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Ten Kate WorldSBK Team Declared Bankrupt

Ten Kate Racing BV, the private limited company housing the Ten Kate Racing team's racing activities, has been declared bankrupt by a Dutch court. The Ten Kate team had been forced to file for bankruptcy after last-minute attempts to put together a WorldSBK effort for 2019 had failed.

Ten Kate placed the blame for the bankruptcy squarely on Honda. The Dutch racing team had started out competing on Honda Supersport bikes, a natural choice given the team was a spin off of Ronald and Gerrit ten Kate's Honda motorcycle dealership in Nieuwleusen, in the east of The Netherlands.

Despite racing in both the World Supersport and World Superbike championships, and winning titles in both classes, the team never received much backing from Honda, and none at all from HRC in Japan for most of their existence, support coming from Honda Europe, the European distributor. Ten Kate were never HRC's choice, and so when HRC decided to make a return to the championship, they were always going to want to make their own choice about which structure to use.

The fact that Ten Kate only found on 30th October that HRC had chosen Althea and Moriwaki to partner with for the 2019 season, and HRC would not be providing any support for the Dutch team next year, mean that it was impossible to find other alternatives at such short notice. Contacts with other manufacturers faltered, and they could not find the necessary budget to continue in their present condition.

That situation has forced Ten Kate to consider legal steps to address the situation

In the press release - show below - Ten Kate expressed their desire to keep racing in the World Superbike championship, hopefully in 2019, but otherwise in 2020. That is contingent on a lot of other factors, of course.

The announcement was met with almost universal shock, and with enormous sadness. Jonathan Rea, who raced for the Ten Kate team between 2008 and 2014, had many kind words to say about the team, and the people involved. "It’s really sad," Rea said at the Jerez test. "I’m gutted for both Ronald and Gerrit. They’ve put their heart and soul into the Honda brand and now a curveball decision has put them in this decision. I’m gutted for Ronald and Gerrit and all the guys."

"I feel really bad for the team because when Honda undervalued WorldSBK and didn’t support the championship it was Ten Kate that stepped up," Rea said. "They sourced engine development with Cosworth and developed their electronics strategies and invested a lot in swingarm and chassis developments. That’s hard for the team to accept because when HRC decide to play suddenly Ten Kate get left aside. When I was there I was always keen to say it was a private team. I spent a lot of time there and the team has a soft spot in my heart." 

The structure of the company is such that the bankruptcy of Ten Kate Racing BV has no effect on either the Ten Kate Honda dealership, nor on the Ten Kate Racing Products company, which supplies specialist racing parts.

The press release from Ten Kate appears below:

Honda World Superbike team comes to an abrupt end

Nieuwleusen, November 27th 2018

Ten Kate Racing BV, the company that for 18 years has been responsible for Honda’s racing activities in the World Superbike and World Supersport series, during which time the team won 10 world championship titles, has today been declared bankrupt.

This sad situation is the direct result of very late notification given to Ten Kate Racing that Honda wished to end its association with the Dutch firm. Honda stated that it wished instead to continue its activities with two other companies who would assume responsibility for the company’s technical and logistics requirements in the World Superbike championship. This notification was given to the management of Ten Kate Racing on October 30th 2018 with no earlier indication or further explanation.

Until the last race of the 2018 World Superbike season, on October 27th in Qatar, the relationship between Honda and Ten Kate Racing was ‘business as usual’, with staffing, technical development, winter testing and all other aspects of the team operation for the following season discussed in detail and with most of the important decisions already made.

Indeed, the biggest question mark was the level of technical support from Honda and the Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) in Japan. A visit from HRC representatives in April to the Ten Kate Racing workshop in Nieuwleusen made it clear that, after many years, the team would no longer be solely responsible for the development of engines, chassis and electronics and that technical support would be forthcoming from the factory. Honda’s decision to stop the co-operation therefore came as a complete surprise and went totally against all the team’s expectations and beliefs.

During recent years, a clear understanding between Ten Kate Racing management and Honda established that any notification of a desire to terminate collaboration between the two parties would need to be made early (i.e. before the World Superbike championship’s summer break). This would allow Ten Kate Racing to explore opportunities for co-operation with other manufacturers and, in a worst case scenario, to manage human resources and potential redundancies within the team. During ongoing discussions Ten Kate Racing also made clear its willingness to become a logistics partner in the event that Honda wished to return to the World Superbike championship as a factory team.

Since receiving notification from Honda on October 30th, the management of Ten Kate Racing has, of course, had many conversations with other manufacturers and sponsors. However, as was feared by the team, World Superbike budgets and machinery were already fully allocated by the beginning of November.

While it was clear that there was genuine, high-level interest from a number of manufacturers, the timing was wrong. Consequently, it appears that Ten Kate Racing has been put in check-mate consciously by the world’s biggest motorcycle manufacturer. Pending legal proceedings relating to this situation, Ten Kate will make no further comments at this time. The team’s management will, however, continue to work on plans to race at world championship level, hopefully for (part of) the 2019 season, but otherwise for 2020.

Gerrit and Ronald ten Kate wish to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of every single member of the team over the last 18 years and to thank them for the huge successes and championship wins that those efforts have made possible.

The Ten Kate organisation also wishes to state that the end of its co-operation with Honda in World Superbikes will have no effect on the Honda dealership in Nieuwleusen or the Ten Kate Racing Products and Tuning department.


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CormacGP At The Valencia Test: Ringing In The New

New challenge for Jorge Lorenzo

Honda heat

A busy schedule for a man with a banged up shoulder

Hafizh Syahrin stays with Tech3, who switch to KTM

Full factory Petrux

Bit of a shock for Johann Zarco. The KTM isn't what he was expecting

Do the frog

Stepping into the future

Unbranded testing leathers and helmets are the best leathers and helmets

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If you would like to buy a copy of one of these photos, you can email Cormac Ryan Meenan

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CormacGP Shoots Valencia - Saying Farewell To 2018

Valencia was an occasion for goodbyes. MotoGP bade farewell to Dani Pedrosa, MotoGP Legend

Marc Marquez' shoulder is his Achilles heel

Desmo Dovi will get another chance next year

Alvaro Bautista's last MotoGP ride before heading off to WorldSBK

Petrucci's last ride at Pramac, before stepping up to the factory team

Alex Rins worked wet weather wonders on the Suzuki GSX-RR

Problem solved? Maverick Viñales found speed in the wet too

Another departure: Bradley Smith headed to Aprilia on Monday, after leaving KTM on Sunday night

We see you, Valentino

Temporary returnee: Stefan Bradl filled in for the injured Cal Crutchlow

Wet weather? Unpredictable grip? Best call Marc Marquez

Not quite like a fish in the water in MotoGP for Hafizh Syahrin

What does going fastest on Saturday get you? A chance to chat to damp reporters in Parc Ferme


If you'd like to have very high-resolution (4K) versions of the fantastic photos which appear on the site, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. A subscription will also give you access to the many in-depth and exclusive articles we produce for site supporters. The more readers who join our growing band of site supporters, the better we can make, and the more readers will get out of the website.

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Eugene Laverty To Race A Ducati Panigale V4R With Team GoEleven In 2019

There have been some major shake ups on the WorldSBK grid for 2019, leaving some big-name riders without a ride. Today, one of those big names found a home. The Go Eleven Team announced they had signed Eugene Laverty to race a Ducati Panigale V4R in the WorldSBK championship for the 2019 season.

That Laverty should return to a Ducati is hardly a surprise. The Irishman has maintained close links to the Italian factory, and has always had a good relationship with Ducati Corse boss Gigi Dall'Igna. Laverty had been linked to other teams considering running Ducatis before finally signing with Go Eleven.

