KTM

2016 Mugello MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Of Engines, Disappointment, and Blistering Battles

The 2016 Italian Grand Prix at Mugello was many things, but above all, it was memorable. It's not just that the three races ended up with incredibly close finishes – the margin of victory in Moto3 was just 0.038, and that was the largest winning margin of the three races – but how they were won, and what happened along the way that will leave them indelibly imprinted on the memories of race fans. There was drama, a bucketful of heartbreak, and plenty of chaos and confusion thrown into the mix. If there was a script for Sunday, it was torn up and rewritten a dozen times or more before the day was over.

The drama started during morning warm up. As the final seconds of the MotoGP session ticked away, Jorge Lorenzo suddenly pulled over and white smoke started pouring out of the exhaust of his Movistar Yamaha. His engine had suffered a catastrophic failure. This was a worry, as it was a relatively new engine, first introduced at Jerez, with twelve sessions of practice and two races on it. The other two engines Lorenzo had already used had 21 and 23 sessions of practice on them, and had also been used for two races each (including the flag-to-flag race at Argentina).

Though the engine allocation has been increased from five to seven engines for 2016, losing engine #3 at just the sixth race of the season could end up cutting things rather fine by the time we reach Valencia. Losing an engine so soon before a race seemed like a stroke of incredibly bad luck for Lorenzo. In fact, it would prove to be exactly the opposite.

Viñales Confirmed at Yamaha, Iannone Confirmed with Suzuki for 2017 & 2018

The next two pieces of the MotoGP puzzle for the coming seasons have fallen into place. This morning, Yamaha announced that Maverick Viñales would be joining them for two years from Suzuki, and Suzuki announced that Andrea Iannone would be taking the place of Viñales. Both riders signed two year deals with their respective factories.

With the earlier announcements of Andrea Dovizioso at Ducati and Dani Pedrosa at Repsol Honda, the confirmed 2017 line up looks like this so far:

2016 Le Mans Moto2 & Moto3 Post-Race Press Releases

Press releases from the Moto2 & Moto3 teams after the races at Le Mans:


Mahindra preserves perfect points record in France

Le Mans, 08 May 2016:

Aspar Mahindra rider Pecco Bagnaia preserved Mahindra’s perfect 2016 points record in the French GP at Le Mans today, with a hard-fought 12th place, seven places higher than his qualifying position.

2016 Le Mans Saturday Round Up: Pedrosa Again, Tires, & Qualifying Strategies

The report last night that Dani Pedrosa will replace Jorge Lorenzo in the Movistar Yamaha garage had a devastating effect on the paddock on Saturday. It provoked an almost universal panic among everyone peripheral to the decision. Maverick Viñales' manager Paco Sanchez – strictly speaking, the lawyer who is helping Viñales with his contract negotiations, as Viñales is managing himself – was interviewed by every television broadcaster in the MotoGP paddock, along with nearly every radio station and most journalists. Repsol Honda team principal Livio Suppo and Movistar Yamaha team director Maio Meregalli did pretty much the same, answering the same questions over and over. It was Silly Season at its most frenetic.

As an example, the Spanish sports daily – Spanish journalists are chasing this story hardest, as they have the most at stake – AS featured the following vignette on its website. Reporter Mela Chercoles walked past Albert Valera, manager of Jorge Lorenzo, Aleix Espargaro and others, and heard him berating Alex Salas, assistant to Maverick Viñales. "Tell me that Maverick won't let the Yamaha train get away from him," Chercoles reports Valera as saying. The sense of disbelief in the paddock is huge.

2016 Le Mans Moto2 & Moto3 Post-Qualifying Press Releases

Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at Le Mans:


Brad Binder takes spot on front row for French GP

World Championship leader sets second fastest time in very close qualifying session, in which Bo Bendsneyder goes less than one second off pole in 21st.

05/07/2016 - Le Mans Circuit, France

KTM Press Release: Development Continues on MotoGP Bike at Misano

KTM continued their testing, completing a three-day test at Misano with test riders Mika Kallio and Karel Abraham. Afterwards, the Austrian manufacturer issued the following press release:


No resting with testing – KTM MotoGP test in Misano

MotoGP Test 2016 – Misano (2016)

24th Grid Slot for 2017 Withdrawn Due to Lack of Manufacturer Support

There will be only 23 bikes on the MotoGP grid in 2017. The FIM today officially announced that the 24th grid slot has been officially withdrawn, after manufacturers could not pledge to supply additional equipment.

There was plenty of interest in the grid slot. Five teams expressed an interest, and three teams submitted an official application for the 24th grid slot. Those teams are believed to have included Pons, LCR, and Ajo, all of whom had previously admitted publicly that they were keen to move up to MotoGP.

2016 Jerez Moto2 & Moto3 Post-Race Press Releases

Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after Sunday's races at Jerez:


Brad Binder takes sensational first career Moto3 victory at Jerez

4th Rd. Moto3 2016 – Circuito de Jerez (ESP)

Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Brad Binder took his first career Moto3 victory on Sunday at the Jerez circuit in the most spectacular way possible, starting at last position, number 35 on the grid. The South African rider’s bike was deemed to have had a technical infringement in one of the practice sessions and this bumped him from second on the grid to the last place.

2016 Jerez Sunday Post-Race Round Up: Of Genius Young and Old, and Tire Trouble

Jerez is an important punctuation mark in almost every Grand Prix season. Whether it kicks off the year, as it did ten or more years ago, or whether it marks the return to Europe after the opening overseas rounds, the racing at Jerez is always memorable and remarkable. Not always necessarily exciting, but always portentous, marking a turning point in the championship.

So it was this year. The MotoGP race saw a shift in momentum, and Valentino Rossi win in a way we haven't seen since 2009. The Moto2 race solidified the positions of the three best riders in the class, and edged winner Sam Lowes towards a role as title favorite. And in Moto3, Brad Binder broke his victory cherry with one of the most astounding performances I have ever seen in any class, let alone Moto3. Put to the back of the grid for an infraction of the software homologation rules, Binder worked his way forward to the leading group by half distance, then left them for dead. It is a race they will be talking about for a long time.

The old switcheroo

First, though, to MotoGP. Valentino Rossi needed a win to get his championship back on track, and he got it in the least Rossi-like way imaginable. The Italian got the holeshot, held off attacks in the opening laps, including a fierce assault from his teammate Jorge Lorenzo, then set a metronomic pace which nobody, not even Lorenzo, could follow. He opened a gap of a couple of seconds, then managed it home to take what looked like an easy victory.

2016 Qatar Moto2 & Moto3 Post-Race Press Releases

Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 classes after the opening races of the season at Qatar:


Zarco score points in penalty-filled Moto2 opener

Ajo Motorsport rider finishes Grand Prix of Qatar twelfth, after being penalised with a ride-through penalty for jumping the start.

03/20/2016 - Losail International Circuit, Qatar

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