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Indonesian Round Of MotoGP Draws Closer: 2021 Target Date For First Race

The chances of Indonesia finally hosting a round of MotoGP have grown over the past few days. On Wednesday, CNN Indonesia reported that a deal has been agreed with Dorna to host MotoGP in the country for three years, starting in 2021. MotoMatters.com has learned that an announcement of the deal could come within the next few days. 

Abdulbar M. Mansoer, Managing Director of Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), told CNN Indonesia that they have signed a deal with Dorna to host MotoGP. The deal will see races held on a circuit based on the streets around a private tourist resort of Mandalika Beach, part of the Mandalika Resort Area currently being developed by the ITDC on the island of Lombok. 

The deal has been on the cards for some time, and received a boost last year when Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta visited Bali and met with senior figures in the ITDC before the Sepang round of MotoGP. Initially, it had been hoped that a circuit would be ready for 2020, but the earthquake which devastated the north of Lombok last year put the project back. The objective is now to host a race in 2021.

The circuit is to be a 'street circuit', though this is something of a misnomer. The race will be held on the streets of the resort, which will be laid out with the safety of MotoGP in mind. 

Holding a race in Indonesia has long been a goal for both Dorna and the manufacturers active in MotoGP, as the country is a massive market for both parties. Indonesia is arguably the most MotoGP-mad country in the world, and also one of the largest markets of scooters and small capacity motorcycles. A growing middle class are also starting to purchase larger capacity motorcycles, Indonesia also being very fast growing markets for Ducati and Triumph. 

The problem facing anyone wanting to organize a race in Indonesia has always been endemic corruption and political legal difficulties, including dealing with customs. As Mandalika is in a special economic zone, and just 17km from Lombok International Airport. Holding the race, and housing the paddock staff, inside a private resort which is itself a special economic zone with special customs arrangements, should address many of these problems.

One possible objection to the location on Lombok is the relative lack of accommodation in the direct area. But the ITDC expects there to be 1200 hotel rooms inside the resort by 2021, and 5,500 five-star hotel rooms in the immediate vicinity. There is also plenty of other accommodation at the other resorts spread around the island, which is a couple of hours from Mandalika.

The arrival of Indonesia, along with the addition of Finland in 2020, would exceed the maximum of 20 races specified in the contract between the teams and Dorna. As a result, a race would have to be dropped. That will almost certainly be one of the Spanish rounds, with either Valencia or Barcelona the most likely candidates, as those two races have the most problems consistently raising the necessary budget. However, the idea of removing Valencia as the final race would not be popular with Dorna, as it is so close to the company's home base in Barcelona.

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Motorcycle Racing Is A Profitable Investment: Bridgepoint Sells Dorna To Itself

Motorcycle racing is a profitable business, it turns out. The leading UK financial paper Financial Times reported yesterday that Bridgepoint Capital, the private equity firm which owns Dorna, among many other assets, has hit upon a relatively novel way of paying out investors, by transferring the roughly 40% of Dorna which it owns between one Bridgepoint fund and another. 

The proposed sale is a result of a review carried out by merchant bankers Lazard at the end of last year, with the aim of fixing a value and finding potential buyers. According to the FT, several private equity firms expressed an interesting in buying Bridgepoint's stake, including former owners CVC. 

That sale is now off the table, it appears. Instead of selling Dorna to an outside party, Bridgepoint is now investigating setting up a separate, internal fund and moving it from one fund to another, paying its investors from the transfer between the two funds. The sale allows Bridgepoint to pay out Dorna's increased value to investors who put their money into the fund Bridgepoint set up to hold Dorna in 2008, after it had performed a similar maneuver between 2006 and 2008.

Though the sale will have little practical effect on Dorna's operations and running of MotoGP and WorldSBK, the report does allow a glimpse into the finances of a privately-held company. Dorna's earnings are said to be growing by double digits in recent years, with a margin of 44%, according to reports via Bikesportnews.com.  

However, what remains unclear is why Bridgepoint decided against selling Dorna, angering some potential buyers. The appearance is now that Bridgepoint used the review process solely to set a market price to reimburse its investors, rather than actually try to sell Dorna. But with strong growth in earnings and a solid margin, the private equity firm may regard the Spanish company as a solid long-term investment.

The advantage Dorna, along with other sports rights management companies, has, as the FT article points out, is that a large part of its revenue stream is largely based on medium-term contracts. One third of Dorna's income comes from the sanctioning fees paid by circuits for the right to organize a race, while at least another third comes from TV broadcasting rights. Both TV broadcasters and circuits sign multi-year contracts, guaranteeing a steady income base largely unaffected by volatility in the global economy. 

Another factor may be the current health of MotoGP. The sport continues to grow in popularity, and the changes to the rules made since the global financial crisis in 2008 has ensured close and exciting racing, with young talent entering the series, and plenty more waiting in the wings. That excitement, Dorna hopes, will help diminish the inevitable blow to the series' global popularity once Valentino Rossi retires. Back in 2008, Rossi's retirement would have been a near-fatal blow. In 2019, the series is easily strong enough to sustain itself after Rossi stops racing. Moreover, the Italian shows neither the desire nor the necessity to stop. 

As a result, Dorna looks like a solid investment for the foreseeable future. That, as much as anything, may be why Bridgepoint decided not to sell. They may be hoping that the company will continue to increase in value as it has over the past 13 years.

Below is a table of how Dorna's value has increased in the years since Bridgepoint first purchases it. For comparison, the value of FTSE 100 grew by 25% over the same period, the Dow Jones Industrial Average grew by 126%, and the NASDAQ grew 336%.







What Year Stake Sum Total valuation Growth
CVC sells its 71% stake to Bridgepoint, after being forced to divest because of purchase of F1. 2006 71% €550,000,000 €774,647,887  
Bridgepoint sells 39% stake to Canadian pension board CPPIB 2012 39% €400,000,000 €1,025,641,026 32%
Bridgepoint transfers its stake internally from one fund to another 2019     €2,500,000,000 223%

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Scaphoid Surgery Forces Lorenzo To Skip Sepang Test

Jorge Lorenzo has had successful surgery to fix his fractured scaphoid, but the surgery means he will miss the Sepang test. The Spaniard had a titanium screw inserted to hold the broken scaphoid together, but the recovery period needed means he will not be fully fit in time for the start of the Sepang test, and Repsol Honda and Lorenzo have decided to skip Sepang and focus on the Qatar test at the end of February.

Despite the surgery, Lorenzo will be present at the launch of the Repsol Honda team in Madrid, to be held on Wednesday, 23rd January. 

Lorenzo's accident puts Honda in a difficult situation for Sepang. Marc Marquez is still recovering from major surgery on his left shoulder, to fix a chronic problem of dislocation. Though Marquez' recovery continues apace, he is far from full fitness, and has not been able to train the way he normally would. Cal Crutchlow is still recovering from a massive ankle injury which he suffered at the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island last year. Though he is cycling, he still has some pain while walking, and so his condition is far from 100% for the test.

With Lorenzo out, Marquez far from fit, and Crutchlow questionable, HRC will have limited testing resources to rely on. Stefan Bradl will be present as HRC official tester, and Honda could elect to use one of their Japanese test riders. Whether they will hand some of the work to Crutchlow's LCR Honda teammate Takaaki Nakagami remains to be seen: unlike Crutchlow, Nakagami is contracted to LCR rather than HRC. However, Nakagami did finish the Jerez test as the fastest rider.

If there is one saving grace for Honda, it is that much of the engine development work has already been done for 2019. A new engine spec was tested at both Valencia and Jerez, together with a different air intake system, aimed at boosting power. Jerez and Valencia are tracks which show up the deficiencies of engines, and so the focus for HRC has switched to the chassis, and especially the front end of the bike. This is where Marquez will struggle to do much work if he still has pain in his shoulder, though Crutchlow may fare better with a painful ankle.

No doubt we will learn more at the Repsol Honda team presentation in Madrid on Wednesday. The press release on Lorenzo's surgery appears below:


Lorenzo completes operation on scaphoid

Jorge Lorenzo sustained a broken left scaphoid while training, the Majorcan then undergoing successful surgery to repair the break.

While continuing his preparations for the 2019 MotoGP™ World Championship, Jorge Lorenzo suffered a fall while riding just outside of Verona, Italy. After multiple checks, it was unfortunately confirmed that the five-time world champion had sustained a broken scaphoid.

Lorenzo elected to have surgery on the injury, a titanium screw inserted via a minimally invasive technique. He will remain in hospital for 24 hours for further observation. Four days rest will give the injury sufficient time to heal from the operation and physiotherapy can then begin.

Due to the nature of the injury, Jorge Lorenzo and the Repsol Honda Team have elected for Lorenzo to miss the Sepang Test to focus fully on his recovery. His aim is to return fully fit for the Qatar Test, February 23 to 25. He now heads to Madrid for the 25th Anniversary Repsol Honda Team launch on January 23 alongside Marc Márquez. The event will be streamed live here.

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2019 MotoGP Calender Confirmed - No Changes Made

The FIM today officially confirmed the 2019 MotoGP calendar. There were no changes made to the provisional calendar released in September last year. There will be 19 races, starting in Qatar on 10th March, and ending in Valencia on 17th November. There will be tests after the race at Jerez, Barcelona, and Brno, while the first test of 2020 is expected to take place after Valencia.

There could be an extra test in the schedule, to be held directly after Silverstone. If the new Kymiring circuit in Finland is finished on time, the riders will head to Finland at the end of August to try the new circuit, and generate important data for Michelin.

The official calendar appears below:

Date Grand Prix Venue
10 March Qatar* Losail International Circuit
31 March República Argentina Termas de Río Hondo
14 April Americas Circuit of The Americas
05 May Spain Circuito de Jerez
19 May France Le Mans
02 June Italy Autodromo del Mugello
16 June Catalunya Barcelona - Catalunya
30 June Netherlands TT Circuit Assen
07 July Germany Sachsenring
04 August Czech Republic Automotodrom Brno
11 August Austria Red Bull Ring - Spielberg
25 August Great Britain Silverstone Circuit
15 September San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
22 September Aragón MotorLand Aragón
06 October Thailand Chang International Circuit
20 October Japan Twin Ring Motegi
27 October Australia Phillip Island
03 November Malaysia Sepang International Circuit
17 November Comunitat Valenciana Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo

* Evening race

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Jorge Lorenzo Fractures Left Scaphoid In Dirt Track Accident - Surgery On Monday

Just days before the Repsol Honda team launch in Madrid on Wednesday, Jorge Lorenzo has suffered a wrist injury. The Spaniard fractured his left scaphoid in a training accident while riding dirt track. Lorenzo underwent examinations in Italy and Spain, and is due to undergo surgery in Barcelona on Monday, with Dr. Mir set to operate.

The accident occurred in Italy on Saturday afternoon, and became public when Lorenzo turned up at the Clinica Pederzoli in Peschiera del Garda, in the southeast corner of Lake Garda in Italy. News of Lorenzo's incident emerged on the website of the local Corriere del Veneto paper, who reported that that Lorenzo had spent a couple of hours at the clinic. He was accompanied by two people, a man and a woman, who confirmed that Lorenzo was seeking treatment for a painful hand, but offered no other details.

The news was eventually confirmed on social media, with the Repsol Honda Team Twitter account confirming that Lorenzo had fractured his scaphoid. Italian website GPOne.com has more information on the injury. 

Scaphoid injuries are extremely common among motorcycle racers, as it is the bone in the base of the hand, which usually hits the ground first. The list of riders who have broken their scaphoid is very long indeed: Lorenzo joins such names as Casey Stoner, Nicky Hayden, Stefan Bradl, Jack Miller, Kevin Schwantz, and many more. How badly the injury affects a rider can vary enormously, as the bone receives very little blood and tends to heal very slowly. A fracture can be fixed quickly with screws, but the fracture itself may not heal for a very long time. 

Nicky Hayden had to have a row of bones, including the scaphoid, removed, after the scaphoid he injured in a crash at Turn 1 at Valencia turned arthritic and failed to heal. Casey Stoner had to have surgery on the scaphoid five years after originally breaking it. On the other hand, Toby Price won the 2019 Dakar Rally with a pinned scaphoid, after breaking it in December. 

With just two-and-a-half weeks to go before the Sepang test, the timing of Lorenzo's injury is extremely unfortunate. Lorenzo should be fit enough to test at Sepang from 6-8 February, but he will likely still be in some pain. With Marc Marquez still recovering from shoulder surgery in December, and Cal Crutchlow still in some pain after breaking his ankle at Phillip Island last year, HRC face the first test of 2019 with none of their factory-backed riders at full fitness. 

A press release with details of Lorenzo's surgery is expected on Monday, once he has been under the knife.

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Launch Season Is Upon Us: Ducati Kicks Off Weeks Of Team Presentations On Friday

As we inch closer to the official start of the MotoGP season at Sepang, where the first test of the year is set to be held from 6th-8th of February, we enter the season of team and factory launches. Over the course of the next couple of weeks, all of the MotoGP teams and factories will present their 2019 color schemes and riders at a series of events.

