Posts Tagged ‘motogp’
At the end of the 2012 MotoGP season seven-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi will leave Ducati for a two year deal to partner Jorge Lorenzo at Yamaha. At 33, Rossi has been world champion nine times, seven in the premier class, with four of his championship victories at Yamaha after he joined the outfit in 2004. Leaving Yamaha at the end of 2010, Rossi signed a two year contract with Ducati. However, the dream of pairing up Italy’s best-known rider with Italy’s top team turned into a nightmare and he finished seventh on an uncompetitive bike in 2011. The 2012 season has just been bad as he currently sits in eight. There were a number of reason why Rossi left Yamaha but the most public reason was he felt having two very strong riders in one team did not work. His then Yamaha team mate was 2010 champion and current championship leader Lorenzo but the Italian will now return to the same arrangement. Spaniard Lorenzo has ridden for Yamaha since 2008 and leads the current championship by 23 points after 10 races of the 18-race season. Rossi has secured just one podium finish all season. “In June, we were able to sign Jorge Lorenzo for the 2013-14 campaign and now we are able to confirm Valentino Rossi for the next two years,” Yamaha Motor Racing managing director Lin Jarvis said in a statement. “We have run this ‘super team’ together in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and during that time we achieved the triple crown titles with Rider, Manufacturer and Team World Championship victories for three consecutive years.” “I have no doubt that with the experience, knowledge, skills and speed of these two great champion riders we will be able to challenge for many race wins and for the 2013 and 2014 World Championship titles.” Ducati said they were in the process of finalising their 2013 championship line-up having recently renewed their agreement with American Nicky Hayden and it seems we will need to wait and for the next rider change in this premature silly season.
On the eve of the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Laguna Seca the pre-race press conference had an extra edition when Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies, joined championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, Casey Stoner, Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards. Spies was there to confirm that he will be leaving the Yamaha team at the end of the 2012 season but has remained tight-lipped on his plans for 2013. This has subsequently sent the so-called “silly season” into overdrive with regards to riders’ contracts, especially with Ducati Team’s Rossi considering his future options for next year. Spies, speaking ahead of the first race in the stateside double header, had leaked snippets of information earlier in the week about his plans to leave the Japanese racing outfit. “I’ve known for quite a bit what my personal decision was and I thought this was the right time to do it with all the contracts happening with other riders,” said Spies. “There’s a litany of reasons behind it – just getting back to stress-free and doing what I want to do and finish out the season strong. That’s all that’s going to be said about it at this point until I’m ready to talk about the future. It’s not going to change anything. “For sure, especially at Laguna we’re going to give 100 per cent and we want to do what we’re capable of doing and what the bike’s capable of doing for the team. Nothing changes from that standpoint. I just made a decision, and wanted to get it off my chest and out of the way. Now that we’ve done that now I feel like the weight of the world is off my shoulders and I can do what I set out to do.” Since the American’s earlier announcements, Rossi, a previous Yamaha rider, has had the rumour mill turning at ever-greater speed, as speculation over his future in 2013 mounts. “The situation is quite clear,” said Rossi. “I still haven’t decided, as it is a bit too early. I have spoken a lot with Ducati about next year, but still waiting for some important ties and some important things on the contract. And I also have some other options for next year.”
The Iveco TT Assen provided three exciting races this Saturday, as Repsol Honda Team’s Casey Stoner took victory in an incident-packed premier-class race, holding off the challenge from teammate Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso. The race started with high drama as San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista took out Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo in the first corner, putting an end to both their challenges. Bautista was subsequently penalized for riding in an irresponsible manner, causing danger to Lorenzo, with Race Direction ruling that the San Carlo rider will start from last spot on the grid at the Sachsenring. An appeal was lodged by his team, but the FIM Stewards confirmed the decision of Race Direction, thus making it final. This is the second year in a row that Lorenzo has been taken out by another rider at the Dutch circuit. Following the incident, the Repsol Honda Team pair of Pedrosa and Stoner were left to lead the race at the start, with Lorenzo’s teammate Ben Spies in pursuit. Two laps in it was heartbreak as well for LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl as he crashed out of fourth, making this the first race he has not finished in his rookie season. As the Hondas started to pull out a small margin, the crashes continued at the back as Avintia Blusens’ Yonny Hernandez ended his race in the gravel. With 19 laps to go Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso went past Spies into third as the pair diced for the final podium position. Dovizioso’s teammate Cal Crutchlow, who was ninth after taking avoiding action at the start, was having a tricky time trying to pass the Ducatis of Hayden, Valentino Rossi and Pramac Racing Team’s Héctor Barberá, but eventually fought his way past. NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards retired with mechanical issues, putting an end to a difficult weekend, while Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró retired from the race with 11 laps remaining, putting a dent in his top CRT hopes. This was followed up a lap later with Rossi entering the pits with a chunk missing from his rear tyre, which was changed before he re-entered the race. Meanwhile at the front, Stoner made his move on Pedrosa as the Spaniard looked to be struggling. Three laps before the end Dovizioso had caught up to Spies once more as the pair was involved in yet another tussle for the final podium spot. The Italian made his move going into turn 1 on the final lap, and held on until the line. In the end it was Stoner who took the chequered flag to go equal on points at the top of the championship with Lorenzo, as Pedrosa finished second and Dovizioso took yet another podium this year. They were followed by Spies, Crutchlow, Hayden, and Barberá, whilst the CRT contingent benefited from the numerous crashes, with Espargaró’s teammate De Puniet taking eighth, in front of San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Michele Pirro and Speed Master’s Mattia Pasini. Rossi finished in 13th, 0.002 seconds ahead of Paul Bird Motorsport’s James Ellison. Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham did not start the race, as his hand injury proved too severe to race. Season Standings 1 – Jorge LORENZO 140 2 – Casey STONER 140 3 – Dani PEDROSA 121 4 – Cal CRUTCHLOW 77 5 – Andrea DOVIZIOSO 76 6 – Valentino ROSSI 61 7 – Nicky HAYDEN 59 8 – Alvaro BAUTISTA 58 9 – Stefan BRADL 51 10 – Ben SPIES 48
This weekend sees the MotoGP grid descend once again on the Silverstone circuit to fight it out for top honours at the Hertz British Grand Prix, where in the premier-class Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo will be looking to extend his 20 point lead over rival Casey Stoner. Following a gap of 23 years, this is now the third year back at the circuit, which was the first mainland track to host a British motorcycle Grand Prix in 1949, after it was moved away from the Isle of Man TT circuit on safety grounds. Repsol Honda Team’s Stoner enjoyed one of his most dominant victories in the wet at the track last year, yet will no doubt face a stern challenge from Lorenzo, who has won the last two races. Lorenzo, who will have the championship firmly in his sights, could also alter the history books with a win or a podium this weekend, by either equalling Stoner’s 42 wins, or securing his 50th premier-class podium. Sitting third in the championship, Stoner’s teammate Dani Pedrosa should be buoyed by his second place in the last race at Catalunya, yet at the test following the race he voiced his discontent at the new front tyre, which will be used as standard from the British Grand Prix. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso, who is currently leading the chase for fourth over his teammate Cal Crutchlow, is heading into the Silverstone round after picking up his first Yamaha podium at Catalunya. This was the first podium for a satellite team since Colin Edwards achieved the same on a Tech 3 bike at the British track last year. Crutchlow will be hoping for a huge reversal in fortunes from his home race last year, where he broke his collarbone in qualifying and subsequently missed the race. Having shown tremendous form this season so far, and having diced with Stoner at Catalunya, the Brit will be looking to challenge for his first ever GP podium in front of home support. Ducati’s Valentino Rossi maintains that the Desmosedici is improving in the dry, yet would no doubt welcome some wet English weather to help his charge up to the front. He will once again be hotly pursued by San Carlo Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista, who looks to be getting ever more comfortable on his satellite Honda. LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl will no doubt prove a tough challenger however, as the rookie is also showing continual improvement in his maiden premier-class season. Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, who struggled with a numb hand in Catalunya, will be hoping for a strong finish at the British track, and will look to fend off any challenges from Pramac Racing Team’s Héctor Barberá, who was quick in last week’s official tests. Currently sitting in 11th in the championship, Lorenzo’s teammate Ben Spies is once again hoping to get his season on-track, after a costly mistake in Catalunya ended his podium challenge. He was very fast during testing on board his Yamaha, and will no doubt look to put this into practice in the UK. Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham, who is also in need of some solid results, sustained a hand injury during testing, and may be a doubt for the race. Heading the CRT pack is the Power Electronics Aspar pair of Aleix Espargaró and Randy de Puniet, while behind them Speed Master’s Mattia Pasini and San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Michele Pirro will be looking to break their dominance. Paul Bird Motorsport’s James Ellison will aim to put in a good showing in front of his home crowd, while NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards will undoubtedly be looking to rekindle some of his spirit from last year, where he achieved a podium just one week after breaking his collarbone. The CRT field is rounded out by Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci and Avintia Blusens duo Yonny Hernández and Iván Silva.
On a weekend that featured tremendous races in all three MotoGP classes, it was Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo who stormed to victory in the premier-class at the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya in front of his home crowd ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso. After a wet morning warm-up, the field got away in dry conditions and it was Repsol Honda Team’s Pedrosa who got the holeshot from the second row, hotly pursued by Yamaha´s Ben Spies, who also had a tremendous start from fourth. Lorenzo pushed his way past Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner into third, as the whole grid was tightly bunched in the first lap. Within a few corners, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso muscled his way past Stoner, who subsequently ran wide a lap later, also letting through the Italian’s teammate Cal Crutchlow. With 23 laps left, Spies, who looked to have the superior pace over Pedrosa, made a move on the Spaniard, yet ran wide and dropped his bike in the dirt. This put paid to what had been his most promising start to a race this season. With 21 laps remaining, the front five of Pedrosa, Lorenzo, Dovizioso, Crutchlow and Stoner started to pull out a gap to the following group, led by San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista. On the same lap, Avintia Blusens’ Yonny Hernandez ran off track, yet managed to avoid the gravel trap. Two laps later Lorenzo went past Pedrosa on the brakes down the home straight, while Stoner took Crutchlow for fourth shortly after. Further down the field, Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi passed LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl for seventh, and started pursuing Bautista. Spies, who did manage to remount after his crash, had made his way back to 12th at this point. Pedrosa made use of superior drive on the straight with 14 laps left, as he passed Lorenzo in the slipstream, yet could not shake him on the ensuing lap. One lap later, Lorenzo was too late on the brakes into the first turn, letting Dovizioso close the gap once more, and making yet more work for himself to catch his compatriot at the front. Dovizioso had a moment eleven laps before the end, dropping off the pace just briefly, while Crutchlow ran very deep into the first corner in his battle for fourth. Stoner, Pedrosa and Bradl were the only bikes in the top ten with the hard compound rear tyre, yet at the half way point there was no obvious advantage, as Lorenzo, on the softer compound, was slowly closing the gap to the Spanish Repsol Honda rider. With just six laps remaining, Lorenzo was right on the rear wheel of Pedrosa, as the pair were involved in a nail-biting tussle for the lead. It was the Repsol rider who subsequently made a mistake with a big wheelie, which allowed Lorenzo past in the following corner. Behind the pair, Dovizioso, Stoner and Crutchlow were involved in a battle for third, whilst they were followed further down by Bautista and Rossi fighting it out for sixth. With three laps to go, Lorenzo started to open up a small advantage, while Crutchlow was on the back of Stoner’s rear wheel, though was struggling to find a way past. The final lap however, saw the Australian drop the Brit and hunt down Dovizioso. Yet in the end it was Lorenzo who took the chequered flag by over five seconds from Pedrosa, with Dovizioso holding off Stoner to take his first podium this year. The reigning world champion finished fourth, which is the first time he hasn’t stood on the podium since Jerez last year. The top ten were completed by Cal Crutchlow, Álvaro Bautista, Valentino Rossi, Stefan Bradl, Ducati’s Nicky Hayden and Ben Spies. Top CRT honour went to local rider Aleix Espargaró on board his Power Electronics Aspar machine. Lorenzo now has a 20 point lead in the championship over Stoner, with Pedrosa a further ten points behind. 1 Jorge LORENZO – Yamaha 115 2 Casey STONER – Honda 95 3 Dani PEDROSA – Honda 85 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO – Yamaha 60 5 Cal CRUTCHLOW – Yamaha 56 6 Valentino ROSSI – Ducati 51