With the 2013 motorcycle racing season about to kick off just a few hours from now, with World Superbikes about to take to the track at Phillip Island, Dorna and the FIM had a few official appointments to confirm before the season starts. Today, the FIM officially announced all of the people in charge of both MotoGP and WSBK. MotoGP's Race Direction sees two changes, with Franco Uncini promoted to FIM Safety Officer, and Loris Capirossi joining Race Direction as the riders' representative.
With the season about to start, Phillip Island will soon be home to World Superbikes. Testing is getting underway and line-ups have been finalised, so what can we expect from the series now it’s owned by Dorna? So far, it looks very familiar, with the promised 17” wheels and headlight stickers, but the reigning champion has left while Ducati have a new bike to unleash upon the grid. The six kilos that plagued the 1098R have been consigned to history as Ducati bring back their factory team to challenge for the title with the new Panigale 1199R.
Press releases and previews from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the final test at Phillip Island, and looking forward to the first races of the season this weekend:
CHECA AND TEAM SBK DUCATI ALSTARE SCORE FASTEST LAP AT THE END OF OFFICIAL TESTING AT PHILLIP ISLAND!
Carlos Checa has removed any lingering doubts about the competitiveness of the Ducati Panigale 1199R, after controlling the second and final day of testing for the World Superbike class at Phillip Island, and ending the test as fastest overall. The Spaniard started the day fast, and ended the day fast, maintaining a strong pace throughout.
Leon Camier has carried his strong form from last week's private test at Phillip Island into the official test which started at the circuit on Monday. The FIXI Crescent Suzuki man used a race tire to lap half a second under Max Biaggi's race lap record, then going on to post a strong race simulation. The improvements the Crescent Suzuki squad have made, in conjunction with the Japanese Yoshimura company, are clearly paying off, the Suzuki lapping a second quicker than it did at the test last year.
The second day of the private test for the World Superbike teams at Phillip Island went very much as the first day did: with fast times, and a lot of crashes. The new surface was to blame for both: Leon Camier got half a second under the race lap record, but the on/off grip levels of the track saw him, and almost every one else, flung off their bikes at one point or another.
While the Moto2 and Moto3 riders finish up their test at Valencia, on the other side of the world, the World Superbike and World Supersport riders are beginning the final run in to the season opener in 10 days' time. They started today with the first of two days of private testing, the first chance the riders get to see the resurfaced Phillip Island track. The overall reaction to the new surface was very positive, though the lack of rubber on the track caused a spot of mayhem in the morning, with several riders crashing out.
The Alstare Ducati team have today unveiled their official livery for the 2013 season, and as expected with a team that is so heavily backed by the factory, the predominant color is red. Though the Alstare effort goes without a title sponsor, four sponsors feature prominently. Energy T.I. is an Italian gas and electricity company aimed at the retail market, and also backs Andrea Iannone's half of the Pramac garage in MotoGP. Italian telecoms company TIM have defected from Ducati's MotoGP effort to join the Alstare WSBK team, while battery maker FIAMM also features heavily.
The FIXI Crescent Suzuki team unveiled their 2013 World Superbike contender today, posting photos on the team's website of the bikes, before they were shipped off to Australia for the upcoming test and opening round of the 2013 season. Below is the press release issued, and the photos of the bike:
2013 FIXI CRESCENT SUZUKIS UNVEILED
Team Suzuki Press Office - February 4.