2010 – 2019: MotoGP's Long Decade Of Change, And What It Means For The Future

2020 sees the start of a new decade (convention has it that decades are zero-based, going from 0-9, so please, numerical pedants, just play along here), and if there is one thing we have learned from the period between 2010 and 2019, it is that a lot can change. Not just politically and socially, but in racing too. So now seems a good time to take a look back at the start of the previous decade, and ponder what lessons might be learned for the decade to come.

It is hard to remember just how tough a place MotoGP was in 2010. The world was still reeling from the impact of the Global Financial Crisis caused when the banking system collapsed at the end of 2008. That led to a shrinking grid, with Kawasaki pulling out at the end of 2008 (though the Japanese factory was forced to continue for one more season under the Hayate banner, with one rider, Marco Melandri), and emergency measures aimed at cutting costs.

The bikes entered in the 2010 MotoGP season

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Realizing The Dream of Bringing MotoGP Back to Indonesia

Logo Mandalika International Street Circuit

It has been 22 years since the last time Indonesia held a motorcycle racing Grand Prix. The dream of watching riders in action burst again in 2015. Unfortunately, the meeting between Dorna Sports SL, the Government of Indonesia and Sentul Circuit ended in failure.

A year later, Alex Noerdin – at that time was South Sumatra Governor – visited Sepang during the Malaysian MotoGP to meet with Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta. The two sides discussed about using the Jakabaring in Palembang, on South Sumatra, as the location of the race. However, that failed too.

Now, the country’s dream to host the prestigious racing event seems closer to reality. The Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) is currently building new circuit – it has apparently been in preparation since 2017 – in the Mandalika special economic zone, Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB).

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Grand Prix Commission Tweaks Testing Regulations Further

The Grand Prix Commission is working through the unintended consequences of the decision to restrict testing in all three Grand Prix classes. Those restrictions have been a positive aid in reducing costs, but have made it impossible to use riders not currently under contract unless their contracted riders are absent due to illness or injury.

Adding a further layer of complexity to this is the current state of the MotoGP rider's market: with everyone out of contract at the end of 2020, and a large crop of Moto2 riders looking to step up, the factories want to take a look at riders not currently on the MotoGP grid. In previous years, such rookies would be given a private test - that happened with Johann Zarco, Alex Marquez, and Brad Binder, to name a few. But with private testing now banned, that has become impossible. 

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2019 Valencia Moto3 FP3 Result: Ramirez Leads Leopard Assault

Another cold morning in Valencia meant that the lightweight class struggled to find time to improve on their Friday benchmarks. That did not stop riders from engaging in the usual final three minutes' shenanigans in the search for a top 14 position. Up until that point, there were few improvements on the timesheets from the likes of Tony Arbolino or Tatsuki Suzuki, who had pretty tame Fridays, but the final combined standings were a mixed bag of FP2 and FP3 times.

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2019 Valencia Moto3 FP2 Result: Masia Leads Garcia

The temperatures were only slightly kinder on the lightweight class than in the morning session but the improved conditions led to quick improvements to the combined standings. The progress continued throughout the session, with a mini shootout for top 14 positions, especially with colder conditions promised for FP3. Jaume Masia ended up as the fastest man of the afternoon, half a tenth ahead of fast improving rookie Sergio Garcia.

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2019 Valencia Moto3 FP1 Result: Ramirez Steps Up

Woolly hats were out in force as Moto3 opened the show on Friday, despite a clear blue sky allowing sunshine to make an appearance. The man who showed the way in the cool Valencian morning was one of the home favourites, Marcos Ramirez picking up top spot on his penultimate flying lap and taking a one tenth of a second's lead over rookie Filip Salac. World champion Lorenzo Dalla Porta finished within three tenths of his leading teammate, while excellent rookie Sergio Garcia continues on a high from his first podium appearance with fourth in FP1.

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