The FIM today announced that Franco Uncini has been appointed as FIM Grand Prix Safety Officer, replacing Claude Danis, who retired from the post at the end of last year. Uncini, the 1982 500cc World Champion with Suzuki, has long been working in the paddock as the riders' representative on matters of safety, advising both riders and Dorna in the Safety Commission. Uncini was already a member of Race Direction, the body charged with overseeing that Grand Prix race weekends proceed according to the rulebook.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after a (rather fruitless) first day of testing at a wet and windy Jerez:
NICO TEROL KEEPS PRESEASON FORM UP AT CIRCUITO DE JEREZ
ASPAR Team rider goes fastest in opening day of testing at Jerez, whilst Jordi Torres clocks ninth best time
Moving south did little to help with the weather for the Moto2 class. After three days of sunny weather at Valencia, the trek down to Spain's south coast was met with a solid day of wind and rain, with times suffering accordingly.
At a wet, windy and miserable Jerez, the Moto3 riders had their second opportunity to prepare for the 2013 season. On Tuesday, their time on the track was most spent on working a wet set up, rather than pushing the development of their Moto3 machines.
Press releases and previews from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the final test at Phillip Island, and looking forward to the first races of the season this weekend:
CHECA AND TEAM SBK DUCATI ALSTARE SCORE FASTEST LAP AT THE END OF OFFICIAL TESTING AT PHILLIP ISLAND!
Carlos Checa has removed any lingering doubts about the competitiveness of the Ducati Panigale 1199R, after controlling the second and final day of testing for the World Superbike class at Phillip Island, and ending the test as fastest overall. The Spaniard started the day fast, and ended the day fast, maintaining a strong pace throughout.
Sam Lowes has confirmed his status as favorite to win the 2013 World Supersport title, topping the timesheets on both days of the final official test ahead of this weekend's season opener at Phillip Island. Lowes was fast - the Yakhnich Yamaha man was nearly eight tenths quicker than the pole record held by Joan Lascorz, set back in 2010, and three tenths faster than reigning champion Kenan Sofuoglu. The MAHI Kawasaki man led his teammate Fabien Foret, the two World Supersport veterans looking like posting the strongest threat to Lowes' title chances.
Just over 18 months ago, I wrote a long analysis of what I believed at the time was the main problem with Ducati's Desmosedici MotoGP machine. In that analysis, I attributed most of the problems with the Desmosedici to the chosen angle of the V, the angle between the front and rear cylinder banks. By sticking with the 90°V, I argued, Ducati were creating problems with packaging and mass centralization, which made it almost impossible to get the balance of the Desmosedici right.
Leon Camier has carried his strong form from last week's private test at Phillip Island into the official test which started at the circuit on Monday. The FIXI Crescent Suzuki man used a race tire to lap half a second under Max Biaggi's race lap record, then going on to post a strong race simulation. The improvements the Crescent Suzuki squad have made, in conjunction with the Japanese Yoshimura company, are clearly paying off, the Suzuki lapping a second quicker than it did at the test last year.
It has been a good day for the Yamahas on the first day of the official World Supersport and World Superbike test at Phillip Island. The Yakhnich Yamaha squad got off to a strong start, with Sam Lowes topping the timesheets, and his teammate Vladimir Leonov in 3rd, just over a third of a second behind. Despite missing most of the first session of testing due to what the team described as a "technical problem", the young Englishman led the second session, setting a time just a tenth of a second off Joan Lascorz' pole record at the iconic Australian circuit.
The first test at Sepang was a disheartening affair for Ducati. The times of all four Ducati riders - Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso in the factory Ducati team, and Andrea Iannone and Ben Spies in the Pramac Ducati junior team - were well off the pace of the fastest men at the test, with Hayden, fastest Ducati rider, ending the test two seconds behind Dani Pedrosa on the Honda. Ducati acknowledged that they had a lot of work to do, and that there would be no quick fixes. Serious improvement would not come in the short term.
Wherever racing paddocks assemble, rumors accumulate. The latest piece of gossip to hit the racing grapevine concerns Casey Stoner, and is emerging from the paddock he has just entered - the Australian V8 Supercars series - and revolves and the paddock he has just left, MotoGP. According to the V8 gossip*, Casey Stoner is to wildcard in at least two MotoGP races in the 2013 season, aboard a Honda RC213V.
A new Moto3 season is about to start and, even if it is obviously too soon to talk about favourite contenders for the final crown, watching the fastest riders on the track and examining lap times can give an idea of how 2013 may play out in the smallest class. After three days of testing at the Ricardo Tormo racetrack -with nicer weather everyday- it is clear that KTM is a step ahead again. But lap times are not everything and these test sessions brought some other interesting facts.
The Yakhnich Yamaha squad has laid down a marker for the 2013 World Supersport season, with both Sam Lowes and Vladimir Leonov off to a flying start in Australia. Both Lowes and Leonov lapped under Fabien Foret's race lap record, while Lowes matched the pole record for the Phillip Island circuit, set in 2010 by Joan Lascorz.