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Marc Marquez Receives Go Ahead To Start Training On Motorcycles - Could He Ride At The Misano Test?

Marc Marquez' recovery from the fourth operation on his right arm is proceeding very well. In a press release issued after Marquez had undergone a CT scan and X-rays at a hospital in Madrid, Dr. Sanchez Sotelo, the surgeon who performed the fourth operation, said that the bone had now joined and was growing together correctly. The operation had cut the bone and rotated it, after it had grown back rotated at 30° after previous surgeries.

With the bone now joined and capable of bearing weight, Marquez has been cleared to intensify his training and start using bigger weights. He has also been cleared to start riding motorcycles again.

This is a very positive sign that Marquez will be able to return to competition and be close to full fitness at the start of 2022. Speaking to the media at the Red Bull Ring, Marquez said his aim was to start racing again as soon as he felt fit enough. "When I will feel 70%-80%, when I will feel that I can ride a MotoGP bike in a more or less good way, I will come back," he told us. "The last part of their rehabilitation, the best way is be on the bike. You cannot wait to be 100% before to ride a bike. So, it's still everything to decide but we are taking care about all these things."

Marquez refused to name a target date for a return. "It's true that my intention is make some races this year. I mean, next week I will have the answer. Next week I will have the answer if it will be possible or not." The all clear from the doctors means that Marquez will race this year, the most likely scenario being that he races at Sepang and Valencia, in preparation for the Valencia test in November and the Sepang test in February next year.

Asked if he would come back and ride at the Misano test, scheduled for the Tuesday and Wednesday after the MotoGP round at Misano, Marquez denied it. "I don't think so. I mean it's too tight, but next week I will have a doctor check," he said.

But in a special for Spanish streaming service Dazn, Alberto Puig said that HRC were considering allowing Marc Marquez to ride at the Misano test. The rationale behind that was that it would allow him to give vital feedback on the first 2023 prototype of the Honda RC213V. Puig pointed out that a test is a very different environment to a race. There is much less stress, and Marquez could do a few short runs spread over two days, rather than the high-pressure environment of practice, qualifying, and race which participating in a MotoGP weekend entails.

This is not unthinkable. Marquez spent over 90 minutes meeting with Puig and other senior HRC management at the Red Bull Ring, discussing the future of the project. Participation in the test would also have been a topic. If Marquez does take part, it is unlikely he will be present at the race, but more likely he will fly in unobtrusively on the Monday night or Tuesday morning in anticipation of the test.

On the other hand, he may also feel it is better to wait until the Valencia test, which will be far more important, as it will provide the feedback HRC engineers will use to work on the 2023 bike over the winter, in preparation for the test.

The press release from the Repsol Honda team appears below:

Marc Marquez cleared for further training

Following his latest medical check, Marc Marquez has been given the green light to intensify his training and assess the condition of his arm on a motorcycle.

Marc Marquez has completed another successful medical check at the Ruber Internacional Hospital in Madrid. His trusted medical team, consisting of Dr. Joaquin Sánchez Sotelo, Dr. Samuel Antuña and Dr. Angel Cotorro were all pleased with the healing and recovery of the right humerus.

The medical team have given Marquez approval to intensify his training, adding more weight and introducing more varied exercises into his routine. Alongside this, it has also been agreed for the eight-time World Champion to start training on motorcycles to understand the condition of his right arm with further context.

From the findings of this outing, Marquez and the Repsol Honda Team will assess the following steps needed.

Dr. Sanchez Sotelo
MD PhD, Chair of the Division of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, Mayo Clinic.

“Today, I had the opportunity to evaluate Marc Marquez in regard to his surgical procedure recently performed at Mayo Clinic. Fortunately, Marc Marquez has regained a great arc of motion and has recovered well from a muscular perspective as well. Today, he underwent radiographs and a CT scan that show complete bone union.”


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Joan Mir To Miss Misano - Replacements Proving Tricky

Joan Mir's big highside on the first lap of the Austrian Grand Prix has had severe consequences for the Suzuki rider. Mir was initially diagnosed with a small fracture of his right heel, but further examination undertaken once he returned home revealed further damage. Mir suffered damage to the ligaments in his right ankle, and further fracture of the heel bone, including at the head of the heel bone where it meets the tibia and fibia bones in the leg.

Mir has been advised to take complete rest and to avoid putting weight on it for the next 15 days, to allow the heel to recover. That means he will not be fit to compete at the next MotoGP round in Misano.

This leaves the Suzuki Ecstar team with a problem. Normally, Mir's place would be taken by Suzuki test rider Sylvain Guintoli, but the Frenchman is recovering from a hand injury picked up during practice for the Suzuka 8 Hours race, held on the same weekend as Silverstone. Suzuki's other test rider, Takuya Tsuda, has only competed in one MotoGP race back in 2017, and is focused more on durability testing than outright performance.

Here is where Suzuki's lack of interest in racing generally causes them problems. With no entry in WorldSBK, there are no obvious candidates to take over the ride. There have been rumors of various riders stepping into the seat - including the improbable sight of Danilo Petrucci, currently racing a Ducati in MotoAmerica. Petrucci eventually turned down the seat, according to, after discussions with Ducati revealed knotty contractual obligations. Axel Bassani, currently racing a MotoCorsa Ducati in WorldSBK, is another name being linked to replacing Mir.

Any replacement rider has to be approved by the selection committee, however. It is entirely possible that the selection committee - consisting of representatives from IRTA and Dorna - decide it is better to allow Suzuki to appear at Misano with just one rider.

The press release from Suzuki appears below:


Team Suzuki Press Office – August 23.

The latest tests show bone and ligament damage to his right ankle that will force the rider to rest for at least the next 15 days.

Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Joan Mir suffered a terrifying crash on the opening lap of the Austrian Grand Prix last Sunday at the Red Bull Ring circuit. The first tests and X-rays performed at the circuit medical centre directly after the crash revealed a small fracture in the talus bone of his right ankle. Having returned home on Sunday night, the Mallorcan underwent further tests in Andorra.

Yesterday he visited Dr. Juan Garcías at Hospital Juaneda Miramar in Palma de Mallorca where he underwent a CT scan and an extra MRI as the doctors wanted to rule out bone damage to the left talus head as well as the right. Despite issuing a more encouraging diagnosis than expected, Doctor Juan Garcías found ligament and bone damage on the right side and he recommended caution, advising Mir to take absolute rest for the next 15 days. This means Joan will not be able to race in Misano.

“The patient had an injury to the talocalcaneal ligaments with a small bone avulsion. A stable tibiofibular joint, but with bone contusion on the head of the talus. In this case, the tibiofibular joint was stable and there was no total instability in the navicular bone. Conclusion: talus-calcaneal-navicular ligamentous injuries with instability grade I – II”

Mir will undergo another round of scans to assess the injuries following his 15 day rest period, in order to determine the course of treatment and, if eligible, to try riding at Motorland for the Grand Prix of Aragon.

In the forthcoming days Suzuki and Dorna will evaluate the best solution for Misano.

Joan Mir:

“After undergoing several tests, the doctors have advised me to take 15 days’ rest and another evaluation after that period. Unfortunately, I will miss the Misano race, but I am confident I can return in Aragon. I want to thank Dainese and AGV for protecting me and avoiding a more serious injury after the hard crash I had on Sunday. It's been a tough season, but I'm convinced that we'll come back stronger to bring more good moments to my team and to all of you who support me".

Livio Suppo - Team Manager:

“I’m very sorry for Joan. Problems continue to arise during this difficult season. In any case, we should remain upbeat. The crash was really big and in the end the injury is a serious one, but it could have been worse, so let's be positive and see how he will recover in the next 15 days to hopefully be ready for Aragón".


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GasGas To Join MotoGP With Tech3, Pol Espargaro Confirmed For 2023

GasGas, the iconic Spanish motorcycle brand bought by the Pierer Mobility Group and KTM, is to enter MotoGP with the Tech3 team. From 2023, Tech3 will become the GasGas Factory Racing Team, with Pol Espargaro confirmed as one of their riders. The team will compete with factory-backed KTM RC16s branded under the GasGas name.

Although GasGas will be competing under their own name, this does not mean that they will be regarded as a new manufacturer under MotoGP regulations. For the purposes of the rules, GasGas will be treated as KTM. That means they will not have concessions, have the same engine homologation and testing rules as KTM. They will also have no representation in the MSMA, KTM remaining the representative for the Pierer Mobility Group brands.

The rebadging of the KTMs as GasGas is very much a branding exercise, KTM CMO Hubert Trunkenpolz said. The objective is to use MotoGP as a marketing platform to reach a young audience to promote their sporting brand. In line with this, Trunkenpolz explained, there will soon be a line of street bikes from GasGas, though he gave no further details on this.

The press release from GasGas appears below:

Get on the Gas! GASGAS set for 2023 MotoGP™
GASGAS have always been keen to get on the gas for fun but now the throttle grip feels different, the pace faster and the stakes higher.

From 2023 Spain’s iconic motorcycle brand will join the rush of MotoGP for the first time in deal that sees the Tech3 Factory Team turn a full crimson red. The renowned race-winning crew will be equipped with GASGAS MotoGP technology and will place the machinery into the hands of Pol Espargaro for the globe-trotting Grand Prix series with a second rider to be confirmed soon.

Competition - and all the thrill and excitement that comes from racing - is part of GASGAS’ soul. The company, formed in the 1980s, celebrated the joy and buzz that motorcycling brings: everything that is daring, capable, vibrant, inviting. Fame in Trials and Enduro quickly transformed into motocross, supercross and rally success in recent years with a comprehensive foundation of offroad production bikes and now - after tasting spoils in in both Moto3™ and Moto2™ classes- the brand is ready for the next frontier; the pinnacle of road racing.

GASGAS want to bring their young, fresh and passionate vibe to the highest stage and that meant transforming the objectives of the Tech3 Factory Racing team for 2023. The decorated outfit and Pol Espargaro will become a new and welcome member of the GASGAS family. The popular 31-year-old will also tie-in some of GASGAS’ Iberian heritage for their maiden MotoGP tilt.

The distinctive red and white livery will go faster than it ever has been thanks to the new GASGAS MotoGP trailblazer. The marque will be the sixth brand in MotoGP for 2023 but has already boosted its presence with Grand Prix victories and podium appearances in Moto3 and Moto2 in the last two seasons thanks to the excellence of the GASGAS Aspar team.

Pit Beirer, GASGAS Motorsports Director: “GASGAS is a winning brand. It has reached an incredible level of performance immediately in disciplines like MXGP, Supercross, Enduro and Rally where we have taken Grands Prix, Main Events, world titles and overall winners’ trophies. It’s a relatively new brand for us and we have new goals. We hope the fans that follow ‘the red’ will enjoy the story. Thanks to our strong partner, the ASPAR team, in Moto3 and Moto2 we have been able to see the GASGAS bikes right at the front of those categories. It would be great to see the same thing eventually in the hardest class of them all. I want to thank Hervé and the Tech3 factory racing team for keeping an open mind and really supporting this change to become the GASGAS Factory Racing Team. We think it’s exciting and different.”

Hubert Trunkenpolz, Member of the Executive Board, CMO: “Taking the GASGAS name bigger and wider than its roots in Trial has been really successful in a number of ways. After seeing what we could achieve in Moto3 and Moto2 the next question was whether we could take GASGAS to MotoGP and we’re thrilled that we can make this step. It’s a new journey and I know the brand will stand out right away. Importantly, the team, the riders, the management will help GASGAS make a splash in the premier class. That’s what we’re hoping for!”


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Andrea Dovizioso To Retire From MotoGP After Misano Race, Cal Crutchlow To Replace Him

Andrea Dovizioso riding the WithU RNF Yamaha at Mugello

Andrea Dovizioso will not complete the 2022 MotoGP season. Today, Yamaha announced that the Italian had decided to end his career at Misano, his home race (Dovizioso is from Forlì, some 70 kilometers away). Yamaha official test rider Cal Crutchlow will take Dovizioso's place in the RNF WithU Yamaha team for the remainder of the 2022 season.

The decision did not come as a surprise. Dovizioso had joined Yamaha after a sabbatical year forced on him when he was dropped from the Ducati team at the end of the 2020 season along with Danilo Petrucci, to make way for Pecco Bagnaia and Jack Miller. However, despite Dovizioso having spent a season on a satellite Tech3 Yamaha back in 2012, the Italian never really gelled with the M1, and struggled to make the bike work for him.

Rumors emerged in June that Dovizioso was considering ending his career after the summer break, something which he halfheartedly denied when asked in Barcelona. Will you be in Silverstone? he was asked. "I think so," he replied.

But his problems with the Yamaha meant he was not enjoying racing at all. "You can’t enjoy when you are on the back," Dovizioso said after Barcelona. He had just been hanging on and doing what he could to finish, rather than trying to figure out a way to be competitive. "During this year, every race was a nightmare for me. I was surviving. It's not about making a strategy and deciding something, because I don't have the speed in my control. And when you are behind now MotoGP has become bad about that, because it affects a lot the way to ride, the performance of the tires, especially the front. So it's difficult behind."

Thus ends a long and illustrious career for Andrea Dovizioso. Though he only won a single world championship - the 125cc title in 2004 - he was always a contender. He finished second in the 250cc championship in 2006 and 2007, and was runner up to Marc Marquez for three years in a row from 2017 to 2019. He won 15 MotoGP races and amassed 62 MotoGP podiums, and a total of 103 podiums across all three classes.

Above all, Dovizioso was appreciated for his analytical insight. No one was both able and willing to explain the nuances and finesses of riding and racing a MotoGP bike like Andrea Dovizioso once Casey Stoner retired. He had a deep understanding of what a motorcycle could and should do, and could explain it in clear and simple terms to journalists with a necessarily limited understanding of racing.

What Dovizioso does next is not yet known, but it seems almost certain it will be in motocross, rather than MotoGP. Motocross was always Dovizioso's greatest passion, and he trained and raced MX whenever the opportunity presented itself. This was never more obvious than when Adam Wheeler, owner of digital magazine On Track Off Road and MXGP guru turned up at MotoGP races. Dovizioso usually avoided trying to chat informally with journalists once his official media duties were done, but when Adam turned up, Dovizioso would make a beeline for him and grill him on the latest developments in the MXGP paddock.

The press release from Yamaha appears below.


Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. confirm MotoGP star Andrea Dovizioso‘s decision to retire from his 20-year Grand Prix racing career at the 2022 Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, exactly one year after joining Yamaha‘s MotoGP programme.

Silverstone (UK), 4th August 2022

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. announce that MotoGP star Andrea Dovizioso has decided to retire from MotoGP after the upcoming Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini.

Dovizioso and Yamaha have maintained a warm relationship since he completed a successful season with the Tech3 Yamaha satellite team in 2012, resulting in six third places and fourth place in the final standings. He rejoined Yamaha‘s satellite rider line-up at the 2021 San Marino GP when Franco Morbidelli moved up to the Factory Team.

Dovizioso was originally planning to stay with the WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Racing Team for the entire 2022 MotoGP season, riding a factory-spec YZR-M1 and receiving full support from Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., but recently decided to end his career at his Misano home race.

Yamaha‘s official test rider Cal Crutchlow will be the substitute rider for the WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team for the remaining six races of the 2022 season.


I want to start by saying that, of course, we are all sad that Andrea will be leaving the sport earlier than expected. He is a big name in MotoGP, and he will be missed in the paddock.

"We considered ourselves very lucky last year that he was available and willing to join our MotoGP programme when Franky switched to the Yamaha Factory Team thus creating the need for a replacement rider for the remainder of the 2021 season. Andrea‘s great expertise, experience, and methodical nature were of great interest to Yamaha and the RNF team and the project was fixed to include the full 2022 season.

"Unfortunately, Andrea has struggled to extract the maximum potential out of the M1 and thus the results have not been forthcoming, which has created understandable frustration for Andrea. Finally during the summer break, he confirmed to us his desire to retire before the end of the season.

"After mutual discussions it was deemed appropriate for Andrea to ride his final race in Misano at his home GP. Naturally, Yamaha will continue to give ’Dovi‘ their full support over the next three races. In the meantime, let‘s enjoy his last three GPs and celebrate in Misano the end of a spectacular career.


I thank Lin for his words, I totally agree with them. In 2012, the experience with the Iwata manufacturer in MotoGP had been very positive for me and since then I have always thought that, sooner or later, I would have liked to have an official contract with Yamaha. This possibility presented itself, actually in a somewhat daring way, during 2021. I decided to give it a try because I strongly believed in this project and in the possibility of doing well.

"Unfortunately, in recent years MotoGP has changed profoundly. The situation is very different since then: I have never felt comfortable with the bike, and I have not been able to make the most of its potential despite the precious and continuous help from the team and the whole of Yamaha.

"The results were negative, but beyond that, I still consider it a very important life experience. When there are so many difficulties, you need to have the ability to manage the situation and your emotions well. We did not reach the desired objectives, but the consultations with the Yamaha technicians and with those of my team have always been positive and constructive, both for them and for me. The relationship remained loyal and professionally interesting even in the most critical moments: it was not so obvious that that would happen.

"For all this and for their support, I thank Yamaha, the RNF Racing Team, WithU, and the other sponsors involved in the project. It didn't go as we hoped, but it was right to try. My adventure will end in Misano, but the relationship with all the people involved in this challenge will remain intact forever. Thank you all.


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2023 MotoGP Rider Line Up So Far: 11 Down, 11 To Go

The official announcement that Alex Rins has signed a two-year deal with the LCR Honda team means that the 2023 MotoGP grid is now officially half full. The factory Yamaha, KTM, and Aprilia seats are all confirmed, as is the Gresini Ducati team. There has been official confirmation of one side of the Repsol Honda, Ducati Factory, and LCR Honda teams.

Does that mean that the remaining 11 seats are still wide open? Not all of them. There are some which are sure bets, while others are still very much open.

The Ducati seats are all pretty much taken, the only question being who will be shuffled where. Johann Zarco is as good as certain of remaining at Pramac Ducati, while Ducati are still pondering whether to put Jorge Martin or Enea Bastianini on the second factory seat, the other being consigned to the second bike at Pramac. The Mooney VR46 squad of Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi is likely to remain unchanged for 2023.

The second Repsol Honda seat is almost certain to go to Joan Mir, though there have been delays to the signing of that contract. Mir's recent slump in form has also shifted the balance of power in HRC's favor. The most likely scenario is that the contract will be announced ahead of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, but there could still be bumps along the road for the relationship.

The second seat at LCR will depend both on Ai Ogura's form and on whether he feels ready to move up to MotoGP. With Idemitsu footing the bill for the second LCR bike, there is no doubt that it will go to a rider from Asia, with Somkiat Chantra being another option if HRC decide to move on from Takaaki Nakagami. Nakagami is still in the running for the seat, however.

Since their switch from Yamaha to Aprilia RNF, the team has remained completely open to ideas about who they could put on the bike, though as Aprilia Racing CEO Massimo Rivola explained to Niki Kovács and myself, Aprilia will also have a say in the rider line up. Raul Fernandez looks set to make the switch from KTM Tech3, while the second seat is likely to go to Miguel Oliveira. Darryn Binder could be retained if either of those signings fall through.

At Tech3, Pol Espargaro looks set to make a return to KTM, though this time in the satellite team. It would be a reuniting with both KTM, who Espargaro rode for from 2017 to 2020, and Tech3, where Espargaro rode a Yamaha from 2014 to 2016. Remy Gardner is likely to stay put at Tech3, but that is far from assured at the moment.

With the loss of the two seats formerly held by Suzuki, there is little space for anyone currently in Moto2, outside of the slots held by Idemitsu specifically for Asian riders. Riders like Pedro Acosta, Augusto Fernandez, and Aron Canet will likely have to wait until 2024, or perhaps even 2025, when most of the contracts will once again be up.

The confirmed contracts are in the table below:

Rider Bike Contract through:
Monster Energy Yamaha    
Franco Morbidelli Yamaha M1 2023
Fabio Quartararo Yamaha M1 2024
Red Bull KTM    
Brad Binder KTM RC16 2024
Jack Miller KTM RC16 2024
Aleix Espargaro Aprilia RS-GP 2024
Maverick Viñales Aprilia RS-GP 2024
Repsol Honda    
Marc Márquez Honda RC213V 2024
Ducati Factory    
Pecco Bagnaia Ducati Desmosedici GP23 2024
Gresini Ducati    
Alex Marquez Ducati Desmosedici GP22 2023
Fabio Di Giannantonio Ducati Desmosedici GP22 2023
LCR Honda    
Alex Rins Honda RC213V 2024

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Officially Confirmed: Alex Rins Signs Two-Year Deal With LCR Honda

Alex Rins is to race for the LCR Honda team for the next two years. The official announcement only came today, but that Rins would end up at LCR was a foregone conclusion since the MotoGP race at Assen, where the Spaniard had admitted as much. "We are almost done and everybody can imagine where I will go next year with the exit of Alex Marquez going to Gresini," Rins had told us on the Sunday night of the Assen race.

Rins had the choice of two options: a seat with Gresini Ducati or with LCR Honda. But at Gresini, he had only been offered a Ducati Desmosedici GP22, whereas HRC had promised Rins a 2023-spec Honda RC213V at LCR. That had made the difference. "In the end I was managing the Ducati option - the Gresini option - or the LCR option," Rins told us. "We were talking with Ducati and they did not give me an official bike. I was fighting for an official bike and Honda was able to give me that possibility."

Those statements were made three weeks ago, so why has the announcement taken so long? Firstly, as the contract is directly with HRC, it had to be signed off by Honda, and go through the Japanese factory's bureaucracy. Secondly, with a five-week break between Assen and Silverstone, LCR and HRC were able to choose what they saw as the best time in terms of PR and media exposure. Contracts are rarely announced immediately after signing, but rather used as part of a PR campaign.

With Alex Rins, HRC gain a proven race winner, while Rins is guaranteed a factory-spec bike, and a two-year contract, giving him time to adapt to the Honda RC213V without the pressure of riding for a contract from the very first race. Just how well Rins will adapt to the RC213V remains to be seen: his style is fast and sweeping, rather than physically aggressive, the opposite of what the bike appears to demand.

The signing of Alex Rins brings the total of officially confirmed signings to 11, or half the 22-rider grid for 2023. Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli will continue to form the Monster Energy Yamaha team, while the Aprilia Racing team also remains unchanged, with Maverick Viñales alongside Aleix Espargaro. Jack Miller joins Brad Binder in the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team, while Marc Marquez has two more years left on his contract with Repsol Honda, and Pecco Bagnaia has signed on for two more seasons with the Ducati Factory team. Alex Marquez and Fabio Di Giannantonio will form the Gresini Ducati squad for 2023, and Alex Rins is now ensconced on the LCR Honda bike.

The press release from LCR Honda appears below:

19 July 2022

The LCR Honda CASTROL Team are pleased to announce the signing of Álex Rins on a two-year contract with Honda Racing Corporation.

The 26-year-old from Barcelona has established himself as a consistent front-runner in all Grand Prix classes and finished 3rd overall in the 2020 MotoGP World Championship. Making his debut in 2012 with Honda in the Moto3 World Championship, Rins battled for the lightweight and intermediate titles each year before stepping up to the premier class in 2017. Having claimed 15 wins, including three premier class victories, and a total of 55 podiums, 15 in MotoGP, Rins brings a wealth of experience to HRC and the LCR Honda CASTROL Team.

Álex Rins

“I am very happy to be joining the LCR Honda Team. Changing team and bike is a challenge but I am ready to give my 100% and to put into practice everything that I’ve learnt during my years in the MotoGP class.

Lucio and Honda’s trust have been crucial for me in deciding to take on this challenge with this factory. I would like to thank them for this opportunity.”

Lucio Cecchinello

“I am delighted to announce that Álex Rins will be the LCR Honda CASTROL rider in 2023. We’ve just finished signing the contract, all 3 parties, so we are finally able to announce it. Rins is an experienced rider, a fast rider and a podium finisher.

This wealth of experience, coupled with Rins’ ability to give the precise suggestions to his technicians, as I’ve heard, will surely help us to improve our our bike package, aiming to fight for more podiums.”

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Suzuki Make MotoGP Withdrawal Official, End EWC Participation From 2023

Suzuki and Dorna have finally agreed terms for the Japanese factory's withdrawal from MotoGP. In a press release issued today, Suzuki made official that they would be pulling out of the MotoGP championship at the end of the 2022 season, and ending the participation of the Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP team. At the same time, they announced they would be withdrawing from official participation in the EWC Endurance World Championship, where they race under the Yoshimura SERT Motul banner.

The announcement brings to an end the surprising saga of Suzuki's MotoGP exit. News first emerged at the end of the MotoGP test at Jerez, on the Monday after the Spanish Grand Prix. It took nearly two weeks for those rumors to be confirmed by an official press release stating that talks had begun with Dorna over a withdrawal.

Those talks have now been completed. Though no details have been announced, it is likely that Suzuki will have paid a sizable penalty to terminate their contract. Those penalties were put in place when contracts with the factories were renewed in 2016, Dorna drawing on lessons learned by the exit of Kawasaki from MotoGP at the end of 2008, and Suzuki (the first time) at the end of 2011.

The MotoGP withdrawal also means an end for the Suzuki Ecstar team. Alex Rins has already signed for LCR Honda, and Joan Mir is close to a deal with Repsol Honda, a sign that the team is also splitting up. Other team members are in the process of looking elsewhere for employment. With funding for the team provided almost entirely by Suzuki, there was never a chance of the team continuing as an independent entity.

The withdrawal from the EWC endurance championship is a little more of a surprise. The Yoshimura SERT Motul team are currently leading the FIM EWC standings, and have won multiple championships.

The reasons Suzuki give for pulling out of both MotoGP and EWC is a shift in focus toward sustainable transport. However, this move is part of a larger shift by Suzuki out of racing. The Japanese factory stopped supporting the Crescent Suzuki WorldSBK team at the end of 2015, and pulled factory support from MXGP at the end of 2017.

There are still Suzuki teams racing in BSB and MotoAmerica, but they are privateer, distributor and dealer supported operations, rather than factory efforts. In the press release, Suzuki promise to continue support for racing at the national level through through their network of distributors.

It is clear, both from the press release and from Suzuki's previous actions in other series, that Suzuki does not believe in the benefits of racing for their business plan. Factories go racing for a lot of reasons - marketing is arguably the biggest reason to go racing, but racing also provides a platform to do R&D and learn lessons which can be transferred into production, as well as help train engineers to think quickly and clearly about motorcycle dynamics - but none of them have been sufficient to convince Suzuki.

Whether this will have any knock-on effects for their production motorcycle division remains to be seen. If there is to be a shift to developing sustainable transport solutions, there could also be consequences for Suzuki's street bikes.

The press release from Suzuki appears below:


Team Suzuki Press Office – July 13.

Suzuki Motor Corporation and Dorna have come to an agreement to terminate Suzuki’s participation in MotoGP at the end of the 2022 season. Suzuki will also terminate its factory participation in the World Endurance Championship (EWC) at the end of the 2022 season.

We will continue to race in the 2022 MotoGP and EWC championships, maintaining our maximum efforts to win the remaining races. We aim to continue our support for our customers’ racing activities through our global distributor network.

We would like to express our deepest gratitude to all Suzuki fans who have given us their enthusiastic support and to all those who have supported Suzuki's motorcycle racing activities for many years.

Quote from Toshihiro Suzuki, Representative Director and President

“Suzuki has decided to end the participation of MotoGP and EWC in the face of the need to re-allocate resources on other initiatives for sustainability. Motorcycle racing has always been a challenging place for technological innovation, including sustainability, and human resource development. This decision means that we will take on the challenge to build the new motorcycle business operation by redirecting the technological capabilities and human resources we have cultivated through the motorcycle racing activities to investigate other routes for a sustainable society.

“I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all our fans, riders and all stakeholders who joined us and enthusiastically supported us from the development stage since we returned to MotoGP racing.

