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Johann Zarco Extends Contract Through 2018 With Tech3 Team

The Tech3 team have exercised their option to keep Johann Zarco for the 2018 season. On Thursday, the two parties reached an agreement that will see the Frenchman stay with the team for a second year.

The agreement was anything but a surprise. Both Zarco and his teammate Jonas Folger are on "one plus one" contracts, a one-year contract with an option to extend it for a second year, but Tech3's general policy has always been to automatically extend the second year. For rookies such as Zarco and Folger, this allows them to focus on adapting to the new class, rather than having to worry about results, and push themselves into a mistake.

In the case of Johann Zarco, there was even less doubt that his contract would be extended. The Frenchman has been exceptional in the first four races of the season, mixing it with the podium regulars and far exceeding expectations. Signing the extension at Zarco's home Grand Prix was the ideal opportunity to maximize media exposure.

The contract extension is the best option for Zarco as well. With all of the current factory riders on two-year deals, there are no vacancies in factory teams. If Zarco continues to develop as he has so far this year, the Frenchman's name will be at the top of a lot of factory bosses' wish lists for 2019 onwards. The big question is whether Valentino Rossi retires at the end of 2018, making room in the factory Yamaha squad. But if Rossi continues, there will be plenty of other opportunities for Zarco.

With Zarco signed, attention in the Tech3 team switches to Jonas Folger. Zarco's exceptional performance has rather overshadowed the fact that Folger has been riding very well indeed, and is on course for a very strong first season. There seems little doubt that Folger will get his contract extended as well, and like Zarco, the most likely place for that to be announced is at his home Grand Prix, at the Sachsenring on 2nd July.

Below is the press release sent out by the Tech3 team announcing Zarco's contract extension.

21 MAY 2017

Zarco and Tech3 to continue successful partnership in 2018

The Monster Yamaha Tech3 team and Johann Zarco, the high-flying sensation, have reached an agreement that will see the double Moto2 World Champion remain with the French team for the 2018 season. The 26-year-old has undertaken a superb start to the current campaign, where he has highlighted his supreme talent by instantly adapting to the 1000cc Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bike. His impressive performances have triggered the option of a second year with Tech3 and he will determinedly continue to fight for top tier finishes.

Johann ZARCO

"I am very happy to know that I will continue my MotoGP experience with Monster Yamaha Tech3 in 2018. At the moment, I am enjoying an amazing debut in this category where I have learnt a huge amount, and the team have now given me the confidence for next year, which is just fantastic. I want to say thank you to my manager Laurent Fellon who has helped me at all times and also, thanks to the people who have assisted me since I started racing in the World Championship. We can see that Tech3 is a great team because when we push, it’s possible to get a strong result. I am very happy but this is only the beginning and I will keep learning and growing so that I can regularly fight for podiums, and then once I am at this level, I plan to continue in this way for as long as possible. In 2018, the rules won’t change and I will have an entire year of experience so this will certainly help me to get to the top."


Team Manager

"This news is incredibly good for me and the entire Monster Yamaha Tech3 team but it is also positive for MotoGP racing worldwide and especially in France. We can announce that Johann Zarco has decided to remain with us for the 2018 season. Perhaps he could have waited a bit longer to make this decision, but he told me that he is happy and ready to commit himself to us. We are very proud to have that sort of confidence from Johann. He has already brought some amazing things to the team, such as huge excitement and joy, but he has also given us some pride back. I’m sure the best is yet to come, yet what he has done in the first four rounds is really impressive. I would like to thank Johann’s manager Laurent Fellon for his superb commitment and if Johann is performing in this way, it’s because Laurent took good care of him and helped him to grow into the rider that he is. We are more than happy to keep ZF with us, Z for Zarco and F for Fellon, and now we can fight in the remainder of the 2017 season with a high spirit. In addition, we can go out and try to find the partners who will be on our side in 2018. I would like to thank Johann and Laurent so let’s hope that this news will help him to be as strong as the whole crowd is expecting him to be for his home GP here in Le Mans."


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Nicky Hayden Hospitalized After Cycling Crash In Italy - UPDATE

Nicky Hayden has been hospitalized after a collision with a car while training on his bicycle near Riccione in Italy. According to reports from local newspaper Rimini Today, Hayden was out cycling on Wednesday afternoon when at around 2pm, he was hit by a car. The causes of the accident are as yet uncertain.

Hayden was treated for his injuries by the emergency services, and then taken to the emergency department of Rimini Hospital. He was assessed there, and was transferred to the Bufalini Hospital in Cesena, 40km away. According to reports from Italy, he is being treated in the trauma center of that hospital.

The precise extent of Hayden's injuries is as yet unknown. As soon as we have more confirmed details, we will let you know.


According to, the press chief of the Bufalini hospital issued a statement on Nicky Hayden, saying that Hayden was in a "very serious" condition and that he has been moved to the intensive care unit. Hayden is in a coma for the time being, and will be assessed again on Thursday.

UPDATE 2: 12:30 CEST, 18th May

There has been no change in Hayden's condition. He remains in critical condition in intensive care. He has thoracic and cranial injuries, but there is no news on how serious or permanent those injuries are.

UPDATE 3: 23:00, 19th May

Roadracing World's John Ulrich has spoken to Nicky Hayden's father Earl, after false reports appeared on clickbait websites and Facebook that there had been a change in Hayden's condition. Earl Hayden told Roadracing World there had been no change in Nicky Hayden's condition. He is still in a coma, and stable. 

The hospital continues to send out press releases twice daily, explaining that Hayden is still in a critical condition, but that his condition is unchanged.

The Red Bull Honda WorldSBK Team is updating it's Twitter feed with links to its press releases on Hayden's condition. For the official word on his condition, check there.

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Concessions and control ECU on the cards for WorldSBK?

Momentum for a technical shake-up in WorldSBK has increased but the manner to instigate that change is a big question

The Imola paddock was full of rumor and discussion about changes to the technical regulations for 2018. With Kawasaki and Ducati having shared all but four wins since the start of the 2015 season there have been calls to grant other manufacturers some avenues with which to improve performance. Discussions between the manufacturers took place once again in Italy to lay down a framework for the future.

No answers were forthcoming but with Yamaha and Honda having brought all-new Superbikes to the series in the last year and struggled to compete with the front runners it is clear that the winds of change may be in the air. For 2017 Aprilia increased their involvement with the Milwaukee Aprilia bikes built and prepared in Italy. The former title winning marque has thus far failed live up to preseason expectations.

Spec ECU for WorldSBK?

A unified electronics package with a standard ECU (Electronic Control Unit) is one step that is being discussed, but that is far from a silver bullet with which to cure all ills in the WorldSBK paddock. The biggest reason for Kawasaki and Ducati dominating proceedings is manpower and resources. With more people in the garage and more resources spent on electronics and overall bike development they have proved the class of the field. Regulating that all bikes run the same specification of electronics will close the gap but not eliminate it.

That is one of the reasons why some teams, such as the Ten Kate team, have called for more drastic changes. Speaking over the weekend Ronald ten Kate said, “The ECU would be a start but bringing in some concessions similar to MotoGP would be a better solution.”

Concessions stand

While MotoGP has developed a unified electronics system that is shared by all teams on the grid it has been the concessions offered to manufacturers that has, arguably, had the biggest influence on improving racing. These concessions range from having unlimited testing, allowing engine development mid-season and in the past a softer tire to offer improved performance. These allowed manufacturers to short-cut their development cycle by making large performance gains in a shorter time frame.

With Honda clearly struggling with a poor bike and a lack of experience with it they desperately need track time to be able to understand the all-new Fireblade and make improvements.

With resources clearly lacking at MV Augusta the team has precious little to test but opening some of the restrictions on bikes could help the Italian manufacturer. The team's rider, Leon Camier, crashed out of second position in Imola last weekend but knows the struggle facing the team.

“Right now if you're not on a green bike or a red bike you're not going to win,” said Camier. “At the moment Yamaha, MV, Aprilia, BMW and Honda all have good riders but at best we're really fighting for fifth or sixth position. It would be great if we could see some help to improve our performance or open the regulations somehow to help make it more competitive at the front because fans at home want to see more bikes at the front.”

Herding cats

To bring about such a change in the regulations the manufacturers would have to be in agreement. While Yamaha, Honda, BMW and Aprilia would be able to form a majority finding agreement is another issue entirely. The biggest stumbling block to that would appear to be Kawasaki who have said consistently in the past that electronic development is one of their key reasons for racing in WorldSBK.

With electronic development restricted in MotoGP the only series that allows manufacturers to flex their mental muscles with software development is WorldSBK. It is one of the single biggest reasons why Kawasaki races in the championship and puts huge resources into it. As a result the Japanese manufacturer is against the series bringing in a unified electronics software package.

Ducati are also likely to oppose any motion to restrict their performance but the Italian manufacturer will have a new bike on the market in the next two years. Their all-new V4 engined machine will be their flagship bike once again and the importance of WorldSBK as a marketing tool will not be lost on Bologna as they make the transition from twin-cylinder bike to the four cylinder. Kawasaki are in a comparable situation to Ducati, though there are key differences. With no MotoGP team, and no desire to race in prototype series, Kawasaki need a championship series they can showcase their Superbike in.

Equalizing performance

While their feelings on the potential change are not set in stone at the moment both manufacturers would be against restricting their performance on track, but equally, there is leverage against them in negotiations over the regulations.

Fresh from dominating at Imola Chaz Davies said, “I've not heard much about any changes to the regulations other than a few questions but in principle I would think that the best approach isn't to penalize Ducati or Kawasaki for being successful, but rather to help bring the other teams forward. If that's with granting them more testing, more engines, or some different parts, then that would be the best solution.”

It would also be the simplest solution for keeping all manufacturers happy. With seven manufacturers on the grid for 2017, and Suzuki likely to return in the coming years, it is clear the value and importance of WorldSBK holds for each manufacturer. Keeping them all happy and competitive in the series is an almost impossible goal but offering ways to improve their potential certainly isn't. Racing improves the breed, and the brand, but finding the best way to accelerate that improvement now appears to be a key challenge facing WorldSBK.

Gathering the background information for long articles such as these is an expensive and time-consuming operation. If you enjoyed this article, please consider supporting You can help by either taking out a subscription, buying the beautiful 2017 racing calendar, by making a donation, or by contributing via our GoFundMe page.


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Qatar MotoGP Time Schedule Under Review

Discussions are currently underway to review the schedule of the MotoGP event at Qatar. The current time schedule, with all three classes taking place after sundown, creates significant headaches for the class, as was apparent at the opening race of the 2017 season, when rain caused qualifying to be canceled and threatened to postpone the race to Monday. has learned that discussions opened at Jerez on alternative time schedules for the event. At the moment, nothing is decided and IRTA, who are tasked with organizing the event, are fielding proposals from everyone. They are at the very beginning of the process, one source told us. 

The most obvious solution would be to move the Moto2 and Moto3 races to the late afternoon, and then start the MotoGP race a couple of hours earlier, around 7pm instead of 9pm. This would allow Qatar to keep its position as both the first race of the season and a night race, while offering the possibility of moving the start of the season earlier to make room for an expanded calendar. 

An earlier start would avoid the dew which starts to settle late at night, around 10pm, and which has caused so many crashes in the past. That would give more flexibility to move the dates of the race to earlier in the year. And it would also allow the possibility of either waiting longer to start the race if it start to rain, or to move the race earlier and into the daylight.

But it would also cause several headaches. The current event is spread over four days, with practice and qualifying taking place at different times. Whether it would be possible to reduce the event back to three days is unknown, though having Moto2 and Moto3 qualifying during the day would give more flexibility there. 

Nothing is decided yet, however, and retaining the current schedule is also an option. Changing the schedule would need the agreement of all parties involved. The Qatar federation and Losail Circuit would have to consent to keeping the MotoGP race as an evening race, but perhaps giving up Moto2 and Moto3 as a night race. The teams would have to agree to the new schedule. The riders would have to believe the new schedule would be safer or better, in terms of track grip and in terms of riding. And the tire manufacturers Michelin and Dunlop would have to agree to develop tires capable of dealing with the new schedule. 

