The Blusens Avintia team have announced that they have extended their contract with Maverick Vinales for the next two seasons. The deal will see the 17-year-old remain in Moto3 for the 2013 season, before moving up to Moto2 in 2014, complete with his entire crew.
Ben Spies has topped a fully wet second session of free practice at Aragon, the Factory Yamaha man having been fast throughout in the rain. Dani Pedrosa built his pace as the session progressed, ending the day in 2nd spot, less than a tenth behind Spies. Jorge Lorenzo took 3rd, but was over half a second slower than his Factory Yamaha teammate, while Nicky Hayden bagged a respectable 4th fastest time in the wet. Hayden was the last man to finish within a second of Spies, 5th place man Andrea Dovizioso coming in nearly 1.2 seconds behind Spies.
Miguel Oliviera was once again the fastest man in the Moto3 class, topping the second session of free practice conducted in fully wet conditions. Oliveira ended the session nearly two tenths ahead of Danny Kent, the Englishman heading a trio of Ajo KTMs, with Zulfahmi Khairuddin in 3rd and Sandro Cortese in 4th. Dutchman Jasper Iwema posted his best practice result of the year, nabbing 5th in the wet on the FGR Honda, just ahead of Luis Salom, Niklas Ajo and Jonas Folger.
Andrea Iannone ended a very late first session of practice for the Moto2 class at Aragon, the series having lost an hour in cleaning up the oil spill during the morning's Moto3 FP1 session. The practice was the first meaningful session of the day, with the rain falling at the beginning of the session making the track fully wet and allowing the teams to run wet tires. Iannone took full advantage of marginally improving conditions at the end of the session to post a flying lap, with Gino Rea showing his good form in the wet as well by taking 2nd.
Nicky Hayden has topped a meaningless first session of practice for the MotoGP class at Aragon, only a few riders going out on a track that was neither fully dry nor fully wet. Hayden led his factory Ducati teammate Valentino Rossi, the Ducatis being the only prototypes going out on track. A dry line was appearing on the track, but the elevation changes around the circuit mean that there is still lots of water in many of the corners.
Miguel Oliveira topped the first session of free practice for the Moto3 class at the Motorland Aragon circuit, sitting atop the timesheets when the session was red-flagged due to a severe oil spill with less than ten minutes left. Danny Webb's Mahindra exploded, dumping oil on the track and causing the session to be terminated, after a number of riders fell on the oil, leaving no one injured, fortunately.
With the MotoGP paddock assembled at the Motorland Aragon circuit, the press got their first chance to gauge rider reaction to the proposal of a spec ECU which Dorna is looking to introduce into MotoGP, most probably from 2014. The reaction was guardedly positive among the MotoGP regulars, though all five riders questioned in the pre-event press conference raised concerns over safety. Only Jonathan Rea, standing in for Casey Stoner in the Repsol Honda team for probably the last time, dissented, believing that MotoGP should be a pure prototype series.
Press release previews from the MotoGP teams and single tire supplier ahead of this weekend's MotoGP round at Aragon:
MotoGP Returns to Spain for the Grand Prix of Aragon
Press release previews from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams of this weekend's races at Aragon:
Kallio and Redding go head to head at Aragon
Gosselies, Belgium - 25 September 2012: The Marc VDS Racing Team return to action this weekend at the Motorland Aragon circuit in Spain, the venue for round 13 of the 2012 Moto2 World Championship.
The BMW World Superbike team issued the following press release updating Marco Melandri's status after his nasty crash at Portimao:
BMW Motorrad Motorsport: Update on Marco Melandri
After returning home, injured BMW Motorrad factory rider Marco Melandri underwent further examinations in Italy.
So MotoGP heads back to Spain for the third time this year, rolling into the Motorland Aragon circuit as the series enters its final stretch. Despite there being still five races left to go, the three different classes all look pretty much settled, after the races at Misano. Jorge Lorenzo benefited from Dani Pedrosa's misfortune at Misano to lead the MotoGP race by 38 points, Marc Marquez beat Pol Espargaro to the line in a do-or-die move in Moto2 to extend his lead to 53 points, and Sandro Cortese rode a brilliant race in Moto3 to enlarge his lead to 46 points.
Loris Baz, second youngest rider to win a World Superbike race has been confirmed as Tom Sykes's partner at Kawasaki for 2013. Frenchman Baz has earned himself a lot of new fans this year after he replaced Joan Lascorz after the Spaniard's career-ending accident at Imola. What was to be a temporary promotion from Superstock 1000, Baz showed that he was ready for World Superbike.
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 will be featuring sections of Oxley's blogs, posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website, over the coming months.
MotoGP has taken its first step towards the formal introduction of a standard ECU. Today, Dorna announced that they have reached agreement with Magneti Marelli to supply an electronics system to MotoGP teams for the next four years, starting from the 2013 season. To support the electronics system, Magneti Marelli will set up a MotoGP R&D center at their base in Bologna, Italy.