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MotoGP Calendar Inflation Continues: Kazakhstan To Join Provisional Calendar In 2023, India To Hold Race In Near Future

The MotoGP calendar continues to expand. Today, Dorna announced in an unusually brief press release that the Sokol International Racetrack, 50 kilometers north  east of Almaty in Kazakhstan, is to be added to the MotoGP calendar for 2023 for a five-year period. The Kazakh track is still in the process of being built, and so will face homologation and safety checks before the race will be confirmed as happening in 2023.

The race in Kazakhstan will take the slot vacated by the now defunct Kymiring in Finland, which failed due to its business case collapsing when Russia invaded Ukraine. That means it will be held in July, two weeks after the Dutch TT in Assen, and three weeks before the series resumes at Silverstone. Its inclusion will bring the calendar up to 21 races. The calendar is set to be published at the end of this week.

The reason for going to Kazakhstan is simple: it opens up a new market for MotoGP in Central Asia, and the fact that the country is an autocracy based on oil wealth means that unlike, say, Finland, the money to complete a circuit and pay the fee demanded by Dorna is not an issue.

Last week, Dorna also announced that work was underway to bring a race to India. Although Indian sources reported that a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with the promoter, Fairstreet Sports, the Dorna press release is careful not to make any mention of agreements or contracts signed. Dorna has also previously signed Memoranda of Understanding with circuits in Hungary, Saudi Arabia, and the Circuit of Wales.

India is a territory Dorna is very keen to conquer, however. A massive market, both in terms of viewership and motorcycle sales, having a race in the country would be a huge boost for the series. The race is currently scheduled to be held at the Buddh International Circuit, not far from New Delhi, if it happens.

Previously, problems with customs and local taxation have made it difficult to organize a race in India. When F1 raced in India, local authorities classified the event as entertainment rather than sport, incurring huge import tax liabilities. That also caused the cancellation of WorldSBK's proposed round there. MotoGP will only be able to race in India if those issues have been resolved. Paddock sources indicated to me that there were a lot of other issues to overcome as well.

Although Indian media suggested that a race could be held as early as 2023, that will not happen. The earliest India could join MotoGP would be 2024, when a major shakeup of the calendar is expected, including a cut to the number of races held on the Iberian peninsula. Italy could also lose a race, if attendance figures continue to be as dramatic in 2023 as they were in 2022. Saudi Arabia is currently set to join the calendar from 2024 as well, with other countries also interested in hosting races. On the face of it, MotoGP is set to make a shift eastwards, out of Europe and into the Middle East and Asia.

The press releases from Dorna appear below:


MotoGP™ lands in Kazakhstan in 2023

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

The FIM MotoGP™ World Championship is coming to Kazakhstan! 2023 marks the start of a new five-year deal that sees MotoGP™ touch down in a new region of the world as the stunning Sokol International Racetrack joins the calendar.

Located just outside Kazakhstan’s largest city, Almaty, Sokol is a brand-new motorsport complex constructed in the heart of Central Asia. The region will be a new pitstop for MotoGP™ as the sport continues to expand around the world, engaging with new markets and fanbases.

Kazakhstan will also become the 30th country to host a motorcycle Grand Prix since 1949, a perfect landmark number to celebrate the ever-expanding history of the world’s first motorsport World Championship, and Sokol International Racetrack will be the 74th venue to host a premier class Grand Prix.


Dorna begins work towards future MotoGP™ Grand Prix in India

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Dorna Sports is delighted to announce that work has begun on a possible future Indian Grand Prix, with the target of bringing the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship to the Indian subcontinent in the near future.

Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta has recently visited India to meet with authorities and potential event promoter Fairstreet Sports. The visit began at the spectacular Buddh International Circuit, right outside New Delhi, which would be the target venue to host the possible MotoGP™ event.

Thereafter, the delegation also travelled to Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, the region in which the circuit is located, to meet with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr Yogi Adityanath and Industrial Development Minister Mr Nand Gopal “Nandi”.

Finally the visit ended with a presentation in New Delhi to local media and representatives of the motorcycling industry, which showcased the great expectation the country has for MotoGP™.

Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta: "India is a huge country and market, and an especially important one for the two-wheeled industry and MotoGP as a sport. The Championship has a huge fan base there and being able to hold a MotoGP event in India would be both an incredible spectacle for our fans at the same time as allowing us to continue to grow the sport in the region, which is hugely important for our all our partners and the manufacturers in particular given the hundreds of millions of two-wheeled vehicles on its roads. We would love to be able to see this project through and bring these incredible MotoGP bikes to race in front of the Indian fans.

"At MotoGP we are committed to our fans and aim to make the sport accessible to all, regardless of where they are, who they are or their economic status. Motorcycles are an incredible tool for transportation and in many areas of the world they drive society, providing economic mobility and powering families around the world. Racing in India would be a reflection of our commitment to open the doors to the sport as widely as we can, and would be and an important achievement for the Championship."

Union Sports Minister Shri Anurag Thakur, during the meeting with Fairstreet Sports team, added: “It’s a historical day for the sporting and automobile industry and a befitting tribute to the Azadai Ka Amrit Maha Utsav celebrations, marking India’s befitting arrival in the global platform of motorsport. India could potentially be one of MotoGP’s biggest markets in terms of viewership as well as revenue.

"MotoGP is a critical asset thanks to the viewer loyalty that the sport enjoys and the competitive nature it embodies, already reaching nearly half a billion homes around the world. Dorna Sports, the sole commercial and television rights holder, produces the world feed television coverage of each Grand Prix throughout the season, from acquisition to distribution, as part of a 360 degree event management philosophy."

Mr Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh: "It is a matter of great pride for Uttar Pradesh to host such a globally prestigious mega sports event. Not only will the event boost the hospitality and tourism sectors, but it will also put UP on the global platform. Our government will provide all the necessary support to make this event a huge success."

Shri Nand Gopal “Nandi”, Cabinet Minister, Government of Uttar Pradesh for Industrial Development, Export Promotion, NRI, Investment Promotion, said, "The event will not only be a boon to motorcycle racing fans but also provide a major impetus to the economy by generating an influx of foreign investments and ushering in advancement in the personal transportation industry which would transcend into global investments and a preferred destination for OEM’s in the state of Uttar Pradesh."

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Marc Marquez To Race In Aragon

Marc Marquez is to race at the Aragon round of MotoGP. The Spaniard tested his arm at the Misano test last week, and despite some tiredness in his muscles, is confident he can compete in the race at what is effectively his home round.

The decision is not entirely surprising. The Repsol Honda rider rode a CBR600RR at the Motorland Aragon kart track again on Monday, in a final test of his fitness and his recovery. But it is still an early return to full-time competition.

At the Misano test, Marquez was still uncertain of being able to return as early as Aragon. "Now the plan is just to try to understand these next two or three days," Marquez said after the second day of the Misano test. "See how the reaction of the arm is. Because sometimes after a big effort you have two options: The pain is there and stays there. Or it drops and then… the muscle grows a lot. That’s what we need to understand and go day by day. I think around Sunday, Monday I can decide or I will understand if have some sense to try in Aragon or be patient."

A return to racing is the last part of his physical rehabilitation, he had explained. "To be more fit and more confident and faster, you need to be on the bike," Marquez said. "But it's true that to be on the bike, you need to have a minimum level in your arm. You need to have a minimum force, and it's important… I mean, race distance is race distance and the intensity you ride in a race weekend is not the same as in a test. Here I was able to relax in the box. On a race weekend it’s completely different, but we will see. But the best way to grow the muscles and to get again the confidence is to be on the bike."

The press release from Honda appears below:


Marc Marquez returns to competition at Aragon GP

Having completed a fruitful two-day test in Misano and continued intensive training at home, Marquez and the Repsol Honda Team have set a date for his return: the Aragon Grand Prix.

110 days after he last raced a MotoGP machine at the Italian Grand Prix on May 29, Marc Marquez will return to competition at the Aragon Grand Prix. Since undergoing a successful fourth operation on his right humerus, the eight-time World Champion has followed the strict guidance of his medical team in order to facilitate a full recovery. After numerous check-ups, consultations and tests, all involved are satisfied with the recovery made and the #93 will now take the next step in his rehabilitation – returning to competition.

The objective for the weekend will be to continue improving Marquez’s bike fitness and assessing his performance during the intensity of a Grand Prix weekend and race. Born in Cervera, MotorLand Aragon can truly be considered a home circuit for Marquez and the home fans have always helped buoy his on-track performance.

Source: 

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21 Down, 1 To Go: Nakagami Gets Another Year With LCR, Marini Back With VR46, Only One MotoGP Seat Open

The MotoGP grid is nearly complete. Today's announcement that Takaaki Nakagami is to stay at LCR Honda for one more season comes a day after the VR46 team announced a contract extension with Luca Marini for 2023, as well as confirming that the option the team had on Marco Bezzecchi's contract for 2023 had been taken up. Those three announcements bring the grand total of signed riders to 21 for next season, leaving just the second seat at GasGas Tech3 open.

Nakagami's signing had been expected, after Ai Ogura confirmed that he would be staying in Moto2 for another season, and had turned down the offer to move up to MotoGP. The second LCR Honda seat is funded by Idemitsu, and the Japanese oil firm has made it clear they want an Asian rider to take that seat. Honda are also keen to have a Japanese rider in MotoGP.

Keeping Nakagami also provides stability inside Honda at a critical juncture. With Alex Rins and Joan Mir arriving, and Marc Marquez returning from surgery after only riding intermittently for the past two seasons, keeping Nakagami means there is a rider who understands both the bike and its development trajectory over the past couple of seasons. Nakagami also speaks Japanese, which helps communication with HRC engineers.

The choice by the Mooney VR46 squad to keep both their riders was a no-brainer. Both Marini and Bezzecchi have shown great potential, with Bezzecchi currently the top rookie in MotoGP. There is no reason to change.

Press releases from LCR and VR46 appear below:


NAKAGAMI TO RIDE FOR LCR HONDA IDEMITSU TEAM IN 2023

13 September 2022

Ahead of this weekend’s AragonGP, Takaaki Nakagami and HRC have signed a contract extension that will keep the 30-year-old riding for the LCR Honda IDEMITSU team in the MotoGP class in 2023.

Born in Chiba in 1992, Takaaki Nakagami made his MotoGP™ debut in 2018 with the LCR Honda IDEMITSU Team and 2023 will be their 6th season together.

Year by year, Nakagami has demonstrated consistent improvements and so far, during his 80 MotoGP race starts: has finished as the top Independent Team Rider on five occasions and has taken six top-five finishes. Furthermore, Nakagami has accumulated one Pole Position and four Front Row starts in the premier class alongside his 14 Moto2 World Championship podiums, which included two wins.

Nakagami, HRC and LCR Honda IDEMITSU are pleased to continue the relationship. All parties are looking forward to another exciting MotoGP season and are again aiming to ultimately compete close to the main title contenders.

Lucio Cecchinello
“We are very pleased with this announcement, since 2020 Taka has proved to be a very fast rider able to fight for podium positions and this year he has consistently fought to finish as the top Honda rider. I trust in his potential and thanks to his six years of experience riding the Honda RCV213 motorbike, he will definitely help the LCR Honda IDEMITSU Team and HRC to improve our bike package and to close the gap with our competitors.”

Takaaki Nakagami
“I am very happy to be able to continue racing in MotoGP in 2023 with LCR Honda IDEMITSU. I would like to thank IDEMITSU and Honda HRC for their continuous support. I am looking forward to the next season, and I will give it everything to achieve the best results with the team. Meanwhile, for the rest of this season, I will continue to work hard to improve my performance.”


LUCA MARINI AND MOONEY VR46 RACING TEAM TOGETHER ALSO IN 2023

Constantly growing in the current season, the rider from Tavullia will still race on the Ducati Desmosedici GP. He will share the garage with Marco Bezzecchi who has signed a two-year contract in 2021

Tavullia (Italy), September 12th 2022 - The 2023 line up of the Mooney VR46 Racing Team that will race on the Ducati Desmosedici GP is completed with the signing of a new contract for the next year. In fact, Luca Marini will once again wear the yellow and black of the Tavullia Team in 2023. Alongside him, Marco Bezzecchi with a two-year agreement signed at the end of the last season for his debut in the Top class.

A confirmation, that of Luca, the result of the great work of the technical team, a stripe of positive results throughout the season and an incredible fast pace held in this second half of the Championship where he impressed everyone with three consecutive Top5s after the summer break. For the 25-year-old from Tavullia, rookie in MotoGP in 2021 and runner-up World Champion in Moto2 in 2020, a constant and continuous progression with ambitious goals for the future.

To Marco Bezzecchi, currently the best rookie and on the podium for the first time in the premier class at Assen last June, instead the other Ducati of the Mooney VR46 Racing Team as per the two-year contract valid from January 2022 for two seasons.

Source: 

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Marc Marquez To Participate In Misano MotoGP Test Next Week

There is more good news for Marc Marquez. After receiving the go-ahead from the medical staff to return to riding motorcycles, the Repsol Honda rider is to travel to Misano and take part in the Misano test on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Spaniard has already ridden a Honda CBR600RR around the kart track at Motorland Aragon twice this week, to test his fitness and see how well his arm holds up riding a motorcycle. Those tests appear to have been successful, and so the next step is for Marquez to ride a MotoGP bike.

As a result, Marquez will attempt to take part in the official two-day test in Misano next week. The objective for the Spaniard will be to get a first taste of the 2023 Honda RC213V, and provide input on the first prototype of next year's bike. Marquez is likely to limit the number of laps he will ride, and focus on quality rather than quantity.

What this means in terms of a return to full-time racing is too early to say. The Motorland Aragon round in two weeks may be too early for Marquez, but on the other hand, it is one of his favorites. It is also the first of a triple header, with Motegi and Buriram on subsequent weeks. That is demanding at the best of times, and may prove too much for a rider coming back from such a long injury.

However, that Marquez will return before the end of the season is now a racing certainty. The question is now only when and where.

The press release from Repsol Honda appears below:


Marquez to travel to Misano

Satisfied with the condition of his right arm, Marc Marquez will travel to Misano with the intention of riding the Honda RC213V during the post-race test.

After two positives tests aboard a Honda CBR600RR at the MotorLand Aragon circuit on August 31 and September 02, Marc Marquez has gained valuable knowledge on the condition of his arm. With the information gained and satisfied with the progress of his right humerus, Marquez will now travel to the San Marino GP with the intention of testing his physical condition further on his Honda RC213V during the post-race MotoGP test. The eight-time World Champion will arrive in Misano on Friday evening to once again observe and work alongside the Repsol Honda Team and HRC before aiming to take to the circuit on Tuesday.

Source: 

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2023 MotoGP Rider Line Up So Far: 18 Official Confirmations, 4 Unofficial Acknowledgements

The recent spate of official rider announcements means that the MotoGP rider line up for 2023 is nearly complete. The official confirmation by Aprilia that Miguel Oliveira and Raul Fernandez would be racing in the RNF Aprilia squad brings the total of confirmed riders signed to 18. All of the factory seats are now occupied, and just four of the satellite seats remain open.

"Open" is probably not the correct description here, however. We are nearly certain of who will occupy those seats in 2023, the only question is when they will be announced.

The seats most likely to be announced first are the VR46 Mooney Ducati squad. That team will remain unchanged, with Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi continuing in the squad. The only question is whether both riders will have a Desmosedici GP23 at their disposal, or just Marini.

At LCR Honda Idemitsu, Takaaki Nakagami is almost certain to stay. Team Honda Asia Moto2 rider Ai Ogura had been widely tipped to take the seat, but the Japanese rider has elected to stay in Moto2 for another season, to try to win a Moto2 crown.

At the Tech3 GasGas squad, Augusto Fernandez is almost certain to join Pol Espargaro. 2021 Moto2 champion Remy Gardner has been told there is no place for him in MotoGP next year, and is looking outside of the grand prix paddock for his future. KTM's policy of dumping rookies quickly continues to mystify onlookers, with both Raul Fernandez and Remy Gardner being ousted after their rookie season, while Iker Lecuona got two years in Tech3 before he was forced out.

