The main protagonist in Friday's action was the weather. Like a hormonal teenage girl, the rain simply could not make up its mind whether it was going to fall properly or not, light drizzle blowing in for ten minutes before blowing out again five minutes later. (Hormonal teenage boys, it should be noted, know exactly what they want, and apart from the obvious, what they want is the opposite of whatever they have just been told). The weather left the track in that awful half-and-half condition, too cold and damp for slicks, too dry for wets, and the track conditions left the MotoGP men mostly sitting in the pits.
Dani Pedrosa explained it best. "Too wet, so you cannot push, so the tire cools down immediately after you go out, and in or two laps you have to stop, because there is no temperature in the tire. And with the wets, it's completely the opposite, the tire is immediately out of the working range, and one or two laps and it is gone." Even in the short period you could go out, there was nothing to be learned, Pedrosa said. "If the tire has too much temperature or too little temperature, the bike feels completely different. There's no meaning in going out."
Press release previews from the MotoGP teams ahead of this weekend's race at Misano:
Press releases from the Repsol Honda, Yamaha Factory Racing and LCR Honda teams after the two-day test at the Motorland Aragon circuit:
HRC issued the following press release after the first day of testing at Aragon today:
Dani Pedrosa has something of a reputation. Blisteringly fast when out on his own, but put him under pressure and he crumbles. Once passed, he is history, and he will trouble you no more.
There has never been that much truth to that accusation, and the MotoGP race at Brno should drive the final nail into its coffin, for what the diminutive Spaniard displayed on Sunday was the heart and courage of a lion. The race did not have much passing - just three passes for the lead in the entire race - but it was a genuine thriller nonetheless.
Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa broke away early, despite the best efforts of Cal Crutchlow to hang on - and impressively, he hung on for a remarkably long time - and the stalking began. Pedrosa hung on Lorenzo's tail for 12 laps, then Lorenzo gave way, needing a breather. The roles where reversed, this time Lorenzo snapping at Pedrosa's tail, waiting for an opportunity to appear.
Jonathan Rea has been drafted in to replace Casey Stoner during the Australian's absence due to the ankle injury he suffered at Indianapolis. The Ulsterman is to test the factory Honda RC213V at Brno during the official MotoGP test on Monday, and then again at Aragon in just over a week's time.
The decision to draft in Rea was made as a reward for his loyalty to Honda throughout the years. Rea has stuck with Honda in WSBK, and achieving strong results on a CBR1000RR that is starting to get a little long in the tooth. Rea winning the Suzuka 8 hours endurance race earlier this year was also greatly appreciated by HRC top management.
How many races Rea will get on the bike is still uncertain. Casey Stoner has now arrived in Australia, and is expected to have surgery on Wednesday. He is almost certain to be forced to miss Misano, and the following race at Aragon is also uncertain. None of the remaining rounds on the MotoGP calendar clash with World Superbikes, so though Rea would find himself with a full schedule, it would be possible for Rea to substitute for Stoner for the rest of the year, if necessary.
Below is the official press release from Honda, and a video statement from Rea courtesy of the Honda World Superbike team:
Jonathan Rea to test for Repsol Honda Team
The Honda World Superbike team has long led the way in taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by the internet in promoting their team and their sponsors, and they have just launched another innovative and interesting series of videos aimed at giving the fans a better understanding of what riding a WSBK machine entails. The Classic Corners series takes a look at five of the most spectacular corners that WSBK visits, with riders Jonathan Rea and Hiroshi Aoyama explaining what is required to get through the corner fast, and their crew talking about the demands they place on the bikes and the electronics.
The first video in the series takes a look at Turn 12 at Phillip Island, the last corner before the long straight. Below is the video from the Honda World Superbike team, and their press office's introduction to the video:
SBK Classic Corners - Episode 1
It's with great pleasure that the Honda World Superbike Team presents episode one of its exclusive, five-part SBK Classic Corners series.
This short film looks in detail at the demanding and challenging Turn 12 at Phillip Island in Australia - the long, long, LONG left-hander just before the downhill start-finish straight, which is so critical for a quick lap of the picturesque 4.448km circuit.
A press release issued by the Ten Kate Honda squad after their recent test at Assen ahead of the upcoming World Superbike round there:
If the opening round of the 2012 World Superbike Championship taught us anything, it's that this looks to be a two-horse race. Assuming no major wrenches are thrown in the works. Aprilia's Max Biaggi and Althea Ducati's Carlos Checa had the pace of everyone else in the field covered. Handily. And each of the early championship-protagonists cruised to victory without having to worry about the other after a couple of off-track excursions.
Saturday’s World Superbike Superpole and World Supersport final qualifying sessions from Philip Island were cancelled after a serious accident in the Australian Supersport race resulted in the death of Australian rider Oscar McIntyre. The 17-year-old collided with fellow racers Luke Burgess and Michael Lockhart on the second lap of the Australian support race and died despite receiving immediate medical treatment at the scene. Because of the seriousness of the accident, the event organizers decided to cancel Superpole.
The Honda Racing press office issued a press release and video after the Ten Kate World Superbike squad tested the 2012 CBR1000RR at Phillip Island. The video follows below, after the press release: