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/15349http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15349Alvaro Bautista to remain with Aspar MotoGP team in 2018Mon, 17 Jul 2017 13:03:21 GMT<p>&Aacute;lvaro Bautista will remain with Aspar in MotoGP next season, the team confirmed on Monday.</p> <p>The Spaniard reunited with Aspar this season in the premier class, having riden for the squad in the 125cc and 250cc classes &ndash; he claimed the 125cc title in 2006.</p> <p>Bautista currently&nbsp;holds 11th in the&nbsp;standings this year, with fourth place his best finish in Argentina. He&nbsp;will continue to ride for the team next year.</p> <p>Jorge Mart&iacute;nez, Aspar team general manager, says the deal shows their belief in the 32-year-old.</p> <p>&quot;It is good news for the Pull&amp;Bear Aspar Team that we have reached this agreement with &Aacute;lvaro Bautista;&nbsp;we believe in him and we are enjoying a very strong season.</p> <p>&quot;We also have a lot of faith in Ducati, we get great support from the factory and through extending this relationship, together we can improve even more. I hope this year still holds many more high points like the ones we have enjoyed already, and that next season holds even more still.&quot;</p> <p>Bautista added:&nbsp;&quot;I am happy to be spending another season as part of the Pull&amp;Bear Aspar Team family. It is a union that can help both the team and myself to grow.</p> <p>&quot;We are having a strong season, I have a good relationship with the team and I feel very comfortable on the Ducati and with the support from the factory. I think we can continue to improve and achieve good results.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15254http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15254Miguel Oliveira completes first MotoGP test with KTMTue, 11 Jul 2017 10:56:54 GMT<p>KTM has completed a two-day private test at the MotorLand Aragon circuit in Spain, with Moto2 frontrunner Miguel Oliveira getting his first MotoGP outing.</p> <p>The Portuguese rider raced for the team in his final Moto3 campaign and after a year in Moto2 with Kalex, he returned to KTM for the current season.</p> <p>He joined KTM&rsquo;s MotoGP racers Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith, plus test rider Mika Kallio, for laps at the Aragon circuit.</p> <p>It was a busy two-day test for the team, with Smith admitting he feels it will give KTM &ldquo;good direction for the second half of the season, and for 2018 as well&rdquo;.</p> <p>After nine rounds of Moto2 in 2017, Oliveira is third in the standings with four podium finishes &ndash; including second places in Argentina and Germany.</p> <p>&quot;The goal was not that I was to get really fast but it was a test for myself to enjoy the day,&rdquo; he explained after the test.</p> <p>&ldquo;I had this opportunity that I think every rider would like to have in his career at least one time but I&rsquo;m really pleased to have had the chance to try that bike.</p> <p>&ldquo;So, all in all it was a very good day to do a few laps and enjoy a MotoGP bike. Thank you KTM.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15169http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15169Video: Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa in a very special raceTue, 04 Jul 2017 18:38:21 GMT<p>Marc M&aacute;rquez and Dani Pedrosa take part in a very special, and rather slow, race!</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15164http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15164Jonas Folger: I finally showed my potential with home podiumTue, 04 Jul 2017 10:26:27 GMT<p>Tech3 Yamaha rider Jonas Folger believes he &ldquo;finally showed&rdquo; his potential after picking up his first MotoGP podium at the Sachsenring.</p> <p>The fast-starting German lined up fifth but managed to snatch the lead away from Marc Marquez, although a mistake at the first corner meant the Honda rider found his way back through.</p> <p>Folger, who stepped up to MotoGP after three years in Moto2, kept the pressure on Marquez during the remainder of the race but lost ground in the final laps, after a few mistakes.</p> <p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t really know what to say other than I am so happy and I still can&rsquo;t quite believe what we achieved,&rdquo; Folger said.</p> <p>&ldquo;I fought with Marc for the victory and we had a great performance. I especially showed that I can get on the podium, which is a super feeling and a big boost for my confidence.</p> <p>&ldquo;In the past, [team-mate] Johann [Zarco] had a lot of good races whereas I sometimes didn&rsquo;t because I made some small mistakes, but today I finally feel like I showed my potential.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think that we have to enjoy this moment and take the positive points that we made here to Brno and into the rest of the season.</p> <p>&ldquo;Thanks to my team for their work and I am already looking forward to getting back on my Yamaha in the Czech Republic after the summer break.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15147http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15147Marc Marquez wins at the Sachsenring as Jonas Folger stuns home crowdSun, 02 Jul 2017 13:28:22 GMT<p>Reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez recaptured the lead of the championship on Sunday at the&nbsp;Sachsenring with victory for Honda, but it was home rookie Jonas Folger that stole the show as he pushed the Spaniard at every opportunity.</p> <p>Marquez won from pole &ndash; his eighth at the circuit &ndash; but found himself in second during the early stages of the race when a quick-starting Folger took the lead from fifth on the grid on the fifth lap having made some quick passes on Dani Pedrosa, Danilo Petrucci and&nbsp;Jorge Lorenzo, who came through from sixth on the grid to third at the start.</p> <p>A couple of small mistakes for the German were enough to cost him a shot at the win as Marquez took advantage and retook the lead, where he would remain until the chequered flag, but not without a fight from Folger, who continued to hound the #93 machine.</p> <p>Pedrosa would go on to claim the final podium spot, 11 seconds down on his victorious team-mate.</p> <p>Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales claimed fourth position, with Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi for close company, the pair having made progress from their respective grid positions.</p> <p>Alvaro Bautista took sixth after proving a formidable force in the fight, with Aprilia&#39;s Aleix Espargaro crossing the line in seventh for a good haul of points ahead of the summer break.</p> <p>Championship leader going into the race, Andrea Dovizioso crossed the line in eighth and remains third in the standings, while Johann Zarco completed a strong recovery to vault from 19th on the grid to ninth.</p> <p>Cal Crutchlow completed the top 10 for LCR Honda, with Jorge Lorenzo crossing the line in 11th spot after running at the front earlier in the race.</p> <p>Marquez now heads the title race, with just 10 points covering the top four, as the sport enters its five-week summer break.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15140http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15140Danilo Petrucci extends Pramac stay into 2018Sat, 01 Jul 2017 16:39:31 GMT<p>Danilo Petrucci will continue to race for Pramac in MotoGP next season, the team has confirmed.</p> <p>Petrucci joined Pramac in 2015, following three years with Ioda, and has racked up a trio of podiums, including two this season.</p> <p>Petrucci currently holds seventh place in the standings ahead of Sunday&rsquo;s German Grand Prix, where he will start from the front row of the grid.</p> <p>&ldquo;I am very happy to stay with Octo Pramac Racing, I am glad to remain in the team I consider my home,&rdquo; said Petrucci.</p> <p>&ldquo;I am also proud to be the longest-serving rider in the history of such an important team.</p> <p>&ldquo;I would like to thank Paolo Campinoti who welcomed me into the Pramac family and Francesco Guidotti who believed in me.</p> <p>&ldquo;A special thanks also to Gigi Dall&rsquo;Igna, Paolo Ciabatti, and Claudio Domenicali for the support of Ducati, and for providing me with a factory bike that gives me the possibility to obtain great results.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15139http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15139Sachsenring king Marc Marquez takes pole number eightSat, 01 Jul 2017 14:24:05 GMT<p>Marc Marquez continued his&nbsp;Sachsenring domination as he secured an eighth consecutive pole position at the German Grand Prix venue on Saturday.</p> <p>The Honda rider didn&#39;t have an easy time of it though as he and Pramac&#39;s Danilo Petrucci duelled over the top spot in wet conditions, with the pair eventually split by just over a tenth of a second.</p> <p>Marquez&#39;s session almost came to an early end though after he and&nbsp;Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales made contact. The Yamaha rider dived under Marquez before the Honda rider made heavy contact into the side of his rival at the following corner. The pair had a heated discussion after the session.</p> <p>Dani Pedrosa completes the front row after a weekend of impressive pace, albeit +0.647 off the lead pace.</p> <p>Briton&#39;s Cal Crutchlow will line up fourth ahead of Yamaha Tech 3 and home hero Jonas Folger, with both within a second of Marquez&#39;s pole time. Jorge Lorenzo starts sixth, completing the second row.</p> <p>KTM&#39;s Pol Espargaro took the Austrian factory&#39;s best ever qualifying result in seventh to continue the incredible form into Q2, with older brother Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) eighth and nine-time champion Valentino Rossi ninth.</p> <p>Championship leader Andrea Dovizioso was another of those to have a slightly more difficult session to take tenth, but starts ahead of key rival in the points standings Vi&ntilde;ales, who was eleventh fastest in the wet. Aspar&#39;s Alvaro Bautista completes the top twelve on the grid from Q2.</p> <p>Marc VDS rider Jack Miller just missed the cut to escape&nbsp;Q1 and will start P13, with Loris Baz and Bradley Smith just behind.</p> <p>Last weekend&#39;s pole sitter Johan Zarco struggled for pace and failed to escape Q1, eventually finishing 19th quickest.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15121http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15121Andrea Dovizioso 'won't change' racing approach after taking leadThu, 29 Jun 2017 11:05:33 GMT<p>Ducati&rsquo;s Andrea Dovizioso says he &ldquo;won&rsquo;t change&rdquo; his approach to racing after taking the championship lead at the last MotoGP race.</p> <p>Following on from his back-to-back wins in Mugello and Barcelona, he benefited from rival Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales crashing at the Dutch TT to finish fifth and move four points clear.</p> <p>Valentino Rossi narrowly took victory and closed the gap to the top two in the championship, three points behind Vi&ntilde;ales and seven off Dovizioso.</p> <p>Despite heading to the next round in Germany as the leader in the riders&rsquo; standings, Dovizioso said he will not change his approach to racing.</p> <p>&ldquo;It gives me great satisfaction to arrive in Germany as leader of the championship,&rdquo; he explained.</p> <p>&ldquo;But it won&rsquo;t change my way of racing because, even in the past, I&rsquo;ve never raced for each individual result.</p> <p>&ldquo;Always with one eye on the championship: we&rsquo;ll try and do a good job here in Germany to get the best possible result in Sunday&rsquo;s race.</p> <p>&ldquo;The Sachsenring is a track that has created a few problems for us in the past, but it has just been resurfaced and so it will be new for everyone.</p> <p>&ldquo;As always we will have to take account of the behaviour of the tyres, especially in this case seeing as no one has been able to test on the new track surface.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15090http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15090Valentino Rossi wins dramatic Dutch TT by just 0.063 from Danilo PetrucciSun, 25 Jun 2017 12:41:28 GMT<p>Valentino Rossi officially has the longest winning career (20 years and 313 days) across all classes after claiming a stunning and dramatic victory at Assen for the Dutch TT, but only just!</p> <p>The Yamaha&nbsp;rider crossed the finish line almost side-by-side with second-placed Danilo Petrucci in one of the closest MotoGP finishes, with just 0.063 splitting the pair as Marc Marquez crossed the line third, five seconds behind the lead battle.</p> <p>It wasn&#39;t all good news for Yamaha though as Maverick Vinales lost the championship lead to Andrea Dovizioso after crashing out at the final chicane, with tricky conditions catching a number of riders out.</p> <p>The race began with first-time polesitter Johan Zarco losing out to Honda&#39;s Marc Marquez, but the Frenchman remained in second ahead of the battle for third and would late reclaim the lead as a mistake for Marquez dropped him to second.</p> <p>A quick Rossi cleared Marquez and came up behind Zarco before completing a pass for the lead, but the fight was far from over as the Tech 3 rider immediately fought back. However it would prove costly as light contact between the pair caused Zarco to drop down the order.</p> <p>His Tech&nbsp;3 team-mate Jonas Folger meanwhile dropped to the very back on the opening lap after straightlining the&nbsp;Esses. Folger later crashed out at Turn 1 on Lap 10.</p> <p>As Rossi took the lead, his team-mate stumbled and fell at the final chicane to hand fifth to&nbsp;Dovizioso where he would go on to finish, although he ran as high as third at one stage, finishing behind Britain&#39;s Cal Crutchlow.</p> <p>With ten laps remaining, Petrucci spotted his moment to snatch second from Marquez and started his hunt for Rossi in the lead.&nbsp;</p> <p>Light rain began to fall on the Assen circuit as Petrucci put pressure on Rossi before taking the lead with five laps left. Just as that happened, further back and Marquez re-claimed third from Dovizioso. The lead battle continued and the order changed again with three laps remaining, with Rossi remaining the lead until the chequered flag, but it was a closely fought battle as Petrucci got held up by some backmarkers.</p> <p>The battle for the final podium spot was also a close one as Cruthlow got past Dovizioso with one lap remaining and had the race been 27 laps, he might have passed Marquez, but eventually finished just 0.042 behind.</p> <p>Last year&#39;s race winner Jack Miller was sixth ahead of Aspar&#39;s Karel Abraham and Avintia&#39;s&nbsp;Loris Baz. Aleix and Pol Esparagaro completed the top ten.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15088http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15088Franco Morbidelli to graduate to MotoGP in 2018 with Marc VDSSun, 25 Jun 2017 07:57:32 GMT<p>Marc VDS has confirmed that Franco Morbidelli will step up to MotoGP with the team in 2018.</p> <p>Morbidelli has raced for the squad in Moto2 since 2016 and currently leads the championship in the secondary class, with four wins from the opening seven rounds.</p> <p>Ahead of the Dutch Grand Prix, Marc VDS announced that it had extended Morbidelli&rsquo;s contract, with the 22-year-old to graduate to the premier category next season.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&#39;s good to have everything sorted so early in the season, as I can now concentrate fully on what I have to do this year in Moto2,&rdquo; said Morbidelli.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&#39;m excited by the thought of MotoGP and I&#39;m happy to be making the step up to the premier class with the team, and with people I know and have worked alongside already.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&#39;s a big challenge, but it&#39;s definitely one that I&#39;m looking forward to.</p> <p>&ldquo;But for now my focus is on this year, so thinking about MotoGP will have to wait until after the final Moto2 race of the season in Valencia.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15077http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15077Rookie Johann Zarco takes maiden MotoGP pole at AssenSat, 24 Jun 2017 14:47:15 GMT<p>Yamaha Tech 3&#39;s Johann Zarco stunned Assen to take his first MotoGP pole position for the Dutch Grand Prix, pipping three-time world champion Marc Marquez by just 0.065 seconds.</p> <p>Zarco becomes the first Frenchman to take pole in the premier class since Olivier Jacque in 2002.</p> <p>He made the most of the damp conditions whilst some big names struggled, particularly&nbsp;Ducati&rsquo;s Jorge Lorenzo, who starts 21st.</p> <p>Marquez had held the top spot as he crossed the start/finish straight before being beaten by Zarco, but will line up second ahead Pramac&#39;s&nbsp;Danilo Petrucci who also excelled in the tricky conditions.</p> <p>A small mistake in the final sector by Yamaha&#39;s Valentino Rossi sees him head up the second row alongside Scott Redding and Jonas Folger, the former recovering well from an FP3 crash.</p> <p>Aspar&#39;s Alvaro Bautista crossed the line in P7 ahead of LCR Honda&rsquo;s Cal Crutchlow, with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) completing the third row.</p> <p>Aprilia&#39;s Sam Lowes made the most of his first ever Q2 appearance, taking a top ten start to head up the fourth row&nbsp;&ndash; and ahead of championship leader Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales. Dani Pedrosa was P12.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15041http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15041Suzuki rookie Alex Rins to return to racing at AssenWed, 21 Jun 2017 15:41:14 GMT<p>Suzuki rider &Aacute;lex Rins will return to racing action at this weekend&rsquo;s Dutch TT, following a lengthy absence due to injury.</p> <p>Rins fell during practice for the Grand Prix of the Americas in April and sustained fractures to his left forearm and wrist, missing the following five races as a result.</p> <p>Rins participated in testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya last week and has now been given the all-clear to resume his rookie campaign at Assen.</p> <p>&ldquo;The recovery from injury has been long and tough, but finally I will re-join the team and again be able to race my GSX-RR,&rdquo; said Rins, who finished ninth on his debut in Qatar.</p> <p>&ldquo;I can&rsquo;t wait to get back to the feeling of racing and be reunited with my team again.</p> <p>&ldquo;Last week we tested in Barcelona and my feelings were positive. I&rsquo;m recovering well and made a lot of progress. We worked without any pressure, but yet we were able to make improvements.</p> <p>&ldquo;Assen is a magical circuit; I can&rsquo;t wait to ride there on a MotoGP machine.&rdquo;</p> <p>Takuya Tsuda and Sylvain Guintoli filled in for Rins during the Spaniard&#39;s absence, riding alongside regular racer Andrea Iannone.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15039http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15039LCR renews with Honda, retains Cal Crutchlow through 2019Wed, 21 Jun 2017 13:01:09 GMT<p>LCR has renewed its technical partnership in MotoGP with Honda, and retained Cal Crutchlow through to 2019.</p> <p>LCR has been partnered by Honda since it graduated to MotoGP in 2006 while Crutchlow joined the squad in 2015, after previous spells at Tech 3 Yamaha and Ducati.</p> <p>Crutchlow claimed two victories in 2016 to finish seventh overall in the standings, a position he also holds this year ahead of the upcoming Dutch Grand Prix.</p> <p>&quot;I am very happy to confirm that I will be riding for HRC [Honda Racing Corporation] with the LCR team again for two more seasons,&quot; said Crutchlow.</p> <p>&quot;We have worked extremely hard over the last three seasons together and I am positive that we will enjoy more great results together.</p> <p>&quot;I would like to thank HRC for the great support they offer me and our team, and I look forward to giving my hundred percent to this project as always.&quot;</p> <p>LCR is currently the only one-rider team on the MotoGP grid.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14948http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14948Andrea Dovizioso takes back-to-back wins for Ducati with Catalan victorySun, 11 Jun 2017 13:52:28 GMT<p>Andrea Dovizioso took back-to-back victories for the Ducati team with a win this weekend at the Catalan Grand Prix &ndash; making him the&nbsp;first rider for&nbsp;Ducati to claim consecutive victories&nbsp;since Casey Stoner in 2010.</p> <p>The Italian rider came through from seventh on the grid to win his second race of the season in style, ahead of reigning champion Marc Marquez and polesitter Dani Pedrosa, with the top three split by just 6.7&nbsp;seconds.</p> <p>The race started with Honda&#39;s Pedrosa getting a great start from the lead whilst the two riders beside him; Jorge Lorezno and Danilo Petrucci, almost made contact thanks to a wheelie from the former.</p> <p>Petrucci was then forced to swerve and made contact with Marquez, though the latter escaped without major issue and held position as they headed to Turn 1.</p> <p>Current championship leader&nbsp;Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales found himself in the gravel at Turn 1 and dropped well down the order from ninth on the grid. He mounted a comeback to finish tenth to claim six points.</p> <p>Meanwhile Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi rounded-off a disappointing weekend for the team in eighth place.</p> <p>The opening laps saw a four-way battle for the lead between Pedrosa, Dovizioso, Marquez and Jonas Folger, before Dovizioso snuck around the outside to take control of the race and was swiftly followed by Marquez.</p> <p>A battle over fourth then broke out and as&nbsp;tyres began to fade, positions changed, with Folger losing out to finish sixth, behind Lorenzo and Yamaha Tech 3&#39;s Johann Zarco.</p> <p>&#39;DesmoDovi&#39; would hold onto the lead until he crossed the finish&nbsp;line to claim a fourth career victory.</p> <p>The top ten was completed by Aspar&#39;s Alvaro Bautista, followed by Rossi, Avintia&#39;s Hector Barbera and&nbsp;Vi&ntilde;ales, whose championship lead took a major hit as Dovizioso made up 19 points to cement his position in second in the standings, just seven points shy of the lead.</p> <p>The final points positions were taken by LCR Honda&#39;s Cal Cruthlow, Avintia&#39;s Loris Baz, Pramac&#39;s Scott Redding, Aspar&#39;s Karel Abraham and Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat.</p> <p>Jack Miller, Aleix Espargaro and Petrucci were the only retirees.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14926http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14926Dani Pedrosa claims Catalan pole as Marc Marquez crashes outSat, 10 Jun 2017 13:46:51 GMT<p>Honda&#39;s Dani Pedrosa claimed his second pole position of the season at&nbsp;the Catalan Grand Prix on Saturday in front of a delighted home crowd ahead of fellow Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo.</p> <p>Meanwhile all of those ahead of Pedrosa in the championship standings struggled for pace, with leader Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales a lowly ninth, Andrea Dovizioso seventh and&nbsp;Valentino Rossi 13th.</p> <p>Marc Marquez meanwhile fell twice, putting him out of contention of the front-row and the Honda rider will start fourth behind Pedrosa, Lorenzo and Danilo Petrucci.</p> <p>Aprilia&#39;s Aleix Espargaro&nbsp;starts an impressive&nbsp;fifth ahead of Avintia&#39;s Hector Barbera.</p> <p>Dovizioso heads up row three ahead of Q1 graduates Jonas Folger and Vi&ntilde;ales in a tough day for the Yamaha machines.</p> <p>Aspar team rider Alvaro Bautista completes&nbsp;the top ten and was another multiple crasher on Saturday, with Pramac&#39;s Scott Redding and Andrea Iannone in P11 and P12 respectively.</p> <p>LCR Honda&rsquo;s Cal Crutchlow crashed at Turn 10 during his final run, with his timed lap only good enough for P17.</p> <p>Sylvain Guintoli missed qualifying due to illness, although not believed to be serious, whilst Bradley Smith has been declared unfit to race following a finger injury sustained during final practice.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14918http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14918MotoGP opts against using new Catalan GP chicaneFri, 09 Jun 2017 21:40:35 GMT<p>MotoGP has chosen not to use the newly installed chicane during the Catalan Grand Prix this weekend following feedback from riders during Friday practice.</p> <p>A new chicane was constructed for the 2017 event to improve safety in the final sector by slowing riders following the death of Luis Salom in 2016 &ndash; for the remainder of that race weekend, the Formula 1 layout was used &ndash; before a MotoGP specific chicane was added for this&nbsp;year&#39;s event,&nbsp;one&nbsp;hundred yards ahead of the F1 chicane.</p> <p>However feedback on Friday has led the Safety Commission to revert to the F1 layout, with riders citing bumps as the cause for several crashes during first and second practice.</p> <p>&quot;In the Safety Commission the riders complained a little about the new layout, they said the work wasn&rsquo;t done in the right way and there were a lot of bumps &ndash; that&rsquo;s why the riders decided to go back to the layout from last year,&quot; explained Dorna Sports safety advisor&nbsp;Loris Capirossi.</p> <p>&quot;That&rsquo;s why we&rsquo;re here, to make sure the track used tomorrow is the safest we can.</p> <p>&quot;We saw during practice today a lot of crashes too where the bike remained on the track and at the exit of the corner, and that&rsquo;s very dangerous. We have experience from last year of the old chicane and we didn&rsquo;t have any crashes like we did today, that&rsquo;s why the riders requested it. In terms of crashes, the old one is better.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14890http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14890Home advantage for championship leader Maverick VinalesWed, 07 Jun 2017 09:27:53 GMT<p>MotoGP Championship leader Maverick Vinales returns home for the Monster Energy Grand Prix of Catalunya with a healthy 26 points lead at the one third distance of the 18 round MotoGP World Championship.&nbsp;</p> <p>The 22 year old Spaniard, riding the Movistar Yamaha, arrives at the demanding 2.891 mile Circuit of Barcelona &ndash; Catalunya with three grands prix wins this year and a second place in the previous round in Mugello.</p> <p>He has a good record at his home circuit, which has been modified at turns 13- 14 following the tragic accident of Luis Salom during Moto2 practice last year.&nbsp;</p> <p>Vinales is a Moto3 winner at this circuit and finished sixth and fourth in the last two MotoGP races riding the Suzuki. Andrea Dovizioso moved into second place in the championship after his <a href="https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14868">superb home victory at Mugello</a> on the factory Ducati and a repeat performance at the Barcelona circuit, which both he and Ducati know well, would make the Italian rider and factory a real championship threat.</p> <p>Valentino Rossi&rsquo;s last grand prix win came in Barcelona 12 months ago and the 38 year old needs a repeat if he&rsquo;s going to stay in the championship hunt. He hung onto third place in the championship after a brave ride into fourth place in Mugello and has always <a href="https://www.mytopsportsbooks.com/free-picks/other/2017-motogp-odds-early-season-update">had a consistent record</a> at the track.&nbsp;</p> <p>Another World Champion desperately seeking a good result to keep his championship chances alive is current champion Marc Marquez. The Repsol Honda rider is fourth, 37 points behind Vinales, after a disappointing sixth place in Mugello.&nbsp;</p> <p>He is on equal points with team-mate Dani Pedrosa who dropped from second place <a href="http://www.dailystar.co.uk/sport/motorsport/619969/motogp-results-italian-grand-prix-cal-crutchlow-angry-dan-pedrosa-crash-mugello-video">after crashing on the last lap</a> in Mugello bringing down Cal Crutchlow.</p> <p>Frenchman Johann Zarco has won the Moto2 race in Barcelona for the last two years and he returns chasing his second MotoGP podium finish of the season. In his debut season riding the Monster Tech3 Yamaha the double Moto2 World Champion is seventh in the championship just four points behind Pedrosa and Marquez.&nbsp;</p> <p>Italian Danilo Petrucci took just his second MotoGP podium finish in Mugello and moved into eighth place in the championship just four points behind Lorenzo.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14878http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14878I'd have sold my house for MotoGP podium - Danilo PetrucciMon, 05 Jun 2017 12:53:56 GMT<p>Pramac rider Danilo Petrucci scored a strong podium finish at his home MotoGP race in Italy, joking he would have sold his house for a top three result.</p> <p>He was quick enough for the front row in qualifying but exceeding track limits at Turn 5 meant he was stripped of his lap, falling to ninth.</p> <p>The Italian recovered ground early in the race at Mugello and was part of the lead group, finishing behind winner Andrea Dovizioso and runner-up Maverick Vinales.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s incredible,&rdquo; he said on the race. &ldquo;If anyone asked me what I would give to be on the podium, I would have said I&rsquo;d sell my house.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s unbelievable. Yesterday [Saturday] was quite strange because I crashed on the out lap and I thought, &lsquo;what a great morning&rsquo;.</p> <p>&ldquo;Then I started to push with the other bike and my laptime was lowering, then I finished the bike. In qualifying from Q1 it was tough, but I was more confident compared to the others.</p> <p>&ldquo;I did a good lap but I made a mistake. Everyone said, &lsquo;OK but tomorrow you can be fast&rsquo;&hellip;I knew in previous races I&rsquo;d started badly but was fast at the end.</p> <p>&ldquo;I knew I had to stay with the others at the front to have a good race, and when I was in fourth, I said &lsquo;OK, you&rsquo;re fourth &ndash; wait for the last lap&hellip;&rsquo; but then I thought &lsquo;it&rsquo;s your home Grand Prix&hellip;try&rsquo;.</p> <p>&ldquo;I passed Valentino [Rossi], then Maverick, and tried with Dovi &ndash; but it wasn&rsquo;t so easy. Trying to stay with him finished my rear tyre.</p> <p>&ldquo;When Maverick passed me I looked behind if maybe Valentino was further, but he wasn&rsquo;t. But, in the end, I managed to stay on the podium and it was a great day for me.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14868http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14868Andrea Dovizioso claims magnificent Mugello victory ahead of Maverick VinalesSun, 04 Jun 2017 20:20:45 GMT<p>Andrea Dovizioso took a magnificent win in Mugello,&nbsp;battling rivals on track and illness off it to cross the line over a second clear of Yamaha&#39;s Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales and an impressive home podium for second Italian Danilo Petrucci.</p> <p>Home hero Yamaha&#39;s Valentino Rossi shot off the line for the lead from P2 on the grid, denying teammate and polesitter Vi&ntilde;ales as Jorge Lorenzo stormed up from seventh to fight off Dovizioso for third.</p> <p>With the leaders in-line, over the line saw Lorenzo use the incredible speed of the Ducati to take the lead for the first time in red, dueling with old nemesis Rossi before the Italian took him back &ndash; and the next lap proved almost a replay as two of the men to have dominated the sport this decade found themselves sharing the front of the race for the first time this season.</p> <p>Then it was &lsquo;DesmoDovi&rsquo; on the move past his teammate after Vi&ntilde;ales had gone through on Rossi, the Championship leader taking the &lsquo;Doctor&rsquo; as the trio began to break away from Lorenzo - with Petrucci on the chase.</p> <p>Suzuki&#39;s Andrea Iannone had an incredible start from P16 after having suffered with illness throughout the weekend, moving up into seventh, as Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) suffered a different fate and got a ride through for a jump start.</p> <p>Petrucci caught the group before too long as Dovizioso took over at the front, and the Pramac rider then pounced on Vi&ntilde;ales after a small mistake to follow &lsquo;DesmoDovi&rsquo;. Then it was holding station as the gaps grew and then shrunk, before the factory Ducati in the lead gained a small gap&nbsp;&nbsp;- and every member of the Borgo Panigale team held their breath as Vi&ntilde;ales took over in second, only a few laps remaining and the Championship leader with his head down.</p> <p>Closing in and then falling back, the pendulum swung between the two men until the last lap dawned &ndash; and &lsquo;DesmoDovi&rsquo; kept it inch-perfect around every corner to take his third ever Grand Prix victory, and the first for a red machine at Mugello since Casey Stoner won in 2009.</p> <p>Vi&ntilde;ales took second to increase his Championship lead once again, with Petrucci putting in the dry-weather ride of his life to complete the podium after staying clear of Rossi over the last couple of laps. The &lsquo;Doctor&rsquo;, who suffered a motocross crash in training the week before the event, pushed hard through the pain barrier at home and just missed the podium but took good points &ndash; as always, putting on a great show.</p> <p>Alvaro Bautista (Pull&amp;Bear Aspar Team) took a big scalp as he caught and passed reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) to complete the top five, with Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) coming home in P7 behind Marquez.</p> <p>Lorenzo, after his early duel for the lead, suffered grip issues later in the race and crossed the line in eighth, beating Ducati test rider Michele Pirro over the line. Iannone&rsquo;s heroics following his illness saw him complete the top ten at home.</p> <p>The late drama a little further off the front saw a tough day for Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) conclude in a crash as the &lsquo;Baby Samurai&rsquo; slid out, unfortunately collecting LCR Honda&rsquo;s Cal Crutchlow on the final lap.</p> <p>Tito Rabat (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) took P11, with the top fifteen completed by Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing), Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Hector Barbera (Reale Avintia Racing) and Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS).</p> <p>Now the paddock packs up and heads for Barcelona, as the Catalan GP turns the home tables for many on the grid &ndash; sure to result in another spectacular, spectacular.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14858http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14858Maverick Vinales leads Yamaha 1-2 in Mugello qualifyingSat, 03 Jun 2017 13:29:11 GMT<p>Championship leader Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales led qualifying on Saturday in Mugello, beating Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi by just two-tenths in a very close session.</p> <p>The Spaniard beat Rossi on his home soil ahead of third-placed Ducati&#39;s Andrea Dovizioso, with Italians lining up second, third and fourth as Ducati stand-in Michele Pirro was just 0.043 off his team-mate, giving the locals something to cheer for.</p> <p>The Honda pair of Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez complete the second row in fifth and sixth.</p> <p>Heading up row three&nbsp;is one of Mugello&rsquo;s most successful riders, Ducati&#39;s Jorge Lorenzo, ahead of compatriot Alvaro Bautista as the top independent rider for Aspar.</p> <p>Pramac&#39;s Danilo Petrucci had seemed set for a front row start before having his fastest laptime cancelled for exceeding track limits, and the Italian dropped from a provisional P2 to take ninth on the grid at home &ndash; in front of a best ever for Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat to complete the top ten.</p> <p>Yamaha Tech 3&#39;s Johann Zarco had a more difficult session to take eleventh, with Aleix Espargaro crashing out early and ending the session in P12.</p> <p>It was a very close session with the top 12 covered by less than a second.</p> <p>A Q1 susprise came when Cal Crutchlow failed to make the cut for LCR Honda and will line up 13th ahead of Hector Barbera and Jonas Folger, 15th.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14843http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14843Doctors give Valentino Rossi green light for Mugello weekendThu, 01 Jun 2017 11:35:25 GMT<p>Valentino Rossi has been given the green light to participate in this weekend&#39;s Italian Grand Prix, following a medical check-up at Mugello on Thursday.</p> <p>Rossi sustained mild thoracic and abdominal trauma as the result of a&nbsp;motocross training accident last week, and spent the night in hospital for observations.</p> <p>Rossi revealed on Wednesday that he was still suffering from &quot;severe&quot; pain and required medical clearance in order to be passed fit to race in front of his home fans.</p> <p>Yamaha confirmed that FIM Medical Director, Dr Giancarlo Di Filippo, the&nbsp;Chief Medical Officer of the Mugello Circuit, Dr Remo Barbagli and the MotoGP Medical Director, Dr Angel Charte, all approved Rossi&#39;s participation following the checks on Thursday lunchtime.</p> <p>Rossi trails Yamaha team-mate Maverick Vinales by 23 points in the standings.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14838http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14838Tech 3 retains Jonas Folger for 2018 MotoGP campaignThu, 01 Jun 2017 08:28:12 GMT<p>Tech 3 has confirmed that it will continue with an unchanged rider line-up in MotoGP next season, retaining Jonas Folger to partner the already confirmed Johann Zarco.</p> <p>Folger, 23, stepped up to MotoGP with the French outfit this season and has recorded a best result of sixth, in Argentina, to hold ninth in the standings ahead of this weekend&#39;s Italian Grand Prix.</p> <p>Tech 3 announced on Thursday that it has signed Folger for an additional year, alongside Zarco, whose 2018 deal was confirmed prior to the preceding event in France.</p> <p>&ldquo;I am really happy about continuing with Herv&eacute; [Poncharal] and the awesome Tech 3 team for 2018,&quot; said the German rider.</p> <p>&quot;So far this year, I am very pleased with the performances that we have produced, including the pre-season tests, but there is much more to come from me.</p> <p>&quot;For the rest of 2017 as well as next year, I believe that we can carry on progressing and making solid strides forward.</p> <p>&quot;I&rsquo;m already excited to see what we can do in the next months together and so, I have to thank the boss and everyone involved at Tech 3 for what they have done so far, and for having faith in me, and I will always give my absolute all on the Yamaha YZR-M1.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14835http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14835Valentino Rossi in fitness bid for Italian GP after training crashWed, 31 May 2017 10:36:38 GMT<p>Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi says he is still suffering from &quot;severe&quot; chest pain following last week&#39;s motocross training crash and faces a race against time in order to be fit for the upcoming Italian Grand Prix.</p> <p>Rossi sustained mild thoracic and abdominal trauma when he fell last week and was observed in Rimini Hospital overnight, before being discharged to continue his recovery at home.</p> <p>Rossi will require medical checks at Mugello on Thursday in order to be given the green light to participate in this weekend&#39;s event.</p> <p>&quot;Unfortunately I crashed while&nbsp;I was training on a motocross bike [and] the pain in the abdomen and in the chest is still severe,&quot; said Rossi.</p> <p>&quot;Fortunately, my condition is improving day by day and this allows&nbsp;me to think a bit more positively about the Mugello weekend.</p> <p>&quot;My desire to be at the start of the Italian GP is so strong and I&#39;m working on recovering as soon as possible. It will not be easy but I still&nbsp;have a few days to continue the treatment.</p> <p>&quot;On Thursday I will have to do the medical check-up to get the OK to go on the track. If all is well, I will ride my YZR-M1 on Friday to really understand my&nbsp;condition. I will do my best to be&nbsp;on track Sunday, for sure.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14787http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14787Valentino Rossi discharged from hospital after training accidentFri, 26 May 2017 18:52:23 GMT<p>Valentino Rossi has been discharged from hospital after he was injured in a training accident on Thursday afternoon.</p> <p>The Yamaha MotoGP rider was hospitalised after he fell from his motocross bike while riding at the Cross Club Cavallara venue in Italy,&nbsp;suffering mild chest&nbsp;and abdominal trauma.</p> <p>Rossi will now continue his recovery at home after getting the all clear from his doctors, with the aim of being fit for next weekend&#39;s Mugello Grand Prix.</p> <p>&quot;Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team&nbsp;rider&nbsp;Valentino Rossi&nbsp;has returned home from the &#39;Ospedale Infermi&#39;&nbsp;in Rimini, having successfully completed routine diagnostic tests that were scheduled earlier this afternoon,&quot; confirmed his team in a statement.</p> <p>&quot;With the attending doctors confirming the findings shared in this morning&rsquo;s medical bulletin, the nine-time World Champion left the hospital at 5.30pm, accompanied by his staff. He will continue the recovery process in his own surroundings.</p> <p>&quot;Yamaha would like to thank the entire staff of the &quot;Ospedale Infermi&quot; for their dedication and professional care over the last 24 hours.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14737http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14737Nicky Hayden succumbs to injuries sustained in cycling crash aged 35Mon, 22 May 2017 16:10:21 GMT<p>2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden has succumbed to the injuries he sustained in a cycling accident last week. He was 35.</p> <p>Hayden was training near the town of Rimini when he collided with a car, and was rushed to hospital in Cesena, where he was diagnosed with severe brain damage, along with chest injuries.</p> <p>Further updates confirmed that Hayden&rsquo;s clinical situation had not improved, with his condition &ldquo;very critical&rdquo; and the hospital announced on Monday afternoon that he passed away as a result of his injuries.</p> <p>His fianc&eacute;e Jackie, mother Rose and brother Tommy were at his side.</p> <p>&quot;On behalf of the whole Hayden family and Nicky&rsquo;s fianc&eacute;e Jackie I would like to thank everyone for their messages of support &ndash; it has been a great comfort to us all knowing that Nicky has touched so many people&rsquo;s lives in such a positive way,&quot; said Tommy Hayden in a statement.</p> <p>&ldquo;Although this is obviously a sad time, we would like everyone to remember Nicky at his happiest &ndash; riding a motorcycle. He dreamed as a kid of being a pro rider and not only achieved that but also managed to reach the pinnacle of his chosen sport in becoming World Champion. We are all so proud of that.</p> <p>&ldquo;Apart from these &lsquo;public&rsquo; memories, we will also have many great and happy memories of Nicky at home in Kentucky, in the heart of the family. We will all miss him terribly.</p> <p>&ldquo;It is also important for us to thank all the hospital staff for their incredible support &ndash; they have been very kind. With the further support of the authorities in the coming days we hope to have Nicky home soon.&quot;</p> <p>Hayden stepped up to MotoGP with Repsol Honda in 2003 and enjoyed a successful period with the outfit, claiming three victories and the 2006 world title, edging Valentino Rossi in a dramatic finale.</p> <p>Hayden never took another win in the premier class but continued to rack up podium finishes, his last coming with Ducati in 2011, having transferred across to the team for 2009.</p> <p>Hayden&rsquo;s final years in MotoGP were spent with Aspar, before he moved back to World Superbikes for 2016, with Honda, returning to the top step of the podium in Malaysia.</p> <p>Hayden also made two appearances in MotoGP last year, substituting for injured riders at Marc VDS and Repsol Honda, reuniting with the team 10 years after his title triumph.</p> <p>Motorsport Week extends its condolences to the family and friends of Hayden.</p> <p>RIP, &lsquo;Kentucky Kid.&rsquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14728http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14728Drama at Le Mans as Maverick Vinales takes championship leadSun, 21 May 2017 17:25:23 GMT<p>Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales won a thrilling Le Mans MotoGP from pole position on Sunday at the famous circuit to take the lead of the championship following last-lap drama, with team-mate Valentino Rossi dramatically sliding out of contention to lose the lead.</p> <p>The headlines came thick and fast, with Johann Zarco (Yamaha Tech 3) taking the lead from Vi&ntilde;ales off the line and the two factory Yamaha machines slotting in behind. The Frenchman held firm at the front in style until Vi&ntilde;ales made his move.</p> <p>As the gap finally began to grow, Rossi pulled the pin from third to overtake the Frenchman and go on the charge. The &lsquo;Doctor&rsquo; reeled his teammate in at the front, passed him, and then looked to escape &ndash; but the two blue machines were set for a spectacular last lap duel.</p> <p>It was the &lsquo;Doctor&rsquo; ahead as that last lap dawned, before an uncharacteristic mistake let Vi&ntilde;ales back through and the number 46 pushed hard to close back in. Close in he did, before the final stroke of drama suddenly found the nine-time World Champion sliding out.</p> <p>Home hero Zarco kept it calm under the huge pressures of the incredible home crowd to then cross the line in second &ndash; with Dani Pedrosa (Honda) completing the podium after an awesome slice through the field.</p> <p>Pedrosa began the race in P13, was seventh after the first few laps and then pushed his way past Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) to set off after the frontrunners &ndash; closing in on Marquez before watching his teammate slide out. Pedrosa, after a magnificent win in Jerez and the drama in Le Mans, is now the man second in the title standings &ndash; only 17 off Vi&ntilde;ales&rsquo; lead.</p> <p>&lsquo;DesmoDovi&rsquo; fought off Crutchlow to take fourth, with the rider from Coventry completing the top five. Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati) took a top six finish to gain an impressive ten places from his difficult grid position, with Jonas Folger (Yamaha Tech 3) in seventh.</p> <p>Jack Miller (Marc VDS), despite a huge crash on Saturday, crossed the line in eighth, ahead of a fantastic home showing for Frenchman Loris Baz (Avintia) in ninth.</p> <p>Andrea Iannone (Suzuki Ecstar) completed the top ten, with Tito Rabat (Marc VDS) in P11 ahead of both Red Bull KTM Factory Racing machines in the points once again. Pol Espargaro bested Bradley Smith by only half a second over the line.</p> <p>Sam Lowes (Aprilia) took his first points in P14, with Alex Rins&rsquo; injury replacement Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki Ecstar) scoring a point in fifteenth.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14717http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14717Maverick Vinales on pole for Le Mans as Johann Zarco secures front-row startSat, 20 May 2017 16:46:02 GMT<p>The legendary Le Mans circuit sizzled with excitement after two superb MotoGP qualifying sessions for the HJC French Grand Prix on Saturday.</p> <p>Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales took a stunning pole position ahead of Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi, a tenth splitting the pair, whilst local hero Johann Zarco stunned to snatch third at the last second from LCR Honda&#39;s Cal Crutchlow.</p> <p>The front-row start is Zarco&#39;s first since his promotion to MotoGP and probably not his last as he continues to impress.</p> <p>Lining up alongside Crutchlow will be Honda&#39;s Marc Marquez and Ducati&#39;s Andrea Dovizioso as the top six were covered by less than eight-tenths.</p> <p>Scott Redding will start P7 despite a heavy crash during third practice with KTM&#39;s Pol Espargaro giving the Austrian factory their best ever qualifying to date in P8 &ndash; an awesome achievement in their first season, and with team-mate Bradley Smith also in the Q2 shootout and lining up in tenth.</p> <p>Splitting the two KTM&#39;s is Karel Abraham for Aspar with Jack Miller (Marc VDS) and home favourite Loris Baz (Avintia) completing the top twelve.</p> <p>Jerez winner Dani Pedrosa starts a disappointing&nbsp;P13, ahead of Alvaro Bautista and Jonas Folger to lock out the fastest fifteen. Le Mans&rsquo; most successful premier class rider on the grid, Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) faces a fight back on Sunday from sixteenth.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14699http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14699Johann Zarco retained by Tech3 for 2018 MotoGP seasonThu, 18 May 2017 19:46:49 GMT<p>Johann Zarco has been retained for the 2018 MotoGP season by Tech3 Yamaha, the team has announced.</p> <p>The French rider has had an impressive start to his rookie MotoGP season and is sixth in the championship after four rounds.</p> <p>After crashing out of the lead on his debut in Qatar, Zarco bounced back with fifth place in Argentina and America before finishing fourth at Jerez.</p> <p>The 26-year-old has now secured a ride for his second season in MotoGP, remaining with the Tech3 outfit.</p> <p>&ldquo;I am very happy to know that I will continue my MotoGP experience with Tech3 in 2018,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;At the moment, I am enjoying an amazing debut in this category where I have learned a huge amount, and the team have now given me the confidence for next year, which is just fantastic.</p> <p>&ldquo;I am very happy but this is only the beginning and I will keep learning and growing so that I can regularly fight for podiums, and then once I am at this level, I plan to continue in this way for as long as possible.</p> <p>&ldquo;In 2018, the rules won&rsquo;t change and I will have an entire year of experience so this will certainly help me to get to the top.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14698http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14698Hayden suffers 'severe brain damage' in accidentThu, 18 May 2017 15:39:57 GMT<p>MotoGP officials have confirmed that 2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden has suffered severe brain damage, following a cycling incident in Italy on Wednesday.</p> <p>Hayden was out training, following last weekend&rsquo;s Superbike World Championship round, when he was struck by a car along the Adriatic coast.</p> <p>Emergency services were swiftly on the scene and Hayden was transported to a local medical facility, before being transferred to the Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena.</p> <p>Hayden&#39;s Honda team confirmed on Thursday that he was in an Intensive Care Unit, though no further updates on his condition were issued.</p> <p>A further bulletin on Thursday afternoon followed, issued by the hospital, which read: &quot;Nicky Hayden&rsquo;s clinical condition remains extremely critical.</p> <p>&quot;The young man, who is still in the intensive care unit of Cesena&rsquo;s Bufalini hospital, has suffered a serious polytrauma with subsequent serious cerebral damage. The prognosis remains reserved.&quot;</p> <p>Hayden&#39;s close family have travelled from the United States to be by his bed side.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14689http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14689Former MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden in 'serious condition' after cycling crashWed, 17 May 2017 18:50:54 GMT<p>Former MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden has reportedly been involved in a serious road traffic accident whilst out training with friends&nbsp;in&nbsp;<font><font>Rimini, Italy.</font></font></p> <p>The&nbsp;Honda World Superbike factory rider was cycling with friends when a car is said to have struck him, causing him to hit the bonnet and windscreen at high speed, before landing on the road.</p> <p>The accident happened on Wednesday afternoon, with the American rider, 35, rushed to a local hospital in Rimini with reported chest and head injuries. Some reports, although unverified, claim his injuries to be severe and requiring an immediate transfer to&nbsp;<font><font>Bufalini hospital in Cesena for immediate surgery.</font></font></p> <p><font><font>Photos from the scene of the incident show a black Peugeot 206 with a smashed windscreen and a photo of Hayden&#39;s heavily damaged bicycle.</font></font></p> <p>His WSBK team sent their best wishes to Hayden via Twitter and called for patience.</p> <p>&quot;Thank you to all Nicky&rsquo;s fans for your support after his accident,&quot; the team posted.&nbsp;&quot;He&rsquo;s receiving medical attention in Italy, and we must now be patient...</p> <p>&quot;The medical teams are working hard, and we will provide updates as soon as they are available. All we can confirm is that Nicky was involved in an incident while cycling and&nbsp;has been transferred to a hospital near Rimini for treatment.&quot;</p> <p>Update: <font><font>Bufalini have released the following update on Hayden&#39;s condition:&nbsp;</font></font>&quot;The rider is in very serious condition and has now been moved to&nbsp;intensive care.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14686http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14686Pedrosa heads to France in 'very positive mood' after Jerez winWed, 17 May 2017 12:46:51 GMT<p>Honda rider Dani Pedrosa says he heads to Le Mans for the French Grand Prix in a &ldquo;very positive mood&rdquo; after his victory last time out at Jerez.</p> <p>The Spaniard converted pole position into victory at the Andalusian venue at MotoGP&rsquo;s 3,000th race, ahead of his Honda team-mate Marc M&aacute;rquez.</p> <p>Pedrosa is fourth in the championship, the result bringing him within 10 points of leader Valentino Rossi &ndash; with Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales and M&aacute;rquez between them.</p> <p>After such a positive result at Jerez, Pedrosa is feeling hopeful Honda can keep up the positive momentum in France.</p> <p>&ldquo;After a great weekend in Jerez we now head to Le Mans in a very positive mood,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;The French GP is always challenging.</p> <p>&ldquo;To begin with the weather is usually quite changeable which makes it difficult to find rhythm in the practice sessions or to plan how to improve run by run as it may be too cold or the total opposite, very hot.</p> <p>&ldquo;The track itself is very short and the smallest differences in the lap times can make a great difference in the standings.</p> <p>&ldquo;I hope the bike works well on the new asphalt. You need good acceleration and good braking, but consistency is the real key.</p> <p>&ldquo;We are working well with the team and we&rsquo;ll try to maintain the same level also there.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14669http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14669Johann Zarco hoping to fight for a podium at home raceTue, 16 May 2017 09:36:13 GMT<p>Yamaha Tech3 rider Johann Zarco is cautiously optimistic he can fight for a podium at the next MotoGP round in France.</p> <p>He heads to his home race this weekend as the top rookie in the standings after four rounds, having come close to the top three before.</p> <p>Zarco finished the last race at Jerez in fourth place and is looking to build on his positive start to the season at his home race.</p> <p>The French Grand Prix takes place at the Bugatti Circuit in Le Mans and Zarco is hopeful he can challenge for a podium in front of his home crowd.</p> <p>&ldquo;The French Grand Prix is coming up and for sure, it will be a very interesting weekend,&rdquo; he explained.</p> <p>&ldquo;I am excited about racing in my home country because the beginning of this season has been superb so far in MotoGP with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team.</p> <p>&ldquo;As a result, I think that the French fans are waiting for me and for this event. There is some pressure but I tried to manage it at home, in the week before the GP, where I rested and saved the positive energy.</p> <p>&ldquo;The first three venues that we have visited this year are much bigger than Le Mans, but the Bugatti circuit is small like the Jerez track.</p> <p>&ldquo;In addition, I have the advantage of knowing that because I had a good feeling in Spain, I can have a great feeling in France.</p> <p>&ldquo;I will fight for the best position and possibly even a top three because I am always getting closer and closer to the rostrum, which is the main target.</p> <p>&ldquo;I aim to have a strong race and then fight for the podium to make the Tech3 team, myself and all the French fans happy.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14563http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14563Dani Pedrosa eases to victory in Jerez as MotoGP celebrates 3,000th raceSun, 07 May 2017 13:49:56 GMT<p>Honda&#39;s Dani Pedrosa converted his first pole position since 2015 into victory at his&nbsp;home race in Jerez, storming away from the grid&nbsp;and never looking back until the chequered flag fell on the Spanish Grand Prix - the 3,000th race of the MotoGP World Championship.</p> <p>Pedrosa&#39;s Honda team-mate and reigning champion Marc Marquez made inroads in the points battle in second, ahead of a stunning home ride from five-time&nbsp;champion Jorge Lorenzo for Ducati. The top three were split by 14 seconds as they crossed the line.</p> <p>The race began with a strong start for Pedrosa with Marquez slotting in behind and a tussle over third, with LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow and Yamaha Tech 3&#39;s Johann Zarco pushing&nbsp;championship leader Valentino Rossi.</p> <p>It was Zarco however that won out. The rookie claiming fourth place ahead of Andrea Dovizioso, but it wasn&#39;t without difficulty as he fought with both&nbsp;Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales and Jorge Lorenzo for the spot throughout the latter stages of the race.</p> <p>Drama struck further back as Marc VDS rider Jack Miller and Aspar&#39;s Alvaro Bautista collided and slid out, before Crutchlow then lowsided into the gravel at Criville &ndash; followed shortly by the KTM of Pol Espargaro. After a short tousle with Vi&ntilde;ales, Andrea Iannone also tumbled out, with 17 laps to go.</p> <p>The gap fluctuated at the front but Marquez was unable to make any real impression on Pedrosa&rsquo;s lead, with the three-time world champion pulling the pin in the final laps to cross the line in clear air for another stunning win &ndash; making it 16 years in a row the Spaniard has taken at least one victory in the world championship.</p> <p>Lorenzo had an incredible race on home soil for a first podium with Ducati, moving past Zarco after a positive weekend all round and pulling away to jubilation for the &lsquo;Spartan&rsquo; as he pulled into parc ferme.</p> <p>Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) stormed back through from P13 on the grid to follow Vi&ntilde;ales over the line to claim seventh, with Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) solid once again in the top ten to take eighth.</p> <p>Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was another who moved through the field, incredibly taking 2016 Jerez winner and championship leader Valentino Rossi for ninth. The &lsquo;Doctor&rsquo; found his pace in freefall in the latter laps of the race, struggling with tyre life in the hot temperatures to complete the top ten &ndash; but retain the championship lead.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14555http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14555Honda's Dani Pedrosa grabs stunning Jerez MotoGP pole positionSat, 06 May 2017 13:24:47 GMT<p>Honda&#39;s Dani Pedrosa took an incredible pole position in qualifying for the Grand Prix of Spain in Jerez, going to the top in a last dash lap as team-mate Marc Marquez was unable to depose him on his last lap.</p> <p>Pedrosa was fastest on Friday and on Saturday in FP3, on the charge at his first home race of the year. Behind Marquez is LCR Honda&#39;s Crutchlow completing the front row in a Honda 1-2-3.</p> <p>Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales took fourth to head up the second row ahead of Q1 graduate and comeback king Andrea Iannone for Suzuki Ecstar with rookie Johann Zarco sixth for Yamaha Tech 3.</p> <p>Fourteen world titles start the Spanish GP from the third row, with championship leader Valentino Rossi in seventh just ahead of Ducati Team&rsquo;s Jorge Lorenzo only 0.002 back, as the &#39;Spartan&#39; had a good day&#39;s work on Saturday, back up the timesheets in his home race. Jonas Folger is ninth in another solid result for the German rookie.</p> <p>Marc VDS rider Jack Miller backed up his Friday pace with direct entry to Q2 and a top ten start despite a crash, with Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing) in eleventh and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) in P12 after graduating from Q1. The rider from Granollers was another crasher in the Q2 session.</p> <p>Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) starts P13 from Q1, ahead of Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and a stunning display from Red Bull KTM Factory Racing&rsquo;s Pol Espargaro to complete the top fifteen, just ahead of team-mate Bradley Smith.</p> <p>The lights go out for the incredible Spanish GP at Jerez on Sunday at 14:00 (GMT +2) &ndash; with Pedrosa on pole for the first time since Sepang 2015.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14451http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14451Suzuki debutant Tsuda to replace injured Rins at JerezThu, 27 Apr 2017 15:09:26 GMT<p>Suzuki has confirmed that test rider Takuya Tsuda will make his MotoGP debut at Jerez, with &Aacute;lex Rins ruled out through injury.