“I will continue to do my best to support Alex Rins, Joan Mir, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR and YOSHIMURA SERT MOTUL to compete competitively until the end of the season.

“Thank you for your kind support.”


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Pecco Bagnaia Crashes Car, Fails Breathalyzer Test On Vacation In Ibiza

Pecco Bagnaia has been involved in a car crash while vacationing on the Spanish island of Ibiza, which occurred while he was under the influence of alcohol. According to local Spanish media, Bagnaia crashed the car he was driving at a roundabout, losing control when he caught a wheel in a ditch. Though no other vehicles were involved, when the police arrived, Bagnaia failed a breath test, showing a blood alcohol level of 0.87g/l. Spanish law states that the legal limit in a breath test is 0.25 g/l, while the limit for a blood test is 0.5 g/l.

(It should be noted that blood alcohol content is measured differently in Europe and in Australia and in the US. In the EU, the units used are grams of alcohol per liter of blood, while in the UK, Australia, and the US, percentage is used, which is grams per 100ml. A blood alcohol level of 0.87 in Spain is equal to 0.087 in the US, or 87 in the UK.)

According to the police reports quoted by the local newspaper, Periodico de Ibiza, the police were called to an accident at 5am, where they found Pecco Bagnaia in a crashed car. They administered a breath test, standard procedure for anyone involved in an accident, and found him over the limit.

On Tuesday night, Bagnaia issued a statement and an apology on his social media accounts. "Last night I was in Ibiza with my friends for a party during this break from MotoGP. We celebrated and toasted together for my victory at the Dutch GP. As I was leaving the disco at 3am, I was facing a roundabout when I ended up with the front wheels in a ditch without involving other vehicles or people. However, the alcohol test carried out by the police found that the blood alcohol level was higher than what is allowed by Spanish law. I am sorry for what happened; I am practically a nondrinker, and it was a serious carelessness that should not have happened. I apologize to everyone, and I can assure you that I have learned my lesson. Never get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. Thank you."

Bagnaia's statement on Twitter appears below:

What happens next for Bagnaia is as yet unclear. Anyone caught in Spain with a blood alcohol level of between 0.5 and 1.2 g/l faces a punishment which includes a fine of between €300 and €600, and if they are a Spanish license holder, the loss of 6 license points and a possible suspension of the driving license of up to 6 months. As a foreigner, however, he is likely to only face a fine.

How Ducati and Dorna handle this is a separate matter. In the past, undesirable behavior outside of the track has been glossed over, or left to the teams to deal with. However, in this case, Pecco Bagnaia is one of the biggest names in the sport, a factory rider, and a prominent contender for the 2022 MotoGP title. It will be harder for Dorna to ignore, but they are unlikely to want to lose one of their biggest stars.

There is a clause in the regulations banning riders and teams from making statements which bring the MotoGP championship into disrepute, section However, this section is titled, "Public Pronouncements by Teams and Riders", and makes no mention of behavior which could be detrimental to the championship. Only explicit statements are banned: "Teams and Riders must avoid public declaration or press release which could damage or negatively affect the MotoGP World Championship," the rule reads.

At the time of writing, Ducati have not released a statement on the incident.

Whether it is fair or not, talent tends to buy tolerance. Aprilia stood by Andrea Iannone, long after the Italian had been found guilty by WADA of using a banned substance, and had his appeal rejected by the CAS. Bagnaia is widely recognized as one of the most talented riders in MotoGP, so that is likely to buy him a degree of tolerance for his misdeeds.

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Alex Marquez And Fabio Di Giannantonio To Race For Gresini Ducati In 2023

Another piece of the 2023 MotoGP rider line up has fallen into place. On Sunday morning, Gresini announced that they have signed Alex Marquez to race alongside Fabio Di Giannantonio for next year.

The signing did not come as a surprise. Rumors had been circulating all weekend that the younger Marquez brother was close to a deal with Gresini, and Di Giannantonio has show great progress in the last few races, including taking pole at his home race in Mugello.

The second seat at Gresini became available after initial talks with Miguel Oliveira failed to progress. That opened the way for Alex Marquez, who had in turn fallen out of favor with LCR Honda. Marquez' switch to Gresini opens the door for Alex Rins to sign with LCR, while Oliveira is likely to end up at the RNF Aprilia squad.

For the moment, much of this is still speculation, but the Gresini announcement is likely to be the catalyst for a slew of other deals. With the summer break nearly upon us, more announcements could be imminent.

The press release from Gresini appears below:



Our first official news for 2023 is here: Team Gresini MotoGP have selected Alex Marquez to replace Enea Bastianini – who will race a factory-spec Ducati machine starting next year. The Faenza-based squad looks once again at the wealth of talent from Spain, a country that always had strong ties and success with the team: from Gibernau to Martin, but also Toni Elias, Alvaro Bautista and Emilio Alzamora, who currently manages rider #73.

Born in Cervera, Alex Marquez has a top-level CV: he was Moto3 and Moto2 World Champion in 2014 and 2019, respectively, with a tally of 40 podiums that include 12 race wins – and two second places in the premier class back in 2020. The experienced 26-year-old will tackle his fourth season in the series, the first one with Ducati machinery.

Alongside the Spaniard will be Fabio Di Giannantonio, who is currently having great success tackling his rookie MotoGP season with Gresini. The Italian, who despite his young age has a long history with the squad, is among the contenders for Rookie of the Year 2022. He already has a pole position in the premier class and an eighth place as a best result.


“I’m really happy to announce that I’ll be joining Team Gresini MotoGP, and I’m also very excited to be starting this new adventure: it was crucial for me to change in order to recover the same type of motivation I had when I first joined this class. This was the best option for me, with a team that helped writing the history of this championship. I would like to thank Nadia, Carlo and all the GR staff for believing in me. I still have half a season left to do my best before starting 2023 with top motivation.”


“I’m really happy to extend my partnership with this team, which is like a family to me. It’s great because we’ll continue on this learning curve, and we’ll be doing so with a Ducati – and that makes me very happy. Continuity is key in MotoGP in order to be able to work on myself to be the best possible. We have been working on this contract extension for a little while, and now we can finally announce it. Obviously the goals will be higher: we’ll be using this second part of the season to improve our results and then next year I really want to make that step up.”


“I’m really happy with this new project. First of all we’re confirming our continuation with Fabio Di Giannantonio. He has already shown his talent this year, as he has been improving race after race, and I’m sure that he’ll keep getting more competitive. We were looking to put a more experienced rider alongside him, and I think Alex Marquez is the perfect one for our team. His CV speaks for itself: we think he has great potential and that the Desmosedici machine may be the perfect companion on his new journey. Welcome to the family, Alex!”


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Tight Travel Schedule Forces Program Change For Japanese Grand Prix At Motegi

As the MotoGP calendar expands, the logistical challenges of running an increasing number of back-to-back rounds are starting to have an impact. The triple header starting at Aragon, then proceeding to Motegi, then finishing at Buriram in Thailand was always going to be the hardest one, because of the distances to be traveled, and finally, Dorna and IRTA have had to admit defeat. Practice for the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi has been rescheduled, with just a single session on Friday, starting at 1:15pm, and no track action in the morning.

The new schedule will see Moto3 start at 1:15pm local time, with the normal 40 minute FP1 session. The 40-minute Moto2 FP1 follows at 2:10pm, and at 3:05pm, MotoGP will have 75 minutes on track for FP1. Normal service will be resumed on Saturday. Progress to Q2 will be determined by the combined times set during FP1 on Friday and FP2 on Saturday.

The schedule change is necessary because of the journey the MotoGP freight has to undertake from Aragon to Motegi. The entire paddock will have to be packed up on Sunday night at Aragon, ready to be flown to Japan. From Tokyo, the freight will have to be taken by truck to the Motegi Twin Ring circuit, before the Dorna crews and the teams can start to unpack and set up the TV broadcasting equipment and the garages.

There had been concern from the start that this move would pose a challenge, and after the logistical problems in Argentina and Austin, Dorna have chosen to preempt potential issues. Delaying track action for half a day should give everyone enough time to set up and be ready for action.

The press release from Dorna appears below:

Grand Prix of Japan: Time Schedule changes

Thursday, 23 June 2022

The FIM, IRTA and Dorna Sports are obliged to announce changes to the Friday schedule at the Grand Prix of Japan.

Due to the logistical challenges posed by the Grand Prix being staged back-to-back with the Grand Prix of Aragon, as well as potential delays caused by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and its effect on airspace, it has been decided to not run practice sessions for the Grand Prix classes – MotoGP™, Moto2™ and Moto3™ – on Friday morning.

Instead, Moto3™ FP1 will begin at 13:15 local time, Moto2™ at 14:10 and MotoGP™ at 15:05. This single MotoGP™ FP1 session that will now take place on Friday afternoon has been extended from 45 to 75 minutes. The time extension is for the premier class only.

The combined results for entry into Q1 and Q2 will be taken from FP1 and FP2 for all Grand Prix classes.

Fan activities will be planned with Grand Prix riders on Friday morning, giving fans at the track a chance to interact with their heroes as MotoGP™ returns to Japan for the first time since 2019.

There will also be track action at the Mobility Resort Motegi from 9:00 local time on Friday as the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup gets the race weekend underway with FP1, FP2 and qualifying for their third round of 2022.

After three years away, the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship looks forward to returning to race in Japan; on home turf for several MotoGP™ factories and in front of one of the most passionate, dedicated crowds on our calendar.


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