Another race, another rider meeting with Race Direction. After Marco Simoncelli being called to speak to Race Direction after the crash in Le Mans, this time it was the turn of Kenan Sofuoglu and Julian Simon. Sofuoglu had run into the back of Simon at Catalunya, causing the Spaniard to crash and causing a very nasty multiple fracture.
Four weeks between races this early in the season is clearly far too long. Since arriving at Estoril, the various members of the paddock have been behaving like sailors on shore leave, getting drunk, chasing women and picking fights with everyone in their vicinity. Well, the getting drunk and chasing women part I made up, but the mood in the paddock is deeply pugnacious, as witnessed by the verbal scraps breaking out everywhere.
On Friday, we had round one of Valentino Rossi in the red corner vs Casey Stoner in the blue corner, with Jorge Lorenzo throwing in some trash talking of Marco Simoncelli as he prepared to face off with the San Carlo Gresini Honda rider. Saturday saw Rossi vs Stoner briefly revisited, while Lorenzo and Simoncelli erupted into a full-scale verbal conflict during the post-qualifying press conference.
Another couple of press releases after the Moto2 test at Estoril, this time from Kenan Sofuoglu's Technomag CIP team and the Stop And Go team and Santi Hernandez:
As the Moto2 grid gathers at Valencia for the first major test of the year, one of the top favorites for the 2011 championship will be missing. Kenan Sofuoglu was forced to return to Istanbul to see his father, who has fallen critically ill, and has decided to remain in Turkey rather than return to Spain for the Valencia test. The decision was taken in consultation with the team, who declared their full support for Sofuoglu's decision to return to Istanbul in a press release.
Sofuoglu's family is no stranger to tragedy: The 26-year-old lost both his brothers in accidents, his eldest brother Bahattin to a traffic accident, whilst the middle brother Sinan died in a training crash in 2008. Kenan is the last of the brothers, and the most successful of the three.
Sofuoglu is expected to make his return to testing on February 15th, at Estoril, the next opportunity the Moto2 riders get to take to the track.
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.
Preparations for next year are starting to get into gear, with testing for 2011 already underway. After wrapping up his World Superbike season, Cal Crutchlow got his first outing on Yamaha's MotoGP bike at the Fukuroi test track in Japan, as he got ready to move into the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha squad for 2011. The elements did not look kindly on Crutchlow, however, most of the test taking place in the wet, though the young Briton also got a few laps in under relatively dry conditions. Crutchlow will be hoping for better conditions at Valencia, for the first official outing on the Yamaha M1. He will not be alone, as the Valencia post-race test will also see Valentino Rossi's first outing on the Ducati and Casey Stoner's first test on the Honda.
Newly-crowned World Supersport champion Kenan Sofuoglu has made no secret of his desire to move to Moto2 next season. Representatives of the Turkish rider were in the paddock at Aragon, where they spoke to several teams about a ride for 2011. So far, no news has emerged of exactly where Sofuglu will be racing next year, but a hint comes in a press release issued today by the Technomag CIP team.
For the Technomag team has announced that Kenan Sofuoglu is to take the ride left vacant by Shoya Tomizawa, who was killed in a tragic accident at Misano. Sofuoglu is to contest the final two races of the season with the Technomag CIP team, at Estoril and Valencia, aboard Tomizawa's Suter Moto2 machine.
After yesterday's instalment of Scott Jones' fantastic images from Qatar, today we have more, from the heart of Utah's stunning landscapes. The World Superbike paddock went to Miller Motorsports Park, and Scott Jones captured it all on film. With such a breathtaking backdrop, Scott is at his best. Savor round 7 of the World Superbike series all over again, and remember that you can help out by supporting MotoMatters.com in 2010.
The demise of the Hoegee Suzuki World Supersport team left Barry Veneman in a difficult situation. Veneman has very strong links with Suzuki, having worked for the company in Holland for several years, as well as having ridden for Suzuki in World Supersport and the Dutch ONK national championship since 2004, limiting his options for finding a ride for the rest of the season. Hoegee Suzuki were the only team running Suzukis in the World Supersport series, meaning that Veneman would either have to switch series or leave the Suzuki connection behind.
Veneman's name had been linked to a number of rides: Alstare Brux Suzuki in World Superbikes, as well as Crescent Suzuki in the British Superbike series; but there had also been rumors linking the Dutchman to the Spanish Holiday Gym team in World Supersport, riding a Yamaha.
But word is now emerging that Veneman is to stay in World Supersport after all. According to the well-informed Dutch magazine MOTO73, the Ten Kate Honda team will be fielding a third Honda CBR600RR for Veneman for the rest of the season. No further details are currently available, but this would not be the first time that the Ten Kate team fielded three bikes. In 2007, Andrew Pitt was given an extra bike for the Assen round of World Supersport, after having replaced Sebastien Charpentier in the previous race.