Though the gift-giving season may be past, the motorcycle racing season is still a long way off. To help ease the wait, and to aid you in planning your life around the MotoGP and World Superbike racing series, as befits a true race fan, you can still get your hands on one of our beautiful 2010 Motorcycle Racing Calendars. With January one quarter gone, you will have missed eight days of looking at Scott Jones' beautiful action shot of Colin Edwards, but February's stunning shot of Valentino Rossi, brakes lit up at Qatar, should more than compensate you for that, along with 10 other fantastic photos and a double-page spread of the 2009 World Champion Rossi.
Since Aprilia made its rather precipitate and baffling decision to withdraw from the Moto2 championship, despite having a bike nearly ready to race, there has been much speculation about what the Aspar team would do. The Aspar team, named after its team manager, Jorge 'Aspar' Martinez, have been the leading team in MotoGP's support classes for many years now, and had very strong bonds with Aprilia, for whom they had won large stack of world championships.
At the Valencia Moto2 tests, Aspar's potential Moto2 riders, Mike di Meglio and reigning 125cc World Champion Julian Simon, had tested a range of other Moto2 bikes, but up until the final days of 2009, Martinez had been hoping to strike some kind of deal with Aprilia to continue development of the existing bikes under the banner of the Aspar team. Once Piaggio CEO Roberto Colaninno vetoed that plan, Aspar had no choice but to try to make a choice from the other possible candidates.
That process now appears to be approaching a conclusion. According to the Spanish sports daily AS.com, the Aspar team is close to announcing that they will be using the Italian-built RSV DR 600 to contest the inaugural Moto2 world championship in 2010. After evaluating the BQR Blusens, FTR, Suter, Kalex and RSV bikes, the team had narrowed down the choice between the Kalex and the RSV. "Of all the bikes we tested," Jorge Martinez told AS.com, "the Kalex and the RSV were the bikes we liked most."
The DNS problems which have made the MotoMatters.com website unreachable for a small but sorely missed part of the audience continue almost unabated. We are currently still working on a solution, which we hope to have implemented by the middle of next week. The solution will include a change of hosting providers, and we'll also be upgrading the hardware we've been using, hopefully improving the performance of the site. Once again, we apologize for the inconvenience this is causing, and are working to get this fixed as quickly as possible.
Our trip through Scott Jones' MotoGP images comes to an end today, with a look back at the remarkable race at Indianapolis. The facilities are astonishing, the track layout is surprisingly good for what is known locally as a "Roval" (a road course inside an oval), the organization is amazing. Throughout the weekend, only two recurring complaints could be heard: the huge amount of chain link fencing used to protect the public from flying car parts when the four-wheelers race here saw photographers crowding around the few fence openings like seals at an arctic breathing hole; and there wasn't a decent cup of coffee to be had in a thousand miles or more, reducing European journalists (for this is the fuel upon which their work depends) to gibbering wrecks.
As the New Year begins, we approach the final instalments of our trip down memory lane, and what a memory it was! The first lot of photos from Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a truly remarkable facility, steeped in history unlike almost any other racetrack I have visited. Only Monza comes close, both places being haunted by racing's rich past. More to come tomorrow.
After two previous chapters, we come to an end of Scott Jones' beautiful photos from Donington Park. Despite the rain, it was a fantastic weekend, which threw up a fair number of surprises. Tragically, and as a result of gross incompetence, Donington Park has been vandalized in a desperate and ultimately failed attempt to attract Formula 1, and now the track is all but unusable. Next year, we go to Silverstone, and with your help, Scott and I will be there to try and capture the moment in words and pictures.
After yesterday's trip down the pit lane at Donington, today we turn our attention to the track. Scott Jones captured some of the crucial moments from July's British Grand Prix at Donington, including the protagonists from the race and the highlights from practice. The final set of photos go up on Sunday, and they are well worth the wait.
The fourth part of our trip down memory lane brings us to one of the most memorable parts of the season: The last ever trip MotoGP would make to Donington Park. Scott Jones' wonderful images bring a tear to the eye of anyone who loves the sweep of Craner Curves or the glory of Schwantz and McLeans. So rich is the bounty that we have had to split the photos over three sessions, all of them worth poring over and savoring. And remember, if you see anything that you like, you can contact Scott and get a poster-sized image for your wall.
It appears that Roger Lee Hayden, younger brother of former MotoGP world Champion Nicky, has signed with Team Pedercini to contest the 2010 WSBK Championship. Hayden, the 2007 AMA 600 Supersport champion, had been rendered jobless recently when Kawasaki announced that they would not support a team in American roadracing. Although Hayden has been one of the best 600 class racers in the US throughout his career, coming to terms with the big bikes has been a struggle for him. In his three years on the Factory Kawasaki Superbike, two were shortened by serious crash related injuries, although, to be fair, the 2008 crash at Barber Motorsports Park that resulted in an amputated finger was not Hayden's fault.
Scott Jones took too many fantastic photographs at the Sachsenring, so many that we've had to split our review of them over two days. Double the quantity, double the pleasure, and what better way to get 2010 started?
With less than an hour before the streets of my hometown erupt to the sound of fireworks, marking the end of 2009 and the start of 2010, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support for this year, and to wish everyone a Happy New Year. Thanks most of all to you, our loyal (and not so loyal) readers, for coming back time and time again, and for spreading the word on MotoMatters.com all this year. Your support and appreciation make all the hard work we put into this website worth it.
We wish everyone a happy, healthy and successful 2010, and we hope that every race of the 2010 season will be as thrilling as the Barcelona MotoGP race, or perhaps even the Sachsenring 2006 MotoGP race! May the riders walk away from every crash unscathed, and the team owners find willing and wealthy sponsors lining up to support them. Here's to a great year of racing.
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We are deeply grateful for the reports, and are working hard to resolve the problem. It is, however, not easy, as the problem seems to revolve around the length of time that some ISPs are taking to resolve the motomatters.com domain (in simple terms, your computer is asking your provider's server to locate the computer where the MotoMatters.com website is being hosted, and this process is taking too long). This is not a situation we have any direct control over or an easy fix for. We are currently investigating a number of solutions to the problem, including moving the site to a different hosting company nearer to the majority of our audience. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our friends and fans, many of whom have offered advice and assistance. And if you have any advice to give, please either leave it in a comment or email us at email@example.com with suggestions. If you want to provide financial assistance to help us fix this, then we would be grateful for your donation, which you can leave on the donation page.
Another day, another set of beautiful photographs taken by MotoMatters.com snapper Scott Jones. That weekend saw the weather play a major role, with race day finally drying up and producing three great races, including a scintillating MotoGP contest. Relive it all again in glorious color:
On the third day of looking back at 2009, we return to the July 5th weekend, and the Red Bull US GP at Laguna Seca. The light is always beautiful on the Monterey Peninsula, and Scott Jones knows how to get the best out of. Enjoy some of his highlights from a weekend of racing in California.
After yesterday's instalment of Scott Jones' fantastic images from Qatar, today we have more, from the heart of Utah's stunning landscapes. The World Superbike paddock went to Miller Motorsports Park, and Scott Jones captured it all on film. With such a breathtaking backdrop, Scott is at his best. Savor round 7 of the World Superbike series all over again, and remember that you can help out by supporting MotoMatters.com in 2010.
2009's Nearly Man: Nitro Nori, and Mr March in the MotoMatters.com 2010 Racing Calendar