Laverty's arrival means the loss of Ramon Ramos, who has to make way for the Irishman. But the switch from Kawasaki and the promise of support from Ducati, coupled with Laverty's proven potential as a WorldSBK race winner made it an easy choice. 

Laverty's signing sees one big name return to the grid, but others remain without a seat. Xavi Fores found a seat in the British BSB Superbike championship, but Jordi Torres and Loris Baz remain unsigned. More announcements are expected in the coming weeks, as the WorldSBK teams finalize their plans.

Below is the press release from the Go Eleven team:

Go Eleven with Eugene Laverty and Ducati in the World SBK!

With great enthusiasm Go Eleven announces the partnership with Ducati Corse and Eugene Laverty for the 2019 World Superbike Championship!

A few words and we immediately got in touch, a few days to find the agreement, and finally, with great excitement, Go Eleven is ready to formalize a partnership that represents an epochal turning point for the Team from Piedmont! For Go Eleven it is a real return to the roots, to when in 2008 with Ruben Xaus and Max Biaggi on the Borgo Panigale’s bikes, the adventure in the World Superbike began!

Riding the new Panigale V4R will be, therefore, a real top rider, Eugene Laverty, accepting a great challenge, which is welcomed with open arms, with the motivations and the conviction of being able to get great results.

The northern irish rider is a dream come true for Go Eleven, he is considered one of the strongest riders in the WorldSBK circus! The record of the ace from Toome is, to say the least, impressive: 25 wins, 56 podiums between Supersport and Superbike World Championships, 2 times second in Supersport World Championship, 1 time second in Superbike World Championship in 2013. The former MotoGP rider will bring professionalism and experience to the Go Eleven’s box, and we are sure that it will keep all fans entertained. It is a privilege, as well as an honor to put the Ducati V4R on track, ridden by Eugene!

An emotion, a shiver runs through the veins of those who are preparing for such an ambitious choice, only a Team driven by the passion for racing, like Go Eleven, able to get involved and accept new challenges, can live all this by creating such an important project. All the guys can’t wait to warm-up the red V4 of Borgo Panigale, and get on track in the winter tests, to prepare in the best possible way the new season!

It's time to join the fray!

Eugene Laverty (Rider):

I’m delighted to join Team Go Eleven to ride the new Ducati Panigale V4 R in 2019! The past five weeks has been a stressful period so it’s great to secure a competitive seat in the end. The support from Ducati is reassuring and I’m confident that we will have a package to fight for victory next season. Thank you to Denis Sacchetti and everyone at Team Go Eleven for putting their trust in me!

Denis Sacchetti (Team Manager):

I am very excited and happy, we worked hard for this project and at the end we did it! Ducati is the Italian dream of every motorcyclist, I saw the bike and it is awesome! After the first test the riders only expressed positive opinions and praises. Laverty is a very strong rider that I admire and esteem a lot. It is an honor and a great fortune to be able to work with him, I think that this year we will have a lot to learn and entertain. With Eugene I immediately found the agreement, the intentions are common, I felt in him the desire and the right motivations to accept such an important challenge. I can not wait to start!

Gianni Ramello (Team Principal):

These were days of intense negotiations but we can finally say that we are riding with the prestigious Italian brand! Ducati has always been considered a status symbol in the world of racing and now it's up to us not to disappoint the brand of Borgo Panigale and the fans. With great satisfaction last night we signed the agreement with Eugene Laverty, a rider with great experience, fast and winning. With him we put the icing on the cake!

Eugene believed in our project and in our growth; not all the riders of this caliber would have agreed to go to a private team and get back into the game!

We will have a great responsibility, it is a new experience for us, a crowning of 10 years of commitment in the Superbike World Championship. I have to personally thank Ducati Corse,

Mr. Paolo Ciabatti and Ing. Dall'Igna that have worked a lot to make us having a bike. We will try our best not to disappoint them!

