Kalex

2012 Qatar MotoGP Saturday Round Up: Of Cheshire Cat Smiles, Chatter, and the Italian Tragedy

On the evidence of qualifying at Qatar, we're in for a cracking MotoGP season. A very tight battle for pole settled in the final minutes, a surprise front row sitter, and plenty of on-track action are the ingredients for a great QP session, and the changes the sport have undergone are overwhelmingly positive. The same was true in Moto2, where a smart strategy outwitted a late last lap, and Moto3 saw another battle that went down to the wire.

In the Moto3 class, the leveling effect that the new rev- and price-limited bikes have had is plain, just as it was when the Moto2 class replaced the 250s back in 2010. To see the names of Sandro Cortese and Maverick Vinales in 1st and 2nd on the grid is no surprise, but Louis Rossi in 3rd is a bit of a shocker. The Frenchman has spent most of his career on third-rate 125s, and qualified mainly between 10th and 20th in 2011. Since climbing aboard a Moto3 bike, he has been a top 10 regular throughout testing and featured prominently at Qatar. A front row start is richly deserved, and with the front three close, and the top 10 all having been somewhere near the front at some point in the weekend, the inaugural Moto3 race promises to be as good as the 125s it replaces, despite the fact that the times are over a second slower than last year.

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2012 IRTA Moto2 & Moto3 Jerez Test Round Up - Ready To Go

The 2012 preseason is over for Moto2 and Moto3, as the support classes pack up their things after three days of testing at Jerez and get ready to ship out to Qatar. The teams leave the final test of the season with a much better idea of where they stand, as the playing field had been leveled in Moto2 by the use of the official Geo Tech engines, and in Moto3 by the arrival of the Geo Tech kits for the Honda engine, giving the NSF250R a much needed power boost with respect to the KTMs.

In Moto2, a clear group of contenders has established itself, consisting mainly of the men who have been fast just about all preseason. Claudio Corti was fastest, but the Italian was never outside the top 3, gaining a place every day of the test. Thomas Luthi was his constant companion, the Interwetten Paddock rider finishing ahead of the Italian on every day except the last, when Corti just sneaked ahead by four thousandths of a second. Luthi, Corti, Pons rider Pol Espargaro, and rather surprisingly, Marc VDS Racing's Mika Kallio were consistently at the top of the timesheets, and more importantly looked fast every time they were on the bike.

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Pons Racing Moto2 Team Launches Talent in Madrid

While they might have been overshadowed by Marc Marquez' impressive debut in Moto2, Spanish rookies Pol Espargaro and Tito Rabat are ready now to take on 2012 in the Moto2 team of former 250 world champion Sito Pons, with technical support from Kalex. Espargaro and Rabat will share a garage with Axel Pons, making the team the largest in Moto2 for the 2012 season. The Pons Racing team had their official team launch today at the "40 Café" restaurant, located in the city center of Madrid. They head to Jerez next week for the final Moto2 test of the preseason, where all of the Moto2 teams will be working with GEO Tech engines for the first time.

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Sito Pons: "I Do Not Believe in CRT With Such Wide Differences in Performance"

At the launch of Sito Pons' Moto2 team, the double world 250 champion, also former owner and team manager of one of the most successful 500 and MotoGP satellite Honda teams of all time, spoke recently to Motomatters.com about the CRT concept for 2012 and the chances the Spaniard saw to move his his Moto2 team back up to the MotoGP grid under these new technical rules in the near future.

"I really believe in the idea of CRT bikes", Pons said. "But only if they are at a similar level of performance as the Japanese factory prototypes. I do not believe in a CRT concept with such wide differences in performance between the fastest Japanese bikes and the CRTs, as it is planned right now, either from a commercial point of view or from the point of view of the sport".

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