Archive

March 26th, 2015

2015 Qatar MotoGP Thursday Post-Practice Press Releases

Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the first day of practice at Qatar:

Round Number: 
1
Year: 
2015

2015 Qatar Moto2 And Moto3 Thursday Post-Practice Press Releases

Press releases from the teams after the first day of practice at Qatar:

Round Number: 
1
Year: 
2015

2015 Qatar Moto2 FP2 Result: Lowes' Domination Continues

Sam Lowes continues to reign supreme in the Moto2 class at Qatar, leading the second session of free practice almost from the start and never being challenged. The Speed Up rider could not quite get under the two minute mark in FP2, but he was once again under Tito Rabat's pole record from last year.

Reigning champion Rabat ended the day second, a third of a second behind Lowes, and ahead of Johann Zarco this time. Axel Pons set the 4th fastest time, another third of a second behind Zarco, and over a second behind the pace of Lowes. Pons heads up a large group of close riders, with Taka Nakagami, Tom Luthi, Sandro Cortese and Xavier Simeon separated by tenth of a second, and Alex Rins another two tenths behind in 9th. Rins was once again impressive, faster than both his teammate Luis Salom, and the reigning Moto3 champion and former teammate Alex Marquez. Marquez ended down in 18th.

Results:

2015 Qatar Moto3 FP2 Result: Oliveira Dominates Second Session

Miguel Oliveira dominated the second session of free practice for the Moto3 session. The Portuguese rider led by nearly half a second for most of the session, the chasing pack only closing the gap as the session wound down, only for Oliveira to open a gap again at the end.

Niccolo Antonelli ended the day in 2nd, just under two tenths behind Oliveira, with Isaac Viñales taking 3rd, over six tenths slower than the Red Bull KTM rider. Romano Fenati showed good pace in the second session, ending in 5th ahead of the deeply impressive Fabio Quartararo, the French rookie living up to expectations. Livio Loi was 7th fastest on the RW Racing Honda, just edging out Danny Kent, who had led FP1. Efren Vazquez and Jorge Navarro rounded out the top 10.

Results:

2015 Qatar MotoGP FP1 Result: Marquez Edges Pedrosa In First Session

Marc Marquez leads the way at the end of the first session of free practice for the MotoGP class, the reigning world champion starting his 2015 season where he left off in 2014. 

Marquez came out of the gate fast, setting his best time with his second flying lap, only for him to see 1st place taken from him by his Repsol Honda teammmate, Dani Pedrosa. Pedrosa led the session for the first 15 minutes, until Marquez came back out and snatched the lead. From that point, the dominion of the two Hondas went unchallenged.

Jorge Lorenzo had sat in 3rd for much of the opening session, but was demoted by Aleix Espargaro at the end, after the Suzuki rider put in a soft tire to set a time. Despite that, Espargaro's pace on the Suzuki was strong, even on the medium race tire, staying well inside the top ten. Cal Crutchlow put in a late fast lap to jump up to 5th, behind the Movistar Yamaha of Lorenzo, staying just ahead of Danilo Petrucci, who had put a soft tire on the Pramac Ducati at the end of the session to take 6th. It had been hard work, as Petrucci had had to sprint back to his pit box after his first bike cut out in pit lane.

2015 Qatar Moto2 FP1 Result: Lowes Smashes Pole Record To Lead First Session

Sam Lowes has smashed the existing Moto2 pole record in Qatar, becoming the first man to lap the Losail circuit in under two minutes on a Moto2 bike. Lowes ended the session six tenths of a second ahead of Johann Zarco, while reigning Moto2 champion Tito Rabat took 3rd.

Lowes and Zarco dominated the first session of practice for Moto2, sharing the lead for most of FP1 with exactly the same time. With five minutes to go, Zarco finally took a lead, only to see Lowes smash his time on his very last lap. Rabat was a comfortable 3rd, but could not match the pace of the two leaders.

Tom Luthi finished FP1 in 4th, the Swiss rider nearly 1.6 seconds behind the time set by Lowes, and nearly a second behind Zarco. Times were much closer behind Luthi: Jonas Folger was a tenths slower in 5th, while Sandro Cortese, Franco Morbidelli, Ant West, Alex Rins and Julian Simon were separated by just a quarter of a second. Rins' 9th time marked the best of rookie performances in the Moto2 class, while reigning Moto3 champ Alex Marquez struggled with mechanical issues, only managing the 18th best time.

