John McPhee is to remain with the Saxoprint RTG team for another season in Moto3. The Racing Steps Foundation, which supports young British talent, issued the following press release on McPhee's contract:
McPHEE TO STICK WITH SAXOPRINT-RTG AND HONDA FOR 2015 MOTO3 SEASON
RSF reaches agreement for Brit to complete a third season in the 250cc lightweight class
The Racing Steps Foundation has reached agreement at Motorland Aragon today (Saturday) for its Moto3 rider John McPhee (Oban, Argyll, Scotland) to continue with the Honda-powered SaxoPrint-RTG squad in the World Championship next year.
It will be McPhee's third full season in the class with the team.
The Brit - who has secured five top 10 places with the German outfit in the 250cc lightweight class so far this year - has been tasked with delivering regular podium finishes in 2015.
The 20 years-old Racing Steps Foundation protégé said: "I'm delighted to be continuing with the team and Honda next year thanks to continued backing and support from the Foundation.
Juanfran Guevara set the fastest ever lap around Aragon on a Moto3 bike, with a record of 1'57.930, seven tenths quicker than Alex Rins, Alex Marquez and Jack Miller.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the first day of practice for the Motorland Aragon GP:
The Hondas of Alex Rins and Alex Marquez are separated by under two hundredths of a second at the top, with Niklas Ajo's Husqvarna taking the last slot of the provisional front row.
The first of the official announcements to be made over this weekend has arrived. Today, the FIM released the provisional version of the 2015 calendar for MotoGP.
The schedule is a virtual carbon copy of the 2014 calendar this year, with the order of the races the same as this year. A few minor tweaks have been applied to the calendar: the series kicks off in Qatar on 29th March, a week later than originally planned to avoid a TV clash with the soccer game between Barcelona and Real Madrid in Spain. Two weeks later, the circus heads to Austin, and the following week to Argentina.
Having the two races in the Americas back-to-back will create a much easier schedule than this year, where the teams faced a very long journey back from Argentina to arrive on time for Jerez. With a year of experience under their belt, Dorna's logistics and TV crew are now certain they can get the Termas de Rio Hondo track ready within the few days they have after Austin.
Jack Miller opened the weekend by celebrating his new MotoGP job with a lap two thirds of a second quicker than anyone else, and under the current race record. Alex Marquez was second quickest in the cold session, and the distance between Miller and Marquez covered from second quickest to Roman Fenati in eleventh.
Press release previews from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams ahead of the Aragon Grand Prix:
The Gresini team may have abandoned Honda in the MotoGP class, but they have not left the Japanese manufacturer altogether. Today, the Italian team announced that they will be switching from KTM to Honda in the Moto3 championship. They will be keeping Enea Bastianini as their main rider, while Andrea Locatelli replaces Niccolo Antonelli on the second bike.
The switch to Honda comes with the encouragement from HRC. Honda is keen to bring Bastianini under their wing, the 16-year-old Italian having had a fantastic debut season in Moto3, scoring three podiums so far this year, living up to his nickname of 'Bestia', or The Beast. Gresini has signed a two-year deal with Bastianini, with an option to move him up to Moto2 for 2016.
The press release announcing the deal makes no further mention of Go&Fun, suggesting that the sponsorship deal with the Italian manufacturer of energy drinks will end not just in MotoGP, but in all three classes.
The upcoming MotoGP round at Aragon looks like being another busy week for official announcements. Press officers representing Dorna, the FIM and the teams will have their hands full managing the stream of news expected to come in Spain.
The two most eagerly awaited announcements are the MotoGP calendar, and the Moto2 and Moto3 rider line ups, in that order. The MotoGP calendar is almost certain to feature 19 races, and look very similar to the 2014 calendar, with the addition of Brazil, and the moving of the British Grand Prix from Silverstone to Donington. As usual, the season will kick off in Qatar, the Losail circuit paying a premium for the privilege.
The Qatar race had been expected to be run on 22nd March, that date coming a week after the F1 season opener in Australia, and a week before the second F1 race of the season at Sepang. However, it looks like MotoGP will be moved back a week to the 29th, as the 22nd of March sees the two biggest clubs in Spanish soccer face off, with Real Madrid set to meet Barcelona at the Camp Nou stadium on that Sunday night. While MotoGP is massive in Spain, it is still dwarved by the interest in soccer, and TV audiences will suffer. Moving to the 29th would mean running on the same weekend as F1, but the late evening slot for the race means there would be no overlap between the races.
This year's MotoGP's silly season has seen many badly-kept secrets, and one of the very worst of them is now out in the open. Today, the LCR Honda squad confirmed what everybody has known since July, and suspected since the beginning of June: Jack Miller is to make the leap directly from Moto3 to MotoGP, to ride the Open class Honda in the LCR team alongside Cal Crutchlow.
Miller may be riding in the LCR Honda team, but hsi contract is directly with HRC. Lucio Cecchinello has long insisted that he has had no direct involvement with the deal, Honda working hard to secure the services of Miller for the future. Miller's contract is for three years, according to GPOne.com, and the young Australian will spend the next two seasons with LCR. That would put him in the frame for the second seat in the Repsol Honda team, with both Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa out of contract at the end of 2016.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after Sunday's races at Misano:
Race report follows.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at Misano: