Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the first day of practice at Phillip Island:
Viñales returns with good pace
Toni Elias will be back in Moto2 in 2013. The 2010 Moto2 champion signed a contract to race for the Blusens Avintia team next season, and will contest the championship on board a Kalex chassis.
The switch of chassis was a prerequisite for Elias to sign with a team: Elias left the Aspar squad following the Mugello round of Moto2, after Aspar was not able to persuade Kalex to supply them with an additional chassis. Since his return to Moto2 with the Italtrans team - currently racing with a Kalex chassis - the Spaniard's performance has drastically improved, with Elias fighting for a top five finish at Motegi before crashing out in the later laps.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the thrilling races at Sepang:
Sandro Cortese and KTM win first ever Moto3 World Championship title
This year's Malaysian round of the MotoGP series has offered a glimpse of the future, for those with an interest in seeing it. While the series is locked in a series of arguments over the future of the technical regulations, the massive economic problems in its key television markets, and the Spanish domination of the sport in all classes, Sepang pointed the way forward, and that way is definitely east.
It starts with the crowds. Where crowd numbers have been falling almost everywhere at the European rounds, Sepang is seeing record attendances this weekend. Grandstand tickets are selling out fast, and despite the rain, fans are turning up in large numbers. How much those numbers are being inflated by Australians flocking to the circuits they can fly to affordably to see Casey Stoner ride the last few races of his career is uncertain, but that they should be packing the grandstands in Malaysia seems unlikely. There are also plenty of local fans, coming to see riders from the region threaten the top of the timesheets for the first time in history, and not just make up the numbers at the rear.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at Sepang:
Second row for Oliveira
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the first day of practice at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia:
Oliveira once again amongst fastest riders
Scott Redding and Mika Kallio are to remain in Moto2 with the Marc VDS Racing team for the 2013 season. The team is to also expand into Moto3, adding young Belgian rider and former Red Bull Rookie Livio Loi.
The signing of Redding and Kallio brings to an end a saga over Redding's future which has lasted for several months now. The young British rider had been widely expected to make the move up to MotoGP this season, Redding clearly suffering as a result of his size on board a horsepower-limited Moto2 machine. At first, it looked like Redding would be part of the Ducati Junior team, the Englishman posting impressive times during private testing with Ducati, but the long, drawn-out process of putting that team together saw Redding drop out of the race. Redding was also very close to securing the San Carlo Gresini Honda ride, but the politics between Honda and Dorna over the spec ECU saw him passed over for the ride.
"I don't think it will be between only Dani and me," Jorge Lorenzo had said on Saturday night at Motegi. After qualifying, there was a sizable group of fast men, including Cal Crutchlow, Andrea Dovizioso and Ben Spies, who all looked quick enough to keep pace with Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo. It turns out he was wrong: once the lights went out, the contest was between the two main title contenders as it has been all season, especially once Casey Stoner dropped out of contention after the massive ankle injury he sustained at Indianapolis.
Qualifying had been deceptive: Jorge Lorenzo took a brilliant pole, and had looked his usual fast and smooth self. Pedrosa had had a bumpy ride - literally, chatter mysteriously appearing early on during QP and taking a long time to get under control, leaving Pedrosa to start from 2nd. The race was similarly deceptive: Lorenzo led, stalked by Pedrosa, and the hearts of race fans beat faster in anticipation of a repeat of Brno. That would not come to be. Once Pedrosa motored by Lorenzo, he was gone, managing the gap all the way to the end.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi:
Kent wins first ever Moto3 GP; Cortese crashes in last lap to finish sixth