Results:

2015 Qatar Moto3 FP1 Result: Kent Pips Oliveira To Top First Session Of 2015

Danny Kent has drawn first blood of the 2015 season, topping the first session of free practice for the Moto3 class. Kent used a handy slipstream from Romano Fenati to just pip Miguel Oliveira at the very end of the session.

Oliveira ended the session in 2nd, after having led the way for most of it, Kent moving from six tenths behind Oliveira to a tenth of a second ahead of the Red Bull KTM rider. Niccolo Antonelli moved up to set the 3rd fastest time, getting ahead of Isaac Viñales. After a slow start, Brad Binder ended the session in 5th, while Jorge Navarro posted an impressive 6th fastest time on his first visit to the track.

There were impressive starts for two of the Moto3 rookies in FP1. Red Bull Rookie champion Jorge Martin ended the session in 8th, 1.5 seconds behind Kent, while Fabio Quartararo finished in 14th spot, 1.8 seconds slower than the leader Kent.

Results:

2015 MotoGP Preview: The Fantastic Four Vs The Red Menace - The Makings Of a Great Year?

The prospect of a new MotoGP season always leaves fans giddy with anticipation. Their appetites keenly whetted by winter testing, and speculation over the times set at those tests, they boldly predict that this season is going to be the best MotoGP season ever. Though the racing is often good, all too often, it never quite lives up to the preseason hype.

There is every reason to believe that this year, it will be different. The bikes, the riders, the teams, the motivation, it all points to 2015 being an exceptionally exciting season in MotoGP. At the last day of winter testing at Qatar just over a week ago, less than a second covered the top fourteen riders, and two seconds covered all but four of the MotoGP field. A similar pattern emerged at Sepang: with the exception of the occasional hot lap by Marc Márquez, there were ten or more riders within a second of each other. Things haven't been this close for a while.

The Fantastic Four

It has been a very long time – Estoril in 2006, to be precise – since a satellite rider has won a race in MotoGP. That is unlikely to change in 2015. The reasons for this are manifold, but perhaps the most important is the emergence of a group of exceptionally talented riders pushing each other on to greater heights. The arrival of Dani Pedrosa, Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo posed a real threat to Valentino Rossi, and forced him to up his game to stay with them, and to beat them. When Stoner retired at the end of 2012, Marc Márquez took his place, keeping the squad of so-called Aliens at full strength.

This group – call them the Aliens, the Fantastic Four, the Factory Four, whatever moniker takes your fancy – will be hard to beat again in 2015. Márquez, Rossi, Lorenzo and Pedrosa have the best bikes on the grid, in the best teams, with the best crew chiefs. They are the most talented, and the most dedicated. They train hardest, and have the best support in terms of physical training and mental preparation. They all know that victory is won by the narrowest of margins, and attention to detail must be complete. These four are indeed fearsome, and favorites to boot.

March 25th

2015 Qatar MotoGP Preview Press Releases

Press releases from the series organizer and the MotoGP teams previewing this weekend's season opener at Qatar:

Round Number: 
1
Year: 
2015

2015 Qatar Moto2 And Moto3 Preview Press Releases

Press releases from the series organizers and from some of the Moto2 and Moto3 teams ahead of this weekend's season opener at Qatar:

Round Number: 
1
Year: 
2015

Aspar Team Loses Drive Energy Drink Sponsorship On Day Before Season Opener

It has been a tough day for sponsorship news in the MotoGP paddock. After news earlier of LCR Honda's title sponsor CWM being subject of a fraud investigation, the Aspar Honda team have lost their title sponsor, Drive M7. The Malaysian energy drink firm have withdrawn their sponsorship of the team on the day before the 2015 season was due to start.

According to German language publication Speedweek, the Drive M7 management told team owner Jorge Martinez about the decision on Tuesday night. The decision was a surprise, as it had been expected that the deal would continue in 2015, with both Nicky Hayden and Eugene Laverty riding in Drive M7 testing colors during preseason testing.

Movistar Yamaha Press Release Interview With Jorge Lorenzo: On Preparing For 2015

Ahead of this weekend's season opener, the Movistar Yamaha team issued the following press release, containing an interview with Jorge Lorenzo.

