One more slot in the 2013 MotoGP line up has been filled. Today, the Go & Fun Gresini team announced that they have signed Bryan Staring to ride the FTR Honda CRT bike for them in MotoGP in 2013. The 25-year-old left his native Australia to contest the Superstock 1000 Cup two years ago, winning races in 2012 and contending for the title all season, before ending in 4th.
While Honda's MotoGP riders have headed to the far east to continue testing, their World Superbike counterparts have trekked south to Jerez, joining a large group of WSBK riders testing at the circuit. The choice of the World Superbike men proved to be a far better one than HRC's, with the test taking place under close to ideal conditions at the circuit in the south of Spain.
Press releases from Repsol Honda and Go&Fun Gresini after the first day of the Honda test at Sepang:
Weather continues to plague Marquez in testing
Wet conditions continued to trouble MotoGP rookie Marc Marquez on the first day of the three day test in Sepang. Marc was delayed going out due to a wet track and then managed only a few exits before more rain arrived. In total he completed 26 laps with a fastest time of 2'03.650.
MARC MÁRQUEZ 2'03.650
Rain continues to plague MotoGP testing, this time severely curtailing testing for the Honda teams out at Sepang. Dani Pedrosa's decision to sit this test out may well prove to be sensible, with rain looking likely to severely restrict testing over all three days at Sepang.
Since the global financial crisis struck back in 2008, MotoGP's primary focus has been on cutting costs. These efforts have met with varying success - sometimes reducing costs over the long term, after a short term increase, sometimes having no discernible impact whatsoever - and as a result, the grids in all three classes are filling up again.
The 2013 Argentinian round of MotoGP has been canceled, as we forecast it would be yesterday. Today, Dorna issued a statement on the cancellation, and the FIM issued a new 18-race calendar without Argentina on it.
Even before the Argentinian round of MotoGP had been officially added to the calendar, the race has been in doubt. The race, provisionally scheduled to take place on April 14th next year at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, has been caught in the crossfire between the Argentinian government and Repsol, over the former nationalizing Repsol YPF, the Argentinian arm of the Spanish petroleum giant.
MV Agusta will be making a return to world championship racing. Today, the iconic Italian brand they will be teaming up with the ParkinGO squad led by Giuliano Rovelli to race the company's new three-cylinder F3 675 machine in World Supersport for the 2013 season.
The reports of a major reshuffle at Ducati which emerged at Valencia turned out to be accurate. Today, Ducati Motor Holding announced a complete reshuffle within its racing department, which sees the current leaders of Ducati's racing projects moved aside to make way for new blood.
The future of Maverick Viñales has at last been settled. Today, on the eve of a test aboard a KTM Moto3 machine at the Almeria circuit, Pablo Nieto, manager of the JHK T-Shirt Laglisse team, announced that the young Spanish sensation has signed to race for the team in 2013. The deal will see Viñales race a factory-spec KTM Moto3 bike next season, with the team that fielded Efren Vazquez and Hector Faubel in 2012.
The LCR Honda team today issued the following press release, on Stefan Bradl's winning of the MotoGP Rookie of the Year award:
BRADL TAKES 2012 BEST ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD
The curtain dropped down on the 2012 MotoGP season last Sunday night in Valencia with the FIM Awards Ceremony held at the Auditori Mar Rojo de L’Oceanogràfic in the Ciutat de les Arts y les Ciencies. Dorna Sports CEO Mr. Carmelo Ezpeleta and FIM President Mr. Vito Ippolito were joined on stage by several guests to present the numerous awards throughout the course of the evening.
Marc Marquez was heaped with praise in the media after his first laps on the Repsol Honda at Valencia on Wednesday. So much praise that some MotoGP fans grew sceptical, questioning whether ending the test over a second behind his new teammate and fastest man Dani Pedrosa was the great result that was being touted by the press. After all, Marquez had finished just 7th, behind all of the prototype riders from last year, and that was without the presence of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi on the factory Yamahas.
The Honda World Superbike team issued the following press release after a wet test at Aragon, where Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam tested new parts for the 2013 WSBK season. The uprated electronics package, put together with the help of HRC and hoped to have a major impact on performance, is due to arrive for the next test of the team at Jerez. The press release appears below:
Honda completes SBK test at Aragon
Honda yesterday completed a two-day test at Motorland Aragon in Spain as it continues its preparation for the 2013 World Superbike championship season.