Press releases from the BMW World Superbike team and the Marc VDS Racing MotoGP team, in which Marc VDS rave about the Kalex, and BMW emphasize that it is their own electronics they have been working on:
The final day of testing for the MotoGP and Moto2 classes for 2012 wrapped up at Jerez under clear skies and slightly cooler conditions, but still perfect for testing Grand Prix motorcycles. The field had thinned out considerably for the final day, with the Colin Edwards' NGM Forward team having gone home, and Carlos Checa having flown out to Moscow to present the Russian round of World Superbikes the evening before, while the Forward and Pons Moto2 teams had also decided to pack up after the second day.
The lack of other riders made no difference to the top of the Moto2 timesheets, Scott Redding once again fastest aboard the Marc VDS Racing Kalex for the third day in a row. Bradley Smith's improvement on the 2012 Tech 3 bike also continued, the Englishman cutting another half a second off his time from yesterday, and ending just a tenth behind Redding. Gino Rea matched the pace of Smith, the young Londoner continuing to test for the Gresini team. Redding's teammate Mika Kallio was 4th fastest on the day, half a second quicker than Tech 3's Xavier Simeon.
2011 Jerez Combined MotoGP And Moto2 Test Day 2 Unofficial Times: The Aprilia Fastest, CRT Bikes Find Big Gains
Testing continued at Jerez again on Thursday, with mixture of MotoGP, Moto2 and WSBK machines all sharing the track, together with something of a hybrid, Aprilia running its RSV4 World Superbike machine at the circuit fitted with Bridgestone tires and carbon brakes. With Randy de Puniet now aboard - and inching ever closer to agreeing a contract to race the Aprilia for Aspar in MotoGP - the Aprilia was the fastest bike on track, posting a time of 1'41.5, which is within striking distance of the factory prototypes from Honda, Yamaha and Ducati. The bike is being run out of the Aspar garage, where the Aprilia test team is working closely with Aspar personnel to help gather data from the bike using MotoGP brakes and tires.
2011 Jerez Combined MotoGP And Moto2 Test Day 1 Unofficial Times: Moto2 Faster Than CRT Bikes, Matching WSBK
The weather in Jerez for the private test for a number of Moto2, MotoGP and WSBK teams looks like more than making up for the washed out test at Valencia last week, with the first day of testing taking place under blue skies and warm temperatures, conditions which look set to stay all week. The day saw a variety of bikes taking to the track, with Ducati's test team, a handful of top Moto2 teams, and another sprinkling of MotoGP CRT machines running alongside the BMW World Superbike squad.
As it is a private test, no official times were released, but a raft of unofficial times were made available and assembled by the excellent Spanish site MotoWorld.es. Fastest man of the day - very unofficially - was Carlo Checa, the 2011 World Superbike champion gathering data with the "GPZero" version of the Desmosedici MotoGP bike, the aluminium-framed version of the GP12 with identical dimensions to the bike with the carbon fiber subframe and the engine as a stressed member. Unsurprisingly, Checa was 1.8 seconds faster than the Moto2 machines, Scott Redding having been quickest on the Marc VDS Racing Kalex, despite a morning crash which trashed his bike.
The sun is shining and the bikes are out on track at Jerez for three days of testing. The test will see a wide variety of bikes take to the Andalucian asphalt, including the BQR MotoGP team with their FTR-built, Kawasaki-powered CRT bike, Colin Edwards getting his first outing on the BMW Suter CRT bike, a bevy of Moto2 teams including Marc VDS Racing testing the Kalex further, Tech 3 riders Xavier Simeon and Bradley Smith, the Pons and Aspar teams, Maverick Viñales testing the FTR Moto3 bike for the first time, the factory BMW World Superbike squad of Marco Melandri and Leon Haslam, and the Ducati MotoGP test team, with test rider Franco Battaini and the specially drafted in Carlos Checa to help test the Ducati Desmosedici.
For the Moto2 riders, this is mainly a welcome continuation of the test at Valencia. The teams lost two days of testing to the weather at Valencia, leaving them with a lot still to do. Scott Redding was an early crasher on Wednesday morning, taking a tumble at Turn 7, from which he walked away unscathed. The crash was caught on video by the onboard camera installed by the Marc VDS Racing team on Redding's Kalex.
The Aspar team have today announced that their Moto2 line up is now complete. With the signing of 2010 Moto2 champion Toni Elias to race alongside 2011 125cc champion Nico Terol, Aspar has a full complement of riders to face the 2012 season. Elias had been linked to rides with both Gresini - the team with which he won the inaugural Moto2 championship - and Aspar, and had finally settled on the Spanish squad. After a long and very difficult year in MotoGP, Elias is hoping to return to winning again in Moto2, while his teammate Terol is focused solely on learning to adapt to the Moto2 machines, this being the first time he has raced a four stroke.
