Repsol Press Release: Andrea Dovizioso On The Qatar Race And The Strengths And Weaknesses Of The Honda

The Repsol Media service are at it again, providing a trickle of press release interviews with their riders in the run up to the final MotoGP test at Qatar. Today it is the turn of Andrea Dovizioso, in which he talks about the Honda RC212V, it's strengths and weaknesses. With an interview with Casey Stoner issued yesterday, and one with Dovizioso today, expect a press release with Dani Pedrosa tomorrow or Friday. Here's the press release interview:

"We have many chances to fight for the championship"


Cost Of Motorland Aragon MotoGP Totals 41 Million Euros Through 2016

It is not often that people outside of Dorna's inner circle get a peek inside the finances of MotoGP; commercial contracts with all parties are subject to confidentiality clauses and are a closely-guarded secret. But occasionally the facts leak out, thanks to circumstances which are beyond the control of MotoGP's Spanish commercial rights' holder.

Such is the case with the Motorland Aragon Grand Prix: As reported a week ago, Aragon recently secured a six-year extension to its deal to hold a round of MotoGP. The terms of the deal were not discussed in the press release announcing the deal, but as the circuit is in public hands, the information has surfaced anyway: In 2011, Motorland Aragon will pay Dorna 6 million euros, riding to 7 million in 2012, for a grand total of 41 million euros between 2011 and 2012.

Rizla Suzuki Press Release: Bautista And Hopkins To Test At Qatar

With the final MotoGP test at Qatar just a few days away, and in sight of the season opener a week later, Rizla Suzuki issued a press release previewing the work they have to do at the test. Here's the text of the press release:

Rizla Suzuki ready for the final test


Repsol Press Release: Casey Stoner On Sepang Testing, The Qatar Race, And Rossi's Chances

The busy folks at the Repsol Media Service issued another pre-season press release today, this time another interview with Repsol Honda new boy Casey Stoner. Here's what Stoner had to say:

"It will be interesting to see who goes for victory in the first race"


The 2012 MotoGP Revolution: Part 2 - MotoGP vs WSBK

For the third year running, MotoGP is down to just 17 bikes on the grid. And for the second time in three years, a manufacturer is showing an alarming lack of commitment to the series, Suzuki fielding just one rider for the 2011 season. Sponsors are pulling out and teams are constantly complaining about a lack of money. Something has to be done.

Throughout 2009, MotoGP's rule-making body, the Grand Prix Commission, debated ways of changing the class to make the series cheaper, thereby increasing the number of bikes on the grid. The solution, announced in December 2009, was the return to 1000cc machines under specific restrictions aimed at capping costs: a maximum of four cylinders, and an 81mm maximum bore.

But that in itself was not enough. Throughout the entire process, it was also broadly hinted that the requirement that engines must be prototypes would be dropped for privateer teams, with these so-called Claiming Rule Teams being allowed to run heavily modified production engines in a prototype chassis. To ensure the teams would not be forced to spend on electronics what they saved on engines, the CRT machines would also be allowed an extra 3 liters of fuel above the allowance for the factory machines (for our detailed explanation of exactly what the CRT rules entail, see The 2012 MotoGP Revolution Part 1.)

We have been here before, of course. Back in 2003, the WCM team, under the management of Peter Clifford, entered two 990cc Harris WCM MotoGP machines, their engines based on the dimensions of Yamaha's R1, housed in a prototype frame produced by Harris. The WCM bikes turned up at the first race of the year, but were disqualified by scrutineering as not being a fully prototype machine.

The same pressure that eventually killed off the WCM project also threatens the CRT teams, and the arguments that kept the WCM off the grid for the first half of the 2003 season are being brought up again for the CRT bikes.

Another MotoGP Launch: San Carlo Gresini Show Off Simoncelli And Aoyama

It isn't just the Moto2 teams launching this week, the San Carlo Gresini Honda team held their launch at Monza, presenting Hiroshi Aoyama and MotoGP's own Fabulous Furry Freak Brother Marco Simoncelli to the media. The team is more than just a satellite team, though: team boss Fausto Gresini told's Alice Margaria that the team was now a "100% factory team," and he had high hopes for both of his riders. Below is the press release from the launch:



Aragon Gets MotoGP For 6 More Years - But What About Jerez?

That the Motorland Aragon circuit would be such a huge hit with both the fans and riders of MotoGP was barely a surprise. The track is spectacular, interesting and cleverly designed to allow decent racing. Its only downside is its location: Though located close to some of the more spectacular parts of Spain, accommodation in and around the town of Alcaniz, where the track is located, is limited, making finding lodgings a tricky affair. Despite such complications, over 70,000 spectators turned up for the inaugural Aragon round of MotoGP, and the race was awarded the prize for the best Grand Prix from IRTA, the teams assocation.

