November 7th, 2010
Results and summary of the Moto2 race at Valencia:
Results and summary of the 125cc race at Valencia:
The long-awaited rules for the replacement of the 125cc class were announced at Valencia on Saturday, with the details finalized for the 250cc four-stroke formula. The rules contain few surprises from the information that has leaked out over the past few months, with the thought process behind it very clear: a lot of technical regulations have been imposed to avoid the costs from spiraling out of control.
The most important technical restrictions are in the engine, the fuel supply and ECU. The 250cc four-stroke engine will have a maximum bore of 81mm - the same diameter as the 1000cc MotoGP bikes from 2012 - and a hard rev limit of 14,000 rpm. In addition, the engines will have only 4 valves, with the camshaft driven by a chain, and variable valve timing or exhaust valves banned. Fuel pressure will be limited to 5 Bar, and a standard fuel spec will be imposed. Only two injectors will be allowed, and variable-length inlet tracts (as seen on several street bikes nowadays) are also banned. Most interesting of all is that the rules stipulate that the throttle valve must be operated directly by mechanical means only from the rider's wrist.
With the start of the 2011 MotoGP season just 72 hours away, the first test due to start on Tuesday at 10am local time, the grid is still not finalized. Of the 17 expected riders, only 15 had been confirmed at their teams as of Saturday afternoon, leaving one seat at Pramac and one seat at Gresini Honda still vacant. On Saturday evening, one of those seats was officially filled, with Frenchman Randy de Puniet being confirmed at the Pramac Ducati squad.
The move had been long expected, after Toni Elias had been signed by the LCR Honda, a deal reportedly brokered by Dorna after Elias had displayed a reluctance to return to the Pramac squad. Sightings Friday night of De Puniet and his manager having dinner with the Pramac team further fueled speculation that an announcement was imminent, the time pressure of the Tuesday tests adding to the urgency.
Results of Moto2 qualifying:
Results and summary of qualifying for the MotoGP class at Valencia:
As we wrote yesterday in our Moto2 round-up story, the Moto2 silly season is in full swing, with so many rides up in the air and so many riders still chasing seats. One of the biggest logjams has been Kenan Sofuoglu, the 2010 World Supersport champion having been in demand with a large number of teams, especially after his astonishing debut at the rain-soaked round at Estoril last weekend.
But on Saturday, that logjam cleared, when it emerged that Kenan Sofuoglu had agreed to ride for the Technomag CIP team for the 2011 season. The signing came as something as a surprise, as Sofuoglu came close to signing a deal with the Gresini Moto2 squad to replace departing Moto2 champion Toni Elias, but the deal was called off at the last moment after Gresini came up with a list of additional demands. Sofuoglu's preference had been to ride a Moriwaki, which is why the Turk was talking to Gresini, but an intervention from Suter chassis maker Eskil Suter helped change Sofuoglu's mind. In the end, Sofuoglu elected to stay with the Technomag squad, who have welcomed him in as replacement to Shoya Tomizawa, who was tragically killed at Misano. The announcement was met with a round of applause in the Technomag garage as Sofuoglu entered this morning.
After a dismal start to the final round of Moto2 at Valencia, Andrea Iannone has finally found his feet. The Fimmco Speed Up rider set the quickest time of Saturday morning's FP3 session, putting nearly three tenths over the rest of the Moto2 pack. JIR's Alex de Angelis was 2nd fastest, just edging ahead of Technomag's Kenan Sofuoglu, the double World Supersport having similarly found his feet after a less promising start.
Fastest man yesterday Stefan Bradl could manage only the 4th quickest time on Saturday morning, finishing a little ahead of Julian Simon and Kenny Noyes, the American clearly more comfortable on a track that he knows well. The 2010 Moto2 World Champion Toni Elias is less happy, only managing the 9th fastest time during FP3.
Casey Stoner has returned to the top of the timesheets at Valencia, controlling the third session of free practice for the MotoGP class with apparent ease. The Marlboro Ducati rider grabbed the top spot early on in the session, and was the first rider to crack the 1'32 barrier, eventually getting his time down to 1'32.664. Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa was the only man who could follow, the Spaniard riding remarkably well despite still healing from a broken collarbone and also just edging into the 1'32s.
2010 World Champion Jorge Lorenzo set the 3rd fastest time of the session, nearly half a second off Stoner's time, and just ahead of San Carlo Gresini's Marco Simoncelli, the Italian continuing his strong progress since the end of the season. Monster Tech 3 Yamaha's Ben Spies is apparently untroubled by his dislocated ankle as Pedrosa is by his collarbone, the Texan going 5th quickest in the session, just over a tenth of a second off Lorenzo in 3rd, while Andrea Dovizioso went 6th fastest during FP3.
While their teammates dominate at the front, Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi continue to struggle in mid-pack. Hayden ended the session in 9th, nearly eight tenths off Stoner's time, while Rossi could manage only the 10th fastest time, another few hundredths slower.
Pol Espargaro set the fastest time of the final session of free practice for the 125cc class at Valencia, snatching top spot from Marc Marquez in the final seconds by just two thousandths of a second. Marquez himself had taken the fastest time earlier from Bradley Smith, who had led for much of the session, while Nico Terol was the 4th quickest of the bunch, just ahead of Sandro Cortese.