Alex Rins ended an incident-packed FP2 session for the Moto3 class on top of the timesheets, in a session cut short by the weather. The Estrella Galicia rider just edged ahead of Mapfre Aspar's Jonas Folger, while Luis Salom took third spot half a second behind Rins, and just ahead of Maverick Viñales. British rider Danny Webb ended in fifth, ahead of Niklas Ajo and Webb's Ambrogio teammate, Brad Binder.
Scott Redding has ended the first session of free practice for the Moto2 class at Le Mans firmly in charge of proceedings. The Marc VDS Racing rider seized control in the first fifteen minutes of the session, and kept the lead all the way to the end.
Dani Pedrosa has topped the timesheets in the first session of free practice for the MotoGP class at Le Mans. The Repsol Honda man was strong throughout practice, and held off a late challenge from Jorge Lorenzo to take first blood in France. Lorenzo was not far off, however: on his final lap, he got to within four hundredths of Pedrosa's time, setting the scene for a very close weekend.
Maverick Viñales has set out his statement of intent, topping the first session of free practice for the Moto3 class with a late charge. The Spaniard deposed both Alex Rins and Jonas Folger, after Folger had controlled the second half of practice. The session got underway with a few spots of rain, but, that soon cleared up and temperatures rose dramatically towards the end of practice, meaning times dropped.
Where do you draw the line? That's the central question in the paddock at Le Mans. The last-corner incident at Jerez is still front and foremost in many riders' minds, though perhaps none more so than Jorge Lorenzo's. Jorge Lorenzo still believes that Marc Marquez should be penalized for the move he made at Jerez, while the rest of the world remains to be convinced.
Three races into the 2013 MotoGP season, and the Yamaha Factory Racing team have been forced to tear up the script they had written for themselves after preseason testing. Their original goals were for Jorge Lorenzo to win as often as possible in the early part of the season, building a lead at the tracks at which Yamaha is supposed to be strong, then defend that lead in the second half of the year.
Press release previews from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone ahead of this weekend's French Grand Prix at Le Mans:
Yamaha Head to France for Le Mans
Gerno di Lesmo (Italy), 14th May 2013
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams ahead of this weekend's races at Le Mans:
Marc VDS to field four riders at Le Mans this weekend
Gosselies, Belgium - 14 May 2013: The Marc VDS Racing Team head this weekend to the French Grand Prix at Le Mans, where Scott Redding and Mika Kallio are keen to continue the run of form that has seen a Marc VDS rider finish on the podium in every Moto2 race so far this season.
That MotoGP is too Iberocentric - too many Spanish races, and too many Spanish riders - is obvious to all who follow the sport, with the possible exception of a blinkered Spanish journalist or two. The series has to change, to move away from having four races a season in Spain, and to explore new markets in South America and Asia.
The second batch of post-race press releases after this weekend's World Superbike round at Monza, issued a day later because of the confusion over the results:
Melandri and Laverty take on top in turns at Monza
Press releases from some of the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after several incident-packed races at Monza:
Badovini and Team SBK Ducati Alstare finish 9th and 11th in today's Monza races
Monza (Italy), Sunday 12 May 2013: Team SBK Ducati Alstare and Ayrton Badovini fought hard during today’s fourth round of the World Superbike Championship at the ‘Autodromo di Monza’, concluding the day’s races in ninth and eleventh position. Carlos Checa did not take part due to an ongoing shoulder injury.
Motor racing has been described as drag racing between corners. Never is this adage truer than at Monza. Speed out of corners is paramount, especially out of the Parabolica, the fast last corner that leads on to the equally fast start/finish straight. The faster you exit a corner, the sooner you reach your top speed. Monza has two long straights, both with fast corners leading onto them; this is what makes it different from other tracks with long straights. Fuel limits and tyres come into play in a different way here than any other track on the calendar.
The last lap of the second World Superbike was frought with controversy after an overtake followed by an off-track excursion. The results of third and fourth place in the race have subsequently been reversed, following an appeal.
Fourth time lucky, the World Supersport race was reduced to a ten-lap dash at the end of the day.
Sam Lowes was riding with an injured wrist, an earlier injury angered by his crash, and Michael Van Der Mark didn't start due to what turned out to be a broken foot. Fabien Foret didn't start.
The second World Superbike race at Monza once again demonstrated the kind of excitement that only a fast track can deliver.
Loris Baz had to start from the pit lane, missing out on a warm up lap as his Kawasaki wouldn't go, whereas Federico Sandi stalled at the start of the race, but he was able to get started and become a back marker late in the race.