Latest News

Scott Jones In Saxony: Practice At The Sachsenring


He chased hard, but he didn't get there


Ouch


Ready to win


Bradley Smith went from a nightmare in 2014 to a successful 2014 in Germany


Hail to the Kent


The devil is in the details. Always


They call it the Waterfall. They should really call it the rollercoaster


Not always a threat, when he decides he doesn't like the tires


Michael Laverty was a vast improvement on Marco Melandri at Aprilia


Ducati are standing still at the moment. That's what happens when you get off to a flying start


Short, tight track? Made for Suzuki, surely? Turns out not to be the case after all


Make Racing, Not War


Hiroshi Aoyama, HRC's universal replacement


It is fair to say that the Sachsenring is a popular round


When things go wrong...


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Race Direction Get Tough On Towing: Grid Penalties, Points, Loss Of Warm Up Handed Out To 17 Riders, New Moto3 Grid Made

Race Direction has come down hard on riders dawdlilng on the racing line looking for a tow. Punishments have been handed out to a grand total of 17 riders in all three classes.

Punishment is particularly harsh in Moto3. The 11 riders who were caught waiting on the racing line were all given a penalty of 3 grid positions, basically all moving them back one row on the grid. Among the offenders are some high-profile names, including Enea Bastianini, currently second in the Moto3 title chase and who originally qualified 2nd on the grid. Bastianini has been moved back to 5th, Andrea Locatelli is bumped back to 9th, Jorge Navarro starts in 11th, Niklas Ajo in 13th, Jakub Kornfeil in 21st, John McPhee in 23rd, Hiroki Ono in 26th, Ana Carrasco in 27th, Maria Herrera in 31st, and Andrea Migno in 35th and dead last. The new Moto3 grid is shown below.

The loss of grid position is not the only punishment they face. All 11 Moto3 riders will also be forced to sit out the first 10 minutes of warm up on Sunday morning, losing them valuable set up and practice time. The goal of such a drastic measure is to try to drive home a lesson that even a stiff talking to at Assen had not helped make clear. Race Direction is being particularly heavy handed to send out a message which the riders will immediately feel.

The punishments in Moto2 and MotoGP are less severe. Simone Corsi, Sandro Cortese, Thomas Luthi and Xavier Simeon were all handed a single penalty point in Moto2, while Mike Di Meglio also received a penalty point in MotoGP. As a repeat offender, Hector Barbera was given 2 penalty points, as the price of having a reputation for looking for a tow.

Whether harsher penalties will improve behavior remains to be seen. We will have to wait until Indianapolis to see what effect they have.

The new Moto3 grid is now as follows:

  No. Rider Bike Time
1 52 Danny Kent Honda 1'26.420
2 98 Karel Hanika KTM 1'26.941
3 20 Fabio Quartararo Honda 1'26.968
4 7 Efren Vazquez Honda 1'27.005
5 33 Enea Bastianini Honda 1'26.939
6 88 Jorge Martin Mahindra 1'27.160
7 23 Niccolò Antonelli Honda 1'27.313
8 41 Brad Binder KTM 1'27.355
9 55 Andrea Locatelli Honda 1'27.130
10 10 Alexis Masbou Honda 1'27.356
11 9 Jorge Navarro Honda 1'27.253
12 5 Romano Fenati KTM 1'27.378
13 31 Niklas Ajo KTM 1'27.334
14 11 Livio Loi Honda 1'27.536
15 65 Philipp Oettl KTM 1'27.567
16 63 Zulfahmi Khairuddin KTM 1'27.653
17 32 Isaac Viñales Husqvarna 1'27.496
18 40 Darryn Binder Mahindra 1'27.828
19 95 Jules Danilo Honda 1'27.863
20 21 Francesco Bagnaia Mahindra 1'27.887
21 84 Jakub Kornfeil KTM 1'27.714
22 19 Alessandro Tonucci Mahindra 1'28.074
23 17 John Mcphee Honda 1'27.857
24 58 Juanfran Guevara Mahindra 1'28.103
25 2 Remy Gardner Mahindra 1'28.160
26 76 Hiroki Ono Honda 1'27.921
27 22 Ana Carrasco KTM 1'28.031
28 29 Stefano Manzi Mahindra 1'28.171
29 24 Tatsuki Suzuki Mahindra 1'28.211
30 12 Matteo Ferrari Mahindra 1'28.227
31 6 Maria Herrera Husqvarna 1'28.162
32 91 Gabriel Rodrigo KTM 1'28.535
33 97 Maximilian Kappler FTR Honda 1'29.750
34 45 Jonas Geitner KTM 1'30.011
35 16 Andrea Migno KTM 1'28.232

Decision of Race Direction, Sachsenring, (GER)

Riders: (All in Moto3 Class)

#6 Herrera, #9 Navarro, #16 Migno, #17 McPhee, #22 Carrasco, #31 Ajo, #32 Viñales, #33 Bastianini, #55 Locatelli, #76 Ono, #84 Kornfeil

Infringement:

On 11 July 2015 during final minutes of the Moto3 Qualifying session of the GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, these riders were riding slowly close to the racing line, thereby disturbing other riders. This directly contravenes the instructions given at the riders briefing on March 26, the reminder notice to riders issued on April 30, and specifically contravenes the instructions given at the Moto3 rider’s briefing on 24 June at Assen.

It is considered to be irresponsible riding causing danger to other competitors and is therefore an infringement of Article 1.21.2 of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Regulations.

Hearing:

All riders were requested to attend a hearing with the Race Direction. They attended the hearing with team representatives and acknowledged the facts presented.

Decision:

For the above motive, Race Direction has decided to impose on each of the above named riders a grid penalty of 3 places and further to impose a suspension from the first 10 minutes of the Warm Up session for the 2015 GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, according to Article 3.2.1. of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Disciplinary and Arbitration Code.

No appeals were presented, the decision of Race Direction is final.


Decision of Race Direction, Sachsenring, (GER)

Moto2 Category

Riders: #3 Corsi, #11 Cortese, #12 Luthi, #19 Simeon

On 11 July 2015 at 15.49 in Turn 1 (Corsi) and the Turn 13 braking area (Cortese, Luthi, Simeon) during the Moto2 Qualifying session of the GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, the above riders were riding slowly close to the racing line, thereby disturbing other riders. This directly contravenes the instructions given at the Riders Briefing on March 26, and the reminder notice to riders issued on April 30.

It is considered to be irresponsible riding causing danger to other competitors and is therefore an infringement of Article 1.21.2 of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Regulations.

The decision of Race Direction is to impose the addition of 1 Penalty Point to the record of riders #3 Corsi, #11 Cortese, #12 Luthi, #19 Simeon, according to Article 3.2.1. of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Disciplinary and Arbitration Code.

No appeal has been presented, the decision of Race Direction is final.

MotoGP category

Riders: #8 Barbera, #63 Di Meglio

On 11 July 2015 in the Turn 13 braking area during the MotoGP FP3 session of the GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, the above riders were observed riding slowly close to the racing line, thereby disturbing other riders. This directly contravenes the instructions given at the Riders Briefing on March 26, and the reminder notice to riders issued on April 30.

It is considered to be irresponsible riding causing danger to other competitors and is therefore an infringement of Article 1.21.2 of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Regulations.

The decision of Race Direction is to impose the addition of 1 Penalty Point to the record of rider #63 Di Meglio, and 2 Penalty Points to the record of rider #8 Barbera (due to the number of times he committed the offence), according to Article 3.2.1. of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Disciplinary and Arbitration Code.

No appeal has been presented, the decision of Race Direction is final.

Scott Jones In Saxony: Friday From The Sachsenring


Sachsenring: Dani's track


Over the hill? Nobody thinks so any more


Old school style on the newest bike on the grid


Has Scott Redding finally cracked it? He had on Friday


Trees and hills, that's what Saxony is all about


Eugene Laverty is one of two sets of brothers on the MotoGP grid, now that Michael has gone to Aprilia


Ready?


Livio Suppo, the power behind the throne at HRC


Right now, Britain's best racer, Bradley Smith


Fabio Quartararo hoists a mono


Ana Carrasco - one of two women on the grid now, and finding it tough to match Maria Herrera


CWM passes BMW


So that's where he has been keeping his mojo. At the bottom of the Waterfall


The devil is in the details, says Dovizioso


Welcome to Saxony

 


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.

Free At Last: Melandri Released By Aprilia

Marco Melandri has had his last race for Aprilia in MotoGP. The two parties have at last reached agreement to go their separate ways. Aprilia test rider Michael Laverty will replace Melandri for the rest of the 2015 season.

Melandri had always been a reluctant participant in Aprilia's MotoGP project at best. The Italian was halfway through a lucrative two-year deal with Aprilia in World Superbikes in 2014, when Aprilia announced the switch to MotoGP for the 2015 season. Melandri's priority was always to remain in World Superbikes and fight for the championship, and it was clear that Aprilia's first season in MotoGP – a year earlier than anticipated – was going to be a transitional one. At the time, Aprilia's plan was to leave World Superbikes, only later lining up the Red Devils Roma team to run their factory operation. By then, it was too late for Melandri to make the change.

From the very first test, Melandri had no feeling with either the Aprilia RS-GP – an uprated version of the ART which had debuted in 2012 – or with the Bridgestone tires. He complained of a total lack of confidence in the front end, and never looked comfortable or confident on the bike. Melandri was consistently the slowest rider on track, between three and five seconds off the pace, and two seconds or more slower than his teammate, Alvaro Bautista. Melandri never showed any improvement, and any changes Aprilia made did not help improve his confidence.

It was clear that the two parties were heading for a divorce, the only issue being the matter of money. Melandri was rumored to be receiving a seven-figure salary from Aprilia, and was not keen to leave without being paid in full. For their part, Aprilia were unwilling to pay Melandri off in full for what they viewed as an unsatisfactory performance. Negotiations over a departure had been ongoing since Jerez, but it has taken the best part of two months to reach a final accommodation. What that agreement is, is as yet unknown.

Taking Melandri's place in the Gresini Aprilia squad is Michael Laverty. Laverty has been working as a test rider for Aprilia since last year, and has been closely involved in the development of the RS-GP up until now.

Melandri will likely be forced to sit out the rest of the season, but the Italian has been repeatedly linked to a ride with the Yamaha World Superbike team in 2016. That operation is being set up by Andrea Dosoli, who previously ran Yamaha's WSBK team. However, it is yet to be decided which team will run Yamaha's WSBK effort, with both a top BSB team and an existing WSBK team linked to the job. If the BSB team gets the ride, then it seems unlikely they will accept Melandri as a rider.

The official press release from Aprilia appears below:


PRESS RELEASE

Noale (Italy), 8 July 2015 - Aprilia Racing and Marco Melandri have reached an agreement by mutual consent to terminate the contractual obligations between Marco Melandri and Aprilia Racing.

Consequently, Marco Melandri will no longer be lined up on the grid with Aprilia Racing starting from the German Grand Prix on 12 July.

Aprilia Racing wishes Marco Melandri all the best in his future endeavors.

MotoGP Injury Update - Bradl And Abraham Out Of Sachsenring, Corti And Aoyama To Substitute

As the season reaches its mid-point, injuries are starting to take their toll. Riders are being forced to miss races, and replacements have to be found.

The latest victim is Stefan Bradl. The German fell heavily during the race at Assen, fracturing the scaphoid in his right hand. Though he immediately drove home to Augsburg for surgery on the broken bone, the time between Assen and the Sachsenring has proven too short for Bradl to be fit for his home GP. A broken scaphoid is always painful, and the right hand has a lot of stress to bear for a motorcycle racer. The pain has proven to be too substantial, and Bradl now has until 9th August to recover, when MotoGP heads to Indianapolis.

Bradl's place will be taken in the Forward team by Claudio Corti. The Italian has experience both with the Forward team and in MotoGP, having ridden for Forward in 2013, when he raced the FTR Kawasaki. Experience with Bridgestone tires and carbon brake disks is always an issue for substitute riders.

Corti will not be the only replacement rider in Germany. Karel Abraham remains absent after suffering a severe foot injury at Barcelona. Having missed the race at Assen, despite a last-ditch attempt to try to arrange coverage for Dutch World Superbike rider Michael van der Mark to replace him, the AB Motor Racing team are forced to field a substitute. HRC test rider Hiroshi Aoyama, present at the Sachsenring for a Michelin tire test, which takes place today, is to sit in for Abraham.

The press release issued by the Forward Racing team appears below:


Stefan Bradl forced to miss his home Grand Prix

Following the crash in the Grand Prix of Assen, where he fractured his right scaphoid, Stefan Bradl will not take part to the race at Sachsenring this weekend.

The German rider immediately started rehabilitation after surgery last Monday, in which Dr. Stefan Krischak fixed the broken bone with a Herbert screw. He was motivated to ride his Yamaha Forward for his home race but despite all efforts and treatments, the pain still persists today and doctors have therefore recommended him not to return to the track too early and rest for a full recovery in view of the second half of the season.

Claudio Corti will substitute him for the German GP, he has been already with Forward in 2010 in Moto2 riding a Suter bike and in 2013 in MotoGP with Colin Edwards riding a FTR-Kawasaki. The 28 year old from Como will be on track on Friday for FP1.

Stefan Bradl

"It's really a shame to be forced to miss my home Grand Prix, but doctors have advised me not to rush the recovery in order not to jeopardize the rest of the season. My hand is still sore and I will try to take full advantage of the four weeks stop before the race at Indianapolis. I will be at Sachsenring with the team to meet my commitments with the media, the sponsors and all my fans who have been really close to me during the week after I had surgery".

Claudio Corti

"I can’t hide to be really happy to be back riding a MotoGP. Many thanks to Giovanni and all the team for this opportunity and I hope Stefan will be back as soon as possible. I will try to repay the trust working hard and doing my best on the track. Riding this bike will be a new experience but I feel ready and I hope to collect a good result".

Tito Rabat Breaks Collarbone In Training Accident

Tito Rabat has broken his right collarbone in a training crash at Almeria. The reigning Moto2 champion was riding at Almeria, as is his custom, and suffered an (unspecified) mechanical failure while braking for Turn 1. He fell, shattering his right collarbone.

Rabat was flown to Barcelona that evening, where he was operated on by Dr. Xavier Mir. Dr. Mir inserted a titanium plate to fix the collarbone. Rabat expects to be fit enough to race at the Sachsenring next weekend.

Though the break is unfortunate for Rabat, the timing of the crash could have been worse. The Marc VDS rider currently trails the championship leader Johann Zarco by 45 points, and Rabat cannot afford to miss any races. Though Rabat will not be at full strength at the Sachsenring, the circuit only features two strong braking zones, and is mostly left-hand corners. After the Sachsenring, Rabat has four weeks to recover until the next round at Indianapolis. 

Below is theepress release issued by the Marc VDS team after the incident:


Rabat breaks collarbone in training crash

Barcelona, Spain – 5 July 2015: Tito Rabat has undergone surgery after fracturing his collarbone in a training accident on Saturday.

Rabat sustained a fractured right collarbone in a crash while training at the Almeria circuit in Spain. The crash occurred due to a mechanical failure as the reigning Moto2 World Champion was braking for turn one.

The 26-year-old Spaniard was initially treated at the circuit, but then travelled to Barcelona where he underwent surgery to plate the fracture on Saturday evening.

The surgery was performed by MotoGP medical team members, Doctor Xavier Mir and Doctor Angel Charte, at the Hospital University Quirón Dexeus and was a complete success.

Rabat is already back in training to be ready for round nine of the Moto2 World Championship, which takes place next weekend at the Sachsenring circuit in Germany.

Tito Rabat:

“I was doing my normal training at Almeria when there was a problem with the bike as I was braking for the first turn and I went down quite hard. I knew straight away that I’d broken something, and the medical staff at the circuit confirmed this. I immediately called Doctor Angel Charte to arrange things before jumping on a plane to Barcelona. With Sachsenring only a few days away it was important to get the fracture plated as soon as possible, to give me the maximum recovery time. The surgery was a success and I will definitely be fit to ride in Germany, after which we have a three-week break in which I can recover fully. I’d like to thank the medics and staff at Almeria, for their assistance immediately after the crash, and Doctor Xavier Mir and his team who, once again, have done a fantastic job.”

Doctor Xavier Mir:

“The surgery was to treat Tito Rabat’s fractured right collarbone, reducing the five fragments and affixing a titanium plate. Tito was also treated for an injury to his left thumb, with a skin graft performed to replace the skin lost in the crash. He also sustained various minor contusions and bruises in the crash. Tito will remain in the hospital for 48 hours, during which time he’ll receive antibiotics intravenously.”

Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal

“Riders need to train and there is always a risk involved, especially when they are training on track at speed. Tito does a lot of laps at Almeria, normally without incident, but this time he was caught out at one of the fastest parts of the circuit by a mechanical failure. Thankfully he walked away with only a broken collarbone, as it could have been much worse. The collarbone has now been plated and he will be fit to race in Germany next weekend. I’m sure it will be an uncomfortable injury, especially at a stop start circuit like Sachsenring, but I’m equally sure it will only motivate Tito further. After Germany he will have a full three weeks to recover before we head to the US for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis."

Scott Jones Goes Dutch - Race Day At Assen


Nothing tastes sweeter


This will not end well. Zulfahmi Khairudden and Remy Gardner collide


Heart rate: 200 bpm


Emperor of Moto2


Luis Salom's Pons Kalex, or what remained after it had been tossed at Turn 1


Dani Pedrosa, a fair way down the grid


Turn 1, lap 2, and the leaders are already set


Marquez did get ahead of Rossi briefly


But it would not last to the line


Alex De Angelis demonstrates the art of ART Origami


This went on for most of the race. In the end, the Suzuki could not withstand the onslaught of horsepower from behind


With a fraction less edge grip, Lorenzo could not dominate


Grim determination saves the day for Niklas Ajo. Amazing finish


Miguel Oliveira makes it number two


The RC213V looks like a Moto3 bike under Scott Redding. You can't say he's not trying


Cal Crutchlow demonstrates how you ride a MotoGP bike: standing up


Hammer down


Different styles: Rossi moves his body, but not his backside, Marquez is sliding his rear over the seat early


The 2015 Moto2 season in a single frame


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 Goes Dutch - Pictures Of Assen, Second Edition


Leapfrog for Dani Pedrosa


He came, he saw, he conquered


What lurks beneath: the tank part of the tank...


It's been a tough year for Stefan Bradl on the Forward Yamaha


If it wasn't for bad luck, Nicky Hayden wouldn't have had any luck at all. His bike kept cutting out all weekend


Maniac Joe? Mr Maturity, more like. Note the proximity of the winglets to the asphalt


Cold mornings? Duct tape the radiator and oil cooler. Problem solved


Different approaches to bike swaps for Pedrosa and Marquez. A skip and a jump for #26, a bunny hop for #93


Now that's what I call cutting the chicane at Assen


Yonny Hernandez feathers the clutch


Rookie of the year so far: Maverick Viñales


Preparing. For what?


It's been a struggle for Scott Redding. But he is closer than he thinks he is


Jorge Lorenzo would not make it five wins in a row, but he salvaged a crucial podium


Big skies, full stands, great racing. This is Assen


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.

Leopard Racing's 2016 Plans - Joan Mir To Moto3, Move Up To Moto2?

