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Casey Stoner Wraps Up Two-Day Test For HRC At Motegi

Casey Stoner has made a temporary return to MotoGP, completing two days of testing for Honda at Motegi. Over the two days of testing, Stoner focused on the 2015 version of Honda's RC213V, the Australian comparing the settings used by Repsol Honda's current riders, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, to see how they work with the new bike. Stoner also worked on preparing the 2015 further ahead of its debut at the Valencia test after the final race of the season. Finally, he also spent some time on the development versions of Michelin's MotoGP tires, as the French manufacturer prepares to take over as spec tire supplier from 2016 onwards. As is their custom with all testing, Honda did not release any lap times.

Stoner volunteered to do the test as compensation for the tests he was scheduled to do in 2013. Those tests were largely rained off due to poor weather in Japan, and Stoner felt he still owed HRC some testing. With better weather conditions at Motegi for this test, the Australian was able to make good on his debt to Honda. According to MCN's Matt Birt, HRC boss Shuhei Nakamoto is keen to retain Stoner as a test rider, but agreement is yet to be reached. 

Stoner's return to testing will inevitably fuel speculation that he may return to racing at some point in the future. However, the chances of that happening appear to be zero. Those who know Stoner personally report that he is entirely happy in his retirement, dividing his time between his family, fishing and racing RC cars. Stoner's posts on various social media networks confirm the impression that the Australian is enjoying having a normal family life, and watching his daughter grow up.

After the test, HRC issued a press release complete with photographs, which appears below:


Casey Stoner completes two-day test in Motegi

Two-time MotoGP World Champion, Casey Stoner, has finished his two day test in Japan with Honda Racing Corporation – the first time back on a MotoGP machine since October last year.

Yesterday morning, Casey took to the 4.801km circuit located amongst the vast natural beauty of the northern Kanto district and scene of Honda’s recent 2014 World Championship clinching race, just a few weeks ago. The weather was kind and the intense testing programme reached it’s conclusion this afternoon after a full two days. Casey spent time testing the 2015 Honda RC213V machine on the current specification Bridgestone tyres testing various items including engine development and different setups. He also spent time on the 2016 Michelin tyres.

Casey Stoner

“It took some time to get used to riding the bike again after a year off it! But everything felt good, I got back into the swing of things pretty quickly and we just got on with the testing programme HRC had planned. Day one went pretty well, testing both Marc and Dani’s setups on the 2015 prototype machines and analysing these side by side we found some interesting differences and useful data. We also did some engine development and some other new items Honda brought for this test. Then today we spent some time on the Michelin tyres for 2016. All in all it was very positive two-day test and we completed a lot of laps.”

Photos courtesy of Aki Kusudo

Casey Stoner has made a temporary return to MotoGP, completing two days of testing for Honda at Motegi. Over the two days of testing, Stoner focused on the 2015 version of Honda's RC213V, the Australian comparing the settings used by Repsol Honda's current riders, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, to see how they work with the new bike. Stoner also worked on preparing the 2015 further ahead of its debut at the Valencia test after the final race of the season. Finally, he also spent some time on the development versions of Michelin's MotoGP tires, as the French manufacturer prepares to take over as spec tire supplier from 2016 onwards. As is their custom with all testing, Honda did not release any lap times.Stoner volunteered to do the test as compensation for the tests he was scheduled to do in 2013. Those tests were largely rained off due to poor weather in Japan, and Stoner felt he still owed HRC some testing. With better weather conditions at Motegi for this test, the Australian was able to make good on his debt to Honda. According to MCN's Matt Birt, HRC boss Shuhei Nakamoto is keen to retain Stoner as a test rider, but agreement is yet to be reached. 

Second Shooter: Andrew Gosling's Photos From Phillip Island, Part 1


The old Valentino was back at Phillip Island


Stefan Bradl was so desparate for a good result at Phillip Island that he overcooked a corner and crashed out


Peek-a-boo


Everyone wants a tow from Jack Miller. Jack Miller is not amused


Gardner Jr: Wayne's son Remy had a solid race in Australia


Go Skippy!


The most commonly seen view of Marquez' RC213V


Two Australian MotoGP Legends


A double-barreled Honda


More and more often, riders are wearing helmets on their track inspection laps


#68


PI was a lot easier on Nicky Hayden's surgically rebuilt wrist than Motegi was


Out lap


A thing of beauty


BMW's MotoGP entry


If you'd like to see more of Andrew Gosling's work, head on over to his website http://www.tbgsport.com/, or follow him on Facebook and Twitter. If you'd like to have desktop-sized versions of the fantastic photos featured on the site, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. If you'd like a print of one of the shots you see here, then send Andrew an email and he'll be happy to help.

The old Valentino was back at Phillip Island Stefan Bradl was so desparate for a good result at Phillip Island that he overcooked a corner and crashed out Peek-a-boo

2015 MotoGP Provisional Entry List Announced - No Surprises, But Still No Second Aprilia Rider

Along with the Moto3 and Moto2 entry lists, the FIM announced the provisional entry list for MotoGP for the 2015 season. The list contains no surprises, all the signings already announced. 

It does, however, contain two question marks, one large, one small. The large one is whether Marco Melandri will be joining Alvaro Bautista in the Gresini Aprilia squad next season, or whether he will stay on in World Superbikes for another year. Melandri is believed to be wary of the Aprilia MotoGP project, given the lack of competitiveness of the bike. For 2016, a new and greatly revised bike is expected, built specifically for MotoGP, rather than the modified RSV4 which they are currently racing. Melandri may be holding out for a year to assess the competitiveness of a new bike. However, if Aprilia do not back any teams in WSBK next year, then Melandri may find that his hand is being forced. No doubt that situation will finally be resolved next week, at the last round of World Superbikes at Qatar.

The other question is whether the IODA team will actually take part in MotoGP next year. They have struggled for funds in 2014, unable to field the two bikes originally planned. For next year, they have neither a bike nor a rider signed, and without finding a generous sponsor, it is hard to imagine how they will continue. More will become apparent at Valencia, no doubt, when (or indeed, if) the team tests on the three days following the race.

The provisional 2015 MotoGP line up:

No Rider Nationality Team Machine Factory Option?
4 Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team Ducati GP15 *
6 Stefan Bradl GER NGM Forward Racing Forward Yamaha  
8 Hector Barbera SPA Avintia Racing Ducati GP14.2  
9 Danilo Petrucci ITA Pramac Racing Ducati GP14.2 *
17 Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing Honda RC213V-RS  
19 Alvaro Bautista SPA Factory Aprilia Gresini Aprilia *
25 Maverick Vinales SPA Team Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki GSX-RR *
26 Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V *
29 Andrea Iannone ITA Ducati Team Ducati GP15 *
35 Cal Crutchlow GBR CMW LCR Honda Honda RC213V *
38 Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech3 Yamaha M1 *
41 Aleix Espargaro SPA Team Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki GSX-RR *
43 Jack Miller AUS CMW LCR Honda Honda RC213V-RS  
44 Pol Espargaro SPA Monster Yamaha Tech3 Yamaha M1 *
45 Scott Redding GBR Marc VDS Racing Team Honda RC213V *
46 Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha M1 *
50 Eugene Laverty IRL Drive M7 Aspar Honda RC213V-RS  
63 Mike Di Meglio FRA Avintia Racing Ducati GP14.2  
68 Yonny Hernandez COL Pramac Racing Ducati GP14.2 *
69 Nicky Hayden USA Drive M7 Aspar Honda RC213V-RS  
76 Loris Baz FRA NGM Forward Racing Forward Yamaha  
93 Marc Marquez SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V *
99 Jorge Lorenzo SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha M1 *
  To Be Confirmed   Factory Aprilia Gresini Aprilia *
  To Be Confirmed   OCTO Iodaracing Team TBC  

 

Along with the Moto3 and Moto2 entry lists, the FIM announced the provisional entry list for MotoGP for the 2015 season. The list contains no surprises, all the signings already announced. It does, however, contain two question marks, one large, one small. The large one is whether Marco Melandri will be joining Alvaro Bautista in the Gresini Aprilia squad next season, or whether he will stay on in World Superbikes for another year. Melandri is believed to be wary of the Aprilia MotoGP project, given the lack of competitiveness of the bike. For 2016, a new and greatly revised bike is expected, built specifically for MotoGP, rather than the modified RSV4 which they are currently racing. Melandri may be holding out for a year to assess the competitiveness of a new bike. However, if Aprilia do not back any teams in WSBK next year, then Melandri may find that his hand is being forced. No doubt that situation will finally be resolved next week, at the last round of World Superbikes at Qatar.

2015 Moto2 Provisional Entry List Announced - Herd Mentality Sees Massive Switch To Kalex

The FIM today released the provisional entry list for the 2015 Moto2 class, consisting of 31 entries for next season. Most of the championship contenders remain, with only Maverick Viñales making the move up to MotoGP. They are joined by the two top contenders from Moto3, Alex Rins and Alex Marquez, withMarquez going to the Marc VDS team, and Rins taking the place of Viñales at the Pons HP40 team.

The biggest change in Moto2 is the continuing transformation into an almost completely spec class. A collective fear of risk and innate conservatism sees the vast majority of Suter teams abandon the Swiss chassis builder in favor of Kalex, leaving just a single Suter on the grid, the German rookie Florian Alt at the cash-strapped IODA Racing team. The migration from Suter is odd, as the Swiss chassis builder has two wins, three 2nd places, and six 3rd place finishes, which would suggest that the chassis is extremely competitive. 

The mass flight to Kalex means that 23 riders will be on the German chassis. All of the 2014 teams will receive 2015 material, while the newcomers will race the 2014 chassis. In addition to Kalex and Suter, there will be three Tech 

The full list of entries for Moto2 appears below. It is still provisional, and so changes may still occur up until the start of the season.

No Rider Nationality Team Machine
2 Jesko Raffin SUI SAG Team Kalex
3 Simone Corsi ITA NGM Forward Racing Kalex
4 Randy Krummenacher SUI Jir Moto2 TBC
5 Johann Zarco FRA Ajo Motorsport Kalex
8 Gino Rea GBR AGT Rea Racing Kalex
10 Thitipong Warokorn THAI APH PTT The Pizza SAG Kalex
11 Sandro Cortese GER Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex
12 Thomas Luthi SUI Derendinger Racing Interwetten Kalex
19 Xavier Simeon BEL Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex
21 Franco Morbidelli ITA Italtrans Racing Team Kalex
22 Sam Lowes GBR Speed Up Speed Up
23 Marcel Schrotter GER Tech3 Tech3
25 Azlan Shah MAL Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Kalex
30 Takaaki Nakagami JPN Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Kalex
36 Mika Kallio FIN Italtrans Racing Team Kalex
39 Luis Salom SPA Paginas Amarillas HP40 Kalex
40 Alex Rins SPA Paginas Amarillas HP40 Kalex
49 Axel Pons SPA AGR Team Kalex
53 Tito Rabat SPA Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex
55 Hafizh Syahrin MAL Petronas Raceline Malaysia Kalex
60 Julian Simon SPA QMMF Racing Team Speed Up
66 Florian Alt GER OCTO Iodaracing Team Suter
70 Robin Mulhauser SUI Technomag Racing Interwetten Kalex
73 Alex Marquez SPA Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex
77 Dominique Aegerter SUI Technomag Racing Interwetten Kalex
88 Ricky Cardus SPA Tech3 Tech3
94 Jonas Folger GER AGR Team Kalex
95 Anthony West AUS QMMF Racing Team Speed Up
96 Louis Rossi FRA Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2 Tech3
  To Be Confirmed   NGM Forward Racing Kalex
  To Be Confirmed   Gresini Racing Moto2 Kalex

 

The FIM today released the provisional entry list for the 2015 Moto2 class, consisting of 31 entries for next season. Most of the championship contenders remain, with only Maverick Viñales making the move up to MotoGP. They are joined by the two top contenders from Moto3, Alex Rins and Alex Marquez, withMarquez going to the Marc VDS team, and Rins taking the place of Viñales at the Pons HP40 team.The biggest change in Moto2 is the continuing transformation into an almost completely spec class. A collective fear of risk and innate conservatism sees the vast majority of Suter teams abandon the Swiss chassis builder in favor of Kalex, leaving just a single Suter on the grid, the German rookie Florian Alt at the cash-strapped IODA Racing team. The migration from Suter is odd, as the Swiss chassis builder has two wins, three 2nd places, and six 3rd place finishes, which would suggest that the chassis is extremely competitive. The mass flight to Kalex means that 23 riders will be on the German chassis. All of the 2014 teams will receive 2015 material, while the newcomers will race the 2014 chassis. In addition to Kalex and Suter, there will be three Tech The full list of entries for Moto2 appears below. It is still provisional, and so changes may still occur up until the start of the season.

2015 Moto3 Provisional Entry List Announced - 33 Riders With Few Surprises

The FIM has finally released the provisional entry lists for the 2015 season. The Moto3 entry list shows a field of 33 riders, with only a single seat still unnamed, the second bike in the Sepang International Circuit team, which is likely to go to a young Malaysian or Asian rider.

With most of the current top riders leaving, off to Moto2 or, in the case of Jack Miller, to MotoGP, the field looks very open for 2015. Romano Fenati and Enea Bastianini remain in their current teams, Bastianini switching from KTM to Honda. Brad Binder takes the place of Miller at Red Bull KTM Ajo, making him one of the favorites for next year. 

Fabio Quartararo is the most highly-anticipated entry into the Moto3 championship, Monlau team manager Emilio Alzamora even managing to persuade the FIM to change the rules to allow the French youngster to take part in the first three races, despite not reaching the minimum age of 16 until 20th April, the day after the Argentina round. He will be joined at the Estrella Galicia 0,0 team, not by Maria Herrera, as was widely expected, but by Jorge Navarro, currently riding for the Marc VDS Racing team in Moto3. There will be one female rider, however, as Ana Carrasco will be riding for the Boe41 RBA team, being entered by Aleix Espargaro. She will be joined there by Niklas Ajo and the young Argentinian Gabri Rodrigo.

The Moto3 entry list appears below:

No Rider Nationality Team Machine
5 Romano Fenati ITA Sky Racing Team VR46 KTM
9 Scott Deroue NLD RW Racing GP Honda
10 Alexis Masbou FRA Saxoprint-RTG Honda
11 Matteo Ferrari ITA San Carlo Team Italia Mahindra
16 Andrea Migno ITA Sky Racing Team VR46 KTM
17 John McPhee GBR Saxoprint-RTG Honda
19 Alessandro Tonucci ITA Ambrogio Racing Mahindra
20 Fabio Quartararo FRA Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda
21 Francesco Bagnaia ITA Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 Mahindra
22 Ana Carrasco SPA Boe41 RBA Team KTM
23 Niccolo Antonelli ITA Ongetta-Rivacold Honda
24 Tatsuki Suzuki JPN CIP Mahindra
29 Stefano Manzi ITA San Carlo Team Italia Mahindra
31 Niklas Ajo FIN Boe41 RBA Team KTM
32 Isaac Vinales SPA Calvo Team Husqvarna
33 Enea Bastianini ITA Gresini Racing Moto3 Honda
40 Daryn Binder RSA Ambrogio Racing Mahindra
41 Brad Binder RSA Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM
44 Miguel Oliveira POR Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM
50 Hiroki Ono JPN Kiefer Racing Honda
52 Danny Kent GBR Kiefer Racing Honda
55 Andrea Locatelli ITA Gresini Racing Moto3 Honda
57 Eric Granado BRA Calvo Team Husqvarna
58 Juanfran Guevara SPA Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 Mahindra
63 Zulfahmi Khairuddin MAL Sepang International Circuit KTM
65 Philipp Oettl GER TT Motion Events KTM
84 Jakub Kornfeil CZE CIP Mahindra
88 Jorge Martin SPA Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 Mahindra
91 Gabriel Rodrigo ARG Boe41 RBA Team KTM
95 Jules Danilo FRA Ongetta-Rivacold Honda
98 Karel Hanika CZE Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM
99 Jorge Navarro SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda
  To Be Confirmed   Sepang International Circuit KTM

 

The FIM has finally released the provisional entry lists for the 2015 season. The Moto3 entry list shows a field of 33 riders, with only a single seat still unnamed, the second bike in the Sepang International Circuit team, which is likely to go to a young Malaysian or Asian rider.With most of the current top riders leaving, off to Moto2 or, in the case of Jack Miller, to MotoGP, the field looks very open for 2015. Romano Fenati and Enea Bastianini remain in their current teams, Bastianini switching from KTM to Honda. Brad Binder takes the place of Miller at Red Bull KTM Ajo, making him one of the favorites for next year. Fabio Quartararo is the most highly-anticipated entry into the Moto3 championship, Monlau team manager Emilio Alzamora even managing to persuade the FIM to change the rules to allow the French youngster to take part in the first three races, despite not reaching the minimum age of 16 until 20th April, the day after the Argentina round. He will be joined at the Estrella Galicia 0,0 team, not by Maria Herrera, as was widely expected, but by Jorge Navarro, currently riding for the Marc VDS Racing team in Moto3. There will be one female rider, however, as Ana Carrasco will be riding for the Boe41 RBA team, being entered by Aleix Espargaro. She will be joined there by Niklas Ajo and the young Argentinian Gabri Rodrigo.

Scott Jones On The Island: Race Day Photos From Australia


Attack vector: Rossi about to try to pass Lorenzo at MG


The new Cal Crutchlow is a completely different kettle of fish to the old one


After faltering in the last few races, Jack Miller got it perfectly right at home


The tale of the race? Marc Marquez dived into the lead from the start...


... built a massive lead ...


... but it ended in tears when temperatures dropped and grip disappeared


Maniac Joe lived up to his name in Australia. Two dodgy moves, the last ending with him in the gravel


It also ended Dani Pedrosa's race, Iannone having damaged the rim of Pedrosa's rear wheel


Phillip Island produces great racing. Fantastic battles up and down the grid...


... an insanely intense Moto3 race ...


Even Moto2 was worth watching


Maverick, Master of Moto2


Pick a winner. Moto3 was a free-for-all


Rossi's win was almost as popular with the crowd as Miller's in Moto3


Some spectators were just happy to have survived the weekend without incident


A forest of photographers


The runaway train went over the hill...


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.

Attack vector: Rossi about to try to pass Lorenzo at MG The new Cal Crutchlow is a completely different kettle of fish to the old one After faltering in the last few races, Jack Miller got it perfectly right at home

Scott Jones On The Island: Saturday Photos From Australia


Free of pressure, and fast as ever


There's nothing quite like a 99 by the seaside


Cal Crutchlow has finally figured the Ducati out: ride it like you stole it


Stefan Bradl, up and over Lukey Heights


Unlike Motegi, Valentino Rossi didn't get qualifying right at the Island. He's still fast though


It's Andrea Dovizioso's turn to struggle on the Ducati this weekend


Phillip Island. Hard work.


My kind of energy drink. In the background, not the foreground


The Maniac


Dani Pedrosa looked lost all weekend, but things came together during qualifying


Aleix Espargaro was fast during qualifying, but can he make his tires last in the race?


The quick Brit: Bradley Smith is looking much more capable in Australia


His teammate is having a little less joy


In a blur


Fastest open Honda: Hiroshi Aoyama surprised a fair few in Q1


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.

Free of pressure, and fast as ever There's nothing quite like a 99 by the seaside Cal Crutchlow has finally figured the Ducati out: ride it like you stole it

Scott Jones On The Island: Friday Photos From Australia


The circuit in the middle of nowhere. And all the more beautiful for it


Surplus to requirements at Phillip Island. Not enough hard braking to get the high mass disks up to temperature


Could this be the new King of the Island? Jorge Lorenzo is off to a good start so far


But if Lorenzo has any illusions of victory, he'll have to get past this man first


Parting of the ways: Mike Leitner informed Dani Pedrosa that he wouldn't continue as his crew chief in 2016


Could it work out? It did when Silvano Galbusera came in to work with Valentino Rossi


Nicky Hayden held the lap record for Phillip Island until last year. Fastest of the production Hondas on Friday


Moto2 flashback


Founding of a new dynasty? 1987 500cc champ Wayne Gardner's son Remy has a wildcard at Phillip Island


Apparently, Tech 3 Moto2 rider Marcel Schrotter is from Germany


The Repsol Hondas, using the least brake to get the most deceleration


When the weather cooperates, PI is the best place on earth


Alex Marquez, the 2014 Moto3 world champion? He's getting close


Because Ohlins


Cal Crutchlow gets faster as the season end draws near.


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.

The circuit in the middle of nowhere. And all the more beautiful for it Surplus to requirements at Phillip Island. Not enough hard braking to get the high mass disks up to temperature Could this be the new King of the Island? Jorge Lorenzo is off to a good start so far

Bridgestone And Dunlop Bringing New Tires To Phillip Island To Avoid A Repeat Of 2013

The resurfacing of Phillip Island at the start of 2013 caused a massive problem in both MotoGP and Moto2 during last year's Australian Grand Prix. The vastly improved surface saw lap times drop and corner speeds go up dramatically. Marc Marquez' fastest race lap of the circuit was just over 2 seconds faster than Casey Stoner's best race lap the previous year, and just under Nicky Hayden's lap record of the circuit, which had stood since 2008. 

The radically faster surface led to much greater heat build up in the tires, with the rear tires of both Moto2 and MotoGP bikes showing severe and dangerous degradation. The problems forced both Moto2 and MotoGP to be drastically reduced in length, the Moto2 race slashed from 25 to 13 laps, and the MotoGP race cut from 27 to 19 laps, with the added complication of being forced to come in and swap bikes, and hence rear tires. The compulsory pit stop caused a good deal of confusion, eventually leading to the disqualification of Marc Marquez for missing the compulsory pit window.

To avoid a repeat of the situation, both Dunlop and Bridgestone are bringing new tires to the track, with much harder compounds. Both tire manufacturers have been hard at work designing tires to cope with the surface, based on data collected at a test here in March, where the factory Honda, Yamaha and Ducati riders, along with two top Moto2 teams tested a large range of tires. Dunlop and Bridgestone are both now confident that their tires will last the full duration of the race without any major problems.

More interestingly, Bridgestone are bringing a radical new front tire to handle the very particular demands of Phillip Island. The circuit consists of a lot of left handers, with the final section leading back onto the main Gardner Straight getting ever faster. This places a lot of strain on the left-hand side of the tires (it was this which caused the biggest problems in 2013 for the rear tires), while leaving the right-hand side relatively unstressed, and allowing it to cool off. The asymmetric rear tires have been designed to cope with this, but there were still an unusually large number of crashes at both the Honda Hairpin and MG Corners, the two slower right handers which appear after a long time on the left side of the tire. Then there's the mighty Doohan corner at Turn 1, a very fast corner approached at high speed.

Bridgestone have decided to address these problems by using an asymmetric front tire, with different compounds on the left and right sides of the tire. In the past, riders have rejected such tires, as providing the necessary stability under braking with asymmetric fronts is exceptionally difficult. That meant the front would squirm under braking, making corner entry that much more difficult. 

Bridgestone believe they have now cracked that problem, and when the asymmetric fronts were tested earlier in the year, they met with broad approval. So the Japanese tire maker will be debuting the tires at Phillip Island for the Australian Grand Prix. For the moment, only the softest (extra soft) of the three choices available for the front tire will be asymmetric. This is the obvious choice, as it is especially in the coldest conditions where the problems are greatest. The other two choices (soft and medium) will be standard symmetric tires. All of the rear tires will all be asymmetric.

Below are the press releases on tires from Bridgestone and Dunlop on the special tires they have brought for Phillip Island:


Bridgestone develops new tyre allocation for the 2014 Australian Grand Prix

Wednesday, October 15 2014

Bridgestone will introduce a brand new tyre allocation for the 2014 Australian Grand Prix, including a newly-developed asymmetric front slick tyre as the Official Tyre Supplier to MotoGP™ continues its efforts to develop technologies that further enhance rider safety.

New advances in tyre construction and compound technology have enabled Bridgestone to create a front slick tyre that maintains the braking stability of a symmetric tyre, but with enhanced warm-up performance and edge grip. The asymmetric front slick is composed of two different rubber compounds, with one shoulder composed of a softer rubber compound. In the case of Phillip Island where there are five right-hand corners compared to seven left-hand corners, this softer rubber zone will be on the right shoulder. The new zoning of different rubber compounds on the front slick means that when the rider reaches a lean angle of approximately 30° in right-hand corners, they begin to use the zone of softer rubber on the front tyre for greater safety and performance while cornering.

For the Australian Grand Prix, the asymmetric front slick will be in the soft specification; meaning the left shoulder will use Bridgestone’s soft rubber compound, while the lesser-used right shoulder will utilise the extra-soft rubber compound for superior warm-up potential. This asymmetric front slick will be offered as part of Bridgestone’s standard front tyre allocation for Phillip Island, with the other two options of front tyre in the allocation being conventional, symmetric slick tyres.

The rear slick tyres Bridgestone will allocate to riders at Phillip Island have been developed specifically for the severe demands the Australian circuit places on rear tyres, and will feature developments in construction and compound technology that are not featured at any other circuit on the MotoGP™ calendar. The three rear slick options for Phillip Island; the soft, medium and hard compound provide the optimal combination of safety, durability and performance to suit the new Phillip Island track tarmac following its re-surfacing in late 2012.

Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department

“After a concerted effort from our Technical Centre in Japan, we will introduce a brand new tyre allocation for this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix. Since last year’s race at Phillip Island, we have tested at the circuit in a large variety of weather conditions to ensure our tyres will provide excellent durability and performance, while still providing good warm-up performance and usability for the riders. Such are the demands placed on the rear tyre at Phillip Island, that our rear slicks for this weekend use compound and construction technology that aren’t used at any other circuit on the calendar. Our test results with these new tyres were encouraging, and I am looking forward to seeing them in a race situation this weekend.

“Our new asymmetric front slick is the result of a long development programme and I am pleased to see this new technology makes its debut in the MotoGP World Championship this weekend. The innovative technology we’ve introduced on this asymmetric front slick will ensure that the riders will still enjoy the same high level of braking stability they associate with our symmetric front slick, but with better grip and warm-up performance while cornering. This development is yet another example of our commitment to continue developing new MotoGP tyre technology”


Dunlop Takes Bespoke High Performance Distance Proven Tyre Options To Phillip Island

After the resurfacing in 2013, high grip levels are expected again for this year’s Phillip Island round of the FIM Moto World Championships. The South-Eastern Australian venue is rated as one of the most aggressive in the world but a March tyre test at the track and bespoke Dunlop Moto2 development has produced race-distance proven special hard options for this visit.

Dunlop spent three days testing at the track in March with two teams and four riders focussing on durability and pace, establishing options that achieved race distance with faster lap times than 2013. In the all-important twisty sections, the Moto2 pace was faster than most MotoGP bike times. The new designs feature low heat generation and heat resistant compounds in addition to new tread constructions and belt materials. Three tyres from the test were agreed to be favoured options for the race from which Dunlop has selected the two most suitable for racing conditions at the track this weekend.

The 4,448 metre circuit has five right and seven left turns and the increased grip last year brought new lap records from the first practice sessions. Any track presents the task of balancing maximum speed potential with race distance needs and the Dunlop engineers will work particularly closely with the teams to help get optimum tyre and bike settings for the 25 lap Phillip Island race.

After success in Japan using the new Moto3 H2 front compound and construction Dunlop will allocate the same front tyre choice in Australia. Moto3 riders were able to increase their confidence with this harder tyre much more than in previous events. In Moto2, the medium and hard options will be available for the front with the two bespoke special hard specifications for the rear.

Tyre allocation and colour codes:

Moto2:

Fronts 120/75R17, 3 x 123 (hard - yellow Dunlop on black) and 5 x 302 (medium - black Dunlop on silver)

Rears, 195/75R17, ATR25 067 (Special Hard) x 5 – 195/75R17 Moto2 ATR26 4077 (Special hard2) x 4

Moto3:

Fronts: 95/75R17, 5 x Medium (black Dunlop on silver) and 3 x Hard H2 (yellow Dunlop on black)

Rears: 115/75R17 , 6 x Medium (black Dunlop on silver)and 3 x Hard (yellow Dunlop on black)

The riders will have three sets of wet tyres with an additional set being permitted if all sessions are declared wet.

Race Stat: Fastest Laps

Dunlop tyres are designed to perform as consistently throughout a race as possible. Motegi’s Moto2 race was an excellent example of performance with the fastest lap being set an impressive thirteen times throughout the 23 lap race. Luthi took seven of the fastest laps, Viñales four times, with Rabat and Kallio taking one each. Maverick Viñales set the final fastest time on lap 19, setting another new record for the track.

Clinton Howe, Operations Manager Motorcycle Grand Prix

“In March this year we tested at Phillip Island with Team Aspar and Marc VDS Racing. Riders Nico Terol, Jordi Torres, Mika Kallio and Tito Rabat were able to race at a very good pace for a race distance on both front and rear options and all agreed that the tyres we have brought here this weekend were the best options. Tito lapped at least half a second faster than the fastest 2013 fastest race lap on all three test days and beat all but two of the MotoGP sector one times. As well as pace we put in several race simulation runs and covered well over 800 laps so it will be great to see the tyres in race conditions after all the hard work and investment.

“As always here, the weather will probably be very mixed and it is unlikely that we will see fewer than three seasons worth of weather conditions. We have a good range that works well across changing conditions but the teams can need to make difficult decisions depending on weather forecasts.”


The resurfacing of Phillip Island at the start of 2013 caused a massive problem in both MotoGP and Moto2 during last year's Australian Grand Prix. The vastly improved surface saw lap times drop and corner speeds go up dramatically. Marc Marquez' fastest race lap of the circuit was just over 2 seconds faster than Casey Stoner's best race lap the previous year, and just under Nicky Hayden's lap record of the circuit, which had stood since 2008. The radically faster surface led to much greater heat build up in the tires, with the rear tires of both Moto2 and MotoGP bikes showing severe and dangerous degradation. The problems forced both Moto2 and MotoGP to be drastically reduced in length, the Moto2 race slashed from 25 to 13 laps, and the MotoGP race cut from 27 to 19 laps, with the added complication of being forced to come in and swap bikes, and hence rear tires. The compulsory pit stop caused a good deal of confusion, eventually leading to the disqualification of Marc Marquez for missing the compulsory pit window.To avoid a repeat of the situation, both Dunlop and Bridgestone are bringing new tires to the track, with much harder compounds. Both tire manufacturers have been hard at work designing tires to cope with the surface, based on data collected at a test here in March, where the factory Honda, Yamaha and Ducati riders, along with two top Moto2 teams tested a large range of tires. Dunlop and Bridgestone are both now confident that their tires will last the full duration of the race without any major problems.

Randy De Puniet To Race For Suzuki In World Superbikes In 2015

Randy De Puniet is to make a return to racing full time. As had been rumored for some weeks now, the Frenchman is to make the switch to the World Superbike series, where he will join the Crescent Suzuki team for 2015. De Puniet will race alongside Alex Lowes next year, aboard the Suzuki GSX-R1000.

After losing his ride with the Aspar team at the end of 2013, De Puniet has spent 2014 as Suzuki's official test rider, helping to develop the bike now dubbed the GSX-RR. The only racing action he had seen was with the Yoshimura team during the Suzuka 8 Hour race, where he finished in second place with teammates Josh Waters and Takuya Tsuda. But De Puniet was keen to return to racing full time, and with no vacancies in MotoGP, the World Superbike series was the obvious choice. Racing with the Crescent team allows him to stay with Suzuki as a test rider, and retain his strong ties with the Japanese factories.

Alongside his duties in WSBK, De Puniet will continue development work on the Suzuki GSX-RR MotoGP machine, with a particular focus on 2016. De Puniet will mainly be working on getting the GSX-RR to work with the Michelin tires, due to replace Bridgestone at the start of the 2016 season. He will also be helping to make the bike work with the so-called unified software which is to be introduced at the same time.

The Crescent Suzuki press release announcing the signing of De Puniet appears below:


Randy de Puniet joins Crescent Suzuki World Superbike for 2015

Crescent Suzuki is delighted to announce its completed rider line-up for the 2015 FIM Superbike World Championship as world-renowned competitor and current Suzuki MotoGP™ test rider Randy de Puniet joins the UK-based team alongside Alex Lowes.

A long-standing racer in Grand Prix, de Puniet has amassed 139 MotoGP race starts and five 250cc GP race wins during his 15 years on the world stage so far. During 2014, he has become instrumental to the development of Suzuki’s 2015 return to GP competition with the all-new GSX-RR.

The 33-year-old Frenchman will enter the World Superbike series full-time with his new Crescent Suzuki squad for the 2015 season but will also continue to test the Suzuki GP machine, with particular responsibility for matching the bike’s performance to MotoGP’s new 2016 tyre provider. De Puniet is very motivated for competitive action aboard the World Superbike specification GSX-R1000, after his successful second-place result as part of the Yoshimura team in the 2014 Suzuka 8 hour endurance race.

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki will complete its last race of the 2014 season with current riders Eugene Laverty and Alex Lowes at the Losail International Circuit, in Qatar, on November 2nd, before beginning an extensive winter of testing and development with de Puniet and Lowes.

Randy de Puniet:

“I’m so happy to be joining Crescent Suzuki for the Superbike World Championship because my target for 2015 was to get back to competing on the race track. Testing for the past year was ok but of course what I really want is to race! I really enjoyed racing in Suzuka this year – to race, to fight and to be on the podium is everything to me. I had the opportunity to join the Crescent team for next year and I’m really happy; my first priority was to stay with Suzuki because I want to stay within this family, and for me this is a new challenge – a new championship, new bike, new tyre, everything is different and I have many things to learn but I am ready for that and I’m very confident. I will be joining a very strong team with a lot of experience and I think the bike will be good next year. We have a good test plan for this winter and I think we will be ready for the first race in Phillip Island next year.”

Paul Denning – Team Manager:

“We couldn’t be happier to have secured Randy’s agreement to compete in the 2015 World Superbike Championship on board our GSX-R1000. We needed a high quality rider to replace Eugene; Randy was the obvious choice, and we are very proud to have gained his trust and commitment to race with us next year.

“He has impressed Suzuki this year with his hard work and feedback as test rider on the Grand Prix GSX-RR, but Randy’s racing pedigree is also beyond doubt and his potential to succeed on the Superbike is clear. This is not a commercially driven deal – the primary motivation is simply to race! After an acclimatisation period to learn the GSX-R1000 and the Pirelli tyres, I see no reason why he won’t be an absolute front runner. Randy’s close working relationship with the Suzuki Factory can also only be positive for the World Superbike project, and the whole team is very excited about getting down to work, and turning 2014’s potential into solid results for both riders next season.”

Randy De Puniet is to make a return to racing full time. As had been rumored for some weeks now, the Frenchman is to make the switch to the World Superbike series, where he will join the Crescent Suzuki team for 2015. De Puniet will race alongside Alex Lowes next year, aboard the Suzuki GSX-R1000.After losing his ride with the Aspar team at the end of 2013, De Puniet has spent 2014 as Suzuki's official test rider, helping to develop the bike now dubbed the GSX-RR. The only racing action he had seen was with the Yoshimura team during the Suzuka 8 Hour race, where he finished in second place with teammates Josh Waters and Takuya Tsuda. But De Puniet was keen to return to racing full time, and with no vacancies in MotoGP, the World Superbike series was the obvious choice. Racing with the Crescent team allows him to stay with Suzuki as a test rider, and retain his strong ties with the Japanese factories.Alongside his duties in WSBK, De Puniet will continue development work on the Suzuki GSX-RR MotoGP machine, with a particular focus on 2016. De Puniet will mainly be working on getting the GSX-RR to work with the Michelin tires, due to replace Bridgestone at the start of the 2016 season. He will also be helping to make the bike work with the so-called unified software which is to be introduced at the same time.

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