Assen, The Netherlands

Provisional 2023 WorldSBK Calendar Released: 11 Rounds Confirmed, 1 Still To Be Announced

The FIM have released the provisional calendar for the 2023 WorldSBK season. A total of twelve rounds are planned, with one round still to be confirmed.

The season kicks off in its traditional location of Phillip Island on February 26th, with a test in the week before the opening round. It then heads to Mandalika, before returning to Europe and the TT Circuit in Assen. Barcelona follows, then Misano, Donington, Most, Magny-Cours, Aragon, and Portimão, before the season ends in Argentina at the San Juan Villicum circuit.

The WorldSSP300 class is set to race at all of the European rounds bar Donington Park.

The calendar appears below:

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MotoGP Expands to 21 Rounds, Adds India And Kazakhstan, Drops Aragon

As predicted earlier this month, the MotoGP calendar is to expand even further for 2023. Next year, there are to be 21 races in total, with two new circuits being added to the calendar.

The news that Sokol in Kazakhstan is being added had been expected, given the announcement on Tuesday. The surprise is that India is to have a MotoGP round next year, with the expectation in the paddock that it would not happen until 2024. But MotoGP is to race at the Buddh International circuit at the end of September in 2023. There had been concerns over customs and tax issues importing equipment and bikes into India, but paddock sources indicate these issues have been settled.

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Aprilia Team Manager Paolo Bonora: Now we’re waiting for Maverick’s time

Aprilia Team Manager Paolo Bonora explains to Neil Morrison how the factory has nurtured Maverick Viñales to a level where he is a MotoGP contender once again.

Would it be fair to say Mack is back? If not now, then top figures at Aprilia are confident it won’t be long until Maverick Viñales is on the top step of the podium once more, in part thanks to a good deal of patience and a careful strategy of man-management.

It hadn’t been an easy start to life in Aprilia colours for the enigmatic Catalan. He finished higher than tenth just twice in his first 13 races aboard the RS-GP, a bike that could currently be hailed as the most rounded package on the grid, and one that could yet win this year’s championship with teammate Aleix Espargaro.

But the British Grand Prix at Silverstone was vindication for the faith Aprilia has shown in the former Moto3 World Champion. While his performance lacked a touch of composure in the critical moments, it was the first time Viñales was clearly the fastest rider on track in any race since his explosive exit from Yamaha this month a year ago.

What’s more, the 27-year old mentioned he had “started laughing” when up front, fighting among the Ducatis of Francesco Bagnaia, Jack Miller and Jorge Martin. It has been quite some time when Viñales has appeared so comfortable and content both on the bike and off it.

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Silverstone MotoGP Notes: Aerodynamics, Enea Bastianini, And Why Losing A Wing Doesn't Always End In Disaster

It is no secret that aerodynamics is a big deal in MotoGP. The winglets, aerodynamics packages, and various scoops, spoons, and other attachments aimed at modifying the behavior of the modern generation of MotoGP bikes have become increasingly important.

Aero has now reached the point where it is such a major part of bike setup that it is getting hard to change without needing a lot of work to balance out the rest of the behavior of the bike. As Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Brad Binder explained when asked about the two different versions of KTM's aero package he has available. "I think the most important thing is to really choose one and really stick with it. Because when you do play with the aero, it has such a massive impact that your whole setup really has to change completely. So it's not so simple to say, OK, one race we'll use them and one race we won't."

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Officially Confirmed: Alex Rins Signs Two-Year Deal With LCR Honda

Alex Rins is to race for the LCR Honda team for the next two years. The official announcement only came today, but that Rins would end up at LCR was a foregone conclusion since the MotoGP race at Assen, where the Spaniard had admitted as much. "We are almost done and everybody can imagine where I will go next year with the exit of Alex Marquez going to Gresini," Rins had told us on the Sunday night of the Assen race.

Rins had the choice of two options: a seat with Gresini Ducati or with LCR Honda. But at Gresini, he had only been offered a Ducati Desmosedici GP22, whereas HRC had promised Rins a 2023-spec Honda RC213V at LCR. That had made the difference. "In the end I was managing the Ducati option - the Gresini option - or the LCR option," Rins told us. "We were talking with Ducati and they did not give me an official bike. I was fighting for an official bike and Honda was able to give me that possibility."

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Assen MotoGP Subscriber Notes: Quartararo vs Espargaro, Outstanding Ducatis, And Big Crowds

The Circuit van Drenthe, or the TT Circuit, as the glorious ribbon of asphalt to the south of Assen is officially known, always delivers, and Sunday was no exception. We had an outstanding Moto3 race, where the main championship contenders and promising youngsters broke away and fought down to the wire. We had one of the best Moto2 races in a long time, with action all the way to the finish. And we had an eventful, dramatic MotoGP race that saw some incredible battles from front to back of the field. It was a good day.

Adding a little spice to proceedings was the kind weather which is so unique to Assen. The race started dry, but the rain radar showed a very light shower heading for the track and likely to hit at around the two-thirds distance mark. It rained alright, but it was the worst kind of rain: the kind that leaves lots of spots on your visor, but barely touches the track. If you can blot the rain out from your mind, you can keep pushing just as hard, but it takes enormous mental strength and conviction. Worth the effort, though: even in the midst of the drizzle, riders were still posting 1'32s.

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Yamaha Press Release: Statement By Lin Jarvis On Fabio Quartararo Penalty

Fabio Quartararo was handed a long lap penalty by the FIM Stewards after his crash on lap 5 of the Dutch TT at Assen on Sunday. Quartararo made his displeasure at the penalty known on his social media pages. But today, he has received the backing of Yamaha, with Yamaha Motor Racing Managing Director Lin Jarvis issuing an official statement in which he criticizes the decision to award the penalty, and takes aim at the consistency of stewarding decisions.

The statement appears below:


OFFICIAL STATEMENT BY LIN JARVIS FOLLOWING SUNDAY'S STEWARDS PANEL DECISION TO PENALIZE FABIO QUARTARARO AT THE BRITISH GP

Gerno di Lesmo (Italy), 28th June 2022

Yamaha Motor Racing Managing Director & Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team Principal Lin Jarvis expresses his disappointment with the long-lap penalty for the upcoming Monster Energy British Grand Prix that Fabio Quartararo received from the FIM MotoGP Stewards panel following a race incident with Aleix Espargaró on lap 5 of the TT Assen race.

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