The crash at Misano which killed Shoya Tomizawa was tough on both Scott Redding and Alex de Angelis. The two riders, who were following the Japanese rider when Tomizawa crashed, could not avoid the fallen Technomag CIP rider and struck him, both also crashing as a result. Of the two, Scott Redding came off worst, suffering a nasty gash in the back which required stitches to treat.
Of course, Redding's physical injuries were only minor when compared to the psychological trauma the young Briton suffered. Being involved in a fatal incident at the still relatively tender age of 17 is a lot for the young mind to bear, and there were question marks over Redding's willingness to return to racing.
Fortunately, Redding is made of sterner stuff. With help from his team and friends, including fellow Briton Danny Webb, Redding has decided to keep on racing, and will be making his return at the next Moto2 round at Aragon on Sunday. The Marc VDS Racing rider tested today at Valencia, along with a large group of other Moto2 teams, and soon regained both his rhythm and his composure. Both Redding and De Angelis will be welcomed back into the Moto2 paddock with open arms, glad to put the horror of Misano behind them.
The text of the Marc VDS Racing press release on Scott Redding is shown below:
The MotoGP field will once again be down to just 16 riders at Aragon. Rizla Suzuki rider Loris Capirossi has announced that he will not be taking part in the 13th MotoGP round of the season at the brand new Motorland Aragon track due to the slower than hoped recovery from finger surgery. Capirossi suffered the injury in a second-corner incident with Nicky Hayden at Misano, the Rizla Suzuki rider flicking his bike right only to find the Marlboro Ducati of Hayden in the middle of the line he had hoped to take. Capirossi suffered tendon damage to his right-hand little finger in the crash, which was reattached on the Monday after the Misano race. Although Capirossi is healing well, the doctors ruled that he would not be fit in time for Sunday's race, and it would be better to miss the Aragon round and hope to be fully healed for the Motegi round of MotoGP on October 3rd.
The full text of the Suzuki press release, containing details of Capirossi's surgery and decision to skip Aragon, is shown below:
Bautista goes it alone as Capirossi is ruled out
Rizla Suzuki will have a solo representative at this weekend's Motorland Aragón Grand Prix in Spain with Álvaro Bautista flying the flag after Loris Capirossi was ruled out with a hand injury.
The announcement of the official 2011 MotoGP calendar - albeit the provisional one - has been a long time coming. Normally, the provisional calendar is settled at the Brno round of MotoGP, but the series' desire not to clash with Formula One means that the Grand Prix Commission has had to wait for the FIA to release the F1 calendar before finalizing their own. With the F1 calendar now provisionally released, the MotoGP calendar is expected to be released this weekend at the Aragon round.
An early version of the calendar has already surfaced among race travel trip organizers. As their businesses depend upon knowing the following year's schedule as early as possible, MotoGP travel companies are among the very first to know. Our friends over at Pole Position Travel pointed us to a provisional calendar which has appeared on the website of another organization selling MotoGP tickets.
After a long period of silence on the rider signing front in World Superbikes comes a flurry of contract announcements in the series. The Sterilgarda Yamaha team line up was announced over the past couple of days, and today comes an announcement from the Ten Kate Honda team that Ulsterman Johnny Rea will be staying with the team for 2011.
On the face of it, the announcement contains nothing of great interest - other than Rea's wholly unsurprising statement that he hopes to move into MotoGP in 2012 with Honda - and yet there are a few things in the press release that are at the very least curious and worthy of closer inspection. Perhaps the strangest thing about the press release is the fact that it was entirely unnecessary. The statement says that Rea "is currently in the second year of a three-year contract with the team" which begs the question as to why issue a press release on the subject at all. The release adds no information to what we knew already, but is perhaps more informative for what it leaves out.
Over the past few days, rumors have emerged from Italian broadcaster SportMediaset that the MotoGP grid could be expanded even further. According to Sportmediaset, Max Neukirchner, currently riding for Ten Kate Honda in the World Superbike series, had been offered a ride on a Ducati Desmosedici GP11 in MotoGP, with the backing of a large German sponsors. According to the reports, Neukirchner's management have had meetings with Dorna to discuss the possibility of the German making his debut in the series, a move which would be extremely popular with German TV audiences.
