The FIM today issued a revised version of the 2013 MotoGP calendar. The new calendar is only a minor update to the initial calendar issued on September 21st, with only one real change, the switching of the Sachsenring to a week earlier. That move was forced on the FIM, as Formula One had scheduled the Grand Prix of Germany at the Nurburgring for the same date. Holding an F1 race and a MotoGP race in the same country and on the same date was not a viable situation, and so the Sachsenring race was moved.
The other update to the calendar was not a change, but a confirmation. The Grand Prix of the Americas has been confirmed as taking place on April 21st, at the brand new Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. That had been widely expected, but could not be confirmed until contracts were signed. The continuing dispute between the Circuit of the Americas and Kevin Schwantz over the rights to organize the Austin round of MotoGP will not affect the scheduling of the race.
Jonathan Rea On The Difference Between MotoGP And WSBK Electronics: "It Is Such A Huge Part Of MotoGP"
The chance to substitute in the Repsol Honda team for the injured Casey Stoner was a great opportunity for Jonathan Rea to get a feel for a MotoGP bike and demonstrate his talent and potential, objectives in which he succeeded admirably. But it was also a chance for MotoGP journalists to grill the Ulsterman on the differences between various aspects of MotoGP and World Superbikes, Rea having shown he was both fast enough to feel the difference, smart enough to understand the difference and articulate enough to explain it to reporters.
At Aragon, the subject turned to electronics, and the difference between the systems used in the two series. The topic was broached as Rea was explaining what had happened to him during the race. He had got caught up cycling through the various electronics strategies the Honda RC213V is equipped with, looking for one that would help him as the tire wore throughout the race. A lack of dry track time getting to understand how the electronics affected the bike as the tires begin to wear left him confused and struggling to find a setting that would work, Rea told reporters.
Below is the MotoGP calendar for 2013:
2013 MotoGP Provisional Calendar Leaked: 3 US Rounds, 4 Spanish Rounds, 2 Italian Rounds, And Late March Start
The provisional MotoGP calendar has taken a little longer than normal to appear. An initial calendar had been expected at Brno in late August, but no calendar was forthcoming at the Czech Grand Prix. The next rumored date for the calendar to be released was the weekend of the Misano round of MotoGP, but once the paddock assembled at Misano, it became apparent it would emerge a few days later - MotoMatters.com was told by an IRTA representative that the calendar would be announced on Tuesday or Wednesday this week. On Tuesday, the Austin Statesman newspaper reported that the calendar would be out on Friday, but the excessive enthusiasm of Loris Capirossi saw the former racer and current MotoGP safety advisor leak the 2013 calendar on his Twitter page on Thursday night.
Bridgestone issued its customary post-race press release debrief after Misano, in which Bridgestone's chief engineer Masao Azuma discusses how the weather affected the condition of the track and tire choice at Misano:
Misano MotoGP™ debrief with Masao Azuma
Wednesday 19 September 2012
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Hard. Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
This year’s San Marino and Rimini Grand Prix was won by Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo who continued his excellent record at a circuit where he has never finished off the podium in his MotoGP™ career.
Conditions this year at Misano varied considerably over the race weekend. Friday and Saturday were affected by rain and wind, though a change in the weather on Saturday afternoon ensured that qualifying, morning warm up and the race took place in dry conditions. The limited dry running time before Sunday meant tyre choice for the race was the same for every rider on the grid, with the softer rear and harder front slick being selected by all twenty-one riders lining up on the grid.
Ducati Corse director and Ducati's engineering guru Filippo Preziosi was a busy man at Misano. Besides overseeing the race weekend at the circuit and preparing for the test on Monday, Preziosi spent a lot of time talking to a number of journalists. MotoMatters.com was one of the lucky few who were offered ten minutes with Preziosi, and so we jumped at the chance. In the interview, Preziosi covered a number of topics: the Ducati junior team strategy, Ducati's four riders for 2013, the current and expected developments for next season were all among the subjects discussed. Preziosi also talked about the effect of the spec ECU which will be introduced for 2014, and gave the impression he was not necessarily opposed to the idea. Below is what Preziosi had to say to us:
MotoMatters.com: Next year you have the Ducati junior strategy in place. Can you explain how you see that working in terms of development? Will you have four equal riders or two riders who get equipment ahead of the other two?
Filippo Preziosi: I think the main difference between next year and the years before is that we agreed that every development that will be developed by the company will be supplied to the satellite team by default. In the past it was an option that the satellite teams had, but there are some commercial issues, so sometimes they did it, sometimes they didn't. Now we are more close, so when we develop something for our factory team, we want to supply to the satellite teams, if the riders like the changes. So we would like to be as strong as we can.
After the chaos at the start of Sunday's MotoGP race at Misano, it was inevitable that the hunt would be opened for someone to pin the blame on. With so much at stake, especially for Dani Pedrosa and the Repsol Honda team, the finger of blame was bound to get pointed at everyone.
One person who appears to have come under attack from some quarters is Karel Abraham. The Cardion AB rider was the original cause of the first start being called off, when his bike stalled on the grid after the starting lights had already been illuminated. This caused Race Direction to immediately step in and show flashing orange lights, in accordance with the FIM rules, but this happens so incredibly rarely that it caught everyone off guard. In the ensuing panic, Dani Pedrosa's machine had problems with the front wheel, causing the Spaniard to be rolled off the grid, thereby forfeiting the pole position and being forced to start from the back of the grid.
The first Moto2 round held at Misano under its new name, the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, left us a clear idea of Marc Marquez’s intentions to become world champion by the end of this season, before he will join one of the toughest groups of riders ever in the MotoGP class in 2013.
Márquez’s seventh win of the season at Misano last weekend –third in a row- over Pol Espargaró and Andrea Iannone takes the Spaniard further ahead in the point standings with 238, while Espargaró stands second with 185. Iannone is third with 165 points and Luthi fourth with 161. Far behind, the young British rider Scott Redding stands fifth with 115 points.
With five rounds still to go and even Redding still in with a mathematical chances of becoming champion, the 2012 Moto2 season seems to be in Marquez’s hands. In fact, if Márquez wins in Aragon and Japan too, with Espargaró or Iannone finishing second, the Spaniard could even become champion in Malaysia with two rounds still to go. It could happen even earlier: in the case that Márquez wins the next round at Aragon and Espargaró DNFs, the Cataluyna Caixa Suter rider could celebrate his Moto2 world title on the following round at Motegi.
That was a chaotic weekend. Two-and-a-half days lost to rain, then a bizarre series of hold ups and incidents on the start of the MotoGP grid that ended up eventually going a long way to deciding the championship. Fortunately for the series, the MotoGP race was preceded by two scintillating support races, and then the MotoGP race itself saw two very popular podiums.
To start with the biggest issue, the start and then the restart of the MotoGP race. There was a lot of confusion and head-scratching over what was going on - the riders had never seen the flashing amber lights on the starting panels, for one - but when the dust settled, it looked like everything had been run almost by the numbers, despite the protests from Dani Pedrosa's camp.
The sequence events seems to have been this: After the first warm up lap, the riders lined up on the grid ready to go, but after the starting lights had been shown, Karel Abraham had a clutch problem and put his hand up to indicate that his bike was not working. Once that had happened, Race Direction had no option to call off the start. They ran this by the book: flashing yellow lights were displayed next to the red lights, and yellow flags were waved. There was as short an interval as possible, before the bikes set off for the second warm up lap, and race distance was reduced by a single lap.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after Sunday's race at Misano:
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the races at Misano: