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Barcelona Circuit Renews Contract As MotoGP Shifts Focus Out Of Spain

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has extended its contract with Dorna for another five years. However, like the contract signed last year with the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia, the contract does not guarantee a round of MotoGP for every year of the contract.

Instead, both Barcelona and Valencia have signed up to host three races between 2022 and 2026. With both circuits on the provisional 2022 calendar, that means that they will get two more races between 2023 and 2026. In addition, Barcelona will hold at least two rounds of WorldSBK between 2023 and 2026.

This is part of Dorna's plan to reduce the number of races on the Iberian peninsula, and more particularly, in Spain. After 2022, the plan is to have a maximum of 3 races in Spain and Portugal, with the rounds alternating among Barcelona, Valencia, Aragon, Jerez, and Portimão. With the calendar expanding to include new circuits, the move is necessary to allow new tracks to host a race without increasing the number of races beyond acceptable limits.

At the moment, Dorna has an agreement with the teams to limit the races to a maximum of 22 in a season. The 2022 calendar contains 21 rounds (subject, as all things, to the vagaries of the Covid-19 pandemic and government regulations), and with circuits in Russia, Hungary, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico having expressed an interest in hosting a round of MotoGP, it is impossible to make room for those tracks without dropping current circuits. Alternating between the four Spanish and one Portuguese circuit is a way of opening up space for new tracks.

The move to reduce the number of rounds in Spain will be welcomed, but the fact that there are four circuits in Spain currently homologated to host a round of MotoGP is a sign of just how much the country has become the epicenter of grand prix motorcycle racing. Circuits litter the country, with at least three other tracks very close to the standard required to host MotoGP. The Circuito de Navarra hosted WorldSBK this year, for example.

The addition of Indonesia to the MotoGP calendar is a long-awaited expansion into new, and MotoGP-mad territory. MotoGP's future lies in Asia, and opening up the path to the future requires dropping some of the established circuits.

The press release on Barcelona appears below, with last year's press release on the Valencia contract renewal below that as a reminder:

MotoGP™ renews agreement with Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya until 2026
The emblematic venue will host MotoGP™ in 2022, with least two more events confirmed between 2023 and 2026

Friday, 26 November 2021

Dorna Sports is happy to announce a new contract with the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, extending the partnership between the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship and the classic Catalonia venue for another five years. The new agreement guarantees the Gran Premi de Catalunya a place on the 2022 calendar and confirms a minimum of two more events to be held between 2023 and 2026.

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has been part of the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship calendar since 1992; first as the host of the European Grand Prix (from 1992-1995) and later the Catalan Grand Prix (from 1996). The event is a fan and rider favourite, bringing the world’s fastest motorcycle racing Championship to the vibrant Mediterranean city of Barcelona.

The provisional dates for the 2022 Catalan GP are the 3rd to the 5th of June. From 2023, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will then alternate with other venues on the Iberian peninsula, with a minimum of two more Grands Prix at the venue confirmed to take place between 2023 and 2026.

Roger Torrent, Catalan Minister of Business and Labour, and Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya President: "We are very pleased to continue hosting the most important competition in the world of motorcycling. This is great news for the fans of our country, for the international projection of Barcelona and Catalonia, and for the objective of turning the circuit into a strategic piece for the economic and social development linked to the green mobility industry."

Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports: "This contract renewal with the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for five more seasons is, without a doubt, fantastic news for MotoGP.

"The spectacular Catalan track has been linked to MotoGP since the first beginnings of Dorna and has been a key fixture on the calendar each season. This important agreement extending the collaboration until 2026 demonstrates, once again, the commitment shown to our Championship by the promoter."

Valencia renews agreement with MotoGP™ until 2026
The Circuit Ricardo Tormo will host at least three Grands Prix from 2022 – 2026

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Dorna Sports is happy to announce a contract renewal with the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia for 2022 to 2026, with an agreement confirming the track as host for at least three Grands Prix during those five years. Each of those Grands Prix will remain the season finale.

The Valencia GP is guaranteed to take place in 2022 and thereafter may alternate with other circuits on the Iberian peninsula until 2026; the final year of the agreement. This is due to the incredible global growth of MotoGP™, with more and more venues signing up to become part of the world’s fastest motorcycle racing World Championship.

The agreement was signed by Ximo Puig, President of the Government of Valencia, and Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports, in Valencia on Thursday.

Ximo Puig, President of the Government of Valencia: “There will be a Grand Prix until 2022 and from then on, each five years there will be a minimum of three Valencia Grands Prix, each of which will be the season finale. This shows the good work done by the Circuit, as well as the trust that has been sown between the organisation and the Generalitat.

“We have always said that this is a fundamental Grand Prix for the economic impact it generates and what it represents for the development of tourism in the Valencian community, as well as the hundreds of thousands of motorsport fans in Valencia – that’s why we have come to this agreement.”

Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports: “Dorna guarantees the Valencian community that, during these five years, there will be three Grands Prix at the track as a minimum. As Valencia is the first in coming to this agreement, it will be on the calendar in the first year that rotation begins, which is 2022.

“Valencia maintains the right to be the final Grand Prix on the calendar. I would like to be able to offer five more years with a guaranteed race but that is not possible. Nevertheless, I am proud to have once again come to an agreement with Valencia.”


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2022 Provisional WorldSBK Calendar Released - 12 Rounds And An Intriguing TBA

The WorldSBK championship is to look a little different in 2022. Though the length will stay the same as in 2021 - 13 rounds - the order is to be reshuffled a little, with the intriguing prospect of a possible race at Istanbul Park in Turkey during the season.

The season kicks off later than usual, with Phillip Island likely to be moved to the end of the year, possibly as the season finale held after the Indonesian round at Mandalika Circuit. Racing starts at the Motorland Aragon circuit, before heading north to Assen for the Dutch round of WorldSBK, which returns to its more normal date. After a four-week break, the series reconvences in Portugal for a race at Estoril.

The WorldSBK calendar heads east to Italy after that, for a race at Misano in June, before having a month off between the UK round at Donington Park. Two weeks later, the series travels to the Czech Republic to visit Most for the second time.

The summer break will be six weeks long, with the WorldSBK circus reconvening at Magny-Cours for the French round, then heading to Barcelona for the Catalonian round, and then back to Portugual, but this time to Portimão. After Portimão, WorldSBK starts its sequence of flyaways, traveling first to Argentina, then to Indonesia. The championship will then most likely head to Australia for the final round at Phillip Island.

The thirteenth round is down as To Be Announced, but there have been very strong rumors circulating that WorldSBK is to head to Turkey and Istanbul Park. Both Dorna and the circuit are keen to host a round, especially now that Toprak Razgatlioglu has become the first ever Turkish World Champion. Confirmation of this could take some time, with details still to be confirmed. It is most likely that the race will be slotted in one of the larger gaps in the calendar, in June or August.

There are four calendar clashes with MotoGP, though only in remotely the same time zone. Aragon WorldSBK is on the same weekend as MotoGP in Austin, Barcelona WorldSBK will take place several hours after the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi, and Argentina WorldSBK will be half a day or so after the MotoGP race at Sepang. WorldSBK Race 2 at Assen would normally happen at the same time as the MotoGP race at Portimão in Portugal, but there is a chance the WorldSBK race will be rescheduled for a later time.

The provisional calendar, and a statement from Gregorio Lavilla, WorldSBK Executive Director, appear below:

MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship/FIM Supersport and Supersport 300 World Championships
2022 Provisional *Calendar, 25 November 2021

8-10 April Spain MotorLand Aragón X X X
22-24 April The Netherlands TT Circuit Assen X X X
20-22 May Portugal Circuito Estoril X X X
10-12 June Italy Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” X X X
15-17 July United Kingdom Donington Park X X  
29-31 July Czech Republic Autodrom Most X X X
9-11 September France Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours X X X
23-25 September Spain Circuit de Barcelona - Catalunya X X X
7-9 October Portugal Autódromo Internacional do Algarve X X X
21-23 October Argentina Circuito San Juan Villicum X X  
11-13 November Indonesia Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit X X  
TBA Australia Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit X X  

*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.

