With 14 different chassis manufacturers lining up on the grid in Moto2, it was inevitable that at least one would suffer problems. After a poor start to the season, the Mapfre Aspar team of Julian Simon and Mike di Meglio have decided to switch chassis from Le Mans onwards, according to reports on the Spanish website Motocuatro.com, the Spanish magazine Motociclismo and the Italian website GPOne.com. From the French Grand Prix on, the Aspar riders will be using the Suter MMX chassis which currently dominates the grid.
There have been fears of early-lap carnage in the Moto2 class ever since it was announced that there would be over 40 riders on the grid, so when Shoya Tomizawa and Simone Corsi tangled on lap 2 at Jerez, nobody was particularly surprised. What was surprising, however, was to see a further 8 riders go down immediately behind the Technomag-CIP riders, wiping out without warning on a trail of oil left on the track by Tomizawa's bike.
Speculation on the nature of the fluid started immediately in the media center at Jerez, with opinions divided between oil, water or fuel. Given the speed at which the following riders lost the front end, water seemed unlikely, and it was hard to see how fuel could have affected grip so radically.
Result and summary of the Moto2 race from Jerez:
Moto2 justified its existence in scintillating fashion at Jerez today, after a restarted race saw a group of 5 men battle all the way to the line, with Gresini's Toni Elias taking a thrilling victory in front of his home crowd. The first attempt to race was red-flagged on the second lap, after Shoya Tomizawa crashed while battling with Simone Corsi into the Dry Sack corner, and his bike dumped fluids all over the circuit.
Results and summary of the qualifying practice for the Moto2 class at Jerez:
After taking victory at Qatar, Shoya Tomizawa's run of outstanding form continues, the Technomag-CIP rider take pole position for tomorrow's race. The Japanese rider was fast early, but then crashed harmlessly, and his time was only challenged towards the end of the session. When the challenges came, they came hard, with Mapfre Aspar's Julian Simon getting within two thousandths, Gresini's Toni Elias within five hundredths and Tech 3's Yuki Takahashi ending less than a tenth behind Tomizawa.
Columbian rider Yonny Hernandez topped the timesheets after the second session of free practice for the Moto2 class at Jerez, the BQR rider putting on a spectacular display of sliding his way around the Spanish track. Hernandez finished just ahead of Qatar race winner Shoya Tomizawa on the Technomag CIP Suter, and Tom Luthi on the Interwetten bike. Yesterday's fastest rider Alex Debon finished in 3rd on the FTR, ahead of former MotoGP rider Alex de Angelis.
Alex Debon was the fastest rider during the first session of Moto2 free practice, the Spanish FTR rider leading for most of FP1. Another FTR - albeit the heavily modified Speed Up version - ended the day in 2nd, Gabor Talmacsi just pipping American Kenny Noyes on the Jack&Jones bike in the final moments of practice. Tech3's Yuki Takahashi was 4th quickest.
The 2010 season opener at Qatar also witnessed the birth of a brand new class. The Moto2 bikes - a prototype chassis housing a standardized Honda engine - had generated a lot of interest during the off season, not least because the class threw up a number of new and unknown names in the tests. One of the favorites to emerge from the preseason was American rider Kenny Noyes, riding a PromoHarris Moto2 bike for the Jack&Jones Banderas Racing team.
After finishing consistently in the top three during testing, Noyes had a difficult qualifying session, ending up just 30th on the grid. A tactical error, and being caught off guard by the adrenaline-fueled chaos of the last 10 minutes of qualifying saw Noyes 1.8 seconds off polesitter Toni Elias, at a track he had only seen before testing road bikes for a Spanish magazine. We caught up with Noyes a couple of hours before the Moto2 race was due to start at Qatar.
MotoMatters.com: Nervous yet?
Kenny Noyes: Not now! [Laughs] I was real nervous before the first session, especially the first free session, going out there the first time in the World Championship, and learning the track. It's a lot to take in at once. But I kinda settled down as the weekend has gone on, and now I'm starting pretty far back, but we can only really go forward from here.
MM: How's the transition been coming to the World Championship? The Spanish CEV is a big championship, but it's just not the same, is it?
While news of the cancellation of next week's MotoGP race at Motegi has been seeping out to news outlets from teams, riders and officials inside MotoGP's organizing bodies, the official status of the race was that it was not canceled until the FIM (the sanctioning body for MotoGP) had spoken. Unfortunately, however, the discussions and decision-making all took place over the weekend, a period during which the FIM's offices in Switzerland are closed. Now that the weekend is over, the long-awaited official confirmation is here: The FIM has finally issued a statement announcing that the Motegi MotoGP race has been postponed until October 3rd, 2010. Here is the FIM statement:
FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix
Postponement of the Grand Prix of Japan
The recent vulcano eruption in Iceland has resulted in an ash cloud cover infiltration. Air traffic space over Europe has stopped all international travel in and out of Europe.