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After the first test of the 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, riders and teams head south from Aragon and take to the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto for more testing on the 28th and 29th November. With keen rookies, numerous Champions and some teams turning a first wheel ahead of the 2020 season, the Jerez test has much importance before the next WorldSBK campaign even begins.
Having topped the testing timesheets from MotorLand Aragon, the ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati pairing of rookie Scott Redding and 2011 WorldSSP Champion Chaz Davies will look to repeat that feat at Jerez. Dialling in initial settings and getting comfortable with the bike, Scott Redding will look to continue his successful transition to WorldSBK at a track he knows well. On the other side of the garage, Davies will be eager to continue working on brake and riding positions in the forthcoming outing.
Over at the Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK set-up, Jonathan Rea had a strong opening day at Aragon before opting not to venture out on the second day. Ready to get back on track and begin his WorldSBK title defence in 2020, the reigning five-time WorldSBK Champion will aim to carry on perfecting and refining his set-up. New teammate for 2020 Alex Lowes will be back in Kawasaki colours and build on his first feelings from MotorLand Aragon, where he finished third on the final day.
With an international line-up at the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team, Jerez gives them another opportunity to make important steps ahead of 2020. At the end of play at Aragon, it was new-kid Toprak Razgatlioglu who was on top and the Turkish-ace will seek the continuation of what has been a positive change to Yamaha machinery. Over in the Dutch corner, Michael van der Mark will want to tame his teammate and get back ahead at Jerez, whilst both riders will be making their debut on the 2020 YZF R1 Yamaha.
Absent from the Aragon test, the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto venue will provide the first glimpse of the 2020 BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team, with Tom Sykes retained alongside newcomer Eugene Laverty. 2013 WorldSBK Champion Sykes had strong performances in 2019, consisting of four podiums and a pole position and will look to consolidate his front-running pace at Jerez. Eugene Laverty joins his third manufacturer in as many years and will look to utilise his versatility to find a good base setting from the off in 2020.
The fastest Independent team at Aragon was the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team squad and they’ll look to be in the hunt at Jerez too. Despite never raced in Europe before, Garrett Gerloff finished ahead of his teammate at Aragon and will look to continue getting accustomed to Pirelli rubber, working on the exit of corners at a brand-new circuit. Federico Caricasulo was victorious at Jerez in WorldSSP in 2019 and has good memories of the circuit. Aiming to get back ahead of his teammate, Caricasulo will look to enhance his feeling with the Yamaha.
Other Independent teams joining the field at Jerez include the BARNI Racing Team with Michele Pirro, and not Leon Camier. Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha will feature Loris Baz as the Frenchman will turn a first wheel of 2020. Kawasaki Puccetti Racing will also return to action with Spanish rider, Xavi Fores, who makes his comeback to WorldSBK in 2020. Team Pedercini Racing will also return, with Jordi Torres and Lorenzo Savadori set to complete their first tests for 2020.
Puccetti Kawasaki also headline a raft of WorldSSP teams in action. They’ll be back on track after a recent Valencia test with WorldSSP rookie Philipp Öettl, whilst reigning WorldSSP Champion Randy Krummenacher (MV AGUSTA Reparto Corse) makes his debut for MV Agusta. Despite having a WorldSBK presence, Pedercini won’t be testing in WorldSSP.
Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) makes his WorldSSP debut, whilst Kallio Racing are on track with Isaac Viñales and new signing, Hannes Soomer; Toth by RPM84 Yamaha are also at Jerez with Loris Cresson. The all-new Turkish Racing Team get their first taste of WorldSSP track time with Can Öncü, along with the EAB Ten Kate Racing Team of Steven Odendaal.
On top of all of that, Ana Carrasco will get to ride Jonathan Rea’s ZX-10 RR that she was due to ride at Aragon before conditions deteriorated.
The post Jerez readies to host second WorldSBK test ahead of 2020 appeared first on MotoGP Brits.
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was fastest on Day 2 of the Jerez test, the reigning Champion posting a 1:37.820 on Tuesday morning to sign off for the season on top – although there were more headlines for the number 93 than just on-track. From the test, Marquez will now head for surgery on his right shoulder after a crash on Day 1 of the test exacerbated a problem that had already begun to plague him. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was second quickest and just 0.017 in arrears, with his teammate Joan Mir completing the top three on Tuesday.
Day 2 at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto was largely disrupted by rain, with the riders getting limited dry track time before the wet weather arrived at around 12:15 local time. On a wet track, less than half the field ventured out, but those who did include MotoGP rookies Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), Iker Lecuona (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), as all three used the time to test out their new machines in the different conditions.
Before that, however, Marquez had swiftly got down to business, setting the second fastest time of the test overall – and the quickest of the day – on his third flying lap. The number 93 retained three bikes in the garage as on Day 1, and the partial dislocation of his right shoulder suffered on Monday didn’t seem to be affecting him out on track but Marquez then announced he has elected to have surgery as a preventative measure after medical consultation. The operation will be similar to the one performed on his left shoulder at the end of 2018. Rookie Alex Marquez was 17th, and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) 13th on Tuesday – although the Brit put in limited laps.
Limited laps was true for many and definitely for Mir, who did only 12 laps to end the day in third, with Alex Rins putting in twice that and turning the tables on his teammate on Day 2. Test rider Sylvain Guintoli did 14 laps for the Hamamatsu factory, but the Team Suzuki Ecstar camp seem very pleased with their early 2020 progress with the new engine. “Back-to-back” testing with 2019 and 2020 parts was key for Team Manager Davide Brivio, and all three riders improved their laptime on Tuesday morning.
Yamaha ended Tuesday in fourth with Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) – although the number 12 remains fastest overall – and he put in 15 laps. Across the two days, Yamaha duo Viñales and Valentino Rossi continued testing the 2020 YZR-M1, with both having one 2020 – with a slightly different fuel tank – and one 2019 M1 in their garage. On Day 1, Rossi did a lot of his running with a carbon swingarm. However, that wasn’t the case on Day 2, with the number 46 running an aluminium swingarm on both of his bikes. Viñales seemed content using the aluminium swingarm for most of the test, with both riders saying small steps have been made with the 2020 engine. Rossi ended Tuesday in 10th, half a second off the top after 33 laps – more laps than most.
Over at Petronas Yamaha SRT, Fabio Quartararo was fifth on Tuesday and teammate Franco Morbidelli seventh. They confirmed they had been trying “a 2020 prototype” Yamaha engine specification in Jerez. The carbon swingarm didn’t appear on Day 2 for the duo, but it was a solid looking test for Quartararo and Morbidelli heading into the winter break.
Sixth fastest Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and 12th fastest Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) continued to work on Ducati’s new chassis on both days in Jerez, with both riders confirming it’s a step in the right direction. On Day 2, test rider Michele Pirro was seen using a new aero piece on the front wheel too. Jack Miller and Pramac Racing, meanwhile, completed just four laps on Day 2 as the rain saw them pack up early for the winter, but the Australian finished P8 on the day and combined standings after improving his time on Tuesday, the last rider within a second of Viñales’ overall best.
At Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, MotoGP Legend and test rider Dani Pedrosa was back out on track after missing Day 1 through illness and he did 11 laps. Pol Espargaro, fastest KTM in ninth, continued to lap with a new RC16 with the orange chassis. There was also a new fairing and new aero setup on display across the two days as Espargaro seems pleased with the Austrian factory’s progress. Binder was lapping on the ‘old’ bike and did a good amount of laps before the rain came on Tuesday morning, and as aforementioned the South African also headed out in the wet. Lecuona was also still on the ‘old’ bike as both rookies’ aim was to get more comfortable on the MotoGP machine. Lecuona and Binder ended the test 20th and 22nd respectively on Tuesday.
Aprilia Racing Team Gresini and Aleix Espargaro had a new front wheel cover on Day 2 in Andalucia, an all-in-one piece with the front mudguard, wheel cover and caliper duct. He was 15th after 24 laps. Andrea Iannone, on the other side of the garage, only did four laps on Day 2 but finished eleventh. Test rider Bradley Smith, 21st on Tuesday, completed the most laps of anyone on Day 2 – 43.
Relive the best of 2019 with Mat Oxley’s comprehensive review of the year
The season may be over and the winter ahead seem long, but the best of MotoGP is still at your fingertips with the Official Season Story! Relive another action-packed history-maker of a year with the Official Season Story, which is now available to pre-order at store.motogp.com
All 19 rounds are covered in incredible detail, on-track and off, with more than 200 pages charting the course of another season of record-breaking racing. The 2019 edition has once again been compiled by leading MotoGP and motorsport journalist Mat Oxley, providing the most comprehensive guide to 2019 you can find. Combined with incredible photography, it’s the ultimate gift for any fan of the world’s fastest motorcycle racing Championship.
The post MotoGP™: the Official Season Story of 2019 is now available appeared first on MotoGP Brits.
Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) topped Day 2 of the Valencia test and it was once again a Yamaha 1-2-3, with the trio at the top within three tenths. Viñales was the only rider in the 1:29s – true of Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) at the weekend – and the number 12 narrowly beat the Frenchman’s pole time on Wednesday. Quartararo was 0.164 in arrears, with Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) within 0.265 of the top. Honda’s Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) was the only other man within half a second…
Viñales fastest was set on the ‘new’ bike – with a different chassis and new engine – and the Spaniard put in 67 laps on the final day of testing, topping the timesheets with his 56th. Teammate Valentino Rossi was once again ninth, and ‘The Doctor’ did 68 laps on Wednesday. He was within 0.968 of the top and suffered a mechanical problem in the afternoon, but got back out.
Quartararo and Morbidelli, meanwhile, didn’t say much about what they were working on – “some small things” and the Frenchman said it was more a day of riding than testing as yet. For a man only just starting his second season, the 64 laps were doubtlessly useful, however, and Morbidelli added another 52 to the team’s count.
For Crutchlow it was a mammoth day of work. The Brit headed out on the ‘2020’ bike, suffered a crash but managed to prove Yamaha’s closest competitor on the timesheets and improve his laptime from the weekend after 73 laps. Speaking of the number 73, Alex Marquez, on the other side of the LCR Honda garage, was the only man to do more laps. The rookie did 79 on his second day as an HRC MotoGP rider, shaving six tenths off his time from Tuesday.
Reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) made some more Honda headlines, however. The number 93 rode around with his brother AND premiered the aero seen on Crutchlow yesterday, with the all-black Honda breaking cover bearing a 93 in the afternoon, and he ended the day in seventh after 71 laps. He also suffered a failed getaway earlier in the day, and his teammate for the test – in the garage at least – also suffered an issue on Wednesday as Stefan Bradl ground to a halt. Nevertheless the German was able to complete 53 laps by the end of play.
Team Suzuki Ecstar were fifth and sixth on Wednesday. The new engine previously having been put through its paces by test rider Sylvain Guintoli was a big focus for the Hamamatsu factory as they look for a step forward in terms of outright speed, and Joan Mir was the quickest Suzuki on Day 2. He put in a 1:30.427 and did 61 laps, but teammate Alex Rins was just 0.076 off and did 47 laps. They plan to continue testing the engine at Jerez.
KTM stole a few headlines on Day 2. For their speed – Pol Espargaro’s (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) impressive showing and that of Red Bull KTM Tech 3’s Iker Lecuona – and they had the new kids on the block, Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Lecuona, taking some tips from the veterans. But there were also a few crashes, with each of the three racers all going down. Espargaro first, Lecuona later and Binder even later in the day. Espargaro’s crash, however, led to his fastest lap as he was then forced to switch bike to another new chassis – and found immediate positives. He was eighth and did 46 laps, Pedrosa 14th after 48 laps and Lecuona just 0.045 off the three-time World Champion by the end of play. Binder did 66 laps on Day 2.
The Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, meanwhile, was focused on gathering more information on what they tested on Day 1, one big thing of note being a new chassis. Some sensors were spotted on the rear of the Borgo Panigale machine too on Wednesday, and the ‘salad box’ was back. Danilo Petrucci, however, was not back. The Italian remained sidelined by his bothersome shoulder, although Michele Pirro was once again on track to put the laps in – 40 of them – and Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) was all action stations too. The Aussie explained he’d been doing back to back comparisons with the first version of the 2020 machines because the number 09 was ruled out. Miller was fastest Ducati in 10th, just ahead of Dovizioso. Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) was 12th, ahead of Pirro.
