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Leon Camier To Replace Nicky Hayden For Indianapolis And Brno MotoGP Rounds

After his seat in the IODA Racing team fell through due to a lack of funds, Leon Camier is to race in MotoGP in 2014 after all. The Englishman is to replace Nicky Hayden on the Drive M7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R for both the Indianapolis and Brno rounds of MotoGP. 

Hayden had surgery last week to remove a row of bones in his right hand, including the scaphoid he injured in a crash in 2011. On Tuesday, Hayden was examined for the first time after surgery, and although his recovery is going well, he will require an extended period of rehabilitation before he is ready to return to race. As a result, Hayden will be forced to skip both the Indianapolis and Brno rounds of MotoGP, in the hope of returning to action at Silverstone at the end of August.

In the meantime, Camier is to ride his production RCV1000R for the two rounds, making his debut in the premier class at last. The Englishman will face an uphill task at Indianapolis, acclimatizing to the Bridgestone tires at a notoriously difficult circuit, and one which he has never ridden. A week later, Camier will face a slightly easier challenge, racing at Brno which he knows from his time in World Superbikes.

Since learning that the IODA Racing team did not have the funds to field a second Aprilia RSV4 for Camier, the Englishman has been filling in as a replacement rider in World Superbikes. He took the seat of Sylvain Barrier on the BMW S1000RR EVO bike, and replaced the injured Claudio Corti on the MV Agusta F4RR. He was also on standby to replace Nicky Hayden earlier in the year, after Hayden suffered a flare up of the wrist injury, but Hayden continued to race. Camier will now get his chance to ride Hayden's bike, since the American decided to opt for surgery to fix the problem.

Below is the press release from the Drive M7 Aspar team:


Nicky Hayden recovery process from wrist operation is favourable

Nearly a week after surgery, Drive M7 Aspar rider underwent his first examination on Tuesday and received positive news

After undergoing surgery on his right wrist at the Oasis Center of San Diego last Wednesday, and after resting for several days, DRIVE M7 Aspar rider Nicky Hayden was examined on Tuesday for the first time since the operation. According to Dr. James Chao, the physician in charge of the surgery, the procedure was a success and his recovery is on track. The American rider will gradually regain movement in his wrist.

Hayden has had his wrist immobilised and has been resting since Wednesday of last week, but this Tuesday he underwent his first review. During the examination he was injected with platelet-rich plasma to help regenerate bone structure and also received magnetic therapy to accelerate the healing of the operated area. The need for adequate recovery time requires Hayden to miss the MotoGP rounds at Indianapolis and the Czech Republic.

A fitness plan has been devised for Hayden to keep in shape during his layoff, so that when he returns to action he will be at 100%. The DRIVE M7 Aspar team will field Superbike rider Leon Camier for the Indianapolis and Czech Republic rounds that follow the summer break, standing in for Hayden.

Nicky Hayden: "Although undergoing surgery is not usually a positive thing -not least because you lose a lot of time- I'm happy with how the operation went last week. Sometimes it is difficult, but we know that injuries are part of our sport and we must learn to manage them. Everyone knows that my wrist has been causing me problems, especially at recent races. I underwent an operation in June, which helped me to complete the first half of the season, but the truth is I've been riding with a lot of discomfort, and have been unable to perform at my best. So, together with the team, we decided to make an important decision and undergo a larger operation to treat an injury that comes from three years ago -when I broke my scaphoid and did not heal well. According to Dr. Chao the operation was a success and I am very happy, and focusing on my recovery. My right wrist still needs to be immobilised for another week. Then I will begin rehabilitation therapy, and I'll slowly recover mobility. I want to thank the team, sponsors and fans for all the support they are giving me at this time. In the first examination, a week after surgery, I received an injection of platelet-rich plasma to help heal bones. According to the doctor my recovery is on course, which is very positive. It takes patience, but if I have made the decision to have surgery it is to get back to my best. I made the decision thinking about being healthy for the end of the season and already thinking about next year."

After his seat in the IODA Racing team fell through due to a lack of funds, Leon Camier is to race in MotoGP in 2014 after all. The Englishman is to replace Nicky Hayden on the Drive M7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R for both the Indianapolis and Brno rounds of MotoGP. Hayden had surgery last week to remove a row of bones in his right hand, including the scaphoid he injured in a crash in 2011. On Tuesday, Hayden was examined for the first time after surgery, and although his recovery is going well, he will require an extended period of rehabilitation before he is ready to return to race. As a result, Hayden will be forced to skip both the Indianapolis and Brno rounds of MotoGP, in the hope of returning to action at Silverstone at the end of August.In the meantime, Camier is to ride his production RCV1000R for the two rounds, making his debut in the premier class at last. The Englishman will face an uphill task at Indianapolis, acclimatizing to the Bridgestone tires at a notoriously difficult circuit, and one which he has never ridden. A week later, Camier will face a slightly easier challenge, racing at Brno which he knows from his time in World Superbikes.

Portimao WSBK Test - Sykes Tops Abbreviated Field After Two Days Of Testing

Kawasaki's Tom Sykes leaves the two-day official World Superbike test with his authority firmly stamped on the WSBK field. The Yorkshireman was nearly a quarter of a second faster than Aprilia's Sylvain Guintoli, and nearly four tenths quicker than his teammate Loris Baz. Marco Melandri was six tenths off the pace of Sykes, with the Ducatis of Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies setting the fifth and sixth best times.

Neither Sykes nor Baz had much to work on besides further perfecting set up of the Kawasaki ZX-10R. The development work was handed to EVO rider David Salom, who spent time developing the 2015 version of the bike Kawasaki will race next year. Despite the rule changes coming next season, the Kawasaki is still more closer to a Superbike than an EVO bike, Kawasaki manager Guim Roda told German website Speedweek.

At Aprilia, they several parts to test, but both Sylvain Guintoli and Marco Melandri managed to crash. Neither rider suffered serious injury, but Guintoli was forced to call it a day early after crashing towards the end of the session. Ducati riders Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies spent a lot of their time working their starts, a weak point of the Panigale so far this season. All of the riders got to evaluate new tires from Pirelli.

Prominent absentees were the Pata Honda squad of Johnny Rea and Leon Haslam, who are off to Japan to race the Suzuka 8 hours, and the Voltcom Suzuki pairing of Alex Lowes and Eugene Laverty. The World Superbike field now take an extended summer break, their next race coming on 7th September at Jerez.

Overall best times (all set on day 2):

Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 1 Tom Sykes Kawasaki 1:42.719    
2 50 Sylvain Guintoli Aprilia 1:42.954 0.235 0.235
3 76 Loris Baz Kawasaki 1:43.110 0.391 0.156
4 33 Marco Melandri Aprilia 1:43.315 0.596 0.205
5 34 Davide Giugliano Ducati 1:43.592 0.873 0.277
6 7 Chaz Davies Ducati 1:43.742 1.023 0.150
7 71 Claudio Corti MV Agusta 1:44.485 1.766 0.743
8 44 David Salom Kawasaki EVO 1:44.487 1.768 0.002
9 21 Alessandro Andreozzi Kawasaki EVO 1:44.924 2.205 0.437
10 11 Jeremy Guarnoni Kawasaki EVO 1:45.109 2.390 0.185

 

Kawasaki's Tom Sykes leaves the two-day official World Superbike test with his authority firmly stamped on the WSBK field. The Yorkshireman was nearly a quarter of a second faster than Aprilia's Sylvain Guintoli, and nearly four tenths quicker than his teammate Loris Baz. Marco Melandri was six tenths off the pace of Sykes, with the Ducatis of Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies setting the fifth and sixth best times.Neither Sykes nor Baz had much to work on besides further perfecting set up of the Kawasaki ZX-10R. The development work was handed to EVO rider David Salom, who spent time developing the 2015 version of the bike Kawasaki will race next year. Despite the rule changes coming next season, the Kawasaki is still more closer to a Superbike than an EVO bike, Kawasaki manager Guim Roda told German website Speedweek.

Ducati Line Up To Remain Unchanged For 2015: Crutchlow Dovizioso And Iannone To Ride Radically Revised Desmosedici GP15

After all the speculation of massive changes in Ducati's MotoGP team, all is to remain the same. During the World Ducati Week event held for fans of the Italian marque at Misano, both Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow announced that they would be remaining with Ducati for 2015, with Crutchlow choosing not to exercise his option to leave, and  Dovizioso being persuaded to sign on for two more years. In addition, Ducati exercised its option to extend the contract with Andrea Iannone, with Iannone to be given factory support.

The decisions by all three riders are a both a show of confidence in the ability of Ducati Corse boss Gigi Dall'Igna to build a more competitive MotoGP machine, as well as a lack of alternatives elsewhere. The only other factory rides available are the two seats at Suzuki, but given the slow pace of the bike during testing and the amount of development work needed, that was a bigger risk than staying at Ducati.

Crutchlow's decision was perhaps the easiest to make: the option to stay or leave was in his hands alone, and although the relationship between the Englishman and Ducati is far from ideal, neither party had much of a choice. After a very strong season in 2013, Crutchlow has suffered a terrible slump in his form since joining Ducati. Twelve months ago, the question in the press room was when Crutchlow would win his first MotoGP race. This year, the question has been whether he would elect to stay or not. Crutchlow had options with Suzuki and interest from Honda, but they would have meant a reduction of wages without a guarantee of a competitive bike.

Dovizioso had also been high on Suzuki's target list of riders, but Ducati had worked very hard to keep the Italian on board. After a tough first year on the Ducati - a seemingly universal experience - Dovizioso is coming into his own this season, using the strengths of the Desmosedici GP14 to his advantage, and bagging two podiums along the way. Ducati Corse and Gigi Dall'Igna have praised Dovizioso's technical input, and believed it to be crucial for next year, when the Desmosedici is due to change so radically.

With Dovizioso and Crutchlow staying where they are, that leaves no room in the factory Ducati team for Andrea Iannone. Iannone had been pushing hard for promotion to the factory squad, and his results had certainly merited such a move. But Iannone, too, looks set to remain with Ducati, although in what form remains to be seen. Iannone is on the payroll of Ducati Corse, and it is possible that Iannone will be moved into a separate team with the joint colors of Pramac and Ducati Corse, according to reports on GPOne.com. Iannone, too, was high on the list of candidates for Suzuki.

The reason the three men have decided to remain with Ducati for the 2015 season is the promise of a radically revised machine for next year. At Misano, Gigi Dall'Igna reaffirmed earlier statements he had made about building a completely new machine for next season. The bike will have a new engine, although it will remain a 90° V4 and will continue to use desmodromic valve gear. The engine dimensions will be radically changed, however, the motor being lighter and shorter than the current powerplant. The revised power unit will allow greatly changed geometry and bike layout. That, in turn, should cure the chronic understeer which has plagued the Desmosedici since the advent of the spec tire.

The retention of Dovizioso, Crutchlow and Iannone leaves no room for Aleix Espargaro, who was rumored in the Spanish media to be close to a deal with Ducati. Espargaro is desperate to get on to a factory option bike, in the hope of being able to compete at the front. His only hope at Ducati is that they make space in the Pramac team and offer him identical support to Iannone, though there are no signs that Ducati has either the budget or the intention to do that. That puts Espargaro at the top of Suzuki's target list, as the fastest of the riders still available - with the proviso that Espargaro would need to be bought out of his contract. With the Ducati seats tied up, the remainder of the open seats should soon start to fall into place. News is expected soon of Maverick Viñales' future, and whether he will ride for Suzuki, and whether Jack Miller will make the leap up to MotoGP, and slot in at the LCR Honda squad. News of those decisions shoud also follow soon.

After all the speculation of massive changes in Ducati's MotoGP team, all is to remain the same. During the World Ducati Week event held for fans of the Italian marque at Misano, both Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow announced that they would be remaining with Ducati for 2015, with Crutchlow choosing not to exercise his option to leave, and  Dovizioso being persuaded to sign on for two more years. In addition, Ducati exercised its option to extend the contract with Andrea Iannone, with Iannone to be given factory support.The decisions by all three riders are a both a show of confidence in the ability of Ducati Corse boss Gigi Dall'Igna to build a more competitive MotoGP machine, as well as a lack of alternatives elsewhere. The only other factory rides available are the two seats at Suzuki, but given the slow pace of the bike during testing and the amount of development work needed, that was a bigger risk than staying at Ducati.

Post-Sachsenring Surgery Update - Arm Pump Operation For Crutchlow, More Wrist Surgery For Hayden

With nearly four weeks of rest between the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring and the round at Indianapolis, riders are taking advantage of the break to have surgery. On Tuesday, Cal Crutchlow had surgery to relieve arm pump, and help reduce the swelling in his forearms. Crutchlow had had swelling in his forearms since crashing at the Sachsenring in 2013, a situation which previous surgery has done little to relieve. Though he posted a picture of himself on Twitter with both arms in bandages on Tuesday, he was fit enough to type several messages on the social media website a day later. Crutchlow is expected to be fully fit and back in action at Indianapolis. 

Nicky Hayden has had more invasive surgery. The Aspar rider has been suffering the after effects of his first-corner crash at Valencia 2011 ever since it happened, Hayden breaking a scaphoid in the incident. Further crashes exacerbated the injury, and his wrist became seriously inflamed at Jerez earlier this year. One operation to clean up the joint earlier in the year provided some relief, but now, Hayden has decided to try a more serious solution. Hayden underwent surgery to have a proximal row carpectomy, which involves removal of the scaphoid, lunate and triquetrum bones. Hayden had long been suffering arthritic symptoms around his scaphoid, and the scaphoid had failed to heal properly after the crash in Valencia. The PRC procedure should allow for increased mobility and much less pain. Hayden also expects to be fit to ride in Indianapolis.

Below is the press release issued by the Aspar team on Hayden's surgery:


Nicky Hayden undergoes successful operation in San Diego

DRIVE M7 Aspar rider was treated yesterday at the Oasis Center in San Diego

DRIVE M7 Aspar rider Nicky Hayden has decided to go back under the surgeon's knife yesterday in order to increase mobility in the joint. With nine rounds now completed out of eighteen in the 2014 season the 'Kentucky Kid' is making the most of the summer break to fix his wrist properly.

On Wednesday morning at 6am the DRIVE M7 Aspar rider underwent an operation that lasted an hour and a half, carried out by Dr. Chao at the Oasis Center in San Diego. The medical term for the procedure is a proximal row carpectomy with radial styloidectomy, which involves the removal of a row of small bones in the wrist in order to increase mobility within the joint.

Dr. Chao reported that the operation had been a success and that Nicky now has increased range of motion in his wrist. The former MotoGP World Champion will now take some rest and begin therapy to recover and return to racing as soon as possible. The DRIVE M7 Aspar Team has full confidence in the rider and wishes him a swift and full recovery.

With nearly four weeks of rest between the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring and the round at Indianapolis, riders are taking advantage of the break to have surgery. On Tuesday, Cal Crutchlow had surgery to relieve arm pump, and help reduce the swelling in his forearms. Crutchlow had had swelling in his forearms since crashing at the Sachsenring in 2013, a situation which previous surgery has done little to relieve. Though he posted a picture of himself on Twitter with both arms in bandages on Tuesday, he was fit enough to type several messages on the social media website a day later. Crutchlow is expected to be fully fit and back in action at Indianapolis. 

Tito Rabat To Remain With Marc VDS In Moto2 For 2015

As expected, Tito Rabat has confirmed he will stay with the Marc VDS Racing team for 2015, and spend another year in Moto2. The Spaniard had an option in his contract which would allow him to leave for a MotoGP team if he were to win the Moto2 title and he had an offer from a factory team. With few factory option bikes on offer next year, and with the MotoGP rules set to change in 2016, Rabat elected to stay in Moto2 for another year, and if he wins the title, become the first ever Moto2 champion to defend his crown.

The announcement also confirms Marc VDS' intention to remain in Moto2 and not move up to MotoGP, as we have been reporting for some time. The deadline for the team to make a decision to move up to MotoGP was at Assen, with chassis builder Kalex needing confirmation from either Marc VDS or Pons before they could start to go ahead and build chassis for the Yamaha engines available for lease. With the introduction of a single set of electronics, and Michelin replacing Bridgestone, moving up to MotoGP in 2015 was a risk. Waiting for a year will allow teams such as Marc VDS to judge which is the most competitive package, and which manufacturer appears to be adapting to the new tires best.

With Rabat confirmed, the next step is to wait for who will join him in the team. Despite the fact that he is currently second in the championship and challenging his teammate for the title, Mika Kallio looks set to lose his ride in favor of a youngster coming up from Moto3. Or possibly even two youngsters, with both current Estrella Galicia riders Alex Marquez and Alex Rins being linked to the ride. Marc VDS also has Jack Miller under contract, but the contract dispute between Marc VDS and Miller's manager Aki Ajo has soured relations between the two parties. Miller is still being linked to a ride in MotoGP with LCR Honda, but he could also move up to the Pons Moto2 team, where he could replace another Ajo protege Maverick Viñales.

The press release announcing Rabat's contract appears below"


Rabat confirmed at Marc VDS for 2015 season

Gosselies, Belgium – 17 July 2014: The Marc VDS Racing Team is pleased to announce that Tito Rabat will remain with the team for the 2015 season.

Rabat, who is currently leading the Moto2 World Championship, having won four of the nine races so far, had an option in his contract that would see him released from the team to make the move up to MotoGP should he be crowned World Champion this season.

The 25-year-old Spaniard has decided against exercising this option and, instead, has committed himself to a second season in Moto2 with the Marc VDS Racing Team.

Should Rabat achieve his goal and win the championship this season, 2015 will be the first time the reigning Moto2 World Champion has returned to defend the title since the intermediate class switched from 250cc two-strokes to 600cc four-strokes in 2010.

Tito Rabat

“I’m happy to stay with Marc VDS in 2015 for a number of reasons, but the main one is because they are as committed to winning races as I am. I have a good team of people around me and they ensure I have everything I need to win, so why would I go anywhere else? Now everything is sorted we can focus on doing what we set out to do at the beginning of the season, which is to win races and the championship. Nobody has ever won the Moto2 World Championship and then returned the following year to defend the title, so I hope I will be the first.”

Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal

“Obviously I’m pleased that Tito will remain with the Marc VDS Racing Team next year, as I know he’s had quite a few offers to make the step up to MotoGP next season. That he’s made the decision to remain with the team now, rather than waiting, also shows just how committed he is to the job at hand. With the decision about his future made, he can focus completely on his main goal for this season; winning his and the team’s first ever World Championship title.”

Marc van der Straten // President, Marc VDS Racing Team

“When you have a rider in your team that isn’t just leading the championship but pretty much dominating it, then you know that MotoGP teams are going to be knocking on his door, and that’s exactly what’s happened with Tito this season. But, despite the offers, he’s made the decision to remain with the Marc VDS Racing Team for another season and I’m proud that he feels his future lies with us.”

As expected, Tito Rabat has confirmed he will stay with the Marc VDS Racing team for 2015, and spend another year in Moto2. The Spaniard had an option in his contract which would allow him to leave for a MotoGP team if he were to win the Moto2 title and he had an offer from a factory team. With few factory option bikes on offer next year, and with the MotoGP rules set to change in 2016, Rabat elected to stay in Moto2 for another year, and if he wins the title, become the first ever Moto2 champion to defend his crown.The announcement also confirms Marc VDS' intention to remain in Moto2 and not move up to MotoGP, as we have been reporting for some time. The deadline for the team to make a decision to move up to MotoGP was at Assen, with chassis builder Kalex needing confirmation from either Marc VDS or Pons before they could start to go ahead and build chassis for the Yamaha engines available for lease. With the introduction of a single set of electronics, and Michelin replacing Bridgestone, moving up to MotoGP in 2015 was a risk. Waiting for a year will allow teams such as Marc VDS to judge which is the most competitive package, and which manufacturer appears to be adapting to the new tires best.

Carbon Fiber Brough Superior Moto2 Bike To Make Debut At Silverstone

Despite some early promise, there has been much complaining of a lack of innovation from chassis builders in Moto2. the bikes have followed the same basic layout as all modern race bikes since the late 1980s: aluminium twin spar chassis and conventional suspension arrangements.The only real interest has come from wildcards. At Le Mans, the French Promoto Sport team raced their Transfiormer chassis, with some solid results. Beyond that, the bikes have been pretty much identikit.

At Silverstone, another interesting wildcard will get its first public running. The British round of Moto2 will see the Brough Superior make its debut in a competitive race, after making an appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last year. The bike is a rebrand of the design by John Keogh and Taylormade Racing, discussed on MotoMatters.com last year. The bike uses a monocoque chassis design made fully from carbon fiber, with integral fuel tank. The front suspension is a single wishbone with damping in the forks, while the rear swingarm is also fully carbon fiber. The radiator has been moved to the rear of the bike, to allow the machine to be narrower and free up space in front of the engine.

The Brough Superior is to be raced by Luke Mossey, currently competing in the British Supersport championship. The effort is to be backed by British insurance giant Bennetts, one of the largest specialist motorcycle insurers in the UK. The press release announcing the deal appears below:

 


Bennetts Back Racing Return of British Icon

Insurance specialists to sponsor Brough Superior project at British MotoGP round

Bike insurance specialists Bennetts are backing the return of the iconic British Brough Superior brand by sponsoring the reborn marque’s one-off entry into the British Grand Prix at Silverstone next month.

Bennetts Brough Superior, as the team will be known, will enter the Moto2 class with rider Luke Mossey competing on board the team’s innovative British-designed carbon fibre Carbon 2 machine.

The project is headed by California-based Brits Paul Taylor and John Keogh, who are running the team on behalf of the soon-to-be relaunched Brough Superior brand. The bike, which has won national level races in the United States, features a unique carbon fibre monocoque design and has received input from famed Formula One engineers John McQuilliam and Steve Nichols. Like all bikes on the Moto2 grid, the Brough Superior will be powered by the standard specification 600cc four-cylinder Honda engine.

Dubbed the ‘Rolls Royce of motorcycles’ Brough Superiors were rare and expensive machines during their 20 year production run from 1920. Famous for their association with Lawrence of Arabia, Broughs acheived numerous race wins and speed records in the 1920s and 1930s. The brand was bought by British engineer Mark Upham in 2013 and the company has plans to sell its new SS100 model early next year, the first new motorcycles to go on sale wearing the famous name in 75 years.

Mossey, a front runner in the British Supersport championships, has already tested the bike in America, before giving the Carbon 2 a first run out on British soil at Silverstone yesterday. The team is planning to undergo one further test, before making its world championship debut at the Northamptonshire circuit on the weekend of 29-31 August.

Paul Taylor, CEO, Taylormade Racing said: “It is really exciting to be partnering with Bennetts to bring the Brough Superior Carbon 2 to the track at Silverstone. The bike has been in development and testing for a number of years and as befitting the iconic Brough Superior name, this is the state of the art in chassis design. We’ve been able to benefit from Formula 1 expertise here in the UK and hope that will make for a very competitive package first time out. Luke has taken well to the bike so we are really looking forward to mixing it up with the regular Moto2 competition to see how good it is.”

Luke Mossey, Bennetts Brough Superior Carbon 2 rider, said: “I can’t wait to race the Bennetts Brough Superior Carbon 2. I’ve ridden it in California and really like the bike - it reminds me of riding my 250GP bikes. I’ve done well at Silverstone, its one of my favourite tracks, so think we can be competitive even though have had less track time than our competitors. Roll on August!”

Mark Upham, CEO of Brough Superior, said: “We are proud to be partnering with Bennetts, a long-established company that George Brough would have known, to show why Brough Superior is an iconic British name! The Carbon 2 is everything George Brough would want in a motorcycle and I’m sure he and TE Lawrence wil be watching from on high and cheering Luke on as his namesake rolls out in front of the British MotoGP fans.”

Paul Taylor, PR and Sponsorship Manager at Bennetts, said: “We are delighted to be working with the team and are looking forward to seeing what they can do at Silverstone. There is a lot of romance around Brough Superior and the project is sure to attract attention around the world, but as much as anything we are just excited to be backing British engineering and design. When it was introduced in 2010, we expected Moto2 to be a place for chassis innovation. Unfortunately that hasn’t been the case and we’re proud to be backing this original design in an otherwise homogenised field. There are no results expectations from Luke and the team, we’re just thrilled to be flying the flag for Britain. There’s no doubt that we are the underdogs, but we like that and hope that the British public will get behind this exciting project.”

Image credit: Double Red

Despite some early promise, there has been much complaining of a lack of innovation from chassis builders in Moto2. the bikes have followed the same basic layout as all modern race bikes since the late 1980s: aluminium twin spar chassis and conventional suspension arrangements.The only real interest has come from wildcards. At Le Mans, the French Promoto Sport team raced their Transfiormer chassis, with some solid results. Beyond that, the bikes have been pretty much identikit.At Silverstone, another interesting wildcard will get its first public running. The British round of Moto2 will see the Brough Superior make its debut in a competitive race, after making an appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last year. The bike is a rebrand of the design by John Keogh and Taylormade Racing, discussed on MotoMatters.com last year. The bike uses a monocoque chassis design made fully from carbon fiber, with integral fuel tank. The front suspension is a single wishbone with damping in the forks, while the rear swingarm is also fully carbon fiber. The radiator has been moved to the rear of the bike, to allow the machine to be narrower and free up space in front of the engine.

Scott Jones At Laguna - World Superbikes In The USA


Big sky at Laguna Seca


Tom Sykes. Not quite as unbeatable as Marc Marquez, but there's not a lot in it


His Chazness. Laguna Seca was tough on the Welshman


I can save this, I can save this, I can save this ...


