The 2012 MotoGP grid took another step closer to completion today, with the announcement that Michele Pirro will be riding the San Carlo Gresini Honda team's CRT entry in MotoGP next season. Pirro is to ride a CBR1000RR-powered MotoGP machine, the Honda engine housed in a chassis designed and built by FTR.
Valencia has been a permanent fixture on the MotoGP calendar since the track was completed in 1999, but when the MotoGP riders return to the Circuit Ricardo Tormo for the final round of the 2012 MotoGP season, they could be coming to a radically different circuit.
The press release from Suzuki after the Crescent team's first World Superbike test:
CAMIER COMPLETES FIRST SUZUKI WSB TEST
Team Suzuki Press Office - December 1.
Leon Camier has completed his first Crescent Suzuki World Superbike test at the Portimao circuit in Portugal on a positive note despite some teething troubles in the early stages.
One more question mark can be removed from the provisional MotoGP calendar for 2012. The ADAC - the German automobile association which organizes the German round of MotoGP and owns the Sachsenring - have invited the press to a press event to be held in pit lane at the Sachsenring on Friday, December 2nd, to be attended by the Prime Minister of the Free State of Saxony and the President of the ADAC's sport section.
Press releases from the BMW and Kawasaki World Superbike teams after their respective tests at Portimao and Valencia:
BMW Motorrad Motorsport happy with test in Portimão.
Eugene Laverty leaves the World Superbike test in excellent shape, ending the final day of testing as fastest and shaving a few hundredths off his Aprilia teammate Max Biaggi's official lap record of 1'42.774. Biaggi was close to his own lap record, and just a tenth slower than Laverty, while the Aprilia pairing led a gaggle of BMWs, all with the same time, Leon Haslam, Marco Melandri and satellite BMW Italia rider Ayrton Badovini posting laps of 1'43.1.
Leon Haslam continues to top the unofficial timesheets on the second day of the World Superbike test at Portimao. The factory BMW rider took four tenths off his time from yesterday, setting his fastest time on race tires, while focussing mainly on chassis set up. Factory Aprilia man Eugene Laverty was 2nd quickest, and just a tenth off Haslam's time, despite a big highside in the early afternoon, which knocked the wind out of the Irishman but did not prevent him from going straight back out again.
Fresh off the back of three days testing at Jerez, the factory BMW team topped the timesheets of the first day of the combined Aprilia, BMW and Suzuki test at the Portimao test. Leon Haslam led his teammate Marco Melandri, the Englishman posting a time of 1'43.6, a tenth quicker than Melandri, but a long way off Max Biaggi's lap record, the track conditions far from ideal despite warm and sunny weather.
Infront Motor Sports, organizers of the World Superbike series, have announced the official test dates for the 2012 WSBK season. As part of the cost-cutting initiatives which are now a ubiquitous part of motorcycle racing, testing for the WSBK series has been linked to races, rather than at separate tests, with the aim of reducing travel and transport expenses.
Another piece of the MotoGP puzzle fell into place yesterday, and another boost for the CRT rules aimed at getting more bikes on the grid. The Aspar team announced officially that they will be racing as a Claiming Rule Team in 2012, fielding riders Randy de Puniet and Aleix Espargaro. The team is to use Aprilia engines in their MotoGP machines, though the press release makes no mention of which chassis they will use.
Press releases from the BMW World Superbike team and the Marc VDS Racing MotoGP team, in which Marc VDS rave about the Kalex, and BMW emphasize that it is their own electronics they have been working on:
BMW Motorrad Motorsport continues preparations for 2012 with a successful test in Spain.
The final day of testing for the MotoGP and Moto2 classes for 2012 wrapped up at Jerez under clear skies and slightly cooler conditions, but still perfect for testing Grand Prix motorcycles. The field had thinned out considerably for the final day, with the Colin Edwards' NGM Forward team having gone home, and Carlos Checa having flown out to Moscow to present the Russian round of World Superbikes the evening before, while the Forward and Pons Moto2 teams had also decided to pack up after the second day.