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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:

US Superbike Racing On The Verge Of A Revival? Rainey Takes Over AMA Series, DMG Relinquishes Rights

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Motorcycle road racing in the US looks set for a revival after its years in the wilderness. Today, the AMA announced that the rights to road racing in the US have been reacquired from the Daytona Motorsports Group, and handed to a consortium led by Wayne Rainey and Chuck Aksland. The KRAVE Group will run a new series of races in North America from 2015, under the joint auspices of the AMA and the FIM.

It has been a long and difficult few years for motorcycle road racing in the US. Since the DMG bought the rights to the AMA Superbike series, at the start of the 2008 season, the series has been in a steady decline. Long-serving staff were replaced, circuits were dropped, classes were dropped, rejigged and renamed, and the manufacturers - or rather, the national distributors of the Japanese manufacturers - were either chased out of the series, or left over disagreements over the technical regulations. 

The series reached a low point this year, when the AMA Pro Racing Superbike series held a grand total of just six races. Making things worse was the fact that just one of those rounds was in California, traditionally a very strong base for motorcycle racing in the US. To alleviate the situation, Roadracing World's John Ulrich stepped in to organize the Superbike Shootout, a three-race series held in California and Utah, to offer road racers something approaching a fuller season. However, the AMA did not have a deal to televise the Superbike series, relying instead on live internet streaming of the events.

The decline of the series cannot be laid completely at the door of the DMG. They took over the AMA Superbike series at the start of 2008, a few months before the global financial crisis hit. That crisis had a massive impact on all forms of motorsports, and saw a great deal of sponsorship money evaporate. The actions of the DMG certainly exacerbated the flight of capital from the series: the changes in classes and sporting regulations alienated a good part of the fan base; and the technical regulations and the way they were handled caused conflict with a number of key manufacturers. The DMG continues to run the AMA Pro Racing Flat Track series, which has seen something of a revival under its tenure.

The plight of US racing caught the attention of both the FIM and Dorna, especially after Dorna took over the running of the World Superbike series. Without an influx of talent from the US, raising the popularity of both MotoGP and World Superbikes was hard, especially as the Americans in MotoGP have begun to retire through either injury or age. Ben Spies was forced to quit after a severe shoulder injury, Colin Edwards retired after the Indianapolis round, and Nicky Hayden's place in MotoGP is uncertain after radical wrist surgery. Only two Americans remain at the World Championship level: Josh Herrin is struggling through a miserable year in Moto2, while PJ Jacobsen has been the only bright note for the US, the American having an excellent debut season in the World Supersport series, scoring a podium at Misano, and currently seventh in the championship. If Dorna was to find any strong American riders, the US would need a strong road racing series.

There had been rumors that Dorna was working with Wayne Rainey on a new series for about a year, though the rumors only gained any real strength earlier this year. Those rumors came to a head at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP in August, at which a key series of meetings appear to have taken place. The FIM and Dorna had agreed a new championship with the American Motorcyclist Association, the only stumbling block being the DMG. It was feared that the DMG would block any move to take way its rights to road racing, and use its financial power to thwart any attempt to circumvent those rights.

Fortunately for US race fans, common sense has prevailed. The DMG has given up its rights to organize road racing, and passed them back to the AMA. Though the wording of the statements from both the AMA and DMG suggest that the transfer involved some form of financial compensation, the value of the rights were already greatly diminished during the tenure of the DMG.

The rights have now been transferred to the KRAVE Group LLC, a partnership which includes former 500cc world champion Wayne Rainey, former Team KR principal Chuck Aksland, Terry Karges, a former team owner, and Richard Varner, an entrepreneur and custom motorcycle manufacturer. The KRAVE Group will organize a North American championship under the auspices of the AMA and FIM North America. The series is to be called MotoAmerica, and appears that it may include races in both the US and Canada, as FIM North America represents the motorcycle associations of both those countries.

As to which classes will be raced and which tracks will be used, as yet, nothing is known. With the rights to organize a series now officially finalized, the hard work of building and promoting a series can begin. With less than six months to go before the US season's traditional opener at the Daytona 200, there is no real time to make radical changes. 2015 will likely be a year of transition, with larger changes coming in the future. The involvement of the FIM and Dorna suggests that the technical rules will once again be brought into line with World Superbikes, to allow teams and riders to transfer more easily from the US to World Championships. Whether the AMA goes to a Superbike-Supersport-Superstock format like World Superbikes, or a Superbike, Moto2 and Moto3 series, like the Spanish CEV championships remains to be seen. There were credible rumors from Indianapolis that Dorna favored the CEV model, but that would require a radical rejigging of the racing landscape in the US.

Although the task facing the KRAVE Group is momentous, they start off with one big thing in their favor: after six years of misery for the AMA under the DMG, the KRAVE Group is assured of the goodwill of US fans and everyone involved in the sport. They carry the hopes and dreams of US fans, teams and riders. Perhaps more significantly, they carry the financial support and interests of Dorna and the FIM, who have a vested interest in the MotoAmerica series succeeding. Things are looking up.

Below is the press release from the AMA on the new series, as well as a very brief statement from the DMG:


American Motorcyclist Association to sanction MotoAmerica's professional road racing series in North America

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The American Motorcyclist Association has announced that it will sanction MotoAmerica, a new North American road racing series. MotoAmerica is an affiliate of KRAVE Group LLC, a partnership that includes three-time MotoGP champion, Wayne Rainey.

MotoAmerica will promote and manage the commercial aspects of MotoAmerica, which will be sanctioned by the AMA and FIM North America. FIM North America is the North American Continental Union of the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme, the international body for motorcycle sport.

The KRAVE Group is a Costa Mesa, Calif.-based organization that includes Rainey, the three-time 500cc World Champion (1990, 1991 and 1992) and two-time AMA Superbike Champion (1983, 1987), Chuck Aksland, a former racer and 20-year manager of Team Roberts who most recently served as Vice President of Motor Sport Operations at Circuit of The Americas, Terry Karges, a former motorsports marketing executive and team owner who spent 17-years at Roush Performance before being named Executive Director of the Petersen Museum, and Richard Varner, a motorcycle manufacturer, energy sector entrepreneur, philanthropist and businessman.

The KRAVE (Karges, Rainey, Aksland, Varner) Group owns commercial rights to the MotoAmerica Series, and will award AMA and FIM North America No. 1 plates to series class champions. The group will sell sponsorships, develop other commercial relationships for the series, secure tracks, create the calendar, process crew and media credentials and have responsibility for fan engagement.

"If you are an amateur or professional motorcycle road racer in America, if you are a fan of road racing or if you are a company that does business in this industry, this is an exciting day," said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. "Our goal has always been to entrust the promoting and commercial rights for professional racing to a talented, dedicated, well-capitalized professional entity, and the KRAVE Group certainly offers all that and more."

Rainey, an AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer, thanked the AMA for facilitating the acquisition.

"The AMA was instrumental in this deal coming together, serving as negotiator and mediator at all points of discussion," Rainey said. "We appreciate the efforts of Rob Dingman throughout the process."

The Ohio-based AMA, the world's premier motorcycle advocacy group, will staff officials at each round of the professional series and develop an enforcement, appeal and rider license procedure. The AMA will be responsible for issuing professional road racing licenses for the series.

MotoAmerica, in consultation with the AMA, will develop classes, the rules of competition and event procedures. While details of the rulebook are still in development, classes and events will conform to prevailing international standards.

"The structure of our agreement with the AMA serves the goal of developing riders to be successful on the world stage," Rainey said. "It allows a framework that supports advancement from youth competition to novice, from novice to Pro-Am, from Pro-Am to National Championship contention and, for the best of the best, an opportunity to race for a world title."

The AMA, as the U.S. affiliate of the FIM, sanctions FIM-affiliated events in the United States. The AMA, along with the Canadian Motorcycle Association, administers FIM North America, which sanctions continental-level series and championship events in North America. The AMA also sanctions amateur motorcycle competition in America, a role the AMA has fulfilled since it was established in 1924.

"The AMA's roles as FIM affiliate and amateur sanctioning body make it a critical piece to establishing a clear progression for America's road racing community," Rainey said. "We're eager to build a fair, exciting and commercially viable professional road racing series not just for today's stars, but for those who will stand on top of the podium for years to come."

