It is to be a weekend of announcements, most of them already widely expected. The most widely trailed move has now been confirmed officially: from 2015, Aprilia is to return to MotoGP with the Gresini Racing team.
Kawasaki's Tom Sykes leaves the two-day official World Superbike test with his authority firmly stamped on the WSBK field. The Yorkshireman was nearly a quarter of a second faster than Aprilia's Sylvain Guintoli, and nearly four tenths quicker than his teammate Loris Baz. Marco Melandri was six tenths off the pace of Sykes, with the Ducatis of Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies setting the fifth and sixth best times.
MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.
Homage to Catalunya
Press releases from the series organizer and the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the first day of practice at Imola:
Rea overhauls Sykes on Day 1
Imola (Italy), Friday 9 May 2014 - As the opening day of on track action at Imola draws to a close, Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) heads into tomorrow’s final free practice session ahead of Tissot-Superpole as the fastest rider in the combined classification.
Press releases from some of the World Superbike teams after the latest test at Jerez:
APRILIA RACING TEAM: THREE DAYS OF WORK AT JEREZ AFTER THE OPENING ROUND AT PHILLIP ISLAND WITH A WIN AND FIRST PLACE IN THE STANDINGS
In view of the second round at Aragon Melandri and Guintoli tested chassis setups and electronics.
Aprilia will arrive at the first European race leading the Rider championship with Guintoli, in third place with Melandri and at the top of the Manufacturer standings.
Press releases issued by some of the World Superbike and World Supersport teams present at the Portimao test held over the past few days:
Lowes and Voltcom Crescent Suzuki on top in Portugal
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki successfully concluded its week of pre-season testing with Alex Lowes topping the Portimao timesheets today, following on from Eugene Laverty’s quickest time on the first day of the test.
Press releases from some of the World Superbike teams after the test at Jerez:
A positive debut for the MV Agusta Reparto Corse Yakhnich Motorsport Team
Smiling faces in the team Yakhnich Motorsport MV Agusta Reparto Corse team at the Jerez circuit. After two days of intense work, the MV factory team took home great technical feedback.
With the uncertainty surrounding the World Superbike series easing up, the outlines of the 2014 season are starting to become clear. The test after the final round of the 2013 season at Jerez turned into an audition for some of the riders, with riders still searching for a team for next season.
With all of the prototype seats occupied for 2014 - barring a contractual bust up between Ducati and Ben Spies, which is only an expensive theoretical possibility at the moment - battle has commenced for the rest of the MotoGP seats regarded as being most competitive. While the factory bikes - the bikes in the factory and satellite teams being raced as MSMA entries - are all taken, the privateer machines - using Dorna spec ECU software and extra fuel - are still mostly up for grabs.