The FIM today issued a revised and updated version of the provisional 2017 MotoGP calendar. The calendar features just a single change: the date of the German round of MotoGP at the Sachsenring has been moved forward two weeks, and will now take place on 2nd July.
There is a current fashion in moviemaking, of taking proven formulas from the past, giving them a light makeover and then relaunching them, then trying to spice them up by referring to them as a "reboot" or "reloaded". Dorna executives must have been to see Ghostbusters, Mad Max, and many more, as the 2017 MotoGP calendar is best described as 2016 Reloaded.
The 2017 MotoGP calendar is almost identical to the 2016 calendar, with a couple of minor tweaks. Those tweaks are a clear improvement on 2016: there are fewer large gaps, and there are fewer back-to-back races. There have been some changes to help with logistics, and some to help with race organizations.
Marc Marquez looks like he’s cruising to title number three, but is it really that simple?
MotoGP 2016 reaches two-thirds distance at Silverstone this weekend: round 12 of 18.
Marc Marquez goes into the race, which last year he failed to finish, holding a 53-point lead over Valentino Rossi. It would appear to be game over: even if Rossi or Jorge Lorenzo win the last seven races, Marquez can afford to finish second or third at every race and still take home the title.
At the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, at the Austrian round of MotoGP, KTM finally officially presented its MotoGP project, the KTM RC16. There had been months of testing, with press releases and photos issued. There had been KTM's participation in the private MotoGP test at the Red Bull Ring in July, alongside the rest of the MotoGP teams. But at the Austrian GP, the fans and media got their first chance to see the bike close up.
What are we to make of it? First, we should ask what we know about the bike. On their corporate blog, KTM list some specs for the bike. There are few surprises: 1000cc V4 engine, using pneumatic valves, housed in a tubular steel trellis frame and an aluminum swing arm. Suspension is by WP, while brakes are by Brembo, and exhaust by Akrapovic. Electronics are the spec MotoGP Magneti Marelli ECU.
What is slightly more interesting are the numbers for maximum engine revs and horsepower. Like all official numbers on values such as torque, horsepower, and revs, they are not to be trusted, but these both seem highly inaccurate. KTM claims the RC16 makes 250hp. It certainly makes that, and probably 10% more, given that most MotoGP engines are believed to make somewhere between 260 and 275 horsepower.
As expected, Romano Fenati has been formally released from his contract with the Sky VR46 team. The Italian was suspended from the team after an incident at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. That was a temporary measure, but it has now been made permanent.
…maniac by nature. What’s the beef with Austrian GP winner Andrea Iannone?
I like Andrea Iannone. There, I said it. I like him because he is MotoGP’s pantomime villain, a bit like Captain Hook in Peter Pan.
He fitted the role particularly well after he secured pole position on Saturday, strutting and pouting his way around parc fermé like he owned the place, which he kind of did.
Sebastian Risse is the man behind the KTM RC16 MotoGP bike which was presented on Saturday at the Red Bull Ring. An automotive engineer by training, Risse has been with KTM since 2008. He started out as a crew chief and chassis analyst on KTM's now defunct RC8 Superbike project. When KTM returned to Grand Prix racing in 2012, Risse took charge of the Moto3 project, which has gone on to be the benchmark in the class.
Risse is currently head of all of KTM's roadracing activities, and has overseen and led development of the RC16 MotoGP bike. That machine has both interesting parallels and major differences with the other machines on the MotoGP grid: the bike uses a 1000cc 90° V4 engine housed in a tubular steel trellis frame, and a fairing that looks like an oversize version of the Moto3 bike's, and sits somewhere between the Honda RC213V and Kalex Moto2 designs. The bike will also use WP suspension, though as WP is a wholly owned subsidiary of KTM, it will basically be a dedicated factory suspension effort.
After the KTM RC16 was presented, we spoke to Sebastian Risse about the differences and design choices which went into the bike.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Michelin after Sunday's historic race at the Spielberg circuit in Austria:
Fantastic 1-2 for Ducati Team riders at Zeltweg, as Iannone wins the Austrian GP ahead of team-mate Dovizioso. Pirro twelfth
The Ducati Team put in an outstanding performance today at the Austrian Grand Prix, round 10 of the MotoGP World Championship, held at Zeltweg’s Red Bull Ring.
Press releases from the teams after Sunday's exhilarating races:
Career Best sixth for Mahindra Aspar’s Martin
Spielberg, 14 August 2016:
Spanish teenager Jorge Martin (Team Aspar Mahindra) led the way to a double points-scoring finish for the official Mahindra team in the sunny Alpine foothills today, claiming a career-best sixth place. Team-mate Francesco ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia narrowly missed a double top-ten for the only Indian constructer in MotoGP racing, finishing 11th.