been forced to miss the upcoming Australian round of MotoGP at Phillip Island.
The damage was caused when Spies suffered a massive highside going into Turn 1 in the very wet conditions at the Sepang circuit. Spies fell heavily on his shoulder, and was taken to the medical center for treatment. Spies suffered a separated shoulder in the crash, and will return to the US on Tuesday for treatment on the shoulder.
Because the Phillip Island round of MotoGP is this weekend, Yamaha will not have time to field a replacement. The recovery period for an AC shoulder separation is anywhere between three and eight weeks, depending on the severity of the injury, so there is a very good chance the Texan will return at the Valencia round. It will be important for Spies to be there, as the first official test of the season takes place two days later, and Spies will want to get as much time as possible on the Ducati he will be riding in 2013.
Below is the official press release from Yamaha on Spies' injury:
Ben Spies to Miss Phillip Island
Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), 22nd October 2012
The Grand Prix Circus came to Sepang with three titles in the balance. Only one of them got wrapped up on Sunday, though, tropical rainstorms throwing a spanner into the works of the other two, but generating some fascinating racing. The fans had one fantastic dry race, one fantastic wet race, and a processional MotoGP race that looked much the same as it would have had it been dry. There was a packed house - over 77,000 people crowded into the circuit, a highly respectable number for a flyaway round - cheering on local heroes, there was confusion over the rules, and there were a lot of new faces on the podium. There was also a much better balance of nationalities on the podium: where in previous races, the Spanish national anthem has been played three times on a Sunday, at Sepang, it was only heard once. Most of all, though, the Moto2 and MotoGP races ran in the wet would be determined by the timing of the red flags, with Race Direction's decisions on safety also having an outcome on the results of the races, and in the case of MotoGP, possibly implications for the championship.
After Maverick Viñales' shock decision to quit his team, it got a lot easier for Sandro Cortese to wrap up the Moto3 title at Sepang, needing only to keep a watchful eye on Luis Salom during the race and not finish behind him. Salom had made Cortese's task even easier a week previously, by launching an ill-considered dive up the inside of Jonas Folger at the start of the last lap at Motegi, incurring a penalty which dropped him five grid positions at the start. Cortese started from the front row, while Salom had his work cut out, starting from way back in 10th. Cortese could more or less cruise home at Sepang and secure the title.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and the single tire supplier after Sunday's race at Sepang:
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the thrilling races at Sepang:
Results and summary of the red-flagged race at Sepang:
Results and summary of the Moto2 race at Sepang: