As the Grand Prix paddock heads to Valencia to assemble for the last race of the year, the rider line ups are starting to be finalized for the 2013 season. The MotoGP line up is drawing very close to completion, with just a few CRT seats remaining to be filled. Today it was confirmed that Hiroshi Aoyama has officially signed to race with the Avintia Blusens team in MotoGP, taking the place of Colombian rider Yonny Hernandez.
The key role that money plays in motorcycle racing was once again underlined when Bridgepoint Capital, the private equity firm which owns a large part of Dorna, announced it was selling a 39% stake in the organizer of MotoGP and World Superbikes. That stake was sold to CPPIB, a Canadian pension fund, the combining of WSBK and MotoGP under the umbrella of Dorna having been a prime mover for the sale.
The Moto2 paddock in Phillip Island was awash with rumors of cheating, and not for the first time. There have been accusations of cheating by Marc Marquez' Monlau Competicion team running around the paddock for most of the two years the young Spaniard has been racing in Moto2, accusations which MotoMatters.com has been reporting on since early this year.
Yonny Hernandez looks set to miss the final round of MotoGP at Valencia, as the Colombian continues his recovery from injury. Hernandez suffered a dislocated collarbone in a crash during the race at Motegi, an injury which forced him to miss both the Malaysian and the Australian rounds of MotoGP.
Yamaha has taken the first tentative steps towards an eventual return to the World Superbike series. On Friday, the Yakhnich Motorsport team announced that they have signed Sam Lowes to a three-year contract, with the stated aim of winning the World Supersport championship before moving up to World Superbikes. Lowes contested both the 2011 and 2012 World Supersport seasons with the PTR Honda team, winning 2 races and finishing 3rd in the standings this season.
Ant West looks certain to miss the final round of Moto2 at Valencia. The Australian has been found guilty of using methylhexaneamine, a mild stimulant on the WADA list of banned substances which is also used by the FIM in their anti-doping code. West tested positive at the Le Mans round of MotoGP, but he has only now been heard before the FIM International Disciplinary Court.
MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We will be featuring sections of Oxley's blogs, posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website, over the coming months.
You’ve got to hand it to Jorge Lorenzo.
Jules Cluzel has signed to race with the FIXI Crescent Suzuki squad in World Superbikes for 2013. The deal, announced two days' ago, sees the young Frenchman move up from the World Supersport class in which he made an impressive debut in 2012. Cluzel had switched to the WSBK paddock after losing his ride in Moto2, despite a similarly impressive year with the NGM Forward team in 2011.
Bridgestone issued their customary post-race press release today, discussion the way their tires handled the cooler temperatures and higher speeds at the Phillip Island circuit on Sunday. The press release is published below:
Phillip Island MotoGP™ debrief with Shinji Aoki
Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
As reported earlier, Althea and Ducati Corse have gone their separate ways, leaving Carlos Checa, who was under contract to Ducati, rather than Althea, in limbo. Today, Ducati Corse issued a press release reaffirming that Ducati will be racing in 2013, and that Carlos Checa will be their rider. The press relase is shown below:
Ducati confirms Carlos Checa in its 2013 World Superbike preparations
Two freshly anointed champions, three impressive winners, and a large crowd of ecstatic and yet wistful fans, come to say goodbye to a departing hero and hope to spot a new one arriving. Even the weather cooperated. That's how good the Australian Grand Prix was at Phillip Island this year. All three races were a lot less intense than the previous two weekends, but even that didn't matter, because of the manner in which the winners secured their victories, and because the Australian crowd had something to cheer about in all three categories.
The Althea team have terminated their association with Ducati. After prolonged negotiations between Althea team boss Genesio Belvilacqua and Ducati Corse, in which the two could not reach an agreement on several key areas, Belvilacqua has decided to end their collaboration, and look for another manufacturer to work with.
The Repsol Media Service today issued the following press release containing an interview with Marc Marquez, in which he talks about what it took to win the 2012 Moto2 championship. He discusses the many tough races he had to win, the risks he had to take in the last laps, and his first lap at Motegi. The text is shown below:
Moto2 - Interview with Marc Márquez, Moto2 World Champion
"I won the title by taking last lap risks"
New Moto2 World Champion looks at the keys to his title winning season, one hour after his latest honour.
Press releases from Dorna and Yamaha on the occasion of Jorge Lorenzo securing his second MotoGP world championship:
Jorge Lorenzo – 2012 MotoGP™ World Champion
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo made history in the AirAsia Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island today, as he became the first Spanish rider to win the premier-class title more than once, after coming second and securing an insurmountable 43-point cushion with one race left.