It is ironic that the high point of the relationship between Valentino Rossi and Ducati came as he rode the first few meters out of pit lane and on to the track at the Valencia MotoGP test in November 2010. All of the excitement that had been building since the first rumors emerged in early June that the nine time world champion would be leaving Yamaha to join the iconic Italian manufacturer culminated as Rossi emerged from a crowd of photographers and powered down pit lane, watched by a large group of fans who had come to the test to see this very moment.
Nicky Hayden is to spend Wednesday and Thursday testing the Ducati GP12 at Mugello. The American is to make up for the time he lost over the winter, after injuring himself first at Valencia, and then riding indoor flat track at home in Kentucky. Those injuries limited Hayden's time working on the set up of his GP12 at the Sepang tests, and so the American is to spend the next two days concentrating on making up for lost time.
Jerez is to remain on the MotoGP calendar for at least one more year. Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta announced the extension during the official presentation in Madrid of this year's Spanish GP at the iconic Jerez circuit, stating that Jerez will stay on the calendar for 2013.
A press release issued by the Ten Kate Honda squad after their recent test at Assen ahead of the upcoming World Superbike round there:
Rea and Aoyama satisfied with Assen test
The Honda World Superbike Team has completed a two-day test at Assen in The Netherlands ahead of next week’s (20-22 April) third round World Superbike championship event at the circuit.
Valentino Rossi's litany of complaints about the Ducati Desmosedici GP12 given live on Italian TV after the Qatar round of MotoGP triggered a wave of speculation. For the first time, Rossi had openly complained that Ducati had not given him the bike that he believes he needs to go fast, and that he had felt like pulling in before the end of the race.
Bridgestone has announced that they are to bring forward the introduction of a new 2012-spec front tire, and start allowing riders to use it from the Jerez round of MotoGP. The new tire was tested extensively during the preseason, with versions tried at both Sepang tests and at the IRTA test at Jerez. The tire features a modified construction which allows it to heat up more quickly as well as provide more feedback to the riders.
The final round of press releases issued after the MotoGP season opener in Qatar, from Tech 3, Marc VDS Racing, Suter, Brad Binder, Bel-Ray and PBM:
Battling Smith claims hard fought top 10 in Qatar
Tech 3 Racing rider Bradley Smith kicked off the 2012 Moto2 World Championship with a battling ride to ninth position after overcoming physical and mechanical problems in an exciting season opener at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.
Bridgestone issued the following press release debrief with their Manager of Motorsport Tyre Development, Shinji Aoki, after the race at Qatar:
Qatar MotoGP debrief with Shinji Aoki
Round 1: Qatar MotoGP - Post-race debrief
Losail International Circuit, Tuesday 10 April 2012
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Extra-Hard. Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
The sword of Damocles that has been hanging over the Althea Ducati racing team, the accusations of fraud lain at the feet of their title sponsor Althea Ceramics, has finally been removed. The Althea Ducati team have had to distance themselves from their sponsor while at the same time wear the Italian bathroom fixtures company's logo on their bikes. Luckily for Carlos Checa and his team, they can get back to the business of winning races without accusations of stereotypically Italian corruption.
Here follows the text of their press release:
Marc Marquez and Thomas Luthi have both been issued a formal warning by Race Direction after the Moto2 race at Qatar. Marquez was warned over his pass on Luthi at the start of the last lap, while Luthi received the warning for the hard slap he gave on Marquez' throttle arm on the cooldown lap, when the Swiss rider went to remonstrate with the Spaniard over the pass.
The night schedule at Qatar means that writers and journalists end the weekend in a state of utter exhaustion. To bed at dawn for a few hours fitful sleep, up around noon, off the to the track for a full day's - or night's - work, then do the same thing over again. Race day is worse, the schedule is tougher, the adrenaline rush greater, the comedown even bigger. And there's usually about twice as much work to do as well. It is still the greatest job in the world, of course, but it makes you long for sleep a couple of times a year.
The AMA Superbike organization Attack Performance issued a press release announcing it will build a CRT machine and enter as a wildcard in the two US rounds of MotoGP, at Laguna Seca and Indianapolis. Below is the full text:
ATTACK PERFORMANCE ANNOUNCES MOTOGP RACE EFFORT
American team will compete in U.S. rounds of MotoGP World Championship at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Indianapolis Motor Speedway