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Josh Herrin Dropped From Caterham Moto2 Ride, Ratthapark Wilairot To Replace Him For Rest Of 2014

Josh Herrin's difficult debut year in Moto2 has come to a premature end. The AirAsia Caterham Moto2 team today announced that from the Misano round of MotoGP, Thai rider Ratthapark Wilairot will take the place of the 24-year-old Californian. Wilairot is currently riding in the World Supersport championship for the Core PTR Honda team, but the remaining WSS schedule will allow the Thai rider to compete in both series. Wilairot already subbed for Herrin when the American broke his collarbone in a training accident back in April.

Wilairot is no stranger to Moto2, having competed in the class from its inception in 2010, and in the 250cc class it replaced before that. The Thai rider was forced out of Moto2 in the middle of last season, when he lost support of his sponsors in the Gresini team mid-season.

As for Josh Herrin, the American has struggled throughout his time in Moto2. The reigning AMA Superbike champion has found it hard to adapt to the Dunlops used in Moto2, which, in combination with the stiffness and adjustibility of a Moto2 chassis, require a totally different riding style and allow the rider to brake much further into the corner. The depth and competitiveness of the field have also presented a huge challenge: in a class where fourteen or fifteen riders are all within a second of each other, it is easy to slip a long way down the grid by losing just a couple of tenths. Coming in to Moto2 as reigning AMA Superbike champion only served to raise the pressure on the American, and created expectations it was hard to live up to. Those expectations were made even tougher by the ease with which reigning World Supersport champion Sam Lowes and Moto3 champ Maverick Viñales adapted to the class.

The departure of Herrin means there will not be a single American on the Grand Prix grid at Misano, a low point for US racing. Many insiders believed that Herrin was the wrong rider to make the switch to Grand Prix racing, with both US and Grand Prix experts preferring to see either Cameron Beaubier or Jake Gagne back in the Grand Prix paddock. Both riders know the circuits, having raced in both the Red Bull Rookies and, in Beaubier's case, in 125s back in 2009. Herrin got the call as he was available, unlike Beaubier, and could attract a certain amount of financial support for the team.

The press release issued by the team appears below:

Ratthapark Wilairot joins AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing

AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing can today announce that Ratthapark Wilairot will join the team at the Grand Prix of San Marino and Riviera di Rimini.

Wilairot will replace Josh Herrin on the Caterham Suter for the remainder of the 2014 season.

Following his impressive debut with the team at the Jerez GP, the 26 year old Thai rider was an obvious choice to contest the final six rounds of the Moto2 Championship.

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager: “We have decided to replace Josh with Ratthapark. It was not an easy decision but it was necessary in order to try to bring better results on that side of the garage.

“We are here to be competitive with two riders and the expectations were made clear from the start of the season. Unfortunately these goals have not been met, despite our best efforts and support to Josh.

“We wish Josh all the best for the future and at the same time welcome Ratthapark to our team. I am happy that Ratthapark is joining us as we know he has the ability to battle for the points and can help us to gain good results, so let’s now see how we can improve for the final six races of the season.”

Ratthapark Wilairot: “Firstly I have to say thank you very much to Tony Fernandes, Mia Sharizman, Johan Stigefelt and AirAsia for giving me this big present to ride in Moto2 until the end of the season. Also I want to thank CORE and PTR who have allowed me to do my favourite career.

“I am feeling fresh and excited to get back into the Moto2 garage, especially with the AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing Team. I made one race at Jerez already this year with them and I really enjoyed it! All the people in the team are working hard and helped me a lot with everything; it’s like a big family.

“I hope to repay them for this opportunity by doing a good job and achieving positive results for the remaining six races. In Jerez we worked well together and gained valuable information for set up with the Caterham Suter bike, so I am confident that we can build on this.

“My target is to score points and finish in the top fifteen. I will open the gas and get near to the top guys.”

Nicky Hayden Confirms He Will Miss Misano, Hopes To Return For Aragon

As expected, Nicky Hayden will not be at the Misano round of MotoGP. In a video posted on Youtube by the Drive M7 Aspar team, Nicky Hayden discusses the progress he has made in recovering from the major wrist surgery he underwent after the Sachsenring. His recovery is going well, and Hayden has already been back riding dirt track bikes. The ride was to test his wrist, at the request of his doctors, and Hayden said his wrist was holding up as expected. Riding dirt track is very different to riding a MotoGP bike, however, and Hayden is not yet fit enough to do that. That means Leon Camier will ride Hayden's Honda RCV1000R at least one more time at Misano. Hayden hopes to be fit enough to ride again at the Motorland Aragon round in three weeks time.

