Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain

Talmacsi To Ride Honda MotoGP Bike At Barcelona

After Gabor Talmacsi made the shock announcement prior to the Le Mans Grand Prix that he would not be riding for the Aspar team in the 250 class any longer, the rumors began about where the Hungarian would go for the rest of the season. There was no doubt that a rider as talented as the 2007 125cc World Champion would spend too long without a ride, but the question was, where? There were rumors of a ride in World Superbikes, as well as talk of the Hungarian taking the place of the injured Sete Gibernau, at least temporarily.

But the strongest rumor revolved around Team Scot Honda. After a brilliant 2008 season with Andrea Dovizioso at the helm, the team has been struggling badly, newly promoted Japanese rider Yuki Takahashi scrambling just to score points. The team has also been suffering with a lack of sponsorship, after Dovizioso jumped ship to join the factory Repsol Honda squad.

It turns out that there is no smoke without fire: Motorcycle News is reporting that Gabor Talmacsi will be riding for the Scot Honda squad at Barcelona, starting this afternoon. According to MCN, Talmacsi has only just been given clearance by HRC to use Takahashi's 2nd bike, and will make his MotoGP debut in this afternoon's first session of free practice at the Barcelona circuit. The report is confirmed by Talmacsi's name appearing on the official entry list for the MotoGP class at Catalunya.

The logic is simple: Team Scot needs funds, and as one of Hungary's biggest sports stars, Gabor Talmacsi will bring much needed cash into the team. And with the weather forecast to be clear skies all weekend long at Barcelona, the question of what to do in a wet race need not be addressed.

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2009 MotoGP Catalunya Preview - The Day After

The Catalunya Grand Prix, to be held at Barcelona's Montmelo circuit, is one of the most anticipated events on the MotoGP calendar. The circuit, just a few kilometers outside Barcelona, Spain's second largest city, lies in the heart of Catalunya, the most industrious of Spain's autonomous regions and the heart of Spanish motorcycling. Three of the four Spanish riders currently in the MotoGP class are from within a thirty minute drive from the Montmelo circuit, Dani Pedrosa almost able to see the track from the window of his apartment.

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Dani Pedrosa To Race At Catalunya

After Dani Pedrosa fractured the greater trochanter of his right thigh during practice at Mugello, his chances of racing at his home Grand Prix at Barcelona looked to be slim. But after a week of complete rest, things have turned around for the Spaniard, and he announced today that he will be racing at Barcelona after all.

Pedrosa was examined by Dr. Mir and Dr. Ribas at the Dexeus Institut in Barcelona today, and after a trial with painkilling injections, was given the all clear to race in the Catalunya Grand Prix. In a press release issued by the Repsol Honda team, he said "I'm really looking forward to my home Grand Prix even though the build-up has hardly been perfect. For the past week I've just been resting and that's pretty boring. But today I went to see the doctor and the results of the new scan have been quite positive. They decided to give me a trial pain-killing injection so that I can judge how it will feel ahead of the weekend. And today's scan really helped them pinpoint the best location for the injection so it can have the maximum effect, which was something they weren't able to do in Mugello. The feeling was good, so it looks like I'll have an injection before riding each day."

"Obviously it's still not going to be comfortable riding the bike but I'm feeling positive that we can go into the weekend and aim for the best possible result. In spite of the problems, my motivation for my home race is still the same. I've been waiting for this race for a long time and I want to get the best possible result for all the fans who will be there to support me. I hope I can give them a good weekend," Pedrosa said.

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Stevie Bonsey To Return To 250 Class At Barcelona

After two promising years in the 125cc class, young American rider Stevie Bonsey was set to make his debut in the 250 class at the start of the 2009 season. Tragically, the financial crisis put an end to that, his Aprilia Madrid team forced to withdraw at the start of the season. Since then, Bonsey has been sat on the sidelines of Grand Prix racing, keeping his racing eye in by competing in flat track events back in the US.

Fortunately, Bonsey has been thrown a lifeline. The American will return to the 250 class, this time aboard an Aprilia LE with the Milar - Juegos Lucky team. Bonsey will be joining the Milar - Juegos Lucky team for the remainder of the season, along with half of the Aprilia Madrid team. Though the step marks an important return for Bonsey, too much should not be expected of the American, as he returns to racing on an Aprilia LE, with a massive power and handling disadvantage over the factory-spec RSAs. And so far, the Milar- Juegos Lucky team has failed to make much of an impact, their best results a pair of 18th places for Spanish rider Aitor Rodriguez. Rodriguez, currently injured, will be losing his place to Bonsey, though the native of Madrid has been offered a wildcard ride by the team as compensation.

Though Bonsey's results are likely to be modest at best for 2009, his move to the Milar - Juegos Lucky team is in part a strategic move. The team has already submitted an entry for the new Moto2 class, due to replace the 250s from next season. According to Motoworld.es, the rider they submitted the entry for is Stevie Bonsey. At Barcelona, the team will find out whether their submission has been successful or not, as the FIM is due to announce the list of entries which have been accepted for the new class at the Catalunya Grand Prix.

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Gibernau To Return At Barcelona, Despite Injury Concerns

Sete Gibernau is to make his return to the track at the Grand Prix of Catalunya in Barcelona in a week's time. Gibernau broke his collarbone in an awkward highside at Le Mans and was forced to pull out of the race there. The Spaniard was flown to Barcelona, where the collarbone was set in an operation and Gibernau started his recovery.

Gibernau now feels ready to race at Catalunya, though he will not be 100% fit. "I can't promise that I'll be at full fitness, but I'm very motivated to get out there for the first practice," Gibernau said at the official presentation of the Catalunya race.

There is more than a hint of irony in Gibernau's returning to race at the Montmelo track, just outside Barcelona. It was at this circuit in 2006 that Gibernau suffered the injury that would lead to his retirement at the end of that season. The Spaniard suffered a badly broken collarbone in a huge first-corner pile up, when he clipped his brake lever on erstwhile team mate Loris Capirossi's Ducati, sending both men off into the gravel and out of the race.

Many may question the wisdom of Gibernau racing at Barcelona, despite the Spaniard's understandable eagerness to race in front of his home crowd. Gibernau has a long history of collarbone and shoulder problems, and at 36, he doesn't heal as quickly as he did when he was younger. Gibernau's good fortune, if you could call it that, was that at Le Mans he broke his collarbone in a place which had not previously been broken, which allowed the bone to heal better. But having broken his collarbone so many times, he must surely be running out of places where it hasn't been broken.

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2009 MotoGP Calendar Update: Misano Moved Back A Week

The FIM announced a minor change to the 2009 MotoGP calendar today. The Misano round of MotoGP will be held a week earlier than previously scheduled, moving it to the week after the Indianapolis MotoGP round.

DateGrand PrixCircuit
April 12th*QatarLosail
April 26thJapanMotegi
May 3rdSpainJerez
May 17thFranceLe Mans
May 31stItalyMugello
June 14thCatalunyaCatalunya
June 27th**NetherlandsAssen
July 5th***United StatesLaguna Seca
July 19thGermanySachsenring
July 26thGreat BritainDonington Park
August 16thCzech RepublicBrno
August 30thIndianapolisIndianapolis
September 6thSan Marino & Riviera di RiminiMisano
September 20thHungaryBalaton
October 4thPortugalEstoril
October 18thAustraliaPhillip Island
October 25thMalaysiaSepang
November 8thValenciaRicardo Tormo - Valencia

* Evening race
** Saturday race
*** Only MotoGP class

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Provisional 2009 MotoGP Calender Announced

As expected, the Chinese round of MotoGP at Shanghai is off the calendar, and as predicted earlier this week, the Hungarian Grand Prix will take place in late summer. But the calendar has a lot of significant shakeups: Motegi moves from late September to the spring, June is a lot less busy, with only 2 lots of back-to-back races in 2009, rather than three pairs which we saw this year. The British Grand Prix moves from June to late July, and Estoril switches back to October.

DateGrand PrixCircuit
April 12th*QatarLosail
April 26thJapanMotegi
May 3rdSpainJerez
May 17thFranceLe Mans
May 31stItalyMugello
June 14thCatalunyaCatalunya
June 27th**NetherlandsAssen
July 5th***United StatesLaguna Seca
July 19thGermanySachsenring
July 26thGreat BritainDonington Park
August 16thCzech RepublicBrno
August 30thIndianapolisIndianapolis
September 6thSan Marino & Riviera di RiminiMisano
September 20thHungaryBalaton
October 4thPortugalEstoril
October 18thAustraliaPhillip Island
October 25thMalaysiaSepang
November 8thValenciaRicardo Tormo - Valencia

* Evening race
** Saturday race
*** Only MotoGP class

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2008 Catalunya MotoGP Race Report - Leading From The Front

Ask a dozen riders what their favorite race was, and you'll get a dozen different answers. But as different as those answers may be, in the end, they divide out into two camps. On the one hand, there are the Racers, the riders who love nothing more than to battle with their rivals all race long, only to pass them in the final corner and go on to take the win. On the other, there are the Winners, the riders who only care about getting away from the pack and dominating the opposition. The Racers love to win by fractions of a second, the Winners love to win by minutes.

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