The end of the 2014 World Superbike championship, wrapped up last night at Qatar, has triggered a series of official rider announcements for 2015. Two of the most anticipated announcements were made on Monday, with official confirmation that Jonathan Rea would be leaving Pata Honda to join the Kawasaki Racing Team in World Superbikes, while the seat he is vacating at the Ten Kate Pata Honda team will be filled by newly-crowned 2014 World Superbike champion Sylvain Guintoli.
Press releases from the series organizers and the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the final round of the 2014 season at Qatar:
Guintoli wins race 1 to pile the pressure on Sykes
Press releases from the series organizers and the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after qualifying on Saturday at Qatar:
Giugliano breaks Losail best lap to claim Tissot-Superpole
Press releases from some of the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the first day of practice at Qatar:
Giugliano shines on WSBK’s maiden nocturnal sessions
Doha (Qatar), Friday 31 October 2014 – After numerous changes, the final Tissot-Superpole participants of 2014 were decided in the final minutes of this evening’s FP3 under floodlights in the Qatari desert.
Yonny Hernandez is to remain with the Pramac Ducati squad for the 2015 season, and will race a Factory Option Desmosedici GP14.2 alongside Danilo Petrucci. Though the news had long been known, Ducati today issued a press release officially announcing Hernandez as the second rider at Pramac.
Press releases previewing this weekend's season finale at Qatar from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams and series organizer:
All set for the 2014 WSBK season finale in Qatar
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang:
Marquez takes 12th win of 2014 with victory in Malaysia sealing Constructor’s Title for Honda
Today in Malaysia, 2014 World Champion Marc Marquez has won his 12th race of the 2014 season and secured Honda’s fourth consecutive Constructors Title. Teammate Dani Pedrosa was in contention for a strong finish today but unfortunately crashed out of the race.
Fancy a challenge? Try finding a MotoGP fan who is surprised that Marc Marquez claimed pole position at Sepang on Saturday. It was the Repsol Honda man's thirteenth pole of the season, setting a new record for the most poles in a season. It was a blistering lap, making him the first rider to set an officially timed lap under the two-minute mark, the clock finally stopping at 1'59.791. That time has been bettered only a couple of times during the winter tests at Sepang, when cooler temperatures make for a faster track. But to do it now, when ground temperatures got close to 60°C, making the already slippery surface of Sepang even more greasy, is astonishing. Those kinds of track temperatures are almost, but not quite, enough to cook an egg1.
Marquez' record thirteenth pole also offers an insight into exactly what the secret of his success is. He not only holds the record for the most poles in a season, he is also the current leader in pole position frequency. Marquez has secured 50 poles from 113 qualifying session, giving him a strike rate of just over 44%. The only rider to get near to his domination of qualifying was Mick Doohan, who started from pole from 42.3% of his Grand Prix races. The nearest of Marquez' current rivals is Jorge Lorenzo, who has been on pole for 26.4% of his career in Grand Prix.
Why the emphasis on pole position? This is what Marquez does best: find the absolute limit of the performance envelope of his Honda RC213V, and balance right on the edge of it. Because he can do that for one lap, he perhaps has a better understanding of just where the limit lies over the distance of a race, and how much he has to risk when making a pass. This, perhaps, holds the key to why he currently has the best win rate in all classes of all of the current riders in MotoGP, just edging out Valentino Rossi by 38.4% to 34.8%. Then again, Rossi was racing before Marquez even started riding a motorcycle, and so has had more time to strike a run of bad luck. And of course, there were those two seasons at Ducati as well...
Press releases after qualifying for the MotoGP class from the teams and Bridgestone:
Marquez take 50th career pole and new Sepang record with Dani in second
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa have qualified first and second for tomorrow’s Malaysian GP, their fourth 1-2 of the 2014 season. They were the only riders to set a time under 2’00 minutes and both riders smashed Marc’s pole record from 2013 (2’00.011) with Marc’s time of 1’59.791 sending him to the top of the time sheets and Dani just 0.182 behind him with 1’59.973.