2018 Buriram MotoGP Test Preview: Burning Rubber For Bibendum

The Sepang MotoGP test proved to be most instructive, both for the fans, who got a first taste of what the 2018 season could look like, and for the factories, who put the first imaginings of this year's bikes – and especially engines – through their paces. We learned that Ducati have taken another step forward, that Honda is improved, that Yamaha have solved one problem but possibly created another, that Suzuki are showing promise, that Aprilia are still waiting on a new engine to match their new chassis, and that KTM are starting to realize that closing in on the top ten was much easier than getting into the top five will be.

From Sepang, MotoGP moves to Thailand, some 1300km almost due north. The Chang International Circuit – mostly referred to as Buriram among the MotoGP faithful, as the circuit is owned by (and named after) the main Thai rival to Official MotoGP Beer Supplier Singha – may prove a good deal less instructive than Sepang, for a couple of reasons. First of all, it offers more of the same, especially from a climate point of view. And secondly, it offers less, in terms of variety of corners and bike maneuverability.

The layout of the Buriram circuit is relatively simple. There are no real elevation changes, though the track has one or two crests and dips. The track consists of three straights strung together with tight corners, and then an ornery section of tightish corners taking the riders back to the final first-gear corner, and back onto the relatively short start and finish straight. It is, unsurprisingly, a Hermann Tilke track, and exactly what you would expect as a result.

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2018 Jerez February Test Wednesday Moto2 Times: Marquez Blasts To Moto2 Lap Record On Final Day

Alex Marquez has underlined his role as favorite for the 2018 Moto2 title by smashing the unofficial Moto2 lap record at Jerez on the final day of the test. The Marc VDS rider became the first man to lap the track in under 1'41 on a Moto2 machine, beating the official pole record by over a second.

Marquez' time put Pecco Bagnaia back into second place, after dominating the first two days of the test. The Sky VR46 rider still ended the day in second, as well as finishing the test as second overall after all three days. Red Bull KTM rider Brad Binder took third place, beating his teammate Miguel Oliveira for the first time this test, but still eight tenths of a second slower than Marquez. 

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2018 Jerez February Test Wednesday Moto3 Times: Arbolino Beats Bastianini

Tony Arbolino has made a splash on the final day of the Moto3 test at Jerez by taking another tenth off of the unofficial lap record set yesterday by Enea Bastianini. The Snipers Team rider took the lap record to under the 1'45.5 mark, taking half a second off the existing official pole record set by Jorge Martin back in May last year.

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Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - MotoE: Make some noise

Next year MotoGP gets its first new world-class championship in more than half a century, but the electric MotoE series must sound great

Within the next few months MotoGP fans will see a MotoE machine ride a few demo laps at a Continental Grand Prix: perhaps Jerez, Le Mans, or most likely Mugello, because both MotoE’s Energica motorcycle and the series sponsors Enel are Italian.

So far the MotoE World Cup hasn’t got fans agog with excitement, mainly because an electric motorcycle race doesn’t involve a quarter of million earth-shaking petroleum explosions. In other words, MotoE is too damn quiet, for the moment, at least.

But the championship is hugely significant in all kinds of ways. MotoE is Grand Prix motorcycling’s first completely new world-class category since the 50cc class born in 1962.

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2018 Jerez February Test Tuesday Moto2 Times: Bagnaia Beats Marquez And Baldassarri

Pecco Bagnaia continues to dominate proceedings at Jerez, lapping nearly half a second under the previous pole record at Jerez, taking advantage of the track resurfacing which happened last year. The Sky VR46 rider was two tenths of a second quicker than Alex Marquez on the Marc VDS Kalex, the top two remaining unchanged from Monday.

Lorenzo Baldassarri put the Pons HP40 into third on the timesheets, the only other rider to end below the previous pole record. A full eighteen riders ended up under the race lap record of 1'42.596, however.

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2018 Jerez February Test Tuesday Moto3 Times: Bastianini Bests Martin

Enea Bastianini got the better of Jorge Martin to top the timesheets on the second day of the Moto3 test at Jerez. The Leopard Racing rider destroyed the Moto3 lap record, a result of the circuit resurfacing which took place last year after last year's Grand Prix at Jerez in May. 

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Dorna Press Release: Race Lengths To Be Shortened For 2018, 2019

Dorna issued the following press release confirming the shortening of races in all three Grand Prix classes, as we reported earlier. Seven MotoGP races are to be shortened, ten Moto2 races are to lose laps, and eight races in Moto3. The press release explaining the full list of changes appears below:

FIM MotoGP™ World Championship race durations to change

The number of laps in MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 races are to be adjusted to ensure greater parity in race duration.

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Pol Espargaro To Miss Buriram Test Due To Injury Sustained In Sepang Crash

Red Bull KTM MotoGP rider Pol Espargaro is to miss the upcoming MotoGP test at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand, KTM have announced. The 26-year-old Spaniard is suffering with a hernia in his L4 vertebra, for which he underwent surgery on Monday night in Barcelona.

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2018 Jerez February Test Monday Moto2 Times: Bagnaia Leads Marquez

Pecco Bagnaia has underlined why there is so much interest in him from MotoGP teams by topping the first day of the Moto2 test in Jerez. The Sky Racing VR46 Team rider topped both dry sessions, the lunchtime session seeing very little action on a wet track. 

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2018 Jerez February Test Monday Moto3 Times: Martin Leads Arbolino

Jorge Martin has topped the timesheets on the first day of the Moto3 test at Jerez. The Gresini Honda rider got off to a strong start topping both dry sessions in the morning and in the afternoon, the lunchtime session having been hit by rain and a wet track.

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