For Aprilia, it was another day of track action working with their 2019 machines. Aleix Espargaro was 16th after 43 laps, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini teammate Andrea Iannone in 19th. Espargaro crashed at the final corner, and Iannone ran on at Turn 1 with the RS-GP then catching alight – rider ok. Test rider Bradley Smith was also on track and did another 32 laps to add to the information-gathering tally.
That’s it from Valencia and the first test of 2020 – with Jerez up next as a two-day test takes place on Monday and Tuesday.
It was a Yamaha 1-2-3 on Day 1 of the Valencia Test at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, but one man was ahead of the rest: Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT). The Frenchman ended the day top of the pile after 82 laps, the fastest of which was two tenths off his pole: a 1:30.163. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was second and 0.164 off after 66 laps, with Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) completing the top three but a few more tenths in arrears.
At Yamaha, 2020 therefore began with a bang. Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP riders Viñales and Valentino Rossi – who was ninth – had a new chassis, engine and notably different air intake. Rossi’s new Crew Chief, David Muñoz, was on hand as well as the team enjoyed an addition of a slightly different sort. Petronas Yamaha SRT’s Quartararo and Morbidelli, meanwhile, tried the carbon swingarm, and Quartararo tried some aero new to him, but not to Yamaha.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) was fourth quickest and only 0.015 off Morbidelli after 58 laps, with the biggest headline from the Borgo Panigale factory proving a new chassis. Danilo Petrucci also stole some limelight for tougher reasons, with the Italian only putting in 10 laps due to pain in his shoulder exacerbated by his crash during the Grand Prix. Nevertheless, he was 12th overall. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) was tenth after an apt 43 laps, trying some new parts but the full package is expected by the Jerez test. Ducati test rider Michele Pirro was on the other side of the Pramac garage, with Francesco Bagnaia remaining sidelined following his crash during the GP weekend.
Honda, meanwhile, were fifth with reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). He put in 60 laps although one was cut short as the number 93 crashed, scattering a few parts through the gravel. The biggest news at Honda was a new chassis though, as well, of course, as the arrival of Alex Marquez. The number 73 was at LCR Honda and had an early crash later replicated by test rider Stefan Bradl at Turn 10, although Alex completed 53 laps by the end of the day. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) was 11th and did 69 laps working towards 2020.
Suzuki locked out sixth and seventh on Day 1 with Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) leading teammate Alex Rins. The former did 63 laps and the latter 76. The Hamamatsu factory had a new engine previously tested by test rider Sylvain Guintoli, and that’s what Alex Rins set his fastest lap with.
KTM were all hands on deck: a new chassis, different engine spec, a new steering damper and work focusing on electronics, fairing, winglets, seats kept them busy. The new chassis – still a tubular steel frame – is aimed at improved adaptability. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was tenth and did 58 laps. New teammate Brad Binder was also a big addition for the Austrian factory and he put in 70 laps as a new era in his career begins.
Red Bull KTM Tech 3 also had a new kid on the block, although he’s taken part in his first Grand Prix: Iker Lecuona. The Spaniard was impressive once again, despite a crash, and ended the day in 13th after 57 laps. Dani Pedrosa was on track for KTM too, putting in 52 laps and based in the Tech 3 garage as Miguel Oliveira remains absent through injury.
At Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, there was nothing new as yet, with work focused on improving electronics and engine braking. Andrea Iannone did 54 laps and was 14th, Aleix Espargaro did 45 laps and was 16th. Test rider Bradley Smith was also on track and caused a Red Flag with a crash, rider ok, but he did complete 50 laps for the Noale factory.
Team Federal Oil GresiniMoto2 and Sam Lowes part ways with a positive result in the last race at Valencia as the Briton was tenth at the chequered flag.
The race pace of the #22 would have allowed him to aim at much higher positions, but the reduces 16-lap race surely penalised Lowes, who was among the quickest this weekend with used tyres.
The talented English rider completed the season in 16th place with 66 points and two fifth places asbest result (Misano and Aragon).
10th – SAM LOWES #22
“I had a good weekend and honestly I was hoping to do well in the race.Unfortunately the feeling with the bike was not the same, I wasn’t comfortable on the bike already in the early laps but I still tried to do my best. I wanted to give a good result to Team Gresini as I care about them and I wish them the best for their future.”
Brad Binder finished an incredible Moto2 World Championship just three points shy of the title, the South African’s fourth victory from the last six races taking him close, but not close enough to the already-crowned Álex Márquez at Valencia. A crash for the Spaniard today was academic, as attention turned to the chase for the runner-up position, with Thomas Luthi conceding to Binder after finishing second behind him in the final race. Local rider Jorge Navarro completed the podium ahead of Stefano Manzi and Jorge Martín.
Jake Dixon completed his best Grand Prix of the season with a thirteenth-place finish at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit. The Inde Ángel Nieto Team rider finished twelfth in a crash-strewn race at the Dutch TT but in Cheste today he fought in the group for the 12+1 position in a race that was reduced to 15 laps. The British rider ends his rookie season with seven points and in 25th position in the championship. His team-mate Xavi Cardelús finished 30th in the final race of a learning season that has seen him compete against the best riders in the world and produce some excellent performances.
12+1 Jake Dixon:
“It was a nice way to end the season with the team. I gave it my best to get a good result today. Apart from Silverstone, I have done well at at every circuit I know – I was twelfth at Assen and thirteenth here today. I was able to fight in the group and the race was full distance I could even have made some more positions up . I want to thank Jorge Martínez “Aspar”, Gino Borsoi and everybody who has given me the opportunity to race in the World Championship, because if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have been able to show what I can do. This season we have grown a lot, we have overcome some tough moments and managed to finish the last few races well. It is a shame that our paths go different ways now but I would like to wish the team all the very best for next season.”
The post Jake Dixon finishes his best Grand Prix in position 12+1 in Valencia appeared first on MotoGP Brits.
The 2019 MotoGP season ended on a disappointing note for Cal Crutchlow as he failed to finish Sunday’s Valencia Grand Prix. The LCR Honda CASTROL rider slid out towards the midway stage at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo as he ended the season in ninth place in the riders’ championship.
Starting from ninth on the grid, Cal lost a place on the opening lap but had settled into a decent rhythm and fought his way past Valentino Rossi to reclaim ninth spot. However, at the start of lap ten, the Briton was late on to the brakes at the first corner and was unable to avoid crashing out.
Cal Crutchlow – DNF
“I feel ok. It was disappointing to crash here in the race in the last round in Valencia. Ironically, I felt quite good in the race, but I braked a bit late going into turn one and went into a dirty part of the track. I nearly saved the bike, but didn’t quite manage to and so now we’ll see what tomorrow brings. I’m looking forward to the test, I don’t know what the full testing schedule is yet, but we’ll be trying to improve the bike for next year”.
The post Disappointing DNF closes 2019 season for Cal Crutchlow in Valencia appeared first on MotoGP Brits.
PETRONAS Sprinta Racing Moto3 rider John McPhee had a disappointing end to his 2019 Moto3 World Championship campaign at today’s Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana, with John unable to finish the shortened 15-lap race after being involved in a multi-rider collision at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
John made a strong start after the restart and was able to immediately get stuck into the battle for the top ten as the race got underway again – until another rider highsided in front of him, leaving him with nowhere to go. Unable to rejoin, he was thankfully left unhurt in the four-bike tumble.
However, despite the fall, the World Championship standings see John end the season in fifth overall, and combined with teammate Sasaki’s 20th means the team finish the year fifth in the Team’s Championship as well as helping Honda take victory in the Constructors’ Championship.
The 2020 Moto3 World Championship season will get underway with the Qatar Grand Prix on March 8th 2020, with Khairul Idham Pawi joining John later this week at the Circuito Jerez for their first pre-season test.
“It’s an unfortunate way to end a strong season because the crash was out of my control. But I’m already trying to put it behind me because it wasn’t me that caused it, and there are plenty of strong points to focus on from the weekend. We can be happy to be fifth in the championship and to have achieved a lot this year. We’ve learned a lot that will help us start next season even stronger, and I need to say a massive thanks to the team for all their hard work this year and for helping me grow as a rider. My focus is already on 2020 and I’m excited to see what we can achieve in the new season.”
The post Disappointing end to solid 2019 for John McPhee in Valencia appeared first on MotoGP Brits.