Mika Kallio

Provisional 2010 MotoGP Rider Entry List

The FIM today released the provisional entry lists for the MotoGP class, and the list has no surprises in it. The list contains official confirmation of the numbers the MotoGP rookies will be using, most of which are the numbers they used previously. Hiroshi Aoyama is the only exception, taking number 7 as the number 4 which he used in the 250 class has already been claimed by Andrea Dovizioso - who in turn had been forced to take 4 because his preferred number 34 has been retired in honor of Kevin Schwantz.

Rather surprising is Marco Melandri's entry. He was listed under the number 24, and not the number 33 which he has used since entering MotoGP. This turned out to be a mistake, as pointed out to us by the San Carlo Honda Gresini press office. Melandri will be running number 33 in 2010 after all.

2010 MotoGP Rider Lineup

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Memory Lane 2009 - Scott Jones' Photos From Qatar

It is a tradition to look back at the end of the year, and pick out the highlights of the season. Certainly for us at MotoMatters.com, the highlights have been Scott Jones' beautiful photos. Having paddock access for the first time meant that Scott could attend more races and take better photos. Over the next few days, we'll be going back and selecting a few of our favorites from among the very many beautiful shots Scott took for us. If you see any photos you'd like to have on your wall, then drop Scott an email to ask about pricing. And if you want to help us do it all over again in 2010, then head over to the donate page and send us a contribution. Here are some of Scott Jones' photos from Qatar to help persuade you of the wisdom of that decision.

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Aleix Espargaro To Partner Kallio At Pramac In 2010

There have been a host of riders who have tried to ride the Ducati Desmosedici, and apart from Casey Stoner, they have been at best only moderately successful. This struggle, combined with Casey Stoner's unexpected illness, has prompted Ducati to mount a search for someone - anyone - else who showed any aptitude at all for riding the GP9.

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Silly Season 2010 Update - Only A Couple Of Seats Remain Open

The MotoGP silly season is just about played out. With four races left in the season, the rider line up for 2010 is almost complete. As expected, once Jorge Lorenzo finally made up his mind, the remaining pieces in the puzzle fell into place, leaving just a few gaps to fill.

All of the factory seats are now full, and largely unchanged, with Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo back at Yamaha, Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden at Ducati, Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa (albeit reluctantly) re-signed with Repsol Honda, and Loris Capirossi joined at Suzuki by the only newcomer to the factory line up, Spanish rookie Alvaro Bautista. Though next year's seats are settled, plenty of excitement still remains over what will happen next year: Everyone but Andrea Dovizioso and Alvaro Bautista is on a one year contract, which means that the Fantastic Four will all be on the market at the same time next year and looking to move, almost certainly precipitating a bidding war and making a mockery of all the cost-cutting measures already put in place.

Of the satellite teams, only the Gresini and LCR squads are completely set. Fausto Gresini got his Italian Dream Team with the two Marcos, Melandri and Simoncelli, and helping him extend the team's sponsorship contract with snack manufacturer San Carlo, while Lucio Cecchinello has re-upped with Randy de Puniet. But even among the remaining teams, the seats are largely taken. Mika Kallio is back with Pramac, and Colin Edwards returns to the Monster Tech 3 team, though reportedly taking a half million dollar pay cut for the privilege. No official word as yet from Team Scot, but as Gabor Talmacsi is the only person likely to be bringing significant funds into the team, the Hungarian must be a safe bet for that seat.

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2009 Brno Post-Race Test: Rain Stops Proceedings Early - Updated

The rain brought proceedings to an early end at the final day of testing for the MotoGP class for this season. It started to rain shortly after lunchtime, and though it rained only briefly, by the time the track had started to dry out a fresh shower arrived to drench the track again. Only in the final hour did the riders venture back out onto the track again, and then, it was only Valentino Rossi who managed to improve his time.

So the riders did not get the testing done that they had hoped for. Jorge Lorenzo was once again the fastest rider on the track, ahead of the ever tardy Valentino Rossi, who did not roll out of the garage until after 11am, and Dani Pedrosa. The Repsol Honda riders were due to test Ohlins suspension, but as Dovizioso was scheduled to run the Swedish suspension in the morning, and Dani Pedrosa only in the afternoon, Dovi did the bulk of the testing. Pedrosa did get out on the new forks, according to GPOne.com, but certainly wouldn't have given the new suspension the kind of workout he would have hoped for.

Julian Ryder, over at Superbikeplanet.com, reports that there was cloak-and-dagger atmosphere inside the Suzuki pits, where screens were being erected around bikes every time the fairings came off. Obviously, the factory brought more than just the minor tweaks that they gave to Loris Capirossi for the race on Sunday.

The first outing for a Moto2 bike at an official MotoGP event was not a roaring success. Spanish rider David de Gea crashed during the morning while testing tires for Dunlop, and was transported to a local hospital with a broken foot. De Gea was not the only faller. Both Gabor Talmacsi and Nicky Hayden hit the gravel, though neither man was seriously hurt.

