Latest News

KTM Confirms MotoGP Entry For 2017

The news that KTM would be building a MotoGP machine has been public since the beginning of August. In an interview with the German website Speedweek, KTM CEO Stefan Pierer confirmed that the Austrian manufacturer would be building a V4 MotoGP machine ready for the 2017 season.

KTM's MotoGP plans were confirmed again last weekend at Misano. KTM's head of motorsport Pit Beirer told the MotoGP.com website that they would indeed be building a MotoGP bike, and that work on the machine had already started. The bike, Beirer told MotoGP.com, would be a V4, would use a steel trellis frame, just as their Moto3 machines do, and would be kitted with WP suspension. Design work on the bike was already underway, with the bike scheduled to make its debut on track "at the end of next summer," Beirer said.

There would be no prospect of an early entry, however. The bike is to be prepared for the 2017 season, with testing going on from late 2015 onwards. The bike would be designed around the Michelin tires, which will be replacing Bridgestone as the spec tire from 2016 onwards. The bike would also be designed with the spec electronics and unified software package in mind, which is also to be compulsory from the 2016 season.

The entry of KTM to MotoGP will bring the number of manufacturers in MotoGP up to six, with Suzuki and Aprilia set to join from next year. However, unlike the other manufacturers, there will be no KTM factory team, as the bike KTM are building is a pure production racer for sale only. The MotoGP machine will be much more powerful version of a track-only bike to be sold to wealthy private individuals. Where the MotoGP machine will cost around €1 million euros, the track bike will go for some €150,000-200,000.

Though the idea of selling a track version of their bike is an interesting one, only choosing to sell the bike to teams is a risky strategy. The problem KTM will face is finding customers for a machine that has not been proven in the hands of an existing rider. By 2017, the teams will not be short of competitive machinery. Next year, in addition to the sixteen Factory Option bikes (four Hondas, four Yamahas, four Ducatis, two Aprilias and two Suzukis), there will be eight Open class bikes, consisting of four Honda RC213V-RS machines in the Aspar, LCR and Cardion AB teams, two Forward Yamahas in the NGM Forward team, and two Open Ducati GP14s in the Avintia squad. In 2016, when the distinction between the two classes disappears, the factories are likely to provide year-old versions of their current bikes to the private teams at around the €1 million a year mark, though the bikes will be leased rather than sold. By then, all of the bikes sold to private teams should be fairly competitive, and be capable of mixing it with the satellite bikes on any given day.

Persuading one of the private teams to choose a KTM over a year-old Honda could be very difficult indeed. KTM will need some way of proving that the bike is competitive. The normal way of doing so is to compete as a factory team, but KTM have said explicitly they are not interested in doing so. That makes financial sense, as the cost of competing as a factory is huge, and the returns uncertain. Private teams are incredibly conservative and unwilling to take risks, as the fact that the Moto2 class is on the verge of becoming a de facto single-make series proves. Teams and riders would prefer to stick with something they know, or something ridden by others, than take a chance on something altogether new.

There will also not be any new teams coming into the class to sell the bike to. Dorna and IRTA believe the ideal size for the MotoGP grid is 22 bikes. This number is predicated in part by talent: the number of teams capable of putting a bike on the grid which can compete at the highest level, and the number of riders capable of racing competitively in the premier class. But it is also a question of money: each team on the grid receives free tires from the single tire manufacturer, a freight allowance for transporting equipment to the overseas rounds, and financial support in the form of travel allowance, to help with the logisticial cost of competing in MotoGP. The total financial support is equivalent to around €1.7 million per rider, per season. Unless Dorna can increase the revenue they generate from the sport, they cannot afford to subsidize more teams in MotoGP. So far, Dorna have been singularly unsuccessful at drastically increasing income for the series.

Whether KTM can attract customers for their MotoGP bikes or not, the fact that the bike is being tested for MotoGP will at least create the halo effect necessary for selling the track-only bikes to the wealthy clientele they are targeting. The fact that the bike has been developed for MotoGP but is not racing in the series may even be a marketing benefit. Not racing at all may be better for sales than racing around at the back. Unproven potential may be more marketable than a lack of success at the track, especially with halo products such as a track-only sports bike.

The news that KTM would be building a MotoGP machine has been public since the beginning of August. In an interview with the German website Speedweek, KTM CEO Stefan Pierer confirmed that the Austrian manufacturer would be building a V4 MotoGP machine ready for the 2017 season.KTM's MotoGP plans were confirmed again last weekend at Misano. KTM's head of motorsport Pit Beirer told the MotoGP.com website that they would indeed be building a MotoGP bike, and that work on the machine had already started. The bike, Beirer told MotoGP.com, would be a V4, would use a steel trellis frame, just as their Moto3 machines do, and would be kitted with WP suspension. Design work on the bike was already underway, with the bike scheduled to make its debut on track "at the end of next summer," Beirer said.There would be no prospect of an early entry, however. The bike is to be prepared for the 2017 season, with testing going on from late 2015 onwards. The bike would be designed around the Michelin tires, which will be replacing Bridgestone as the spec tire from 2016 onwards. The bike would also be designed with the spec electronics and unified software package in mind, which is also to be compulsory from the 2016 season.

Official At Last: Jack Miller To MotoGP With LCR Honda For 2015 And Beyond

This year's MotoGP's silly season has seen many badly-kept secrets, and one of the very worst of them is now out in the open. Today, the LCR Honda squad confirmed what everybody has known since July, and suspected since the beginning of June: Jack Miller is to make the leap directly from Moto3 to MotoGP, to ride the Open class Honda in the LCR team alongside Cal Crutchlow.

Miller may be riding in the LCR Honda team, but hsi contract is directly with HRC. Lucio Cecchinello has long insisted that he has had no direct involvement with the deal, Honda working hard to secure the services of Miller for the future. Miller's contract is for three years, according to GPOne.com, and the young Australian will spend the next two seasons with LCR. That would put him in the frame for the second seat in the Repsol Honda team, with both Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa out of contract at the end of 2016.

The bike Miller will be riding is the Open class machine produced by HRC. Next year's bike will be radically different from the bike of this year, and will consist basically of this year's engine minus the seamless gearbox. It will be much closer to the power of the factory bikes, though it will only have the spec software, rather than Honda's custom electronics. The uprated version of the bike is to be given a new name: no longer will it be known as the RCV1000R, it has been rebranded an RC213V-RS,.

Miller is to be partnered with Cristian Gabarrini in the LCR Honda team. The crew chief who formerly worked with Casey Stoner has a history of working with young riders, and as an HRC employee, can nurture the 19-year-old Australian's talent. There had been rumors that Valentino Rossi's former crew chief Jeremy Burgess was to work with Jack Miller, but those rumors appear to have been a fabrication leaked to discredit a particular section of the Italian media.

The LCR press release announcing the deal appears below:


JACK MILLER TO JOIN CWM LCR HONDA TEAM FOR THE 2015 MOTOGP CAMPAIGN

The CWM LCR Honda Team is pleased to officially announce that Australian rider, Jack Miller, will compete with them in the 2015 MotoGP World Championship riding the Honda RC213V-RS Open Specification bike.

The 19-year-old racer from Townsville, who is currently leading the Moto3 World Championship, will compete in the MotoGP Open Class thanks to the support of Honda Racing Corporation, LCR’s historical sponsors and new team partner CWM, alongside the more experienced British talent Cal Crutchlow riding the Honda RC213V Factory Specification bike.

This is the first time since their debut in the MotoGP class in 2006, that Lucio Cecchinello’s squad will field two riders, and this is largely thanks to new sponsor CWMFX.com.

Jack Miller: “I’m very happy to make the leap up to MotoGP next year, especially because I will do so alongside HRC. It's a dream come true; I think that every rider would like to race at the highest level in the World Championship with a Honda. It is certainly a big jump from Moto3 to MotoGP, but I am convinced that we are ready and that, step-by-step, learning every day, we can do a great job. It's a fantastic opportunity and I'm very excited about starting this new stage of my career with HRC, whom I wish to thank together with CWM LCR Honda Team. I'm looking forward to working with them! In the meantime, I remain fully focused on this season's Moto3 World Championship. I will have to avoid any distraction in order to fight for the title.”

Lucio Cecchinello (CWM LCR Team Principal): “Without any doubt, this is a very exciting project and a completely new challenge for us. We do believe that Jack will be a future strong performer in the premier class due to his undeniable talent, motivation and drive. Together with Honda we will do our best to let him familiarise himself, step by step, with the MotoGP class. For sure Jack will need time to learn how to ride a 1000cc machine but there is no rush, and next year will just be a learning season for him in the new Class. Honda has a long term plan with him and we believe that with no pressure Jack will be able to show his talent in MotoGP.”

This year's MotoGP's silly season has seen many badly-kept secrets, and one of the very worst of them is now out in the open. Today, the LCR Honda squad confirmed what everybody has known since July, and suspected since the beginning of June: Jack Miller is to make the leap directly from Moto3 to MotoGP, to ride the Open class Honda in the LCR team alongside Cal Crutchlow.Miller may be riding in the LCR Honda team, but hsi contract is directly with HRC. Lucio Cecchinello has long insisted that he has had no direct involvement with the deal, Honda working hard to secure the services of Miller for the future. Miller's contract is for three years, according to GPOne.com, and the young Australian will spend the next two seasons with LCR. That would put him in the frame for the second seat in the Repsol Honda team, with both Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa out of contract at the end of 2016.

Eugene Laverty To Switch To MotoGP For 2015 - Destination Aspar?

It is no secret that Eugene Laverty is keen to move to MotoGP for the 2015 season. The Irishman has been present at the last three MotoGP rounds, touting his services around the teams in the hope of securing a ride. He has been in talks with Forward, Pramac and Aspar about a ride in 2015, but as yet, no deal has been announced.

It is certain that one has been signed, however. Today, the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team - his team in World Superbikes - issued a press release wishing Laverty well on his step up to MotoGP. No details were given of where Laverty is headed, other than that he will not be in World Superbikes in 2015, but will be racing in MotoGP.

