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From Moto2 to WorldSSP: stars switch to success…

From Moto2 to WorldSSP: stars switch to success…

17/01/2020, International, Motorcycling, Moto GP, Article # 29721410

The racing career of a professional motorcycle racer can often take different paths, but there’s been a pattern emerging over the last few seasons…

The 2020 FIM Supersport World Championship looks set to feature more international talent than ever before, with a great deal of talent coming from the Moto2™ World Championship. Big names will compete in what is one of the fiercest World Supersport Championship line-ups in recent memory, as well as the return of the most successful WorldSSP team. From the title-winning team in 2019 to established outfits looking to reclaim the title, 2020 is going to be a strong and competitive grid.

BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team have hired Andrea Locatelli for 2020, as the former Moto3™ podium finisher and Moto2™ top six contender makes his switch to World Supersport. The Italian is yet to know his teammate, but he will be joined in the Yamaha family by Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Racing). The South African is a former CEV Moto2™ European Champion and had Moto2™ experience across an array of chassis manufacturers.

Joining the aforementioned Locatelli and Odendaal on the grid from Moto2™ is Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), the former Moto3™ race winner making the switch from the MotoGP™ paddock to WorldSSP. Oettl will be eager to emulate the success of fellow former Moto2™ compatriot Sandro Cortese, from 2018, when the German became Champion.

There’s been plenty of success for former Moto2™ stars in WorldSSP, with Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing) winning WorldSSP races having been in Moto2™ for a season, back in 2013. Fellow British rider Gino Rea has also had much success in both paddocks before moving on to new things two seasons ago. Even the most successful WorldSSP rider of all time – Kenan Sofuoglu – experienced Moto2™ action in 2011 and achieved a podium.

Other riders on the current grid who have been in Moto2™ include Isaac Viñales, who ended the 2019 season with three consecutive podiums and became the first Spaniard in WorldSSP to do so since Joan Lascorz in 2010 at the Miller Motorsport Park, Misano and Brno. Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) also appeared in six Moto2™ races before making the switch to WorldSSP, whereas Jules Cluzel (GMT94 YAMAHA) became the first rider to win both a Moto2™ race and a WorldSSP race (Silverstone 2010 and Monza 2012, respectively).

However, only Sandro Cortese in 2018 was able to win the Championship having come from Moto2™ and in fact, nobody has come from the MotoGP™ paddock and won the WorldSSP title immediately besides Cortese. This will give the rookies from the Moto2™ class a target to aim at in order to etch their names in history.
WorldSBK in 2020: A truly international affair

WorldSBK in 2020: A truly international affair

17/01/2020, International, Motorcycling, Moto GP, Article # 29721411

Riders from eleven different countries have been confirmed for the new season

The 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is just weeks away, with one of the strongest grids in recent memory all but confirmed for the top class. Last season four different countries achieved at least one race win, more than any year since 2014; yet it’s also a number that could be surpassed this season, with several countries aiming for the championship title itself. Leaving manufacturer allegiances aside, here is what fans around the world can expect in 2020.

In WorldSBK, the best represented country is once again the UK with seven riders, one more than in 2019. Four of the five factory teams will field UK riders in 2020: Kawasaki (Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes), Ducati (Chaz Davies and Scott Redding), BMW (Tom Sykes) and Honda (Leon Haslam); Leon Camier will be the sole British independent rider, after joining BARNI Racing. Funnily enough, Yamaha, whose works team is run by the UK-based Crescent Racing, will not feature any British riders across any of their five motorcycles (factory or independent).

Not straying too far, Ireland will remain a feature on the grid thanks to Eugene Laverty, now a member of the BMW Motorrad squad.
Italy remains the second country with the most riders on the grid: Marco Melandri and Alessandro Delbianco are replaced by Federico Caricasulo and Lorenzo Savadori, with Michael Ruben Rinaldi keeping his place in the championship.

But this year Spain will match them for that second spot, recovering the rider they lost in 2019. Xavi Fores returns to the championship and with that brings Spain’s tally up to three, completing an impressive trio alongside Álvaro Bautista and Jordi Torres.

