WorldSSP300 standings after the first race in Jerez, red-flagged for the crash in which Dean Berta Viñales was killed:
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.
World Superbike qualifying was fifteen minutes with a few riders opting for opening on race tyres for a three session strategy.
World Supersport qualifying was twenty minutes around Jerez. Kenan Sofuoglu hung up his leathers after Friday's publicity ride where he was seventh quickest in spite of a long absence.
Toprak Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea continue their battle with the Yamaha man coming out on top. Andrea Locatelli and Scott Redding were able to improve on their Friday times. Loris Baz was sixth quickest in his return to World Superbike.
After a weekend of absence competing in the MotoE championship, Dominique Aegerter returned to the top of the timing sheets with the quickest time in the afternoon's session. Philipp Oettl ended the day on top, however, as his morning's time was quicker than Aegerter's afternoon's time. Steven Odendaal and Niki Tuuli rounded out the top four this seson, with Manuel Gonzalez fifth quickes this session but third quickest overall.
Kenan Sofuoglu, returning to World Supersport for the Puccetti team this weekend, was seventh quickest.
With two minutes left in the day's qualifying, Jonathan Rea did the first 1'39 lap of the weekend with a 1'39.671. Michael Ruben Rinaldi was second quickest, ahead of Leon Haslam and Scott Redding. Toprak Razgatlioglu was unable to improve on his morning's best time, which was good enough for third quickest overall.
Philipp Oettl set the quickest time, over four tenths of a second ahead of Manuel Gonzalez and Niki Tuuli. Randy Krummenacher continued to adapt to his nea team in fourth place, ahead of the championship rivals Dominique Aegerter and Steven Odendaal.
Toprak Razgatlioglu set the quickest time of the morning ahead of Michael Ruben Rinaldi, with the Kawasakis of Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes over a third of a second behind. Lowes set the fourth-qucikest time in spite of recording just six timed laps. Lowes was one of the riders injured in last weekend's Catalunya race, with Chaz Davies and Tom Sykes both missing this weekend through injury. Davies is replaced by Loris Baz while Sykes is replaced by Eugene Laverty.
I guess it is a credit to modern motorcycle engineering that so few bikes that get looked after properly in racing break down in actual races any more. With major parts of most WorldSBK machines coming from a production line somewhere, along with the rest of the bikes destined for the street, that’s remarkable in itself. Given that they all have upper rev limits and just a little bit of something in reserve on the computer design screen simply because you have a very limited engine allowance through the racing year, overstraining even your purpose-built racing components is a risky business nowadays.
Especially as in all but a few straights, the electronics spend a lot of the time attenuating the power you already have. Most of these bikes make too much power now, so the way it makes it matters more.
The reason I mention this potential race bike breakdown thing is that as I am clattering the keyboard in a hotel in Murcia, halfway between Barcelona and Jerez, the championship lead is a mere point, with Toprak Razgatlioglu just one ahead of Jonathan Rea. But, without an unfortunate front-running breakdown, due to an electrical charging system and voltage drop problem in Race One in Catalunya, Razgatlioglu would be leading by quite a few more points. He’s running away with this championship, if only he didn’t keep losing points.
Ding ding: Torres v Aegerter in incredible MotoE finale
Even the most ardent opponent of electric mobility would need a heart of stone to remain unmoved by the finale of the 2021 MotoE World Cup. The double-header at Misano had everything you’d want in a championship showdown: three of the four title contenders challenging for victory in race one, before two of them faced off in race two. It also included that crucial ingredient which is so crucial in gaining wider recognition: controversy.
There was plenty of that on Sunday, as Dominique Aegerter’s last lap move on Jordi Torres took the Catalan down and, for a few minutes at least, handed the Swiss rider the title, sending Spanish fans and members of the media to collect their pitchforks and demand a penalty. The FIM Stewards came to a swift conclusion: Aegerter was handed a 38-second penalty for the move – the equivalent of a ride-through penalty – demoting him to twelfth, handing Torres the crown by seven points.
Was this right? Clearly Aegerter had to make the move, with the championship on the line. He was in front of Torres when contact was made, and he didn’t technically run off track. As he explained, “He knew I'd be coming from the inside just like in the previous laps and that I would brake later than him. He kept his line which resulted in touching my rear wheel and him crashing out of the race.”
What MotoGP manufacturers change on test bikes for the future reveals a lot about what they feel is wrong with their current machines. So for example, at the Misano test, we saw Ducati roll out an updated version of their fairing, narrower and smaller, and consequently, likely aimed at creating a little more agility.
Aprilia introduced two different aero packages for high speed and low speed circuits. Suzuki had a new engine and a new chassis, while Yamaha had a different frame and revised engine. All small steps aimed at honing their current bikes into something better, an evolution of the bikes that raced at Misano the previous Sunday.
Not Honda. At Tuesday in Misano, Honda rolled out the latest prototype of their 2022 RC213V MotoGP machine, designed to address some of the obvious weaknesses of their current bike. The most remarkable thing about the machine is the stark and obvious differences between the 2021 bike and this latest prototype. This was no minor upgrade from last year's RC213V, this was a completely new bike, from the ground up. Very little remained the same; revolution, not evolution.
A New Hope
The Paddock Pass Podcast crew take a look back at a fascinating Misano round of MotoGP in the latest episode. Steve English, Adam Wheeler, Neil Morrison, and David Emmett run through the highlights of the first round to take place at the Italian circuit. We kick off the show with a debate on the state of the MotoE class, with Adam making an impassioned plea for innovation, which the rest of the crew shoot down.
We talk Bagnaia's remarkable win, Marc Marquez' fourth place at a circuit which goes the wrong way, how Fabio Quartararo is one step closer to the title, and whether 21 races in 2022 are too much of a good thing. And we wrap up the show with our winners and losers.
The weather cooperated for the second and final day of the Misano MotoGP test. It stayed dry and warm all day, which meant everyone got the track time they were looking for. In the case of Maverick Viñales, that was a lot of track time: the Aprilia rider racked up 109 laps, a grand total of 460.6 kilometers. Equivalent to Misano to Turin, London to Paris, Dallas, Texas to San Antonio, Texas.
The problem with all that track time, of course, is that a lot of rubber gets laid down. That adds oodles of grip, making conditions ideal for MotoGP machines. That is all very well, but MotoGP races never take place in such ideal conditions, and so testing can be deceptive. "It's true that everybody says the same in the tests, because there is a lot of grip everybody is fast, everybody is happy!" Marc Marquez noted.
Conditions are totally different between a race and a test, Marquez pointed out. "It changes a lot, a race weekend or test day. It changes a lot the risk of the way to ride also, with a lot of rubber on the track, a lot of grip and you can open a lot of gas," the Repsol Honda rider said.
Combined times from two days of testing: