As predicted over the past few days, Alvaro Bautista has finally signed with the San Carlo Gresini Honda team for the 2012 season. The Spaniard had been holding on for news from Suzuki, but with no confirmation of the factory's involvement for 2012, Bautista's patience was tested to its limits and he had to make a decision.
The Hondas continue to dominate the proceedings on the second day of testing at Valencia. Both Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner are into the 1'31 bracket, while Ben Spies is the best of the rest half a second behind Pedrosa. At least is within a second of the Hondas, as the 4th place man Cal Crutchlow is nearly one-and-a-quarter seconds behind on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha.
If the first day of last year's Valencia test was one of the biggest media events of the century - at least in the MotoGP world - the first day of this year's test was a lot more interesting. Though the test was missing a number of big names - Jorge Lorenzo was ruled out with a finger injury, Nicky Hayden couldn't take part because he fractured his scaphoid in the crash on Sunday - this was a day that the future was on display.
Press releases from some of the teams after the first day of the MotoGP test at Valencia:
FIRST DAY OF TESTING IN VALENCIA
The sun is out at Valencia and the bikes are circulating, though the times are not yet anywhere near the lap record. The two Hondas lead, Casey Stoner faster than Dani Pedrosa by two tenths of a second, while Yamaha's Ben Spies is in 3rd, half a second off Stoner's pace. Spies is the only factory Yamaha rider at the test, Jorge Lorenzo already having pulled out due to the finger injury he is still carrying.
Randy de Puniet is to test Suzuki's 800cc MotoGP bike this afternoon at Valencia. Below is the press release announcing the test:
Rizla Suzuki to test Randy de Puniet
Publish Date: Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Rizla Suzuki has given the opportunity to Randy de Puniet to ride the GSV-R at today’s Valencian post-season test.
The least surprising news revealed by Filippo Preziosi in the press conference he gave at Valencia today was that Ducati will be testing an aluminium perimeter frame on Tuesday and Wednesday. The fact that Ducati have been building such a frame came to light in mid-August, Ducati sources letting slip that the factory was building such a frame. But the existence of such a chassis was always officially denied, at least until today.
With the 2012 season is about to start on Tuesday morning, the 1000cc bikes taking to the track at 10am, the last few empty seats in MotoGP are starting to fill up. The latest rider signing was expected some time ago, Pramac Ducati finally announcing that they have signed Hector Barbera for the 2012 season. Barbera was the top satellite Ducati rider during 2011, and was the man who looked most comfortable aboard the GP11. Barbera had originally intended to stay on with the Aspar team, but when Jorge Martinez decided to switch to CRT status, Barbera elected to jump ship to Pramac.
Press releases from the 125cc and Moto2 teams, tire supplier and chassis manufacturers after the final race of the year at Valencia:
Salom satisfied with season, not with last race
RW Racing GP and Luis Salom look back with satisfaction on the season, that ended in Valencia. With the last race both team and rider were not entirely happy. Luis Salom had expected much more than seventh place, but realized that a crash in the last lap could have had a much different outcome.
The last race of the year is always one for farewells, but we had an awful lot of goodbyes on Sunday at Valencia. The last ever race for the 800cc MotoGP bikes, the last ever race of Loris Capirossi's very long and highly colorful career (some paddock wags suggesting that the first win of his career came against a rider called Maximus Decimus Meridius), the end of the two-stroke Grand Prix era, with the 125cc bikes making way for the Moto3 machines.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after Sunday's final race of the season at Valencia:
Stunning victory snatched at the finish line in Spain
Round 18: Valencia GP – Race
Valencia, Sunday 6 November 2011
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear (asymmetric): Medium, Hard
Results and summary of the MotoGP race at Valencia:
Casey Stoner has capped his 2011 MotoGP championship with his 10 win of the season, pipping Ben Spies to the line by less than two hundredths of a second. The victory meant that Stoner won the very first and the very last race of the 800cc era, matching his 2007 season for number of wins with 10.
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