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Rossi To Decide Future After First Six Races Of 2014

Valentino Rossi has acknowledged he is one step closer to retirement. In an interview to be broadcast Italian TV channel Mediaset, the Italian said that the early tests and the first six races of 2014 would be crucial to the future of his career. 'In 2014 I need to be at the front, closer to the first three', Rossi said, referring to the Spanish trio of Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa, who dominated the 2013 MotoGP season. He has not lost his appetite for racing, Rossi told Italian TV, but he was not content just to circulate. 'I would like to continue for another couple of years, but only if I'm competitive.'

The announcement does not come as a surprise, coming hard on the heels of Rossi's decision to drop Jeremy Burgess as crew chief. At Valencia, Rossi had explained that move as the need to find 'a new boost, some more motivation.' 'I know that it is a key moment because I have in my mind that I want to try one time in another way and I think this is the moment,' Rossi told the media. In the interview with Mediaset, Rossi skirted round the affair with Burgess, while hinting at deeper-seated problems. 'Explaining too many details of what went wrong would be a problem. It's better to think this is just a rider tantrum,' Rossi joked. The decision to drop Burgess looks increasingly like eliminating the final variable before reaching a conclusion about his own ability.

Rossi had already told the press at Valencia that the first few races of 2014 would be crucial, but he had now set a deadline. The date of that deadline is in itself ominous: the sixth race of the 2014 season will be at Mugello, the circuit which is closest to Rossi's heart, and a track where he once dominated, winning seven races in a row between 2002 and 2008. It is also the circuit where Rossi broke his leg in 2010, the first injury of his career serious enough to force him to miss races. If Rossi cannot stay with the three Spaniards at Mugello in 2014, then a retirement announcement seems inevitable. Sunday night at Mugello could be a very emotional experience indeed.

Valentino Rossi has acknowledged he is one step closer to retirement. In an interview to be broadcast Italian TV channel Mediaset, the Italian said that the early tests and the first six races of 2014 would be crucial to the future of his career. 'In 2014 I need to be at the front, closer to the first three', Rossi said, referring to the Spanish trio of Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa, who dominated the 2013 MotoGP season. He has not lost his appetite for racing, Rossi told Italian TV, but he was not content just to circulate. 'I would like to continue for another couple of years, but only if I'm competitive.'

Gino Rea Brings In Outside Sponsor To Contest 2014 Moto2 Season

Gino Rea's gamble to self-finance his 2013 wild cards has paid off. Yesterday, the young Londoner announced he would be contesting the full 2014 Moto2 season, in a one-rider team based in the USA. Rea has joined forces with the Austin, Texas based World Motors organization to create the World Motors Rea Racing team. The good news for both Rea and the sport is that the team has also attracted a sponsor from outside of the motorcycle industry. AGT is an induction lighting company providing professional lighting products to industry.

Rea will continue to race an FTR Moto2 machine, one of three FTRs which will be on the grid, with the NGM Forward team also racing the British chassis. The press release from Gino Rea and the AGT Rea team appears below:


AGT REA RACING SET TO COMPETE IN THE 2014 MOTO2 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WITH GINO REA​

AGT (American Green Technology) will back World Motors Rea Racing team in their entry to the 2014 Moto2 class of World Motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP) on a full-season basis with their rider, Gino Rea.

Dave Peterson, President and CEO of World Motors, Inc., based in Austin, Texas, has joined forces with new Team Director Martin R. de Rooy in conjunction with Dave and Gino Rea of Rea Racing, to create World Motors Rea Racing LLC. Welcoming AGT on board as title sponsor, World Motors Rea Racing will be known as AGT Rea Racing in what will be the only American-based Moto2 World Motorcycle Grand Prix Racing Team.

AGT REA Racing will compete in what is arguably one of the most competitive motorcycling classes in the world with their debut race taking place under the floodlights of Qatar on March 23rd. Team owner Dave Peterson has expressed his excitement.

“We are excited to support our partner and rider Gino Rea in his quest for Moto2 glory in the 2014 World Championship,” states Peterson. “We’d like to thank AGT for all of their support and sponsorship. We look forward to a fun-filled and successful campaign”

Danny Bogar, CEO of AGT, compares the way in which AGT can transform the lighting industry to the rich history of motorcycling and the innovations in technology that are required to compete at an elite level. “Competing in business and sports is like anything else, you have to stay in the game and anticipate your next move and your competitors’ next move. Build a better bike or your competitor will build a better, faster bike. I like the parallels. It’s a fun sport that draws an international audience. We are happy to be a part of it."

AGT Rea Racing rider Gino Rea has made a promising start to his Moto2 career. Debuting in Moto2 in 2012, he found the podium with a third place finish in the Malaysian Grand Prix . Unfortunately, Gino's team withdrew just before the 2013 season and he was forced to run his own team and budget. Joining forces with the Montáže Brož European Superstock 600 team for the latter part of the 2013 season, Gino benefitted from a more professional set up and the support of a bigger crew. Gino’s talent did not go unnoticed and he was invited to substitute for an injured rider in the Argiñano & Ginés Racing Team. Despite the challenge of getting to know a new bike, Gino more than proved his worth, scoring the team four valuable Moto2 World Championship points and delivering their best performances of the season.

Gino had this to say about the new partnership, “I couldn’t be any happier right now! 2013 was a difficult year for me and I’m over the moon that my hard work has brought me this amazing opportunity. Joining forces with Dave Peterson of World Motors Inc. and Martin R. de Rooy with the support of AGT (American Green Technology), to race in the full Moto2 Championship as a permanent team is just incredible. I am so grateful and I can’t wait to get started. It’s a very exciting time for us. We have worked extremely hard to make this happen and I believe we have the potential to do great things in 2014.

"This year we progressed a lot throughout the season and at the last race of the year as a privateer team, I showed what is capable by qualifying just 0.5 tenths from second position. I can't wait to go testing and work logically and methodically with the bike, it's something we never got to do this year."

Peterson further states, “I am just recovering from the initial terror and trepidation of forming an international racing team. After years of dreaming about this, it’s wonderful to see it become a reality. I’ve always had such a great passion for MotoGP. With Gino’s considerable talent and AGT’s quest for world markets, the decision to form a world class Moto2 Grand Prix team was easy and finally a realization of my dreams.”

The 2014 MotoGP season kicks off at Losail International Circuit on March 23, 2014 in Qatar. www.motogp.com

Learn more about AGT & Gino Rea

About American Green Technology:

American Green Technology® is a leader in efficient technologies and the manufacture and import of “magnetic induction lights”, the most energy efficient mass lighting solution. Boasting a life span over 100,000 hours, induction lights reduce energy costs by 50-70% and virtually eliminate maintenance. Primary markets include municipal, industrial and commercial applications. More than 1,500 independent lighting professionals represent American Green Technology across the United States, and internationally in more than a dozen countries. For more information about AGT, visit www.agtus.org or call 269-340-9975.

Gino Rea's gamble to self-finance his 2013 wild cards has paid off. Yesterday, the young Londoner announced he would be contesting the full 2014 Moto2 season, in a one-rider team based in the USA. Rea has joined forces with the Austin, Texas based World Motors organization to create the World Motors Rea Racing team. The good news for both Rea and the sport is that the team has also attracted a sponsor from outside of the motorcycle industry. AGT is an induction lighting company providing professional lighting products to industry.Rea will continue to race an FTR Moto2 machine, one of three FTRs which will be on the grid, with the NGM Forward team also racing the British chassis. The press release from Gino Rea and the AGT Rea team appears below:AGT REA RACING SET TO COMPETE IN THE 2014 MOTO2 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WITH GINO REA​AGT (American Green Technology) will back World Motors Rea Racing team in their entry to the 2014 Moto2 class of World Motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP) on a full-season basis with their rider, Gino Rea.

Ant West Loses In Doping Appeal Case, Last 18 Months' Results Scrapped

Ant West has been issued a retroactive ban by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and has had almost all the results for the last 18 months declared invalid. All of West's results between the Le Mans 2012 race and 20th October 2013 have been declared null and void, and will be scrapped from the official Moto2 results.

The retroactive ban goes back to a failed doping test at Le Mans in 2012. West had bought a supplement energy drink without checking the ingredients, and subsequently failed a drug test. The energy drink (Mesomorph) turned out to contain the banned substance methylhexaneamine, traces of which were found in West's urine. At the time, the FIM imposed a one month suspension on West, but the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) appealed against the leniency of the ban, and that appeal has now been partially upheld.

The CAS found that West had violated the anti-doping code, and that the use of the banned substance methylhexaneamine offered important short-term benefits in competition, which demanded punishment. However, the CAS were inclined to be more lenient than WADA had hoped, rejecting WADA's call for a two-year ban, and imposing an 18-month penalty. Furthermore, the penalty was imposed retroactively, meaning that West only faced a loss of existing results, rather than a ban from competition from this point on. But the penalty could have financial implications for West, as the Australian had two podiums at Sepang and Phillip Island in 2012, and both those results will now be rendered null and void. West may face claims to return any bonuses or prize money received for those results.

The provisional judgment of the CAS can be read in the PDF file on their website, with the full judgment due to be posted on the CAS website in the coming days.

 

Ant West has been issued a retroactive ban by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and has had almost all the results for the last 18 months declared invalid. All of West's results between the Le Mans 2012 race and 20th October 2013 have been declared null and void, and will be scrapped from the official Moto2 results.The retroactive ban goes back to a failed doping test at Le Mans in 2012. West had bought a supplement energy drink without checking the ingredients, and subsequently failed a drug test. The energy drink (Mesomorph) turned out to contain the banned substance methylhexaneamine, traces of which were found in West's urine. At the time, the FIM imposed a one month suspension on West, but the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) appealed against the leniency of the ban, and that appeal has now been partially upheld.

Husqvarna To Race Rebadged KTM In Moto3 With Kent And Ajo

A day after the provisional entry lists for the Grand Prix classes were released by the FIM, and there's one change already. Today, Husqvarna announced that they would be joining the Moto3 world championship, and fielding a factory team. 

The Red Bull Husqvarna Factory Racing team will be run by Aki Ajo, and have Danny Kent as rider. Furthermore, Husqvarna will also be providing support for Niklas Ajo in the Avant Tecno team.

The announcement that Husqvarna is racing in Moto3 does not mean a brand new bike will be entered. The Husqvarna will be a rebadged KTM, run under a similar arrangement as Gilera and Derbi in the 250cc and 125cc classes, which were really just rebadged Aprilias. Danny Kent's Moto3 bike will be a factory KTM with a Husqvarna badge on the tank. That KTM would use such an arrangement is not unusual: Pierer Industries, the majority stakeholder in KTM, is also 100% owner of Husqvarna, having acquired the brand earlier this year. Husqvarna off-road bikes are currently being produced in KTM's factory in Mattighofen, Austria.

The entry of Husqvarna into Moto3 is very much a return, rather than a new entry. The Swedish brand known for its motocross and other off-road machinery raced in the 250cc class in the mid-Sixties, scoring points with Kent Andersson in 1966. That bike was a single cylinder two stroke built around a modified motocross engine. They also raced in the 500cc class, with another Swede, Bo Granath at the controls. That bike was a 500cc two-stroke twin in a Seeley frame. For a little more background on the subject, see the article on Motoworld.es.

Below is the press release from Husqvarna on their entry in Moto3:


HUSQVARNA MOTORCYCLES ENTER 2014 MOTO3 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

THE OFFICIAL TEAM WILL BE NAMED RED BULL HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING AND DIRECTED BY TEAM MANAGER AKI AJO. OFFICIAL TEAM RIDER WILL BE BRITAIN’S DANNY KENT.

Husqvarna Motorcycles is pleased to announce their participation in the 2014 Moto3 World Championship, which starts in Doha, Qatar on March 23. The official team will be named Red Bull Husqvarna Factory Racing and directed by team manager Aki Ajo. Official team rider will be Britain’s Danny Kent.

Under the watchful eye of experienced former racer Aki Ajo, who has enjoyed a long and successful career in motorsport racing and team management, Danny Kent will challenge for the Moto3 World Championship title. A second Husqvarna will be ridden by the promising young rider Niklas Ajo from Finland. Stepping into Grand Prix Road Racing in 2014, Husqvarna Motorcycle’s will begin an exciting new racing chapter.

The Moto3 class was introduced in 2012, replacing the 125cc two-stroke category. The class highlights up-and-coming young talent and is a proving ground for racers aiming to progress into Moto2 and eventually into the main MotoGP class. Machinery is restricted to single-cylinder 250cc four-stroke engines. The minimum total weight for motorcycle and rider is 148 kg (326 lb.). Riders in the Moto3 class cannot be older than 28 years.

Stefan Pierer, KTM AG CEO: “Running Husqvarna in the Moto3 World Championship will bring considerable interest to both the category and the brand. With its history of 110 years the Husqvarna brand is highly known throughout the world of racing. The Moto3 stage will give a further boost to grow Husqvarna stronger than ever. We’re looking forward to see great competition next year. ”

Pit Beirer, head of Husqvarna Motorsport: “After our strong commitment to offroad competition, entering the Moto3 World Championship is a new milestone in the history of Husqvarna. With the full support of Mr. Pierer and the Husqvarna Motorcycles Board of Directors, we are extremely excited about this new project. We will bring the best people and all the necessary energies together to give the project the success it deserves. Danny Kent will be our official factory rider, with Niklas Ajo our official support rider. Both hugely talented young racers, we are looking forward to the start of Husqvarna’s new journey into Grand Prix Road Racing.”

A day after the provisional entry lists for the Grand Prix classes were released by the FIM, and there's one change already. Today, Husqvarna announced that they would be joining the Moto3 world championship, and fielding a factory team. The Red Bull Husqvarna Factory Racing team will be run by Aki Ajo, and have Danny Kent as rider. Furthermore, Husqvarna will also be providing support for Niklas Ajo in the Avant Tecno team.The announcement that Husqvarna is racing in Moto3 does not mean a brand new bike will be entered. The Husqvarna will be a rebadged KTM, run under a similar arrangement as Gilera and Derbi in the 250cc and 125cc classes, which were really just rebadged Aprilias. Danny Kent's Moto3 bike will be a factory KTM with a Husqvarna badge on the tank. That KTM would use such an arrangement is not unusual: Pierer Industries, the majority stakeholder in KTM, is also 100% owner of Husqvarna, having acquired the brand earlier this year. Husqvarna off-road bikes are currently being produced in KTM's factory in Mattighofen, Austria.

2014 MotoGP Rider Line Up Announced: 24 Rider Grid Still Leaves Many Questions Unanswered

Though most of the contracts were settled some time ago, there were still a few question marks on the 2014 MotoGP grid. The official entry list released by the FIM today answers some of those questions, but the answers it gives may yet turn out to be wrong. The list features 11 entries to be run under the Factory rules, which means 20 liters of fuel, 5 engines per season and the freedom to use proprietary software on the spec Magneti Marelli ECU. The remaining 13 bikes will be run as Open entries, which gives them 24 liters of fuel and 12 engines per season, but forces them to use the Dorna-controlled spec software on the Magneti Marelli ECU.

The 2014 season looks set to follow the pattern established in 2013, with Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo likely to dominate. Of interest is the fact that Marc Marquez has been entered with number 93, rather than the number 1 which the world champion is allowed to use, but this may yet change before the start of the season. Marquez would dearly like to retain 93, but Honda is keen to see him run the number 1 plate.

Whether Valentino Rossi can challenge the leaders again will depend in part on how he meshes with his new crew chief Silvano Galbusera, and on whether Yamaha can improve the braking stability of the bike. Rossi will also fear the reduction in fuel, as Yamaha were already struggling to make the bike last the race on 21 liters. 

Much attention will be focused on the newcomers, with Pol Espargaro and Scott Redding both stepping up from Moto2. Espargaro made an impressive debut at the Valencia test, ending the three days a second and a quarter behind Marc Marquez, and not far off the times of Valentino Rossi and Alvaro Bautista.

