MotoGP Donington Race - No Room For Doubt
The relatively small grid in MotoGP has been a thorn in Dorna's eye for several years now. To remedy this situation, the organization which runs the MotoGP series is starting to put pressure on the manufacturers which only run factory teams (Suzuki and Kawasaki) to provide extra machinery to satellite teams, to enlarge the grid, and increase the talent pool in the premier class. Up until this weekend, it looked like Suzuki were going to do just that, by providing at least one extra bike in MotoGP next year.
While the weather gods had thrown just about everything they had at the Donington Park circuit on Friday, Saturday turned out to be a much better day. That "much better" should be seen in the light of yesterday's deluge, however, as the weather could hardly be regarded as glorious. But although it had been gray and overcast, tt least it had stayed dry for both the morning and the afternoon session.
Much of the uncertainty surrounding James Toseland's future in MotoGP is related to the plans of his current team, Ten Kate Honda, to enter MotoGP. Ronald ten Kate has already stated that he expects to make an announcement at the end of June, but speculation continues apace.
There are many hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of racetracks around the world. Each of them is unique, and has a particular personality. Some are bland and faceless, like Shanghai. Others, like Barcelona, have plenty of character, but have no real tie to their location. But perhaps the best tracks are the ones like Mugello, which are both beautifully laid out, and so at one with the landscape and the location that they simply could not exist anywhere else. Donington Park is just such a track.
Well, we've speculated about possibilities, deciphered information from various sources, and chewed over press releases, but finally, confirmation is here. Kawasaki confirmed to Motorcycle News that Anthony West has officially joined the Kawasaki Racing Team to ride the MotoGP bike for the rest of the season, replacing Olivier Jacque.
Italian racing site GPOne.com is reporting that James Toseland is to hold a press conference on Thursday, at the Day of Champions. GPOne.com quotes Toseland's manager as saying the purpose of the press conference is to announce a tie with a sponsor, and not to talk about his future. But any talk of a personal sponsor is likely to open doors in MotoGP, if Toseland can bring money to a team. The press conference is expected at 1:30 pm.
At last, confirmation has been forthcoming of something the world has known for the past week or so: Yamaha Motor Europe have finally confirmed that they have released Ant West from his contract to ride for them in World Supersport for the rest of 2007. The press release makes no mention of which team West will be joining, but there really is only one viable option open: The Kawasaki Racing Team. After all, no one else is in desperate need of a rider.
After what seems like weeks of speculation, even though it's only been a few days, the deal has finally been done: Anthony West will ride the works Kawasaki in MotoGP for the rest of the season, according to Motorcyclenews.com. West is to replace Frenchman Olivier Jacque, who has suffered a nightmare season with injury so far this year.