Motorsport Week - MotoGP News http://www.motorsportweek.com Catch up on all MotoGP news, here at Motorsport Week RSS Feed! http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14408http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14408Marc Marquez beats Maverick Vinales to GP of Americas pole positionSun, 23 Apr 2017 00:50:22 GMT<p>Honda&#39;s Marc Marquez took&nbsp;a signature last dash pole position for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, putting in another stunner at COTA as he pulled out an ace on his final lap to take it back from key rival Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales of Yamaha.</p> <p>Vi&ntilde;ales&rsquo; team-mate Valentino Rossi was another on a late charge, shooting up into third to complete an incredible front row.</p> <p>Marquez&#39;s Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa heads up the second row at a venue that has seen him on the podium twice, with Johann Zarco (Yamaha Tech3) once again top rookie in another impressive performance to line up P5.</p> <p>Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati) progressed from Q1 in Austin for the first time since moving to the Borgo Panigale factory, and the five-time World Champion had an impressive Q2 session &ndash; lining up in P6 on the second row, and just out-qualifying team-mate Andrea Dovizioso.</p> <p>Jonas Folger (Yamaha Tech3) looks to keep his points lead in the fight for Rookie of the Year from P8, with Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) just behind in ninth after a crash. Compatriot Scott Redding (Pramac) completes the top ten.</p> <p>There were also crashes for Jack Miller (Marc VDS) and Andrea Iannone (Suzuki Ecstar) in the session, with the two men set to line up in P11 and P12 respectively.</p> <p>From Q1 laptimes, the top fifteen is completed by Danilo Petrucci (Pramac) and Reale Avintia Racing duo Loris Baz and Hector Barbera.</p> <p>Vi&ntilde;ales vs Marquez vs Vi&ntilde;ales vs Marquez&hellip;qualifying at COTA should whet appetites well for Sunday&rsquo;s 14:00 (GMT -5) race, with the two men seemingly set for a showdown.</p> <p><a href="http://www.motogp.com/en/Results+Statistics/2017/AME/MotoGP/Q2">Click here for full results.</a></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14388http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14388Jorge Lorenzo hopes 'difficult moment' will soon passThu, 20 Apr 2017 09:57:33 GMT<p>Jorge Lorenzo says he is confident his &quot;difficult moment&quot; will soon be over, following a troubled start to his Ducati career.</p> <p>Lorenzo has switched from Yamaha to Ducati, the first time he has changed teams in MotoGP, but managed only 11th in Qatar, having gone wide on the first lap, and crashed out at the start in Argentina, after qualifying towards the back of the field.</p> <p>The results have left Lorenzo a lowly 18th in the standings, 45 points behind championship leader Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales, but the Ducati rider is optimistic that matters will improve, ahead of the third round of the campaign in the United States.</p> <p>&ldquo;Finally we have arrived at Austin, and I just couldn&rsquo;t wait to get here after my crash at Termas de R&iacute;o Hondo,&quot; Lorenzo said.</p> <p>&quot;I don&rsquo;t want to think about what happened in Argentina anymore, and even though the results up until now haven&rsquo;t gone our way, I think we are on the right track to improve.</p> <p>&quot;Unfortunately for one reason or another, I haven&rsquo;t been able to demonstrate this. Austin is a great circuit, one where I have never won, but Ducati here has always been competitive and has been on the podium in the last three years.</p> <p>&quot;It&rsquo;s a good track to keep on developing the Desmosedici and adapting my riding style. In the team we are all optimistic, we&rsquo;re working well together and I&rsquo;m sure this difficult moment will be over soon.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14277http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14277Maverick Vinales wins dramatic Argentinian GP as Marc Marquez crashes outSun, 09 Apr 2017 20:24:23 GMT<p>MotoGP&nbsp;has a tendency to keep making history of late, and the Argentinian&nbsp;Grand Prix was no different &ndash;&nbsp;as Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales became the first Yamaha rider since Wayne Rainey in 1990 to win the first two races of the year, taking a stunning victory as drama hit the grid behind.</p> <p>Team-mate Valentino Rossi created another miracle in P2, with LCR Honda&rsquo;s Cal Crutchlow completing the podium in style as top Independent team rider.</p> <p>It was reigning champion Marc Marquez (Honda) who leapt into the lead from pole, with Rossi another electric starter from seventh on the grid. In the rush for Turn 1, it was Marquez leading Crutchlow as the pack shuffled behind, with the reigning champion then making a stunning break for it as the Brit backed up the chasing Yamaha pairing of Vi&ntilde;ales and Rossi.</p> <p>Vi&ntilde;ales soon attacked Crutchlow to take P2, before the first of the high drama hit up ahead and Marquez suddenly hit the floor at Turn 2 &ndash; having been almost two seconds clear.</p> <p>That left Vi&ntilde;ales in P1, with Crutchlow and Rossi on the chase and the gap holding steady just above half a second - before the man of the moment began to pull away. The &lsquo;Doctor&rsquo; was left to hunt down Crutchlow, with the two holding station until Rossi struck with 7 laps to go, getting past the Brit in style at Turn 5 and pulling away for a second consecutive podium &ndash; in his 350th World Championship start.</p> <p>There was all-out war for P4 as Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) battled to get past Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac), with Johann Zarco (Yamaha Tech3), Alvaro Bautista (Aspar) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) getting in the mix. After a short and spectacular duel between Pedrosa and Zarco, the Spaniard broke free to set the fastest lap &ndash; before disaster struck for the &lsquo;Baby Samurai&rsquo; as he crashed out of the race in the same place as team-mate Marquez had done a handful of laps earlier.</p> <p>Even then, the drama wasn&rsquo;t done as &lsquo;DesmoDovi&rsquo; went wide at Turn 5 soon after, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) taking the inside line and then losing the front &ndash; sliding helplessly into the Italian and both out the race.</p> <p>Behind and including Crutchlow, it was another fantastic day for the Independent Teams as the dust settled, with Bautista taking fourth and Monster Yamaha Tech 3&rsquo;s Zarco and Folger taking fifth and sixth. Petrucci, after running out of rear grip, crossed the line in a solid P7 &ndash; ahead of a good fight back from his team-mate Scott Redding at the head of the next group.</p> <p>Jack Miller (Marc VDS) enjoyed another top ten result in ninth behind Redding, with front row start Karel Abraham (Aspar) completing the top ten only tenths ahead of Loris Baz (Avintia) - after the Frenchman was forced wide early on.</p> <p>Tito Rabat (Marc VDS) was P12 in front of Hector Barbera (Avintia), with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing pairing Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith incredibly close to the two men ahead in P14 and P15 respectively. The Austrian manufacturer is now a points scorer with both riders, opening their account early in only round two.</p> <p>After a great start from a difficult grid position, it was disaster for Ducati Team&rsquo;s Jorge Lorenzo on the first lap as the five-time World Champion crashed out early after contact with old nemesis Andrea Iannone (Suzuki Ecstar) &ndash; the &lsquo;Spartan&rsquo; thankfully escaping unhurt, and Iannone continuing. The &lsquo;Maniac&rsquo; was also given a ride through penalty soon after for a jump start, dropping him down the order and out of contention to cross the line as the final finisher.</p> <p><a href="http://www.motogp.com/en/Results+Statistics/2017/ARG/MotoGP/RAC"><strong>Click here for full results.</strong></a></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14261http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14261Honda's Marc Marquez romps to pole at a wet Argentinian GPSat, 08 Apr 2017 18:44:00 GMT<p>They say you can&rsquo;t keep a good man down, and after a difficult Qatar Grand Prix, reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) bounced back in stunning style after the rain came down in Argentina &ndash; mastering the tricky damp and drying conditions to take his first pole position of the year.</p> <p>With Marquez clear at the top, it was a stunning ride into P2 for Karel Abraham (Pull&amp;Bear Aspar Team) &ndash; who put his GP15 straight into the mix at the front and kept it calm for his best ever premier class start. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), after also impressing earlier on Saturday, completes the front row in an exciting line up at the front.</p> <p>Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) was another who converted the Q2 opportunity into great slot on the grid, as he heads the second row from Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team). Pedrosa led the charge in Q1&rsquo;s clash of the titans and moved through along with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) &ndash; setting the scene for a Q2 with a difference.</p> <p>Qatar winner and Championship leader Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) completes the second row &ndash; just head of veteran Italian teammate Rossi by less than a tenth. Behind the &lsquo;Doctor&rsquo; was another solid performance from Aprilia Racing Team Gresini rider Aleix Espargaro, who will line up in P8 following his heroics in the Qatar GP to take Aprilia&rsquo;s best result since returning in 2015.</p> <p>Loris Baz (Reale Avintia Racing) was an early hero in the wetter conditions with a provisional front row, and the Frenchman will line up in ninth after later improvements from many in the field. Pull&amp;Bear Aspar Team&rsquo;s Alvaro Bautista completes the top ten.</p> <p>Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was top rookie in qualifying and the only rookie in Q2, lining up just ahead of Team Suzuki Ecstar&rsquo;s Andrea Iannone after the Italian had a moment on his final charge.</p> <p>Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), &nbsp;Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing) complete the top 15 &ndash; just ahead of a difficult day for Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team).</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.motogp.com/en/Results+Statistics/2017/ARG/MotoGP/Q2">Click here for full qualifying results</a></strong></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14241http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14241Alex Rins cleared to race in Argentina despite fractured ankleFri, 07 Apr 2017 11:51:50 GMT<p>Suzuki Ecstar rider Alex Rins has&nbsp;been given the all-clear to take part in this weekend&#39;s Argentinian Grand Prix, despite fracturing his ankle last week in a training accident.</p> <p>The Spaniard fell from his RM-Z motocross bike last Thursday. He underwent medical checks at&nbsp;the University Hospital Dexeus and was diagnosed with a partial fracture of the right talus, without displacement, but with bone edema.</p> <p>Further medical checks were carried out this week. Although Rins can lean on his foot with some discomfort, he has been given permission by doctors to take part in the sessions this weekend.</p> <p>Rins will continue physiotherapy and will be monitored by doctors at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit.<br /> <br /> Speaking ahead of the race, Rins said: &quot;My first race in Qatar had been a very exciting experience and honestly left with me the feeling that it all went too fast and was too short.</p> <p>&quot;I can&rsquo;t wait to experience again all the emotion of MotoGP. The Argentinian circuit is one I like. I believe I will really enjoy the acceleration with the GSX-RR and I&rsquo;m expecting the straight to seem to be a lot shorter compared to last year&rsquo;s Moto2.</p> <p>&quot;I had this injury while training last week. It&rsquo;s not a bad injury but will require some time to recover. I really hope it won&rsquo;t bother me too much with the pain, as I&rsquo;m excited to continue learning in this class with my Suzuki.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14183http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14183Suzuki's Alex Rins fractures right-ankle in training accidentFri, 31 Mar 2017 19:54:41 GMT<p>Suzuki Ecstar&#39;s Alex Rins has &nbsp;suffered a fracture to his right-ankle during a training accident according to his team.</p> <p>The MotoGP rider underwent tests at the University Hospital Dexeus in Barcelona on Thursday after falling from his&nbsp;Suzuki RM-Z motocross bike.</p> <p>Rins was diagnosed with&nbsp;a small fracture in the talus bone of his right ankle.</p> <p>&quot;The doctors who evaluated the Spanish rider, led by Dr. Xavier Mir, Head of the Hand Unit, a top Orthopedic Surgeon, and Coordinator of the MotoGP Traumatology Service, and Eugenio Gimeno, Head of the foot Unit Hospital Quiron-Dexeus, concluded after a CT scan that Rins had a partial fracture of the right talus, without displacement, but with bone edema,&quot; confirmed a statement.</p> <p>It&#39;s not yet known whether Rins will be fit to take part in the&nbsp;next round of the MotoGP season, which takes place in Argentina in just over a week.</p> <p>Further news on his fitness will be released on Monday pending further examination.</p> <p>&quot;After consulting with his colleagues in the Department of Traumatology, the medical team has decided to carry out non-surgical treatment with magnetotherapy and physiotherapy, and they will examine the rider next Monday in the same clinic for a check-up before traveling to Argentina.&quot;</p> <p>Rins finished ninth in the opening race of the season inb Qatar last weekend.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14161http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14161Qatar crash part of MotoGP learning curve - Johann ZarcoTue, 28 Mar 2017 18:46:13 GMT<p>Tech 3 rider Johann Zarco says his crash while leading the Qatar Grand Prix is part of the learning curve of his rookie MotoGP season.</p> <p>Zarco made his debut in the category at Losail and lined up fourth on the grid, before moving up to second at the start.</p> <p>Later on the opening lap he jumped ahead of Andrea Dovizioso&rsquo;s Ducati to snatch the lead but on lap six, he went wide at Turn 2 and crashed.</p> <p>It brought what could have been an encouraging first MotoGP race to an early end but Zarco is taking plenty of positives from the weekend.</p> <p>&ldquo;Despite the end result, I am happy and it was so good to lead the field in my first race,&rdquo; he admitted afterwards.</p> <p>&ldquo;I know that my starts are strong and I overtook some good riders at the first corner and I then got into a consistent rhythm.</p> <p>&ldquo;I kept pushing but on the sixth lap, I decided to relax, and maybe I went off the racing line a little bit and then I fell at the second corner.</p> <p>&ldquo;This is a shame but we are always on the limit and I still need to learn the category so this kind of mistake is part of my lesson as a rookie in MotoGP.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&#39;s a pity about the result but it&#39;s important for my confidence and I am excited for Argentina.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14153http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14153Andrea Dovizioso admits Qatar tyre gamble the 'right' decisionMon, 27 Mar 2017 11:22:12 GMT<p>Andrea Dovizioso says Ducati&rsquo;s tyre gamble in the shortened MotoGP season opener in Qatar was the right choice, after finishing the race in second.</p> <p>The Italian got his 2017 season off to a strong start with the runner-up spot at Losail, opting for the soft tyre for the race.</p> <p>Dovizioso felt the tyre call was the right one, despite failing to hold off eventual race winner Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales after a late fight.</p> <p>&ldquo;The [tyre] gamble we took was right,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;We had good speed before the race but we couldn&rsquo;t have finished the race with Maverick [Vi&ntilde;ales].</p> <p>&ldquo;Also, there was a lot of humidity and for sure the race was slower, so with the soft tyre if you don&rsquo;t push really hard you&rsquo;re able to save it.</p> <p>&ldquo;Everything went really well after the crash of [Johann] Zarco because when I was leading, I was comfortable and I was able to save the tyre.</p> <p>&ldquo;It was the only way to finish the race with Maverick because he had better pace and a harder tyre.</p> <p>&ldquo;At some points it was OK, but at some points the difference was too much. My good point was the straight - but then I was just too far back to take him on the last lap.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14144http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14144Maverick Vinales wins dramatic duel in Qatar as Valentino Rossi completes podiumSun, 26 Mar 2017 22:25:21 GMT<p>Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales drew first blood in the opening race of the 2017 MotoGP championship as he claimed a dramatic victory in a shortened Qatar Grand Prix on Sunday.</p> <p>The Yamaha rider finished just half a second clear of second-placed Andrea Dovizioso for Ducati as the pair enjoyed an epic duel in the desert.</p> <p>Vi&ntilde;ales Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi completed the podium as he fought through the field from tenth on the grid to claim 16 points as he bids for a tenth title.</p> <p>The race began with Andrea Iannone (Suzuki Ecstar) jumping into the lead before he was quickly passed by the flying rookie&nbsp;Johann Zarco of Yamaha Tech3. Zarco managed to open a lead as the chasing pack fought amongst themselves.</p> <p>However it wasn&#39;t to last as he crashed out on lap 6, handing the lead to Dovizioso, whilst&nbsp;Vin&ntilde;ales quickly found himself dropping back down the field and into the clutches of Rossi.</p> <p>Iannone was the next leader to fall, easing the pressure on Dovizioso out front. That left&nbsp;reigning champion Marc Marquez (Honda), Vi&ntilde;ales and Rossi chasing the leading Desmosedici.&nbsp;</p> <p>Vi&ntilde;ales and Rossi were&nbsp;soon past Marquez and the pair began to hunt down the leader.</p> <p>The #25 traded the lead with the #4 over several laps before managing to hold off the Italian on the penultimate lap and open a gap just big enough to claim the victory. Rossi meanwhile couldn&#39;t get close enough and finished two seconds down.</p> <p>Marquez was fourth ahead of&nbsp;team-mate Dani Pedrosa, Aprilia&#39;s Aleix Espargaro, Pramac&#39;s Scott Redding and Marc VDS rider Jack Miller. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) and Jonas Folger (Yamaha Tech3) completed the top ten.</p> <p>Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) crashed out of contention before rejoining and then suffering the same fate again, with Alvaro Bautista (Aspar) crashing out soon after, as well as Danilo Petrucci just 6 laps from the end.</p> <p><a href="http://www.motogp.com/en/Results+Statistics/2017/QAT/MotoGP/World+Standing">Click here for full race results from the 2017 Qatar MotoGP race.</a></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14133http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14133Maverick Vinales backs decision to cancel 'impossible' qualifyingSat, 25 Mar 2017 20:17:46 GMT<p>Yamaha rider Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales says MotoGP race control made the &quot;right decision&quot; to cancel qualifying for the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix on Saturday, with the heavy rain creating &quot;impossible&quot; conditions.</p> <p>Storms during the early hours and afternoon flooded the Losail Circuit and despite the best efforts of the marshals to clear the standing water, the decision was made to cancel the session.</p> <p>The grid will therefore be formed from combined practice times with Vi&ntilde;ales starting from pole position.</p> <p>&quot;The conditions were tricky today and finally I think they made the right decision, because it was totally impossible to ride,&quot; he said.</p> <p>&quot;The conditions were mixed, there was a lot of water on the track, so I think they made the correct call. In the end, we didn&rsquo;t ride for the show, but rider safety comes first.</p> <p>&quot;Today it wasn&rsquo;t hard to stay focused, I was in the box the whole time. Seeing the images, it would be difficult to go out on track with that much standing water, so I was trying to stay focused in case we would go out and try, but it was better that we didn&rsquo;t try it today, because it was quite tricky.&quot;</p> <p>Team-mate Valentino Rossi, who starts tenth, was disappointed by the lack of track time, but is hopeful that Sunday&#39;s 30-minute practice session will enable him to get his bike where he wants it in terms of setup.</p> <p>&quot;For us, personally &ndash;&nbsp;we are a little bit slow and behind &ndash; so having less time on track is a problem, but that&rsquo;s the way it is,&quot; commented&nbsp;the Italian. &quot;We couldn&rsquo;t do it any other way, because the track didn&rsquo;t have the conditions required for us to try.</p> <p>&quot;To modify the bike, we will have a half-hour warm-up tomorrow. Even though it isn&rsquo;t exactly held in the night, we will try to understand and afterwards we will discover if I&#39;ll have enough pace to make it a good race.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14131http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14131Heavy rain cancels MotoGP qualifying, practice used to form gridSat, 25 Mar 2017 19:09:26 GMT<p>MotoGP has been forced to cancel qualiying for the opening round of the 2017 season in Qatar due to heavy rain, which has left too much standing water on the Losail circuit, with conditions deemed too dangerous for riders.</p> <p>The grid for Sunday&#39;s race will therefore be formed from combined practice results, with Maverick Vińales securing pole position for the Yamaha factory team, his first in the category.</p> <p>Overnight rain and a storm during the early hours left much of the circuit covered in standing water, therefore race direction&nbsp;chose&nbsp;to cancel the session completely, rather than postpone it.</p> <p>Vi&ntilde;ales will start ahead of Suzuki Ecstar&#39;s&nbsp;Andrea Iannone with reigning champion Marc Marquez completing the front row.</p> <p>The second and third rows consist of&nbsp;Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing), Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team), Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda).</p> <p>Nine-time world champion and Vi&ntilde;ales&#39; team-mate Valentino Rossi heads up the fourth row in 10th, ahead of Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing). Jorge Lorenzo is in 12th on his debut with Ducati.</p> <p><a href="http://resources.motogp.com/files/results/2017/QAT/MotoGP/FP3/CombinedPracticeTimes.pdf?v1_cadbdb00">Click here for the full grid for round one of the MotoGP season at Qatar.</a></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14117http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14117Qatar preview: Maverick Vinales leads the desert chargeFri, 24 Mar 2017 16:10:11 GMT<p>Can Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales turn his dazzling testing form into a race win in Qatar this weekend after he has dominated MotoGP&nbsp;pre-season testing on the Movistar Yamaha?</p> <p>The 22-year-old Spaniard has made a sensational start to his Yamaha career, leading all three pre-season test sessions including at the Losail International circuit last week. He joins 38-year-old nine-times world champion Valentino Rossi, with the departure of last year&rsquo;s Qatar winner Jorge Lorenzo to Ducati.</p> <p>Last year Vi&ntilde;ales, a former Moto3 World Champion, took his maiden MotoGP victory at the Octo British Grand Prix while riding for the Ecstar Suzuki team. He has been replaced at Suzuki by Austrian Grand Prix winner Andrea Iannone, who has rookie Moto2&nbsp;winner Alex Rins as his team-mate.</p> <p>World Champion Marc Marquez crashed five times in the Qatar test as he struggled to tame the power of the Repsol Honda and it promises to be a season-long fight for glory between the three times MotoGP Champion and Vi&ntilde;ales.</p> <p>Lorenzo made good progress on the GP17 Ducati in Qatar but the 22-lap race on Sunday may just come a little early for a repeat of his victory last year. His Ducati team-mate Andrea Dovizioso has been fast and consistent throughout testing at a circuit where both he and the team have good MotoGP form.</p> <p>The surprises this Sunday could come from a fit Dani Pedrosa, a rejuvenated Alvaro Bautista on his return to the Pull and Bear Aspar Team Ducati, and the Monster Tech3 Yamaha rookie duo of Moto2 World Champion Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger. This weekend also marks the proper debut of the Red Bull KTM team with Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro onboard the new machines.&nbsp;</p> <p>With four of the leading riders stepping up to MotoGP on Sunday, this year&rsquo;s Moto2 Championship is wide open. Pre-season favourites must include Tom Luthi, Franco Morbidelli and Takaaki Nakagami but there is some big talent coming up from Moto3, including World Champion Brad Binder and grand prix winner Khairul Idham Pawi.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s the same story in Moto3, with the departure of the aforementioned Binder. Italian Romano Fenati returns after his problems and has looked impressive on the Marinelli Rivacold Snipers Honda and will face tough opposition from fellow Italian grand prix winners Enea Bastianini and Niccolo Antonelli.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14102http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14102Eight riders capable of fighting for MotoGP title this year - Valentino RossiThu, 23 Mar 2017 08:58:27 GMT<p>Valentino Rossi is expecting a very competitive grid in MotoGP this season and believes &quot;seven or eight&quot; riders have the ability to fight for overall honours.</p> <p>Last year saw a highly competitive field with nine different race winners, although realistically only four of those were in a position to fight for the title.</p> <p>Rossi believes 2017 will see a repeat of the number of winners, but expects a tighter field to put more riders in contention for the top spot.</p> <p>&quot;As always the level is very high and also this year, even more so,&quot; he said.&nbsp;&quot;You can have seven or eight riders who can start to try to win the races and fight for the championship. This is great and we have to try to stay in that group.</p> <p>&quot;For me all the riders at this table [Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo, Maverick Vinales, Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Iannone] plus [Andrea] Dovizioso can win in normal conditions, but everything is open for everybody if you have mixed conditions&hellip; and [Dani] Pedrosa! Yes, also Pedrosa, sorry, because in the pre-season he was in great shape.&nbsp;</p> <p>Rossi&nbsp;is looking to put a poor pre-season behind him and go one better this season after finishing runner-up to Marc Marquez last year, but admits it will be difficult, particularly as new Yamaha team-mate Maverick&nbsp;Vinales has shown strong pace in testing.</p> <p>&ldquo;I am coming from a quite difficult winter season and I was never very strong; we struggle a bit to find the right feeling. We have to work and improve and from tomorrow starts another long season and I hope to be strong and competitive,&quot; he added.</p> <p>&quot;Maverick did the opposite; he had a great pre-season and was fastest in all the tracks, not only in the fastest laps, but also in the pace and I think he will be very strong.</p> <p>&quot;My target is always to try to win races but especially be strong, and try to fight for the podium every weekend. This is the target also for this year, but for sure it is very difficult but it was also difficult in the last years.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14047http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14047MotoGP highlights to be broadcast on Channel 5 in 2017Wed, 15 Mar 2017 13:04:55 GMT<p>Channel 5 has secured the rights to broadcast highlights of the 2017 MotoGP season in the United Kingdom.</p> <p>The British broadcaster showing MotoGP means the series will remain on free-to-air TV, after ITV dropped the highlights package last year.</p> <p>Dorna Sports confirmed highlights of MotoGP will be shown every Monday following the race, with a prime-time slot.</p> <p>The new season begins on the 26 March at the Losail International Circuit with the Grand Prix of Qatar.</p> <p>Channel 5 has added to its motorsport portfolio, currently broadcasting Formula E and the World Rally Championship in the UK.</p> <p>All live coverage of the MotoGP season will be on BT Sport, following the broadcaster&rsquo;s five-year deal which started in 2014.</p> <p>&ldquo;We are thrilled to bring viewers the very best of MotoGP and add another headline act to our motor racing portfolio with the world&rsquo;s fastest motorcycle racing championship,&rdquo; said Channel 5&rsquo;s Mark Sharman.</p> <p>&ldquo;It will be a mind-blowing season - one for the books. Complementing our live coverage of Formula E and the World Rally Championship highlights, this further demonstrates our commitment to offer top class sport to our viewers.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14027http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14027Valentino Rossi 'a bit worried' after difficult MotoGP pre-seasonMon, 13 Mar 2017 08:57:10 GMT<p>Yamaha&#39;s Valentino Rossi has conceded that he heads into the new MotoGP campaign &quot;a bit worried&quot; after concluding what he described as a &quot;very difficult&quot; winter testing period in Qatar on Sunday.</p> <p>Rossi finished only sixth on the combined times across the course of the opening three-day test in Malaysia, and slipped to 12th in Australia, though was cautiously optimistic after placing second to team-mate Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales midway through Qatar&#39;s final test.</p> <p>However, Rossi was only 11th on the last day of pre-season testing as Vi&ntilde;ales once more led the way on the YZR-M1, over eight-tenths of a second clear of Rossi, who expressed his frustration at the situation.</p> <p>&quot;We started with the same bike to continue our programme, but unfortunately I didn&#39;t have the same feeling and the same speed,&quot; Rossi said.</p> <p>&quot;It looks like the condition of the track changed a bit and we were unable to improve. I didn&#39;t have the same feeling as Saturday and I was a bit slower. We put in a lot of effort to go a bit slower.</p> <p>&quot;I think we are still not ready, we don&#39;t understand 100 per cent how to make the bike work at the maximum.</p> <p>&quot;We are a bit worried because at the end except for some good laps the winter tests were very difficult.</p> <p>&quot;So now we have to speak together and try to be stronger for the first race. I hope to be faster and more competitive.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14021http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14021Maverick Vinales tops second day of final MotoGP test in QatarSun, 12 Mar 2017 02:01:38 GMT<p>The second day test honours went to Yamaha&#39;s Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales as the Spaniard posted a 1:54.455 laptime to go quickest ahead of team-mate Valentino Rossi, 0.277s shy of the top spot.</p> <p>Yamaha might have been quickest, but it was Ducati that stole the headlines as it debuted its new &quot;Hammerhead&quot; front-end. The new fairing design is a solution to the winglet ban and&nbsp;Andrea Dovizioso was given the first opportunity to trial it during the test.</p> <p>Dovizioso went on to finish 13th quickest as he set his best time, a 1:55.583, using the traditional fairing design. Team-mate Jorge Lorenzo was eighth fastest, 0.889s down on&nbsp;Vi&ntilde;ales.</p> <p>Lorenzo was one of several fallers during the session. Rossi,&nbsp;Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), Jack Miller (Marc VDS), Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac), Alvaro Bautista (Aspar), Bradley Smith (KTM) and the Aprilia duo of Sam Lowes and Aleix Espargaro also fell. All were unharmed.</p> <p>Yamaha Tech 3&#39;s rookie Jonas Folger was third quickest, half a second down on the top spot, with Cruthlow fourth and&nbsp;Espargaro fifth.</p> <p>The top 11 riders were covered by under a second, with 12th to 20th covered by a further second.</p> <p>The third and final day of preseason testing kicks off on Sunday at the Losail International Circuit.</p> <p>For full testing results, <a href="http://www.motogp.com/en/TestResults/MotoGP+Qatar+Test+2017">click here</a>.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14010http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14010Andrea Dovizioso quickest on first day of final MotoGP testFri, 10 Mar 2017 21:42:14 GMT<p>Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso set the pace in an incident-filled opening day of the final MotoGP pre-season test in Qatar.</p> <p>The third and last winter test ahead of the 2017 MotoGP season started with Dovizioso putting in the quickest time at the Losail circuit.</p> <p>His 1:54.818 was set with just over two hours of the day remaining, demoting his new Ducati team-mate Jorge Lorenzo to second.</p> <p>However, Lorenzo did not stay in the runner-up spot, falling to fifth place by the end of the session.</p> <p>Yamaha&#39;s Maverick Vinales improved late on to claim second, 0.361s adrift of Dovizioso&rsquo;s benchmark.</p> <p>LCR Honda&rsquo;s Cal Crutchlow and Aspar&rsquo;s Karel Abraham moved up to third and fourth in the final hour.</p> <p>Tech3 Yamaha&rsquo;s Jonas Folger was sixth, ahead of works rider Valentino Rossi and Honda&rsquo;s Dani Pedrosa.</p> <p>Reigning champion Marc Marquez finished down in 12th&nbsp;after two crashes. The first fall happened mid-way through the session after emerging on track with Honda&rsquo;s new fairing.</p> <p>He then crashed at Turn 2 in the last hour of running, while former Moto2 racers Alex Rins and Sam Lowes also suffered accidents.</p> <p>They were not the only ones, though, with Pol Espargaro, Andrea Iannone and Aleix Espargaro also falling during the test session.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13983http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13983Tito Rabat deemed fit to return to MotoGP testing duties in QatarWed, 08 Mar 2017 10:00:22 GMT<p>Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat will return to action during this week&#39;s final MotoGP pre-season test at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.</p> <p>The Spaniard was forced to miss the most recent test at Phillip Island after he suuffered&nbsp;a distal fracture of the radius, a fracture of the fifth metacarpal in the right-hand, a fracture to the distal phalanx in the right foot and a severely lacerated left knee after crashing heavily at Turn 11.</p> <p>Rabat has undergone surgery and an extensive&nbsp;four-week rehabilitation program according to the team and is looking forward to resuming his preparations for the 2017 season this week.</p> <p>&quot;The last four weeks have been all about rehabilitation, working with the physiotherapist to recover from the injuries and also the surgery,&quot; explained Rabat.&nbsp;&quot;I am still not back to full fitness but I&#39;m fit to ride and although we&#39;ll need to take the injuries into account in Qatar, this won&#39;t stop us from enjoying a productive test.</p> <p>&quot;This test isn&#39;t about pushing for a lap time, it&#39;s about working with my crew, rebuilding my confidence with the bike and ensuring we are as well prepared as it&#39;s possible to be when we return to the Losail International Circuit for the first race of the season.&quot;</p> <p>Team-mate Jack Miller heads to Qatar looking to build on his successful testing so far, which saw him finish in the top ten fastest times.</p> <p>&quot;I&#39;m feeling really good after the tests in Sepang and Phillip Island and I&#39;m looking forward to carrying that momentum into the final preseason test in Qatar, where we&#39;ll be testing the latest specification Honda engine for the first time,&quot; he said.</p> <p>&quot;It&#39;s been a good preseason so far; we&#39;ve found some improvements and, step-by-step, we&#39;ve managed to go faster, finishing inside the top ten last time out at Phillip Island.</p> <p>&quot;Now we&#39;re heading into the final test before the season gets underway and the aim is simple; to make sure we&#39;re fully prepared for when the lights go out for the first time in 2017.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13956http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13956Aprilia unveils MotoGP livery for 2017 seasonSat, 04 Mar 2017 11:52:10 GMT<p>Aprilia has become the latest manufacturer to reveal the colours it will be using in MotoGP during the 2017 season.</p> <p>Run by the Gresini Racing outfit, its 2017 RS-GP bike was unveiled at the team&rsquo;s official launch on Friday in Italy ahead of the new MotoGP campaign.</p> <p>The team has an all-new rider line-up for the up-coming season, with Moto2 title contender Sam Lowes making the step up to MotoGP.</p> <p>He is joined by Aleix Espargar&oacute; after the Spanish rider&rsquo;s switch from Suzuki to Aprilia. Both riders were on hand to unveil the RS-GP&rsquo;s colours.</p> <p>Aprilia joined the MotoGP grid as a factory outfit in 2015 and made progress throughout the following season, and is looking to make further inroads on its rivals this year.</p> <p>&ldquo;First of all I&rsquo;m happy to be part of a great racing family with a prestigious history such as Aprilia Racing,&rdquo; said Lowes. &ldquo;I can&rsquo;t wait to get back on track in Qatar. I think in winter testing I&rsquo;ve only shown 85% of our potential and in the first race I want to define a good base on which we can build step by step up to Valencia.&rdquo;</p> <p>Espargar&oacute; added: &ldquo;It will certainly be a good season, we still have a lot to improve but we&rsquo;ve definitely got off on the right foot. There is a big desire to progress, we have clear goals and to achieve them both the team and I will have to leave everything out on track. We just have to face the first race in Qatar and face down our rivals.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13911http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13911MotoGP launches British Talent Cup and team in LondonTue, 28 Feb 2017 12:40:22 GMT<p>MotoGP boss Carmelo Ezpeleta has announced the formation of a new MotoGP initiative&nbsp;for young British riders to get them onto a level playing field with their Spanish and other European rivals.</p> <p>&quot;Since 1982 we have believed that Britain is the heart of motorsport and the home of the passion for MotoGP,&quot; said Ezpeleta. &quot;I remember the time when all the riders were British and all the winners were British.&quot;</p> <p>Ezpeleta launched the scheme during a press conference&nbsp;at the BT Auditorium in London&nbsp;attended by&nbsp;media and a number of riders, including&nbsp;past MotoGP stars Jeremy McWilliams and Alberto Puig who were on hand to explain the new project.</p> <p>MotoGP Talent Director Puig will lead the project from Spain, with&nbsp;assistance from McWilliams in the UK. The new cup&nbsp;will be eligible for riders born between 2001 and 2005. Interested riders can apply later in the year for selection with results announced at the&nbsp;MotoGP round at Silverstone in August.</p> <p>Spearheading the new project will be the British Talent Team, run officially in the Moto3 world championship by MotoGP owners Dorna. The first rider for this national team will be current British Moto3 star and race&nbsp;winner John McPhee.</p> <p>Although now 22 years old, Scotsman McPhee broke his duck last year winning the Czech round of the Moto3 World Championship at Brno and is currently one of the fancied riders to battle for the 2017 Moto3 championship.</p> <p>McPhee will be the solo rider for the team in 2017, but it is hoped that there will be a two rider entry in 2018.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13840http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13840KTM unveils MotoGP livery for 2017 seasonMon, 20 Feb 2017 14:42:34 GMT<p>KTM has officially unveiled the livery it will run during the 2017 MotoGP season, its first full campaign in the series.</p> <p>The manufacturer revealed its MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 bikes for the up-coming season at a launch event in Austria.</p> <p>Following on from a 2016 testing programme with the RC16, the bike debuted at last year&rsquo;s MotoGP finale at Valencia with Mika Kallio qualifying 20th and failing to reach the finish.</p> <p>Now, KTM becomes the sixth manufacturer on the MotoGP grid, making its full-time debut in the series this year with Pol Espargar&oacute; and Bradley Smith.</p> <p>MotoGP testing took place at the Phillip Island circuit last week, with Espargar&oacute; and Smith finishing 17th and 19th respectively riding their RC16s.</p> <p>&ldquo;Right now the bull is a little bit wild, but it feels really good,&rdquo; said Espargaro. &ldquo;KTM is really new to MotoGP compared to other brands and we&rsquo;re making huge steps.</p> <p>&ldquo;Every time we jump on the bike we get closer and it&rsquo;s beautiful to see the evolution. I want to thank KTM for trusting me, and for this project.&rdquo;</p> <p>Smith added: &ldquo;There&rsquo;s a lot of pressure. It&rsquo;s something that you&rsquo;ve always wished for and worked for throughout your career but when you finally get that opportunity there&rsquo;s the pressure that comes with it.</p> <p>&ldquo;But I embrace the opportunity that I have and both me and Pol &ndash; and the team &ndash; will be working extremely hard. We&rsquo;ve been busy so far already in the winter tests and the work won&rsquo;t stop. It&rsquo;s just the beginning and I&rsquo;m excited to see what 2017 brings.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13807http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13807Maverick Vinales finishes Phillip Island test on topFri, 17 Feb 2017 08:06:43 GMT<p>Yamaha&rsquo;s Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales set the quickest time during the final day of the second test at Phillip Island on Friday.</p> <p>Vi&ntilde;ales underlined his status as a title threat by clocking a lap of 1:28.549 to finish 0.294s faster than Repsol Honda rival Marc M&aacute;rquez.</p> <p>Vi&ntilde;ales&rsquo; headline-grabbing time, as on Thursday, came during the early stages of running, with his competitors unable to overhaul the Spaniard, who was also the only rider to amass over 100 laps.</p> <p>M&aacute;rquez&rsquo;s team-mate, Dani Pedrosa, moved up to third late in the day, edging Tech 3&rsquo;s Jonas Folger by just 0.009s, the rookie taking an eye-catching fourth despite a crash.</p> <p>LCR Honda&rsquo;s Cal Crutchlow collected fifth position, fractionally in front of &Aacute;lex Rins, who emerged as the lead Suzuki rider in sixth spot.</p> <p>Ducati took seventh and eighth, with Andrea Dovizioso ahead of Jorge Lorenzo, the three-time MotoGP champion enjoying his most competitive showing of the week.</p> <p>Jack Miller continued his encouraging form with ninth spot for Marc VDS, leaving Aleix Espargar&oacute; to complete the top 10.</p> <p>Espargar&oacute;&rsquo;s improvement during the closing stages shuffled Yamaha&rsquo;s Valentino Rossi down to 11<sup>th</sup>, as Andrea Iannone took 12<sup>th</sup>, his best lap within a second of leader Vi&ntilde;ales. &nbsp;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13799http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13799Jorge Lorenzo ‘optimistic’ despite low-key times in testingThu, 16 Feb 2017 09:57:03 GMT<p>Jorge Lorenzo insists he is still &ldquo;optimistic&rdquo; despite finishing towards the lower end of the midfield during the second day of the second pre-season test at Phillip Island.</p> <p>Lorenzo, who has made the switch to Ducati after nine years with Yamaha, placed only 10<sup>th</sup> overall across Sepang&rsquo;s opening test, as he adjusted to the squad&rsquo;s Desmosedici.</p> <p>Lorenzo finished 11<sup>th</sup> on Wednesday when MotoGP regrouped for the second test at Phillip Island but slipped to 15<sup>th</sup> during Thursday&rsquo;s running, 1.35s behind pacesetter Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales.</p> <p>&ldquo;We worked well, trying to lap with more consistency and we made some small steps forward, doing a lot of 1:30s laps,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;Tomorrow we&rsquo;ll see if we can manage to improve our pace and constantly get under the 1:30s mark.</p> <p>&ldquo;We tried several different set-up solutions and in any case I&rsquo;m optimistic even though we are still some way behind the leaders.&rdquo;</p> <p>Team-mate Andrea Dovizioso fared better, placing fifth, 0.636s behind Yamaha&#39;s Vi&ntilde;ales.</p> <p>&ldquo;We did several set-up tests, as scheduled, and we obtained some interesting results,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;There are some areas where we still need to work and we have to make the Desmosedici GP turn better, but today my times were quicker and we were all closer together.</p> <p>&ldquo;There wasn&rsquo;t so much wind, the bike was a lot more stable and the set-up tests we did helped me to improve the feeling.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13798http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13798Maverick Vinales storms clear on second day at Phillip IslandThu, 16 Feb 2017 07:46:33 GMT<p>Yamaha&rsquo;s Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales flew to the top of the timesheets during the second day of testing at Phillip Island on Thursday, finishing almost half a second clear of Repsol Honda rival Marc M&aacute;rquez.</p> <p>Vi&ntilde;ales&rsquo; time of 1:28.847, set during the early stages of running, was 0.462s quicker than M&aacute;rquez&rsquo;s best as the championship reached the midway point of its pre-season testing programme.</p> <p>&quot;I think we did a good job today, but we still have some work to do,&quot; said the Spaniard.</p> <p>&quot;We need to choose which chassis we like and decide on a few other things. We still have a lot of laps ahead of us.</p> <p>&quot;For sure I was trying to go faster at the end of the session today, but in sector three and four there was a lot of wind so I couldn&lsquo;t beat the lap time I set this morning, but I&lsquo;m happy anyway.&quot;</p> <p>M&aacute;rquez racked up the most laps across the course of the day &ndash; 107 &ndash; and finished 0.016s clear of third-placed Cal Crutchlow.</p> <p>Aspar&rsquo;s &Aacute;lvaro Bautista was fourth, in front of Ducati&rsquo;s Andrea Dovizioso, Aprilia&rsquo;s Aleix Espargar&oacute; and Tech 3 newcomer Jonas Folger.</p> <p>Valentino Rossi finished eighth overall on his 38th birthday, while &Aacute;lex Rins was the lead Suzuki rider in ninth, leaving Jack Miller to complete the top 10 for Marc VDS.</p> <p>Andrea Iannone took 12th spot for Suzuki, three places ahead of Ducati&rsquo;s Jorge Lorenzo, the Spaniard finishing 1.3s behind Yamaha replacement Vi&ntilde;ales.</p> <p>Dani Pedrosa finished a low-key 16th for Repsol Honda after suffering from a fever, emerging on-track for only a few hours in the afternoon, while Pol Espargar&oacute; was once again the lead KTM rider in 19th spot.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13794http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13794Marc Marquez leads opening day of Phillip Island testWed, 15 Feb 2017 07:56:29 GMT<p>Reigning world champion Marc M&aacute;rquez set the quickest time during the opening day of MotoGP&rsquo;s second pre-season test at Phillip Island.</p> <p>Repsol Honda rider M&aacute;rquez, who clinched his third title in the premier class in 2016, posted a time of 1:29.497 to finish 0.186s clear of Yamaha rival Valentino Rossi at the home of the Australian Grand Prix.</p> <p>Suzuki&rsquo;s Andrea Iannone moved up to third late on, shuffling Yamaha&#39;s Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales down to fourth, while Cal Crutchlow wound up fifth for LCR Honda.</p> <p>Pramac&rsquo;s Danilo Petrucci was the fastest Ducati rider in sixth, 0.765s off the pace, as he completed the most mileage, posting his best effort on his 88th&nbsp;and final lap.</p> <p>Those late improvements by others demoted Dani Pedrosa to seventh, with Andrea Dovizioso eighth for Ducati, in front of Marc VDS&rsquo; Jack Miller, acting as the team&#39;s sole representative due to the absence of the injured Tito Rabat.</p> <p>Tech 3 rookie Jonas Folger completed the top 10, with Ducati&#39;s Jorge Lorenzo ending the opening day down in 11th&nbsp;position.</p> <p>Aleix Espargar&oacute; was the highest-placed Aprilia-backed Gresini rider in 14th&nbsp;spot, while newcomer KTM continued its work with Pol Espargar&oacute; finishing 17th, 1.7s adrift of M&aacute;rquez.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13726http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13726Barcelona completes new MotoGP chicane for 2017Sat, 04 Feb 2017 12:11:48 GMT<p><strong>The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has unveiled the new chicane which will become part of the MotoGP layout following the death of Moto2 rider Luis Salom last year.</strong></p> <p>During the 2016 Catalan Grand Prix, Salom lost control of his bike in the high-speed Turn 12 and hit the tyre wall at speed. The corner, which features very little run-off area, is taken at almost 150km/h.</p> <p>For the remainder of the event, MotoGP switched to the Formula 1 track layout which features a slower and sharper right-hand turn before a&nbsp;chicane slows the cars further before the final corner which leads onto the start/finish straight.</p> <p>However the kerbs used as part of the F1 chicane aren&#39;t suitable for bikes, therefore the circuit has installed a new chicane closer to Turn 12 specifically for MotoGP and its support series.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13721http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13721Repsol Honda unveils RC213V for 2017 MotoGP seasonFri, 03 Feb 2017 16:32:10 GMT<p><strong>Repsol Honda riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa unveiled the RC213V for the 2017 season on Friday during a launch event in Indonesia&#39;s capital, Jakarta.</strong></p> <p>The new machine has already debuted on track during the first pre-season test in Malaysia earlier this week, but Friday&#39;s event was the official unveiling of the bike that Marquez hopes will allow him to defend his 2016 title.</p> <p>&quot;We&rsquo;ve started our winter tests well enough, and now we all must keep working and take more steps forward to be prepared to fight at the top again,&quot; Marquez said during the presentation.</p> <p>Pedrosa added: &quot;Today we officially launched our 2017 season, which is always an exciting moment, even when you&rsquo;ve already lived it many times.</p> <p>&quot;I feel good and I&rsquo;m really looking forward to starting the new racing year. I&rsquo;m also happy we came here for our team launch. Last October I wasn&#39;t able to attend an event here due to an injury, and so many people from Indonesia showed me their support.&quot;</p> <p>The pair were second and fourth during the final day of the opening test.</p> <p><img alt="" height="440" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/MotoGP/honda-2017-unveil-2.jpg" width="800" /></p> <p><img alt="" height="364" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/MotoGP/honda-2017-unveil-3.jpg" width="800" /></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13704http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13704Maverick Viñales finishes Sepang test on top for YamahaWed, 01 Feb 2017 10:27:51 GMT<p><strong>Yamaha&rsquo;s Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales clocked the quickest time of the opening three-day test during the final day of running at Sepang. </strong></p> <p>Vi&ntilde;ales posted a lap of 1:59.368 early in the afternoon to finish 0.138s clear of reigning world champion Marc M&aacute;rquez, who made gains after electrical problems affected Repsol Honda earlier in the test.</p> <p>Andrea Dovizioso was the lead Ducati rider in third position, ahead of Repsol Honda&rsquo;s Dani Pedrosa and Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi.</p> <p>&Aacute;lvaro Bautista concluded a promising test for Aspar with the sixth best time, in front of Monday pacesetter Casey Stoner, who returned to action after fellow Ducati test rider Michele Pirro sampled the Desmosedici on Tuesday.</p> <p>LCR Honda&rsquo;s Cal Crutchlow took eighth position, leaving Ducati&rsquo;s Jorge Lorenzo and Tech 3 graduate Johann Zarco to complete the top 10.</p> <p>Following Suzuki&rsquo;s headline-grabbing performance on Tuesday, Andrea Iannone finished a low-key 11<sup>th</sup> on the final day, 0.012s clear of rookie team-mate &Aacute;lex Rins.</p> <p>Aleix Espargar&oacute; demonstrated Aprilia&rsquo;s progress with 13<sup>th</sup>, ahead of Pramac&rsquo;s Danilo Petrucci and Tech 3&rsquo;s Jonas Folger, the German youngster ensuring the top 15 riders finished within a second of Vi&ntilde;ales&rsquo; leading time.</p> <p>Jack Miller was the sole Marc VDS representative in 16<sup>th</sup>, following Tito Rabat&rsquo;s heavy crash on Tuesday, which forced him to miss the final test day, with returnee Karel Abraham 17<sup>th</sup>.</p> <p>Scott Redding split Avintia duo H&eacute;ctor Barber&aacute; and Loris Baz, while Bradley Smith was the lead KTM rider in 21<sup>st</sup>, his best effort 1.97s down on leader Vi&ntilde;ales.</p> <p>Sam Lowes took 22<sup>nd</sup> for the Gresini-run Aprilia squad, leaving KTM&rsquo;s Pol Espargar&oacute;, and test riders Katsuyuki Nakasuga (Yamaha) and Takuya Tsuda (Suzuki) to complete the pack.</p> <p>MotoGP testing will resume at Phillip Island, home of the Australian Grand Prix, on February 15.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13699http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13699Andrea Ianonne quickest on second day of MotoGP testing at SepangTue, 31 Jan 2017 12:10:39 GMT<p><strong>Suzuki&#39;s&nbsp;Andrea Ianonne finished the second day of MotoGP testing at the Sepang International Circuit quickest, with a time of 1m59.452.</strong></p> <p>The Italian rider was more than four-tenths quicker than second-placed Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales for Yamaha, whilst Aspar&#39;s Alvaro Bautista completed the top three which consisted of three different manufacturers.</p> <p>The morning saw little running following Monday&#39;s rain, but come the afternoon the track had dried completely and riders started to set competitive times on the slick tyres.</p> <p>The session saw a late red flag as Tito Rabat fell at Turn 7, forcing a 30-minute stoppage as the Marc VDS rider was taken to the medical centre before being transferred to a hospital in&nbsp;Putrajaya for further examination.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Spaniard rider suffered a knee and wrist injury in the accident which means he will not take part in further testing this week.</p> <p>With 30 minutes left on the clock when the green flag came out, the majority headed out to set some final flying laps with new tyres.</p> <p>H&eacute;ctor Barber&aacute;&nbsp;immediately went top, but was quickly demoted to sixth as several riders improved including Johann Zarco, Valentino Rossi and the top three of Bautista, Vi&ntilde;ales and Iannone.</p> <p>Andrea Dovizioso finished seventh quickest ahead of Ducati team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, Tech 3&#39;s Jonas Folger and reigning champion Marc M&aacute;rquez.</p> <p>M&aacute;rquez&nbsp;endured some issues during the afternoon as an electrical problem brought him to a halt at Turn 12.</p> <p>Testing continues at Sepang on Wednesday.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13691http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13691Casey Stoner tops opening day of Sepang MotoGP testMon, 30 Jan 2017 12:09:10 GMT<p><strong>Casey Stoner headed up a Ducati 1-2 on the first day of MotoGP pre-season testing at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia as three-time world champion Jorge Lorenzo struggled.</strong></p> <p>Stoner, 31, retired from racing in MotoGP at the end of 2012 before taking up a test and development role with Ducati last year, and featured on the opening day of testing at Sepang alongside full-time factory riders Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso.</p> <p>Stoner turned in a fastest lap of 1:59.681 on Monday to lead the timesheets ahead of Dovizioso, who finished 0.115 seconds adrift on the Desmosedici GP17 bike.</p> <p>Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales was the best of the rest for Yamaha in third place, finishing six-tenths of a second clear of new team-mate Valentino Rossi in eighth. &Aacute;lvaro Bautista was fourth on a satellite Ducati ahead of Suzuki&#39;s&nbsp;Andrea Iannone.</p> <p>Monday marked Lorenzo&#39;s first official on-track appearance with Ducati in 2017, with the Spaniard failing to match the pace of his team-mates and ultimately finishing a lowly 17th.</p> <p>Honda&#39;s charge was led by satellite rider Cal Crutchlow at Sepang, who finished sixth in the final standings. Factory riders Marc M&aacute;rquez and Dani Pedrosa wound up ninth and 13th respectively on the RC213V bike.</p> <p>Conditions remained dry for the first six hours of running before rain hit the circuit at 4pm local time, lasting until the chequered flag at 6pm.</p> <p>Testing continues at Sepang on Tuesday, with running commencing at 1:45am GMT.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13689http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13689Suzuki unveils its 2017 challenger ahead of pre-season testingMon, 30 Jan 2017 00:35:35 GMT<p><strong>Suzuki is the latest team to unveil its challenger for the 2017 MotoGP season, the GSX-RR 1000, which will begin testing next week in Sepang.</strong></p> <p>The unveil took place at the Sepang International Circuit where on Monday pre-season testing will begin.</p> <p>Suzuki has an all-new rider line-up of&nbsp;Andrea Iannone and &Aacute;lex Rins after both Maverick&nbsp;Vi&ntilde;ales and Aleix Espargar&oacute; departed last year to&nbsp;Yamaha and Aprilia respectively.</p> <p>Speaking at the launch on Sunday, Iannone described his move from Ducati to Suzuki &quot;stimulating&quot; as he starts a fresh chapter in his MotoGP career.</p> <p>&quot;I&#39;m really happy to start this new adventure! Suzuki for me has always been an icon of motorcycle racing and I hope to gain the affection of fans and enthusiasts as the great riders who have been part of the history of this great team!</p> <p>&quot;The coming season is a big challenge, but at the same a huge motivation for me after some years riding for the same brand. This change of direction in my career is so stimulating and I&rsquo;m eager to return Suzuki with all the interest and affection they have demonstrated to me.</p> <p>&quot;I look forward to kicking-off the new season with the new blue colors and do my best to try to achieve the best results possible for the team!&quot;</p> <p>Rins makes his MotoGP debut this year on the back of two successful Moto2 seasons in which he finished second and third respectively.</p> <p>&quot;The main objective of any rider in the world is to reach the MotoGP category because it is the maximum expression of motorcycling,&quot; he said.&nbsp;&quot;Then doing it with the hand of Suzuki is the best way I could ever have imagined.</p> <p>&quot;The team is amazing at the very first sight and the treatment they have given me since the first minute is fantastic. The bike is awesome as well so I am very pleased, very motivated and very grateful to Suzuki for the trust placed in me. It&#39;s going to be a fantastic year in which we will learn a lot and that&rsquo;s our main goal from the beginning.</p> <p>&quot;The Valencia accident was a setback in our plans, but we are working very hard to counteract it. I&#39;m looking forward to getting back on my Suzuki GSX-RR and meeting my new &lsquo;family&rsquo; in the box.&quot;</p> <p><img alt="" height="501" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/MotoGP/Suzuki_GSX-RR_2017_42_Half%20Front%20Left.jpg" width="800" /></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13648http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13648KTM to unveil MotoGP challenger on February 20Wed, 25 Jan 2017 10:13:57 GMT<p><strong>Incoming MotoGP constructor KTM will presents its 2017 bike at its headquarters in Austria on February 20.</strong></p> <p>KTM has been preparing for its entry into the premier class for over two years, and has recruited Pol Espargar&oacute; and Bradley Smith from Tech 3 to spearhead its charge.</p> <p>KTM made its bow at last season&rsquo;s Valencia finale, where test rider Mika Kallio retired, before Espargar&oacute; and Smith sampled the RC16 during post-race testing.</p> <p>Moto2 riders Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira, along with Moto3 youngsters Niccolo Antonelli and Bo Bendsneyder, will also unveil their respective bikes.</p> <p>KTM joins Honda, Yamaha, Ducati, Suzuki and Aprilia as constructors in MotoGP&#39;s premier class.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13642http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13642Andrea Dovizioso insists he isn't scared of facing Jorge Lorenzo at DucatiTue, 24 Jan 2017 12:55:30 GMT<p><strong>Andrea Dovizioso insists he isn&#39;t &quot;scared&quot; by the arrival of three-time MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo at Ducati for the 2017 season.</strong></p> <p>Dovizioso scored his second MotoGP victory at Sepang last year, his first since 2009, and says he&#39;s excited to be going&nbsp;up against a rider of Lorenzo&#39;s ability &ndash; winner of&nbsp;44 races and three titles since making his MotoGP debut in 2008.</p> <p>&quot;Scared? No, I&#39;m excited,&quot; the Spaniard is quoted as saying by <em>SuperSport</em>. &quot;For sure, it will be a big challenge and it will be very difficult, because I know very well Jorge.</p> <p>&ldquo;But I think I&#39;m in a good situation now in my career, I&#39;m 30 years old but I feel I&#39;m in the best moment of my career. So I&#39;m really happy to have this challenge.&quot;</p> <p>Dovizioso says he&#39;s wiling to learn from Lorenzo by studying his data and how he prepares for races in order to improve.</p> <p>&quot;I can learn something from everybody and, in this case, from Jorge.</p> <p>&quot;For sure, he has a different attitude, a different approach to the weekend like every rider, but I&#39;m open and I&#39;m happy to analyse him, to study him, to improve. And I think everybody has margin to improve, and I can be even more competitive than last year, for sure.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13631http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13631MotoGP organisers rubber stamp 2017 calendarMon, 23 Jan 2017 11:15:05 GMT<p>MotoGP officials have formally confirmed the 2017 calendar, which will again feature 18 rounds.</p> <p>The season will once again begin in Qatar on the final weekend in March and conclude at Valencia&rsquo;s Ricardo Tormo Circuit in mid-November.</p> <p>No dates have been changed compared to the most recent issue of the calendar.</p> <table border="0" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" class="table table-bordered"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width:40px"><strong>Round</strong></td> <td><strong>Date</strong></td> <td><strong>Grand Prix</strong></td> <td><strong>Circuit</strong></td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>1</strong></td> <td>26/03</td> <td>Qatar*</td> <td>Losail International Circuit</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>2</strong></td> <td>09/04</td> <td>Republica Argentina</td> <td>Termas de R&iacute;o Hondo</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>3</strong></td> <td>23/04</td> <td>Americas</td> <td>Circuit of The Americas</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>4</strong></td> <td>07/05</td> <td>Spain</td> <td>Circuito de Jerez</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>5</strong></td> <td>21/05</td> <td>France</td> <td>Le Mans</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>6</strong></td> <td>04/06</td> <td>Italy</td> <td>Autodromo del Mugello</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>7</strong></td> <td>11/06</td> <td>Catalunya</td> <td>Barcelona-Catalunya</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>8</strong></td> <td>25/06</td> <td>Netherlands</td> <td>TT Circuit Assen</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>9</strong></td> <td>02/07</td> <td>Germany</td> <td>Sachsenring</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>10</strong></td> <td>06/08</td> <td>Czech Republic</td> <td>Automotodrom Brno</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>11</strong></td> <td>13/08</td> <td>Austria</td> <td>Red Bull Ring - Spielberg</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>12</strong></td> <td>27/08</td> <td>Great Britain</td> <td>Silverstone</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>13</strong></td> <td>10/09</td> <td>San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini</td> <td>Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>14</strong></td> <td>24/09</td> <td>Aragon</td> <td>MotorLand Aragon</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>15</strong></td> <td>15/10</td> <td>Japan</td> <td>Twin Ring Motegi</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>16</strong></td> <td>22/10</td> <td>Australia</td> <td>Phillip Island</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>17</strong></td> <td>29/10</td> <td>Malaysia</td> <td>Sepang International Circuit</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>18</strong></td> <td>12/11</td> <td>Comunitat Valenciana</td> <td>Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>*Indicates night race</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13616http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13616Ducati unveils MotoGP livery ahead of 2017 seasonFri, 20 Jan 2017 10:34:53 GMT<p><strong>Ducati has revealed its new livery ahead of the 2017 MotoGP season, with riders Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso appearing at a presentation on Friday.</strong></p> <p>Ducati claim its first MotoGP race victory in six years in 2016 when Andrea Iannone led a one-two finish at the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg, with team-mate Dovizioso also picking up a win in Malaysia later in the season.</p> <p>Iannone was dropped by Ducati to make way for three-time MotoGP champion Lorenzo, who arrives from Yamaha after spending his entire career to date in the premier class with the Japanese manufacturer.</p> <p>Lorenzo and Dovizioso lifted the covers off Ducati&#39;s new livery at the presentation in Bologna on Friday, with the design being applied to its 2017 bike, the Desmosedici GP16.&nbsp;The bike was absent of the now-banned winglets, which Ducati has raced with since 2015.</p> <p>The GP17 will appear in its new colours for the first time at the end of the month when pre-season testing begins at Sepang.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13607http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13607Yamaha unveils 2017 YZR-M1 MotoGP bike ahead of new seasonThu, 19 Jan 2017 11:56:57 GMT<p><strong>Yamaha has unveiled its new bike for the 2017 MotoGP season, the YZR-M1, at a launch event on Thursday in Madrid with riders Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales.</strong></p> <p>Yamaha took the 2016 Teams&#39; title but missed out on the other two trophies, as Marc M&aacute;rquez and Honda clinched the riders&#39; and manufacturers&#39; championships respectively, limiting Yamaha to just six victores across the course of the year.</p> <p>The Japanese marque has revised its line-up for 2017, with Vi&ntilde;ales joining from Suzuki following three-time MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo&#39;s move to Ducati. Rossi signed a new two-year contract with Yamaha taking him to the end of the 2018 season last spring.</p> <p>Vi&ntilde;ales claimed his maiden MotoGP victory at Silverstone last year with Suzuki, having stepped up to the premier class of motorcycle racing in 2015 following a third-place finish in Moto2 the previous year. The Spaniard also won the Moto3 title back in 2013.</p> <p>On Thursday, Rossi and Vi&ntilde;ales were on hand to take the covers off the new Yahama YZR-M1 that will be raced in the 2017 season, having previously tested it at Valencia and Sepang.</p> <p>&quot;I had the first test in Valencia after the race, but particularly after we moved to Sepang and we could have more kilometres and [do] more work on the new bike,&quot; Rossi said.</p> <p>&quot;We discovered a very good potential. It looks like we can be stronger. For sure now it&#39;s important to work in the three tests before the first race, and try to arrive ready in Qatar. But the first impression is very good.&quot;</p> <p>Vi&ntilde;ales enjoyed his maiden test on the YZR-M1 in Valencia, immediately setting a rapid pace that caught even the rider himself by surprise.</p> <p>&quot;Well let&#39;s say last year when I was following the Yamaha, the bike was really fast,&quot; Vi&ntilde;ales said.&nbsp;&quot;When I got on the Yamaha, I just tried to ride as I normally do. For me the bike was really good. I was surprised I could go so fast in just a few days.</p> <p>&quot;This year I&#39;m working very hard and I&#39;m doing everything I can do to be the best Maverick I can.&quot;</p> <p>Rossi added: &quot;In our team I get used to having very strong team-mate before with Jorge. But Maverick impressed me very much already from the first day. Unfortunately for me he&#39;s already very strong!</p> <p>&quot;I think that we can do a good job together to improve the bike and try to bring the bike on the podium every week.&quot;</p> <p>The YZR-M1 sports a revised livery, with a darker blue being joined by a greater presence for title sponsor Movistar on the bike, as also reflected in the team&#39;s new logo.</p> <p>The new MotoGP season begins on March 26 in Qatar.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13585http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13585Suzuki’s Álex Rins eyes MotoGP rookie honoursTue, 17 Jan 2017 13:28:25 GMT<p><strong>Suzuki newcomer &Aacute;lex Rins says finishing 2017 as MotoGP&rsquo;s top rookie is his target as he prepares to make his debut in the premier class this season.</strong></p> <p>Rins, 21, has replaced Yamaha-bound Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales at Suzuki and graduates to MotoGP following two years in Moto2, in which he claimed four wins, along with the runner-up position in the 2015 standings.</p> <p>Rins will be one of four rookies on the grid this season, along with Tech 3 pair Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger, and Aprilia&rsquo;s Sam Lowes, the quartet all stepping up from the intermediary category.</p> <p>Rins is confident that he can finish ahead of his former Moto2 rivals across the course of the 18-race campaign.</p> <p>&ldquo;From what I saw in Valencia [during post-season testing], the goal will be to end the season as Rookie of the Year &ndash; and beat the riders I was racing against in Moto2,&rdquo; he explained to <em>Movistar+</em>.</p> <p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s the goal I&rsquo;m giving myself at the moment. Maybe when I&rsquo;ve done more laps and I&rsquo;m more settled in, it will change &ndash; top 15, top 10&hellip;I have no idea.&rdquo;</p> <p>Rins is also aware of the comparisons with compatriot Vi&ntilde;ales and is optimistic that he can follow in the footsteps of the Yamaha rider.</p> <p>&ldquo;Obviously it&rsquo;s going to be a lot of pressure, because I&rsquo;m replacing Maverick at Suzuki,&rdquo; he commented.</p> <p>&ldquo;And I have always been racing him and battling with him in the smaller categories.</p> <p>&ldquo;And in Moto2, he left Pons Racing and I joined them, so there&rsquo;s always been a bit of comparison.</p> <p>&ldquo;But hopefully that will continue in MotoGP due to me having had two incredible seasons. I&rsquo;ll try to equal what he did &ndash; or even beat it.&rdquo;</p> <p>Rins will partner former Ducati rider Andrea Iannone at Suzuki this season.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13515http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13515Pol Espargaro excited to show what KTM can do in debut seasonSat, 07 Jan 2017 12:31:49 GMT<p><strong>Pol Espargaro is excited to show what KTM can do in its debut MotoGP season, but admits it will be a year of learning for them both.</strong></p> <p>The Spaniard has moved from the Yamaha Tech3 team to race for the KTM factory team and although it lacks experience, the company overall is very successful in what it does and Espargaro is therefore confident heading into 2017.</p> <p>&quot;KTM have big ideas,&quot; he told the official MotoGP website.&nbsp;&quot;Where they go, they win. So they&rsquo;re confident of their potential, but it&rsquo;s still a very young project.</p> <p>&quot;We need experience. But I&rsquo;m quite positive. From the first race we need to keep improving, until the last one. We&rsquo;re here to try, and show that KTM can do it.&quot;</p> <p>KTM is trying a number of developments which haven&#39;t been seen in MotoGP before and although Espargaro admits it&#39;s a bit of a concern, he says they have to try these things if they&#39;re to succeed.</p> <p>&quot;We&rsquo;re using different front forks that&nbsp;no one is using &ndash; I don&rsquo;t know if that will be a problem or an advantage, but it&rsquo;s certainly different.</p> <p>&quot;The tubular chassis is the most worrying thing &ndash; not because it&rsquo;s bad; because it&rsquo;s new. Nobody has tried it. KTM uses it everywhere else they race &ndash; but it&rsquo;s really different to what MotoGP is used to. So we&rsquo;re going to try it!&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13462http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13462Valentino Rossi came 'very close' to racing in F1Sat, 17 Dec 2016 14:44:10 GMT<p><strong>MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi previously came &ldquo;very close&rdquo; to making the switch over to Formula 1, according to his father.</strong></p> <p>Rossi has won nine MotoGP world titles, seven of them in the premier class, and first tested an F1 car earlier in his career back in 2004.</p> <p>It took place at Ferrari&rsquo;s Fiorano test track alongside Michael Schumacher. He then tested in F1 several more times over the years.</p> <p>The Italian was linked to an F1 drive numerous times, including when Felipe Massa was injured during the 2009 Hungarian GP weekend.</p> <p>The Brazilian was ruled out of the rest of the season, with Ferrari eventually opting to replace him initially with Luca Badoer before bringing in Giancarlo Fisichella.</p> <p>&ldquo;Valentino was very close to driving in Formula 1,&rdquo; Rossi&rsquo;s father Graziano said in a video posted on the <em>MotoGP website</em>.</p> <p>&ldquo;Because the only thing which is comparable to a MotoGP bike is a Formula 1 car, and [competing in] other motorsport [categories] would be taking a little step down.</p> <p>&ldquo;Valentino refused [a move] &ndash; his love for MotoGP was too big.&rdquo;</p> <p>He added: &ldquo;If the day after tomorrow he still wants to go fast in a rally car, for example, or in a touring car race, or something other than Formula 1, then he can. But only after he has ended his mission to be number one in the world.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13453http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13453MotoGP confirms new layout for 2017 Catalan Grand PrixThu, 15 Dec 2016 10:11:19 GMT<p><strong>MotoGP organisers have confirmed they will use a new layout for the Catalan Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in 2017 following the tragic death of Moto2 rider Luis Salom earlier this year.</strong></p> <p>The changes are aimed at slowing riders through sector three and will see MotoGP use the Formula 1 layout at Turn 10, whilst a new chicane will be added after Turn 13, but before the F1 chicane &ndash; though they are similar in design.</p> <p>The new layout is slightly shorter than before at 4,652m and work will begin in January.</p> <p>The race is due to be held on June 11 and is the seventh round of the 2017 season.</p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/MotoGP/motogp-catalunya-layout.jpg" width="100%" /></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13426http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13426MotoGP announces tweaks to 2017 calendarWed, 07 Dec 2016 17:48:04 GMT<p><strong>MotoGP has confirmed tweaks to the 2017 calendar, with the German Grand Prix being brought forward.</strong></p> <p>The Sachsenring race was originally set to take place on the 16 July, three weeks after the Dutch Grand Prix and three before the Czech GP.</p> <p>But it has now been moved forward by one week to the 2 July date, increasing the summer break to over a month.</p> <p>All other dates from the provisional calendar remain unchanged for 2017.</p> <p><strong>Updated 2017 MotoGP calendar:</strong></p> <p>26 March: Qatar (Losail)*</p> <p>9 April: Argentina (R&iacute;o Hondo)</p> <p>23 April: Americas (Circuit of the Americas)</p> <p>7 May: Spain (Jerez)</p> <p>21 May: France (Le Mans)</p> <p>4 June: Italy (Mugello)</p> <p>11 June: Catalunya (Barcelona)</p> <p>25 June: Netherlands (Assen)</p> <p>2 July: Germany (Sachsenring)</p> <p>6 August: Czech Republic (Brno)</p> <p>13 August: Austria (Red Bull Ring)</p> <p>27 August: Great Britain (Silverstone)**</p> <p>10 September: San Marino (Misano)</p> <p>24 September: Aragon (MotorLand)</p> <p>15 October: Japan (Motegi)</p> <p>22 October: Australia (Phillip Island)</p> <p>29 October: Malaysia (Sepang)**</p> <p>12 November: Valencia (Ricardo Tormo)</p> <p>*Evening Race</p> <p>**Subject to the contract</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13424http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13424Repsol and Honda extend MotoGP deal through to 2018Wed, 07 Dec 2016 17:33:18 GMT<p><strong>Repsol and Honda have extended their MotoGP sponsorship deal through to the end of the 2018 season, it has been announced.</strong></p> <p>Spanish energy company Repsol is currently a title sponsor of the Honda factory MotoGP squad, which currently fields 2016 champion Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.</p> <p>Repsol and Honda&rsquo;s partnership began back in 1995 and the two have claimed 12 riders&rsquo; titles together.</p> <p>&ldquo;We are delighted with the renewal of the agreement with our title sponsor Repsol through the end of 2018,&rdquo; said Tetsuhiro Kuwata, Honda Racing Corporation racing manager. &nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;This year we celebrated together our 12th MotoGP world title in 22 years of collaboration, an amazing achievement in the history of the motorcycle World Championship.</p> <p>&ldquo;This record demonstrates the great value of this partnership which, in addition to including a great sponsorship agreement, has also benefitted us with crucial technological development.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13288http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13288Maverick Vinales fastest on both days of Valencia MotoGP testThu, 17 Nov 2016 18:36:16 GMT<p><strong>Maverick Vinales ended both days of the Valencia post-season MotoGP test at the top of the timesheets on his debut for Yamaha.</strong></p> <p>Vinales put in a 1m30.930 near the end of the first day to move to the top of the timesheets, finishing 0.020 seconds clear of his new team-mate Valentino Rossi.</p> <p>Rossi emerged as the pace-setter in the morning but crashed at Turn 10, only returning to the circuit with 90 minutes to go.</p> <p>Jorge Lorenzo made his official debut on a 2016 Ducati and ended the day third, putting in 39 laps in total.</p> <p>He spent most of Tuesday towards the bottom section of the top 10 before moving up the order to go 0.122s down on Vinales.</p> <p>2016 world champion and Honda rider Marc Marquez was fourth, ahead of Ducati&rsquo;s Andrea Dovizioso &ndash; running the 2017 bike &ndash; and Cal Crutchlow. Suzuki&rsquo;s Andrea Iannone was seventh.</p> <p>On Wednesday, Vinales remained at the top of the order, this time putting in a 1m29.975 late in the day to move ahead of Marquez.</p> <p>It was a disrupted day of testing, with an hour-long red flag from 11am after Suzuki riders Alex Rins and Iannone crashed at Turn 12 within a short period of time from each other.</p> <p>Marquez also suffered a crash during the day, early in the afternoon, but he was able to continue. Dovizioso was third fastest, ahead of Iannone and Honda&rsquo;s Dani Pedrosa.</p> <p>LCR Honda&rsquo;s Crutchlow and Yamaha rider Rossi were sixth and seventh, after putting in identical lap times. Part of Rossi&rsquo;s programme included running Yamaha&rsquo;s 2017 engine.</p> <p>Lorenzo put in his final test outing for Ducati until the end of January and ended the final day of the Valencia test in eighth.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13281http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13281Marc Marquez 'ran out of laps' at ValenciaTue, 15 Nov 2016 21:29:58 GMT<p><strong>Repsol Honda rider Marc Marquez has admitted he ran out of laps and pushed like he had nothing to lose during the MotoGP 2016 finale at the Valencia circuit.</strong></p> <p>The Spaniard started from second place but a poor getaway dropped him to sixth and he was forced to fight back to the podium.</p> <p>He went hunting down Jorge Lorenzo in the final laps but despite closing in on the Ducati-bound rider, the current MotoGP champion &ndash; who secured the crown in Japan &ndash; ran out of time.</p> <p>&ldquo;It was the worst start of the year,&rdquo; he explained. &ldquo;There was a mistake or problem with the clutch, a big wheelie and I lost a lot of time.</p> <p>&ldquo;And I lost time overtaking [Valentino] Rossi and [Andrea] Iannone &ndash; here it&rsquo;s difficult to overtake. Then when I tried, the Ducati just passed me on the straight.</p> <p>&ldquo;When I opened a small gap I pushed like I had nothing to lose, and I was catching Jorge&hellip;it was difficult but I tried, and I ran out of laps.</p> <p>&ldquo;But no excuses &ndash; the race is 30 laps and Jorge won. It was really nice to celebrate the title here with family and friends.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13264http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13264Jorge Lorenzo takes season-ending Valencia win in final race for YamahaSun, 13 Nov 2016 14:14:09 GMT<p><strong>Jorge Lorenzo ended the 2016 MotoGP season with a win in Valencia, also marking his final race with the Yamaha team to claim their first win since June, as he kept a charging Marc Marquez behind him.</strong></p> <p>Lorenzo, starting from pole, quickly raced off into the lead as he opened up a small gap in the early laps - helped by a record breaking laptime on his second tour of the circuit - putting distance between him and second-placed Andrea Iannone of Ducati.</p> <p>Lorenzo&#39;s team-mate Valentino Rossi eventually moved up to second as he passed Iannone, but the Spaniard was already 2.5 seconds clear by then.</p> <p>Rossi was accompanied by&nbsp;Marc Marquez and Maverick Vinales as they scrapped over second place.</p> <p>Eventually, with ten laps remaining, Marquez would get past Rossi to begin his chase of Lorenzo at roughly half a second a lap - helped by his hard front-tyre which provided the extra grip he needed in the closing stages, as Lorenzo struggled with a graining medium.</p> <p>The final lap saw Marquez just over a second behind, which proved too much as Lorenzo crossed the finish line to take his third victory of 2016 and what will likely be his last for Yamaha.</p> <p>Marquez was second, following Iannone, Rossi, Vinales in fifth, also on his final outing for Yamaha Ecstar.