The video from the Drive M7 Aspar team is below:

US Superbike Racing On The Verge Of A Revival? Rainey Takes Over AMA Series, DMG Relinquishes Rights


Motorcycle road racing in the US looks set for a revival after its years in the wilderness. Today, the AMA announced that the rights to road racing in the US have been reacquired from the Daytona Motorsports Group, and handed to a consortium led by Wayne Rainey and Chuck Aksland. The KRAVE Group will run a new series of races in North America from 2015, under the joint auspices of the AMA and the FIM.

It has been a long and difficult few years for motorcycle road racing in the US. Since the DMG bought the rights to the AMA Superbike series, at the start of the 2008 season, the series has been in a steady decline. Long-serving staff were replaced, circuits were dropped, classes were dropped, rejigged and renamed, and the manufacturers - or rather, the national distributors of the Japanese manufacturers - were either chased out of the series, or left over disagreements over the technical regulations. 

The series reached a low point this year, when the AMA Pro Racing Superbike series held a grand total of just six races. Making things worse was the fact that just one of those rounds was in California, traditionally a very strong base for motorcycle racing in the US. To alleviate the situation, Roadracing World's John Ulrich stepped in to organize the Superbike Shootout, a three-race series held in California and Utah, to offer road racers something approaching a fuller season. However, the AMA did not have a deal to televise the Superbike series, relying instead on live internet streaming of the events.

The decline of the series cannot be laid completely at the door of the DMG. They took over the AMA Superbike series at the start of 2008, a few months before the global financial crisis hit. That crisis had a massive impact on all forms of motorsports, and saw a great deal of sponsorship money evaporate. The actions of the DMG certainly exacerbated the flight of capital from the series: the changes in classes and sporting regulations alienated a good part of the fan base; and the technical regulations and the way they were handled caused conflict with a number of key manufacturers. The DMG continues to run the AMA Pro Racing Flat Track series, which has seen something of a revival under its tenure.

The plight of US racing caught the attention of both the FIM and Dorna, especially after Dorna took over the running of the World Superbike series. Without an influx of talent from the US, raising the popularity of both MotoGP and World Superbikes was hard, especially as the Americans in MotoGP have begun to retire through either injury or age. Ben Spies was forced to quit after a severe shoulder injury, Colin Edwards retired after the Indianapolis round, and Nicky Hayden's place in MotoGP is uncertain after radical wrist surgery. Only two Americans remain at the World Championship level: Josh Herrin is struggling through a miserable year in Moto2, while PJ Jacobsen has been the only bright note for the US, the American having an excellent debut season in the World Supersport series, scoring a podium at Misano, and currently seventh in the championship. If Dorna was to find any strong American riders, the US would need a strong road racing series.

There had been rumors that Dorna was working with Wayne Rainey on a new series for about a year, though the rumors only gained any real strength earlier this year. Those rumors came to a head at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP in August, at which a key series of meetings appear to have taken place. The FIM and Dorna had agreed a new championship with the American Motorcyclist Association, the only stumbling block being the DMG. It was feared that the DMG would block any move to take way its rights to road racing, and use its financial power to thwart any attempt to circumvent those rights.

Fortunately for US race fans, common sense has prevailed. The DMG has given up its rights to organize road racing, and passed them back to the AMA. Though the wording of the statements from both the AMA and DMG suggest that the transfer involved some form of financial compensation, the value of the rights were already greatly diminished during the tenure of the DMG.

The rights have now been transferred to the KRAVE Group LLC, a partnership which includes former 500cc world champion Wayne Rainey, former Team KR principal Chuck Aksland, Terry Karges, a former team owner, and Richard Varner, an entrepreneur and custom motorcycle manufacturer. The KRAVE Group will organize a North American championship under the auspices of the AMA and FIM North America. The series is to be called MotoAmerica, and appears that it may include races in both the US and Canada, as FIM North America represents the motorcycle associations of both those countries.

As to which classes will be raced and which tracks will be used, as yet, nothing is known. With the rights to organize a series now officially finalized, the hard work of building and promoting a series can begin. With less than six months to go before the US season's traditional opener at the Daytona 200, there is no real time to make radical changes. 2015 will likely be a year of transition, with larger changes coming in the future. The involvement of the FIM and Dorna suggests that the technical rules will once again be brought into line with World Superbikes, to allow teams and riders to transfer more easily from the US to World Championships. Whether the AMA goes to a Superbike-Supersport-Superstock format like World Superbikes, or a Superbike, Moto2 and Moto3 series, like the Spanish CEV championships remains to be seen. There were credible rumors from Indianapolis that Dorna favored the CEV model, but that would require a radical rejigging of the racing landscape in the US.

Although the task facing the KRAVE Group is momentous, they start off with one big thing in their favor: after six years of misery for the AMA under the DMG, the KRAVE Group is assured of the goodwill of US fans and everyone involved in the sport. They carry the hopes and dreams of US fans, teams and riders. Perhaps more significantly, they carry the financial support and interests of Dorna and the FIM, who have a vested interest in the MotoAmerica series succeeding. Things are looking up.

Below is the press release from the AMA on the new series, as well as a very brief statement from the DMG:

American Motorcyclist Association to sanction MotoAmerica's professional road racing series in North America

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The American Motorcyclist Association has announced that it will sanction MotoAmerica, a new North American road racing series. MotoAmerica is an affiliate of KRAVE Group LLC, a partnership that includes three-time MotoGP champion, Wayne Rainey.

MotoAmerica will promote and manage the commercial aspects of MotoAmerica, which will be sanctioned by the AMA and FIM North America. FIM North America is the North American Continental Union of the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme, the international body for motorcycle sport.

The KRAVE Group is a Costa Mesa, Calif.-based organization that includes Rainey, the three-time 500cc World Champion (1990, 1991 and 1992) and two-time AMA Superbike Champion (1983, 1987), Chuck Aksland, a former racer and 20-year manager of Team Roberts who most recently served as Vice President of Motor Sport Operations at Circuit of The Americas, Terry Karges, a former motorsports marketing executive and team owner who spent 17-years at Roush Performance before being named Executive Director of the Petersen Museum, and Richard Varner, a motorcycle manufacturer, energy sector entrepreneur, philanthropist and businessman.

The KRAVE (Karges, Rainey, Aksland, Varner) Group owns commercial rights to the MotoAmerica Series, and will award AMA and FIM North America No. 1 plates to series class champions. The group will sell sponsorships, develop other commercial relationships for the series, secure tracks, create the calendar, process crew and media credentials and have responsibility for fan engagement.

"If you are an amateur or professional motorcycle road racer in America, if you are a fan of road racing or if you are a company that does business in this industry, this is an exciting day," said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. "Our goal has always been to entrust the promoting and commercial rights for professional racing to a talented, dedicated, well-capitalized professional entity, and the KRAVE Group certainly offers all that and more."

Rainey, an AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer, thanked the AMA for facilitating the acquisition.

"The AMA was instrumental in this deal coming together, serving as negotiator and mediator at all points of discussion," Rainey said. "We appreciate the efforts of Rob Dingman throughout the process."

The Ohio-based AMA, the world's premier motorcycle advocacy group, will staff officials at each round of the professional series and develop an enforcement, appeal and rider license procedure. The AMA will be responsible for issuing professional road racing licenses for the series.

MotoAmerica, in consultation with the AMA, will develop classes, the rules of competition and event procedures. While details of the rulebook are still in development, classes and events will conform to prevailing international standards.

"The structure of our agreement with the AMA serves the goal of developing riders to be successful on the world stage," Rainey said. "It allows a framework that supports advancement from youth competition to novice, from novice to Pro-Am, from Pro-Am to National Championship contention and, for the best of the best, an opportunity to race for a world title."

The AMA, as the U.S. affiliate of the FIM, sanctions FIM-affiliated events in the United States. The AMA, along with the Canadian Motorcycle Association, administers FIM North America, which sanctions continental-level series and championship events in North America. The AMA also sanctions amateur motorcycle competition in America, a role the AMA has fulfilled since it was established in 1924.

"The AMA's roles as FIM affiliate and amateur sanctioning body make it a critical piece to establishing a clear progression for America's road racing community," Rainey said. "We're eager to build a fair, exciting and commercially viable professional road racing series not just for today's stars, but for those who will stand on top of the podium for years to come."

Dingman added: "The MotoAmerica/KRAVE Group has shown throughout the entire process that they have the best interests of the AMA and its members in mind. They not only accepted financial responsibility for the series, but the relationship requires the MotoAmerica Series to sanction its events with the AMA."

