Just hours after Ant West announced on his Facebook page that he would not be racing in MotoGP, as he was unable to find the sponsorship to fund his ride at the Speed Master team, the team issued a press release announcing West's replacement. Italian rider Mattia Pasini is to take West's place, and ride the Speed Master Team's Aprilia CRT bike in MotoGP for 2012.
Below is a press release on the injuries suffered by Alex Rins, Spanish 125cc champion who will be riding for Monlau Competicion in Moto3 this season:
Alex Rins injures shoulder in training accident
Repsol rider fractures left shoulder in preseason training and undergoes successful operation at the USP Dexeus Hospital
MotoGP's long winter break is drawing to a close, and the testing season is about to kick off once again. For the last couple of years that's been very easy to follow, as everyone headed to the official MotoGP tests organized by IRTA. With the introduction of the Claiming Rule Teams, however, MotoGP's testing schedule has become a lot more complex, as some of the CRT teams will be joining the test in Sepang, while others will be remaining in Europe.
Popular Australian rider Ant West is to retire from motorcycle racing. The popular Australian made the announcement on his personal Facebook page, citing the failure to raise sufficient sponsorship to be able to pay for a ride for 2012. West was signed up to ride an Aprilia CRT machine for the Speed Master team in MotoGP in 2012, but was unable to find the 250,000 euros that the team had demanded he bring to the ride.
The BMW World Superbike squad spent two days testing at Valencia, where they worked mainly on electronics strategies and the latest version of the BMW S1000RR engine. Below is the press release issued after the test:
Winter testing – Valencia.
25th to 26th January 2012.
The Kawasaki World Supersport team issued the following press release after their test at Valencia:
Successful Supersport Test For Kawasaki DeltaFin Riders At Valencia
Newsflash, 26 January 2012
Kawasaki's factory supported DeltaFin Supersport World Championship team completed a two-day test at Valencia today and will now head to Australia for more pre-season preparations in optimistic mood.
MotoGP is looking eastward. As the involvement and interest from and in Asia has continued to grow in recent years, the importance of the region - beyond the historic role that Japan has played in the series, that is - to both the MotoGP series and the manufacturers has become increasingly evident. With Yamaha riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies visiting the region a couple of times over the winter, and Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta hinting at more races in Asia in coming years, the Asian dimension in MotoGP is set to grow in the near future.
There is good news and bad news for MotoGP fans. The bad news is that the MotoGP schedule has been changed - again. The good news is that the season now starts a day earlier, as the Qatar MotoGP round will once again be spread over four days instead of three, and start on Thursday, April 5th, 2012.
The Honda press office issued the following press release, reporting on the awarding of Best Grand Prix of 2011 to Mugello:
Magnificent Mugello takes IRTA Best Grand Prix Honours
Never in the history of the prestigious IRTA ‘Best Grand Prix' has a track won five times. Never has a track won in three different decades. But never has there been a track like the Mugello Circuit, the magnificent Tuscan venue north of Florence, which has been honoured as the winner of the 2011 IRTA Best Grand Prix.
The major leap forward which Honda's MotoGP bike has taken in the past two seasons has come in two distinct areas, the chassis and the electronics. Much of the work of sorting out the RC212V's chassis was done during the 2010 season, when the factory tried out five different chassis variations and several different swingarms, before getting the bike right early in the 2011 season. Parallel to the chassis, Honda spent two years improving their MotoGP bike's electronics, after poaching two of Yamaha's key staff to work on HRC's electronics package.
The Kawasaki World Superbike team issued the following press release after their private test at the Almeria circuit in southern Spain:
Kawasaki Racing Team Gets 2012 Season Underway With Test At Almeria
Newsflash, 20 January 2012
Joan Lascorz and Tom Sykes joined forces in the new-look Kawasaki Racing Team FIM Superbike World Championship squad for a first 2012 test at Almeria in Spain, on 19 and 20 January.
While Filippo Preziosi played his cards tantalizingly close to his chest at the Wrooom event, where Ducati launched their 2012 MotoGP challenger for the Marlboro Ducati factory team, satellite squad Cardion AB is being a lot more loose-lipped. Today, the team, which will be running Karel Abraham again in the MotoGP class, issued a press release full of some fascinating details about the satellite Ducati GP12 which Abraham will be racing this season.
Ducati test riders Franco Battaini and Carlos Checa (who also doubles as reigning World Superbike champion for Althea Ducati) have finally completed the shakedown test of Ducati's brand new Desmosedici GP12, bringing the watertight security lockdown at the Circuito de Jerez in southern Spain to an end. After Ducati Corse boss Filippo Preziosi described the bike as 90% new, there was massive media interest in the test, but after a mass of rumors emerged from previous Ducati tests, the Bologna factory tightened its grip on the situation.
The Honda Racing press office issued a press release and video after the Ten Kate World Superbike squad tested the 2012 CBR1000RR at Phillip Island. The video follows below, after the press release: