The FIM today issued an updated entry list for the 2015 Moto2 season. The list has only minor changes to the original line up, with teams now having to enter a chassis name. The Kalex domination of the series is nearly complete, with 23 out of 31 entries. Speed Up and Tech 3 each have 3 entries to their names, while Suter retains just two riders, both rookies. Florian Alt has at least raced in the Moto3 series, while Malaysian rider Zaqhwan Zaidi is completely new to the series.
|1||Tito Rabat||SPA||Marc VDS Racing Team||Kalex|
|2||Jesko Raffin||SUI||SAG Team||Kalex|
|3||Simone Corsi||ITA||NGM Forward Racing||Kalex|
|4||Randy Krummenacher||SUI||Jir Moto2||Kalex|
|5||Johann Zarco||FRA||Ajo Motorsport||Kalex|
|7||Lorenzo Baldassari||ITA||Forward Racing||Kalex|
|8||Gino Rea||GBR||AGT Rea Racing||Kalex|
|10||Thitipong Warokorn||THAI||APH PTT The Pizza SAG||Kalex|
|11||Sandro Cortese||GER||Dynavolt Intact GP||Kalex|
|12||Thomas Luthi||SUI||Derendinger Racing Interwetten||Kalex|
|19||Xavier Simeon||BEL||Federal Oil Gresini Moto2||Kalex|
|21||Franco Morbidelli||ITA||Italtrans Racing Team||Kalex|
|22||Sam Lowes||GBR||Speed Up||Speed Up|
|25||Azlan Shah||MAL||Idemitsu Honda Team Asia||Kalex|
|30||Takaaki Nakagami||JPN||Idemitsu Honda Team Asia||Kalex|
|36||Mika Kallio||FIN||Italtrans Racing Team||Kalex|
|39||Luis Salom||SPA||Paginas Amarillas HP40||Kalex|
|40||Alex Rins||SPA||Paginas Amarillas HP40||Kalex|
|49||Axel Pons||SPA||AGR Team||Kalex|
|51||Zaqhwan Zaidi||MAL||JPMoto Malaysia||Suter|
|55||Hafizh Syahrin||MAL||Petronas Raceline Malaysia||Kalex|
|60||Julian Simon||SPA||QMMF Racing Team||Speed Up|
|66||Florian Alt||GER||OCTO Iodaracing Team||Suter|
|70||Robin Mulhauser||SUI||Technomag Racing Interwetten||Kalex|
|73||Alex Marquez||SPA||Marc VDS Racing Team||Kalex|
|77||Dominique Aegerter||SUI||Technomag Racing Interwetten||Kalex|
|94||Jonas Folger||GER||AGR Team||Kalex|
|95||Anthony West||AUS||QMMF Racing Team||Speed Up|
|96||Louis Rossi||FRA||Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2||Tech3|
An updated version of the Moto3 entry list was issued today, including 34 riders. Brazilian rider Eric Granado has lost his place, with Maria Herrera taking the seat at the Laglisse team. Remy Gardner, son of former 500cc champion Wayne Gardner, joins the grid, ensuring an Australian successor for Jack Miller in the Moto3 championship.
|5||Romano Fenati||ITA||Sky Racing Team VR46||KTM|
|6||Maria Herrera||SPA||Husqvarna Factory Laglisse||Husqvarna|
|7||Efren Vazquez||SPA||Leopard Racing||Honda|
|9||Jorge Navarro||SPA||Estrella Galicia 0,0||Honda|
|11||Livio Loi||BEL||RW Racing GP||Honda|
|12||Matteo Ferrari||ITA||San Carlo Team Italia||Mahindra|
|16||Andrea Migno||ITA||Sky Racing Team VR46||KTM|
|19||Alessandro Tonucci||ITA||Outox Reset Drink Team||Mahindra|
|20||Fabio Quartararo||FRA||Estrella Galicia 0,0||Honda|
|21||Francesco Bagnaia||ITA||Mapfre Mahindra Team||Mahindra|
|22||Ana Carrasco||SPA||RBA Racing Team||KTM|
|29||Stefano Manzi||ITA||San Carlo Team Italia||Mahindra|
|31||Niklas Ajo||FIN||RBA Racing Team||KTM|
|32||Isaac Vinales||SPA||Husqvarna Factory Laglisse||Husqvarna|
|33||Enea Bastianini||ITA||Gresini Racing Moto3||Honda|
|40||Daryn Binder||RSA||Outox Reset Drink Team||Mahindra|
|41||Brad Binder||RSA||Red Bull KTM Ajo||KTM|
|44||Miguel Oliveira||POR||Red Bull KTM Ajo||KTM|
|52||Danny Kent||GBR||Leopard Racing||Honda|
|55||Andrea Locatelli||ITA||Junior Team Gresini Moto3||Honda|
|58||Juanfran Guevara||SPA||Mapfre Mahindra Team||Mahindra|
|63||Zulfahmi Khairuddin||MAL||Sepang International Circuit||KTM|
|65||Philipp Oettl||GER||Schedl GP Racing||KTM|
|76||Hiroki Ono||JPN||Leopard Racing||Honda|
|84||Jakub Kornfeil||CZE||Sepang International Circuit||KTM|
|88||Jorge Martin||SPA||Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3||Mahindra|
|91||Gabriel Rodrigo||ARG||RBA Racing Team||KTM|
|98||Karel Hanika||CZE||Red Bull KTM Ajo||KTM|
Officially, testing for 2015 MotoGP season starts in five days time, on Wednesday, 4th February. Unofficially, it started yesterday, when Yamaha and Honda's test teams gathered at Sepang to pre-test a number of parts and prepare the way for the arrival of the factory riders, who arrive in Malaysia next week.
Normally, test teams test in secret - a local journalist and photographer was told in no uncertain terms he would not be welcome at the track - which means their work goes unnoticed. Unfortunately for Honda - or perhaps fortunately, depending on your perspective - HRC had a very high-profile test rider at Sepang. Casey Stoner spent a couple of days on the 2015 Honda RC213V, and though no press release has yet been issued, a couple of posts on his Instagram and Twitter accounts gave a few clues about the test.
The weather has mostly cooperated, though rain on Thursday meant that Stoner could no do the laps he wanted, he posted on Twitter. Friday was a better day, with a lot of work done. From the photo he posted on Instagram, it was clear that Stoner was being assisted by Cristian Gabarrini, his former crew chief, and now crew chief to Jack Miller at LCR. Also present at Sepang was Andrea Zugna, the brains behind Honda's extremely advanced electronics package. Though this may be the last year in which the factories are completely free to develop their own electronics, the software in the system remains a crucial part of the racing package, and development continues apace.
Yamaha, too, were present, though with their far less famous test riders. Yamaha have also so far failed to issue a press release, though from comments made by Kouichi Tsuji at the launch of the Movistar Yamaha team earlier this week, we can make educated guesses at some of the things being tested. Tsuji hinted that Yamaha's fully seamless gearbox was to be tested this week, ahead of being trialed by Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo at the second Sepang test at the end of February. There is a chance that Yamaha's test riders will continue testing the gearbox during the first official test next week, and as we shall be present at that test, we will be keeping an ear out to try to spot the difference in sounds between the bikes.
The FIM today announced the provisional rider line up for the 2015 season. The grid will see up to 26 riders line up for the start, on motorcycles from 7 different manufacturers. The list includes one TBA, in the Pedercini Kawasaki team, which could end up going unfilled. The other question mark is over the JR Racing Team of Toni Elias and Ayrton Badovini. Though the team is on the entry list, persistent reports of financial problems suggest that they will struggle to race at all this year. They will not be present in Australia for the season opener, and suppliers report not having been paid.
