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Andrew Gosling's World Superbike Phillip Island Testing Shots, Day 1


One Chaz takes over from another. Chaz Davies takes over the bike and race number of retired champion Carlos Checa


New boy on a new bike. Geoff May takes the EBR 1190 for a spin


Ready? Then we'll begin


Loris Baz, on fire at PI


Perhaps the prettiest paint job in WSS, the Pata Honda, this one featuring Lorenzo Zanetti


Innovation in WSBK. But will Erik Buell's rim brakes hold up to the rigours of World Superbike racing?


Pondering the future. Can Kenan Sofuoglu bag his fourth WSS title?


Johnny Rea. Will things get any easier for him this year?


Another new bike. This time, the MV Agusta, before the clutch is tucked away under its cover


Aaron Yates, still plenty of style despite his age


PJ Jacobsen impressed in BSB. Time to shake up World Supersport


First, though, he will have to beat this man


If you'd like to have desktop-sized versions of the fantastic photos on the sites, 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.

One Chaz takes over from another. Chaz Davies takes over the bike and race number of retired champion Carlos Checa New boy on a new bike. Geoff May takes the EBR 1190 for a spin Ready? Then we'll begin

BT Sport Announces Presenting and Commentary Team For MotoGP Coverage In UK

In what was one of the less well kept secrets in the motorcycling world, BT Sport today unveiled its presentation and commentary team for its MotoGP coverage of the 2014 season. As had been widely rumored, main commentators will be Keith Huewen and Julian Ryder, reunited after a spell commentating on the World Superbike series back in the 1990s. Former MotoGP.com commentator Gavin Emmett will be the series' MotoGP reporter, and the threesome will be joined by Motorcycle News GP correspondent Matt Birt for the Moto2 and Moto3 sessions.

TV presenter Melanie Sykes will front the coverage, together with former World Superbike champions and MotoGP riders Neil Hodgson and James Toseland. The presentation team will be present at all of the races around the world, with coverage coming from each circuit.

BT Sport will also be hosting an hour-long show each Tuesday evening, called MotoGP Tonight. That show will be presented from BT Sport's London studios, and hosted by Craig Doyle and Iwan Thomas. The show will be a mixture of review, talk show and feature guests from the world of motorcycling. BT Sport's coverage will kick off on 18th March with a special preview show, covering preseason testing and looking ahead to 2014.

The BT Sport coverage is part of Dorna's long-term gamble on pay-per-view channels covering MotoGP. The Spanish rights holders switched away from its previous strategy of pursuing free-to-air coverage as much as possible, in order to broaden the base of the sport. However, the global trend has been for the money involved in broadcast rights from free-to-air channels to drop, as pay-per-view channels have increased their spending on sports. Dorna has also followed this route, with MotoGP moving to pay-per-view channels in Spain, Italy and the UK. They have had little choice, as Movistar, Sky and BT Sport are the only channels capable of matching or increasing the amounts paid for broadcast rights.

Like the Movistar deal in Spain, BT Sports is only available to viewers in the UK who have signed up with BT as a broadband provider, or who have purchased a separate package with Sky. The goal of the sports coverage is to help sell broadband services, and tempt customers away from rival telecoms and TV suppliers. The downside to all of the pay-per-view deals is that audiences tend to drop drastically. It is harder to attract casual viewers when the audience is limited to paying customers. However, given the extremely broad range of sports being offered by BT Sports, the chance to capture casual sports fans - as opposed to casual TV viewers - is still very much present. How successful this will be in the long term remains to be seen.

Editor's note: David Emmett also has a column on the BT Sport MotoGP website. That fact does not influence our editorial independence.

 

In what was one of the less well kept secrets in the motorcycling world, BT Sport today unveiled its presentation and commentary team for its MotoGP coverage of the 2014 season. As had been widely rumored, main commentators will be Keith Huewen and Julian Ryder, reunited after a spell commentating on the World Superbike series back in the 1990s. Former MotoGP.com commentator Gavin Emmett will be the series' MotoGP reporter, and the threesome will be joined by Motorcycle News GP correspondent Matt Birt for the Moto2 and Moto3 sessions.TV presenter Melanie Sykes will front the coverage, together with former World Superbike champions and MotoGP riders Neil Hodgson and James Toseland. The presentation team will be present at all of the races around the world, with coverage coming from each circuit.BT Sport will also be hosting an hour-long show each Tuesday evening, called MotoGP Tonight. That show will be presented from BT Sport's London studios, and hosted by Craig Doyle and Iwan Thomas. The show will be a mixture of review, talk show and feature guests from the world of motorcycling. BT Sport's coverage will kick off on 18th March with a special preview show, covering preseason testing and looking ahead to 2014.