Dingman added: "The MotoAmerica/KRAVE Group has shown throughout the entire process that they have the best interests of the AMA and its members in mind. They not only accepted financial responsibility for the series, but the relationship requires the MotoAmerica Series to sanction its events with the AMA."

As part of the agreement, the AMA has re-acquired the sanctioning, promotional and commercial rights to professional motorcycle road racing in America from Daytona Motorsports Group (DMG), which had purchased those rights from the AMA in 2008. DMG has operated the series for the last seven years and is no longer going to be the promoter of the series.


Statement from AMA Pro Racing on the future of the professional road racing discipline

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (September 3, 2014) – The following is a statement from AMA Pro Racing on the future of the professional motorcycle road racing discipline:

“Daytona Motorsports Group (DMG) confirms the transfer of sanctioning, operational, promotional and commercial rights for professional motorcycle road racing to the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and KRAVE Group. Following the 2014 AMA Pro Road Racing season finale at New Jersey Motorsports Park on Sept. 13-14, DMG no longer will conduct and promote the professional road racing discipline. The company will continue to sanction AMA Pro Flat Track, Motocross and Hillclimb.”

Motorcycle road racing in the US looks set for a revival after its years in the wilderness. Today, the AMA announced that the rights to road racing in the US have been reacquired from the Daytona Motorsports Group, and handed to a consortium led by Wayne Rainey and Chuck Aksland. The KRAVE Group will run a new series of races in North America from 2015, under the joint auspices of the AMA and the FIM.It has been a long and difficult few years for motorcycle road racing in the US. Since the DMG bought the rights to the AMA Superbike series, at the start of the 2008 season, the series has been in a steady decline. Long-serving staff were replaced, circuits were dropped, classes were dropped, rejigged and renamed, and the manufacturers - or rather, the national distributors of the Japanese manufacturers - were either chased out of the series, or left over disagreements over the technical regulations. 

Donington Park To Host British MotoGP Round In 2015

Donington Park is to host the British round of MotoGP in 2015. The Leicestershire circuit has reached agreement with the Circuit of Wales to host the British Grand Prix while the Welsh track is being built. The Circuit of Wales was in talks with both Donington, which hosted the British Grand Prix from 1987 until 2009, and Silverstone, which hosted the race from 2010 until this year, but agreed more favorable terms with Donington.

The deal is a little more complicated than most contracts with racetracks. Dorna has a contract with the Circuit of Wales to host the race for the next five years, but the Circuit of Wales is yet to be built. Construction on the ambitious project has yet to be started, and the project is still a long way short of the money it needs for completion. While the Head of the Valleys Development Company continues to work on completing the facilities, the Circuit of Wales needed to comply with its contract with Dorna and provide a venue to hold the British Grand Prix. The Circuit of Wales held talks with both Donington Park and Silverstone, but Silverstone wanted too much money to host the event, citing very high costs to run it. Unwilling to 'subsidize' the event, as they put it in the press release, Silverstone refused to drop their asking price. That left Donington Park as the only alternative. 

Before Donington can put on the race, it will have to undergo an inspection by Dorna and the FIM. Donington will carry out any upgrades required to bring it up to Grand Prix standard, but it is unclear where the funding for this will come from. It is also unclear what will happen if the circuit should, for whatever reason, fail to complete the required upgrades in time. Given that the circuit already hosts a round of World Superbikes, it seems unlikely that the changes needed will be too extensive, though WSBK races at tracks where MotoGP would be unable to go for safety reasons, such as Imola and (formerly) Monza.

The press releases issued by the Circuit of Wales, Dorna and Silverstone on the British Grand Prix moving to Donington Park appear below: 


Circuit of Wales reaches agreement with Donington Park to host 2015 British MotoGP™

September 2 2014

Dorna Sports and the Circuit of Wales have reached agreement with Donington Park for the circuit to become the venue for next year’s British round of the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship.

MotoGP will be returning to Donington Park for the first time since 2009 after the Leicestershire circuit had been the home of the event since 1987. The partnership with Donington Park will now focus on the promotion of the 2015 MotoGP event and any upgrades the circuit requires to comply with FIM MotoGP™ World Championship circuit standards.

“After announcing the long-term MotoGP agreement between Dorna and the Circuit of Wales three weeks ago our priority has been to agree the venue for 2015,” explained Chris Herring of the Circuit of Wales.

Herring added: “It is in the interests of everyone, especially the fans, to make a decision as soon as possible and in Donington Park we have a venue that shares our vision for growing MotoGP in the UK.”

Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta commented: “The Circuit of Wales has worked very quickly to secure the best deal for the British race fans and we believe Donington Park will deliver a fantastic race in 2015.”

Ezpeleta continued, “Donington Park has a long history and has been the scene of some of the most exciting MotoGP races in recent years and we are sure that the extensive works undertaken since it reopened four years ago will guarantee a successful event.”

The date for the 2015 British FIM MotoGP™ World Championship round is expected to be announced later this month.


Donington Park to host 2015 British Motorcycle Grand Prix

Donington Park has been elected by the Circuit of Wales and Dorna Sports as the alternative venue for the British Motorcycle Grand Prix for the 2015 event.

Whilst the Circuit of Wales is scheduled to host the British Motorcycle Grand Prix until 2024 after agreeing a five-year contract with the option for further five year extension with the Championship’s commercial rights holders, it has been decided that the series would return to the Leicestershire venue next year, before moving to the new Circuit of Wales in 2016.

“After announcing the long-term MotoGP agreement between Dorna and the Circuit of Wales three weeks ago our priority has been to agree the venue for 2015,” explained Chris Herring of the Circuit of Wales. Herring added: “It is in the interests of everyone, especially the fans, to make a decision as soon as possible and in Donington Park we have a venue that shares our vision for growing MotoGP in the UK.”

Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta commented: “The Circuit of Wales has worked very quickly to secure the best deal for the British race fans and we believe Donington Park will deliver a fantastic race in 2015. ”Ezpeleta continued, “Donington Park has a long history and has been the scene of some of the most exciting MotoGP races in recent years and we are sure that the extensive works undertaken since it reopened four years ago will guarantee a successful event.”

The date for the 2015 British FIM MotoGP™ World Championship round is expected to be announced later this month.

Donington Park had previously been the home of MotoGP™ for 23 years, hosting it from 1987 to 2009.


Silverstone unable to reach agreement with Circuit of Wales to host MotoGP

Silverstone Circuits Limited has confirmed that it will not be staging the British round of the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship in 2015, after failing to agree terms with The Circuit of Wales (the promoter of the event from 2015).

Richard Phillips, Managing Director of Silverstone Circuits Limited, said: “We have invested heavily in the circuit and facilities here at Silverstone, specifically to host MotoGP, and have developed the British Grand Prix into a highly successful event. We wanted to keep MotoGP™ at Silverstone, but cannot afford to subsidise it. We are extremely disappointed not to be hosting the event in 2015.

“Any future deal, with Dorna or The Circuit of Wales, had to make economic sense for all parties, including us. We know from experience what it takes to run a high quality British Grand Prix. We made what we considered to be the maximum sensible offer to retain the event at Silverstone, but it seems that The Circuit of Wales, who have no experience of running a Grand Prix, have concluded they can do better running it themselves, using Donington until their circuit is ready.

“Silverstone has taken the event to a whole new level over the last five years, so we hope this won’t turn out to be a backwards step for the British Grand Prix, teams and fans. The Circuit of Wales evidently believe they can make the finances work using Donington next year – we wish them the best of luck.”


Donington Park is to host the British round of MotoGP in 2015. The Leicestershire circuit has reached agreement with the Circuit of Wales to host the British Grand Prix while the Welsh track is being built. The Circuit of Wales was in talks with both Donington, which hosted the British Grand Prix from 1987 until 2009, and Silverstone, which hosted the race from 2010 until this year, but agreed more favorable terms with Donington.The deal is a little more complicated than most contracts with racetracks. Dorna has a contract with the Circuit of Wales to host the race for the next five years, but the Circuit of Wales is yet to be built. Construction on the ambitious project has yet to be started, and the project is still a long way short of the money it needs for completion. While the Head of the Valleys Development Company continues to work on completing the facilities, the Circuit of Wales needed to comply with its contract with Dorna and provide a venue to hold the British Grand Prix. The Circuit of Wales held talks with both Donington Park and Silverstone, but Silverstone wanted too much money to host the event, citing very high costs to run it. Unwilling to 'subsidize' the event, as they put it in the press release, Silverstone refused to drop their asking price. That left Donington Park as the only alternative. 

2015 Preseason MotoGP Testing Dates Announced

At Silverstone, the provisional testing calendar for the winter of 2015 was agreed. Preseason testing for the 2015 MotoGP season will take place at the usual locations, starting with the post-race test at Valencia, and continuing at Sepang and Qatar for MotoGP, while Moto2 and Moto3 go to Valencia and Jerez.

The 2015 season gets underway on the Monday after the final race of 2014 at Valencia, the MotoGP bikes testing from Monday through Wednesday. After the traditional winter test ban in December and January, testing will once again resume at Sepang, on 4th February. The MotoGP teams return to Sepang for the second test on the 23rd of February, before heading to Qatar. The dates of the Qatar test has not yet been fixed, as it depends on the date of the opening round of MotoGP at Qatar. That race will either be on the 15th or 22nd of March, but the date cannot be finalized until the Formula One series draws up a calendar. The Qatar test will take place a week before the race at the circuit.

The Sepang and Qatar tests will be four instead of three days long, to allow testing of the Michelin tires to begin. With Michelin set to replace Bridgestone as the spec tire supplier from 2016 onwards, one day of each test will be set aside for tire testing. At both Sepang tests, that will be the last day of the test, while at Qatar, it will be the first day. At the first Sepang test and Qatar, only test riders will get to test the Michelins, while at the Sepang 2 test, everyone will get the first feel of the Michelin tires.

The Moto2 and Moto3 riders will do their preseason testing in Spain, as usual. They start in Valencia on 10th February, before moving south a week later, testing  at Jerez on 17th February. The final official preseason test will take place at Jerez again on 3rd March. All of the official Moto2 and Moto3 tests last three days.

Below is the testing calendar:

MotoGP:
10-12 November 2014 Valencia
4-7 February 2015 Sepang 1
23-26 February 2015 Sepang 2
6-9 / 13-16 March 2015 Qatar
   
Moto2 / Moto3:
10-12 February 2015 Valencia
17-19 February 2015 Jerez
3-5 March 2015 Jerez

 

At Silverstone, the provisional testing calendar for the winter of 2015 was agreed. Preseason testing for the 2015 MotoGP season will take place at the usual locations, starting with the post-race test at Valencia, and continuing at Sepang and Qatar for MotoGP, while Moto2 and Moto3 go to Valencia and Jerez.The 2015 season gets underway on the Monday after the final race of 2014 at Valencia, the MotoGP bikes testing from Monday through Wednesday. After the traditional winter test ban in December and January, testing will once again resume at Sepang, on 4th February. The MotoGP teams return to Sepang for the second test on the 23rd of February, before heading to Qatar. The dates of the Qatar test has not yet been fixed, as it depends on the date of the opening round of MotoGP at Qatar. That race will either be on the 15th or 22nd of March, but the date cannot be finalized until the Formula One series draws up a calendar. The Qatar test will take place a week before the race at the circuit.

Scott Jones At Silverstone: Race Day Photos From A Windswept Airfield


#11 for #93


Moto2 finally produced some of the drama of old. A great race


Pedrosa, Rossi and Dovizioso put on a real show in MotoGP, but they could only battle for 3rd


Tobacco advertising may be banned, but they can't stop smoking in the paddock


Moto3. Axe murderers only need apply


Pressure. Johann Zarco couldn't convert pole into a podium


Black and white, and read all over


Tito Rabat described his win at Silverstone as one of the best races of his career. This could be the key race of the year


#33, Enea Bastianini, has been the revelation of the Moto3 class in 2014. Hope swells in the chest of all Italy


Technically, this is referred to as a "gubbins".


A hard furrow to plough for Bautista


2014 has been a tough year for British riders. 2015 will see both Crutchlow and Redding on better bikes


That's official HRC sticky tape. Full factory.


Turning a Grand Prix bike is done using the rear brake


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#11 for #93 Moto2 finally produced some of the drama of old. A great race Pedrosa, Rossi and Dovizioso put on a real show in MotoGP, but they could only battle for 3rd

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