Of the ten factory seats, only one will fall vacant at the end of 2023. Franco Morbidelli has next season to secure an extension at the Monster Energy Yamaha team, though he will need some help from the 2023 MotoGP bike. Among satellite riders, both RNF Aprilia riders and LCR Honda's Alex Rins have two-year deals, the remaining seats falling open at the end of 2023.

The 2023 MotoGP rider line up as it stands appears below:

Confirmed:

Rider Bike Contract until
     
Factory Teams    
Monster Energy Yamaha    
Franco Morbidelli Yamaha M1 2023
Fabio Quartararo Yamaha M1 2024
     
Repsol Honda    
Marc Márquez Honda RC213V 2024
Joan Mir Honda RC213V 2024
     
Ducati Factory    
Pecco Bagnaia Ducati Desmosedici GP23 2024
Enea Bastianini Ducati Desmosedici GP23 2024
     
Red Bull KTM    
Brad Binder KTM RC16 2024
Jack Miller KTM RC16 2024
     
Aprilia    
Aleix Espargaro Aprilia RS-GP 2024
Maverick Viñales Aprilia RS-GP 2024
     
Satellite Teams    
Pramac Ducati    
Johann Zarco Ducati Desmosedici GP23 2023
Jorge Martin Ducati Desmosedici GP23 2023
     
RNF Aprilia    
Miguel Oliveira Aprilia RS-GP 2024
Raul Fernandez Aprilia RS-GP 2024
     
GasGas Tech 3    
Pol Espargaro KTM RC16 2023
     
LCR Honda    
Alex Rins Honda RC213V 2024
     
Gresini Ducati    
Alex Marquez Ducati Desmosedici GP22 2023
Fabio Di Giannantonio Ducati Desmosedici GP22 2023

 

Unconfirmed    
     
VR46    
Luca Marini Ducati Desmosedici GP23  
Marco Bezzecchi Ducati Desmosedici GP22?  
     
LCR Honda Idemitsu    
Takaaki Nakagami Honda RC213V  
     
GasGas Tech 3    
Augusto Fernandez? KTM RC16  
Source: 

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Silly Season Nearing An End: Repsol Honda Confirm Joan Mir Through 2024, Pramac Line Up Remains Unchanged

As the paddock looks ahead to leaving Europe for the long session of Australasian flyaway races, MotoGP is tidying up some loose ends. Contracts are being announced for 2023 and beyond, ahead of Misano, and then Aragon.

The most significant announcement is the least surprising. HRC have finally announced that they will be signing Joan Mir to race alongside Marc Marquez in the Repsol Honda team for the next two seasons. This tie-up has been an open secret in the paddock since shortly after Suzuki announced they would be pulling out of MotoGP at the end of the 2022 season. But actually nailing down a deal was a much longer and more painful process than expected. Mir's miserable results since the Suzuki announcement did not strengthen his hand in those negotiations.

Honda's signing of Mir, along with the Ducati Lenovo Team's announcement that they had chosen Enea Bastianini to ride alongside Pecco Bagnaia for the next two years means that the factory seats in MotoGP are now full. Repsol Honda will be Joan Mir and Marc Marquez, Ducati Lenovo is Pecco Bagnaia and Enea Bastianini, Monster Energy Yamaha is Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli (despite Morbidelli's disappointing form this year), Red Bull KTM is Brad Binder and Jack Miller, and the factory Aprilia line up remains unchanged in Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales.

There are also six satellite seats already claimed, after the Pramac Ducati team slipped out an announcement (in Italian only) that Jorge Martin and Johann Zarco would continue as teammates for 2023. Gresini Ducati will consist of Alex Marquez and Fabio Di Giannantonio, Alex Rins will take one seat at LCR Honda (the other almost certainly going to Takaaki Nakagami) and Pol Espargaro will be one of the two riders for the Tech3 GasGas squad (with Augusto Fernandez likely to make the step up for 2023).

Two more satellite seats are expected to be filled later today, August 30th, with the RNF squad preparing to announce the rider line up which will contest the 2023 championship on Aprilias for them. That is expected to be Miguel Oliveira and Raul Fernandez.

The Repsol Honda press release appears below:


HRC sign Joan Mir

Honda Racing Corporation are proud to announce the signing of Joan Mir. The 2020 MotoGP World Champion established himself as a World Champion-level talent from his first full season in Moto3 in 2016. In 2017 the #36 lifted the lightweight class crown aboard a Honda before moving to the intermediate class the following year. Alongside two World Championships, the Spanish rider has claimed 12 Grand Prix wins and 33 podiums. The 24-year-old will compete aboard the Honda RC213V in the Factory Team on a two-year contract alongside Marc Marquez.

Source: 

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Enea Bastianini Confirmed In Factory Ducati Team For 2023 And 2024

Enea Bastianini has won the battle for the second seat in the factory Ducati Lenovo Team. In a meeting today, the leaders of Ducati Corse's MotoGP project picked the Italian over his Spanish rival, Jorge Martin, for the seat alongside Pecco Bagnaia. Bastianini and Bagnaia will form the factory Ducati team for the next two seasons, through 2024.

Ducati had waited a long time to choose between Gresini Ducati's Bastianini and Pramac Ducati's Jorge Martin. In the end, Bastianini won out with better and more consistent results. Bastianini is currently 6th in the MotoGP championship, with 118 points including three victories and four DNFs, while Martin is 9th, with 87 points, with two podiums and four DNFs. The fact that Bastianini is Italian will only have worked in his favor.

With Bastianini signed, that means nine of the ten factory MotoGP seats have been filled. We are now only awaiting confirmation (or otherwise) of Joan Mir at Repsol Honda to round out that chapter. And with the factory Ducati line up announced, Pramac can now officially confirm their line up for 2023, which is almost certain to be Jorge Martin and Johann Zarco. Alex Marquez will take the seat vacated by Bastianini in Gresini Ducati.

The press release form Ducati Corse appears below:


Enea Bastianini to become Francesco Bagnaia's next teammate in the Ducati Lenovo Team

Ducati Corse is pleased to announce that Enea Bastianini will defend the colours of the Ducati Lenovo Team starting from the next MotoGP World Championship season, alongside the already confirmed Pecco Bagnaia. The 24-year-old rider from Rimini, who has already won three GPs this year in Qatar, Texas and France, has a two-year contract with the Borgo Panigale manufacturer and will wear the colours of the official team after two seasons in the premier class with the Desmosedici GP of the Esponsorama Racing (2021) and Gresini Racing (2022) teams.

Enea Bastianini: "I am thrilled to be able to wear the colours of the official Ducati team starting next year. It was my dream, and now it has come true. In these two years in MotoGP, I have learned and grown a lot, and I believe that I can only improve with the engineers and men of the Ducati Lenovo Team! I want to thank Claudio, Gigi, Paolo and Davide for trusting me and giving me this incredible opportunity. Still, I also want to thank Nadia and the whole Gresini team for the great support I have received from them during this wonderful season together. I will try to close out this 2022 in the best possible way before tackling my new adventure as a factory Ducati rider with total commitment and the right team spirit."

Luigi Dall'Igna (General Manager of Ducati Corse): "We are delighted to have Bastianini in the factory team. Enea is a very talented rider who has matured a lot in these two years with Ducati. He has been able to grow quickly, scoring two podiums in his debut year in MotoGP and then taking three stunning victories this year with Gresini Racing in Qatar, the USA and France. We are convinced that next year, as an official Ducati Lenovo Team rider, he will be able to take another step forward and be among the protagonists in every race. It was not an easy choice. Enea and Jorge Martin are two very fast and young riders, which is precisely why we still wanted to ensure the same material and technical support for both. We are sure they will be able to show all their great talent on track".

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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.”

Source: 

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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 GPOne.com, 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:


INJURED MIR FORCED TO MISS THE FORTHCOMING MISANO GP

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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