</p> <p>Rins fell during practice for the Grand Prix of the Americas and sustained fractures to his left wrist and forearm, before undergoing surgery in Barcelona today (Thursday).</p> <p>The broken bones in Rins&rsquo; forearm and the wrist were fixed in place by two titanium plates, with further tests revealing that he also suffered an injury to his ulnar nerve, which will be re-evaluated in a couple of weeks.</p> <p>Rins&rsquo; active rehabilitation will not start for another 10 days, with doctors estimating that he will not be able to return to track action for at least six to eight weeks.</p> <p>The time frame involved suggests Rins may miss several rounds, with France (21 May), Italy (4 June) and Barcelona (11 June) all holding races within the indicated recovery period.</p> <p>For Jerez, Suzuki has entrusted riding duties to tester Tsuda, who participated in pre-season group running at Sepang earlier this year.</p> <p>&ldquo;We are very happy that Alex surgery went well,&rdquo; said team boss Davide Brivio.</p> <p>&ldquo;Starting now he is facing a recovery period, but we are awaiting his comeback to 100% and we will be eager to have him back on our GSX-RR so he can display all the talent he has inside.</p> <p>&ldquo;Meanwhile, unfortunately, we have to replace him. And for Jerez we decided to give his bike to Takuya Tsuda, our test rider who will have his first opportunity to get real race experience.</p> <p>&ldquo;We will try to use the occasion to further the development of the bike.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14427http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14427Marc Marquez ‘back in the championship’ battle with COTA winTue, 25 Apr 2017 10:35:16 GMT<p>Honda rider Marc M&aacute;rquez says he is &ldquo;back in the championship&rdquo; fight after taking his fifth consecutive Grand Prix of the Americas victory.</p> <p>The Spaniard stormed to pole position at the Circuit of the Americas, before eventually moving ahead of his fast-starting team-mate Dani Pedrosa.</p> <p>Reigning MotoGP champion M&aacute;rquez entered the weekend 37 points adrift of championship leader Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales, having crashed out of the lead at the preceding round in Agrentina.</p> <p>However, the victory at COTA now moves him to within 18 points of new title leader Valentino Rossi, and he was quick to stress the importance of the win.</p> <p>&ldquo;This was a crucial race because after Argentina it was important to come back in the best way, so we are really happy with this result,&quot; he explained.</p> <p>&ldquo;Although I won, it was difficult, because the temperature was much higher than on Saturday.</p> <p>&ldquo;Five minutes before the start, I said to my chief mechanic, &#39;OK, let&#39;s use the hard tyre&#39;, because I knew that I would push the medium front tyre a lot.</p> <p>&ldquo;In the beginning, I was just trying to understand the limit because I hadn&#39;t tried it a lot on Friday.</p> <p>&ldquo;I was behind Dani and when I saw that he was struggling a little bit and Valentino was challenging, I said &#39;time to attack&#39;.</p> <p>&ldquo;I was able to win, and I&#39;m happy to be back in the championship.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14420http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14420Valentino Rossi: Championship lead 'a great surprise'Mon, 24 Apr 2017 13:33:44 GMT<p>Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi says it is &ldquo;a great surprise&rdquo; that he finds himself leading the MotoGP standings after three rounds.</p> <p>The Italian struggled during pre-season testing but has finished on the podium at all three races completed so far.</p> <p>With his third in Qatar and runner-up results in Argentina and the USA, Rossi now finds himself in the championship lead with 56 points, six clear of his new team-mate Maverick Vi&ntilde;ales.</p> <p>&quot;It was a great surprise for me and for the team because we were struggling very much with the new bike, especially during the winter,&quot; he explained.<br /> <br /> &quot;I think we need more time to understand the setting and the way to ride it, but at the end this bike is very good, especially in the race and with the used tyres.<br /> <br /> &quot;I&#39;m so happy [about the race], because I wasn&#39;t so far from the front and it&#39;s also the best result of my career at this track, so it&#39;s good.</p> <p>Rossi was awarded an unusual 0.3-second penalty at the Circuit of the Americas after cutting the track in avoidance of Johann Zarco, who was trying to make a move.</p> <p>The stewards deemed Rossi gained an advantage and he was penalised. He said: &ldquo;For me the penalty wasn&rsquo;t right.</p> <p>&ldquo;The problem is we either do it like this, or we crash together at a very dangerous point. But for me, though accepting Race Direction&rsquo;s decision, the mistake was made by Zarco.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14413http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14413Marc Marquez claims fifth consecutive GP of Americas victoryMon, 24 Apr 2017 04:29:42 GMT<p>Honda&#39;s Marc Marquez claims victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas as Maverick&nbsp;Vi&ntilde;ales crashes out and Valentino Rossi takes championship lead.</p> <p>Marquez initially fought it out with team-mate Dani Pedrosa for victory, before being able to break clear in the latter laps of the race to take his stunning fifth win in a row in Austin &ndash; his 11th straight win on US soil in an incredible statistic. Yamaha&#39;s Rossi then put on a late charge to take second, with Pedrosa completing the podium &ndash; and former Championship leader Vi&ntilde;ales crashing out early on.</p> <p>Off the line it was an absolutely stunning swoop around the outside for Pedrosa from the second row to lead &ndash; old habits die hard - as the Spaniard overtook teammate and polesitter Marc Marquez to lead through Turn 1, with Rossi tucked in behind the two Repsol Honda machines.</p> <p>Ducati&#39;s Jorge Lorenzo got a great launch from P6 to overtake Vi&ntilde;ales, and the two men dueled it out until Yamaha Tech 3&#39;s Johann Zarco&nbsp;got into the action and followed Vi&ntilde;ales past the Mallorcan &ndash; before the drama struck.</p> <p>After two wins from two in the first races of the season, Vi&ntilde;ales then suddenly slid out of contention at Turn 18 &ndash; lowsiding safely, but out of the fight for victory and taking home a 0 for the first time since Argentina 2016.</p> <p>Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) had moved up from his P9 on the grid to take the factory Ducati duo for fifth behind rookie sensation Johann Zarco (Yamaha Tech 3), with Andrea Dovizioso getting the best of Lorenzo to move into sixth.</p> <p>A moment between Zarco and Rossi then saw the &lsquo;Doctor&rsquo; taking to the run off as the rookie attempted a move, rejoining a little further ahead and subsequently receiving a 0.3 second penalty for time gained, to be applied at the end of the race.</p> <p>It was then the Repsol Hondas&rsquo; time to duel, as Marquez and Pedrosa diced for the lead and the number 93 was able to begin pulling away with 13 laps to go.</p> <p>As the last laps approached, Crutchlow dueled Zarco for fourth to come home top Independent Team rider eahead of the rookie, as Rossi struck against Pedrosa to take third. Andrea Iannone (Suzuki Ecstar) also got in some late action, making it past Lorenzo and the Italian crossing the line for his first points haul of the season in P7.</p> <p>Danilo Petrucci (Pramac) also made it past a Lorenzo struggling with grip to take eighth, with the five-time World Champion crossing the line in P9, as Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller just beat rookie Jonas Folger (Yamaha Tech 3) to complete the top ten - fulfilling his goal for 2017 in the first three races of the season.</p> <p>Second Pramac rider Scott Redding came home in P12, with Tito Rabat (Marc VDS) scoring points once again ahead of Hector Barbera (Avintia) and Alvaro Bautista (Aspar).</p> <p>Bautista had crashed at around half distance but rejoined to score the point, with teammate Karel Abraham leaving Texas with a DNF alongside Red Bull KTM Factory Racing&rsquo;s Pol Espargaro after a mechanical problem. Aprilia Racing Team Gresini&rsquo;s Sam Lowes and Loris Baz (Avintia) also crashed out, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) pulling into the pits before rejoining to get more track time &ndash; crossing the line in P17 behind Bradley Smith (KTM).</p> <p>Next stop: Jerez. Last year, Valentino Rossi took a scorching win on &lsquo;enemy&rsquo; soil in Spain, and the paddock now makes the journey to the classic venue as we return to Europe. And who leads the Championship?</p> <p>The &lsquo;Doctor&rsquo;, six points clear and back on familiar, successful hunting ground&hellip;</p> <p><a href="http://www.motogp.com/en/Results+Statistics/2017/AME/MotoGP/RAC">For full race results, click here.</a></p> 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>