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Wind And Rain Cause Delay For WorldSBK In Qatar

A huge storm, and the threat of more bad weather, has forced Dorna to delay action on the final day of the WorldSBK season in Qatar. Torrential rain has flooded the track, and garages, and strong winds have caused damage around the circuit, including to the podium area. Various videos and photos posted on social media showed the severity of the storm. 

For the moment, all action has been postponed, awaiting inspections of the track and the floodlights. Initially, racing had been canceled, but the organizers revised the decision and will look at various options to ensure that racing does happen. Although the WorldSBK title is settled, the WorldSSP title is still wide open, with just 5 points separating Sandro Cortese and Jules Cluzel.

There are a number of options for the organizers. They can either wait and hope the weather will clear, and run the races under the floodlights, or they can postpone the racing until Sunday. Both those options would cause a problem for the teams, many of whom are booked onto flights back to Europe tonight. That would also involve considerable cost, and an argument over who would bear it. Alternatively, Dorna could call off the final day of action altogether. 

A decision had been expected at 4pm local time (3pm CET), but so far, no updates have been forthcoming.

UPDATE

WorldSBK announced the following, updated schedule. All times local time:

WorldSSP at 16.45 (15 minutes WUP)
WorldSBK at 17.10 (15 minutes WUP)
WorldSSP at 18.15 (Race-15 Laps) 
WorldSBK at 19.45 (Race-17 laps) 

(GMT+3) Local Time 

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KTM Confirm Two-Year Test Rider Deal With Dani Pedrosa

It had been widely trailed, and long expected, but KTM have finally confirmed that Dani Pedrosa has agreed to be a test rider for the Austrian factory for the next two seasons. Pedrosa will take on the role alongside current test rider Mika Kallio.

Rumors that Pedrosa would take on a testing role with KTM have been circulating for some time, ever since it became clear that Pedrosa would not be part of the Repsol Honda team. The Spaniard had been linked to the Petronas Yamaha seat as well, but in the end, he felt that some of the joy had gone out of racing, and he didn't feel he had the intensity to keep racing beyond the end of this year.

That KTM should sign Pedrosa as a test rider is not that surprising. Mike Leitner, KTM's MotoGP team manager, was Pedrosa's crew chief with Repsol Honda up until 2014, after which Leitner left to work on KTM's MotoGP project. Leitner knows Pedrosa extremely well, and has spoken highly of his sensitivity to the bike. 

This familiarity with Pedrosa was one reason Leitner signed Mika Kallio as a test rider. In an interview with MotoMatters earlier this year, Leitner explained that smaller riders, like Pedrosa and Kallio, have to have a better feeling for the bike, as they cannot compensate with their body weight for what the bike is doing.  Kallio "was already riding the bikes with a lot of technique," Leitner told me. "So most of these [smaller] riders have a very good feeling for a bike, a good understanding." Leitner and KTM will hope that Pedrosa's sensitivity to changes will help them push the project forward.

Of course, that is also a risk. Pedrosa has struggled this year to get heat into the Michelin tires, which has prevented him from being competitive at most tracks. KTM may have a little more say in which tires they request from Michelin, but it makes most sense that Pedrosa should try to develop the bike for the tires Michelin will be bringing to the race.

The role as test rider will almost certainly not include any wildcard appearances. At the Red Bull Ring this year, KTM's head of motorsports Pit Beirer told reporters that having Mika Kallio do so many wildcards had not had the positive effect they had hoped. "This was also not very positive for the project, because when the test team starts to think too much like a race team and they want to race, you find out at the test they just want to get ready for next weekend," Beirer said. "Like, the most stupid parts, that also need to be tested, they don’t do them because they focus on the race and then you start to drift away from the job of the test team. All these things we have to learn, being new in this class, so we will not see - maybe only one or no wild-cards from our test team in the future. That's already clear."

The move marks a remarkable departure for Dani Pedrosa, however. The Spaniard has been with Honda for his entire career, even before he entered Grand Prix racing. Moving to KTM means he will lose a role as brand ambassador for Honda, but by going to KTM, he will remain with Red Bull, who have also backed him throughout his career.

Below is the press release from KTM on Pedrosa's contract:


Red Bull KTM further enhance MotoGP future with two-year Dani Pedrosa contract

MotoGP Announcement

Red Bull KTM are thrilled to announce that Dani Pedrosa has agreed to fulfil an important role as test rider for the MotoGP line-up for 2019-2020. The three times champion and thirteen-season premier class veteran will work alongside Mika Kallio developing the KTM RC16 for what will be the motorcycle’s third year of Grand Prix competition.

Dani Pedrosa, who recently turned 33 and announced his retirement from MotoGP at the Grand Prix of Germany in July, will take his first steps as a test and development rider to support the Red Bull KTM project for the next two years.

Pit Beirer (Motorsports Director KTM Group): “To have a rider of Dani’s skill and experience as part of our MotoGP project is another strong sign that we are moving in the right direction and we are still pushing as hard as we can. We have seen how competitive MotoGP is this year and how fractions of a second can sometimes hide real progress and valuable lessons. We hope – and we are very excited – that Dani’s input alongside Mika Kallio and feeding into the two teams we’ll have on the grid next year will really help to close the gap even further. I think we can feel very optimistic about our possibilities for the upcoming seasons. I’d like to thank the whole crew at the factory, all the strong effort at the races and for all those testing miles as we come close to the end of our second year. Also to Dani: it is great that he believes and trusts in us and what we are doing.”

Mike Leitner (Team Manager MotoGP): “I’m super-happy that we could reach this agreement with Dani. Thanks to all his years and success in MotoGP I believe he will help our project in a big way and in developing the bike. Dani is a three time world champion and three time runner-up in this category and I know him well from the time working together. He is still very competitive and this can only benefit our MotoGP effort.”

The Spaniard boasts over 30 MotoGP wins (more than 50 in all classes), 3 world titles and has more than 110 MotoGP podium appearances. His presence and insight will bring an essential added benefit to the work done by Mika Kallio, who has been part of the MotoGP programme since the very beginning.

Pedrosa’s influence will be keenly felt as the factory will have four KTM RC16s on the grid for 2019 in the hands of Pol Espargaro and Johann Zarco in the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team and then Miguel Oliveira and Hafizh Syahrin for the Tech 3 squad.

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Lucas Mahias' Appeal Against Portimao Disqualification Upheld

Lucas Mahias has been reinstated as the winner of the WorldSSP race at Portimao. The Frenchman and the GRT Yamaha team had appealed to the Court of Arbitration For Sport after being disqualified for riding his bike back to the pits after the race had been red flagged following a crash.

Mahias had been deemed to cut the track, but the CAS upheld the appeal. The rules on how a rider must return to the pits after a red flag were sufficiently unclear that the penalty imposed was too severe. The CAS struck down the disqualification, and replaced the punishment with a fine.

Revoking the disqualification for Mahias also restores him as the winner of the Portimao round of WorldSSP. The Frenchman moves back up to third in the championship. But it also cuts into championship leader Sandro Cortese's lead, as he was demoted to sixth place in the results. Cortese leads Jules Cluzel by just 5 points in the championship. Cluzel can now win the championship by scoring 5 points over Cortese, as Cluzel has more wins during the season.

Below are press releases from the WorldSBK organizers and the FIM:


Mahias reinstated as winner in Portugal

Frenchman gets 25 points following appeal

Following the disqualification of Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) from the Nolan Portuguese Round, it has been decided following an appeal to the CAS to partially reform the initial decision. This means Mahias will be reinstated as the winner of the ninth round of the FIM Supersport World Championship, after the appeal on the 24th October.

The decision now means Mahias has been awarded 25 championship points, moving him up into third overall in the world championship standings. But on top of this championship leader Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing) now only leads by five points, as he was demoted by one position down to sixth in the Portimao race.