4-5 April, MotorLand Aragón, WorldSBK + WorldSSP + WorldSSP300

Gregorio Lavilla, WorldSBK Executive Director:
“Firstly, it’s great to unveil the 2022 WorldSBK calendar so soon after the thrilling 2021 season has finished. WorldSBK will bring a refreshed Brand Identity for 2022 and we look forward to the season after two challenging seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A 13th round will take place and we have some options for where this event could be, whilst it will be great to welcome Australia and the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit back to the calendar, this time closing the season. The date is to be confirmed due to logistical challenges that require further analysis. I am pleased to welcome back two of 2021’s new circuits: the Autodrom Most and the Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit. We look forward to another fantastic season of WorldSBK action.”


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KTM Moves Mike Leitner Out Of Team Management Role, Brings Francesco Guidotti In

Mike Leitner, the man who was brought in to lead KTM's MotoGP project from the very beginning, is to be moved aside by the Austrian factory. Today, KTM officially announced that the engineer and former HRC crew chief - he was crew chief to Dani Pedrosa for most of the Spaniard's career - is to be moved into a consultancy role.

Although the press release does not give an explict reason for the change, beyond a desire to "restructure the KTM Factory Racing hierarchy", the move reflects a feeling that KTM's progress toward its objective of winning a MotoGP title has stalled. While KTM made good progress in 2019, and won its first races in 2020, 2021 saw the Austrian factory take a step backward. Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira still won races, but they struggled to make it into the top ten just as often.

Leitner is to make way for Pramac Ducati team manager Francesco Guidotti, as has been widely reported in the Italian media. Guidotti was previously a part of KTM's effort in the 250cc GP class, the precursor to Moto2, and has been successful at the helm of Pramac, the Ducati satellite team regularly winning races and feeding a string of riders into the factory team.

The poaching of Guidotti from Pramac fits into a long history of KTM poaching top talent from other factories and teams (a practice in which they are not by any means unique). Previously, WP Suspension, KTM's own brand of suspension, poached senior Öhlins engineer Peter Bergvall, they took Jun Miyazaki from Honda, where he had helped design HRC's first seamless gearbox, and most recently, they took Fabio Sterlacchini, one of Ducati Corse's most senior engineers. Respected journalist Mat Oxley recently wrote a blog on KTM's history of hiring outside talent into the team.

Guidotti will be charged with getting KTM's MotoGP title challenge back on track. They are not short of talent - if anything, they have too much rather than too little talent, and not enough seats to place it all. Guidotti will have to take that talent and make sure that they are given the tools they need to fight for a championship.

The press release from KTM appears below:

KTM Factory Racing expresses sincere thanks to Mike Leitner for pivotal MotoGP™ management role

2021 MotoGP news

KTM Factory Racing wish to extend their gratitude to Mike Leitner for his application and knowledge towards their MotoGP program as the Austrian steps down from his position as Red Bull KTM Race Manager.

2022 will represent KTM’s sixth season as part of the MotoGP grid and the KTM Factory Racing hierarchy will restructure. The 59-year-old will no longer fill his management role as principal of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing set-up and will transition into a consultancy post.

Leitner originally came into the KTM Race Department and helped construct the testing squad that began work on the KTM RC16 in 2015 and then the official Red Bull KTM MotoGP team that first took to the grid at the end of 2016 in Valencia.

Since 2017 he has been an important part of the KTM MotoGP race management and organisation that has produced five victories and 13 trophies in less than half a decade of Grand Prix competition. He was instrumental in delivering the company’s first podium as rider Pol Espargaro classified 3rd at the 2018 Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana. By 2020 he oversaw KTM’s maiden victory, scored by Brad Binder in the Czech Republic as well as further spoils by the South African in 2021 and the three triumphs marked by Miguel Oliveira in Austria, Portugal and Catalunya in the last two seasons.

Further milestones include Espargaro’s 5th place finish in the 2020 rider’s standings while Binder ranked 6th by the end of the recent 2021 campaign.

Pit Beirer, KTM Motorsports Director: “Mike has been a key figure in our mission to fight against the best in the world of road racing. Together we created a MotoGP structure with the right staff and the right riders which achieved outstanding results at the pinnacle of the sport. We started building our RC16 and the whole plan from a blank piece of paper and under his guidance we put a great team together; one that took on the challenge of MotoGP. Now, after seven years together, we decided to reorganize our MotoGP leadership for the future, and I cannot express how much we want to thank him for all the work he put into this project. Mike pushed very hard to get us from the back of the grid to the front row and his dedication has played a major part in our success story.”

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MotoGP To Switch To 100% Non-Fossil Fuels By 2027

MotoGP is to follow in the footsteps of Formula 1 and switch to sustainable fuels. From 2024, 40% of fuel used in the MotoGP class must be obtained from sustainable sources - either synthetically produced using sustainable energy or from non-food biomass - and from 2027, all fuel used in all three grand prix classes, Moto3, Moto2, and MotoGP, will be of non-fossil origin.

The idea behind the switch is in part leveraging the function of racing as a research and development platform, and in part bowing to the inevitable. As the world faces a global climate crisis, a switch away from extracting carbon stored underground and pumping it into the atmosphere is needed to manage CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

The role of racing is in making the combustion of non-fossil fuels more efficient. Engineers understand the combustion characteristics of fossil fuels very well, but synthetic, e-fuels, and biofuels burn and behave differently. Motorsports are about converting the largest amount of energy stored in a fuel source into the lowest possible lap time, and combustion efficiency - converting fuel into horsepower - is a very important part of that.

The good news for race fans who love the noise which emerges as a byproduct of combusion is that this switch will mean that grand prix racing will remain the home of loud engines and paddock workers with permanent hearing damage. Although MotoE will remain, and will expand in the future, motorbikes producing exhaust noise will continue to rule the paddock for the foreseeable future.

In this respect, 2027 is an important date. The current contract period with the MotoGP manufacturers runs from 2022 to 2026. The agreement with the factories is that technical regulations will remain stable for that period. A new five-year contract period starts in 2027, which is when major changes to the MotoGP formula such as this can be introduced. That means that MotoGP will be racing combustion engines between 2027 and 2031.

The source of the fuels is still to be decided, beyond being non-fossil free. But the FIM and Dorna have laid on a caveat, and stated an objective. Firstly, biofuels are not to be produced from food crops, as is the case with some ethanol, which is produced from sweetcorn or maize in many countries. Instead, it is to be produced from with waste products of forestry and farming, or from crops grown on land that is otherwise not suitable for food production.

The second is that the stated objective is to use zero carbon fuels. That means fuels sourced using production methods that don't emit carbon into the atmosphere, which also precludes some forms of farming or natural resource usage. Synthetic fuels must not be produced using energy sources that emit carbon.

The FIM and Dorna announcement stays way from involving the sport in the production of fuels, leaving that up to the fuel producers themselves. Only zero carbon fuels will be permitted to be used in racing, and how fuel suppliers produce that fuel is up to them.

The announcement is a statement of intent, and so does not include any technical details. There is no news of whether the current fuel regulations, which strictly control the composition of fuels used, will be modified, and if so, how. There are also no details on how or whether emissions standards, such as particle emissions, will be modified in the future.

The FIM press release appears below:

MotoGP™: racing towards the fuel of the future
2024 will see MotoGP™ move to sustainable fuels, launching a new global era of zero carbon fuels

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

The FIM Grand Prix World Championship, MotoGP™, is a global platform with the power to lead evolution in both the motorcycle and mobility industries. With a unique position as one of the world's most popular and technologically advanced sports, MotoGP™ is a racing ‘laboratory’ powered by innovation and development.

Global motorcycle sales amount to 60 million units per annum and two-wheeled transportation is a necessity for a huge proportion of the population, with over two billion motorcycles on the world’s roads. In many nations two-wheeled vehicles drive society. As the most sustainable motorised vehicles, two-wheeled transportation has a vital role in the quest for cleaner, safer, and more eco-friendly mobility, with the power to make an incredible contribution to the world’s need to cut carbon emissions, increase sustainability and fight climate change.