The Leopard Racing team today announced that they have signed Joan Mir to race for them in Moto3 in 2016. The 18-year-old Spaniard is currently racing in the FIM CEV series, the former Spanish championship, for the Leopard Racing junior team, and has impressed in the class winning two races already this season. Before switching to the CEV, Mir raced in the Red Bull Rookies Cup, where he was regarded as one of the stronger competitors.

With Mir moving up to Moto3, it is looking increasingly likely that the Leopard Racing team will expand their program to move up to Moto2. Current Moto3 championship leader Danny Kent has expressed an interest in returning to Moto2, but only wishes to do so with a strong team. The Leopard Racing team run by Stefan Kiefer has proved to be exactly that, and if the team can move up as a unit, then Kent should have a better shot at handling the transition than during his first attempt with the Tech 3 squad. Familiar surroundings and a strong bike package would make Kent competitive.

The switch to Moto2 is still a long way from being confirmed. At the moment, the budget for 2016 is under discussion, any decision can only be taken once funding for the project has been decided.

Below is the press release issued by Leopard Racing announcing the signing of Joan Mir:


LEOPARD RACING TO SIGN JOAN MIR FOR 2016

Leopard Racing signed an agreement with Joan Mir to bring the young talented Spanish rider to World Championship series from the 2016 season on.

18 years young Palma de Mallorca born rider Joan Mir Mayrata is already part of Leopard Racing’s junior programme competing in the FIM CEV Repsol Junior World Championship this year. He will make his step to the World Championship level next year.

Mir, a former Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup participant, currently in fourth position in this year’s campaign with two race wins to his hands in Portimao and Barcelona last time. In doing so, he underlined very impressively his talent and speed aboard a Moto3 race bike according to Grand Prix racing regulations.

#36 Joan MIR:

"A dream becomes true today when we put pen on paper together. I’m really proud because this agreement sees my step up to the World Championship level from next year on. I’m very grateful to Leopard Racing that they give me this awesome opportunity. I’ll try and do my best to prove as a real contender in this highly competitive category in Grand Prix Racing. But first, I want to fulfil my task in the Moto 3 Junior World Championship this year."

Miodrag KOTUR (Leopard Racing):

“Joan has been the team’s rider as Leopard Racing is currently supporting him with the Machado Leopard Junior Team. He is a rider that matches very well with our philosophy. He has enjoyed success in the junior series and with the support and experience we can offer him, we are confident that he has a great future with our Leopard Racing Team. We are happy to guide the youngsters to achieve the high level of our sport. As for our other riders, we want to put Joan in the best possible conditions to reach his MotoGP goals."

Stefan Bradl Fractures Scaphoid, Uncertain For Sachsenring

Stefan Bradl is to undergo surgery to fix a fractured scaphoid in his right hand. The German had a major highside during the race at Assen on Saturday, being thrown from his Forward Yamaha on lap six at Duikersloot. Bradl landed heavily and immediately knew something was wrong. X-rays showed that he had fractured his scaphoid, with photos shown on the Speedweek website indicating that it was a fracture at the waist of the scaphoid.

Bradl was driven back to Augsburg in Germany by his father, former 250cc racer Helmut, where he was examined at a local hospital. He is to undergo surgery in Augsburg to fix the problem, but it is uncertain whether he will be fit for his home race at the Sachsenring on 12th July. Bradl may elect to skip the Sachsenring, as this would give him an extended break and a longer period for his wrist to heal in. The next race after the Sachsenring takes place in Indianapolis on 12th August.

Below is the press release issued by the Forward Yamaha team regarding Bradl's condition:


Bradl back to Germany for undergoing a surgery

Following the incident of yesterday in Assen, where he reported the fracture of the right scaphoid, Stefan Bradl tomorrow will undergo a surgery to reduce the fracture.

After the first diagnosis in the circuit at the Clinica Mobile, the German immediately left the Netherlands to Germany for further investigations. Bradl will be operated in Augsburg, the city where he was born, by Dr. Stefan Krischak, a hand specialist surgeon.

A press release on his conditions and the times of recovery will follow as soon as possible

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