World Superbike Online Video Pass To Cost €69.90 For A Full Season

Dorna has revealed the pricing for its online video pass for the World Superbike championship. The price for a full season of coverage via the WorldSBK.com website is to cost €69.90, or around US $95. Included in the price is live access to all World Superbike races, as well as the ability to play them on demand after the race is over. There will also be access to a highlights package of each race, and rider interviews and exclusive features. There is also an archive of race and season reviews going back to 1993.

The online package is very similar to the one offered by Dorna for the MotoGP.com website, with suitably revised pricing. Since Dorna was handed the running of the World Superbike series by Bridgepoint, it was only a matter of time before WSBK would also be available via some form of online video streaming. Leveraging both the experience which they had gained in TV rights negotiations and in running the MotoGP.com video streaming platform, Dorna could put the World Superbike races online with relatively limited effort.

The new subscription package should be a boon to fans around the world who cannot see the World Superbike series. WSBK has struggled to find TV broadcasters in some large markets, and having an online video package will make fans of the sport less reliant on the packages offered by their cable suppliers. It should also add a useful (if limited) income stream for the struggling series. 

Fans are warned that access to the coverage differs by country, as it remains limited by existing contracts with national broadcasters. Fans in some countries (Europe and the US, it would appear) have full access to live races, while fans in Australia appear to have a more limited range of options, though at a much reduced price. Read the fine print when signing up, and please read the comments below for experiences in different countries.

Dorna has revealed the pricing for its online video pass for the World Superbike championship. The price for a full season of coverage via the WorldSBK.com website is to cost €69.90, or around US $95. Included in the price is live access to all World Superbike races, as well as the ability to play them on demand after the race is over. There will also be access to a highlights package of each race, and rider interviews and exclusive features. There is also an archive of race and season reviews going back to 1993.The online package is very similar to the one offered by Dorna for the MotoGP.com website, with suitably revised pricing. Since Dorna was handed the running of the World Superbike series by Bridgepoint, it was only a matter of time before WSBK would also be available via some form of online video streaming. Leveraging both the experience which they had gained in TV rights negotiations and in running the MotoGP.com video streaming platform, Dorna could put the World Superbike races online with relatively limited effort.

Amateur Spy: David Emmett's Out-of-Focus Shots From The Sepang Test, Part 2


The fastest bike in the world around Sepang


This bike racked up the miles in Sepang, as Ducati test rider Michele Pirro had a lot of work to do


Big Data: racing's newest god


Ducati Desmosedici GP13: straight, three-piece radiator


Ducati Desmosedici GP14: curved, one-piece radiator


HRC test rider Kousuke Akiyoshi takes Dani Pedrosa's bike out for a spin


Nicky's ride, naked


This is what 23 liters of fuel looks like on a Honda production racer


The business end of Pol Espargaro's Monster Tech 3 Yamaha M1


The business end of his brother's Yamaha FTR. Swingarm is the same, fittings aren't


New tank, new seat, new handlebar position on the GP14


New exhaust layout, new chassis, and a cleaner, tidier look on the Ducati


Akrapovic exhausts and a less fussy frame


The tank mates nicely with the frame as well


The carbon fiber seat unit has a hole in it for the fuel


That's been a while. Colin Edwards' racing number on a Yamaha


All your base are belong to us. The Repsol Honda dashboard


RCV1000R uncovered. Relatively short front frame mounts, sturdily braced


04, ready for '14


If you'd like to have desktop-sized versions of the photos 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 you see on the site, then send Scott an email and he'll be happy to help.

The fastest bike in the world around Sepang This bike racked up the miles in Sepang, as Ducati test rider Michele Pirro had a lot of work to do Big Data: racing's newest god

Amateur Spy: David Emmett's Out-of-Focus Shots From The Sepang Test, Part 1


Big changes at Ducati. Andrea Dovizioso shows off the new tank cover housing a revised electronics position.


Here's another part: the rear seat unit is wider, and features larger air scoops


New frame, new tank, new seat, new fairing, new handlebar grip position... the list goes on


Carbon fiber fairings: favorite of fans, bane of photographers


The test Honda. The 60,000 euro torque strain sensor is the key to the RCV213V's electronics magic


Black is the new ... black


Not as fast as it looks


Honda's massive air scoop. If you've never seen a photo of a whale shark feeding, this is what it looks like


Fast, by Aleix. Espargaro's Yamaha FTR


On Thursday, the NGM Forward team tested an intake based on the Yamaha shape, rather than the FTR one


99 problems, but the front wheel ain't one


Yamaha's test machine


The Avintia Open bike. A cross between a ZX10-R and a Hayate


A blunter nose, a bigger air scoop. The 2014 Desmosedici, current version


A curved radiator is another change made this year


A touch of color at the test


Yamaha's Cylon tail light


A Honda RCV1000R, unclothed. About to open the gearbox, impossible with the factory bike


If you'd like to have desktop-sized versions of the photos 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 you see on the site, then send Scott an email and he'll be happy to help.

Big changes at Ducati. Andrea Dovizioso shows off the new tank cover housing a revised electronics position. Here's another part: the rear seat unit is wider, and features larger air scoops New frame, new tank, new seat, new fairing, new handlebar grip position... the list goes on

MotoGP To Go Partially Pay-Per-View In Spain - Agreement Signed With Telefonica

MotoGP series organizer Dorna appears to be pursuing a new strategy in its agreements with TV broadcasters. Where previously, Dorna had been fixed on securing deals with free-to-air broadcasters, recent deals have seen them agree terms with pay-per-view channels, in pursuit of higher revenues.

Spain is the latest market to see this development. The existing deal with Telecinco has been blown open, with Spanish telecommunications giant Telefonica taking over some of the broadcasting from Telecinco. Telecinco will show 9 races live, and a further 10 on a delayed schedule. Meanwhile, Telefonica's special digital channel Movistar TV will show all races live, complete with six extra camera angles which users can select, along similar lines to MotoGP.com's online video streaming package.

The new deal has been reached as a result of Telecinco's desire to reduce the amount it was spending on MotoGP, according to Spain's leading daily newspaper El Pais. The joint deal means that the contract sum of just over 20 million euros will be shared between Telecinco and Telefonica in the final year of Telecinco's TV contract. Telefonica is expanding its broadcasting, with a focus on motorsports, having picked up rights to both the Formula One and MotoGP. 

It is reminiscent of the deal struck in the UK with BT Sport. Both BT Sport and Movistar TV are broadcasting arms of large telecommunications companies, expanding their traditional services into the area of television. The telecoms giants can afford to pay much larger sums for TV rights for sports, as the sports are used to sell their broadband services and expand their customer base. Though the switch to pay-per-view platforms means losing a wider audience for MotoGP, the increased money on offer means that Dorna can invest more heavily in the championship, paying teams and riders more and improving TV coverage.

With MotoGP now on pay-per-view channels in Spain, Italy, and the UK, three major TV markets, this strategy is likely to be expanded. All forms of sport are increasingly disappearing behind decoders, with broadcasters regarding sport as a premium entertainment product, which audiences are willing to pay for.

Below is the press release from Dorna on the deal:


Mediaset España, Telefonica and Dorna Sports make initial agreement on 2014 MotoGP™ season broadcast

  • Telecinco will show every World Championship race this year: 9 live Grands Prix and 10 delayed broadcasts
  • Movistar TV will broadcast the entire MotoGP™ World Championship live in an innovative, unique and never-previously-seen format in Spain. Up to six additional camera angles will be available during Grands Prix
  • This joint sports broadcast rights agreement combines the strategies of delivering mass interest events to audiences on a free-to-air platform with the broadcast of specific exclusive events on subscription based channels, as is commonplace throughout Europe

Mediaset España, Dorna Sports, the commercial rights holders of the MotoGP™ World Championship and Telefonica, on their subscription based audiovisual platform Movistar TV, have made an initial agreement on shared broadcast rights for MotoGP™ in Spain in 2014.

Both media companies will offer full MotoGP™ Grand Prix coverage: Telecinco will show races live from nine Grands Prix and will show 10 events via delayed broadcast. Meanwhile Movistar TV viewers can view every Grand Prix live, including practice and qualifying sessions, via a new dedicated channel which will bring viewers all the latest on and off track news and action. The new Movistar TV channel will include multiscreen broadcast, historic Grand Prix action, documentaries, films and additional World Championship programming.

MotoGP series organizer Dorna appears to be pursuing a new strategy in its agreements with TV broadcasters. Where previously, Dorna had been fixed on securing deals with free-to-air broadcasters, recent deals have seen them agree terms with pay-per-view channels, in pursuit of higher revenues.Spain is the latest market to see this development. The existing deal with Telecinco has been blown open, with Spanish telecommunications giant Telefonica taking over some of the broadcasting from Telecinco. Telecinco will show 9 races live, and a further 10 on a delayed schedule. Meanwhile, Telefonica's special digital channel Movistar TV will show all races live, complete with six extra camera angles which users can select, along similar lines to MotoGP.com's online video streaming package.

Kevin Cameron Explains The Politics Behind MotoGP On Cycle World

The debate on the future of MotoGP continues in full force. On the one side of the argument, those who believe that the factories' freedom to develop electronics should not be constrained, and on the other side, those who say that technology has to be reined in to control costs, and increase the spectacle. On one side of the argument stand the manufacturers, led by Honda; on the other side stand the teams, with Dorna at the helm.

Or at least, that's the way it seems from the outside. The reality behind the politics of MotoGP is far more labyrinthine than it appears. The impending decision of Ducati to switch to being an Open class entry (officially, to be taken only after tests at Sepang, but well-informed sources suggest the decision has been all but taken) has cracked the lid on some of the politics, offering a glimpse of the power structures which underly the rule-making process. With Ducati poised to break ranks with the other manufacturers, the MotoGP series could be set to take an entirely different direction.

Yesterday, leading US magazine Cycle World published one of the best analyses of the situation I have read for years. Veteran technical journalist and eminence grise in the world of motorcycle racing Kevin Cameron lays out with incisive clarity how the current status quo came about, and how Ducati's decision to go Open could upset the delicate balance of power. For anyone interested in why MotoGP is the way it is today, it should be compulsory reading.

The article also links nicely with another piece on the German-language website Speedweek. There, Gunther Wiesinger takes a wider view of the subject, and talks to Tech 3 boss Herve Poncharal about Yamaha's view of the Open class. If Yamaha were also to abandon their opposition to limits on electronics, then that would leave Honda standing alone, with a decision to make on their future participation.

With the first MotoGP test of the year due to start next week at Sepang, the new Open class will be a prime topic of conversation. In the run up to the test, we wil be publishing a number of articles explaining the rule changes, and what impact they will have. I will then be flying to Sepang to cover the test in person. 

The debate on the future of MotoGP continues in full force. On the one side of the argument, those who believe that the factories' freedom to develop electronics should not be constrained, and on the other side, those who say that technology has to be reined in to control costs, and increase the spectacle. On one side of the argument stand the manufacturers, led by Honda; on the other side stand the teams, with Dorna at the helm.Or at least, that's the way it seems from the outside. The reality behind the politics of MotoGP is far more labyrinthine than it appears. The impending decision of Ducati to switch to being an Open class entry (officially, to be taken only after tests at Sepang, but well-informed sources suggest the decision has been all but taken) has cracked the lid on some of the politics, offering a glimpse of the power structures which underly the rule-making process. With Ducati poised to break ranks with the other manufacturers, the MotoGP series could be set to take an entirely different direction.Yesterday, leading US magazine Cycle World published one of the best analyses of the situation I have read for years. Veteran technical journalist and eminence grise in the world of motorcycle racing Kevin Cameron lays out with incisive clarity how the current status quo came about, and how Ducati's decision to go Open could upset the delicate balance of power. For anyone interested in why MotoGP is the way it is today, it should be compulsory reading.

FIM Announces 27 Riders In World Superbikes And 23 In World Supersport For 2014

The addition of the EVO category to the World Superbike class has had the hoped-for effect on the grid. From a modest entry list of 19 riders last year, the grid is up to a healthy 27 entries for 2014. The number of manufacturers has increased as well, up to 9, with MV Agusta, EBR (Erik Buell's latest venture) and Bimota all taking part, racing this year under the EVO banner. Bimota's entry is still provisional, subject to homologation of the BMW-based BB3 being approved.

The gamble of introducing a cheaper, lower-spec form of racing appears to have paid off, with 12 riders entered in the EVO category. Like the CRT class in MotoGP, the EVO category makes competing cheaper, with tuning restrictions closer to Superstock levels on engines, while chassis regulations remain the same as for the full SBK class entries.

The expansion in the World Superbike class has been partially at the expense of World Supersport, with teams such as Team Toth and Yakhnich using the opportunity to move up to WSBK. The World Supersport field is down to 23 entries, after years of fields of 30+ riders. The list of manufacturers in WSS is shorter, with just Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha and MV Agusta represented. The World Superbike and World Supersport entry lists are shown below.

The 2014 World Superbike rider line up. The latest, updated list can be found here.

Rider Nat. Motorcycle Class Team Name
33 Marco Melandri ITA Aprilia RSV4 1000 Factory SBK Aprilia Racing Team
50 Sylvain Guintoli FRA Aprilia RSV4 1000 Factory SBK Aprilia Racing Team
52 Sylvain Barrier FRA BMW S1000 RR SBK EVO BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team
1 Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki ZX-10R SBK Kawasaki Racing Team
44 David Salom ESP Kawasaki ZX-10R SBK EVO Kawasaki Racing Team
76 Loris Baz FRA Kawasaki ZX-10R SBK Kawasaki Racing Team
22 Alex Lowes GBR Suzuki GSX-R1000 SBK Voltcom Crescent Suzuki
58 Eugene Laverty IRL Suzuki GSX-R1000 SBK Voltcom Crescent Suzuki
65 Jonathan Rea GBR Honda CBR1000RR SBK PATA Honda World Superbike Team
91 Leon Haslam GBR Honda CBR1000RR SBK PATA Honda World Superbike Team
2 Christian Iddon GBR Bimota BB3 * SBK EVO Team ALSTARE
86 Ayrton Badovini ITA Bimota BB3 * SBK EVO Team ALSTARE
24 Toni Elias ESP Aprilia RSV4 1000 Factory SBK Red Devils Roma
59 Niccolò Canepa ITA Ducati Panigale 1199 R SBK EVO Althea Racing
21 Alessandro Andreozzi ITA Kawasaki ZX-10R SBK EVO Team Pedercini
23 Luca Scassa ITA Kawasaki ZX-10R SBK EVO Team Pedercini
32 Sheridan Morais RSA Kawasaki ZX-10R SBK EVO IRON BRAIN Kawasaki SBK Team
84 Michel Fabrizio ITA Kawasaki ZX-10R SBK EVO IRON BRAIN Kawasaki SBK Team
10 Imre Toth HUN BMW S1000 RR SBK BMW Team Toth
56 Peter Sebestyen HUN BMW S1000 RR SBK EVO BMW Team Toth
7 Chaz Davies GBR Ducati Panigale 1199R SBK Ducati Superbike Team
34 Davide Giugliano ITA Ducati Panigale 1199R SBK Ducati Superbike Team
9 Fabien Foret FRA Kawasaki ZX-10R SBK EVO MAHI Racing Team India
11 Jeremy Guarnoni FRA Kawasaki ZX-10R SBK EVO MRS Kawasaki
71 Claudio Corti ITA MV Agusta F4 RR SBK MV Agusta RC-Yakhnich Motorsport
20 Aaron Yates USA EBR 1190 RX SBK Team Hero EBR
99 Geoff May USA EBR 1190 RX SBK Team Hero EBR

* STH: Subject to homologation

The 2014 World Supersport rider line up. The latest, updated list can be found here.

Rider Nat. Motorcycle Team Name
54 Kenan Sofuoglu TUR Kawasaki ZX-6R MAHI Racing Team India
16 Jules Cluzel FRA MV Agusta F3 675 MV Agusta RC-Yakhnich Motorsport
65 Vladimir Leonov RUS MV Agusta F3 675 MV Agusta RC-Yakhnich Motorsport
26 Lorenzo Zanetti ITA Honda CBR600RR PATA Honda World Supersport Team
60 Michael van der Mark NED Honda CBR600RR PATA Honda World Supersport Team
21 Florian Marino FRA Kawasaki ZX-6R Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres
99 Patrick Jacobsen USA Kawasaki ZX-6R Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres
88 Kev Coghlan GBR Yamaha YZF R6 DMC Panavto-Yamaha
161 Alexey Ivanov RUS Yamaha YZF R6 DMC Panavto-Yamaha
11 Christian Gamarino ITA Kawasaki ZX-6R Team GO Eleven
44 Roberto Rolfo ITA Kawasaki ZX-6R Team GO Eleven
24 Marco Bussolotti ITA Honda CBR600RR Team Lorini
84 Riccardo Russo ITA Honda CBR600RR Team Lorini
4 Jack Kennedy IRL Honda CBR600RR CIA Insurance Honda
7 Nacho Calero ESP Honda CBR600RR CIA Insurance Honda
5 Roberto Tamburini ITA Kawasaki ZX-6R San Carlo Puccetti Racing
61 Fabio Menghi * tbc ITA Yamaha YZF R6 VFT Racing
14 Ratthapark Wilairot THA Honda CBR600RR Core PTR Honda
  TBA **   Honda CBR600RR Core PTR Honda
89 Fraser Rogers GBR Honda CBR600RR Com Plus South Tyneside College SMS
9 Tony Coveña NED Kawasaki ZX-6R Kawasaki Ponyexpres Intermoto
  TBA **   Honda CBR600RR Lorini Racing Team
19 Kevin Wahr GER Yamaha YZF R6 Team Wahr by Kraus Racing

*tbc: To be confirmed
**TBA: To be announced

The addition of the EVO category to the World Superbike class has had the hoped-for effect on the grid. From a modest entry list of 19 riders last year, the grid is up to a healthy 27 entries for 2014. The number of manufacturers has increased as well, up to 9, with MV Agusta, EBR (Erik Buell's latest venture) and Bimota all taking part, racing this year under the EVO banner. Bimota's entry is still provisional, subject to homologation of the BMW-based BB3 being approved.The gamble of introducing a cheaper, lower-spec form of racing appears to have paid off, with 12 riders entered in the EVO category. Like the CRT class in MotoGP, the EVO category makes competing cheaper, with tuning restrictions closer to Superstock levels on engines, while chassis regulations remain the same as for the full SBK class entries.The expansion in the World Superbike class has been partially at the expense of World Supersport, with teams such as Team Toth and Yakhnich using the opportunity to move up to WSBK. The World Supersport field is down to 23 entries, after years of fields of 30+ riders. The list of manufacturers in WSS is shorter, with just Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha and MV Agusta represented. The World Superbike and World Supersport entry lists are shown below.

World Superbike TV Coverage Expanding: Online Video Pass And BEINSport TV Coverage In US

World Superbikes will be easier to watch for fans around the world this year. The World Superbike series has announced that it is to make an online video pass available to fans this season, making it possible to watch WSBK races live on the WorldSBK.com website, or rewatch them at leisure. The update comes as part of revamping of the series website, bringing it closer inline to the MotoGP.com website, now that the series is firmly in Dorna's hands.

The influence of Dorna is clear in the WorldSBK.com redesign. The layout has been adapted to echo the structure of the MotoGP.com website, and the video player is now identical to the one used on the MotoGP.com website. Using a single player, and Dorna's existing video infrastructue is what has made it possible for the World Superbike series to offer the online video streaming of races and archive of past videos. Though the announcement on the WorldSBK.com website is light on details, it promises live coverage of every weekend, including streaming of races, interviews with riders and 'exclusive video content'. It will likely feature a similar service to that of MotoGP.com video subscribers, which includes an extremely comprehensive archive.

Two questions remain unanswered: what will the video pass cost, and where will it be available? The answer to the first question is completely unknown at the moment, though WorldSBK.com will have to make an announcement fairly shortly. It seems unlikely that it will be set at the same level as the MotoGP.com video pass (€99.95 for the standard pass), given that the level of interest in WSBK is not the same as MotoGP. However, Dorna's past record on streaming video suggests that it will not be cheap.

Availability is also uncertain. The WorldSBK.com website only mentions that the service will not be available in all countries. Previously, World Superbikes representatives have explained that online streaming video was made complicated due to existing contracts with TV broadcasters, many of whom have also secured the rights to stream the video live on their websites. With Dorna's streaming infrastructure in place, streaming video is being handled differently as contracts come up for renewal. Such existing contracts mean that streaming video is unlikely to be available inside Europe, as Eurosport has its own online streaming package showing World Superbikes via the Eurosport Player. However, enquiries by the estimable Asphalt & Rubber website indicate that the pass will be available for fans in the US and Canada. More details will surely be announced soon, via the World Superbikes website.