I also want to thank Dorna and Gregorio Lavilla who gave us the imput and they believed in our desire to make a qualitative leap. Special thanks must also be given to Kawasaki, a brand for which we have ridden for 8 years, but, as often happens, you have to try new roads and new emotions, it's part of the racing DNA, it's never a farewell, we have other things planned. With regret, unfortunately, I must say goodbye and thank Roman, a really nice and simple guy, a great rider who has given us huge satisfactions. Unfortunately it was not possible to keep him with us, I would have gladly done it, I have always had a special feeling with him. The Team does not forget it and it is not said that in the near future our paths can meet again, it will be my personal commitment. Now I wish him so much luck, he deserves it, with all my heart!


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Grand Prix Commission Introduces MotoGP-Style Qualifying For Moto2 & Moto3

The Grand Prix Commission, MotoGP's rule-making body, has decided to change the qualifying system used for the Moto2 and Moto3 classes and adopt the same system used in MotoGP. From next year, the fastest 14 riders across all three free practice sessions will pass directly into Q2, the rest going into Q1. The four fastest riders from Q1 will then also go to Q2, meaning 18 riders will fight it out for the front 6 rows of the grid.

The changes are aimed at achieving two ends. Firstly, to homogenize the qualifying procedure across all three Grand Prix classes, and helping Moto2 and Moto3 riders prepare for MotoGP. Secondly, to improve the show in qualifying, and make it more attractive and exciting for viewers, as has happened in MotoGP. 

Though both these aims are laudable, the new system may have an unintended negative consequence as well. At the moment, towing is mainly a problem during qualifying, as riders - especially in Moto3 - try to find a fast rider to follow in an attempt to improve their own qualifying position. It has created many dangerous situations during qualifying, with near misses as slower riders sit on the racing line while riders going full speed approach.

However, by raising the importance of FP1, FP2, and FP3, there is a real chance that riders will start looking for a tow in all three practice sessions. There is more to gain from finding the right tow in FP2 and FP3 than there is currently in chasing a tow in qualifying. A tow in free practice is now more likely to gain you a position in the first six rows than it might have when you have only one shot at it during qualifying.

On the positive side, it should reduce the number of riders waiting for a tow in qualifying, especially for Moto3. With Q1 and Q2 lasting just 15 minutes, riders don't have much time they can afford to waste looking for other riders for a tow.

The press release from the FIM with the new schedule appears below:

FIM Grand Prix World Championship
Decision of the Grand Prix Commission

The Grand Prix Commission, composed of Messrs. Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna, Chairman), Paul Duparc (FIM), Herve Poncharal (IRTA) and Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA), in an electronic meeting held on 17 November 2018 made the following decision:

Standard Schedule for Events – Effective Season 2019

Format of Qualifying Practice in Moto2 and Moto3 Classes

After discussion with teams and reviewing the current situation in Moto3, with many riders waiting and riding slowly and considering the experience in Moto2 at various races where the fastest times have been set at the beginning of the Qualifying Practice, it has been decided to change to a qualifying format similar to that of the MotoGP Class. It is expected that this system will also bring a more entertaining format for the fans as well as preparing the young riders for the same system of classification as the premier Class. This will also make for a homogenous qualifying format across all Grand Prix classes.

Riders in Moto2 and Moto3, will continue to have three Free Practice sessions. The fastest 14 riders from the combined standings will qualify directly for Qualifying 2. The other riders will compete in Qualifying 1 and the four fastest riders will join the other 14 in Qualifying 2.

For both Moto2 and Moto3 the Free Practice sessions will last 40 minutes, and both Qualifying sessions will have a duration of 15 minutes.

The 4 riders that participate in both Qualifying 1 and 2 will be allowed to use one extra rear, soft tyre.

The standard schedule for Sunday will remain unchanged. The new standard schedule for Friday and Saturday will be:

09:00 – 09:40 Moto3 Free Practice 1
09:55 – 10:40 MotoGP Free Practice 1
10:55 – 11:35 Moto2 Free Practice 1
13:15 – 13:55 Moto3 Free Practice 2
14:10 – 14:55 MotoGP Free Practice 2
15:10 – 15:50 Moto2 Free Practice 2
09:00 – 09:40 Moto3 Free Practice 1
09:55 – 10:40 MotoGP Free Practice 1
10:55 – 11:35 Moto2 Free Practice 1
12:35 – 12:50 Moto3 Qualifying 1
13:00 – 13:15 Moto3 Qualifying 2
13:30 – 14:00 MotoGP Free Practice 4
14:10 – 14:25 MotoGP Qualifying 1
14:35 – 14:50 MotoGP Qualifying 2
15:05 – 15:20 Moto2 Qualifying 1
15:30 – 15:45 Moto2 Qualifying 2

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2019 MotoGP Entry List

No. Rider Nationality Team Bike Notes
4 Andrea Dovizioso Italian Ducati Team Ducati  
5 Johann Zarco French Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM  
9 Danilo Petrucci Italian Ducati Team Ducati  
12 Maverick Viñales Spanish Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha  
17 Karel Abraham Czech Reale Avintia Racing Ducati *
20 Fabio Quartararo French Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha *
21 Franco Morbidelli Italian Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha *
29 Andrea Iannone Italian Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia *
30 Takaaki Nakagami Japanese LCR Honda Idemitsu Honda *
35 Cal Crutchlow British LCR Honda Castrol Honda *
36 Joan Mir Spanish Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki  
41 Aleix Espargaro Spanish Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia *
42 Alex Rins Spanish Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki  
43 Jack Miller Australian Alma Pramac Racing Ducati *
44 Pol Espargaro Spanish Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM  
46 Valentino Rossi Italian Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha  
53 Tito Rabat Spanish Reale Avintia Racing Ducati *
55 Hafizh Syahrin Malaysian Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM *
63 Francesco Bagnaia Italian Alma Pramac Racing Ducati *
88 Miguel Oliveira Portuguese Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM *
93 Marc Marquez Spanish Repsol Honda Team Honda  
99 Jorge Lorenzo Spanish Repsol Honda Team Honda  

* Independent team rider



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2019 Moto2 Provisional Entry List

No. Rider Nationality Team Bike
3 Lukas Tulovic German KIEFER RACING KTM
4 Steven Odendaal S-African NTS RW RACING GP NTS
5 Andrea Locatelli Italian ITALTRANS RACING TEAM Kalex
7 Lorenzo Baldassari Italian PONS HP40 Kalex
9 Jorge Navarro Spanish SPEED UP RACING Speed Up
10 Luca Marini Italian SKY RACING TEAM VR46 Kalex
11 Nicolo Bulega Italian SKY RACING TEAM VR46 Kalex
12 Tom Luthi Swiss DYNAVOLT INTACT GP Kalex
18 Xavier Cardelus Andorra ANGEL NIETO TEAM KTM
20 Dimas Ekky Pratama Indonesian IDEMITSU HONDA TEAM ASIA Honda
21 Fabio Di Giannantonio Italian SPEED UP RACING Speed Up
22 Sam Lowes British FEDERAL OIL GRESINI Moto2 Kalex
23 Marcel Schrotter German DYNAVOLT INTACT GP Kalex
24 Simone Corsi Italian TASCA RACING SCUDERIA Moto2 Kalex
27 Iker Lecuona Spanish AMERICAN TEAM KTM
33 Enea Bastianini Italian ITALTRANS RACING TEAM Kalex
35 Somkiat Chantra Thai IDEMITSU HONDA TEAM ASIA Kalex
40 Augusto Fernandez Spanish PONS HP40 Kalex
41 Brad Binder S-African RED BULL KTM AJO KTM
45 Tetsuta Nagashima Japanese SAG TEAM Kalex
62 Stefano Manzi Italian FORWARD RACING TEAM MV
64 Bo Bendsneyder Dutch NTS RW RACING GP NTS
65 Philipp Oettl German RED BULL KTM TECH 3 KTM
72 Marco Bezzecchi Italian RED BULL KTM TECH 3 KTM
73 Alex Marquez Spanish EG 0,0 MARC VDS Kalex
77 Dominique Aegerter Swiss FORWARD RACING TEAM MV
87 Remy Gardner Australian SAG TEAM Kalex
88 Jorge Martin Spanish RED BULL KTM AJO KTM
89 Khairul Idham Pawi Malaysian PETRONAS SPRINTA RACING Kalex
96 Jake Dixon British ANGEL NIETO TEAM KTM
97 Xavi Vierge Spanish EG 0,0 MARC VDS Kalex

