June 14th, 2015
Results and summary of the Moto3 race at Barcelona:
Qatar is to host a MotoGP race through 2026. The Losail International Circuit has extended its current deal, which expires in 2016, for another 10 years.
The race is to remain a night race, and will stay as the season opener for the foreseeable future. The race is a lucrative one for Dorna, the fee paid by Qatar covering all of the costs of all of the flyaway races for all of the teams for the full season.
The night race is popular with fans, as it provides an interesting spectacle, and the layout is particularly well suited to motorcycle racing. However, holding the race as a night race means it is impossible to start the season much earlier than late March, as temperatures drop too much at night earlier in the year, causing dew to form on the track, making it dangerous to race on.
Below is the press release issued by Dorna:
Qatar secures 10-year MotoGP™ contract
The Losail International Circuit will be featured on the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship calendar until at least 2026 following a joint announcement by QMMF President Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Attiyah and Dorna Sports CEO Mr Carmelo Ezpeleta. The two parties committed to continue the agreement which has seen the Qatar round become a permanent fixture of Grand Prix racing since 2004.
2015 Barcelona Saturday MotoGP Round Up: Suzuki's Triumph, Lorenzo's Pace, And Preventing Moto3 Towing Madness
1993. That was the last time there were two Suzukis in the first two positions on the grid. Then, it was Kevin Schwantz and Alex Barros who qualified first and second at Jerez. Now, twenty-two years and six weeks later, it is Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales. Then, Suzuki were at the height of their competitiveness, before beginning their slow decline which went on until they withdrew at the end of the 2011 season. Now, Suzuki is back after a three-year absence, with a brand new prototype at the start of its development. Taking pole and second in just their seventh race is quite an achievement for Suzuki, and vindication of their choice to build an inline four, something they know all too well, rather than messing around with a V4, as they had done throughout the MotoGP era.
It is also a vindication for the team of people Suzuki chose to lead their return to MotoGP. Davide Brivio has proven to be a shrewd team manager, to nobody's surprise. Tom O'Kane, Aleix Espargaro's crew chief, has been instrumental in providing direction to the development of the bike. Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales have lived up to their expectations, combining experience, attitude and a hunger for success.
Of course, there are no points for qualifying, and Suzuki's front row positions came at least in part with the artificial performance boost of the soft rear tire available to the Open teams and factories with concessions. But Espargaro and Viñales still had to put in the time, and they had to beat the Ducatis, who have the same concessions as they do. They deserve their position, was the near universal feeling among Suzuki's rivals.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after qualifying at Barcelona:
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at Barcelona:
Results of Moto2 qualifying:
Results and summary of qualifying for the MotoGP class at Barcelona:
Andrea Iannone topped the final session of practice for the MotoGP class, the factory Ducati rider setting a strong pace from the start. The Repsol Hondas riders were both quick, in terms of pace and time, Marquez getting close to the rhythm of Jorge Lorenzo from this morning. Valentino Rossi made a big step during FP4, running a good pace throughout the session, finishing in 4th just ahead of Andrea Dovizioso. Aleix Espargaro put the Suzuki into 6th, ahead of a strong Scott Redding on the Marc VDS Honda and Jorge Lorenzo on the Movistar Yamaha.
Results and summary of Moto3 qualifying:
Simone Corsi was the fastest man in the final session of free practice for the Moto2 class, the Italian taking over from Johann Zarco in the final minutes of practice. Championship leader Zarco was quickest for most of the session, clearly in command of Moto2 and doing well in every session at every track. Luis Salom took 3rd, outshining his HP Pons teammate, Alex Rins down in lowly 12th spot. Reigning champion Tito Rabat was close to the pace of Corsi and Zarco, less than two tenths behind the top two, and fractionally faster than Jonas Folger. Rabat's Marc VDS teammate Alex Marquez is having his strongest weekend of the season so far, ending FP3 in 6th, a third of a second behind Corsi.
Maverick Viñales has taken top spot in the final session of free practice, in a session where both Suzukis showed strong pace throughout. Viñales put in a set of soft tires at the end of FP3 to blast to the fastest lap of the weekend so far, deposing Jorge Lorenzo from top spot.
It was Lorenzo who was most impressive, however, the Movistar Yamaha rider equalling Aleix Espargaro's best lap of the weekend early in the session in a long run of ten laps in the 1'41s. Espargaro ended the session in 3rd, putting two Suzukis in the top ten, and finishing ahead of Andrea Dovizioso on the Ducati. Pol Espargaro was the next fastest Yamaha, the Tech 3 rider pushing hard to get straight through to Q2 at the end of FP3, with Valentino Rossi also ensuring he was into Q2 by bagging 6th spot. Marc Marquez was 7th on the Repsol Honda, but the reigning world champion was concentrating on race pace, doing a long run which was close to the pace of Lorenzo's.
Cal Crutchlow ended within a tenth of Marc Marquez in 8th, and ahead of Yonny Hernandez on the Pramac Ducati. Hernandez looked to be on an even faster lap, but ran into traffic in the shape of Jorge Lorenzo. Bradley Smith was the last rider to make it straight to Q2, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha man bumping Dani Pedrosa into 11th. He will now have to make it to Q2 via the Q1 session.