Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the first day of practice at Valencia:
The official FIM press release announcing Marc Marquez' penalty for his move on Simone Corsi:
2012 FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix
Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana - Decision of the Race Direction
On Friday 09 November, the Race Direction decided to impose on rider Marc MARQUEZ (SPA) a grid penalty to start from the last position for the race in Valencia on 11 November. Marc MARQUEZ rode in an irresponsible manner during the Moto2 free practice causing danger to rider Simone Corsi (ITA) which is an infringement of the article 1.21.2 of the 2012 FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Regulations.
No appeal was lodged.
The decision of the Race Direction is final.
Marc Marquez has topped the final session of free practice for the Moto2 class, but his afternoon did not pass without incident. In an incident reminiscent of Motegi, the Catalunya Caixa rider crashed into the Simone Corsi, forcing the Italian off the track. As a result of the incident, Marquez was issued a second yellow card, and penalized by being forced to start from the back of the grid in Sunday's race. His team decided not to appeal.
Pol Espargaro ended the session in 2nd, the track having dried sufficiently for the times to drop and the Kalex to come into its own. Espargaro was fractionally behind Marquez, but a couple of tenths ahead of Scott Redding, the Marc VDS Racing man taking 3rd. Andrea Iannone finished the session in 4th, while Johann Zarco grabbed 5th.
Though the skies were clear, the track remained wet for the second session of free practice for the MotoGP class at Valencia. The conditions left a drying line on the racetrack which meant it was once again too wet for slicks, and too dry for wets. That left a large portion of the MotoGP field sat once again in their pit boxes, with five men not even bothering to post a complete lap.
That left the session to the CRT men, who have the most work still to do. Randy De Puniet was the best of them, the Frenchman taking top spot towards the end of practice, though the Aspar man also suffered a problem with his Aprilia ART machine and was forced to park it up at one point. Michele Pirro took 2nd on the San Carlo Gresini FTR Honda, ending the session ahead of a trio of Ducatis, with Nicky Hayden at its head in 4th and Valentino Rossi at the tail, and Karel Abraham providing the filling in the factory Ducati sandwich.
The weather is going to continue to be a factor for the final race of the season, with a dry day predicted for Saturday, but yet more rain on Sunday for the race.
The rain stopped falling before the second session of free practice for the Moto3 class started, leaving the riders to cope with a damp track and a drying line. While Jonas Folger led for the early part of the session, the talented young German was usurped at the end by a group of riders pushing hard late on. British rider John McPhee grabbed top spot at the end, promising much for next season when he joins Racing Team Germany. McPhee was closely shadowed by Jack Miller, coincidentally the young man who will be joining McPhee at RTG next season. Alex Marquez, younger brother of Marc, set the 3rd fastest time, two thirds of a second behind McPhee, and just six thousandths ahead of RW Racing GP rider Brad Binder. After a strong beginning, Jonas Folger was eventually demoted to 5th, just ahead of Maverick Vinales.
Xavier Simeon has seized the opportunity presented by a wet track to audition for a ride for 2013, by topping the first session of free practice for the Moto2 class at Valencia. The Belgian Tech 3 rider jumped to the top of the timesheets at the end of a session which was dominated by strong wet weather riders. Johann Zarco took 2nd spot in FP1, ending four tenths behind Simeon and a tenth ahead of Julian Simon, the Spaniard also finding his feet in the wet. Marc Marquez took 4th, the 2012 Moto2 World Champion consistently fast in the wet, while Gino Rea confirmed his wet-weather credentials by ending in 5th, ahead of Andrea Iannone.
Though the Kalex is widely regarded as the best bike in the dry, the rain does not appear to favor it. Wildcard Dani Rivas was the first of the Kalexes in FP1, finishing in 7th, while Scott Redding was 12th and championship runner up Pol Espargaro ended the session down in 15th.
Nicky Hayden has topped the first session of free practice for the MotoGP class at Valencia. The rain which started falling at the start of the session meant there was enough water on the track for wet tires, and as the last moments of the session ticked away, Hayden jumped ahead of Dani Pedrosa, who had been leading for most of the session. Hayden's lap was impressive, putting over a second between himself and Dani Pedrosa, the Repsol Honda man having to settle for 2nd. Jorge Lorenzo took 3rd spot, nearly half a second behind Pedrosa, and only fractionally ahead of Monster Tech 3 Yamaha's Andrea Dovizioso, while Alvaro Bautista nabbed 5th on the San Carlo Gresini Honda.
