The FIM today announced the provisional entry list for the Moto3 class in 2013. With 2012 champion Sandro Cortese gone, Maverick Viñales starts as favorite for the title, now delighted to be aboard a full factory KTM with JHK Laglisse. Challenging Viñales will be Jonas Folger, the surprise package of 2012 once he had switched to a Kalex KTM with Aspar, and this year's runner Luis Salom. Alex Rins will be a rider to watch, the young Spaniard having impressed in the latter part of his rookie season.
The Go & Fun Gresini Honda MotoGP team issued the following press release after completing test at Sepang:
TEAM GO & FUN HONDA GRESINI TO STICK WITH SHOWA IN 2013 AFTER SEPANG TEST
The Honda World Superbike press office issued the following press release after completing their test at Jerez:
Honda rounds out 2012 with Jerez test
The Honda World Superbike Team has completed its 2012 riding programme today with a two-day test at Jerez in southern Spain.
The team’s 2013 all-British rider line-up of Leon Haslam and Jonathan Rea spent the final testing opportunity of the year with new chassis components and a completely revised electronics package for the CBR1000RR Fireblade racing machines.
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.
The press release issued by the Repsol Honda team after the final day of testing for Marc Marquez at Sepang:
Marquez concludes test as rain arrives in Sepang
The weather offered the HRC riders another window of opportunity on the final day of testing at Sepang, with the track dry enough for a few more hours of riding on Wednesday. Marc Marquez leaves the circuit as fastest of the two full-time MotoGP riders, the young Spanish rookie unable to match his time from Tuesday as he worked through a range of set up options ahead of the test in February. A longer run had been planned at the end of the day, but the return of the rain put a halt to any such ambitions.
Tom Sykes was once again fastest man of the day at Jerez, despite a small crash in the middle of the day. Sylvain Guintoli is quickly up to speed on the factory Aprilia, ending day 2 in 2nd, and just over quarter of a second behind the Kawasaki man, and half a second ahead of his new teammate Eugene Laverty. Loris Baz is 4th fastest, a second behind his teammate, though the times for the Kawasaki men are both unofficial, and given by the teams, Kawasaki not having fitted a transponder.
Press releases from the Repsol Honda team and Go & Fun Gresini after the second day of testing at Sepang:
Marquez completes first full day in dry conditions
In the second day of testing in Malaysia, the weather has finally turned and been kind to rookie Marc Marquez. Although the track was still slightly wet this morning, by 11.30am it was drying out quickly and the Spanish rider was able to complete a full day of testing aboard his Honda RC213V MotoGP machine.
The weather that had threatened to disrupt the HRC test at Sepang held off on Tuesday, allowing Alvaro Bautista, Marc Marquez, and Honda test riders Kousuki Akiyoshi and Takumi Takahashi to put in some serious testing at the Malaysian track. Though wet early on, the track had dried up enough by the end of the morning for times to start to improve.
One more slot in the 2013 MotoGP line up has been filled. Today, the Go & Fun Gresini team announced that they have signed Bryan Staring to ride the FTR Honda CRT bike for them in MotoGP in 2013. The 25-year-old left his native Australia to contest the Superstock 1000 Cup two years ago, winning races in 2012 and contending for the title all season, before ending in 4th.
While Honda's MotoGP riders have headed to the far east to continue testing, their World Superbike counterparts have trekked south to Jerez, joining a large group of WSBK riders testing at the circuit. The choice of the World Superbike men proved to be a far better one than HRC's, with the test taking place under close to ideal conditions at the circuit in the south of Spain.
Press releases from Repsol Honda and Go&Fun Gresini after the first day of the Honda test at Sepang:
Weather continues to plague Marquez in testing
Wet conditions continued to trouble MotoGP rookie Marc Marquez on the first day of the three day test in Sepang. Marc was delayed going out due to a wet track and then managed only a few exits before more rain arrived. In total he completed 26 laps with a fastest time of 2'03.650.
MARC MÁRQUEZ 2'03.650
Rain continues to plague MotoGP testing, this time severely curtailing testing for the Honda teams out at Sepang. Dani Pedrosa's decision to sit this test out may well prove to be sensible, with rain looking likely to severely restrict testing over all three days at Sepang.
Since the global financial crisis struck back in 2008, MotoGP's primary focus has been on cutting costs. These efforts have met with varying success - sometimes reducing costs over the long term, after a short term increase, sometimes having no discernible impact whatsoever - and as a result, the grids in all three classes are filling up again.
The 2013 Argentinian round of MotoGP has been canceled, as we forecast it would be yesterday. Today, Dorna issued a statement on the cancellation, and the FIM issued a new 18-race calendar without Argentina on it.