Moto2/Moto3 Silly Season Update: Vinales And Salom Join Pons, Miller To Ajo, And More

While the MotoGP seats - at least, the MotoGP seats on factory prototypes, or as we must now call them, factory option bikes - were filled quickly after the summer break, and the former CRT seats set to follow suit over the next two rounds, there has been little movement in the Moto2 and Moto3 classes so far. This is hardly surprising: negotiations for Moto2 and (especially) Moto3 seats tend to start at the end of the season rather than the middle, with some Moto2 seats dependent on who moves up to MotoGP. Yet after Silverstone and ahead of Misano, the first big moves started to be made.

The early news was the signing of Tito Rabat with the Marc VDS Racing team, taking the place of Scott Redding who departs for MotoGP. With both Rabat and Pol Espargaro leaving - the younger of the Espargaro brothers had been signed by Yamaha for the Tech 3 team in MotoGP earlier in the year - Sito Pons' Moto2 team, Tuenti HP 40 Pons was left with only Sito's son Axel Pons left on the payroll for 2014. At Silverstone, Pons penned a deal with current Moto3 championship leader Luis Salom for the next two seasons, and shortly afterwards, he also signed up Maverick Viñales, also for 2014 and 2015. The two Spaniards will contest Moto2 on board the Kalex Moto2 machines left behind by Rabat and Espargaro.

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Elias Heads To World Superbikes, Replaces Fabrizio

The 2013 Moto2 rider line up is proving to be rather fluid. The latest in a series of changes to the line up is the departure of Toni Elias from the Blusens Avintia Moto2 team, after a season of disappointing results: the 2010 Moto2 champion's best finish this year was a 9th place at Jerez.

Elias is part of a chain reaction encompassing three different paddocks, and stretching into 2014. The catalyst was Michel Fabrizio, who is leaving his Red Devils Roma team in World Superbikes with immediate effect. Fabrizio has had a positively mediocre season so far, his only podium coming at the season opener at Phillip Island, a great disappointment as the Italian started as an outsider for the title. After financial disagreements with the team, which arose at the Silverstone round of World Superbikes, according to, Fabrizio and the team decided to part ways before the season was over, rather than at the end.

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Rumors From Mugello: Hayden On Record Pace Testing WSBK Panigale, World Supers Beckon?

Though Ducati have told Nicky Hayden that there is no room for him in their factory MotoGP team, it is no secret that they would like to keep him within the Ducati family. The American retains a huge following in his native country (according to Google Trends, he is the second most searched MotoGP rider, after Valentino Rossi, though Marc Marquez is hot on his heels) and is a favorite with sponsors thanks to his willingness to help the people who help pay his salary. Hayden has been a great ambassador for Ducati in the US during his four and a half year tenure at the Italian factory.

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Silverstone, Scott Jones' Style: More Photos From Race Day

Hungry like a wolf. Scott Redding's appetite was assuaged after Silverstone

A sideways glance at Marc Marquez' riding style

Within half a lap, Lorenzo and Marquez had made a break

Valentino Rossi had work to do after the start. He disposed of Stefan Bradl relatively quickly

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Two Luxury Testers: Nicky Hayden Tests Panigale At Mugello, Casey Stoner At Motegi For Honda

Having a test rider who can put in a competitive lap time is important to factories when they are developing their bikes. Having a world champion who can match the pace of the fastest men on the planet is sheer luxury. Two factories find themselves in this situation, with vastly different purposes and outcome. Nicky Hayden and Casey Stoner are testing radically different bikes on nearly opposite sides of the planet, to help their respective (former) employers.

Nicky Hayden has been testing Ducati's Panigale 1199R World Superbike machine at Mugello on Wednesday, the American both providing development input on the troublesome machine, as well as using it as an opportunity to test the WSBK waters and decide whether he wishes to switch from MotoGP. Ducati are keen to retain the services of the American, and are reported to have offered him a very generous offer to race the Panigale in World Superbikes with the Alstare Ducati team. Ducati need a rider who is fast, diligent and can put in the effort to help move the Panigale project forward.