Aleix Espargaro used the rain to his advantage, the wet weather rendering the acceleration disadvantage his Aprilia CRT machine has over the factory prototypes irrelevant. Espargaro ended the session a tenth of a second ahead of Valentino Rossi on the second Factory Ducati, while Cal Crutchlow took 8th. Espargaro's Aspar teammate Randy De Puniet was equally fast, setting the 9th time ahead of the retiring World Champion Casey Stoner.
More wet weather is expected throughout the weekend, though the forecast is highly unstable at the moment.
The final MotoGP weekend of the year starts with the weather once again taking center stage at Valencia. Overnight rain has left the track wet, and overcast skies with drops of rain have helped to keep it that way. The tricky track conditions saw Miguel Oliveira make a late charge to just pip Jonas Folger in the final minutes of the Moto3 FP1 session and take top spot ahead of the German. Luis Salom grabbed 3rd, a third of a second behind Oliveira, while Efren Vazquez set the 5th fastest time, ahead of Jack Miller, the Australian impressing in the wet.
2012 Valencia MotoGP Thursday Round Up: Of Anticipation, Determination, Preparation, And New Rules For 2014
The atmosphere in the paddock at Valencia is an odd mixture of fatigue, excitement and anticipation. Fatigue, because it is the end of a long season, and the teams and riders are barely recovered from the three back-to-back flyaway rounds; excitement, because this is the last race of the year, and the last chance to shine, and for some, the last chance to impress a team sufficiently to secure a ride next year; and anticipation, because with so many riders switching brands and classes, they are already thinking about the test to come on Tuesday.
Or in Casey Stoner's case, thinking about a future outside of MotoGP. As his departure from the championship grows near, it is clear that he has had more than enough of the series. Asked if he was worried about the politics in V8 Supercars, where he is headed in the near future, he said he wasn't, because he understood that V8 Supercars is a different kind of championship. MotoGP, though, was supposed to be a professional championship, and in his opinion, it was 'a joke'. Four races in Spain, another just over the border in Portugal, this was not a truly world championship, Stoner said. Instead, MotoGP is too much of a European championship, and it needed to rediscover its roots.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and the single tire supplier ahead of this weekend's season finale at Valencia:
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams ahead of the last race of the season at Valencia:
In an ideal world, championships are settled in a straight fight between the main contenders in the final race of the season. Unfortunately, the world we live in is far from ideal - as the ever-dwindling stock of prototype machines on the grid testifies - and so the last race of the year can be a bit of a formality. In 2012, with the champions in all three classes securing their titles during the flyaways, there is not much more at stake at Valencia.
Except pride. And given that pride is what motivates a motorcycle racer above all else, that means that there is every reason to hope for a real treat at Valencia on Sunday. This is the last race of the season, the last chance to prove your worth, to silence your doubters, to settle those scores before the long winter begins. No need to be conservative here, no need to calculate the odds. You can take that chance, take a risk and crash out trying. At the last race of the season, you go all in, as Nicky Hayden's leathers proclaimed at Valencia in 2006, when it looked like he might miss out on his first ever MotoGP title.
Yonny Hernandez looks set to miss the final round of MotoGP at Valencia, as the Colombian continues his recovery from injury. Hernandez suffered a dislocated collarbone in a crash during the race at Motegi, an injury which forced him to miss both the Malaysian and the Australian rounds of MotoGP.
The place of Hernandez in the BQR Avintia team is to be taken at Valencia by Hiroshi Aoyama. The last ever 250 World Champion suffered a difficult 2012 season in World Superbikes with the Ten Kate Honda squad, Aoyama never getting comfortable with the Pirelli tires used in WSBK. Aoyama has been looking to return to MotoGP since the latter part of this season, the Japanese rider spotted in serious talks with a number of teams at the Aragon round of MotoGP at the end of September. Aoyama now looks set to take the place of Hernandez in the BQR Avintia team permanently in the 2013 season, according to Spanish website Motocuatro.com.
Katsuyuki Nakasuga is to replace Ben Spies in the factory Yamaha team for the final race of the season at Valencia. Spies, who had to undergo surgery on the shoulder he damaged in the race crash in Sepang, has been ruled out of the rest of the season. The race at Phillip Island had come at too short notice for Yamaha to find a substitute for the injured Spies, but the Valencia race allowed them to secure the services of Nakasuga.
The choice of Nakasuga is a safe and very conservative one, but it was always the most probable outcome. Nakasuga is Yamaha's MotoGP test rider, and would have been on hand in Valencia anyway. Nakasuga made an appearance at Motegi this year, where he finished a creditable 9th. Fans had been lobbying for either AMA champion Josh Hayes or former BSB champion Tommy Hill to take the ride. Hayes, in particular, had proven his worth with an impressive outing as a replacement for Colin Edwards at Tech 3 in Valencia last year.
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.