In something of a surprise move, the German Automobile Club ADAC have announced that the German round of MotoGP will not be held at the Sachsenring in 2012, the German regional paper Freie Presse are reporting. At a press conference held at the East German circuit, which is owned by the ADAC, the organization told the media that the losses suffered by the Sachsenring were just too great to allow them to sustain the event.
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We already know that 2013 will be a big year for MotoGP in the Americas. With the addition of the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, the total number of MotoGP rounds in the United States will increase to three, with Austin joining Indianapolis and Laguna Seca on the calendar. And according to reports in the Argentinian press, there could be a fourth round of MotoGP in the Americas, with a South American race joining the three North American rounds of the series.
Another major stronghold in the resistance to the Japanese round of MotoGP has crumbled: the Yamaha Factory Racing team has announced that the team and both of its riders will attend the Motegi MotoGP race on October 2nd of this year. The announcement means that both Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies will be present at Motegi, lining up alongside the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team - the first team to officially announce they would be going - of Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow, as well as Hector Barbera and the Mapfre Aspar team.
The factory Yamaha team concluded a 1-day test at Misano on Monday, taking the 2012 Yamaha MotoGP machine out for the second time, after an earlier test at Brno. The test had originally been planned as a public test together with Honda and Ducati, but Ducati withdrew from the Misano test in July, and Honda pulled out shortly after the Brno test, both factories saying that they had nothing to test. As a result, the test morphed into a private test, leaving a small band of journalists to twiddle their thumbs in the press room, with no access to times and no access to the pit lane.
While MotoGP fans (and teams, and journalists) eagerly await the arrival of the 2012 MotoGP calendar, which is due to be announced at the next MotoGP round at Aragon, the outlines of next season are starting to become clear. The weekend of the Misano round saw two important announcements made about rounds expected to be on the calendar next year, but which had not yet been confirmed.
It was a good weekend for MotoGP at Misano. We had two-and-a-half great races, two championships were opened up again and one took a step closer to the inevitable conclusion it has been moving towards almost since the start of the season. The weather was good - with just a sprinkling of raindrops to keep everyone honest - the crowds were up - on last year at least - and if the home crowd didn't exactly get what they came to see (a Rossi victory), at least they went home with hope in their hearts after a pretty strong race by the Italian, all things considered.
Qualifying at Misano ended up giving an accurate reflection of the key battles in all three classes (or four if you include WSBK Superpole at the Nurburgring, where Carlos Checa sits on pole, with rivals Max Biaggi and Marco Melandri alongside him on the front row). In MotoGP, there was little to choose between Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa, the three men qualifying within 0.180 of each other, and well ahead of the rest of the field. In the Moto2 class, Stefan Bradl held off the assault of Marc Marquez to secure his seventh pole of the season.
The story that has been brewing for the best part of three months has finally reached a conclusion: Bridgepoint, the private equity firm that owns Dorna, MotoGP's organizers, has acquired Infront Sports & Media, the sports marketing firm that owns Infront Motor Sports, the organizers of World Superbike series. Infront yesterday issued an official press release announcing the acquisition, with Bridgepoint purchasing the company from its three major shareholders.
At Misano on Friday, there was an event that will change the face of MotoGP forever. War was declared - in the nicest possible terms - and the silhouette of the future was vaguely discernible for those who wanted to see it. There were also some bikes on track, so let's turn to those first.
As had been widely anticipated, Colin Edwards today announced that he would be leaving the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team to join NGM Forward for 2012 to race a CRT machine. At a very well-attended press conference, which featured Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta, as well as NGM CEO Stefano Nesi and Forward Racing boss Giovanni Cuzari, the Forward Racing team presented its plans for next year.
Coming to Misano always feels like a vacation, but then that's hardly a surprise given that Misano lies on Italy's Adriatic coast, and the stretch of coast from Gabbice Mare just south of Misano to Trieste on the Slovenian border is Italy's vacation heartland, and is lined with restaurants, hotels, and seafront stores selling the most incredibly gaudy junk imaginable. It is truly a magical place.
Loris Capirossi has announced that he will retire from racing at the end of the 2011 season. The 38-year-old Italian, a veteran of 22 seasons of Grand Prix racing, said that the difficulty in finding a competitive bike for next season and the strength of the current crop of young riders - with more fast young men on the way - made it time to retire.
Two-thirds of the way through the 2011 season and this is the point where decisive blows are struck in title fights. Indianapolis was no different: though the championships in all three classes are a long way from settled, the three leaders each have a race in hand after Indy. Nico Terol leads the 125cc championship by 26 points, Stefan Bradl has a lead of 28 points in Moto2, and Casey Stoner holds a comfortable 44-point advantage over Jorge Lorenzo in the MotoGP class.