An attendance of 70,000 is even more remarkable given the dire state of the Spanish economy (with unemployment running at around the 20% mark), and the fact that the Aragon race was one of four hosted in Spain, and one of five run on the Iberian peninsula. Whatever money Spaniards still have in their pocket, they remain happy to spend it on attending motorcycle racing.

Ducati MotoGP Press Release After Jerez Private Test

While the factory Marlboro Ducati team were testing in Sepang at the official IRTA MotoGP tests, Ducati's test team was taking part in a private test at Jerez, working on solutions to take to Qatar, a necessity given the worrying results at Sepang. Test rider Franco Battaini spent time trying out some electronic and chassis setup changes, under the watchful eye of Ducati Corse director Filippo Preziosi. Below is the press release issued after that test:



2011 MotoGP Sepang 2 Day 3 Round Up - Be Afraid

The second and final test at Sepang is over, and if you needed to get a feel for the mood among the teams, all you need to do is read the press releases. The tone of the Repsol Honda press release is positively jubilant, and with good reason. As predicted - even by members of remote tribes in the depths of the Amazon forest who have never even heard of MotoGP - Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa smashed the 2'00 barrier for the first time on two wheels. Even more impressive was when: Stoner on just his second flying lap, Pedrosa managing it on the third. Both men followed up with an impressive race simulation, with a handful of 2'00s and a truckload of 2'01s, fast enough to have blitzed last year's race by a giant margin. The Hondas, as you have now heard ad nauseam, are fast.

Compare and contrast with Ducati. When the title of the press release is merely "Last Day Of Testing For Ducati Marlboro In Malaysia," then you know they're in trouble. Fastest of the Ducatis was once again Hector Barbera, the Mapfre Aspar rider ending the day in 10th, nearly 1.7 seconds off the time of Casey Stoner. Valentino Rossi, returning to testing after missing yesterday due to a fever, could manage just the 11th fastest time, 1.8 seconds behind Stoner, and with an identical time to his teammate Nicky Hayden.

2011 MotoGP Sepang 1 vs Sepang 2 Comparison Times - Honda Fastest, And Also Most Improved

Below is a comparison of the best times from the Sepang 1 test at the start of February with the best times from the Sepang 2 test, which has just finished. The one thing that you immediately notice is that not only were the Repsol Hondas fastest at the test, they also showed the most improvement, with Casey Stoner knocking well over a second off his time, while Dani Pedrosa took just under a second off between Sepang 1 and Sepang 2.

Behind the Repsols come Colin Edwards, Hector Barbera and Cal Crutchlow, all of whom took just under seven tenths off their best lap times between the two tests, with Marco Simoncelli and Loris Capirossi not far behind. 

Showing the least improvement were the factory Ducatis and the factory Yamahas, with the Ducatis coming out marginally on top. Valentino Rossi took just under four tenths off his time from the first Sepang test, while Ben Spies improved by about a third of a second. Their respective teammates showed hardly any improvement at all, with Jorge Lorenzo improving by less than a tenth, and Nicky Hayden by even less.

Time comparison between Sepang 1 and Sepang 2:

2011 MotoGP Sepang 2 Combined Times And Improved Times

Below are the combined times from all three days of testing at Sepang, and the improvement shown by each rider during the test.

Combined times:

2011 MotoGP Sepang 2 Day 3 Press Release Roundup

Here's the final round of press releases from the Sepang MotoGP test:


Stoner sets scorching pace in Sepang; top three faster than outright record

Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia – Second pre-season test
Tuesday 22 – Thursday 24 February 2011
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Hard, Extra Hard. Rear: Medium, Hard

The second of the pre-season tests at the Malaysian Sepang International Circuit was brought to a close today after three dry and hot days of running, despite rain threatening the final 45minutes of Thursday.

The track temperature reached a high of 57 degrees Celsius, and the fastest times on each day were set in the cooler morning or late afternoon runs. The third and final day of the test was the fastest overall, with the leading Repsol Honda duo of Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa both lapping the 5.5km circuit in under two minutes. The top three riders also each lapped quicker than the official circuit best lap of 2m 00.518s, set by Valentino Rossi in 2009.


2011 MotoGP Sepang 2 Day 2 Roundup - Same Ol' Same Ol'

If the fact that Honda appear to have produced a fairly competitive racing motorcycle in the 2011 RC212V had managed to pass you by, the times from the second day of testing at Sepang will have grabbed you, punched you in the face and screamed "IT'S REALLY, REALLY FAST!" In fact reports from the second MotoGP test at Sepang have become fairly monotonous, with the headlines almost writing themselves: Honda Fastest on Day {insert day here} of Testing.

2011 MotoGP Sepang 2 Day 2 Press Release Roundup

The press releases issued after the 2nd day of testing at Sepang:


The Repsol Honda Team made full use of the second day of testing at the Sepang circuit to continue working on the 2011 RC212V prototype. All three riders went back on track at 10h30 and began with a kind of "time attack" that placed them in the top three positions on the time sheets from the start to the end of the session.

Syndicate content