Fast Factories vs Suffering Satellites: Hervé Poncharal on the Plight of Independent Teams

"I am not a very happy man," Tech 3 boss Hervé Poncharal told us on the Thursday before Barcelona. His problem? Attracting competitive riders to take the seats vacated by Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro. Their destination was emblematic of Poncharal's problem: at Barcelona, Espargaro announced he would be reunited with his Tech 3 teammate in the factory KTM team in 2017 and 2018.

So Poncharal found himself with the looming likelihood of fielding two rookies in 2017. The Tech 3 boss signed Jonas Folger back in Le Mans, while Johann Zarco is the prime candidate to fill the second Tech 3 seat. (Zarco is currently in Japan testing Suzuki's GSX-RR MotoGP machine. He is expected to sign with Tech 3 once Suzuki have announced they are signing Alex Rins to partner Andrea Iannone.)

The original hope was either to keep Pol Espargaro alongside Folger, to ensure consistency of results, or welcome Alex Rins into the fold on a factory Yamaha contract. Either way, it would ensure the publicity which is vital to keeping sponsors happy. Two rookies and no factory connections is a lot less appealing to the people who help provide the €8-€9 million it costs to run the Tech 3 team.

Jorge Navarro Breaks Leg in Training Accident

A week after taking his first ever Grand Prix victory in the Moto3 race in Barcelona, Jorge Navarro's luck has taken a turn for the worse. The Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider has broken his left leg in a training accident in Valencia.

Navarro crashed while riding a minimoto bike at a karting track in Valencia. According to Spanish newspaper El País, a rider fell in front of Navarro and he was unable to avoid him. Navarro broke both tibia and fibula, the two bones in his lower left leg. The Spaniard is due to be operated on in the Dexeus Institut in Barcelona on Monday.

Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 28 - So You Want To Be A MotoGP Photographer?

The latest episode of the Paddock Pass Podcast is something very special indeed. After the Austin round of MotoGP, David Emmett spoke to two of the finest photographers in the paddock, Scott Jones and Tony Goldsmith, about the challenges they face as motorcycle racing photographers.

It is a long and fascinating chat, covering a very wide range of topics concerning being a photographer in MotoGP. Scott and Tony talk about where their interest in photography came from, and how they ended up working as professional racing photographers. They talk about the technical challenges they face - not going into too much technical detail, so as not to confuse the photo-illiterate David Emmett - when shooting, such as dealing with the bane of the MotoGP photographer, heat haze.

As Tony has a long history of shooting at the TT on the Isle of Man, he explains the very different approaches and expectations of photography at the TT and MotoGP. Scott has spent some time shooting cars as well as bikes, and both he and Tony compare and contrast shooting cars and shooting motorcycles, and explain why taking pictures of motorcycle racing is much more interesting than taking pictures of cars.

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - What will be Salom’s legacy?

Hopefully the creation of some kind of system that delivers the right kind of run-off for both MotoGP and Formula 1

Sadly, it is a reality of racing that safety improvements are sometimes only made after a rider gets killed or badly hurt.

So what will be the legacy of Luis Salom’s untimely death?

2016 Barcelona MotoGP Post-Race Test Round Up - New Tires, New Chassis, Some Equivocation

On the day after the Barcelona MotoGP race, the entire grid bar the Aspar Ducatis were back at the track for a full day of testing. Conditions were ideal; so ideal that they perhaps a little confusing. Though it was hot and dry, the fact that only MotoGP bikes are circulating and laying down Michelin rubber meant the track felt different to race day, when the MotoGP bikes have to follow Moto2, and cope with the Dunlop rubber the fat rear tires smear on the track.

2016 Barcelona Post-Race MotoGP Test Press Releases

Press releases from some of the teams after Monday's MotoGP test:


On the day after an emotional Grand Prix of Catalunya where the tragic loss of Luis Salom cast a shadow over the whole race weekend, the MotoGP riders were all out in force on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the second official post-race test of the season.

2016 Barcelona MotoGP Post-Race Press Releases

Press releases from the teams and Michelin after Sunday's race:

Unshakeable Rossi Conquers Grand Prix of Catalunya


Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi returned to the top rostrum today after a brilliant performance at the Circuito de Barcelona-Catalunya, celebrating his second victory of the season. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo suffered from a premature ending to the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya after a race incident caused by Andrea Iannone.

2016 Barcelona MotoGP Post-Race Test Times: Crutchlow Fastest at End of Long Test

Cal Crutchlow has ended a long day of testing on the day after the Barcelona round of MotoGP on top of the timesheets, the LCR Honda rider putting in a final fast lap to go top. Crutchlow finished ahead of Jorge Lorenzo, who spent the day testing a new chassis and working on new Michelin tires, and Maverick Viñales, who was working with an evolution of the 2016 Suzuki chassis.

The teams now pack and head off, except for Yamaha, who will stay on for one more day at Barcelona, and continue testing the new chassis and swingarm brought to Barcelona.


2016 Barcelona MotoGP Post-Race Round Up: On Healing Races, a Reconciliation of Sorts, and Silly Mistakes

On Friday, a young man died in a freak crash at the Circuit de Catalunya, and we mourned him. On Saturday, we went through the motions, picking up the rhythm of a normal race weekend, but in a state of mild shock. On Sunday morning, we remembered Luis Salom, the whole paddock and a circuit full of fans standing in silence, united both in the memory of a bright young talent who take took from us, and in the knowledge that it can happen again. On Sunday afternoon, we raced, and reminded ourselves of why young men and women risk their lives with the frankly rather futile objective of demonstrating that they can ride in circles on a motorbike faster than anyone else.

"It was difficult to not cry when we were in the minute of silence," Maverick Viñales reflected on Sunday afternoon. "It was a really difficult race, but I think the best way to remember Luis is racing, and trying to make the best result. I know he will be always with us." Marc Márquez felt much the same. "In the end also this Sunday, I liked it was again the atmosphere of the family, the MotoGP family. Because when we were there together on the grid, when we were racing, everybody was racing for Luis. Everybody dedicated the race to Luis."

SAG Team Press Release: Telemetry Analysis Shows Cause of Salom's Crash

The SAG Team issued the following press release, containing their analysis of the data from Luis Salom's bike during the crash which cost the Spaniard his life:

Official SAG Team press release after the deep telemetry analysis done on Luis Salom’s bike

On Friday June 3rd Luis Salom passed away during the Gran Premi of Catalunya FP2 session after an accident suffered at the turn 12 of the Catalunya circuit.


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