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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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Toprak Razgatlioglu Has First Test On A MotoGP Bike - But Will He Stay In WorldSBK?

Toprak Razgatlioglu has completed his first laps on a MotoGP bike. At the Motorland Aragon circuit, the Pata Yamaha rider and reigning WorldSBK champion had 40 laps on the Yamaha M1 MotoGP machine, accompanying Yamaha test rider Cal Crutchlow at a private test.

When the test was first announced, it seemed like this may be a dress rehearsal for a full-time switch to MotoGP for the Turkish rider. But Razgatlioglu has been equivocal about a move to MotoGP. He has made it clear that he is very happy in WorldSBK, and was only willing to come to MotoGP if the circumstances were right.

Any chance of a move became much more difficult when RNF decided to switch from Yamaha to Aprilia for the 2023 MotoGP season and beyond. With only two Yamahas on the grid, and both Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo under contract to the factory squad for 2023, Razgatlioglu's first chance to move would be in 2024. That would give him time to have another test on the MotoGP bike, should he want it.

That may well be necessary. 40 laps and half a day is not really enough to understand the differences between a Michelin-shod MotoGP machine and a WorldSBK Yamaha on Pirellis. As Razgatlioglu is quoted as saying in the press release, the two bikes are very different, requiring a totally different approach to braking, accelerating, turning, and riding the bike generally. The next hint at Razgatlioglu's future will come if he and his manager, Kenan Sofuoglu, ask Yamaha for another test, and Yamaha offer him that opportunity.

Press release from Yamaha below:


Razgatlıoğlu Enjoys “Very Positive” Maiden Outing on Yamaha YZR-M1 at Aragón

Reigning FIM Superbike World Champion Toprak Razgatlıoğlu completed his first-ever outing on the Yamaha YZR-M1 during a one-day private MotoGP test at the MotorLand Aragón circuit today.

After taking his first WorldSBK victory of the 2022 campaign at Misano, the Turkish rider switched from his Yamaha R1 to the YZR-M1, riding 40 laps of the Teruel venue in sweltering conditions. The long straight between Turns 15 and 16, together with a combination of fast turns and slower sections around the 5.078 km MotorLand Aragón circuit, allowed Razgatlıoğlu to experience all aspects of the Yamaha YZR-M1’s performance.

The 25-year-old began the day with a 12-lap run to build up an understanding of the bike and the Michelin tyres, completing shorter runs thereafter, as the Yamaha MotoGP Test Team made set-up adjustments to the bike based on Razgatlıoğlu’s feedback and analysis of the data.

On hand to help Razgatlıoğlu gain confidence and speed on the Yamaha YZR-M1 was Yamaha MotoGP Test Rider Cal Crutchlow, whose lap times the 2021 WorldSBK champion used as a benchmark during the test.

Unfortunately, the test was cut short due to a heavy rain shower ahead of the late afternoon session, which didn’t allow Razgatlıoğlu the chance to further improve on his promising early pace.

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu

“This was my first day on the Yamaha M1 MotoGP bike and it felt completely different to my R1. More horsepower, different electronics, seamless gearbox, all of which is completely new for me. With every lap I learned more, because after the world superbike it’s not so easy to adapt to the MotoGP machine. Fortunately, I had Cal Crutchlow on hand to offer advice and he was able to help me a lot. The bike feels good, especially on the straight where it’s very fast, and it was interesting to experience the carbon brakes. The conditions were really hot today, so we stuck to doing five or six lap runs only after the initial run of 12 laps to get a first feeling for the bike. When I watch the MotoGP bikes on television here at Aragon you can see it is a bit bumpy, and I can feel it here today. It’s not so bad, you have to keep the gas open to ride through the bumps, because if you close then it becomes more unstable. Overall, a very positive test, even if it was cut short by rain this afternoon, which meant I didn’t get quite as many laps in as I’d have liked. I really enjoyed riding the MotoGP bike, so many thanks to Yamaha for allowing me this opportunity.”

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Jack Miller To Join KTM Factory Team Through 2024

The next piece of the 2023 puzzle has fallen into place. Today, KTM and Ducati announced that Jack Miller would be leaving the factory Ducati squad at the end of 2022, and joining KTM for the 2023 and 2024 season to race in the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing squad.

Miller is no stranger to KTM. The Australian raced for KTM in his final year in Moto3, before making the move to MotoGP. He is managed by Aki Ajo, the veteran team manager of KTM's Moto2 and Moto3 squads. So a return to KTM is no surprise, and had been the subject of rumors for several weeks now.

Miller's arrival means that Miguel Oliveira will be departing. The Portuguese rider has been offered a place in the Tech3 KTM satellite squad, but he has publicly stated he has no interest in a return to Tech3. Oliveira has been linked to both LCR Honda and Gresini Ducati, with Ducati believed to be the most likely destination at the moment.

