November 8th, 2014
Press releases from the MotoGP teams, Bridgestone and Dorna after the final qualifying session of the year at Valencia:
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at Valencia:
MotoGP looks set to head to Austria from 2016. Today, Red Bull co-founder Dieter Mateschitz and Dorna reached an agreement to host an Austrian round of the series at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. The agreement is merely preliminary, and subject to the track gaining FIM homologating the track and granting it a license to stage a MotoGP race.
The Red Bull Ring - previously known as the A1 Ring, before being bought by Mateschitz - has been upgraded and this year hosted both a round of Formula 1 and a round of the Red Bull Air Race. It was also the scene of the last Austrian Grand Prix, held back in 1997. The race was dropped after that year due to poor spectator attendance.
Now, with increased visibility of the series, and especially increased involvement by Red Bull in MotoGP, stepping up sponsorship, the prospect is more attractive for both the organizers and Dorna. The inclusion of Austria from 2016 makes it almost certain that at least one Spanish round, and possibly Misano, could be dropped from the MotoGP schedule. Thailand looks a firm favorite to also host a round of MotoGP in 2016, and talks are continuing with Chile as well.
With the prospect of Alex Marquez wrapping up the Moto3 title at Valencia, Honda issued a press release looking back at the history of brothers in racing:
MotoGP BROTHERS IN ARMS: A SIBLING HISTORY
Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) has the chance to make history on Sunday by joining his brother Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) as a World Champion. Never before have two brothers won World Championships in motorcycle Grand Prix racing.
The super-successful siblings have already made history this season: at June's Catalan Grand Prix they became the first brothers to win Grand Prix races on the same day, Alex taking the Moto3 flag a few hours before Marc climbed the top step of the MotoGP podium.
Of course, the Marquez brothers are not the only siblings racing in MotoGP: Aleix and Pol Espargaro race each other in the premier class and there's a long history of motorcycle-mad brothers racing in Grand Prix racing.
If one day either the Espargaro or Marquez brothers climb onto a MotoGP podium together, they won't be the first to do so. That honour went to Argentinean riders Juan and Eduardo Salatino who finished second and third on their Nortons in the locally dominated 1962 Argentine 500 Grand Prix.
Full Recap and Results Below.
Full Recap and Results Below.
Marc Marquez has topped the time sheets following MotoGP FP4 at Valencia, the World Champion has lead the way for all four practice sessions so far and looks in ominous form heading into Qualifying later this afternoon and onto race day. Fellow Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa claimed second place and was less than a tenth behind Marquez, Pedrosa has had more victories at the Valencia circuit than any of the current premier class riders and will be one to watch come Sunday.
Andrea Iannone continued his strong return from injury to take fourth spot ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Cal Crutchlow. Andrea Dovizioso made it three Ducati's in the top six as he edged out his countryman Valentino Rossi and Aleix Espargaro. Former Moto2 combatants Stefan Bradl and Bradley Smith rounded out the top ten positions at the conclusion of the 'race rehearsal' session.
Full Recap and Results Below.
Tito Rabat has topped the third Moto2 Free Practice session at his home track in Valencia, the recently crowned World Champion returned to familiar metronomic form to post several runs of impressively quick laps, going faster and faster as the session unfolded. He eventually topped the time sheets with a lap of 1:35.156, this put him a tenth quicker than his Marc VDS team mate Mika Kallio and a further tenth ahead of Friday pace-setter Johan Zarco.
Thomas Luthi and Sandro Cortese claimed fourth and fifth places respectively ahead of Maverick Vinales and Jonas Folger. The Italian duo of Franco Morbidelli and Lorenzo Baldassarri posted the eighth and ninth quickest times while home town hero Jordi Torres rounded out the top ten aboard his Suter.
Marc Marquez has handled cool and cloudy conditions at Valencia to lead the field following MotoGP FP3, the World Champion was the first rider to break into the 1:30 bracket and posted a leading time of 1:30.950. He was also the first rider to crash for the weekend, suffering a gentle front end lose at turn five. Tech 3 Yamaha rider Pol Espargaro claimed an impressive second place a tenth behind and edged out countryman Jorge Lorenzo who made it a Spanish top three. The factory Ducati pairing of a rejuvenated Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso completed the top five.
Dani Pedrosa had to be satisfied with sixth place and being three tenths shy of his team mate Marquez and he edged out Valentino Rossi and Aleix Espargaro. The British duo of Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith completed the top ten and were the last of the riders to automatically qualify for Q2 later this afternoon. Stefan Bradl ended in eleventh place and will have to make his way through Q1, the German could consider himself unlucky being only half a second slower than the quickest lap time by Marquez and three hundredths behind Smith. The likes of Hernandez, Bautista, Pirro and Barbera will join Bradl and also do their best to also make it through to Q2 later today.
Chilly morning conditions greeted the Moto3 riders at Valencia as the air temperature sat at a brisk fifteen degrees, the track temperature was a degree warmer. Australian Jack Miller excelled in the cooler conditions and topped the session with a time of 1:39.068, his time was six tenths quicker than Niccolo Antonelli managed yesterday. Miller was also consistent - the Championship contender improved his lap time regularly throughout, one run in particular saw three consecutive scorching laps.
Rookie rider Juanfran Guevara continued his impressive second half of the season to post the second quickest time less than a tenth behind Miller. He finished ahead of John McPhee, Isaac Vinales and Championship leader Alex Marquez who was three tenths shy of the fastest time. Husqvarna rider Niklas Ajo claimed sixth spot and was followed by Romano Fenati and Alex Rins. Jorge Navarro guided his Kalex KTM machine to ninth place ahead of his countryman Efren Vazquez who rounded out the top ten.
2014 Valencia Friday MotoGP Round Up: New Bikes, New Collaborations, And A Well-Structured Talent Pipeline
Valencia is always an incredibly busy weekend. The last race of the year means a chance to look back at the season which almost past, and the last chance before the winter break to present projects for next season in front of a large audience, or at least, a large press group. As a journalist, you can end up running around the paddock like a headless chicken, sprinting from event to event with no clear idea of what you are doing and with each new event wiping the memory of the last from your mind.
A selection of the events this weekend: A press conference organized by Dorna featuring the principals from the three factories in MotoGP, to look back over the season and review the future of the sport and how it is promoted (interesting, but long-winded). The presentation of Tech 3's new Tech 3 Classics project, which will see Tech 3 engineers restoring classic racing motorcycles for the general public (mercifully brief, but with some stunning old machinery on display). The presentation of the CIP Moto3 team for next year, with Remy Gardner, son of former 500cc world champion Wayne, to contest his first full Grand Prix season. A farewell to Colin Edwards, organized by the Forward Racing team. The introduction of the collaboration project between Monlau, Marc VDS Racing and Estrella Galicia which will see them racing in all three Grand Prix categories, the Spanish CEV championship and the Pre-GP class in Spain (revolutionary, poetic, and in three languages).
It is enough to make you forget about the fact that there are bikes out on track preparing for the last races of the season on Sunday. That is, after all, the actual raison d'etre of the Grand Prix paddock, and the reason we are gathered here in the first place. Even there, new projects were on track distracting the focus from Sunday, offering a glimpse of the bikes which will feature next year. Suzuki is at Valencia for a wildcard appearance, the first time the new GSX-RR has raced ahead of the factory's return to MotoGP. And Hiroshi Aoyama has been handed the Honda RC213V-RS, Honda's new Open class bike for 2015, much to the chagrin of Scott Redding, who is battling with Aoyama for the top Open Honda slot this season.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after the first day of practice at Valencia:
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after practice on Friday at Valencia: