As the Grand Prix paddock heads to Valencia to assemble for the last race of the year, the rider line ups are starting to be finalized for the 2013 season. The MotoGP line up is drawing very close to completion, with just a few CRT seats remaining to be filled. Today it was confirmed that Hiroshi Aoyama has officially signed to race with the Avintia Blusens team in MotoGP, taking the place of Colombian rider Yonny Hernandez. The move had been anticipated for some time, but a press release was issued today formalizing the situation. Aoyama will line up alongside Hector Barbera in the BQR team, both men continuing to contest a Kawasaki-powered, FTR-built CRT machine in the MotoGP class.
Yonny Hernandez looks set to miss the final round of MotoGP at Valencia, as the Colombian continues his recovery from injury. Hernandez suffered a dislocated collarbone in a crash during the race at Motegi, an injury which forced him to miss both the Malaysian and the Australian rounds of MotoGP.
The place of Hernandez in the BQR Avintia team is to be taken at Valencia by Hiroshi Aoyama. The last ever 250 World Champion suffered a difficult 2012 season in World Superbikes with the Ten Kate Honda squad, Aoyama never getting comfortable with the Pirelli tires used in WSBK. Aoyama has been looking to return to MotoGP since the latter part of this season, the Japanese rider spotted in serious talks with a number of teams at the Aragon round of MotoGP at the end of September. Aoyama now looks set to take the place of Hernandez in the BQR Avintia team permanently in the 2013 season, according to Spanish website Motocuatro.com.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and single tire supplier Bridgestone after the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island:
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the races on Sunday at Phillip Island:
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and single tire supplier after qualifying at Phillip Island on Saturday:
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the qualifying on Saturday at Phillip Island:
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and the single tire supplier after the first day of practice for the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island:
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the first day of practice at Phillip Island:
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.
Maverick Viñales is to race in Australia with the Avintia Blusens team in Moto3. The young Spaniard has had to go back on his decision to quit the team before the end of the season, a decision taken very abruptly before the Sepang round of Moto3.
The El matí de Catalunya Ràdio radio program announced this morning that after taking advice from his lawyers, Viñales has decided to fly to Australia to be reunited with the team he left. Viñales is schedule to fly out to Australian on Thursday, and will be accompanied by his father and his lawyer.
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:
2012 Sepang MotoGP Saturday Round Up: MotoGP's Future In The East, Honda's Chatter, And The Chances Of Rain
This year's Malaysian round of the MotoGP series has offered a glimpse of the future, for those with an interest in seeing it. While the series is locked in a series of arguments over the future of the technical regulations, the massive economic problems in its key television markets, and the Spanish domination of the sport in all classes, Sepang pointed the way forward, and that way is definitely east.
It starts with the crowds. Where crowd numbers have been falling almost everywhere at the European rounds, Sepang is seeing record attendances this weekend. Grandstand tickets are selling out fast, and despite the rain, fans are turning up in large numbers. How much those numbers are being inflated by Australians flocking to the circuits they can fly to affordably to see Casey Stoner ride the last few races of his career is uncertain, but that they should be packing the grandstands in Malaysia seems unlikely. There are also plenty of local fans, coming to see riders from the region threaten the top of the timesheets for the first time in history, and not just make up the numbers at the rear.