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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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'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).
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.
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.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after Sunday's race at Jerez:
Casey Stoner prevails in Jerez
Repsol rider takes first victory of the season, with Dani Pedrosa in third.
Repsol Media Service Spain, Circuito de Jerez Sunday 29/04/2012
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after Sunday's race at Jerez:
TOUGH DAY AT JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA FOR SPEED MASTER MOTO2 RIDERS
The Moto2 class put in a great show for its spectators, with today’s race at the circuit of Jerez de la Frontera.
Results and summary of the MotoGP race at Jerez:
Casey Stoner has broken his Jerez jinx at last, holding off a race-long challenge from Jorge Lorenzo to take his first ever victory at the track in all of the many years and classes he has raced here.