Miller's signing brings the number of riders with a contract for 2023 and beyond to 8. Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli will continue in the factory Monster Energy Yamaha squad, Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales will remain the Aprilia factory team, while Marc Marquez and Pecco Bagnaia will remain with Repsol Honda and Ducati Lenovo respectively. Miller and Brad Binder at Red Bull KTM are the other two.

The next announcement expected is that Pol Espargaro will switch to the Tech3 KTM team, probably taking the seat vacated by Raul Fernandez. That announcement is believed to be imminent. Fernandez is expected to join the RNF Aprilia squad for 2023, while there are strong indications that Joan Mir will replace Pol Espargaro in the Repsol Honda squad. The battle for the second factory Ducati squad is between Jorge Martin and Enea Bastianini, but a decision on that is unlikely to be taken until after the summer break.

The press releases from KTM and Ducati appear below:


Jack Miller back in Red Bull KTM orange for 2023 and 2024 MotoGP™

MotoGP Grand Prix winner Jack Miller will return to the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing family for the next two years. The Australian reignites several former alliances after he last starred with KTM machinery as Moto3™ world championship runner-up in 2014.

The 27-year-old lines-up next to Brad Binder and will run his ninth and tenth seasons in the premier class on the KTM RC16 after signing a contract that once again sees him in Red Bull KTM Factory Racing colors.

Miller turned 27 last January but already has more than a decade of Grand Prix experience, including nine victories and almost 30 podiums in both Moto3 and MotoGP classes. 2014 was the most prolific term of his career so far as a powerful union with Aki Ajo’s Red Bull KTM Ajo squad saw him snare 6 wins and only just miss out on the Moto3 title. He made a high-profile move straight into the MotoGP category for 2015, where he has gone on to establish a reputation for maximum effort, full-energy and a large personality.

Miller will link again with Francesco Guidotti having worked with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s current Team Manager for three of his eight years in MotoGP.

Francesco Guidotti, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team Manager: “Having Jack alongside Brad in our team means we have another strong asset. I know him well, I know how he likes to work and what he can bring to the box. I believe his character and the way he will ride and push our KTM RC16 will help us a lot at this stage of our project. Like Brad, Jack is a pure racer: he will find the limits and the maximum of any condition and any package and still ‘go for it’ to get the result and that is quite a rare quality. The next two seasons will be exciting!”

Pit Beirer, Director KTM Motorsports: “Of course we’ve known Jack since he made a boom with Aki and our Moto3 program and it’s a big pleasure to bring a rider of his capabilities into our MotoGP structure. He left us with a positive impression, and we’ve stayed in contact. Jack’s approach and attitude to racing are very similar to ours. I am very proud that he comes back to Red Bull KTM again and he will be a great addition to our mission.”


Jack Miller and Ducati to part ways at the end of the 2022 season

After five seasons together, three with the Pramac Racing Team and the last two as an official rider of the Ducati Lenovo Team, Jack Miller and Ducati will part ways at the end of 2022.

From 2018 to date, Jack has achieved 16 podiums with the Desmosedici GP, including two thrilling wins with the factory team in the Spanish GP at Jerez and the French GP at Le Mans in 2021. It is also thanks to Jack's results that Ducati won the Constructors' World Championship in 2020 and 2021 and the title of Best Team in MotoGP last season with the Ducati Lenovo Team.

Miller and Ducati, as always, will work hard to obtain the best results for the Ducati Lenovo Team in all the remaining Grands Prix of the 2022 MotoGP Championship, starting with the German GP that will be held in ten days at the Sachsenring.

Luigi Dall'Igna (General Manager of Ducati Corse)

"Together with Jack, we have spent five wonderful seasons, during which we have achieved truly significant goals for us, such as the two Constructors' World Titles obtained in 2020 and 2021 and last year's Best Team Title. In addition, we should not forget the numerous podiums and the two stunning victories at Jerez and Le Mans. Miller is a very talented rider who has been able to understand our Desmosedici GP at its best. He is a fair and loyal person on whose full commitment we have always been able to count. I would therefore like to thank him on behalf of Ducati, the Ducati Lenovo Team, and all our partners for these five years spent together and wish him all the best for his near future!"

Jack Miller (#43 Ducati Lenovo Team)

"It's been a really important five years for me: together with Ducati, I've achieved several podiums, including two wins that I'll never forget. In addition to the two Constructors' World Titles and the Team Title, last year, I finished fourth in the Championship, and that was my best result ever in MotoGP. Together with the Pramac Racing Team and the Ducati Lenovo Team, I have grown a lot as a rider and year after year, I have always felt like the best version of myself. Next year I will take on a new challenge, but right now, I want to think only about finishing this last season with my team in the best possible way. I thank all of Ducati Corse, my team, Gigi, Paolo, Davide, and the people who have worked with me over these five seasons".

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Tire Allocation Changed For 2023 - Michelin To Bring Just 2 Rear Compounds

There is to be a reduction in the choice of rear compounds from the 2023 MotoGP season. Today, the Grand Prix Commission announced that from next year, the teams and riders would have a choice of only two compounds, instead of the current three. The number of rear tires per race weekend would remain unchanged, but the number of compounds would be reduced.