As part of the agreement, the AMA has re-acquired the sanctioning, promotional and commercial rights to professional motorcycle road racing in America from Daytona Motorsports Group (DMG), which had purchased those rights from the AMA in 2008. DMG has operated the series for the last seven years and is no longer going to be the promoter of the series.

Statement from AMA Pro Racing on the future of the professional road racing discipline

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (September 3, 2014) – The following is a statement from AMA Pro Racing on the future of the professional motorcycle road racing discipline:

“Daytona Motorsports Group (DMG) confirms the transfer of sanctioning, operational, promotional and commercial rights for professional motorcycle road racing to the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and KRAVE Group. Following the 2014 AMA Pro Road Racing season finale at New Jersey Motorsports Park on Sept. 13-14, DMG no longer will conduct and promote the professional road racing discipline. The company will continue to sanction AMA Pro Flat Track, Motocross and Hillclimb.”

Donington Park To Host British MotoGP Round In 2015

Donington Park is to host the British round of MotoGP in 2015. The Leicestershire circuit has reached agreement with the Circuit of Wales to host the British Grand Prix while the Welsh track is being built. The Circuit of Wales was in talks with both Donington, which hosted the British Grand Prix from 1987 until 2009, and Silverstone, which hosted the race from 2010 until this year, but agreed more favorable terms with Donington.

The deal is a little more complicated than most contracts with racetracks. Dorna has a contract with the Circuit of Wales to host the race for the next five years, but the Circuit of Wales is yet to be built. Construction on the ambitious project has yet to be started, and the project is still a long way short of the money it needs for completion. While the Head of the Valleys Development Company continues to work on completing the facilities, the Circuit of Wales needed to comply with its contract with Dorna and provide a venue to hold the British Grand Prix. The Circuit of Wales held talks with both Donington Park and Silverstone, but Silverstone wanted too much money to host the event, citing very high costs to run it. Unwilling to 'subsidize' the event, as they put it in the press release, Silverstone refused to drop their asking price. That left Donington Park as the only alternative. 

Before Donington can put on the race, it will have to undergo an inspection by Dorna and the FIM. Donington will carry out any upgrades required to bring it up to Grand Prix standard, but it is unclear where the funding for this will come from. It is also unclear what will happen if the circuit should, for whatever reason, fail to complete the required upgrades in time. Given that the circuit already hosts a round of World Superbikes, it seems unlikely that the changes needed will be too extensive, though WSBK races at tracks where MotoGP would be unable to go for safety reasons, such as Imola and (formerly) Monza.

The press releases issued by the Circuit of Wales, Dorna and Silverstone on the British Grand Prix moving to Donington Park appear below: 

Circuit of Wales reaches agreement with Donington Park to host 2015 British MotoGP™

September 2 2014

Dorna Sports and the Circuit of Wales have reached agreement with Donington Park for the circuit to become the venue for next year’s British round of the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship.

MotoGP will be returning to Donington Park for the first time since 2009 after the Leicestershire circuit had been the home of the event since 1987. The partnership with Donington Park will now focus on the promotion of the 2015 MotoGP event and any upgrades the circuit requires to comply with FIM MotoGP™ World Championship circuit standards.

“After announcing the long-term MotoGP agreement between Dorna and the Circuit of Wales three weeks ago our priority has been to agree the venue for 2015,” explained Chris Herring of the Circuit of Wales.

Herring added: “It is in the interests of everyone, especially the fans, to make a decision as soon as possible and in Donington Park we have a venue that shares our vision for growing MotoGP in the UK.”

Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta commented: “The Circuit of Wales has worked very quickly to secure the best deal for the British race fans and we believe Donington Park will deliver a fantastic race in 2015.”

Ezpeleta continued, “Donington Park has a long history and has been the scene of some of the most exciting MotoGP races in recent years and we are sure that the extensive works undertaken since it reopened four years ago will guarantee a successful event.”

The date for the 2015 British FIM MotoGP™ World Championship round is expected to be announced later this month.

Donington Park to host 2015 British Motorcycle Grand Prix

Donington Park has been elected by the Circuit of Wales and Dorna Sports as the alternative venue for the British Motorcycle Grand Prix for the 2015 event.

Whilst the Circuit of Wales is scheduled to host the British Motorcycle Grand Prix until 2024 after agreeing a five-year contract with the option for further five year extension with the Championship’s commercial rights holders, it has been decided that the series would return to the Leicestershire venue next year, before moving to the new Circuit of Wales in 2016.

“After announcing the long-term MotoGP agreement between Dorna and the Circuit of Wales three weeks ago our priority has been to agree the venue for 2015,” explained Chris Herring of the Circuit of Wales. Herring added: “It is in the interests of everyone, especially the fans, to make a decision as soon as possible and in Donington Park we have a venue that shares our vision for growing MotoGP in the UK.”

Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta commented: “The Circuit of Wales has worked very quickly to secure the best deal for the British race fans and we believe Donington Park will deliver a fantastic race in 2015. ”Ezpeleta continued, “Donington Park has a long history and has been the scene of some of the most exciting MotoGP races in recent years and we are sure that the extensive works undertaken since it reopened four years ago will guarantee a successful event.”

The date for the 2015 British FIM MotoGP™ World Championship round is expected to be announced later this month.

Donington Park had previously been the home of MotoGP™ for 23 years, hosting it from 1987 to 2009.

Silverstone unable to reach agreement with Circuit of Wales to host MotoGP

Silverstone Circuits Limited has confirmed that it will not be staging the British round of the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship in 2015, after failing to agree terms with The Circuit of Wales (the promoter of the event from 2015).

Richard Phillips, Managing Director of Silverstone Circuits Limited, said: “We have invested heavily in the circuit and facilities here at Silverstone, specifically to host MotoGP, and have developed the British Grand Prix into a highly successful event. We wanted to keep MotoGP™ at Silverstone, but cannot afford to subsidise it. We are extremely disappointed not to be hosting the event in 2015.

“Any future deal, with Dorna or The Circuit of Wales, had to make economic sense for all parties, including us. We know from experience what it takes to run a high quality British Grand Prix. We made what we considered to be the maximum sensible offer to retain the event at Silverstone, but it seems that The Circuit of Wales, who have no experience of running a Grand Prix, have concluded they can do better running it themselves, using Donington until their circuit is ready.

“Silverstone has taken the event to a whole new level over the last five years, so we hope this won’t turn out to be a backwards step for the British Grand Prix, teams and fans. The Circuit of Wales evidently believe they can make the finances work using Donington next year – we wish them the best of luck.”

2015 Preseason MotoGP Testing Dates Announced

At Silverstone, the provisional testing calendar for the winter of 2015 was agreed. Preseason testing for the 2015 MotoGP season will take place at the usual locations, starting with the post-race test at Valencia, and continuing at Sepang and Qatar for MotoGP, while Moto2 and Moto3 go to Valencia and Jerez.

The 2015 season gets underway on the Monday after the final race of 2014 at Valencia, the MotoGP bikes testing from Monday through Wednesday. After the traditional winter test ban in December and January, testing will once again resume at Sepang, on 4th February. The MotoGP teams return to Sepang for the second test on the 23rd of February, before heading to Qatar. The dates of the Qatar test has not yet been fixed, as it depends on the date of the opening round of MotoGP at Qatar. That race will either be on the 15th or 22nd of March, but the date cannot be finalized until the Formula One series draws up a calendar. The Qatar test will take place a week before the race at the circuit.

The Sepang and Qatar tests will be four instead of three days long, to allow testing of the Michelin tires to begin. With Michelin set to replace Bridgestone as the spec tire supplier from 2016 onwards, one day of each test will be set aside for tire testing. At both Sepang tests, that will be the last day of the test, while at Qatar, it will be the first day. At the first Sepang test and Qatar, only test riders will get to test the Michelins, while at the Sepang 2 test, everyone will get the first feel of the Michelin tires.

The Moto2 and Moto3 riders will do their preseason testing in Spain, as usual. They start in Valencia on 10th February, before moving south a week later, testing  at Jerez on 17th February. The final official preseason test will take place at Jerez again on 3rd March. All of the official Moto2 and Moto3 tests last three days.

