Latest MotoGP News
The takeover of Infront by Bridgepoint Capital has cleared the final hurdle. Earlier this week, the European Commission Competition Directorate General announced that there were no objections to having the rights holders to both the MotoGP and World Superbike series being owned by one company, as neither racing series would be constrained by having the same owner.
After many years of success in the World Superbike and World Supersport series, Ten Kate is to take their first steps in the MotoGP paddock. The Dutch race shop has been contracted by Gresini to supply race-prepared Honda CBR1000RR engines for Gresini's CRT machine in MotoGP, along with the fly-by-wire electronics system the Ten Kate team developed together with Cosworth for their World Superbike machine.
The Spanish petroleum giant Repsol is one of the mainstays of MotoGP. Repsol has backed Honda's MotoGP team for over 15 years, and the oil company is expanding its interest in the series. After adding backing for Marc Marquez in the Moto2 category last year, Repsol today announced that it will be supporting teams in all three categories of Grand Prix motorcycle racing in 2012.
The end of the year is the traditional time to be handing out awards (we at MotoMatters.com will be doling out a few of our own in the next week or so), and this year, MotoMatters.com has been extremely lucky to be on the receiving end of one. In the recent Silverstone Media Awards organized by the Northamptonshire race track, home to both MotoGP and Formula 1, MotoMatters.com was voted Best MotoGP Blogger.
With all the debate and discussion over the changes coming to MotoGP for 2012 - 1000cc machines, the appearance of the Claiming Rule Team machines, arguments over exactly what the Aprilia bike is, and the ongoing talks over the imposition of a rev limit and spec ECU for 2013, it is easy to overlook the fact that it is not just the bikes which are changing. All four of MotoGP's so-called Aliens are out of contract at the end of next season, as well as just about every other rider on the MotoGP grid.
MotoGP's rule-making body, the Grand Prix Commission, adopted a number of changes to the MotoGP rules in a meeting on Wednesday. As expected, the testing restrictions were dropped, now to be limited by tire allocation. Other changes adopted include an increase in the minimum weight, the introduction of rear-facing red lights to be carried in wet conditions, a slight tweak to the 107% qualifying minimum time, and explicitly granting authority to impose penalties on event organizers.
There has been much speculation on the legality or otherwise of the Aprilia RSV4-based bike to be used by a number of teams operating under the CRT rules in MotoGP in 2012. With the presence of so many members of the Aprilia test team at the recent Valencia and Jerez tests, and first Alex Hofmann and then Randy de Puniet riding a World Superbike spec RSV4R, there were claims that the Aprilia CRT machine was a clear violation of the principle behind the Claiming Rule Team concept.
Motorcycle racing is spreading its wings. After the World Superbike series announced its first incursion into Russia for 2012, MotoGP's return to South America was cemented today, with the contract signed between Dorna and the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina. The Argentinian circuit has signed up to host a MotoGP race for three years starting in 2013, the series returning to the continent of South America after an absence of 8 years.
The MotoGP schedule for the 2012 season has been tweaked a little, and there is some good news for fans: the season starts seven days earlier, with the Qatar MotoGP round having been moved up a week to April 8th. The move is in response to the Formula One calendar, which sees the Chinese Grand Prix scheduled for April 15th, the date originally planned for Qatar, and so the decision was taken to start the MotoGP season a week earlier.
After a slow start, the 2012 Moto2 grid is starting to fill out, as teams are starting to find riders for the upcoming season. The provisional grid now stands at 30 riders, with 2 more names likely to be confirmed some time in the next few weeks. With Dorna aiming for a maximum of 32 entries in the class, there is little room for new names to appear in the final run up to the 2012 season opener at Qatar in April.
Despite the mountain of debt facing the Circuito de Jerez, the 2012 MotoGP round looks set to go ahead. Over the past couple of days, doubts had appeared in the Spanish press over whether the 2012 race at Jerez scheduled for April 29th would be able to go ahead, but reports from the Mayor of Jerez' office indicate that the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez will go ahead as scheduled.