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2019 Moto3 Provisional Entry List

No. Rider Nationality Team Bike
10 Dennis Foggia Italian SKY RACING TEAM VR46 KTM
11 Sergio Garcia Spanish ESTRELLA GALICIA 0,0 Honda
13 Celestino Vietti Italian SKY RACING TEAM VR46 KTM
14 Tony Arbolino Italian TEAM O Honda
16 Andrea Migno Italian BESTER CAPITAL DUBAI KTM
17 John Mcphee British PETRONAS SPRINTA RACING Honda
19 Gabriel Rodrigo Argentinian KOMMERLING GRESINI Moto3 Honda
22 Kazuki Masaki Japanese BOE SKULL RIDER KTM
23 Niccolo Antonelli Italian SIC58 SQUADRA CORSE Honda
24 Tatsuki Suzuki Japanese SIC58 SQUADRA CORSE Honda
25 Raul Fernandez Spanish ANGEL NIETO TEAM KTM
27 Kaito Toba Japanese HONDA TEAM ASIA Honda
40 Darryn Binder S-African CIP GREEN POWER KTM
42 Marcos Ramirez Spanish LEOPARD RACING Honda
44 Aron Canet Spanish MAX RACING TEAM KTM
48 Lorenzo Dalla Porta Italian LEOPARD RACING Honda
54 Riccardo Rossi Italian KOMMERLING GRESINI Moto3 Honda
55 Romano Fenati Italian TEAM O Honda
61 Can Oncu Turkish RED BULL KTM AJO KTM
69 Tom Booth-Amos British CIP GREEN POWER KTM
71 Ayumu Sasaki Japanese PETRONAS SPRINTA RACING Honda
72 Alonso Lopez Spanish ESTRELLA GALICIA 0,0 Honda
75 Albert Arenas Spanish ANGEL NIETO TEAM KTM
76 Makar Yurchenko Kazakhstani BOE SKULL RIDER KTM
77 Vicente Perez Spanish REALE AVINTIA ACADEMY KTM
79 Ai Ogura Japanese HONDA TEAM ASIA Honda
84 Jakub Kornfeil Czech REDOX PRUESTELGP KTM

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Tom's Tech Treasures: Preparing MotoGP Bikes For Sepang's Tropical Heat

Thomas Morsellino is a French freelance journalist and photographer, with keen eye for the technical details of MotoGP bikes. You may have seen some of his work on Twitter, where he runs the @Off_Bikes account. Peter Bom is a world championship winning former crew chief, with a deep and abiding knowledge of every aspect of motorcycle racing. Peter has worked with such riders as Cal Crutchlow, Danny Kent, and Stefan Bradl. After every race, will be publishing a selection of Tom's photos of MotoGP bikes, together with extensive technical explanations of the details by Peter Bom. subscribers will get access to the full resolution photos, which they can download and study in detail, and all of Peter's technical explanations of the photos. Readers who do not support the site will be limited to the 800x600 resolution photos, and an explanation of two photos.

Air cooling system on Kalex (Marc VDS), for water
Peter Bom: Moto2 engines automatically enrich the fuel mixture over 80°C in order to cool the engine. This rich mixture causes a slight loss of power and in the extremely tight Moto2 class, every detail is worth looking at. Here we see the MarcVDS team, cooling down there Moto2 engines while the bike waits in the pit box.

Air duct for front calipers (Yamaha YZR-M1)
Peter Bom: Air ducts to guide air to the brake caliper, and no covers over the carbon brake disks. Carbon brakes have a fixed temperature window in which they operate well. Too low and they don’t work (very low coefficient of friction), too high and they get damaged.

Seat adjustments on Lorenzo’s GP18 during FP1

Honda RC213V (Marc Márquez)

Under the tank of the Ducati GP17, Xavier Siméon (Tito Rabat's bike, out through injury)

Exhaust Ducati GP18 (Danilo Petrucci)

Ducati GP18, Andrea Dovizioso

Clutch lever sensor on Maverick Viñales bike

Brembo calipers

Carbon swingarm (Honda RC213V)

If you would like access to the full-size versions of these technical photos and all of Peter Bom's explanations, as well as desktop-size versions of the other fantastic photos which appear on the site, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. A subscription will also give you access to the many in-depth and exclusive articles we produce for site supporters. The more readers who join our growing band of site supporters, the better we can make, and the more readers will get out of the website.

If you would like to buy a copy of one of thes photos, you can email Thomas Morsellino


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Cal Crutchlow Out For Valencia, Aiming For Return At Sepang

Cal Crutchlow is out for the rest of the 2018 season, as well as for the winter tests at Valencia and Jerez. The injury the LCR Honda rider sustained in practice at Phillip Island is so severe that it will take at least until the beginning of next year before Crutchlow will be fit enough to attempt to ride.

Crutchlow sustained a so-called 'Pilon' fracture of the tibia, fibula (the two bones in the lower leg), and talus (the bone which hinges the two leg bones, and joins them to the feet). That fracture (Pilon comes from the French word for pestle) is the result of the foot smashing into the ground, and the three bones being crushed together by the force involved.

Crutchlow had surgery to fix the bones, which involved the use of two plates, eight screws and some artificial bone. The severity of the injury is such that he has had to keep his ankle immobile, and with no weight on it. He hopes to start moving it again soon, and will start cycling again this week. But with a typical recovery period of between six and twelve months, Crutchlow has been forced to miss all testing this year.

The LCR Honda rider is aiming for a return at the Sepang test on February 6th, three months after his surgery. The chances of the Englishman being 100% are slim, but he should be fit and strong enough to manage testing and prepare for 2019.

Below is a statement taken from the LCR Honda press release: 

Cal Crutchlow

“First of all, I would like to say thank you for all the well wishes I have received since the Friday of the Philip Island GP. To all the medical staff at the circuit, my LCR Honda CASTROL Team, HRC and everyone who came to visit me while I was in hospital in Melbourne, especially my wife Lucy who travelled to be with me for the 12 days I had to stay. Also, Jake Harrison and Andy Roche for sorting everything out and, of course, our Team Manager Lucio (Cecchinello) who stayed with me every day until he went to Malaysia”.

“I had excellent surgeons in Matthias Russ and Dr Evans who initially put an external fixator on my leg until the swelling went down and they could operate, which was 6 days later. The crash resulted in a Pilon fracture of my tibia, fibula and talus bone. The surgery was completed in three and half hours and, along with reconstruction with artificial bone, two metal plates and eight screws were inserted”.

“The injury I have can take a recovery time of up to 12 months and, although as a typical motorcycle racer I thought I would be back in time for the Valencia GP, unfortunately this is not the case. I can’t put any weight on my ankle for six weeks, but am continuing to recover and having physiotherapy. This week I will start to try and cycle again and look forward to preparing for Sepang in February 2019”.

“I have had a fantastic season again with the LCR Honda CASTROL Team and HRC and I look forward to making more great memories in 2019-2020. Good luck this weekend in Valencia to my team and to all the people on the MotoGP grid. I look forward to watching the best motorsport championship there is as a fan this weekend.”


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