Another Brno. That is the hope of every MotoGP fan around the world after qualifying sessions like the one at Motegi on Saturday. The breathtaking battle in the Czech Republic, which saw Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo on each others' tails all race long and the result settled in almost the final corner, was the natural outcome of two equally-matched men on very different but equally-matched machines. There was nothing to choose between the two during qualifying at Brno, and there was nothing to choose between them during the race.
Motegi is shaping up to be similar. Both Lorenzo and Pedrosa have very similar pace, and both have the consistency, the talent and the desire to push to the end. Jorge Lorenzo may have taken pole - the 50th of his career and one of his finest, with a blistering lap in near-perfect condition to destroy the existing pole record - but Pedrosa's race pace is fractionally faster than that of the polesitter. Where Lorenzo's near-robotic consistency has him lapping in the low 1'46.1s, Pedrosa is posting high 1'46.0s. The two men are separated by hundredths of a second only, and appear to have the measure of each other.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after Sunday's spectacular races at the Motorland Aragon circuit:
Press releases after Saturday's qualifying session for the MotoGP class at Motorland Aragon:
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at Aragon on Saturday:
Aspar Press Release: Interview With Jorge Martinez, On CRT, Jonas Folger, And Sponsorship Innovation
The Aspar press office today issued a press release containing an interview with team boss Jorge Martinez. In the interview, the Spaniard talks about how 2012 has turned out in the three classes in which the Aspar team competes, touching on subjects such as the success of late signing Jonas Folger, how CRT is working out, and the power deficit which CRT machines have to the MotoGP prototypes, and the sponsorship initiatives being taken by the team to help fill the gaps being left open as the global economic crisis continues. Below is the press release in full:
Interview with Jorge Martínez 'Aspar' - 24/09/12
'I HOPE THE ASPAR TEAM RIDERS TREAT THE LAST FIVE RACES LIKE FIVE CUP FINALS'
After 33 years at the coal face of motorcycle racing Jorge Martinez 'Aspar' is a true legend of his sport. He speaks with the calmness of a veteran but his eyes still sparkle with the limitless enthusiasm of youth. A four-time World Champion himself in the smaller classes 'Aspar' has won the same number of titles as a team owner but no matter what your success there is always a flip side to contend with in racing and this season has seen him forced into some difficult decisions. In this interview the Spaniard opens up about the season so far, his relationship with his sponsors and his targets for the near future.
With just the final sprint to go in the championship what is your evaluation of the Aspar Team?
It has been a tough year, different. Maybe we have become too used to enjoying success in recent seasons but there were a lot of changes to contend with in 2012. The 125 class changed to Moto3, in MotoGP we switched from Ducati to a CRT bike with Aprilia and we signed a lot of new riders. Preseason went well in every category, we completed all the work we had planned but once official practice got started things started to turn for the worse - especially in Moto3. The first race was like a bucket of cold water - we didn't expect such poor results. It is important to assess moments like this and analyse why the situation has come about. I thought the material and the technical staff were competitive so there was really no reason for it to happen.
With the 2012 MotoGP season starting to wind to a close, and the MotoGP grid largely filled for next season, the riders in the support classes are starting to line up their rides for the 2013. The biggest news so far has been that current Moto3 championship leader and red-hot title favorite Sandro Cortese is to make the move up to the Moto2 class for next season.
According to a report on the official MotoGP.com website, Cortese has signed a two-year deal to move up to Moto2 in a brand new team to be built around two of his current sponsors, Intact Batteries and Kuhn Bau. The team is to be called Intact GP, and Cortese will race a Kalex Moto2 bike in 2013. Intact and Kuhn have been sponsoring Cortese for a number of years, and instead of electing to back a team, they entered their own structure focused around Cortese. Cortese will be joined at Intact GP by Jurgen Lingg, currently crew chief for Zulfahmi Khairuddin in the Ajo KTM Moto3 squad. Ties to KTM will remain for Cortese, however, as according to the Spanish magazine Motociclismo, Cortese will run WP suspension rather than the paddock-standard Ohlins. WP is owned by KTM, and Cortese has had a year's experience on the formerly Dutch and now Austrian brand of suspension.
Current Mapfre Aspar Moto2 rider and the last ever 125cc champion Nico Terol has signed a new two-year deal to stay with the Aspar team and continue to race in Moto2. The team issued the following press release after the signing:
MAPFRE ASPAR TEAM AGREE NEW TWO-YEAR DEAL WITH NICO TEROL
Reward for Spanish rider's rapid adaptation to Moto2 and mutual esteem between the two parties
MAPFRE Aspar Team and Nico Terol have reached an agreement to continue their collaboration for another two seasons. Negotiations reached a swift conclusion, allowing the rider and the team to turn their focus back to the remaining five races of the current season. Having signed for the team in 2010 Nico finished runner-up in the 125cc class in his first season before becoming the last ever two-stroke World Champion the following year. The Spaniard then made the step up to the intermediate Moto2 category with the MAPFRE Aspar Team in 2012.
The season started out steadily as the rider and team followed a careful plan of adaptation but slowly the results have started to come and Terol continues to close the gap to the front. The team is aware of the rider's potential and his ability to be a Moto2 frontrunner in 2013, just as he did during his time in 125.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after Sunday's race at Misano:
With the available seats at the teams with factory prototypes all now full with the exception of the final satellite Honda - most likely a toss-up between Scott Redding and Alvaro Bautista at Gresini Honda, though rumors persist of Marc VDS Racing taking the Honda RC213V from Gresini and fielding Redding in their own team - attention has now turned to the CRT grid, and the available seats being filled there.
At Misano, two teams announced their plans for 2013. On Thursday, the NGM Forward squad announced they had persuaded Colin Edwards to stay for another season, meaning that the Texan will remain in MotoGP for another season. The team is to finish the 2012 season on the Suter BMW, before making a decision on which bike to use for 2013. The team had been considering a switch to the Aprilia ART machine, but promises of an expanded testing program and more development have kept Forward on board for the rest of the season.
The Cardion AB team will be using the Aprilia ART, however. Today, the team officially confirmed that they would not be continuing with Ducati and would be switching to an Aprilia ART machine. The team will work in partnership with Aprilia and the Aspar team to help develop the Aprilia, in preparation for the new rules in 2014, which will see a rev limit and spec ECU imposed. Karel Abraham will remain the rider for the team.
The provisional MotoGP line up for the 2013 season so far:
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams ahead of this weekend's Misano Grand Prix:
The Marquez/Espargaro incident in the Barcelona Moto2 race is at an end. The Pons 40 HP Tuenti team has decided not to take their appeal on the incident to the CAS, the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and to accept the decision of the FIM Stewards. The decision of Pol Espargaro's team not to take the case to the CAS means that the case is officially closed, and Marc Marquez will not face a penalty over the clash. The one minute penalty initially imposed on Marquez by Race Direction has now been officially consigned to the history books, and Marquez retains his 48-point lead in the Moto2 title race.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after Sunday's races at Brno:
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at Brno: