WSBK Launches European Junior Cup, Rival To Red Bull Rookies

Since its inception, the Red Bull Rookies Cup (and its predecessor, the MotoGP Academy) has proved to be a rich source of talent for the MotoGP series. Top riders such as Bradley Smith and promising youngsters such as Sturla Fagerhaug and Jonas Folger have come through the system, with a steady flow of more youngsters coming through all the time.

Engineers Assemble In Bologna To Work On 2011 Ducati MotoGP Bike

If anyone thought that the media storm surrounding Valentino Rossi's switch to Ducati for the 2011 MotoGP season would die down once the announcement had been made official, they were to be proven utterly wrong. First, there was the saga of whether Yamaha would release Rossi early from his contract to allow the Italian to test the Ducati at Valencia, then there was the excitement and drama of the Valencia test itself.

Ratthapark Wilairot Seriously Injured In Road Traffic Accident

Ratthapark Wilairot, the Thai rider who raced for the Stop&Go Moto2 team in 2010, has been seriously injured in a road traffic accident in his home province of Chonburi, Thailand, according to reports from StayOnTheBlack.com. Wilairot was reportedly traveling as a passenger on a motorcycle piloted by a friend, when the pair crashed at 3am on Monday morning.

Phillip Island WSBK Test Photos

There may only have been four riders at the Phillip Island World Superbike test - Max Biaggi and Leon Camier of the Aprilia team, and Eugene Laverty and Marco Melandri of Yamaha - but that was reason enough for our good friend Andrew Gosling of TBG Sport to go shoot a few snaps. As always, it was well worth the effort. Enjoy!

Laverty Fastest On Final Day Of Phillip Island WSBK Test

The rain that had been hanging over the World Superbike test for the first two days finally came on the third and final day. But the factory Yamaha and Aprilia squads were still lucky, with the rain only starting to fall late on Thursday morning at Phillip Island, before disappearing again in the afternoon, giving the riders a couple more dry sessions at the Australian circuitl. It was Eugene Laverty who made best use of the session, putting on a set of soft tires to set the fastest time, with a lap of 1'31.5.

Another Sponsor Pulls Out - Kenny Noyes' Jack&Jones Team Folds

The Moto2 entry list remains a work in progress, as teams granted starting places struggle with finding sponsorship, and alter their entries accordingly. The latest victim of sponsorship woes is the longest named team on the grid, the Jack&Jones By Antonio Banderas Racing team. The Jack&Jones squad had signed Kenny Noyes and Gabor Talmacsi to campaign the 2011 season, but after their title sponsor, the urban clothing brand Jack&Jones, decided to pull out of racing sponsorship, the team has been left without sufficient funds to continue.

Phillip Island WSBK Test Day 2: Biaggi Fastest Again

The weather finally turned halfway decent for a test, with the sun out and temperatures rising for the World Superbike test at Phillip Island in Australia. The improved conditions saw Max Biaggi once again top the - admittedly very limited - timesheets with a lap of 1'32.3, but 2010 World Superbike champion - out on an Aprilia bearing the #1 plate - was only a couple of tenths faster than both Yamaha's Eugene Laverty and Biaggi's Aprilia teammate Leon Camier. Slowest man of the day was Laverty's teammate Marco Melandri, but even Melandri was just three tenths off Biaggi's fastest .

More Tests Lost To The Weather: WSBK At A Wet Portimao, Moto2 At A Freezing Barcelona

Reports of testing are starting to sound increasingly like a broken record, with weather being a constant factor preventing the teams from testing properly. The second day of testing for a small group of World Superbike riders at Portimao turned into another washout, with heavy rain and cold temperatures wracking the Portuguese coast.

Biaggi Fastest On First Day Of Phillip Island WSBK Test

Whichever hemisphere the World Superbike riders choose to test, finding somewhere warm and dry remains an almost impossible task. While BMW, Suzuki and Honda shelter from the rain in Portugal, Aprilia and Yamaha are circulating in less than ideal conditions at Phillip Island in Australia. Though the track was dry, Max Biaggi described conditions as "like winter," according to GPOne.com

More Testing, More Rain: Wet Weather Washes Out Portimao WSBK Test

The wet weather continues to thwart any attempts at testing racing motorcycles. After the Moto2 test at Jerez was largely lost to rain, the first day of testing for a large part of the World Superbike paddock at Portimao suffered a similarly damp fate. With rain falling nearly all day, the assembled riders barely got out onto the track, posting just a few laps before heading back into the pits.

Valentino Rossi Has Stitches Removed, Begins Physical Rehab

Two weeks after having his right shoulder operated on, to rebuild and restore the rotator cuff and glenoid ligament, Valentino Rossi was back at the hospital again. This time, fortunately, it was only to allow Doctor Giuseppe Porcellini to remove the stitches left after surgery, rather than anything more serious.

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