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MotoGP Rule Update: Fuel Limit Raised To 22 Liters For 2016, SCAT3 Concussion Test Introduced, & More

The meeting of the Grand Prix Commission, held on Tuesday in Madrid, made a number of minor changes to the rules for all three Grand Prix classes, as well as a couple of more significant revisions. The biggest changes concerned the setting of the maximum fuel allocation from 2016 at 22 liters, and the adoption of the SCAT3 test for concussion for riders after a crash. But perhaps the most significant outcome of the meeting of the GPC is not what was decided, but what was not.

Of the various minor rule changes, a few are worthy of comment. The first is the reduction of the time penalty at the start for a rider exceeding the engine allocation in any given year. From 2015, anyone using an extra engine will start the race from pit lane 5 seconds after the green light is displayed after the official start (once all riders on the grid have passed pit lane exit), rather than 10 seconds. This will have little direct impact on the outcome of any races, but should make it easier for riders using an extra engine to get close to the backmarkers, and perhaps score a point or two.

In the Moto2 class, tire pressure sensors will now be compulsory, to ensure that tire pressures are kept within the range set by the single tire supplier. This is to enforce a rule brought in at the end of last year, when various Moto2 teams were found to be running dangerously low rear tire pressures in an attempt to improve rear edge grip and feel from the tire. Making tire pressure sensors compulsory suggests that some teams had been flouting the mandatory tire pressure ranges, banking on not being caught.

In MotoGP, a maximum price has been set for a brake package, with €70,000 now the maximum brake suppliers can charge for a full season of dry weather racing (or €60,000 without brake calipers). Unfortunately, the decision appears to leave some worrying loopholes open, with prices being set for dry weather packages only, and offering the possibility of ordering a package without calipers. The last set of rules published in November mention that components will be subject to homologation and price controls. It is not clear whether this is still the case or not, and only once the full 2015 rule set is published will we find out.

The two most significant changes were the adoption of the SCAT3 concussion test and setting the fuel limit from 2016 at 22 liters. The adoption of a formal test for concussion is an important step forward for both rider safety, and for consistency of medical rulings. There is a common complaint among riders that the decisions on whether a rider is fit to race can vary greatly between medical officers at race tracks, with some proving exceptionally lenient, while others are far stricter. The issue of concussion is a particularly difficult one in motorcycle racing. If decision making is impaired due to a concussion which has gone undiagnosed, it could have very serious, and possibly even fatal consequences for both the rider concerned and others on the track in their vicinity. The SCAT3 test is a start, though it is far from perfect. Some types of injury are particularly prevalent in motorcycle racing, and can create extra problems in assessing concussion via SCAT tests. The regulations make no mention of baseline testing - a test performed prior to the season to establish the typical responses to SCAT assessment questions from each individual rider - which could be of assistance in ascertaining the extent of concussion. However, baseline testing may not be needed, as the aim of using SCAT3 is to rule a rider unfit, not to test whether they are fit to race again after having been forced to sit out events.

Setting the fuel limit at 22 liters for 2016, when MotoGP becomes a single class again and spec electronics are adopted for all MotoGP machines, is just about expected. The current Open bikes, as well as Ducati, all run between 21 and 23 liters, depending on the track concerned. Honda had been pushing for a lower limit, but the other factories were keen to keep more fuel. With spec electronics, 22 liters is a realistic amount to use.

More significant than agreement on the fuel limit is the lack of agreement elsewhere. Agreement on the number of engines per season, and the minimum weights for MotoGP bikes have both been pushed back to February. It was widely feared in Dorna and IRTA that such a move could happen, as the longer such decisions are delayed, the less time there is to make the changes needed to prepare for next season. That, in turn, could be used by some factories to make a case for making no changes to the rules, leaving the maximum engines at five per season. Though that may save costs for existing factories, it would make it virtually impossible for new factories to join MotoGP, and to be competitive.

A significant omission from the proposed rules is the lack of a rev limit. This now looks unlikely to happen until the next full overhaul of the regulations in 2021. A rev limit would be a significant tool in reducing top speeds, but the factories - especially Honda and Ducati - were vehemently opposed.

The new regulations also provide evidence that Dorna feel they are fighting a rearguard action against the factories. The banning of "additional devices" between the ECU and actuators is one loophole which has been actively pursued with spec electronics packages in Moto2 and Moto3, and could have caused major problems in MotoGP. The best-known example was the special quickshifter strategy adopted by several Moto2 teams in 2012, most notably by Marc Marquez. That required adding an extra component in the quickshifter circuit, to improve acceleration and shorten the duration of the ignition cut. Adding extra components between ECU and actuators such as throttle butterflies, injectors or ignition could offer better control than the spec electronics allow, and undermine the push to standard electronics.

It is, however, typical of the arms race which continues between rule makers and teams. Factories and teams are always on the lookout for an advantage, and seeking the gaps left by the rulebook. As the rulebook expands, so the opportunity to exploit such loopholes expands with it. Like tax law, the thicker the rulebook, the more opportunities there are to work around it, to which the usual response is to add yet more rules.

Below is the full text of the press release on new regulations:


FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix
Decision of the Grand Prix Commission

The Grand Prix Commission, composed of Messrs. Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna, Chairman), Ignacio Verneda (FIM CEO), Herve Poncharal (IRTA) and Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA) in the presence of Javier Alonso (Dorna) and Mike Trimby (IRTA, Secretary of the meeting), in a meeting held on 16 December in Madrid (ESP), made the following decisions:

Sporting Regulations

Effective 2015

Changes to the Sporting Regulations mainly involved incorporating into the Grand Prix regulations protocols and procedures that had already been defined and implemented during the 2014 season. These matters included:

The procedure to be adopted when there is a change in climatic conditions after the riders have reached the grid after their sighting lap.

Changes to the defined position of the pit lane exit and the introduction of a line painted on the track which must not be crossed by riders exiting pit lane.

Procedures and bike positioning for change of bikes in MotoGP class flag to flag races.

New regulations approved were:

  • Consequent on the pit lane exit changes, when serving a penalty for excess engine use, riders starting the race from pit lane will start five seconds after the display of the green light at pit lane exit, rather than the current ten seconds.
  • Small changes to the regulations concerning warning flags were made to bring these into line with regulations in other FIM Championships.

Technical Regulations

Effective 2015

Moto2 Class

The use of tyre pressure sensors, measuring the pressure of a slick rear tyre, is compulsory. This will enable the Technical Director to enforce existing regulations that require riders to use the pressures approved by the official supplier.

MotoGP Class

The maximum prices that may be charged for the supply of brake packages normally sufficient for a complete front wheel, dry weather season, were confirmed. The full package, including discs, pads, calipers and master cylinders, may cost no more than €70,000. Teams may choose to have a package that does not include calipers and the maximum price for this is €60,000.

It was already announced that Factory teams in the MotoGP class must move to using unified software with effect from 01 July 2015. It has now been confirmed that different teams, using machines from the same Factory, may use different versions of the unified software.

All Classes

It is already a regulation that the lower portion of bodywork must have the capacity to catch oil or coolants in the event of an engine failure. It has now been agreed that the minimum capacity of these reservoirs must be 5 litres for Moto2 and MotoGP class machines and 3.5 litres for Moto3 class machines. The procedure for measuring capacity was also confirmed.

In the Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP Open classes it is not permitted to use additional devices to modify the signal sent from the Championship supplied ECU to the actuators.

Effective 2016

Discussions continue in the Grand Prix Commission about the Technical Regulations for the MotoGP class from 2016. It is anticipated that matters like the number of engines to be available for the season and the minimum weights of machines will be finalised and announced early in February 2015. In the meantime the maximum fuel capacity for 2016 has been confirmed as 22 litres.

Disciplinary Regulations

Effective 2015

It was decided that it is no longer necessary to hold a hearing between Race Direction and the rider before imposing a minor penalty. Minor penalties are defined as the imposition of up to three penalty points, a fine of up to €1,000 or a grid penalty of up to three places. Naturally, riders retain the right to appeal against any such penalty in which case a hearing would be convened.

Medical Code

Effective 2015

It was agreed to incorporate into the regulations the new version of SCAT3. This is the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool which is already used by a large number of sporting bodies to evaluate injured athletes for concussion.