</p> <p>Pol Espargaro pipped Andrea Dovizioso to take sixth, with Aleix Espargaro eighth, followed by Tech 3&#39;s Bradley Smith.</p> <p>Both Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Cal Crutchlow crashed out. Pedrosa falling at Turn 2 in the opening laps, whilst the latter came off at Turn 14.</p> <p>Aspar Ducati&#39;s Yonny Hernandez and KTM&#39;s Mika Kallio also failed to finish.</p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/MotoGP/Grid/valencia-16-result.png" /></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13257http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13257Jorge Lorenzo smashes lap record to take Valencia pole positionSat, 12 Nov 2016 15:09:17 GMT<p><strong>Yamaha&#39;s Jorge Lorenzo will start the final race of the 2016 MotoGP season from pole position after he smashed the Valencia lap record by six-tenths, to post a time of 1m29.401s, putting him three-tenths ahead of champion Marc Marquez.</strong></p> <p>The pair were the only riders to dip into the 1m29&#39;s as&nbsp;third-placed Valentino Rossi could only manage a 1m30.128s to claim the final front-row starting position for Yamaha.</p> <p>The second row is headed up by Suzuki Ecstar&#39;s Maverick Vinales in fourth as he makes his&nbsp;final appearance for the team. Ducati&#39;s Andrea Dovizioso and Yamaha Tech 3&rsquo;s Pol Espargaro were fifth and sixth, both nine-tenths back.</p> <p>Seventh went to Andrea Iannone as he continues to recover from a cracked vertebrae sustained in Misano, with Honda&#39;s Dani Pedrosa eighth as he too is recovering from an injury.</p> <p>The top ten was completed by&nbsp;Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki Ecstar), despite crashing out in the session, and Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech 3).</p> <p>Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) will start P11 having crashed out, forcing him to sprint back to the pits to jump on his second bike.</p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/MotoGP/Grid/grid-valencia-06.png" width="90%" /></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13238http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13238Dani Pedrosa declared fit to race at Valencia after medical checkThu, 10 Nov 2016 14:03:25 GMT<p><strong>Dani Pedrosa has been declared fit to race at this weekend&rsquo;s MotoGP 2016 season finale at the Valencia circuit after a medical check.</strong></p> <p>The Spanish rider crashed heavily during practice for the Japanese Grand Prix at the Motegi circuit last month.</p> <p>He suffered a fractured right collarbone, right fibula and the fourth metatarsal in his left foot, being forced out of the next three races.</p> <p>Following a medical check at the Valencia track, Pedrosa was given the all-clear to return to his Repsol Honda bike and race at the finale.</p> <p>Honda confirmed the news that Pedrosa will be back racing at Valencia on Twitter.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ValenciaGP?src=hash">#ValenciaGP</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/26_DaniPedrosa">@26_DaniPedrosa</a> declared FIT to race after the medical check <a href="https://t.co/RzYSQFlu4s">pic.twitter.com/RzYSQFlu4s</a></p> &mdash; Repsol Honda Team (@HRC_MotoGP) <a href="https://twitter.com/HRC_MotoGP/status/796700928808251392">November 10, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>He had been hopeful of returning to his Honda bike ahead of the medical check but remained unsure if he would be fit enough to race.</p> <p>The 2016 riders&rsquo; championship has already been wrapped up, with Marc Marquez securing the title in Japan.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13236http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13236MotoGP to remain at Barcelona until at least 2021Thu, 10 Nov 2016 13:17:48 GMT<p><strong>MotoGP and the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain have announced an extended deal that will see the track host the Catalan Grand Prix until at least 2021.</strong></p> <p>A new five-year contract has been agreed MotoGP organisers Dorna Sports and the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, securing the future of the race.</p> <p>Barcelona has hosted a MotoGP round since 1992, initially being run under the European Grand Prix name before adopting the Catalan Grand Prix from 1996 onwards.</p> <p>This year&rsquo;s race at the Barcelona track took place in June and was won by Yamaha&rsquo;s Valentino Rossi.</p> <p>&ldquo;Without a doubt, the renewal of the contract with the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya until 2021 is fantastic news for MotoGP and all the fans,&rdquo; said Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpelteta.</p> <p>&ldquo;It is an institution that has been tied to us since the beginning, in 1992, and its commitment to our sport and its dedication could not be clearer.</p> <p>&ldquo;The team that manages and drives the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and its modern facilities has long since consolidated it as one of the permanent fixtures in the MotoGP calendar which it now cannot do without.</p> <p>&ldquo;The fact that Catalonia has secured MotoGP until 2021 shows that the trust and alliance between both parties is extremely strong.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13227http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13227Jorge Lorenzo: Saying goodbye to Yamaha won't be easyWed, 09 Nov 2016 14:54:18 GMT<p><strong>Jorge Lorenzo has admitted saying goodbye to the Yamaha MotoGP team &ldquo;won&rsquo;t be easy&rdquo; ahead of his switch to Ducati in 2017.</strong></p> <p>The Spanish rider will compete with Yamaha for the final time in Valencia this weekend, at the MotoGP season finale.</p> <p>His move to Ducati alongside Andrea Dovizioso will end a nine-year run competing for Yamaha at the top-tier of MotoGP, after he started racing in the series in 2008.</p> <p>He&rsquo;s won three MotoGP titles with Yamaha over the years but now takes on a new challenge with Ducati, having signed a two-year-deal from 2017.</p> <p>Lorenzo is hoping to end the 2016 season and his time at Yamaha on a good note with a strong result in Valencia.</p> <p>&ldquo;The season is almost over and finally we arrive to Valencia, where I have some good memories, especially last year when we became World Champion again,&quot; he said.</p> <p>&quot;Valencia is going to be a very special race for me because after nine years [in MotoGP] with the Yamaha family I have to say goodbye and it won&#39;t be easy.</p> <p>&quot;I had a lot of good feelings with Yamaha and together we won a lot of races and titles...</p> <p>&quot;I would like to finish this season in the best way possible and that&#39;s with a victory, so I will do my best to try to win in Cheste and secure third in the championship as well.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13197http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13197Dani Pedrosa hoping to make MotoGP return in ValenciaThu, 03 Nov 2016 18:56:50 GMT<p><strong>Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa says he is hoping to return to the MotoGP series at the 2016 season finale in Valencia, Spain.</strong></p> <p>He suffered a fractured collarbone and right fibula after crashing out of practice for the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi.</p> <p>Test rider Hiroshi Aoyama replaced him in Japan and Malaysia alongside full-time rider Marc Marquez.</p> <p>His place was filled in Australia by former MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden. Pedrosa says he is working towards a return in Valencia and is hopeful, but remains unsure as to whether he will race.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&#39;m getting better with every day that goes by,&rdquo; he explained in a blog for Repsol.</p> <p>&ldquo;Physical therapy is going well, and at this time all I can think about is racing once again.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&#39;m working hard with my mind set on recovering in time for Valencia, but I&#39;m still not entirely sure whether it will be possible as I will know next week.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13184http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13184Jorge Lorenzo admits Malaysia podium was 'lucky'Tue, 01 Nov 2016 14:28:26 GMT<p><strong>Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo has admitted his podium at the Malaysian Grand Prix was &ldquo;lucky&rdquo; after several rivals crashed out.</strong></p> <p>The race at the Sepang International Circuit took place in challenging and damp conditions, which caused riders like Marc Marquez and Andrea Iannone to suffer falls.</p> <p>Lorenzo moved into the lead at the start but was quickly shuffled down several places, making up ground as others crashed to claim third place.</p> <p>&ldquo;I stayed on the bike although I didn&rsquo;t feel very good today &ndash; it was worse than the qualifying with more water,&rdquo; he explained.</p> <p>&ldquo;I feel lucky because all the crashes were in front of me and that gave me the chance to get on the podium in the rain, but that&rsquo;s good for confidence. I stayed on the bike.</p> <p>&ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t want a mixed race, so I was almost praying for it to rain &ndash; and then maybe it rained too much.</p> <p>&ldquo;I had some moments on the sighting lap and so I told Loris and race direction that we should delay the race, which we did and when the track was safe, we were able to ride quite well.</p> <p>&ldquo;Valencia will be an emotional moment because nine years with one team who gave me so much is emotional. So I&rsquo;ll train and give my best, and finish in the best way possible.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13181http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13181Andrea Dovizioso: Malaysian GP victory 'very important'Mon, 31 Oct 2016 11:55:38 GMT<p><strong>Andrea Dovizioso has hailed his first MotoGP victory since 2009 as &ldquo;very important&rdquo; after finishing in first place at the Malaysian Grand Prix.</strong></p> <p>The Ducati rider finished second on three occasions earlier in the season, but finally stood on the top step of the podium at the Sepang International Circuit.</p> <p>The race took place in tricky and challenging conditions, but Dovizioso started from pole position and managed to hold off the advances of his rivals to take victory.</p> <p>It was only his second MotoGP win, having claimed his first victory at Donington Park back in 2009.</p> <p>&ldquo;From outside it looks like I was controlling the race but that wasn&rsquo;t the reality,&rdquo; he explained.</p> <p>&ldquo;At the start of the race there was a lot of water and the pace was very fast, but I didn&rsquo;t make a mistake and I&rsquo;m very happy about that because it allowed me to fight for the win later on.</p> <p>&ldquo;It was very important to get this result, and here in Malaysia at a great track although I&rsquo;d never won here.</p> <p>&ldquo;When the conditions are like this anything can happen but I&rsquo;ve done a lot of races in these conditions &ndash; I didn&rsquo;t think much about the weather because we can&rsquo;t control it.</p> <p>&ldquo;After that long behind Valentino [Rossi] I didn&rsquo;t expect to make a gap to him but then on the straight again I saw a 1.7 second gap and I knew I had a chance.</p> <p>&ldquo;I could keep good pace &ndash; I could take risks or push if I needed, but I had a really good bike. The traction on the rear was really good and it allowed me to be that little bit faster.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;This victory was important for me. In Austria, I felt that victory was mine but I made the wrong decision.</p> <p>&ldquo;So to get this result now - this year - is very important. A lot of people work hard at home, and to win with Ducati is something different.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13168http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13168Andrea Dovizioso claims first MotoGP win in seven years in thrilling Malaysia GPSun, 30 Oct 2016 09:40:43 GMT<p><strong>Ducati&#39;s Andrea Dovizioso claimed his first MotoGP win in over seven years and became 2016&#39;s ninth different winner during a delayed Malaysian Grand Prix.</strong></p> <p>A heavy rain shower saw the race delayed by 20 minutes and shortened by a lap from 20 to 19, but Dovizioso would matser the conditions to outclass his rivals, with only Valentino Rossi for company during much of the race.</p> <p>The thrilling victory adds to his only other MotoGP career win way back in 2009 at the British GP.</p> <p>The start of the race saw Jorge Lorenzo lead from the off, but the pack was tighly bunched in the opening laps and Lorenzo quickly fell down the order to sixth as Rossi took the lead ahead of Andrea Iannone and team-mate Dovizioso.</p> <p>The pair tussled over the lead as Dovizioso watched on from third.</p> <p>Lap 12 saw both Cal Crutchlow and Marc Marquez taken out of the action&nbsp;as the former crashed out and the latter&nbsp;fell at Turn 11 in the difficult conditions before managing to recover, but it&nbsp;left&nbsp;just the three in the fight for the victory.</p> <p>That didn&#39;t last long though and soon it was a two-way battle as Iannone fell a lap later, dropping it at Turn 9.</p> <p>All it took was a small error from Rossi to allow Dovizioso to snatch the lead with five laps remaining and there he remained until the checkered flag.</p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/MotoGP/Grid/malaysia-result-16.png" /></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13158http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13158MotoGP to race at Sepang until at least 2021Sat, 29 Oct 2016 13:07:04 GMT<p><strong>MotoGP has announced that it will race at the Sepang International Circuit until at least 2021 after agreeing a contract extension.</strong></p> <p>Organisers Dorna Sports and the Sepang track have signed a contract renewal for the next five years, securing the future of the Malaysian Grand Prix.</p> <p>The news was announced following qualifying for this weekend&rsquo;s Malaysian GP at the Sepang circuit, with Andrea Dovizioso securing pole position.</p> <p>Malaysia hosted its first race in 1991 at the Shah Alam circuit, before it moved to Sepang for the 1999 season and has remained on the calendar ever since.</p> <p>Sepang has also been used as a pre-season test venue by the series, with the track being familiar with the current riders.</p> <p>&ldquo;I am happy to inform that we have signed a contract extension for another five years, ending 2021, that was completed this morning,&rdquo; said Tan Sri Azman Yahya, chairman of the Sepang circuit.</p> <p>&ldquo;We will continue with MotoGP for the next five years, and think we will see even better response from the public.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m very pleased to announce this as it&rsquo;s my first negotiation as the Chairman of Sepang, and I hope our decision is supported and welcomed.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13156http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13156Dovizioso beats Yamaha duo to Malaysian GP poleSat, 29 Oct 2016 12:49:48 GMT<p><strong>Ducati MotoGP rider Andrea Dovizioso stormed to pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix in wet conditions at the Sepang International Circuit.</strong></p> <p>The Italian put in two laps quick enough for pole during the final Q2 session, with his last improvement of a 2m11.485 snatching him first place on the grid.</p> <p>After a dry third practice session, conditions were damp for qualifying after rain between the two sessions.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s Dovizioso&rsquo;s second pole position of the 2016 MotoGP season, with the Yamaha duo of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo two and a half tenths further back.</p> <p>This year&rsquo;s world champion Marc Marquez was fourth fastest in qualifying, while Cal Crutchlow &ndash; who set the pace in Q1 and recovered from a fall &ndash; was fifth.</p> <p>Dovizioso&rsquo;s team-mate Andrea Iannone took sixth on his return from injury, with Suzuki&rsquo;s riders Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales next up.</p> <p>Alvero Bautista and Loris Baz completed the top 10, ahead of returning Avintia rider Hector Barbera and Tech 3&rsquo;s Pol Espargaro.</p> <p>Bradley Smith found himself down in 13<sup>th</sup>, just 0.009 seconds clear of Jack Miller. Stefan Bradl recovered from a fall to take 16<sup>th</sup>, just behind Danilo Petrucci.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13140http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13140Hiroshi Aoyama replaces Dani Pedrosa in Malaysia, Hector Barbera returns to AvintiaWed, 26 Oct 2016 16:06:03 GMT<p><strong>Repsol Honda test rider Hiroshi Aoyama will replace the injury Dani Pedrosa for this weekend&rsquo;s MotoGP race weekend in Malaysia.</strong></p> <p>Pedrosa fractured his right collarbone in a crash during practice in Japan and was replaced for the race at Motegi by Aoyama.</p> <p>Former MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden stood in for Pedrosa in Australia but has commitments with World Superbikes.</p> <p>Honda says Pedrosa&rsquo;s injury is healing well but he is still not ready to return to his Honda bike, confirming Aoyama &ndash; who has started 69 races in the premier class &ndash; as his replacement.</p> <p>Meanwhile Hector Barbera will return to Avintia Racing for the race at Sepang, after replacing Andrea Iannone at Ducati.</p> <p>Iannone fell during practice at Misano and suffered back injuries, being replaced by Barbera in Japan and Australia.</p> <p>Avintia has now confirmed Barbera will return to the team for the Malaysian GP, with Iannone looking set to return to racing with Ducati.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13118http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13118Crutchlow wins at Phillip Island after Marquez crashSun, 23 Oct 2016 11:11:20 GMT<p><strong>Cal Crutchlow claimed the second MotoGP win of his career in the Australian Grand Prix, after Marc Marquez crashed out of the lead.</strong></p> <p>The LCR Honda rider quickly moved up to second place in the early stages of the race, with newly-crowned champion Marquez almost three seconds clear out front.</p> <p>Crutchlow started to close the gap to the leading Honda rider but just as Marquez responded, he crashed at Turn 4 before the half-way mark.</p> <p>Having taken over first place, Crutchlow proved to be untouchable and claimed his second win of the 2016 season. Earlier in the year at Brno he ended a 35-year run without a British winner.</p> <p>Valentino Rossi battled from 15<sup>th</sup> place to finish in second, 4.2 seconds behind Crutchlow. He had made rapid progress in the early stages and moved into the runner-up spot just before Marquez&rsquo;s crash.</p> <p>It was a strong recovery from the Yamaha rider at Phillip Island after his worst qualifying result in six years.</p> <p>Maverick Vinales bounced back from a disappointing 13<sup>th</sup> on the grid to move past Andrea Dovizioso and Aleix Espargaro to finish third.</p> <p>Ducati rider Dovizioso held onto fourth, while Espargaro crashed out at Turn 4. Early leader Pol Espargaro claimed fifth, ahead of a distant Jorge Lorenzo.</p> <p>Scott Redding led a fierce midfield battle to finish seventh, ahead of Bradley Smith, Danilo Petrucci and Jack Miller.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13104http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13104Marc Marquez takes record 65th MotoGP pole at Phillip IslandSat, 22 Oct 2016 10:22:59 GMT<p><strong>Champion Marc Marquez secured pole position by a huge eight-tenth margin to second place as he dominated qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island.</strong></p> <p>The Honda rider took a risk during Q2&nbsp;by sitting out much of the session despite the&nbsp;constant threat of rain. That paid off as the rain never came and the track dried enough for slicks, allowing Marquez to immediately go quickest on his first flyer.</p> <p>He starts ahead of LCR Honda&#39;s Cal Crutchlow, with Yamaha Tech 3&#39;s Pol Espargaro joining the pair on the front-row.</p> <p>Rounding out the top five were Suzuki&#39;s Aleix Espargaro and Marc VDS rider Jack Miller, who at one point looked to have secured a front-row slot before last-second improvements for the Espargaro brothers.</p> <p>Valentino Rossi endured his worst&nbsp;qualifying in five years as he slumped to 15th, failing to make the Q2 cut after going with a strange tyre strategy of a full wet at the front and an intermediate on the rear.</p> <p>Bradley Smith almost made the cut before falling with just over a minute on the clock, meaning he starts between Maverick Vinales and&nbsp;Rossi in P14.</p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/MotoGP/Grid/phillip-gris-2.png" width="90%" /></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13088http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13088Nicky Hayden to replace injured Dani Pedrosa at Australian GPThu, 20 Oct 2016 12:09:12 GMT<p><strong>2006 MotoGP champion and World Superbike racer Nicky Hayden will stand in for the injured Dani Pedrosa at Repsol Honda for this weekend&rsquo;s Australian Grand Prix.</strong></p> <p>Pedrosa injured his right collarbone in a crash during practice for the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi and returned to Barcelona for surgery.</p> <p>Hayden has already competed this MotoGP season, having replaced Jack Miller at Marc VDS for the Aragon GP last month.</p> <p>He will race at Phillip Island for Honda, before going on to compete for the Japanese manufacturer at the World Superbike finale in Qatar.</p> <p>&ldquo;First of all my best wishes to Dani, I&rsquo;m sure he will come back stronger than ever like he always does,&rdquo; Hayden said.</p> <p>&ldquo;For me it&rsquo;s crazy hard work but it&rsquo;s a chance, ten years after winning my world title, to get back to my old &lsquo;dream team&rsquo;.</p> <p>&ldquo;Doing a week-end in Phillip Island on a factory Honda, it&rsquo;s pretty emotional for me to even think about it, and I&rsquo;m very grateful for this opportunity and the trust that Honda gives me.</p> <p>&ldquo;I want also to thank my current team for allowing me to go and do this, and the sponsors. Everybody worked a lot on every detail to make it possible for me so now I&rsquo;m excited to get on a plane, to get down to Phillip Island and hopefully I can do a good job for the team.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13074http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13074Hector Barbera to remain at Ducati for Australian Grand PrixSun, 16 Oct 2016 14:10:51 GMT<p><strong>Hector Barbera will continue to ride for the Ducati factory MotoGP team at next weekend&rsquo;s Australian Grand Prix, having replaced the injured Andrea Iannone in Japan.</strong></p> <p>Iannone suffered a back injury in practice for the Misano race and was forced to miss it, before pulling out of an attempted return at Aragon.</p> <p>Barbera was named as Iannone&rsquo;s replacement at Ducati for the Japanese Grand Prix, temporarily moving over from Avintia Racing.</p> <p>He started from the third row of the grid at Motegi but fell during the race, eventually finishing in 17<sup>th</sup> place.</p> <p>Barbera has now been confirmed as Ducati&rsquo;s second rider alongside Andrea Dovizioso at Phillip Island for the Australian GP, as Iannone misses another round.</p> <p>&ldquo;For me it was a fantastic opportunity to ride the 2016 Desmosedici GP and race for a factory squad like the Ducati team and so I want to thank both Ducati and Avintia Racing for giving me this opportunity,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;It was a great experience and I am very happy that I have been given another chance next week at Phillip Island.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13072http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13072Marc Marquez crowned MotoGP champion as title rivals crash out in MotegiSun, 16 Oct 2016 10:52:26 GMT<p><strong>Honda&#39;s Marc Marquez has secured a third MotoGP title following his Japanese Grand Prix victory at Motegi on Sunday, as title rivals Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo crashed out of the race.</strong></p> <p>The 2016 champion headed into the event talking down his chances of taking the title in Japan, but his rivals made it rather easy as Rossi retired on lap 10 following a crash, whilst Lorenzo, who only needed a podium to remain in contention, later lost control and fell too, leaving Marquez with an open goal.</p> <p>Marquez has now secured a third title in just four seasons and celebrated as he crossed the finish line with some wild kicks.</p> <p>The race began with pole sitter Rossi falling down to third as Marquez initially took the lead before falling to second at the first corner behind Lorenzo, the Yamaha rider staying there until lap four when Marquez passed on the inside at Turn 9.</p> <p>Rossi also got past the Yamaha a couple of laps later, but by that time the leader was almost a second clear and in his pursuit, Rossi pushed too hard and crashed out. Although he managed to get going again, he returned to the pits to retire on the next lap.</p> <p>Lorenzo was therefore second and his title hopes, although distant, remainded alive. That was until he too fell with just five laps remaining.</p> <p>Marquez was swiftly told the news and he drove faultlessly to see the checkered flag.</p> <p>Ducati&#39;s Andrea Dovizioso took second ahead of Suzuki&#39;s&nbsp;Maverick Vinales, who claimed the final podium spot following a pass on team-mate&nbsp;Aleix Espargaro in the closing laps of the race.</p> <p>LCR Honda&#39;s Cal Crutchlow finished a distant fifth after an unusual strategy choice, with Tech3 Yamaha&#39;s&nbsp;Pol Espargaro&nbsp;sixth ahead of the Aprilia and Pramac Ducati riders to complete the top ten.</p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/MotoGP/Grid/motegi-16-result.png" width="90%" /></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13068http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13068Valentino Rossi surprises rivals to take Motegi pole from Jorge LorenzoSat, 15 Oct 2016 10:09:14 GMT<p><strong>Valentino Rossi will start from pole for the third time this season as he outclassed his rivals during qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi.</strong></p> <p>The Yamaha rider beat championship leader Marc Marquez by almost two-tenths with a lap of 1m43.954 to secure his first pole since Mugello in late-May.</p> <p>The result will surely have surprised both Rossi and Marquez as the Italian was off the lead pace in all practice sessions and even during the first qualifying runs, which Honda&#39;s Marquez led from Jorge Lorenzo.</p> <p>Mistakes during his second and third&nbsp;run cost the Spaniard before he encountered yellow flags on his final run, forcing him to settle for second, with Lorenzo on the front-row in third despite finding himself in hospital earlier in the day following a practice fall.</p> <p>Ducati&#39;s Andrea Dovizioso was fourth ahead of Cal Crutchlow - who fell late in the session - with the&nbsp;Suzuki pair Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales in sixth and seventh, five tenths adrift each.</p> <p>Duacti&#39;s Hector Barbera was eighth ahead of&nbsp;Tech3 Yamaha&#39;s Pol Espargaro,with Pramac Ducati&#39;s Danilo Petrucci completing the top ten.</p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/MotoGP/Grid/grid-motegi-16.png" width="90%" /></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13065http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13065Dani Pedrosa ruled out of Motegi weekend after fracturing collarboneFri, 14 Oct 2016 10:26:07 GMT<p><strong>Repsol Honda MotoGP rider Dani Pedrosa will miss the remainder of the Japanese Grand Prix weekend after fracturing his collarbone.</strong></p> <p>The Spaniard suffered a heavy crash at Turn 11 during second practice at the Motegi track and his injury will require surgery.</p> <p>Pedrosa has won the Japanese GP three times in his MotoGP career but the heavy landing after his FP2 crash has now ruled him out of the race.</p> <p>He limped away from the accident and was taken to the medical centre, where doctors assessed his condition and diagnosed a fracture of his collarbone.</p> <p>His team has confirmed he will fly back to Spain tonight, where it is likely he will undergo surgery. &nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m obviously very sad about what happened, as I was looking forward to racing in Japan at Honda&rsquo;s home circuit and one of my favourite tracks,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;I was on the out-lap of my last run in FP2 when I momentarily lost the rear entering turn 11, and when the tyre found grip again it launched me in the air.</p> <p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s not much more to say; now I just want to focus on recovering in order to get back on my bike as soon as possible.</p> <p>He will be replaced by 2009 250cc champion Hiroshi Aoyama, who has made 68 MotoGP starts and a best finish of fourth at the 2011 Spanish GP.&nbsp;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13062http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13062Hector Barbera to replace Andrea Iannone at Motegi, Mike Jones in at AvintiaThu, 13 Oct 2016 14:10:13 GMT<p><strong>The injured Andrea Iannone will be replaced for this weekend&rsquo;s MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi by Avintia Racing rider Hector Barbera.</strong></p> <p>Ducati did not originally confirm a replacement for Iannone when the team announced he will not be racing in Japan due to an injury sustained at Misano.</p> <p>But Avintia rider Barbera will now move over to replace Iannone and race alongside Andrea Dovizioso at Ducati for this weekend&rsquo;s race.</p> <p>Australian Superbike racer Mike Jones will make his MotoGP debut with Avintia, filling in for Barbera at Motegi.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m very happy because I&rsquo;ve waited a long time for an opportunity like this and this weekend it becomes reality,&rdquo; Barbera said.</p> <p>&ldquo;The first thing I want to do is thank Avintia and all our sponsors for making this possible, because without their support it would not be a reality.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m excited, motivated and want to do well &ndash; but until I get on the bike tomorrow I don&rsquo;t think I&rsquo;m going to believe it.</p> <p>&ldquo;Now I&rsquo;m doing interviews and all the things that come with being a factory rider, but I feel like a kid at Christmas, although it&rsquo;s becoming more real. I&rsquo;m sure it&rsquo;s going to be a special weekend and I hope I can do my best.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13056http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13056Bradley Smith expecting tough MotoGP return at MotegiWed, 12 Oct 2016 17:36:08 GMT<p><strong>Tech3 rider Bradley Smith is looking forward to returning to MotoGP at the Japanese Grand Prix after missing three races due to injury, but is expecting a tough weekend.</strong></p> <p>The Motegi circuit hosts the 15th&nbsp;round of the 2016 MotoGP season and will be Smith&rsquo;s first time riding his Yamaha bike in seven weeks.</p> <p>Smith suffered serious ligament damage to his left knee in a crash during practice for the Oschersleben eight-hour endurance race in August.</p> <p>After missing three rounds, he thinks it will take a little time to settled back in the seat of his Tech3 bike but is excited to return to the series.</p> <p>&ldquo;I am excited about jumping back on my YZR-M1 and even though I know it will be a challenging race, I am determined and I will do my very best,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;It will be the first time that I can ride a MotoGP bike after seven weeks and even though I am almost fit, it will take me a bit of time to fully adjust to being back on the Yamaha.</p> <p>&ldquo;This will be the initial goal of the weekend, but I am confident that I can quickly get up to speed again.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;Japan is a special place, with it being the home of Yamaha and also the country where I won the Suzuka 8 Hours event last year. Plus, the fans are fantastic and really supportive which will motivate me even further.</p> <p>&ldquo;However, I know this weekend will be physically demanding due to the stop and go nature of the circuit, plus, there are a lot of hard braking corners but I am certain that we can start the flyaway races positively before we head to Phillip Island.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13044http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13044Ducati confirms Andrea Iannone will miss Motegi MotoGP raceMon, 10 Oct 2016 19:49:33 GMT<p><strong>Andrea Iannone has been forced to miss the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix at the Motegi circuit, Ducati has officially confirmed.</strong></p> <p>The Italian rider suffered a back injury after a fall during first practice at the Misano track, which caused him to miss the rest of the weekend.</p> <p>He attempted to ride at Motorland Aragon but he withdrew after practice. He will now miss the Japanese GP too.</p> <p>&quot;The excess fluid in his back injury had been almost totally absorbed and that the calcification process of the T3 vertebra was now well underway,&quot; Ducati said.</p> <p>The team also confirmed Iannone will not be replaced for the up-coming round at Motegi and will run only Andrea Dovizioso.</p> <p>Iannone returned Ducati to the top step of the podium earlier this year at the Red Bull Ring, but will move to Suzuki for 2017.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13011http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13011Jorge Lorenzo tests Mercedes Formula 1 car at SilverstoneThu, 06 Oct 2016 22:07:24 GMT<p><strong>MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo tested a Mercedes Formula 1 car on Thursday at the Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire, which the Yamaha rider described as a &quot;dream come true&quot;.</strong></p> <p>Monster Energy,&nbsp;which sponsors&nbsp;both&nbsp;Lorenzo and the Mercedes F1 outfit,&nbsp;organised the test.</p> <p>The Spaniard got behind the wheel of Lewis Hamilton&#39;s 2014&nbsp;championship winning W04 and completed a number of laps during the course of the day.</p> <p>In preparation for the test, Lorenzo drove a number of single seater cars, including a&nbsp;Dallara GP2/05 car, to familiarise himself with the Silverstone circuit on four wheels, instead of two.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13001http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/13001MotoGP confirms 2017 winter test scheduleTue, 04 Oct 2016 23:29:21 GMT<p><strong>MotoGP has confirmed its pre-season test calendar for the 2017 season, with&nbsp;Valencia, Sepang, Phillip Island and Qatar all returning.</strong></p> <p>Valencia will play host to the first two-day&nbsp;test on November 15-16, just days after the current season concludes at the same circuit.</p> <p>The series will then move to Malaysia&#39;s Sepang for the first actual test of 2017 on January 30, concluding on February 1.</p> <p>Australia&#39;s Phillip Island will host the penultimate winter test&nbsp;from February 15-17, before heading to Qatar for the final test on March 10-12. The season starts at the same circuit a week later.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12929http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12929Marc Marquez fights his way to Aragon MotoGP victorySun, 25 Sep 2016 16:24:39 GMT<p><strong>Marc Marquez secured his fourth victory of the 2016 MotoGP season as he fought his way to the win in Aragon. </strong></p> <p>Despite starting from pole position, it wasn&#39;t a straight path to the checkered flag for the&nbsp;championship leader, who almost fell on lap three as he dropped back to fifth, forcing Marquez to make some impressive passes to regain the lead.</p> <p>Marquez enjoyed a battle with&nbsp;Suzuki&rsquo;s Maverick Vinales and Yamaha&rsquo;s Jorge Lorenzo during the opening laps as the lead changed hands before Marquez&nbsp;lost control of the front-end of his bike at the corkscrew section, although he kept it on track, he fell back to fifth, giving the lead to Vinales.</p> <p>A fight back to the front ensued and it wasn&#39;t until just 12 laps remained&nbsp;that Marquez finally retook the top spot with a pass on&nbsp;title rival Valentino Rossi.</p> <p>Rossi couldn&#39;t hang in during the final laps, losing out to team-mate Lorenzo, but keeping his bike ahead of Vinales as they completed the top four riders.</p> <p>In fifth was Cal Crutchlow who dived up the inside of Dani Pedrosa with seven laps remaining to claim the position, forcing Pedrosa to settle for sixth ahead of&nbsp;Pol Espargaro (Yamaha Tech 3) and the Aprilias of Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl to complete the top ten.</p> <p>Pramac Ducati&#39;s Scott Redding crashed out at Turn 12 after making contact with team-mate Danilo Petrucci, who later received a ride-through penalty for the clash.</p> <p>Tito Rabat also fell, whilst his stand-in team-mate Nicky Hayden secured the final point with P15.</p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/MotoGP/Grid/aragon-result.png" width="90%" /></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12928http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12928Marc Marquez dominates qualifying to take Aragon MotoGP poleSat, 24 Sep 2016 14:57:05 GMT<p><strong>MotoGP championship leader Marc Marquez got off to the best start possible as he looks to protect his lead, with a dominant&nbsp;qualifying performance for the Aragon Grand Prix, taking pole position by more than half a second.</strong></p> <p>The Honda rider kicked off the session with the first timed lap which put him 1.5 seconds clear of the field as they completed their first runs, but that gap was eventually halved by Suzuki&#39;s Maverick Vinales as he crossed the line.</p> <p>As the riders began their second laps, it was clear Marquez had done enough to secure pole and needn&#39;t improve on his second attempt - which he didn&#39;t - giving him the top spot by 0.631s with a lap of 1m47.117s.</p> <p>Vinales held onto second place and will line up on the front-row alongside Yamaha&#39;s Jorge Lorenzo, just 0.030s further back.</p> <p>Ducati&#39;s&nbsp;Andrea Dovizioso will start fourth ahead of Cal Crutchlow with Valentino Rossi completing the second row. The Italian&#39;s best was eight tenths shy of Marquez&#39;s best effort.</p> <p>Crutchlow was one of two riders to crash out in the closing minutes of qualifying, the other being Dani Pedrosa, although the Honda rider did enough to secure sixth on the grid alongside Suzuki Ecstar&#39;s Aleix Espargaro and Ducati&#39;s Danilo Petrucci.</p> <p>Scott Redding (Pramac), Pol Espargaro (Yamaha Tech 3)&nbsp;and Stafen Bradl (Aprilia) completed the top ten.</p> <p>Michele Pirro crashed out at Turn 8 during the session and will start P17, two places ahead of Nicky Hayden who makes his first MotoGP appearance since 2015 as he stands in for Jack Miller at Marc VDS, a place lower than team-mate Tito Rabat.</p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/MotoGP/Grid/aragon-motogp-grid.png" width="90%" /></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12926http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12926Lowes to miss Aragon GP qualifying after FP3 crashSat, 24 Sep 2016 12:15:43 GMT<p><strong>Tech 3&rsquo;s Alex Lowes will miss the Aragon Grand Prix qualifying session after a crash during third practice on Saturday morning.</strong></p> <p>Lowes is standing in for the injured Bradley Smith for a third weekend in a row. He fell at Turn 19 during FP3 and limped away from his bike.</p> <p>He finished the session at the bottom of the standings and was taken to the medical centre for assessment.</p> <p>Tech 3 later confirmed that Lowes will not take part in qualifying later this afternoon due to the crash.</p> <p>He will be checked over by medical staff on Sunday morning to determine whether or not he will be able to race in the 14<sup>th</sup> round of the season.</p> <p>Should he be declared fit to race, Lowes will line up for the Spanish race in 21<sup>st</sup> place on the grid.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12923http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12923Andrea Iannone rules himself out of Aragon following practiceFri, 23 Sep 2016 12:57:04 GMT<p><strong>Ducati&#39;s Andrea Iannone has chosen to sit out this weekend&#39;s Aragon Grand Prix, after deciding during&nbsp;first practice that the pain is too much to endure, adding that he doesn&#39;t have the energy to compete.</strong></p> <p>Iannone fractured his T3 vertebra during a practice crash a fortnight ago at Misano, but was cleared to participate this weekend.</p> <p>Although he set the sixth quickest time in practice on Friday, Iannone has ruled himself out of further running in order to be fully fit for the next race in Japan.</p> <p>&quot;If I stop my weekend now, my situation improves [for Japan],&quot; he said.</p> <p>&quot;If I continue this weekend, after Sunday, my situation is worse than now, because I&#39;d push a lot on my back and this is completely worse for the future.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12917http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12917MotoGP extends Motorland Aragon contract until 2021Thu, 22 Sep 2016 19:42:04 GMT<p><strong>MotoGP has announced an extension of the Motorland Aragon circuit&rsquo;s contract, meaning it will host the Aragon Grand Prix until at least 2021.</strong></p> <p>The race will remain on the calendar for the next five years, after a new contract was signed after this weekend&rsquo;s Aragon GP press conference.</p> <p>The Spanish track will host the 14<sup>th</sup> round of the 2016 MotoGP season this weekend, as the race for the title heats up.</p> <p>Motorland Aragon joined the MotoGP calendar for the 2010 season, shortly after the track was opened.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s the latest venue to confirm a contract extension with MotoGP, after Valencia&rsquo;s deal was extended to 2021 earlier this week.</p> <p>The <a href="http://grandprixtimes.com/news/id/12913">provisional 2017 MotoGP schedule</a> was recently confirmed and will see the Aragon Grand Prix take place from the 22-24 September.</p> <p>Shortly after the new contract was announced, Aragon was named the winner of the best grand prix for 2015 &ndash; the third time in six years.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12913http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12913MotoGP announces provisional calendar for 2017 seasonWed, 21 Sep 2016 15:54:23 GMT<p><strong>MotoGP has officially announced its provisional calendar for the 2017 season, comprising of 18 rounds.</strong></p> <p>Only two rounds look set to swap places compared to the current schedule, with Qatar kicking things off once again.</p> <p>The season will begin on the 26 March and conclude at Valencia on the 12 November. Jerez will mark the start of an 11-race run at European venues.</p> <p>The only change on the calendar is the Brno and Red Bull Ring races swapping places.</p> <p><strong>Here&rsquo;s the full provisional 2017 calendar:</strong></p> <p>26 March - Qatar* (Losail)</p> <p>9 April - Argentina (R&iacute;o Hondo)</p> <p>23 April - Americas (Circuit of the Americas)</p> <p>7 May - Spain (Jerez)</p> <p>21 May - France (Le Mans)</p> <p>4 June - Italy (Mugello)</p> <p>11 June - Catalunya (Barcelona)</p> <p>25 June - Netherlands (Assen)</p> <p>16 July - Germany (Sachsenring)</p> <p>6 August - Czech Republic (Brno)</p> <p>13 August - Austria (Red Bull Ring)</p> <p>27 August - Great Britain** (Silverstone)</p> <p>10 September - San Marino (Misano)</p> <p>24 September - Aragon (MotorLand)</p> <p>15 October - Japan (Motegi)</p> <p>22 October - Australia (Phillip Island)</p> <p>29 October - Malaysia** (Sepang)</p> <p>12 November - Valencia (Ricardo Tormo)</p> <p>*Evening Race</p> <p>**Subject to the contract</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12911http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12911Loris Baz to attempt MotoGP return at Aragon Grand PrixWed, 21 Sep 2016 15:40:20 GMT<p><strong>Loris Baz will attempt to return to the MotoGP series at the Aragon Grand Prix, if he passes a medical test at the track on Thursday.</strong></p> <p>The Avintia Racing rider suffered a crash at the start of the British Grand Prix, suffering fractures to the lower part of the tibia and astragalus in the ankle of his right leg.</p> <p>He was forced to miss the Misano MotoGP race and was replaced by Xavi Fores, but will start practice at the Motorland Aragon circuit before assessing his condition.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&#39;m not quite at the maximum and the foot stills hurts quite a lot, but I think I can get on the bike - and my doctors and physiotherapist who are treating me agree,&rdquo; he explained.</p> <p>&ldquo;On Thursday I&#39;ll pass a medical at the track and then head out on track on Friday and see how I am.</p> <p>&ldquo;Since the crash I&#39;ve been working with the physic and doing a lot of exercise in the pool to increase mobility. It&#39;s getting better bit by bit, but we&#39;ll have to see how it is on the bike.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&#39;m going to Aragon with the intention of having a good weekend, trying to score points if possible, but mainly to get a good feeling back so I can head into the triple-header on good form.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12904http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12904Nicky Hayden to replace Jack Miller for MotoGP Aragon Grand PrixTue, 20 Sep 2016 11:48:19 GMT<p><strong>2006 MotoGP champion and World Superbikes racer Nicky Hayden will replace the injured Jack Miller for the Aragon Grand Prix.</strong></p> <p>Miller was forced to skip the Austin MotoGP race after picking up a wrist injury during Austrian Grand Prix warm-up, which also saw him miss the following event in the Czech Republic.</p> <p>He returned to racing at Silverstone but was then ruled out of Misano due to the wrist injury. He will also miss the race at the Motorland Aragon circuit.</p> <p>Marc VDS has confirmed that Hayden will return to MotoGP as Miller&rsquo;s replacement. He has 216 starts, three wins and a title to his name, having raced in the MotoGP series between 2003 and 2015.</p> <p>&ldquo;First of all I want to wish Jack a speedy recovery,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;He is a buddy of mine and he is a rider I believe in a lot, so I hope he can get healthy as quickly as possible to show the high potential we all know he has got.</p> <p>&ldquo;He just needs to get his body right so he can perform. This is an unusual experience for me because I&rsquo;ve never been a stand-in rider before.</p> <p>&ldquo;But I have a good relationship with Honda and when the idea first came up they were behind it and Ten Kate gave me their blessing, so it is nice to go and help out another Honda team.</p> <p>&ldquo;For me it&#39;s just a chance to go and have fun. I know MotoGP is not a place that&rsquo;s always easy to have fun because the level is so high but I&rsquo;ve got a lot to learn and it won&rsquo;t be a walk in the park.</p> <p>&ldquo;I haven&rsquo;t ridden the bike and there are different tyres and electronics but I&rsquo;ve got a lot of experience and I get another shot at MotoGP, which is great for me personally.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12852http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12852Dani Pedrosa storms to first 2016 MotoGP victory at MisanoSun, 11 Sep 2016 14:21:00 GMT<p><strong>Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa charged to his first victory of the 2016 season at the San Marino Grand Prix, becoming the eighth different winner of the year.</strong></p> <p>The Spaniard started from eighth on the grid at Misano but quickly made his way through the field at the start, finding himself in fourth place on the soft tyre.</p> <p>He gradually picked off other riders, first moving ahead of team-mate Marc Marquez, before passing pole-sitter Jorge Lorenzo&rsquo;s Yamaha.</p> <p>Valentino Rossi had hit the front of the field after passing Lorenzo early in the race, giving him the advantage. He was running around one second ahead of the field before Pedrosa moved into second.</p> <p>The gap between the top two was cut as Pedrosa stormed towards the Yamaha, putting in a new lap record before completing a brave pass at Turn 4 for the lead.</p> <p>He then pulled away from the pack in the final few laps to claim his first win of the 2016 MotoGP season, only his third podium appearance of the year so far.</p> <p>Rossi had to settle for second place, with Lorenzo completing the podium in third. Marquez, running on the hard tyre, was fourth.</p> <p>Maverick Vinales beat Andrea Dovizioso to fifth, while Ducati wildcard Michele Pirro made a late move on Cal Crutchlow to grab seventh.</p> <p>Crutchlow lost another place due to a penalty for exceeding track limits, moving Pol Espargaro up to eighth. Alvaro Bautista rounded out the top 10.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12850http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12850Jorge Lorenzo claims San Marino pole with record laptimeSat, 10 Sep 2016 14:22:27 GMT<p><strong>Jorge Lorenzo will start the San Marino round of the MotoGP championship from pole position after beating Yamaha team-mate and home favourite Valentino Rossi by more than three-tenths of a second.</strong></p> <p>Lorenzo&#39;s 1m31.868s was the first ever sub 1m32s&nbsp;time around the Riviera Di Rimini circuit as he secured his&nbsp;64th pole - taking him one above Marc Marquez and Rossi in the record books.</p> <p>The Yamaha pair start alongside Suzuki&#39;s Maverick Vinales on the front row of the grid with the Spaniard just over a tenth shy of Rossi&#39;s 1m32.216s P2 time.</p> <p>The second row sees championship leader Marquez in fourth for Honda ahead of the Ducati pairing of Michele Pirro - in for an injured Andrea Iannone -&nbsp;and Andrea Dovizioso, fifth and sixth.</p> <p>LCR Honda&#39;s Cal Crutchlow heads up the third row Honda main team rider&nbsp;Dani Pedrosa, with Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) completing the top ten.</p> <p>Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing) and Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) were P11 and P12 to complete the Q2 entrants.</p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/MotoGP/Grid/grid-san-marino-16.png" width="100%" /></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12846http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12846Iannone ruled out of San Marino GP due to back injuryFri, 09 Sep 2016 14:29:11 GMT<p><strong>Ducati&rsquo;s Andrea Iannone has been ruled out of this weekend&rsquo;s San Marino Grand Prix at Misano due to a back injury sustained in a FP1 crash.</strong></p> <p>Iannone was the first rider to fall in the session after losing control of his bike at Turn 13. He got up after the crash but was then taken to the medical centre for x-rays.</p> <p>His Ducati team then announced he was transported to Cesena hospital, where checks revealed a back injury.</p> <p>MotoGP said during the second practice session that Iannone has been &ldquo;declared unfit due to [the] back injury sustained in [his] FP1 crash&rdquo;.</p> <p>Iannone looks set to miss the remainder of the weekend at Misano, with Ducati down to two riders &ndash; Andrea Dovizioso and wildcard entry Michele Pirro.</p> <p>Valentino Rossi set the pace in a messy first practice session for the San Marino GP, with Pol Espargaro then moving to the front in FP2.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12845http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12845MotoGP announces retirement of Simoncelli's race numberFri, 09 Sep 2016 11:44:06 GMT<p><strong>MotoGP promoter Dorna Sports has confirmed that the late Marco Simoncelli&rsquo;s race number, 58, has been formally retired.</strong></p> <p>The news was announced ahead of this weekend&rsquo;s San Marino Grand Prix at Misano, which was Simoncelli&rsquo;s home race.</p> <p>250cc world champion Simoncelli lost his life at the age of 24 after an accident during the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix.</p> <p>His number has remained unused in MotoGP since then, apart from when Loris Capirossi raced with the number 58 as a tribute to Simoncelli at Valencia last year.</p> <p>During a press conference at Misano, which was named in Simoncelli&rsquo;s honour in 2012, Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta confirmed the number will be retired and now belongs to his family.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&#39;s a big pleasure, you remember we talked about this year to retire the number 58 from the grid of MotoGP for the future, and this is what we&#39;re doing,&quot; Ezpeleta said.</p> <p>&ldquo;We will give to Marco&#39;s father, Paolo, a sign that this number from now belongs to the Simoncelli family, and we will not use it for anybody unless they decide somebody can use this number.&rdquo;</p> <p>It has also been announced that the team of Simoncelli&rsquo;s father, Paolo Simoncelli, will enter the Moto3 class in 2017.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12836http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12836Misano to remain on MotoGP calendar until at least 2020Thu, 08 Sep 2016 13:06:53 GMT<p><strong>The Misano circuit will continue to host the San Marino Grand Prix until at least 2020 after signing a new MotoGP deal.</strong></p> <p>The track is located in the Rimini region of Italy. It has been the venue for the San Marino GP since 2007.</p> <p>A four-year contract extension has been agreed for the race to remain on the MotoGP calendar until at last 2020, ahead of this weekend&#39;s event.</p> <p>&ldquo;The confirmation of San Marino and Riviera di Rimini GP for the next four years guarantees the MotoGP calendar a date of great sporting importance,&rdquo; said Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports.</p> <p>&ldquo;Here it has been possible to reinforce a winning formula between public promoters and the circuit. During these ten years we witnessed an impetuous growth of interest and attention.</p> <p>&ldquo;At the same time, a number of promotional projects are coming out on top, exalting a global cradle of passion for motors, with extraordinary champions and new talents on track.</p> <p>&ldquo;The circuit has spent generous and incessant investments to safely welcome spectators and races. There are all the ingredients for further growth.</p> <p>&ldquo;In the meantime, let&rsquo;s get ready for the days ahead where the common passion for motorcycling, thanks to the events and challenges in the circuit, will have again provide unrivalled satisfaction and emotion.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12829http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12829Michele Pirro, Katsuyuki Nakasuga set for MotoGP wildcard entriesWed, 07 Sep 2016 16:59:52 GMT<p><strong>Ducati test rider Michele Pirro and Yamaha test rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga are set to race wildcard entries in the MotoGP.</strong></p> <p>Pirro will ride for Ducati at this weekend&rsquo;s San Marino Grand Prix at Misano, while Nakasuga will make a wildcard appearance at the Japanese Grand Prix next month.</p> <p>Racing at Misano will be Pirro&rsquo;s seventh time competing in MotoGP this season, having finished 10<sup>th</sup> at Mugello and 12<sup>th</sup> in Austria with Ducati and filled in for riders at Pramac and Avintia.</p> <p>He has so far collected 23 points from the seven races he has competed in, with a best finish of eighth at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas.</p> <p>Meanwhile Nakasuga will ride for Yamaha at the team&rsquo;s home event in Japan next month alongside Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.</p> <p>He has raced six times in the MotoGP series so far in his career, with a best result of second at the Valencia finale in 2012.</p> <p>Nakasuga&rsquo;s appearance for Yamaha will be his fifth in a row at the Motegi track. He finished eighth in the race last year.</p> <p>He currently competes in the premier JSB1000 class of the All Japan Race Championship and is on a 10-race winning streak, as he goes for a seventh overall title.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12825http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12825Loris Baz ruled out of Misano due to Silverstone crash injuriesTue, 06 Sep 2016 19:53:32 GMT<p><strong>Avintia Ducati MotoGP rider Loris Baz will miss this weekend&rsquo;s San Marino Grand Prix at Misano due to injuries sustained in a crash at Silverstone.</strong></p> <p>Baz was caught up in a heavy crash with Tech3 rider Pol Espargaro on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix.</p> <p>The incident brought out a red flag. Initial checks cleared him of any fractures but further inspection in Switzerland found some fractures in his right foot.</p> <p>He will not be able to compete this weekend in the San Marino Grand Prix due to the injuries. World Superbike racer Xavi Fores will replace Baz at Avintia Ducati for the race at Misano.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&#39;s a real shame and something I wasn&#39;t expecting, but once I arrived in Switzerland I had an x-ray and they found some fractures in my right foot,&rdquo; Baz explained.</p> <p>&ldquo;The two main ones are in my talus bone and at the bottom of my tibia. It can&#39;t be operated on, it needs time and rest.</p> <p>&ldquo;Therefore it will be impossible to race in Misano. But I still consider myself lucky to not have suffered anything worse in the crash at Silverstone. It&#39;s really bad for the team because we were doing really well and getting better and better.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&#39;s a shame, but I&#39;ll try and come back as soon as possible to finish the season the best I can. It has been another setback after what happened in Mugello, but I have to be positive and look forward.</p> <p>&ldquo;I hope Xavi enjoys it a lot this weekend. MotoGP machines are incredible and I&#39;m sure he&#39;ll do great. As well as that, he has an amazing team, and I&#39;ll be there to try and give him some good advice.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12815http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12815Vinales: First MotoGP victory a 'dream come true'Mon, 05 Sep 2016 21:32:17 GMT<p><strong>Maverick Vinales has described his maiden MotoGP win a &ldquo;dream come true&rdquo; after dominating the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.</strong></p> <p>The Suzuki rider started third but took the lead, before the race was stopped and restarted due to an early accident.</p> <p>He soon found his way back to the front of the field after the restart and proved to be unchallenged, taking his first victory in the premier MotoGP class.</p> <p>It was also Suzuki&rsquo;s first win in the series in nine years, bringing the Japanese team&rsquo;s drought to an end.</p> <p>&ldquo;It feels incredible, for what I&#39;ve fought for all the time to come true,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;You know to have a race like that where all the time I could manage the gap, the lap times were so good.</p> <p>&ldquo;The team has worked so much and I&#39;m so grateful to them. I came into the weekend thinking I could win because I&#39;ve always been so great at Silverstone, and my bike was on a really good level.</p> <p>&ldquo;We did a lot of laps on the hard tyre and worked so hard. For us the restart was difficult because a lot of people put on a new tyre but we kept the same one.</p> <p>&ldquo;The key was yesterday in the rain because they gave me a bike to be able to be on the front row. Today, we did it. This is a dream come true and I hope I can give Suzuki more things like this.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12810http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12810Vinales secures maiden MotoGP victory at SilverstoneSun, 04 Sep 2016 19:41:50 GMT<p><strong>Maverick Vinales scored his first victory in the MotoGP series at Silverstone, ending Suzuki&rsquo;s nine-year win-less streak.</strong></p> <p>He lined up in third place for the British Grand Prix after a strong qualifying effort in tricky conditions, behind pole-sitter Cal Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi.</p> <p>Vinales moved into the lead at the start, quickly pulling out a gap over those behind him before the race was stopped.</p> <p>This was due to a heavy crash at Maggotts between Pol Espargaro and Loris Baz. At the second start Crutchlow led away but Vinales soon found himself out front.</p> <p>He soon built up a sizeable lead, proving to be unbeatable at Silverstone. Vinales crossed the line to score his maiden MotoGP win and Suzuki&rsquo;s first in many years.</p> <p>Crutchlow had to hold off the Hondas and Ducatis, as well as Rossi, before emerging in second place at the chequered flag.</p> <p>Rossi finished in third place. Marc Marquez ran wide late on at Stowe but recovered to fourth, after passing his team-mate Dani Pedrosa.</p> <p>Andrea Dovizioso was sixth for Ducati, with team-mate Andrea Iannone crashing out at Luffield while battling at the front.</p> <p>Aleix Espargaro was seventh, ahead of Jorge Lorenzo &ndash; who had a low-key run &ndash; and Danilo Petrucci. Alvaro Bautista completed the top 10.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12785http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12785Cal Crutchlow masters the wet to claim British MotoGP pole positionSat, 03 Sep 2016 15:45:43 GMT<p><strong>Briton&#39;s Cal Cruthlow will start his home race from pole position just a fortnight after claiming his maiden MotoGP victory.</strong></p> <p>The LCR Honda rider eased to pole at Silverstone by a second in wet conditions on Saturday, posting his fastest lap - a 2m19.265s - with seven minutes of the session remaining. His time went unchallenged as the checkered flag fell on the session.</p> <p>Valentino Rossi will line up in second place for Yamaha ahead of Suzuki&#39;s Maverick Vinales, third.</p> <p>Honda&#39;s Dani Pedrosa heads the second row ahead of championship leader Marc Marquez. The Spaniard had held second position before he crashed out of the session at Copse.</p> <p>Eugene Laverty looked as though he would pip Marquez and even Pedrosa to claim fourth as he improved on his final lap, before also crashing out. His previous lap however good enough to see him start sixth.</p> <p>Scott Redding was seventh ahead of factory Ducati riders Andrea Iannone and Andrea Doviziosoin eighth and tenth, with&nbsp;Jorge Lorenzo splitting them.</p> <p><center><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/MotoGP/Grid/british-gp-grid-16.png" width="90%" /></center></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12685http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12685Eugene Laverty quits MotoGP to make World Superbike's returnWed, 24 Aug 2016 08:32:06 GMT<p><strong>Eugene Laverty has confirmed that he will quit MotoGP at the end of the current season to return to the&nbsp;World Superbike Championship, after signing a deal with Aprilia Racing.