Latest News

World Superbike Considering Switch To Spec ECU

With part of the WorldSBK paddock present in Barcelona for the MotoGP race last weekend, the Superbike Commission, the series' rulemaking body, met at Montmelo to discuss changes to the WorldSBK rules. Though much of what was agreed in the meeting amounted to a tidying up of the starting procedure, a big talking point was the introduction of a single ECU.

The various members of the Superbike Commission discussed whether a spec ECU should be introduced for the 2018 season. They did not reach an agreement on the subject at Barcelona, but, according to the press release issued by the FIM, they do expect the matter to be settled within the next few weeks. 

This suggests that the introduction of a spec ECU is inevitable. Dorna and the FIM will be pushing hard for this, as the spec ECU is perceived to have been a success in MotoGP, leveling the playing field between the different factories. Whether it will be such a success in WorldSBK remains to be proven, as there are many more factors involved in the series, most particularly the fact that the bikes are based on production vehicles, limiting the base from where development begins. Whether that will be addressed at a later date remains to be seen.

The press release issued by the FIM containing the minutes of the Superbike commission are shown below:

FIM Superbike & Supersport World Championships
Changes to the Regulations for 2017

The Superbike Commission composed of Messrs Gregorio Lavilla (WorldSBK Sporting Director), Rezsö Bulcsu (FIM CCR Director) Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA Representative), in the presence of Messrs Daniel Carrera (WorldSBK Executive Director), Franck Vayssié and Paul Duparc (FIM) in a meeting held in Barcelona-Catalunya (ESP) on 09 June, made a few changes to the 2017 MOTUL FIM Superbike & Supersport World Championships Regulations.

The goal was to clarify the Rules, as deemed necessary.

Sporting Regulations

1. Slight changes have been carried out to the start procedure, clarifying that any rider who crashes or encounters problems during the sighting lap(s) is permitted to reach the pit lane safely under the instructions of the officials. Obviously the Race Direction is not responsible for ensuring the machine and rider reach the pit lane in time to start. However, all reasonable efforts will be made to assist the team and rider. His bike will be checked in the pit lane for safety reasons, by the Technical Director (or his appointed deputy) who will have the authority to allow or not the machine to start (or restart).

2. With the same philosophy, should a rider crash during any practice or qualifying session and wish to re-join the session, then at the discretion of the track marshals, he may re- join the track and must proceed directly to the pit lane. The rider is responsible of the safety with his machine until he reaches the pit lane. His bike will be checked in the pit lane, for safety reasons, by the Technical Director (or his appointed deputy) who will have the authority to allow or not the machine to restart.

3. It was also clarified that in the case of a race interrupted prior to a ride-through being complied with or notified to, and if there is a second or subsequent parts, the rider will be required to ride through after the start of the second or subsequent parts of the race.

4. In Supersport 300, in case of a withdrawal of a permanent rider, a qualified substitute rider may be proposed by the team to the approval of FIM and Dorna up to one hour before the Free Practice 2 (whereas it remains up to one hour before Free Practice 3 for the SBK, Supersport and Superstock 1000).

5. Should a re-started race be interrupted and Race Direction deems it possible to re- start, then the conditions for a further re-start may be carried out as follows: If the re-started race is interrupted when two-thirds of the current race distance (two- thirds must be minimum 5 laps) rounded down to the nearest whole number of laps have been completed, the race will be deemed to have been completed and full Championship points awarded.

If the re-started race is interrupted when less than two-thirds of the current race distance rounded down to the nearest whole number of laps have been completed, the race would be re-started at a further time if possible, for the same number of laps as the first re-start.

In the case of rain after the sighting or warm up lap(s) the delayed start procedure will continue. If the race is delayed but not due to weather conditions but the conditions can be quickly resolved, then the rain delayed start procedure will be applied.

After this, considering the problem is not track related we would like to start the race with a quickstart procedure to save time.

6. For Superbike and Supersport contracted riders, participating in a National Championship events are permitted. However, participating partly or fully in the official sessions and race of such event will be considered as 1 (one) test day only in the restricted number of practice days.

For European Superstock, European Supersport and Supersport (300), riders can participate at any National Championship event without any restrictions.

Technical Regulations

There were no decisions taken for an immediate application. However, the possibility of controlling and applying a single Electronic Control Unit in the SBK class for 2018 was discussed. The final decision about using a single ECU would be taken within the following weeks.

The 2017 MOTUL FIM Superbike & Supersports World Championships Regulations will be available at FIM-LIVE.COM within the next two weeks.


Back to top

Joan Mir To Join Marc VDS Moto2 Squad For 2018

The first of the Moto2 moves for the 2018 season has been announced, and it should come as no surprise that it is championship leader Joan Mir who is moving up from Moto3 to Moto2. Mir will take one of the seats in the Estrella Galicia Marc VDS squad, aboard the team's Kalex Moto2 bikes. Mir was impressive last year on the Leopard Racing KTM, and since the team switched to Honda, has continued to impress.

Mir's signing opens speculation over whose seat he is expected to take in the Marc VDS Moto2 team. Franco Morbidelli looks set to move up to MotoGP in 2018, aboard either a Marc VDS Honda or possibly a Pramac Ducati, if Ducati offer Morbidelli a factory contract. Alex Marquez is also believed to be looking outside the Marc VDS team, though it is uncertain where the Spaniard would settle.

Below is the press release from the Marc VDS team:

Joan Mir to step up to Moto2 with Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS

Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS are pleased to announce that they have agreed a three-year deal with Joan Mir that will see the Moto3 sensation step up to the Moto2 category in 2018.

Mir made an immediate impact on the Moto3 World Championship on his arrival in 2016, winning the Austrian Grand Prix on his way to finishing fifth in the championship and securing the Rookie of the Year award at the end of the season.

This year the Mallorcan has been the dominant force in Moto3, the most closely contested of all three Grand Prix classes.

Mir opened the 2017 season with back-to-back wins in Qatar and Argentina, following that up with a third place in Spain and another victory in France. It is this form that has given the 19-year-old a 34-point advantage at the top of the Moto3 World Championship standings after six of 18 races.

Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal

"We've had our eye on Joan for quite some time, first in CEV and then in Moto3 when he made his debut in the World Championship. We saw right at the start of last year that he had the talent, drive and determination to be a championship contender and he's proved us right this season. I am looking forward to welcoming him into the team and I am confident that the combination of his talent and our technical staff will ensure a smooth and rapid transition from Moto3 championship contender to Moto2 frontrunner."

Marc van der Straten: President, Marc VDS Racing Team

"I am happy that we have secured a rider of Joan Mir's calibre for the future and I am proud that he chose us as the team with which to make his step up to the intermediate class. We are a results driven team and our track record shows that, but we are also a racing family and we value certain personal qualities as highly as we value performance. Having spoken with Joan this weekend, I am certain that we've made the right choice on all levels and I am looking forward to welcoming him to the Marc VDS family next season."


Back to top

Barcelona To Revert To Old F1 Chicane From Saturday

The Safety Commission, the body in which riders, Dorna, and the FIM meet to discuss issues of safety, have decided to revert to the track layout used during qualifying and the race in 2016. After numerous complaints from riders after practice on Friday, the new layout, which featured a much shorter chicane cutting across a different type of asphalt, has judged not to be suitable for use. The riders complained that the switch across different types of asphalt made the new chicane a worse choice than the 2016 track layout.

The 2016 track layout will be used from FP3 on Saturday for all three Grand Prix classes. The press release announcing the change appears below:

Catalan GP: Layout to revert to chicane used in 2016

Decision taken to race on the layout used last season

Following FP1 and FP2 at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, the decision has been taken to revert the track layout to the old chicane – the one used for Saturday and Sunday in 2016 – from FP3 onwards in 2017.

The decision is based on feedback from riders following Day 1 of track action, and was taken by the Safety Commission on Friday evening.

The changes made to the layout ahead of the 2017 event were deemed insufficient due to the change in the asphalt of the chicane, which was the cause for concern for the majority of the riders.

The race weekend will therefore continue on Saturday using the layout raced in 2016.

Loris Capirossi: “In the Safety Commission the riders complained a little about the new layout, they said the work wasn’t done in the right way and there were a lot of bumps – that’s why the riders decided to go back to the layout from last year. That’s why we’re here, to make sure the track used tomorrow is the safest we can. We saw during practice today a lot of crashes too where the bike remained on the track and at the exit of the corner, and that’s very dangerous. We have experience from last year of the old chicane and we didn’t have any crashes like we did today, that’s why the riders requested it. In terms of crashes, the old one is better.”


Back to top

Max Biaggi Injured In Training Crash - UPDATED

Max Biaggi is the latest (ex-) rider to be injured in a training crash. The four-time 250cc champion was riding a supermoto bike at the Saggitario track in Latina, just south of Rome, when he crashed the bike. Biaggi was transported to a nearby hospital, the Ospedale San Camillo Di Roma, where he is being treated with suspected thoracic and vertebrae damage.

Details are sketchy, but Paolo Scalera of has spoken to people around Biaggi. The Italian was reportedly picked up by his mechanics after the crash, and was moving his extremities, but he collapsed and was taken to hospital by helicopter. Biaggi's injuries are believed to be serious, but not life-threatening.


More details are now known of Biaggi's injuries. He has suffered seven broken ribs, a fractured vertebra, and a concussion. He is currently on oxygen to help breathing through broken ribs, and is in the Intensive Care unit of the San Camillo hospital. However, although his condition is serious he is not in danger. He is likely to spend at least a month in hospital recovering.

Back to top

Triumph Announced As Official Moto2 Engine Supplier For 2019 Onwards

As had been trailed since the start of this year, Triumph have finally been announced as the official engine supplier to the Moto2 class from 2019 onwards. The deal with Dorna will see Triumph supply a specially modified version of the 765cc triple which powers their new Street Triple range of production bikes.

The engine has been modified to produce more power and torque, and to be a little narrower. A modified cylinder head and inlet and exhaust ports provide better breathing, titanium valves and stiffer springs allow the engine to rev more freely, and make it more reliable under braking. A higher first gear replaces the normal street ratio, and the use of a race alternator and racing clutch make the covers narrower.

The engine will produce 133hp and 80Nm of torque in the first instance. The objective of engine development has been especially on reliability and durability rather than outright horsepower. As the engine is one element the Moto2 teams cannot touch, they place a very high stock in the fact that they know the engines will finish races without blowing up or breaking down. 

The Moto2 engine has already been tested by Julian Simon at the Motorland Aragon circult last week. It was tested in a special Moto2 chassis built by Triumph, though Paul Stroud, Chief Commercial Officer for Triumph Motorcycles, ruled out an official Moto2 entry by Triumph, saying that it was very much against the spirit of the class. 

Engines will be made available to the Moto2 chassis manufacturers very soon, so they can get on with the work of designing the chassis to be used in 2019. Alex Baumgärtel of Kalex said that he expected work to start later in the year, with the first tests to happen at the end of 2017. 

Triumph's rationale for racing in Moto2 is very much an exercise in branding. The additional exposure which being official Moto2 engine supplier brings is a huge boost to the Triumph brand, bringing exposure in important growing overseas markets. The Triumph branding in Moto2 will feature more prominently than with current supplier Honda, each bike having a sticker on the fairing, and on the shoulder of each rider.

A selection of photos of the Moto2 engine follows, and below that is the official press release announcing the deal.


Today, Triumph Motorcycles has been announced as the exclusive engine supplier to the FIM Moto2TM World Championship from the 2019 season onwards.

Triumph has signed a three-year contract with Dorna - the commercial rights holder of MotoGPTM - to supply a dedicated race tuned 765cc Triumph triple engine, based on the powerplant from the all-new 2017 Triumph Street Triple.

The new engine is a significant development of the race-winning Daytona 675R powerplant that has powered supersports wins at the Isle of Man TT, Daytona 200 and British Supersports Championships in 2014 and 2015.

Based on the highest specification 765cc powerplant from the Street Triple RS it has been developed for Moto2TM with the following modifications;

  • Modified cylinder head with revised inlet and exhaust ports for optimised gas flow
  • Titanium valves and stiffer valve springs for increased rpm
  • Low Output race kit alternator for reduced inertia
  • Taller 1st gear ratio
  • Race developed slipper clutch which will be tuneable
  • Specific race ECU; which will be developed with Magneti Marelli
  • Revised engine covers for reduced width
  • Different sump to allow for improved header run

The engine

Based on the new 2017 Street Triple powerplant, the Triumph Moto2TM 765cc triple engine has been developed and tuned for a major step up in power and torque.

In ‘road’ set-up the new 765cc engine delivers the highest ever level of performance for a Street Triple; delivering power of 123PS @ 11,700rpm and 77Nm Torque@10,800rpm.

It has more than 80 new parts compared to the previous generation engine, including an increase to the bore and stroke. All-new engine components include;

  • new crank
  • new pistons
  • new con-rods and balancer shaft
  • Nikasil plated aluminium barrels
  • Revised gearbox

The race specification Triumph 765cc Moto2 engine has been developed further to allow the engine to breathe more freely and rev harder than the production bike; increasing overall performance. Other changes have been made specifically to adapt the engine for race use.

To see a CGI film of the Triumph Moto2 engine click here:

Paul Stroud, Chief Commercial Officer for Triumph Motorcycles, said; “This is a significant moment for Triumph that brings an exciting new chapter to our 110-year racing history and builds on our celebrated TT and Supersports race winning triple engines.

We look forward to a long and thrilling relationship with Dorna and the Moto2TM teams, riders and fans.”

Carmelo Ezpeleta, Chief Executive Officer of Dorna added; “We are very excited to be working with one of the world’s most iconic motorcycle brands. The Triumph triple engines are renowned for their strong, linear power and torque delivery and have achieved many successes on the track making them the ideal choice for the Moto2TM Championship. We are looking forward to the 2019 season and the beginning of a new generation of Moto2TM in partnership with Triumph.”

Herve Poncharal, President of IRTA, stated; “Moto2™ is a key category in feeding talent into MotoGP™. We’re seeing a lot of top riders in MotoGP all come through the intermediate category. The arrival of Triumph as the sole engine supplier and with new ECU’s in the intermediate class, marks a new era that is sure to prove another incredible step in its evolution, making it remain the ultimate category on the way to MotoGP.

Trevor Morris, Technical Director from ExternPro, who will be responsible for the final preparation of the engines for the race series, commented; “It is incredibly exciting to be working in conjunction with the iconic Triumph motorcycle company in supplying engines for the Moto 2TM world championship. I have been a fan of the triple engine for a long time, its unique characteristics and performance will ensure and enhance the future success of the championship.”

Julian Simon, 2009 125cc World Champion and Moto2 runner-up and experienced Moto2TM test rider, who has been involved with the engine development testing at Aragon, said “The engine feels strong and In particular the mid-range is very impressive. The feel between the throttle and the rear wheel is very direct and controllable. The general feeling is very good and the engine already shows great potential.”


Back to top

Valentino Rossi Declared Fit For Mugello

Valentino Rossi has passed a medical examination at the Mugello Circuit for his home race. The Italian will now take part in practice on Friday, with the objective of preparing for the race on Sunday. 

Below is the press release issued by Yamaha:


The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team look forward to starting their home race with their original rider line-up for this weekend‘s Gran Premio d'Italia Oakley.

Scarperia (Italy), 1st June 2017

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi is declared fit to participate in this weekend‘s Gran Premio d'Italia Oakley.

