Archivio mensile:novembre 2013
MotoGP™ Official Test at Ricardo Tormo
Mon, 12 November 2013
Report day 1/3
After his stunning win at Valencia in the final race of the season on Sunday it was Jorge Lorenzo who topped the timesheet again on Monday in the first day of 2014 ‘pre-season’ testing.
Lap times of course do not mean a great deal at this stage, with some riders swapping machinery, many tweaking set-up and some joining new teams, but Lorenzo set the standards again – with a 1’31.257 late in the day. That lap was quicker than anyone went in Sunday’s race and came on the 2013 YZR-M1, although Lorenzo also has a 2014 development Yamaha available this week.
On the other side of the Yamaha Factory Racing box Valentino Rossi spent the day working with new Crew Chief Silvano Galbusera. The Doctor’s best time of the day was just 0.093s off Lorenzo’s best, also coming on his 2013 bike, though he too is already using the 2014 development M1.
Repsol Honda’s new World Champion Marc Marquez and his colleague Dani Pedrosa were both at the circuit but did not test on Monday – though they are expected on track on Tuesday as the battle to stay ahead of Yamaha continues.
Stefan Bradl was the fastest Honda rider on track on Monday, using his RC213V from this season to set the third best time of the day – 0.5s off Lorenzo’s pace.
New Ducati recruit Cal Crutchlow has taken Italian Crew Chief Daniele Romagnoli with him from Tech 3 to the Italian factory Ducati and the pair were working alongside new Ducati Corse General Manager Gigi Dall’Igna for the first time on Monday.
Crutchlow matched Ducati’s Sunday race pace, and was sixth overall just over 0.1s (check) behind new Ducati teammate Andrea Dovizioso who was fifth best. Dovizioso lapped in a similar pace to fourth fastest rider of the day, Andrea Iannone on the Pramac Racing Ducati.
Ducati Test Team rider Michele Pirro was 0.6s behind Crutchlow in seventh, just ahead of Yonny Hernandez – who was confirmed today to remain as Iannone’s teammate in the Pramac Racing Team permanently during the 2014 season.
Moto2 World Champion Pol Espargaro rode his first laps on his new Monster Yamaha Tech 3 MotoGP bike, in tenth spot on the timesheet, with a lap around two seconds off Lorenzo’s pace. His new teammate Bradley Smith sat things out and expects to get through all his test work for this week on Tuesday.
The new Honda RCV1000R was used for the first time by the GO&FUN Honda Gresini team as Scott Redding also got his 2014 MotoGP preparations underway, the Englishman ending up 11th overall. Cristian Gabarrini from HRC got Redding’s initial feedback on the new prototype, which the teams will adapt to over the winter.
Hiroshi Aoyama officially joined the Power Electronics Aspar team on Monday, but with Aspar only having one of their new Hondas ready for today, Nicky Hayden will have to wait until Tuesday to ride it. Aoyama was ninth best on the timesheet, 1.8s down on Lorenzo’s P1 pace.
Mike di Meglio has not ridden since the Brno Moto2™ race due to serious injury, but he was back on track today testing with the Avintia Blusens team.
Randy de Puniet should be testing with the PBM team on Tuesday as they look to confirm direction for next season, with the 2014-spec ART being prepared for the Frenchman on Monday.
The testing action at the Ricardo Tormo circuit will continue on Tuesday and Wednesday (10am-5pm both days). Live video coverage will be available again through motogp.com on Tuesday (11am-2pm).
Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana
Report Day 1
Fri, 8 November 2013
As the MotoGP™ action on the first day of Free Practice at the GP Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana concluded it was Marc Marquez who set the pace with his teammate Dani Pedrosa only 0.066s behind him, and title rival Jorge Lorenzo 0.158s off the pace in third.
Despite the windy conditions in the afternoon’s FP2 at the Valencia track, Marquez stepped up the pace in the second half of the session, with his best time of 1’31.220 not far off Pedrosa’s pole record of 1’30.844 from last year. Pedrosa was very close to his Repsol Honda colleague, with both of them still looking for more grip – using both the softer and harder option rear tyres.
Lorenzo improved late on in the session on his regular number-one machine, having spent time before on his number-two bike with holes in the front bubble to cope with the windy conditions. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow had a great day as he ended up fourth overall despite a late low-side crash, from which he escaped unhurt. The Englishman rides in his last GP for the team this weekend before departing for Ducati.
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi, who is working with Crew Chief Jeremy Burgess for the last time this weekend, was fifth fastest on Friday, 0.4s off the pace. After his statements that he needs to get quicker for next year, he will hope for a strong push in tomorrow’s practice.
The top ten was rounded out by Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda), Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini), Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Ducati Team pair Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden. Bradl is keen to resolve front-end grip issues, whilst Batista is working with a new Showa rear shock provided for this weekend.
Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro was unhurt after he crashed his ART machine, which was the new bike him and his team are testing this weekend for the Italian outfit. Despite switching bikes on Monday, Team Manager Gino Borsoi said that the team is pleased to help Aprilia until that day, hence why Espargaro is giving feedback on the new bike featuring a different frame, swingarm and engine. He ended the day 13th on the timesheet.
Having topped the FP1 timesheet, new Moto2™ World Champion Pol Espargaro was fastest again on Friday afternoon at the GP Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana, with his 1’35.548 lap keeping him 0.142s ahead of Tuenti HP 40 teammate Tito Rabat, and 0.426s in front of Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing’s Thomas Luthi.
Espargaro will ride a Monster Yamaha Tech3 MotoGP™ bike in testing next week and the pressure is off in many ways, having already clinched the title, but he now intends to end the season on a high. The Spaniard dominated both sessions at the Ricardo Tormo circuit on Friday but almost had a clash with wildcard rider Gino Rea during the afternoon, with both riders just managing to avoid going down.
Behind Espargaro, teammate Rabat aims for a strong finish to the season in his last race for Sito Pons’ outfit, and that pair could do battle for the win on Sunday if today’s pace is anything to judge by. Switzerland’s Tom Luthi would also be a good bet for a podium finish, though having also lapped in the top five Alex de Angelis (NGM Mobile Forward Racing) and Simone Corsi (NGM Mobile Racing) will aim to run at the front as the weekend progresses.
The top ten was completed by Jordi Torres, Mika Kallio, Nico Terol, Xavier Simeon and Julian Simon, all lapping within tenth tenths of a second of the leading time.
The Friday Moto3™ Free Practice sessions at the GP Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana were topped by the trio fighting for the title, with Luis Salom leading Alex Rins and Maverick Viñales.
Salom’s best time of 1’40.403 from FP1 was the best of the day and the Red Bull KTM Ajo man’s best FP2 time was just a tenth of a second slower, as Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0) topped the timesheet in the latter session with a 1’40.489 fastest lap.
Team Calvo’s Viñales was third best in both sessions and his FP2 time of 1’40.580 was his best time of the day, as the three Spanish title candidates flexed their muscles in front of the home fans.
German rider Jonas Folger (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3) and Australian competitor Jack Miller (Caretta Technology – RTG) were fourth and fifth overall respectively, but both were unable to improve on their morning best times in FP2.
The overall top ten was completed by Efren Vazquez (Mahindra Racing), Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Niccolo Antonelli (GO&FUN Gresini Moto3), Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra Racing) and Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold).
Khairuddin has had some costly crashes in recent weeks and he walked away from a big highside at the conclusion of the session, whilst Lorenzo Baldassarri was also unhurt in a light crash towards the end of the outing.
Brad Binder was taken to the Medical Centre with a suspected collarbone injury, as was Alan Techer, after both had FP2 crashes. Whilst Binder was cleared with shoulder contusion, Techer has suffered a left wrist fracture.
Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana
Thu, 7 November 2013
Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo are set for the big decider this weekend at the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana, where one of the two will walk away as World Champion. They spoke to the assembled press at the Thursday pre-race press conference joined by Repsol’s Dani Pedrosa, Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi, Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden as well as Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Bradley Smith.
In a slight change to the norm, that press conference was preceded by one featuring the Moto3™ title protagonists in the form of Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Luis Salom, Team Calvo’s Maverick Viñales and Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Rins – all of who could also be crowned World Champion on Sunday.
Back in the premier-class however it was Marquez who commenced proceedings: “We need to finish in the top four and that is not easy with all of those guys in MotoGP. The mentality is the same as on other weekends: try to do my best Friday, Saturday in the Warm-Up and the race. We will see whether we can fight for the win, fight for the podium or just fight for some points.”
