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Marc VDS, LCR Considering MotoGP Expansion For 2015, But No More Production Hondas Available

The 2015 MotoGP grid is shaping up to look even stronger than this season. There are increasing signs that the weaker teams on the grid are set to disappear, with the strongest teams in Moto2 moving up to take their place. In addition, there is a chance that some of the stronger existing MotoGP teams could expand their participation as well.

It is an open secret that the Marc VDS Racing team is weighing up a switch to MotoGP. Team boss Michael Bartholemy has had initial talks with the team owner Marc van der Straten about adding a MotoGP entry to their line up, but they are still a long way from making a decision. Bartholemy told MotoMatters.com that a decision on their participation would come at Assen at the earliest, but admitted that it was still a very serious option.

The end of June would be too late for Kalex to get a chassis ready in time for 2015 to accept a leased Yamaha engine, but Bartholemy explained that that need not be a problem. Kalex have got permission from Yamaha to start work on a frame already, and have the specifications they need to get started, Bartholemy said.

That did not necessarily mean that Marc VDS will be running a Kalex Yamaha if they do decide to make the switch. 'We will look to see which manufacturer offers us the best package,' Bartholemy said. Marc VDS is likely to receive some help from the factories, due to the clear strength of the team. 'If you were a factory, which Moto2 team would you choose to help?' The Marc VDS team asked rhetorically.

The LCR Honda team is also considering expansion, to run a two-bike team along the lines of Gresini Honda, with one factory RC213V and one RCV1000R production racer. Lucio Cecchinello confirmed that he was close to signing a new sponsorship deal for 2015 which should bring in enough cash to add a second bike. But Cecchinello was cautious, saying his plans were far from fixed for next year. 'It's too early to say about next year,' Cecchinello said. 'At Assen, we will know more.'

The problem for both Cecchinello and Marc VDS is that the production Honda may not be an option. Asked whether there were any plans to expand Honda's current line up of four RCV1000Rs, HRC boss Shuhei Nakamoto said there was not. 'We have two-year contracts with the teams. Next year, we will supply the same teams,' he told MotoMatters.com.

Honda's reluctance to supply more bikes came down simply to cost. 'The production racer is very expensive, similar cost to satellite bike,' Nakamoto said. HRC are shouldering the difference, to acquiesce with Dorna's demands to supply cheaper bikes. Honda would only be willing to supply more production racers if the new teams were willing to bear the full cost.

For 2015, that may not be such a bad deal. Honda will be bringing performance upgrades for the RCV1000R, rumored to involve the addition of pneumatic valves. Nakamoto confirmed that the bikes would have more horsepower and acceleration, but refused to be drawn on exactly how that extra power would be produced. 'Next year, more power,' was all that he would reveal.

The 2015 MotoGP grid is shaping up to look even stronger than this season. There are increasing signs that the weaker teams on the grid are set to disappear, with the strongest teams in Moto2 moving up to take their place. In addition, there is a chance that some of the stronger existing MotoGP teams could expand their participation as well.It is an open secret that the Marc VDS Racing team is weighing up a switch to MotoGP. Team boss Michael Bartholemy has had initial talks with the team owner Marc van der Straten about adding a MotoGP entry to their line up, but they are still a long way from making a decision. Bartholemy told MotoMatters.com that a decision on their participation would come at Assen at the earliest, but admitted that it was still a very serious option.The end of June would be too late for Kalex to get a chassis ready in time for 2015 to accept a leased Yamaha engine, but Bartholemy explained that that need not be a problem. Kalex have got permission from Yamaha to start work on a frame already, and have the specifications they need to get started, Bartholemy said.

Jack Miller Handed Two Penalty Points- 'There's No Consistency'

Jack Miller has been handed two penalty points for his last-lap clash with Alex Marquez, which caused Miller, Marquez and Bastianini to crash. The Red Bull KTM rider made a very late lunge up the inside of the leading group at Scarperia, but clipped the back of Miguel Oliveira's Mahindra, which forced him to stand the bike up and into the path of Alex Marquez. Marquez ran into the back of Miller, and the two riders fell, taking out Enea Bastianini with them.

After the incident, Miller accepted full blame for the crash. 'I went in there a little bit too aggressive, trying to overtake too many people at once,' Miller said. 'There was a bit of room there, and I went for it, but Oliveira closed the door. I touched his rear tire, stood it up and almost had it, then Marquez ran in to me from behind. It was completely my fault.'

Though he was happy to admit blame, he was unhappy with being given two penalty points for it, and made his objections very clear to the members of Race Direction. 'I'm surprised I didn't get any more points, after I started swearing at them. I was waiting for the third one to be added on there,' he joked. Miller's main objection was a lack of consistency in when and how points were awarded. There have been several last-lap incidents so far this season, which have gone unpunished. 'That was my argument to them. I said there's no consistency whatsoever. It's a joke,' he said. 

The penalty points would not change his approach to future races, he said. If the same situation were to occur in the future, he would still try to make a pass. If it happens again, 'I go for it again, but I do it a little bit smarter,' Miller said. 'If you see a gap, you go for it. If you don't do that, then what the hell are you doing out there? I'm here to win races.'

Miller said he could not afford to make any more mistakes this season. 'It's my one mistake for the year,' he told us. 'Like Casey Stoner said, like many others said, you can have one chance for the year, one false move. That's mine done, now I have to get back on the horse and do what we've done in the other five races.'

Below is the official FIM press release announcing the points:


FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix

Gran Premio d’Italia TIM - Decision of the Race Direction

On 1 June, during the Moto3 Race of the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM, whilst attempting a passing manoeuvre the rider #8 Mr Jack Miller crashed into two other riders resulting in all three riders crashing out.

This is considered to be irresponsible riding causing danger to other competitors and is therefore an infringement of Article 1.21.2 of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Regulations.

A Race Direction hearing was held with the rider in attendance.

The decision of Race Direction is to impose the addition of two Penalty Points to the record of rider number 8 Jack Miller, according to Article 3.3.1.3 of the 2014 FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Disciplinary and Arbitration Code.

No appeal was lodged.

The decision of Race Direction is final.

Jack Miller has been handed two penalty points for his last-lap clash with Alex Marquez, which caused Miller, Marquez and Bastianini to crash. The Red Bull KTM rider made a very late lunge up the inside of the leading group at Scarperia, but clipped the back of Miguel Oliveira's Mahindra, which forced him to stand the bike up and into the path of Alex Marquez. Marquez ran into the back of Miller, and the two riders fell, taking out Enea Bastianini with them.After the incident, Miller accepted full blame for the crash. 'I went in there a little bit too aggressive, trying to overtake too many people at once,' Miller said. 'There was a bit of room there, and I went for it, but Oliveira closed the door. I touched his rear tire, stood it up and almost had it, then Marquez ran in to me from behind. It was completely my fault.'

Nicky Hayden Out For Mugello, To Have Surgery On Wrist On Tuesday

As expected, Nicky Hayden has withdrawn from the Mugello round of MotoGP. His right wrist, which is still swollen and inflamed, is causing him too much pain to be able to ride safely. Hayden is scheduled to have surgery on the wrist on Tuesday in Italy.

The problems with Hayden's wrist started in Valencia in 2011, in the first corner crash at the last race of that season. He broke the scaphoid bone in his hand, and had surgery to pin the bone together. Another crash at Austin aggravated the injury, and since then, the wrist has occasionally flared up and caused him problems. Hayden had surgery last December to remove the screw holding the scaphoid together and have a bone graft, but at Jerez the wrist started causing problems again, with no real cause. 'I didn't crash, I didn't really have a big moment or anything. It just suddenly started hurting real bad in the middle of the night,' Hayden said. Another crash at Le Mans didn't help the situation, and at Mugello, he hasn't really been able to ride, doing just eleven laps in total on Friday.

Hayden was not certain when he would be able to return, but he said the aim was to get back to racing as soon as possible. The surgery will be orthoscopic, to make the recovery period as short as possible. The initial plan was to clean up the entire joint, Hayden said, as it was showing signs of arthritis due to the bone healing process. The state of the scaphoid bone would also be assessed, though Hayden was confident that was now fully healed.

Below is the press release issued by the Aspar team:


NICKY HAYDEN PULLS OUT OF ITALIAN GP

DRIVE M7 Aspar rider unable to continue due to wrist pain; plans to undergo surgery in Italy next Tuesday

After completing just eleven laps yesterday DRIVE M7 Aspar rider Nicky Hayden took the decision just moments before this morning's third free practice session for the Italian Grand Prix that he will take no further part in the sixth round of the MotoGP World Championship. Nicky has suffered with the problem since round four in Spain but treatment in between races has allowed him to continue racing. However, at such a demanding circuit as Mugello the swelling and pain became unbearable and the best option for 'The Kentucky Kid' was to pull out.

Hayden is scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery at 8am next Tuesday here in Italy. The exploratory operation will be conducted by hand specialist Riccardo Luchetti, who will hopefully be able to identify the cause of the problem whilst cleaning up the affected area and reducing the swelling so that Nicky can return to competitive action as soon as possible.

Nicky Hayden: “My wrist isn't getting any better so as hard a decision as it is to take the best thing for me is to listen to the doctors and skip this race. We need to stop thinking about riding and start thinking about a plan for the operation next week and my subsequent recovery. Mugello is a fast and physical circuit at the best of times but with the pain and loss of strength in my right hand it was getting really difficult to brake properly and it was risky to continue. It is a shame to miss any race but especially Mugello, a circuit I love. It's also a shame for the team because we are really starting to build something together and we are understanding how to make progress more quickly during the weekend. My mechanics are working hard to make things easy for me and to give me the chance to get faster. I feel bad to miss this round, for the team and the sponsors.”

As expected, Nicky Hayden has withdrawn from the Mugello round of MotoGP. His right wrist, which is still swollen and inflamed, is causing him too much pain to be able to ride safely. Hayden is scheduled to have surgery on the wrist on Tuesday in Italy.The problems with Hayden's wrist started in Valencia in 2011, in the first corner crash at the last race of that season. He broke the scaphoid bone in his hand, and had surgery to pin the bone together. Another crash at Austin aggravated the injury, and since then, the wrist has occasionally flared up and caused him problems. Hayden had surgery last December to remove the screw holding the scaphoid together and have a bone graft, but at Jerez the wrist started causing problems again, with no real cause. 'I didn't crash, I didn't really have a big moment or anything. It just suddenly started hurting real bad in the middle of the night,' Hayden said. Another crash at Le Mans didn't help the situation, and at Mugello, he hasn't really been able to ride, doing just eleven laps in total on Friday.

Michelin To Become MotoGP Single Tire Supplier From 2016

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Michelin has been named as the official tire supplier for MotoGP starting from 2016. The French tire manufacturer will take over the role from Bridgestone when Bridgestone leaves at the end of 2015 season.

The official announcement confirms the worst kept secret in the paddock. Michelin had been widely trailed as being awarded the contract, as the French firm had shown the most interest. Unofficial talks had taken place with Pirelli, and Dunlop had made a formal request for information, but Michelin was the only tire maker to submit a bid. Michelin has already been testing its 16.5" slicks at Vallelunga and Clermont Ferrand in preparation for a bid.

The bid to become single tire supplier marks something of a turnaround for the French tire maker. When Dorna decided to go to a single supplier in 2008, Michelin did not enter a bid, saying that they had no interest in racing if there was no competition. As more and more race series have gone single supplier, that position has become untenable. Tire development can happen, but it is driven by corporate goals rather than competition, as Bridgestone explained when they announced their decision to withdraw.

The fact that Michelin was the only tire manufacturer to submit a bid raises questions over the financial side of the contract. Bridgestone are reported to be paying some 22 million euros annually for the contract, but with Bridgestone out of the running, and Michelin the only party showing any interest, the question is whether Michelin got the contract at a bargain price. Commercial details of the deal will not be officially revealed, and so we are unlikely to get an official answer to that question.

The awarding of the contract is just the first step along the way. Next up will be the hammering out of a commercial agreement, which will include details on the quantity and variety of tires to be supplied. Dorna is known to want more tires at the races, but more particularly, they want more tires for testing. Testing will continue with test riders for the moment, with the first contact for all MotoGP riders likely to come at the first Sepang test of 2015, to provide feedback on the development process.

Below is the official press release announcing the deal:


Michelin to become MotoGP™ Official Tyre supplier

Following French tyre manufacturer Michelin’s official tender, Dorna is pleased to announce that Michelin is to become the Official Tyre Supplier to MotoGP™ as of the 2016 World Championship season.

At the beginning of May 2014 Dorna, in agreement with the FIM, opened a tender for tyre manufacturers interested in becoming Official Tyre Supplier to MotoGP™ from the 2016 season.

Interested tyre manufacturers were able to request the technical specifications from Dorna’s Managing Director Javier Alonso, with three potential tyre suppliers initially expressing an interest – before Michelin alone made a formal tender before the 22nd May deadline.

The next step in the process will be the drawing out of a commercial agreement between Dorna and Michelin as Official Tyre Supplier, Michelin having already clearly proven its technical abilities to respond to the needs of a demanding Grand Prix racing schedule.

Michelin has been named as the official tire supplier for MotoGP starting from 2016. The French tire manufacturer will take over the role from Bridgestone when Bridgestone leaves at the end of 2015 season.The official announcement confirms the worst kept secret in the paddock. Michelin had been widely trailed as being awarded the contract, as the French firm had shown the most interest. Unofficial talks had taken place with Pirelli, and Dunlop had made a formal request for information, but Michelin was the only tire maker to submit a bid. Michelin has already been testing its 16.5" slicks at Vallelunga and Clermont Ferrand in preparation for a bid.The bid to become single tire supplier marks something of a turnaround for the French tire maker. When Dorna decided to go to a single supplier in 2008, Michelin did not enter a bid, saying that they had no interest in racing if there was no competition. As more and more race series have gone single supplier, that position has become untenable. Tire development can happen, but it is driven by corporate goals rather than competition, as Bridgestone explained when they announced their decision to withdraw.

Grand Prix Commission Approves Use Of Larger Brake Discs At All Circuits

MotoGP riders are to get some help with braking. From Mugello, all riders will be able to choose once again between running 320mm and 340mm brake discs on the front wheel. Use of the 340mm discs had been made compulsory at Motegi for safety reasons, but now, they will be available at all circuits.

The 320mm brake discs had been made compulsory at the end of the 2011 season, in an effort to cut costs. At that point, teams were free to choose from multiple sizes and masses of brake disc, meaning they were forced to purchase and transport sizeable numbers of discs to each race, while only using one or two sizes. Limiting choice was meant to rationalize the process, and cut costs for the teams.

Unfortunately, the compulsory brake disc size was imposed at the same time as bike capacity and weight were increased. In 2012, the first year of the restrictions, capacity of MotoGP machines was increased to 1000cc, and weights were increased to 157kg, and a year later to 160kg. With more power and nearly 7% more weight, braking forces were growing very large once again. A series of braking problems, most notably for Cal Crutchlow, appear to be related to the size of the brake discs. It was becoming more and more difficult for the teams to manage braking safely, especially at the faster circuits. With Mugello and Barcelona up next, two of the fastest tracks on the calendar, this was a good time to allow the larger brake discs.

The news will be especially welcome for the Yamaha riders, who have struggled with braking for the last two years. Larger discs will help the bike stop more easily, though it will also require changes to set up to handle the greater braking forces and absorb some of the load. Riders are already complaining about the front Bridgestone squirming under braking, and bigger discs will make this problem bigger. 

Allowing larger brake discs is a prelude to more changes to the technical rules. At some point in the near future, minimum weights will also be reduced again, probably from 160kg to 155kg. With the new Open class bikes based far less on production bikes and much closer to the factory prototype machines, the allowance of extra weight is simply not needed. Talks on weights have been going on in the background for the last few weeks. More on the reduced weights will appear here soon.

Below is the press release from the FIM on allowing larger brake discs:


FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix

Decision of the Grand Prix Commission

The Grand Prix Commission, composed of Messrs. Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna, Chairman), Ignacio Verneda (FIM Executive Director, Sport), Herve Poncharal (IRTA) and Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA) in the presence of Javier Alonso (Dorna) and Mike Trimby (IRTA, Secretary of the meeting), in an electronic meeting held on 22 May 2014, made the following decision:

Technical Regulations

Effective Immediately

The Commission unanimously decided, in the interests of safety, to modify the regulation concerning the front carbon disc brake sizes in the MotoGP class.

Currently the regulations permit two sizes of front carbon discs; 320 mm discs must be used at all circuits except at Motegi where the use of 340 mm discs is mandatory and at Montmelo and Sepang where use of 340 mm discs is optional.

Following a recommendation from the Safety Commission and with the support of the brake manufacturers it has been decided that the use of 340 mm disc brakes will be optional for all circuits with the exception of Motegi where such use remains mandatory.

A regularly updated version of the FIM Grand Prix Regulations which contains the detailed text of the regulation changes may be viewed shortly on:

http://www.fim-live.com/en/sport/official-documents-ccr/codes-and-regula...

MotoGP riders are to get some help with braking. From Mugello, all riders will be able to choose once again between running 320mm and 340mm brake discs on the front wheel. Use of the 340mm discs had been made compulsory at Motegi for safety reasons, but now, they will be available at all circuits.The 320mm brake discs had been made compulsory at the end of the 2011 season, in an effort to cut costs. At that point, teams were free to choose from multiple sizes and masses of brake disc, meaning they were forced to purchase and transport sizeable numbers of discs to each race, while only using one or two sizes. Limiting choice was meant to rationalize the process, and cut costs for the teams.

Forward To Use New MotoGP Chassis At Mugello

Colin Edwards is to finally get the new chassis he has been waiting for. NGM Forward boss Giovanni Cuzari told MotoGP.com that the team will have a new frame at Mugello, along with a new front fairing. A new seat unit and subframe would also be available. The new parts will only make their appearance on race day, Cuzari said.

More parts would appear after Barcelona, Cuzari said, which would bring their bike to approximately 75% of the machine planned for next year, which will be a complete rolling chassis with Yamaha engines. The parts would initially only be given to Colin Edwards, who has struggled to get to grips with the Yamaha chassis. He has been unable to get the bike to turn, leaving him well off the pace of teammate Aleix Espargaro. Espargaro has been very happy with the chassis supplied by Yamaha, when supply problems left Forward with a frame. In 2015, Yamaha have committed to only supplying engines, with chassis no longer being available. Colin Edwards has been pushing hard for a chassis similar to the FTR Kawasaki he campaigned in 2013, with which he was much more comfortable, though the ZX-10R engine was too tall and too underpowered to make a competitive package.

When asked at Jerez about a new chassis, Cuzari would not be drawn, saying only that the frame would be designed by 'consultants' hired by Forward Racing. Last week, MCN reported that Harris is to build the frame, which has been designed by former FTR chassis guru Mark Taylor. Taylor left the Buckingham-based firm at the start of the year, and has been working on various freelance projects since then. The rapport between FTR and Forward hit a low point earlier this year, after reports that the team had not paid the chassis builder. These reports were later officially denied by FTR in a press release, and at Jerez, Forward boss Cuzari told reporters that the situation was the other way around. Sources with knowledge of the situation confirm Cuzari's side of the story, that the problem was not one of non-payment by Forward, but of commitments not met by FTR.

 

Colin Edwards is to finally get the new chassis he has been waiting for. NGM Forward boss Giovanni Cuzari told MotoGP.com that the team will have a new frame at Mugello, along with a new front fairing. A new seat unit and subframe would also be available. The new parts will only make their appearance on race day, Cuzari said.More parts would appear after Barcelona, Cuzari said, which would bring their bike to approximately 75% of the machine planned for next year, which will be a complete rolling chassis with Yamaha engines. The parts would initially only be given to Colin Edwards, who has struggled to get to grips with the Yamaha chassis. He has been unable to get the bike to turn, leaving him well off the pace of teammate Aleix Espargaro. Espargaro has been very happy with the chassis supplied by Yamaha, when supply problems left Forward with a frame. In 2015, Yamaha have committed to only supplying engines, with chassis no longer being available. Colin Edwards has been pushing hard for a chassis similar to the FTR Kawasaki he campaigned in 2013, with which he was much more comfortable, though the ZX-10R engine was too tall and too underpowered to make a competitive package.

Major Upgrades Coming For Honda RCV1000R - But Not Until 2015

Honda's RCV1000R production racer is due to get some upgrades after all, but those upgrades are not set to come until 2015, according to reports on GPOne.com. The performance of the RCV1000R has been a source of some disappointment for the teams who stumped up the roughly 1 million euros a season the bike costs, as well as for the riders who have been hired to race the bike. After reports that a Honda test rider had lapped with 0.3 seconds of the factory RC213V machine, expectations of the bike were very high indeed. 

On the track, the RCV1000R has not got anywhere near the times expected of it. Comparing the fastest race lap of the fastest RCV1000R rider against the slowest RC213V rider shows an average difference of 0.730 seconds over the first five races of the season, four tenths more than Honda had managed with a test rider. Teams have complained, riders have been open in criticizing the lack of power, and the current teams have been eyeing the Open class Yamahas fielded by the NGM Forward team with some interest.

The Open Yamaha bikes look set to be the path which Honda has also chosen to follow, GPOne.com is reporting. The Honda production racer is to get the full RC213V engine, complete with pneumatic valves but without seamless transmission, from the beginning of next year. Using the RC213V engine in the production racer in 2015 will help Honda prepare for 2016, when spec software becomes compulsory for all MotoGP machines. Yamaha has already benefited from running the M1 engine in the Open class with Forward for much the same reason.

Though the RCV1000R will not get the seamless gearbox - that technology is too sensitive to be given away - pneumatic valves will remove the biggest weakness of the production Honda. All of the production Honda riders have complained of a lack of acceleration, and pointed to it as being the place where they have lost the most ground to the Factory Option machines. Pneumatic valves will allow for more aggressive cam profiles and greater valve opening, which will help to boost midrange power and torque. They also allow the engine to rev higher, producing more peak horsepower. For a fascinating breakdown on the benefits of pneumatic valves, see Kevin Cameron's explanation on the Cycle World website.

Work is to start on early versions of the uprated engine soon, and Honda have given RCV1000R riders Nicky Hayden, Hiroshi Aoyama, Scott Redding and Karel Abraham some suitable motivation for the rest of the 2014 season. GPOne.com is reporting that Honda is to bring a single, uprated RCV1000R to the last races of this season, most likely starting from Motegi. The bike will be given to the highest-placed rider in the standings, who will get to use it for the remaining races. His input will then help develop the 2015 version of the bike.

Below the difference in fastest race laps between the fastest production racer and the slowest factory bike:

  Fastest RCV1000R   Slowest RC213V  
  Rider Time Rider Time
Qatar Scott Redding 1:56.416 Stefan Bradl 1:55.937
Austin Scott Redding 2:05.996 Stefan Bradl 2:04.462
Argentina Hiroshi Aoyama 1:40.904 Stefan Bradl 1:40.093
Jerez Scott Redding 1:41.109 Alvaro Bautista 1:41.153
Le Mans Scott Redding 1:34.886 Stefan Bradl 1:34.017
Average   1:47.862   1:47.132
Difference 0.730

 

Honda's RCV1000R production racer is due to get some upgrades after all, but those upgrades are not set to come until 2015, according to reports on GPOne.com. The performance of the RCV1000R has been a source of some disappointment for the teams who stumped up the roughly 1 million euros a season the bike costs, as well as for the riders who have been hired to race the bike. After reports that a Honda test rider had lapped with 0.3 seconds of the factory RC213V machine, expectations of the bike were very high indeed. On the track, the RCV1000R has not got anywhere near the times expected of it. Comparing the fastest race lap of the fastest RCV1000R rider against the slowest RC213V rider shows an average difference of 0.730 seconds over the first five races of the season, four tenths more than Honda had managed with a test rider. Teams have complained, riders have been open in criticizing the lack of power, and the current teams have been eyeing the Open class Yamahas fielded by the NGM Forward team with some interest.

A Photog's French Adventure: Scott Jones At Le Mans, Race Day


Through a glass, darkly


#69, ready. Hayden would only last four corners, getting bumped off the track by Andrea Iannone on the first lap


The first laps of the MotoGP race were a real barn burner


Plate spinning


The Hondas were back in Moto3, but they had Jack Miller to deal with


Two in a row for Mika Kallio. We think this expression might be 'elated'.


VR46. A BFD.


The Le Mans ferris wheel, one of the better vantage points for watching MotoGP


Cal Crutchlow's head and hands go here


With Marc Marquez bumped down to 10th, the MotoGP race was pretty exciting for a while ...


... until Marquez recovered. At that point, Operation Clean Sweep resumed


What better way to disguise a bridge?


If you want to annoy Angel Nieto, ask Mr 'Doce mas uno' about his thirteen world titles. Then stand well back.


Corsi, Kallio, Salom. It would not end in that order.


Home Grand Prix can be tough, as Mike Di Meglio will tell you


If you'd like to have desktop-sized versions of Scott's fantastic photos, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. If you'd like a print of one of the shots you see on the site, then send Scott an email and he'll be happy to help.

Through a glass, darkly #69, ready. Hayden would only last four corners, getting bumped off the track by Andrea Iannone on the first lap The first laps of the MotoGP race were a real barn burner

Things To Do At Donington World Superbike Round: Thursday, Day of Dreams, Saturday, Paddock Party

With just a single round of the World Superbike championship taking place in the UK, those involved in the series are making a serious effort to try to revive the glory days of British World Superbike races, which saw up to 100,000 fans flock to the events. The charity Riders for Health, the Donington Park circuit, and the UK-based team Voltcom Crescent Suzuki are all playing their part to try to create some more buzz around the event.