The rest of countries that will feature on the grid have confirmed a single rider for 2020 at the time of writing. This includes well established names in the series, such as Michael van der Mark, Toprak Razgatlioglu, Loris Baz and (from the Spanish Round onwards) ‘Tati’ Mercado. Japan also remains on the grid, with Ryuichi Kiyonari handing over the reins to Takumi Takahashi.

Most exciting however is the addition of two nations to the 2020 line-up. The absence of U.S. riders from the permanent grid has been remedied this year with the arrival of the 24-year-old Garrett Gerloff to the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team. Maximilian Scheib, meanwhile, will become Chile’s first permanent representative in WorldSBK, after making a brief appearance in the series at the tail-end of 2018.

No German riders have been announced at the time of publication, an absence which is somewhat corrected by a strong presence in the World Supersport class (not to mention the return of Oschersleben to the calendar). Riders from 16 different countries have been announced for the middleweight grid, including South Africa, Indonesia and Sweden. WorldSSP300 will similarly be expected to feature a wide variety of nations, with every continent represented on last year’s permanent entry list.
Pramac Gas Standby Generators Long ADV Campaign ENG

Pramac Gas Standby Generators Long ADV Campaign ENG

15/01/2020, International, Motorcycling, Moto GP, Article # 29717856

Pramac Gas Standby Generator ft. Mick Doohan ESP

Pramac Gas Standby Generator ft. Mick Doohan ESP

20/12/2019, International, Motorcycling, Moto GP, Article # 29680329

Pramac Gas Standby Generator ft. Mick Doohan FRA

Pramac Gas Standby Generator ft. Mick Doohan FRA

20/12/2019, International, Motorcycling, Moto GP, Article # 29680330

Pramac Gas Standby Generator ft. Mick Doohan ENG

Pramac Gas Standby Generator ft. Mick Doohan ENG

20/12/2019, International, Motorcycling, Moto GP, Article # 29680331

British Talent Cup awards package announced for 2020

British Talent Cup awards package announced for 2020

16/12/2019, International, Motorcycling, Moto GP, Article # 29673377

Different prizes to be awarded in the 2020 season have been revealed

The British Talent Cup is set for a bigger season than ever next year, with the Cup expanding and the format changing. Some of the awards on offer have just been announced, with riders racing for the chance to win more than just points.

Per race, there is a prize fund covering first position to tenth and Dunlop are also offering the prize of front and/or rear tyres for those who finish on the podium. There is also a prize fund for the top three riders overall at the end of the season.

In addition, Dorna will choose a rider from the British Isles to compete in the 2021 FIM Moto3™ Junior World Championship on the Road to MotoGP™.

Two riders will also be chosen by Dorna to take part in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Selection Event for 2021.
Game on: Dovi vs Marquez lights the fuse at Losail

Game on: Dovi vs Marquez lights the fuse at Losail

19/03/2018, International, Motorcycling, Moto GP, Article # 26127316

 Grand Prix of Qatar

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Game on: Dovi vs Marquez lights the fuse at Losail

Dovizioso 3, Marquez 0
The final corner - how many bikes do you see?
Marquez always, "I tried!"
The 'Doctor' pulled out another Sunday miracle from the third row
Crutchlow took top Independent Team rider
The podium after the incredible season opener
How close do you like it? Another last lap showdown sparks the Championship into gear
Opening the season with a sensational last lap performance, Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) beat Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) to the line at the Losail International Circuit by just 0.027s, lighting the fuse on 2018 from the very first race. And the 'Doctor' Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) completed the podium, putting in another Sunday stunner from Row 3 of the grid.

Frenchman Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) shot off pole position to take the lead into the first corner but there was nothing to split the top ten riders in the opening laps, and it looked as if any one of them could fight for the victory throughout the 22-lap thriller. With fastest laps flying in on each lap, Zarco was still able to keep hold of the lead.

With big battles taking place behind him, the French rider kept calm at the front whilst Rossi made his way through the field to get into podium fighting positions by the third lap, hunting down his fellow Yamaha in the lead. Marquez was never far away from the fight, sitting in the top five as soon as the lights went out. As ten laps had been completed riders were getting into a rhythm, but you could sense action was on the horizon.

Silent assassin Dovizioso moved up to third position on lap 11 as he spent the start of the race working through the field, passing his countryman Rossi who slipped back to the riders fighting for fifth. A clear battled had now developed for the podium, with Dovizioso and Marquez closing in on Zarco and they were able to make their move on the 18th lap, with Zarco losing two positions into the opening corner - as Dovizisoso took the lead.

Dovizioso and Marquez then began to break away, pushing themselves to the final corner of the final lap – taking no prisoners. Reigning world champion Marquez made his move through turn 15 but he was unable to make it stick, and Dovizoso led into the final corner meaning he was able to slingshot his Desmosedici over the line, 0.027s ahead. Another last lap showdown, and another Dovizioso victory in style.

Behind the duo, Rossi fought off his rivals to secure a safe third position ahead of top independent rider Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol), whilst Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) made some strong moves on the closing laps to complete the top five.

Comeback king Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) crossed the line in sixth after being down in 14th on the opening lap, just ahead of Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team), who made his 200th start in the premier class. Early race leader Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) crossing the line in eighth after struggling more in the latter stages, with Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) completing the top ten.

Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) opened the season in 11th, ahead of top rookie Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) who crossed the line in the top 12, as Alvaro Bautista (Angel Nieto Team) salvaged three points from a tough weekend in 13th. Making his MotoGP™ debut, Malaysian Hafizh Syahrin (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) took a top 14 finish and his first points, ahead of Karel Abraham (Angel Nieto Team) who takes home the final point from Qatar in 15th.

It was a bad start to the season for Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), who crashed out of the top six fight on the 13th lap at turn two, whilst Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) had a start to 2018 to forget and the Spaniard crashed out on the same lap – finding his brakes unresponsive at turn 16.

The paddock will now pack up and head to Argentina from 6th – 8th April for the second round of what is set to be a phenomenal MotoGP™ season - and the fuse is already lit.

MotoGP™ Race Results
1 - Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) DUCATI 42'34.654
2 - Marc Márquez (SPA) HONDA +0.027
3 - Valentino Rossi (ITA) YAMAHA+ 0.797
First Independent Team Rider
P4 - Cal Crutchlow (GBR) HONDA +2.881

 Bagnaia storms to debut win in final lap Moto2™ thriller

It was an ice cool maiden win for Bagnaia in Qatar
Moto2 podium
All-Italian battle to the flag as day becomes night in Qatar

Francesco Bagnaia (SKY Racing Team VR46) took a sensational maiden victory in the Grand Prix of Qatar, beating his compatriot Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP40) to the line as the victory was decided on the final lap under the floodlights. The 2017 rookie of the year secured his team’s debut victory in the class and began his season in the best possible way, as Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) rounded out the podium despite some brake issues.

Getting a strong start off the line as the lights went out, Bagnaia took the lead into the first corner as pole position man Marquez had a slight moment with Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) in the run up to the opening corner. But it was the Italians making a break in the opening lap, with Bagnaia and Baldassarri leading the way ahead of Marquez, who quickly recovered from the wobble.

It looked like Bagnaia would be able to escape but the two bikes behind then began to close - before Marquez fell into problems as he was close to overtaking the Pons HP40 bike for second, running off track through turn one as his rear brake disc glowed red hot under the night sky. Although then out of the fight for the win, the 2014 lightweight class Champion held onto the final podium spot, holding off Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team), who took fourth.

The duel for the win began to really light up on the final laps, and the last lap set up a classic showdown. Baldassarri made his move into the penultimate corner and briefly took the lead, but Bagnaia stole it straight back - and was able to hold his advantage on the long run to the line.

Completing the top five behind the podium trio and Pasini, Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) just beat teammate Brad Binder after a more difficult opening race for KTM, with Marcel Schrotter beating his teammate Xavi Vierge (Dynavolt Intact GP) by just 0.097 over the line as the Dynavolt Intact GP machines came home seventh and eighth. Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) won his battle for ninth, ahead of Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) who rounded out the top ten.

Next up was best rookie Joan Mir (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), who took eleventh for a solid debut as he comes back from an injury late in preseason.