US World Superbike fans will also be able to watch the series on TV. At least, they will if they have access to the oddly-capitalized beIN SPORTS channel in their cable package. Just as it did last year, the channel will be showing every World Superbike race live, both on TV and via their beIN SPORTS PLAY mobile app. Whether the races will be streamed on the beIN SPORTS website is as yet unclear.

World Superbikes will be easier to watch for fans around the world this year. The World Superbike series has announced that it is to make an online video pass available to fans this season, making it possible to watch WSBK races live on the WorldSBK.com website, or rewatch them at leisure. The update comes as part of revamping of the series website, bringing it closer inline to the MotoGP.com website, now that the series is firmly in Dorna's hands.The influence of Dorna is clear in the WorldSBK.com redesign. The layout has been adapted to echo the structure of the MotoGP.com website, and the video player is now identical to the one used on the MotoGP.com website. Using a single player, and Dorna's existing video infrastructue is what has made it possible for the World Superbike series to offer the online video streaming of races and archive of past videos. Though the announcement on the WorldSBK.com website is light on details, it promises live coverage of every weekend, including streaming of races, interviews with riders and 'exclusive video content'. It will likely feature a similar service to that of MotoGP.com video subscribers, which includes an extremely comprehensive archive.

Movistar To Sponsor Yamaha MotoGP Team In 2014?

It looks like Movistar is on the verge of a return to MotoGP. Italian site GPOne.com is reporting that the Spanish telecoms giant is close to signing a deal with Yamaha to sponsor the Japanese factory's MotoGP team of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi. According to the report, the sponsorship deal is set to be announced at the first Sepang test, at a press conference to be held there.

Just how accurate this report is remains to be seen, but there are many indications that the deal could happen. Movistar was a major supporter of motorcycle racing in the past, having backed teams at many levels of racing. Movistar sponsored the junior cup competition in Spain run by Alberto Puig, which unearthed the talents of Casey Stoner, Chaz Davies, Leon Camier, Joan Lascorz and many more. Through Puig, they also backed Dani Pedrosa through his years in the 125 and 250 classes. Movistar was also active in the MotoGP class, backing the Suzuki team of Kenny Roberts Jr, and the Gresini Honda squad of Sete Gibernau at the start of the century.

Movistar (and Telefonica, the telecoms giant which owns the Movistar brand) eventually pulled out of racing over a disagreement with Honda and Repsol. When Honda signed Dani Pedrosa, Telefonica had wanted to continue their backing of the Spaniard, having funded his way through the junior classes. Petroleum giant Repsol insisted that if Pedrosa was to be in the factory team, he should be racing in Repsol colors, not in Telefonica colors. Seeing their investment in Pedrosa going to waste, Telefonica pulled out of Grand Prix motorcycle racing altogether.

They have been biding their time for a return, however. Rumors emerged two years ago that Telefonica had been in talks with Yamaha, but had decided against backing the factory after market research indicated limited return on investment. With MotoGP going to South America - a key market for the Spanish telecoms giant - the sponsorship equation may now make more financial sense. At the presentation of the MotoGP in Jakarta earlier this month, Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis told Indonesian blog TMCBlog that more sponsors would be announced before the season started. We shall see at Sepang whether Movistar is among them.

It looks like Movistar is on the verge of a return to MotoGP. Italian site GPOne.com is reporting that the Spanish telecoms giant is close to signing a deal with Yamaha to sponsor the Japanese factory's MotoGP team of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi. According to the report, the sponsorship deal is set to be announced at the first Sepang test, at a press conference to be held there.Just how accurate this report is remains to be seen, but there are many indications that the deal could happen. Movistar was a major supporter of motorcycle racing in the past, having backed teams at many levels of racing. Movistar sponsored the junior cup competition in Spain run by Alberto Puig, which unearthed the talents of Casey Stoner, Chaz Davies, Leon Camier, Joan Lascorz and many more. Through Puig, they also backed Dani Pedrosa through his years in the 125 and 250 classes. Movistar was also active in the MotoGP class, backing the Suzuki team of Kenny Roberts Jr, and the Gresini Honda squad of Sete Gibernau at the start of the century.

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