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FIM & Dorna Address Safety Concerns By Raising Minimum Ages And Working On Rider Equipment And Communication

The Permanent Bureau, the joint body comprising the FIM and Dorna, who run short circuit motorcycle racing, have announced major steps to improve rider safety in all championships run or backed by Dorna. Ages are to be raised, grid sizes are to be limited, and work will continue to improve rider safety equipment and rider communication.

It is worth reading the press release in full for the complete details, but here is a summary of the key points:

  • Rider minimum ages are to be increased across the board, starting in 2022:
    • In Moto3 and Moto2, the minimum age is to be increased from 16 to 18 from 2023
    • In Red Bull Rookies Cup, the minimum age will be 14 from 2022, and 15 from 2023
    • The FIM CEV Moto3 championship will have a minimum age of 15 in 2022, and 16 in 2023
    • The minimum age for the WorldSSP300 class will be raised from 15 to 16 in 2022, and to 18 in 2023
    • The minimum age for the World Supersport class will be raised to 18 in 2023.
    • From 2023, the minimum age for all series on short circuits (including Talent Cups such as the Asia Talent Cup, Junior Talent Cup, etc) will be 14
  • Grid sizes are to be limited as follows:
    • Talent Cups will be limited to 30 riders on each grid
    • The FIM CEV Moto3 championship will have a maximum of 32 riders in each race
    • WorldSSP300 will have a maximum of 32 riders on the grid

Exceptions will be allowed during the transition from 2022 to 2023. And the winner of the FIM CEV Moto3 championship can enter Moto3 at 17, rather than 18.

The other interesting move is addressing rider safety through improved rider gear and improved communication. Talks have already started with manufacturers of leathers and protective gear about reducing the chance of injury in the case of collisions with other riders. There have also been talks with a view to speeding up communication with riders, and informing them as quickly as possible of a crash ahead. The press release speaks of "near-instant, automatic warning systems".

Given that the main risk of injury, and all of the fatalities this year, have been caused by impacts between riders and following bikes, reducing the chance of impact and dissipating the energy of impact is the next step in making motorcycle racing as safe as an inherently dangerous sport can be made.

The press release appears below:

Important Safety Regulation updates from the Permanent Bureau

The Permanent Bureau, comprising the FIM and Dorna, meets in Misano to define new safety regulation updates

Friday, 22 October 2021

The Permanent Bureau has worked closely for many years with all Road and Circuit Racing stakeholders, including IRTA and the MSMA, towards creating the safest sport possible. Whilst all parties, and fans, are conscious that motorcycle racing is dangerous, all bodies are committed to continued improvement and evolution, making it safer every day and ensuring that the sport continues to grow on a global scale.

Via a process of constant review and revision, this commitment from the Permanent Bureau and all those within the sport goes back various decades, in close collaboration with the riders themselves in the Safety Commission, and has already resulted in significant improvements to safety within motorcycle racing. To build on this progress, additional safety regulations and improvements will now come into force in four key areas, aimed at further minimising the risk of motorcycle racing as much as possible. These key areas are minimum age limits and entry list sizes for each series, alongside projects in development concerning improvements in rider equipment and rider communication.

Entry list sizes and age limits:

In coming seasons, the number of competitors on track in each series will be limited as outlined below. In addition, new age limits for each class, series or Championship will come into force. These age limits will be introduced as part of a policy to be implemented worldwide, with the FIM committed to ensuring they are also adhered to by National Federations and Continental Unions, to make a discernible difference to the sport at every level.

Raising the minimum age for each category of motorcycle racing is a decision taken in order to ensure a safer pathway for all riders beginning and continuing their careers.

In addition, increasing the age limit for certain categories will enable greater parity between different countries and continents, helping to increase accessibility by levelling the playing field and ensuring each rider is able to gain similar experience in different categories around the world.

From 2022:
The Talent Cups, which are organised and/or supported by Dorna, such as the European, British, Northern and Asia Talent Cups, as well as pre-Moto3™ series, will raise the minimum age to 13 and there will be a maximum of 30 competitors on each grid.

The minimum age for competitors in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup will be raised to 14.

The FIM Moto3™ Junior World Championship in the FIM CEV Repsol will see the minimum age limit raised from 14 to 15. A maximum of 32 competitors will be permitted in each race.

In the WorldSSP300 class in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, the minimum age limit will be raised from 15 to 16. A maximum of 32 riders will be allowed to line up on the grid.

For the 2022 season, there will be an exception granted for riders who have already entered in the same class in 2021 to allow them to continue to race.

For 2023 and thereafter, the proposal is to raise age limits further as follows:

A minimum age of 14 should be applied to all racing at any Grand Prix-type circuits, including all those that have or have had Grade A, B or C homologation, which will include the Asia, British, European and Northern Talent Cups.

The minimum age for competitors in any class in the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship will be raised to 18. This includes for Moto3 and Moto2, for which the age limit is currently 16.

The winner of the FIM Moto3 Junior World Championship and/or the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup will be allowed to join Moto3 at 17 years of age. For the 2023 season only, there will also be an exception granted for riders who have already entered Moto3 in 2022 to allow them to continue to race.

The FIM Moto3 Junior World Championship and the Moto2 European Championship, both in the FIM CEV Repsol, will have a minimum age limit of 16. The Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup will also increase the minimum age by one more year to 15.

With the same philosophy as that applied in 2022 (for riders who have already competed in 2021), an exception will be granted to riders already participating in the Talent Cups in 2022 to allow them to continue to race in the same class in 2023.

The minimum age for competitors in the WorldSSP Championship will be raised to 18.

Rider equipment:

From 2022, airbags will be compulsory in all Sprint Circuit Racing FIM championships.

For the FIM Sidecar World Championship, tests are underway to determine whether the known algorithms are valid for passengers. These tests will make it possible to know whether the airbag can be used by all participants from 2022.

Rider safety equipment has improved significantly throughout the decades and continues to do so thanks to improvements across the industry, from leathers, gloves, back and chest protectors and boots to FIM homologated helmets and innovative airbag systems. It has never been safer to ride a motorcycle at speed and these improvements help to protect a rider from injury, in many instances helping to save lives whilst not compromising rideability, which is also intrinsic to on-track safety.

A first meeting took place at the Aragon GP between all partners, including leather and helmet suppliers, technical staff and medical personnel, on the next step towards improving the level of protection afforded by rider equipment, with increased focus on protecting competitors against an impact from another rider or motorcycle, particularly the chest and neck.

All parties are committed to making improvements in these areas and meeting this challenge as safely and as quickly as possible whilst ensuring the high level of current protection is not compromised.

Rider communication:

The ease and speed of communication between riders, pit wall and Race Direction has improved significantly in recent years, with dashboard technology, high-tech light panels at circuits and instant channels of communication between marshal posts and Race Direction all contributing to a safer environment for all competitors.

The next step to increase the safety of all those on track will focus on communicating to a rider or bike that a crash has taken place ahead as soon as possible.

A first meeting between all partners and technical suppliers has already taken place in order to discuss the installation and implementation of the required technology in rider equipment, on motorcycles and/or around each circuit, the aim of which is to implement automatic, near-instant warning systems for all following riders/motorcycles. The first tests will start as soon as the beginning of the 2022 season, and the system must and will be applicable to Championships of all levels, including Talent Cups.


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Yamaha Satellite MotoGP Team Finalized: Petronas Becomes RNF, Signs Darryn Binder

The Petronas Saga is nearing its end. On Thursday, Yamaha announced that from 2022, the RNF team led by Razlan Razali will be taking over as satellite Yamaha squad, and fielding as riders Andrea Dovizioso and Darryn Binder. The RNF Team has a contract with Yamaha for 2022, with an option to continue for two more seasons in 2023 and 2024. Binder has a contract for 2022, with an option for 2023.

This is the end point of a process which began at the Red Bull Ring in August, when Petronas announced they would be withdrawing sponsorship from the Petronas SRT team, forcing the team to completely reorganize. That also saw an end to the direct involvement of the Sepang International Circuit with the team, complicating matters even further.

These complications are rumored to have led to a dispute between the two principals involved in the team: Razlan Razali, former CEO of the Sepang International Circuit, and Johan Stigefelt, team owner of the Caterham Moto2 squad. The two had joined forces to allow them to compete in all three Grand Prix classes, but the exit of Petronas caused a power struggle inside the team.

That power struggle was eventually won by Razlan Razali. The Malaysian set up a new company in the United Kingdom to house the new team, RNF Racing Ltd, named using the initials of Razali's children. With that in place, RNF negotiated a new deal to supply MotoGP machinery for the 2022 season and beyond, with the backing of WithU, who have been supporting the Petronas team's MotoE effort, and been a minor sponsor to the team in other classes, as title sponsor. The RNF MotoGP team will retain most of the Petronas Yamaha SRT Team's staff, including team manager Wilco Zeelenberg.

The contract between Yamaha and RNF is surprisingly short term. It is initially for one year, 2022, with an option to renew for the following two seasons. Normally, contracts between teams and manufacturers tend to be three years or more, to ensure continuity and stability for both parties, but with RNF being a new outfit, an option allows both parties to hedge their bets.

One thing which the change of management has not been able to change is the contract Darryn Binder had for 2022 with the SRT team. When the Moto2 team was shut down, the younger Binder brother had a claim on the second MotoGP seat, alongside Andrea Dovizioso. Somewhat surprisingly, the list of candidates eager to take the second Yamaha seat was short, and so the RNF squad are set to go ahead with the 23-year-old South African from 2022, with an option for 2023.

Binder will become the first rider since Jack Miller to make the jump directly from Moto3 to MotoGP. The Australian was taken by Honda directly from Moto3 into MotoGP back in 2015, and put on an Open Class Honda RCV1000R, the bike with lower performance and spec electronics. Miller took a couple of years to adapt to the class, only really making a step forward when he switched to Ducati, despite winning a race in his second season at a soaking wet Assen. Binder faces a less formidable task, given the Yamaha is a much easier and rider-friendly bike than the Honda, making the transition to the MotoGP class less challenging. The Yamaha can be ridden with corner speed, which is key in Moto3, leaving more time to learn the extra skills - especially braking and lifting the bike up to get drive out of corners - needed to succeed in MotoGP.

The signing of Binder completes Yamaha's MotoGP line up for 2022, but raises questions about the future. There have been strong rumors linking Pata Yamaha rider and WorldSBK championship leader Toprak Razgatlioglu to a ride in MotoGP, but sources in WorldSBK say that the Turkish rider is keen to focus on the production championship, and win multiple titles there before making the move over to MotoGP. Razgatlioglu is unlikely to switch to MotoGP before 2024.

Then there is Raul Fernandez. Yamaha made a big push for the Spanish youngster, after one of the most impressive rookie seasons in Moto2 since Marc Marquez. Their attempts to poach him from KTM caused KTM CEO Stefan Pierer to prematurely announce that Fernandez would be going to MotoGP, issuing a press release in the middle of a free practice session, rather than waiting until the Monday after the Styrian Grand Prix, when the announcement would have made more impact. Yamaha are believed to still be interested in Fernandez, while Fernandez has made no secret of his frustration with the situation, feeling that he has been press-ganged into the Tech3 KTM squad, despite having full factory backing and support. All the signs point to Fernandez defecting to Yamaha at the earliest opportunity, putting pressure on Franco Morbidelli to perform in the factory team.

The press releases appear below:


Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. and RNF Racing Ltd. signed a one-year deal for the supply of YZR-M1 bikes to the newly branded RNF MotoGP Team in 2022, with options to extend the partnership for 2023 and 2024.

Misano Adriatico (Italy), 21st October 2021

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. is pleased to confirm the signing of an agreement with RNF Racing Ltd. The freshly branded RNF MotoGP Team is set for a new era as part of the Yamaha line-up in 2022 and possibly 2023 and 2024.

Sepang Racing Team is rebranded RNF MotoGP Team, with former CEO of Sepang International Circuit and Team Principal Razlan Razali remaining at the helm. The team has signed a five-year deal with IRTA that sees the remodelled set-up continue participating as an Independent Team in the premier class of the FIM MotoGP World Championship until 2026.

The signed agreement between Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. and RNF Racing Ltd. foresees the satellite team leasing Yamaha YZR-M1 motorcycles for 2022, with the option to extend the partnership for the 2023 and 2024 FIM MotoGP World Championship seasons.


“We are delighted to extend our partnership with the now rebranded RNF MotoGP Team. When Razlan Razali and the Sepang Racing Team embarked on their MotoGP adventure at the end of 2018 and the start of 2019, nobody could have expected how they would take the premier class by storm. The impressive 2019 season and exceptional 2020 season results underline the professionalism and quality of this team that will soon be renamed RNF MotoGP Team.

"The core DNA of this team remains, so we are confident to continue with them as our official supported satellite team. Moreover, Yamaha has always been clear that it wants to continue to have four bikes in total on the MotoGP grid: two bikes in the Factory Team and two bikes in the Independent team.

"We will do our best to support the newly founded RNF Racing Ltd. to achieve their goals and to provide the stepping stone for future talents to enter into the world of Yamaha in MotoGP."


“We have today reached a historical milestone for the new RNF MotoGP Team. I would like to thank Yamaha for the trust and confidence given to me and the team for the upcoming season despite the changes that happened this year.

"The achievements that we have shared together in the first three years of our partnership with wins, podiums, pole positions, and awards has been memorable and motivates us towards greater heights.

"We have the experience from our past successes, supported by the same strong and passionate crew from our MotoGP garage, with a solid rider line-up, so we are set for a competitive comeback with Yamaha for the 2022 season."


Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. is delighted to announce that Moto3 talent Darryn Binder will be joining Andrea Dovizioso in the rebranded RNF MotoGP Team. The South African will race for Yamaha‘s satellite team in 2022 with an option to stay on for the 2023 MotoGP season.

Misano Adriatico (Italy), 21st October 2021

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. is pleased to announce the signing of Moto3 talent Darryn Binder. He will be joining Yamaha‘s rebranded RNF MotoGP Team‘s rider line-up for the 2022 MotoGP season, with an option to stay on for 2023.

Following two years of riding in the Red Bull Rookies Cup, the South African started his full-time Moto3 class career in 2015. That year Binder became a well-known name thanks to his brother (Brad Binder) who went on to become the 2016 Moto3 Champion. However, Darryn has since long proven that he is an exceptional racing talent in his own right. Known for his hard racing and making use of any and every available gap during a race, the 23-year-old has ridden to six Moto3 podiums so far, including a win at the 2020 Catalan GP.

Furthermore, Darryn Binder‘s eagerness, feistiness, and seven Moto3 seasons of experience make him a perfect teammate for the vastly experienced Andrea Dovizioso, as the rebranded RNF MotoGP Team start their new and exciting chapter.


“I want to give a warm welcome to Darryn. We are delighted that he is joining the Yamaha line-up next year. We‘ve had many conversations about who would be a good match for the new RNF MotoGP Team set-up. It‘s a fresh start for the Yamaha satellite team and that makes it all the more fitting to have a young and eager rider like Darryn join them, as Fabio and Franky did before him.

“For Yamaha the primary mission of the satellite team is developing future MotoGP talents. Darryn has already shown on numerous occasions what he‘s made of in the Moto3 class. We know he is a fast and determined rider who has got what it takes to battle at the front of the pack. Obviously, the step up to MotoGP is significant and will take some adjusting, but we feel that he‘s ready, and Yamaha and the RNF MotoGP Team will fully support him for this new and exciting challenge.”


“I‘m extremely grateful for this opportunity, as it has been a lifelong dream to race in the MotoGP category. I definitely didn‘t expect to make the jump straight from Moto3 to the highest class, but I do believe I‘m up for the challenge, and I‘m ready to put in all the hard work for 2022.

“My target at the beginning will be just to find my feet in the big class and learn as much as possible to get stronger and stronger throughout my rookie season.

“I would like to say a really big ’Thank you‘ to Yamaha and the RNF MotoGP Team for everything they have done to make this possible as well as everyone who has been involved in getting me to this point.

“I‘m now just looking forward to riding the Yamaha YZR-M1 for the first time at the end of this season.”


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Energica To Stop As MotoE Bike Supplier At End Of 2022 - Big Changes On The Horizon

Energica is to withdraw as official manufacturer motorcycles for the MotoE class at the end of the 2022 season. After four years, MotoE will see something other than the Energica Ego Corsa machine being raced.

The MotoE class has been a qualified success since the class started back in 2019. It got off to a troubled start - a fire at the final test of 2019 at Jerez saw the entire fleet of Energica machines destroyed, causing the start of the inaugural season to be delayed until early July, to give Energica enough time to build replacement machines.

There were concerns about how the class would be received by fans, the motorcycle industry being notoriously conservative. But after some mild initial skepticism, the series has been embraced, the short (7-10 lap) races producing exciting and intense battles. The 2021 season finale at Misano 1 generated the controversy and excitement needed to raise the profile of the series, with Jordi Torres taking the title after a last-lap clash with Dominique Aegerter, the Swiss rider making a final desperate lunge into the hairpin at the end of the back straight and taking both riders down.

That was very much the objective of the class. To introduce the concept of racing electric motorcycles to fans, to get them to accept and understand it, and to get them excited about the prospect. That goal has been achieved.

The goal of creating close, competitive racing is why the series was not opened up to competition between manufacturers from the start. That had been attempted at the TT Zero on the Isle of Man, and produced runaway victories for the Mugen riders. The performance disparity between the various bikes was simply too great.

That is unlikely to change until the major motorcycle manufacturers start producing electric motorcycles in sizable quantities and in power outputs equivalent to the current crop of large capacity road bikes. So far, movement on that front has been slow, despite companies like KTM and Yamaha venturing into electric offroad bikes and scooters.

Which means that the replacement for Energica will not be any form of open competition. Instead, another company will be brought in as single supplier.

Who that is is an intriguing prospect. While there are a number of small-scale builders of electric motorcycles, the challenges of providing the logistical and engineering support for an 18-bike race series are beyond the means of most of them. Any manufacturer wishing to supply MotoE will face many challenges, in terms of scale of production, and support for the 18 riders and teams on the grid. That requires a level of staffing which most small electric bike manufacturers do not possess.

Could Energica be replaced by a major or medium-sized manufacturer? That is an intriguing possibility. We will not have long to wait to find out. The cycle of press releases in such instances means there is usually just a few days before the old supplier announcing they are leaving, and a new supplier being announced. Misano, the scene of the finale of the 2021 MotoE season, would seem a fitting occasion for such an announcement.

The press release from Dorna appears below:

Energica to conclude era as single MotoE™ manufacturer after 2022

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Dorna Sports can now announce the departure of Energica Motor Company as the single manufacturer for the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup, with 2022 confirmed as the marque’s final season.

Energica has been the sole supplier to MotoE™ since the Cup’s inception in 2019, with 2022 now set to mark the last chapter of a four-year journey full of evolution, excitement and adrenaline. Energica has been a key part of making MotoE™ a must-watch showcase for both electric mobility and close competition, with the Cup racing at some of the world’s most iconic circuits.

The Energica Ego Corsa has proved to be fast, extremely reliable and well-appreciated by the riders who have taken part in the Cup, and will doubtless continue to impress next season before the collaboration between Energica and MotoE™ then concludes. The work done both at the track and at company headquarters has seen constant innovation and new solutions drive MotoE™ to the incredible level it is at now, with Energica showing an ability to react quickly to challenges and different technical requests in record time. The joint effort between all parties has been key developing a competition that will now move into a new era built on a foundation all involved can take immense pride in having constructed together.

Dorna Sports would like to thank Energica for their immeasurable contribution to the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup and wishes the company the best of success in their future endeavours after 2022.

Livia Cevolini, CEO of Energica Motor Company: "We are extremely happy at Energica to have provided our invaluable contribution to make MotoE the success it is today. We’re confident that our initiative and efforts have generated plenty of interest from the big OEMs to follow the path we started a decade ago. Being pioneers of electric mobility on two wheels, we have opened up the way to a whole new strata of sustainable and exciting motorcycle racing and – as we have always done – we now aim at testing ourselves with new challenges. This is why we are looking forward to the next big thing to come! We would like to thank Dorna Sports for the great opportunity to showcase our technology and we are looking forward to wrapping up our journey together in style."

Nicolas Goubert, Executive Director of the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup: "The first three seasons of the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup have delivered an incredible show despite all the unforeseen external challenges that have been thrown at us. It wasn’t an easy task to undertake and one very new in many aspects, but we did it and this was thanks to a joint effort between all parties involved. From the very beginning, Energica has brought its know-how to the track in a way we couldn’t be happier with, delivering a package that has proved to be extremely competitive, showing impressive maximum speed (exceeding 260km/h in Barcelona in 2021), and lap-times that on some occasion were in line with other classes – despite the much shorter history of electric motorcycles.

"Maybe even more impressive than the on-track performance was the bike reliability, as none of the 18 riders ever encountered any mechanical failure during any of the races we enjoyed in the three seasons. Their ability to respond quickly and effectively to our requests and the ones coming from the riders and teams are proof of all the expertise and passion they brought to the series. All sides are committed to continuing giving their maximum effort into 2022, for what will be another spectacular year of racing. I would really like to thank Energica for the quality of their innovative products and their engagement in the MotoE series."


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2022 Provisional MotoGP Calendar Released: 21 Races In 35 Weeks

The 2022 MotoGP calendar will feature a total of 21 races, starting in Qatar on March 6th and finishing exactly 8 months later in Valencia. The 2022 calendar sees further expansion of the number of races, as Dorna add new circuits and new countries to the schedule. For the Kymiring in Finland, that had originally been planned for 2020, but the pandemic put paid to that happening, either in 2020 or 2021. And the Mandalika Resort circuit on Lombok in Indonesia had been added to 2021 as a reserve circuit, but will now be raced on at the start of next season.

The season kicks off in Qatar with the traditional night race at the Losail International Circuit. From there, MotoGP heads to Indonesia, and the new track at Mandalika. It will be their second visit, after a test at the track to be held in February. From Indonesia, the paddock heads west (though freight may head east) to Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina, which sees a return after the pandemic and a fire which destroyed part of the pit complex.

A week later, MotoGP returns to Texas, and the Circuit of The Americas in Austin. That is still subject to the circuit being resurfaced, though recent rumor suggests that the track has agreed to tackle Turns 2 through 10, the minimum required by the Safety Commission.

The Grand Prix paddock returns to Europe after the race in Texas, but in a change to the normal schedule, MotoGP will head to Portimão rather than Jerez. The race in Portugal will take place a week before the first race in Spain, which has been the start of the European leg for the past 14 seasons.

After Jerez, there follows the familiar schedule: from Le Mans to Mugello to Barcelona, with the Italian and Catalunya Grand Prix happening on consecutive weekends. Then to Germany for the Sachsenring, followed by another back-to-back with the Dutch TT at Assen. Two weeks after Assen, the paddock assembles at the Kymiring in Finland.

The summer break is four weeks - three weekends without racing - before another change: MotoGP heads to Silverstone three weeks earlier than usual, with the British Grand Prix taking place on August 7th. After the UK, it's off to the Red Bull Ring in Austria, and then Misano in Italy.

Two weeks after that comes a grueling triple header: starting at the Motorland Aragon circuit on September 18th, the paddock flies to Japan for the race in Motegi on September 25th, before coming west again to Buriram for the Grand Prix of Thailand on October 2nd. The paddock gets a week off, before another overseas double-header, the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island being followed by the Malaysian GP at Sepang. The season finishes as usual at Valencia, in Spain.

That is the plan, at least. As we have discovered over the past couple of years, reality has a nasty habit of interfering with the best laid plans of mice and men. The schedule is subject to change should disease, war, tsunamis, or volcanoes interrupt.

The provisional 2022 calendar appears below:

Date Grand prix Circuit
6 March Qatar* Losail International Circuit
20 March Indonesia** Mandalika International Street Circuit
3 April República Argentina Termas de Río Hondo
10 April Americas Circuit of the Americas
24 April Portugal Algarve International Circuit
01 May Spain Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto
15 May France Le Mans
29 May Italy Autodromo del Mugello
5 June Catalunya Barcelona - Catalunya
19 June Germany Sachsenring
26 June Netherlands TT Circuit Assen
10 July Finland** KymiRing
7 August Great Britain Silverstone
21 August Austria Red Bull Ring-Spielberg
4 September San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
18 September Teruel MotorLand Aragón
25 September Japan Twin Ring Motegi
2 October Thailand Chang International Circuit
16 October Australia Philip Island
23 October Malaysia Sepang International Circuit
06 November Comunitat Valenciana Comunitat Valenciana-Ricardo Tormo

* Evening Race
** Subject to Homologation

All dates, events and the attendance of spectators are subject to the evolution of the pandemic and the approval of the corresponding Governments and authorities.

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Deniz Öncü Banned For Two Races For Causing Crash In Restarted Moto3 Race

Red Bull KTM Tech3 Moto3 rider Deniz Öncü has been banned for two races, for causing a crash in the restarted Moto3 race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Öncü moved to the left as the pack headed down the straight on the third lap of the restarted Moto3 race, clipping the front wheel of Jeremy Alcoba's Honda, causing Alcoba to crash at high speed, being hit by Andrea Migno and Pedro Acosta. Miraculously, given the speed at which the crash happened, nobody was injured, but the crash was serious enough to bring out the red flags.

The FIM Stewards took a very serious view of Öncü's riding, which went directly against the instructions issued at the start of the weekend. They also regarded it as a deliberate move to try to block Alcoba, which deserved extra punishment. For that reason, they decided to impose a ban of two races, suspending Öncü for the Misano 2 and Portimão races.

The FIM Stewards have been trying to clamp down on bad behavior, especially in the Moto3 class, in light of the spate of deaths which have happened this year. The Stewards have tried a range of penalties to try to discourage dangerous riding, especially during practice and qualifying, but this is the most severe penalty handed out in some time. Whether it will be effective in dissuading Öncü and other Moto3 riders from indulging in dangerous riding, only time will tell.



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Termas De Rio Hondo To Continue To Host Argentina Round Of MotoGP Through 2025

The Termas De Rio Hondo circuit has extended its contract to host the Argentina round of MotoGP through 2025. Today, the circuit both announced a new three-year deal with series organizer Dorna, and announced that the 2022 race would be held on April 3rd of next year.

The renewal of the contract comes as a double surprise. Firstly, because a large part of the building housing the pit boxes and media center burned down in an electrical fire earlier this year. There were fears the facilities would not be restored to the level required by Grand Prix racing due to a lack of investment, but the circuit is close to completing the repairs and rebuilding ready for next year.

Secondly, because of the difficulties of reaching Termas de Rio Hondo, and the relative lack of accommodation in the area, there had been persistent and credible rumors that MotoGP would not return to the circuit. Instead, it was said, the race would move to the San Juan Villicum circuit, which hosts WorldSBK.

The importance of the South American market, and the desire of local and regional politicians to keep the race at the circuit has proved decisive. The track is to remain on the calendar for the next four seasons.

This is also good news for MotoGP. The layout of the track - fast, flowing, challenging - makes it one of the few circuits where a MotoGP machine can truly stretch its legs.

The press release from Dorna appears below:

Argentina confirmed on the MotoGP™ calendar until 2025
A three-year extension sees Termas de Rio Hondo remain the home of MotoGP™ in Latin America from 2023-2025

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Dorna Sports is delighted to announce a contract extension that will see Argentina remain on the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship calendar until 2025. Already confirmed until 2022 due to the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic, a new three-year contract will now see the Autódromo Termas de Rio Hondo, in the province of Santiago del Estero, continue to host MotoGP™ in 2023, 2024 and 2025.

Termas de Rio Hondo first hosted MotoGP™ in 2014, creating a new home for the world’s fastest motorcycle racing Championship in Latin America. This new agreement between Dorna Sports, the Argentinean Ministry of Sport and Tourism, the National Institute of Tourism Promotion in Argentina (Inprotur), and the Government of Santiago del Estero province, as well as the OSD Group as local promoter, was announced today in a special presentation in Termas de Rio Hondo, confirming the future of one of the most vibrant race weekends on the MotoGP™ calendar and extending the collaboration beyond the milestone of a decade.

Matías Lammens, Tourism and Sports Minister: "Few provinces reflect the synergy between tourism and sport as Santiago del Estero does. That’s why it fills us with pride to continue hosting MotoGP, an event with international prestige that will also play an important role in the economic redevelopment of the region. I want to congratulate the governor for making tourism and sport key policies. The national government reaffirms our commitment to accompany this venture that generates both employment and local development.”

Gerardo Zamora, Governor of Santiago del Estero: "The city of Termas de Rio Hondo and the province of Santiago del Estero will remain positioned on the international stage thanks to this event, the work that has been carried out over these seven years along these lines. MotoGP creates truly superlative economic impact in the north of Argentina. The competition takes place at a top level circuit and the riders, the organisation and the fans know and enjoy the destination. The Republic of Argentina also gains visibility through the hundreds of thousands of homes around the world via the official broadcasts. The Government of the Province, together with Dorna, Inprotur and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, join together in their efforts so that these achievements may long continue."

Orlando Terranova, CEO OSD Group: "We’re very satisfied and happy to renew our agreement with Dorna Sports to continue organising the Grand Prix of Argentina, which we’ve done since 2014. The effort is enormous, but we are able to make it happen thanks to an incredible team headed by Minister Lammens and Governor Zamora. MotoGP is an event that allows us to take our place on the world stage, show our strengths and be a point of reference in global elite sport. We celebrate all this and redouble our efforts so that each new edition is even better than ever before, creating an amazing experience for the fans who attend. Termas de Rio Hondo will receive us looking better than ever, the circuit will be perfect and even more improved. We continue moving forward in order to remain a point of reference in this part of the world."

Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports: "The three-year contract renewal for the Grand Prix of Argentina is fantastic news for MotoGP, showing once again the incredible level of interest in our sport across the territory. The impressive crowds who flock to the event, and from many different countries, added to the great feedback from the riders, proves how vital our presence in Argentina and Latin America truly is."


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Maverick Viñales Chooses Not To Race In Austin After Death Of Cousin At Jerez

Maverick Viñales has elected not to race at the US round of MotoGP at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin. The Spaniard has decided to take the time to come to terms with the death of his cousin, Dean Berta Viñales, as a result of a crash in the WorldSSP300 race at Jerez on Saturday. Dean Berta Viñales rode in the team run by Maverick's father, Angel, and which carries Maverick's logo.

With a three-week break after Austin, the Spaniard will have time to process the death of someone so close to him. For both Maverick Viñales and Aprilia, the races in the second half of 2021 were an added bonus in the Spaniard's adaptation to the Aprilia RS-GP, as he had originally signed to race for the Italian factory for the 2022 season. But his release by Yamaha allowed him to get an early start.

The Aprilia press release appears below:


Maverick Viñales will not be on the starting grid for the GP of the Americas scheduled this weekend on the circuit in Austin, Texas.

Less than a week has passed since the accident involving Dean Berta Viñales, Maverick’s young cousin, which is not enough time to regain the serenity needed to race. Maverick, with the full and unconditional support of Aprilia Racing, has therefore decided to take a break on his journey of getting to know the bike and team from Noale.

The entire Aprilia Racing family supports this decision and stands with Maverick and his loved ones. There will be other times and other rounds to resume the promising journey begun together. A journey that must be entirely respectful of the people involved and their feelings.


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2021 WorldSBK Calendar Finalized - Mandalika, Indonesia, Final Round Of WorldSBK

The 2021 WorldSBK calendar has been finalized at last. Over the weekend of the Jerez round of World Superbikes, Dorna and the FIM confirmed that the Mandalika International Street Circuit, on the island of Lombok, will host the final round of the 2021 season. The round is still subject to the circuit being homologated by the FIM, but this should be a formality. The race has been pushed back a week from its orginally scheduled date.

This means that there are three more rounds left in the 2021 WorldSBK calendar. This coming weekend, the series alights at the Portimão circuit in Portugal, before heading off to Argentina for a race at the San Juan Villicum circuit in the west of the country on the weekend of October 17th. The series will then conclude in Indonesia on November 21st.

Here's the final 2021 WorldSBK calendar:

21 - 23 May* Spain MotorLand Aragón X X X
28 - 30 May* Portugal Circuito Estoril X X X
11 - 13 June* Italy Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” X X X
2 - 4 July* United Kingdom Donington Park X    
23 - 25 July* The Netherlands TT Circuit Assen X X X
6 - 8 August* Czech Republic Autodrom Most X X X
20 – 22 August* Spain Circuito de Navarra X X  
3 - 5 September* France Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours X X X
17 - 19 September* Spain Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya Xs X X
24 - 26 September* Spain Circuito de Jerez - Ángel Nieto X X X
1 - 3 October Portugal Autódromo Internacional do Algarve X X X
15 – 17 October Argentina Circuito San Juan Villicum X X  
19 – 21 November Indonesia Mandalika International Street Circuit** X X  

*Already run

All dates, events and the attendance of spectators are subject to the evolution of the global pandemic and the approval of the corresponding governments and authorities.

** (STH) Subject to homologation

Mandalika International Street Circuit set for inaugural WorldSBK round in November

The new Indonesian venue will be hosting its first international events later this year, including the 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season finale

For the first time since 1997, WorldSBK will be back in Indonesia with the final round of the 2021 season set to take place in November, at the Mandalika International Street Circuit located on the scenic Lombok island.

The date for the Indonesian Round has been pushed back by a week due to logistical and organisational considerations – this will allow the venue to first host the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup (IATC) on November 12th-14th, a competition managed by Dorna Group, thus providing valuable experience at the circuit in the first of back-to-back events for the Cup and also avoiding an overlap with the coverage of the MotoGP™ season-closer in Valencia this weekend.

The WorldSBK Indonesian Round will therefore take place on the weekend of November 19th-21st for what promises to be a stunning curtain closing event to the 2021 season.

Indonesia previously hosted WorldSBK racing from 1994 to 1997 and the long-awaited return of the series to the South East Asian nation comes on the back of three years of efforts sustained in a challenging context.

With a strong racing fanbase and a key market for the manufacturers and partners of the Championship, the Mandalika International Street Circuit breaking ground and hosting the WorldSBK and IATC in 2021 will be a key milestone for Dorna Group and the local promoter, MGPA.


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Jerez WorldSBK Action Canceled On Saturday After Dean Berta Viñales Dies In WorldSSP300 Crash

The Saturday afternoon races in the WorldSBK championship have been canceled after a fatal accident in the WorldSSP300 class. Dean Berta Viñales, riding for the Viñales Racing Team, fell at Turn 2 on lap 10, in the middle of a group of riders, and was struck by another bike. The Spaniard suffered severe chest and head injuries, and died as a result of the injuries sustained.

The WorldSSP300 race was immediately red-flagged, and Viñales was treated at trackside, before being taken by helicopter to a nearby hospital, but his injuries were too severe to be survivable. Dean Berta Viñales is the cousin of Aprilia MotoGP rider Maverick, and rode in the team run by Maverick Viñales' father Angel. Dean Berta Viñales was 15 years and 4 months old.

All action was stopped for the remainder of the day. The World Superbike and World Supersport races were both canceled. Jeffrey Buis was declared the winner of the WorldSSP300 race, ahead of Iñigo Iglesias and Bahattin Sofuoglu.

