Latest MotoGP News
Marc Marquez' Moto2 championship assault has just suffered a major setback. The Catalunya Caixa rider has been punished for an incident after FP1 at Phillip Island ended, and will start Sunday's Moto2 race from the back of the grid.
Phillip Island, the best track on the calendar, according to just about everyone who races a motorcycle. There are those such as Dani Pedrosa, as he explained at the pre-event press conference, who have some bad memories of the track, from injury or, like Pedrosa, from riding here in pain, as he did last year when freshly back from surgery on his collarbone. But the track itself is spectacular, and offers all the thrills that riders love: long, fast corners where you slide the bike round at high speed. "You gotta be brave here," as Nicky Hayden put it.
MotoGP's ever-shrinking grid is becoming a reality as the end of the season approaches and teams start unveiling their plans for next year. The latest victim of the lack of sponsorship in the paddock is the Mapfre Aspar Ducati team, who look set to pull the plug on their partnership with Ducati and switch to a CRT bike.
The two-year contracts that all four of the MotoGP Aliens signed during 2010 have made for a very quiet silly season, with speculation on who will be riding where next season taking a very long time to get started.
One of the larger pieces still remaining of the 2012 MotoGP puzzle has just dropped into place. According to reports from both Speedweek and GPOne.com, Andrea Dovizioso has signed a one-year deal to race with Herve Poncharal's Monster Tech 3 Yamaha for 2012, despite having an offer to ride a factory-spec Honda RC213V in Lucio Cecchinello's LCR Honda squad.
Just 18 hours after Nicky Hayden returned home after the Japanese round of MotoGP at Motegi, the American got a call from Ducati to turn around and head back to Europe. Hayden had been called up to go test the Ducati Desmosedici GP12 at Jerez, after Valentino Rossi had been forced to pull out of the test. The first-lap crash Rossi suffered at Motegi has aggravated a very old (Assen 1995) injury to the little finger on his left hand, and the pain and swelling has made it too difficult for Rossi to test the bike properly.
If you've ever wanted to work on the technical side of motorcycle racing, now is your chance. FTR, the engineering company producing the FTR M211 Moto2 chassis, and reportedly building the aluminium chassis being raced by Valentino Rossi on the Ducati - though both Ducati and FTR continue to officially deny it - are looking to take on more people to help with their operation.
Carlos Checa is to help Ducati in developing the Desmosedici GP12 MotoGP machine. According to the leading Spanish website Motoworld.es, Checa told the post-race press conference at Magny-Cours that he had been asked by Ducati to help them with developing the GP12, as the factory has already used 7 of the available 8 extra days of testing the 1000cc machine using contracted riders Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden.
Marco Simoncelli spent an extra day at Motegi after the Japanese Grand Prix, testing the 2012 Honda RC213V which he is to race next season. His test was made possible after the Italian signed a contract last week to remain with the San Carlo Gresini team, on a contract with HRC and with full factory support. Simoncelli put in around 50 laps at the Japanese circuit, recording lap times similar to the times set during the previous three days aboard the 800cc RC212V.
It was a long and very full weekend of motorcycle racing, and to call it eventful would be one of the more obvious understatements of the year. In the 125c class, Johann Zarco finally got the win he has been chasing for so long, and did so in convincing style. In Moto2, Andrea Iannone produced the kind of display that everyone knows that he is capable of, but that he manages a little too sporadically.
What a difference a day makes. Or perhaps that should be, what a different an afternoon makes. That Casey Stoner took pole at Motegi in the MotoGP class should surprise no one: pole in Japan is Stoner's 10th of the year, a new record for a MotoGP season, and with it, he wrapped up the BMW M Award, getting to take home a shiny new BMW 1 Series M Coupe. And all that with three qualifying sessions left to go.