A regularly updated version of the FIM Grand Prix Regulations which contains the detailed text of the regulation changes may be viewed shortly on:

http://www.fim-live.com/en/sport/regulations-and-documents/grands-prix/

The meeting of the Grand Prix Commission, held on Tuesday in Madrid, made a number of minor changes to the rules for all three Grand Prix classes, as well as a couple of more significant revisions. The biggest changes concerned the setting of the maximum fuel allocation from 2016 at 22 liters, and the adoption of the SCAT3 test for concussion for riders after a crash. But perhaps the most significant outcome of the meeting of the GPC is not what was decided, but what was not.Of the various minor rule changes, a few are worthy of comment. The first is the reduction of the time penalty at the start for a rider exceeding the engine allocation in any given year. From 2015, anyone using an extra engine will start the race from pit lane 5 seconds after the green light is displayed after the official start (once all riders on the grid have passed pit lane exit), rather than 10 seconds. This will have little direct impact on the outcome of any races, but should make it easier for riders using an extra engine to get close to the backmarkers, and perhaps score a point or two.In the Moto2 class, tire pressure sensors will now be compulsory, to ensure that tire pressures are kept within the range set by the single tire supplier. This is to enforce a rule brought in at the end of last year, when various Moto2 teams were found to be running dangerously low rear tire pressures in an attempt to improve rear edge grip and feel from the tire. Making tire pressure sensors compulsory suggests that some teams had been flouting the mandatory tire pressure ranges, banking on not being caught.

Scott Jones Shoots The Superprestigio Part 3: The Superfinal


Jared Mees told Kenny Noyes to line up inside him at the start of the Superfinal. "I was thinking, 'You're either tricking me or you're going to open up a hole.'" Noyes said.


Marquez and Mees got away from the line better, but found Thomas Chareyre in their way


Chareyre went down, blocking Marquez, Mees and Smith


Noyes and Bailo were the beneficiaries


Marquez, Mees and Ribalta were left with ground to make up


The two champions soon forced their way forward...


... And started closing on the leaders


They disposed of Ribalta, and a very impressive Oliver Brindley


Then they started closing on Kenny Noyes


It took them a few laps ...


But they got past in the end


Two champions


Turn 1. Tricky spot.


Marcel Schrotter put up a very respectable performance


Spanish champ. And nearly Superprestigio champ


The Palau Sant Jordi: Once home to Michael Jordan, now home to Marc Marquez

 


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Jared Mees told Kenny Noyes to line up inside him at the start of the Superfinal. "I was thinking, 'You're either tricking me or you're going to open up a hole.'" Noyes said. Marquez and Mees got away from the line better, but found Thomas Chareyre in their way Chareyre went down, blocking Marquez, Mees and Smith

Aleix Espargaro Injures Knee In Training Incident

Aleix Espargaro has injured his knee during a training crash earlier this month. According to the Spanish publication Motocuatro, The Spaniard was participating in an informal dirt track race with his Suzuki teammate Maverick Viñales and a group of friends on 6th December, and crashed. The crash resulted in the elder of the Espargaro brothers partially tearing the cruciate ligaments in his left knee.

It was feared that Espargaro would have to undergo surgery to correct the injury, but examination by his doctors determined that this would not be necessary. The factory Suzuki rider faces a four-week layoff, to allow the injury to recover, before he can start training again. That will allow him to resume preparations some time around 6th January, meaning he should be in good shape once testing resumes in February. Aleix Espargaro is due to ride the Suzuki GSX-RR again at the first test in Sepang on 4th February.

Espargaro posted the following short video on his Instagram account, which shows the Spaniard wearing a knee brace, his knee clearly immobilized.

 

A video posted by Aleix Espargaro (@aleixespargaro) on

Aleix Espargaro has injured his knee during a training crash earlier this month. According to the Spanish publication Motocuatro, The Spaniard was participating in an informal dirt track race with his Suzuki teammate Maverick Viñales and a group of friends on 6th December, and crashed. The crash resulted in the elder of the Espargaro brothers partially tearing the cruciate ligaments in his left knee.It was feared that Espargaro would have to undergo surgery to correct the injury, but examination by his doctors determined that this would not be necessary. The factory Suzuki rider faces a four-week layoff, to allow the injury to recover, before he can start training again. That will allow him to resume preparations some time around 6th January, meaning he should be in good shape once testing resumes in February. Aleix Espargaro is due to ride the Suzuki GSX-RR again at the first test in Sepang on 4th February.Espargaro posted the following short video on his Instagram account, which shows the Spaniard wearing a knee brace, his knee clearly immobilized.