Though no announcement was made, it seems certain that Laverty will be riding a production Honda for Aspar in 2015. A deal had to wait until Scott Redding's future had been secured, as Redding was Aspar's preferred choice, despite never having spoken to either the Gloucestershire rider or his manager. Once Redding was confirmed as riding with Marc VDS in MotoGP next season, that cleared the way for Laverty.

Laverty faced a second problem at Aspar. The Spanish team had also signed a proposal with Loris Baz, stating that if Redding didn't sign with the team by 15th September, then Baz would get the ride on the production Honda. For the past week, however, Aspar have been struggling to get out of that contract, claiming that Baz (at 1.92m) is "too tall" for a MotoGP bike. With Baz now seemingly out of the frame, that clears the way for Laverty, who had a similar agreement with Aspar. Nicky Hayden has a contract with Aspar for 2015, but the American is yet to return to action after wrist surgery. Hayden is set to return at Aragon, but no confirmation that he actually will has been forthcoming yet.

Below is the press release from the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki WSBK team:


Voltcom Crescent Suzuki wishes Laverty well on his way to MotoGP™

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki extends its thanks and best wishes to Eugene Laverty as he prepares to move to the MotoGP Championship for the 2015 season.

A motivated and technically accomplished racer, Laverty has so far added two podiums to his Superbike tally this year taking his achievement to 33 to date - including a dramatic win on board his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R in the season opener at Phillip Island – and remains focused in his objective to remount the rostrum before the year draws to a close.

The Irishman will relocate from the eni FIM Superbike World Championship at the end of the 2014 season after six successful years in the production class paddock in both World Supersport and World Superbike competition.

Eugene Laverty:

“I’d like to thank everyone at Voltcom Crescent Suzuki for all their efforts this season. They’re an incredibly hard working team and we share the same desire to win. We started the year fantastically with a win first time out at Phillip Island, something nobody expected us to do. Even if the results haven't always come our way, I've really enjoyed working with the team and the GSX-R, there is so much potential there. We still have two rounds remaining and my aim is to climb back up on that rostrum before I move to MotoGP in 2015.”

Paul Denning – Team Manager:

“We wanted to move forward with Eugene into 2015 but at the same time we completely understand his desire to compete in MotoGP. He has been a pleasure to work with and, even though a black cloud of bad luck seems to have followed us and the consistency of results has not been what we both hoped for, Eugene has given us and Suzuki some very special moments including of course the victory at Phillip Island.

“It is positive to see a skilful, intelligent Superbike rider’s abilities recognised by a strong MotoGP team and all at Crescent, title partner Voltcom and Suzuki wish Eugene the very best of luck in this next stage of his career. We are looking forward to the last two rounds together; let’s hope we can finish this season with Eugene as strongly as we started!

“Voltcom Crescent Suzuki is committed to building on 2014’s potential shown in 2015, and to fighting for victories in the World Superbike Championship. Our rider line-up to allow us to achieve those targets will be announced in the near future.”

It is no secret that Eugene Laverty is keen to move to MotoGP for the 2015 season. The Irishman has been present at the last three MotoGP rounds, touting his services around the teams in the hope of securing a ride. He has been in talks with Forward, Pramac and Aspar about a ride in 2015, but as yet, no deal has been announced.It is certain that one has been signed, however. Today, the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team - his team in World Superbikes - issued a press release wishing Laverty well on his step up to MotoGP. No details were given of where Laverty is headed, other than that he will not be in World Superbikes in 2015, but will be racing in MotoGP.Though no announcement was made, it seems certain that Laverty will be riding a production Honda for Aspar in 2015. A deal had to wait until Scott Redding's future had been secured, as Redding was Aspar's preferred choice, despite never having spoken to either the Gloucestershire rider or his manager. Once Redding was confirmed as riding with Marc VDS in MotoGP next season, that cleared the way for Laverty.

Official: Alvaro Bautista Confirmed At Aprilia For Two Seasons

Alvaro Bautista has signed a two year contract with Aprilia, and will remain in the Gresini squad in MotoGP for the 2015 and 2016 season. The Spaniard had been widely expected to be one of the two riders on the factory Aprilias, given his long association with both Gresini in MotoGP and Aprilia in the 125cc and 250cc classes. Bautista won the 125cc world championship for Aprilia in 2006.

The signing of Bautista is the next domino to fall after the announcement that Marc VDS Racing would be moving up to MotoGP, and taking over the Honda RC213V from Gresini, along with Scott Redding. That, in turn, had been triggered by Gresini's announcement that they would be switching to Aprilia, and abandoning Honda. Bautista's deal was dependent on Redding, as the Englishman was Aprilia's first choice to place alongside Marco Melandri. With Redding no longer available, the path was cleared for Bautista to sign.

However, it also became clear at Misano that Marco Melandri is far from certain to take the other seat at Gresini Aprilia. In several TV interviews that the Italian gave at Misano, he said he was only interested in coming to MotoGP with a competitive ride. The 2015 bike is not expected to be competing for wins next year - Aprilia boss Romano Albesiano told the German website Speedweek that "tenth places would be a good result for us" - with 2016 the first year of a completely new and radically updated MotoGP prototype. Melandri appears to be favoring remaining in World Superbikes and competing for wins and titles, rather than going to MotoGP and battling Open class Hondas. Although Aprilia is scrapping its factory WSBK team, there are reports that a new team is to be set up with strong factory backing, under the leadership of Giulio Bardi, currently in charge of the EBR team, and previously having worked with Yamaha.

If Melandri does choose to remain in World Superbikes, then it will open a new raft of speculation on who will be the second rider at Gresini Aprilia in MotoGP. Along with the second seats at Pramac, Aspar and Forward, there are still a lot of seats to be filled.

Below is the official press release from Aprilia on Bautista's contract:


ALVARO BAUTISTA WITH APRILIA IN MOTOGP

Two year contract for the Spanish rider, 2006 World Champion with Aprilia

Spanish rider Alvaro Bautista will ride one of the official Aprilias that will race next year in the MotoGP Championship, managed by the Aprilia Gresini Racing Team.

The agreement with Bautista is valid for two years, for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. A rider with vast experience, Bautista – born in Talavera de la Reina on 21 November 1984 – took his first world championship steps astride an Aprilia 125cc, which he rode to victory as World Champion in the "eighth litre" class in 2006.

In his fifth year in the top category, MotoGP, Bautista boasts 3 podiums and one pole position and his trophy case includes a total of 16 wins, 33 podiums and 18 pole positions.

The signing of Alvaro Bautista comes just a few hours after the official announcement that the Aprilia brand will return to the MotoGP World Championship – already in 2015, one year ahead of the previously announced plan – through a four year cooperation with the Gresini Racing Team and Aprilia Racing manager, Romano Albesiano, commented with satisfaction. "This represents another step in defining the team that will take the Aprilia bikes onto the track for the next MotoGP season" said Mr Albesiano. "On Friday we announced our return to the championship with Gresini Racing. Today we have inserted another very important tile in the mosaic by announcing Bautista's signing. I am particularly satisfied because Alvaro has been confirmed on a team that he already knows well, creating the basis for that rapidity in finding maximum competitiveness that led us to moving up our plans to return to MotoGP".

"I am happy to be able to continue working with Bautista - confirmed Fausto Gresini - Alvaro has significant experience in MotoGP so his contribution will certainly be essential in developing the new projects with Aprilia in the best possible way. I believe very much in him and his potential and I am confident that he will be able to bring us the results we are expecting. Also, this two year agreement will allow us to maintain continuity in the bond between Alvaro and Gresini racing which was formed in 2012 and that has been strengthened over the years".

Also enthusiastic about the new project is Alvaro Bautista: "I am very happy to have signed an agreement with Aprilia or the next to MotoGP World Championship seasons. Working in close contact with a manufacturer is what I wanted for my future and Aprilia has offered me a great chance. I am also very motivated to embark on this new adventure because I am coming back to a brand that has brought me great satisfaction in the past and with which I have shared some great times. Above all, the cooperation between Aprilia Racing and Gresini Racing will allow me to stay on a team that I've been racing with already for three years and which has become like a family to me. I have worked directly for a manufacturer in the past and I really liked developing a new project together. Knowing that I'll be able to count on the support of so many engineers and technicians is exciting and I can't wait to get started working with them".

Alvaro Bautista has signed a two year contract with Aprilia, and will remain in the Gresini squad in MotoGP for the 2015 and 2016 season. The Spaniard had been widely expected to be one of the two riders on the factory Aprilias, given his long association with both Gresini in MotoGP and Aprilia in the 125cc and 250cc classes. Bautista won the 125cc world championship for Aprilia in 2006.The signing of Bautista is the next domino to fall after the announcement that Marc VDS Racing would be moving up to MotoGP, and taking over the Honda RC213V from Gresini, along with Scott Redding. That, in turn, had been triggered by Gresini's announcement that they would be switching to Aprilia, and abandoning Honda. Bautista's deal was dependent on Redding, as the Englishman was Aprilia's first choice to place alongside Marco Melandri. With Redding no longer available, the path was cleared for Bautista to sign.

Official: Marc VDS To Move Up To MotoGP With Scott Redding Aboard A Honda RC213V

Marc VDS Racing are to move up to MotoGP, fielding a factory Honda RC213V for Scott Redding. The deal was announced late on Sunday night via the Marc VDS Racing Twitter feed, after meetings between the team, Honda, and team owner Marc van der Straten.

The agreement means that the Marc VDS team will field a factory Honda RC213V for the next three seasons, through 2017. The duration of the contract had been a critical point in the negotiations, allowing the team to spread the costs out over a longer period, and showing HRC's support for both the team and Redding. 

The move to MotoGP had been mooted after the Indianapolis GP. After Indy, rumors emerged that Gresini's title sponsor, Go&Fun, would be pulling out of their deal a year early. Without the money from Go&Fun, Gresini could not afford the factory Honda. Gresini have now officially switched to Aprilia, leaving a factory Honda and an Open class Honda going begging.

Once they realized the bike was available, the Marc VDS Racing team started work on gathering the sponsorship to cover the cost of a factory Honda. They thought they had covered the cost at Silverstone, only to find that as a new team, they would have to pay for their own tires and freight, and not receive support for travel from IRTA. That left them €1.7 million extra to find in less than two weeks. They were believed to be just short of the necessary amount, but some last-minute negotiations - including the signing of a main sponsor for the project - may have covered the shortfall sufficientlly to make the move.

The team have yet to issue a full press release on the move, as there are still details with Redding's contract with Gresini to be cleared up. Once those issues have been resolved, then a full statement from the team will be expected. There are some details we know, however: unlike at Gresini, the Marc VDS bike will run Ohlins and Brembo, rather than Showa and Nissin. A crew chief is yet to be announced, but it is unlikely that Redding will be reunited with Pete Benson. Benson is currently working with Tito Rabat, and as Rabat is expected to be challenging for the Moto2 title again in 2015, the team feel it is a bad idea to split Benson and Rabat up.

The Redding annoucement means that two British riders will be on the satellite Hondas. While Redding is on the Marc VDS bike, Cal Crutchlow will be switching to LCR Honda for next year.

The announcement also clears the way for a further raft of announcements. Redding was being courted by Aprilia, Ducati, and Forward Yamaha, while Aspar were also waiting to pick up the factory Honda and Redding if Marc VDS decided against making the jump. With Redding gone, the second seats at Pramac, Forward and Aspar will quickly be filled. Expect a flurry of activity at the Aragon round in two weeks' time.

Marc VDS Racing are to move up to MotoGP, fielding a factory Honda RC213V for Scott Redding. The deal was announced late on Sunday night via the Marc VDS Racing Twitter feed, after meetings between the team, Honda, and team owner Marc van der Straten.The agreement means that the Marc VDS team will field a factory Honda RC213V for the next three seasons, through 2017. The duration of the contract had been a critical point in the negotiations, allowing the team to spread the costs out over a longer period, and showing HRC's support for both the team and Redding. The move to MotoGP had been mooted after the Indianapolis GP. After Indy, rumors emerged that Gresini's title sponsor, Go&Fun, would be pulling out of their deal a year early. Without the money from Go&Fun, Gresini could not afford the factory Honda. Gresini have now officially switched to Aprilia, leaving a factory Honda and an Open class Honda going begging.

Grand Prix Commission Agrees Lower MotoGP Weight And Software Freeze

The Grand Prix Commission met at Misano to agree a couple of steps on the long road towards creating a single, unified MotoGP class from 2016. The four parties to the GPC agreed that the minimum weight in the MotoGP class would be reduced from 160kg to 158kg, and agreed to freeze development of the software for all Factory Option class bikes from 30th June 2015. From that point on, work will switch to the spec, or unified software, ready for the start of 2016.

The reduction in minimum weights has been under discussion since last year. The weights were originally raised to make it cheaper for manufacturers of CRT machines to reach the minimum weight of a MotoGP machine, with the need to resort to exotic materials. However, with the disappearance of the CRT machines at the beginning of this season, the weight became less of an issue. The Open class bikes which replaced CRTs were much closer to MotoGP prototypes, and as a consequence, were easier to keep light.

The minimum weight is likely to be reduced again in the not too distant future, though the eventual minimum will depend on other regulations to be agreed for 2016. The engine allocation limits also affect the weight of a bike. Long-life engines need to be built more robustly and with greater structural tolerances. That means using more material, and more weight. Discussions are currently underway over the final number of engines which will be available for each rider from 2016. That number will probably be higher than the current five allowed for Factory Option teams, but lower than the twelve allowed for Open teams. Dorna and IRTA are pushing for a higher number of engines, while the factories are in favor of a lower number. Once agreement is reached, then an achievable minimum weight can be agreed. It seems likely that the final weight will be lower than the 158kg agreed for next year, but it is uncertain whether it will go as low as 150kg, which it was with the 800cc MotoGP bikes.

The GPC also agreed to freeze the software of the Factory Option bikes from 30th June 2015. No more development may take place on the factory bikes from that point on, and the factories will then start to focus on the spec software - or Unified Software, as it is now being called - to be used by all entries from 2016 onwards. Work is already started on the system to coordinate the unified software development process, with Dorna's Director of Technology Corrado Cecchinelli starting to test the system already. Cecchinelli spoke to us at Silverstone and gave us a detailed insight into the concept behind the unified software, and the status of the project. That interview will be appearing on the website in the next few days.

The FIM press release from the GPC appears below:


FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix

Decision of the Grand Prix Commission

The Grand Prix Commission, composed of Messrs. Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna, Chairman), Ignacio Verneda (FIM Executive Director, Sport), Herve Poncharal (IRTA) and Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA) in the presence of Javier Alonso (Dorna) and Mike Trimby (IRTA, Secretary of the meeting), in a meeting held on 13 September 2014 in Misano, made the following decisions:

Technical Regulations

Effective 2015

Minimum Weights of MotoGP Class Machines

The minimum weight of a 1,000 cc machine will be reduced by 2 kg. from 160 kg. to 158 kgm.

It was also agreed that this matter would be reviewed during 2015 to consider the possibility of a further reduction of 2 kg for 2016.

Development of Unified Software for the MotoGP Class

It was confirmed that current manufacturers will be permitted to use and develop their own software up until 30th. June 2015. After that date manufacturers will not be permitted to update their software except for minor bug fixes that might affect safety.

From 1 July 2015 current manufacturers will switch their development programme to the 2016 unified software. It is the intention that this software will be based largely on the current software used by the open category machines.

Manufacturers not currently participating may continue to use and develop their own software throughout 2015 but may also be invited to participate in the development of the unified software.

Detailed technical regulations concerning the use of certified sensors and other devices were also approved.

A regularly updated version of the FIM Grand Prix Regulations which contains the detailed text of the regulation changes may be viewed shortly on:

http://www.fim-live.com/en/sport/official-documents-ccr/codes-and-regula...

The Grand Prix Commission met at Misano to agree a couple of steps on the long road towards creating a single, unified MotoGP class from 2016. The four parties to the GPC agreed that the minimum weight in the MotoGP class would be reduced from 160kg to 158kg, and agreed to freeze development of the software for all Factory Option class bikes from 30th June 2015. From that point on, work will switch to the spec, or unified software, ready for the start of 2016.The reduction in minimum weights has been under discussion since last year. The weights were originally raised to make it cheaper for manufacturers of CRT machines to reach the minimum weight of a MotoGP machine, with the need to resort to exotic materials. However, with the disappearance of the CRT machines at the beginning of this season, the weight became less of an issue. The Open class bikes which replaced CRTs were much closer to MotoGP prototypes, and as a consequence, were easier to keep light.

Avintia Agree Two-Year Deal To Race Open Ducatis, Could Start At Aragon

It has been a busy day for announcements at Misano. After the earlier official news that Aprilia will be returning to MotoGP in 2015 with Gresini, this afternoon, Avintia Racing announced they will be switching to Ducati hardware for the 2015 season and beyond.

At a press conference held in the Avintia hospitality unit, Antonio Martin, boss of both Avintia Racing and the Avintia construction company which is the team's title sponsor, and Ducati Corse boss Gigi Dall'Igna announced a two-year deal, which will see Avintia field Ducati Desmosedici GP14s running Open class software in 2015, and GP15s running the spec software in 2016. Hector Barbera will be on one bike in 2015, but the second seat at Avintia is still open.

Dall'Igna told the press conference that the move was very important for Ducati, as it would give them a head start on working with the Open software, which will form the basis of the spec software to be introduced from 2016 onwards. That had been the objective with Yonny Hernandez at Pramac, but when the special exception was made for Ducati to use their own software, Hernandez was given the Ducati software to use, rather than the Open class software. 

The project will be well supported by Ducati, with two Ducati technicians in the Avintia garage to help with set up and to develop the Open class software to work with the Desmosedici engine. The bike is being provided at a "reasonable" cost, Dall'Igna said. When asked if the price fell inside the target set by Dorna of €1 million per bike, per year, Dall'Igna said that viewed over two years, the total cost would be somewhere close to that, viewed over the two-year period of the contract.

Hector Barbera may not have to wait until the Valencia test at the end of the year to climb aboard the Desmosedici. Ducati is to have a test at Mugello in the days before the Aragon MotoGP round, which will see Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone test the GP14.2, a major upgrade to the existing bike, while Barbera will test the GP14 on Open software. If the test is a success, then Dovizioso and Iannone will use the new bike from Aragon onwards, while Barbera will switch to the GP14 with Open software from that race.

 

It has been a busy day for announcements at Misano. After the earlier official news that Aprilia will be returning to MotoGP in 2015 with Gresini, this afternoon, Avintia Racing announced they will be switching to Ducati hardware for the 2015 season and beyond.At a press conference held in the Avintia hospitality unit, Antonio Martin, boss of both Avintia Racing and the Avintia construction company which is the team's title sponsor, and Ducati Corse boss Gigi Dall'Igna announced a two-year deal, which will see Avintia field Ducati Desmosedici GP14s running Open class software in 2015, and GP15s running the spec software in 2016. Hector Barbera will be on one bike in 2015, but the second seat at Avintia is still open.Dall'Igna told the press conference that the move was very important for Ducati, as it would give them a head start on working with the Open software, which will form the basis of the spec software to be introduced from 2016 onwards. That had been the objective with Yonny Hernandez at Pramac, but when the special exception was made for Ducati to use their own software, Hernandez was given the Ducati software to use, rather than the Open class software. 

Now Official: Aprilia Announce Their Return To MotoGP With Gresini

It is to be a weekend of announcements, most of them already widely expected. The most widely trailed move has now been confirmed officially: from 2015, Aprilia is to return to MotoGP with the Gresini Racing team.

Aprilia and Gresini have reached agreement for the next four seasons, with Gresini running the Italian factory's team through 2018. The partnership benefits both sides: by entering via Gresini, Aprilia will save €3.4 million in their first year in the class, an important saving which will allow them to spend more resources on development. The partnership was important to Gresini, as having lost their sponsorship from Go&Fun, the future of the team's places in MotoGP was under severe threat. Aprilia's funding will now keep them in the premier class. 

No riders have been announced, but it is widely anticipated that Marco Melandri wil return from World Superbikes to race the Aprilia, where he will partner with current Gresini rider Alvaro Bautista. Gresini may also be looking to retain Scott Redding, but Redding is keen to ride the Honda RC213V stipulated in his contract. With the 2015 Aprilia being an uprated version of the ART machine currently being ridden by Danilo Petrucci, that bike is unlikely to be competitive. For 2016, Aprilia will be bringing an all-new machine, only loosely based on the current ART.

The Aprilia deal leaves the path free for Marc VDS Racing to take the satellite Honda given up by Gresini. However, as of this moment, the team have not announced their intentions. The team will be watched closely, as a return by Scott Redding to the Marc VDS team would be an ideal partnership. The team is expected to make its intentions known very soon, as both team boss Michael Bartholemy and team owner Marc van der Straten will be in attendance this weekend.

Below is the press release from Gresini on the Aprilia deal:


APRILIA TO ENTER MOTOGP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

GRESINI RACING WILL BE MANAGING THE ITALIAN MANUFACTURER'S PROTOTYPES ON TRACK UNTIL THE 2018 SEASON

This agreement will allow Aprilia Racing to take advantage of Gresini Racing's significant contribution in terms of MotoGP experience and know-how. Gresini Racing will be managing the Aprilia bikes on the track in MotoGP for four years, starting from the 2015 season.

FAUSTO GRESINI

“I am very glad that Aprilia identified Gresini Racing as the ideal partner to enter the MotoGP World Championship: I would like to thank the Piaggio Group for giving me a fantastic opportunity, that is working closely with such a glorious manufacturer; an Italian brand that has become a synonymous of passion for racing, reaching amazing results worldwide. The four years agreement between Gresini Racing and Aprilia opens a new chapter in our history: in this moment I feel a great responsibility, but the motivation to succeed in this exciting, all Italian challenge is even bigger. The Grand Prix world is part of the Aprilia brand and to represent it in the premier class, the MotoGP World Championship, is a source of great pride for all of us. An incredible reward for the work done in all these years by Gresini Racing”.

GRESINI RACING

Managed by the two-time 125cc class world champion Fausto Gresini, Gresini Racing has been in Grand Prix motorcycle racing since 1997, achieving prestigious results: in addition to the two titles won in 2001 with Daijiro Kato (250cc) and in 2010 with Toni Elias (Moto2), the 40 wins and 114 podiums earned, there are also the MotoGP runner up titles achieved for three consecutive seasons, in 2003 and 2004 with Sete Gibernau and in 2005 with Marco Melandri.

Gresini Racing has been home to top calibre champions such as Alex Barros, Loris Capirossi, Colin Edwards and Marco Simoncelli. Gresini Racing is currently an organisation which is involved in all the Grand Prix motorcycle racing classes. In fact, they are key players in the 2014 season with Alvaro Bautista and Scott Redding in MotoGP, Xavier Siméon and Lorenzo Baldassarri in Moto2 and with Niccolò Antonelli and Enea Bastianini in Moto3.

It is to be a weekend of announcements, most of them already widely expected. The most widely trailed move has now been confirmed officially: from 2015, Aprilia is to return to MotoGP with the Gresini Racing team.Aprilia and Gresini have reached agreement for the next four seasons, with Gresini running the Italian factory's team through 2018. The partnership benefits both sides: by entering via Gresini, Aprilia will save €3.4 million in their first year in the class, an important saving which will allow them to spend more resources on development. The partnership was important to Gresini, as having lost their sponsorship from Go&Fun, the future of the team's places in MotoGP was under severe threat. Aprilia's funding will now keep them in the premier class. No riders have been announced, but it is widely anticipated that Marco Melandri wil return from World Superbikes to race the Aprilia, where he will partner with current Gresini rider Alvaro Bautista. Gresini may also be looking to retain Scott Redding, but Redding is keen to ride the Honda RC213V stipulated in his contract. With the 2015 Aprilia being an uprated version of the ART machine currently being ridden by Danilo Petrucci, that bike is unlikely to be competitive. For 2016, Aprilia will be bringing an all-new machine, only loosely based on the current ART.

Josh Herrin Dropped From Caterham Moto2 Ride, Ratthapark Wilairot To Replace Him For Rest Of 2014

Josh Herrin's difficult debut year in Moto2 has come to a premature end. The AirAsia Caterham Moto2 team today announced that from the Misano round of MotoGP, Thai rider Ratthapark Wilairot will take the place of the 24-year-old Californian. Wilairot is currently riding in the World Supersport championship for the Core PTR Honda team, but the remaining WSS schedule will allow the Thai rider to compete in both series. Wilairot already subbed for Herrin when the American broke his collarbone in a training accident back in April.

Wilairot is no stranger to Moto2, having competed in the class from its inception in 2010, and in the 250cc class it replaced before that. The Thai rider was forced out of Moto2 in the middle of last season, when he lost support of his sponsors in the Gresini team mid-season.

As for Josh Herrin, the American has struggled throughout his time in Moto2. The reigning AMA Superbike champion has found it hard to adapt to the Dunlops used in Moto2, which, in combination with the stiffness and adjustibility of a Moto2 chassis, require a totally different riding style and allow the rider to brake much further into the corner. The depth and competitiveness of the field have also presented a huge challenge: in a class where fourteen or fifteen riders are all within a second of each other, it is easy to slip a long way down the grid by losing just a couple of tenths. Coming in to Moto2 as reigning AMA Superbike champion only served to raise the pressure on the American, and created expectations it was hard to live up to. Those expectations were made even tougher by the ease with which reigning World Supersport champion Sam Lowes and Moto3 champ Maverick Viñales adapted to the class.

The departure of Herrin means there will not be a single American on the Grand Prix grid at Misano, a low point for US racing. Many insiders believed that Herrin was the wrong rider to make the switch to Grand Prix racing, with both US and Grand Prix experts preferring to see either Cameron Beaubier or Jake Gagne back in the Grand Prix paddock. Both riders know the circuits, having raced in both the Red Bull Rookies and, in Beaubier's case, in 125s back in 2009. Herrin got the call as he was available, unlike Beaubier, and could attract a certain amount of financial support for the team.

The press release issued by the team appears below:


Ratthapark Wilairot joins AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing

AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing can today announce that Ratthapark Wilairot will join the team at the Grand Prix of San Marino and Riviera di Rimini.

Wilairot will replace Josh Herrin on the Caterham Suter for the remainder of the 2014 season.

Following his impressive debut with the team at the Jerez GP, the 26 year old Thai rider was an obvious choice to contest the final six rounds of the Moto2 Championship.

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager: “We have decided to replace Josh with Ratthapark. It was not an easy decision but it was necessary in order to try to bring better results on that side of the garage.

“We are here to be competitive with two riders and the expectations were made clear from the start of the season. Unfortunately these goals have not been met, despite our best efforts and support to Josh.

“We wish Josh all the best for the future and at the same time welcome Ratthapark to our team. I am happy that Ratthapark is joining us as we know he has the ability to battle for the points and can help us to gain good results, so let’s now see how we can improve for the final six races of the season.”

Ratthapark Wilairot: “Firstly I have to say thank you very much to Tony Fernandes, Mia Sharizman, Johan Stigefelt and AirAsia for giving me this big present to ride in Moto2 until the end of the season. Also I want to thank CORE and PTR who have allowed me to do my favourite career.

“I am feeling fresh and excited to get back into the Moto2 garage, especially with the AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing Team. I made one race at Jerez already this year with them and I really enjoyed it! All the people in the team are working hard and helped me a lot with everything; it’s like a big family.

“I hope to repay them for this opportunity by doing a good job and achieving positive results for the remaining six races. In Jerez we worked well together and gained valuable information for set up with the Caterham Suter bike, so I am confident that we can build on this.

“My target is to score points and finish in the top fifteen. I will open the gas and get near to the top guys.”

Josh Herrin's difficult debut year in Moto2 has come to a premature end. The AirAsia Caterham Moto2 team today announced that from the Misano round of MotoGP, Thai rider Ratthapark Wilairot will take the place of the 24-year-old Californian. Wilairot is currently riding in the World Supersport championship for the Core PTR Honda team, but the remaining WSS schedule will allow the Thai rider to compete in both series. Wilairot already subbed for Herrin when the American broke his collarbone in a training accident back in April.Wilairot is no stranger to Moto2, having competed in the class from its inception in 2010, and in the 250cc class it replaced before that. The Thai rider was forced out of Moto2 in the middle of last season, when he lost support of his sponsors in the Gresini team mid-season.

Nicky Hayden Confirms He Will Miss Misano, Hopes To Return For Aragon

As expected, Nicky Hayden will not be at the Misano round of MotoGP. In a video posted on Youtube by the Drive M7 Aspar team, Nicky Hayden discusses the progress he has made in recovering from the major wrist surgery he underwent after the Sachsenring. His recovery is going well, and Hayden has already been back riding dirt track bikes. The ride was to test his wrist, at the request of his doctors, and Hayden said his wrist was holding up as expected. Riding dirt track is very different to riding a MotoGP bike, however, and Hayden is not yet fit enough to do that. That means Leon Camier will ride Hayden's Honda RCV1000R at least one more time at Misano. Hayden hopes to be fit enough to ride again at the Motorland Aragon round in three weeks time.

The video from the Drive M7 Aspar team is below:

As expected, Nicky Hayden will not be at the Misano round of MotoGP. In a video posted on Youtube by the Drive M7 Aspar team, Nicky Hayden discusses the progress he has made in recovering from the major wrist surgery he underwent after the Sachsenring. His recovery is going well, and Hayden has already been back riding dirt track bikes. The ride was to test his wrist, at the request of his doctors, and Hayden said his wrist was holding up as expected. Riding dirt track is very different to riding a MotoGP bike, however, and Hayden is not yet fit enough to do that. That means Leon Camier will ride Hayden's Honda RCV1000R at least one more time at Misano. Hayden hopes to be fit enough to ride again at the Motorland Aragon round in three weeks time.The video from the Drive M7 Aspar team is below:

GTranslate