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Supersport 300 Class Added to WorldSBK Series From 2017

The FIM and Dorna have agreed on a new entry class for the World Superbike championship. A Supersport 300 championship has been created to house the burgeoning market of lightweight sports machines, such as the Yamaha YZF-R3 and the KTM RC390.

The concept for the class came about after consultation with manufacturers. Motorcycle manufacturers have seen sales of 600cc supersports bikes plummeting, while sales of lightweight machines have been booming. More and more manufacturers have been entering the class, though each with slightly different machines and different engine capacities.

That presents the series with its first major challenge: balancing different motorcycle concepts against one another, while still ensuring that racing remains affordable. For 2017, four machines have been homologated: the Yamaha YZF-R3, the KTM RC390, the Honda CBR500R (previously raced in the European Junior Cup) and the Kawasaki Ninja 300, one of the first bikes to be launched in the segment.

Performance balancing the concepts will initially be done via minimum weights and maximum revs, with adjustments made by agreement in the Superbike Commission, the governing body of the series. In keeping with previous performance balancing concepts, such a decision is only likely to be taken if one bike is either obviously dominating or lagging severely behind.

The bikes to be raced must remain very close to stock. The engines and frames must remain virtually unaltered, with only the removal of secondary throttle valves permitted. Electronics must be either the stock kit fitted, or a separate, homologated race kit from the manufacturer, or a Dorna-provided special Supersport kit. Datalogging is severely limited, as are changes to the suspension. Exhaust may be changed, but must retain the same number of silencers in the same position as on the road bike.

Although personal anecdotes bear no relation to real data, I noticed a very large number of Yamaha YZR-R3s in Germany, when I traveled to the Austria and Brno rounds of MotoGP by motorcycle. It felt like it was the second most common bike I came across, after BMW's ubiquitous GS. 

Below is the announcement from Dorna, plus a link to the current set of regulations:

New FIM Supersport 300 World Championship Set to Begin in 2017

FIM and Dorna WSBK Organisation announce the creation of the WorldSSP 300 Championship for 2017

This new production-based platform is designed to be the new beginner class for the WorldSBK Championship, feeding the higher categories with new talents in the near future. This class will be a perfect window for the various manufacturers to showcase their new range of lightweight 300 sport bikes that are emerging in the marketplace. The category is devoted to building rider potential and discovering new talents worldwide, with a minimum rider entry age of 15.

“This new platform will be the perfect environment for developing future talent,” said Vito Ippolito, President of FIM. “The intention of WorldSSP 300 is to create a benchmark for National Championships to follow. We want to offer an environment that is regulated and relatively equal in which future talent can grow, and where manufacturers can accompany young riders as they take their first steps towards stardom.”

“The focus is to have an affordable Series for these young competitors,” said Javier Alonso, WorldSBK Executive Director. “There has been great interest for low-capacity motorcycles in this sport and the new WorldSSP 300 class strives to offer that. It will be promoted by Manufacturers as an easily accessible championship, the best possible platform to grow future stars where Manufacturers can accompany riders from an early age and as they progress through their career.

A full list of the provisional Technical Regulations for the WorldSSP 300 Championship can be found here.



Milwaukee SMR Confirmed as Factory-Backed Aprilia Squad in World SBK

Aprilia have finally confirmed that they will be providing factory backing for the Milwaukee SMR squad in WorldSBK in 2017. It had been an open secret for months that the Milwaukee team were looking to make a switch to Aprilia, and they had signed Eugene Laverty and Lorenzo Savadori to contest the championship for them. But it took a long time for the official confirmation to come through.

One of the key factors in the choice, for both Laverty and Milwaukee SMR was to have strong factory support from Aprilia for the 2017 season. The Aprilia RSV4 RF is still widely viewed as the best package on the WorldSBK grid inside the paddock, subject to the condition that the team running the bike has support from the Noale factory. The bike is quite finicky in set up, and only the factory engineers have the necessary data to get the set up just right. 

With Laverty and Savadori signed, that leaves Karel Abraham and Josh Brookes out of a ride for next year. It also leaves the IODA racing team without support from Aprilia. At this moment, what will happen to them is unclear.

Below is the press release from Aprilia on the link up with Milwaukee SMR:


Two Aprilia RSV4 bikes will be on the track in the 2017 World Superbike Championship with the Milwaukee Aprilia Racing Team colours.

This is a two-year contract, so it will also be valid for 2018.

The agreement specifies that technical material and related direct assistance and support will be provided by Aprilia Racing, including bike development, which classifies Milwaukee as a Supported Factory Team.

This means that Aprilia Racing - the Piaggio Group racing department and technological point of excellence in the Italian motorcycle industry - is confirming its high level presence in the premier competition for factory derivative bikes, alongside its important efforts in MotoGP.

The goal is to compete at top levels in World SBK in order to emphasize the competitiveness of the Aprilia RSV4, capable of taking no less than seven World Titles (three Rider and four Manufacturer) between 2010 and 2014, proving to be the most victorious bike in recent WSBK history.

The result of a project intended to create a true racing bike that any enthusiast could have, the RSV4 astonished from its rookie season, winning a race in its maiden year and then racking up repeated championship wins in both the Manufacturer and Rider competitions (twice with Max Biaggi and once with Sylvain Guintoli). All this while the street version - obviously also characterized by an exclusive narrow 1.0 litre V4 - continued to win comparative reviews year after year with the best competitors in the world, both European and Japanese.

The team run by Shaun Muir, which boasts two British titles, will be able to count on a top shelf rider lineup: in addition to the 2015 Superstock Champion Lorenzo Savadori, who quickly drew attention this year in his rookie World Superbike season, Northern Irishman Eugene Laverty will be back in WSBK, 2013 runner up astride none other than an Aprilia RSV4.

Romano Albesiano - Aprilia Racing Manager

"Shaun Muir's team, after making a good name for themselves in the British championship, wants to get to the top of a world category. Our agreement includes, in addition to providing bikes and materials, support from Aprilia Racing personnel to manage and develop the RSV4, within a Factory Support type relationship.

The birth of the Milwaukee Aprilia Racing Team also marks Eugene Laverty's return to WSBK, a rider who we know well and whose professional and personal qualities have our utmost respect. He will have Lorenzo Savadori working alongside him, a young rider who has been part of our sports project for two seasons in which he won the Superstock 1000 title first and then drew attention in WSBK with an extremely positive rookie year".

Shaun Muir - SMR General Manager

"For SMR, collaboration with Aprilia Racing for 2017 and 2018 means a real chance to fight for the win. Aprilia has a strong and victorious history in World Superbike and we are determined to continue on the same path. Having Eugene and Lorenzo on board makes this a dream team. Without a doubt, Eugene is coming back to WSBK for one reason only - to win. Lorenzo, on the other hand, is the fastest rookie and a sure protagonist. I wish to thank Milwaukee, Gulf and all of the partners who are supporting our project".

Eugene Laverty

"I'm excited to return to Superbike with Aprilia and the RSV4, a bike with which I took ten wins and second place overall in the championship. I hope to be able to pick up where I left off with those results, thanks to the support of Aprilia and a fantastic team like Shaun Muir's. Everything is in place for us to be competitive straight away".

Lorenzo Savadori

"I am very happy to continue my adventure in World Superbike with Aprilia. This is another chance to achieve great results, with one more year of experience on the RSV4 for me. In a demanding rookie season I was already able to express a good performance level, learning a lot, both about race management and working in the garage, but I do not want to stop here. We will definitely be highly motivated at the start, with an ambitious project and a great desire to do well".

Jason Chiswell - Vice President of Marketing Milwaukee Tools

"At Milwaukee Power tools our vision is always to win and that same mentality is shared with the SMR team. We see the next year with Aprilia as being an exciting and a new winning chapter in our World Superbike program”.

Frank Rutten - Vice President of Gulf Oil International

"As the world’s fastest growing oil brand we are very excited by the prospect of moving forwards with what we believe will be one of the most rapid teams in SBK next year. We have been extremely impressed by the way SMR has entered the World Superbike arena. They are one of the best organized and most professional outfits in the paddock and we have developed an excellent working relationship with both them and the team’s title sponsor, Milwaukee Tools.

We are very excited by the prospect of moving forwards with them as team sponsor and official lubricant partners”.


2017 Provisional MotoGP Calendar - Almost Identical to 2016

There is a current fashion in moviemaking, of taking proven formulas from the past, giving them a light makeover and then relaunching them, then trying to spice them up by referring to them as a "reboot" or "reloaded". Dorna executives must have been to see Ghostbusters, Mad Max, and many more, as the 2017 MotoGP calendar is best described as 2016 Reloaded.

The 2017 MotoGP calendar is almost identical to the 2016 calendar, with a couple of minor tweaks. Those tweaks are a clear improvement on 2016: there are fewer large gaps, and there are fewer back-to-back races. There have been some changes to help with logistics, and some to help with race organizations. 

The season kicks off in Qatar as always, the Losail circuit paying a premium to host the first race of the year. That race will once again be a night race, and spread over four days as always. The race is on the same date as the F1 season opener in Melbourne, but as the two races take place in very different time zones at very different times, they are expected to complement one another, rather than clash.

Two weeks later, the circus heads to Argentina, to the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit. That race heralds the first change to the calendar, as there is now two weeks between Argentina and Austin, rather than the two American races being back-to-back as it was in the past. The logistics of getting bikes, equipment, riders and personnel from Argentina to Austin in the space of a couple of days has proven to be a massive challenge, especially as Termas de Rio Hondo is so remote.

After Austin, the circus returns to Europe, kicking off a familiar sequence of races: Jerez, Le Mans, Mugello, Barcelona, Assen, and the Sachsenring. The calendar has been shifted this year so that Mugello and Barcelona are back-to-back. That is a 1,000 km drive for the trucks, a manageable distance after packing up in Mugello on Sunday night. 

The summer break follows the Sachsenring, though it can barely be classed as such. There are two weekends between Assen and the Sachsenring, and then two more weekends between Sachsenring and Brno. The Czech round of MotoGP is the first of the Central European back-to-backs, Brno and Austria swapping places.

This is likely to have been done to appease the Brno circuit, who feared that the Austrian round would cannibalize some of their spectators. Given the low attendance at Brno, such fears would seem to be grounded: in recent years, Sunday attendance at Brno has been in the region of 140,000. In 2016, that fell to just 82,000, though that was the first fully wet Sunday since the series returned to Brno. Friday and Saturday attendance at Brno did not appear to have been affected.

After Austria, the MotoGP circus heads across the channel to Silverstone, which will host the British Grand Prix for the Circuit of Wales. That race is still subject to contract, though the deal appears to already have been sewn up. How that situation will continue is unclear, however, with the future of the Circuit of Wales project still uncertain. There were already question marks over the funding of the project, but the result of the UK's referendum on leaving the EU has left regional budgets in disarray, with long-term planning impossible until the form any Brexit may take is clear.

From Silverstone, MotoGP heads to Misano, with an extra weekend in between offering some relief. Two weeks later follows Aragon, and then a three week break before the flyaways, the triple header of Motegi, Phillip Island and Sepang staying in their current order. The Sepang round is also subject to contract, though given the popularity of the race, it seems unlikely an agreement will not be reached.

Two weeks after Sepang, the MotoGP circus heads to Valencia for the season finale. Yesterday, the Valencia circuit concluded a deal to host the final round of MotoGP until 2021.

The 2017 calendar is still very much provisional. There may still be changes to the calendar once the F1 calendar is published in ten days' time, though it is customary for F1 and MotoGP to confer to avoid clashes. However, should F1 need to reschedule races at a later point in the year, Dorna may be forced to respond and move some MotoGP races.

The hoped for expansion into new regions has once again failed to materialize, despite Dorna's best efforts. Negotiations continue with Thailand, who are keen to host a MotoGP race, but want to drop World Superbikes in favor of MotoGP, something Dorna does not want them to do. A race in Indonesia remains a distant prospect, internal politics and corruption a continuing obstacle to getting Sentul completely renovated, and the new track in Palembang still not confirmed. 

There is still hope that new tracks could join the calendar beyond 2017. Talks continue with Finland over hosting a round of MotoGP, while rumors persist of a race in Kazakhstan, though races in dictatorial oil states depend too much on the whims of the powerful to offer a stable basis for the calendar. There is still no sign of an agreement with the new track being built in Chile.

There will be complaints that MotoGP once again has four races in Spain - on the other hand, it has 14 races outside of Spain, more rounds than the 2016 WorldSBK calendar - but money and crowds dictate that all four Spanish races remain. Spain has an abundance of FIM-approved race tracks, a nation full of MotoGP-mad racing fans, and companies, circuits, and regional governments willing to pay the €5 million or so Dorna asks for the privilege of hosting a race. Until other countries and other circuits are willing to match that fee, MotoGP will continue to spend a lot of time in Spain.

The provisional 2017 MotoGP calendar is as follows:

Date Grand Prix Venue
26 March Qatar* Losail International Circuit
09 April República Argentina Termas de Río Hondo
23 April Americas Circuit of The Americas
07 May Spain Circuito de Jerez
21 May France Le Mans
04 June Italy Autodromo del Mugello
11 June Catalunya Barcelona - Catalunya
25 June Netherlands TT Circuit Assen
16 July Germany Sachsenring
06 August Czech Republic Automotodrom Brno
13 August Austria Red Bull Ring - Spielberg
27 August Great Britain** Silverstone Circuit
10 September San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
24 September Aragón MotorLand Aragón
15 October Japan Twin Ring Motegi
22 October Australia Phillip Island
29 October Malaysia** Sepang International Circuit
12 November Comunitat Valenciana Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo

* Night race
** Subject to contract


Nicky Hayden to Replace Jack Miller at Aragon

Nicky Hayden is to make a temporary return to MotoGP. The American is to spend his weekend off between WorldSBK races filling in for the injured Jack Miller at the Aragon round of MotoGP. Hayden is to ride Miller's Marc VDS Honda RC213V, marking his first ride on a full MotoGP bike since he left Ducati at the end of 2013.

Miller has chosen to skip the Aragon round after suffering problems with a hand injury he picked up in a crash in Austria. The bones in his right hand have been slow to heal, and the intense MotoGP schedule since the series' return after the summer break has meant the injury has been getting worse. The stresses of braking and accelerating on a MotoGP bike have caused the fractures to reopen. The problem became so severe at Misano that the Australian was forced to withdraw from the race.

With three back-to-back flyaway races coming up after Aragon, Miller and his Marc VDS Racing team have decided to have the Australian sit out the Spanish race. This gives Miller five weeks for the bones in his right hand to heal before the flyaways, and the season finale at Valencia two weeks after that. 

Nicky Hayden will get a chance to ride a full MotoGP Honda on Michelin tires, something he missed out on at Silverstone. The American was on standby to replace Miller if the Australian was not passed fit due to cracked vertebrae. Miller was fit enough to ride at the British round of MotoGP, but his hand injury has since worsened. Hayden does have experience with Michelin tires, having raced on them up until the end of 2008, when the spec tire was introduced and the entire field switched to Bridgestone tires.

Nicky Hayden to replace Jack Miller at Motorland Aragon

Former MotoGP World Champion and current World Superbike front-runner Nicky Hayden will replace injured Jack Miller in the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS squad for this weekend’s Grand Prix of Aragon in Spain.

Hayden will ride Miller’s Honda RC213V machine in this weekend’s 23-lap MotoGP encounter at the 5.1km Motorland Aragon track, which hosts round 14 of the World Championship.

Australian rider Miller is unfit to participate in this weekend’s action while he continues to recuperate from fractures in his right hand, which was an injury he first picked up in a high speed fall during the Warm-up session at the Red Bull Ring in Austria in mid-August.

Miller bravely raced to a 16th place finish in Silverstone’s British Grand Prix and then attempted similar heroics at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli last time out. Miller courageously rode in practice and qualifying in San Marino but the constant pain meant he withdrew ahead of the race.

Additional medical checks carried out immediately after the San Marino race revealed Miller has been riding with two fractures in his right hand.

The constant stress on the hand while riding has slowed the healing process and Miller, in consultation with HRC and the team has decided the most appropriate course of action is to miss this weekend’s Motorland Aragon encounter.

It is hoped the opportunity to take a lengthy period of rest and recuperation will give the 21-year-old the best chance possible of being fit to commence the gruelling flyaway triple-header in Japan next month.

Hayden brings a wealth of experience to Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS for this weekend’s race, which includes a podium in the inaugural Motorland Aragon race back in 2010.

The popular American started 216 races between 2003 and 2015 and claimed three victories and 25 other podium finishes. The highlight of the 35-year-old’s career was undoubtedly his World Championship success in 2006 when he defeated Valentino Rossi in a nail-biting final round decider in Valencia.

Tito Rabat will certainly be hoping to benefit from Hayden’s vast knowledge at a track where he has enjoyed tremendous success in the past.

The Spaniard hasn’t finished lower than second in the last three Moto2 races at Motorland Aragon, including a victory last year, and he is fully focused and determined to bounce back from a difficult race in San Marino.

Nicky Hayden:

“First of all I want to wish Jack a speedy recovery. He is a buddy of mine and he is a rider I believe in a lot, so I hope he can get healthy as quickly as possible to show the high potential we all know he has got. He just needs to get his body right so he can perform. This is an unusual experience for me because I’ve never been a stand-in rider before. But I have a good relationship with Honda and when the idea first came up they were behind it and Ten Kate gave me their blessing, so it is nice to go and help out another Honda team. For me it just a chance to go and have fun. I’d probably be riding motorbikes anyway and I would definitely be watching the race on TV, so I might as well show up and have some fun. I know MotoGP is not a place that’s always easy to have fun because the level is so high but I’ve got a lot to learn and it won’t be a walk in the park. I haven’t ridden the bike and there are different tyres and electronics but I’ve got a lot of experience and I get another shot at MotoGP, which is great for me personally. I want to thank Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS for the opportunity and Ten Kate and my sponsors who all made it happen and I will try and do them all proud."

Tito Rabat:

"At Misano I made another small improvement, even if that wasn't reflected in the results, but now we head to my home Grand Prix at Aragon. The Aragon track is one that I like and one at which I've enjoyed some success in the past, but this will be my first time there on a MotoGP bike so we have some work to do in practice. I'm motivated and I feel strong, so we will see how it goes."

Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal

"Obviously we'd have preferred Jack to be racing in Aragon, but it's the racing that is stopping the two fractures in his hand healing properly. It makes sense to have him sit out this race in a bid to recover ahead of the three overseas races, one of which is his home race in Australia. I'm looking forward to welcoming Nicky into the team and I want to thank Honda and Ten Kate for releasing him to ride this weekend. As a former MotoGP World Champion for Honda he brings with him a wealth of experience, which will be critical given the steep learning curve he faces with a new bike, new tyres and new electronics. I am sure he will do a stand up job for us. Tito had a tough time in San Marino, but his resilience is one of his strongest points and I fully expect him to bounce back and continue improving this weekend, on a track at which he's enjoyed a lot of success in the past."


Subscriber Feature: The Future of Moto2

At the end of the 2018 Grand Prix season, the engine contract for the Moto2 class comes up for renewal. The existing Honda CBR600RR engine is in line to be replaced as the spec Moto2 engine, as Honda is set to stop selling the bike in Europe, and has no plans for a successor.

What does the future of the Moto2 class look like? With the end of the current contract two years away, Dorna has started the process of defining what is to replace the current Honda engine. The first order of business was to explore every possible option, and evaluate the positives and negatives. Nothing was out of bounds: options evaluated included continuing with Honda, opening up the engine supply to competing manufacturers, having a bespoke engine built, and even a return to two-stroke engines.

In the end, though, Moto2 will remain a single, spec engine supplier from a major manufacturer again. The Moto2 teams have threatened mutiny at any suggestion of opening the class to competition, from fear of spiraling costs. The current situation makes Moto2 extremely affordable: running a Moto2 team costs roughly half what it costs to race in Moto3.

Who is likely to replace Honda? All my inquiries through official channels met with failure, sources refusing to comment. IRTA Secretary Mike Trimby told me, "We are in the middle of planning for the future of Moto2. But as this involves sensitive commercial negotiations, I'm afraid I can't comment."

This is the first in what will become a semi-regular series of insights into the world of motorcycle racing, exclusive for site supporters. The series will include background information, in-depth analysis, and opinion pieces. Though the vast majority of content on is to remain free to read, most notably the daily round ups at each MotoGP event, a select amount of content will be made available solely to those who have taken out a subscription.

The aim is to increase the number of site supporters and be able to move away from online advertising altogether, a model which is broken, as the rise of ad blockers demonstrates. Adding exclusive subscriber content adds value for site supporters, in addition to the desktop-sized versions of Scott Jones' photos for the site. The hope is that this will persuade more of our regular readers to support financially, and help us grow and improve the site. 

If you would like to become a site supporter, you can take out a subscription here. If you are already a subscriber, you can read the full article on the future of Moto2 here.

Scott Jones at Misano - Part 2

This was Ducati's home race, and they tested here in preparation. That did not pay off

The eyes of a winner. Lorenzo Baldassarri went on to win the Moto2 race at Misano

Lean angle. Mean angle

When is a teammate a teammate?

Dani Pedrosa is not currently avaiable to answer that question

Cal Crutchlow is crashing less. But he's still crashing on occasion

Special home helmets. De rigeur

Number twos

That was a championship-winning ride from Brad Binder

Old friendships do not fade

Alex Lowes continues to impress as a replacement. He's pretty much up to speed after two weekends

Moto2 is getting closer again. Which is good, because it needed to

Gigi Dall'Igna, Ducati's big brain

September in Italy: bikes, beaches, sun, heat, a sea of yellow

Maria Herrera blows hot and cold. It's tough running in your own team

No stopping the Samurai

If you'd like to have desktop-sized versions of Scott's fantastic photos, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. If you'd like a print of one of the shots you see on the site, then send Scott an email and he'll be happy to help.


KTM Enter Moto2 With Binder and Oliveira

KTM is to enter the Moto2 class. The Ajo team is to expand its current Moto2 operation to two riders, with Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira taking the place of the departing Johann Zarco. The team is also to switch from Kalex to KTM, as part of KTM's project to provide a career path for young riders from the FIM CEV Moto3 championship through all three Grand Prix classes to MotoGP.

The names of the riders involved should come as no surprise. Brad Binder is a race or two away at most from becoming the 2016 Moto3 world champion, and Miguel Oliveira came very close to winning the Moto3 title in 2015, as Binder's teammate in the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 team. Both riders are highly rated both by KTM and by team boss Aki Ajo.

The KTM chassis project is interesting. The KTM Moto2 bike comprises a steel trellis frame and aluminum swingarm housing a spec Moto2 Honda CBR600RR engine, using WP suspension. The use of a steel trellis frame is consistent with KTM's design philosophy in Moto3 and now also MotoGP. 

There was an issue with WP suspension, however. As WP is a subsidiary company of KTM, KTM came to a gentlemen's agreement with Kalex on the matter of suspension technicians. KTM will only use suspension technicians who have not previously worked with Kalex in Moto2, to avoid any appearance of using Kalex data to help set up the KTM.

The entry of KTM into Moto2 does not mean that the Austrian manufacturer is a candidate to replace Honda when the engine contract comes up for renewal at the end of 2018. At the presentation of the KTM MotoGP bike at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, KTM CEO Stefan Pierer made it clear that they had no interest in become spec engine supplier for Moto2.

Below is the press release from the KTM Ajo team:

Red Bull KTM Ajo to make exciting move up to Moto2 in 2017

The successful Moto3 structure will participate in next season’s Moto2 World Championship with new KTM bike and riders Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira.


Red Bull KTM Ajo will increase their presence at Grand Prix level in 2017 with a new team in Moto2 and a new KTM bike. KTM will thus become the first manufacturer to have a presence in all three classes: Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP. Alongside them as they take this important step, Red Bull KTM Ajo will run riders Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira in the project.

Red Bull, KTM and Ajo Motorsport join forces once again in 2017, building on their success in Moto3 with an expansion to the intermediate class. In their five years of collaboration to date, the team have taken a World Championship (2012), two runner-up spots (2014 and 2015) and a current lead of 106 points in the overall standings in Moto3. Red Bull KTM Ajo will also be the only team using the new KTM Moto2 bike, which debuts in the category. For Ajo Motorsport, this will be their third season in Moto2; last year they achieved the title, while this year they lead the standings with 3 points in the overall standings.

The rider lineup will consist of familiar faces, who have come up through the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup and Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 team. Brad Binder, currently the Moto3 leader with 106 points, stays with the team and accompanies them on their exciting new venture. The South African, who came into the team last year, has a total of 5 wins and 11 podiums in five full seasons at Grand Prix level.

Miguel Oliveira returns to the structure with which he was proclaimed World Championship runner-up in 2015. The Portuguese, who this year debuted in Moto2, has 6 wins and 7 podiums to his name, all in Moto3.

This new project, which has already enjoyed positive tests over the past year, will begin in earnest from November 16th, when the riders will get onboard the new KTM for the first time.

Pit Beirer - KTM Motorsport Director

"We've now enjoyed five years of successful collaboration with Aki Ajo in Moto3. We are very happy that he and our main sponsor Red Bull are offering us the perfect structure to move into Moto2 so we can have a presence in all classes of Grand Prix Racing in 2017. We see the intermediate class mainly as a platform for keeping riders in the KTM Family, which begins with the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup and will run right through to MotoGP. The WP motorsports department has been fully integrated into KTM, and just as it is in Moto3 and MotoGP, the new Moto2 bike is being developed and built completely in-house. Brad Binder has had a very successful season this year and hopefully he will wrap up the championship. Now we're happy that he can step up into the new Moto2 team. Also, we're very pleased to welcome Miguel Oliveira back into the Orange Family after one year in Moto2."

Aki Ajo - Team Manager

"Firstly, I am very happy to continue the cooperation with Red Bull and KTM and make this move together in Moto2. Now we will all be much closer to each other, working together in two classes and with the whole Red Bull KTM family in all three classes, which is something historic. We are very grateful to be part of this great project with KTM and Red Bull. It is also nice to start out with a pair of riders who we already know well. Brad [Binder] has spent two seasons with us and Miguel [Oliveira] had an incredible season last year in the team. Both have won races with us, so I cannot be more expectant than this: We have two riders who we know, who are young, eager, and with a positive attitude for this project."

Brad Binder - Rider

"First of all I want to say I am very grateful for this new opportunity given to me by the team in Moto2. I want to thank Aki Ajo and all the people and partners who have been helping so I could take this step up. After how this year has been, there is nothing that could excite me more than staying at Red Bull KTM Ajo and competing in Moto2. I really like this team; I like the respect between all the members and I know that the decisions they make are always the best to keep the team and riders on top.

I know it will be very difficult, but I'm very motivated for this and I am already looking forward to it. It will be nice to start in a new class, with everything new and a lot to learn. My goal is to go out each day and give 110% to learn as quickly as possible. I am very happy to be back sharing a garage with Miguel [Oliveira], I learned a lot from him in 2015 and sure we will push each other; we will have fun. Everyone knows that if Red Bull KTM Ajo make a motorcycle, it will be good."

Miguel Oliveira - Rider

"I'm very happy to be returning to the Red Bull KTM Ajo family, and to a very professional team that brought me a lot of success. In fact, my most successful season to date came with them. I'm very happy and grateful to Aki [Ajo] and KTM for choosing me and for trusting in me to start this ambitious project with the KTM Moto2. I believe a lot in this new project, that I will have a very strong team alongside me, and that we will be able to get the best results possible. I will give my all in this new venture. I will be back sharing a garage with Brad [Binder], a very good person and rider, and I am sure that we will work very well together to gather the best data possible and take the KTM to the top."



No Wings or Bulges - MotoGP Aerodynamic Regulations Published

The aerodynamic rules for the 2017 MotoGP season and beyond have been published. At a meeting of the Grand Prix Commission at Misano, a proposal from Dorna's technical team was accepted banning aerodynamic devices in as general a wording as possible. Wings, bulges, and anything protruding from the front of the fairing is now banned.

The proposal was drawn up by a small group consisting of Director of Technology Corrado Cecchinelli, Technical Director Danny Aldridge and Race Director Mike Webb. Their main focus was to keep the wording as general as possible, so as to avoid loopholes for engineers to exploit. Technical Director Danny Aldridge will have the final word on any fairing protrusion, precisely to prevent any doubt about workarounds. 

The rules also remove the possibility of using the space at the front of the fairing to create aerodynamic downforce. The front of the fairing may not extend more than 150mm beyond the axle of the front wheel. This should prevent too much experimentation with fairings such as tried by the WCM team at the end of 2000, or extending the lips of air intakes into "beak"-style structures, such as seen on some road bikes.