Below is the testing calendar:

10-12 November 2014 Valencia
4-7 February 2015 Sepang 1
23-26 February 2015 Sepang 2
6-9 / 13-16 March 2015 Qatar
Moto2 / Moto3:
10-12 February 2015 Valencia
17-19 February 2015 Jerez
3-5 March 2015 Jerez


Scott Jones At Silverstone: Race Day Photos From A Windswept Airfield

#11 for #93

Moto2 finally produced some of the drama of old. A great race

Pedrosa, Rossi and Dovizioso put on a real show in MotoGP, but they could only battle for 3rd

Tobacco advertising may be banned, but they can't stop smoking in the paddock

Moto3. Axe murderers only need apply

Pressure. Johann Zarco couldn't convert pole into a podium

Black and white, and read all over

Tito Rabat described his win at Silverstone as one of the best races of his career. This could be the key race of the year

#33, Enea Bastianini, has been the revelation of the Moto3 class in 2014. Hope swells in the chest of all Italy

Technically, this is referred to as a "gubbins".

A hard furrow to plough for Bautista

2014 has been a tough year for British riders. 2015 will see both Crutchlow and Redding on better bikes

That's official HRC sticky tape. Full factory.

Turning a Grand Prix bike is done using the rear brake

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Alex Marquez Signs Two-Year Deal To Race With Marc VDS In Moto2

Alex Marquez is to join Marc VDS in the Moto2 class. The Spaniard has signed a two-year deal with the Belgian racing team to compete on their Kalex Moto2 bike for the next two seasons. Marquez will join Tito Rabat at Marc VDS to form a Spanish dream team in Moto2, with Rabat once again challenging for the title, while Marquez gets up to speed. 

The Marquez announcement will likely be the first of many in the weeks leading up to the Aragon entry deadline. Both Jack Miller and Alex Rins will also be leaving Moto3, with Miller widely rumored to be moving up to MotoGP, and Rins off to join the Pons team with Luis Salom. However, there were whisperings at Silverstone that Miller may not be going straight to MotoGP after all. LCR's new British sponsor is believed to want a British rider on the production Honda. In that case, Miller would go to Moto2 with the Pons team. Whether that would mean Sito Pons would expand his team to three riders is unclear, but with a title sponsor now on board, that could be a possibility.

Marquez' move to Marc VDS does reduce the likelihood that Emilio Alzamora will create a new Moto2 team via the Monlau structure. The Estrella Galicia 0,0 team will continue in Moto3, with Fabio Quartararo moving up along with Maria Herrera, in all probability. Whether the move of Marquez to Marc VDS reflects the start of a more formal collaboration between Marc VDS and Alzamora / Monlau remains to be seen, but is an intriguing possibility. With the Estrella Galicia Junior team also continuing in the Spanish CEV championship, that would provide a pipeline of talent for the Marc VDS team, and offer a stepping stone into MotoGP for Alzamora.

Below is the press release from Marc VDS announcing the Marquez deal:

Márquez to move up to Moto2 with Marc VDS

Gosselies, Belgium – 1 September 2014: The Marc VDS Racing Team is pleased to announce that Álex Márquez will join the team to contest the 2015 Moto2 World Championship alongside his compatriot and current series leader, Tito Rabat.

Spanish Champion in 2012, Márquez has impressed this year in just his second full season in the Moto3 World Championship, the most closely contested of the three Grand Prix classes.

The 18-year-old Spaniard has two wins and three second places to his name and currently lies second in the series standings, just 13 points behind the Championship leader with six races left to run.

Márquez joins the Marc VDS Racing Team on a two-year deal.

Álex Márquez

“I am so proud and excited to announce I am joining Marc VDS Racing Team in Moto2 for the next two years. It is very important for me because I am changing class with a fantastic team and a strong teammate. I have been working hard to be here and I want to thank the Marc VDS Racing Team for their trust in me. But now it’s time to focus on Moto3, we are in the most important moment of the season and our mission is to fight for the championship.”

Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal

“It has always been our goal to bring young riders into Moto2, and Álex Márquez is the perfect fit for us. He has shown he has both the talent and the drive to succeed with some impressive performances over the past two years, which are the attributes we want as we look towards the future. Having Tito Rabat alongside him and an experienced team behind him will help with Álex’s transition from Moto3 to Moto2 next year. I am confident that in 2016 he will be ready to step up and spearhead our World Championship campaign.”

Marc van der Straten // President, Marc VDS Racing Team

“Álex Márquez’s signature on a contract for 2015 has been the goal of many teams in the Grand Prix paddock, so I am proud that his first choice of team with which to move up to Moto2 was ours. Álex is an outstanding rider, with immense talent, but equally important is his work ethic. He is not afraid of hard work and that will stand him in good stead when he starts the transition from the Honda Moto3 machine he races now to the Kalex Moto2 bike that he’ll race for the next two years. I am looking forward to Álex joining us and I am confident that with the help of the team he will soon establish himself as a title contender in Moto2.”