Lorenzo, who has a 13-point deficit over Marquez, knows he has a tough task at hand: “I am sure that, if he can, Valentino will help me, just as I would help him if he found himself in the same situation as me. The important thing is to be fast from Friday onwards and of course especially in the race. I think Marc and myself should be very proud as two Spaniards fighting for the MotoGP world title. I think the best strategy is try to win the race. That’s it. That’s the only thing I can do. We are fighting with a lot of Honda riders and that’s the only thing we can do. Let’s see if it rains on Sunday, but in normal circumstances I think it is very difficult.”
Pedrosa, who won in Valencia last year, had to respond to journalists on the topic of “Team Orders”: “HRC has no team orders as far as I know and I think he is still 13 points ahead and always on the podium, so I think he’s capable of doing it anyway, but sure I’ll try to do my best in the race. And winning it would be the best way of helping the team.”
Rossi, veering off topic slightly, announced the split from his long-term crew chief Jeremy Burgess: “The target is to fight with the top three each weekend. This season it has happened, but not so often. We have had some very good races, with some podiums, and especially one victory. For me, the best way to help Jorge is to try and be in front of Marc. I know it’s very difficult, but for sure I will try. The rumours are true. Not that I am not happy with Jeremy, but I think next year Jeremy will not be my chief mechanic. It was a very difficult decision for me because I have a great history with him. He is not just my chief mechanic but part of my family and my father of racing. But I have decided that next year I need to change something to try and find new motivation to have a new boost to improve my level and my speed.”
Hayden, who clinched the title here in 2006, does not see a great similarity between his race here and what the two Spaniards are about to commence: “Not really. Obviously it’s a lot better to be eight points down [as he was in 2006]. He has a bigger margin, so he needs more to happen. You have to think Marc is in a much better spot – I would much rather be in his spot than Jorge…actually, I would rather be in any of their spots! Marc is not exactly your typical rookie and you would think without any problems he should get it done, but you never know until the flag flies on Sunday.”
Smith, coming to the end of his rookie season, is pleased with how things have gone, yet also believes that next year’s newbies will maybe have more of an instant impact: “We seem to have been ahead of our own personal targets and also what Yamaha expected of me, so that is really nice. I am pleased with the final outcome and also looking forward to the winter before coming back and having another go next year. I didn’t really have the best end to my Moto2 championship and didn’t come into this season with the highest confidence, so I think my jump was a bit more from what we’ll see from Scott and Pol.”
The Moto3™ contenders are tightly bunched at the top of the table, with Salom holding only a two-point lead over Viñales. The Red Bull rider commented: “I want to say thanks to Maverick and Alex for making this championship so nice. I have enjoyed this year a lot and the position on Sunday won’t matter. Of course I want to win if I can, but I won’t mind about the position. But I will remember this season forever and have always remembered fighting with them. We have won seven races this year, which is a lot and we need to continue as we have been doing across the other races.”
Viñales, who knows he has to win, will be giving all he can to take the title: “I don’t believe it! Japan was incredible. This is an opportunity and we will try to make the best result and find the best setting for the race. We have worked really hard all season but this weekend we’ll try to work even harder than usual. Winning is the only result we can do to win the championship. We’ll try to do our best and do the best possible in the race.”
Rins added: “My team and I will try to work in the same line as we have at other circuits – and that’s it. Maybe in the race we need to do a better strategy, like Salom’s strategy, which with he has won seven races, so maybe I can do that strategy but in the end we will see.”
Earlier in the day, Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow, Tuenti HP 40’s Pol Espargaro and Mapfre Aspar’s Nico Terol took part in a popular Spanish sport called Padel at the Agora Tennis Court in Valencia. They received the best tuition possible with the stars of the World Padel Tour, Pablo Lima, Juani Mieres, Miguel Lamperti and Maxi Grabiel at hand to show them the ropes.
Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana
Official MotoGP 2013 Preview
Mon, 4 November 2013
In Valencia this weekend at the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana, MotoGP™ fans the world over will enjoy a final-race title decider for the first time in seven years, as Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez looks to hold off the charge from Yamaha Factory Racing’s reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo.
The last time such a showdown occurred was in 2006 when Honda’s Nicky Hayden claimed the ultimate honour as Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi made a rare mistake. Seven years on, more drama is certain as Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo go head-to-head at the climax of what has been a riveting season. Marquez heads to Valencia with a championship-leading advantage of 13 points, meaning a single fourth place would guarantee the title no matter what Lorenzo is capable of.