</strong></p> <p>The Northern Irishman had previously raced in the WSC series between 2011 and 2014, finishing runner-up in 2013, just 23 points shy of champion Tom Sykes.</p> <p>He moved to MotoGP in 2015 with Aspar and currently sits 11th in the standings with a best finish of fourth in Argentina earlier this season.</p> <p>Laverty says he&#39;s looking forward to a new challenge which will ultimately give him the opportunity to fight for championships rather than top ten finishes.</p> <p>&quot;I am excited to return to World Superbike with Aprilia,&quot; said the 30-year-old. &quot;I&rsquo;ve had a lot of success there, it was a great period.</p> <p>&quot;During my two years in MotoGP I have learned a lot; there&rsquo;s been some difficult times, of course, but I have improved a lot as a rider and I&rsquo;m looking forward to this next stage in my career.</p> <p>&quot;I&rsquo;m very motivated because for the last two years it has been a different kind of fight; I&rsquo;ve been in the middle of the field, trying to improve. So, to go back with a factory Aprilia and the chance to win races and fight for a world title is a different mindset and one I am really prepared for.</p> <p>&quot;I&rsquo;m returning with one objective: to be World Champion.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12672http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12672Cal Crutchlow claims maiden MotoGP win in Brno thrillerSun, 21 Aug 2016 15:03:47 GMT<p><strong>LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow stormed to a thrilling maiden MotoGP victory during the Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno.</strong></p> <p>Crutchlow started in 10th&nbsp;place for the wet race, following rain showers earlier in the day. Some opted to start with soft front and rear wet tyres but Crutchlow went for hard tyres all round.</p> <p>Andrea Iannone led the way in the early stages as those on the hard tyre struggled, while Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi fell from second and sixth to 10th&nbsp;and 12th.</p> <p>Crutchlow also lost ground on the hard tyres but the momentum soon moved in his favour as riders on the soft compound started to struggle.</p> <p>The British rider was the first to put in a 2m08s lap and soon found himself moving up the order, finding himself around four seconds off the lead by the time he passed Aleix Espargaro.</p> <p>He caught the lead pack, before displacing pole-sitter Marc Marquez, Hector Barbera and Scott Redding to move into second place.</p> <p>Once he was ahead of Iannone, Crutchlow was able to eke out a lead and cross the line seven seconds clear of the recovering Rossi.</p> <p>He became the first British rider to claim a premier class victory since Barry Sheene at the 1981 Swedish Grand Prix. Marquez bounced back on the soft tyre to finish third.</p> <p>Loris Baz was on the same strategy as Crutchlow and finished fourth, ahead of Barbera, Eugene Laverty and Danilo Petrucci.</p> <p>Lorenzo was down in 17th&nbsp;after a pitstop to change bikes, while Iannone and Redding dropped to eighth and 15th. Dani Pedrosa was down in 12th&nbsp;and Andrea Dovizioso retired.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12669http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12669Marc Marquez secures Brno MotoGP pole with frantic final lapSat, 20 Aug 2016 14:38:27 GMT<p><strong>Marc Marquez will start the Brno MotoGP race from pole position after a frantic final lap which saw him overtake championship rival Valentino Rossi to cross the finish line quickest.</strong></p> <p>The Honda rider posted a sensational 1m54.596s laptime to beat Yamaha&#39;s Jorge Lorenzo by just over two-tenths. Marquez looked under pressure as he left it to the final minutes to post his quickest time, which saw him overtake Rossi at the final turn to ensure he wasn&#39;t held up.</p> <p>He also came close to making contact with Pol Espargaro&#39;s Tech 3 bike as he raced up to its rear tyre as he crossed the line.</p> <p>Lorenzo had to settle for second on the grid despite&nbsp;showing&nbsp;sublime form all weekend, which saw him break the lap record during FP3, and top&nbsp;FP4 before losing out to championship rival Marquez.</p> <p>Lining up alongside them will be Andrea Iannone. The Italian&nbsp;was the last man to cross the line and had to wheel the bike back up the pitlane to parc ferme, having failed to realise how well he&#39;d qualified.</p> <p>Aleix Espargaro will start fourth, just a tenth shy of Iannone, with&nbsp;Hector Barbera completing the top five.</p> <p>Rossi meanwhile will start sixth, almost a second adrift of the leading pace, as his final flyer was compromised by Marquez&#39;s overtake which lost the Yamaha rider a chunk of time.</p> <p>Seventh-placed Dovizioso had a delayed start to his session as he chose to change his front forks. On his return to the track, his first run was aborted when his&nbsp;rear wheel came well off the ground under braking at Turn 11.</p> <p>Completing the top ten is Mavrick Vinales (Suzuki Ectstar), Dani Pedrosa (Honda)&nbsp;and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda).</p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/MotoGP/Grid/motogp-grid-brno.png" width="90%" /></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12653http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12653Andrea Iannone takes maiden MotoGP victory as Ducati secure Austria 1-2Sun, 14 Aug 2016 15:41:14 GMT<p>Andrea Iannone scored his maiden MotoGP victory on Sunday at the Austrian Grand Prix as he battled against Ducati team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, to give the team their first win since&nbsp;2010 and&nbsp;their first 1-2 since 2007.</p> <p>The pole sitter fought hard against his team-mate in the opening laps as Dovizioso taking second from Valentino Rossi at the start, before later taking the lead of the race.</p> <p>Rossi meanwhile dropped back to fourth as Jorge Lorenzo claimed third, though they remained in touch of the leaders.</p> <p>That was until Dovizioso and Iannone pulled a gap in first and second before the latter managed to retake the lead with just eight laps of the race remaining. The pair would finish less than a second adrift of one another as the fight went down to the final lap.</p> <p>Lorenzo managed to hold off Rossi for third and fourth respectively whilst Marc&nbsp;Marquez completed the top five ahead of&nbsp;Maverick Vinales.</p> <p>Avintia&rsquo;s Hector Barbera finished seventh but was later disqualified for failing to serve a drive-through penalty for jumping the start.</p> <p>A number of riders were caught out for false starts, including&nbsp;Cal Crutchlow, Yonny Hernandez, Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl.</p> <p>Barbera&#39;s DSQ promoted Honda&#39;s&nbsp;Dani Pedrosa with&nbsp;Eugene Laverty (Aspar Ducati),&nbsp;Scott Redding (Pramac Ducati) and Pol Espargaro (Yamaha Tech 3) completing the top ten.</p> <p>Aleix Espargaro was the only&nbsp;retirement.</p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/MotoGP/Grid/austria-result-16.png" width="100%" /></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12651http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12651Iannone beats Rossi to MotoGP pole position in AustriaSat, 13 Aug 2016 14:14:41 GMT<p><strong>Ducati&rsquo;s Andrea Iannone will line up on pole position for the MotoGP Austrian Grand Prix after narrowly beating Valentino Rossi in a close qualifying session.</strong></p> <p>The Italian kept up Ducati&rsquo;s strong practice form to challenge the Yamaha pairing of Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo in the final Q2 session.</p> <p>Iannone put in the fastest time with a 1m23.142 to go just under one and a half tenths faster than Rossi.</p> <p>His Ducati team-mate Andrea Dovizioso had held provisional pole earlier in the session but settled for the final spot on the front row, just 0.009s behind second place.</p> <p>Lorenzo claimed fourth and Marc Marquez recovered to fifth. The Honda rider dislocated his shoulder and was sent to hospital for checks after a crash in FP3 earlier in the day.</p> <p>Suzuki&rsquo;s Maverick Vinales, LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow and Scott Redding were next up. Aleix Espargaro, Hector Barbera and Eugene Laverty were classified in positions 9-11.</p> <p>Honda rider Dani Pedrosa&rsquo;s struggles continued and he finished slowest of the Q2 riders in 12<sup>th</sup>.</p> <p>Danilo Petrucci, Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro were the first drivers knocked out of qualifying in the first segment.</p> <p>Yonny Hernandez was 16<sup>th</sup>, ahead of Ducati wildcard Michele Pirro, rookie Tito Rabat, Alvaro Bautista and Jack Miller, who fell at Turn 4. Stefan Bradl and Loris Baz completed the order.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12649http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12649KTM officially unveils 2017 MotoGP challenger in AustriaSat, 13 Aug 2016 13:07:11 GMT<p><strong>KTM has uncovered the livery and bike, called the RC16, it will debut with in MotoGP next season at a launch event in Austria.</strong></p> <p>The manufacturer has been putting its prototype RC16 through its paces since last November and recently went up against other MotoGP teams in a test at the Red Bull Ring.</p> <p>The KTM MotoGP programme was officially launched at an event in Austria, where the RC16 livery and bike were unveiled.</p> <p>Tech3 Yamaha riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro will race for KTM in its first MotoGP season.</p> <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="" height="420" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/MotoGP/150214_Studio_KTM_RC16_2016.png" width="770" /></p> <p>But test rider Mika Kallio will give the RC16 an early debut as a wildcard entry at the 2016 finale in Valencia later this year.</p> <p>The newly-liveried RC16, which mirrors KTM&rsquo;s Moto3 design, will turn a handful of demo laps on Sunday prior to the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12647http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12647Marc Marquez cleared to take part in Austrian GP qualifying after FP3 fallSat, 13 Aug 2016 12:16:46 GMT<p><strong>Honda MotoGP rider Marc Marquez has been cleared to take part in qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix after a heavy fall in third practice.</strong></p> <p>The Spaniard lost control and crashed in the early stages of FP3, narrowly avoiding a collision with his team-mate Dani Pedrosa.</p> <p>Marquez was seen nursing his left shoulder after the fall, which was dislocated. It popped back into place but after checks at the track he was to Leoben hospital for checks for further evaluation.</p> <p>It has now been confirmed that Marquez has been cleared to take part in qualifying later today at the Red Bull Ring.</p> <p>Marquez later sent an update to his fans on Twitter, saying: &quot;It has only been a fright! All is OK.&quot;</p> <p>He is currently leading the championship by 48 points after nine rounds of the 2016 MotoGP season, as he hunts for his third title.</p> <p>Ducati&#39;s Andrea Iannone finished ahead of his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso in the third practice session on Saturday morning.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12646http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12646MotoGP looking to introduce dashboard communication systemFri, 12 Aug 2016 16:52:41 GMT<p><strong>MotoGP is looking at introducing a dashboard communication system to keep riders more informed during races.</strong></p> <p>The series had considered team radio similar to Formula 1, but believe the system would not only be too costly to introduce, but would put riders off if they were being spoken to mid-corner or when battling hard against a rival.</p> <p>Therefore an alternative system, one that uses a small screen on the dashboard, is being considered for the 2017 season and could be trialled later this season, most likely at one or more of the season closing races.</p> <p>The technology is already in place, with race control using it to communicate certain messages such as: jump start; black flag; red flag and a problem with their bike.</p> <p>Dorna&#39;s Javier Alonso says it could be opened up the teams, allowing them to send various messages, such as gaps between riders, rather than using a pit board.</p> <p>&quot;We decided to talk to our engineers to see if the system used by Race Control to warn riders of certain things could be used by teams,&quot; Alonso told Spanish newspaper&nbsp;<em>El Periodico</em>.</p> <p>&quot;There is no point in having radio communication, but if we implement this system, riders can&nbsp;have better access to information at the time they need it.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12641http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12641Sachsenring concludes five-year MotoGP contract extensionThu, 11 Aug 2016 17:30:06 GMT<p><strong>MotoGP will continue to visit the Sachsenring, which&nbsp;has regularly hosted the German round of the championship&nbsp;since 1998, after securing an extension to its hosting deal through 2021.</strong></p> <p>Race organisers agreed a new five-year deal which was concluded this week and will see the circuit, which will celebrate it&#39;s 20th anniversary next year, remain on the calendar for the foreseeable future.</p> <p>ADAC sport president Hermann Tomczyk hailed the deal:&nbsp;&quot;The Sachsenring is certainly the most ideal venue for a German motorcycle grand prix.&nbsp;I am therefore very pleased that it will now be hosting a world championship race for the next years. The event has been a huge success ever since 1998.&quot;</p> <p>Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of series rights holders Dorna Sports added: &quot;The German Motorcycle Grand Prix at the Sachsenring is a spectacular event with great fans and is an important fixture on the MotoGP calendar.&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;We welcome the announcement that the German Motorcycle Grand Prix will&nbsp;continue to take place at the Sachsenring in the coming years.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12640http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12640MotoGP to use modified final corner for Austrian Grand PrixThu, 11 Aug 2016 12:44:26 GMT<p><strong>MotoGP will use a modified version of the Red Bull Ring&#39;s Turn 10 following safety concerns raised during a private test at the circuit last month.</strong></p> <p>MotoGP will return to Austria for the first time since 1997 this year, with series organisers hosting a private test at the circuit to understand the layout.</p> <p>Following a discussion between FIM safety officer Franco Uncini and riders of the safety commission, it was decided that the final corner, known as Red Bull Mobile, should be tweaked to reduce exit speed.</p> <p>The&nbsp;width of the&nbsp;circuit has therefore been reduced from 13 to 10 metres around the corner with the addition of new kerbs, expanding the run-off as well.</p> <p>Due to this change, the times set during the private test are likely to be quicker than those posted this weekend.&nbsp;Ducati&#39;s&nbsp;Andrea Iannone was quickest during the test, setting a best time of&nbsp;1m23.240.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12621http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12621KTM to complete demo run at Austrian GP with new MotoGP bikeFri, 05 Aug 2016 15:26:21 GMT<p><strong>KTM will give its new MotoGP bike its first public appearance with a demo run before the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring.</strong></p> <p>The RC16 will run at 13:15, shortly before the start of the Austrian GP, with KTM test riders Mika Kallio and Alex Hofmann completing demo laps.</p> <p>KTM will compete in its first full MotoGP season next year, but looks set to make an early debut with a wildcard spot at the 2016 finale in Valencia.</p> <p>The demo laps in Austria will come after a press conference hosted by KTM Group CEO Stefan Pierer on Saturday about the project.</p> <p>KTM recently completed a private test at the Red Bull Ring with the new bike, finishing two seconds off the pace.</p> <p>Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro have already been confirmed as KTM&rsquo;s riders for the 2017 season.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12543http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12543Stefan Bradl to leave MotoGP at the end of 2016Wed, 27 Jul 2016 21:40:25 GMT<p><strong>MotoGP racer Stefan Bradl has confirmed he will leave the series at the end of the 2016 season.</strong></p> <p>He took the Moto2 crown in 2011 before graduating to MotoGP the following year with LCR Honda, finishing seventh in the standings.</p> <p>Bradl then switched to Forward Yamaha for 2015 but made the switch to Aprilia mid-way through the season.</p> <p>The manufacturer has opted for Aleix Espargar&oacute; and Sam Lowes next season, leaving Bradl without a drive for MotoGP in 2017.</p> <p>&quot;I will not be there in Grand Prix racing next year,&quot; Bradl, currently 15<sup>th</sup> in the 2016 riders&rsquo; championship, is quoted telling <em>Speedweek</em>.</p> <p>&quot;The MotoGP World Championship will take place without me, although my decision was not easy.</p> <p>&quot;I made my decision in early June at Barcelona [that] if I did not continue at Aprilia then there would be no more competitive place in MotoGP for me.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12467http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12467Marc Marquez fights back to take sensational Sachsenring victorySun, 17 Jul 2016 16:27:16 GMT<p><strong>Marc Marquez further extended his championship lead over second placed Jorge Lorenzo with an inspired victory at the&nbsp;Sachsenring for the German round of the MotoGP championship.</strong></p> <p>The Honda rider started from pole position in wet conditions as the heavens opened before lights out, but a switch to full wet tyres saw him drop down the field before a mistake at Turn 8, which saw him run off into the gravel, dropped him out of the top ten.</p> <p>That forced Marquez to take a risky strategy move with an early switch to the slick tyre as the track showed signs of drying out. It was a risk that would pay off, with the Spaniard taking back the lead and opening up a massive ten second advantage over LCR Honda&#39;s Cal Crutchlow.</p> <p>Timing was everything. Andrea Dovizioso looked set to take the win - his first since 2009 - but he switched to the slicks too late and lost the lead, dropping to third come the checkered flag.</p> <p>Pramac&#39;s Danilo Petrucci also looked like a candidate for victory having led the race before he crashed out. His team-mate Scott Redding would go on to finish fourth.</p> <p>Another rider to get the timing of their slick stop wrong was Valentino Rossi. The Italian was in a battle with&nbsp;Dovizioso and Crutchlow for the lead, but stopped later than them and paid the price as Rossi would go on to finish only eighth, but it helped him to close the championship gap to his team-mate to just 11 points in second and third.</p> <p>Lorenzo&#39;s nightmare weekend continued as scored just a single point for 15th place as he struggled to keep pace in the latter stages of the race, despite running in the top ten for the first half.</p> <p>Local rider Stefan Bradl was forced to miss him home race after a fall during the&nbsp;warm-up. He was taken to the local hospital for a CT scan after suffering a concussion in the crash.<img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/MotoGP/Grid/german-motogp-result.png" width="100%"/></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12464http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/12464Marc Marquez takes Germany pole as Jorge Lorenzo crashes out twiceSat, 16 Jul 2016 16:16:28 GMT<p><strong>Honda&#39;s Marc Marquez will start the German round of the MotoGP championship from pole position after nearest championship rival Jorge Lorenzo crashed out twice, meaning the Yamaha rider starts just 11th.</strong></p> <p>Marquez secured a dominant pole by more than four-tenths to Avintia&#39;s Hector Barbera on Saturday around the&nbsp;Sachsenring, with the pair sharing the front-row with Yamaha&#39;s Valentino Rossi, third.</p> <p>There have been no shortage of crashes this weekend so far, but with perfect conditions for qualifying, fewer crashes were expected. But Lorenzo suffered a nightmare session as he fell in Q1 at Turn 8, narrowly making the Q2 cut by just 0.050s.</p> <p>The Spaniard would fall again though on his second run in Q2 at Turn 1, putting him 11th on the grid, just behind Dani Pedrosa.</p> <p>Ducati&rsquo;s Andrea Iannone also fell on his second lap, but managed to recover and finished up ninth behind Suzuki Ecstar&#39;s&nbsp;Aleix Espargaro, eighth and Andrea Dovizioso, seventh.</p> <p>Britain&#39;s Cal Crutchlow came close to making the Q2 cut - and forcing Lorenzo out in the process -&nbsp;but blamed Stefan Bradl for getting in his way and costing him time, to finish P13&nbsp;overall.</p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/MotoGP/Grid/motogp-qual-germany.png" width="100%" /></p>