As talks continue between Dorna and the MSMA over the future of MotoGP from 2013 onwards, some proposals are already looking solid for the future. On Saturday, Carmelo Ezpeleta told members of the Spanish press that Dorna and the factories had agreed further limits on the number of engines allowed for each rider during the season. As part of the cost-cutting proposals, from 2013, the number of engines is to be reduced from 6 per rider to 5.
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"What we should do," the Jose Maroto, the Spanish editor of Motociclismo said to me, "Is organize MotoGP in Ethiopia, or anywhere they are having a drought. It hasn't rained here in Jerez for 70 days, and this is what happens when we arrive." It had happened in Sepang, and it happened at Jerez, the weather was the major protagonist on the second day of testing at the Spanish circuit, with high winds and heavy rain dominating much of the day.
Talks are continuing at Jerez over the future of MotoGP, with the focus on how to reduce costs for a sustainable championship. After the proposals that Dorna presented to the factories at Sepang, with measures including a rev limit and a standard ECU, it was the turn of the factories to come with their counterproposals to make the championship affordable.
The first day of the final test ahead of the MotoGP season, and normal service has been resumed. The factory boys - well, the factory Hondas and Yamahas - are top of the pile, and fairly comfortably ahead of the rest.
With the Moto2 and Moto3 trucks all departed from the paddock, the Jerez circuit is now the domain of the MotoGP teams for the final test ahead of the season opener at Qatar. Thursday, the eve of the test, saw a massive amount of pit lane activity, but mainly among the photographers as they chased up and down the track shooting the riders in their full season livery for publicity shoots and the official MotoGP.com website.
The 2012 preseason is over for Moto2 and Moto3, as the support classes pack up their things after three days of testing at Jerez and get ready to ship out to Qatar. The teams leave the final test of the season with a much better idea of where they stand, as the playing field had been leveled in Moto2 by the use of the official Geo Tech engines, and in Moto3 by the arrival of the Geo Tech kits for the Honda engine, giving the NSF250R a much needed power boost with respect to the KTMs.
While the Aspar team was making its presentation in Valencia, the Forward Racing Team took advantage of the heavy press presence at Jerez for the Moto2 IRTA test to launch its 2012 challenge in Moto2 and Moto3, in the spectacular setting of the VIP "saucer" which hangs above the circuit. The presentation got underway very late, as bad weather delayed Edwards' departure from the US, the Texan rushing straight from the airport to the track for the launch.
With the final IRTA test just a couple of days away, teams are seizing the opportunity to stage their team launches for the 2012 season. On Tuesday night it was the turn of the Power Electronics Aspar team to present their bike and riders to the press, not at Jerez, where a large portion of the world's motorcycling press is already assembled, but in Valencia, home to Aspar owner Jorge Martinez and the heart of his power base.
After completing successful tests at Alcarras and Albacete over the past couple of weeks, to evaluate the recovery of his eye problem, Marc Marquez has finally returned to action with the assembled Moto2 riders at Jerez, where the final IRTA test before the start of the season at Qatar on April 8th. The initial conclusion of the first day of the three-day test is positive: sharing the track with both the Moto3 field and his Moto2 competitors, Marquez seems to be completely healed, despite spending the day getting accustomed to riding at Moto2 World Championship pace again.
One of the longest-running rider signing sagas has finally reached the conclusion that everyone expected. On the eve of the final Moto2 test of the preseason at Jerez, Gresini has at last confirmed that they will be fielding Gino Rea in the 2012 Moto2 championship. Rea had been testing the Moriwaki with the Gresini team for months now, yet an official announcement of the contract was not forthcoming. On Sunday, the team finally issued a press release naming both Ratthapark Wilairot and Gino Rea as the teams riders in Moto2.
The San Carlo Gresini Honda team have called an early halt to their shakedown test of the FTR Honda CRT bike Michele Pirro will be contesting the MotoGP series with this season. On the second day of testing, Pirro ran into a problem with the belly of the fairing grounding at certain sections of the track, according to GPOne.com.
The final CRT machine has at last taken to the track. Today at Imola, Michele Pirro took the San Carlo Gresini FTR Honda machine out on track for the very first time, putting in some 20 laps of the Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit. The test was very much a shakedown, Pirro and his crew focusing on making sure that everything worked correctly before starting work on setup from tomorrow.