The 2014 MotoGP rider line up:
Though most of the contracts were settled some time ago, there were still a few question marks on the 2014 MotoGP grid. The official entry list released by the FIM today answers some of those questions, but the answers it gives may yet turn out to be wrong. The list features 11 entries to be run under the Factory rules, which means 20 liters of fuel, 5 engines per season and the freedom to use proprietary software on the spec Magneti Marelli ECU. The remaining 13 bikes will be run as Open entries, which gives them 24 liters of fuel and 12 engines per season, but forces them to use the Dorna-controlled spec software on the Magneti Marelli ECU.
The 2014 season looks set to follow the pattern established in 2013, with Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo likely to dominate. Of interest is the fact that Marc Marquez has been entered with number 93, rather than the number 1 which the world champion is allowed to use, but this may yet change before the start of the season. Marquez would dearly like to retain 93, but Honda is keen to see him run the number 1 plate.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams which stayed on for the third and final day of testing at Valencia:
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the race on Sunday at Valencia:
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after Saturday's qualifying at Valencia:
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi:
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after a very wet, extended single qualifying session at Motegi:
Scott Redding will attempt to ride this weekend at Motegi, less than a week after fracturing his wrist in a crash during qualifying at Phillip Island. The Marc VDS Racing rider underwent a medical examination at the Motegi Twin Ring circuit, and was passed fit to attempt to ride during free practice on Friday, after which he will have to undergo another examination to see how his fractured radius is holding up.
Redding's crash during qualifying in Australia saw him fracture the tip of the radius, one of the two bones in the forearm, just where it attaches to the thumb side of the wrist. He had surgery to pin the fracture on Saturday night, and since then he has been having physiotherapy to try to prepare for Sunday's race. With Espargaro winning at Phillip Island, Redding lost his lead in the Moto2 championship, but the difference is still just 16 points. Redding will hope to score enough points at Motegi to take the championship fight to Valencia, in just over two weeks time.
The weather at Motegi may help. With wet sessions likely throughout practice and qualifying, the stresses on his wrist at the notoriously hard-braking circuit should at least be less than normal, giving his wrist a little longer to recover. With Sunday looking set to be dry, Redding will be grateful of any help he can get.
Stefan Bradl is to miss the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island. The LCR Honda man had arrived in Australia just five days after surgery on his fractured ankle, and had passed medical tests on Thursday which passed him fit to try to ride during the Friday morning session of practice, after which Bradl would have to undergo a second examination. Bradl posted the 20th fastest time during FP1, but was nearly four seconds off the pace and clearly struggling.
The second examination showed that Bradl was struggling with both pain and a lack of movement, and the circuit doctors declared Bradl unfit, ruling him out of any further contention. Bradl conceded that this was the right decision to make, admitting that his condition meant that any further participation would have been dangerous for both himself and the other riders.
Below is the press release from the LCR Honda team:
BRADL TRIED HIS BEST BUT HAS BEEN DECLARED UNFIT
Preview press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone ahead of the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island:
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang:
If Saturday at Sepang taught us anything, it is that if the new qualifying system for MotoGP is exciting, the new qualifying system with a little rain mixed in is utterly breathtaking. A brief shower at the end of Q1 left the area through turns 6 and 7 very wet, while the rest of the track was still mostly dry. Add in the searing tropical heat which dries the surface quickly, and the color of the Sepang tarmac which tends to disguise wet patches, and qualifying becomes even more tricky. And then there's the fact that Sepang is a long track, the two minute lap time leaving the riders precious little time to turn laps while waiting for the surface to dry out.
Strategies went out the window, and already stressed mechanics were forced to work themselves into even more of a sweat as they rushed to set up two bikes, one dry and one wet, just in case the rain returned. Some riders went out early and despite being warned, found themselves thrown out of their seats and given a proper scare. With qualifying being just fifteen minutes, the most likely scenario was that the last rider to cross the line would be the fastest, unless it started raining again.
It didn't start raining again, and Marc Marquez was the last of the fast men to cross the line, smashing the pole record by three tenths of a second. The Spaniard's lap was scintillating to watch, pushing his Honda RC213V to its limits while still staying holding some margin of safety through the damp sections around the back of the track, and treating the kerbs with caution. It was Marquez' 8th pole of the year, extending his record of poles in what is a truly remarkable rookie season.