The provisional rider line up is as follows:
|1||81||Jordi Torres||ESP||Aprilia RSV4 RF **||Aprilia Racing Team Red Devils|
|2||91||Leon Haslam||GBR||Aprilia RSV4 RF **||Aprilia Racing Team Red Devils|
|3||65||Jonathan Rea||GBR||Kawasaki ZX-10R||Kawasaki Racing Team|
|4||66||Tom Sykes||GBR||Kawasaki ZX-10R||Kawasaki Racing Team|
|5||1||Sylvain Guintoli||FRA||Honda CBR1000RR SP||PATA Honda World Superbike Team|
|6||60||Michael van der Mark||NED||Honda CBR1000RR SP||PATA Honda World Superbike Team|
|7||7||Chaz Davies||GBR||Ducati Panigale R **||Aruba.it Racing-Ducati Superbike Team|
|8||34||Davide Giugliano||ITA||Ducati Panigale R **||Aruba.it Racing-Ducati Superbike Team|
|9||14||Randy De Puniet||FRA||Suzuki GSX-R1000||VOLTCOM Crescent Suzuki|
|10||22||Alex Lowes||GBR||Suzuki GSX-R1000||VOLTCOM Crescent Suzuki|
|11||15||Matteo Baiocco||ITA||Ducati Panigale R **||Althea Racing|
|12||18||Nicolas Terol||ESP||Ducati Panigale R **||Althea Racing|
|13||44||David Salom||ESP||Kawasaki ZX-10R||Team Pedercini|
|14||TBA*||TBA*||TBA*||Kawasaki ZX-10R||Team Pedercini|
|15||23||Christophe Ponsson||LUX||Kawasaki ZX-10R||Grillini SBK Team|
|16||51||Santiago Barragan||ESP||Kawasaki ZX-10R||Grillini SBK Team|
|17||2||Leon Camier||GBR||MV Agusta 1000 F4 **||MV Agusta Reparto Corse|
|18||10||Imre Toth||HUN||BMW S1000 RR||BMW Team Toth|
|19||75||Gábor Rizmayer||HUN||BMW S1000 RR||BMW Team Toth|
|20||36||Leandro Mercado||ARG||Ducati Panigale R **||BARNI Racing Team|
|21||20||Sylvain Barrier||FRA||BMW S1000 RR||BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team|
|22||24||Toni Elias||ESP||BMW S1000 RR||JR Racing Team|
|23||86||Ayrton Badovini||ITA||BMW S1000 RR||JR Racing Team|
|24||40||Roman Ramos||ESP||Kawasaki ZX-10R||Team Go Eleven|
|25||59||Niccolò Canepa||ITA||EBR 1190 RX||Team Hero EBR|
|26||72||Larry Pegram||USA||EBR 1190 RX||Team Hero EBR|
*TBA: To be announced
** For 2015 models: Aprilia RSV4 RF, Ducati Panigale R and MV Agusta F4 are in the process of homologation.
The FIM today announced the provisional line up for the World Supersport class. The field will see 24 riders line up on the grid, with one name still to be announced in the Yakhnich team. Kenan Sofuoglu and Jules Cluzel are likely to be the title favorites, while American rider PJ Jacobsen will be hoping to capitalize on a strong rookie year to mount a challenge.
The provisional line up appears below:
|1||111||Kyle Smith||GBR||Honda CBR600RR||PATA Honda World Supersport Team|
|2||14||Lucas Mahias||FRA||Kawasaki ZX-6R||Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres|
|3||99||Patrick Jacobsen||USA||Kawasaki ZX-6R||Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres|
|4||16||Jules Cluzel||FRA||MV Agusta F3 675 **||MV Agusta Reparto Corse|
|5||87||Lorenzo Zanetti||ITA||MV Agusta F3 675 **||MV Agusta Reparto Corse|
|6||6||Dominic Schmitter||SUI||Kawasaki ZX-6R||Team Go Eleven|
|7||11||Christian Gamarino||ITA||Kawasaki ZX-6R||Team Go Eleven|
|8||32||Sheridan Morais||RSA||Honda CBR600RR||CIA Landlords Insurance Honda|
|9||36||Martin Cardenas||COL||Honda CBR600RR||CIA Landlords Insurance Honda|
|10||74||Kieran Clarke||GBR||Honda CBR600RR||CIA Landlords Insurance Honda|
|11||84||Riccardo Russo||ITA||Honda CBR600RR||CIA Landlords Insurance Honda|
|12||5||Marco Faccani||ITA||Kawasaki ZX-6R||Kawasaki Puccetti Racing|
|13||54||Kenan Sofuoglu||TUR||Kawasaki ZX-6R||Kawasaki Puccetti Racing|
|14||44||Roberto Rolfo||ITA||Honda CBR600RR||Team Lorini|
|15||81||Alessandro Nocco||ITA||Honda CBR600RR||Team Lorini|
|16||61||Fabio Menghi||ITA||Yamaha YZF R6||VFT Racing|
|17||19||Kevin Wahr||GER||Honda CBR600RR||SMS Racing|
|18||68||Glenn Scott||AUS||Honda CBR600RR||AARK Racing|
|19||10||Nacho Calero||ESP||Kawasaki ZX-6R||CATBIKE/exit|
|20||24||Marcos Ramirez||ESP||Kawasaki ZX-6R||CATBIKE/exit|
|21||9||Ratthapark Wilairot||THA||Honda CBR600RR||CORE" Motorsport Thailand|
|22||65||Vladimir Leonov||RUS||Honda CBR600RR||Moscow Region Yakhnich Motorsport|