Now the paddock moves west to the Americas, with Argentina first on the agenda.

Moto2™ Race Results
1 - Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) KALEX + 40'19.802
2 - Lorenzo Baldassarri (ITA) KALEX +0.112
3 - Álex Márquez (SPA) KALEX +5.625

Martin wins Spanish desert duel in opening Moto3™ race

Martin made an early mark on the 2018 title fight
Moto3 Podium
Del Conca Gresini rider holds off Canet to begin the year as he ended the last

Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) waited a while to take his maiden win in the final race of 2017, but the Spaniard made it two in a row as he held off compatriot and expected title challenger Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) in a tense desert duel to take the first win of the year. Behind the lead duo who escaped in the lead, Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) took his first ever podium as he beat off a group battling for the rostrum.

Although Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) started from pole position for the fifth time of his career and took the holeshot, it was Martin who got an early lead - pulling a gap of over half a second in the opening four laps. He wasn’t to be left alone for long, however, as the duo of Canet and Italian Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing) soon caught the Spanish rider at the front.

But the three-way battle for the victory soon became a duel as Bastianini witnessed opening round heartbreak; crashing out of second position on the sixth lap and leaving Martin and Canet at the head of the field.

Martin seemed to take control of the race and secure the lead for the majority of the 18 laps, but Canet certainly hadn’t given up as he stayed on his tail until the closing laps. Coming down to the wire, Martin led over the line for the penultimate lap and began to open up a slight gap over his fellow Honda rider through the first sector. Ultimately Martin held his advantage, sealing the victory by just 0.023 ahead of Canet to take the first honours of 2018 after a drag to the line.

Third position and the final spot on the podium was a sensational battle, as five riders became nine and they began the battle under the sunny skies of Qatar in a bid to take the final trophy, swapping paint on each lap. Dalla Porta, Antonelli, Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Skull Rider), Fabio di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3), Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia), Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing), John Mcphee (CIP – Green Power) and Marco Bezzecchi (PruestlGP) were locked in the fight, but McPhee fell victim to some late bad luck as he crashed out on the final lap.

As the group thundered towards the line, Dalla Porta took it by thousandths - with pole man Antonelli in fourth, ahead of Argentinean Rodrigo in fifth. And it was a stunning display from Di Giannantonio as he pushed though from 16th position on the grid to take a top six finish.

Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) took a best ever result after an equally best-ever Saturday, just ahead of an equally stunning race for Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing). Jakub Kornfeil (PruestlGP) took ninth and Andrea Migno (Angel Nieto Team Moto3) rounded out the top ten, with Adam Norrodin (Petronas Sprinta Racing) taking P11 ahead of Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai), who was top rookie. Reigning Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Champion Kazuki Masaki (RBA BOE Skull Rider) took P13, with Bezzecchi rejoining the race following a final lap crash to take 14th. Spanish rider Marcos Ramirez (Bester Capital Dubai) was the final points scorer in the first Moto3™ race of the season.

Next stop Termas de Rio Honda, with the Argentina GP on the horizon.
Moto3™ Race Results
1 - Jorge Martín (SPA) HONDA + 38'18.207
2 - Aron Canet (SPA) HONDA+ 0.023
3 - Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA) HONDA  +6.746
Ready for war: Zarco smashes the pole record in Qatar

Ready for war: Zarco smashes the pole record in Qatar

18/03/2018, International, Motorcycling, Moto GP, Article # 26114982

 Grand Prix of Qatar

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Ready for war: Zarco smashes the pole record in Qatar

Lorenzo's 2008 pole record fell to flying Frenchman Johann Zarco's 2018 stunner
Reigning Champion Marquez is second - but says Dovizioso has the best pace for the race...
Petrucci on the front row: all those who have great race pace, raise your hands
MotoGP Front Row
Let battle commence: a grid of gladiators ready for another season of record-breaking racing
Front row shines under the lap record at a floodlit Losail

A lot has changed in the ten years since Jorge Lorenzo set the world alight on his premier class debut, but the Qatar pole lap record hadn't. Set by the Majorcan in 2008, the Losail laptime remained steadfast in the record books for a decade and was the oldest of its kind until Saturday of the 2018 Qatar GP and a scorcher from Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3). The Frenchman, now heading into his second season, marked his return to the venue at which he first led a premier class race in serious style - uncatchable ahead of Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) to set a 1:53.680. So the reigning Champion starts his title defence from two tenths behind in second, and top Ducati Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) completes the front row and the trio of those who broke the record.