Among the Open entries, all eyes will be on the battle between the Honda RCV1000R production racer and the Yamaha FTR open class entry. Nicky Hayden and Aleix Espargaro will be the benchmarks, with the first meeting going to Aleix on the Yamaha. The 2013 M1 is already a strong package, and the Valencia test showed that the spec software did not appear to slow the bike down too much. The RCV1000R looks to be slower than expected, suffering most of all from the lower revs the engine runs. Top speed figures showed that the Honda was over 10 km/h down on the factory bikes, where the difference with the Yamaha was negligible.

The provisional entry lists are still a long way from being final. Although Niccolo Canepa appears on the list as riding for Ioda Racing, Canepa has already told GPOne.com that he will not be racing in MotoGP next season, and Ioda issued a press release saying that no agreement had been reached with Canepa, and the search for a second rider continues. The provisional list shows Ioda's choice of machinery as to be announced, but the choices are between the Aprilia ART and Ducati Open projects. The final choice will depend on the financial package available, with Ioda one of the poorer teams in the paddock. If an agreement cannot be found, Ioda can always race the Suter BMWs they already own, though the bike has had no development this year.

The PBM team is also listed as participating, but Paul Bird is believed to be holding off on entering depending on support. PBM, like Ioda, are fishing for stronger support from Aprilia in a bid to make themselves more competitive. This has become a financial necessity, as Dorna will now only be offering the top 22 riders financial support, leaving the weakest team without support. The idea is to send weaker teams back to Moto2 at the end of each season, and tempt the strongest Moto2 teams into stepping up into MotoGP. On the basis of results from 2013, PBM and Ioda are the teams in the danger zone.

Looking at when rider contracts run out, it is clear that 2014 will be a crucial season for everyone. 16 riders have their contracts up for renewal at the end of the season, including both factory Yamaha and both factory Honda men. The summer is likely to be a very busy period for riders and managers, as they look towards their options for 2015. 

The provisional 2014 MotoGP entry list:

No Rider Nationality Bike Factory/Open Contract until
Factory Yamaha
46 Valentino Rossi ITA Yamaha M1 Factory 2014
99 Jorge Lorenzo SPA Yamaha M1 Factory 2014
           
Repsol Honda
26 Dani Pedrosa SPA Honda RC213V Factory 2014
93 Marc Marquez SPA Honda RC213V Factory 2014
           
Factory Ducati
4 Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati GP14 Factory 2014
35 Cal Crutchlow GBR Ducati GP14 Factory 2015
           
Tech 3 Yamaha
38 Bradley Smith GBR Yamaha M1 Factory 2014
44 Pol Espargaro SPA Yamaha M1 Factory 2015
           
LCR Honda
6 Stefan Bradl GER Honda RC213V Factory 2014
           
Gresini Honda
19 Alvaro Bautista SPA Honda RC213V Factory 2014
45 Scott Redding GBR Honda RCV1000R Open 2015
           
NGM Forward
5 Colin Edwards USA FTR Yamaha M1 Open 2014
41 Aleix Espargaro SPA FTR Yamaha M1 Open 2015
           
Pramac Ducati
29 Andrea Iannone ITA Ducati GP14 Factory 2014
68 Yonny Hernandez COL Ducati GP13 Open 2014
           
Cardion AB
17 Karel Abraham CZE Honda RCV1000R Open 2014
           
PBM
70 Michael Laverty GBR PBM/ART Open 2014
  To be confirmed   PBM/ART Open 2014
           
IODA
9 Danilo Petrucci ITA Aprilia ART/Ducati Open  
59 Niccolo Canepa ITA Aprilia ART/Ducati Open  
           
Aspar
7 Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Honda RCV1000R Open 2014
69 Nicky Hayden USA Honda RCV1000R Open 2014
           
Avintia Blusens
8 Hector Barbera SPA FTR Kawasaki Open 2015
63 Mike Di Meglio FRA FTR Kawasaki Open 2014

 

Though most of the contracts were settled some time ago, there were still a few question marks on the 2014 MotoGP grid. The official entry list released by the FIM today answers some of those questions, but the answers it gives may yet turn out to be wrong. The list features 11 entries to be run under the Factory rules, which means 20 liters of fuel, 5 engines per season and the freedom to use proprietary software on the spec Magneti Marelli ECU. The remaining 13 bikes will be run as Open entries, which gives them 24 liters of fuel and 12 engines per season, but forces them to use the Dorna-controlled spec software on the Magneti Marelli ECU.The 2014 season looks set to follow the pattern established in 2013, with Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo likely to dominate. Of interest is the fact that Marc Marquez has been entered with number 93, rather than the number 1 which the world champion is allowed to use, but this may yet change before the start of the season. Marquez would dearly like to retain 93, but Honda is keen to see him run the number 1 plate.

2014 Moto2 Rider Line Up Announced: Rabat, Luthi And Terol Favorites, High Expectations Of Lowes

The Moto2 field for next season is even better filled than the Moto3 grid, with 35 entries for 2014. Like Moto3, the two men who fought for the championship have departed, leaving the championship wide open. The departure of Pol Espargaro and Scott Redding for MotoGP leaves Tito Rabat as hot favorite for the title, after the Spaniard had challenged for most of the season. Rabat has switched from the Pons team to join Marc VDS, where he is already off to a strong start, while teammate Mika Kallio has also showed strongly in preseason testing.

Strongest of all has been Tom Luthi, the Swiss rider having topped the timesheets at the Jerez tests so far. Dark horse in the Moto2 class is surely Nico Terol, who had a very strong end to the season after finally being diagnosed with lactose intolerance, a condition which had been troubling him all year. Since his successful diagnosis, Terol won two out of five races.

The arrival of Sam Lowes has been met with much interest. Previous entrants from World Supersport have fallen short of expectations, with both Kenan Sofuoglu and Gino Rea not managing to achieve the results they had hoped for. Lowes got off to a very fast start at Jerez, however, and was quickly within a few tenths of Luthi, and right on the pace of Nico Terol. It is a long season, however, and it remains to be seen how competitive the Speed Up bike will be against the Kalex.

Maverick Viñales and Luis Salom make their debut in Moto2, and clearly have their work cut out for them. The two men were two seconds off the pace on their debut, but that is common given the huge leap from an 80kg bike to a 150kg machine, with totally different characteristics. Both Viñales and Salom have been forced to drop their numbers, as they are teammates in the Pons team, where the Spanish radio station which sponsors the team decides the race numbers to be used. That leaves Viñales racing with number 40 (the contemporary pop radio station), and Salom racing with 80 (the station playing 1980s hits).

The Spanish contingent is strongest in the Moto2 class, with 8 out of 35 riders coming from Spain. That includes two of the men tipped to take the title, but the competition is more international than it appears. Italy has 5 riders on the grid, but the big surprise is the strength of Switzerland, fielding 4 riders in Moto2. The Swiss contingent is strong, too, as it features both the proven stalwart Luthi and Domi Aegerter, who challenged at the front more and more frequently in 2013. There are also 2 Japanese riders on the grid, with Takaaki Nakagami being groomed to step up to MotoGP, though he will have to find more consistency than he did in 2013. The rest of the field is varied: 2 British riders, 2 Frenchmen, 3 German riders, and 2 Malaysians, while Australia, Belgium, Finland, Thailand and the USA all have one rider each. Josh Herrin is the lone American in Moto2, having made the leap after winning the 2014 AMA Superbike championship.

The depth of riders from Asia is gratifying, especially given their competitiveness. Nakagami should be able to fight for race wins this year, and even play a role in the championship, while Malaysian rider Hafizh Syahrin has already had some impressive results in his wildcard appearances.

The 2014 Moto2 rider line up

No Rider Nationality Bike
Marc VDS
36 Mika Kallio FIN Kalex
53 Tito Rabat SPA Kalex
       
Technomag CarXpert
70 Robin Mulhauser SWI Suter
77 Dominique Aegerter SWI Suter
       
Interwetten Paddock
12 Thomas Luthi SWI Suter
       
Tuenti HP 40 Pons
40 Maverick Viñales SPA Kalex
80 Luis Salom SPA Kalex
       
Mapfre Aspar
18 Nico Terol SPA Suter
81 Jordi Torres SPA Suter
       
Idemitsu Honda Asia
25 Azlan Shah MAL Kalex
30 Takaaki Nakagami JPN Kalex
       
Caterham
2 Josh Herrin USA Suter
5 Johann Zarco FRA Suter
       
IODA
4 Randy Krummenacher SWI Suter
       
NGM Forward
3 Simone Corsi ITA FTR
54 Mattia Pasini ITA FTR
       
Speed Up
22 Sam Lowes GBR Speed Up
88 Alessandro Nocco ITA Speed Up
       
Federal Oil Gresini
7 Lorenzo Baldassari ITA Suter
19 Xavier Simeon BEL Suter
       
La Fonte Tasca
15 Alex De Angelis ITA Suter
       
QMMF
95 Anthony West AUS Speed Up
  To be confirmed   Speed Up
       
Tech 3
23 Marcel Schrotter GER Tech 3
92 Alex Mariñelarena SPA Tech 3
       
Dynavolt Intact
11 Sandro Cortese GER Kalex
       
JIR Moto2
31 Kohta Nozane JPN Motobi
       
Argiñano & Ginés
49 Axel Pons SPA Kalex
94 Jonas Folger GER Kalex
       
Petronas Raceline
55 Hafizh Syahrin MAL Kalex
       
Italtrans
60 Julian Simon SPA Kalex
  To be confirmed   Kalex
       
AGT-Rea Racing
8 Gino Rea GBR FTR
       
Stop and Go
10 Thitipong Warokorn THA Kalex
96 Louis Rossi FRA Kalex

 

The Moto2 field for next season is even better filled than the Moto3 grid, with 35 entries for 2014. Like Moto3, the two men who fought for the championship have departed, leaving the championship wide open. The departure of Pol Espargaro and Scott Redding for MotoGP leaves Tito Rabat as hot favorite for the title, after the Spaniard had challenged for most of the season. Rabat has switched from the Pons team to join Marc VDS, where he is already off to a strong start, while teammate Mika Kallio has also showed strongly in preseason testing.Strongest of all has been Tom Luthi, the Swiss rider having topped the timesheets at the Jerez tests so far. Dark horse in the Moto2 class is surely Nico Terol, who had a very strong end to the season after finally being diagnosed with lactose intolerance, a condition which had been troubling him all year. Since his successful diagnosis, Terol won two out of five races.