Talks will continue over the next few races, with proposals to be submitted at the next IRTA meeting. The official timing of the schedule is likely to be released only once the provisional 2018 calendar is published, some time in late September.


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Sylvain Guintoli To Replace Alex Rins At Le Mans And Beyond

Sylvain Guintoli is to replace Alex Rins at Suzuki from the next race at Le Mans onwards, until Rins is fit to return. To help him prepare for his return to MotoGP, Guintoli will test the Suzuki GSX-RR on Monday, at the official test.

Choosing the Frenchman to replace Rins at Le Mans is an obvious choice. Guintoli has previous experience in MotoGP, having ridden a Yamaha and Ducati in 2007 and 2008. Guintoli even led the MotoGP race at at wet Le Mans back in 2007, before crashing out in front of his home crowd. He is currently racing in BSB for Bennetts Suzuki, and with BSB on a hiatus until mid June, Guintoli will also be available for Mugello.

Rins is hoping to be back for Mugello, but it is extremely unlikely he will be fit in time. His best hope is to try to return at Barcelona, though even that will be tight. The double displaced fracture of the bones in is left arm will take some time to recover. If Rins is not fit for Barcelona, then Guintoli will fill in for the Spaniard there as well, before he returns to race in BSB the following weekend.

The press release announcing Guintoli's ride appears below:


Team Suzuki Press Office – May 4.

The Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli has been designated the rider to race Suzuki´s GSX-RR in the French GP in Le Mans on May 21st and following races, until Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s factory rider Alex Rins is fully recovered and able to return to competition.

Guintoli will join Team Suzuki MotoGP, already in Jerez, to take part in Tuesday´s test day, to get acquainted with the factory MotoGP machine and start his adaptation process. He will succeed Takuya Tsuda aboard Rins’ GSX-RR, after Tsuda´s participation in the Spanish GP and the test on Monday after the race.

The choice of Sylvain Guintoli to substitute the injured Alex Rins is a sort of natural choice for the team: not only he has been Superbike World Champion in 2014, but he also already has experience in MotoGP, and he is already a Suzuki rider. He is currently competing in the British Superbike Championship with team Bennetts Suzuki aboard the brand new Suzuki GSX-R1000R. He is actually in 12th position with 15 points, and participation in the MotoGP rounds will not clash with any races of the BSB calendar.

Sylvain Guintoli was born in Montélimar (France) on June 24th, 1982. He won the National title in France in 2000. The same year he was offered a wild card in the French GP of the World Championship. In 2001 he was on the entry list to his first season of the 250cc World Championship, where he stayed until 2006. He got his first podium in 2003, in Assen, only taking a break in 2002 when he raced in the MotoGP premier class. He went back to the top class in 2007 and 2008, after that he moved to Superbike, where he became World Champion in 2014.

Davide Brivio - Team Manager

“For us it’s a good opportunity to be able to substitute Alex with Sylvain, who is a rider with strong and solid experience in racing, both in Superbike and MotoGP. He is a former World Champion in Superbike and he is already racing for Suzuki in the British Superbike Championship, so he is already part of the Suzuki family. With him we will try to carry on with the development of our GSX-RR, trying to improve it more and more. Also, during the races, hopefully we will be able to prepare an even more competitive package for Alex when he returns to us. Of course we hope this will happen very soon, that he is at 100%. In the meantime, we’ll try to fully take advantage of these races. I want to give a warm welcome to Sylvain from our team, and all we ask from him is to enjoy his time with us and make the most of this opportunity. We are also happy to give this small token of affection to our French fans, who will have another Frenchman racing the MotoGP in their home GP.”

Sylvain Guintoli

"First, I would like to thank Suzuki for giving me this fantastic opportunity. Being able to ride the GSX-RR, currently one of the fastest racing machine in the world is a very exciting prospect, let alone at my home race in front of the French fans. The ‘Le Mans Grand Prix’ brings back a lot of strong memories, the best one of course was leading the MotoGP race for a few laps in 2007. This is going to be a very difficult challenge, adapting to the very powerful prototype MotoGP machine and the Michelin tires, but my main goal is to enjoy the experience and give 100% commitment to the Team SUZUKI ECSTAR. The test on Tuesday will give us some time to adapt and to start understanding this amazing motorcycle. Finally, I want to wish a very good recovery to Alex."


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Danny Kent To Test KTM Moto3 Bike, Wildcard At Le Mans

Danny Kent is to test KTM's Moto3 bike at Jerez on Tuesday, and is to race as a wildcard at Le Mans. Aki Ajo, team manager of the Red Bull KTM team, who knows the 23-year-old Englishman well from his previous stints in the Ajo team, has seized the opportunity to use Kent's experience in Moto3 to help develop the bike, which is struggling against the Honda at the moment.

This has thrown Kent a temporary lifeline, after he decided to leave the Kiefer Moto2 team before the race in Austin. That decision came as a shock to the team, though Kent had struggled through the first two races of the season. 

At the moment, the plan is only for Kent to do a test and then the race at Le Mans. Kent will be hoping that if he can score a good result, then he may get a second chance in Moto3. A team as well funded as Ajo's may be able to find the resources to put on more wildcard rides for Kent, or if he is capable of running with the front runners at Le Mans, convince other Moto3 team managers to take a gamble on him.

The test will also provide useful data for KTM and for Ajo. So far, the KTMs have struggled in Moto3, and the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders Niccolo Antonelli and Bo Bendsneyder have not performed as expected. If Kent also has problems with the bike, and his feedback matches Antonelli and Bendsneyder, that would point to a problem with the KTM. But if Kent is much quicker than the current riders, that would indicate the problem lies with the riders.

Below is the press release from the Red Bull KTM Ajo team:

Kent to test KTM Moto3 bike

British rider will participate in a day of testing next Tuesday at Jerez with Red Bull KTM Ajo, and enter the French GP as a wildcard.

05/04/2017 - Jerez Circuit, Spain

Danny Kent will take part in a day of testing with the KTM Moto3 bike next Tuesday at Jerez, following the Spanish Grand Prix which takes place at the track this weekend. He will be testing alongside the rest of the Red Bull KTM Ajo team.

The Briton has four years of experience in the lower cylinder class, and rode for Red Bull KTM Ajo in 2012 and Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo in 2014. He has been chosen by the Austrian factory to evaluate and give his point of view on the KTM RC250 GP used in the World Championship. Kent will complete his collaboration with Red Bull KTM Ajo by entering the French Grand Prix as a wildcard, alongside the team’s regular riders Niccolo Antonelli and Bo Bendsneyder.

Aki Ajo - Team Manager

"After learning of Danny Kent’s situation in the World Championship, the team, Red Bull and KTM had the joint idea of asking him to test and develop our bike. Danny is a rider who has already been part of our team in the past; we know well how he works and he knows us, and we believe that with his experience he can give us a very interesting point of view for the technical development of our bike. In addition, what every rider needs is to compete, so we have offered him the possibility of a wildcard ride at Le Mans with us. I am convinced that the outcome of this collaboration will be very satisfactory for both parties."


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Alex Rins' Surgery Successful, Out For Six Weeks

Alex Rins has had two titanium plates fitted to fix the left wrist he broke in practice in Austin. The Suzuki rider will be out for the next six to eight weeks, meaning he will miss at least Jerez, and most likely Le Mans and Mugello as well. Suzuki test rider Takuya Tsuda, who was scheduled to be in Jerez for the official test on the Monday after the race, will replace Rins for the Spanish test, and most probably for the remaining races.

Rins crashed on Saturday morning in Austin, breaking his ulna and radius, the two bones in his forearm. It was a serious injury, both bones being fully broken and displaced. The young Spaniard had preliminary treatment in Austin, the bones being put back in place, but surgery was only possible on Thursday, once the inflammation of the injury had subsided. At the Dexeus Institute in Barcelona, Rins had two titanium plates fitted to fix the bones in place.

It was not the only damage Rins sustained in the crash. In Barcelona, doctors also diagnosed damage to the ulnar nerve. This nerve runs from the elbow down to the hand, and helps operate the pinky and ring finger. Rins is due to be reassessed in two weeks' time, but even if the damage does prove permanent, it should not restrict his riding. Ulnar nerve damage tends to cause pain and tingling in the two fingers, and may cause some weakness. But as it is in the left hand, the clutch hand, Rins should be able to strengthen his other fingers enough to compensate.

