October 6th, 2015

Tito Rabat Fractures Arm In Training Injury, Will Race In Japan

Tito Rabat has suffered a fracture of the radius of his left arm. The reigning Moto2 champion crashed while training at Almeria in preparation for the Pacific triple header, falling and injuring his arm. He immediately underwent surgery to have a plate fitted to his arm, and is to fly to Japan where he intends to try to race.

The cause of the crash is not clear. Rabat blamed the crash on a technical problem, causing him to fall at the chicane, but due to his injury, he has not been able to take a look at the bike to determine what caused the problem. This is Rabat's second training-related injury this season, having also broken his collarbone earlier in the year after a crash at Almeria.

Rabat's decision to race is forced by his desire to defend his title. Johann Zarco leads Rabat by 78 points, so if Rabat wants to keep his title hopes alive, he has to score 4 points more than Zarco at Motegi. Even then, Rabat will need the Frenchman to score a number of DNFs. But riders are not willing to give up on a title until the mathematics says it is impossible.

Below is the press release from the Marc VDS Racing Estrella Galicia team:

Rabat ready to race in Japan despite training injury

October 5th

Will Cheats Prosper? How Inertial Platforms Can Manipulate The Spec ECU, And Is It Worth It

The move to a standard electronics package, both hardware and software, had raised the hopes of fans, teams and organizers that a more level playing field could be established, and costs cut. The ideal sketched by Dorna and IRTA when the plan first came out has proven to be impossible to achieve. The manufacturers have resisted calls for a completely spec hardware and software package, and so a compromise has been reached. The ECU hardware and software will be built, updated and managed by official electronics supplier to MotoGP, Magneti Marelli. Factories will be free to choose their own sensors, but those sensors will have to be homologated, and made available to any other manufacturer which wishes to use it at a reasonable price.

Not quite all of the sensors, however. In response to a request by the factories, the inertial platform will remain what is called a free device, i.e. any manufacturer can choose to use whichever inertial platform they like, without first submitting it for a approval to Dorna, or making it available to their rivals at a price. The inertial platform is a crucial part of the electronics package, consisting of a collection of gyroscopes and accelerometers, which describe the attitude and motion of the bike. In other words, the inertial platform tells the ECU what lean angle the bike is at, whether it is braking or accelerating, how hard it is corner, etc.

Giving manufacturers the freedom to use their own inertial platforms has created a lot of suspicion. Because the inertial platform plays such a pivotal role, there have been accusations that some manufacturers, especially Honda and Yamaha, wish to use their proprietary units to circumvent the rules. There are good reasons to build some intelligence into inertial platforms, as such intelligence can increase accuracy, and therefore help the ECU software perform better. This is the reason the factories give for wanting their own inertial platform; experience with the spec unit used by the Open class machines has shown it to be insufficiently accurate.

But the intelligence built in to the inertial platform could go well beyond just improving accuracy. By including a powerful processor in the inertial platform, one which could be programmed by a manufacturer with their own software, and their own algorithms and strategies, the inertial platform could hypothetically be used to modify the strategies being used by the unified software in the spec ECU.

October 4th

2015 Magny-Cours World Superbike Post-Race Press Releases

Press releases from the series organizers and teams after Sunday's World Superbike round at Magny-Cours:

Round Number: 

2015 World Superbike Championship Standings After Round 12, Magny-Cours, France

Championship standings for round 12, 2015

2015 World Supersport Championship Standings After Round 12, Magny-Cours, France

Championship standings for round 12, 2015

Jorge Lorenzo Sprains Shoulder While Training, Will Race In Japan

Jorge Lorenzo has sprained his left shoulder in a training accident. The four-time world champion was training on a minibike with some other riders, when he fell heavily on his left shoulder. The pain was severe enough for him to travel to a medical center in Barcelona, where he was diagnosed with grade 1 sprain of his left shoulder. Grade 1 sprains are the lowest level injury, a mild sprain. Sources speaking to both Motocuatro and classified the injury as "not serious, nothing to worry about."

Lorenzo is already underway to Japan, and intends to race at Motegi, the first of three back-to-back flyaway races. How much the injury will hamper him remains to be seen, but given the mild nature of the injury, it should not trouble him too much. Motegi does have a lot of heavy braking, but it is mostly for right-hand corners. From there, the circus heads to Phillip Island, which is a left-hand circuit, but which does not feature much heavy braking. Then to Sepang, which is a mixture of braking for both left and right handers.

2015 Magny-Cours World Superbike Race Two: Dry At Last

The last race of the day, only five minutes later than advertised, would be the full twenty one laps in the dry, most of the dampness having left the track.

2015 Magny-Cours World Supersport Race: A Red Flag And A Title In The Balance

The World Supersport race was shortened for scheduling, and it was still damp enough for everyone to fit intermediate tyres. The race started with Kenan Sofuoglu having to fight his way past Lucas Mahias and a very quick off the mark Kyle Smith to take the lead.

Once clear, Sofuoglu built a five second lead in three laps with PJ Jacobsen in second seeing his title hopes disappearing into the distance. Then, a red flag came out for fluid on the track and they would have to start again.

The restart was a dry eleven lap race, starting from their positions in the shortened session as opposed to their qualifying positions, with the front row being Kenan Sofuoglu, PJ Jacobsen and Kevin Wahr. Baldolini would not start, leaving a gap on the second row.

2015 Magny-Cours World Superbike Race One: Oil And Water Don't Mix

The morning's wet warmup was red-flagged as Reiterberger spilled oil on the track. The race start was delayed and the race would be reduced to nineteen laps. In deference for the conditions, riders were shod in the new wet tyres, front and rear.

October 3rd

2015 Magny-Cours World Superbike Post-Qualifying Press Releases

Press releases from the organizers and teams after qualifying at Magny-Cours:

Round Number: 

2015 Magny-Cours World Supersport Qualifying: Still Wet

World Supersport qualifying wasn't any drier than Superpole.

2015 Magny-Cours World Superbike Superpole: It Rained

A wet Superpole in France and all bets were off. Without a choice of tyres, everyone apparently getting the new wet weather Pirelli, we would not get the usual shift on a race tyre followed by a shift on a qualifying tyre as the better tactic is to just go out and get as many laps in fourteen minutes as possible.

2015 Magny-Cours World Superbike FP4: Sykes Quickest

Tom Sykes was quickest, ahead of Jonathan Rea, Chaz Davies and Leon haslam, in this untimed session. 


2015 Magny-Cours World Supersport FP3: Jacobsen Leads Tight Group

PJ Jacobsen pipped fast local man Lucas Mahias and title rival Kenan Sofuoglu while Alex Baldolini sneaked into the top four. Sofuoglu's time from the Friday morning is still the quickest of the weekend so far.


2015 Magny-Cours World Superbike FP3: Davies Tops Slow Cold Session

With nobody beating Jonathan Rea's quickest time from yesterday, Chaz Davies was quickest this morning, ahead of Rea, Leon Haslam and Tom Sykes.

Superpole qualifying will have Luca Scassa and Matteo Baiocco as the two favourites in Superpole One to get promoted to Superpole Two. Impressive German wildcard Markus Reiterberger qualified for Superpole Two.