2013 Qatar Moto2 and Moto3 Thursday Press Releases

Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after first day of practice at Qatar:

Promising start for Kornfeil and Iwema

RW Racing GP experienced a good start of the 2013 season. In the first free practice for the Moto3 riders on the Losail circuit in Qatar Jasper Iwema set a promising 9th time. His team mate Jakub Kornfeil was on his tail and finished 11th. The Czech improved to 10th in the second practice session. The Dutchman had to settle for 20th after a small mistake in his flying lap.

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2013 Qatar Moto2 FP2 Result: Nakagami Edges Rabat And Espargaro

Takaaki Nakagami has topped the second session of free practice for the Moto2 class at Qatar, the Japanese rider benefiting from the track being cleaned by a good number of previous sessions. The Japanese rider just kept ahead of Tuenti HP 40 rider Tito Rabat, who was in turn less than a tenth quicker than his team mate Pol Espargaro. Scott Redding took 4th, half a second behind Nakagami but a good four tenths ahead of a big group of riders challenging for 5th, led by Julian Simon.


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2013 Qatar MotoGP FP1 Result: Lorenzo Leads Yamaha Clean Sweep

Jorge Lorenzo has gotten the defence of his 2012 MotoGP title off to a strong start, topping the first session of free practice for the class at Qatar. The Spaniard leapt to the top of the timesheets with a late charge, after his teammate Valentino Rossi led for much of FP1. Lorenzo took over from Cal Crutchlow, after the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider briefly led the session. Rossi completed a Yamaha clean sweep of the top three spots, the three bikes separated by just 0.071 seconds.

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2013 Qatar Moto2 FP1 Result: Espargaro Grabs Top Spot Ahead Of Nakagami

Pol Espargaro has started the 2013 Moto2 season as he means to go on, topping the timesheets in the first session of free practice. The Tuenti HP 40 rider ended the session three tenths ahead of Italtrans rider Takaaki Nakagami, the two men swapping the lead throughout the session. Espargaro's teammate Tito Rabat ended the session in 3rd, ahead of Marc VDS Racing's Scott Redding. Redding had a difficult start, stopping with an electrical problem on his out lap, but returning in time to get within three quarters of a second of Espargaro.

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2013 Qatar Moto3 FP1 Result: Folger Tops First Session of 2013 Season

Jonas Folger has drawn the first blood of the 2013 Moto3 season, topping the first session of free practice at Qatar. The German leads Spaniard Alex Rins by nearly four tenths of a second, while Luis Salom took 3rd. Efren Vazquez ended the session in 4th spot, and was the last rider to get within a second of Folger.

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2013 Qatar MotoGP Wednesday Round Up: Winter's Questions About To Be Answered

It's here at last. After a painfully long preseason - Qatar's position as the first race of the year, and their insistence on running at night, means that it is unsafe to run it much earlier, due to the danger of dew having disastrous effects on grip levels - the MotoGP paddock is assembled and ready to go racing. While there is always a sense of eagerness ahead of the first race at Qatar, it feels like the anticipation is even greater this year.

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Regulation Refresher: A FAQ For The Rule Changes For The 2013 MotoGP Season

With the 2013 MotoGP season just a few hours away, it's time for a quick recap on the rule changes which come into effect this year. Though the technical rule changes are minor - slightly more significant changes are to be made for 2014, but that is a story for another day - the change to qualifying is significant, and will have a real impact on all of the practice session, albeit indirectly.

So here's what has changed for 2013:

Fewer Engines

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2013 Qatar MotoGP Time Schedule: All The Times Over Four Days Of Practice

The return of the MotoGP series is being met with a warm welcome among racing fans around the world, but the fact that the season opener at Qatar is a night race is always cause for confusion. As a result of it being run at night, the race weekend is spread over four days instead of three, in order to fit all of the classes into the window between sunset and the potential onset of the dew, which can form in the evenings around 11pm, and make track conditions extremely treacherous.

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2013 MotoGP Season Preview: The Best Season Ever? For A While At Least

Every year, about now, there is one phrase which you will hear over and over again. With MotoGP testing behind us, and the start of the season imminent, every race fan chants the same mantra: "This could be the best MotoGP season ever!" Reality tends to intervene rather quickly, and the races never seem to pan out the way race fans had been hoping. Intriguing? Yes. Entertaining? Often. Thrilling? Not nearly as often as hoped.

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Alpinestars Video: "Ask Me Something: Dani Pedrosa Answers

There has been a veritable bonanza of MotoGP videos this week. Along with the videos Andrew Elder shot during the private test at the new Austin circuit in Texas, clothing manufacturer Alpinestars issued the first of what promises to be a series of videos highlighting some of Alpinestars' top riders. First up is Dani Pedrosa, interviewed by the leathers firm at the private test in Austin, in a series entitled "Ask me something".

Watch the video below:

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Video: Jorge Lorenzo Talks About The Austin Private MotoGP Test

Previously, we have posted videos of Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez speaking to the press at the private MotoGP test at Austin. Today, it is the turn of Jorge Lorenzo. Lorenzo, like Rossi and Marquez, speaks of the track, of how he sees it, and of the difficulties competing against the Hondas at the Austin circuit.

To remind you, this is the raw, unedited footage of the interaction between Lorenzo and the media, the debriefs on which the press reports were based on, but it gives an insight into the wit and charm of the Spaniard. This is a sequence of two videos arranged in a Youtube playlist. The second video will play automatically after the first: 

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World Superbikes To "Return To Its Roots," Race Naked Bikes

As many of you will have spotted, this was in fact an April Fool's story. While discussions about the future of the World Superbike series are ongoing, there are no proposals at the current time to switch to naked bikes. The sales trend of the sport bike market segment is true, as are the numbers for bike sales in Belgian (I wrote a column for the Belgian magazine Motorrijder on this very subject, which is to appear in the April issue). The idea was sparked both by the current market trends in motorcycle sales, and by pictures of former greats like Eddie Lawson and Freddie Spencer muscling Kawasaki Z1000s and Honda VF750s around the track. For another year at least, all of the stories on the website will be as accurate as possible. Normal service has now been resumed... 

The news that Dorna had been handed control over the World Superbike series struck terror into the hearts of WSBK fans around the globe. The fear was Dorna would use their position of controlling both World Superbikes and MotoGP to widen the technical gap between the two series in an attempt to cut costs. With Dorna having so often complained that World Superbikes was encroaching on MotoGP territory, and with MotoGP's technical regulations becoming ever more restrictive, the logical step would appear to be to severely restrict the level of machinery used in WSBK.

Over the winter, and during the first round of the 2013 World Superbike series, talks between Dorna, the Superbike teams and the manufacturers involved in the series failed to make much headway. The factories could not agree among themselves what level of modification to allow, while the teams were unimpressed by Dorna's demands that a WSBK machine should cost 250,000 euros a season, stating that the money saved in the bike would only be spent elsewhere.

Talks had continued at the IRTA test at Jerez, with Dorna's new World Superbike boss Javier Alonso present, and engaged in private discussions with the bosses of HRC, Shuhei Nakomoto, Yamaha Motor Racing, Shigeto Kitegawa, and Ducati Corse, Bernhard Gobmeier. MotoMatters.com has learned that since then, further telephone discussions have taken place with Kawasaki boss Ichiro Yoda and Suzuki's Shinichi Sahara, while Alonso had previously spoken to Aprilia Corse boss Gigi Dall'Igna at the Jerez circuit, during their test there.

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