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Aruba.it Ducati WorldSBK Team Confirm Chaz Davies And Alvaro Bautista For 2019

In a coordinated announcement with the MotoGP press conference, Alvaro Bautista and the Aruba.it Ducati Team today officially announced that the Spaniard will be joining Chaz Davies in the Aruba.it Ducati team in World Superbikes in 2019. Bautista and Davies are to race the Ducati Panigale V4 next year, when the bike makes its debut in the WorldSBK class.

Bautista's signing leaves Marco Melandri out of a seat at the moment. The Italian veteran is strongly linked to a return to Yamaha, this time with the GRT team, who are rumored to be moving up to the WorldSBK class from World Supersport for 2019.

The press release from Aruba.it appears below:


The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team on track in the 2019 WorldSBK Championship with Chaz Davies and Alvaro Bautista

The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team finalized its riders' lineup for the 2019 WorldSBK Championship, extending its collaboration with Chaz Davies and enlisting Alvaro Bautista.

Davies, 31, is currently in his fifth season with the factory team, the last onboard the Panigale R ahead of the much-anticipated debut of the Panigale V4 on the world stage. The Welshman has so far collected 68 podiums with Ducati, taking 25 victories and finishing the season as runner-up twice.

Bautista, 33, will debut in the WorldSBK Championship after completing his 16th full-time season in the MotoGP Championship. A new and exciting challenge for the Spaniard, currently competing in the top class onboard the Ducati Desmosedici GP of the Angel Nieto Team. Bautista has seized 49 podiums to date in MotoGP, including 16 wins, and conquered the 125-cc class world title in 2006.

The Qatar round, scheduled for October 25-27, will therefore mark the end of Marco Melandri's tenure with the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team. In two seasons with the squad, the Italian rider has always shown his professionalism and talent, taking 19 podiums and three victories to date. Ducati and Aruba.it will keep striving to allow Marco to achieve the best possible results until the end of the year and wish to thank him for all his efforts.

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Cal Crutchlow Extends Honda Contract Through 2020

Cal Crutchlow has added an extra year onto his contract with HRC to race in the LCR Honda team for the 2020 season. This means the Englishman will be remaining at the LCR Honda team for the next two years, bringing him into line with almost the whole of the rest of the MotoGP grid. At the end of the 2020 season, Crutchlow will be involved in the next wave of contract madness, with all factory seats (with the possible exception of one Ducati seat), falling open at the same time.

Crutchlow's announcement will not be the only one to take place today. Alvaro Bautista is scheduled to be in the Thursday press conference at Silverstone, where he is expected to announce he has signed for the Aruba.it Ducati team in WorldSBK. 

The press releases from HRC and from the LCR Honda team appear below:


CRUTCHLOW EXTENDS HIS CONTRACT WITH HRC AND LCR UNTIL 2020

PRESS RELEASE: 23 August 2018 | OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

LCR Honda CASTROL Team is pleased to announce that Cal Crutchlow has extended his contract with HRC and LCR Team until the end of 2020. The British talent riding the RC213V since 2015, has achieved excellent results so far (7 podiums – of which 3 were victories - and 2 pole positions) and his contribution to the development of the Honda machinery has been very important.

Cal Crutchlow: “I am very pleased to renew and extend my relationship with Honda HRC and the LCR Honda Team again in 2020. We have all worked very hard and we have had great successes and will continue too, I’m sure. As I said in the past I have the best support I could ask for from Honda and Lucio and his Team do an excellent job to give me a competitive bike every weekend”.

Yoshishige Nomura (HRC President): “We are happy to announce Cal’s contract extension. Last year we contracted with him for 2018 and 2019 as an HRC factory rider. This year he has again shown his strong talent and his performance deserves the status of factory rider. There is no better way to show him that than by making a new agreement with him, so we have decided to extend our contract. We’ve got to know Cal very well since he arrived at Honda in 2015. By hard work and by getting many good results he has contributed a lot to Honda and the LCR Honda MotoGP Team and he always gives us very useful feedback for the evolution of the RC213V.”

Lucio Cecchinello (LCR Team Principal): “We are very happy to continue our cooperation with Cal until, at least, the end of 2020. I believe that Cal has demonstrated an impressive talent since his arrival in Honda in 2015 and, once again, I want to thank him for the strong results we achieved together so far. The LCR Team will continue to support him in the best way together with the valuable cooperation of HRC and the LCR partners”.


HRC and Crutchlow sign contract extension until 2020

Honda Racing Corporation are delighted to announce that Cal Crutchlow has signed a contract extension that will see him remain an HRC rider until the end of 2020.

Crutchlow has been riding a Honda RC213V since 2015 in the LCR Honda MotoGP Team, taking three victories in the premier class so far, the latest at April’s Argentine GP. The Briton has had a contract with HRC since last year and will continue to help with development of the RC213V MotoGP machine.

HRC and the LCR Honda MotoGP Team are very satisfied with Crutchlow’s performance and this is why both parties have decided to extend their agreement.

Yoshishige Nomura

HRC President

“We are happy to announce Cal’s contract extension. Last year we contracted with him for 2018 and 2019 as an HRC factory rider. This year he has again shown his strong talent and his performance deserves the status of factory rider. There is no better way to show him that than by making a new agreement with him, so we have decided to extend our contract. We’ve got to know Cal very well since he arrived at Honda in 2015. By hard work and by getting many good results he has contributed a lot to Honda and the LCR Honda MotoGP Team and he always gives us very useful feedback for the evolution of the RC213V.”

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Misano Private MotoGP Test - Ducati Prepare For The Race, Yamaha Prepare For The Future

It is a busy schedule for the MotoGP teams since coming back from their all-too-brief summer break. After back-to-back weekends at Brno and Spielberg, five teams headed to Misano, for a private test this weekend.

For Ducati (the only team to issue a press release after the test, to be found below this article), the test was mainly about preparing for their second home race at Misano in three weeks' time. Misano is a huge race for Ducati, and a good result there is an absolute necessity. If the times released by Ducati are accurate, then a good result is almost assured: Jorge Lorenzo lapped at just about the circuit pole record, while Andrea Dovizioso was six tenths slower than his teammate.

The two Ducatis were the fastest at the test, according to unofficial times collected by the stalwart Italian website GPOne.com, with both Lorenzo and Dovizioso significantly quicker than Cal Crutchlow on the LCR Honda and the factory Movistar Yamahas of Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales.

The reports from Misano suggest that the Movistar Yamaha team were working mainly on electronics, with recent WorldSBK transfer Michele Gadda joining the team to add his expertise. That was not the plan as given to me by Yamaha bosses Maio Meregalli and Lin Jarvis in Austria. "At Misano, we will start testing something for next year," Meregalli told me at the Red Bull Ring. "That is not anything related to the electronics, but there are many areas where we have to improve."

The times set by Rossi and Viñales suggest they were not chasing race setup for Misano, but rather focusing on actually testing the fundamentals of the Yamaha M1. This would suggest that Yamaha had real upgrades they were trying to evaluate, rather than just refine what they already have. That may include updates for next year, such as a new engine, but that is extrapolating a long way using just the tiniest sliver of data. 86 laps for Valentino Rossi and 95 for Maverick Viñales would seem to confirm that they had a lot of work that needed doing.

Aprilia were perhaps even busier than Yamaha. Aleix Espargaro flew home exhausted after 100 laps on the RS GP. Both Espargaro and Scott Redding (posting contritely on Instagram how happy he was with what he tested in Misano) had a lot of new parts to test. The carbon swingarm got another run out, as well as a new evolution of the frame.

The biggest update, though, was a new engine with better power for the Aprilia. Speaking to GPOne.com, Aprilia Racing boss Romano Albesiano described the improvements to the engine as "extremely positive". The data from the test was "very, very good", he said. As a concessions team (unlimited testing and able to modify their engine design during the season), there is a chance that the parts tested at Misano could be available to Espargaro and Redding at Silverstone this coming weekend.

The schedule remains punishing for the MotoGP teams. After the British Grand Prix at Silverstone this weekend, some of the teams will head to Aragon for another private test the weekend after. From there, they head to Misano, after which they will finally get a weekend off.

Unofficial times from the test, courtesy of GPOne.com:

Pos Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 Jorge Lorenzo Ducati 1:31.9    
2 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1:32.5 0.6 0.6
3 Cal Crutchlow Honda 1:33.1 1.2 0.6
4 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1:33.2 1.3 0.1
5 Maverick Viñales Yamaha 1:33.4 1.5 0.2
6 Aleix Esparagarò Aprilia 1:33.5 1.6 0.1
7 Scott Redding Aprilia 1:33.8 1.9 0.3

Ducati press release after the test:


Ducati Team on track at Misano for one day of private testing

The Ducati Team riders wrapped up today’s one-day private testing session at the Misano Adriatico circuit at 18.30 after a full day of work out on track. The test revolved around preparations for the San Marino and Riviera di Rimini Grand Prix, which will be held at the Adriatic Riviera circuit from 7-9 September.

Perfect weather and track conditions allowed the two factory Ducati riders to carry out the testing programme they had scheduled with their respective engineers, and they both set some excellent lap times.

Jorge Lorenzo completed a total of 72 laps, setting his quickest time in 1’31.9 while his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso did 90 laps with a best time of 1’32.5.

Michele Pirro, who will take part in the race as a wild-card entry, was also out on track with a third Desmosedici GP18 of the Ducati Test Team. The Italian, who set a best time of 1’33.5 in his 74 laps, will continue to test at the Misano circuit over the next two days.


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The Cat Is Out Of The Bag: Petronas SIC Yamaha MotoGP Team To Be Presented At Silverstone

It is hard to keep secrets in the MotoGP paddock (though not impossible, as Jorge Lorenzo's move to Repsol Honda conclusively proves). One of the worst kept secrets has been the news that the Sepang International Circuit, or SIC, is to expand its current operation to include a MotoGP team. Over the months since rumors first started circulating that Sepang was interested in running a MotoGP team, details have slowly dripped out, until we now have an almost complete picture. The whole picture is to be formally announced at Silverstone, at a press conference at 6pm BST on Friday.

Here's what we already know: the team is to be an extension of the current Petronas Sprinta Racing team, which currently runs Adam Norrodin and Ayumi Sasaki in Moto3, and Niki Tuuli in Moto2. The Petronas SIC Yamaha team, as it will almost certainly be called, will be the showcase team for the Petronas-backed structure run by the Sepang International Circuit. The objective is to have two riders in each of the three Grand Prix classes, from Moto3 to MotoGP, as well as a team in the FIM CEV Junior World Moto3 Championship. 

Current Petronas Sprinta team manager Johan Stigefelt will continue to oversee the full team in all three classes, though management of the MotoGP team will be delegated to Wilco Zeelenberg, currently rider analyst for Maverick Viñales in the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team. Zeelenberg will be too busy managing the Petronas SIC Yamaha team to take on the role of rider coach for the Petronas team, so an existing rider coach is to be appointed to the team to assist the riders. 

Though it is yet to be announced, the rider line up for the Petronas SIC Yamaha team was finalized at Assen, with Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo riding the bikes. Petronas has the budget to obtain much better material from Yamaha than Tech3 ever did, with Morbidelli set to line up on a near-factory M1, while Quartararo will likely be riding something more similar to a satellite machine. Ramon Forcada, currently crew chief to Maverick Viñales, will join the Petronas SIC Yamaha team to work as crew chief to Franco Morbidelli. The crew for the Petronas SIC Yamaha team will be made up of a large part of the current Marc VDS MotoGP squad, as that team are leaving the MotoGP grid in 2019.

The importance of the team is emphasized by the role call of Malaysian representatives present at the Silverstone press conference. SIC CEO Razlan Razali will of course be there, as the driving force behind the team, as well SIC Chairman Azman Yahya. Wan Zulkiflee, CEO of Petronas, the state-owned Malaysian oil company, will also be present, along with the Malaysian minister of youth and sports, Syed Saddiq. The goal of the team structure is to promote primarily Malaysian, but in the second instance, Asian talent along a pathway from the FIM CEV to MotoGP, but it is also important for the team to be successful at as many levels as possible. The reason for Petronas to back the team so heavily is for the promotional value of being involved in Grand Prix motorcycle racing, and that value is best served by winning.

The goal of winning races is why the rider line up took so long to assemble. Initially, Petronas and SIC had wanted an existing top rider, spending a lot of time courting first Jorge Lorenzo, and then Dani Pedrosa. Lorenzo chose the security of a factory team, while Pedrosa decided he no longer had the passion to keep the intensity needed to be successful in MotoGP. Franco Morbidelli was already destined for the Petronas SIC team, as a protegé of the VR46 Riders Academy, and so it was a logical step to put him in the lead role. The team took a gamble on the youth and potential of Fabio Quartararo over existing and proven riders such as Alvaro Bautista. 

Though there are few concrete details left for the Malaysian protagonists to reveal at the Silverstone press conference, it will still be eagerly awaited. Above all, it will give an insight into the reasoning behind this team, and demonstrate the seriousness of the commitment to the program. If the wilder rumors circulating in the paddock are true, this could be the future of the factory Yamaha team.

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Tony Goldsmith Photos: The Gold Standard Shoots Brno, Part 2


Andrea Dovizioso was unbeatable at Brno. Just


Maverick Viñales blocks out the world. He needed to


Marc Marquez defended his comfortable lead at Brno, and made it even more comfortable


Stefan Bradl was back with a wildcard and a gorgeous livery


Brain food: feeding new maps into Cal Crutchlow's LCR Honda


Jorge Lorenzo ponders his Ducati


New fairing, front profile


Friction in the garage, harmony on the bike: Maverick Viñales


Same old same old for Valentino Rossi: the best chassis ruined by poor tire management


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The 2019 MotoGP Calendar: Will Mexico Really Be The 20th MotoGP Round?

The announcement of the MotoGP test dates in the middle of last week have given a hint of how the 2019 MotoGP calendar is to take shape. The official announcement is not expected for another month or so – Dorna are still waiting for the F1 calendar to be published, to try to avoid direct clashes with the premier car racing series. The F1 calendar will not have the same influence as it had in previous years, however: since new owners Liberty took over the series, they have moved the start time of F1 races to 3:10pm Central European Time, some 10 minutes after MotoGP has finished the podium ceremony.

The MotoGP test schedule sees three official tests taking place over the winter, though one of them is before the official winter break. The MotoGP field will be at Jerez on the 28th and 29th November for the first official test. This basically converts the previous private test, which most teams attended, into an official one, forcing all of the teams to take the track together, and to an extent, improving the coverage of the test.

Testing continues after the winter break, the teams picking up at Sepang on the 6th-8th of February. Two weeks later, the MotoGP teams assemble once again for the final test before the season begins, at Qatar from the 23rd to the 25th February. Moto2 and Moto3 test at the same Losail Circuit a week later, and the first race of the 2019 MotoGP season will almost certainly take place on 10th March.

The Qatar race will retain roughly the same schedule as it did this year, with the MotoGP race at 7pm local time, roughly an hour after sunset. But the Moto3 and Moto2 races will probably be moved a little earlier: the last few laps of the Moto2 race saw the riders riding directly into the setting sun, causing visibility problems. The Qatar schedule is still subject to review, but should be decided quite soon.

20 races, or 19?

The 2019 calendar will feature 20 races, though it will be Mexico on the schedule as the 20th race, rather than Finland. The Kymiring circuit has still not completed construction, and they need another year to get ready for MotoGP. The Mexico race, scheduled to be held at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit near Mexico City, will take place two weeks after the Argentina round of MotoGP at Termas De Rio Hondo, and the week before the Austin race.

There might be 20 races on the calendar, but whether 20 races will actually be held is another question altogether. Watching footage from the F1 race held at the track, the circuit seems impossibly dangerous. Chicho Lorenzo, father of Jorge, said it was "suicide to race MotoGP there" in a recent tweet. Valentino Rossi's verdict was equally devastating.

"I’m quite desperate because first of all it becomes 20 races. It means we don’t have a life," Rossi complained. "Apart from this first problem, it’s a very bad track. I don’t like. It’s dangerous also. They have to modify some part of the track but it’s very difficult to modify like this, it’s not easy. For me a race next year is not a good idea, for sure."