This change of standings results in a change in the title chase at the Pirelli Qatar Round, as a win in the race for second position rider Jules Cluzel (NRT) would see him secure the crown. Cortese and Cluzel would be joint on points, but Cluzel has won more races in 2019 and therefore would be made champion.

For more information, please see attached the FIM’s statement.


MEDIA STATEMENT

CAS hands down Award in case Mahias versus FIM

Following the Portuguese round of the FIM Supersport World Championship, Rider Lucas Mahias (FFM) appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against a decision taken by the FIM Stewards upholding his non-classification by the Race Direction in the Supersport race held at the Portimão circuit on 16 September 2018.

The Rider’s Legal Counsel requested an expedited procedure before the CAS, which the FIM accepted in the interests of a rapid resolution of the matter.

A hearing was held in Lugano on Monday 22 October 2018 before the CAS Sole Arbitrator Mr Michele Bernasconi, at which the FIM was represented by its Deputy CEO and Legal Director Mr Richard Perret.

The CAS handed down the operative part of its Award yesterday 24th October 2018 in which it partially upheld the Rider’s Appeal against the decision taken by the FIM Stewards on 16th September 2018, restoring his classification in the Portuguese round of the 2018 FIM Supersport World Championship and amending the results accordingly. The CAS partially reformed the Decision of the FIM Stewards by imposing a fine on Mr Mahias. Both parties will share legal costs. The FIM acknowledges the decision and is satisfied that the issue has been resolved without any disruption to the Championship round taking place in Doha this weekend.

Source: 

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Provisional 2019 MotoGP Grid - 21 Riders Confirmed, Grid Almost Finalized

With the announcement that Takaaki Nakagami has signed for an extra year with the Idemitsu LCR Honda squad, the 2019 MotoGP grid is almost finalized. Nakagami's signing brings the total of confirmed riders up to 21 of the total of 22 entries.

The only rider left to be confirmed officially is Tito Rabat. The Spaniard's serious leg injury, sustained at Silverstone, has caused a delay, with his contract extension expected to have already come earlier. There is no doubt that Rabat will get the final seat, though it will probably have to wait until he is fit enough to return again.

Below is the official line up for 2019:

Team/Rider Bike Contract until
Movistar Yamaha
Valentino Rossi Yamaha M1 2020
Maverick Viñales Yamaha M1 2020
     
Repsol Honda
Jorge Lorenzo Honda RC213V 2020
Marc Márquez Honda RC213V 2020
     
Ecstar Suzuki
Alex Rins Suzuki GSX-RR 2020
Joan Mir Suzuki GSX-RR 2020
     
Gresini Aprilia
Aleix Espargaro Aprilia RS-GP 2020
Andrea Iannone Aprilia RS-GP 2020
     
KTM Factory
Johann Zarco KTM RC16 2020
Pol Espargaro KTM RC16 2020
     
Factory Ducati
Andrea Dovizioso Ducati GP19 2020
Danilo Petrucci Ducati GP19 2019
     
Satellite Teams
Pramac Ducati
Pecco Bagnaia Ducati GP18 2020
Jack Miller Ducati GP19 2019
     
LCR Honda
Cal Crutchlow Honda RC213V 2020
Taka Nakagami Honda RC213V 2019
     
Tech3 KTM
Miguel Oliveira KTM RC16 2019
Hafizh Syahrin KTM RC16 2019
       
Petronas SIC Team
Franco Morbidelli Yamaha M1 2019
Fabio Quartararo Yamaha M1 2019
     
Avintia Ducati
Tito Rabat? Ducati GP18 ?
Karel Abraham Ducati GP18 2020
Source: 

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Takaaki Nakagami Confirmed With LCR Honda For 2019

The LCR Honda team today announced they have agreed to extend their contract with Takaaki Nakagami through the 2019 season. The Japanese rider will continue to race a satellite spec Honda RC213V with the Idemitsu-backed part of the Italian team alongside Cal Crutchlow.

