FIM Press Release: Medical Team Report on Luis Salom

The FIM issued the following press release containing a statement from the FIM MotoGP medical team:

FIM MotoGP World Championship Medical Team Report

Today, the Medical Team from the FIM MotoGP World Championship and the Medical Team of the Circuit Barcelona-Catalunya reached the scene of an incident involving Spanish Moto2 rider Luis Salom at turn 12 during the second practice session for Moto2 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Luis Salom Has Died

Luis Salom has succumbed to injuries sustained in a crash at the Montmeló circuit in Barcelona. Although the crash was not caught on film, witnesses report that Salom tried to save a highside at Turn 12, which left him heading straight for the air fence. Salom reportedly parted from his bike and hit the air fence, but the bike rebounded off the air fence and hit Salom in the chest. (Edit: CCTV footage of the crash is available on the website.)

2016 Barcelona MotoGP FP2 Result: Lorenzo Takes Charge

Jorge Lorenzo saw off a strong challenge from Maverick Viñales to take top spot in the afternoon session of free practice for the MotoGP class. The Movistar Yamaha rider had led for much of the session, just ahead of his teammate Valentino Rossi, until Viñales started to push in the final minutes of the session. The Suzuki rider was the first man to get into the 1'41s, but Lorenzo was not to be denied. Pushing for a quick lap, Lorenzo opened a gap of nearly a quarter of a second.

2016 Barcelona Moto3 FP2 Result: Antonelli Leads Navarro and Binder

Niccolo Antonelli was the fastest man in Moto3 once again on Friday afternoon, the Ongetta-Rivacold rider topping the timesheets by over a quarter of a second. The Italian lead the two main title candidates, Jorge Navarro performing well at home, just keeping ahead of championship leader Brad Binder. Hiroki Ono grabbed fourth spot, ahead of Jules Danilo and Juanfran Guevara.


KTM Press Release: Testing Continues at Brno

In a timely coincidence, after announcing that Pol Espargaro has signed to ride for them for 2017 and 2018, KTM today issued a press release containing updates on their latest test at the Brno circuit, with Mika Kallio and Karel Abraham. The press release appears below:

Next MotoGP Test at Brno – Team pushing hard to progress

MotoGP Test 2016 – Brno (CZE)

2016 Barcelona Moto2 FP1 Result: Nakagami Leads Zarco and Folger

Taka Nakagami topped the first session of free practice for the Moto2 class at Barcelona, the Japanese rider putting in a late charge to depose Johann Zarco. The Frenchman had led Jonas Folger for most of the session, but had to conced top spot to Nakagami at the end. Alex Rins ended the session in fourth behind Folger, while championship leader Sam Lowes took fifth.


2016 Barcelona Moto3 FP1 Result: Antonelli Takes Charge

Niccolo Antonelli has drawn first blood for the Moto3 class at Barcelona, the Italian putting in a fast lap at the end of the session to open a gap of three tenths of a second over Romano Fenati. The Sky VR46 rider had been the only rider to challenge Antonelli for top spot through the session, but Fenati had no answer for Antonelli's final run. 

2016 Barcelona MotoGP Preview: Great Tracks, Great Cities, and Teammates Reunited

If there is an axis around which every MotoGP season revolves, it has to be the sparkling jewels in the crown at Mugello and Barcelona. From the glory of the Tuscan circuit, all high speed and rolling hills set just an hour down the road from the heart of Italian sports motorcycles, the circuits heads to the magnificent track at Montmeló, just outside Barcelona. A stone's throw away from the cradle of Spanish motorcycling, and with a third or so of the grid (and the paddock regulars) having been born within an hour's drive, Barcelona is MotoGP's true home race.

Like Mugello, it is a track worthy of MotoGP, where the big bikes can properly stretch their legs. A massive front straight, exhaust noise booming between the great wall of a grandstand, with a tricky right-left chicane at the end of it. Lots of long fast corners, allowing differing lines and offering up chances to try to pass. A couple of hard braking sections with more opportunities to pass.

After the chicane at Turn 1 and 2, the next favorite passing spot is into Turn 5, a tight left hander. If you're feeling cheeky, you can have a sniff at Turn 7, though that can leave you open at Turn 9. Turn 10 is prime passing territory, a fast approach with a long downhill braking section, before you flick it left round a long, wide corner. Care is needed, though, as it is easy to lose the front on the greasy off-camber corner, or run wide when passing. That allows the rider you just passed to come back underneath. If the pass does not stick there, all is not quite lost, but it will require every gram of skill and bravery you can muster. Passes are possible at the final corner, as Valentino Rossi so stunningly demonstrated in 2009, but they are far from easy.

Yamaha Confirm Overrevving Was Cause of Mugello Engine Problems

Yamaha have issued an official explanation for the problem they suffered at Mugello, which saw Valentino Rossi's engine blow up during the race, and Jorge Lorenzo's engine blow up during warm up on Sunday morning.

The cause given is exactly in line with the reasoning in's Mugello Sunday post-race round up: the engine overrevving as the rear wheel lifted at the end of the Mugello straight. At that point in the track, with the bike hitting 350 km/h and nearing peak speed at top gear and at full throttle, when the rear wheel lifts over the crest at the end of the straight, the engine spins up too quickly for the rev limiter to catch.

Marc Marquez Extends Deal With Repsol Honda for Two More Years

Marc Marquez has finally agreed terms with HRC to continue in the Repsol Honda team for two more years. Though the fact that Marquez will remain in Honda is not a surprise, there were a number of important details to finalize before Marquez could agree to the deal. In the press conference on Thursday ahead of the Barcelona race, the Spaniard said there were three main points which needed agreement: the technical package, the financial aspect, and ensuring that he kept his current team around him.

Pol Espargaro Signs Two-Year Deal with KTM

The next factory MotoGP seat for the 2017 season has been filled. Today, Pol Espargaro announced that he will be joining his current teammate Bradley Smith at KTM for the next two seasons. Espargaro's announcement means that both KTM seats are now filled, with only one seat at Aprilia and one seat at Suzuki still left open.

The KTM press release welcoming Pol Espargaro appears below:

Welcome & Vamos Pol Espargaro – KTM signs Spanish MotoGP star
MotoGP Announcement

Yamaha Announce Pol Espargaro to Leave at End of 2016 - Off to KTM?

The first official announcement of the Barcelona weekend has been made. Yamaha issued a press release today announcing that Pol Espargaro will not be riding for Yamaha in 2017. The Spaniard had a contract directly with Yamaha, but rode in the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team. He had three offers to continue - a one-year deal from Yamaha to continue at Tech 3, and multi-year deals from KTM and Avintia Ducati - and is due to announce his future soon. It is widely believed he will join Bradley Smith at KTM. 


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