Playing the long game

This move seems more like a gambit by Dorna to show goodwill towards the idea of a race in Mexico, despite the fact that the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit is a very long way from meeting MotoGP and FIM safety standards. Dorna will probably sign a contract and make an announcement, while emphasizing that the contract is subject to the circuit meeting safety requirements. The circuit is unlikely to manage that in the eight months between now and next April, and the actual race is likely to be canceled fairly early in the process.

This may look like a farcical development in the short term, but it is good for the sport in the long term. Dorna show willing to move into new and important markets, which is good for the manufacturers and for the sport in Mexico and other parts of Central America. It gets Mexican fans fired up, which is likely to push them to persuade the circuit and local authorities to make the circuit upgrades possible. It may even persuade a few more Mexican fans to cross the border to Austin, and see a race at the Circuit of the Americas.

We have seen similar developments in other countries as well. MotoGP is going to have a race in Indonesia at some point, but right now, there isn't a track which can host the series. Yet there have been all sorts of announcements about MotoGP going to Indonesia, despite the chances of it happening in the next two or three years being relatively slim. But it gets Indonesian fans excited, the fans put pressure on local, regional, and national governments, and eager Indonesians who can't wait head to Sepang and, in October, to Thailand to watch a race.

A race in Mexico, even a canceled race, will help to generate plenty of hype around the series. That will increase the chances of a race happening somewhere in Central America in the medium term, even if the scheduled round doesn't happen in the short term

Plus ça change

The basic schedule for the calendar is likely to remain very similar to the schedule in 2018. The sequence and timing of the races will remain broadly the same. One change which will be pushed through is to move the German GP a week earlier, to be back to back with the Dutch round at Assen. This would allow the riders to have a three-week break between Germany and Brno, instead of just the two weeks off between the races. That was one consistent complaint from the riders both at the Sachsenring, and at Brno this year.

It is still unknown where the German round of MotoGP will be held in 2019, but the chances that the series returns to the Sachsenring is high. The federal government of Saxony is working with the circuit to secure the necessary funds to organize the race, as it is a big money spinner for the region, generating a lot of economic activity in the surrounding area. But they have to reach an accommodation with the ADAC, the German equivalent of the AA (or AAA), who hold the rights to organize the race.

Finland, which has a contract to host MotoGP, will not be on the calendar, as explained. The Kymiring will now be on the calendar in 2020, and that will precipitate a bigger shake up of the schedule. Finland can only really host a race between mid-May and early September, which means the remainder of the calendar will have to be reorganized. It will also mean one of the existing Spanish rounds will be dropped, to keep the calendar at 20 races. Jerez and Valencia seem safe, with the ax likely to fall on either Barcelona or Aragon, with Barcelona the slight favorite.

2020, however, is still a long way away.

Below is the list of preseason tests ahead of 2019:

MotoGP

Valencia Test: 20th - 21st November
Jerez Test: 28th - 29th November
Sepang Shakedown: 1st - 3rd February
Sepang Test: 6th - 8th February
Qatar Test: 23rd - 25th February

Moto2/MotoE

Jerez Moto2/MotoE Test: 23rd - 25th November
Jerez Moto2/Moto3 Test: 20th - 22nd February
Qatar Moto2/Moto3 Test: 1st - 3rd March
Jerez MotoE Test: 12th - 14th March
MotoE April Test TBC


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Tony Goldsmith Photos: The Gold Standard Shoots Brno, Part 1


No closing the lid on Pandora's box. Ducati debuted a new aero package at Brno. Expect more updates next year.


Dark days for Maverick Viñales


The Doctor is still In, and will be for the foreseeable future. But they need to fix tire wear


Cal Crutchlow went a long way at Brno, but lost the two with five to go


Meet the New Improved Jorge Lorenzo, who has finally got his head around the Ducati


A lot of data left to analyze for Kouji Tsuya, Yamaha MotoGP project leader


It's amazing what you can do with a leaf blower, a 3D printer, and a little ingenuity


Johann Zarco was near his old self at Brno. His relationship with former manager Laurent Fellon has been mostly patched up


Even helmets get hot at Brno


Desmo Dovi is dangerous at Brno


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New KTM Engine Debuts At Brno, But Won't Be Raced

Ever since Jerez, when the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team debuted a new engine with a counter-rotating crankshaft, fans and journalists have been asking when factory riders Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith would be able to use the new engine on a race weekend. KTM test rider Mika Kallio had been very positive about the engine during the Jerez weekend, and Smith and Espargaro had spoken in glowing terms about it after the Jerez test. 

