Iker Lecuona To Make MotoGP Debut At Valencia Race

Iker Lecuona's MotoGP debut has been moved forward a few days. The Spaniard will replace Miguel Oliveira in the Red Bull KTM Tech3 MotoGP team at Valencia, Lecuona's home Grand Prix.

Lecuona is set to join the Tech3 team for 2020, replacing the departing Hafizh Syahrin, and would have been riding the KTM RC16 at the official test on Tuesday and Wednesday anyway. With Oliveira choosing to have surgery on the shoulder he damaged in the crash with Johann Zarco at Silverstone, it made sense to put Lecuona on the bike a few days earlier.

Lecuona's early promotion opens up a gap in the American Racing Team in Moto2. The team have decided to replace Lecuona at Valencia with Sean Kelly, an American currently racing in the MotoAmerica series. Kelly has experience of Valencia, having raced in the Red Bull Rookies Cup for three seasons.

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Crunching The Numbers: Silly Season 2021 - An Unprecedented Youth Wave Conquers MotoGP

The current field of MotoGP riders may only be less than a season into the first year of their contracts, but the opening salvos of the 2021 season are already being fired. That is a direct consequence of almost the entire grid being on two-year deals, which run through the 2020 season. Every seat on the grid will currently be up for grabs in 2021. And because of that, teams, factories and riders are already starting to explore their options for the next season but one.

This is not something teams are particularly happy about. Team managers will grumble both on and off the record that it is a big gamble choosing riders basically on the basis of their performance two seasons before they are due to ride for you. Fear of missing out on a top rider forces their hand, however, and so teams are already making preliminary approaches about 2021.

The extreme and unusual situation of every single seat being up for grabs means that Moto2 riders are also delaying their plans. Most have only signed 1-year deals for 2020, knowing that so many options are opening up in 2021. Remy Gardner even turned down a chance to move up to MotoGP with KTM for 2020, preferring to wait for 2021 and hope for many more options then.

Youth tsunami

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2019 Sepang Moto2 FP3 Result: Record Breaking Binder

Sepang gave a pretty warm and pretty sunny welcome to the intermediate class, unlike the forecast promised and riders got a full session of testing the limits. With Marquez hinting at a slight advantage on Friday, despite not topping either session, his title rivals were out to chase on Saturday morning. However, the Spaniard had different plans and started his day by breaking his own lap record around Sepang. Chasers eventually reduced the six tenths gap but it took until the final three minutes of the session for a true challenger to appear.

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2019 Sepang Moto2 FP2 Result: Martin Crashes The Party

The plotline for FP2 ended up fairly similar to the first session of the day, with Alex Marquez setting camp at the top of the timesheets and holding on until the usual time attack, although the gap was not quite as comfortable as in the morning. Regardless, the championship leader maintained prime position for a significant portion of the session and showed quietly confident pace, with his main challengers in close pursuit. With question marks around the weather on Saturday morning, the final five minutes were reserved for a push for the combined top 14.

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2019 Sepang Moto2 FP1 Result: Nagashima And Binder Dethrone Marquez

Patches of damp track were still pretty obvious around the circuit by the time the intermediate class took its turn to prepare for battle but the dry line was nice and wide and ready to welcome slick tyres. However, it was not exactly harmless either as Luca Marini demonstrated 15 minutes into the session, when he went down at turn 15.

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