MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We will be featuring sections of Oxley's blogs, posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website, over the coming months.
In a masterstroke of timing, both Ducati and Yamaha today issued press releases announcing they had signed contracts with truck suppliers, for the delivery of race transporters. Yamaha renews with IVECO, while Ducati signs with MAN. Below are the press releases:
Yamaha Factory Racing and IVECO Celebrate Sixth Year of Collaboration
Gerno di Lesmo (Italy), 14th March 2013
Yamaha Factory Racing is delighted to announce the renewal of its partnership with IVECO for 2013 as an Official Sponsor to the team.
Press releases and a short video from the second day of private testing at Austin for Honda and Yamaha:
The second day of testing ended very similarly to the first, with Hondas leading the way. Bradl spent much of the day running amongst the factory bikes, although he didn't make the leap into the 2:03's alongside Marquez and Pedrosa.
The Yamaha riders logged over 60 laps each, making the most of their last day of testing. Rossi is now jetting off to Brazil for a prior engagement, while Lorenzo is presumably preparing to be hung tomorrow over after cruising SXSW with X-Games stars and Jesse James.
Pedrosa tips his Honda in Turn 1. Nobody is happy with the grip yet, least of all Dani.
Working alone in a quiet garage, Bradl has made substantial progress.
The riders testing in Austin will have several advantages when the MotoGP race is held here in April. Track knowledge and baseline setups alone must be worth the expense to ship bikes and crew halfway around the world to this new circuit. But grip remains elusive, despite elevated temperatures from yesterday, holding times to within a few tenths of yesterday's best.
Following the surprising comment that NGM Mobile Forward Racing's boss, Giovanni Cuzari is in talks with Kawasaki about their potential MotoGP return, I've requested an official statement from the Japanese brand.
The Honda teams issued the following press releases after the first day of testing at Austin, while the Repsol Honda team also included a brief video of the day:
The Gresini team issued the following press releases after the launch of the 2013 MotoGP and Moto2 campaigns:
THE CURTAIN IS RAISED ON THE 2013 SEASON FOR TEAM GO&FUN HONDA GRESINI
Yamaha Factory Racing issued the following press release after the first day of testing at Austin:
Yamaha Get Back To Business Texas Style
Austin (Texas, USA), 12th March 2013 - Update at 3pm local time (-6GMT)
Yamaha Factory Racing were back on track today with Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi enjoying their first ever Circuit of the Americas (COTA) experience.
As expected, times have dropped substantially since the lunch break here in Austin, where the temperature is flirting with 80 degrees (F). The Hondas have made more progress in the Spring sunshine, with Marquez dropping over 4 seconds from his previous pace. The Yamahas have trimmed their times, but to lesser degrees.
On a breezy morning in Austin, riders logged tentative laps to get a feel for the layout at Circuit of the Americas. Until the sun does more work to counteract the brisk wind, the morning track has been slippery. The riders all seem guardedly positive about the track. Comments range from Jorge's "all the track is tricky" to Marquez's note that the post T1 series of flip-flops are quite challenging. Pedrosa reserved commentary on the layout until he gets more time on a warmer track.
When the news that Dorna would be taking over World Superbikes broke, there was a wave of outrage among fans, expressing the fear that the Spanish company would set about destroying the series they had grown to love. So far, Dorna have been careful not to get involved in debates about the technical regulations which seem to be so close to fans' hearts, their only criteria so far appearing to be a demand that bikes should cost 250,000 euros for an entire season.
Despite losing his Moto2 ride after the withdrawal of a major sponsor from the ESGP team, Gino Rea is to contest selected Moto2 rounds in 2013. The young Englishman has received the go-ahead from Dorna and IRTA to enter as a wildcard at as many races as he can raise funds for in the 2013 season.