Loris Capirossi is to make an unexpected early return to the MotoGP paddock, and will attempt to race at the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring in 10 days' time. The hoary Italian veteran was injured in a crash during qualifying at Assen, when he was struck by his Pramac Ducati Desmosedici after crashing in the final minutes of QP. Capirossi injured both his shoulder and his ribs in the incident.
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What a difference a track makes. At the fast, flowing Mugello circuit, we had three pretty interesting races, two tense duels and a full on battle in Moto2. After a season full of races decided in the first few laps, to see a race day full of overtaking brought some much-needed relief to those suffering with the racing bug.
The text of the press release from the FIM, confirming their intention to race in Japan, if the situation remains unchanged:
Japan: statement from FIM President Vito Ippolito
If you want to know what the attendance at a racetrack is, you have two options, the official channel, and the unofficial one. If you want the official tally, you have to wait until Sunday, when the circuit, together with Dorna, publish the number of spectators over the three days of the track. Those numbers are based on ticket sales, though how precisely they are reflect the numbers at the track is a frequent topic of speculation.
Herve Poncharal joked at Assen that if the MotoGP series wanted to find an extra source of income, it should offer to organize events in drought-stricken areas, as a MotoGP race appears to be a guarantee of rain this year. Mugello is no different: the locals say there has been no rain for weeks now - though the rich verdant green of the countryside would appear to suggest otherwise - and as soon as the MotoGP circus rolls into the Tuscan hills, the heavens part and rain falls.
Due to technical issues (internet connection problems in the accommodation we are staying in at Mugello), Thursday's round up is late, for which you have our sincere apologies. We hope you will bear with us through this.
MotoGP rolls into Mugello with what looks like being the hottest weekend of the year ahead of it. And from the events of the first day, that's hottest in every conceivable sense of the word.
With seven races of the season gone, we can start to draw some conclusions from the engine allocation lists provided by the teams so far. Below is a factory-by-factory rundown of the engine situation, together with a table of the engine usage so far.
The story of Ducati's engines is a tale in two parts: the present, represented by the satellite machines; and the future, represented by the factory riders of Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi.
The 2011 MotoGP season has been among the most controversy-filled seasons in recent memory. While the races themselves have been far from memorable, the off-track rhetoric - fueled in part by a few on-track clashes - has been scintillating, with barely a week going by without riders accusing each other of a wide spectrum of misdemeanors and various crimes. But the rhetoric has generated much heat and little or no light: once the riders return to the track, the arguments and incidents continue unabated.