The official press release is shown below:

FIM Grand Prix World Championship
Decision of the Grand Prix Commission

The Grand Prix Commission, composed of Messrs. Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna, Chairman), Ignacio Verneda (FIM CEO), Herve Poncharal (IRTA) and Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA) in the presence of Javier Alonso (Dorna) and Mike Trimby (IRTA, Secretary of the meeting), in a meeting held on 9 September at Misano (RSM), made the following decisions:

Technical Regulations

Effective Season 2017

Streamlining and Aerodynamic Devices

It was already announced that aerodynamic wings are banned in all classes from 2017. The wording of the regulation covering this matter was confirmed:

Devices or shapes protruding from the fairing or bodywork and not integrated in the body streamlining (e.g. wings, fins, bulges, etc.) that may provide an aerodynamic effect (e.g. providing downforce, disrupting aerodynamic wake, etc.) are not allowed.

The Technical Director will be the sole judge of whether a device or fairing design falls into the above definition.

Furthermore, to avoid that the front of the fairing is wing-shaped, with unpredictable safety results, the front of the fairing cannot protrude more than 150mm beyond a vertical line drawn through the front wheel spindle. (It should be noted that all fairings in current use already comply with this).

Moto3 Wild Cards

In 2017 all manufacturers in the Moto3 class will supply engines to the contracted riders on a rental basis. Engines will no longer be sold to teams.

The Championship is keen to retain the possibility for wild cards to participate. But to ensure that their engines comply with current regulations it will be a requirement for wild card entries to seek approval from the engine manufacturer and to use the homologated ECU maps.

To permit the possibility of wild card riders using machines from other manufacturers, they may also use engines approved for the FIM CEV Junior World Championship. Such engines must comply with FIM Moto3 World Championship regulations with regards to engine specification and ECU requirements.

A regularly updated version of the FIM Grand Prix Regulations which contains the detailed text of the regulation changes may be viewed shortly on:


Scott Jones at Misano - Part 1

Home boy

Brembo - the aim is to emulate a brick wall, but with control

All hail the conquering hero. But that was last week...

Andrea Iannone's last home race for Ducati did not last long. A fractured vertebra in FP1 brought it to a premature end

Numbers don't lie. An accelerometer on the end of the Ducati's swingarm bears witness to their dedication to data

Home races mean special helmets. Andrea Dovizioso's was a gem

Xavi Fores found himself in at the deep end at Misano

Can't keep a racer away from a race track. Loris Baz came to see how his replacement would do

When Dani is on it, he's on it. He was on it at Misano

A peek under the hood. CNC machined rocker covers are a thing of beauty

Pol Espargaro started well at Misano. The finish, not so much

Aprilia found a little bit of magic around Misano. They need to find a little bit more to be competitive

How physical is riding a Honda RC213V? Crutchlow is out of the seat, pushing himself forward over the tank to keep the front down

Last one to the corner is a rotten egg

Ready to rumble

If you'd like to have desktop-sized versions of Scott's fantastic photos, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. If you'd like a print of one of the shots you see on the site, then send Scott an email and he'll be happy to help.


Scott Jones at Silverstone - Part 2

Definitely trying

Andrea Dovizioso practices his thousand yard stare

Red Bull & KTM - this is what they are doing in Moto3. Just wait till they get to MotoGP

Michelin have taken a lot of stick over recent races, but riders post race sang their praises

Lucio Cecchinello had something to celebrate again. And it wasn't the weather

Maverick Viñales. Something special about that young man

It's raining. Just taking the bike out for a spin...

What does confidence do for you? It gets you a pole and a podium

Home heartbreak. And real anger for Sam Lowes

Fans. They start young

Story of the MotoGP race, right there. Nobody is catching Maverick

If anyone thought Marquez and Rossi would be friends again, Silverstone disabused them of that illusion

All that hard work, just to waste some sparkling wine

Talent in WorldSBK is good. Alex Lowes proved that

Bagnaia, Bastianini, Antonelli. Only Pecco would remain from the all-Italian front row in Moto3

That reminds me, must get new T-shirts done ...


If you'd like to have desktop-sized versions of Scott's fantastic photos, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. If you'd like a print of one of the shots you see on the site, then send Scott an email and he'll be happy to help.