Aspar actually has more than a full complement of riders, in fact. The Spanish team had previously announced that they had signed Aleix Espargaro to race in Moto2 for the team, and the Spaniard, elder brother of Pol, tested the Suter Moto2 bike with the Aspar team on the first day of testing at Valencia on Wednesday. But with nobody yet signed for Aspar's CRT machines in MotoGP - almost certain to be Aprilias, based on the RSV4 engine with a different frame designed and built by Aprilia - Espargaro is likely to move up to race in the premier class.
Gino Rea has topped the timesheets on the final day of testing at Valencia, taking advantage of the dry track during the morning session, before the rain came to stop play. The Londoner had been fastest on the previous day, when only a few riders were out on track due to the heavy rain, and having been fastest on the Friday and impressive on Wednesday, Rea looks set to secure a ride in Moto2 next year. The details are yet to be finalized, but Rea is inching closer to a contract with Gresini to race the Moriwaki, with backing from the Crimean circuit which supported his strong year in World Supersport in 2011.
Italtrans' Claudio Corti was the only rider to match the pace of Rea, the Italian trying out the Kalex as well as the Suter he raced last season. The Marc VDS Racing duo of Scott Redding and Mika Kallio were 3rd and 4th, Marc VDS already having made the switch to Kalex after the 2011 season ended. The German-built chassis was extremely popular, with Andrea Iannone also giving the Kalex a whirl to compare it to the FTR his team is due to run in 2012.
After a first day of useful testing for the Moto2 class at Valencia, the second day was a complete washout. The day started off wet, the rain getting heavier as the day progressed, severely limiting action on track. Just a handful of riders braved the conditions, including Alessandro Andreozzi, Scott Redding and Johann Zarco. Later in the afternoon, Toni Elias followed suit, the Spaniard taking one of the Aspar Suter's out for a spin as he closed on a deal with the team for 2012. Aspar already has Aleix Espargaro and Nico Terol signed, but Espargaro looks like being promoted to ride a CRT Aprilia in MotoGP for the team, making way for Elias to take the Moto2 ride. Contracts are expected to be signed in the next couple of days.
The testing limits imposed as a cost-cutting measure in MotoGP have finally been lifted. At the meeting of the Grand Prix Commission in Valencia, MotoGP's rule-making body dropped the rules limiting testing to non-contracted riders outside of MotoGP's official tests, and allowed contracted riders (e.g. any rider currently racing in MotoGP) to ride the bikes at private tests. The GPC accepted the argument put forward by Ducati that testing is already limited by the number of tires available, and that restricting testing to test riders did little to cut costs, as the factory riders were being paid anyway.
That argument was not shared by all the members of the MSMA, though. When asked by MotoMatters.com at Valencia about lifting the test ban, HRC Vice President Shuhei Nakamoto said that the measure would favor European manufacturers who have their bikes, crew and riders already close to the track. For the Japanese manufacturers, they would either have to fly their team personnel and riders to Japan, or their bikes, equipment and Japanese engineers to Europe if they wish to test at European tracks. Lifting the test ban would not cut costs for Honda, Nakamoto said.
After the initial leak by Ant West on his Facebook page on Monday, today, the Speed Master team confirmed that the Australian will be racing for the team in MotoGP in 2012. West will be racing as a CRT entry, and using an Aprilia RSV4-powered machine in the class. It is as yet unclear whether this bike will use an FTR chassis, or the chassis which Aprilia is believed to be developing for CRT machinery, based on the RSV4 road bike design. Aprilia will not be allowed to provide a chassis as used by the World Superbike teams, but the rules do allow that chassis to be used as a basis for a new or similar design. As long as the chassis is not as homologated for World Superbikes, the MotoGP stewards will rule it legal.
Speed Master also announced that they will be retaining Andrea Iannone for 2012 as well, though the Italian will not be making the jump into MotoGP. Instead, Iannone will remain in Moto2 for 2012, to take another shot at winning the title. Speed Master will be dropping the Suter chassis, which they switched to for 2011, and returning to FTR, possibly the FTR as modified by Speed Up, using the FTR chassis and modified bodywork.
Below is the press release from the Speed Master team confirming Ant West and Andrea Iannone for 2012:
FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix
Press releases from the 125cc and Moto2 teams, tire supplier and chassis manufacturers after the final race of the year at Valencia:
The last race of the year is always one for farewells, but we had an awful lot of goodbyes on Sunday at Valencia. The last ever race for the 800cc MotoGP bikes, the last ever race of Loris Capirossi's very long and highly colorful career (some paddock wags suggesting that the first win of his career came against a rider called Maximus Decimus Meridius), the end of the two-stroke Grand Prix era, with the 125cc bikes making way for the Moto3 machines. The departure of some of the finest journalists and broadcasters from the paddock, as the Spanish state TV company TVE ended its tenure in the paddock. Riders heading off to the World Superbike paddock, some returning to their old stomping ground, as is the case with Kenan Sofuoglu, others to try pastures new, Hiroshi Aoyama joining the Ten Kate Honda squad.