More information and high resolution images are available on the Marc VDS Racing Team website at

Moto2 And Moto3 Massively Oversubscribed For 2015

The popularity of Moto2 and Moto3 continues unabated, both among fans and among racing teams. Silverstone was the deadline for teams to submit their requests to be considered for grid slots in the two support classes for MotoGP in 2015, and the entries massively outnumbered the available spaces on the grid.

There were entries for 47 riders in Moto3, and 45 in Moto2, all competing for the 32 available slots in each class. The selection committee of IRTA, who decide who will be given the places on the grid, then selected a total of 33 teams who will be awarded grid slots. Those teams now have until Aragon to submit a list of the riders they will have under contract for 2015, and the bikes they intend to race next season. They will also have to pay a deposit to ensure their entry for next season.

The Aragon deadline will trigger an early round of negotiation for 2015 in the junior classes, which have traditionally not signed riders until very late on in the process. With teams required to submit a list of both riders and bikes, they will have to secure contracts, at least provisionally, with riders and with machinery manufacturers. The rider list submitted will not necessarily be the final 2015 line up for both classes, but it will be very close.

The Aragon deadline for bikes is a new rule for 2015, instituted after the delay in Honda announcing its Moto3 plans last year. HRC knew it would be producing a much more competitive, and consequently much more expensive version of its Moto3 bike for this season, and held off in the hope that teams would switch to KTM, Kalex or Mahindra. Honda knew it would have to subsidize its Moto3 entries, and wanted to limit its costs. To avoid a similar situation, and ensure that all teams would have an equal chance to secure use of the cost-capped Moto3 bikes of their choice, IRTA instituted the deadline at Aragon.

Below is the press release from the FIM on the entry list:

FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix

Meeting of the Selection Committee – Silverstone (GBR), 30 August

Any team wishing to participate in the Moto3 or Moto2 classes of the FIM MotoGP World Championship in 2015 was required to submit an application to IRTA by the deadline of Thursday 28 August.

On Saturday 30 August the Selection Committee charged with reviewing applications convened at Silverstone.

There were valid applications considered from teams representing 47 riders in the Moto3 class and 45 riders in the Moto2 class. The target entry for both classes is 32 riders.

The Selection Committee agreed to provisionally confirm the participation of 33 teams who, between them, can provide the riders to meet the targeted entry. These teams now have until the deadline of Friday 26 September at the Aragon GP to confirm the machines they will use, the final riders they will contract and to pay a security deposit to guarantee their eventual participation.

A second selection meeting will then take place during the Aragon GP to review the final entry details and to confirm those teams that will be offered Participation Agreements for 2015. A list of accepted teams will then be published.

Scott Jones At Silverstone: Saturday Photos From A Windswept Airfield

The Doctor's Surgery

If this MotoGP thing doesn't work out, there's always the circus

That should buff right out. Probably

True Brit: Redding runs with a Union Jack livery

Knee up, elbow down is the new knee down

Andrea Iannone: the future of Ducati?

Johann Zarco finally brought some cheer to Caterham, by bagging his first pole for the team

That'll probably buff out as well

All change at the back

Aleix Espargaro is officially off the market

Homework never ends when you're in MotoGP

Remember, MotoGP fans: don't drink beer and ride your motorcycle!

Unless it's alcohol free, of course ...

If you'd like to have desktop-sized versions of Scott's fantastic photos, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. If you'd like a print of one of the shots you see on the site, then send Scott an email and he'll be happy to help.

Scott Jones At Silverstone: Friday Photos From A Windswept Airfield

The old man returns: Rossi's revival continues through 2014

Another year makes a big difference. Andrea Dovizioso has got the Ducati a lot closer to the pointy end

How to get a Honda to turn: on the front wheel

Scott Redding, home boy

A well-used hard tire

Best Yamaha on Friday, Bradley Smith

Lorenzo's garage saw a lot of discussion. The Spaniard is struggling with new rear tire once again

Aoyama, Camier, Petrucci. Leon Camier learning his way around the Open bike freight train

A penny for your thoughts, Cal?

Aleix Espargaro's pace has flagged in the second half of the season. Getting ready for a grand finale?


Fastest ant on the planet. Fastest human, too.

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.