A group of World Superbike riders - past, present and future - have had the first day of testing at Misano today, ahead of the next World Superbike round at Imola in 12 days' time. Fastest man of the day was Marco Melandri, the Yamaha rider setting a time of 1'36.0, half a second under the current lap record held by Carlos Checa set during the race at the track in June this year. Checa was two tenths quicker than his own lap record, but fell three tenths behind Melandri's time, while Melandri's teammate Eugene Laverty posted the same time as the Althea Ducati rider.
In something of a surprise move, the German Automobile Club ADAC have announced that the German round of MotoGP will not be held at the Sachsenring in 2012, the German regional paper Freie Presse are reporting. At a press conference held at the East German circuit, which is owned by the ADAC, the organization told the media that the losses suffered by the Sachsenring were just too great to allow them to sustain the event.
The ever-industrious Honda press office has issued yet another press release containing an interview with a rider. Fortunately for race fans, this time it isn't yet another interview with one of the members of the Repsol Honda team, but instead, it is San Carlo Gresini Honda rider Hiroshi Aoyama. Aoyama has had a very tough season in 2011, struggling with a back injury sustained in a crash at Assen and with the aftermath and constant discussion surrounding the Japanese earthquake and the Motegi MotoGP round. In this interview, Aoyama talks about all of this, and more.
We already know that 2013 will be a big year for MotoGP in the Americas. With the addition of the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, the total number of MotoGP rounds in the United States will increase to three, with Austin joining Indianapolis and Laguna Seca on the calendar. And according to reports in the Argentinian press, there could be a fourth round of MotoGP in the Americas, with a South American race joining the three North American rounds of the series.
The news may be a few days' old, but it is worth noting nonetheless: James Toseland has announced that he is to retire from racing motorcycles altogether.
Another major stronghold in the resistance to the Japanese round of MotoGP has crumbled: the Yamaha Factory Racing team has announced that the team and both of its riders will attend the Motegi MotoGP race on October 2nd of this year. The announcement means that both Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies will be present at Motegi, lining up alongside the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team - the first team to officially announce they would be going - of Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow, as well as Hector Barbera and the Mapfre Aspar team.
The internet has been ablaze with news and rumors from Ducati's test at Mugello, where Valentino Rossi, along with test rider Franco Battaini, tested the new chassis for the Ducati GP12. Times were not issued, though the Italian sports broadcaster Sportmediaset is reporting that Rossi posted a 1'48.05, albeit without knowing which chassis was used to set that time.
If you head down to Mugello today (Thursday, September 8th), you will be lucky enough to hear the mighty sound of Ducati's 2012 Desmosedici GP12 engine pounding out the laps around the classic Italian circuit. And unless you are very lucky - or highly ingenious - that is all you will get to see. The test of the GP12 is being held behind firmly closed doors, with observers extremely unwelcome.
The customary post-race press release from Bridgestone, discussing how using asymmetric rear slicks at Misano helped set a new pole record:
San Marino Grand Prix debrief with Hirohide Hamashima
Round 13: San Marino GP – Post-race debrief
Misano World Circuit, Tuesday 6 September 2011
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Hard. Rear (asymmetric): Medium, Hard
The factory Yamaha team concluded a 1-day test at Misano on Monday, taking the 2012 Yamaha MotoGP machine out for the second time, after an earlier test at Brno. The test had originally been planned as a public test together with Honda and Ducati, but Ducati withdrew from the Misano test in July, and Honda pulled out shortly after the Brno test, both factories saying that they had nothing to test. As a result, the test morphed into a private test, leaving a small band of journalists to twiddle their thumbs in the press room, with no access to times and no access to the pit lane.
While MotoGP fans (and teams, and journalists) eagerly await the arrival of the 2012 MotoGP calendar, which is due to be announced at the next MotoGP round at Aragon, the outlines of next season are starting to become clear. The weekend of the Misano round saw two important announcements made about rounds expected to be on the calendar next year, but which had not yet been confirmed.
Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the races at the Nurburgring in Germany:
Brilliant third for sore Sam
PARKALGAR HONDA'S Sam Lowes rode through the pain barrier to take a brilliant podium third place at the ninth round of the World Supersport Championship at the Nurburgring in Germany.
Press releases from the 125cc and Moto2 teams after Sunday's races at Misano:
Injury hampers Salom too much
The Grand Prix of San Marino only lasted six laps for Luis Salom. The injury to his right hand played too many tricks on the RW Racing GP rider.