After their split with Ducati over the support required for campaigning and developing Ducati's new Panigale superbike, there was some speculation as to what would become of the Italian team which ran Ducati's crypto-factory racing program for the past two years. On Monday, Althea announced that as expected, the team would be making the switch to Aprilia, and racing an RSV4 in 2013.
For years Phillip Island has been a track I'd planned to go to, but for one reason or another, it was a trip I'd not been able to make happen. I was ticking off other top locations such as Catalunya, Mugello, Assen, places that were Bucket List items for me both as a race fan and a photographer. But PI wouldn't cooperate.
Ducati's MotoGP team issued the following press release after the final three-day test of the year at Jerez:
Ducati Team completes 2012 testing at Jerez
The Ducati Team’s scheduled three-day off-season test at the Spanish Jerez circuit certainly wasn’t without its hurdles, but the team took them in stride and heads into MotoGP’s winter test ban with information that will be helpful as engineers do their development work on the 2013 Desmosedici.
BMW issued the following press release after the final World Superbike test of the year at Jerez:
BMW Motorrad - WSBK - Winter Testing - Jerez
28th to 30th November 2012.
The last day of testing of 2012 turned out to be a mirror image of the MotoGP season just finished. As it had so many times this year, rain and wind ruined conditions, making the track far too dangerous for slick tires, and too dry to do any proper testing on wets. And just as they had done so often this year, the few riders remaining at the Jerez combined MotoGP and World Superbike test spent the day sitting in the garage, watching the weather, before calling an early halt to proceedings and heading home.
The LCR Honda team issued the following press release after Stefan Bradl's successful arm pump surgery on Thursday:
SUCCESSFUL SURGERY FOR BRADL ON HIS RIGHT FOREARM
A press release issued by Eugene Laverty's personal press agent after completing the final World Superbike test of the year at Jerez:
Laverty (Aprilia) the quickest on Day 3 at Jerez Test
Aprilia Racing and Kawasaki Racing both concluded their final winter test run of the year at Jerez today before the regulation six-week ban kicks in from the start of December through until mid-January.
The penultimate day of combined testing for the MotoGP and World Superbike teams at Jerez brought good news for Ducati, in both series. Nicky Hayden ended the day as fastest, posting the fastest timed lap set by a Ducati this year at Jerez, just a hair outside the 1:39 bracket at 1:40.090. That is nearly half a second quicker than the time he posted during qualifying back in April, despite cold conditions which made it difficult to get the Bridgestone tires up to temperature.
Aprilia has finally confirmed that Sylvain Guintoli is to ride alongside Eugene Laverty in the factory Aprilia team for 2013. Below is the press release with the official announcement:
SYLVAIN GUINTOLI ON THE APRILIA RACING TEAM FOR 2013.
Ducati's WSBK and MotoGP riders have joined some of the World Superbike men at Jerez as testing continues, offering an interesting comparison between the two series. Somewhat unsurprisingly, the fastest time was set by a World Superbike rider, Eugene Laverty taking top spot on the factory Aprilia, having already spent two previous days on the track. Tom Sykes ended the day in 2nd, the Kawasakis once again running without transponders, while Nicky Hayden ended with the 3rd fastest time on his first day of testing aboard the Ducati GP13 Desmosedici MotoGP machine.
Last but not least, the FIM announced the MotoGP rider line up for 2013. The list contains few surprises - Michael Laverty now officially confirmed by the FIM as being entered by Paul Bird Motorsport, though contracts have yet to be finalized - and only one slot is yet to be filled, the second IODA slot alongside Danilo Petrucci. The other item of note is that Jorge Lorenzo has elected officially to keep the number 99, instead of taking the number 1 plate he may carry as reigning champion.
The FIM today announced the provisional entry list for the Moto2 class in 2013. As in Moto3, the champion has moved up, Marc Marquez having made the jump to MotoGP, leaving Pol Espargaro as the man to beat. With a new combined rider/bike weight limit, larger riders should have less of a disadvantage, improving Scott Redding's chances, though Thomas Luthi, Julian Simon and Alex de Angelis are all likely to feature at the front once again.
The FIM today announced the provisional entry list for the Moto3 class in 2013. With 2012 champion Sandro Cortese gone, Maverick Viñales starts as favorite for the title, now delighted to be aboard a full factory KTM with JHK Laglisse. Challenging Viñales will be Jonas Folger, the surprise package of 2012 once he had switched to a Kalex KTM with Aspar, and this year's runner Luis Salom. Alex Rins will be a rider to watch, the young Spaniard having impressed in the latter part of his rookie season.
The Go & Fun Gresini Honda MotoGP team issued the following press release after completing test at Sepang:
TEAM GO & FUN HONDA GRESINI TO STICK WITH SHOWA IN 2013 AFTER SEPANG TEST
The Honda World Superbike press office issued the following press release after completing their test at Jerez:
Honda rounds out 2012 with Jerez test
The Honda World Superbike Team has completed its 2012 riding programme today with a two-day test at Jerez in southern Spain.
The team’s 2013 all-British rider line-up of Leon Haslam and Jonathan Rea spent the final testing opportunity of the year with new chassis components and a completely revised electronics package for the CBR1000RR Fireblade racing machines.