|23||TBA||TBA||TBA||Honda CBR600RR||Moscow Region Yakhnich Motorsport|
|24||25||Alex Baldolini||ITA||MV Agusta F3 675 **||Race Department ATK#25|
*TBA: To be announced
** For 2015 model: MV Agusta F3 is in the process of homologation.
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Yonny Hernandez is to miss the first Sepang test. The Colombian rider crashed while riding dirt track, falling heavily on his left shoulder, and dislocating the shoulder. As a result, Hernandez will not be able to ride at Sepang, and will be replaced by Ducati's test rider, Michele Pirro.
The good news for the Pramac Ducati rider is that the damage was mainly microfractures, and the ligaments and tendons were undamaged. The shoulder is a very complex joint, held together by a complicated network of tendons, cartilege and ligaments which allow it to move freely, but is vulnerable to damage. Damaging the connecting tissue in a shoulder can severely hamper riding ability and even end careers, as it did for Ben Spies. Hernandez' injury is nowhere near as severe, and should allow him to take part in the second test at Sepang.
The press release from Pramac Racing appears below:
Yonny Hernandez to miss Sepang 1 test due to shoulder injury
Pramac Racing announces that Yonny Hernandez can't participate for the Sepang test scheduled in February 4th to 7th.
During a Dirt Track training session, the Colombian rider was involved in a crash and suffered of left shoulder dislocation. The exams showed microfractures without any lesion to ligaments and tendons. Recovery times are estimated in three weeks. Yonny Hernandez will be available for the second test session at Sepang scheduled in February 23rd to 26th. Pramac Racing also announces that Michele Pirro, official Ducati test-rider, will replace Yonny Hernandez in the first test session test in Malaysia.
The weather continues its stubborn refusal to cooperate with preparation for the 2015 World Superbike season. After rain and cold conditions plagued the earlier test at the Motorland Aragon circuit, the rain halted testing for the best part of two days at Portimao. Wednesday was a complete washout, while a wet track hampered progress on Thursday morning.
Despite the cold, the assembled teams were able to ride almost continuously after lunchtime, until the track closed at 6pm. Cramming two days of testing into an afternoon was difficult, the teams concentrating on working with the 2015 version of their machines, incorporating the major rule changes new for this year. The conditions were not conducive to fast lap times: the quickest time reported was set by Leon Haslam on the Red Devils Roma Aprilia, but that was still over a second slower than the race lap record set by Tom Sykes back in 2013. Suzuki's Alex Lowes was half a second behind Haslam, matched by Ducati's Chaz Davies. Davide Giuliano and Sylvain Barrier were a couple of tenths behind Lowes and Davies, while Randy De Puniet was nearly a second slower than Barrier, and only a fraction quicker than World Superbike newcomer Jordi Torres.
Raising a few eyebrows was the return of Max Biaggi, this time in his role of official Aprilia tester, taking over the job from Alex Hofmann, who has departed to help develop the KTM MotoGP bike with Dani Pedrosa's former crew chief, Mike Leitner. Biaggi was a little off the pace, not helped by a crash on Wednesday, in which he hurt his shoulder. Biaggi has been tasked with testing both the development version of the World Superbike machine, as well has helping to work on Aprilia's MotoGP bike. His return to testing has fueled rumors of a possible return to racing, though at 43, that would be difficult. Biaggi has commentary commitments with Italian TV for 2015, and so the prospect of seeing Biaggi racing seems remote.
Unofficial times, courtesy of press releases and GPOne.com:
|Randy De Puniet||Suzuki||1:45.7||2.2||0.9|
The weather has not been kind to the World Superbikes who headed to Aragon for testing. The first day was lost to a wet track, and while the track dried on the second day, cold temperatures limited the usefulness of the test. 2013 world champion Tom Sykes did not bother going out at all, not wishing to risk injury on a cold track just for the sake of turning some laps.
Sykes' Kawasaki teammate Jonathan Rea did spend some time on track, though for him, too, conditions meant that lessons were limited. Rea spent time working on gearshift set ups, and clutch strategies for race starts. It was important for Rea to spend some more time on the Kawasaki ZX-10R, after having spent so many years on the Honda CBR1000RR with the Pata Honda team. It wasn't just bikes that Rea is switching, the Ulsterman showing off his Monster Energy colors for the first time, leaving Red Bull behind. That is a major change for Rea, who has been backed by Red Bull almost from when he first started racing motocross, before switching to circuit racing.
Pata Honda riders Sylvain Guintoli and Michael van der Mark both took to the track, putting in the majority of their laps in the afternoon, but work was restricted to finding a base set up. The weather was far too cold to be able to get anywhere near a competitive lap time, so there was not much performance testing to be done. Team Pedercini's David Salom, and the Grillini duo of Santiago Barragan and Christophe Ponsson also put in a few laps, having also ridden on Monday.
The teams now head south, to Jerez and Portimao, where they will be joined by the majority of the other teams. Prominent absentees could be Toni Elias, Ayrton Badovini and the JR Racing team, the BMW team backed by Troy Corser. According to reports on the German-language website Speedweek, the team has yet to take delivery of their BMW S1000RR machines. The bikes are being held by a dealer in Stephanskirchen due to non-payment by the team, according to Speedweek. There have been reports of financial problems since last year: the team's backers are based in the Dominican Republic, and transferring funds from the Caribbean island to the team's base has proven problematic. If the bikes are not ready for the Jerez test next week, then that could put their participation in the opening rounds at risk. The World Superbike machinery is due to be flown to Australia by Dorna straight from the Jerez test, and if the bikes aren't present, the JR Racing team would have to ship the bikes to Australia at their own expense. For a cash-strapped team, that could prove to be prohibitively expensive.
Below are the press releases issued by Kawasaki and Pata Honda after the Aragon test:
Cold Weather Interrupts KRT Motorland Test Plans
The official Kawasaki Racing Team pairing of Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea found low track temperatures at Motorland Aragon during their expected two-day winter test session, meaning only Jonathan went out for a few shakedown laps on his Ninja ZX-10R in afternoon of the second day.
With track temperatures in the low single figures all through a damp first day and then in the morning of day two, neither KRT rider ventured onto the track as no meaningful performance testing could be done on such a cold surface.
As the track temperatures crept over the double-digit mark in Celcius during the sunny second afternoon new KRT recruit Rea ventured out to do some tests on gear shift and clutch settings, but track conditions dictated that he did not try to make any long runs or attempt any pure performance testing.
Sykes elected not to run on the second day and the team now relocates to the Jerez circuit in southern Spain for their final two-day private test in Europe next week, on Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 January.
Afterwards they will head to Australia for the official pre-season test sessions at Phillip Island, shortly before the first round of the year in late February.
Jonathan Rea: “To be honest we were not able to get any meaningful performance testing done but we managed to work on some ideas in relation to gear shifting and clutch set-ups for race starts. If I consider the amount of hours I have ridden with the bike it is not a lot so we need to work on our performance at the next test rather than on general set-up. We will work on getting the best out of me and the bike now at the next test in Jerez.”
Tom Sykes: “We are still in the middle of January and we got dealt this set of cards because of the cold weather, so we will move on from that. It would have been nice to have turned some wheels to try various things but I cannot lose sleep about this because we will be out on the bike at Jerez in a matter of days. We will hopefully try it all then.”
Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager, said: “Yesterday there was rain and today sunshine but it is still too cold. We have had some bad luck because the cold only started on Sunday. On Friday the temperature was incredibly good and the last three weeks have been really nice in this area of Spain. That’s life and we understand that in the period between December and January, in terms of probability of finding good weather Europe, the best place we can test is Spain. Sometimes it is good, sometimes not. We have still used these two days to do a lot inside the box, on the new electronics system. Not from the riding side but from some other sides, these days have been very useful. In any case, next week we go to Jerez for two more days on track.”
Guintoli and van der Mark complete Aragon test
The Pata Honda World Superbike team concluded back-to-back pre-season tests today at Aragon in Spain, following a two-day test last week at Portimao in Portugal.
Unfortunately, the weather at both tests prevented riders Sylvain Guintoli and Michael van der Mark from completing a full scheduled programme on the 2015 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP machine that they will campaign in this season's World Superbike championship.
However, in spite of some rain at Portimao and very low track temperatures at Aragon, both riders declared themselves happy with the progress that was made in developing this year's CBR alongside new technical regulations for the series.
Reigning World Superbike champion, Sylvain Guintoli, said: "In spite of the rain in Portimao last week, the test was good there for the first time out on the 2015-spec CBR; and the times were quite good, even on 25-lap tyres. I was feeling a lot more comfortable on the bike by the end. Aragon has also been good, but it's been really cold. We worked on power delivery, engine brake and bike balance with some interesting findings. I cannot wait to race in Australia."
Guintoli's 2015 team-mate, current World Supersport champion, Michael van der Mark, was equally positive, despite a lack of track time: "The test was quite good for what we were able to do," he said. "This afternoon I did many laps of Aragon and tried many different things, but of course, the track was not in an ideal condition for the tyres. But I'm happy with the laps we were able to make and I'm looking forward to testing some more in, hopefully, drier and more normal conditions."
The team's technical co-ordinator, Pieter Breddels, said, "After yesterday's wash out, we were able to do some laps today and cross-check the settings found in Portimao last week. Michael tested new front geometry, which Sylvain already tested last week, and we tried some softer springs and a higher bike for Sylvain to give him a little more feel and transfer. All in all, considering track conditions and the number of laps, we leave with a positive feeling for our third and final test this month where we hope to see some more dry track time."
The two world champions will now make their way to Verona in Italy where the full 2015 Pata Honda rider line-up will be presented to media and race fans at Motor Bike Expo this Saturday 24 January.
Following the team launch, both riders will return to Spain for a further two-day test at Jerez on Monday and Tuesday next. After this final European pre-season outing, the Pata Honda bikes and equipment will head north to the team's workshop in the Netherlands to be packed into flight cases for Australia, where round one of the 2015 championship will take place on 22 February.
Preparations for the 2015 season are starting to get underway. While the MotoGP teams will have to wait until February, the World Superbike squads are assembling on the Iberian peninsula to resume their testing programs for 2015. Pata Honda were the first to kick off testing, spending two days at Portimao last week, where reigning World Superbike and World Supersport champions Sylvain Guintoli and Michael van der Mark got to grips with the Honda CBR1000RR. A dry first day meant that both men managed a good number of laps, while most of the second day was lost to rain. Van der Mark told Dutch site Racesport he had not spent too much time testing different settings, his main objective being to get used to riding a Superbike. Both he and Guintoli had tested the new engine, with standard conrods and pistons, while Guintoli had spent a lot of time working on different set ups, trying to get comfortable. According to GPOne.com, Guintoli lapped in the 1'44s, while Van der Mark was managing 1'45s, both well behind the fastest race lap set by Tom Sykes during race 1, but hardly surprising given the difference in temperatures between January and July.
Temperatures are also causing problems for the riders at the Motorland Aragon circuit. Pata Honda are there with the official Kawasaki duo of Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea - now backed by Monster Energy - as well as the Pedercini and Grillini Kawasaki teams. Asphalt temperatures are only barely above freezing, Sylvain Guintoli posting a picture on Twitter of the temperature gun showing a temperature of 1.8°C. The weather is set to remain largely the same tomorrow, meaning that on-track action is likely to be limited.
The World Superbike teams may have to wait until they can head south. The weather looks more promising for Ducati, MV Agusta, BMW, Aprilia, EBR and Suzuki, who head to Portimao on Wednesday. Next Monday, most of the field assemble at Jerez, which should be even warmer, and remain dry.