Scott Jones Shoots The Superprestigio Part 2


Ready to rumble


Jared Mees shows how you get through the fluffy end


Oliver Brindley: remember the name. He's one fast 16-year-old


The moment it all went wrong: Thomas Chareyre slides out, blocking Marc Marquez and Jared Mees


Kenny Noyes does the thousand yard stare. No need, first corner is only 100 yards away


The star of the show. No, not him, Kevin Clark, the man with the flags


Passing ships - Ribalta and Simon


Storm Stacey: With a name like that, he'll be a fearsome racer once he's older


Troy


Remy Gardner. Will he match Wayne?


Full marks for style, Johann Zarco


If you'd like to have desktop-sized versions of Scott's fantastic photos, 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.

Ready to rumble Jared Mees shows how you get through the fluffy end Oliver Brindley: remember the name. He's one fast 16-year-old

Scott Jones Shoots The Superprestigio Part 1


Dirt track, Marquez-style


This is what a former AMA champ does: helps prepare his own bike


Kenny Noyes grew up riding on the dirt. He was the only man to keep Mees and Marquez within sight


Two legends: Guy Martin and Troy Bayliss. This is what they do for fun


17-inch Supermoto wets. Not what AMA riders are used to


Sideways by Shayna Texter, before they fixed her number


Bradley Smith had come on in leaps and bounds since the first Superprestigio


Scott Redding had a rough night, tearing a chest muscle during qualifying


It was competitive in both Open and Superprestigio classes


Jared Mees listens to advice from his crew


Brad Baker shows how it's done


Lorenzo Baldassari was the revelation of the evening. Then again, he trains at Rossi's ranch every Sunday


The brother of the champ


If you'd like to have desktop-sized versions of Scott's fantastic photos, 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.

Dirt track, Marquez-style This is what a former AMA champ does: helps prepare his own bike Kenny Noyes grew up riding on the dirt. He was the only man to keep Mees and Marquez within sight Two legends: Guy Martin and Troy Bayliss. This is what they do for fun

How To Watch The Second Edition Of the Superprestigio Indoor Flat Track Race In Barcelona

Saturday night is the last chance to see the stars of motorcycle racing turning a wheel in anger. On 13th December, the cream of both the MotoGP and AMA flat track paddocks meet for the second running of the Superprestigio, an indoor invitation dirt track race, at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona. The setting is a classic location: the Palau Sant Jordi is part of the former Olympic park, set atop Montjuic, scene of many legendary motorcycle races of the past.

For those who could not make it to Barcelona themselves, they need not despair. The event is to be broadcast in several countries around the globe, as well as streamed live online. In the UK, the Superprestigio will be broadcast on the BT Sport channel. In the US, the event will be streamed live - with English commentary - on the Fanschoice.TV website, as well as on the website of Cycle World magazine

Action starts at 6:30pm local time, with heats for the two different classes: Superprestigio, an invitation-only class for GP and elite road racers; and Open, for AMA flat track racers and other offroad disciplines, including enduro, long track and European dirt track. The final is a run off between the best riders from both classses, which starts at 9:10pm. You can see a full schedule on the DTX Barcelona website, as well as a full list of riders, and ticket prices.

Saturday night is the last chance to see the stars of motorcycle racing turning a wheel in anger. On 13th December, the cream of both the MotoGP and AMA flat track paddocks meet for the second running of the Superprestigio, an indoor invitation dirt track race, at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona. The setting is a classic location: the Palau Sant Jordi is part of the former Olympic park, set atop Montjuic, scene of many legendary motorcycle races of the past.For those who could not make it to Barcelona themselves, they need not despair. The event is to be broadcast in several countries around the globe, as well as streamed live online. In the UK, the Superprestigio will be broadcast on the BT Sport channel. In the US, the event will be streamed live - with English commentary - on the Fanschoice.TV website, as well as on the website of Cycle World magazine. 

