With the 2013 MotoGP season due to start in just four weeks' time, it's time to take a trip down memory lane and get ourselves excited about this season's racing. To do so, over the next few weeks, we will be running an occasional series of shots by MotoMatters.com star shooter Scott Jones, taken at some of the rounds he attended last season. His stunning photos are a reminder of why we love motorcycle racing so much.
As well as speaking to Scott Redding about his aims for 2013 at the Marc VDS launch in Belgium, we also had the opportunity to interview Marc VDS Racing boss Michael Bartholémy. The German-speaking Belgian had a lot to say on his expectations, not just for Scott Redding and Mika Kallio in Moto2 this year, but also of the high hopes he has for Livio Loi, the 15-year-old Belgian youngster who will be racing in Moto3 for the team.
After already having staged the first race, the World Superbike calendar has finally been updated and lost its provisional status. Today, the FIM issued an official, finalized version of the 2013 World Superbike calendar, confirming the changes we reported on yesterday.
Fears that the World Superbike round at Silverstone is to be dropped are misplaced. Paddock rumors that Silverstone was back on the calendar emerged last night, with confirmation coming from Silverstone today, and being confirmed on their Facebook page. The race at Silverstone will take place on 4th August, and will see World Superbike, World Supersport and the Superstock 1000 and 600 classes compete.
The NGM Forward racing team were pioneers of the CRT concept. It was the NGM Forward team who were the first to present their plans to race the bikes presented as an alternative to the cripplingly expensive factory prototypes, launching their 2012 campaign with Colin Edwards at Misano in 2011. Edwards had an excruciating year aboard the Suter BMW, jumping ship to the Kawasaki-powered FTR for the 2013 season.
The Marc VDS team revealed their 2013 team livery for both the Moto2 and Moto3 campaigns on Monday night, and issued the following press release, with photos. MotoMatters.com also conducted an interview with Scott Redding at the launch, which you can find here.
Marc VDS Racing Team unveil 2013 livery in Gosselies
The Repsol Media Service issued yet another video today, this time containing a brief double interview with Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez. In the interview, the two men talk about what it means to them to be racing in Repsol colors, and more particularly for Repsol Honda, and their memories of former Repsol Honda champions such as Mick Doohan and Alex Criville. The press release and video are show below:
The Repsol Honda team according to Pedrosa and Marquez
One of the more intriguing things about spending a few years in a racing paddock is watching people grow and mature. Young riders come in to the Grand Prix paddock as exuberant 15 and 16-year-olds, certainly with the anachronistic maturity of all dedicated sportsmen and women, but still clearly young teenagers, that explosive mixture of energy, hormones and sheer joy driving them into paroxysms of hyperactivity. A few years later, those young boys (and now girls as well) turn into young men, and a fuller, more mature personality emerges.
The NGM Forward Racing team issued the following press release after their team launch in Milan:
NGM Mobile Forward Racing presents their 2013 team in Milan
The NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team presents its 2013 team in Milan. The team presented its six riders; Colin Edwards, Claudio Corti in MotoGP and Simone Corsi, Alex De Angelis, Mattia Pasini and Ricky Cardús in Moto2.
The Losail Circuit in Qatar is the largest floodlit sporting venue on the planet. The lighting system includes over 1000 structures, 3 million kilos of concrete, and 500 kilometres of wire. The system would power 3000 homes. Three and a half thousand separate light sources produce 450 million lumens of light. On Sunday the 7th of April, those 450 million lumens will bathe one man. Valentino Rossi.
MotoMatters were fortunate to recently get a chance to fire some questions at Peter Hickman, who is riding for GBmoto racing this year. Dave Porter set the questions and Peter was very glad to offer his insight and opinions on a few matters to do with racing -
MM: Peter, congratulations on racing with GBmoto Racing for 2013 in BSB. I know there is a wait till Round 1 at Brands in early April so wondered what your first impressions were of your new team.
The Repsol Media Service, ever eager for publicity, issued the following video after the second MotoGP test at Sepang. In it, we ride with Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez around the Sepang track, viewed from a number of different perspectives. Observant viewers will note that the dashboard has been carefully blacked out, and music has been added to disguise the engine note, with some ingenious souls having used previous videos to measure engine revs and guess at firing orders. The press release and video are show below:
The best footage of the Repsol riders in Sepang testing
After two testing visits to Malaysia, Dani Pedrosa and Marc Márquez leave Sepang with their homework completed and with a positive outlook.
With the second preseason test of 2013 completed and riders and with the roar of the MotoGP bikes still ringing in the ears, we look back at the best footage of the Repsol riders at the test in the following video.
Cycle News contributing editor and long-time motorcycle racing journalist and photographer Henny Ray Abrams was found dead in his apartment in New York today, 28th February. Abrams was found at his computer by friends, sent to the apartment after the veteran reporter had failed to reply to emails and phone calls, something which was totally out of character.
Ducati Motor Holding today issued the following press release, announcing that former head of Ducati Corse Filippo Preziosi is to step down from his position on health grounds:
Engineer Filippo Preziosi resigns from Ducati Motor Holding
Marco Melandri has undergone surgery to fix the pain he had been suffering in his right shoulder. The Italian had damaged his shoulder in a crash last year at Portimao, and been treated for the problem over the winter. The initial feeling after testing had been good, but another crash at Phillip Island exacerbated the problem once again, and Melandri elected to undergo surgery on his return to Italy.