Earlier this afternoon the nine-time World Champion underwent a routine medical check-up at the Autodromo del Mugello. VR46 fans from all over the world can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that FIM Medical Director, Dr Giancarlo Di Filippo, the Chief Medical Officer of the Mugello Circuit, Dr Remo Barbagli and the MotoGP Medical Director, Dr Angel Charte have found Rossi to be in a suitable condition to take part in his home Grand Prix, starting with tomorrow‘s free practice sessions.


Back to top

Valentino Rossi - No Further Complications, Say Yamaha

Valentino Rossi appears to have emerged from his motocross accident relatively unscathed. The Movistar Yamaha team today issued a press release with a medical update, stating that the Italian appears to have suffered slight injuries to his liver and kidneys, and that this was what was causing him pain.

Rossi is currently receiving pain relief medication, and is due to undergo further routine medical checks. If those checks go as expected, he should be released from hospital later on Friday.

The press release does not mention Rossi's participation in the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello next weekend. However, with a week until first practice starts, there is plenty of time to make a decision on that. A photograph taken by the nursing staff with Rossi at Rimini Hospital and published by local website Rimini Today suggests Rossi is looking and feeling well. That bodes well for Mugello.

The official press release issued by the Movistar Yamaha Team appears below:


Following yesterday‘s motocross accident, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi has experienced a positive healing process over the last 12 hours.

Gerno di Lesmo (Italy), 26th May 2017

Having been diagnosed yesterday evening with mild thoracic and abdominal trauma, following a motocross accident, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team rider Valentino Rossi is making positive progress with his recovery.

Last night the 38-year-old Italian spent a quiet night at the "Ospedale Infermi" in Rimini and was visited this morning by the doctors. Valentino told that he is experiencing less pain both in the chest and in the abdomen, compared to last night. The pain is the result of slight liver and kidney lesions that have not evolved into further complications.

Valentino will continue to receive pain relief over the next 12 hours and, over the course of the day, he will undergo routine diagnostic tests. If the results are positive, he may be discharged from the hospital within the day.

Further updates are to follow in due course.


Back to top

Valentino Rossi Suffers Mild Chest And Abdominal Injuries In MX Training Crash

Valentino Rossi has suffered chest and abdominal injuries after crashing an MX bike while training. The Italian had been practicing at the Cross Park Cavallara, near Pesaro, and is reported to have crashed his motocross bike, according to Italian website

The crash was severe enough to cause chest and abdominal trauma, according to reports, though other Italian sources speak of closed injuries, rather than open wounds. Rossi was taken to the emergency room at Rimini hospital, and is currently being kept at the hospital for observation. 

At this point, the precise extent of Rossi's injuries are unclear. GPOne are reporting that doctors initially suspected a fractured rib, then a possible shoulder injury. Rossi is due to have a scan in the morning, which should reveal more. Rimini Today reported that Rossi was also being examined for a light head injury, though this was not a cause for concern.

It is unknown at this moment whether he will be fit for Mugello or not.

It is unusual for Rossi to suffer a motocross accident. The Italian had almost completely abandoned riding MX after the severe shoulder injury he picked up on an MX bike at the start of the 2010 season. It took surgery and an extensive recovery period at the end of that year before he was back to full fitness, though by that time, he was well into his two-year period in the wilderness with Ducati.

Since then, Rossi has turned his attention to dirt track. The Italian has had a special facility built in the hills near his home in Tavullia, containing a variety of tracks with a mixture of turns. The idea was to train specific riding skills, and the track has helped him adapt to the demands of a modern MotoGP bike with huge success. But it was also built to help him avoid the types of injury which can occur on a motocross bike, especially when crashing over jumps. Whether that is how he injured himself on Thursday is unclear.


The Movistar Yamaha team issued the following press release late on Thursday night:


Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi is recovering from a motocross training accident that occurred on Thursday evening, May 25th.

Gerno di Lesmo (Italy), 25th May 2017

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team rider Valentino Rossi was involved in a motocross training accident at the Cross Club Cavallara in Mondavio (Pesaro Urbino, Italy), on Thursday, May 25th.

The 38-year-old Italian rider was taken to a local hospital for a medical check-up, where he was diagnosed with mild thoracic and abdominal trauma.

No fractures have been detected in any part of the body and no serious traumatic pathologies were found.

A further medical bulletin will be issued on Friday, 26th May, at 12:00 hrs CET.

Back to top

Nicky Hayden Has Died

Nicky Hayden died today as a results of the injuries he sustained in a cycling accident. He died surrounded by his family, at 7:09pm CEST, at the Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena, Italy.

The exact circumstances of Hayden's accident are unclear. All that is know is that Hayden was out cycling alone on Wednesday, 17th May near the Misano circuit, and was hit by a car. The force of the impact was such that he immediately sustained life-threatening injuries. Hayden was taken to hospital, where he was diagnosed with severe brain and chest injuries, and taken to intensive care.

Hayden's injuries proved to be so fatal that there was no hope of recovery. He died at 7:09pm on Monday, 22nd of May at the hospital in Cesena.

Nicky Hayden lived for racing, from a very young age. He came from a racing family, both his father Earl and mother Rose having raced flat track. He started riding bikes almost before he could walk, and racing not long afterwards. He raced flat track, as well as minibikes and 125cc.

When he turned sixteen, Hayden started racing in AMA Supersport, becoming the youngest ever rider to win the AMA Supersport 600 title in 1999. In 2000, he moved up to the AMA Superbike class, becoming the youngest ever AMA Superbike champion in 2002. 

Hayden moved to MotoGP in 2003, joining the Repsol Honda team, where he won the rookie of the year award and scored two podiums at the end of that season. He won his first MotoGP race in 2005, when the series returned to Laguna Seca, and finally realized his dream of becoming world champion in 2006, in one of the most eventful and dramatic seasons in Grand Prix motorcycle history. 

Though Hayden never repeated that success, he never stopped trying. From the Repsol Honda team, he moved to the factory Ducati squad in 2009, where he remained until the end of the 2013 season. From there, he spent two years in the Aspar team, riding a Honda in the new Open class.

In 2016, Hayden moved to World Superbikes, joining the Ten Kate squad, where he hoped to become the first rider ever to win both MotoGP and World Superbike titles. He won one race, at Sepang, and finished fifth in the championship.

Nicky Hayden was well known and universally admired in racing paddocks around the world. His work ethic was second to none, the first to hit the track at a test, and the last to leave. He never gave up hope when racing, never started a race he didn't think he could win, never complained about his team or the bike, and never gave anything but 100% at everything he did. His death leaves an enormous hole in the world of motorcycle racing that will not be filled.

We send our condolences and best wishes to the Hayden family. May he rest in peace.

Nicky Hayden:  30th July, 1981 - 22nd May, 2017.

Below is the press release issued by the Red Bull Honda World Superbike team, announcing Hayden's death:

Statement from Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team

It is with great sadness that Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team has to announce that Nicky Hayden has succumbed to injuries suffered during an incident while riding his bicycle last Wednesday.

Nicky passed away at 19:09 CEST this evening at Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena, Italy. His fiancée Jackie, mother Rose and brother Tommy were at his side.

Throughout his career Nicky’s professionalism and fighting spirit was greatly valued and carried him to numerous successes, including his childhood dream of being crowned MotoGP World Champion with Honda in 2006. As well as being a true champion on the track, Nicky was a fan favourite off it due to his kind nature, relaxed demeanour, and the huge smile he invariably carried everywhere.

Nothing says more about Nicky’s character than the overwhelming response expressed by fellow racers and his legions of fans over the past few days. Jackie and his family are truly grateful for the countless prayers and well wishes for Nicky.