Viñales is the second fatality on a World Championship race weekend this year, after Jason Dupasquier was killed during qualifying in the Moto3 class at Mugello. This year has also seen the death of Hugo Millán, who died during a European Talent Cup race at the FIM CEV championship round in Aragon in July. Millán was 14, Viñales 15, Dupasquier 19. All three teenagers died as a result of being struck by other bikes.

Below is the press release from the World Superbike organizers:

Dean Berta Viñales passes away

Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

Following a serious incident during Race 1 of the Motul Spanish Round of the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto, it is with great sadness that we report the passing of rider Dean Berta Viñales (Viñales Racing Team).

Berta Viñales was involved in a multi-rider incident at Turn 1, with the race immediately Red Flagged.

The rider suffered severe head and thoracic injuries. Medical vehicles arrived at the site immediately and the rider was attended to on track, in the ambulance and at the circuit Medical Centre.

Despite the best efforts of the circuit medical staff, the Medical Centre has announced that Berta Viñales has sadly succumbed to his injuries.

The FIM, Dorna and the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto pass on our deepest condolences to Berta Viñales’ family, friends, team and loved ones.

Following the incident, the remainder of Saturday’s action has been cancelled.


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The Great Yamaha Reshuffle: Morbidelli Confirmed In Factory Team Through 2023, Dovizioso At SRT From Misano Through 2022

It has been an open secret for some time, but now finally Yamaha have confirmed it officially. In a flurry of press releases, Yamaha have announced their reshuffle of the factory Yamaha team, and laid the first stone in their satellite operation. Starting immediately, Franco Morbidelli will be joining the factory team, and has signed a contract for the next two seasons, 2022 and 2023. Taking his place in the Petronas Yamaha SRT team effective immediately will be Andrea Dovizioso, and the Italian veteran will race in Yamaha's satellite team for 2022.

Though most of the news was already out in public, there were still a few details in the announcements which hadn't been confirmed. Firstly, although Yamaha Managing Director Lin Jarvis confirmed to me in Austria that Franco Morbidelli would be moving up to the factory team for next year, the deal announced is for two seasons, for 2022 and 2023. Crucially, that puts him out of step with almost the entirety of the rest of the MotoGP field. Everyone bar Marc Marquez and Brad Binder, who have contracts through 2024, have deals which end in 2022 - with the caveat that most rookies, like Raul Fernandez and Remy Gardner in the Tech3 KTM team, will have options to continue beyond 2022.

Franco Morbidelli will start his term in the factory Yamaha team this weekend. The Italian is coming off a long absence for surgery on his ACL, however. Normally, the recovery time for such a knee operation is six months. Morbidelli, however, had surgery at the end of June, less than three months ago. The move will allow Morbidelli to settle into the factory team, and adapt to the 2022 Yamaha M1, rather than the 2019 bike he has been riding for the past year and a half.

The second detail to be announced is that Andrea Dovizioso will be signing a contract with Yamaha directly. That puts him on a 2022 Yamaha M1 in the satellite team due to be announced this weekend by the remnants of the Petronas SRT team, now that Petronas and the Sepang International Circuit have withdrawn from the squad. Team bosses Razlan Razali and Johan Stigefelt are expected to reveal their plans, and the name of their new project at some point over the weekend.

That announcement has apparently run into a glitch. Multiple sources have reported that the intended sponsor WithU, an Italian utilities company currently backing the team's MotoE effort, have withdrawn their sponsorship, and have chosen to back the VR46 team instead, alongside Sky Italia.

Though unrelated to the Yamaha news, the backing of WithU and Sky suggests that the mysterious deal with Tanal Entertainment, a Saudi-backed development concern, is off. The deal was always dubious, though the story was so hard to track that it was hard to unravel the truth behind it. So far, however, no concrete details have been announced for the sponsorship of the VR46 squad.

The press releases from Yamaha and Petronas appear below:


It is with great pleasure that Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. confirm Franco Morbidelli as a Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team rider for the remaining races in 2021 and for the 2022 and 2023 seasons. The Italian will make his highly anticipated return from injury debuting with the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team this weekend at the Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini.

Misano Adriatico (Italy), 16th September 2021

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. are delighted to announce that Franco Morbidelli has signed with the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team for the remaining races in 2021 and for the 2022 and 2023 seasons. The Italian will make his long-awaited return after injury this weekend, debuting with the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team at the Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini. He will be part of the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team‘s rider line-up for the upcoming five 2021 GP events and a full-time Factory rider in 2022 and 2023.

Morbidelli has shown great riding and motivation so far in his three seasons of racing with Yamaha in the MotoGP World Championship. The successful partnership led to a second place overall for the Italian in 2020, having secured five podiums including three victories that season.

The PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team rider‘s 2021 season was hampered by injury. He decided to have surgery on the meniscus and anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on 25 June, causing him to miss the Dutch, Styrian, Austrian, British, and Aragon GP. After following a rehabilitation programme, Morbidelli is now ready to return to action.

This weekend, the 26-year-old will be reunited with former PETRONAS Yamaha SRT teammate Fabio Quartararo, this time as part of the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team. He aims to use the remainder of the 2021 season to adapt to the new team surroundings and the 2021 Factory-spec YZR-M1, and gradually work up to 100% fitness level.

With two further years as a Factory rider on the horizon after the 2021 season, Morbidelli can count on Yamaha‘s full support and the opportunity to fight at the front for big milestones on many occasions.


“First of all, we want to thank PETRONAS Yamaha SRT for allowing Franky to make his dream come true and letting him step up to the Factory team ahead of schedule. Originally, we had planned for Franky to move up from 2022 on, but following a sudden rider line-up change mid-season, we had the chance to let him upgrade early.

“Secondly, I want to give a warm welcome to Franky. He is an exceptional talent. This was even further highlighted last year when he secured second place in the championship and achieved five podiums and three wins on the satellite Yamaha. It shows the type of rider that he is: committed to extracting the best from the YZR-M1 under all circumstances.

“Naturally, we‘re thrilled that Franky will be back in the paddock and that he is well enough to start racing again. He will have to find his form gradually, in line with his physical improvements, as he is still recovering. We will be using the remainder of 2021 to get him settled in the team and comfortable on the bike.

“We have already locked down our plans for 2022 and 2023, with Franky receiving full Factory backing from Yamaha Motor Company. We feel certain that a skilled, calm, and experienced rider like Franky will strengthen the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team and will enjoy great success in the future.”


“I'm very pleased and happy about facing this weekend and this highly anticipated new chapter with the Factory Yamaha team. I've been trying to recover as much as possible for the final stage of this championship. I wanted to make my comeback at a track I know well and have great memories of, like Misano.

”I'm looking forward to jumping on the bike and starting my journey with the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team. Of course, I need and I want to thank all the people who made this happen, starting with Ito-san, Lin, Maio, Sumi-san, the VR46 Riders Academy, and all other people who made this collaboration possible.”


With Franco Morbidelli debuting in the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team for this week‘s Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. is delighted to announce that MotoGP star Andrea Dovizioso will be joining PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team. The Italian will race for Yamaha‘s satellite team for the remainder of 2021 as well as the entire 2022 MotoGP season.

Misano Adriatico (Italy), 16th September 2021

Following Franco Morbidelli‘s transfer to Yamaha‘s factory team, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. is pleased to announce the signing of MotoGP star Andrea Dovizioso. He will be joining Yamaha‘s satellite team rider line-up for the remainder of 2021 and the entire 2022 MotoGP season.

The vastly experienced Italian is a three-time MotoGP Vice Champion and has many premier-class and lower-class achievements and victories to his name. He is known as a late-braker and one of the cleanest competitors in battle. Dovizioso is also no stranger to the YZR-M1, making him a perfect addition to the Yamaha rider line-up. He completed a successful season with a Yamaha satellite team in 2012, resulting in six third places and a fourth place in the final standings.

Yamaha as well as MotoGP fans the world over eagerly anticipate Dovizioso‘s return to action aboard a Yamaha YZR-M1 this weekend. The 35-year-old will start the second leg of his racing career with Yamaha on Morbidelli‘s former bikes. During the 2022 season he will be riding a factory-spec YZR-M1 and receive full support from Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.


“We are delighted that a MotoGP star and talent like Andrea is joining the Yamaha line-up. We warmly welcome him to the Yamaha MotoGP group as a very important member of our MotoGP programme.

“We have found ourselves in unprecedented circumstances this year that resulted in totally unexpected rider issues for both Yamaha teams. We experienced some unforeseen and unfortunate events, but we have been able to transform the problems into new opportunities.

“Andrea has been away from MotoGP for a short sabbatical, but we are certain that a rider of his calibre will soon find his speed again. We are really looking forward to working with him as a member of Yamaha‘s satellite team, and we will be supporting him in every way we can.”


“Racing with Yamaha has always been my dream, and that's why when the opportunity arrived I did not think twice, although I know it's going to be a tough challenge for me.

"I've got many things ahead of me to learn: a new bike, a new team, a new working system. It‘s a big challenge that starts at Misano, my home GP. This makes it even more exciting. I can't wait to be aboard my M1!”

Dovizioso to make MotoGP return with PETRONAS Yamaha SRT

Andrea Dovizioso to see out 2021 season as Franco Morbidelli moves to factory team

Italian rider Andrea Dovizioso will join PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team for the remainder of the 2021 season, replacing fellow countryman Franco Morbidelli – who is moving to Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP.

‘Dovi’ made his MotoGP debut in 2008 having taken the 125cc World Championship title in 2004. In his first season in the premier class he finished as top Independent rider, and claimed his first victory one year later. Since his first premier class race, the Italian has racked up a total of 62 podiums, 15 wins and 7 pole positions. In addition to this, Andrea was also in the championship fight in 2017, 2018 and 2019 – ending all three years as vice champion.

Marking his much-anticipated return to the championship, Dovizioso will join the Malaysian squad as Valentino Rossi’s team-mate for the rest of the 2021 season, starting with the San Marino GP this weekend.

Re-joining his former team-mate Fabio Quartararo, Franco Morbidelli graduates to the factory Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team from this weekend’s Grand Prix. The 2020 Championship runner-up took his first MotoGP podiums and wins with PETRONAS Yamaha SRT in 2020, and everyone would like to sincerely thank Franco for his time with the team and wish him all the very best in his graduation.

Razlan Razali

We are absolutely thrilled with the collective decision between Yamaha and PETRONAS Yamaha SRT to welcome Andrea Dovizioso from this race onwards until the end of the year. Clearly he is an extremely talented and highly-regarded rider, and we’re excited to see him back in the MotoGP paddock after his sabbatical and wearing our colours. We’re delighted with the line-up of Dovi alongside Valentino, and that we have two home-race heroes at Misano this weekend.

Of course, this is possible because Franky is moving to the factory team alongside his old team-mate Fabio, and we are absolutely delighted and excited for him. He has performed remarkably for us, especially last year as vice-Champion, and this progression is exactly the objective for an independent team – to develop riders for the factory team and to help them perform to the best of their ability. For the first time the line-up of the Yamaha factory team consists of two riders who have graduated from our team, and we are exceptionally proud of that. For me this is a clear sign of the stronger, deeper collaboration between us and Yamaha. We are always ready to support the factory, and I think that with this solution and flexibility we all see a clear benefit, so we’re very pleased, and of course thank Franky sincerely for all his hard work and wish him all the very best.

Andrea Dovizioso

Although I didn’t expect to be back in MotoGP like this, I never closed the door on it and it’s good to be here with Yamaha and PETRONAS Yamaha SRT. I wanted to try to enjoy a new situation and I’m really happy to be back. It will be interesting to be on a completely different bike to that I rode before and I’m looking forward to the experience. I visited the team in Aragon and it felt almost like it was 2012 again and sitting on the Yamaha bike felt just as good. It was great to have a first sit on the bike and do the initial adjustments, so that we’re already one step ahead of FP1 here at Misano. I will need to get on track to understand the details and it would have been better to have had a test before jumping into a race, but I start with no pressure and it will be great to get going in Misano for the final five races of the season.


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