Marc Marquez is to stay in Moto2 for another year. After all of the recent speculation, the 18-year-old Spaniard told the media at Sepang on Thursday that he had decided against switching to the MotoGP class after reviewing the options on offer to him. He will race for the Repsol-backed Catalunya Caixa Moto2 squad run by his mentor Emilio Alzamora aboard a Suter for 2012.
It has been clear for some time that 2012 would bring a major shake up in World Superbikes. With Yamaha announcing their withdrawal from the series and Althea looking doubtful of continuing, all the way up until Sunday afternoon at Portimao, it has been very difficult to sketch the outlines of a rider line up for next season. But after the hectic round of negoiating at the final round of the 2011 season in Portimao, at least part of the equation has become clear, and a relatively healthy-looking WSBK grid is starting to take shape.
As one season ends, the next season starts. After a day of rest in which a motley collection of journalists, ex-racers and celebrities got to ride the 2011 World Superbike machines (including Ducati legend Paul Smart), half of the WSBK grid took to the track on Tuesday to start testing for the 2012 season.
After the latest round of MotoGP at Phillip Island in Australia, Bridgestone issued their customary post-race press release. In it, Hirohide Hamashima talks about the paradox that Phillip Island presents in terms of tire performance. The press release follows below:
Australian Grand Prix debrief with Hirohide Hamashima
Round 16: Australian GP – Post-race debrief
Phillip Island, Tuesday 18 October 2011
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear (asymmetric): Medium, Hard
Yamaha have announced that Jorge Lorenzo is to be replaced at the Sepang round of MotoGP, a decision that came when it became apparent that the 2010 World Champion would not be able to race in Malaysia. Lorenzo's replacement is to be Katsuyuki Nakasuga, a test rider for the Japanese factory and currently competiing the Japanese Superbike class, where his 3rd in the championship.
The FIM today released the list of teams accepted for next year's Moto2 and Moto3 championships, and both championships are looking healthy. Twenty teams have been entered in each of the two classes, and grid size is expected to be 32 riders in both Moto2 and Moto3. That is actually a reduction in size for the Moto2 class: in previous years, 40 riders have been given starts, but this caused a number of complaints from the teams.
Jorge Lorenzo has flown home to Barcelona, to continue the recovery process after surgery to fix the finger he injured at Phillip Island, which ruled him out of both the Australian Grand Prix and this weekend's Malaysian round of MotoGP at Sepang. Lorenzo injured both the middle and ring fingers in the crash, the ring finger most severely. Lorenzo's middle finger required a skin graft, but his ring finger required a more complicated procedure, to reattach the extensor tendon (responsible for stretching the finger out straight) to the fingertip bone, half of which Lorenzo lost in the crash.
Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the final round of the season at Portimao. Which includes the official statement that Carlos Checa will be staying with Althea Ducati for the 2012 season:
Miguel scores season best eighth at home
PARKALGAR HONDA'S Miguel Praia thrilled a huge crowd at his home Parkalgar circuit near Portimao in Portugal coming from 12th place with five laps to go to take eighth at the finish line and equal his season best performance in the final round of the World Supersport Championship.
Press releases from the Moto2 and 125cc teams after the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island:
Excellent second for Luis Salom
With an excellent second place in the Australian Grand Prix, Luis Salom again demonstrated he belongs to the top of the 125cc. After a cautious start due to the half wet track at Phillip Island, the Spanish rider from the Dutch team RW Racing GP steadily moved to the podium positions. He got there in already the eighth lap after a fierce battle with Johann Zarco and Hector Faubel.
Fears of a tiny grid in MotoGP for 2012 appear to be receding rapidly. As the countdown to next year approaches, the final slots on the grid - along with what may turn out to be a large number of CRT entries, as we reported earlier - are starting to fill up.
It is a subject we keep returning to, but Sunday's events at Phillip Island just serve to underline Nicky Hayden's truism on racing. "That's why we line up on Sunday," he said memorably ahead of the final race of the 2006 season, in which he clinched the championship, "you never know what's gonna happen."
Results and summary of World Superbike Race 2 at Portimao:
Marco Melandri has taken victory in the last World Superbike race of the season, after leading a group of three all the way to the line. The Italian finished ahead of his Yamaha teammate Eugene Laverty in race 2 at Portimao, providing Yamaha with a 1-2 finish to go out with, the factory withdrawing at the end of 2011.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after Sunday's race at Phillip Island, including a pile of press releases from everyone involved in Stoner's riders championship and Honda's manufacturers' championship:
DAMIAN CUDLIN UNABLE TO TAKE START IN AUSTRALIA FOR MAPFRE ASPAR TEAM
Damage suffered in Saturday free practice crash denies home MotoGP start for Australian stand-in