July 2015

Stefan Bradl Released By Forward, Aprilia Signing Imminent?

Stefan Bradl's period of enforced unemployment will be mercifully brief. Today, the Forward Racing team announced they had released him from his contract at his request, as the problems facing the team continue. Free from his contract, Bradl looks set to sign for the Gresini Aprilia squad for the rest of the season, replacing Marco Melandri.

Bradl has been caught up in a whirlwind of events since breaking his scaphoid at Assen. Two weeks later, at the Sachsenring, the German was in talks with the Forward Racing team to extend his contract to race the Open class Yamaha for the 2016 season. The day after the race in Germany, team owner Giovanni Cuzari was arrested on his return home to Ticino, Switzerland, on charges of corruption, money laundering and tax evasion. Because of the charges, the Swiss authorities seized the team's computers and financial administration, and froze their bank accounts. The arrest also prompted a number of sponsors to end their contracts, further endangering the future of the team. The team announced that they would not be competing at Indianapolis, and that they could also end up missing Brno.

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2015 Sepang World Superbike FP2 Results: Davies Quickest On Damp Track

With the rain stopped at the end of the Supersport session, most riders waited for the track to dry, and only went out in the last third of the session. Chaz Davies was quickest on the drying tarmac, beating out Alex Lowes for the quickest lap, but was still seven seconds off the morning's pace. 

Results:

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2015 Sepang World Supersport FP2 Results: Jacobsen Leads Wet Session

Rain at Sepang meant that nobody was able to go as quickly as this morning, leaving Lorenzo Zanetti with the quickest overall time, but PJ Jacobsen was quickest in the wet, over a second and a half ahead of Kenan Sofuoglu and Kyle Smith.

Results:

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2015 Sepang World Superbike FP1 Results: Biaggi Quickest

Returning former champion Max Biaggi, having tested in Sepang recently, went quickest in the morning session, taking the top spot early and never relinquishing it once he had it. Chaz Davies got within two tenths while the Kawasakis of Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes were over half a second off Biaggi's pace.

Results:

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2015 Sepang World Supersport FP1 Results: Zanetti And Cluzel Put MV Agusta On Top

Lorenzo Zanetti leads MV Agusta teammate Jules Cluzel, taking the top spot in the last minute of the session, ahead of PJ Jacobsen and Kyle Smith with championship leader Kenan Sofuoglu over a second back in fifth.

Results:

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Deciphering The Inscrutable - MotoGP Silly Season Review, Part 2

This is the second part of our silly season overview. Before starting on this part, make sure you have read the first part of the review, published yesterday.

If Jack Miller is parachuted into Aspar, the second seat in the team is up for grabs. Though Dorna are keen to have an American in MotoGP, it is widely believed that Nicky Hayden's days are numbered. Despite his denials, there are question marks over Hayden's wrist, and he has not been as competitive on the Open Honda as he had hoped. Hayden was at the last round of World Superbikes at Laguna Seca a couple of weeks ago, where he was seen talking to a lot of teams. There is a lot of speculation Hayden could end up on an Aprilia in World Superbikes next season, the American already having visited the factory's Noale HQ in 2013, before he left Ducati to sign for Aspar.

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Deciphering The Inscrutable - MotoGP Silly Season Review, Part 1

If you think that silly season has been a bit quiet this year, you'd be right. Normally by now, we would have passed through the stage of outrageous fabrication, left the wildly inaccurate rumors behind us, and be well into probable rider signing scenarios. This year, the annual merry-go-round has barely registered, with very little sign of who may end up where for the 2016 season.

Of course, for the most part, this is because all of the factory seats bar the second slots at Aprilia and Ducati are already spoken for in 2016. Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Márquez, Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso, Aleix Espargaro, and Alvaro Bautista all have contracts for next year. Maverick Viñales' seat at Suzuki is safe through 2017. Of the currently active factory riders, only Andrea Iannone's contract could be ended after 2015, but Ducati will be keeping the Italian for 2016 as well. The only truly vacant seat is the one at Aprilia vacated by Marco Melandri, who never really wanted to be in MotoGP anyway.

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