Ducati is the first to present its plans, as is the tradition. On Friday, 18th January, the Italian factory will present the MotoGP team of Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci at an event in Neuchatel, Switzerland. The location - the Phillip Morris R&D Cube in Neuchatel - has been chosen as a reflection of Ducati's partnership with Phillip Morris, and the tobacco giant's move to promote its electronic smoking device. Whether that will also translate to iQOS branding on the fairings remain to be seen: tobacco advertising and sponsorship remains banned throughout most of world, and especially in the key markets where MotoGP races. 

The launch is to start at 6pm CET on Friday, 18th January. It will be streamed live on the MotoGP.com website.

Repsol Honda is next, presenting their brand new line up of Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo at Repsol's main Campus in Madrid on 23rd January. It will be the first time that Lorenzo will be able to speak freely and publicly about his switch to Honda, though he is more likely to speak openly to journalists afterwards, rather than during the public presentation.

The Repsol Honda launch is on 23rd January in Madrid, and starts at 10:30am CET. That event will also be streamed live on the MotoGP.com website.

MotoMatters.com will be attending both the Repsol Honda and the Factory Ducati launch.

A week after the Repsol Honda launch, the Sepang Racing Team will launch their full racing program in Kuala Lumpur. The SRT will present their MotoGP, Moto2, and Moto3 teams at the Petronas towers on the 28th January, at 8:30am CET. Three days later, on 31st January, the Suzuki Ecstar team will launch their 2019 MotoGP effort. And on 4th February, the factory Yamaha - now Monster Yamaha - team will launch their 2019 campaign at a special event in Jakarta, Indonesia. A day later, Yamaha will present its international racing program at the Sepang Circuit, with the Monster Yamaha MotoGP team being joined by the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK team of Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark.

KTM will wait until after the Sepang test to make their presentation. The Austrian factory will launch their MotoGP effort - both the Red Bull factory team and the Tech3 satellite squad - at an event in Mattighofen, Austria, on Tuesday 12th February.

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News Round Up: KTM Open To Marquez Approach, Ducati Looking At 2020 Already

The MotoGP riders are just two weeks into their shiny new contracts, but already, there is talk of what happens next. In Italy, there is a discussion of who gets the factory Ducati seat alongside Andrea Dovizioso in 2020. In Spain, they are looking ahead to 2021, and the option of KTM offering Marc Márquez a contract.

To start with Márquez first. The Repsol Honda rider is still in the midst of rehabilitation after his shoulder surgery in December. That is proceeding reasonably well, as Márquez' post on Instagram, showing him participating in the Fita973, a 13km cross country run organized by the Márquez brothers in Catalonia, demonstrates.

With the attention of the world turned to the Dakar rally, Spanish sports daily Marca, which also runs a radio program, called Marc Coma, former five-time Dakar winner and now head of KTM Spain, to talk about the rally currently going on in Peru. During the interview, Coma said that he wouldn't rule out an approach to Marc Márquez. "Marc was part of the KTM family in the past," Coma said. "KTM's MotoGP project is evolving in the right direction. When the bike is ready to win, why not have Márquez with us?"

Coma also admitted that this was not the first time KTM had approached Márquez. "KTM already made an attempt last time right. They made him an offer of a contract," Coma said. "Personally, I would love for Marc to sign with KTM."

Silly Season starts two years early

Despite the fact that the next round of contract negotiations is at least a year away – and the KTM RC16 currently looks to be more than a year away from being capable of winning a MotoGP race – the battle for Marc Márquez' signature is already hotting up. This should hardly come as a surprise: since entering the class, Márquez has won five out of six championships, several times on bikes that were clearly inferior to the competition. Only a truly difficult Honda RC213V, and a lack of experience in handling adverse results, kept him from making it six out of six.

MotoGP manufacturers hoping to win a championship understand this, and are angling to sign the Spaniard. In the previous round of contract negotiations, as Marc Coma confirms, KTM made an approach to Marc Márquez. And Ducati also offered Márquez a large amount of money last winter to ride for them. When the next round of negotiations start, at the end of this season, Ducati will once again be targeting Márquez for the 2021 season and beyond.

Whether Márquez will move remains an open question. First of all, Márquez will not switch without taking his entire crew with him. Factories are not keen on this, and Ducati doubly so, after their failed experiment with Valentino Rossi. When a complete crew arrives, it means there is no one with experience with the bike to help guide the way. That, some in Ducati feel, is one way the Rossi experiment failed.

