Posts Tagged ‘motogp’
Up and coming Aussie rider Josh Hook took race two victory at the final round of the Asia Dream Cup over the weekend, at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar. His finishing position of third overall gave him the opportunity to test for a 2013 MotoGP Moto3 wild card ticket. Hook went into the weekend confident on the back of wins in the two rounds prior and started the evening race in P2. Race 1 saw a difficult tussle for the top positions but race 2 presented Hook’s moment to shine. Taking the lead in the second half of the race, Josh Hook finished first, 0.214 seconds ahead of the competition. Speaking after the race, Josh was pleased with his final performance; “I had a few little problems early on but sorted that out and got a good feeling with the bike and new track under new conditions, it was a great experience riding under lights.” Josh went on to say, “What a great way to end the year! A big shout out to Honda Australia for all their support, couldn’t do it without you guys, thanks a lot.” The inaugural Asia Dream Cup has been a learning experience for the contingent of pioneer riders who all competed on Honda CBR250Rs. Josh Hook found his rhythm by round 4 when he took his first win, Hook then collected valuable points and two more wins to finish on a total of 158 securing him third overall. A day after the finale, the top eight Asia Dream Cup riders hit the tarmac again for what could be the biggest break in their racing careers to date; the opportunity to try out for a 2013 MotoGP Moto3 wild card ticket. Results still to be announced. Fellow Australian Josh Pickering who experienced his first venture into road racing, has ridden consistently throughout the Asia Dream Cup ending in 10th position overall.
Anticipation is high for Honda’s expo stand at the Australian Motorcycle Expo in Melbourne on November 23-25, 2012 and for good reason. Honda will be revealing the all-new, learner approved CBR500R and CB500F along with the 2013 CBR600RR and three Special Edition CBR250Rs, a Repsol, Moriwaki and Mugen Edition. Two parts of Honda’s new 500cc trio, the sporty CBR500R and naked CB500F will be joined by the adventurous CB500X in 2013 offering the perfect bridge between the 250cc and the 600cc machines. While sharing their core features the new trio offer three very different riding experiences along with excellent handling, advanced environmental performance, innovative designs and complete convenience. Honda’s Supersports jewel, the CBR600RR has been upgraded with MotoGP-style bodywork and aerodynamics marking ten years since its initial release. Only just announced globally, the 2013 CBR600RR will also make its public debut at the Motorcycle Expo. While the developers aimed for improved racetrack performance, the new CBR600RR boasts new forks, revised rear shock, remapped fuel injection and more and will be thoroughly enjoyed on the road or racetrack. To add even more sizzle to an already exciting line-up, Honda will be revealing Australia’s popular CBR250R sporting Special Edition Moriwaki, Mugen and Repsol livery. These three iconic brands have a history so entrenched in Honda’s history that these Special Edition entry level sports machines are bound to be popular. Joining these never before seen models will be a full representation of Honda’s extensive motorcycle range including a contingent of Championship winning CRFs, including motocross legend Chad Reed’s CRF450R, Ford Dale’s MX2 winning CRF250R and Jacob Smith’s Australasian Safari winning CRF450X. The display will also showcase Honda’s race inspired CBRs, commuter Scooters and hardworking ATVs along with Cruisers, Adventure Tourers, Funbikes and more.
This weekend’s AirAsia Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island was the setting for not only some tremendous races but also the crowing of two World Champions in the shape of Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo in the MotoGP premier-class and Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol’s Marc Márquez in the intermediate Moto2 category. Despite Repsol Honda Team’s local hero Casey Stoner taking a dominant sixth win in succession in his final-ever home race, an error from the Australian’s teammate Dani Pedrosa and second place from Lorenzo was enough for the Mallorcan to be crowned 2012 MotoGP World Champion. It was Lorenzo that got the holeshot into turn one after a lightning start, with Pedrosa close on his tail in front of Stoner. Pedrosa was boisterous from the off and pushed past Lorenzo within a couple of turns as he tried to pull away. Local hero Stoner was soon all over Lorenzo and took him on the home straight heading into lap two. Shortly after there was huge drama as Pedrosa pushed too hard and lost the rear of his bike, with Stoner and Lorenzo closely behind. The Spaniard was able to remount, yet had to pit with the bike too damaged, leaving Lorenzo in a strong position to take the world title. As Stoner pulled away at the front in dominant fashion, an entertaining battle for third ensued being led by Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, followed by teammate Andrea Dovizioso, San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista and LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl. In the meantime, Paul Bird Motorsport’s James Ellison crashed out of the race, while NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards had to retire due to a technical issue. With 18 laps remaining Crutchlow was on a charge as he was lapping faster than Lorenzo, dropping off Dovizioso slightly, who had Bautista stuck to his rear wheel. Behind them, Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi was leading a battle of the Desmosedicis ahead of Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham and Ducati’s Nicky Hayden. Stoner was leading at the front with Lorenzo and lonely second and Crutchlow a lonely third, yet Bautista, Bradl and Dovizioso were at each other’s throat throughout. With eight laps to go Speed Master’s Roberto Rolfo retired with a mechanical issue. Further afield and Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró was tussling with teammate Randy de Puniet in their battle for CRT supremacy, with the two swapping positions frequently. With five laps remaining Dovizioso went past Bradl into fourth, whilst Bautista capitalised on this and also squeezed past the German for fifth. And two laps before the end the trio provided fairing-to-fairing action with Dovizioso leading into the last lap, and keeping this position until the line. Yet ultimately it was Stoner who made it six wins in succession at the Australian track on his final bow at his home circuit, with Lorenzo clinching his second premier-class title with one round to go – the only Spaniard to have more than one. Crutchlow put in a terrific ride as he stormed to his second ever GP podium, despite suffering from illness. Dovizioso was the first non-podium finisher, followed by Bautista, Bradl, Rossi, Hayden, Abraham, as well as Espargaró, who came out on top in the CRT battle with his teammate. The race was a huge draw for the Australian crowd as an estimated 53,100 fans descended on the track on Sunday, making the estimated three-day attendance a record breaking 122,470.
On a race weekend at the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix in Sepang that saw all three classes affected by the elements in one way or another it was Moto3 rider Sandro Cortese that stole the headlines by grabbing his maiden GP title, whilst Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa stunned all with a masterful display in a drenched premier-class race. In a dramatic MotoGP race hit by torrential rain and a raft of crashes, Pedrosa took the win ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner, bringing his title aspirations firmly within reach. It was Yamaha Factory Racing’s Lorenzo who got the holeshot ahead of Pedrosa, while Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi got a good start from 11th to move into fourth within the first lap. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso, who had a bad start, was carving his way through the pack and soon got past Rossi into fourth to chase down Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner in third. Lorenzo, having opted for the softer option wet rear tyre, had a small margin over Pedrosa with 18 laps to go, who had the harder rear tyre. All Yamahas on the grid as well as Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham had opted for the soft-rear, hard-front combination, with all others running with hards front and rear. A lap later however and Pedrosa was breathing down Lorenzo’s neck having closed the gap to a fraction of a second. Further afield Stoner was leading a group, about five seconds off the leading duo, with Dovizioso, Rossi, LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista and Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow. With 12 laps remaining, Pedrosa was continuing to stick to Lorenzo’s rear wheel as the pair looked locked in a stalemate out on track. Further back on the same lap, Yamaha’s Bes Spies suffered a heavy crash out of tenth place, putting a premature end to his race. He was taken to the medical centre to check on a shoulder injury, and was later declared ok. Rossi also dropped from behind Dovizioso back into ninth, as his teammate Hayden fought his way up to fifth. A lap further on and it was drama for Dovizioso as he also slid out of the race, which continued to be pummelled with rain. It was in the final turn of this lap that Pedrosa made a move stick on Lorenzo to take the lead just over the halfway point, and the Repsol rider instantly looked more comfortable in front, pulling a small gap. In the meantime, NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards retired with a mechanical option. As the grid headed into lap nine there were further crashes in the final turn as Crutchlow slid off, followed almost directly in the same place by Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet. It was a crash strewn lap, with Bradl also losing the front of his satellite Honda, and Avintia Blusens’ Iván Silva also crashing out. Back on track Rossi looked in his element as he squeezed past Bautista into fifth. Things were also getting interesting at the front as Lorenzo was being not only dropped off by Pedrosa, but also being closed down by Stoner at a very quick rate. The rain was coming down heavily with 15 laps left, and Lorenzo suffered a very scary moment, where he saved a near crash just seconds before the Red Flag was shown due to safety concerns. After much deliberating as to whether a re-start would be possible, conditions deteriorated, and the win was awarded to Pedrosa, with Lorenzo and Stoner completing the rostrum. This now puts Pedrosa within 23-points, less than one race-win, of title rival Lorenzo, with 50-points still up for grabs in the final two races. Hayden recorded a fantastic fourth, ahead of Rossi, Bautista, Barberá, De Puniet’s teammate Espargaró, Paul Bird Motorsport’s James Ellison and Abraham.
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo was joined by title-rival Dani Pedrosa, the returning Casey Stoner, Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden at the press conference on Thursday marking the start of the AirAsia Grand Prix of Japan at Motegi, which kicks off the busy MotoGP triple-header. Lorenzo, who’s championship lead was cut to 33-points last time out in Aragón, cited the importance of racing with his head as the season nears its finale. “These three races are going to be really important for the championship and for the points, and our goal is to keep in the same line as the whole championship; always trying to fight for pole positions, and for podiums and victories. This is my goal, and if it is possible to win the races I am going to try, and if not then podiums will be OK in the last four races.” Repsol Honda Team’s number one rider, Casey Stoner is returning from injury and will possibly take valuable points away from the front runners. “This is something that you cannot control. If Casey is fast enough he can win, and can take points off both Dani and me,” Lorenzo continued. “One thing we can control is our performance and this is what we will try to control over these races.” “Normally here for Yamaha it is not so simple because we have some difficulties in acceleration, but we have good braking and corner entry, which are our strong points. Last year we made second place and finished not so far from Dani, and this year with the 1000cc we are a bit more competitive so we will try to be even closer.” Repsol Honda’s Pedrosa, who has looked in scorching form recently, knows that he needs to continue this to stake a title claim. “As I have said, it’s important to have fun and enjoy. We are doing good races and it’s good also for the team because we have been doing progressively better during the championship. We are just trying to do the same, to keep focused and to ride well.”