Valencia, Spain

Espargaro To Replace Canepa At Valencia For Final MotoGP Round

It has not been Niccolo Canepa's season. After a long and difficult year struggling with the Pramac Ducati, the Italian is to miss the final round of MotoGP at Valencia, leaving the series without a final chance to prove his mettle. The Valencia round will be the third race in a row that Canepa has been forced to miss, as he is still recovering from the skin transplant necessitated by his crash in practice at the Australian Grand Prix a month ago. 

Canepa's place will once again be taken by Aleix Espargaro, something the Spaniard was due to do anyway as of Monday after the Grand Prix. Espargaro will now get another couple of days extra time on the bike to familiarize himself before testing for the 2010 season starts in earnest after the Grand Prix is over. The Spaniard has shown good progress in his time on the bike replacing both Canepa and team mate Mika Kallio, and is hoping to put on a good show for the Spanish fans.

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Doing Good At Valencia: Riders For Health and Pole Position Travel Charity Events

The motorcycle racing season is winding down, and is due to reach its conclusion at the final race of the season, the Valencia MotoGP Round. Should you have any funds squirreled away for a rainy day (and here in Northern Europe, it is a VERY rainy day), then traveling to Valencia to celebrate the season's end with 130,000 crazed MotoGP fans is not a bad way to spend it.

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Ben Spies Wildcard At Valencia Confirmed

Ben Spies has been confirmed as a wildcard entry for the final round of MotoGP at Valencia. A press release has just been issued stating that Spies is to ride in Valencia for Yamaha. The news had broken earlier, with Motorcycle News' Matt Birt reporting that an entry has already been submitted to Dorna and IRTA for the Texan to ride in the last MotoGP round of the season, and Autosport's Toby Moody correctly predicting that the wildcard entry would be confirmed today by Yamaha.

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Ben Spies to Ride as Wild Card at Valencia?

A completely unfounded rumor on the French site Caradisiac indicates that Ben Spies may be given a wild-card ride at the season-ending round at Valencia. If true (or even if it isn't) this makes a lot of sense. The SBK season will be long over, it would give Spies a chance to ride the M1 in a race setting on a track he knows and, with testing time extremely limited in 2010, it would give him a jump-start on the apres-race test. If Yamaha isn't actually considering this, maybe a little fan chatter will get them thinking...

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Severely Curtailed 2010 MotoGP Winter Test Schedule - Valencia, Sepang, Losail

In the pursuit of radical cost-cutting measures, testing has been one of the main targets of all parties involved in the MotoGP series. Post-race testing has already been cut back to what many perceive to be the bare minimum, with one-day tests after the Barcelona and Brno MotoGP rounds, but the cuts to winter testing have been nothing short of radical. Instead of six or seven multi-day tests, as was the case in 2007 and 2008, winter tests have been cut back to just three true winter tests, plus testing after the final race of the season at Valencia.

The testing season kicks off on the Tuesday and Wednesday after Valencia - traditionally the time at which riders switching teams get their first shot at their new bikes. There will then be a three-month layoff during which no testing will be done at all, before the teams head out to Malaysia for a couple of two-day sessions, starting on the 4th and 21st of February. Three weeks later, the teams return to Qatar for another two-day test from March 14th, in preparation for the season opener four weeks later.

The new test schedule sees a break with tradition and the end of a pre-season aperitif: Apart from the traditional post-race tests at Valencia, no testing will be done in Europe during the off-season. What this also means is an end to the official IRTA tests in Spain, which had turned into something of a crowd pleaser over the past few years, with upwards of 35,000 fans turning up to watch the single one-hour qualifying session shootout for a BMW M coupe, referred to by the fans as "Grand Prix Zero". As yet, it is unclear whether the shootout for the BMW will take place at the final test at Qatar or not, but all the signs are that this, too, has been consigned to history.

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Brand New FB Corse Bike To Join MotoGP Grid In 2010?

The one complaint that has dogged the MotoGP series all this year is the number of bikes on the grid. Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta had to use all of his powers of persuasion - including some of the darker arts at his disposal - to keep at least one Kawasaki on the grid and keep the numbers up to 18. All of his hard work went to waste by mid-season, when the fickle construction mogul Francisco Hernando pulled the plug on his eponymous team, leaving Sete Gibernau stranded and the grid down to 17.

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2009 World Superbikes Round Valencia Report - Red vs Blue

World Superbikes, Race 1

With three poles and three wins in a row, all eyes were on Ben Spies at the start of the first Superbike race, but they would have been better focusing everywhere. Spies fluffed the start, diving into the first corner in fifth place, behind a gaggle of Ducatis. Regis Laconi led the way, ahead of Noriyuki Haga, Max Neukirchner and Troy Corser.

Laconi was not to lead for long, Haga deking out the Frenchman after just a couple of corners, Neukirchner following in his wake. The German waited for the front straight to pounce, unleashing the speed of his Suzuki to take the lead over the line. But Haga had been expecting him, and dived back inside into Turn 1 to take back the lead, and was off.

At one of Noriyuki Haga's strongest tracks, Ben Spies knew that he couldn't afford to let the Japanese Ducati man get way. Gifted one position when Troy Corser crashed out from a promising 4rh place, Spies started to chase Regis Laconi down. The Frenchman was fast losing ground to Haga, but still fast enough to be troublesome, as it took Spies until lap 5 get past the DFX Corse Ducati. 

By this time, Haga's lead was up to 2 seconds over Max Neukirchner,  and 2.7 over Spies. The Texan turned his attention to the next obstacle in his path, Neukirchner's Alstare Brux Suzuki. Over the course of four laps, he hunted the German down, but as he entered Turn 1 right on the German's tail, he pushed the front a fraction too hard, sliding down gracefully into the gravel and out of the race. Next time around, Haga's pit board read "19 OUT", and the Xerox Ducati rider knew the race was in the bag. He put his head down, and ran fast, smooth laps to take a comfortable win.

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