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Silverstone, Scott Jones' Style: Race And Practice Photos

Jorge Lorenzo wanted it at Silverstone. He wanted it badly

Pick it up, Valentino

Marc Marquez dislocated his shoulder on Sunday morning. He gritted his teeth, and raced

Bradley Smith has been showing real progress over the past couple weekends. It all went wrong in the race, though

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Guest Blog: Mat Oxley: The best news from Silverstone 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 are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.

The best news from MotoGP Silverstone

It was very nearly all good news at Silverstone…

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2013 Silverstone MotoGP Monday Round Up: Rossi In The Second Group, An Improving Bautista, And Aprilia's CRT

With so much happening at the front of all three races at Silverstone last Sunday, it is easy to overlook the battles behind. Especially when those battles seem to be falling into a fixed pattern, repeating the results of previous races. A glance at the results of the MotoGP race Silverstone gives you a sense of deja vu. While the top three swapped places, positions four to six were identical to their finishes at Brno, places seven to nine differed only in the riders who crashed out, and Aleix Espargaro took tenth spot, as he did in the Czech Republic. A pattern is definitely starting to form here.

The biggest victim of that pattern is probably Valentino Rossi. Finishing fourth for the third race in a row is frustrating. Battling for fourth with Alvaro Bautista for the third race in a row is even more frustrating. Finish over ten seconds off the leaders for the third race in a row is positively depressing. 'It's like arriving at a party and not being invited in,' Rossi joked afterwards.

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The First Of Many Moto3 Defections: Ambrogio Drops Suter Honda For Mahindra

Ambrogio Racing has become the first of what is likely to become a torrent of defections from Honda in the Moto3 class at the end of this year. The Italian team of Brad Binder and Luca Amato - Danny Webb was forced to leave the team over a lack of sponsorship - will be switching from the Suter Honda to a Mahindra from the next round of Moto3 at Misano.

The reasons for the switch are simple. The Honda NSF250R engine simply does not produce sufficient power to be able to rival the KTMs. At every circuit on the calendar so far, the KTMs have simply powered away from the the Hondas, with only some excellent riding by youngsters such as Jack Miller and Alexis Masbou keeping the KTMs in sight, using the stronger handling of the FTR chassis. Binder and Webb have also had good results with the Suter Honda, though again, they have been beaten on sheer horsepower by the KTMs.

The switch from the Suter Honda to the Mahindra is not as large as it seems. The Mahindra MGP30 is being built by Suter in a collaboration between the Swiss firm and the Indian engineering giant, with a large number of Indian engineers working on the engine and chassis at the Suter factory. The chassis is very similar to the Suter Honda chassis, and the engine bears some resemblance too, though the Mahindra power plant produces much more power than the NSF250R.

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2013 Silverstone MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Of Great Racing, Championship Leads, And Dangerous Riding

Over 75,000 paying customers came oto watch the races at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on Sunday, and each and every one of them got their money's worth. Three classes, three winners, battles to the very end, and serious consequences for all three championships, with two thirds of the races done.

The day got off to a great start for the home crowd with a calculated and determined performance from Scott Redding to win the Moto2 race. Redding had come to Silverstone with two goals: to win the race, and to further demoralize his main rival for the title Pol Espargaro. He succeeded totally in both objectives, much to the relief of the British fans.

When Redding turned up at his home track with a special patriotic livery, the Union Jack splashed all over the fairing of his bike, fans feared the worst. Bad memories of previous years when British riders had sported patriotic color schemes were imprinted fresh on their minds, and they feared that Redding had jinxed himself. Redding disagreed, and demonstrated his point by running in the top 3 in every session but one. He made sure that he always finished ahead of Espargaro, and once he qualified on the front row, posting a stunningly consistent string of fast laps in the process, he had the job half done.

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