2012 WSBK Monza FP1 Result - Utter BMW Dominance

This time last year, Jonathan Rea walked away from the Friday free practice session with the fastest time, ahead of a handful of BMWs. He wouldn't be so lucky against the German machines this time round.

BMW staked their claim early on in the first free session, with Marco Melandri and Leon Haslam defending the top two spots ahead of the king of qualifying, Tom Sykes. Michel Fabrizio joined them the end, making it three BMWs in the top three places. Fast men Sykes and Rea were joined by the Aprilias of Eugene Laverty and Max Biaggi to round out the top 8.

2012 Estoril MotoGP FP1 Result: Spies Leads Ducati Duo on Drying Track

Ben Spies has topped the first session of practice for the MotoGP class at Estoril, the Texan getting the best of the tricky conditions to top the timesheets. The track started damp, but was drying rapidly under the Portuguese sun. Most of the riders stayed inside their garages waiting for the track conditions to improve - for Hector Barbera and birthday boy Jorge Lorenzo, they didn't improve enough, the two Spaniards choosing to sit the first session of practice out - but by the end, the majority of the field felt the track was good enough to provide useful data.

2012 Estoril Moto3 FP1 Result: Vinales Leads Oliveira On A Damp Track

Action is underway at the last MotoGP round to be run in Portugal for a while. The first session of free practice for the Moto3 class took place under sunny skies but on a track that was still soaked from the overnight rain. At the end of FP1, it was Maverick Vinales who set the fastest time, leading ahead of local hero Miguel Oliveira. Oliveira was the only rider to finish within a second of Vinales, 3rd fastest man Alberto Moncayo ending the session 1.091 behind Vinales.

Results:

2012 Monza World Supersport FP1 - Lowes a step ahead of the rest.

After a red flag on the first out lap delayed a proper start, Sam Lowes and Broc Parkes settled into the top two places, joined by Jules Cluzel's fast CBR600 and Kenan Sofuoglu on the Kawasaki in the early part of the session. Sam Lowes was the first rider into the 1'49s, then the first into the 1'48s, where he was eventually joined by Fabien Foret and Broc Parkes. Last year's pole position was an astounding 1'47.809 by Chaz Davies, but tellingly, Sam Lowes was in second place, having to wait until Saturday before he could set a 1'48 lap; a 1'48.051.

2012 Estoril MotoGP Thursday Round Up - On Stoner's Non-Retirement, Rossi's Chances at Yamaha and Riding New Bikes

For most of the groups inside the MotoGP paddock, this final visit to Estoril for the Portuguese Grand Prix is tinged with sadness. Everyone loves this place, except for arguably the most important group of individuals present: the riders. The track is too tight for a MotoGP bike, especially the tight uphill chicane that follows a couple of corners after the back straight, and the many surfaces of Estoril make it very difficult to cope with. But for anyone who doesn't actually have to ride the track, Estoril is wonderful.

Althea Ducati shutters its Superstock team

After a turbulent weekend at Assen, cumulating in blowing up their brand new Ducati Pangale 1199, the Althea Racing team have decided to end their involvement in the World Superstock 1000 series. With independent teams consistently outperforming them, it was theorised that the Althea bike was being used as a testbed to find the limits of the engine. It seems that they found them at Assen.

Press Release follows:

Casey Stoner Denies Retirement Rumors: "Don't Believe What You Read In The Press"

Casey Stoner has moved to quash rumors of his retirement which appeared in the Spanish press after Jerez. He would continue competing in MotoGP for as long as he still enjoyed the racing, and right now, he was still having fun, he said after the pre-event press conference for the Estoril MotoGP round. When he stopped having fun, he would retire, but that moment had not yet been reached, he said.

2012 WSBK Monza preview

World Superbikes leaves the uncertain conditions of Assen and heads to the historic track of Monza, just north of Milan, Italy. World Superbikes has been racing here since 1990 and have provided us with some thrillingly close high-speed duels and hard-fought victories. Unfortunately, the weather looks like it could once again be damp on Saturday and Sunday.

The First Improbable Rumors of the 2013 Silly Season: Rossi To Yamaha, Stoner To Retire?

Two traditions surround MotoGP's Silly Season: the first is that it kicks off earlier each year; and the second is that it kicks off with the wilder and more improbable rumors, before settling down and becoming a fraction realistic until the contracts finally start to get signed. The problem with the improbable rumors is that occasionally, one of the truly barking ones turns out to be true.

2012 Estoril MotoGP Press Release Previews

Press release previews from the MotoGP teams for the upcoming Portuguese round at Estoril:


Repsol Honda Team targeting another strong result in Portugal

This week the MotoGP family head to Estoril for the last time after visiting the circuit since 2000. The Grand Prix of Portugal is the third race of the season and the Repsol Honda Team arrives there only four days after celebrating the victory of Casey Stoner and the third position finish of Dani Pedrosa in Jerez.

2012 Estoril Moto2 and Moto3 Press Release Previews

Press releases from Dunlop and the Moto2 and Moto3 teams ahead of this weekend's Portuguese round at Estoril:


Dunlop heads to the many surfaces of Estoril

Dunlop’s Moto2 tyres have the multi-surface Portuguese circuit of Estoril to put them through their paces for the third round of the Moto2 World Championship - the Grande Prémio de Portugal Circuito Estoril - on May 4-6.

Bridgestone Press Release: Masao Azuma Talks Tough Weather Conditions At Jerez

Bridgestone's post-race debrief press release after the MotoGP race at Jerez:


Jerez MotoGP debrief with Masao Azuma
Round 2: Spanish MotoGP - Post-race debrief
Circuito de Jerez, Tuesday 1 May 2012

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium.
Bridgestone wet compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative).

The Factories Win a Reprieve: MotoGP Rev Limits Delayed Until 2014

Jerez saw another round in the game of bluff poker being played between Dorna and the manufacturers over the future of MotoGP's rules, and both sides took another step closer to an agreement. Reports emanating from the discussions suggest that Dorna has made a concession to the MSMA over the rev limits, while the factories are pushing through a single-bike rule, and an agreement should be ready by the middle of the year.

2012 Jerez MotoGP Sunday Notes - Of Rising Stars

The weather may have tried to claim the leading role at Jerez on Sunday, but after three fascinating races, there are still a few stars which easily outshone it. First and foremost is surely Romano Fenati: the Italian teenager won a Moto3 race at just the second attempt, going one better than his first race. Winning was impressive enough - you had to go back to 1991 and Nobby Ueda to find a rookie with a better debut, and Fenati's victory made him the 3rd youngest winner behind Scott Redding and Marc Marquez - but it was the manner of his victory which impressed most.

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