JORGE LORENZO INTERVIEW
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider
Doha (Qatar), 23rd March 2015

Q1: In a few days the 2015 World Championship will kick off. What do you expect from the start of this new season?

JL: “As always I hope to be able to try and fight for the title. Whether you win it or not in the end depends on many factors, but at least we have to go into the season with the intention of fighting for the title, as we have done all throughout my career in MotoGP. I think that, if the bike works well and I stay in good shape physically, I can do it. Let's see what happens...”

Q2: What have you learned from previously made mistakes, and from which mistakes did you learn the most?

LCR Honda Sponsor CWMFX Subject Of Fraud Enquiry By London Police

LCR Honda's title sponsor, foreign exchange trading firm CWMFX, is the subject of a police investigation by the City of London police and Financial Conduct Authority, the UK body charged with regulating the financial services industry. Police raided the firm on 3rd March this year, arresting thirteen people for a range of fraud charges. Since last night, the CWMFX website has been offline, with only a contact form on the site.

The arrests come as part of a wider investigation into an offshore Ponzi scheme allegedly being run by Belvedere Management Limited. Research by independent financial advisors deVere Group, as well as the investigative financial services publisher OffshoreAlert revealed that $16 billion of investor funds was involved in the Belvedere scheme, which was based in Mauritius. Major investors such as hedge funds, life insurance, investment management and much more had started withdrawing their investments from the firm, bringing Belvedere to the brink of bankruptcy. CWM is believed have $130 million of investor's fund committed to one of the Ponzi schemes allegedly operated by Belvedere, and run out of the Cayman Islands. It is this involvement which has caused the City of London police to make the arrests and charge CWM staff with various fraud offences.

March 23rd

Estrella Galicia Press Release: Fabio Quartararo - "The main obstacle will be learning the new tracks and adapting quickly to them"

Fabio Quartararo is Moto3's hottest property. The Estrella Galicia 0,0 team issued the following press release, containing an interview with the French youngster, ahead of his debut in the Grand Prix paddock this weekend:


Interview with Fabio Quartararo
03/23/2015

"The main obstacle will be learning the new tracks and adapting quickly to them”

Fabio Quartaro will make his debut at Qatar aged 15, as the champion of the FIM CEV. The rookie has won two national titles in Spain, and comes into the campaign off the back of an excellent preseason.

You won the FIM CEV in 2013 and 2014, you tested a Grand Prix bike in preseason last year and in 2015 you debut in the World Championship. It has been a very quick process. What do you expect to encounter in the World Championship?

"Above all I hope to have a good pace and have some great battles. It is something that we saw in the 2014 World Championship, at races such as Mugello and Brno, which were very hard fought. That's something I missed last year, so now I can’t wait to fight with the World Championship riders."

Did you feel you had already outgrown the FIM CEV and it was time to make the leap to the World Championship?

Year: 
2015

The 2015 MotoGP Rules Primer: Engines, Fuel, Tires, Testing And More For The Five Factories

Once upon a time, Grand Prix racing rules were fairly simple: bikes had to have two wheels, weigh 130kg, have a maximum capacity of 500cc and a maximum of four cylinders. The switch to four strokes in 2002 added a lot of complexity to the rules, and things have been getting slowly worse since then. MotoGP now has two different categories with three different rule sets covering a single class, depending on entry type and results in recent years. With Suzuki and Aprilia entering the series in 2015, and another rule change on the horizon for 2016, it's time to take a quick look at the rules for this season, and see what has changed since last year.

The Basics

The basic formula for MotoGP is unchanged. A MotoGP bike is limited to a maximum of 4 cylinders, a maximum capacity of 1000cc, and a maximum bore of 81mm.

For 2015, the minimum weight has been reduced by 2kg to 158kg. That limit is likely to be reduced again for 2016. Bikes are weighed in race trim, including coolant, onboard cameras and electronics, but with an empty fuel tank.

Factory vs Open

As in 2014, MotoGP is divided into two categories: Factory Option and Open class. Factory Option is meant for motorcycle manufacturers, the Open class for private entries and smaller teams. However, just as in 2014, the threat of Ducati's defection to the Open class means that the concessions they were granted in 2014 stay in place, and will be extended to the new factories entering the class, Suzuki and Aprilia.

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