Looking at the rookie’s track record this looks to be a certain, however if Valencia’s rain-hit race of last year is anything to go by, anything can happen. It was Repsol’s Dani Pedrosa who won the race last year, and will this year be out to prove a point, as he saw his title chances go after his third place in Motegi. Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi could prove to be a big factor in the outcome of the race, as he looks to hold off Marquez’s charge and help out his teammate Lorenzo.
Another player could be Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow, who has not only cemented fifth place in the championship, but also contests his last race on board a Yamaha before his switch to Ducati. GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista has been continually improving throughout the season and will hope to impress his home fans, whilst LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl should be much closer to full fitness after fracturing his right ankle in Malaysia.
Nicky Hayden will aim to have a good weekend on his last for the Ducati Team and get one over on his teammate Andrea Dovizioso, whilst the Ignite Pramac and Energy T.I. Pramac machines of Yonny Hernandez and Andrea Dovizioso will hope to hold off Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro. Espargaro has already collected top CRT honours, but will aim to celebrate that with another spot in Parc Ferme in front of local support. The grid will be two riders stronger, as Michele Pirro lines up for the Ducati Test team, and Austrian Martin Bauer makes another appearance with his S&B Suter with the Remus Racing Team.
World Championship Standings MotoGP™
1- Marc Marquez SPA Honda 318
2- Jorge Lorenzo SPA Yamaha 305
3- Dani Pedrosa SPA Honda 280
4- Valentino Rossi ITA Yamaha 224
5- Cal Crutchlow GBR Yamaha 188
Heading to Valencia for the last round of 2013, Moto2™ is the only category in which the title has already been decided, in favour of Pol Espargaro. However, plenty of rivals will be looking for a confidence-boosting victory at the end of another tiring campaign.
With just the sole round still to run, Espargaro (Tuenti HP 40) heads the luckless Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team) by the unassailable margin of 41 points, with a maximum of 25 still on offer. Compounding a dreadful end to the triple-header, Redding was taken out of the Japanese Grand Prix in a crash triggered by third title contender and Espargaro’s teammate, Tito Rabat. Both men will now be looking to put one over the Champion in Valencia, with Espargaro and Redding then heading to MotoGP™ for 2014, while Rabat remains in Moto2™ with Marc VDS.
There will be plenty more to fight for at the Ricardo Tormo circuit, as well. Fourth, eighth and tenth in the championship, Mika Kallio (Marc VDS), and Aspar Team Moto2 pairing Nico Terol and Jordi Torres will all be searching for one more win before the end of the season, whereas no less than four of the riders in the overall top ten are still on the lookout for a victory before moving into the off-season.
Regular wildcard Gino Rea will be taking part once more with his Gino Rea Montaze Broz Racing team, as will other familiar, Malaysian Hafiz Syahrin, with the Petronas Raceline Malaysia outfit.
World Championship Standings Moto2™
1- Pol Espargaro SPA Kalex 265
2- Scott Redding GBR Kalex 224
3- Tito Rabat SPA Kalex 204
4- Mika Kallio FIN Kalex 185
5- Dominique Aegerter SWI Suter 151
Any one of three riders could leave Valencia this weekend with a maiden Moto3™ world title. At present, a blanket could be thrown over the trio, with Luis Salom, Maverick Viñales and Alex Rins covered by just five points.
In 2012, Germany’s Sandro Cortese clinched the first ever Moto3™ title with a pair of races to spare. A year later, a campaign of mixed results has left Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Luis Salom, Team Calvo’s Maverick Viñales and Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Rins with almost equal opportunities heading into Valencia. Salom leads Viñales by just two points, with Rins only a further three in arrears. It was those three, in that very order, who won the opening three races of the year and, until Rins’ teammate Alex Marquez triumphed for the first time in Japan, no other rider had clinched a lightweight class victory in 2013.
At the same time, Marquez will be keen to complete the year with back-to-back wins, while Jonas Folger (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3) and Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra Racing) would certainly be deserving of a victory should they achieve the feat. There will be two wildcards in the line-up with Jorge Navarro racing for MIR Racing, and Venezuelan Michael Ruben Rinaldi taking part on a third Mahindra. As for the Constructors’ fight, KTM has hit its fourth century of points and was the first title winner in any class this year, sealing that particular honour back at Silverstone.
World Championship Standings Moto3™
1- Luis Salom SPA KTM 300
2- Maverick Viñales SPA KTM 298
3- Alex Rins SPA KTM 295
4- Alex Marquez SPA KTM 200
5- Jonas Folger GER Kalex KTM 163