It will also be interesting to see if Honda would be willing to let Márquez leave. So far, they have understood that their future is tied inextricably to that of the young Spaniard. But the arrival of Jorge Lorenzo may embolden them to feel they can still win titles without Márquez, if Lorenzo is up to speed quickly enough. The approaches from KTM and Ducati will certainly strengthen Márquez' hand in the bargaining. Lorenzo's results in his first year could play a role in determining how far Honda will go to hang on to Marc Márquez.

Ducati's dilemma

Before 2021, there is the question of the second seat in the Factory Ducati squad. Before the 2019 season has even started, and before the launch of the Ducati team in Switzerland on Friday night, there is already speculation over who will race alongside Andrea Dovizioso in 2020. Danilo Petrucci has been promoted from the Pramac Ducati team after Jorge Lorenzo left to go to Honda, and Ducati signed Pecco Bagnaia before the start of the 2018 Moto2 season to move up to the Pramac squad for 2019. Bagnaia joins Jack Miller, the Australian who made a solid debut on the Ducati GP17 as Petrucci's teammate at Pramac in 2018.

"The results of Petrucci, Jack, and Pecco will help us decide which rider will be in the factory team in 2020," Ducati boss Paolo Ciabatti told Motorsport.com's Oriol Puigdemont last week. Petrucci has worked his way from Superstock to make it all the way to a factory team in MotoGP, a living testament to hard work and determination. Jack Miller learned from a tough couple of years in MotoGP that talent is worthless if you're not prepared to back it up with work. And Bagnaia is widely regarded as one of the greatest talents to enter the class in several years. Ducati think so highly of Bagnaia that they signed him before he had even won a race in Moto2.

Logically, it would seem that Bagnaia is the future of Ducati, especially given that they have paired him with Cristian Gabarrini, arguably one of the very best crew chiefs in the paddock. But Ducati have also shown themselves to be ruthless when it comes to riders, as the first half of 2018 with Jorge Lorenzo demonstrated: what counts are results, and the rider who books the results will get the ride.


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

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Dani Pedrosa Breaks Collarbone, KTM Testing Derailed

Dani Pedrosa's career as test rider for KTM has gotten off to an unlucky start. The Spaniard has suffered another broken collarbone, and will require surgery and a long recovery process before he can start testing again.

Pedrosa's injury is a legacy of the many previous times he has broken his collarbone. The right collarbone is severely weakened after being broken twice before, and having surgery to fit plates. That has left him with a so-called sclerotic lesion on the collarbone, which means that bone growth in the collarbone is very slow. That, and a lack of blood flow to the bone, has left him with osteoporosis, and a weakened collarbone.

Just how weakened is clear from the fact that Pedrosa managed to break the bone without any particular physical impact. He had broken it as a result of 'a gesture of strength', he said in a press release, by which he presumably means a sudden and strong movement. 

That endemic weakness means Pedrosa faces a long recovery process. He is to undergo treatment with stem cells to help promote bone growth and strengthen the bone, to prevent a recurrence.

The length of the recovery period means that Pedrosa will miss KTM's program set out for the first part of the year, and will only resume work once his collarbone is fully healed. Pedrosa was due to take part in the shake down test at Sepang, to be held ahead of the official MotoGP test there at the start of February. Fortunately for Pedrosa, he has already been able to help KTM, having ridden the bike during a test in December.

The press release from Pedrosa's PR staff announcing his injury appears below:


Pedrosa will undergo surgery with his stem cells for double fracture of the right clavicle

Dani Pedrosa is forced to start 2019 with very different plans to those that he had foreseen with great enthusiasm. The Spanish rider will face in the coming months a broad and demanding process of physical recovery derived from the complex double stress fracture of the right collarbone that has recently been diagnosed. The three-time world champion and MotoGP Legend will follow a meticulous medical planning that includes tissue repair surgery, with graft contribution constituted by its own stem cells, with what is pursued the best and most effective consolidation of the injured bone.

To clarify his circumstances, Pedrosa notes that "unexpectedly I had a double stress fracture in the right collarbone, just in a gesture of strength. Over the years I have had several fractures in that area and the last time was in three parts, leaving it sclerotic. The middle part does not have enough blood flow, creating osteoporosis, so it requires an effective solution to regenerate the bone and achieve adequate recovery. After undergoing several tests and medical consultations, the clear recommendation is the total recovery and bone health. "

Unfortunately this entire clinical process takes time and will prevent Pedrosa from continuing with the test program initially planned for the beginning of the year as a test rider for the KTM team. Despite that, the first tests during the past month of December in the Circuit of Jerez have given Dani Pedrosa a good start point in the development of the KTM and is totally involved in the project. That is why Dani himself regrets "these circumstances and I thank KTM for their great support for my full recovery. We are very excited about the work we are doing and that is why I want to be physically in the best conditions for that exciting task. For me, the challenge do not stop”.

