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Ratthapark Wilairot Switches To PTR Honda World Supersport Team For 2014

Ratthapark Wilairot is to return to racing, and will compete in the 2014 World Supersport championship. The Thai rider will be joining the PTR Honda team for the 2014 season, racing a CBR600RR alongside Jack Kennedy and Nacho Calero.

Wilairot's return comes after an announcement in August last year that he would be retiring from racing, stepping down from the Gresini Moto2 team with immediate effect. That announcement was met with a good deal of incredulity, especially as the decision was made by the team, at the behest of Thai Honda, who had backed Wilairot until that point. Reports from Thailand suggested that the decision had been involuntary, coming as it did mid-season, and after a string of mediocre results. But Wilairot's successor, Thitipong Warokorn, fared worse than Wilairot, raising even more doubt about the reason for the announcement.

Wilairot joins PTR hoping to get his career back on track. The Thai rider showed promise in the early years of his career, but struggled to find his form after a serious road accident before the 2011 Moto2 season. He suffered serious injury for a second time in 2011, this time being hit from behind by Marc Marquez in Australia, when the Spaniard continued on a hot lap after practice had finished, in flagrant breach of the regulations. Wilairot follows in the footsteps of Jules Cluzel, who also switched to World Supersport from Moto2.

Below is the press release issued by PTR Honda announcing Wilairot's signing:


Wilairot joins PTR for 2014 title challenge

RATTHAPARK WILAIROT will ride for the Core PTR Honda team in the 2014 World Supersport Championship.

From Thailand, the former Moto2 rider is switching classes and looking to challenge at the front in the World Supersport Championship.

The 25-year-old from Chonburi has 250cc GP experience under his belt as well. He said: "I am really happy to be racing for Core PTR Honda in the World Supersport Championship. Our aims are the same. We want to race at the front and challenge for the podium. I think together we will be able to do this and I am looking forward to getting to know the team and bike better."

Wilairot follows in the footsteps of former Moto2 racer Jules Cluzel who joined PTR in 2012 and won four races on his way to runner up in the series.

PTR Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: "We are excited to have Ratthapark join us as he has undoubted talent and raw speed as he has proved in Moto2 and 250GP. He is a quick rider that I think will benefit from having one of the best bikes in the Championship and a team fully behind him as he goes for the best results possible.

"Ratthapark will race in Core PTR Honda colours but he will benefit from being in the same garage as Jack Kennedy on the CIA PTR Honda bike. Nacho Calero on the other CIA PTR Honda bike will also benefit from the experience and speed around him. Together I think these racers will push and encourage each other to achieve the best they can and we are looking forward to testing in January already. We are looking to announce a fourth rider to complete the squad as soon as possible."

CIA PTR Honda and Core PTR Honda will test at Portimao in Portugal on 19-20th January.

Ratthapark Wilairot is to return to racing, and will compete in the 2014 World Supersport championship. The Thai rider will be joining the PTR Honda team for the 2014 season, racing a CBR600RR alongside Jack Kennedy and Nacho Calero.Wilairot's return comes after an announcement in August last year that he would be retiring from racing, stepping down from the Gresini Moto2 team with immediate effect. That announcement was met with a good deal of incredulity, especially as the decision was made by the team, at the behest of Thai Honda, who had backed Wilairot until that point. Reports from Thailand suggested that the decision had been involuntary, coming as it did mid-season, and after a string of mediocre results. But Wilairot's successor, Thitipong Warokorn, fared worse than Wilairot, raising even more doubt about the reason for the announcement.

Clash Of The Champions: Barcelona Superprestigio Flat Track Event Pits Marquez, Espargaro And Viñales Against Brad Baker

A new chapter is to be written in the long and illustrious history of motorcycle racing on Montjuic, the hill that borders the south side of Barcelona. On January 11th, a selection of Grand Prix racers, including all three world champions Marc Marquez, Pol Espargaro and Maverick Viñales, are to compete in the Superprestigio dirt track event to be held at the Palau Sant Jordi on Montjuic.  The event is to be broadcast on Spanish TV

The race is to be held on single cylinder four-stroke flat trackers, raced around a 200 meter dirt oval inside the former Olympic indoor arena. Entry is by invitation only, and racing will take place in three separate classes: the Junior category, for riders under 18; the Open category, for experienced riders from around the globe racing in national championships; and the Superprestigio category, for riders currently competing in the MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 classes. At the end of the evening, a run off is to be held between the four best racers in the Open category and the four best from the Superprestigio category.

The entry list for both categories is impressive. The Superprestigio category will see Marc Marquez, Pol and Aleix Espargaro, Maverick Viñales, Bradley Smith, Alvaro Bautista, Julian Simon, Jonas Folger, Moto3 teammates Alex Marquez and Alex Rins, Hector Barbera, Tito Rabat, Johann Zarco, Niklas Ajo, Jordi Torres, Lorenzo Baldassari and Ricky Cardus race against one another. Nicky Hayden was also invited, but as he has just had wrist surgery, wisely but regretfully decided to pass on the event. Among the entries for the Open category are some of the top racers from the UK's rapidly growing flat track scene, former Moto2 racer and AMA singles champion Kenny Noyes, who has a dirt track school at Motorland Aragon, the winners from the European Dirt Track Festival held at Aragon in November, and some of the top Spanish flat trackers who, unlike their road-racing brethren, are virtually unknown in their own country.

But the star of the Open class will be AMA Grand National champion Brad 'The Bullet' Baker. Baker's invitation to the event came around after a campaign on social media by writer and former racer Mark Gardiner, who eventually goaded Marc Marquez into issuing an invitiation to Baker (for more background on this, see Gardiner's Backmarker column on Motorcycle USA). As AMA Grand National Champion, Brad Baker can justifiably be regarded as the best dirt track racer in the world at the moment. 

The return of the Superprestigio revives a historic tradition. Back in the 1990s, the event was run as an end-of-season road race, which pitted some of the best American riders against some of the best from Spain. The Superprestigio saw a young John Kocinski make his first foray into Europe, which would eventually see him racing in Grand Prix and World Superbike, but it was also the place where Kenny Roberts Jr and Colin Edwards made their European debuts. In recent years, factory contracts and Dorna have put a stop to riders taking part in races on the road, but staging the event as a dirt track series neatly sidesteps any such ban. The event is the result of a collaboration between Jaime Alguersuari - father of the Spanish F1 driver of the same name, and founder of Spanish magazine Solo Moto - and Marc Marquez, who is an avid dirt track racer in the off season. Marquez had wanted to organize a race against his peers over the winter, and Alguersuari saw an opportunity to revive a once-great brand he had been involved in in the past.

The Superprestigio also stands as the current high point of the ongoing dirt track revival. After its heyday in the 70s, 80s and 90s, the popularity of the sport among road racers went into something of a decline. This was rather odd, as many of the top riders - Nicky Hayden and Casey Stoner, to name two MotoGP champions - grew up racing on dirt ovals. But the past few years have seen the discipline gain popularity again, with riders such as Marquez and Valentino Rossi taking it up with much enthusiasm.

The reasons for its revival have been manifold. Perhaps its biggest attraction is that it allows riders to race at speed and slide a bike with limited risk of injury. After suffering a serious shoulder injury in 2010, Rossi set about building his own dirt track ranch near his home in Tavullia, allowing him to train without risking another similar injury. As a dirt track circuit tends to be flat, and most motocross injuries are picked up from crashes after jumps, dirt track removes a major source of injuries. Racing a bike on a loose surface also teaches riders to manage and control slides, at both the front and most especially the rear wheel. Throttle control also becomes paramount, managing the sliding of the rear, an increasing necessity in road racing, especially in Moto2 with limited electronics, and in MotoGP, following the direction opened up once again by Casey Stoner and Marc Marquez, after a period in which tires and electronics had killed it off during the 800cc era.

More and more riders are setting up their own dirt track facilities. Valentino Rossi has laid out a complex of circuits at his Moto Ranch, but Marc Marquez also has a private track where he, his brother Alex, and a host of invited riders also train.

The dirt track revival has also seen new schools growing up teaching the art. Perhaps the most famous is Colin Edwards' Texas Tornado Boot Camp, a mixture of dirt track and Texan adventure. A less expensive and more race-focused school is run by Kenny Noyes. The Noyes Camp school is run at Motorland Aragon, where it hosted the European Dirt Track festival. 

The European revival is also down to the groundwork put in by the British publication Sideburn Magazine, run by Gary Inman. That magazine has helped foster a thriving scene in the UK, with riders from all over Europe racing there. It has even fostered the Dirt Quake event, a wild and weird mixture of flat track racing on entirely unsuitable machinery, live music, and motorcycle culture.

Below is the ad for Superprestigio event currently screening on Spanish TV. A full schedule for the event is on the Superprestigio website, where you can also buy tickets. Prices start at 15 euros.

A new chapter is to be written in the long and illustrious history of motorcycle racing on Montjuic, the hill that borders the south side of Barcelona. On January 11th, a selection of Grand Prix racers, including all three world champions Marc Marquez, Pol Espargaro and Maverick Viñales, are to compete in the Superprestigio dirt track event to be held at the Palau Sant Jordi on Montjuic.  The event is to be broadcast on Spanish TVThe race is to be held on single cylinder four-stroke flat trackers, raced around a 200 meter dirt oval inside the former Olympic indoor arena. Entry is by invitation only, and racing will take place in three separate classes: the Junior category, for riders under 18; the Open category, for experienced riders from around the globe racing in national championships; and the Superprestigio category, for riders currently competing in the MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 classes. At the end of the evening, a run off is to be held between the four best racers in the Open category and the four best from the Superprestigio category.

Casey Stoner To Continue Role As Test Rider For Honda

Casey Stoner is to continue as test rider for Honda in 2014. The Australian double world champion will once again take the track to help develop Honda's RC213V during the 2014 season, according to British publication MCN.

Stoner took up his role as test rider in the middle of 2013, after HRC's regular test rider Kousuke Akiyoshi broke his femur at a Japanese Superbike round. The Australian worked on the 2013 RC213V, as well as a rain-shortened test on Honda's RCV1000R production racer.

According to the report on MCN, Stoner's testing schedule for 2014 has yet to be fixed. It appears that Stoner will not be present at the special tire test put on by Bridgestone at Phillip Island, which all three factory teams will attend, but he will take on further testing duties at Motegi later in the season. If Stoner does miss the Phillip Island test, it would deprive fans of a chance to directly compare his lap times with those of current Honda riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.

Stoner's continuing role as a test rider will once again fuel speculation he could make a return to racing again full time at some point. Various extremely well-informed sources in Spain insist that Honda are preparing for a possible return by the Australian at an indeterminate point in the future. However, sources close to Stoner himself insist that the Australian has no intention whatsoever of coming back to race in MotoGP, and is still happy with his decision to quit. In an interview with the BBC in October, Stoner said he was more and more convinced he'd made the right decision. Each year that passes makes it more difficult for Stoner to return. The keen edge developed by actually racing a MotoGP bike is quickly lost when not racing. Furthermore, Stoner will be 29 at the start of the 2015 season, and would be facing a 22-year-old Marquez with two years of experience under his belt. That will not stop the speculation that he could return, but given his continued denials, the odds of a return seem impossibly remote.

Casey Stoner is to continue as test rider for Honda in 2014. The Australian double world champion will once again take the track to help develop Honda's RC213V during the 2014 season, according to British publication MCN.Stoner took up his role as test rider in the middle of 2013, after HRC's regular test rider Kousuke Akiyoshi broke his femur at a Japanese Superbike round. The Australian worked on the 2013 RC213V, as well as a rain-shortened test on Honda's RCV1000R production racer.According to the report on MCN, Stoner's testing schedule for 2014 has yet to be fixed. It appears that Stoner will not be present at the special tire test put on by Bridgestone at Phillip Island, which all three factory teams will attend, but he will take on further testing duties at Motegi later in the season. If Stoner does miss the Phillip Island test, it would deprive fans of a chance to directly compare his lap times with those of current Honda riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.

Althea Racing Return To The Ducati Fold: Will Field Niccolo Canepa As EVO Entry In 2014 WSBK Campaign

The Althea Racing team is to switch back to Ducati from Aprilia for the 2014 World Superbike season. After their split with Ducati over development of the Panigale at the end of 2012, the Italian team are to return to the Bologna factory fold and race the Panigale in 2014. 

They will do so on a different footing to their previous relationship with Ducati, however. Next season, Althea will race the Panigale 1199R as an EVO entry in WSBK, the subclass set up to allow a more affordable entry into World Superbikes. With WSBK looking set to switch completely to EVO rules in the next few years, having a strong partner to help develop the Panigale within the restrictions set by the EVO rules - basically, a Superstock-spec engine in Superbike-spec chassis - will help Ducati prepare for the future. Given how well the Panigale has performed in Superstock form wherever it has been able to use the Ducati ECU, the bike should suit the EVO rules well.

The signing of Niccolo Canepa to race the Panigale with Althea is indicative of how close the cooperation with Ducati is likely to be. Canepa has a long history with Ducati, having functioned as a test rider for the Italian factory for a number of years, and having won the Superstock 1000 title on a Ducati in 2007, and raced Ducatis for the majority of his career. 

Below is the press release issued by Althea announcing their switch to Ducati:


Team Althea Racing with Ducati in the 2014 Superbike World Championship

Team Althea Racing is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement with Ducati to participate in the 2014 Superbike World Championship in the EVO class with a Ducati 1199 Panigale.

The Althea Racing and Ducati pairing thus makes a return, and is strengthened thanks to an agreement based on reciprocal trust and on the successes that these two important Italian companies have achieved together in recent seasons. The team, guided by Genesio Bevilacqua who has reconfirmed all of the technical staff, will therefore be Ducati’s reference team in the Superbike World Championship’s EVO class, thanks to the esteem that the Borgo Panigalebased factory has for a team that has always fought to be in front.

Ready to take to the tracks with Team Althea’s 1199 Panigale EVO is Niccolò Canepa, a young but very experienced rider who has worked with Ducati in various teams in the past. Canepa undoubtedly has all of the skills and requisites needed to participate in the 2014 Superbike World Championship’s EVO class.

Genesio Bevilacqua: “I am extremely happy to be able to collaborate once again with Ducati, a brand and a company with which we have achieved great success and results that we fully intend to repeat. I am certain that next year we will be able to bring great satisfaction to our fans and consecrate Canepa among the top Superbike riders. I have full faith in Niccolò and am sure that he is the right rider for our new and stimulating project. I would like to thank Ducati for its trust that I am certain that our team will be able to repay with the utmost dedication.”

The Althea Racing team is to switch back to Ducati from Aprilia for the 2014 World Superbike season. After their split with Ducati over development of the Panigale at the end of 2012, the Italian team are to return to the Bologna factory fold and race the Panigale in 2014. They will do so on a different footing to their previous relationship with Ducati, however. Next season, Althea will race the Panigale 1199R as an EVO entry in WSBK, the subclass set up to allow a more affordable entry into World Superbikes. With WSBK looking set to switch completely to EVO rules in the next few years, having a strong partner to help develop the Panigale within the restrictions set by the EVO rules - basically, a Superstock-spec engine in Superbike-spec chassis - will help Ducati prepare for the future. Given how well the Panigale has performed in Superstock form wherever it has been able to use the Ducati ECU, the bike should suit the EVO rules well.The signing of Niccolo Canepa to race the Panigale with Althea is indicative of how close the cooperation with Ducati is likely to be. Canepa has a long history with Ducati, having functioned as a test rider for the Italian factory for a number of years, and having won the Superstock 1000 title on a Ducati in 2007, and raced Ducatis for the majority of his career. 

MotoMatters Honored Twice In Silverstone Media Awards - Best MotoGP Blogger And Best MotoGP Tweeter

We are both proud and humbled to have been honored twice in the 2013 Silverstone Media Awards. MotoMatters.com was named Best MotoGP Blogger for the third year in succession, while our Twitter account @motomatters was also named Best MotoGP Tweeter. The awards are decided by popular vote, with MotoGP and F1 fans voting via the Silverstone Circuit Facebook page for their favorite racing-related publications and broadcasters.

MotoMatters.com was not the only repeat winner. The official MotoGP.com website took best website, British motorcycling paper MCN won best publication, British newspaper The Telegraph took best newspaper, and the BBC took best TV channel. 

MotoMatters.com would like to thank everyone involved in helping make the website what it is: Scott Jones, arguably one of the very best MotoGP photographers in the world, for his stunning pictures; Jared Earle for his outstanding coverage of the World Superbike series; Mike Lewis and Jacob Leech for their superb help in covering MotoGP weekends; and a host of other incidental contributors, such as Andrew Gosling, Venancio Luis Nieto, and the inimitable 'SofaRacer'. We would also like to thank all of the readers, and the many people who contribute to the discussion by posting their comments. The level of discussion in the comment section is widely respected and admired throughout the MotoGP paddock, with much praise for the intelligence of the comments and lack of acrimony. You, the readers, help to make this website and blog what it has become today.

If you love what MotoMatters.com does, you can help us to grow and further improve our coverage. You can join the growing legion of MotoMatters.com Site Supporters by taking out a subscription; you can buy one of the stunning MotoMatters.com 2014 Motorcycle Racing Calendars; you can buy a print from Scott Jones' website; or you can simply make a donation, small or large.

Below is the press release from Silverstone announcing the winners of the Silverstone Media Awards:


Winners of the 2013 Silverstone Media Awards announced

- Awards for best Formula 1® and MotoGP™ coverage voted for by fans

At the end of another thrilling motor sport season, which featured a drama-filled Formula 1® British Grand Prix and a nail-biting MotoGP™ British Grand Prix, Silverstone is delighted to announce the winners of its 2013 Silverstone Media Awards. Viewers, listeners, readers and followers voted in the circuit’s online poll, inviting fans to nominate their favourite source of news and gossip from the 2013 F1 and MotoGP™ paddocks.

All fans voting in the Silverstone Media Awards were entered into a prize draw to win a pair of hospitality tickets to either the FORMULA 1 SANTANDER BRITISH GRAND PRIX (04 – 06 July), or the Hertz MotoGP™ British Grand Prix (29 - 31 August) at Silverstone in 2014. Ten runners-up will each receive a Silverstone Goody Bag.

The winners of the 2013 Silverstone Media Awards, as voted by the fans, are:

Formula 1®:

Best television channel for F1 coverage:
Winner: BBC

Best national newspaper for F1 coverage:
Winner: The Telegraph / Sunday Telegraph

Best motor sport publication for F1 coverage:
Winner: Autosport

Best website for F1 coverage:
Winner: BBC Sport - www.bbc.co.uk/formula1

Best F1 Blogger:
Winner: James Allen - http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/

Best F1 Tweeter:
Winner: @Lotus_F1Team

MotoGP™:

Best television channel for MotoGP™ coverage:
Winner: BBC

Best national newspaper for MotoGP™ coverage:
Winner: The Telegraph / Sunday Telegraph

Best bike publication for MotoGP™ coverage:
Winner: MCN

Best website for MotoGP™ coverage:
Winner: MotoGP™ official website - www.motogp.com

Best MotoGP™ Blogger:
Winner: Motomatters - http://motomatters.com/

Best MotoGP™ Tweeter:
Winner: @motomatters

Katie Tyler, Head of Communications for Silverstone Circuits Limited, said, “Formula 1® and MotoGP™ fans are hugely passionate. The Silverstone Media Awards offer a great platform for them to have their say and show their appreciation for the media outlets that provide them with news and updates, keeping them up to speed with everything that’s going on throughout the year.

“We have had a great response to the 2013 Silverstone Media Awards again this season, which is now in its third year. As the awards are voted for by fans it makes it extra special for the winners, who are recognised and celebrated for their fantastic work throughout the season. We look forward to presenting this year’s winners with their trophies and rewarding them for their contribution to another great year of both two- and four-wheeled motor sport.”

For further information on 2014 events at Silverstone visit www.silverstone.co.uk, or call 0844 3728 270.

Keep up-to-date with all of Silverstone’s latest news, developments, products and images:

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We are both proud and humbled to have been honored twice in the 2013 Silverstone Media Awards. MotoMatters.com was named Best MotoGP Blogger for the third year in succession, while our Twitter account @motomatters was also named Best MotoGP Tweeter. The awards are decided by popular vote, with MotoGP and F1 fans voting via the Silverstone Circuit Facebook page for their favorite racing-related publications and broadcasters.MotoMatters.com was not the only repeat winner. The official MotoGP.com website took best website, British motorcycling paper MCN won best publication, British newspaper The Telegraph took best newspaper, and the BBC took best TV channel. 

Surgery Update: Jorge Lorenzo And Sandro Cortese Have Metalwork Removed

The list of riders taking advantage of the winter test ban to have surgery grows longer. This week, both Jorge Lorenzo and Sandro Cortese have gone under the surgeon's knife to have metal plates removed, in preparation for the 2014 season.

For Lorenzo, surgery was done to remove the metal plate put in to fixate the collarbone he broke first at Assen, then again at the Sachsenring. Lorenzo crashed heavily on a soaking wet track during the Thursday free practice session at Assen, breaking his left collarbone. After a dash by private jet to and from Barcelona to have his collarbone plated, he raced, finishing in 5th. At the Sachsenring Two weeks later, Lorenzo crashed again the force of the crash bending the plate on his collarbone, and he had surgery once again to replace the bent plate. This time, he did not race.

Lorenzo finished the rest of the season with a plated collarbone, but to allow his collarbone to return to full strength, the Spaniard decided to have the plate removed now. While he was having his collarbone plate removed, he also had surgery on his thumb, to clean up scar tissue left from an injury in 2010.

2012 Moto3 world champion Sandro Cortese also had some metal removed. The Intact GP Moto2 rider had broken his right forearm in a fall at Brno, and had a plate inserted to fix that injury. This week, the German rider also had surger to remove that plate, to allow the bone to regain full strength. 

Both Cortese and Lorenzo will take a very short break from training, before returning to prepare for the start of the 2014 season. Lorenzo expects to be 100% fit for the first test of the season at Sepang, from 4th-6th February 2014.

The list of riders taking advantage of the winter test ban to have surgery grows longer. This week, both Jorge Lorenzo and Sandro Cortese have gone under the surgeon's knife to have metal plates removed, in preparation for the 2014 season.For Lorenzo, surgery was done to remove the metal plate put in to fixate the collarbone he broke first at Assen, then again at the Sachsenring. Lorenzo crashed heavily on a soaking wet track during the Thursday free practice session at Assen, breaking his left collarbone. After a dash by private jet to and from Barcelona to have his collarbone plated, he raced, finishing in 5th. At the Sachsenring Two weeks later, Lorenzo crashed again the force of the crash bending the plate on his collarbone, and he had surgery once again to replace the bent plate. This time, he did not race.Lorenzo finished the rest of the season with a plated collarbone, but to allow his collarbone to return to full strength, the Spaniard decided to have the plate removed now. While he was having his collarbone plate removed, he also had surgery on his thumb, to clean up scar tissue left from an injury in 2010.

More Moto3 Signings: Isaac Viñales Signs For Team Calvo In 2014

Just hours after the announcement that Ana Carrasco had signed with the RW Racing GP team for 2014 comes confirmation that Isaac Viñales is to take the place she leaves at Team Calvo. The 20-year-old Spaniard will join Jakub Kornfeil at Team Calvo, where both men will be racing KTMs. In a wry coincidence, Viñales will be joining the team vacated by his cousin Maverick, who became 2013 Moto3 world champion with the squad.

Isaac Viñales had earlier signed a contract to race with the Go&Fun Gresini team in Moto3, alongside Niccolo Antonelli. However, as part of that deal, Viñales had been required to bring in a given quantity of financial backing. After he had failed to muster the necessary cash, Viñales had been left without a ride. In the end, the Spaniard found shelter with Team Calvo, giving him another chance in Moto3. Viñales had a solid season in 2013 riding the underpowered FTR Honda bike with Ongetta. He ended the year in 17th place in the championship, scoring a total of 47 points. His best finish in 2013 came at Valencia, where he took 7th ahead of Ana Carrasco.

Just hours after the announcement that Ana Carrasco had signed with the RW Racing GP team for 2014 comes confirmation that Isaac Viñales is to take the place she leaves at Team Calvo. The 20-year-old Spaniard will join Jakub Kornfeil at Team Calvo, where both men will be racing KTMs. In a wry coincidence, Viñales will be joining the team vacated by his cousin Maverick, who became 2013 Moto3 world champion with the squad.Isaac Viñales had earlier signed a contract to race with the Go&Fun Gresini team in Moto3, alongside Niccolo Antonelli. However, as part of that deal, Viñales had been required to bring in a given quantity of financial backing. After he had failed to muster the necessary cash, Viñales had been left without a ride. In the end, the Spaniard found shelter with Team Calvo, giving him another chance in Moto3. Viñales had a solid season in 2013 riding the underpowered FTR Honda bike with Ongetta. He ended the year in 17th place in the championship, scoring a total of 47 points. His best finish in 2013 came at Valencia, where he took 7th ahead of Ana Carrasco.

Ana Carrasco To Stay In Moto3 For 2014 With RW Racing

Ana Carrasco will have a second season in Moto3. The 16-year-old Spaniard has signed a one-year deal with Dutch Moto3 team RW Racing GP to race their Kalex KTM in 2014.

Carrasco had a positive rookie season in Moto3, ending the year with points in two races, as well as scoring the best result for a female rider in 18 years when she finished 8th at Valencia. But her performance was overshadowed by her teammate at Team Calvo, where Maverick Viñales became world champion. Despite being teammates, the two were on very different bikes, Viñales racing on a fully-factory supported KTM, where Carrasco competed on the basic KTM Moto3 bike.

Team Calvo had expressed an interest in retaining the services of Carrasco for 2014, but to do that, she would have to being money to fund the ride. Carrasco had been raising sponsorship through a Spanish website, but it was not enough to get her seat. 

Instead, Carrasco has signed with RW Racing GP, the Dutch Moto3 team which fielded Jakub Kornfeil  and Jasper Iwema last season. Ironically, it is Kornfeil who has been drafted in to Team Calvo to take the place of the departing Viñales. The teammates of both Carrasco and Kornfeil still remain to be named, though Isaac Viñales continues to be linked to the Team Calvo ride, and the second rider at RW Racing will almost certainly be a Dutch rider, with the choice being between Jasper Iwema and former Red Bull Rookie Scott Deroue. 

For the full and updated Moto3 rider entry list, bookmark our 2014 Moto3 Rider List page, and check back regularly.

Below is the press release from the RW Racing team announcing Carrasco's signing:


Ana Carrasco to ride for RW Racing GP in 2014

RW Racing GP has signed Ana Carrasco for the 2014 Moto3 campaign. The Dutch team and the Spanish rider have agreed on a one year deal. 16 year old Carrasco will ride the Kalex KTM and is determined to carry on the upward trend as she did in her rookie season.

Ana Carrasco, born march 10, 1997 in Murcia in south-eastern Spain, has been racing in competition since 2005. 2009 proved to be successful year for her as she became champion of the Extremeña 125cc class, the Murcia 125cc class and the Copa de España 2T. In 2011 she became the first female to score points in the Spanish CEV 125 Championship and in 2012 she was the first female to make it into the new Moto3 format in the CEV Championship. She made her World Championship debut with Team Calvo at the start of the 2013 season, riding alongside Maverick Viñales, who won the 2013 crown.In her rookie season Carrasco finished in all but one race (Jerez). Her point scoring finish in Malaysia was the first for a woman in Moto3. Her 8th position in Valencia, in which she showed what she is capable of, stunned the world. Prior to Malaysia, Carrasco’s best finishing position had been 17th at the Indianapolis Grand Prix. For the Australian Grand Prix she qualified in 7th: another landmark.

RW Racing GP team manager Jarno Janssen is delighted with his new rider. "Ana has proven to be a special talent. She showed some incredible things in her first year in Moto3 and we strongly believe we can help her to continue improving. She is a strong personality and willing to work to achieve the best. Of course it is special to have a girl in the team, but it will not make any difference. A talented rider is a talented rider and Ana is very talented. We are very happy with her coming to RW Racing GP.’’

Palmares

2005: Junior championship Bancaja
2006: Runner up championship Madrid 70cc
Runner up championship Andalucia 70cc
2007: 12th world championship 70cc
2008: Runner up championship Murcia 80cc
3rd pre GP championship Murcia 125cc
2009: Winner championship Extremeña 125cc
Winner pre GP championship Murcia 125cc
Winner Spanish 2T Cup
9th pre GP world championship 125cc
2010: 5th Motodes championship 125cc
4th Mediterranean championship 125cc
2011: 13th CEV Spanish and European championship 125cc
2012: 19th CEV Spanish and European championship Moto3
2013: 21st world championship Moto3

 

Ana Carrasco will have a second season in Moto3. The 16-year-old Spaniard has signed a one-year deal with Dutch Moto3 team RW Racing GP to race their Kalex KTM in 2014.Carrasco had a positive rookie season in Moto3, ending the year with points in two races, as well as scoring the best result for a female rider in 18 years when she finished 8th at Valencia. But her performance was overshadowed by her teammate at Team Calvo, where Maverick Viñales became world champion. Despite being teammates, the two were on very different bikes, Viñales racing on a fully-factory supported KTM, where Carrasco competed on the basic KTM Moto3 bike.Team Calvo had expressed an interest in retaining the services of Carrasco for 2014, but to do that, she would have to being money to fund the ride. Carrasco had been raising sponsorship through a Spanish website, but it was not enough to get her seat. 

World Superbike Race Weekend Schedule Radically Revised

On the same day that the Grand Prix Comission met to discuss new rules on penalty points and Moto3 chassis prices, the equivalent body ruling the World Superbike series - the Superbike Commission - also met to discuss a raft of new measures. The meeting was part of a series of ongoing talks between the teams, Dorna and the manufacturers to establish a new set of rules for WSBK from 2015 onwards. At this meeting, the Superbike Commission established a new time schedule for each World Superbike weekend, as well as continuing talks on homologation and technical regulations.

With Dorna now in charge, one of the measures taken was to attempt to standardize the sporting regulations between the World Superbike and MotoGP series. In practice, that means that both series will have a common set of procedures and flags, which should make it a little easier for TV audiences to understand the differences between the two, with only the technical rules being different.

A much bigger change for TV audiences is the radically changed schedule for race day, with racing moved to the late morning and early afternoon to avoid clashes with major sporting events such as Formula One, MotoGP and European soccer matches. The day will now start very early, with a warm up for the World Superbike class at 8:40am, followed by Supersport warm up at 9:05am. The first World Superbike race of the day is at 10:30am (was previously 12 noon), the Supersport race is at 11:40am (was 1:30pm) and the second and final World Superbike race of the day is at 1:10pm (was 3:30pm). For most of the rounds taking place in Europe, this means that the second World Superbike race will just be finishing as Formula One or other major sporting events start at 2pm. The hope is that fans of both motorcycle racing and Formula One will tune in for the WSBK races before F1, offering a full day of motor sports action for race fans.

The change will be less positive for fans attending the races. They will have to get to the tracks earlier, and will see the main races of the day early on, while the support program shifts from before the main classes to afterwards. The Superstock 1000cc race has already been shifted from its morning slot to the time slot following WSBK race 2, and any national support classes are likely to follow suit. Event schedules for Saturday remain largely unchanged from previous years, with Superpole still taking place at 3pm, as before. How the schedule will run at overseas rounds, where TV clashes are less likely to happen, remains to be seen. It is likely the season opener at Phillip Island will run to the European schedule, as a 10:30am race local Melbourne time would start at half past midnight on Saturday night, a time when fans are more likely to watch than the previous 2am start.

One interesting detail from the Superbike Commission is the mention of discussions about homologation procedures, minimum sales numbers and, for the first time, a proposal to impose a maximum retail price for models to be homologated. With sales of sports bikes continuing to decline, even the relatively lowly numbers of 2000 units can be hard to achieve, especially for small manufacturers. With Buell set to enter for 2014, this has become a very relevant consideration. Reducing the homologation numbers risks seeing the return of the so-called 'homologation specials', bikes such as the Yamaha R7, which were close to being racing prototypes with lights and mirrors. The suggestion to impose a maximum retail price should reduce the temptation of factories to build homologation specials, as they have to be able to sell the base model at a reasonable price.

The interesting part will be the level at which the maximum retail price is set. Honda have admitted they are building a special V4 Superbike, but its introduction keeps getting put back, now being expected at the end of 2014. Insider reports suggested that bike would retail at a price around 75,000 euros, a price which would presumably be well above the proposed limit. With bikes such as Ducati's Panigale 1199R retailing for around 33,000 euros in Italy, it seems likely that a price would be set at around the 50,000 euro mark. The devil is in the detail, of course: to avoid manufacturers gaming the system, agreeing which market defines the retail price to be used for homologation purposes will be crucial.

Below is the press release from the FIM with the minutes of the Superbike Commission:


FIM Superbike & Supersport World Championships and FIM Superstock 1000cc Cup
Changes to Regulations for 2014

The Superbike Commission, composed of Messrs Javier Alonso (WSBK Executive Director), Ignacio Verneda (FIM Executive Director, Sport) and Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA Representative), met at the Dorna Headquarters in Madrid on 10 December 2013 in the presence of MM Daniel Carrera and Gregorio Lavilla (WSBK-Dorna), Corrado Cecchinelli (Consultant in Technology), Charles Hennekam and Paul Duparc (FIM).

The 2014 FIM Superbike & Supersport World Championship and Superstock 1000cc Cup Regulations were approved by the Commission. The Sporting Rules will be as similar as possible to the 2014 GP Regulations. The Technical Regulations were also accepted. Some minor details are still to be reviewed and the complete regulations will be available on the FIM website shortly.

A long discussion took place between the members to review the homologation procedure for 2015, especially to review the minimum number of machines to be produced by a manufacturer for the purposes of homologation and to fix the maximum retail price for a model to be homologated.

For the next season, the time-schedule of an entire SBK event will be as follows:

Friday
10.00 – 10.45 45’ SUPERSPORT FREE PRACTICE 1
11.00 - 11.30 30’ SUPERSTOCK 1000 FREE PRACTICE 1
11.45 – 12.30 45’ SUPERBIKE FREE PRACTICE 1
      TIMED FOR QUALIFYING (SUPERPOLE)
13.45 – 14.30 45’ SUPERSPORT FREE PRACTICE 2
14.45 – 15.15 30’ SUPERSTOCK 1000 FREE PRACTICE 2
15.30 – 16.15 45’ SUPERBIKE FREE PRACTICE 2
      TIMED FOR QUALIFYING (SUPERPOLE)
 
Saturday
09.00 - 09.30 30’ SUPERSTOCK 1000 FREE PRACTICE 3
09.45 – 10.30 45’ SUPERBIKE FREE PRACTICE 3
      TIMED FOR QUALIFYING (SUPERPOLE)
10.45 – 11.30 45’ SUPERSPORT FREE PRACTICE 3
12.30 – 13.00 30’ SUPERBIKE FREE PRACTICE 4
      NOT TIMED FOR QUALIFYING (SUPERPOLE)
15.00 – 15.15 15’ SUPERBIKE SUPERPOLE 1
15.25- 15.40 15’ SUPERBIKE SUPERPOLE 2
15.55 – 16.40 45’ SUPERSPORT QUALIFYING PRACTICE
16.55 - 17.25 30’ SUPERSTOCK 1000 QUALIFYING PRACTICE
 
Sunday
08.40 – 08.55 15’ SUPERBIKE WARM UP
09.05 – 09.20 15’ SUPERSPORT WARM UP
09.30 – 09.40 10’ SUPERSTOCK 1000 WARM UP
10.30   SUPERBIKE   RACE 1
11.40   SUPERSPORT  RACE
13.10   SUPERBIKE   RACE 2
14.15   SUPERSTOCK 1000  RACE

 

THE COMPLETE SPORTING, TECHNICAL, DISCIPLINARY AND MEDICAL REGULATIONS WILL BE AVAILABLE ON THE FIM WEBSITE SHORTLY.

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

On the same day that the Grand Prix Comission met to discuss new rules on penalty points and Moto3 chassis prices, the equivalent body ruling the World Superbike series - the Superbike Commission - also met to discuss a raft of new measures. The meeting was part of a series of ongoing talks between the teams, Dorna and the manufacturers to establish a new set of rules for WSBK from 2015 onwards. At this meeting, the Superbike Commission established a new time schedule for each World Superbike weekend, as well as continuing talks on homologation and technical regulations.With Dorna now in charge, one of the measures taken was to attempt to standardize the sporting regulations between the World Superbike and MotoGP series. In practice, that means that both series will have a common set of procedures and flags, which should make it a little easier for TV audiences to understand the differences between the two, with only the technical rules being different.A much bigger change for TV audiences is the radically changed schedule for race day, with racing moved to the late morning and early afternoon to avoid clashes with major sporting events such as Formula One, MotoGP and European soccer matches. The day will now start very early, with a warm up for the World Superbike class at 8:40am, followed by Supersport warm up at 9:05am. The first World Superbike race of the day is at 10:30am (was previously 12 noon), the Supersport race is at 11:40am (was 1:30pm) and the second and final World Superbike race of the day is at 1:10pm (was 3:30pm). For most of the rounds taking place in Europe, this means that the second World Superbike race will just be finishing as Formula One or other major sporting events start at 2pm. The hope is that fans of both motorcycle racing and Formula One will tune in for the WSBK races before F1, offering a full day of motor sports action for race fans.

MotoGP Rules Update: Penalty Points Now Valid For A Year, Moto3 Chassis Price Capped

At its final meeting of 2013, the Grand Prix Commission has agreed changes to the regulations for the three Grand Prix classes, mostly minor, but a couple with much wider implications. Changes were agreed to the penalty points system, to the procedure for restarting interrupted races, for protests and wild cards. But the biggest changes made were to the Moto3 class. The loophole which allowed manufacturers to charge what they wanted for chassis has been closed, capping prices in Moto3 even further.

The biggest change to the sporting regulations is the extension of the penalty points system, to allow penalty points to be carried across between seasons. In 2013, the first year the system was used, penalty points accumulated during the season were only valid until after the final race of 2013 at Valencia was over. This posed a problem for Race Direction, as Mike Webb explained to MotoMatters.com in an interview at Valencia. It meant that any points awarded at the final races of the season had less effect on rider behavior than those early on in the season, and points awarded in the final race were completely meaningless. In his interview with this website, Mike Webb had already suggested giving points a limited lifetime, allowing them to be carried over from one season to the next.

That has now been agreed. From the start of next year, all penalty points issued by race direction will have a lifetime of a year (or rather, 365 days). This means that penalty points awarded later in the season, for example at races like Aragon in September, or Motegi in October, will be counted against the rider involved until September or October the following year. It means that penalty points can be issued with more consistency, as riders will carry points they pick up at the end of the season for the same duration as points early in the season.

This will make administering the points system a little more difficult, as a rider's points tally can go down as well as up during a season, as points accumulated in previous seasons expire. However, it will make it easier to maintain a consistent approach to penalties over multiple seasons.

The new system only comes into effect from 2014. This means that riders who were given penalty points during 2013 will still start the coming season with a clean slate, and a total of zero penalty points. The penalty points issued to Marc Marquez, Maverick Viñales, Rafid Topan Sucipto, Hector Barbera, Andrea Dovizioso, Andrea Iannone, Ricky Cardus, Alessandro Tonucci, Sandro Cortese, Pol Espargaro, Isaac Viñales, Jack Miller and Damo Cudlin will all be scrapped, and they will all start 2014 with no points on their license.

The biggest technical change the Grand Prix Commission agreed to was the introduction of a price cap on Moto3 rolling chassis. From 2015 onwards, the cost of a rolling chassis - frame, swingarm, bodywork, seat and tank unit, suspension, brakes and wheels - is fixed at a maximum of 85,000 euros. Furthermore, from 2015, the cost of engines has been reduced as well, to 60,000 euros for the six engines required per season, although that does not include gearboxes, which are fixed at 1,500 euros each. It had already been agreed that the rev limit would be reduced from 14,000 to 13,500 for 2015.

Though the price of a rolling chassis is to be limited, this will not prevent teams from upgrading wheels, brakes and suspension. Chassis will be homologated complete with wheels, brakes and suspension (the precise wording is 'a complete rolling chassis, requiring only the addition of an engine, ECU, datalogger and transponder'), but teams will still be free to change parts as they see fit.

The introduction of a price cap on rolling chassis closes the loophole which KTM had exploited to charge teams exorbitant amounts for a complete bike, while still nominally staying inside the rules forcing factories to sell engines for a maximum price. KTM would not sell engines separately, but only as part of a complete bike. The engine was cheap, but heavily subsidized by the price of the chassis, which was often upwards of 200,000 euros.

This was a situation which Honda had protested bitterly, saying it violated the spirit of the rules. Unwilling to stand idly by and watch KTM dominate the Moto3 category, Honda found their own loophole, waiting to announce their new bike until the very end of the 2013 season, forcing other teams to sign with KTM and Kalex (KTM's only official chassis partner) out of fear that Honda would only support the uncompetitive NSF250R for 2014. The new bike Honda will be fielding in 2014 is said to be even more expensive than the KTMs - prices as high as 400,000 euros have been bandied about - with Honda forced to subsidize the Racing Team Germany and Ongetta teams who are staying with Honda. Honda had waited until so late to announce their plans, as they would not be able to supply the minimum of 15 riders required by the rules.

The Grand Prix Commission closed this loophole as well, creating a deadline of 31st August for manufacturers to announce their plans for the next season. The loophole is not completely closed, as the rules demand only that manufacturers announce that they are willing to supply riders. They do not have to specify what level of equipment will be on offer. This rule change appears to have been a concession to KTM, after they had agreed to the price cap on chassis. 

Even after these rule changes, it remains unclear whether Honda will continue to compete in Moto3 after 2014. Persistent and credible rumors in the paddock suggest that HRC had decided to go all out to win the Moto3 championship in 2014, to punish KTM for what Honda views as breaching the spirit of the regulations, before pulling out. If the new regulations for 2015 are successful in returning the Moto3 to its basic intent - providing an affordable entry class and a level playing field to help develop talent - then HRC are likely to want to stay.

Below is the press release from the FIM will the full details of the rule changes.


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 10 December in Madrid, made the following decisions:

Sporting Regulations

MotoGP Class - Effective Immediately

Nomination of Category

The deadline for final nomination of which riders will participate in which category, Factory or Open, will be 28 February, the normal closing date for entries.

All Classes - Effective 2014

Penalty Points

In 2013 any Penalty Points imposed were wiped from the record of the rider at the end of the season. From 2014 penalty points will remain on the record of the rider for 365 days after which they will be cancelled. This means that a rider will have a rolling tally of penalty points with new points being added as incurred and points being deducted on their anniversary.

Restarting Interrupted Races

It was recognised that there may be circumstances when an interrupted race is restarted that it might be necessary to interrupt the restarted race. Currently there are no provisions in the regulations to provide for this race to be restarted. From 2014 restarted races that are interrupted after less than five laps are completed will be restarted again. In the Moto3 and Moto2 classes there will be a maximum of two restarts. In the MotoGP class the Race Direction can authorise more than two restarts according to the circumstances.

The precise details of the lengths of the restarted races and the determination of the final race results will be published in the FIM regulations.

Protests

The deadline for registering a protest has been reduced from one hour after publication of the results to 30 minutes.

The party involved must announce their intention to protest within 30 minutes by verbally notifying Race Direction or IRTA. They then have a deadline of one hour from the publication of results to confirm their protest in writing or, indeed, to announce that they have decided not to proceed with their protest.

Wild Cards

Wild card entries that cancel their entry after acceptance, other than due to injury or other valid reason, will no longer be reimbursed the cost of the one event GP licence issued by the FIM.

Similarly, the entry fee paid by the wild card to cover the cost of the materials provided for his participation will not be refunded in full by IRTA unless the Federation can provide an alternate rider to take his place. If no replacement is provided by the Federation then only 50% of the entry fee will be refunded.

In future wild card entries will be allocated temporary pit box accommodation in the paddock alongside the pit boxes provided for contracted teams who have not qualified for a permanent pit box. The entry fee will be increased by €500.00 as a contribution towards the cost.

Technical Regulations

MotoGP Class - Effective 2014

Fuel Temperature Testing

Following the earlier decision of the GPC concerning the protocol for fuel temperature testing, a standard container, approved by the FIM, will be produced which must be used by all teams.

Moto3 Class - Effective 2015

With the co-operation and agreement of the current Moto3 Manufacturers and the approval of the FIM, new regulations will be introduced from 2015 to control the costs of the rolling chassis and further reduce the cost of engines.

A). Rolling Chassis

The price of a complete rolling chassis, requiring only the addition of an engine, ECU, datalogger and transponder is capped at €85,000. The price includes the cost of any upgraded parts supplied during the season. Each part may only be upgraded once during the season and must be provided to all competitors at the same time.

The rolling chassis may only be provided by or via one of the manufacturers participating in the class.

The complete chassis, including components such as brakes and suspension, will be homologated but allowance will also be made to permit teams to use chassis from previous seasons.

Manufacturers intending to participate in this class must announce to the Grand Prix Commission by the deadline of 31 August that they will offer to supply machines to the Moto3 class in the following season. Teams then have until 15 September to place orders with confirmation of acceptance of orders by 30 September.

Teams who have placed orders that were not accepted by the deadline can then negotiate with alternate manufacturers.

ii). Engines

The maximum price for the package of six engines is reduced to €60,000. However, this price does not include the supply of any gearboxes. Teams may order the number of gearboxes they require, if any, which will be supplied at a cost of €1,500 each.

The full text of regulation changes may be viewed shortly on:

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

At its final meeting of 2013, the Grand Prix Commission has agreed changes to the regulations for the three Grand Prix classes, mostly minor, but a couple with much wider implications. Changes were agreed to the penalty points system, to the procedure for restarting interrupted races, for protests and wild cards. But the biggest changes made were to the Moto3 class. The loophole which allowed manufacturers to charge what they wanted for chassis has been closed, capping prices in Moto3 even further.The biggest change to the sporting regulations is the extension of the penalty points system, to allow penalty points to be carried across between seasons. In 2013, the first year the system was used, penalty points accumulated during the season were only valid until after the final race of 2013 at Valencia was over. This posed a problem for Race Direction, as Mike Webb explained to MotoMatters.com in an interview at Valencia. It meant that any points awarded at the final races of the season had less effect on rider behavior than those early on in the season, and points awarded in the final race were completely meaningless. In his interview with this website, Mike Webb had already suggested giving points a limited lifetime, allowing them to be carried over from one season to the next.

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