Times at the end of the day, courtesy of GPOne.com

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2009 Brno Post-Race Test Times

The bikes are out on track at the final test of the year at Brno, and the first times are starting to appear. The field is still a little empty, as Valentino Rossi is yet to emerge from his motorhome, while the Tech 3 Yamahas of Colin Edwards and James Toseland have been crated up ready for their journey to the next Grand Prix at Indianapolis. Randy de Puniet is giving his fractured ankle a rest.

The Hondas are out testing Ohlins suspension, in a move which could mirror their switch in World Superbikes, where the factory-backed Ten Kate team has made a similar switch to Ohlins. Now that Yamaha has sold the Swedish suspension firm back to its founder, Honda feels comfortable testing the shocks as possible replacements for the Showa units which are produced by a Honda subsidiary.

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Pasini To Test Ducati On Monday - Preparing To Replace Kallio?

Mattia Pasini has had a season of ups and downs in 2009. The Italian won the Mugello 250cc Grand Prix, then a couple of weeks later, he nearly missed out on riding after a dispute over unpaid lease fees saw Aprilia refuse to provide Team Toth with the ECUs for Pasini's Aprilia RSA.

As Team Toth continues to teeter on the brink of financial collapse, Pasini has just received news of another positive turn in his career. The Rimini-based rider is to test the Pramac Ducati MotoGP bike left vacant by Mika Kallio at the post-race test at Brno on Monday. 

The decision to have Pasini test the bike may at first seem a little strange, as Michel Fabrizio is already in Brno and riding that bike this weekend. Logic would dictate that Fabrizio would be the right person to test the machine on Monday, having spent Friday through Sunday riding it, and already up to speed.

But there is a problem with Fabrizio: The Roman is currently still in contention for the World Superbike title - though he has a 53 point deficit to the championship leader, team mate Noriyuki Haga - and the Xerox Ducati boss Davide Tardozzi has already made it extremely clear Fabrizio should return to the World Superbike paddock as soon as possible. With Casey Stoner out for at least three races, the last of which - at Misano - clashes with the next World Superbike round at the Nurburgring, and Kallio having moved out of the Pramac team to take Stoner's place, Pramac need to fill Kallio's place at Brno, Indianapolis and Misano.

Fabrizio is in for this weekend at Brno, but so far, this looks like being the only race that Fabrizio will get aboard the Desmosedici. With Indy just a week before the Nurburgring, then Misano clashing with the German World Superbike Round, the risk of injury is too great for the Roman, and someone else will have to be drafted in to take Kallio's place in the US and Italy.

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The Sealed MotoGP Engine Numbers - An Analysis Of What It Tells Us

Yesterday, Dorna released  a list of engines presented to MotoGP's Technical Director Mike Webb to be officially sealed. The seals are placed to comply with the engine limit which comes into effect at Brno, which stipulates that each rider is only allowed to use 5 engines until the end of the season. The teams only needed to submit 1, or at most 2 engines to be sealed before practice started, but instead most submitted 3 or even more. That demands some kind of explanation, and so we decided to take a closer look at the numbers.

Here's the full list:

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It's Official: Ducati Confirms Stoner Out For Three Races

After the speculation and the rumors, finally the official confirmation. Below is the text of the press release put out by Ducati Corse today, on the subject of Casey Stoner missing the next three races:

STONER OUT OF ACTION FOR THREE RACES, KALLIO TO JOIN HAYDEN IN DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM

Casey Stoner will not take part in the next three Grands Prix, and will next return to action at the beginning of October for the Grand Prix of Portugal. The Australian has suffered physical problems since the Catalunya GP, which have caused him severe fatigue during the last five races. Stoner took this difficult decision after having consulted with sports doctors who have looked after him for many years back home in Australia. At this challenging time, he has the support of the team and the whole of Ducati who together with Stoner have enjoyed racing at the top of the sport for the last three seasons.

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Stoner Update - Out For Multiple Races, Kallio And Fabrizio To Move Up

News of Casey Stoner's withdrawal continues to reverberate around the internet. More and more sources are confirming that Stoner will not be present at Brno, and could be gone for several races: The usually extremely reliable GPOne.com is stating that official confirmation will be coming very shortly, while Speed TV's Dennis Noyes has apparently had confirmation from a source inside Italy that the Bologna factory is currently working on a press release.

The consensus seems to be that Stoner has been advised by doctors to take more rest, probably missing the next three races, at Brno, Indianapolis and Misano. With the Hungarian round at the Balatonring already canceled, this would give Stoner a further two months to recover, in time for the grueling run of four races in six weekends, spread over three continents, which caps the MotoGP season in October and November. Two more months would give Stoner a chance to rest and his medical advisors an opportunity to get to the bottom of his mystery illness.

That mystery has naturally led to a veritable tsunami of speculation. Current favorite is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a disease which is linked to stress, anemia, a number of viral infections, as well as several other causes. The disease is poorly understood, but certainly the symptoms bear a striking resemblance to what we know of Stoner's condition: a sudden onset after a flu-like illness, exhaustion after physical exertion, stomach problems, and a failure to recover. So far, though, this is based solely on speculation and armchair diagnosis, and cannot be regarded as in any way accurate or reliable.

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