The move to drop Friday morning practice - introduced for the 2009 season as a cost-cutting measure - has never been popular among either riders or fans. The riders and teams feel they are wasting their time, sitting around on Friday morning kicking their heels waiting for the afternoon session to kick off, and the fans miss out on an opportunity to watch the bikes out on track. Rookies, such as Interwetten Honda's Hiroshi Aoyama and his crew chief Tom Jojic, also lamented the lack of an extra session of practice, as the time between the sessions allowed the riders and their crews to go over the data collected.
In response to these criticisms, the Grand Prix Commission decided to experiment with a change from three one-hour practice sessions to four forty-five-minute sessions, extending the number of sessions on the track while leaving the amount of track time - and therefore the possible mileage - unchanged. The Aragon MotoGP round was chosen to stage this experiment, as Aragon was the only track which did not already have a list of supporting events which would need to be rescheduled. And so at Aragon, each of the classes will go out for four, shorter sessions of practice starting on Friday morning, rather than the three they have run at other events.
As the 2010 World Superbike creeps towards its conclusion, the attention of the teams is being turned to next season. Yamaha's World Superbike squad announced the first half of their 2011 rider line up on Sunday, when they announced that Marco Melandri would be switching from MotoGP to WSBK for next season. And today, Yamaha announced that the other side of the Sterilgarda Yamaha garage will be filled by Eugene Laverty, the young Irishman who is still in the hunt for this year's World Supersport title.
Laverty has made no secret of his desire to move up to World Superbikes, though it had been widely believed that he would graduate with his current team, the Parkalgar Honda squad, who have been rumored to be moving into World Superbikes for some time. With Laverty having signed with Yamaha, doubts have arisen over the prospects of the Parkalgar team - managed by the outspoken Simon Buckmaster - making the move up to WSBK for 2011.
The Yamaha press release is shown below:
Yamaha signs Eugene Laverty to complete 2011 World Superbike Team
One of the hottest topics of debate among motorcycle racing fans around the world is the difference between the racing in MotoGP and World Superbikes. Where WSBK features regular fairing-bashing action and plenty of passing throughout the race, the racing in MotoGP has been entirely sterile, the focus more on being inch-perfect and preserving tires and fuel all the way to the line. One of the main factors explaining the difference in racing between the two series has always been the fuel allowance, with MotoGP restricted to just 21 liters for races of around 120 km, while World Superbike machines have a generous 24 liters of fuel to last them for between 10 and 20 km less, the average WSBK race being around 105 kilometers.
So it will deeply disturb WSBK fans to learn that the Superbike Commission - the WSBK series governing body - is serious considering the introduction of drastically lower fuel limits, according to the Italian magazine Motosprint. The proposal, put forward by Honda, Suzuki and Ducati, is aimed at reducing power and as a result, reducing the costs involved in the series. The main objection has come from BMW, who oppose the plan because their reliance on a proprietary electronics system means they would have to develop the fuel-saving algorithms completely from scratch. The rest of the field, using the ubiquitous Magneti Marelli electronics packages, will have a lot of existing data and programming to provide a starting point.
The investigation opened by the Rimini public prosecutor's office into the death of Shoya Tomizawa is drawing to a close, according to reports by the Italian press agency ANSA. The charges of culpable homicide (equivalent to criminally negligent manslaughter) which had been brought against "persons unknown" are likely to be dropped, the reports say. The autopsy on the 19-year-old Japanese rider revealed that Tomizawa had in fact been dead on arrival at the Ospedale Ceccarini di Riccione hospital, having died in the ambulance during the short journey to the circuit. The cause of death was identified as chest trauma, Tomizawa's lungs and heart having been irreparably damaged in the impact.
The Technomag CIP team today released the following statement, from the team and from Shoya Tomizawa's family, on the death of the 19-year-old Japanese rider's death:
The family of Shoya Tomizawa, the Technomag-CIP team and its partners, and the Technomag company wishes to express their homage to an exceptional son, rider and colleague.
Shoya Tomizawa was one of the rays of sunshine in the paddock and within his team. He never missed an opportunity to dedicate a smile or a ‘hello’ to anybody he encountered. He enjoyed having fun with his colleagues but was also a very professional rider who was spirited, and fully concentrated on the development of his bike after every ride. All were impressed by his talent and his refined style of riding. He worked hard to give his maximum not only for himself but for everybody in his team, who had become a second family with whom he spent most of his free time between races.
We have not only lost a talented rider, we have lost a friend and a son who radiated the joy of life and transmitted a good feeling to all those around him. This will always remain in our memories.
After the MotoGP race at Misano, the crash that killed Shoya Tomizawa was naturally on everyone's minds. Reporters asked just about every rider who would speak to them for their thoughts on the crash. Below is what Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden had to tell the press on the subject.
Q: You saw how bad the crash was, you already knew it was very serious?
Valentino Rossi: I saw the crash on television. I have to be sincere, I thought it was a bad crash, like with a lot of fractures, but not him dying. I saw the crash live. In the first moment, I did not think like this because I thought de Angelis had just hit the bike of Tomizawa and then Redding arrived. But unfortunately de Angelis also hit him.
About safety, they work a lot, but this is the worst thing that can happen in our sport - you crash, you remain on the line, and other bikes are right behind.
Also, in a fast, fast corner like this, usually if you crash, you go very much on the outside because the speed is high. Unfortunately Tomizawa crashed and didn't crash, he remained on the bike and on the line. The others were too close to try to do something.
But I think that with a crash like this, it's also very good that de Angelis and Redding are okay.
Immediately after the MotoGP post-race press conference at Misano, Race Direction held a press conference to explain their actions, how they had handled the situation and what had been done to try to save Tomizawa's life. Speaking at the press conference were Race Director Paul Butler, Claude Danis of the FIM, MotoGP's Safety Officer Franco Uncini, Doctor Claudio Macchiagodena of the Clinica Mobile, and Javier Alonso from Dorna. A shortened transcript of the press conference appeared on the Dorna website, along with the full video available for viewing. However, with Dorna's ever-infallible aim when it comes to the internet, the MotoGP.com website managed to shoot itself squarely in the foot by only making the video available to people with a MotoGP.com subscription. Naturally, this has been explained by some of the more radical fringes of the internet as a conspiracy by Dorna to make more money, but having had some experience of Dorna's attitude to the internet, MotoMatters.com is about 99.9% certain that this was down to incompetence rather than conspiracy. It is unlikely that anyone gave any thought to making this a free video, and it ended up automatically behind Dorna's video paywall.
Having been present at the press conference, MotoMatters.com decided to transcribe the entire press conference ourselves, for people without a MotoGP.com subscription. You will find the full transcription below, but one comment needs to be made on the transcription. Dr Macchiagodena is speaking in English, a language he does not speak with great fluency, and using medical jargon. So transcribing what Dr Macchiagodena said has proven to be extremely difficult. We have done our utmost best to transcribe what he said, while trying to make the points he is making as easy to comprehend as possible. This means that some of his answers - especially in the Q&A section - are very difficult to understand. We hope our readers will bear with us, and try to understand what the doctor is trying to say.
The Liberty CZ Group has simultaneously announced the formation of a new satellite Ducati team that will compete in the World Superbike series in 2011 and the signing of Czech Jakob Smrz to be it's rider for the next 2 years. Smrz, who was thought to have been on the shopping lists of a myriad of teams, has the reputation as a good qualifier that hasn't been able to back up his grid placements with consistent race results.
Liberty CZ Group's business interests include, fittingly enough, a chain of Italian food stores in the Czech Republic and Effenberg Beer, who is a partial sponsor of Smrz' current team, B&G Pata. The new team, "Liberty Racing", will reportedly be headquartered in Prague. Although the team is touted as all new, there are familiar faces behind the scenes, including Natale Egi, who managed the Sterilgarda Ducati team that fielded Max Biaggi and Ruben Xaus.
The Rimini prosecutor's office (the Italian equivalent of a district attorney, or crown prosecution service) is to investigate the events surrounding the death of Shoya Tomizawa during Sunday's Moto2 race at Misano. The prosecutor is to investigate whether any of the parties involved in the crash can be regarded as culpable for the tragic death of the Japanese rider in any way. Charges of "culpable homicide" (equivalent to criminally negligent manslaughter in Anglo-Saxon law) are being brought against persons unknown during the extent of the investigation.
According to the Italian press agency ANSA, an autopsy is to be performed on Tomizawa to determine whether the fact that a corner worker charged with carrying Tomizawa from trackside to the ambulance slipped in the gravel and fell, dropping the stretcher Tomizawa was on and allowing the Japanese rider to fall on his head, was a contributing factor to Tomizawa's death. The decision to move Tomizawa had been made by one of the medical officials, who had determined that Tomizawa was not breathing and needed to be put on a respirator as soon as possible, which the nearby ambulance contained. The marshalls were charged with moving Tomizawa to the ambulance as quickly as possible.