The World Superbike weekend opens with the Day of Dreams, organized by Riders for Health to raise money for motorcycle racing's favorite charity. For £15, fans will be able to purchase a ticket giving pit lane and paddock access, catch the World Superbike riders question and answer session and paddock show, get autographs from their favorite riders, and take part in a special Riders for Health pit walk, and get a close up look at the WSBK and WSS machinery. The day will end with a special auction for Riders for Health. For £95, a select group of people will also have the chance to put in some track time under the watchful eye of British legends Ron Haslam and Niall Mackenzie.

On Saturday night, there will be live music in the paddock show area, hosted by Crescent Suzuki. British performer RemedySounds will be playing live from 9pm, with the party kicking off an hour earlier. The event is open to all paddock ticket holders, which are available for £25 both online and at the circuit ticket office.

Below are the press releases with full details of the weekend's activities:


Day Of Dreams Will Open WSBK Weekend At Donington

World Superbike fans will have the chance to meet their SBK heroes and feel the thrill of riding the Donington Park race track at a brand new Riders for Health event.

Day of Dreams takes place on Thursday 22 May and is an opportunity for fans to go behind-the-scenes of SBK and meet past and present superbike stars ahead of the UK round of the Superbike World Championship.

The family-friendly day costs just £15 per person and includes paddock and pit-lane access, with the opportunity to get close to the incredible SBK bikes as crews prepare for the upcoming race, as well as the chance to meet the current stars of SBK at an autograph signing session.

Tickets can be purchased today by visiting www.donington-park.co.uk.

Fans looking for something extra special can join three-times British Superbike Champion Niall MacKenzie and legend Ron Haslam for half an hour of expert tuition on the Donington Park race track. It’s the chance to feel the thrill of riding on a world famous track, with two champions who know Donington better than anyone, just days before the British Superbike race.

Track time tickets cost £95 and include lunch in the paddock hospitality suite and entrance to all Day of Dreams events. These can be purchased by emailing katie.holmes@donington-park.co.uk.

Niall Mackenzie: ‘I’ve supported Riders for Health for a long time, and I think events like Day of Dreams are really special. You get the chance to experience the pre-race buzz that goes on behind-the-scenes, as well as raising money for a charity that really is helping to save lives.’

Day of Dreams will also include a Riders for Health auction, with resident SBK paddock show host Michael Hill running the stage. Fans will get the opportunity to bid on unique SBK memorabilia and experiences to really kick-start their weekend of racing.

Michael Hill: “I have hosted the main stage for Riders For Health a few times now at Moto GP both here and in Spain and it is always an honour to support them. This event will hopefully give fans a memorable look behind the scenes of WSBK as well as giving me an opportunity to introduce our current starts of WSBK, WSS to the crowd. I won’t say too much, but I have been working hard to get some very special guests on stage as well as some real stars of the future. I cannot wait to add this event to the other duties that I normally perform at each WSBK event around the world, and to do it at the only UK race makes it even more special. This event is not to be missed!”

Riders for Health CEO Andrea Coleman: ‘We’re really excited about returning to Donington Park and adding a brand new event to our calendar, and are grateful to Donington for all their support in staging Day of Dreams.’

All of the money raised from Day of Dreams will help Riders for Health ensure health workers in Africa have access to reliable, well maintained motorcycles and ambulance so that they can continue to transform health care for 14 million people.

For more information visit www.riders.org.uk/day-of-dreams.

Track Time Terms and Conditions

The track time will consist of two sessions with 25 people in each. Each session will include two 15 minute rides on the track. Donington Park has a noise restriction policy of 98 db.

In addition to the Riders for Health programme of events, the official WSBK Paddock Show arena will host the new look Paddock Shows throughout the weekend, including the Tissot-Superpole show on Saturday (immediately after the session) and the new look spectacular on Sunday (after WSBK race 2), featuring all the podium finishers from both WSBK races and WSS as well as all fastest lap winners and some special guests.

See you all there folks!


RemedySounds revs up at Donington with Voltcom Crescent Suzuki

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki is preparing for the only eni FIM Superbike World Championship round on home soil but the GSX-R will not be its only soundtrack this weekend as South Coast artist RemedySounds joins the team at Donington Park.

Alongside the on-track action of Round Five of the World Championship, Voltcom Crescent Suzuki will be hosting a live music event from the heart of the Superbike Paddock as RemedySounds, tipped as the UK's most captivating unsigned performer, takes to the SBK Paddock Show stage on Saturday night.

Recently completing his UK tour, promoting his debut album ‘Incredaboy’, RemedySounds has supported artists such as Chase and Status, Labrynth, Tinchy Strider and Katy B and performed over 300 shows in the last year alone. The award-winning loop pedal artist brings his raw vocal talent, skilful guitar playing and beat-boxing to the Donington circuit in support of the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team alongside his S1mple Music Community cohort ‘Just Millie’. For more information please visit www.s1mplemusic.com or www.facebook.com/Remedysounds. The debut single ‘I’ll give you what you need’ can be found at www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdWTGffN7fM

The party will start from 20:00hrs on Saturday 24th May with RemedySounds on stage from 21:00hrs. Access is free to all Paddock Pass holders (weekend passes available for £25 online and at the circuit gates) and the event will be open to all teams and championship participants, so you never know who you might end up dancing with!

RemedySounds:

“The smell of petrol and things that go fast sit well in the RemedySounds camp. I feel very excited to be working with one of the best teams in the world at such a fantastic event and I am really looking forward to raising the roof of the SBK Paddock Show on Saturday night!"

With just a single round of the World Superbike championship taking place in the UK, those involved in the series are making a serious effort to try to revive the glory days of British World Superbike races, which saw up to 100,000 fans flock to the events. The charity Riders for Health, the Donington Park circuit, and the UK-based team Voltcom Crescent Suzuki are all playing their part to try to create some more buzz around the event.The World Superbike weekend opens with the Day of Dreams, organized by Riders for Health to raise money for motorcycle racing's favorite charity. For £15, fans will be able to purchase a ticket giving pit lane and paddock access, catch the World Superbike riders question and answer session and paddock show, get autographs from their favorite riders, and take part in a special Riders for Health pit walk, and get a close up look at the WSBK and WSS machinery. The day will end with a special auction for Riders for Health. For £95, a select group of people will also have the chance to put in some track time under the watchful eye of British legends Ron Haslam and Niall Mackenzie.

Andrea Iannone Given Penalty Point For Move During Qualifying

Andrea Iannone has been handed a penalty point for an incident during qualifying at Le Mans on Saturday. The Italian was deemed to have ridden dangerously after he rejoined the track at the Garage Bleu Esses almost directly beside Marc Marquez, who was on a flying lap. 

Marquez had complained about the move during the press conference, but Iannone had claimed that he had run out of brakes at the Chemin aux Boeufs chicane and cut across the sliproad. Marquez had responded to that suggestion by pointing out that if you've run out of brakes, you normally close the throttle across the sliproad, rather than accelerate. Race Direction appear to agree with Marquez' assessment.

Below is the press release on the incident:


FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix

Monster Energy Grand Prix de France - Decision of the Race Direction

On 17 May, 2014 during the MotoGP Qualifying 2 session of the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France, the rider #29 in the MotoGP class, Mr Andrea Iannone ran off the circuit and rejoined the circuit at a speed and in a position which caused danger to himself and another rider, and disrupted the progress of the other rider.

This is considered to be irresponsible riding and is therefore an infringement of Article 1.21.2 of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Regulations.

A Race Direction hearing was held with the rider in attendance.

The decision of Race Direction is to impose the addition of one Penalty Point to the record of rider #29 Andrea Iannone, according to Article 3.3.1.3 of the 2014 FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Disciplinary and Arbitration Code.

No appeal was lodged.

The decision of Race Direction is final.

Andrea Iannone has been handed a penalty point for an incident during qualifying at Le Mans on Saturday. The Italian was deemed to have ridden dangerously after he rejoined the track at the Garage Bleu Esses almost directly beside Marc Marquez, who was on a flying lap. Marquez had complained about the move during the press conference, but Iannone had claimed that he had run out of brakes at the Chemin aux Boeufs chicane and cut across the sliproad. Marquez had responded to that suggestion by pointing out that if you've run out of brakes, you normally close the throttle across the sliproad, rather than accelerate. Race Direction appear to agree with Marquez' assessment.Below is the press release on the incident:FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand PrixMonster Energy Grand Prix de France - Decision of the Race DirectionOn 17 May, 2014 during the MotoGP Qualifying 2 session of the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France, the rider #29 in the MotoGP class, Mr Andrea Iannone ran off the circuit and rejoined the circuit at a speed and in a position which caused danger to himself and another rider, and disrupted the progress of the other rider.

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