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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”.

Lowes and Stoner Start Two-Day Test at Misano

Aprilia and Ducati had their first day of a two-day test at Misano on Wednesday, with two big-name riders. Casey Stoner returned to action with Ducati, testing the Desmosedici GP (as the 2016 bike is officially known), as part of Ducati's official test team. For Aprilia, Sam Lowes got his first taste of the RS-GP, testing the MotoGP bike alongside Aprilia's official test rider Mike Di Meglio.

As this is a private test, no information regarding lap times was available, and Ducati were keeping very quiet on exactly what they are testing. From Casey Stoner's Twitter feed, we know that he was testing the GP16, though exactly what he was testing is unknown. Stoner did post the following video on Twitter:

As for Sam Lowes, the Gresini Moto2 rider spent his day riding the 2015 version of the Aprilia RS-GP. This was the Englishman's first time out on a MotoGP bike, so his primary focus was gaining an understanding of the Michelin tires and carbon brakes, rather than testing the latest machinery. Aprilia boss Romano Albesiano was pleased with how well Lowes had adjusted to a MotoGP bike, telling Italian website GPOne: "This morning it was impressive to see how quickly he adapted to the new bike and at the same time I was struck by the great methodology with which he took on the various issues." No lap times were released, but paddock rumor suggest that Lowes was much quicker than expected.

While Lowes worked on learning to ride a MotoGP bike, the real work of development fell on the shoulders of Mike Di Meglio. The Frenchman did short runs in sweltering heat to test new chassis components for the 2016 bike, but focused especially on the electronics, according to GPOne. Electronics is one area where Aprilia have struggled, making the switch from their own proprietary software to the spec software this year.

Lowes, too, posted updates to his social media stream, including the following photo on Instagram:

 

Scott Jones Shoots Assen - Part 3, Race Day


It's called a "shoey" apparently. Though why anyone would want to consume alcohol from their footwear is a mystery in the Northern Hemisphere


Torrential rain meant a MotoGP race cut short


What victory looks like - Pecco Bagnaia celebrates his first win in Moto3


That will probably buff right out


Assen was not so much a flag-to-flag race, as a red-light-to-red-light race


The Ducatis reigned supreme in the wet. Well, almost


Now that's what I call monsoon conditions


Post-crash rituals: step 1 - argue with a marshall


Never give up


Jack Miller leads Marc Marquez, all the way to the line


Second place, but celebrating it like a victory. Marquez took a big step forward in the championship at Assen


The Moto3 freight train never gets old


A victory has been a long time coming for Takaaki Nakagami. He took his first with style


A message from the junkies


Brad Binder had a lucky escape from a bad mistake. Lost ground, but still scored a lot of points


Belgian beer billionaire Marc van der Straten, making dreams come true


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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Scott Jones Shoots Assen - Part 2


Rain. At Assen. Who would have thought?


A good way of getting pole: follow a fast rider


Determination. Not enough to save Dani Pedrosa's weekend


Last minute instructions to Yonny Hernandez


Moto3 freight train


Aleix Espargaro and crew chief Tom O'Kane, a strong partnership in Suzuki


Marc Marquez had plenty to think about on Saturday


Marshalls, the true heroes of motorcycle racing. Going above and beyond the call of duty


When you're 30 hp down, wet conditions are a boon.


46, still fast at 37


Whoops. Aron Canet crashed at the GT chicane, taking out Juanfran Guevara in the process


There was a lot of this about on both Saturday and Sunday

https://motogpmatters.smugmug.com/MotoGP/2016/MotoGP-2016-Round-8-Assen/...

 

What victory looks like - Pecco Bagnaia celebrates his first win in Moto3

 


Did anyone bring an umbrella?


In a factory team, riders have someone to hold the handlebars and make "vroom, vroom" noises for them


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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Aleix Espargaro Confirmed at Aprilia For 2017 and 2018

The last of the factory seats has been officially filled. Today, the Gresini Aprilia team announced that Aleix Espargaro will be joining Sam Lowes at Aprilia for the next two seasons.

The announcement did not come as a surprise. Rumors had emerged at Barcelona that Espargaro would be going to Aprilia, Espargaro telling the media on Friday that he had already signed a contract, but that he was unable to announce who with.

Espargaro's signing leaves both Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista out of a job. Bautista is expected to sign with the Aspar Ducati team for 2017, where he is likely to partner with Eugene Laverty, while Stefan Bradl is being linked to several rides in the World Superbike paddock.

Below is the official press release announcing the news:


ALEIX ESPARGARÓ TO JOIN APRILIA

Aleix Espargaró, Spanish rider born in Granollers on 30 July 1989, will ride an Aprilia RS-GP in the MotoGP World Championship. The agreement signed with Aprilia Racing is for two years, covering the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

Bringing Espargaró on board is part of Aprilia's development plan - which aims for an increase in competitiveness, in line with the progress already demonstrated this year - and it reaffirms the Piaggio Group's commitment to an excellent technological and sport project aimed at making the Aprilia brand a protagonist on the track and on the road.

Aleix Espargaró was the Spanish champion in the 125 category in 2004. After a series of placements in the 125 and 250 categories, in 2009 he made his début in the top class where he drew attention during the 2012 season astride the ART (the CRT bike developed by Aprilia Racing), finishing the season as the best rider in the category. This excellent result was repeated the next season as well, again on the ART - Aprilia Racing bike. Overall, in MotoGP, he has taken two pole positions and a podium finish, as well as seventh place in the rider standings (his personal best) for the 2014 championship season.

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Scott Jones Shoots Assen - a Photo Selection


Here today, gone tomorrow


Surgery scars. Marc Marquez shows off the ones he had from breaking bones in his fingers


Maverick Viñales. Or Spiderman?


Riders love their dogs.


Dani Pedrosa is struggling at Assen. Badly.


Cal Crutchlow is finally getting his season on track


Bradley Smith does the racer's stare


Dangerous Dovi - a factor at Assen


Early morning exercises for the Yamahas


Perfect on the right, a little graining on the left. The disadvantage of a symmetric front slick


#44 is flying at Assen


Close formation into the hairpin


The bike follows your eyes


Pre-practice stretching


Eugene Laverty looks set to stay at Aspar for next year


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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Grand Prix Commission Bans Winglets in MotoGP From 2017 Season

Winglets are to be banned in all three MotoGP classes from 2017 onwards. At Assen, the Grand Prix Commission met and decided on an outright ban on aerodynamic wings, after the MSMA had failed to reach an agreement among all manufacturers on a joint proposal.

There has been much discussion of winglets over the past few months, as they have taken on an ever greater importance. With the introduction of the common ECU software, winglets were one way of reducing the amount of wheelie MotoGP bikes had. But as the factories - and especially Ducati - gained more experience with winglets, the winglets grew larger, raising safety concerns over the effect of an impact during a crash.

Action had been expected to be taken at the previous Grand Prix Commission meeting in Mugello, but the parties failed to reach an agreement. Dorna, IRTA and the FIM then presented the MSMA manufacturers with an ultimatum: if the MSMA could produce a unanimous proposal to regulate and restrict the size and extent of the winglets, they would adopt that. If they couldn't then winglets would be banned. With the manufacturers deeply split over winglets, with Honda on one side and Ducati on the other, they could not agree a unanimous proposal.

Whether the outright ban will end the focus on aerodynamics remains to be seen. The focus is likely to shift to the shape and size of fairings to achieve the same effect. The rules will need to be carefully written to define what a winglet actually is, and Ducati have already hinted that they will be searching for loopholes in the rules. "Like in Formula One, we will have to look very carefully at the future rules," Ducati boss Davide Tardozzi told the Italian site GPOne.com.  "Every single word will be important, because everything which is not forbidden will be allowed."

The press release announcing the ban on winglets appears below:


Grand Prix Commission
Assen, 25th. June 2016

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 25th. June at Assen, made the following decisions:

Technical Regulations

Aerodynamic Wings in the MotoGP Class

The Commission unanimously agreed that, with effect from the 2017, the use of aerodynamic wings in the MotoGP class will be banned. The actual regulation will replicate those for the Moto3 and Moto2 classes where the use of wings is already prohibited.

Wings that comply with current technical regulations may continue to be used for the remainder of the 2016 season.

Post-Race Noise Tests

Since the introduction of four-stroke machinery in all classes, no machine has ever failed the mandatory post-race noise checks. Accordingly, the requirement for the first three machines to be routinely checked after the race is cancelled with immediate effect.

The Technical Director may still decide to carry out noise tests at his discretion.

Moto3 Safety Issues

The Commission gave approval for Honda to, under the supervision of the technical staff, to replace the inlet valve springs on their Moto3 engines. The change will take place during the Sachsenring GP.

Permission was also given to Mahindra to replace the oil ring on one Moto3 engine that was resulting in oil leakage. Again, this will be carried under the supervision of the technical staff.

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