The ‘Kentucky Kid’ will be sorely missed by all that ever had the pleasure of meeting him or the privilege to see him race a motorcycle around a track, be it dirt or asphalt.

The racing world says goodbye to one of its dearest sons. Rest in peace Nicholas ‘Nicky’ Patrick Hayden.

Tommy Hayden

“On behalf of the whole Hayden family and Nicky’s fiancée Jackie I would like to thank everyone for their messages of support – it has been a great comfort to us all knowing that Nicky has touched so many people’s lives in such a positive way.

“Although this is obviously a sad time, we would like everyone to remember Nicky at his happiest – riding a motorcycle. He dreamed as a kid of being a pro rider and not only achieved that but also managed to reach the pinnacle of his chosen sport in becoming World Champion. We are all so proud of that.

“Apart from these ‘public’ memories, we will also have many great and happy memories of Nicky at home in Kentucky, in the heart of the family. We will all miss him terribly.

“It is also important for us to thank all the hospital staff for their incredible support – they have been very kind. With the further support of the authorities in the coming days we hope to have Nicky home soon.”

Back to top

Aspar To Continue With Ducati For 2018

The Pull&Bear Aspar Team will continue to race with Ducatis for the 2018 season. At Le Mans, the team signed a one-year extension of their deal with Ducati, which will see the Italian factory continue to supply satellite bikes to the team for next year.

Exactly what spec machinery the team will run is still to be decided. Depending on budget and the riders Aspar can sign, the team will either run two Desmosedici GP17s, or one GP17 and one GP16. 

Alvaro Bautista is certain to be one of the riders for next year. The Spaniard has impressed on the GP16 so far this year, consistently matching or beating the factory riders. The second seat is less clear, though Karel Abraham has also exceeded expectations, earning a front row start in Argentina. But Aspar is also keeping an eye on the talent available in Moto2, and if a young and fast rider becomes available, they may elect to sign them. The team remain impressed with Pecco Bagnaia, who rode for them in Moto3 last season. Choices about riders will not be made until the second half of 2017, when it is clearer who will be available next year.

The press release from the team appears below:

Aspar Team renews contract with Ducati for 2018

Sunday, 21 May 2017 07:28

Spanish team will make joint decision with Italian factory over which bikes to run next season

The Aspar Team has renewed its contract with Ducati Corse to contest the 2018 MotoGP World Championship with the Italian factory machinery. The agreement between the Spanish MotoGP team and Ducati includes an option to run two Ducati GP17s, the bikes being used this season by the factory team, or one Ducati GP17 and one Ducati GP16. This decision will be taken later this season.

The 2018 season will be the fifth year of collaboration between the Aspar Team and the Borgo Panigale factory. The Valencian outfit moved up to the premier class with Ducati in 2010 and their initial association lasted two seasons. It resumed in 2016, affording the Aspar Team its best result so far in MotoGP, with fourth place at the Grand Prix of Argentina. So far this year Álvaro Bautista established himself as one of the standout Independent riders during preseason and he also finished fourth in Argentina, where Karel Abraham qualified second on the grid.

Jorge Martínez, general manager de Aspar Team:“For the Aspar Team it is excellent news that we will continue for another season with Ducati, as much for the professional relationship we have with Luigi dall’Igna and all his staff as for the material they provide. We believe that we can still grow more but first of all I hope to be able to give Ducati and our sponsors plenty to celebrate this season, because we have two riders who are proving to be very competitive. We are satisfied with the progress of both Álvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham in this early part of the season but we have to put a whole weekend together because they both have the potential to be up there at the front. I hope 2017 can be a great year and 2018 even better.”

Paolo Ciabatti, Ducati Corse Sporting Director: “We are very satisfied to have reached an agreement with the Aspar Team and to announce the continuation of our association with the Spanish team through the MotoGP World Championship of 2018. The Aspar Team worked very well with Ducati in 2016 and also this year, with important results already for both riders. For that reason we are very happy to continue collaborating with Jorge Martínez next season.”


Back to top