After a brief few days of rest, the Moto2 and Moto3 riders returned to action, this time heading further south to Jerez after last week's test at Valencia. At the end of the first day, unofficial timing saw Thomas Luthi fastest in the Moto2 class, while Danny Kent took the unofficial honors in Moto3.
You don't get many chances to get an image like this, with the entire grid together on track. Some circuits don't have a good first couple of turns, or it's hard to get there from the grid in time for the shot, or a good plan to get there is ruined by some unforeseen problem like a broken down shuttle, V.I.P. traffic on the access road, etc.
Power Electronics, a Spanish manufacturer of electrical equipment based in Valencia, is to be the new sponsor of the Aspar team's MotoGP project, the team announced today. Spanish insurer Mapfre is to continue as the Moto2 sponsor, while Bankia, a Spanish bank, will fund the team's Moto3 effort. Below is the press release containing full details of the deal between the MotoGP team and Power Electronics:
POWER ELECTRONICS ASPAR TEAM
Work to improve safety at the Sachsenring circuit has received FIM approval today, allowing construction to start to extend runoff at the track. The gravel traps at Turn 1 - at the end of the front straight - and Turn 10 - the fast left kink before cresting the hill at the top of the Waterfall - are to be extended to make the track safer, in response to requests from the MotoGP riders made in the Safety Commission.
As you have surely noticed by now, the site has a new design and layout. The old layout, with light text on a dark background, has been dropped, and the new site has switched to follow the golden rule set by every website designer, usability expert and ergonomics consultant on the planet: dark text on a light background. Readers from around the world had asked for the change for a couple of years now, and I finally caved in to their requests.
The Portuguese MotoGP Grand Prix is to go ahead on May 6th as scheduled. After a long delay, the FIM today confirmed that the Estoril round of MotoGP is to go ahead, and the 2012 calendar will remain the full 18 races.
Press releases from the World Superbike teams after the private test at Phillip Island:
TEAM ALTHEA RACING SATISFIED WITH THE RESULTS OF FIRST SBK TESTS OF 2012 SEASON AT PHILLIP ISLAND
Carlos Checa is looking in very good shape to start his defense of his 2011 World Superbike title, after ending the three-day private test at Phillip Island at the top of the timesheets and on lap record pace. At the end of the test, Checa's best time - set on race tires - was around the pace of Troy Corser's race lap record from 2007, but the Althea Ducati rider had Kawasaki's Tom Sykes snapping at his heels, just a tenth behind the pace of Checa.
Below is a press release from Repsol and a video blog (in Spanish) produced by the Catalunya CX team, in which Marc Marquez speaks of his recovery from his eye injury, and displays his motocross riding skills:
Carlos Checa took advantage of the hotter conditions at Phillip Island on Tuesday to seize the initiative during the second day of the private World Superbike test in Australia. The Althea Ducati rider took nearly a second off his time to get down to something approaching race pace, after finding a slightly different front-end setup for his 1198R. Kawasaki's Tom Sykes continued to impress, ending the second day of testing just a tenth off the pace of Checa, and another tenth ahead of Aprilia's Max Biaggi, while Eugene Laverty was two tenths slower than his Aprilia teammate.
Tom Sykes got his 2012 World Superbike campaign off to a good start, topping the timesheets after the first day of testing at the private WSBK test at Phillip Island. The Provec Kawasaki rider ended the day ahead of reigning World Champion Carlos Checa, and Aprilia's new recruit Eugene Laverty, while the two BMWs of Marco Melandri and Leon Haslam took spots 4 and 5.
John Hopkins' run of bad luck with hand injuries continues. The American has suffered yet another broken bone in his right hand, after crashing during a private World Superbike test at Phillip Island, ahead of the first round of the series in just under two weeks' time. Hopkins highsided at Turn 2, landing on his right hand, and fracturing a bone at the base of the hand.
Two more press releases after the Valencia Moto2 test, this time from the Marc VDS Racing team of Scott Redding and Mika Kallio, and from chassis manufacturer Suter:
All Suter riders happy with new bike
Press releases from a selection of the teams after the Moto2 and Moto3 test at Valencia:
FIRST TEST OF THE 2012 MOTO2 SEASON FOR SPEED MASTER TEAM AT VALENCIA
The three-day test held at the “Ricardo Tormo” circuit of Cheste, Valencia, ended today, as the teams get ready for the beginning of 2012 Moto2 World Championship.
The final day of testing for the Moto2 and Moto3 classes saw warmer temperatures and a fuller track, the riders taking advantage of the warmer track to make up for time lost to the chilly mornings on the previous two days of the test. After two days of domination, Scott Redding finally had to cede top spot at the test to Pol Espargaro, the Pons Racing rider lapping four tenths faster than Redding, and two tenths quicker than Redding's fastest lap on Thursday.