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Austria Track Layout Changed - Turn 10 Modified For Safety Concerns

The MotoGP test in Austria brought to light several safety issues with the Red Bull Ring. At least one of those issues is to be addressed before the start of the Austrian round of MotoGP. After consultation with several members of the Safety Commission, the FIM Safety Officer Franco Uncini has ordered the final corner, Turn 10, to be modified.

The changes are similar to those made in the F1 chicane at Barcelona, after the death of Luis Salom forced a switch to the F1 layout. The track is to be made narrower through the corner - the width reduced from 13 meters to 10 meters - to slow entry into the corner, and slow the riders on exit.

The change was necessary because of a lack of run off at the final corner. With limited room in the case of a crash, it was felt necessary to slow the speed at which riders may crash. 

The track still has a number of tricky spots. Run off is limited at Turns 1 and 3, and a concrete wall on the inside of Turn 4 could also be a potential issue. Whether those concerns will be addressed remains to be seen.

The official press release announcing the changes appears below:


Red Bull Ring Turn 10 changed due to safety concerns

As MotoGP™ racing returns to Austria for the first time since 1997, further adjustments have been made to the Red Bull Ring layout following a private test held earlier this summer.

FIM Safety Officer Franco Uncini discussed the layout with some riders of the Safety Commission in order to hear their thoughts on the track, and it was agreed to reduce the width of Turn 10 of the circuit from 13 to 10 metres - to lower the speed when exiting the corner and improve the safety of the turn.

Due to this change, and as riders and teams will be gaining experience and refining their bike set-up over the course of the event, lap times recorded during the previous private test won't be deemed relevant.

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Stefan Bradl to Join Ten Kate Honda in World Superbikes for 2017

In the first of a two-part announcement, the Honda WorldSBK team, run by Ten Kate, have announced that they have signed Stefan Bradl for the 2017 season. He will join Nicky Hayden for next year on the Honda CBR1000RR.

Bradl had the choice to stay in MotoGP, but the best offer he had was with the Avintia Ducati team. Bradl elected to race for podiums in World Superbikes, rather than top 10s in MotoGP. Though Honda is expected to debut a new Fireblade later this year, it is unlikely that bike will be ready to race for the 2017 season. Leaked details about the bike also suggest that it is a rather small evolution, rather than a radically new bike.

The announcement had been widely expected, as we wrote in our WorldSBK silly season round up last week. Bradl will be replacing Michael van der Mark, who will be signing for the Pata Yamaha squad in World Superbikes. With the Bradl signing now public, Van der Mark's announcement is now imminent.

Below is the press release from the Honda WorldSBK team:


Honda WorldSBK Team signs Stefan Bradl for the 2017 WorldSBK season

The Honda WorldSBK Team is pleased to announce the signing of 26-year-old Stefan Bradl from Germany for the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship. Crowned Moto2 World Champion in 2011, Bradl will join former MotoGP™ Champion Nicky Hayden to complete a stellar line-up for Honda next season.

Despite his young age, Bradl has a wealth of experience at international level. Since his 125cc debut in 2005, he has collected nineteen podium finishes and seven wins across all Grand Prix classes. After winning the Moto2 World Championship in 2011, Stefan made his MotoGP debut with the LCR Honda Team in 2012 where his best result was a second-place finish at Laguna Seca in 2013.

The Honda WorldSBK Team would like to thank Michael van der Mark for his outstanding efforts and title-winning contribution during his tenure as a Honda rider. The team will maintain its unconditional support for Michael for the remainder of the season, with the goal of achieving the best possible results.

The Honda WorldSBK Team is pleased to confirm that its riders for the 2017 season will be Nicky Hayden and Stefan Bradl.

Stefan Bradl

I’m really happy to join the Honda WorldSBK Team for the 2017 season. It’s a great opportunity for me and I’m really looking forward to this new challenge with a really competitive team and I’m sure we’ll do great things together. Of course, this is going to be a whole new experience for me but I will try to adapt as quickly as possible, in order to get some really good results. I can’t wait to try the Fireblade and, obviously, it’ll be fantastic to work together with Nicky: I think it’s a fantastic combination because we understand each other really well. We can all look forward to the future and I am super motivated for this new journey.

Marco Chini

Honda's WorldSBK Operations Manager

We’re pleased to welcome Stefan Bradl to the Honda WorldSBK Team and are honoured that he accepted this new challenge with Honda, with the goal to compete at the highest level in WorldSBK. If we look at our line-up for 2017, with Ten Kate still as our official team within the series, we cannot hide the fact that we will be aiming for very good results next year. We cannot wait to take on this exciting new project however, for the moment we remain fully focused on the current season in order to put Nicky and Michael in the best possible position at the final four rounds of the year.

Ronald ten Kate

Honda WorldSBK team manager

We are very excited to welcome Stefan Bradl into our team and the WorldSBK paddock. Stefan has chosen to ride with Honda in World Superbike and we will be sure to repay his trust in us in the best possible way. In the meetings we’ve had so far, he gave us a clear view on his goals and the way to get there, and it is clear that we share the very same approach to racing. Like every other rider coming from MotoGP, he’ll need to get used to the different character of production-based motorcycles and tyres – as well as learn the new tracks on the calendar – but considering he is still very young, I’m sure he will learn fast!


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Ducati Confirm Davies and Melandri in WorldSBK for 2017

The Aruba.it Ducati WorldSBK team have confirmed that Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri will be their riders for the 2017 season. Davies has signed with Ducati for two more seasons, while the (nearly) 34-year-old Melandri has only a one year deal. 

The announcement had been widely expected, as we wrote in our latest round up of WorldSBK Silly Season. Melandri had been working on a return to the World Superbike paddock ever since his ignominious exit from Aprilia's MotoGP team in the middle of 2015. His return has come at a price: informed paddock sources say that Melandri is to ride for free, and is bringing money to the team through sponsorship deals. Melandri is a proven commodity on a competitive bike, the only question mark being the effort he is willing to put in if he believes the bike is not capable.

The phrasing of Chaz Davies' contract extension is interesting. The official quotes from Davies in the press release speak of his joy at having signed on for two more years at Ducati. However, the press release only talks about the 2017 WorldSBK season. Davies has made no secret of his desire to make the switch to MotoGP, but he has also been very clear that he will only do so on a competitive bike and with factory support. Today's announcement clears the way for Davies to go to Pramac Ducati in 2018, though it does not mean he will necessarily end up there. Davies has a contract with Ducati, but if Pramac switch to Suzuki (which they have threatened), or if the team decides to keep Scott Redding and Danilo Petrucci, then there would not be a seat there. Davies would then have to consider his options, and whether staying in World Superbikes is preferable to a bigger gamble in MotoGP.

The announcement also means that Davide Giugliano is now officially out of the factory Ducati team. The Italian has shown a lot of promise during his three-year tenure in the factory team, but he has failed to fulfil his potential by winning races. Giugliano is reported to be looking at both the WorldSBK and the Moto2 paddocks for 2017.

Below is the press release from Ducati:


The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team on track in 2017 with Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri

The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team finalized its line-up for the 2017 WorldSBK Championship, confirming Chaz Davies and signing an agreement with Marco Melandri. Chaz and Marco have already been teammates in the past with great results, their common goal is to fight for the victory at each round and aim at the Riders’ and Manufacturers’ world titles.

Chaz Davies, 29, is currently in the middle of his third season with Ducati and, thus far, has secured 9 wins and 32 podiums overall on the Panigale R, showing constant progress and winning the hearts of many Ducati fans.

“I’m extremely happy to renew my professional relationship with Ducati for two more seasons,” Davies said. “The continuity element is really important in our job, and so far we’ve made great strides and got progressively closer to our goal. Now we can fight for the win practically on every track, and I’m confident we can make further improvements. Moreover, to race for Ducati is something special: everything is done with heart and passion, you really feel part of a family and have a direct connection between the production and racing. It’s going to be exciting.”

Thirty-four-year-old Melandri, on the other hand, will return to the production-based series, where he has claimed 19 wins and 49 overall podiums in 100 races.

“I’m really excited to come back to racing, it’s a dream come true,” Melandri stated. “I always said I was only interested in a top bike and top team, and I could not have asked for more. I kept following WorldSBK closely, and I’m confident the Panigale R can perfectly suit my riding style. We’ll just have to take one step at a time, but the potential is surely high. I know it won’t be easy to get back up to speed, but I have all the time to step on the bike, do laps and make sure I’m ready for the first test: to this end, I will skip the holidays to train on a street version of the Panigale R.”

The 2016 championship will mark Davide Giugliano’s last season within the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team. In three years with the squad, the Italian rider has shown great speed and resilience, taking 10 podiums so far despite being sidelined for most of 2015 with two serious injuries. Ducati and Aruba.it would like to thank Davide for his efforts, wishing him all the best for his future career and reiterating their commitment to give him the best possible tools to achieve his first WorldSBK win.

“I had a great time with Ducati,” said Giugliano. “I learned a lot and was given a wealth of experience to draw upon, which is really important for a young rider. We also faced some difficult times, especially last year when I was badly injured, but we’ve always stayed close. We decided to take different paths, but our relationship remains strong: I’m still young, so we may rejoin forces in the future. I sincerely wish Melandri the best and would like to thank everyone in Ducati, especially Paolo Ciabatti, and Aruba.it for all their support. It’s been a great journey, which has yielded great results despite the fact that we would have liked to do more, but I’ll give my best until the end of the season to achieve bigger goals.”

Luigi Dall'Igna, Ducati Corse General Manager: “Chaz Davies has become a key member of the Ducati family, so we’re happy to announce that he will ride with us for two more years. Chaz has shown great progress and we’re confident he can take our bike to even higher grounds. In 2017, he will ride alongside Marco Melandri, who took upon the challenge with great enthusiasm. Marco is a talented rider, he has already achieved prestigious results in WorldSBK and we’re confident that the year spent without racing has not undermined his qualities. We’re obviously sad for Davide Giugliano, who will part ways with us at the end of the year, and we wish him nothing but the best. Davide proved to have great competitiveness, taking many podiums and fastest laps, and has given a crucial input towards the development of the WorldSBK-spec Panigale R. We would like to thank him and guarantee we will give him all our support until the last race to help him achieve the results he deserves.”

Stefano Cecconi, Aruba S.p.A. CEO and Team Principal: “Given that the riders’ choice is among the most important and difficult to make, as the available seats are always less than what we would ideally offer, we had to resort to our ambition and courage while taking all the necessary time to finalize the 2017 line-up. Chaz has shown he can fight for the victory each round. Davide is a young and fast rider, who can become even more competitive, so I hope it’s a ‘see you again’ and not a ‘farewell’ between us. Marco’s resume speaks for itself and puts more pressure, at any rate positive, on us: we want to help him achieve the result that, surely not due to a lack in talent, has eluded him in WorldSBK so far.”

 

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Silverstone Day of Champions Tickets Now On Sale

After several weeks of uncertainty, the future for Silverstone's Day of Champions has been settled. After the UK arm of Riders for Health ceased operations, a new organization, Two Wheels for Life, has taken over the running of the Riders for Health in Africa charity, and providing continuing support for their programs aimed at providing primary health care in Africa. 

The handover means good news for MotoGP fans as well. The Day of Champions is to go ahead as usual, on the Thursday before the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. The action-packed day will continue as in previous years, with paddock and pit lane tickets on sale, as well as the traditional auction of rider gear and other signed items going on all day. 

Tickets for the Day of Champions went on sale on Tuesday, and cost £15. To buy your ticket, go to the Silverstone website, and either buy on line or call the phone number shown there.

Below is the press release from Two Wheels for Life on the Silverstone Day of Champions:


TICKETS FOR TWO WHEELS FOR LIFE’S DAY OF CHAMPIONS 2016 SET TO GO ON SALE

Day of Champions 2016 tickets will go on sale from 10am on Tuesday 19th July on the Silverstone website - www.silverstone.co.uk

The event is hosted by Two Wheels for Life - the official MotoGP™ charity. Two Wheels for Life is the new events & fundraising organisation specifically created to raise funds to support the work of Riders for Health in Africa. Riders for Health in Africa enables reliable transportation so that health workers can reach the most isolated people with the health care they so desperately need.

“Fans have been eagerly awaiting the news of Day of Champions 2016 and we’re delighted to now announce that Day of Champions will once again kick start what is set to be a fantastic MotoGP™ weekend at the Octo British Grand Prix”, said Andrea Coleman, founder of Two Wheels for Life.

Ngwarati Mashonga, Executive Director of Riders for Health International said “Two Wheels for Life supports our work in Africa. The money raised will once again show that two wheels save lives in Africa”.

Exclusive paddock and pit-lane tickets cost £50 and include access to the paddock, the entertainment zone and the auction. Paddock and pit-lane tickets are limited; book early to experience behind-the-scenes of MotoGP™ as riders and teams prepare for the weekend ahead.

The entertainment zone activity gets under way with gates opening at 9.00am. Fans can enjoy live music, stunt shows and interviews with the stars of the sport. Tickets start from £15 pre-booked and include access to the famous charity auction, taking you through to 8.00pm. See the stars of MotoGP™ take to the stage alongside the faces of BT Sport and Two Wheels for Life’s co-founder Randy Mamola. Fans will have the opportunity to bid on signed memorabilia, and hear how the riders prepare for the weekend ahead.

Motorcyclists who are planning to arrive on two wheels can take part in the famous Day of Champions ride-in. 150 bikers can join Niall Mackenzie on the ride-in which leaves from the Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon and includes breakfast at The Super Sausage and two laps of the world famous Silverstone circuit.

Two Wheels for Life and Riders for Health International would like to thank those who support our work, including Dorna, IRTA, Silverstone and the Octo British Grand Prix promoters, Circuit of Wales.

To buy your tickets and be part of the action, please visit: http://www.silverstone.co.uk/events/2016-day-champions/

www.silverstone.co.uk or call 0844 3750 740 from Tuesday 19th July onwards.

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German MotoGP Extends Contract, Finland Joins Calendar for 2018

Two major announcements for the MotoGP calendar came at the Sachsenring on Sunday. That the organizers of the German Grand Prix have extended their contract for another five years, securing its future through 2021. And that Finland is to host a MotoGP round from 2018 onwards.

The announcement of the German Grand Prix had been expected. What the agreement does not cover, however, is which circuit the race will be at. The Sachsenring is the current favorite, and extraordinarily popular with the fans, but the organizers have struggled to make the race profitable. There have been talks with the Nurburgring, but the fear is that attendance would suffer, as it has historically been low at the circuit. The race could end up alternating between the two tracks.

The announcement of Finland was more of a surprise. There have been rumors of Finland making a return for the last year or so, but a deal was finally announced today. The race will mean a return to Finland after 36 years of absence, the race last held at Imatra. The Finnish round of MotoGP will be held for the first time in 2018, at the Kymiring about 150km from the Finnish capital Helsinki. 

With Finland joining the calendar in 2018, the MotoGP schedule could grow to 20 races. Thailand is highly likely to join the calendar in 2017, with the current three flyaway races being split up into two pairs of races. Whether Finland replaces a race in Spain or becomes the 20th race remains to be seen.

The press releases from Dorna announcing the races are shown below:


Finland poised to join MotoGP schedule

The FIM MotoGP World Championship is set to reach new territory in Scandinavia, with Dorna Sports delighted to announce an agreement has been reached for Finland to join the schedule in 2018.

The new KymiRing track in Iitti is currently under construction, with the FIM and Dorna working in close collaboration with all parties involved for the circuit to be homologated in time for the 2018 World Championship season.

Today’s announcement that MotoGP is set for a return to Finland for the first time since 1982 reflects the global appeal and growing popularity of the FIM MotoGP World Championship.


Future of German Motorcycle Grand Prix secured

ADAC and MotoGP rights holder DORNA renew contract

Germany will continue to host fixtures on the MotoGP World Championship calendar. During the GoPro Motorcycle Grand Prix of Germany weekend at the Sachsenring, Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of the MotoGP rights holder DORNA Sports, and ADAC Sports President Hermann Tomczyk agreed to extend the existing contract by a further five years. Germany will therefore be hosting the MotoGP Motorcycle World Championship until at least 2021.

“We are pleased that collaboration with our longstanding partners at ADAC has been extended for another five years,” said Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of DORNA Sports. “We and the ADAC will be making a joint announcement in the next few weeks concerning the venue for the German MotoGP round.”

ADAC Sports President Hermann Tomczyk: “The Motorcycle Grand Prix is ​​one of the sportingevents in Germany that draws the biggest crowds. We are very pleased that we have secured the future of the German round of the World Championship for the next five years. The world’s top motorcycle racing stars will be lining up on German tracks until at least 2021. I would like to thank Dorna for being such excellent partners and also everyone on our side for their commitment over recent months in securing the future of the German Motorcycle Grand Prix. We are already on the home straight in our negotiations with the Sachsenring to serve as the venue for the next five years. We hope to get the thumbs-up from our partners in Saxony by mid-August at the latest.”

 

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Johann Zarco Joins Monster Yamaha Tech 3 MotoGP Team For 2017

The long-awaited news of Johann Zarco's MotoGP contract has been announced. The Frenchman is to join Jonas Folger in the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team for 2017. Zarco's contract is for one year, with the team holding an option on the Frenchman for a second year. 

The deal took some time to sort out, as Johann Zarco had already signed a preliminary deal with Suzuki. That deal saw him get to test Suzuki's MotoGP machine in Japan, and he had agreed to race the Suzuka 8 Hour with the factory endurance team. However, after Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins were confirmed at the factory Suzuki team, and a satellite team failed to appear, Zarco opted out of his contract and joined Tech 3 instead. Untangling the Suzuki contract was a time-consuming process, but it has been completed ahead of this weekend's race in Germany.

The press release on Zarco's contract appears below, and more details of the story behind the contract are contained in a piece on Crash.net by Paddock Pass Podcast's Neil Morrison.


Zarco to join MotoGP with Tech3

The Monster Yamaha Tech3 team is pleased to announce the signing of the exciting French talent, Johann Zarco for the forthcoming season. The 2015 Moto2 World Champion and current joint leader of this year’s intermediate contest, will move up to the premier class with the French team and make his debut on the Yamaha YZR-M1 at the post season Valencia test. The Cannes born rider began his Grand Prix career in 2009 where he competed in the 125cc class, with his highlight in the lightweight series being the runner up in the championship standings in 2011. The 25 year old then stepped up to the intermediate class and since then has produced some determined and eye catching rides across the five seasons so far, where he has amassed 11 victories, 9 pole positions and 14 podium finishes as well as his well deserved world title in 2015. This year Zarco is looking to seal back to back championship wins in the ultra competitive Moto2 class and will be joined by series rival Jonas Folger in the all-new line up for the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team in 2017, with the Frenchman’s contract including an option for a second season.

Johann Zarco:

"It goes without saying that I am very happy to join the MotoGP class with Tech3 and I am confident that we can form a solid partnership. The team has a deep relationship and long history with Yamaha and they have proved that they can manage well in every situation and have had a good package year after year. This pleases me and it gives me extra motivation for reaching my targets in the 2017 season. Of course, it seems like a logical step for a French team and a French champion to work together, and now finally the deal is done which is certainly positive news. I really will do my best and prepare myself for the maximum because I think it’s more than possible to get some top results in MotoGP after my long experience in the intermediate class."

Herve Poncharal - Team Manager:

"After the long wait, I am delighted to announce that Johann Zarco will join the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team for next year. We haven’t had the chance to work with a French rider in our MotoGP team since Sylvain Guintoli in 2007 but I am certain that Johann will do a great job. We have been following him closely since he won the rookies cup and he has gone on to have further success in the 125cc class and Moto2. Last season was incredible for him and he won the championship in a masterful way. For me, Johann joining the team is a big and exciting challenge and he will be working with Guy Coulon’s side of the garage. We are very confident of this relationship being strong, as we already know that Johann and Guy will have a lot of similar points of view. In addition, I have to mention Laurent Fellon, his coach, friend and someone who has been on Johann’s side since the beginning of his career. The two of them have brought a new way of working to the sport and their efforts over the years will pay off and I cannot wait to see what he can do on our bike. The best pages of the Tech3 history book have been written by French riders and include Olivier Jacque, who won the 250cc title, with Dominique Sarron, Jean-Philippe Ruggia and Sylvain Guintoli all achieving success as well, so I am sure Johann can add to this list. I want to give him a really warm welcome and we can’t wait to see him on the bike after."

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At Home With Scott Jones: Laguna Seca WSBK Photos, Part the Third


He'll be comin' down the mountain when he comes...


The 2016 WorldSBK championship, encapsulated


Magic Mike's Naked Blade


Toni Elias has found a second life in MotoAmerica. It's nice to win again


A place for everything, and everything in its place


Tom Sykes' career highlights: a gold, two silvers, and a bronze


Rea's Race Face


An an object lesson in braking: front fully compressed, rear skimming the ground, starting to turn in


Chaz, onit


Lorenzo Savadori pays homage to Johannes Vermeer


The Corkscrew remains remarkable


At home with #69


Kouichi Tsuji, one of Yamaha's biggest racing bosses


Honda vs Ducati, not an easy fight to call at Laguna


Not carbon, still trick


Fast by Kawasaki


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.

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At Home With Scott Jones: Laguna Seca WSBK Photos, Part 2


Seeking shade at Laguna Seca


Nicky Hayden at Laguna Seca? Always a good bet for the podium


Top of the hill, just before you plunge down the Corkscrew


"The best package on the grid," is how other riders describe the Aprilia RSV4


It came from the Laguna


Ducati / Akrapovic, up close


Alex De Angelis has recovered extremely well from his horrific crash at Motegi last year


How to keep your clutch plates in order, by Ducati


Alex Lowes, still not completely fit, but still fast


Davide Giugliano, dapper gentleman


With an occasional tendency to end in the gravel


Bottom of the Corkscrew, pretty as a picture


Life's not easy for the reigning BSB champ Josh Brookes


Attention to detail


Magic Michael van der Mark


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.

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At Home With Scott Jones: Laguna Seca WSBK Photos, Part 1


Nicky Hayden is home again. Pity the Honda hates hills


Eyes of the champ


Ducati - Fast by Akrapovic. The Slovenian exhaust maker had a big hand in making the Panigale more manageable


Best looking bike on the grid? The Yamaha R1 is definitely a contender


The difference between MotoGP and WSBK is that in WSBK, they keep the tech porn on display


Jordi Torres has not made the progress he had hoped for in 2016


Can Chaz Challenge The Champ?


Goin' back to Cali


These boots are made for winning


Hard on the gas out of the final corner


Tom Sykes seems to get stronger every race


The Corkscrew is cute, but Turn 1 separates the men from the boys


Shocking


Davide Giugliano's Ducati Panigale R - the seat everyone is chasing ...


... especially Xavi Fores. The Spaniard has been very impressive after switching from the IDM championship


Ambition burns as brightly as ever for Nicky Hayden


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.

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Ducati & Aprilia Complete Two-Day MotoGP Test At Misano

Aprilia and Ducati have wrapped up their two-day private test at Misano. The Italian factories had a grand total of three riders out on track, with Casey Stoner riding the Ducati Desmosedici GP, and Sam Lowes and Mike Di Meglio riding the Aprilia RS-GP.

Testing continued as it started on Wednesday, with Stoner giving the GP16 a proper run out, working in the main on chassis and electronics. The test was private, and no times were recorded, but paddock gossip believes Stoner was quick straight out of the box, posting times which matched those of the factory riders. Though Stoner did not speak to the media, Ducati did issue a press release with a statement from the Australian, shown below. Stoner will now stay on for the World Ducati Week, which starts this weekend at Misano.