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Aprilia Appoint Massimo Rivola Racing CEO, Romano Albesiano Technical Director

After what has been a very difficult year for Aprilia's effort in MotoGP, the Noale factory is to shake up its racing department. Current Aprilia Racing boss Romano Albesiano is to be moved sideways to concentrate on the technical side of the racing program, while Massimo Rivola, former Ferrari F1 team boss and head of Ferrari Driver Academy, will take over as CEO of Aprilia Racing.

The move is a response to the difficulties Aprilia has faced since making a full-time return to MotoGP. Romano Albesiano's background is in engineering, but being forced to manage both the engineering and the sporting side of Aprilia Racing did not prove easy. Albesiano clashed on occasion with Aprilia Gresini team boss Fausto Gresini over the running of the team, which further detracted from Albesiano's ability to focus on the technical development of the RS-GP.

Rivola's appointment allows for a clear split in responsibilities. Rivola will oversee the entire organization, covering all aspects of racing. Romano Albesiano has been appointed Technical Director, and will oversee the engineering and technical side of the MotoGP project. And Fausto Gresini will focus on managing the MotoGP team, along with the Gresini Moto2 and Moto3 teams.

The press release from Aprilia announcing Rivola's appointment appears below:


MASSIMO RIVOLA TO BE APRILIA RACING CEO

The Piaggio Group announces that from 7 January 2019 Massimo Rivola will assume the responsibilities as CEO of Aprilia Racing.

Forty-seven years old with a business degree, a motorcycle and Aprilia brand enthusiast, Massimo Rivola has the experience of twenty-one seasons and more than 300 GP races in F1. Twelve years in pit lane with Minardi, Toro Rosso and, with seven seasons, he was the longest running Sports Director in the history of Ferrari. He has worked with great champions including Alonso and Vettel. For the last three years he has been the head of the Ferrari Driver Academy, taking a young Leclerc from an F3 car to the wheel of the F1 car from Maranello.

The appointment of Rivola, who brings to MotoGP the vast experience accumulated in Formula 1, is another important step in the path of consolidating the Noale racing department and conformation of the Piaggio Group's commitment to growing the MotoGP project.

With this addition, Aprilia Racing continues to grow after the signing of top rider Andrea Iannone, who will ride alongside reconfirmed Aleix Espargaró, the arrival of Bradley Smith as tester and the addition of two new crew chiefs with proven experience, Antonio Jimenez and Fabrizio Cecchini.

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2019 WorldSBK Calendar Finalized: Laguna Seca Added To Make

The FIM today announced that the 2019 WorldSBK schedule has been finalized. The provisional round originally added for 21st July has been moved a week earlier, and is to be held at Laguna Seca. That had previously not been considered financially viable, but some reports are suggesting that Dorna may have given Laguna a further discount on hosting the round, because of the importance of the US market.

The arrival of Laguna Seca means that the planned South African round at Kyalami has been pushed back until at least 2020. But paddock rumor suggests that everything is being done to make this happen.

Below is the full 2019 WorldSBK schedule:

Date Country Circuit WorldSBK WorldSSP WorldSSP300
22-24 February AUS Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit X X  
15-17 March THA Chang International Circuit X X  
5-7 April ESP MotorLand Aragón X X X
12 -14 April NED TT Circuit Assen X X X
10-12 May ITA Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola X X X
7-9 June ESP Circuito de Jerez Ángel Nieto X X X
21-23 June ITA Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” X X X
5-7 July GBR Donington Park X X X
12-14 July USA WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca X    
6-8 September POR Autódromo Internacional do Algarve X X X
27-29 September FRA Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours X X X
11-13 October ARG Circuit San Juan Villicum X X  
24-26 October QAT * Losail International Circuit X X X

*(SC) Schedule change - Round held Thursday - Saturday

2019 Official Tests

  • 18-19 February, Australia, Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit (WorldSBK & WorldSSP)
  • 24-25 August, Portugal, Autódromo Internacional do Algarve (WorldSBK and WorldSSP)
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