BQR

Three-Day Test At Jerez Starts: Moto2, CRT Bikes, BMW WSBK And Ducati Test Team On Track

The sun is shining and the bikes are out on track at Jerez for three days of testing. The test will see a wide variety of bikes take to the Andalucian asphalt, including the BQR MotoGP team with their FTR-built, Kawasaki-powered CRT bike, Colin Edwards getting his first outing on the BMW Suter CRT bike, a bevy of Moto2 teams including Marc VDS Racing testing the Kalex further, Tech 3 riders Xavier Simeon and Bradley Smith, the Pons and Aspar teams, Maverick Viñales testing the FTR Moto3 bike for the first time, the factory BMW World Superbike squad of Marco Melandri and Leon Haslam, and the Ducati MotoGP test team, with test rider Franco Battaini and the specially drafted in Carlos Checa to help test the Ducati Desmosedici.

For the Moto2 riders, this is mainly a welcome continuation of the test at Valencia. The teams lost two days of testing to the weather at Valencia, leaving them with a lot still to do. Scott Redding was an early crasher on Wednesday morning, taking a tumble at Turn 7, from which he walked away unscathed. The crash was caught on video by the onboard camera installed by the Marc VDS Racing team on Redding's Kalex.

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When Amateurs Attack: Valencia Test Photos By David Emmett


What all the fuss was about: The aluminium twin spar chassis FTR built for Ducati


Whether it works or not, it looks stunning


Up close and personal


CF and CNC-milled aluminium. The stuff gearhead dreams are made of


Naturally, the photographers were trying to shoot whatever they could

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2012 MotoGP Rider List - Latest Update After Valencia

Alongside the on-track action, the final round of MotoGP at Valencia saw a flurry of activity to fill the final seats of the 2012 MotoGP grid. That process was not as easy as it could have been: the tragic death of Marco Simoncelli left the picture complicated at Gresini, and the continuing uncertainty over Suzuki's plans for 2012 made it difficult for riders to commit to the Japanese factory.

In the end, though, most of the vacant seats have now been filled. The single bike that Pramac Ducati will field next year will be taken by Hector Barbera, as expected. Alvaro Bautista finally announced he would be leaving Suzuki and joined Gresini, to race the single Honda RC213V  that the team will have at its disposal for next year. And though the place at LCR Honda is still officially empty, the performance of Stefan Bradl aboard the Honda 800 during the two-day test was sufficient to secure the deal, sources report, with official confirmation expected over the next few days.

Suzuki's situation remains unclear, though the team continues to fight valiantly to remain on the grid, at least with an 800 for the first half of 2012, and after a strong test on the bike, Randy de Puniet is now favorite to take that spot. 

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2012 CRT Entry List Announced: Cream Of Moto2 Field To Step Up

After 10 days of delay, the list of 2012 MotoGP entries has finally been announced. Or rather, the list of entries under the CRT rules, as the new manufacturers (such as Norton) talking about entering the class on the same footing as the factory teams have yet to be announced, with talks ongoing between the FIM, Dorna, IRTA and the new manufacturers about who will be admitted and on what grounds.

The lack of manufacturers underlines the problems the 2012 entry process has created. The entry list was initially expected to be issued during the Barcelona Grand Prix weekend, but arguments over the claiming rule prevented the list from being finalized. With a number of potential entrants talking to Aprilia about leasing WSBK-spec RSV4 engines, the right of the manufacturers to claim an engine was hotly disputed, with an escape route being asked in such cases for the CRT teams to switch to factory status and lose the 3 extra liters of fuel and 3 extra engines they would be allowed under the CRT rules. 

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Another Bumper Crop Of Moto2 Teams Accepted For 2011

The Moto2 class produces a huge dilemma for the organizers of the MotoGP championship. The huge entry field has proven to cause major problems at the start, with multiple-rider pile ups in the first corner a firm fixture during Moto2 races. And yet the class has been extremely popular, producing close, exciting racing, and throwing up plenty of surprise contenders. 

The class has also functioned extremely well as a proving ground for the future of MotoGP, shaking out the best of the chassis manufacturers and priming them for the new MotoGP formula in 2012, which will see heavily modified production engines in prototype chassis compete against factory prototypes. Specialist engineering outfits around the world, such as British firm FTR and the Swiss-based Suter, have seized the opportunity of building Moto2 chassis and are pondering the lessons learned when it comes to working on chassis for MotoGP bikes. Moto2 has done much the same for the teams and team personnel, separating the goats from the sheep and readying them to take on running a 2012 MotoGP production prototype when the rules change.

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New Provisional Moto2 Entry List - Faubel Replaces Lonbois As Redding's Teammate

Just a few days before the season is about to begin, and the Moto2 class is to take to the track for the very first time, a new provisional entry list for Moto2 has been issued by the FIM. The new list contains two changes, one minor (Stefan Bradl changing his number from 4 to 65), and one major. The big change is the dropping of Belgian rider Vincent Lonbois by the Marc VDS Racing team, which is also fielding British rider Scott Redding, and his replacement with former 125 and 250 star Hector Faubel.

Faubel had originally been signed to ride for the SAG team alongside Ratthapark Wilairot, but financial differences left the Spaniard out in the cold. Faubel then looked to the 125cc class, where he was lined up to take a third Aspar bike alongside Bradley Smith and Nico Terol, but that too foundered on a lack of funds. Faubel has finally found a home with the Marc VDS Racing team run by former Kawasaki MotoGP manager Michael Bartholemy, but this has come at the cost of Bartholemy's compatriot Lonbois.

The entry list for Moto2 still carries the "Provisional" tag, though few changes are likely in the 6 days before the bikes finally hit the track at Qatar. After that, though, there could well be more changes.

Moto2 entry list:

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Final Moto2 Test Jerez Images

Almost everything about Moto2 is new: A new formula, new bikes, new riders - at least, a significant number of new riders. To introduce all this novelty to our readers, and give them a peek into the new series, here's a selection of photos taken at the Moto2 at Jerez, which took place this weekend. All photos courtesy and copyright of Honda Pro Images:

Yuki Takahashi
Yuki Takahasi showed the Tech 3 team are taking Moto2 very seriously indeed

Jules Cluzel
Jules Cluzel gets a chance to fight on equal terms this year, with the former Hayate team

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Final Moto2 Test Jerez Overall Times - Corti Edges Elias, Top 16 Within 1 Second

At the end of the three days of testing for the Moto2 class at Jerez, Forward Racing's Claudio Corti comes away at the top of the timesheets. The Italian, riding a Suter for the former Hayate team ended the final day as the fastest rider, just a fraction ahead of the time Toni Elias set on Saturday. Elias himself dominated much of the test, but a nasty crash in the final session saw the Gresini rider forced off track between turns 1 and 2 when a much slower 125cc rider blocked Elias' line, leaving him no choice but to hit the deck. Elias was immediately flown back to his hometown of Barcelona to undergo medical examination and and treatment if necessary. Elias has a suspected fracture of his left hand, as well as heavy bruising to his left hand and left foot. The Gresini rider is expected to be fit enough to race in the season opener at Qatar.

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Final Moto2 Test Jerez Day 2 - Takahashi Edges Redding And West

Tech 3's Yuki Takahashi was the fastest man on the second day of testing for the Moto2 class at Jerez, just squeaking ahead of Marc VDS Racing's Scott Redding and Ant West on the MZ. Takahashi's time was half a second slower than yesterday's fastest man Toni Elias, who today was just 5th fastest and three quarters of a second slower than his time from Saturday.

So far, this final Moto2 test has shown how close the field has become in the class, and shaken up the list of favorites a little. The top 20 riders are all within a second of each other, with 20th place man Karel Abraham just 0.938 behind Takahashi. Kenny Noyes, the American who has been so fast in the earlier tests is now down the order in 12th, though still only half a second off the fastest time at Jerez, while Scott Redding had been languishing near the bottom of the timesheets in previous tests, and has now leaped up into 2nd spot. Testing concludes tomorrow.

Results:

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