At Aprilia, while Mike Di Meglio got on with developing the 2016 Aprilia RS-GP, testing chassis and electronics, Sam Lowes had another day on last year's RS-GP. The process of adapting went well, Lowes quickly growing accustomed to the feel and the power of the bike. In a statement in the official press release, Aprilia boss Romano Albesiano declared himself more than satisifed with the pace of Lowes, and the level of his feedback. 

The press releases from Ducati and Aprilia appear below, after  the photo supplied by Ducati Corse:


CASEY STONER

Misano World Circuit, 30th June 2016:

“We’ve had a very positive test, this being my first time on a European track since 2012 and my first time in Misano since 2011. It’s been a long time and it’s really nice to ride these European-style tracks again and get a feel for what a bike is for basically 70 or 80 percent of the season. Everything we have done has been very positive, we got 95% of our test done over these two days so it’s been very good. We got some direction with Michelin and were able to get a bit of direction between the chassis’ and the electronics etc. I’m really looking forward to seeing what comes from this for the next stages and also what the factory riders really think of the steps we’ve been able to make. The next few days are going to be really interesting. I haven’t been to World Ducati Week for a long time! It’s hard to remember what it was like back then, but now I’m looking forward to the whole weekend and seeing so many fans, everyone who turns up, the amount of bikes. The 90th anniversary of Ducati is such a big celebration and I’m looking forward to being a part of it.”


SAM LOWES ASTRIDE AN APRILIA RS-GP FOR THE FIRST TIME

TWO DAYS OF TESTING FOR THE YOUNG ENGLISH RIDER WHO WILL BE ON THE TRACK IN THE 2017 MOTOGP CHAMPIONSHIP

ROMANO ALBESIANO: "IT COULD NOT HAVE STARTED BETTER"

Sam Lowes tested the Aprilia RS-GP for the first time in view of his début in the Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing premier category for the 2017 season. He got the chance at Misano, during a two-day test conducted by the Aprilia test team on the Romagnolo circuit.

Sam came to grips with the RS-GP straight away on Wednesday morning. The very first outing lasted two laps, just long enough to have his first taste of a MotoGP bike's power, the carbon brakes, the electronics package that manages the V4 and naturally the Michelin tyres. Then the excursions got longer and by the end of the day Sam had logged 60 laps.

On the second day he continued getting to know a bike that is very different from the Team Gresini Kalex he rides in the battle for the Moto2 title this season. At the end of the day, with 69 laps on the sheets for the second day, everyone was satisfied and it was farewell until the next tests.

Test rider, Mike Di Meglio, was also on the track at Misano, continuing development of the RS-GP after the excellent work that Bautista and Bradl, the official riders, demonstrated in the last two championship races at Barcelona and Assen. The new features that were tested involved primarily new chassis components and electronics management strategies.

ROMANO ALBESIANO - APRILIA RACING MANAGER

“It went well. I'd say that we could not have had a better start. Sam got on a bike that he had never seen before, having to deal with a series of new features that range from the available power to the carbon brakes. He was at ease straight away and he also proved to be very analytical and precise in the indications he gave the team, as well as with his work method. Naturally, we were not looking at times, but even from this point of view we are quite pleased with these two days. We continued the RS-GP development programme with Mike, focusing specifically on the new chassis parts and working on the electronics, especially in terms of torque output. We will obviously be taking every solution that proved to be effective to the races straight away”.

SAM LOWES

“My first laps on the Aprilia RS-GP were an experience that I'll never forget. When I twisted the throttle the speed I could feel was incredible. It was a brilliant feeling. On the second run, I had already begun to manage the power better and I tried to understand how to take the best advantage of it. There were a lot of new things to discover and they all astonished me. The first ones were definitely the power and speed, and then the carbon brakes. The third is the seamless gearbox, which is really incredible, and the fourth is obviously the electronics, which I felt comfortable with straight away. And then the RS-GP surprised me with an agility that I hadn't expected, so much that the night before the test I was quite nervous because I was imagining a much harder bike to ride, but that's not at all the way it was, although nothing is easy on a MotoGP bike. Last, but not least, I want to emphasise how comfortable I felt working with the entire team. In short, it just went really well”.

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