2014 Moto3 Rider Line Up Announced: Rins And Miller Hot Favorites Of 33-Strong Field

The FIM today announced the provisional entry lists for the 2014 season in all three classes. Despite the loss of Maverick Viñales and Luis Salom, who are moving up to Moto2, the Moto3 class looks like being another thrilling and close race to the end of the year. Alex Rins and Jack Miller are currently the hot favorites for the title, with Rins' Estrella Galicia teammate Alex Marquez likely to be a candidate too, after his outstanding rookie year in the series. Miller's Red Bull KTM teammate Danny Kent will also be aiming to battle for the championship, the British youngster having stepped back to the Moto3 class with the express purpose of winning the championship.

Among the riders currently viewed as outsiders, Miguel Oliveira features strongly as a contender after a very strong year on the Mahindra. Jakub Kornfeil moves up to take the bike vacated by 2013 Moto3 champion Maverick Viñales, while much is expected of the new Team Sky VR46 squad of Romano Fenati and Francesco Bagnaia, the team set up by Valentino Rossi and with former Ducati man Vitto Guareschi as team manager. There will also be a lot of attention for Karel Hanika, the Czech youngster making the move up from the Red Bull Rookies. Hanika is rated very highly in the Moto3 paddock, and his testing times have already shown promise.

One of the biggest questions open in Moto3 is just how fast the new Honda will be. Despite there still not having been a formal announcement, Alex Rins and Alex Marquez will be racing Hondas in the Estrella Galicia team run by the Monlau Competicion organization of Emilio Alzamora. The bike they will be running is a completely new machine aimed solely at beating the KTMs, built and designed by HRC out of anger at KTM's approach to the Moto3 class and their breaking of the spirit of the regulations. Rins and Marquez will be riding what are in effect full factory HRC-backed Hondas, with little expense spared. Yet those bikes have yet to make their debut in public, so it remains a gamble on the part of team manager Alzamora.

That also opens up the question of what will happen with the other four riders current  listed as racing a Honda. HRC have no desire to support either the Caretta RTG or the Ongetta teams with factory equipment, especially as under the 2014 rules, factories can no longer favor particular teams with engine parts. Engines for each manufacturer are now distributed at random from a pool, to ensure that all of the teams get the same level of performance. According to German website Speedweek, the other Honda teams will be entered as FTRs, and use the old, underpowered Honda NSF250R engine managed by Geo Tech in an FTR chassis. That way, only Rins and Marquez will get the brand new Honda engines from HRC.

That sleight of hand explains the vacancy at Team Calvo. Although Kornfeil is already signed up, the team has been pushing to sign Efren Vazquez, but Vazquez already has a contract with Caretta RTG, which he signed believing that RTG would have the same factory Hondas that Team Galicia Estrella would have. If Team Calvo are not inclined to buy Vazquez out of his contract, then Ana Carrasco will get the ride. Carrasco is currently engaged in raising sponsorship to help fund her 2014 campaign, and given the strong finish to her 2013 season, and the extremely strong publicity value of being the first truly successful woman racer since Tomoko Igata in the mid-1990s, sponsors will surely step up to help the Spanish youngster.

The official absence of Carrasco and Isaac Viñales (who is believed to be close to signing with Gresini) sees an interesting mix of nationalities in the Moto3 class. The Italians are in the majority at the moment, with 6 riders to Spain's 4, but if Carrasco and Viñales sign, then each of the two Latin nations will have 6 riders eeach. France, Britain, Germany, Australia, and the Czech Republic each have two riders, and although there is currently only one Dutch rider confirmed (Bryan Schouten at CIP), the Dutch-based team RW Racing are yet to announce their line up, with hints that they could have Jasper Iwema and former Red Bull Rookie Scott Deroue on the books, bringing the Dutch contingent to 3 riders. With riders from Brazil, Venezuela, Finland, Belgium, Malaysia, Portugal and South Africa, it is a very international field.

The 2014 Moto3 line up

No Rider Nationality Bike
Estrella Galicia
12 Alex Marquez SPA Honda
42 Alex Rins SPA Honda
       
Red Bull Ajo
8 Jack Miller AUS KTM
52 Danny Kent GBR KTM
98 Karel Hanika CZE KTM
       
Mahindra
44 Miguel Oliveira POR Mahindra
61 Arthur Sissis AUS Mahindra
       
Team Sky VR46
5 Romano Fenati ITA KTM
14 Francesco Bagnaia ITA KTM
       
Team Calvo
84 Jakub Kornfeil CZE KTM
  To be confirmed   KTM
       
Ongetta Rivacold
10 Alexis Masbou FRA Honda
       
Ongetta AirAsia
63 Zulfahmi Khairuddin MAL Honda
       
Mapfre Aspar
57 Eric Granado BRA Kalex KTM
58 Juanfran Guevara SPA Kalex KTM
       
Team Italia
3 Matteo Ferrari ITA Mahindra
55 Andrea Locatelli ITA Mahindra
       
Caretta Technology - RTG
7 Efren Vazquez SPA Honda
17 John McPhee GBR Honda
       
Gresini
23 Niccolo Antonelli ITA KTM
  To be confirmed   KTM
       
CIP
15 Bryan Schouten NED Mahindra
19 Alessandro Tonucci ITA Mahindra
       
Ambrogio Racing
41 Brad Binder RSA Mahindra
95 Jules Danilo FRA Mahindra
       
Kiefer Racing
4 Gabriel Ramos VEN Kalex KTM
43 Luca Grunwald GER Kalex KTM
       
Marc VDS Racing
11 Livio Loi BEL Kalex KTM
       
Avant Tecno
31 Niklas Ajo FIN KTM
80 Hafiq Azmi   KTM
       
Interwetten Paddock
65 Philipp Oettl GER Kalex KTM
       
RW Racing GP
  To be confirmed   Kalex KTM
  To be confirmed   Kalex KTM

 

