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IODA Announce Single Rider For 2014 - Petrucci Stays, Camier Left Without A Ride

IODA Racing will field just Danilo Petrucci in MotoGP in 2014, leaving Leon Camier without a ride. Rumors of financial problems for the teams had been circulating for several days, but now IODA has confirmed officially that they are down to just a single rider. 

The team will still be racing Aprilia ART machines entered under the Open regulations, but with just a single rider, progress will be slower. Danilo Petrucci has soldiered on with the team for the past two years, riding first the underpowered IODA machine using a stock Aprilia RSV4 engine, and then the Suter BMW which was quickly ditched by the teams which had been using it. Petrucci's patience has been rewarded with a much better machine in 2014, though the level of support Aprilia will be providing remains unclear.

Though the press release says that the team are working to find sponsorship to keep Camier on board, the Englishman will only be able to compete if he is effectively able to pay for his ride. If Camier cannot raise the funds, he will be forced to look for other options, but in a difficult market, those options are severely limited, and he could be forced to take a year out of racing.

The withdrawal of Camier leaves just 23 riders on the MotoGP grid for 2014. And with the switch by Ducati from Factory Option status to Open, there are now just 8 Factory Option entries, Honda versus Yamaha. For the full, updated entry list, see our entry list page. Below is the press release from IODA:


IODARACING PROJECT PRESS RELEASE

Terni, February 28, 2014 - Iodaracing Project srl will begin the 2014 season with a only rider in MotoGP.

Will be the Italian Danilo Petrucci to be deployed with the Iodaracing Team's ART in MotoGP class starting in the next IRTA test in Qatar scheduled 6 to 9 March. The swiss rider Randy Krummenacher remains confirmed in Moto2.

Iodaracing Project continues to work to be able to have even his second rider, the Britain's Leon Camier.

GIAMPIERO SACCHI - IODARACING PROJECT TEAM OWNER - "Our priority is to start working with Aprilia for the development of the bike according to the steps that we have set. We are still working to be able to line up a second MotoGP during the season".

IODA Racing will field just Danilo Petrucci in MotoGP in 2014, leaving Leon Camier without a ride. Rumors of financial problems for the teams had been circulating for several days, but now IODA has confirmed officially that they are down to just a single rider. The team will still be racing Aprilia ART machines entered under the Open regulations, but with just a single rider, progress will be slower. Danilo Petrucci has soldiered on with the team for the past two years, riding first the underpowered IODA machine using a stock Aprilia RSV4 engine, and then the Suter BMW which was quickly ditched by the teams which had been using it. Petrucci's patience has been rewarded with a much better machine in 2014, though the level of support Aprilia will be providing remains unclear.Though the press release says that the team are working to find sponsorship to keep Camier on board, the Englishman will only be able to compete if he is effectively able to pay for his ride. If Camier cannot raise the funds, he will be forced to look for other options, but in a difficult market, those options are severely limited, and he could be forced to take a year out of racing.

Ducati Announce They Will Be Racing As Open Class Entries In MotoGP In 2014

Ducati have officially confirmed that they will race as Open class entries in the 2014 MotoGP season. Speaking to the media at Sepang, Ducati Corse boss Gigi Dall'Igna announced that all four Ducati machines will be entered under Open regulations. The decision has been the worst-kept secret in the paddock for some time, with rumors emerging earlier this year that the Italian manufacturer would abandon Factory Option status to switch to the freer Open class.

Dall'Igna described the switch as 'the most interesting option for Ducati in the current situation'. Given the nature of Ducati's problems, they were left with virtually no option but to switch to the Open class. The engine freeze in place for Factory Option entries make it impossible to make significant changes to the bike layout, as the engine cases are fixed, right down to the engine mounting points. The freeze limits both engine development and chassis development as a result.

The disadvantage to choosing to go the Open route is that teams are limited to the spec software supplied by Magneti Marelli. Having tested with the software at Sepang with both Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow, Ducati found that the disadvantages are far outweighed by the advantages of more testing and engine development. The spec software - referred to inside the paddock as the championship software - is already very sophisticated, despite it being less complex than the software used by the factories.

Ducati had already caused a bit of a stir prior to the second Sepang test. A new software update was made available to all of the Open teams ahead of the second test, which was such a large step several of the teams had been daunted by its complexity. The file containing the specifications of the software which Magneti Marelli sent out to the teams still had the words 'Ducati Motor Holding' in the header, Magneti Marelli having neglected to delete the name from the file. There is nothing in the rules preventing Ducati making their software available to Magneti Marelli, the only proviso being that the same software is available to all teams equally. However, as a factory, Ducati has both the experience and the electronics engineers to get the most out of the more sophisticated software, something which the smaller teams simply cannot afford.

Below is the official press release announcing Ducati's decision to go Open:


Ducati Team to compete in the 2014 MotoGP World Championship under the Open option

  • Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso will race their Desmosedici GP14 in the Open configuration.
  • Open option gives more freedom for development during the year.
  • Ducati Corse to keep developing their bikes during the championship to improve competitiveness.

Ducati Team has announced today that they will compete in the 2014 MotoGP Championship, taking advantage of the Open option.

The new MotoGP regulations, introduced this year, give each manufacturer the possibility to choose between two technical options: Factory and Open.

While in 2014 all bikes in the championship – Factory and Open - must use exactly the same Magneti Marelli ECU, the Open option also includes the obligation to use the standard DORNA software, however allowing more freedom in terms of engine development.

Ducati, after carefully considering the two options, has decided that the most suitable one for the current needs of the Bologna-based manufacturer is the Open one, which gives the possibility to the race department to continue the development of the bike and the engine throughout the entire season.

Recent tests carried out in Sepang by the Ducati Team riders, Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso, gave a positive feedback to the Ducati engineers and therefore, on the deadline of February 28, both riders have been entered into the championship with their Desmosedici GP14 bikes selecting the Open option.

The other Ducati contracted rider, Andrea Iannone, will also race for Pramac Racing Team with the same bike and option as the Ducati Team riders.

Luigi Dall'Igna, Ducati Corse General Manager, commented: "We have carefully studied the new technical regulations and have concluded that the Open option is the most interesting for Ducati, in the current situation. This year we have to keep developing our bikes throughout the season to improve our competitiveness, and the Factory option appears to be too restrictive for our needs. We are confident that the electronics package provided by Magneti Marelli and DORNA has very good quality and will allow the correct management of all the main functions of the bikes".

Ducati have officially confirmed that they will race as Open class entries in the 2014 MotoGP season. Speaking to the media at Sepang, Ducati Corse boss Gigi Dall'Igna announced that all four Ducati machines will be entered under Open regulations. The decision has been the worst-kept secret in the paddock for some time, with rumors emerging earlier this year that the Italian manufacturer would abandon Factory Option status to switch to the freer Open class.Dall'Igna described the switch as 'the most interesting option for Ducati in the current situation'. Given the nature of Ducati's problems, they were left with virtually no option but to switch to the Open class. The engine freeze in place for Factory Option entries make it impossible to make significant changes to the bike layout, as the engine cases are fixed, right down to the engine mounting points. The freeze limits both engine development and chassis development as a result.

Marquez To Miss The Phillip Island Test, Will Next Ride At Qatar

Marc Marquez will not ride at the Phillip Island test, scheduled for next week, and will only return to riding at the first race of the season at Qatar. After meeting with Dr Xavier Mir in Barcelona today, Marquez was told it would be better to rest and recuperate as fully as possible before attempting to ride a MotoGP bike again.

The decision to wait until the race at Qatar also settles a potential argument over testing at Phillip Island and Qatar. HRC had been contemplating sending Marquez to test with the satellite and Open class riders at Qatar, rather than the factory riders at Phillip Island, where they are testing tires for Bridgestone. Honda asked Race Direction for permission to allow Marquez to test at Qatar, but Yamaha and Ducati lodged an objection.

The split between factory and non-factory testing had been agreed at the end of last year, to give Bridgestone a chance to test tires, but Yamaha and Ducati feared that Marquez would gain an unfair advantage if he was allowed to test at Qatar just a week ahead of the season opener. If Marquez was to test at Qatar, Yamaha said, then Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi would test at Qatar as well, abandoning the tire test.

Paolo Ciabatti, head of Ducati's MotoGP project, told GPOne that allowing Marquez to test at Qatar would not be fair. They had put themselves at the disposal of the championship, to assist Bridgestone with the tire test, Ciabatti said. The Italian factory had originally proposed to test at Phillip Island only with their test riders, but Bridgestone had requested they send their factory riders, to provide the best data possible. Ducati had agreed, and they did not want to be punished by giving away an advantage to Marquez.

With Marquez now deciding to return only at the first race, the situation has been resolved. It also means that the reigning world champion has more time for his fractured fibula to heal. The official press release from Honda on the situation appears below:


Marquez to miss Phillip Island test

It is now confirmed that Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, who broke his fibula last Wednesday in a training accident, will not be fit enough to test before the first race of 2014.

After a check-up today with Dr. Mir in Barcelona, it was advised that Marc takes this opportunity to rest, rather than risk further injury, in order to prepare for the Qatar GP, which will begin in just three weeks.

Marc Marquez

“I’m obviously disappointed that I’m not in Sepang at the moment and to miss Phillip Island is also unfortunate, but we believe it is the best decision. After my meeting today with Dr. Mir, although he was happy with the general situation of my leg after only seven days since the accident, he advised against taking unnecessary risk. So I will take time to rest and get myself as fit as possible to return to Qatar for the first race in the best shape possible”

Marc Marquez will not ride at the Phillip Island test, scheduled for next week, and will only return to riding at the first race of the season at Qatar. After meeting with Dr Xavier Mir in Barcelona today, Marquez was told it would be better to rest and recuperate as fully as possible before attempting to ride a MotoGP bike again.The decision to wait until the race at Qatar also settles a potential argument over testing at Phillip Island and Qatar. HRC had been contemplating sending Marquez to test with the satellite and Open class riders at Qatar, rather than the factory riders at Phillip Island, where they are testing tires for Bridgestone. Honda asked Race Direction for permission to allow Marquez to test at Qatar, but Yamaha and Ducati lodged an objection.The split between factory and non-factory testing had been agreed at the end of last year, to give Bridgestone a chance to test tires, but Yamaha and Ducati feared that Marquez would gain an unfair advantage if he was allowed to test at Qatar just a week ahead of the season opener. If Marquez was to test at Qatar, Yamaha said, then Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi would test at Qatar as well, abandoning the tire test.

Movistar Confirm Sponsorship Of Yamaha MotoGP Team As Part Of TV Rights Package

Movistar is to sponsor Yamaha's MotoGP effort. At the presentation of Movistar's broadcast plans for the Grand Prix series in Spain last week, Luis Belo, Content Director for the Spanish telecommunications giant's digital TV channel Movistar TV, let slip that the company would also be backing the Yamaha Factory team in MotoGP, Spanish magazine Solomoto is reporting. The announcement confirms rumors of a deal between Movistar and Yamaha which have been doing the rounds since December. Yamaha have yet to officially confirm the deal, but that is only a matter of time.

The deal mirrors the situation in Italy, where new pay-per-view broadcaster Sky is backing the Moto3 team run in conjunction with Valentino Rossi's VR46 merchandising brand, fielding Romano Fenati and Francesco 'Pecco' Bagnaia. To help promote the pay-per-view channels which MotoGP is being broadcast on in Spain and Italy, Movistar and Sky are backing major teams in the championship. This is important for the two channels, as some of the races are also being broadcast on free-to-air channels in both Spain and Italy, in some cases on a tape delay basis. Having visible exposure on the bikes helps reinforce the message to audiences.

The pay-per-view TV contracts in MotoGP's biggest markets have seen losers as well as winners and losers. In Italy, the move from Mediaset to Sky has seen Italian teams struggle to raise sponsorship, especially in Moto2 and Moto3. Similarly, in Spain, a number of major teams have had phone calls from their backers after the pay-per-view deal with Movistar was announced. Long-running sponsorship deals were penned on the basis of all three MotoGP classes being broadcast free-to-air. Once it became apparent that Telecinco was unwilling to pay the 20+ million euros per year for the broadcast rights, and Movistar stepped in to cover the shortfall, using MotoGP as a tool to expand their share of the TV, internet and telephony market, sponsors in Moto2 and Moto3 especially have reduced their funding of the teams.

The return of Movistar means the return of a long-standing sponsor in the Grand Prix paddock. Movistar, and its parent company Telefonica, have long been involved in Grand Prix racing at all levels, including backing a support series and teams in the Spanish championship that went on to produce some of the top riders currently in the sport, as well as retired greats, including Dani Pedrosa, Casey Stoner, Daijiro Katoh, Sete Gibernau, Marco Melandri, Julian Simon, Kenny Roberts Jr, Chaz Davies, Leon Camier and many more. Telefonica withdrew from the paddock in 2006, after losing Dani Pedrosa to Repsol. Telefonica had backed Pedrosa throughout his entire career, and had wanted to continue in MotoGP, but existing contracts with Repsol meant Honda had to choose between the two, electing instead to maintain the long-standing relationship with oil giant Repsol instead.

Movistar is to sponsor Yamaha's MotoGP effort. At the presentation of Movistar's broadcast plans for the Grand Prix series in Spain last week, Luis Belo, Content Director for the Spanish telecommunications giant's digital TV channel Movistar TV, let slip that the company would also be backing the Yamaha Factory team in MotoGP, Spanish magazine Solomoto is reporting. The announcement confirms rumors of a deal between Movistar and Yamaha which have been doing the rounds since December. Yamaha have yet to officially confirm the deal, but that is only a matter of time.The deal mirrors the situation in Italy, where new pay-per-view broadcaster Sky is backing the Moto3 team run in conjunction with Valentino Rossi's VR46 merchandising brand, fielding Romano Fenati and Francesco 'Pecco' Bagnaia. To help promote the pay-per-view channels which MotoGP is being broadcast on in Spain and Italy, Movistar and Sky are backing major teams in the championship. This is important for the two channels, as some of the races are also being broadcast on free-to-air channels in both Spain and Italy, in some cases on a tape delay basis. Having visible exposure on the bikes helps reinforce the message to audiences.

2014 MotoGP Calendar Finalized, Brazil Dropped, Aragon Moved

The FIM has today released the final, official version of the 2014 MotoGP calendar. As expected, the Brazil round has been dropped, after it became clear that construction work at the Autodromo Nelson Piquet in Brasilia would not be completed in time for the September round. To ease the congestion in that part of the season, the date of the Aragon round has now been pushed back a week, and will take place on 28th September, the date originally scheduled for Brazil.

The dropping of the Brazil round had been expected almost from the moment it was placed on the schedule. There were serious doubts that the circuit would be able to make the necessary changes in time for September 2014, and teams were informed of the doubts which Dorna and IRTA had. The inclusion of Brazil was a statement of intent, with both Dorna and the manufacturers keen to return to South America, as both Brazil and Argentina are key markets. Actually racing in Brazil will depend one of the circuits still in the country being able to make the necessary modifications to make it safe enough for Grand Prix motorcycles.

Below is the official, finalized version of the 2014 MotoGP calendar:

Date Grand Prix Circuit
23 March Qatar* Doha/Losail
13 April Americas Austin
27 April Argentina Termas de Rio Hondo
04 May Spain  Jerez de la Frontera
18 May France Le Mans
1 June Italy Mugello
15 June Catalunya Barcelona- Catalunya
28 June Netherlands** TT Assen
13 July Germany Sachsenring
10 August Indianapolis GP Indianapolis
17 August Czech Republic Brno
31 August Great Britain Silverstone
14 September San Marino & Riviera di Rimini Marco Simoncelli Misano
28 September Aragon MotorLand
12 October Japan Motegi
19 October Australia Phillip Island
26 October Malaysia Sepang
09 November Valencia Ricardo Tormo-Valencia
* Evening Race
** Saturday Race
The FIM has today released the final, official version of the 2014 MotoGP calendar. As expected, the Brazil round has been dropped, after it became clear that construction work at the Autodromo Nelson Piquet in Brasilia would not be completed in time for the September round. To ease the congestion in that part of the season, the date of the Aragon round has now been pushed back a week, and will take place on 28th September, the date originally scheduled for Brazil.The dropping of the Brazil round had been expected almost from the moment it was placed on the schedule. There were serious doubts that the circuit would be able to make the necessary changes in time for September 2014, and teams were informed of the doubts which Dorna and IRTA had. The inclusion of Brazil was a statement of intent, with both Dorna and the manufacturers keen to return to South America, as both Brazil and Argentina are key markets. Actually racing in Brazil will depend one of the circuits still in the country being able to make the necessary modifications to make it safe enough for Grand Prix motorcycles.Below is the official, finalized version of the 2014 MotoGP calendar:

IODA Struggling For Sponsorship: No Sepang Test, And Future Uncertain For Camier

The future of the IODA Racing project for 2014 is looking extremely uncertain. The Italian team, scheduled to race Aprilia ART machinery in the Open class in MotoGP this year, were absent from the first Sepang test, and it appears they will also be absent from the second Sepang test as well. According to reports on both the GPOne.com and Bikesportnews.com websites, a lack of sponsorship has left the team in financial difficulties, and thrown their plans for 2014 into disarray.

IODA's problems started at the end of last year, when they lost the sponsorship of CAME, the electronic gate and door manufacturer. Though they have signed both Danilo Petrucci and Leon Camier, without significant financial investment, the team could be in serious trouble making it to the end of the year. GPOne.com is reporting that Dorna has stepped in to help IODA make it to the Qatar preseason test, though only with Petrucci. More funds will be required if Camier is also to take part.

IODA boss Giampiero Sacchi appears to have gambled on receiving more support from Aprilia. After the loss of the Aspar team in MotoGP, the Noale factory had no representation in the premier class, and were left with no alternative except IODA. Talks have been strained between the two parties, however, with contracts supposed to have been signed in recent weeks. There has been nothing but silence from either side, however, with the only information issued being press releases on the team's Moto2 tests at Valencia and Jerez.

Where this leaves the team is unclear. It is extremely unlikely that the team will be allowed to pull out altogether, support from Dorna to run at least Petrucci being much more likely. Whether IODA - or Camier - can find extra sponsorship to help run a second bike for the British rider remains very much to be seen.

The future of the IODA Racing project for 2014 is looking extremely uncertain. The Italian team, scheduled to race Aprilia ART machinery in the Open class in MotoGP this year, were absent from the first Sepang test, and it appears they will also be absent from the second Sepang test as well. According to reports on both the GPOne.com and Bikesportnews.com websites, a lack of sponsorship has left the team in financial difficulties, and thrown their plans for 2014 into disarray.IODA's problems started at the end of last year, when they lost the sponsorship of CAME, the electronic gate and door manufacturer. Though they have signed both Danilo Petrucci and Leon Camier, without significant financial investment, the team could be in serious trouble making it to the end of the year. GPOne.com is reporting that Dorna has stepped in to help IODA make it to the Qatar preseason test, though only with Petrucci. More funds will be required if Camier is also to take part.

World Superbike Homologation Numbers Halved As Sports Bike Sales Fall

The continuing worldwide decline in sports bike sales has forced the Superbike Commission to reduce the minimum number of motorcycles to be produced for homologation, to be allowed to take part in the World Superbike series. As of now, manufacturers wishing to race a particular motorcycle must have sold 250 bikes by the end of their first year of racing in WSBK, and 1000 bikes by the end of the second year, half the requirements previously on the books. But manufacturers will still have to have produced 125 bikes before they can even embark on the homologation procedure.

The sales numbers have been reduced in response to the continuing decline in sales of large and middleweight sports bikes around the world, under pressure from increasing speed restrictions and monitoring on public roads. Even Honda is reportedly having problems selling the required numbers of the CBR1000RR SP, despite the popularity of the bike. The declining sports bike market is rumored to have persuaded Honda to shelve its V4 sports bike, which has already been postponed once. Smaller manufacturers have faced similar problems, with Aprilia struggling to sell the RSV4, despite the bike having won two world championships and consistently been a championship contender. 

The decrease in minimum homologation numbers reverses the previous trend. The last change to homologation numbers was to increase it, to prevent manufacturers from producing so-called homologation specials, high price-tag bikes aimed purely at racing. That move was said to have been aimed at reining in Ducati, in particular, which was producing ever more exotic versions of its superbike contender in very small quantities. As sports bike sales have stagnated, it is no longer commercially viable to produce such small-run specials, making it easier to reduce the minimum sales numbers. 

The minimum quantity of 1000 bikes is still thought to be too large for smaller, specialist builders to achieve. Italian builder Bimota has signed with the Francis Batta of Alstare to campaign the BMW-powered BB3 in World Superbikes, but even selling 1000 bikes in two years could be beyond their reach. Whether the Superbike Commission will find agreement on a solution for 'micro-manufacturers' like Bimota remains to be seen. This reduction was only passed by a majority vote, rather than unanimously. Which of the participants - teams, FIM, Dorna and the manufacturers - voted against the reduction is not known.

Below is the press release from the FIM announcing the new homologation numbers:


FIM Superbike World Championship

New homologation procedure

The FIM is pleased to announce that a new homologation procedure has been approved by a majority within the Superbike Commission.

It is a common intention to bring the homologation requirements in line with the current situation of the motorcycle industry and markets worldwide.

The major impact of the new regulation is related to the total required number of units to be produced:

  • The minimum number of units to start the homologation procedure will be 125.
  • At the end of the first year of participation, manufacturers will have to reach 250 units.
  • At the end of the second year of participation, manufacturers will have to reach 1000 units.

The Superbike Commission will follow closely the production plan of each manufacturer in order to control the minimum number of units produced as above and guarantee the fairness of competition.

The Superbike Commission are still considering further improvements to the new rules and discussions will be held in Phillip Island, Australia, during the first Round of the WSBK Championship (21-23 February).

A full description will be included inside the WSBK technical regulations 2014 that will be updated on the FIM website in the following days.

The continuing worldwide decline in sports bike sales has forced the Superbike Commission to reduce the minimum number of motorcycles to be produced for homologation, to be allowed to take part in the World Superbike series. As of now, manufacturers wishing to race a particular motorcycle must have sold 250 bikes by the end of their first year of racing in WSBK, and 1000 bikes by the end of the second year, half the requirements previously on the books. But manufacturers will still have to have produced 125 bikes before they can even embark on the homologation procedure.The sales numbers have been reduced in response to the continuing decline in sales of large and middleweight sports bikes around the world, under pressure from increasing speed restrictions and monitoring on public roads. Even Honda is reportedly having problems selling the required numbers of the CBR1000RR SP, despite the popularity of the bike. The declining sports bike market is rumored to have persuaded Honda to shelve its V4 sports bike, which has already been postponed once. Smaller manufacturers have faced similar problems, with Aprilia struggling to sell the RSV4, despite the bike having won two world championships and consistently been a championship contender. 

Marc Marquez Breaks Leg In Training Crash, To Miss Sepang 2 MotoGP Test

Catalunya Radio is reporting that Marc Marquez has broken his right leg in a training accident. According to well-informed radio journalist Damià Aguilar, Marquez suffered a crash while riding at his dirt track facility not far from his home in Cervera in Catalonia on Wednesday.

The accident – if confirmed, which seems likely – means that Marquez looks set to miss the second Sepang test at the end of this month. The 2013 world champion is reported to have broken his right fibula in the crash. That injury means he will be unable to train for at least 15 days. However, in most cases, a broken fibula can be fixed quickly and relatively well by inserting a titanium plate. With the start of the season still four weeks away, Marquez should be reasonably fit for Qatar.

Marquez has led something of a dirt track revival recently, building his own training track not far from his home. Dirt track is in favor with riders, as it teaches throttle control and allows them to keep race fit with relatively limited risk. Motocross, the other favored form of training, offers other risks due to the number of jumps and uneven terrain. However, Marquez' facility is said to be large enough for the riders to reach relatively high speeds, and crashing at such speeds can still result in serious injury, as Marquez has reportedly just found out.

We have contacted a Repsol Honda spokesperson, but have yet to receive an answer. We are expecting that a press release will be issued very shortly.

~~~ UPDATE ~~~

The press release has now been issued, and the report confirmed. The fracture is not dislocated, so surgery will not be necessary. Marquez will miss the Sepang test, and maybe the Phillip Island Bridgestone test as well, but should be fit for the start of the season at Qatar on 23rd March.

Catalunya Radio is reporting that Marc Marquez has broken his right leg in a training accident. According to well-informed radio journalist Damià Aguilar, Marquez suffered a crash while riding at his dirt track facility not far from his home in Cervera in Catalonia on Wednesday.The accident – if confirmed, which seems likely – means that Marquez looks set to miss the second Sepang test at the end of this month. The 2013 world champion is reported to have broken his right fibula in the crash. That injury means he will be unable to train for at least 15 days. However, in most cases, a broken fibula can be fixed quickly and relatively well by inserting a titanium plate. With the start of the season still four weeks away, Marquez should be reasonably fit for Qatar.Marquez has led something of a dirt track revival recently, building his own training track not far from his home. Dirt track is in favor with riders, as it teaches throttle control and allows them to keep race fit with relatively limited risk. Motocross, the other favored form of training, offers other risks due to the number of jumps and uneven terrain. However, Marquez' facility is said to be large enough for the riders to reach relatively high speeds, and crashing at such speeds can still result in serious injury, as Marquez has reportedly just found out.

Jerez Circuit Under Investigation For Tax Fraud

Cirjesa, the body which runs the Circuito de Jerez just north of the Spanish city, and GCJ, the company which organizes the events at the circuit, are under investigation by the Spanish tax authorities and the Spanish organized crime unit for tax evasion. According to reports in the regional Diario de Jerez newspaper, the investigations center around unpaid tax over undeclared income from ticket sales to general admission areas during races, including the MotoGP rounds in recent years.

Both the police and tax authorities have spent the last six months investigating the existence of a second, clandestine set of accounts which are alleged to include the missing income. The alleged fraud was made possible because the general admission areas (the so-called 'Pelousse') are accessible without having an assigned seat number, paying spectators sitting on the grass anywhere around the hillsides overlooking the circuit. Suspicions had been raised by the fact that the number of spectators in the general admission areas seemed to be larger than the numbers officially reported. But without numbered seating, it was impossible for anyone outside of the circuit organization to know the actual numbers of paying spectators.

The investigation was started after an employee reported the existence of a second, secret set of accounts for the Grand Prix at Jerez, the Diario de Jerez reports. That report eventually led to a warehouse owned by CGJ being searched at the circuit, where an archive of documents was seized, according to the Diario de Jerez. These documents are currently being reviewed by the tax authorities, who have also requested further information from the circuit, including information on all of the agreements signed between the circuit and GCJ in the period between 1996 and 2011, and between Cirjesa and GCJ between June 2012 and last December.

The investigation comes as a further blow to the troubled circuit, which has struggled with debt since restructuring works at the track were carried out back in 2001. The regional authorities and the city council have continually stepped up to support both the circuit and the MotoGP round, as it brings a large amount of visitors and money to the region. Andalucia, the autonomous community in which Jerez is located, is one of the hardest hit regions economically in Spain, with massive unemployment.

Cirjesa, the body which runs the Circuito de Jerez just north of the Spanish city, and GCJ, the company which organizes the events at the circuit, are under investigation by the Spanish tax authorities and the Spanish organized crime unit for tax evasion. According to reports in the regional Diario de Jerez newspaper, the investigations center around unpaid tax over undeclared income from ticket sales to general admission areas during races, including the MotoGP rounds in recent years.Both the police and tax authorities have spent the last six months investigating the existence of a second, clandestine set of accounts which are alleged to include the missing income. The alleged fraud was made possible because the general admission areas (the so-called 'Pelousse') are accessible without having an assigned seat number, paying spectators sitting on the grass anywhere around the hillsides overlooking the circuit. Suspicions had been raised by the fact that the number of spectators in the general admission areas seemed to be larger than the numbers officially reported. But without numbered seating, it was impossible for anyone outside of the circuit organization to know the actual numbers of paying spectators.

Andrew Gosling's World Superbike Phillip Island Testing Shots, Day 2


The only #1 you'll see this year. Tom Sykes showing he's a true champion


Eugene Laverty rolls out for a new challenge this year on the Suzuki


Fastest EVO man so far: Niccolo Canepa


Under the covers: the Kawasaki ZX-10R gets naked


Johnny Rea does like to be beside the seaside


As does teammate Leon Haslam


The face of experience: Aaron Yates will need all 20 years of his professional career to help get the EBR ready


The EBR 1190RX looks pretty sweet, though


Davide Giugliano has impressed so far on the Panigale


The EVO class has been a boon for the smaller teams. Alessandro Andreozzi is racing an EVO Kawasaki with Pedercini


Sylvain Barrier started well, but a big crash saw him fracture his pelvis


The boss


If you'd like to have desktop-sized versions of the fantastic photos you see on the site, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. If you'd like a print of one of the shots from the test, head on over to Andrew Gosling's website and he'll be happy to help.

The only #1 you'll see this year. Tom Sykes showing he's a true champion Eugene Laverty rolls out for a new challenge this year on the Suzuki Fastest EVO man so far: Niccolo Canepa

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