KTM

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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2009 Valencia 125 And 250 Test - Day 1 - Bautista And Simon Fastest In The Rain

The rain in Spain falls mainly in January, as a rule, and this January is no exception. The weather on the Iberian peninsula is fairly miserable, and expected to get a lot worse. Which is unfortunate for the 125 and 250 field, who, after an extended test at Jerez, have now moved on to Valencia, where the weather has become fairly miserable.

In the 250 class, Alvaro Bautista continued where he left off, lapping over a second faster than the next quickest man Hector Faubel on the Honda. But the weather was such that the only man to put in a respectable number of laps was former 125 World Champion Gabor Talmacsi, as he continues to get used to the 250.

In the 125 class, Julian Simon was once again the fastest of the GP regulars, but he wasn't the fastest man on a 125. That honor went to Alberto Moncayo, who will be racing in the Spanish CEV championship next year. Moncayo worked hard to set the fastest time though, putting in a Hayden-like 84 laps, where most of the other riders were content to put in just a score of laps or so. Of the GP regulars, Esteve Rabat was 2nd fastest, ahead of Scott Redding.

Testing is due to continue tomorrow, as is the awful weather.

250 cc

Pos.RiderBikeTimeTotal Laps
1Alvaro BautistaAprilia1'48.27021
2Hector FaubelHonda1'49.62416
3Gabor TalmacsiAprilia1'49.78842
4Alex BaldoliniAprilia1'50.98024

Circuit record: 2007, Mika Kallio, KTM, 1'35.659

125 cc

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2009 Jerez 125 And 250 Test - Day 3 - Bautista And Simon Smash Lap Records

The final day of testing at Jerez for the junior classes in MotoGP showed the same pattern as the past two days, and the same names at the top of the timesheets. Once again, Alvaro Bautista and Julian Simon set the fastest times, the two Aspar riders lapping under the existing lap records in their respective classes.

Julian Simon did not have it all his own way in the 125 class though. At 2pm, Simon's Aspar team mate Bradley Smith was firmly ensconced at the top of the timesheets, and only relinquished his top spot later in the afternoon. Smith finished the day second, ahead of Sandro Cortese and Marc Marquez. Britain's Scott Redding finished 8th, dropping down the field from the earlier two days. The USA's Cameron Beaubier, on the other hand, managed to climb a place to 11th. More impressively, the American rookie took a second off his lap time every single day.

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2009 Jerez 125 And 250 Test - Day 2 - Bautista And Simon On Top Again

Alvaro Bautista and Julian Simon dominated once again on the second day of testing for the 125cc and 250cc riders at Jerez. The Spanish Aspar duo lead their respective classes as they had done yesterday.

In the 250s, it was KTM refugee Hiroshi Aoyama who was second fastest, getting the Team Scot Honda within half a second of Bautista. Behind Aoyama, the two newcomers, and former and reigning 125cc world champions Gabor Talmacsi and Mike di Meglio were third and fourth respectively, while yesterday's fast man Thomas Luthi dropped to 5th.

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2009 Jerez 125 And 250 Test - Day 1 - Bautista And Simon Lead A Thin Field

As if to emphasize the point that motorcycle racing is approaching once again, after the past three days of testing by the World Superbike and World Supersport field at Portugal's spectacular Portimao circuit, a reduced field of 250 and 125 riders took to the track a couple of hundred miles further east at Jerez.

But unlike the overflowing World Superbike paddock, the 250 and 125 tests were significant more for who was absent than for those present. The biggest name missing is of course reigning 250 champion Marco Simoncelli, but there's no doubt that the Italian Gilera man will be on the grid next year. For others, though participation is less certain, as sponsorship deals are still being haggled over in an attempt to finalize budgets.

And so none of the Pons team riders are present, which includes Hector Barbera and Simone Corsi, and neither of the Espargaro brothers will be testing either; Alex Debon is absent, his future still unclear; and Hector Faubel turned up at the track, but will not be riding until tomorrow.

Of the riders that did test today, Alvaro Bautista was the fastest, as might be expected of a serious title contender. The Spaniard finshed ahead of Swiss rider Thomas Luthi, and the Scot Honda rider Ratthapark Wilairot. Reigning 125cc champion Mike Di Meglio managed only the 6th fastest time, after a tumble in the morning which left him relatively unharmed.

As for the 125 riders, it was the Aspar Aprilia pairing of Julian Simon and Bradley Smith who topped the timesheets, ahead of the tiny Marc Marquez on the factory KTM. Britain's Scott Redding was fifth fastest, while American Cameron Beaubier, who stepped from the Red Bull Rookies Cup last year managed the 11th fastest time. The 125s shared the track with leading riders from both the Spanish CEV championship, as well as the Italian CIV championship.

Testing continues tomorrow, and concludes on Wednesday.

250 cc

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FIM Releases MotoGP Entry List: 19 In MotoGP, 22 In 250s, 29 In 125s

The FIM today released the provisional entry list for the MotoGP series, encompassing the MotoGP, 250cc and 125cc classes. As expected, the MotoGP class has 19 entries, the single tire rule freeing up the equipment for Sete Gibernau's team.

Perhaps the best news is the entry list of 22 riders for the 250cc class. With KTM's withdrawal from the class earlier this year, it looked for a while like there could be fewer than the minimum of 15 entries required for a World Championship to be organized. Since then, a number of privateer teams have entered Aprilia LE's, and Aspar has found sponsorship from the new Balatonring circuit in Hungary to provide former 125cc World Champion Gabor Talmacsi with factory equipment.

FIM Provisional Entry List 2009 

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Bartol: "New 600 Class Is Nonsense"

KTM have made no secret of their distaste for the new 600cc four-stroke class which is to replace the current 250cc class. Indeed, so upset were they at the new rules that they ended their 250 program a year earlier than planned, stating that they saw no point in pouring money into a class which was doomed anyway.

Some inside the paddock saw an ulterior motive for that withdrawal. They claimed that the real reason behind KTM's pull-out was to concentrate their resources on developing a bike to actually compete in the new 600 class. But now, in an interview with Motorcycle News, KTM's racing chief Harald Bartol has dismissed in no uncertain terms any notion that KTM would be interested in the new 600cc formula.

In the interview, Bartol calls the proposed regulations "complete and utter nonsense," and reiterates that KTM's decision to pull out of 250s was down to an economic decision. The new rules also go completely against KTM's racing ethos: "Why should we spend money and develop a new engine when the rules mean you can buy a better one in the shops?" Bartol told MCN.

The Austrian race chief also clearly alluded to who he thought was behind the move to the new 600cc four-stroke formula: "Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Ducati, Aprilia and KTM is not interested in this class, so we know who is and who pushed," he said.

Read the full story over on the MCN website.

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250 Class Could Disappear In 2009

With the decision by KTM to withdraw from the 250cc class in 2009 - a decision taken in response to the proposed rule changes which would see the class becoming a 600cc four-stroke series - and the global financial turmoil causing a host of sponsors to pull out, the future of the 250 class is looking increasingly in doubt.

The combination of KTM and Polaris World pulling out took 4 bikes off the grid, immediately decimating numbers. And with other teams and sponsors as yet unsigned, at the moment, the class looks like falling well short of the minimum number of 15 bikes needed to run the class. If Dorna does not receive entries for 15 bikes, then FIM rules prevent the series from being called a world championship, which in turn would make the series an irrelevance in global terms.

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