The anouncement was widely expected, as Nakagami has had a solid rookie season, and done more than enough to earn an added year. Honda are keen to support a Japanese rider in MotoGP, as are Dorna, and Japanese lubricant firm Idemitsu are happy to help back that side of the garage. 

Nakagami's signing brings the total up to 21 riders who have now signed a MotoGP contract for 2019. The only rider left to be confirmed is Tito Rabat, who is expected to continue with the Avintia Ducati team. 

Below is the press release from the LCR Honda team:


TAKAAKI NAKAGAMI TO CONTINUE WITH LCR HONDA IDEMITSU IN 2019

PRESS RELEASE: 16 October 2018 | Official Announcement

On the eve of the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi, the LCR Honda IDEMITSU MotoGP Team is delighted to announce that Takaaki Nakagami has extended his contract with Honda HRC for 2019 season. The 26-year-old born in Chiba will again ride the Honda RC213V thus completing HRC 2019 line-up for next year MotoGP World Championship.

Tetsuhiro Kuwata (HRC Director): “We’re very happy to announce that Nakagami will continue riding with the LCR Honda Team in 2019. He’s in his rookie season and we know that is a huge challenge for every rider, but even so he’s already showed his skills. He’s still learning and improving day by day in the toughest category in motorcycle racing and we are pretty confident we will see his experience on track in the future. We wish him and the LCR Honda MotoGP Team all the best for the remainder of this season and now look forward to enjoying our home race in Motegi this weekend”.

Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU MotoGP rider): “First of all I am really happy to continue with LCR Honda IDEMITSU Team in 2019. A big thank you goes to our sponsor IDEMITSU for its great support and of course to Honda HRC for believing in my skills and providing a competitive technical package. This Team is very professional and I could not ask for more in my debut season in the premier class, so I am very happy to continue with Lucio and his crew. I can’t wait to start the new season but at the same time I am very focused on my home race in Motegi and the last races of this 2018 championship”.

Lucio Cecchinello (LCR Honda Team Principal): “We are very happy that IDEMITSU and Honda HRC have renewed their support to Nakagami for next season because it was a real pleasure working with him in his first experience in the major category. Debuting in the MotoGP class is not an easy transition for a rider because the level is extremely high but Taka has demonstrated very remarkable skills and a will to learn, finishing quite often as the best Rookie of the category. On behalf of the whole Team I would like to express my deepest gratitude to IDEMITSU and Honda HRC for giving us the chance to continue our journey with Taka and succeed in the new challenges ahead”.

Source: 

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Tom's Tech Treasures: A Closer Look At Recent MotoGP Developments

Thomas Morsellino is a French freelance journalist and photographer, with keen eye for the technical details of MotoGP bikes. You may have seen some of his work on Twitter, where he runs the @Off_Bikes account. Peter Bom is a world championship winning former crew chief, with a deep and abiding knowledge of every aspect of motorcycle racing. Peter has worked with such riders as Cal Crutchlow, Danny Kent, and Stefan Bradl. After every race, MotoMatters.com will be publishing a selection of Tom's photos of MotoGP bikes, together with extensive technical explanations of the details by Peter Bom. MotoMatters.com subscribers will get access to the full resolution photos, which they can download and study in detail, and all of Peter's technical explanations of the photos. Readers who do not support the site will be limited to the 800x600 resolution photos, and an explanation of two photos.
As Tom was not in Thailand, here are some photos of things he has noticed at recent races.


Right handlebar of Valentino Rossi's Movistar Yamaha M1
Peter Bom: Although the bike is ‘ride by wire’, Yamaha still rely on the natural feeling of Bowden cables for the rider throttle, where both Honda en Ducati have electric wires coming from the throttle housing.


Left handlebar of Valentino Rossi's Movistar Yamaha M1
Peter Bom: The small wheel in front of the handlebar is there so the rider can adjust the position of the front brake lever while riding. Riders are very sensitive to the front brake pressure point, and this might change during the first laps out as a result of the temperature changes.


