The Power Electronics Aspar team have seized the opportunity offered by the CRT rules with both hands. By teaming up with Aprilia and employing two talented and fast riders, Aspar has helped turn the RSV4-based ART machine into a genuinely competitive machine, in every respect except for horsepower. At Assen, Aleix Espargaro finished eighth, ahead of two factory Ducatis and three other satellite MotoGP machines. The bike is clearly good.
The bikes have finally hit the track at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina. Pushbikes, that is ... Cal Crutchlow, Alvaro Bautista, Hector Barbera, Stefan Bradl and Tito Rabat have all spent time lapping the Argentinian circuit ahead of the two-day test which starts on Thursday, some circulating on bicycles, some lapping the track in rental cars.
With three podiums and a pole position this year, Cal Crutchlow's stock continues to rise. As the only top rider out of contract, there is much speculation about where the talented Englishman could end up. All three factories have expressed an interest in Crutchlow, with Ducati and Yamaha the frontrunners to secure his services for next year. Crutchlow has made his preference clear: to remain at Yamaha, either in the factory team or at Tech 3, with the kind of factory support given to Stefan Bradl in the LCR Honda team by HRC.
Bridgestone has issued their customary post-race debrief after the Dutch TT at Assen. In this edition of the press release, Bridgestone talk about how tires designed to work under heat-resistant conditions functioned in Assen, and about testing tires at the new Argentinian track at Termas de Rio Hondo. The press release appears below:
Dutch MotoGP™ debrief with Masao Azuma
Wednesday 3 July 2013
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Extra-soft & Soft. Rear: Soft, Medium-soft & Medium (Asymmetric)
MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.
The Honda/Yamaha pendulum
Cal Crutchlow arrived in Argentina this morning, to take part in a two-day test at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in the north of the country, in preparation for next year's MotoGP round at the track. The Tech 3 press office issued the following press release after his first day of activities:
Cal Crutchlow receives warm welcome in Argentina
As we reported at Mugello, the claiming rule is to be dropped from the MotoGP rulebook. Introduced to prevent factories entering MotoGP under the guise of private teams, the claiming rule allowed any factory to claim the engine of a bike entered by a CRT team. But after the Grand Prix Commission agreed to the introduction of a spec ECU, the decision to run the spec software proved to be an alternative and more effective way was found of separating full factory efforts from privateer teams.
At Assen, Ducati MotoGP Project Director Paolo Ciabatti revealed to the MotoGP.com website that they, too, will be offering bikes for non-MSMA teams in 2014. While Honda is selling a simplified production racer version of the RC213V, and Yamaha is to lease M1 engines, the package Ducati is offering could turn out to be very interesting indeed.
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Ben Spies' absence due to his shoulder injury will extend to Laguna Seca. The Texan is still going through physical rehab to get the shoulder he injured at Sepang last year up to strength, and he hopes to be back to full fitness for the final US round of MotoGP at Indianapolis at the end of August.
Napoleon Bonaparte, former Emperor of France and large army afficionado, once said “in war, luck is half in everything,” and this weekend, riders in both classes would understand the sentiment. While weather also played a factor on Sunday, it was increased heat instead of rain for a change.
Press releases from the series organizers, as well as the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after today's races at Imola:
Sykes wins Race 1 to close up on Championship lead
Imola (Italy), Sunday 30 June 2013 - Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) dominated Race 1 at Imola to score his 9th career win, the 4th this year. Today's pole-sitter managed to pull away from 2nd place Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia) halfway through the race, keeping a strong pace that only the young Italian was able to match, in the first part.
The second World Superbike race at Imola was 21 uninterrupted laps in hot weather.
World Supersport planned 19 laps under a cloudless sky, and fate would roll her dice once more.
The race started with Sam Lowes taking the lead ahead of Kenan Sofuoglu while Luca Scassa in sixth place cut across the nose of Lorenzo Zanetti, clipping his bike on the grid. An investigation was into Scassa’s actions was opened. Kenan Sofuoglu took the lead off Sam Lowes at the beginning of the race, and the pair of them set about making a gap from Riccardo Russo, Luca Scassa and Vladimir Ivanov.