Jeremy McWilliams is to make a return to Grand Prix racing at the ripe old age of 50. The Northern Irish racer is to ride the Brough Superior Moto2 machine at Silverstone as a wildcard.
It will be McWilliams' first Grand Prix since 2007, when he rode the ill-fated Ilmor, which was withdrawn after just one race due to a failure to raise sponsorship. Since then, McWilliams has been active in both the US and Ireland, racing in the XR1200 championship which serves as a support race to the AMA, and racing on the roads in Northern Ireland. Before leaving Grand Prix racing, McWilliams had a long career in both the 250cc and MotoGP classes. His most memorable rides were with the QUB TSR-Honda in 250s, aboard the Aprilia 500cc twin at the start of the century, and riding the Proton KR bike in MotoGP. McWilliams won the 250cc race at Assen in 2001 aboard the Aprilia.
Nico Terol has decided to sit out the Silverstone round of Moto2. After enduring a dismal year with a mystery ailment, Terol has been forced to withdraw and focus on locating the source of his problems, so that he can return to racing in full health.
Terol was expected to challenge for the title in 2014, after scoring three wins and one podium last season with the Mapfre Aspar team. But there had been warning signs of something amiss previously. In the middle of last year, Terol was suspected of suffering late onset lactose intolerance, exactly the same condition that affected Casey Stoner during the 2009 season. Treatment for that appears not to have had the desired effect, as Terol has suffered all this year with extreme fatigue and elevated testosterone levels.
The issue has now reached the point where Terol can no longer be competitive in his current condition. Terol and the Mapfre Aspar team have decided that the Spaniard should sit out Silverstone while undergoing a battery of tests to locate the source of the problem. Though the press release issued by the team speaks solely of Silverstone, it is not completely certain Terol will be back at Misano.
Below is the press release issued by the Aspar team:
Nico Terol to miss British Grand Prix
Press releases after Sunday's races at Brno:
The hot-hand fallacy finally caught up with Marc Marquez. His amazing streak of consecutive wins stays at ten, the Spaniard being beaten for the first time this year. In his twenty-ninth race in the MotoGP class, Marquez and his crew finally failed to find a good enough set up to win, or even make it onto the podium. The Repsol Honda man has only missed out on the podium twice before, once at Mugello last year, when he crashed, and once at Phillip Island, when he was disqualified from the tire fiasco race.
Defeat had been waiting in the wings for Marquez for a while now. Look solely at the points table, and his dominance looks complete. But go back and look at his winning margin, and his advantage has not looked quite so large. Of his ten wins, only two were by a considerable margin: one at Austin, where he has always been better than the rest; one at Assen, where rain created large gaps. His advantage at Argentina and Indianapolis was 1.8 seconds, at Jerez, Le Mans and the Sachsenring under a second and a half. Marquez could only eke out victory at Qatar, Mugello and Barcelona, races he won by a half a second or less. At most races, Marquez was winning by a slender margin indeed, lapping on average just five or six hundredths of a second quicker than his rivals. It was enough, but it was really not very much at all.
Marquez' slender advantage over his rivals was a sign of just how close they really were. Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa had all come close to beating Marquez, and in the case of Pedrosa at Barcelona, Marquez had been forced to delve deep into his bag of tricks to beat his teammate. Marquez' talent may have loaded the dice he was rolling, but eventually they would fall another way. "People said winning was easy for me," Marquez told the Spanish media, "but I know how hard it was."
Race report follows.
MotoGP looks certain to be returning to the Brno circuit for 2015, after the local region of South Moravia guaranteed financing for the race for next year. In addition, talks are continuing to extend financing for the race beyond the 2015 season.
The race in Brno had been in doubt for some time now. The circuit, owned by Karel Abraham Sr, father of Cardion AB rider, has struggled to pay the sanctioning fee demanded by Dorna, despite being the best-attended round of the series (over 142,000 turned up to watch the race in 2013 at the spacious, wooded Czech circuit). The circuit has previously received funding from the Czech government, but that has been withdrawn.
Now, the South Moravian region has stepped in to guarantee the 2.5 million euro sanctioning fee. The event reportedly generates around 35 million euros in revenue for businesses in the area, and is an important contributor to the local economy. Keeping the MotoGP round at the circuit is key for the regional authorities.
The deal agreed guarantees funding for the 2015 round, but talks will continue for future races. Both Dorna and the circuit intend to sign a long-term deal to keep the race at the track.
Below is the press release issued by Dorna explaining the situation:
Brno closing in on fresh MotoGP™ race deal
Notes: Mika Kallio crashed towards the end of the session, when he came together with Robin Mulhauser. Kallio was unhurt, and the bike did not suffer too much damage.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at Brno:
The key to success in motorcycle racing is about controlling as many variables as you can. There are two variables which riders and teams cannot control, and which they fear for that very reason: the weather, and crashes. The weather spared both MotoGP and Moto2 at Brno on Saturday, but played havoc in Moto3. Crashes, too, made life difficult, both for MotoGP and in Moto3. It made for an intriguing day of practice.
The day started under leaden skies, with the threat of rain ever present throughout the morning. Dark clouds rolled in, then rolled right out again, chased deeper into Moravia and away from the track. They broke only briefly in the afternoon, the Moto3 qualifying session the main victim. Standing at trackside, the rain came and went so quickly that by the time I posted an update on Twitter, the weather had changed, immediately contradicting me. In the end, a red flag saved my blushes, Phillip Oettl crashing and damaging the air fence, causing the session to be halted while the air fence was repaired.
The rain had disappeared by the time MotoGP qualifying rolled around, conditions good enough for Marc Marquez to get close to Cal Crutchlow's pole record from 2013. That Marquez should take pole is hardly a surprise – that's nine out of eleven this year – but the way he controlled not just pole position, but the whole front row of the grid. Marquez jumped straight to pole on his first run out of the pits, but as he started his second run, he picked up a passenger. Andrea Iannone latched onto the tail of Marquez, and as Marquez flashed across the line to improve his time, Iannone used his tow to leapfrog ahead of his time, taking provisional pole from the Repsol Honda man. His soft tire spent, Iannone couldn't follow Marquez on his second run, the world champion going on to reclaim pole and demote Iannone to second. Further down the grid, Andrea Dovizioso followed Valentino Rossi around the circuit to improve his own time, moving up to second and demoting Iannone another spot.
Qualifying was dry, but cool, with 17º air temperature.
Thomas Luthi took early control of the dry session on his Interwetten Paddock Suter bike, knocking half a second off Marc VDS's Mika Kallio and Tito Rabat's times from yesterday. He was joined at the top by reigning World Supersport Champion Sam Lowes on the Speed Up as the only other rider under 2'03 at the halfway mark.
With fifteen minutes left, Tito Rabat went quickest, bringing with it the hungry sharks sensing chummed water, trying to latch onto him for a fast lap. Rabat evaded them with a ride through the pit lane, exiting into clear track, but he was unable to to go any quicker as the chequered flag fell.
Sandro Cortese joined the top three under the 2'03 mark, with Mika Kallio just missing out in fifth.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the first day of practice at Brno:
The session started with the rain having stopped and the sun drying the wet track, but the conditions weren't good enough for anything but collecting wet data. As the track approached usability, Hafizh Syahrin and Anthony West traded fast laps at the top until the halfway mark.
With 20 minutes left, the top spot was occupied by several riders in succession as the conditions allowed the slick tyres to operate safely, but nobody in the top 30 was challenging the morning's times until the last eight minutes, when Mika Kallio took a tenth off his morning's best time. This was followed by a 2'03.268 that put Kallio within under two tenths off his Mark VDS teammate Tito Rabat's best time of the day. Thomas Luthi was second-quickest of the session, nearly stealing the top spot at the flag, ahead of Tito Rabat and Sandro Cortese.
Tito Rabat took the top spot off the early pacesetter Mika Kallio, and maintained his position with incrementally quicker laps throughout the session.
Sandro Cortese pipped Dominique Aegerter to second quickest at the end of the session, with both riders losing out to Rabat in the uphill third sector. Julian Simon made a rare appearance in the top four, while Mika Kallio sneaked in a quick time at the flag for fifth.
Press release previews from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams, and Dunlop:
Karel Hanika reveals keys to Brno
Red Bull KTM Ajo rookie analyses every corner of Brno track which hosts his home Grand Prix this weekend.
08/12/2014 - Automotodrom Brno, Czech Republic
The winner of the 2013 Red Bull Rookies Cup has shown in recent races that he belongs in the Moto3 Top 10, and that he has the talent to fight in the first group in his maiden year of GP racing. Karel Hanika arrives in Brno in good shape for the Czech Republic Grand Prix, his home round and an event that he hopes will see him at his best in front of his fans. The winner of two races at the track in the last two years in the Red Bull Rookies Cup, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rookie is expected to be fast at the Automotodrom Brno from the off. Here he reveals the keys to the 5.4km circuit that he knows like the back of his hand.