Working with MotoGP™ manufacturers, the sport has set new goals for increased sustainability:

By 2024, fuel in all MotoGP™ classes will be of minimum 40% non-fossil origin

By 2027, fuel in all MotoGP™ classes will be of 100% non-fossil origin

MotoGP™ is the platform in which these fuels will continue to be developed and tested, with every premier class manufacturer working with their supplier to develop their own fuel. The development of multiple fuels will ensure that the technology and knowledge will reach consumer motorcycles and fuel pumps on the street. This will create an unrivalled selection of viable, sustainable drop-in fuels developed by some of the most important players in global energy and tested by the highest level of prototype two-wheeled machinery in the world. With no single proprietor, the initiative guarantees unprecedented global impact.

These fuels of the future will be able to be used in a standard internal combustion engine and will either be laboratory-created, using components sourced from a carbon capture scheme, or derived from municipal waste or non-food biomass, thereby achieving significant savings in greenhouse gas emissions relative to fossil-derived petrol. In addition, fuel suppliers will progressively introduce the use of renewable energy in the production of their fuel.

The Moto2™ and Moto3™ classes will continue to be supplied by a single fuel provider and will also be introducing a part-sustainable fuel in 2024. Both classes will change to 100% sustainable fuel in 2027, alongside the MotoGP™ class.

The FIM, IRTA, MSMA, Dorna and all stakeholders are committed to creating a more sustainable sport and future, from engineering greater sustainability on track to assessing and reducing the carbon footprint of every single event and aspect of the sport with innovative solutions.

MotoGP™ is racing together to power worldwide innovation, creating and reflecting positive change.

Jorge Viegas, FIM President: "I’m really proud of this announcement, after many months and even years of negotiations with petrol companies and manufacturers, we’ve reached an agreement. This will allow MotoGP to be the leader in this real revolution for sustainability.

"We want to really show the way to all the motorcycle manufacturers that it’s possible to have the fun we all like but with sustainable fuels. We hope by 2027 to have completely carbon free fuels in our competitions, leading the way and showing that, even if the racing is a small part of emissions, we must be the leaders of this change; show the way. Thank you to all the stakeholders for the negotiations, finally now we can announce the good news."

Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports: "We are very proud to announce this incredible new venture and we would like to thank the FIM, MSMA, IRTA, our manufacturers and fuel suppliers for their unequivocal support in this ground-breaking step towards a more sustainable world. Racing together, MotoGP will be a driving force for global change and increased sustainability.

"Motorcycles are a vital asset to society, making two-wheeled vehicles a crucial part of the solution. Sustainable fuels are key to creating an attainable and viable path to a more eco-friendly world, impacting billions of people, and with a number of different fuel manufacturers committed to this endeavour, global impact is guaranteed. Thanks to all parties involved in making this possible."


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2022 Provisional MotoGP Rider Line Up

The FIM today released the provisional entry lists for all three grand prix classes, which featured very few surprises. The biggest changes were among the riders who were forced to change numbers. Fabio Di Giannantonio switched from 21 (taken by Franco Morbidelli) to 49, while Marco Bezzecchi kept 72, Darryn Binder kept 40, and Raul Fernandez stuck with 25, the number abandoned by Maverick Viñales at the end of the 2018 season.

The most noteworthy, if not surprising, change came with the VR46 team. In previous lists of teams accepted to MotoGP and Moto2, the VR46 Racing Team were still using the name Aramco VR46, after the Saudi Arabian oil company. That deal has proved to be chimerical, and the team is now listed as VR46 Racing Team.

Provisional MotoGP line up for 2022:

No. Rider Nationality Team Machine Independent
4 Andrea Dovizioso Italian WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha *
5 Johann Zarco French Pramac Racing Ducati *
10 Luca Marini Italian VR46 Racing Team Ducati *
12 Maverick Viñales Spanish Aprilia Racing Aprilia  
20 Fabio Quartararo French Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha  
21 Franco Morbidelli Italian Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha  
23 Enea Bastianini Italian Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati *
25 Raul Fernandez Spanish Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM *
30 Takaaki Nakagami Japanese LCR Honda Idemitsu Honda *
33 Brad Binder S-African Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM  
36 Joan Mir Spanish Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki  
40 Darryn Binder S-African WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha *
41 Aleix Espargaro Spanish Aprilia Racing Aprilia  
42 Alex Rins Spanish Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki  
43 Jack Miller Australian Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati  
44 Pol Espargaro Spanish Repsol Honda Team Honda  
49 Fabio Digiannantonio Italian Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati *
63 Francesco Bagnaia Italian Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati  
72 Marco Bezzecchi Italian VR46 Racing Team Ducati *
73 Alex Marquez Spanish LCR Honda Castrol Honda *
87 Remy Gardner Australian Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM *
88 Miguel Oliveira Portuguese Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM  
89 Jorge Martin Spanish Pramac Racing Ducati *
93 Marc Marquez Spanish Repsol Honda Team Honda  

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2022 Provisional Moto2 Rider Line Up

Provisional Moto2 rider line up for the 2022 season:

No. Rider Nationality Team Machine
2 Gabriel Rodrigo Argentina Pertamina Mandalika Sag Team Kalex
4 Sean Dylan Kelly USA American Racing Kalex
5 Romano Fenati Italian Speedup Racing Boscoscuro
6 Cameron Beaubier USA American Racing Kalex
7 Barry Baltus Belgian RW Racing GP Kalex
9 Jorge Navarro Spanish Flexbox HP40 Kalex
12 Filip Salac Czech Gresini Racing Moto2 Kalex
13 Celestino Vietti Italian VR46 Racing Team Kalex
14 Tony Arbolino Italian Elf Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex
16 Joe Roberts USA Italtrans Racing Team Kalex
18 Manuel Gonzalez Spanish Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team Kalex
19 Lorenzo Dalla Porta Italian Italtrans Racing Team Kalex
22 Sam Lowes British Elf Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex
23 Marcel Schrotter German Liqui Moly Intact GP Kalex
24 Simone Corsi Italian MV Agusta Forward Racing MV Agusta
28 Niccolo Antonelli Italian VR46 Racing Team Kalex
35 Somkiat Chantra Thai Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Kalex
37 Augusto Fernandez Spanish Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex
40 Aron Canet Spanish Flexbox HP40 Kalex
42 Marcos Ramirez Spanish MV Agusta Forward Racing MV Agusta
51 Pedro Acosta Spanish Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex
52 Jeremy Alcoba Spanish Liqui Moly Intact GP Kalex
54 Fermin Aldeguer Spanish Speedup Racing Boscoscuro
61 Alessandro Zaccone Italian Gresini Racing Moto2 Kalex
64 Bo Bendsneyder Dutch Pertamina Mandalika Sag Team Kalex
75 Albert Arenas Spanish Aspar Team (Moto2) Gasgas
79 Ai Ogura Japanese Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Kalex
81 Keminth Kubo Thai Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team Kalex
84 Zonta van den Goorbergh Dutch RW Racing GP Kalex
96 Jake Dixon British Aspar Team (Moto2) Gasgas

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2022 Provisional Moto3 Rider Line Up

The provisional rider line up for the Moto3 class for 2022:

No. Rider Nationality Team Machine
5 Jaume Masia Spanish Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM
6 Ryusei Yamanaka Japanese MT Helmets - MSI KTM
7 Dennis Foggia Italian Leopard Racing Honda
10 Diogo Moreira Brazilian MT Helmets - MSI KTM
11 Sergio Garcia Spanish Aspar Team (Moto3) GasGas
16 Andrea Migno Italian Rivacold Snipers Team Honda
17 John McPhee British Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max Husqvarna
18 Matteo Bertelle Italian Avintia Esponsorama Moto3 KTM
20 Lorenzo Fellon French SIC 58 Squadra Corse Honda
23 Elia Bartolini Italian Avintia Esponsorama Moto3 KTM
24 Tatsuki Suzuki Japanese Leopard Racing Honda
26 Scott Ogden British VisionTrack Racing Team Honda
27 Kaito Toba Japanese CIP Green Power KTM
28 Izan Guevara Spanish Aspar Team (Moto3) GasGas
31 Adrian Fernandez Spanish Red Bull KTM Tech3 KTM
38 David Salvador Spanish BOE SKX KTM
43 Xavier Artigas Spanish CFMoto Racing PruestelGP CFMoto
44 David Muñoz Spanish BOE SKX KTM
48 Ivan Ortola Spanish Team MTA KTM
53 Deniz Öncü Turkish Red Bull KTM Tech3 KTM
54 Riccardo Rossi Italian SIC 58 Squadra Corse Honda
64 Mario Suryo Aji Indonesian Honda Team Asia Honda
66 Joel Kelso Australian CIP Green Power KTM
67 Alberto Surra Italian Rivacold Snipers Team Honda
70 Joshua Whatley British VisionTrack Racing Team Honda
71 Ayumu Sasaki Japanese Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max Husqvarna
72 Taiyo Furusato Japanese Honda Team Asia Honda
82 Stefano Nepa Italian Team MTA KTM
96 Daniel Holgado Spanish Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM
99 Carlos Tatay Spanish CFMoto Racing PruestelGP CFMoto

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Pol Espargaro Likely To Miss Qualifying For Valencia - UPDATED

Pol Espargaro looks set to miss qualifying for the Valencia MotoGP round on Saturday. The Repsol Honda rider suffered a massive highside around Turn 13, getting flicked off the bike as the rear became unstable as he swept the bike from the right of Turn 12 to the long left at Turn 13.

Espargaro badly banged up his ribs on his right side, and injured his wrist, according to Dr Charte, one of the senior members of Dorna's medical team at the MotoGP races. Though his mobility was not compromised, he was in a great deal of pain.

Espargaro has been taken to the 9 de Octubre hospital in Valencia for further checkups. Dr Charte told Spanish broadcaster Dazn that Espargaro will not ride this afternoon, but the Repsol Honda team have not yet made an announcement on what the Spaniard will do.


The Repsol Honda team released the following statement after qualifying. Espargaro is back in the paddock, suffering with chest and stomach pains, and will assess his condition on Sunday morning:

Pol Espargaro escapes serious injury in Valencia

Following a heavy highside at Turn 13, Repsol Honda Team’s Pol Espargaro missed Saturday action in Valencia after scans and checks in hospital.

During MotoGP Free Practice 3, Pol Espargaro suffered a highside on the exit of Turn 12 heading into Turn 13. The Repsol Honda Team rider was taken to the circuit medical centre before being transported to 9 de Octubre Hospital in Valencia for further checks. Scans revealed heavy bruising, especially around the right thorax and abdomen.

Espargaro will rest tonight before assessing his condition and continued participation on Sunday morning.

Pol Espargaro

“Unfortunately today I had a very big crash during FP3 at Turn 13. The impact was very hard but fortunately I have no serious injuries and nothing appeared broken in the tests we did at the hospital. At the moment I have a lot of pain from around my ribs when I breathe, this is what hurts most. I’m really disappointed because we had great speed and I was feeling really confident. I’m sorry for my team. Tonight we will rest, take painkillers and see what the situation is in the morning.”

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Marc Marquez Out Of Valencia Race And Jerez Test Due To Recurrence Of Eye Problems

Marc Marquez' terrible run of injury problems continues. Today, the Repsol Honda team announced that it wasn't just concussion which Marquez suffered in a training crash before Portimão, but that he also appears to have damaged a nerve in his right eye. As a result, Marquez is having problems with diplopia, or double vision.

Those problems are a recurrence of the issue Marquez suffered back in 2011, when he crashed during practice at Sepang on a patch of water after marshals failed to wave the yellow flag. That crash cost Marc Marquez the 2011 Moto2 title, and a long period of uncertainty. The Spaniard required surgery on his right eye, a weakening of the muscle to try to correct the problem.

That surgery turned out to be a success. Despite the fact that there were real fears Marquez would never race again, a member of Marquez' entourage told me several years ago. The relief after he took to the track at Alcarras and rode a Moto2 machine without major problems was absolutely palpable. The test was supposed to be secret, but some BSB riders were also present, and as it was 2012, and the early days of Twitter and social media, the news soon leaked out.

Dr Sanchez Dalmau, the ophthalmologist who treated Marquez in 2011 and 2012, and is treating him again now, has chosen to follow a conservative regime of treatment, presumably to avoid complications on the eye where he has already had one operation. The problems Marquez is suffering are with the nerve which was damaged back in 2011.

There is no time frame for a return for Marc Marquez. He will certainly miss the Valencia race and the Jerez test. Whether he will be present at the Sepang test in February 2022 will only be apparent much later, and much closer to the time. Repsol Honda looks unlikely to replace Marquez at Valencia.

Marquez' absence is a setback for HRC's plan to develop the 2022 Honda RC213V. The bike, which first saw the light at the Misano test in September, is completely new, with a new engine, chassis, fairing, airbox, and aerodynamic package. It will need a lot of work to get it ready for 2022, and Honda will have to rely on the feedback from their current line up of test rider Stefan Bradl, Repsol Honda teammate Pol Espargaro, and the LCR riders Alex Marquez and Takaaki Nakagami.

The press release appears below:

Marc Marquez to miss Valencia Grand Prix and Jerez Test

The Repsol Honda Team rider will not participate in the Valencia Grand Prix this coming weekend, nor in the IRTA Jerez Test scheduled for November 18 and 19.

After Marc Marquez underwent a medical examination at the Dexeus Clinic in Barcelona last Tuesday, in which he was evaluated after a fall while practicing off-road, the rider has been resting all week at his home in Cervera.

During these days of rest, Marc has continued to feel unwell and has suffered from vision problems, which is why this Monday he was visited by the ophthalmologist Dr. Sánchez Dalmau at the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, who examined him and performed the tests, which detected a new episode of diplopia.

Doctor Sánchez Dalmau

“The examination carried out on Marc Marquez today after the accident that occurred has confirmed that the rider has diplopia and has revealed a paralysis of the fourth right nerve with involvement of the right superior oblique muscle. A conservative treatment with periodic updates has been chosen to follow with the clinical evolution. This fourth right nerve is the one that was already injured in 2011.”


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Marc Marquez To Miss Portimão 2 Round With Concussion

Marc Marquez is to miss the Algarve Grand Prix, to be held at the Portimão circuit this weekend. According to a press release from the Repsol Honda team, the Spaniard suffered a crash during training which has left him with a mild concussion. As he was still feeling unwell a couple of days after the event, Marquez and the team have decided to skip the penultimate round of MotoGP.

Marquez' absence at Portimão raises questions of whether he will be fit for Valencia, and indeed, whether it will be worth Marquez taking a risk on being fully fit for the final grand prix of the 2021 season. The season will end with a two-day test at the Jerez circuit on the Thursday and Friday after Valencia, and as we saw at the Misano test, Honda have brought a radically revised RC213V for the 2022 season. Given that the best Marquez could hope for in 2021 is to finish fourth, there is more to be gained from testing than from coming back too early and trying to race.

The decision is also a sign that Marquez is taking injury more seriously, since breaking his arm. The lesson learned from the long and miserable process of recovering from the right humerus he broke at Jerez last year is that it is better to be more patient before trying to come back. Marquez' decision to try to race a few days after surgery to fix his right arm ended up costing him the entire 2020 season, and any chance of the 2021 championship.

It is also a positive sign that concussion is being taken much more seriously. Coming back too early from a concussion can have very serious consequences, and a knock on effect for weeks and months after the fact. It is better to play it safe and focus on recovering as fully as possible, rather than risk exacerbating an existing concussion and paying for it down the road.

As of this moment, there is no word on a replacement rider, but HRC test rider Stefan Bradl could be called in to take Marquez' place, either at Portimão, or Valencia, or both, if that is needed.

The press release from the Repsol Honda team appears below:

Marquez to miss Algarve Grand Prix

This past Saturday Marc Marquez, while preparing for the Algarve Grand Prix with one of his standard off-road training sessions, suffered a fall that caused a slight head concussion. After a few days of rest at home and seeing that he was still unwell, today Marquez has been assessed by doctors in a medical check-up to evaluate his current status. As a precautionary measure, this coming weekend Marquez will not contest the Algarve Grand Prix.


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