Marco Simoncelli

2011 Phillip Island MotoGP Friday Round Up - On Bumps, Speed And The Lack Of It, And WSBK Silly Season

Phillip Island is the best circuit in the world, according to just about everyone in the MotoGP paddock. At least, that's what they thought yesterday, before they actually rode the circuit, and found out that the recent visits by the Australian GT series and the V8 Supercars have torn the track up and left bumps everywhere.

The verdict was unanimous, but as ever, Casey Stoner phrased it the best. "This year, the track's terrible," he told reporters. "It's always been a little bit bumpy into Turn 1, but this year, they're a lot more aggressive than they were in the past, and I'm not too happy with the condition of the track. I don't know what they've been racing around here, but it's made the track a lot worse." So bad was the surface that Jorge Lorenzo said he and the other riders would bring the subject up in the Safety Commission on Friday night, and ask for the track to be repaved.

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2012 MotoGP Silly Season: Are We Facing Another Tiny Grid?

The two-year contracts that all four of the MotoGP Aliens signed during 2010 have made for a very quiet silly season, with speculation on who will be riding where next season taking a very long time to get started. There are a number of reasons for this - talks about contracts have been lost in the general commotion surrounding the two big topics of 2011: Rossi's struggle with the Ducati Desmosedici and the controversy over whether to race at Motegi or not, and the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami has badly hit motorcycle racing budgets as well - but as we approach the final few races of the 2011 MotoGP season, some movement is starting to be visible on the riders market. So let's take a stroll through what we know for certain, have a look what we think is likely and glance into the crystal ball of MotoGP's future, which comes in the shape of the Claiming Rule Teams.

What We Know

There are a few things we know for certain in 2012: the three major factory squads will remain unchanged for next season, as all six riders are in the second year of a two-year contract. Karel Abraham has a Ducati for 2012, the Tech 3 line-up has been finalized, and Simoncelli is back with Gresini with HRC support again for another year. Colin Edwards has taken the plunge as the first official rider for a CRT entry, but beyond that, it is mostly speculation. Here's what we know for sure:

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Marco Simoncelli Completes Test On 2012 Honda RC213V

Marco Simoncelli spent an extra day at Motegi after the Japanese Grand Prix, testing the 2012 Honda RC213V which he is to race next season. His test was made possible after the Italian signed a contract last week to remain with the San Carlo Gresini team, on a contract with HRC and with full factory support. Simoncelli put in around 50 laps at the Japanese circuit, recording lap times similar to the times set during the previous three days aboard the 800cc RC212V.

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Simoncelli To Test Honda RC213V At Motegi, Marquez To Test RC213V Bike At Valencia

Two important tests for the future of Honda are to take place over the next couple of months. At Motegi, Marco Simoncelli told British weekly MCN that he would be testing the 1000cc Honda RC213V at the Japanese track on Monday, while Spanish sports daily revealed that Marc Marquez is to be given a test ride aboard Honda's 2012 MotoGP bike after the final race at Valencia.

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