2014 Qatar MotoGP Thursday Press Releases

Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the first day of practice at Qatar:

Round Number: 
1
Year: 
2014

2014 Qatar Moto2 And Moto3 Thursday Press Releases

Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the first day of practice at Qatar:

Round Number: 
1
Year: 
2014

2014 Qatar MotoGP Thursday Round Up - The Open Revolution, Bridgestone's 2014 Tires, And Moto3's Mixed Bag

The old adage about not judging a book by its cover seems particularly apt after the first day at Qatar. Fans and followers were hoping the changes made over the winter might shake things up a little, but they weren't expecting a revolution. At the top of the timesheets in MotoGP sits Aleix Espargaro on the Open class Forward Yamaha, nearly half a second ahead of the rest. In second place was Alvaro Bautista, not on an Open bike, but on a satellite Honda. Bautista, in turn, was ahead of three other satellite machines, Tech 3's Bradley Smith leading Pramac Ducati rider Andrea Iannone, with the other Tech 3 bike of Pol Espargaro behind.

The first factory rider (that's factory rider, not Factory Option) was Dani Pedrosa in 6th, over a second behind the Open class bike of Aleix. Valentino Rossi in 7th, on the factory Movistar Yamaha, could only just hold off former teammate Colin Edwards on the other Forward Yamaha. Even Nicky Hayden was just a tenth off the pace of Rossi, despite the Drive M7 Aspar rider being on the production RCV1000R Honda, a bike which was giving away over 12 km/h to the M1 of Rossi.

2014 Qatar Moto2 FP2 Result: Nakagami Tops The Field

Takaaki Nakagami grabbed the lead position in FP2 at the Losail Circuit Thursday with a 2'00.522 -- a time that not only put him clear of the field it also was three tenths better than Pol Espargaro's pole time from the previous year. Tito Rabat, who led much of the late session, finished in second only five hundredths back. Sandro Cortese grabbed third with a fast lap one-tenth of a second behind the leader. Mika Kallio, leader in FP1, managed only 10th in the second session.  As nearly always is the case in Moto2, the field is tightly bunched with one second separating the top 15 riders.

Results:

2014 Qatar Moto3 FP2 Result: Fenati Again Out Front

Romano Fenati bettered his FP1 time and the entire Moto3 field with a 2'06.168 at the second practice Thursday at the Losail Circuit.  As in the first session, Jacob Kornfeil held the second slot, closing within two-hundredths of a second on the leader. Jack Miller improved three places to take the third-best time at the day's final practice. Fenati didn't lead the entire sesion but he managed a fast lap late. Only a second separates the top 10 Moto 3 riders with practice to resume Friday.

Results:

2014 Qatar MotoGP FP1 Result: Elder Espargaro Dominates; Satellites Soar

Open class Yamaha rider Aleix Espargaro topped the charts to kick off the 2014 MotoGP season with a dominant time of 1'55.201, nearly half a second faster than second-place rider Alvaro Bautista on a satellite Honda. Another satellite rider, Yamaha's Bradley Smith, came in third, six-tenths back from the elder Espargaro. In fact, the salletite and open class riders dominated FP1 taking seven of the top-ten times. Satellite Ducati rider Andrea Iannone grabbed fourth and Tech 3 Yamaha's Pol Espargaro managed fifth. The fastest factory bike, Dani Pedrosa's Honda, claimed only sixth place at slightly more than a second back from the leader.

In part, this is because only the open class and satellite bikes tested at the Losail Circuit during the off-season and so arrived in Qatar with an approximate setup. But that does not entirely explain the difference in times and certainly doesn't entirely account for Espargaro's pace.

2014 Qatar Moto2 FP1 Result: Kallio Makes A Late Run To The Top

Mika Kallio made a late charge to take the top spot in the opening Moto2 practice of the 2014 season at the Losail Circuit in Qatar. Kallio's 2'01.46 put him one-tenth of a second clear of second place Thomas Luthi. Takaaki Nakagami, who led briefly during FP1, finished third at slightly more than a tenth back of Kallio. Moto2 favorite Tito Rabat came in fourth at the end of the session with Xavier Simeon in fifth. Last year's Moto3 champion, Maverick Vinales sits in eighth a half of a second from the top. All of the top times are similar to the Moto2 FP1 times from 2013.

Results:

2014 Qatar Moto3 FP1 Result: Fenati Out Front

Before even taking to the Losail Circuit in Qatar Thursday, Valentino Rossi had a reason to smile; His new Sky Racing Team VR46 rider Romano Fenati started the new season by setting the fast time in Moto3 FP1 with a lap of 2'07.176. Jacob Kornfeil was right on his heels at four hundredths back followed by Isaac Vinales at four tenths of a second behind the leader.  In all, KTM began the 2013 season the way it ended last year: Dominance at the top of the timesheet.

Alex Marquez (younger brother of MotoGP's Marc) arrived in fourth and Efren Vazquez who led much of the early session, ended the Thursday session in fifth. All of the top 13 rider finished the day faster than FP1 in 2013 when Jonas Folger clocked a 2'08.951 in the opener.

Results:

2014 MotoGP Season Preview: Looking Ahead To The Most Intriguing Season In Years

It has been a long and confusing wait for the 2014 MotoGP season to begin. An awful lot has happened since the MotoGP bikes were rolled into their packing crates after the Valencia test and shipped back to the factories and workshops from whence they came. There have been shock announcements, shock testing results, and shock training crashes. There have been last-minute rule changes, made in an attempt to keep all of the different factions in the paddock from rebelling. The final rules for the premier class were only announced on Monday, and even then, they still contain sufficient ambiguity to confuse.

But this confusion and chaos cannot disguise the fact that 2014 looks set to be the most intriguing championship in years. Gone are the reviled CRT machines – unjustly reviled; though slow, they were still jewels of engineering prowess – and in their place is a new class of machinery, the Open entries. A simpler demarcation has been made, between factories running their own software on the spec Magneti Marelli ECU, and the Open teams using the championship software supplied and controlled by Dorna. The latest rule change adds a twist, allowing underperforming Ducati all the benefits of the Open class – 24 liters of fuel instead of 20, 12 engines per season instead of 5, unlimited testing and a softer tire – until they start winning races. But the 2014 grid looks much more like a single coherent class than the pack of racing motorcycles that lined up last year.

There are many questions which will be answered during the 2014 season, but the first, and most important, is whether Marc Marquez can retain his title. The Repsol Honda rider had a record-breaking rookie season, which ended with him taking the title at the first attempt, and becoming the youngest ever premier class champion. At the first test of 2014 in Sepang, he was a cut above the rest, leaving the other riders gasping for breath. A training crash saw him break his fibula, and he arrives in Qatar just five days after he started putting weight on the leg again, and having missed the last two preseason tests.

Race results and championship standings
round_number: 
1
2014

Yamaha Press Release: Movistar Livery Launched At Season Opener

Yamaha today took the wraps off their 2014 livery, unveiling their Movistar sponsorship for the first time. They issued the following press release, with photos of the new bike:


Movistar Yamaha MotoGP take the covers off to Kick Start the 2014 season

Losail Circuit (Qatar), 19th March 2014

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP kick started the Qatar MotoGP weekend this afternoon by taking the covers off the 2014 YZR-M1 in front of the world’s key motorcycle media.

Riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were joined on the Losail circuit start grid by Kouichi Tsuji, General Manager of Yamaha Motor Co.'s Motorsports Division, Yamaha Motor Racing’s Managing Director Lin Jarvis and Telefónica Spain’s Director of Media, Luis Velo to reveal the new livery.

