Valencia, Spain

2009 2nd Valencia 125 And 250 Test - Day 1 - Simoncelli Rules The Roost

The second batch of 125 and 250 riders are out at Valencia, testing in preparation for the 2009 season. But though the location might be the same, the names are mostly different. This time, it's Marco Simoncelli who tops the 250s, though none of the Aspar big guns are on track to face the reigning champion. Simoncelli's time as quicker than that set by Alvaro Bautista two weeks ago, but it has to be said that the weather conditions are infinitely better. In comparison, Alex Baldolini improved his time by a second, while Hector Faubel took nearly 2 seconds off his fastest time of the previous tests.

In the 125 class, it was Efren Vazquez who was quickest on the factory Derbi, though the Spaniard also managed to crash in a fairly serious way at the end of the day. But the surprise of the day was the 2nd fastest time for Lorenzo Savadori, an Italian rookie who was European 125 champion last year, and hotly tipped for success. To be 2nd fastest on his first test is fairly impressive, and promises more to come.

The other news of interest was the arrival of the Maxtras, the Chinese bike designed by former Aprilia guru Jan Witteveen and Britain's Harris Performance, and run by John Surtees. The Maxtra still has some work to be done, though, as Michael Ranseder was the fastest of the two team mates, beating British rookie Matt Hoyle by two seconds, but still four seconds down on the time of Vazquez.

Testing continues tomorrow.

250 cc

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KTM Testing KERS On 125s

Unless you are an avid Formula 1 fan, the acronym KERS won't mean very much to you. The Kinetic Energy Recovery System, to give it its full title, is a system that stores energy generated by braking (either in the form of electrical charge, or in the form of a spinning flywheel), to be used to give a power boost at a later point in the race. The system was conceived by the FIA as a sop to the environmentalists who have been a thorn in F1's side for many years.

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2009 Valencia 125 And 250 Test - Day 2 - Bautista Breaks Collarbone

The final day of testing at Valencia for the 125 and 250 riders started off better than expected, but for Alvaro Bautista, favorite for the 250 crown this year, it ended in disaster. The rain which plagued yesterday's session held off in the morning, and the track soon filled with riders trying to put in a fast time. But though the track was dry, it was also cold, leaving the circumstances still far from ideal for the junior classes.

The rain held off until the early afternoon, at which point it started to fall so heavily that the rest of the session was scrapped at 2pm. That came too late for Alvaro Bautista, though: The Spaniard got caught out by the early rain and took a painful tumble, which has probably resulted in a broken collarbone. Bautista was taken to Madrid, where he was examined by Dr Angel Villamor. The silver lining to Bautista's rain cloud is that his collarbone should heal normally, without requiring surgery, in time for the start of the season.

This left Gabor Talmacsi sitting on top of the timesheets at the end of the day, a fraction ahead of Bautista. Reigning 125 World Champion Mike di Meglio was third quickest, 2/10ths slower than Bautista, while Hector Faubel was the fastest of the Honda men, all still slower than the Aprilias.

In the 125 class, it was once again Julian Simon who dominated proceedings, the Aspar Aprilia rider finishing ahead of fellow Spaniard Sergio Gadea. Britain's Bradley Smith finished third, 4/10ths behind his Aspar team mate Simon, and a fraction ahead of compatriot Scott Redding. American Cameron Beaubier improved again, setting the 7th fastest time of the day.

250 cc

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Imola Returns In Finalized 2009 World Superbike Championship Calendar

The FIM today announced the official and final version of the 2009 World Superbike calendar. The announcement both confirmed some sad news and provided some excellent news for racing fans.

The bad news is that Brands Hatch, the biggest motorcycle race in the UK, and arguably the largest motorsports event in the country, is now officially off the calendar. Its absence is a result of an argument over sanctioning fees between FGSport (or as it is now called, Infront Motor Sports) and MSV, the body which organizes BSB and is run by Jonathan Palmer, which owns both Brands Hatch and a number of other major race circuits in the UK. The arguments may ostensibly be over money, but a whiff of politics hangs over the decision, with the Flammini brothers wanting a great deal more money than last year, while Palmer refusing to pay any more than he did last year. The loss of Brands is a major blow to race fans, both in terms of the circuit - which is a beautiful track, in a rather idyllic wooded area, and in terms of the event. Attendances at Brands were huge, rivalling even the numbers seen at Spanish MotoGP rounds.

The good news, however, is that Vallelunga has been dropped in favor of Imola. There had been rumors that this was to happen, as the track was dangerous and difficult, with a tight section added on in haste to make it eligible for FIM sanctioned international races. And as Vallelunga was thought to be included primarily to draw in Max Biaggi's fans from his native Rome, with Biaggi now a regular part of the series, the need for a round near Rome has been obviated.

The return of Imola sees one of the classic race tracks back on the calendar. Imola has been the site of some classic battles, both in the Grand Prix series and in World Superbikes, but perhaps none have been so famous as the final round of the 2002 World Superbike series, when Colin Edwards beat Troy Bayliss to win the championship.

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Aprilia Testing, Day 2: Superbike, 125 and 250 Riders Times From Valencia

Aprilia's test continued today at Valencia, with the main attraction being Marco Simoncelli being given a run on Aprilia's RSV4 World Superbike machine. The Italian was immediately quick, and matched the time set yesterday by Shinya Nakano. But Nakano was even quicker, taking a second off the time he set yesterday, and matching the fastest lap set during the World Superbike round held here in April of this year.

In the 250 class, Alvaro Bautista was fastest again today, although Gabor Talmacsi equaled the Spaniard's time. Meanwhile, in the 125 class, it was Julian Simon who was quickest, over half a second ahead of his Aspar team mate Bradley Smith. Smith was also slower than Andrea Iannone.

The smaller classes will now pack up and go home for the winter break, as the test ban starts on December 1st. But before that, the MotoGP riders will take to the track in Jerez and Phillip Island.

Superbike
1Shinya NakanoAprilia1'35.3
2Marco SimoncelliAprilia1'36.3
3Alex HofmannAprilia1'37.3
250 cc
1Alvaro BautistaAprilia1'38.1
2Gabor TalmacsiAprilia1'38.1
3Mike di MeglioAprilia1'38.6
125 cc
1Julian SimonAprilia1'40.5
2Andrea IannoneAprilia1'41.0
3Bradley SmithAprilia1'41.1
4Sergio GadeaAprilia1'42.0

 

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Aprilia Superbike, 125 and 250 Riders Test Times At Valencia

While the MotoGP teams are warming up ready for the final test of the season, either at Jerez for the official IRTA test or in Phillip Island for the private test for Suzuki and Kawasaki, Aprilia was rolling out its equipment for all of the classes it will be contesting this year at Valencia.

Shinya Nakano and test rider Alex Hofmann were testing Aprilia's RSV4 World Superbike weapon, Nakano setting a time about a second slower than the times set at the World Superbike race here in April, while Hofmann was a good deal slower, but likely to be much busier actually testing equipment, rather than setting lap times. Meanwhile, Alvaro Bautista was quickest of the 250 riders, with Bradley Smith fractionally faster than his Aspar team mate Julian Simon on the 125s.

But there were two other noteworthy visitors at the test in Spain. The first was the British Maxtra team, rolling out at one of the first public appearances of the bike. The team, which is being run by British GP legend John Surtees, features an engine tuned by Aprilia's and KTM's former engine guru Jan Witteveen, and despite Michael Ranseder being pleased with the bike, saying "you can ride the bike very cleanly, but I have to get used to the bike, as it's so different to anything else I've ever ridden," the Maxtra team did not release lap times.

The other prominent visitor was Marco Simoncelli. Simoncelli did not ride today, but he will be out on Tuesday. Not on his Gilera, though, but rather aboard the RSV4 superbike. The ride is not a test, however, but just a reward for winning the 250 World Championship. Simoncelli has unfinished business in 250s and MotoGP, and is not yet ready to head off into World Superbikes.

Times from Monday's test at Valencia:

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MotoGP Winter Test Schedule For 125, 250 And MotoGP Classes

The schedule for the official tests has been announced. The MotoGP and smaller classes will test separately. Highlight of the test season is as ever the official IRTA test at Jerez, also known as Grand Prix Zero. Here, a BMW coupe will be up for grabs during a special qualifying session held on the last day.

MotoGP

November 26-27 Jerez Spain  
December 1 - January 20 Winter test ban
February 5-7 Sepang Malaysia  
March 1-3 Losail Qatar Night Test
March 28-29 Jerez Spain Official IRTA Test

125 and 250 class

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MotoGP 2008 Valencia Test Times Day 2 - Hayden Fastest In The Wet

The rain returned to Valencia on Tuesday, and the track saw little action, most riders going home. Only 7 riders hit the track in the afternoon, and as a few days earlier, Nicky Hayden was quickest in the wet.

The times:

1 Nicky Hayden Ducati 1'48.287 20 / 20
2 Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1'48.296 17 / 18
3 Marco Melandri Kawasaki 1'48.786 23 / 26
4 Niccolo Canepa Ducati 1'49.917 24 / 25
5 Mika Kallio Ducati 1'50.275 25 / 26
6 Toni Elias Honda 1'54.057 14 / 16
7 Loris Capirossi Suzuki 1'57.322 6 / 7

 

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MotoGP 2008 Valencia Test Times Day 1 - Finalized

Times from the first day of testing at Valencia. These will be updated as soon as official times are available. All times were set using the new standard tires provided by Bridgestone, with a choice of either a soft or a hard compound available. For comparison, see the fastest lap each rider set during the race on Sunday.

Times courtesy of GPOne.com and Motociclismo.es

Times at 5pm, the end of the test:

1Casey StonerDucati1'32.46431 / 54
2Dani PedrosaHonda1'32.67224 / 60
3Valentino RossiYamaha1'32.92120 / 34
4Chris VermeulenSuzuki1'33.14241 / 67
5Loris CapirossiSuzuki1'33.32537 / 75
6Alex de AngelisHonda1'33.37535 / 77
7Jorge LorenzoYamaha1'33.55041 / 44
8Andrea DoviziosoHonda1'33.67538 / 57
9John HopkinsKawasaki1'33.76044 / 74
10Marco MelandriKawasaki1'33.78247 / 75
11Randy de PunietHonda1'33.83239 / 80
12Nicky HaydenDucati1'33.96074 / 79
13Toni EliasHonda1'34.12978 / 81
14Sete GibernauDucati1'34.45121 / 52
15Mika KallioDucati1'34.79357 / 60
16Olivier JacqueKawasaki1'34.92548 / 71
17Niccolo CanepaDucati1'34.99559 / 62
18Yuki TakahashiHonda1'35.20372 / 73
19Gabor TalmacsiAprilia1'38.47255 / 57

 

Fastest lap of each rider during the race on Sunday:

Pos.No.RiderManufacturerFast LapDiffDiff Previous
11Casey STONERDUCATI1'32.582  
22Dani PEDROSAHONDA1'32.7960.2140.214
346Valentino ROSSIYAMAHA1'33.0750.4930.279
44Andrea DOVIZIOSOHONDA1'33.3130.7310.238
569Nicky HAYDENHONDA1'33.3930.8110.080
65Colin EDWARDSYAMAHA1'33.3990.8170.006
756Shinya NAKANOHONDA1'33.5500.9680.151
865Loris CAPIROSSISUZUKI1'33.6261.0440.076
915Alex DE ANGELISHONDA1'33.8391.2570.213
1048Jorge LORENZOYAMAHA1'33.8841.3020.045
1121John HOPKINSKAWASAKI1'34.0351.4530.151
1233Marco MELANDRIDUCATI1'34.1171.5350.082
1352James TOSELANDYAMAHA1'34.1501.5680.033
1414Randy DE PUNIETHONDA1'34.2251.6430.075
1550Sylvain GUINTOLIDUCATI1'34.4621.8800.237
167Chris VERMEULENSUZUKI1'34.5952.0130.133
1724Toni ELIASDUCATI1'34.6342.0520.039
1813Anthony WESTKAWASAKI1'34.7152.1330.081

 

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