The office


Alex Lowes discovers the Corkscrew


Fast genes. The Haslam family


Toni Elias has found a second home in World Superbikes. Pirellis suit him better than Bridgestones, it seems


Rolling Monterey County


Johnny & Ronnie


Silver Sylvain Guintoli


Ready


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Big sky at Laguna Seca Tom Sykes. Not quite as unbeatable as Marc Marquez, but there's not a lot in it His Chazness. Laguna Seca was tough on the Welshman

Dani Pedrosa Signs For Two More Years With Repsol Honda

As expected, Dani Pedrosa has signed on for another two years with HRC, and will remain in the factory Repsol Honda team until the end of 2016. Reports from Spain suggested that a deal was close to completion at Assen, and the details have now been finalized. The deal means that the Repsol Honda team will remain unchanged for a further two years, with Pedrosa lining up alongside 2013 world champion Marc Marquez until the end of the 2016 season.

The deal between Pedrosa and Honda had taken a little while to complete, with Pedrosa briefly flirting with Suzuki, who are set to make a return to MotoGP in 2015. That flirtation was never completely serious, and given the salary Pedrosa was rumored to be demanding to ride for Suzuki - said to be 8 million euros - Pedrosa was not keen to leave Honda. Staying at Honda does come at a price, however. Rumors in the Spanish media suggest that Pedrosa was forced to take a cut in base salary, with compensation coming in the form of performance-based bonuses. The veracity of such claims is hard to test, as HRC did not disclose any of the details of the contract with Pedrosa. Keeping salaries secret is common practice in MotoGP, teams and factories fearing it could unleash a bidding war.

Pedrosa's signing means that both factory Honda and one factory Yamaha seat are now fixed for the next two season. Pedrosa and Marquez will continue at Repsol Honda, while Valentino Rossi will stay at Movistar Yamaha. That leaves Jorge Lorenzo with fewer options than before, making a contract extension with Yamaha look more likely. Lorenzo's only other option would be the factory Ducati team, but that is a big gamble at the moment.

If Lorenzo stays at Yamaha, then that would lock up the four top bikes until 2017, making it hard for some young riders to progress. Riders such as Scott Redding and Stefan Bradl are left on satellite rides, and if Maverick Vinales enters MotoGP in 2016, he too will have to wait a year for a factory ride. That opens up a fierce battle for the top bikes in 2017, when the top riders from Moto3 - Alex Rins, Alex Marquez, Jack Miller, Romano Fenati - all head for the premier class.

With Pedrosa, Marquez and Rossi signed, and Lorenzo looking likely to remain, that leaves the factory Ducati riders next in line for renewal. Cal Crutchlow has to make a decision by the end of the month whether he will stay with Ducati, or try his luck at Suzuki. Andrea Dovizioso has a similar decision to make, though he appears to be more inclined to remain with Ducati than to take a risk. Suzuki are dependent in part on what happens at Ducati. If one of the two factory riders at Ducati don't jump ship to Suzuki, then Pramac rider Andrea Iannone will be high on their priority list, as will Forward Yamaha's Aleix Espargaro. Talks will continue at the Sachsenring, with more news likely to emerge either after Germany, or before the season resumes at Indianapolis in early August.

The press release from Honda appears below.


Honda Racing Corporation sign with Pedrosa until 2016

Honda Racing Corporation is pleased to officially announce an agreement has been reached with Dani Pedrosa that will see the Spanish rider remain in the factory Honda team for a further two years, until the end of 2016.

Dani, who currently lies third in the World Championship – level on points with second place Rossi – as the season reaches the halfway point, will extend his contract with Honda with whom he has raced with his debut in the World Championship in 2001. Dani is a three time World Champion (2003 in 125cc, 2004 and 2005 in 250cc) and made his debut in MotoGP in 2006 in the Repsol Honda Team, claiming the Rookie of the Year title and fifth position in the Championship. He has been both runner up and third in the premier class on six occasions (three each).

Dani Pedrosa World Championship Statistics:

MotoGP
Starts: 141
Podiums: 90 (25 x 1st, 35 x 2nd 30 x 3rd)
Poles: 27
Fastest Race Laps: 40
Best World Championship positions: 2nd (2012, 2010, 2007), 3rd (2013, 2009, 2008)

250cc
Starts: 32
Podiums: 24 (15 x 1st, 8 x 2nd, 1 x 3rd)
Poles: 9
Fastest Race Laps: 15
World Champion: 2005, 2004

125cc:
Starts: 46
Podiums: 17 (8 x 1st, 4 x 2nd, 5 x 3rd)
Poles: 9
Fastest Race Laps: 5
World Champion: 2003

Shuhei Nakamoto
HRC Executive Vice President

“We are very pleased to renew our contract with Dani. He is enjoying a very strong season and is currently tied with Rossi in the Championship, we are very happy with his performance. The partnership of Dani and Marc has proven to be successful and we look forward to another two years of success”

Dani Pedrosa

"I'm very happy to be able to announce my renewal with the Repsol Honda Team, and grateful to Honda for the trust they have shown in me for for a further two years. It’s the best way for me to continue in my racing career, together with the company I was with in my very first race. I am very excited to give my 100% and continue to work together with everyone at Honda Racing Corporation”

As expected, Dani Pedrosa has signed on for another two years with HRC, and will remain in the factory Repsol Honda team until the end of 2016. Reports from Spain suggested that a deal was close to completion at Assen, and the details have now been finalized. The deal means that the Repsol Honda team will remain unchanged for a further two years, with Pedrosa lining up alongside 2013 world champion Marc Marquez until the end of the 2016 season.The deal between Pedrosa and Honda had taken a little while to complete, with Pedrosa briefly flirting with Suzuki, who are set to make a return to MotoGP in 2015. That flirtation was never completely serious, and given the salary Pedrosa was rumored to be demanding to ride for Suzuki - said to be 8 million euros - Pedrosa was not keen to leave Honda. Staying at Honda does come at a price, however. Rumors in the Spanish media suggest that Pedrosa was forced to take a cut in base salary, with compensation coming in the form of performance-based bonuses. The veracity of such claims is hard to test, as HRC did not disclose any of the details of the contract with Pedrosa. Keeping salaries secret is common practice in MotoGP, teams and factories fearing it could unleash a bidding war.

