Sepang, Malaysia

Sepang Shakedown Test Day 3 Times: Viñales Cracks The 1'58s

Maverick Viñales is once again the king of testing, though in this case, it is specifically the king of shakedown testing, the Aprilia RS-GP rider ending the final day of the pre-test on top of the timesheets. Viñales and his teammate, Aleix Espargaro, set respectable times, Viñales dipping into the 1'58s - six tenths off the fastest ever lap of Sepang, but a very good time - while Espargaro was just over a tenth of a second slower.

Raul Fernandez was once again the fastest rookie, with a lap of 1'59.468. To put that into context, when KTM were last here in 2020, then rookie Brad Binder ended the three-day test with a time of 1'59.104, though there was a lot more rubber on the track by then.

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Sepang Shakedown Test Day 2 Times: Viñales Takes Over As Bezzecchi Makes A Big Leap

Maverick Viñales has ended the second day of the Sepang shakedown test as fastest. As Aprilia are the only factory to still have concessions, Viñales and teammate Aleix Espargaro are free to test outside of official testing. While Espargaro is expected to ride on the final day, Viñales was lapping three quarters of a second faster than Ducati test rider Michele Pirro, and a second slower than his best time on the Yamaha when MotoGP was last here back in 2020.

Marco Bezzecchi was the fastest of the rookies, a few thousandths of a second quicker than Raul Fernandez, the Mooney VR46 rider making a massive step forward in lap times, going nearly 1.3 seconds faster than yesterday. Remy Gardner four tenths slower than Bezzecchi and 1.3 seconds behind Viñales, while Darryn Binder was less than a tenth of a second behind Gardner. Fabio Di Giannantonio was absent due to a stomach problem.

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Sepang Shakedown Test Day 1 Times: Fernandez Off To A Flying Start

The 2022 MotoGP season is almost underway, with the rookies and test riders taking to the track for the so-called shakedown test, three days of pre-testing ahead of the official MotoGP test on Saturday and Sunday, February 5th and 6th. Though the times set don't mean a great deal at this stage in time - there are a lot of variables, and the main job of the test riders is to make sure everything is functioning correctly and to prepare the ground for the official rider this weekend - there were still some notable performances.

First and fastest of all is Raul Fernandez. The Tech3 KTM rookie was fastest on the first day of the test, his entry into MotoGP looking like being as impactful as his joining Moto2. Fernandez' time is impressive, 1.2 seconds slower than the race lap record held by Valentino Rossi set in 2019, and 2.6 seconds than the fastest outright lap at the circuit, set by Danilo Petrucci during the test in 2019.

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Honda Confirm Marc Marquez Will Be At Sepang Test After Treatment "A Complete Success"

After a few days riding a motorcycle on track again, Marc Marquez has been passed fit to ride at the Sepang MotoGP test on February 5th and 6th. The Spaniard underwent a medical check on Monday, January 24th and was given the go ahead to ride.

What is most remarkable about the press release from the Repsol Honda team is the very positive language used. The treatment route chosen, a conservative route avoiding surgery and using exercises and passive treatment instead, is described as having been "a complete success". This suggests Marquez will be at 100% fitness with regards to his vision, with only his shoulder a slight concern.

Marquez will ride the radically redesigned 2022-spec Honda RC213V at the Sepang test, alongside teammate Pol Espargaro.

The Repsol Honda press release appears below:

Repsol Honda Team confirm Marc Marquez for Sepang Test

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MotoGP News Round Up: Miller Misses Ducati Launch, COTA Resurfaced, Spa Upgraded, Marquez Rides Again, And Rossi's In-Depth Interviews

As the start of the MotoGP season grows closer, the news cycle is starting to ramp up. Websites are starting to be able to report on things that are actually happening, rather than desperately thrashing around looking for filler content. So here's a round up of the latest developments in MotoGP.

The first Covid casualty of 2022

Jack Miller took to social media last night to announce that he had unfortunately tested positive for the coronavirus. "As you can tell, I'm still here in Australia due to testing positive for covid. I'm currently unable to travel, and will miss the team presentation." He was not suffering any symptoms, he emphasized. "I just want to let you all know I'm doing fine, no symptoms, continuing training on the farm."

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2022 Provisional MotoGP Calendar Released: 21 Races In 35 Weeks

The 2022 MotoGP calendar will feature a total of 21 races, starting in Qatar on March 6th and finishing exactly 8 months later in Valencia. The 2022 calendar sees further expansion of the number of races, as Dorna add new circuits and new countries to the schedule. For the Kymiring in Finland, that had originally been planned for 2020, but the pandemic put paid to that happening, either in 2020 or 2021. And the Mandalika Resort circuit on Lombok in Indonesia had been added to 2021 as a reserve circuit, but will now be raced on at the start of next season.

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2022 Preseason Test Dates Announced - Sepang And Indonesia Kick Off Season

Testing for the 2022 MotoGP season will kick off as normal at Sepang next year, but the preseason will look a little different. After a three-day shakedown test at the Sepang International Circuit, from January 31st to February 2nd, where test riders will put the 2022 bikes through their paces, and rookies will get an extended taste of the MotoGP machines.

The official IRTA test follows on February 5th and 6th, a two-day test instead of the usual three days. A week later, the paddock travels to Indonesia, for the first taste of the Mandalika International Street Circuit. The MotoGP riders get three days on that circuit, from 11th-13th of February.

The Moto2 and Moto3 riders will have one official preseason test. Moto2 and Moto3 will take to the track at Jerez from February 22nd to 24th.

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2021 MotoGP Calendar Update: Sepang Canceled, Second Race At Misano, Austin Still On

There has been yet another change to the MotoGP calendar for 2021. As had been expected, the Malaysian Grand Prix scheduled for October 24th at the Sepang International Circuit has been canceled. In its place will be an extra race at the Misano circuit in Italy. Misano will be the second circuit, after Portimão, which will two races this year but not back to back. Unlike the Portuguese circuit, however, Misano will host its second race five weeks after the first, rather than six months later.

This change looks like being the final alteration to the 2020 calendar. Despite the fact that the Covid-19 outbreak in Texas has placed serious demands on hospital capacity, with ICU beds now 99% occupied, understands that there is a huge push inside Dorna to make the Austin race happen. The Circuit of The Americas and the county and state governments are also assisting in pushing the race to take place.

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Gordon Ritchie WorldSBK Blog: Test, Track And Race

Feels like a long time since we had any real racing, I am sure you will agree? We would have been well past the first round of any recent WorldSBK season by now but I am sure you don’t need me to remind you we do not live in normal times.

Being first out of the global gate compared to MotoGP, or almost any other major two wheel (or even four-wheel) hydrocarbon-based competition, was one of the attractions of modern day WorldSBK.

In most other years the majority of the Superbike paddock would have already recovered from post-Phillip Island jet lag back in Europe by now, just as MotoGP and F1 were getting ready to set their sights on round one. But, here we are in mid-March and still mired in the 2021 phoney war no-man’s land.

Particularly frustrating for all given that we have had enough pre-season rider reshuffles and new bikes on the blue horizon for us to feel the need to row out hard and fast to meet the latest WorldSBK dawn at full ramming speed. As it stands, WorldSBK will kick off in the high plateau of the Aragon region in Spain, between 21-23 May. I mean, we have to wait until very nearly the end of May to even get started…

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MotoGP 2021 Calendar: Austin And Argentina Dropped, Portimao And Qatar Double Header Inserted

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the MotoGP calendar. The second and third rounds of MotoGP, at Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina on April 11th and at the Circuit Of The Americas on April 18th have been officially postponed. In their place, Qatar will host back-to-back races at the Losail International Circuit on March 28th and April 4th, and reserve circuit Autódromo do Algarve at Portimao will host a race on April 18th.

Though officially only postoponed, the Argentina and Austin rounds are almost certain to be canceled, a move which had long been expected. The logistical and cost challenges of organizing races in the Americas, added to the spread of Covid-19, especially in the Austin area, were always going to pose problems for the two races, and it had long been rumored they would be replaced.

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