Rins is set to miss the Spanish round at Jerez in nine days' time, and probably more. Doctors believe he will be out for between six and eight weeks, meaning that Rins would miss at least Jerez and Le Mans, and possibly Mugello as well. Rins should be fit in time for his home Grand Prix in Barcelona, on June 11th. Rins will be replaced at Jerez by test rider Tsuda, who was scheduled to be present in Jerez anyway, as he will be taking part in the one-day test to be held on the Monday after the race. 

Below is the press release with full details of Rins' surgery:

Team Suzuki Press Office – April 27.

Alex´s fractures were fixed with two titanium plates
The rider will start rehabilitation within 10 days
Suzuki test rider Tsuda will be his replacement in Jerez race and test

Alex Rins was successfully operated on this morning at the University Hospital Dexeus in Barcelona where they repaired both the ulna and radius displacement and dislocation fractures in the left forearm that he suffered as a result of a serious accident that occurred last Saturday in the FP3 of the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

The 21-year-old Catalan, who was treated by Dr. Austin Hill, orthopedic traumatologist at the University Medical Center Brackenridge, on the same Saturday of the fall to stabilize the fractures, returned to Barcelona on Monday. However, it was not until today when he was able to undergo surgery due to the inflammation that was still more than visible in the left arm.

A few hours ago Rins underwent an operation by Dr. Xavier Mir, Head of the Hand Unit and Coordinator of the MotoGP Traumatology Service, through which the broken bones in the forearm and the wrist were fixed in place by two titanium plates. As a result of the crash, the rider suffered an injury to the ulnar nerve as revealed by Evoked Potentials (neurologic test). This issue will be re-evaluated in a couple of weeks with an electromyography test.

The rider will undergo his first treatments next week at the same hospital in Barcelona, while the active rehabilitation will start after a period of 10 days. Doctors will try to accelerate, as much as possible, the recovery process of the rider. The timeline for the rider’s return to the track are not yet clear, but doctors estimate between six to eight weeks.

In related news, the test rider of the Hamamatsu brand, Takuya Tsuda (Wakayama, Japan), 31 y.o., will now take over Rins´ role starting from the Spanish GP. He will be participating at the Jerez circuit for the next Spanish Grand Prix (May 7th), both to compete in the race and to complete the IRTA test scheduled for Monday, May 8th. He will have the chance to officially compete in his first grand prix in the highest category of motorcycling.

Tsuda, who has previously competed in the All Japan Championship and has participated numerous times in the Suzuka 8 Hours race, is the usual test rider for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR. Tsuda has already participated with Andrea Iannone in the winter´s test that Suzuki had at the Jerez circuit last December.

Dr. Xavier Mir - Head of the Hand Unit and Coordinator of the MotoGP Traumatology Service

“Alex Rins has been operated on for displaced and dislocated left ulna and radius fracture, performing an open reduction and internal fixation with two locked titanium plates. Furthermore, yesterday he underwent a neurological test (evoked potentials) that confirmed an ulnar nerve injury by contusion. Within ten days he will begin the functional recovery of the wrist and forearm. An electromyography will also be performed to evaluate the recovery time of the ulnar nerve”.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager

“We are very happy that Alex surgery went well. This is the most important thing. Starting now he is facing a recovery period, but we are awaiting his comeback to 100% and we will be eager to have him back on our GSX-RR so he can display all the talent he has inside. Meanwhile, unfortunately, we have to replace him. And for Jerez we decided to give his bike to Takuya Tsuda, our test rider who will have his first opportunity to get real race experience. We will try to use the occasion to further the development of the bike.

I would like to wish a fast and good recovery to Alex. We will be waiting for him and until then, we will try to prepare him the best bike possible for when he returns.”

Alex Rins

“The surgery went very well according to what Dr. Mir told me. I would like to thank him personally for all his care and attention since the fall in Austin last Saturday, him and all his team for care they have given me these days in hospital. The messages I have received through social media have really encouraged me, especially the kindness that has been shown by every member of Team Suzuki. This fills me with the energy and desire to immediately begin my recovery and return to competition as soon as possible.”