The FIM today announced the provisional entry lists for the 2014 season in all three classes. Despite the loss of Maverick Viñales and Luis Salom, who are moving up to Moto2, the Moto3 class looks like being another thrilling and close race to the end of the year. Alex Rins and Jack Miller are currently the hot favorites for the title, with Rins' Estrella Galicia teammate Alex Marquez likely to be a candidate too, after his outstanding rookie year in the series. Miller's Red Bull KTM teammate Danny Kent will also be aiming to battle for the championship, the British youngster having stepped back to the Moto3 class with the express purpose of winning the championship.Among the riders currently viewed as outsiders, Miguel Oliveira features strongly as a contender after a very strong year on the Mahindra. Jakub Kornfeil moves up to take the bike vacated by 2013 Moto3 champion Maverick Viñales, while much is expected of the new Team Sky VR46 squad of Romano Fenati and Francesco Bagnaia, the team set up by Valentino Rossi and with former Ducati man Vitto Guareschi as team manager. There will also be a lot of attention for Karel Hanika, the Czech youngster making the move up from the Red Bull Rookies. Hanika is rated very highly in the Moto3 paddock, and his testing times have already shown promise.

MotoGP Surgery Update: Pedrosa And Hayden Have Metalwork Removed

With the MotoGP season now officially ended, riders are taking the opportunity to have various medical niggles sorted out ready for 2014. Last week, Dani Pedrosa had the metal plate removed from his right collarbone, and on Sunday, Nicky Hayden had a screw removed from his right wrist.

Pedrosa's surgery brings to a close a painful chapter in his life. The plate which has just been removed was inserted on his right collarbone after his clash with Marco Simoncelli at Le Mans in 2011. Pedrosa was reluctant to have surgery on his his right collarbone, as he was only just starting to recover from surgery on his left collarbone, which he had injured at Motegi in 2010. The operation to fix that injury had seen screws compress the artery leading down to his left arm, causing a loss of feeling during racing. The clash with Simoncelli took place just weeks after an operation to resolve the Thoracic Outlet Syndrome which had resulted from the previous injury.

With the plate in his right collarbone removed, Pedrosa will need two weeks of rest before starting physical rehabilitation. The recovery period should give his collarbone time to heal, and for bone growth to fill in the holes left by the screws, restoring his collarbone to full strength.

Over in the US, Nicky Hayden has had surgery to remove a screw holding together the scaphoid he injured in a crash at Valencia in 2011. Since that crash, Hayden had suffered irritation in his right wrist, his hand often swelling up quite badly. Hayden exacerbated the injury in 2012, when he crashed during qualifying at Indianapolis. With the swelling getting worse this year, Hayden decided to have the screw removed by Dr. Ting in California after this season. Surgery went well, and Hayden posted up pictures both before and after on his Instagram and Twitter pages.

Below is the press release issued by the Repsol Honda team after Pedrosa's surgery:


Dani Pedrosa discharged from hospital after successful collarbone operation

The Repsol Honda rider has left the Hospital Universitario Quirón Dexeus, where yesterday he had a plate and 13 screws removed from his right collarbone by Dr. Xavier Mir.

Following the conclusion of the 2013 season and the first days of testing with the 2014 prototype, Dani Pedrosa has used a brief break in his schedule to undergo surgery in Barcelona. The Repsol Honda rider was successfully operated on yesterday, in a procedure to remove osteosynthetic materials inserted onto his right collarbone in 2011. The surgery took place at the Universitario Quirón Dexeus Hospital, and was carried out by Dr. Xavier Mir, Director of the Microsurgery and Surgery department at the facility. After the removal of the metal plate and thirteen screws, Dani was today discharged from hospital. He will be inactive for two weeks, before beginning a functional recovery programme.

Dani Pedrosa

“I’ve undergone surgery to remove the plate and thirteen screws from my right collarbone operation in 2011, which I required as a result of the crash I had that season. We will have to wait a few days to see how everything develops and, above all, give it a little time. That’s why I chose this break in our schedule to undergo the operation. Now I need to rest up, but I can’t wait to be fully recovered soon”

With the MotoGP season now officially ended, riders are taking the opportunity to have various medical niggles sorted out ready for 2014. Last week, Dani Pedrosa had the metal plate removed from his right collarbone, and on Sunday, Nicky Hayden had a screw removed from his right wrist.Pedrosa's surgery brings to a close a painful chapter in his life. The plate which has just been removed was inserted on his right collarbone after his clash with Marco Simoncelli at Le Mans in 2011. Pedrosa was reluctant to have surgery on his his right collarbone, as he was only just starting to recover from surgery on his left collarbone, which he had injured at Motegi in 2010. The operation to fix that injury had seen screws compress the artery leading down to his left arm, causing a loss of feeling during racing. The clash with Simoncelli took place just weeks after an operation to resolve the Thoracic Outlet Syndrome which had resulted from the previous injury.With the plate in his right collarbone removed, Pedrosa will need two weeks of rest before starting physical rehabilitation. The recovery period should give his collarbone time to heal, and for bone growth to fill in the holes left by the screws, restoring his collarbone to full strength.

WSBK Rules Update: Testing Restricted, Superpole Scrapped, MotoGP Qualifying And Penalty Points Adopted

The World Superbike championship remains in a state of flux, despite the good news emerging today about the 2014 grid (Feelracing taking on the Ducati factory team, MV Agusta expanding into World Superbikes, and Michel Fabrizio joining Grillini). The Superbike Commission met at Valencia to agree further rule changes to the series for 2014, as part of the push to revitalize the series. Some of the rules are cost-cutting measures, others are aimed at making the series a more attractive TV package, while some are aimed at providing a more homogenous set of basic rules between the World Superbike and MotoGP series.

The biggest change - and the change that will be mourned the most - is the loss of the current three-stage Superpole qualifying format. Instead of having three Superpole sessions, with the slowest riders being dropped after each session, World Superbikes is to adopt a system similar to MotoGP, where the fastest riders in free practice go straight through to the second and decisive qualifying session, the rest having a second chance in a first qualifying session. The aim of adopting the MotoGP system is the same reason it was adopted in MotoGP: it gives much better TV exposure to the teams lower down the qualifying order, while still providing an exciting qualifying session. It also has the benefit of ensuring that the qualifying system in both WSBK and MotoGP is the same, making it easier for casual viewers to watch either series and understand what is going on.

The loss of the current Superpole system will be widely mourned. The three-tier system provided a superb mix of strategy and excitement, especially as the riders only had two sets of qualifying tires to use in three session. Faster riders had to gamble on getting through to Superpole 2 using race tires, while slower riders could use qualifiers to pick up the pace and qualify further up the grid. The loss of Superpole opens the door for further cost cuts, as it removes the need for soft qualifying tires.

The other measure aimed at unifying the two series is the introduction of penalty points in WSBK. The system has been a success in Grand Prix racing, and extending it to World Superbikes and World Supersport is a logical step aimed at policing riding better in both series. The announcement that points are to be introduced in WSBK was accompanied by news that the points system is also to change in MotoGP, with each penalty point being awarded having a validity of 12 months. This addresses the problem raised by incidents in the final race of the year, and discussed in our recent interview with MotoGP Race Director Mike Webb.

The schedule for race day is also to change, with the timing of the races to change. This is to fit in an earlier TV window, so that WSBK races do not clash with Formula One, MotoGP, major soccer games, or other big events. By changing the event schedule, Dorna are hoping they can make the series a more attractive package for TV, and generate more income for the cash-strapped series.

The full details of all the changes, as well as more details on the technical regulations, are due to be discussed in the next meeting of the Superbike Commission, due to be held in Madrid on the 10th December. Below is the press release with the changes so far:


FIM Superbike & Supersport World Championship 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 Ricardo Tormo Circuit on 08 November 2013 in the presence of MM Daniel Carrera, Gregorio Lavilla (WSBK-Dorna) and Paul Duparc (FIM).

A draft of the Sporting and Disciplinary Regulations taking into account the conclusions of the SBK Working Group composed of MM. Lavilla, Carrera and Duparc was submitted to the Commission. The goal was to harmonise the regulations of the FIM Grand Prix and Superbike World Championships and to have a set of regulations as similar as possible for both FIM series.

These SBK Sporting and Disciplinary Regulations were basically approved. However, some items remain pending and the SBK Commission will meet on 10 December, in Madrid, to finalise the FIM Superbike & Supersport World Championship and Superstock 1000cc Cup Regulations for 2014.

The main changes will concern the following items:

  • Practice restrictions will be applied for contracted riders and teams. (However it will be taken into account that the Superbike and Endurance Championships will provide teams and riders in each series thanks to the similarity of the EWC and EVO class technical regulations);
  • Time and practice Schedules will be reviewed: the SBK format of the free and qualifying practices will be inspired by the MotoGP ones (with a number of participants directly qualified in Q2);
  • Revision of the Start Procedure with a scenario for a quick restart (in case of a red flag caused by reasons other than weather conditions) with a very short time for opening the pit lane;
  • Superbike and Supersport Race distances will be reduced by the equivalent of two laps in case of wet conditions.
  • Sunday race timing schedule for Superbike, Supersport, and Superstock 1000cc Cup will be shortened from 10.30 am to 14.30.
  • Introduction of licence penalty points that will last for a period of one year (this system be applied in all FIM Road Racing World Championships).

For the Superbike Technical Regulations, a clarification of the rules will be made in view of the next SBK Commission to be held in Madrid in December, taking into consideration that the 2015 SBK Rules should last for a long period of time in order to give stability to the series. The MSMA is also expected to put forward joint proposals for ensuring a low-cost championship with fair and close competition between the different manufacturers on the track.

OTHER SPORTING, TECHNICAL AND DISCIPLINARY MODIFICATIONS WILL BE AVAILABLE AFTER THE LAST SBK COMMISSION MEETING ON THE FIM WEBSITE.

The World Superbike championship remains in a state of flux, despite the good news emerging today about the 2014 grid (Feelracing taking on the Ducati factory team, MV Agusta expanding into World Superbikes, and Michel Fabrizio joining Grillini). The Superbike Commission met at Valencia to agree further rule changes to the series for 2014, as part of the push to revitalize the series. Some of the rules are cost-cutting measures, others are aimed at making the series a more attractive TV package, while some are aimed at providing a more homogenous set of basic rules between the World Superbike and MotoGP series.

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A new hope #1 This is what an injured rider looks like while riding: Scott Redding goes flat out on the Production Honda

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