Latest MotoGP News
In the wake of the massive earthquake of Japan's east coast, which triggered a devastating tsunami, leaving the Fukushima nuclear power plant badly damaged and leaking radiation, there were serious concerns raised about the safety of organizing the Japanese round of MotoGP at Motegi. The initial response was to postpone the race from its original April 24th spot to October 2nd, giving Honda (the circuit owners) to repair the track and get it ready for the race.
The oil spill which caused the first session of free practice for the Moto2 class at Assen to be red-flagged eventually ended up having major consequences. Alex Baldolini toured for nearly a quarter of a lap dropping oil on the track in the pouring rain before realizing that his engine had a problem and pulling off the track.
A grenaded engine in Moto2 FP1 has had dramatic consequences. The engine of Alex Baldolini MGM Forward Racing Suter let go in the final minutes of FP1, depositing oil on the track, but due to the spray and rain, Baldolini was unable to see the problem, and Baldolini cruised around for half a lap with oil pouring from his bike.
There was naturally only one topic of conversation in the paddock in Assen, and I'm sure you won't be shocked to hear that it wasn't the composition of the new Greek cabinet. Valentino Rossi's brand new Ducati, the legality of using parts for a 2011 bike which have been tested for a 2012 machine, and what this all means about the machine that Casey Stoner left behind for Valentino Rossi, all these things were discussed, but really, they all boil down to what is rapidly becoming the most over-debated topic in motorcycle racing at the moment: Valentino Rossi vs Casey Stoner.
Spain is to continue to form the backbone of the MotoGP championship. After earlier announcements that the Valencia, Jerez and Motorland Aragon circuits would be organizing MotoGP rounds through 2016, today, Dorna announced that it had agreed to extend its contract with the Circuit de Catalunya (which hosts the Barcelona round of MotoGP) for the next five years. The agreement means that there will be four rounds of MotoGP in Spain through 2016, three of which are dotted in Spain's northeastern corner.
As predicted yesterday, Honda have finally confirmed that Dani Pedrosa is to miss the Assen MotoGP round. HRC today issued a terse press release announcing that Pedrosa would not be racing in Assen, and that Hiroshi Aoyama is to take his place in the Repsol Honda team, while Honda test rider Kousuke Akiyoshi will move in to Aoyama's seat at the San Carlo Gresini Honda team. Pedrosa is now expected to make his return at Mugello, as he stated in Repsol's press release.