KTM's response was always that it would not be ready until at least after the summer break. Reversing the direction of crankshaft rotation is not as simple as sticking an intermediate gear between the crank and the clutch, to allow the crank to spin in the opposite direction while maintaining forward thrust. Reversing the crankshaft means that the stresses in the engine are very different, and require careful testing to ensure it will operate reliably.

At Brno, it was evident that Bradley Smith finally had the new engine at his disposal. The difference is visible, if you look very carefully, from the torque reaction and other clues. When Smith was asked whether he had the new engine, he refused to give a straight answer, telling reporters, "If you have any questions, [KTM MotoGP project leader] Sebastian Risse is the person to speak to." When we pointed out that we would see whether they had introduced the new engine once Dorna published the official engine usage lists, Smith replied, "I suppose you will."

Dorna has now published those lists, and it is obvious that Smith has indeed been given two new engines for use at Brno. Though the engine lists do not show the engine specification, only whether it is unused or not, it is unusual to introduce two new engines at the same time, unless they are a different spec. Riders need engines with the same specification during practice to allow them to work reliably on set up.

The bad news for KTM is that they are still having reliability problems. Smith suffered four different technical issues this weekend, forced to leave the bike at the side of the track a couple of times, and pulling into the pits earlier than expected on both Friday and Saturday. So KTM have decided to take the precaution of going back to the old engine for the race, with the forward rotating crankshaft. That engine is a known quantity, and should under normal circumstances last until the end of the race.

There was more bad news for KTM during the morning warm up on Sunday, however. Pol Espargaro crashed heavily just before Turn 3, and fractured his left collarbone in the crash. Espargaro will miss the race at Brno, but more importantly, he will also miss the official MotoGP test here on Monday. With Mika Kallio out for the long term with ligament damage in his knee picked up in the crash at the Sachsenring, the testing work will fall squarely on the shoulders of Bradley Smith.

It is still uncertain whether Espargaro will be fit in time for KTM's home race, the Austrian round of MotoGP at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg.

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MV Agusta Debuts 2019 Moto2 Machine

MV Agusta have released the first official photos and details of their Moto2 bike. The Italian manufacturer is partnering with the Forward Racing team, who will race the MV Agusta from 2019 onwards, once Triumph takes over as official engine supplier. The MV Agusta Moto2 machine brings to an end a 42 year absence from Grand Prix racing.

MV Agusta once dominated Grand Prix racing, winning 37 constructor titles and 38 individual titles across the 125, 250, 350, and 500cc classes. The Italian manufacturer was home to a string of legendary riders, including Carlo Ubbiali, John Surtees, Mike Hailwood, Gary Hocking, Phil Read, and the most successful motorcycle racer of all time, Giacomo Agostini.

The MV Agusta Moto2 project is to be developed in house, and will follow the lessons learned from racing in the WorldSBK and WorldSSP championships. The bike uses a tubular steel trellis chassis with aluminum side plates holding the swingar mount, just as MV Agusta's road bikes do. It has an aluminum swingarm, and uses industry-standard Ohlins suspension. The MV Agusta becomes the second bike to use a steel trellis frame in Moto2, after KTM have garnered much success with a similar frame. Both KTM and MV Agusta insist on sticking to their own manufacturing principles and engineering experience in their choice of chassis, rather than attempting to copy what other manufacturers do.

It is not yet known who will race the Forward MV Agusta in 2019. There are rumors that Forward are talking to Jonas Folger about a ride, giving the German a chance to make a return to Grand Prix racing without the pressure of coming back to MotoGP. But there is plenty of time to be signing riders: the silly season for Moto2 is likely to kick off once the series returns at Brno, with rider signings usually taking place in the second half of the season.