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Scott Jones In Texas: Qualifying And Race Day, Part 1

Marc Marquez. Always riveting in Austin

Over the hill? I don't think so

Bad starts are a thing of the past for Dani Pedrosa

Maverick's magic streak came to an end in Austin

Miller and Rabat play follow my leader

Plenty to think about for Johann Zarco

Eyes on the prize for Lorenzo. But the prize is still a little way ahead

Romano Fenati gets a sense of perspective

"And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven;"

How Jonas Folger deals with the stress before the start

Technically, that is know as running wide

It all goes pear shaped at the start of the Moto2 race...

Stefano Manzi's enthusiasm got the better of him, taking Julian Simon out in the process

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


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Avintia To Continue With Ducati For 2018 MotoGP Season

The jockeying for manufacturers among satellite teams has begun. First out of the gate is the Reale Avintia Racing team, who have renewed their contract for another year with Ducati. Ducati will supply two Desmosedici GP17s to the team for the 2018 season.

The question of who will follow is still open. The Tech 3 team is firmly tied in with Yamaha, and the Marc VDS team has a strong commitment from Honda, though the results they have booked with the RC213V have not been as expected. The LCR Honda team were rumored to be interested in Suzukis last year, but the role Cal Crutchlow has played with Honda makes it more attractive to stay with Honda.

The Pull&Bear Aspar team could also make a switch from Ducati. Paddock gossip suggests contact between Aspar and Suzuki, but there are also suggestions Aspar could seek to renew ties with Aprilia, who they have a long history with in the 250 and 125 classes.

The press release announcing the Avintia contract renewal appears below:

Reale Avintia Racing and Ducati renew their contract for 2018

Reale Avintia Racing are pleased to announce the renewal of their contract with Ducati Corse to race the bikes from Borgo Panigale in the 2018 MotoGP World Championship. The contract has been signed this weekend at the Circuit of the Americas and the team will have two sets of Ducati Desmosedici GP 2017 bikes next season.

The team started to work with the Italian manufacturer in the last races of 2014 and since then, the team has been getting stronger every season and has established a close relationship with the factory. This early renewal of the contract is another step forward with Ducati and a clear signal of mutual confidence.

Raúl Romero | (CEO Esponsorama)

“I’m extremely happy to announce that we will be racing with Ducati next season. We are like a family and we are fully integrated in their MotoGP project. We had some more options for next season, but the confidence showed by Paolo Ciabatti and Gigi Dall’Igna over these years made the decision easy to sign so early in the season. We feel an incredible support from the factory and the guaranty to have this year’s factory bikes for next season is really important for the team. Now it will be easy to find more sponsorship and to keep growing.”

Paolo Ciabatti | (Ducati Corse Sporting Director)

“We are really happy and satisfied to be able to continue our relationship with Reale Avintia Racing in 2018. It is a team that started to work with us at the end of 2014 and since then they have never stopped growing together with Ducati. We believe that the team will have a great opportunity to do a fantastic job again next season, as they are doing now and as they did in the last years working with us.”


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Scott Jones in Texas: Friday Photos

This is what total control looks like

Hustle by Petrucci

HRC are experimenting with a different exhaust, to modify the engine character. Results so far not promising

Dani Pedrosa, about to crest T1

The changed seat position is working out for Lorenzo. But it's not a magic wand

One end of the KTM

The other end of the KTM with legal winglets/aero fairing

The mystery continues at the back of the Ducati GP17

One of Tech 3's rocketship rookies: Jonas Folger

Cal Crutchlow holding his own after Argentina

A dry clutch, or spinny roundy bit, to give it its technical name

Tech 3's other rocketship rookie: Johann Zarco

Scott Redding is outshining his teammate so far. Not being given the 2017 lab bike turns out to be a good thing

Still crazy after all these years

One way of fighting wheelies: get as far forward as possible

Andrea Dovizioso is a big fan of motocross. Not so much of race tracks which have MXGP style bumps

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


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