The Curious Case Of Jack Miller: Marc VDS Issues Press Release Clarifying Contract Situation

Jack Miller is a rider in demand. The current leader in the Moto3 world championship has been linked to several top teams, and has been openly flirting with a step up to MotoGP, skipping Moto2 altogether. The fly in the ointment for Miller is the pre-contract he signed with the Marc VDS Racing team in 2013, securing his services for 2014, 2015 and 2016. Under the terms of the contract, Miller was released to ride for the Red Bull KTM Ajo team in Moto3, as Miller was keen to have a shot at the Moto3 title before moving up a class.

That situation appears to have caused some confusion. Jack Miller told the media as recently as Assen that he has no contract to ride for 2015, and is free to race wherever he wants. That is a position which was earlier laid out in a press release from the Red Bull KTM Ajo team, in which Miller made the same statement. Marc VDS Racing and their team manager Michael Bartholémy insist that this is not the case, and the situation has gotten so far out of hand that the Marc VDS team has issued a press release of their own, clarifying the deal which they have with the Australian.

The press release sets out Marc VDS Racing's perspective on the deal. A binding, three-year deal was agreed between Miller and Marc VDS, laid down in the form of a pre-agreement. The full details were to be fixed in a final contract, which was agreed in full with Miller and his parents. but Marc VDS claim that Miller and his management team - Red Bull KTM Ajo team manager Aki Ajo - have failed to sign the final document. According to the Marc VDS team, this is not a problem, as the pre-agreement already signed by Miller and his family means that they are bound by contract to ride for the team.

The situation will have to be resolved quickly, one way or another, as both Miller and Marc VDS will want some clarity about the future. It would be unwise for Marc VDS to force Miller to race for them if he does not want to, but Marc VDS is also unable to negotiate contracts with other riders until the situation with Miller is resolved. If the situation is as Marc VDS claims, then Miller will either have to race for the team, or buy his way out of the contract. The press release from Marc VDS is shown below:


Marc VDS confirm binding contract with Jack Miller

Gosselies, Belgium – 4 July 2014: While the Marc VDS Racing Team would prefer to keep confidential their negotiations and agreements with riders, circumstances dictate that the team clarify their position with regards to Jack Miller.

Jack Miller recently stated on the official Ajo Motorsport website that he has no contract for the future. This statement is inaccurate. Jack Miller signed a binding three-year contract with the Marc VDS Racing Team for the 2014, 2015 and 2016 seasons.

Under the terms of this six-page contract, the Marc VDS Racing Team negotiated on Jack Miller’s behalf to secure him a Moto3 World Championship ride with the Red Bull KTM Ajo Team in 2014.

During the course of these negotiations Ajo Motorsport team owner, Aki Ajo, was made aware of the contract between Jack Miller and the Marc VDS Racing Team and also that, under the terms of this contract, Jack Miller would contest the Moto2 World Championship for the Marc VDS Racing Team in 2015 and 2016.

The three-year contract was in the form of an extensive pre-agreement, covering the relevant key points such as exclusivity, payment conditions and technical support. Nowhere was there a clause related to early release from the contract should Jack Miller receive an offer for MotoGP in 2015. Following the signing of this pre-agreement a final contract was negotiated and agreed between the parties, with the key elements remaining unchanged.

This final agreement was not signed and all requests by the Marc VDS Racing Team for a meeting with Jack Miller, his parents and his management team, to clarify the situation with regard to Jack Miller’s contractual obligations for 2015 and 2016, have gone unanswered.

In the absence of a signed final agreement, the signed pre-agreement remains extant and binding on both parties.

“It is regrettable that we’ve had to make public this situation, but we really were left with no option,” stated Michael Bartholemy, Team Principal of the Marc VDS Racing Team. “We have a contract with Jack Miller and we are already preparing for his arrival in the team for the 2015 season because, for us, a deal is a deal. If Jack has changed his mind and doesn’t want to ride for us next year then he or his management team need to come and talk to us, rather than simply ignoring our numerous requests for a meeting to clarify the situation. We are not interested in playing games; we just want the situation sorted out expeditiously. Until it is resolved we cannot move forward with our own plans for the 2015 season, as we have no intention on reneging on the agreement by offering Jack Miller’s place in the Marc VDS Racing Team to another rider.”

Finally, the Marc VDS Racing Team would like to wish Jack Miller the best of luck with his 2014 Moto3 World Championship campaign.

More information and high resolution images are available on the Marc VDS Racing Team website at www.marcvds.com.