Part of the press release from MV Agusta and Forward Racing appears below photos from the press release:


The long-awaited return of MV agusta to GP Motorcycle racing

MV Agusta re-enters the World Championship after a 42 year absence.
This prestigious Italian motorcycle brand, which still retains the most titles worldwide, with an experienced racing Team.
MV Agusta & Forward Racing Team united to write a new chapter in the history of motorcycling.

STATEMENTS

GIOVANNI CASTIGLIONI - MV AGUSTA PRESIDENT
“I am really proud to see the dream to rejoin the Motorcycling World Championship come true. I would like to thank all our engineers, technicians and designers, plus the staff of the Forward Racing Team for having carried out this project in such a short amount of time. I want to express my gratitude to Giovanni Cuzari, as he believed in us and pushed us to do our best. Of course there is still a lot of work ahead of us, but step by step we will improve our competitiveness.”

GIOVANNI CUZARI - TEAM OWNER
“I have been chasing this dream since Claudio (Castiglioni’s) era. Many times I have insisted with Mv Agusta for a return in MotoGP, and, when Giovanni has taken the place of his father, I have often encouraged him to believe in such an ambitious project. Finally he did it, and today, 42 years later, we will take the first steps with the Moto2 MV Agusta prototype. I am very emotional but aware that this is only a first outing, and that there is a huge amount of work ahead of us. I got to know closely the Castiglioni Research Centre, the true heart of MV Agusta, and now I’m convinced that we have everything to accomplish a great prjoect: the passion and professionalism of the group guided by Paolo Bianchi, together with my fantastic team, which I thank individually, is definitely the right mix to be able to aim for the best. Today’s is a starting point to get to bring this brand back really high. A special thanks goes to all those who supported and support this project, now the attention goes to the track.”

BRIAN GILLEN - PROJECT LEADER
“It’s a few years now that we are thinking about a return to the Motorcycling World Championship and with the modification of the regulations of the Moto2 category for 2019 it’s the perfect opportunity to express our technical know-how, that we developed during the last six years in which we raced in Superbike and Supersport.

The Moto2 project is an ambitious one and we are involving our R&D resources and all our racing experience in order to develop a completely new bike, which differs from all the others and which reflects the values of MV Agusta.”

ENGINE: Triumph
TYPE: In-line three cylinder, 4 stroke
CAPACITY: 765 cm3
BORE X STROKE: 77.99 mm x 53.38 mm
TIMING SYSTEM: DOHC
COOLING SYSTEM: Talio water radiator and oil heat exchanger
ENGINE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: Electronic fuel injection with Marelli Magneti REX 140 ECU
INJECTORS: Single injector per cylinder
INTAKE SYSTEM: Full Ride-by-Wire throttle system
CLUTCH: FCC slipper clutch
EXHAUST SYSTEM: SC-Project titanium 3-1
   
CHASSIS: Tubular steel trellis with CNC machined aluminum side plates
SWINGARM: Aluminum CNC machined with integrated pressed sheet
SUSPENSION: Ohlins
WHEELS: OZ forged magnesium 3.75x17” front and 6.00x17”rear
 
OVERALL DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT:
WHEELBASE: 1382 mm
RAKE: 24°
TRAIL: 104 mm
FUEL TANK CAPACITY: 24 liters
DRY WEIGHT: 217 kg, motorcycle + rider
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Suzuka 8 Hours Gallery - Steve English Shoots The Race


Endurance starts: sprint across a track, jump onto a bike and race off among 50+ other bikes. Nerves of steel required


Kawasaki vs Yamaha, Rea vs Van der Mark - the battle we were all expecting


Leon Haslam, waiting


Jonathan Rea, waiting


PJ Jacobsen, waiting


Michael van der Mark, waiting. Endurance racing is hours of waiting punctuated by an hour of excitement


Endurance starts - even more terrifying in the wet


Honda got beaten at their home track again. HRC will have to up their game again in 2019


Nightfall


Bradley Ray shaking up a storm in BSB, making an impression at Suzuka


The key to endurance racing: trying to pace yourself at the limit for 8 hours or more


Some are better at it than others, of course


Why put yourself through all that torture? For this: Michael van der Mark celebrates Yamaha's 4th straight victory with Katsuyuki Nakasuga


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