Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams ahead of this weekend's races at Le Mans:
That MotoGP is too Iberocentric - too many Spanish races, and too many Spanish riders - is obvious to all who follow the sport, with the possible exception of a blinkered Spanish journalist or two. The series has to change, to move away from having four races a season in Spain, and to explore new markets in South America and Asia.
This is exactly what is to happen, according to an interview Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta gave to the Reuters news agency on Friday. Reuters reporter Alan Baldwin spoke to Ezpeleta at the Barcelona circuit, where the Dorna CEO was attending the Formula 1 race. In the interview, Ezpeleta laid out his intentions to move away from Spain and, to a lesser extent, the US, and towards Asia and South America, with new races to be held in Brazil and Asia, though as he has done before, Ezpeleta would not be drawn on exactly which Asian country.
The race in Brazil is scheduled to take in Brasilia, the capital of the South American country. Whether that is at the Brasilia race track (the Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet in Brasilia) is unclear, but Ezpeleta told Reuters that work was currently underway on the circuit, and the hope was it would be finished by the end of the year. That would make scheduling a race for 2014 difficult, but Ezpeleta was confident that there could be a race in Brazil from 2015 onwards. Ezpeleta did not give any details of the race planned for Asia, but Reuters reporter Baldwin suggests that it could take place in Thailand. Previously, Dorna sources have hinted that a race could take place in Indonesia, though currently, neither country has a circuit that would pass an FIM safety inspection. Given the explosion of interest in the sport in the region, however, that could change quickly.
The second batch of post-race press releases after this weekend's World Superbike round at Monza, issued a day later because of the confusion over the results:
Press releases from some of the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after several incident-packed races at Monza:
Motor racing has been described as drag racing between corners. Never is this adage truer than at Monza. Speed out of corners is paramount, especially out of the Parabolica, the fast last corner that leads on to the equally fast start/finish straight. The faster you exit a corner, the sooner you reach your top speed. Monza has two long straights, both with fast corners leading onto them; this is what makes it different from other tracks with long straights. Fuel limits and tyres come into play in a different way here than any other track on the calendar. The other unique aspect of Monza is the controversies that arise from its uniqueness, and this weekend was no different in that respect.
The last lap of the second World Superbike was frought with controversy after an overtake followed by an off-track excursion. The results of third and fourth place in the race have subsequently been reversed, following an appeal.
Fourth time lucky, the World Supersport race was reduced to a ten-lap dash at the end of the day.
The second World Superbike race at Monza once again demonstrated the kind of excitement that only a fast track can deliver.
The World Supersport race was halted after four laps after the front four riders all went down on oil that was not spotted from a third lap crash at Variante Della Roggia. The restart lasted for two laps before a rider crashed out of the Ascari chicane, immolating the motorbike and destroying the ablative air fencing; an automatic red flag. On the third start of the race, a ten-lap dash, a rider ploughed through Prima Variente, the first chicane, taking a few other racers with him. A third red flag was waved and the race was postponed until after the second World Superbike race. Nobody was significantly hurt in any of the incidents.
Eighteen laps at a dry Italian speed track that rewards a clear head and a fast bike.
Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after qualifying on Saturday at Monza:
Rain topped and tailed the day, hopefully squeezing the last drops out before the races tomorrow so that Monza can enjoy a very Italian mother's day. One lucky mother will be getting a set of Jules Cluzel leathers, stolen from his trailer, unless they're recovered before tomorrow. Another mother hoping to be lucky is Mrs Lowes, mother of Alex and Sam, who saw Alex Lowes win a BSB race on Monday and Sam Lowes win last Superbike race at Assen.
World Supersport qualifying looked more like a race, with large groups of riders clumped together in the fast sections, trying to get a slipstream advantage.
Superpole was blessed with the promised good weather, allowing the riders to get on with pushing their machines down the multiple high-speed sections of the old Italian track. The qualifying tyres were pink-ringed for Mother's Day instead of having their usual yellow stripe.
Eugene Laverty led Marco Melandri and Tom Sykes, all within a quarter of a second. Sylvain Guintoli was once again the fastest bike through the speed trap, at 337.1kmh, while Leon Camier ensured there were four different manufacturers of motorcycle in the top five.
For race-pace, Laverty, Sykes and Guintoli registered the most 1'42 laps, with Laverty stringing together a decent run at the end of the session.