Jack Miller is a rider in demand. The current leader in the Moto3 world championship has been linked to several top teams, and has been openly flirting with a step up to MotoGP, skipping Moto2 altogether. The fly in the ointment for Miller is the pre-contract he signed with the Marc VDS Racing team in 2013, securing his services for 2014, 2015 and 2016. Under the terms of the contract, Miller was released to ride for the Red Bull KTM Ajo team in Moto3, as Miller was keen to have a shot at the Moto3 title before moving up a class.That situation appears to have caused some confusion. Jack Miller told the media as recently as Assen that he has no contract to ride for 2015, and is free to race wherever he wants. That is a position which was earlier laid out in a press release from the Red Bull KTM Ajo team, in which Miller made the same statement. Marc VDS Racing and their team manager Michael Bartholémy insist that this is not the case, and the situation has gotten so far out of hand that the Marc VDS team has issued a press release of their own, clarifying the deal which they have with the Australian.

Valentino Rossi Signs Two-Year Deal With Yamaha For 2015 And 2016

The news had been coming for a month or so, but at last it has been announced officially. Valentino Rossi has signed a two-year extension of his contract with the Movistar Yamaha team, and will race with them in MotoGP for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. For the past few races, Rossi had said he had been close to signing a new deal, but had a few details still to clear up. Those details had been resolved at some point between the Barcelona and Assen rounds, with Rossi's new contract signed at Assen.

The new contract is a result of Rossi's very strong showing this season, a major improvement over 2013. Rossi has already matched the number of podium finishes he had last season, with four 2nd places and one 3rd, though he has not yet managed to win a race, as he did in 2013. Improved braking performance from Yamaha has helped make Rossi more competitive, as has a change in riding style. The gamble to replace Jeremy Burgess with Silvano Galbusera as crew chief has also paid off richly. Whether the improvement has come from technical improvement in set up, or a result of increased motivation from the pressure Rossi put himself under with the move remains to be seen.

With Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez now set for the two seasons, the waiting is for announcements of the second riders at both the Repsol Honda and Movistar Yamaha teams. Dani Pedrosa is reported to be close to renewing with Honda, with a deal likely to come either at the Sachsenring or shortly afterwards. Negotiations with Jorge Lorenzo are taking a little longer, though it seems almost certain that he too will stay where he is. Lorenzo's options are limited, with the only realistic alternative a seat at Ducati. That, however, is too much of a gamble for a rider chasing championships. 

To announce the contract renewal, Yamaha issued both a press release and a video announcement from Rossi himself. Both appear below:

Yamaha and Valentino Rossi Set to Continue with Two-Year Contract Extension

Gerno di Lesmo (Italy), 2nd July 2014

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd is delighted to announce that it has signed a new two-year agreement with Valentino Rossi. The nine-time world champion will continue to race with Movistar Yamaha MotoGP for the 2015 and 2016 MotoGP World Championship seasons.

The announcement comes midway through an excellent season for the MotoGP veteran. Rossi currently sits in second in the standings having taken four second place finishes and a total of five podiums from eight races so far this year.

Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Racing Lin Jarvis

“I am very happy that we have concluded the agreement with Valentino for 2015 and 2016. Since his return to Yamaha in 2013 it’s been a very positive experience for everybody involved. After two difficult years ‘away from home’ Valentino returned last year, not only to us but also to his beloved YZR-M1. Fans of racing across the world were happy to see him rediscover his competitive performance and witness him take pleasure in riding and having fun again on two wheels. The “fun factor” is crucial to Valentino to get results – in fact when he first joined us in 2004 one of the most important motivations for his move to Yamaha was his desire to create an environment where he could enjoy racing. His enjoyment is obvious to all who meet him at the MotoGP events or who see him race on TV and is reflected in his excellent race results this year where he is currently in second position in the World Championship. We look forward to the next two and a half years together and it is our intention that Valentino will remain with Yamaha until the end of his sporting career and beyond.”

46 Valentino Rossi

“I am very happy to announce that I have signed a new contract with Yamaha to continue together in MotoGP for the next two years. I am very proud of this announcement. It’s very important to me because I really enjoy working with my crew and all the guys from the team, both the Japanese and European members that have been with me almost my entire career. It’s great because this was my target; I wanted to continue, I am feeling good and I’m motivated to keep giving my best. I am very happy that I can keep riding my YZR-M1, that has been my love for so many years and will still be my love this year and the following two seasons. A big 'Thank You' to everybody, I will try to keep giving the maximum to arrive in front and make good races. Enjoy!”

The news had been coming for a month or so, but at last it has been announced officially. Valentino Rossi has signed a two-year extension of his contract with the Movistar Yamaha team, and will race with them in MotoGP for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. For the past few races, Rossi had said he had been close to signing a new deal, but had a few details still to clear up. Those details had been resolved at some point between the Barcelona and Assen rounds, with Rossi's new contract signed at Assen.The new contract is a result of Rossi's very strong showing this season, a major improvement over 2013. Rossi has already matched the number of podium finishes he had last season, with four 2nd places and one 3rd, though he has not yet managed to win a race, as he did in 2013. Improved braking performance from Yamaha has helped make Rossi more competitive, as has a change in riding style. The gamble to replace Jeremy Burgess with Silvano Galbusera as crew chief has also paid off richly. Whether the improvement has come from technical improvement in set up, or a result of increased motivation from the pressure Rossi put himself under with the move remains to be seen.

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