Tech 3

Belgian TV Company Rescues Xavier Simeon's 2011 Moto2 Season

Xavier Simeon has had a wild ride in Moto2 so far. The 21-year-old Belgian spent the 2010 season as a substitute rider for the HolidayGym team, replacing both Fonsi Nieto and Yannick Guerra when they were injured. Those replacement rides turned out very well indeed: Simeon had a couple of very impressive outings on the Moriwaki, scoring an 8th place at Silverstone, and a couple more points at the end of the season. His results secured him a contract with HolidayGym for the 2011 season, but that deal fell through when HolidayGym was only given a single seat, and decided to pull out altogether. Simeon was without a ride once more.

But no longer: Today, the Tech 3 team announced that they had signed a deal with Belgian TV channel RTL Sport to run Simeon aboard one of their Mistral M610 Moto2 machines. Under the agreement, Simeon will run in a separate structure, under the auspices of the Tech 3 squad: in effect, the RTL Sport team will be a satellite team of the main Tech 3 squad. RTL Sport will manage the team, and have stepped up to finance the team along with the Belgian Mettet circuit, home of the annual Mettet Superbikers event, an event which sees top class riders from all disciplines pitted against one another in a Supermoto race.

2011 Moto2 Line Up - The First Wild Guess - Updated

Putting together a list of riders for the 2011 Moto2 season has proven to be a remarkably intractable task. Fear and uncertainty stalks the Moto2 paddock, not least because the full list of admitted teams was not released until last weekend at Estoril. The list contains 22 teams with space for 40 riders, though doubt remains over whether the teams will be able to fill all 40 seats.

Below is the information that MotoMatters.com has been able to glean from a range of sources so far. There are still a huge number of gaps as far as riders are concerned, as teams and riders scramble for cash with which to fund rides, and as teams weigh up their options in terms of riders. Even the names that are available are still not certain, and changes are expected all the way up to Sunday night, the eve of the first Moto2 test of the 2011 season. Sunday night seems to be a pretty solid deadline, however, as the teams are keen to test on Monday, and nobody will be testing without a contract.

Another Bumper Crop Of Moto2 Teams Accepted For 2011

The Moto2 class produces a huge dilemma for the organizers of the MotoGP championship. The huge entry field has proven to cause major problems at the start, with multiple-rider pile ups in the first corner a firm fixture during Moto2 races. And yet the class has been extremely popular, producing close, exciting racing, and throwing up plenty of surprise contenders. 

The class has also functioned extremely well as a proving ground for the future of MotoGP, shaking out the best of the chassis manufacturers and priming them for the new MotoGP formula in 2012, which will see heavily modified production engines in prototype chassis compete against factory prototypes. Specialist engineering outfits around the world, such as British firm FTR and the Swiss-based Suter, have seized the opportunity of building Moto2 chassis and are pondering the lessons learned when it comes to working on chassis for MotoGP bikes. Moto2 has done much the same for the teams and team personnel, separating the goats from the sheep and readying them to take on running a 2012 MotoGP production prototype when the rules change.

Scott Jones' Race Day Photos From Qatar - Part II


Nicky Hayden found some answers on Sunday, and showed he hasn't lost his mojo


Dani Pedrosa's drawn out and public falling out with Honda continued at Qatar


Meanwhile, his Repsol Honda teammate showed there's not that much wrong with the RC212V, pushing Rossi hard for the win

Saturday Images From The Nikon Of Scott Jones


Rossi missing out on pole was not for want of trying


One half of Team Texas

Scott Jones' Friday Photos From Qatar - Part II


Yuki Takahashi, and the Mistral 610


With 41 Moto2 bikes, the track was packed

Scott Jones' Friday Photos From Qatar - Part I


Nearly ready ...


Jorge Lorenzo groks Web 2.0 and social media

New Provisional Moto2 Entry List - Faubel Replaces Lonbois As Redding's Teammate

Just a few days before the season is about to begin, and the Moto2 class is to take to the track for the very first time, a new provisional entry list for Moto2 has been issued by the FIM. The new list contains two changes, one minor (Stefan Bradl changing his number from 4 to 65), and one major. The big change is the dropping of Belgian rider Vincent Lonbois by the Marc VDS Racing team, which is also fielding British rider Scott Redding, and his replacement with former 125 and 250 star Hector Faubel.

Faubel had originally been signed to ride for the SAG team alongside Ratthapark Wilairot, but financial differences left the Spaniard out in the cold. Faubel then looked to the 125cc class, where he was lined up to take a third Aspar bike alongside Bradley Smith and Nico Terol, but that too foundered on a lack of funds. Faubel has finally found a home with the Marc VDS Racing team run by former Kawasaki MotoGP manager Michael Bartholemy, but this has come at the cost of Bartholemy's compatriot Lonbois.

The entry list for Moto2 still carries the "Provisional" tag, though few changes are likely in the 6 days before the bikes finally hit the track at Qatar. After that, though, there could well be more changes.

Moto2 entry list:

Final Moto2 Test Jerez Images

Almost everything about Moto2 is new: A new formula, new bikes, new riders - at least, a significant number of new riders. To introduce all this novelty to our readers, and give them a peek into the new series, here's a selection of photos taken at the Moto2 at Jerez, which took place this weekend. All photos courtesy and copyright of Honda Pro Images:

Yuki Takahashi
Yuki Takahasi showed the Tech 3 team are taking Moto2 very seriously indeed

Jules Cluzel
Jules Cluzel gets a chance to fight on equal terms this year, with the former Hayate team

Final Moto2 Test Jerez Overall Times - Corti Edges Elias, Top 16 Within 1 Second

At the end of the three days of testing for the Moto2 class at Jerez, Forward Racing's Claudio Corti comes away at the top of the timesheets. The Italian, riding a Suter for the former Hayate team ended the final day as the fastest rider, just a fraction ahead of the time Toni Elias set on Saturday. Elias himself dominated much of the test, but a nasty crash in the final session saw the Gresini rider forced off track between turns 1 and 2 when a much slower 125cc rider blocked Elias' line, leaving him no choice but to hit the deck. Elias was immediately flown back to his hometown of Barcelona to undergo medical examination and and treatment if necessary. Elias has a suspected fracture of his left hand, as well as heavy bruising to his left hand and left foot. The Gresini rider is expected to be fit enough to race in the season opener at Qatar.

Final Moto2 Test Jerez Day 2 - Takahashi Edges Redding And West

Tech 3's Yuki Takahashi was the fastest man on the second day of testing for the Moto2 class at Jerez, just squeaking ahead of Marc VDS Racing's Scott Redding and Ant West on the MZ. Takahashi's time was half a second slower than yesterday's fastest man Toni Elias, who today was just 5th fastest and three quarters of a second slower than his time from Saturday.

So far, this final Moto2 test has shown how close the field has become in the class, and shaken up the list of favorites a little. The top 20 riders are all within a second of each other, with 20th place man Karel Abraham just 0.938 behind Takahashi. Kenny Noyes, the American who has been so fast in the earlier tests is now down the order in 12th, though still only half a second off the fastest time at Jerez, while Scott Redding had been languishing near the bottom of the timesheets in previous tests, and has now leaped up into 2nd spot. Testing concludes tomorrow.

Results:

Final Moto2 Test Jerez Day 1 - Elias Leads Comfortably

Results from the first day of testing for the Moto2 class at Jerez, courtesy of Bikeracing.it:

Passing The Torch

Since the rumblings began emanating from the machinations of Colin Edwards’, Hervé Poncharal’s, and Lin Jarvis’ closed-door meetings to figure out how to get Ben Spies and Tom Houseworth into MotoGP in 2010, and the subsequent announcement last Fall, one of the most popular ways to cast the story (and indeed, one of the few speculative avenues that doesn’t automatically involve Silly Season 2011) is to suggest that the tensions between Colin Edwards and James Toseland will somehow be amplified in the arrival of the superior abilities of Ben Spies. I realize magazines and newspapers need to manufacture material in the off-season to sell copies, and we who post on The Web need to draw traffic when potential advertisers don’t care that the sport is on hiatus. But I am here to tell you that this particular road is a dead end street. Headlines of “Tension at Tech 3”, “Monster Battle Brewing”, and “Trouble in Paradise” (a city in Texas, but not home to either rider), can be summarily ignored.

Moto2/125 Test Jerez Day 3 - Another Day Lost To Rain

Rain once again ruined testing for the Moto2 test at Jerez, the bad weather chasing the class all over Spain throughout its off-season testing program. Hopes that the weather might brighten up for Monday's session were dashed, the rain falling on and off all day. "These three days at Jerez have been pretty much a waste of time," Tech 3 boss Hervé Poncharal told MotoMatters.com, "Even on Sunday, the track was never really dry, there were wet patches still in places."

Ant West took advantage of the wet conditions in the morning to set the fastest time of the mixed session, ahead of Alex de Angelis and Mike di Meglio, but in the 50 minute qualifying simulation at 4pm, De Angelis moved easily ahead of the rest of the field, ending the session and the day with three quarters of a second advantage over his competitors. Toni Elias confirmed his role as favorite for the title, finishing the day in second spot, the Gresini rider having been at or near the top at every test held so far.

Valencia Moto2 Test Overall Times - Simon Beats Noyes And Elias To The Punch

Julian Simon was the fastest man over the three full days of testing at Valencia, the first time the Moto2 bikes had been on track with the official spec engine. The Mapfre Aspar rider topped the timesheets on Tuesday, finishing ahead of Kenny Noyes on the Banderas Jack&Jones bike and Toni Elias on the Gresini Moriwaki. The top ten was virtually unchanged from Tuesday, only Alex de Angelis improving his time, though not his position.

Where previous tests have provided little comprehensible information due to poor weather and wildly differing engine specs being used, Valencia offered a prolonged period of dry track and the introduction of the spec Honda CBR 600 engine, meaning that for the first time, it is possible to make some comparisons and draw some conclusions. And there are certainly some interesting perspectives being opened up. The fact that springs most prominently to your attention is the dearth of 125 riders at the top of the timesheet, the sole exception being the reigning 125cc World Champion Julian Simon. But to call Simon a 125 rider is to do him an injustice, Julito spent two years racing 250s before making the step into Moto2, and has clearly lost none of his experience of bigger bikes.

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