The change has been made in response to the way the teams are now using tires. At most races, riders are choosing between two of the three compounds for the race, and keeping the soft only to set a fast lap, either for qualifying or in FP2 and FP3 to secure a spot in Q2. This means Michelin ship a lot of tires around the world, many of which go unused. By focusing on just two rear compounds, the teams should have a clearer choice and be able to focus on the race.

The change was requested by Michelin, but met with overwhelming approval from the teams.

The FIM press release appears below:


FIM Grand Prix World Championship
Decisions of the Grand Prix Commission

The Grand Prix Commission, composed of Messrs. Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna, Chairman), Paul Duparc (FIM), Herve Poncharal (IRTA) and Biense Bierma (MSMA), assisted by Carlos Ezpeleta (Dorna), Mike Trimby (IRTA, Secretary of the meeting) and Corrado Cecchinelli (Director of Technology), in an electronic meeting held on 4 June 2022, made the following decision:

MotoGP CLASS TYRE ALLOCATIONS 2023

It has already been announced that the allocation of rear slick tyres will be modified from 2023. Riders will be able to use the same number of tyres as they do currently (12 per event), but there will be a reduced number of options in order to decrease the number of tyres that are produced and transported by Michelin but ultimately not used.

Currently, Michelin provides three rear slick tyre options at every Grand Prix and riders are allowed to use 12 rear tyres: a maximum of six of the soft specification, four of the medium and three of the hard.

A survey was conducted amongst all MotoGP class teams in order to determine future tyre allocations, and it was overwhelmingly in favour of the following:

From 2023, there will only be two rear slick specifications at each event. All riders will have the same allocation: seven of the softer option and five of the harder option. Michelin will decide which specifications are brought to each event: soft and medium, medium and hard, or soft and hard.

Accordingly, the Grand Prix Commission has confirmed that, with effect from the 2023 season, the allocation of rear slick tyres per MotoGP rider per event will be as follows:

  • Seven soft + five medium

or

  • Seven medium + five hard

or

  • Seven soft + five hard
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HRC Press Release: Fourth Surgery For Marc Marquez Deemed A Success

Marc Marquez has undergone a successful surgery on his right arm. The operation consisted of removing two screws from the old plate on the back of his arm, cutting the humerus, rotating it by 30 degrees, and inserting a new plate on the front of the humerus to fix the bone in place. Marquez will remain in the US to start his recovery, before returning to Spain.

The press release from the Repsol Honda team appears below:


Successful surgery for Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez has completed surgery on his right humerus at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. The medical team have deemed the operation a success as Marquez’s recovery begins.

Lasting three hours, Dr. Joaquin Sanchez Sotelo and his team performed a humeral osteotomy. The surgery was deemed a success without complications by Dr Sanchez Sotelo as Marc Marquez entered the post-operative stage of his treatment at the Mayo Clinic.

Marquez will remain in the US for the coming days to guarantee his immediate post-operative recovery before returning to Spain to continue his treatment plan.

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

"Today we had the opportunity to operate on the right humerus of Mr. Marc Marquez. The procedure was completed in approximately three hours. Despite the complexity of the procedure, the final outcome was satisfactory. Surgery consisted in removing the proximal two screws of the posterior plate previously placed by Dr. Samuel Antuña on December of 2020, followed by a rotational humeral osteotomy. Such procedure involves creating a transverse cut of the humeral bone to rotate the humerus along its long axis. The amount of rotation performed today was approximately 30 degrees of external rotation. The humerus was stabilized in the new position using an anterior plate with multiple screws. Surgery was completed uneventfully. We would like to wish Mr. Marquez a swift recovery and a successful return to his professional career."

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Fabio Quartararo Extends With Yamaha For Next Two Seasons

Fabio Quartararo has signed on for two more years with Yamaha. The Frenchman will be racing in the factory Monster Energy Yamaha team for the 2023 and 2024 seasons.

The move had been long expected. Despite early rumors that Quartararo was disappointed with the offer Yamaha had made, the two sides were destined to end up together. Quartararo has a very strong understanding of the Yamaha M1, and is able to use the bike to be extremely competitive. And as Quartararo is the only rider capable of being competitive, Yamaha had no option but to do what they needed to keep Quartararo.

Quartararo's renewal is also a sign of faith in Yamaha's ability to build him a competitive bike. The factory had brought a new, more powerful engine for the 2022 season, but could not make it reliable enough, and so switched back to the previous generation of engine. Work is continuing on the engine they rejected to make it more reliable, and improve the Yamaha M1's top speed.

Quartararo's signing brings the number of riders signed up for 2023 up to 7. Marc Marquez, Aleix Espargaro, Maverick Viñales, Brad Binder, and Pecco Bagnaia all have contracts through 2024, while Franco Morbidelli has a contract for 2023. Whether that contract will be honored, and whether Morbidelli is complying with the performance clauses in his contract, is as yet unknown.

The press release from Yamaha appears below:


YAMAHA AND QUARTARARO RENEW CONTRACT FOR 2023 - 2024

Montmeló (Spain), 2nd June 2022

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. is delighted to announce that Fabio Quartararo will stay with the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team for a further two years.

It is with great pleasure that Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. confirm Fabio Quartararo as a Factory Yamaha rider for the 2023 and 2024 MotoGP season.

Quartararo has shown great skills, comradery, and consistency so far in his two years with the Yamaha Factory Racing Team in the MotoGP World Championship. The successful partnership led to his first MotoGP World Championship Title last year, in his very first season with the Factory team. He is currently also leading the 2022 standings by 8 points.

Further Yamaha highlights on the Frenchman‘s résumé are 6 race wins and 14 podiums with the Factory Team in the 2021 and 2022 season so far, as well as 3 race wins and 10 podiums with the satellite team the two years prior. A contributing factor to his success were his 16 pole positions and 38 front row starts out of a total of 59 Grand Prix weekends aboard the YZR-M1.

These achievements on top of his undeniable talent, unequalled motivation, and infectious cheerful personality have Yamaha fully confident in their partnership with the 23-year-old.

LIN JARVIS
MANAGING DIRECTOR, YAMAHA MOTOR RACING

We are very happy to have reached an agreement with Fabio to continue with the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team for 2023 and beyond.

We brought Fabio into the Factory team last year knowing he is a special talent, but he even exceeded our expectations. One doesn‘t often come across a rider of his calibre. He was already showing his talent and speed in his two years with the SRT satellite team in 2019 and 2020, but when he made the step up to the Factory team, we could really see him growing stronger and maturing as a rider.

In Fabio‘s first season and a half we‘ve booked many successes: 6 race wins, 14 podiums, 6 pole positions, and the 2021 MotoGP World Title. These results have come from a strong team effort from the rider, his crew, our engineers, and all team staff working together with a positive 'can-do' spirit.

With Fabio we know he will always put in 100% of his best effort, and we have assured him that Yamaha will do the same and we will invest in future developments so that together we can challenge for the MotoGP World Championship Titles for years to come.

FABIO QUARTARARO

I am really happy to announce to all of you that I will stay with Yamaha for two more years.

In the past, moving up to MotoGP with Yamaha and later to the Factory team were no-brainers. Yamaha believed in me from the very beginning, and that is something I do not take lightly. But that being said, this new agreement was a big decision. I'm at a great point in my career, so I took a bit more time taking this decision to be sure.

I believe in the Yamaha MotoGP project, and I feel Yamaha are truly motivated. And now that we have officially confirmed our decision to continue on this path together, we can fully focus on the current season.

I want to say ’Thanks!‘ to the people around me, who always help me and support me, as well as to the fans who are cheering me on. I really do appreciate all the support.

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Marc Marquez To Have Fourth Surgery On Arm After Mugello

Marc Marquez is to undergo yet another operation on his right arm, after problems of motion and weakness in the arm have persisted throughout the 2022 MotoGP season. At a press conference held on Saturday afternoon at Mugello, Marquez announced that he will fly to the US on Tuesday after racing in Mugello for surgery to counter the rotation of the humerus (upper arm bone) which has occurred as the bone has healed after the previous three operations on the arm.

The issue has been the result of the long and slow recovery from the accident during the first race in Jerez in which he broke his arm. He had that fracture plated, and then tried to race a week later, but was forced to withdraw when he felt a problem in the arm. A second surgery was required when the first plate broke, most likely as a result of the stress of trying to race a few days after surgery. The bone then became infected after that surgery, requiring a third operation in December of 2020.

In the press conference, Marquez made a point of saying that the issues he is suffering have nothing to do with the way the previous operations were carried out. "I want to clarify that the previous operation was done in a perfect way," Marquez emphasized. He had consulted several other experts, who all pointed to the surgery being carried out exceptionally well."All the doctors that I visited, Gilles Walch, a French doctor that is one of the top ones, in October. I visit Dr. Sanchez Sotelo and both of them said the surgery was done perfectly, because it was a very big infection."

Despite the best efforts of the surgeons, the consequence of the infection and prolonged recovery period is that as the bone healed, it didn't heal straight, the bone rotating slightly. That was causing Marquez pain while riding, and not allowing him to assume a natural position on the bike. "My problem now, what I feel on the bike, is that first of all I don't have the rotation, so on the straight, I have the arm more open than normal," Marquez explained. "Then as you see, on the left corners, I'm riding with the elbow completely up, because I try to compensate the rotation, but then in all the races this year, I had arm pump, then arrived the pain in the shoulder, then during the weekend, the pain in the left shoulder arrived, because I'm working in a double way."

This meant that Marquez could not ride naturally, and was having to ride with a completely different style. "And with all these things – always inside the limits, because I feel safe on the bike, but I need to ride really smooth. That's not my riding style, from one practice to the next, I have many ups and downs, because I cannot keep the same position on the bike. But I always understand where are the limits," the Repsol Honda rider said.

The decision to have surgery had come on Friday, Marquez explained. But the process before arriving at the decision had been much longer. He had first discussed the possibility of surgery after he crashed riding enduro in October, and was ruled out with vision problems. Marquez saw the opportunity to kill two bird with one stone, and use the opportunity to get the arm fixed, but his doctors had said the arm was not healed sufficiently.

"Together with the doctors we evaluated already long time ago, in October when I had the first injury with my vision, I said to them ‘why we don't consider to make something in that arm?’. But the bone was not fixed completely and they said the risk is too big," Marquez explained. So he told himself to keep calm and work, but the issues persisted.

Marquez consulted with his doctors again after Jerez this year. "I had another meeting with them after Jerez where we evaluated everything again, and then they start to consider another operation." Having gone through three surgeries on the arm in 2020, Marquez was not keen to go through another one. "It’s true that it was difficult and just I give all that was in my hands to avoid that operation because open again the arm is something that I don’t want. But is the way to recover."

Marquez was then referred to Dr. Sanchez Sotelo at the Mayo Clinic in the US by the medical team treating him in Madrid. "I’m really thankful to Dr. Samuel Antuña. I'm really thankful to  Samuel Antuña, because he's very honest and he said you need to go to Joaquin Sanchez Sotelo." he explained. Dr. Sanchez Sotelo had been examining the humerus, and had made a 3D model of the arm, to evaluate whether the arm was strong enough, and how best to fix the rotation.

On Friday, Marquez received a phone call that the humerus bone was strong enough and healthy enough to cope with another bout of surgery. That's when the decision was made to have surgery next week and attempt to fix the problem permanently. The decision had come as a relief, Marquez explained, because they had identified the problem, and found a solution to address it.

That solution is to create a surgical fracture in the humerus and twist it back into a better position, before fixing it again. At the same time, the extra material inserted in his shoulder to prevent dislocation, in an operation in December of 2019, will be removed. The goal is to straighten the humerus and to create more motion, to remove the limitations in his shoulder.

The decision to operate means that Marquez will be out for a considerable period of time. The Repsol Honda rider himself could not give a target date for his return. "I don't have any idea," Marquez responded when asked. "Because the doctors say to me after the surgery, we will go step by step. But it will be a long time of course."

It was a sacrifice worth making, Marquez emphasized. He was not interested in suffering so much just to ride around battling for places outside the top five. "The way to go now, is because for me there is no way to riding like this and suffering too much. I'm not enjoying and every weekend is a nightmare, just to keep pushing. But it's true that my goal is the same one and is to come back. And you know, the way to do now is just to prepare for 2023."

The lesson Marquez learned from his attempt to return too quickly from that first operation is that the risks are greater than the rewards. The Spaniard has not chance of winning the title in 2022, and simply hoping for the occasional podium was not enough. "I know that I can be on the podium in some circuits. But it's not the way that I want to ride because I'm suffering a lot and I create another injury. I mean, I cannot continue riding like this."

If Marquez is focused on 2023, then the first objective might be to consider being ready to ride at Misano, and especially the two-day test on the Tuesday and Wednesday after the race. If he is not ready then, the next chance would be Valencia, and the one-day test after the last race of the season. Otherwise, it would be the Sepang test in early February next year. But if the surgery is a success, he is likely to be back and riding much earlier than that.

In the meantime, Marquez will be replaced by Honda test rider Stefan Bradl. And the MotoGP world will await a projected date for his return.

The press release from the Repsol Honda team appears below:


Marc Marquez to undergo further surgery on right humerus

Marc Marquez will undergo a fourth surgery on his right humerus, heading to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. The Repsol Honda Team rider has suffered major limitations in recent months that have prevented him from performing at the highest level. As a result, he has elected to undergo surgery 18 months after his last operation.

Marquez, having not felt significant improvements in recent months and consulting with other specialists, together with his medical team have considered the option of a new operation. The six-time MotoGP World Champion will travel to the United States on Tuesday, May 31 for surgery, under the direction of Dr. Joaquin Sánchez Sotelo. Once the post-operative period has been completed, he will return to Spain to begin his recovery. Doctors will then assess Marquez’s condition and his recovery period.

Marc Marquez

"Unfortunately, I have to take a break from the 2022 season that will keep me away from competition for a while. After all these months of intense work with my new medical team in Madrid, my physical condition has improved and I have reduced the discomfort in my right arm to be able to compete at the Grands Prix, but I still have significant limitations in my humerus that does not allow me to ride the bike properly and achieve the goals I have always set for myself.”

"It is for this reason, that together with my medical team, Dr. Samuel Antuña and Dr. Angel Cotorro, and after consulting with specialists from the Mayo Clinic, that I have made the decision to carry out a new operation with the aim of improving my position on the bike that will allow me to ride without the current limitations. Personally, I have the maximum motivation and enthusiasm to continue working and to make the effort to return to compete at the highest level."

"I want to thank all the support that my family has always shown me, those trusted people around me, the Repsol Honda Team, my entire medical team and especially all the fans who are always there with me in the good and bad times."

Dr. Sanchez Sotelo
Medical Doctor

“Given the lack of sufficient clinical improvement with the rehabilitation treatment, and advised by his medical team, Marc Marquez will undergo a new surgical intervention at the Mayo Clinic in the US, to improve the discomfort in his right arm derived from the loss of mobility in the arm.”

“The surgery will consist of the extraction of the osteosynthesis material from his shoulder associated with a humeral osteotomy to increase the external rotation movement of the arm and maintain shoulder stability.”

 

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RNF To Switch To Aprilia For 2023 And Beyond

The WithU RNF team is to switch from Yamaha to Aprilia for the coming seasons. An agreement was reached with Aprilia between the Le Mans and Mugello rounds for the team to become a satellite team for the Noale factory, and field two more Aprilia RS-GP MotoGP machines from 2023 and beyond.

The deal came about after talks with Yamaha failed to yield satisfactory results for RNF. The Malaysian team had long been hoping to play a role as a junior team to the factory, in the mold of Pramac at Ducati and Tech3 at KTM. But RNF never felt they got the support from Yamaha which they had wanted.

A switch from Yamaha to Aprilia allows them to make that step forward. Though details are sparse in the press release, it is clear that RNF will get much stronger support from Aprilia than they did from Yamaha, with the team to serve as a conduit for talent into the factory team.

The deal was announced just before MotoGP FP1, a surprising moment to choose. But that was a result of factory rider Aleix Espargaro prematurely tweeting and then deleting a welcome to RNF to Aprilia. But by then, it was too late to retract. The original plan had been for an announcement to be made in the afternoon, but Espargaro's over-eager thumbs forced Aprilia and RNF to announce earlier.

The move by RNF leaves Yamaha with just two bikes on the grid for 2023. The Japanese factory had been in talks with the VR46 Mooney team to race Yamahas next season, but the team is currently still set to race Ducatis.

RNF's departure is the second time a satellite team have left for greener pastures. Tech3 dropped Yamaha and switched to KTM at the end of 2018.

The press releases from Aprilia and the RNF team appear below:


WithU RNF MotoGP Team will line up in next year’s grid with two Aprilia RS-GP bikes

RNF Racing and Aprilia Racing signed a long term partnership from the 2023 season setting a new era as the independent team for Aprilia.

Together for the next season, RNF Racing and Aprilia Racing reached a milestone today by announcing their partnership for two seasons and renewable for a further two years. For the first time in its young MotoGP history, Aprilia will have a satellite team and four Aprilia RS-GPs on track.

Following the past successes, RNF Racing maintains its philosophy which is to develop riders that will eventually become the factory team riders befitting the role of RNF Racing as the development team for Aprilia Racing. This philosophy is in line with Aprilia, which will involve a strong synergy that will lead Aprilia Racing to invest in the partnership for the training of engineers, technicians, managers and, of course, riders.

After proving its competitiveness in the 2022 season, Aprilia Racing presents a package that fits the objective for RNF Racing in the long run and to be competitive. With the multi-year programme in place, RNF Racing will be a valuable ally for Aprilia Racing in the immediate future that will lead to the expansion and enhancement of technical and sporting knowledge.

Razlan Razali, Founder and Team Principal WithU RNF MotoGP Team

"We are absolutely thrilled for this long term partnership with Aprilia Racing. Our philosophy remains to work together with the factory team to develop riders that will one day become Aprilia factory riders. We will assist them in development to ensure that we continue to be competitive and ultimately win with Aprilia Racing. The proposal by Aprilia Racing fulfils our long term plans, strategies and security for the next two plus two years and I must thank Massimo for his trust, confidence and faith in us. We are absolutely looking forward to the season next year and this new partnership. At the same time, we want to express our gratitude to Yamaha for these past years working together and growing together. We will, though, maintain our focus on working hard this season in order to improve our results together with Yamaha and eventually conclude 2022 on a high note.”

Massimo Rivola

"I am happy to announce the agreement with RNF Racing. We have always reasoned in small steps and as we demonstrate the competitiveness of our RS-GP, a natural part of the journey is to see two more on track. The Noale racing department is a true heritage of knowledge, of technical culture applied to high performance motorbikes as well as sports management. With RNF Racing we find a partner to enhance and valorise this extraordinary heritage. We are thinking, of course, of the riders and the best competitiveness, but also of raising new generations of engineers, technicians and managers. To continue and improve the extraordinary, all-Italian tradition of Aprilia Racing.”


APRILIA RACING AND RNF RACING TOGETHER FOR THE NEXT MOTOGP SEASONS

FROM 2023 THERE WILL BE FOUR APRILIA RS-GP BIKES ON TRACK
AFTER PROVING ITS COMPETITIVENESS, THE ITALIAN PROJECT TAKES ANOTHER STEP IN ITS YOUNG HISTORY
MASSIMO RIVOLA: "WITH RNF TO ENHANCE AND VALORISE APRILIA RACING'S HERITAGE OF TECHNICAL AND SPORTING KNOWLEDGE"

As of the 2023 season there will be four Aprilia RS-GPs competing in the MotoGP class of the World Championship.

Aprilia Racing and the RNF Racing team have signed an agreement valid for two seasons, renewable for a further two years. For the first time in its young history in MotoGP, Aprilia will have a satellite team.

Following the positive start to the 2022 season and the confirmation of factory team riders Aleix Espargaró and Maverick Viñales for the next two years, the agreement that will see Aprilia's bikes on track doubled is a further step along the path of growth, both technical and organisational, that the Noale-based racing department has set as its goal.

The philosophy with which Aprilia is approaching this opportunity is in line with what has been done so far. The collaboration with RNF Racing will not be limited to the sale of the bikes but will involve a strong synergy that will lead Aprilia Racing to invest in the partnership for the training of engineers, technicians, managers and, of course, riders.

A multi-year programme that, it is hoped, will lead to the expansion, consolidation and enhancement of a technical and management culture that represents the heritage of the Italian factory.

RNF Racing, despite being a relatively young team, has demonstrated great solidity and professionalism, achieving important results and rightfully entering the MotoGP stage. These results are the result of passion, but also of a technical and organisational ability that will be a valuable ally for Aprilia Racing in the future.

Massimo Rivola

"I am happy to announce the agreement with RNF Racing. We have always reasoned in small steps and as we demonstrate the competitiveness of our RS-GP, a natural part of the journey is to see two more on track. The Noale racing department is a true heritage of knowledge, of technical culture applied to high performance motorbikes as well as sports management. With RNF Racing we find a partner to enhance and valorise this extraordinary heritage. We are thinking, of course, of the riders and the best competitiveness, but also of raising new generations of engineers, technicians and managers. To continue and improve the extraordinary, all-Italian tradition of Aprilia Racing".

Razlan Razali

"We are absolutely thrilled for this long term partnership with Aprilia Racing. Our philosophy remains to work together with the factory team to develop riders that will one day become Aprilia factory riders. We will assist them in development to ensure that we continue to be competitive and ultimately win with Aprilia Racing. The proposal by Aprilia Racing fulfils our long term plans, strategies and security for the next two plus two years and I must thank Aprilia Racing for its trust, confidence and faith in us. We are absolutely looking forward to the season next year and this new partnership. At the same time, we want to express our gratitude to Yamaha for these past years working together and growing together. We will, though, maintain our focus on working hard this season in order to improve our results together with Yamaha and eventually conclude 2022 on a high note.”

Source: 

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Aprilia Extend Contracts With Aleix Espargaro And Maverick Viñales Through 2024

Aprilia have decided on their MotoGP line up for the next two seasons. At Mugello, they announced that they will be keeping Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales for 2023 and 2024.

The announcement does not come as a huge surprise. Despite rumors that Aleix Espargaro had been displeased with the initial offer Aprilia made, the two sides have agreed terms for the next two years. The decision to extend with Maverick Viñales is a decision based more on expectation than current results, as the Spaniard continues to make progress toward being competitive. How much more progress is possible remains to be seen.

The signing of Espargaro and Viñales brings the total number of riders with a contract for next year to six. Marc Marquez, Brad Binder, and Pecco Bagnaia are signed through 2024, while Franco Morbidelli has a contract with Yamaha for 2023.

The next domino to fall will be either Fabio Quartararo, who is expected to renew his contract with Yamaha, or an announcement from Ducati. Ducati are currently n the middle of deciding which of their riders to place where for 2023, with Enea Bastianini, Jorge Martin, Johann Zarco, and Jack Miller vying for one spot in the factory squad and two seats at Pramac Ducati.

The press release appears below:


APRILIA RACING CONFIRMS THEIR FACTORY RIDERS FOR THE 2023/2024 TWO-YEAR PERIOD
ALEIX ESPARGARÓ AND MAVERICK VIÑALES WILL BE ON THE FACTORY RS-GP MACHINES FOR THE NEXT TWO-YEAR PERIOD

ALEIX: “WE ARE GOING THROUGH A GREAT TIME, WE ARE A CONCRETE REALITY AND NOW I WANT TO KEEP GROWING WITH APRILIA”
MAVERICK: “CONFIRMATION FOR THE NEXT TWO-YEAR PERIOD, BEING PART OF THE PROJECT, GIVES ME THE PEACE OF MIND TO SET GREAT GOALS FOR MYSELF”
MASSIMO RIVOLA: “WE ARE PROVIDING CONTINUITY TO A PROJECT THAT HAS JUST BEGUN TO REVEAL ITS POTENTIAL”

Under the sign of continuity, Aprilia Racing confirms their riders. Aleix Espargaró and Maverick Viñales will be astride the factory RS-GP machines in the 2023 and 2024 seasons.

With more than one-third of the races in the current season already done and dusted, Aleix Espargaró and his Aprilia are two top protagonists in the championship. With one win and three consecutive podiums, Aleix is reaping the fruits of a combination which is also based on the reciprocal and profound harmony with his team. In this situation, the synergy between bike and rider is one of the key factors for success.

Confirmation is based on this line of thinking for both the winner of the Argentinian GP and Maverick, who now has the same goals of increasingly closer integration with the Factory bike from Veneto.

Aleix Espargaró

"This confirmation was just what the doctor ordered. We’ve worked hard together and grown together. We were a hope, now we are reality. In 2021 we had already seen clear signs of our steps forward and now we are able to battle consistently with the best in the world. Continuing to do so with Aprilia is a source of pride for me. We can grow even more and we want to demonstrate that on the track.”

Maverick Viñales

"I'm extremely happy to continue my work with Aprilia Racing. Now our horizons are expanding and we’ll be able to work with continuity to achieve ambitious goals. I believe in this project and I'm happy to be part of it. I’ve found a fantastic environment in Aprilia and this confirmation gives me the peace of mind to grow the way this team and I deserve to."

Massimo Rivola

"All the good we are doing this season is the fruit of many components, certainly the value of our designers and our technicians led by Romano Albesiano, the overall growth of our racing department and, in large part, the synergy that our Captain Aleix has skilfully built with the bike and with the team. So, we set the goal of continuing along these lines, both with Aleix and with Maverick, and I am pleased with these confirmations today. We still need to grow a lot and now we have the peace of mind to do so."

Source: 

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Finland MotoGP Race Postponed To 2023 - 2022 MotoGP Calendar Cut To 20 Races

The long-running saga of the Finnish GP at the Kymiring is to have another chapter added to it. Today, the FIM announced that the Grand Prix of Finland, due to be held on July 8th, has been canceled. In a press release, the FIM gave the reason for the cancellation as "homologation works" and the "ongoing political situation in the region".

There have long been doubts that the circuit would host a MotoGP race this year. Reports from sources in Finland paint a picture of a circuit which still needs a lot of work doing to it. Though the surface is finished, the rest of the facilities are still not up to the standard necessary to host a MotoGP round.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine was probably the straw that broke the camel's back for the Finnish GP. The Kymiring, in the south east of Finland, was less than four hours away from St. Petersburg in Russia, and the organizers had hoped to attract a lot of Russian fans to the race. The very large numbers of Russian fans who turned up to the homologation test at the track in 2019, which saw test riders try out the surface to gather data for Michelin, proved to the organizers this was a viable business proposition.

For Dorna, this was a way of reaching Russian motorsports fans without the political complications of organizing races inside of Russia, where any race would be at the mercy of rampant corruption and the whimsy of politicians.

Vladimir Putin's decision to invade Ukraine triggered a wave of sanctions, in Europe and the west. Borders between Finland and Russia were closed, with Finland's decision to join NATO raising tensions and shutting off any chance of travel between Russia and Finland. That scuppered a large part of the financial basis for the Finnish GP.

For now, the race has been canceled, and postponed until 2023. The hope is that by then, work at the Kymiring will have been completed, and the circuit will be ready to host a grand prix. The organizers will also be hoping that the war in Ukraine will be over by then, and that Russian fans will be able to travel to Finland, and have the spare cash to be able to spend on going.

It is likely that Dorna's experience of racing at Mandalika in Indonesia earlier this year may also have played a role. MotoGP was lucky to escape a complete debacle, with the rain slowing down the race sufficiently to prevent the bikes from tearing up the track. Dorna may have felt that having one race at a barely completed track was more than enough for one year.

The cancellation will also be welcomed by the teams. Many – especially the Moto2 and Moto3 teams – were concerned by the expense of the race. Travel to the south of Finland was incredibly expensive, requiring trucks to take expensive ferries across the Baltic. Speaking to those involved in the logistics side of MotoGP, they expressed concerns that the costs for the teams were the same as for the flyaway races. Unlike the flyaways, however, the teams would not receive any financial support or freight allowance. The teams would have to cover all costs themselves.

The cancellation of Finland opens up a five-week gap during the summer. With 20 races still left on the calendar, that will be a welcome break.

The press release appears below:


MOTOGP CALENDAR UPDATE: FINLAND POSTPONED TO 2023

The FIM, IRTA and Dorna Sports are obliged to announce changes to the 2022 FIM MotoGP™ World Championship calendar.

Homologation works at the KymiRing, together with the risks caused by the ongoing geopolitical situation in the region, have sadly obliged the cancellation of the Finnish Grand Prix in 2022. The current circumstances have created delays and put the ongoing work at the new circuit at risk. All parties have therefore agreed that the track’s debut must be postponed to 2023, when MotoGP™ looks forward to returning to Finland for the first time in four decades.

The final 2022 FIM MotoGP™ World Championship calendar is therefore expected to comprise 20 rounds.

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