Results and summary of Moto2 race at Phillip Island:
Press releases from the 125cc and Moto2 teams after qualifying on Saturday at Phillip Island:
Press releases from the Moto2 and 125cc teams after the first day of practice at Phillip Island:
2011 Phillip Island MotoGP Friday Round Up - On Bumps, Speed And The Lack Of It, And WSBK Silly Season
Phillip Island is the best circuit in the world, according to just about everyone in the MotoGP paddock. At least, that's what they thought yesterday, before they actually rode the circuit, and found out that the recent visits by the Australian GT series and the V8 Supercars have torn the track up and left bumps everywhere.
The verdict was unanimous, but as ever, Casey Stoner phrased it the best. "This year, the track's terrible," he told reporters. "It's always been a little bit bumpy into Turn 1, but this year, they're a lot more aggressive than they were in the past, and I'm not too happy with the condition of the track. I don't know what they've been racing around here, but it's made the track a lot worse." So bad was the surface that Jorge Lorenzo said he and the other riders would bring the subject up in the Safety Commission on Friday night, and ask for the track to be repaved.
Marc Marquez' Moto2 championship assault has just suffered a major setback. The Catalunya Caixa rider has been punished for an incident after FP1 at Phillip Island ended, and will start Sunday's Moto2 race from the back of the grid.
The incident occurred at the end of the first session of free practice for Moto2 for the Australian Grand Prix. After a crash early in the session, which saw him stuck in the pits for most of practice, Marquez was sent back out onto the track with about a minute to go in the session. He set out on a hot lap, but did not make it all the way round in time to get in a second lap. He continued around the first two corners at high speed, and at Turn 3, ran into the back of Ratthapark Wilairot, who was slowing down again after a practice start. The speed differential between Marquez and Wilairot meant the crash was a big one, the Spaniard lucky to walk away with just a cut on his brow, while Wilairot was airlifted to the local hospital, where scans revealed that despite injuries to his leg and back, he had no broken bones.
Alex de Angelis was top of the pile at the end of the Moto2 session at Phillip Island, last year's winner in Australian just holding off challenges from Andrea Iannone, Stefan Bradl and Claudio Corti. Iannone had looked consistently strong throughout the session, but Bradl only really gathered himself together towards the end of practice, making steady progress towards the front of the field. Bradl's confidence had taken a knock in the morning, the Viessmann Kiefer rider crashing in the fast and scary final left hander leaving on to the main straight during FP1.
Championship leader Marc Marquez was also suffering the consequences of a morning crash. At the end of FP1, after the checkered flag had been waved, Marquez steamed into the back of Ratthark Wilairot, who was riding slowly after having done a test start. Both men crashed heavily, Wilairot coming off far worse, having been transported to a local hospital with suspected leg and back injuries. In the process, Marquez also wrote off his only 2012-spec Suter chassis, and the lack of confidence and a return to an older chassis meant the Spaniard could only manage the 17th fastest time during the afternoon session.
If you've ever wanted to work on the technical side of motorcycle racing, now is your chance. FTR, the engineering company producing the FTR M211 Moto2 chassis, and reportedly building the aluminium chassis being raced by Valentino Rossi on the Ducati - though both Ducati and FTR continue to officially deny it - are looking to take on more people to help with their operation.
Based in Buckingham, a small but rather charming English county town, at one end of the UK's so-called F1 Valley, which stretches from there all the way up past Northampton, FTR have built a reputation for outstanding engineering and manufacturing. FTR have been involved in motorcycle racing at various levels, manufacturing parts for MotoGP teams and manufacturers, as well as teams in bot the World Superbike and British Superbike championships. On the visits I have paid to FTR's factory, I have always been struck by the passion for racing on display at every level of the company, and the dedication, humor and wit with which they go about their jobs.
2011 Motegi MotoGP Post-Race Round Up: On Championships, Incident-Filled Races, And The Importance Of Set Up
It was a long and very full weekend of motorcycle racing, and to call it eventful would be one of the more obvious understatements of the year. In the 125c class, Johann Zarco finally got the win he has been chasing for so long, and did so in convincing style. In Moto2, Andrea Iannone produced the kind of display that everyone knows that he is capable of, but that he manages a little too sporadically. In the MotoGP class, Honda finally got a win at Motegi after seven years of having to watch their rivals come to their home track and triumph, but that was actually the least remarkable thing about the premier class race.
At Magny-Cours, at the penultimate round of the World Superbike series, two new champions were crowned, to general acclaim that their titles were fully deserved. The titles were clinched in contrasting manner, Carlos Checa becoming World Superbike champion in the dominant style that he had displayed all season, taking victory in both races, while Chaz Davies rode much more cautiously, crossing the line in 6th but still ahead of Fabien Foret, his only rival to the 2011 World Supersport championship. Davies had opted for the glory approach a week earlier in Imola, leading the race by a wide margin and enough points to clinch the title there, but a blown engine with five laps to go put paid to his ambition, and saw him choose the conservative route at Magny-Cours to his first World Championship. The title is just as sweet.