Moto2 is not the only class whose entries continue to grow. To the 23 riders already included in the provisional entry list for World Superbikes can be added two more: Makoto Tamada and Luca Scassa. Tamada has been signed by the Pro Ride Honda team run by Marco Nicotari, at least according to reportsy by the Italian website BikeRacing.it. Scassa, meanwhile, is to be part of a new Ducati effort going by the name of Team Supersonic, according to GPOne.com.
There's an old saying in the world of computers and the internet: "Information just wants to be free." We had one demonstration of that aphorism just before Christmas, when Nicky Hayden posted that now famous picture of Ducati's GP10 on his website, without clearing it by the factory's (usually very helpful) PR bosses. This week, an alert reader of the Italian websites BikeRacing.it and Motoblog.it pointed out that the World Superbike website's timing had a small hole in it, which meant that the provisional entry lists for the 2010 season are visible on the site before they have been officially announced by the World Superbike website. The breach is trivial, after all this same information is available to anyone with a list of press releases and plenty of time on their hands, but the leak panders very nicely to those of us who suffer with Larry Wall's Three Virtues Of Programming, Laziness, Impatience and Hubris.
The leaked entry lists reveal nothing new, other than that both World Superbike and World Supersport fields have thinned considerably from last year. Prior to the 2009 season, World Superbikes had 32 entries, though several of those teams and riders had fallen by the wayside by the time the series reached its climax at Portimao, as the global economic crisis took its toll. In 2010, the series has 23 entries, but perhaps the most surprising thing about the entry list is the fact that 14 of those 23 entries are factory-backed (though Ten Kate continues to deny it is a factory effort, perhaps justifiably). Another two or three riders could be added to that list, and and one or two could still disappear during the course of the season, so the final number is not yet fixed.
The third day of Ducati's traditional MotoGP team launch saw several events of real note. The most prominent but probably least significant was the official unveiling of Ducati's 2010 Desmosedici GP10, the machine that Nicky Hayden and Casey Stoner will be campaigning in the upcoming season. The bike had been unofficially "unveiled" some three weeks ago, when Nicky Hayden put some photos he'd taken with his iPhone on his personal website without first obtaining permission from Ducati. "It probably got me in the doghouse a bit," Hayden admitted, but as the bike had already made its debut at the Valencia post-race tests, no real harm was done.
High in the snow-covered Dolomite mountains, in the part of Northern Italy so bitterly fought over during the Great War, the Italian motorsport giants Ducati and Ferrari hold their annual press introductions. It's a chance to show off the new big-bang Desmosedici GP10 - though Nicky Hayden had already inadvertently leaked photos of the bike on his website at the end of last year - and for the press to talk to Hayden and Casey Stoner in a more relaxed setting, without the pressure of a race weekend.
Ducati have also thoughtfully provided some video footage from the event. Today's episode features a couple of brief interviews with Nicky Hayden and Casey Stoner, perhaps the most interesting part of which is Stoner's discussion of his health. The Australian believes that he has found the key to the mystery illness that destroyed his 2009 season, with lactose intolerance the culprit. Since finding the problem, Stoner has been able to train as he wishes without suffering the devastating fatigue and illness that dogged him in 2009.
Watch the video and interviews, courtesy of Ducati Corse:
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.
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.
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?
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
It is a tradition to look back at the end of the year, and pick out the highlights of the season. Certainly for us at MotoMatters.com, the highlights have been Scott Jones' beautiful photos. Having paddock access for the first time meant that Scott could attend more races and take better photos. Over the next few days, we'll be going back and selecting a few of our favorites from among the very many beautiful shots Scott took for us. If you see any photos you'd like to have on your wall, then drop Scott an email to ask about pricing. And if you want to help us do it all over again in 2010, then head over to the donate page and send us a contribution. Here are some of Scott Jones' photos from Qatar to help persuade you of the wisdom of that decision.