Under the 'salad box', at the rear of Jack Miller's Pramac Ducati Desmosedici GP17


Suzuki GSX-RR swingarm on Andrea Iannone's bike


New aerodynamic fairing for the KTM RC16 on Pol Espargaró's bike. First appeared at Misano


Front view of the new aerodynamic fairing for the KTM RC16 on Pol Espargaró's bike. First appeared at Misano


Brembo monobloc brake calipers


Ducati GP18 carbon swingarm


Under the tank cover of a Monster Tech3 Yamaha M1


Head of a fork tube (Stefan Bradl’s Honda RC213V)


Three connectors on the front fork of a Ducati GP18, the left one goes to a (hidden) sensor that measures the acceleration of the unsprung part of the front fork, needed to judge front fork damping qualities. The middle one is connected to two (!) wheel speed sensors. Just to show you how important measuring wheel speed is, they connect two identical sensors just in case one breaks. The right-hand connector is there for the sensor that measures the temperature of the carbon brake disc using infrared. Pretty important as the carbon brakes need to be kept between 300° and 700° Celsius. Any lower and they are just not there when you need them, anything higher and they are damaged beyond repair (and they are very, very costly).


Yamaha M1 rear suspension


Honda RC213V fairing (Márquez)


If you would like access to the full-size versions of these technical photos and all of Peter Bom's explanations, as well as desktop-size versions of the other fantastic photos which appear on the site, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. A subscription will also give you access to the many in-depth and exclusive articles we produce for MotoMatters.com site supporters. The more readers who join our growing band of site supporters, the better we can make MotoMatters.com, and the more readers will get out of the website.

If you would like to buy a copy of one of thes photos, you can email Thomas Morsellino

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WorldSBK To Hold 3 Races Each Weekend In 2019 - 1 Race Saturday, 2 Races Sunday

The FIM and Dorna today announced that from 2019, the WorldSBK class will see action in three races at each event. A sprint race is to be added on Sunday morning, in addition to the two full-length races held on Saturday and Sunday. 

The addition of a sprint race will mean a revised race schedule for each WorldSBK weekend, with races moved to different time slots to make room for the races. Race 1 will be held on Saturday, as it currently is, but the start has been moved back to 2pm European time, which is the more traditional time for racing, and the slot in which MotoGP also races. On Sunday, Race 2 will be a sprint race, starting at 11am, followed by Race 3, the normal length race, at 2pm.

The realignment of the race start times will help race organizers, who felt that the racing day was too short, with many fans leaving immediately after the WorldSBK class was finished. A longer race schedule is meant to give fans more value for their ticket money. The start time shift has been made possible by the changes to the F1 schedule, which now starts their races at 3:15pm European time, opening up that 2pm slot for both WorldSBK and MotoGP.

Though the schedule switch had been widely trailed, the FIM and Dorna press release raises more questions than answers. There is no mention of how the grid is to be set for the Sunday races, for example, and whether the current format with the grid for Race 2 being set in part by the results in Race 1 will be maintained, either for Race 2, or Race 3. There is no mention of whether Race 2 will have an impact on the grid. 

More importantly - and more interestingly - there is no mention of either the duration nor the points distribution for the sprint race. We have no idea whether the current Grand Prix system - 25-20-16-13-11-10, then 1 point less for each position down to 15th place - will be maintained for the sprint race. If it is, then it would send points tallies for the season through the roof, but it would not necessarily mean that the title would decided earlier. The points differentials would be bigger, but there would still be a lot of points on the table at the end of the season, with 75 points on offer each weekend, if the system were to be maintained as it is.

There is also no word on how long a sprint race is supposed to be. At the moment, WorldSBK races are roughly 90-100km in length, so for example 21 laps of Assen. The WorldSSP300 class has races of between 50 and 60km, or 12 laps of Assen. We have no clue as to whether the WorldSBK sprint race would be longer or shorter than that. Make the race too short, and it leaves little time for riders to escape their grid positions. Make it too long and it is hard to see how the outcome would be any different to a normal race.

There is also the question of additional risk. The experience of races shortened due to red flags is that they tend to be far more hectic affairs, with riders taking more risks. Will riders take more risks, making them more likely to crash, if they  know there is a second, full length race on Sunday afternoon? That question will most likely only become apparent when the racing starts.

The reason for adding a third race is simple. Dorna is trying to increase the popularity of the series, and raise interest by making it more exciting. Whether this is the correct path or not is not immediately obvious.

The FIM / Dorna press release appears below:


Three races set to be introduced into WorldSBK race format in 2019

New era for the premier class on the horizon

Looking ahead to 2019, FIM and Dorna WSBK Organization have announced some updates to the 2019 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship race day schedule, which will welcome three races held over one weekend for the first time in the series history.

Sticking with the now traditional Race One on Saturday at 14.00h, this will open the weekend and will be the same duration. For the first time ever, Sunday will see the dawn of a short sprint race format at 11.00h. The weekend will conclude for the WorldSBK class with Race Three at 14.00h with usual duration, for all rounds held inside Central European Time.

Preparing for what is set to be a sensational weekend full of pure WorldSBK action, Dorna WSBK Organization and the FIM are working alongside riders, teams, manufacturers, circuits, broadcasters and sponsors to ensure the best format is decided throughout the 2019 season. Nail-biting and enthralling races will be guaranteed as we welcome the WorldSBK weekend into a brand-new era with a whole new experience for fans and viewers the world over.

Daniel Carrera, WorldSBK Executive Director explains: “To bring in a third ‘sprint race’ into the WorldSBK format for 2019 is something we have been planning for a long time now, so we are delighted to see the plans coming together. We are committed to bringing exciting races to the fans year on year, and we think the addition of a sprint race will add to the WorldSBK experience. We are continuing to work on the final adjustments and hope to bring more details in the near future.”

Source: 

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Tom's Tech Treasures: A Detailed Look At What's New At Aragon

Thomas Morsellino is a French freelance journalist and photographer, with keen eye for the technical details of MotoGP bikes. You may have seen some of his work on Twitter, where he runs the @Off_Bikes account. Peter Bom is a world championship winning former crew chief, with a deep and abiding knowledge of every aspect of motorcycle racing. Peter has worked with such riders as Cal Crutchlow, Danny Kent, and Stefan Bradl. After every race, MotoMatters.com will be publishing a selection of Tom's photos of MotoGP bikes, together with extensive technical explanations of the details by Peter Bom. MotoMatters.com subscribers will get access to the full resolution photos, which they can download and study in detail, and all of Peter's technical explanations of the photos. Readers who do not support the site will be limited to the 800x600 resolution photos, and an explanation of two photos.


KTM RC 250 R engine (Moto3)
Peter Bom: This engine is tilted backwards for cleaning and maintenance. Note the (orange) caps that keep dirt out of the inlet / exhaust ports during transport and cleaning. The aluminum box on the left is the water / oil intercooler. Here, instead of using an oil cooler, the water from the radiator cools the engine oil.


Gyroscopic sensor on the Ducati fork
Peter Bom: A two-axis acceleration sensor fitted close to the wheel axle of the front fork. Measuring the acceleration forces inline with the fork, together with the suspension stroke sensors, gives the engineers a clear view of the damping qualities of the front fork. The 2nd axis measures the lateral forces that will show understeer.


Dell’Orto ECU used in Moto3 and Dorna unit used for TV
Peter Bom: Note the difference: all the ‘not so neatly’ fitted electronic boxes are there for Dorna TV coverage. Not all bikes in Moto3 have to use them, it’s the price of being successful…


Cooling system to cool down the caliper (Yamaha M1)


Aerodynamic cover on Danilo Petrucci’s Ducati GP18 front fork


Carbon swingarm on the Aprilia RS-GP. That part has been used on and off since Austria (the first time Tom Morsellino saw it)


Ventilated mudguard on the Yamaha M1, appeared at Barcelona


Honda RC213V carbon swingarm


Cooling system for the rear brake caliper (Marc Márquez)


Carbon/aluminum top triple clump on Ducati GP18


Brembo bake system (Honda RC213V)


If you would like access to the full-size versions of these technical photos and all of Peter Bom's explanations, as well as desktop-size versions of the other fantastic photos which appear on the site, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. A subscription will also give you access to the many in-depth and exclusive articles we produce for MotoMatters.com site supporters. The more readers who join our growing band of site supporters, the better we can make MotoMatters.com, and the more readers will get out of the website.

If you would like to buy a copy of one of thes photos, you can email Thomas Morsellino

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CormacGP Shoots Aragon: The Race In Spain Was Mainly On The Plain


The second half of 2018 is turning into a repeat of 2017: Dovizioso vs Marquez


Pol Espargaro was back in fine style, until he fell and rebroke his collarbone


Dark days for Movistar Yamaha at the moment


Story of the race: Jorge Lorenzo went down at Turn 1, and blamed Marc Marquez for it. Race Direction disagreed


Taka. Teammate Cal Crutchlow has fine words for Nakagami


Aragon proved that the Suzukis are closer than ever. Local boy Alex Rins lost out to Andrea Iannone, though


Head down and work. That's all Johann Zarco can do with what he has


Steady progress for stylish Jack Miller, until a gearbox issue gave him vibration


Next year on a Yamaha. Wonder what Franco Morbidelli thinks of that now?


And then there were four


Squad goals for Petrucci: lose more weight, conserve the rear tire, try to match his teammate next year


If you'd like to have very high-resolution (4K) versions of the fantastic photos which appear on the site, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. A subscription will also give you access to the many in-depth and exclusive articles we produce for MotoMatters.com site supporters. The more readers who join our growing band of site supporters, the better we can make MotoMatters.com, and the more readers will get out of the website.

If you would like to buy a copy of one of these photos, you can email Cormac Ryan Meenan

If you'd like to see more of Cormac's work, you can follow him on Twitter or Instagram, or check out his website, cormacgp.com.

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FIM Withdraws Romano Fenati's Race License For Rest Of 2018 Season

In an unprecedented move, the FIM has overruled the FIM Panel of Stewards' decision at Misano to ban Romano Fenati for two races. After meeting with Fenati and his representative at FIM headquarters in Switzerland, the FIM decided to withdraw his racing license for the remainder of the 2018 season.

Fenati will now have to reapply for a racing license according to the FIM procedures if he wishes to race in 2019. Whether he will or not is unknown: after he lost his 2018 ride with the Snipers team, and the 2019 ride with the MV Agusta Forward team, Fenati announced he would retire from racing altogether. He has already had his license issued by the Italian federation FMI suspended pending further notice.

The FIM press release appears below:


FIM withdraws Romano Fenati’s licence after discussions in Mies, Switzerland

Moto2 rider Romano Fenati attended a meeting at the FIM Headquarters in Mies on Tuesday 18 September following an incident in Misano during the Moto2 race on Sunday 9 September 2018.

Mr Fenati, accompanied by his legal representative, was received by FIM President Vito Ippolito and FIM Deputy CEO and Legal Director Mr Richard Perret.

Mr Fenati was asked to explain in person his act on the track in Misano, which has given rise to many extreme reactions in the traditional media and on social media platforms.

During the meeting, the FIM representatives emphasised the Federation’s deep concern for the safety of all riders and other participants in motorcycling competitions. They also highlighted the importance it attaches to fair play in motorcycling sport. While acknowledging that riders, and in particular those who reach the highest level of the sport, are subject to many pressures both on and off the track, they reminded Mr Fenati of the profound influence high-level athletes can have on fans and young people and urged him to be mindful of his responsibility to set a positive example in future.

Following the discussion with the rider and his representative, the FIM decided to withdraw

Mr. Fenati’s FIM licence until the end of the current calendar year. A new FIM licence for the 2019 season may be granted to him subject to the conditions laid down in the FIM Regulations.

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