The first two months of the year have seen a flurry of activity for the team, highlighted by the recent ground breaking five-year title sponsorship agreement that launches the team Yamaha Movistar MotoGP ahead of the 2014 season.

Round Number: 
1
Year: 
2014

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Moving MotoGP’s goal posts

MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.


Moving MotoGP’s goal posts

And here come the players, out of the tunnel and into the stadium; just 15 minutes to go before the opening game of the 2014 World Cup, and the noise and the tension in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium are almost unbearable…

Wait, hang on a moment. There’s something very strange going on at the end of the pitch to my left. There’s a group of FIFA officials and they’re digging up the goalposts! I can’t believe it: they’re moving the goalposts! And there’s more FIFA people doing the same thing at the other end of the pitch, moving those goalposts five metres to the right…

It wouldn’t happen, would it?

2014 Qatar MotoGP Preview Press Releases

Press release previews from most of the MotoGP teams ahead of this weekend's season opening race at Qatar:

Round Number: 
1
Year: 
2014

2014 Qatar Moto2 And Moto3 Press Release Previews

Press release previews issued by the Moto2 and Moto3 teams ahead of the season opener at Qatar:

Round Number: 
1
Year: 
2014

Factory 2 Rules Adopted For 2014, Spec Software Compulsory In MotoGP From 2016 Season Onwards

After a week of debate and discussion, the Grand Prix Commission has finally reached an agreement on the Factory 2 class. It took many hours of phone calls, and full agreement was not reached until late on Monday afternoon, but the agreement contains some significant changes to the long-term future of the MotoGP championship. The Factory 2 proposal has been adopted in a slightly modified guise, with any manufacturer entering in the Open class liable to lose fuel and soft tires should they win races. But the bigger news is that the full MotoGP class will switch to use the spec software and ECU from the 2016 season, a year earlier than expected. 

The proposals adopted by the GPC now lays out a plan for MotoGP moving forward to 2016. In 2014 and 2015, there will be only two categories - Open and Factory Option - with the set of rules agreed at the end of last year. The new proposal sees manufacturers without a dry weather win in three years to compete as Factory Option entries, but with all of the advantages of the Open class - more fuel, more tires, no engine freeze and unlimited testing. However, should they start to achieve success, they will start to lose first fuel, and then the soft tires. If Ducati - for it is mainly Ducati to which these rules apply, as they are currently the only manufacturer who are eligible at the moment - score 1 win, 2 second place finishes or 3 third places during dry races, then all bikes entered by Ducati will have their fuel cut from 24 to 22 liters for each race. Should Ducati win 3 races in the dry, they will also lose use of the softer rear tires which the Open category entries can use. If Ducati were to lose the extra fuel or tires during 2014, they would also have to race under the same conditions in 2015.

Red Bull KTM Press Release Interview: Karel Hanika On A Strong Preseason And The Red Bull Rookies

The Red Bull KTM Ajo team issued a press release today, containing an interview with Karel Hanika, the young Czech rookie who has made an astounding debut in the Moto3 class during testing. In the interview, Hanika talks about progress in testing, working inside the Ajo team structure, and being the favorite to win rookie of the year in Moto3. The press release appears below:


"I wasn’t expecting to be so fast in preseason"

Red Bull KTM Ajo rider anxiously awaiting debut in World Championship after strong preseason –in which he was third last week at Jerez.

Karel Hanika is the reigning Red Bull Rookies Cup champion and a Moto3 World Championship debutant with Red Bull KTM Ajo. He has surprised many with his speedy preseason performances, and was third quickest at last week’s Jerez test. The 17 year-old is delighted with his new team, with KTM and with the help of new teammate Jack Miller.

The man with the number 98 will debut this Sunday at Losail, Qatar.

What is your analysis of this preseason?

"I think I can say that after the last test at Jerez, overall it was not bad. We've done a lot of work, many experiments and ridden very well. We have also had a mix of fast laps and race simulation laps. After all that, we are ready to start the season."

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