Josh Hayes is to replace the injured Colin Edwards at the Valencia round of MotoGP. The news can hardly be called news any more, after Hayes' leathers sponsor Teknic jumped the gun and issued a press release announcing the move on Friday.
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Testing for the MotoGP class is set to undergo a radical shake up for 2012, with the current restrictions on testing to be abolished. According to both Italian magazine website MotoSprint and the Italian sports daily Corriere dello Sport, the Grand Prix Commission will approve a plan to scrap the testing limits imposed after the global financial crisis in 2008, and allow MotoGP riders to test the bikes as often as they like, within a few set limits.
Colin Edwards is to miss the final round of MotoGP at Valencia. The Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider is to go undergo surgery to repair the shoulder he damaged in the accident that fatally injured Marco Simoncelli, and he will not be fit to ride at what would have been his last outing for the team.
Marco Simoncelli was finally laid to rest on Thursday, amidst a massive crowd who had come to pay their last respects. The funeral was a packed affair, full of the friends and family of the Italian, as well as a large number of people from the world of motorcycle racing. The service, held in the Santa Maria Assunta church in the small town of Coriano, not far from the Misano circuit, started at 3pm and was led by the Bishop of Rimini, Francesco Lambiasi, when Simoncelli's coffin was carried in by friends and members of his San Carlo Gresini team.
After two days of tests in Barcelona, Marc Marquez has been released from hospital. The Spaniard had entered the USP Institut Dexeus hospital on his return from Sepang, where he had suffered shoulder injuries and a concussion during the first session of free practice. Though Marquez was well enough to be sent home, he is still suffering with double vision, and is in doubt for the Valencia round in 10 days' time.
Amidst the outpouring of grief at the death of Marco Simoncelli, there was also concern at the fate of Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi. Edwards and Rossi had been following right behind Simoncelli when the Italian lost control of his Honda and then careened in front of them, giving neither man any chance to avoid the collision that would prove fatal to Simoncelli. Edwards suffered a dislocated shoulder in the crash, and was flown home to Texas to receive further treatment for the injury.
Valentino Rossi is not set to retire, the Italian's manager, Davide Brivio confirmed on Twitter on Monday morning. In the aftermath of the crash that saw Marco Simoncelli killed, struck by both Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi after being dragged across the track by his bike, rumors and speculation surged across the internet that the nine-time World Champion would hang up his helmet, upset at the death of his close friend Simoncelli.
Dorna has announced that Marco Simoncelli died as a result of injuries received in a crash during the MotoGP race at Sepang. On the second lap of the race, in dry conditions, Simoncelli's rear tire broke loose at Turn 11, then gripped, sending Simoncelli and his bike across the track into the path of another rider. Simoncelli was struck, losing his helmet in the impact, and the race was red-flagged. Simoncelli was transported to the medical center, but died from the injuries sustained in the crash at 16:56 local time.
The MotoGP race at Sepang has been canceled, after a horrific crash on lap 2 saw Marco Simoncelli very seriously injured. Simoncelli lost the rear of his Honda RC212V at Turn 11, and he and his bike were struck by Colin Edwards as he followed the Italian. The blow was forceful enough that it knocked Simoncelli's helmet from his head. The race was immediately red-flagged, and Simoncelli was transported to the medical center.
Sepang looks like being a Repsol whitewash this weekend, with Dani Pedrosa, Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso spread across the front row of the grid for Sunday's race, and FP3 the only session where there wasn't a Repsol 1-2-3 on the timesheets, Marco Simoncelli getting in among the orange, red and black bikes. On Friday, it looked like being a Pedrosa runaway, but his teammates have closed the gap considerably since then.
The grid for tomorrow's Malaysian MotoGP race at Sepang has been cut from 18 to just 16 today. After the announcement that John Hopkins was pulling out due to his finger injury flaring up again, Yamaha's Ben Spies has also confirmed that he will not be able to race at Sepang. The Texan is still suffering badly from the injuries he picked up in a very high-speed crash at Phillip Island, where he suffered a concussion and damaged ribs, and after consulting with the team, Spies decided against racing on Sunday.
John Hopkins has not had much luck as a wildcard rider in MotoGP this season. After a relatively successful race replacing Alvaro Bautista at Jerez, the American has twice received the call up as a wildcard, and has not been able to race in either of them, after Suzuki today confirmed that Hopkins has been forced to pull out of the Sepang round of MotoGP.
The timesheets at the end of day one at Sepang are telling. This is a track at which the teams spent six days testing back in February prior to the start of the year, much as they have done every year, and so they have enough data on the track to fill every iPod Steve Jobs ever sold. They should know how to set up a bike to go around this track, despite everyone complaining of a lack of grip, as is often the case in the hot October weather.
Race Direction have fined the Sepang Circuit for failing to warn the Moto2 riders at the start of the first session of free practice about a patch of wet track at Turn 10. The circuit was still very wet after an earlier bout of rain, and the first riders to arrive in the area - including Bradley Smith, Jules Cluzel, Yonny Hernandez and Marc Marquez - all suffered crashes, as the marshals were not displaying yellow flags to warn the riders of the danger.