Spanish CEV Moto3 Championship Upgraded To "Junior World Championship" Status

The status of the Spanish championship has received yet another boost. After the Moto3 championship was run under the auspices of the FIM in 2014, from 2015, the category is to be renamed the "FIM CEV Repsol Moto3 Junior World Championship." The CEV Moto3 championship will be runover eight rounds, six of which will take place in Spain, with the championship kicking off in Portugal at Portimao, and the CEV Moto3 class appearing as a support class at the French MotoGP round at Le Mans.

The two classes comprising the Spanish championship, Superbike and Moto2, will also get a status upgrade. For 2015, the CEV Superbike and CEV Moto2 championships will also be part of the European Championship. Superbike and Moto2 will have only seven events, however, the two classes not travelling to France to join the CEV Moto3 class.

The stated intention of the changed status is to help prepare young riders of all nationalities to make their mark and enter Grand Prix racing. That has increasingly been the role of the CEV Moto3 championship, with the champions in the Spanish series moving up into the Moto3 World Championship paddock. The CEV has also become less of a Spanish series over the years, with top young riders from all over the world competing in Moto3. Of the top 10 finishers in Moto3 last year, only half were Spanish, the other five hailing from France, Japan, Italy and Australia. Indeed, of the champions in all three Spanish CEV championships, none were Spanish: Fabio Quartararo (Moto3) is French, Jesko Raffin (Moto2) is Swiss, and Superbike champ Kenny Noyes - son of legendary journalist Dennis - is American, though he has spent a large part of his life in Spain.

The intention is to create a training ground for young talent to move up to the World Championship level, and given the strength and international breadth of competition, that seems like a viable objective. However, doing so creates problems for the series as well. For a start, it leaves Spain without a purely national championship, though given the large number of very strong regional championships, that may not be as much of an issue as it seems. More significantly, it devalues other national championships: the Italian CIV championship has lost some status, with several leading Italian riders and teams switching to the CEV as a place to develop talent.

The CEV is also largely a place for Moto3 talent to develop. The Superbike championship does not have the depth of talent which appears in CEV Moto3, and the average of the CEV Superbike class is much older. The best path into World Superbikes appears to be BSB, which is currently the strongest national Superbike championship by far. However, nobody has been foolish enough to suggest the idea of rebranding the BSB championship as the "Junior World Superbike Championship".

Last but not least, the championship is a little too regionally isolated to be regarded as a "Junior World Championship", the series being confined to the Iberian peninsula, and a single excursion to France. Racing at a wider range of circuits in more countries would make the series' new title less inflated, though it would also raise costs well beyond the current level of the series. Whether it is possible to expand to other countries remains to be seen, it is unknown just how much fan support there would be at rounds outside of Spain.

The elevation of the CEV series to FIM status is in part down to the decline of the European Championships. Some twenty years ago, there was a highly active and competitive European championship for both the 125cc and 250cc  classes, which helped to produce riders like Valentino Rossi, Marco Simoncelli and Andrea Dovizioso. The killing off of the two-stroke classes, and the ensuing cost explosion caused by trying to race four strokes, put an end to the European championships. Perhaps, once sufficient Moto3 and Moto2 bikes have trickled down from the Grand Prix paddock down to national level, the European Championship will see a revival. Or perhaps by then the CEV Junior World Championship will have expanded to take the place of the former European Championship.

The press release from the FIM and the 2015 CEV schedule appears below:


FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Championship
2015 Calendar & New Classes, 2 December

The three classes of the current FIM CEV Repsol International Championship will have new titles starting next season, taking the Championship another step forward in its international progression.

The FIM, during its General Assembly held on 22 November, decided that as from 2015 the Moto3™ category would become the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Championship. Also, by agreement with FIM Europe, the Moto2™ and Superbike categories will be part of the European Championship from the same date.

With this new arrangement, the FIM CEV Repsol will help to break down national barriers even further and constitute a quantum leap in the search for young riders of any nationality who are ready to make their mark in road racing at international level.

Date Venue Country
26 April Autódromo Internacional do Algarve - Portimão Portugal
17 May Le Mans (Moto3™ only) France
21 June Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya Spain
5 July MotorLand Aragón Spain
6 September Circuito de Albacete Spain
4 October Circuito de Navarra Spain
1 November Circuito de Jerez Spain
15 November Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo Spain

 

The status of the Spanish championship has received yet another boost. After the Moto3 championship was run under the auspices of the FIM in 2014, from 2015, the category is to be renamed the "FIM CEV Repsol Moto3 Junior World Championship." The CEV Moto3 championship will be runover eight rounds, six of which will take place in Spain, with the championship kicking off in Portugal at Portimao, and the CEV Moto3 class appearing as a support class at the French MotoGP round at Le Mans.The two classes comprising the Spanish championship, Superbike and Moto2, will also get a status upgrade. For 2015, the CEV Superbike and CEV Moto2 championships will also be part of the European Championship. Superbike and Moto2 will have only seven events, however, the two classes not travelling to France to join the CEV Moto3 class.

LCR Honda Surgery Update: Miller Has Plate Removed From Shoulder

With testing now over, Jack Miller has joined the ranks of riders undergoing surgery in the off season. Flying back from Sepang to Barcelona, Miller had an operation to remove four loose screws from his right collarbone, the aftermath of an old injury sustained at Indianapolis in 2013. That injury was fixed with a plate, but preseason crashes on the KTM Moto3 bike caused a number of complications for the Australian. With testing completely, Miller now has time to have the remaining screws removed from his shoulder, and allow it to heal. Miller will be unable to train for five days while the scar heals, but will be able to resume his training program after that.

Miller's surgery means that both LCR Honda riders have now gone under the knife. Cal Crutchlow had an operation on 14th November to remove a plate from his left collarbone, which has been inserted in 2011. The Englishman also had some arthritis cleaned up from the same shoulder, the accumulated damage from several falls over the years. Crutchlow's recovery is complete, and he has since flown to California, where he will be training over the winter in preparation for the Sepang tests.

Below are the two press releases about the surgery, the first issued today covering Miller's surgery, the second issued in mid-November, discussing Crutchlow's operation:


SUCCESSFUL SURGERY FOR THE CWM LCR HONDA’S JACK MILLER

CWM LCR Honda’s Jack Miller has undergone successful surgery on his right shoulder today at the Dexeus University Hospital in Barcelona, Spain. The Australian had four loose screws removed from an old right collarbone injury, and the operation was performed by the MotoGP medical team’s renowned Dr. Xavier Mir. The 19year old rookie will take some days off from his rigorous training regime and is looking forward to starting his preparation for 2015.

Jack Miller: “I am really happy for finally having this operation to take out the titanium in my shoulder which is no longer needed. The operation was a success and it was not long till I felt very comfortable. I hope to have a quick recovery and focus all my attention to working for the 2015 season. In these recovery days it’s the perfect time for me to see how we can come back stronger in 2015. I would like to say a massive thank you to Doctor Mir and all his staff for their excellent work and their care”.


CWM LCR HONDA RIDER CAL CRUTCHLOW READY FOR WINTER TRAINING PROGRAMME AFTER SUCCESSFUL SURGERY

CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow has undergone successful surgery on his left shoulder last Friday morning and he is now recovering at his Isle of Man home before he flies to America at the end of November for a winter training camp ahead of his second appearance with CWM LCR Honda Team at the Sepang track in Malaysia in February. Crutchlow was operated at the Alexandra Hospital in Cheadle to remove a plate from his left collarbone that was inserted after he broke the bone in a crash in 2011.The 29-year-old also had arthritis in his left shoulder cleaned up, with both procedures carried out by Len Funk, who is a Consultant Shoulder Surgeon and Professor of Orthopaedics & Sports Science.

Cal Crutchlow: “I had arthritis in my left shoulder after a crash I had in 2010 and I also had a plate in there from my crash at Silverstone in 2011. I needed to get the arthritis cleaned out because in warmer conditions I didn’t have an issue, but in the cold, it was a bit painful. And the plate has been finally removed. Now I feel much better and want to thank Professor Len for his excellent job. Soon I will fly to America to start my winter training programme and I am really looking forward to the next outing aboard the RCV”.

With testing now over, Jack Miller has joined the ranks of riders undergoing surgery in the off season. Flying back from Sepang to Barcelona, Miller had an operation to remove four loose screws from his right collarbone, the aftermath of an old injury sustained at Indianapolis in 2013. That injury was fixed with a plate, but preseason crashes on the KTM Moto3 bike caused a number of complications for the Australian. With testing completely, Miller now has time to have the remaining screws removed from his shoulder, and allow it to heal. Miller will be unable to train for five days while the scar heals, but will be able to resume his training program after that.Miller's surgery means that both LCR Honda riders have now gone under the knife. Cal Crutchlow had an operation on 14th November to remove a plate from his left collarbone, which has been inserted in 2011. The Englishman also had some arthritis cleaned up from the same shoulder, the accumulated damage from several falls over the years. Crutchlow's recovery is complete, and he has since flown to California, where he will be training over the winter in preparation for the Sepang tests.Below are the two press releases about the surgery, the first issued today covering Miller's surgery, the second issued in mid-November, discussing Crutchlow's operation:

Dorna Press Release: Honda To Continue To Supply Moto2 Engines Through 2018

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Honda have been officially confirmed as the single engine supplier for the Moto2 class for another four years. Honda will make engines available to Externpro, who manage the official Moto2 engines, until the end of the 2018 season.

The confirmation of Honda as official engine supplier means that Moto2 is to remain a single engine class until at least 2018. The chances of it changing after that are very slim, despite occasional expressions of interest from other manufacturers, such as KTM. Any proposal to introduce competition in engine supply meets with immediate opposition from the team, who are very keen on the single Moto2 engine. They believe it radically reduces costs - competing in Moto2 is significantly cheaper than contesting the Moto3 championship - and it eliminates one variable from the competition equation. Teams do not have to worry about choosing an engine supplier, and being stuck with an underperforming engine all season. 

The official press release appears below:


Honda to continue to power Moto2™ racing through 2018

Honda Motor Corporation, in continued collaboration with Spanish company ExternPro, will remain as the official Moto2™ engine supplier for the next three years extending until 2018.

Since its inauguration in 2010 as the replacement for the 250cc two-stroke intermediate class, Moto2™ has run a single specification Honda CBR 600cc engine. Amongst the aims of the category are driving chassis evolution and developing rider talent and the class continually produces great racing, helping to prepare riders for MotoGP™.

From 2013, ExternPro, part of the Parque Tecnólogico de MotorLand Aragon, have been preparing the engines for competition, ensuring reliability and taking care of enigne maintenance. The three-year extension agreement will see ExternPro-prepared Honda engines featured in Grand Prix competition until at least the end of 2018.

Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta commented: “Moto2™ has been a success from the start, and just continues to get better! Honda has been our sole engine supplier since the inaugural race in 2010 and I am extremely pleased that we will continue to use its machinery for the next three years. The Honda engine has not only proved an exciting addition to the paddock, but has also been a technically very reliable asset, which is extremely important in motorsports. I would also like to welcome ExternPro on board, who have so far done a very good job during pre-season testing, and will no doubt continue to do so throughout the next three seasons."

Shuhei Nakamoto, HRC Executive Vice-President added: "The Moto2 category continues to advance and prepare riders for the premier class and Honda are very happy to support this class for a further 3 years. Together with ExternPro and Dorna we will continue to work hard to provide the best equipment for this class"".

Honda have been officially confirmed as the single engine supplier for the Moto2 class for another four years. Honda will make engines available to Externpro, who manage the official Moto2 engines, until the end of the 2018 season.The confirmation of Honda as official engine supplier means that Moto2 is to remain a single engine class until at least 2018. The chances of it changing after that are very slim, despite occasional expressions of interest from other manufacturers, such as KTM. Any proposal to introduce competition in engine supply meets with immediate opposition from the team, who are very keen on the single Moto2 engine. They believe it radically reduces costs - competing in Moto2 is significantly cheaper than contesting the Moto3 championship - and it eliminates one variable from the competition equation. Teams do not have to worry about choosing an engine supplier, and being stuck with an underperforming engine all season. The official press release appears below:Honda to continue to power Moto2™ racing through 2018Honda Motor Corporation, in continued collaboration with Spanish company ExternPro, will remain as the official Moto2™ engine supplier for the next three years extending until 2018.

Testing Continues For MotoGP And World Superbikes In Run Up To Winter Test Ban

Testing is set to continue this week in a range of classes, as bikes take to the track in preparation for the 2015 season. The south of Spain will see the most action, with a group of MotoGP teams being joined by the Crescent Suzuki World Superbike team at Jerez, and a selection of Moto2 teams heading to Almeria.

At Jerez, Suzuki and Aprilia will continue work on their bikes ahead of next season. As new factories, they receive the same concessions as Ducati, which means that they are allowed unlimited testing, more engines, they have the softer rear tire, and they are allowed to develop their engines throughout the season. Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaro will be riding the GSX-RR for Suzuki, while Alvaro Bautista and Marco Melandri will be taking the Aprilia ART out for further testing. 

Ducati will also be present at the test, Andrea Dovizioso and new teammate Andrea Iannone continuing work on the Desmosedici GP14.2. They are still eagerly awaiting the arrival of the GP15, but that bike will not be ready until the Sepang tests, and most likely, only at the second test at Sepang. 

The NGM Forward team are also due to test at Jerez, though they may have less to test than expected. The test had originally been planned to continue work on Kayaba suspension, but after complaints from Stefan Bradl at Valencia, there may not be much point. Bradl complained to German-language website Speedweek that Kayaba were poorly prepared, had no real test plan, very few suspension parts to test, and the engineers sent by the firm spoke almost no English. Bradl did not see any point in continuing to test the suspension until these fundamental problems were solved. That could prove to be an expensive decision for Forward: Kayaba would come on board with the team as a technical partner, paying all of their own costs and possibly contributing to the team budget. If Forward stays with Ohlins, they will do so as a customer, paying a considerable sum for the privilege.

The Suzuki World Superbike team is also at Jerez, with Randy De Puniet about to get his first ride on the GSX-R1000 as he makes the switch to the WSBK series. He and Alex Lowes have work to do ahead of the new regulations for 2015, with Yoshimura staff also present at the test to help development of the engine. The team also have new technical staff joining them, and this will be their first chance to integrate them and get them working as a unit. Suzuki will be joined by Kawasaki, where Jonathan Rea will get his second test on the ZX-10R alongside Tom Sykes.

So far, the weather has not been kind to the teams testing, with the track wet and rain still falling. Better weather is forecast for this afternoon and for Tuesday, but the Jerez track takes a long time to dry out, meaning action is likely to be limited on Monday.

Further eastwards on the Iberian peninsula, the weather is a little better. From Tuesday, the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Racing Team (currently candidate for the longest team name in racing) will be testing at Almeria. Tito Rabat, who virtually lives at the circuit, will continue work on the 2015 Kalex, while new teammate and reigning Moto3 champion Alex Marquez will carry on with his job of adapting to the new category, and changing his riding style to suit Moto2.

The man Marquez beat for the 2014 Moto3 title is headed to Malaysia. Jack Miller has a private test arranged at Sepang for later in the week, where he will get his first taste of the Honda RC213V-RS Open class bike. Miller will ride for two days at Sepang, on the 27th and 28th November, before heading home for a break.

For the Grand Prix teams, the winter test ban kicks in on 1st of December, and will last until the end of January. With new technical regulations coming into effect for the World Superbike class, their winter test ban has been greatly eased, testing only stopping for a brief two-week break for Christmas and New Year. Action ceases for WSBK on the 21st December, and will only resume again after 4th January.

Testing is set to continue this week in a range of classes, as bikes take to the track in preparation for the 2015 season. The south of Spain will see the most action, with a group of MotoGP teams being joined by the Crescent Suzuki World Superbike team at Jerez, and a selection of Moto2 teams heading to Almeria.At Jerez, Suzuki and Aprilia will continue work on their bikes ahead of next season. As new factories, they receive the same concessions as Ducati, which means that they are allowed unlimited testing, more engines, they have the softer rear tire, and they are allowed to develop their engines throughout the season. Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaro will be riding the GSX-RR for Suzuki, while Alvaro Bautista and Marco Melandri will be taking the Aprilia ART out for further testing. Ducati will also be present at the test, Andrea Dovizioso and new teammate Andrea Iannone continuing work on the Desmosedici GP14.2. They are still eagerly awaiting the arrival of the GP15, but that bike will not be ready until the Sepang tests, and most likely, only at the second test at Sepang. 

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