With strong winds throughout the day and the track temperature cooling as night fell for qualifying, the session revealed another piece in the puzzle of the first race of the year. Behind the top three, Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) was next up heading the second row to make it 75% Independent Team riders in the top four, with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) - the man on provisional pole after the first run - taking the middle of Row 2. But Marquez says the 2017 Championship runner up has the best race pace - something that will be revealed on Sunday.

Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), meanwhile, kept his great pace at Losail rolling for his best ever qualifying position to lock out the second row, after Suzuki mounted the biggest challenge to Ducati on Friday.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) heads up an all-star Row 3 with some serious potential for fireworks, with 17 World Championships crammed into three grid places as the Spaniard heads Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi and Ducati Team's Jorge Lorenzo. Lorenzo, who suffered some technical trouble in FP4, says he is out of position - and Rossi says the battle at the front could be more than ten riders. And Lorenzo, as well as being the previous pole record holder, is also the most successful rider at Losail across all classes - but Rossi beats him in the premier class with four to Lorenzo's three wins.

Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) completed the top ten after moving through Q1, with Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) two tenths back in P11 to make it more than ten riders within a second of pole. Meanwhile,  2017 polesitter and winner Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) lines up in P12 - but also showed incredible consistency on a long run in FP4...

Valentino Rossi expects to fight it out for the #QatarGP with more than ten riders and Losail always serves up a desert storm. Don't miss the 2018 season opener, with the lights going out at 19:00 local time (GMT +3) as the battle well and truly commences.
MotoGP™ Qualifying Results
First Independent Team Rider
1 - Johann Zarco (FRA) YAMAHA  1'53.680
2- Marc Márquez (SPA) HONDA +0.202
3 - Danilo Petrucci (ITA) DUCATI + 0.207

Alex Marquez storms to pole in the desert

Alex Marquez remains in charge in Qatar
Moto2 Front Row
The Spaniard was unbeatable in the first qualifying session of 2018; looking strong for Sunday

It’s been a faultless weekend so far for Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) at the Qatar GP and that continued in qualifying, with the Spaniard setting an unbeatable time that took him to the top of the order midway through the session to stake an early claim on the first win of the year. He will be joined on the front row by a resurgent Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP40), with his countryman Francesco Bagnaia (SKY Racing Team VR46) completing the front row - just over half-a-second adrift of pole.

Qualifying for the intermediate class was a drama-filled affair as ever, as the floodlights came on and the temperature dropped, creating perfect conditions in the battle for the top spot on the grid.

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Miguel Oliveira is in good shape at a circuit where he battled for the podium last year and lines up heading the second row. He’s joined by rookie sensation Romano Fenati (Marinelli Snipers Team) who has shown incredible form on his first weekend, with returning 2015 lightweight class Champion Danny Kent (Beta Tools – Speed Up Racing) taking sixth and equally impressing.

Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) and Sam Lowes (Swiss Innovative Investors) complete the top ten, despite a crash for the Brit during qualifying – rider ok.

We’re ready to go racing on Sunday in Moto2™ and with 12 riders within a second of each other, it’s set to be very close. Watch the title contenders and key players kick off their campaigns on Sunday from 17:20 local time (GMT +3).

Moto2™ Qualifying Results
1 - Álex Márquez (SPA) KALEX 2'00.299
2 - Lorenzo Baldassarri (ITA) KALEX +0.308
3 -  Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) KALEX + 0.236

Antonelli snatches pole in #QatarGP qualifying

Antonelli showed more fantastic form at a venue where he's won before
Moto3 Front Row
SIC58 Squadra Corse rider takes his first pole in two years to head the grid in Losail

2016 Qatar GP winner Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) has taken pole for the first race of the 2018 season, setting a 2:06.364 after the chequered flag to take his first pole in two years to mark the first time ever that Paolo Simoncelli’s team will head the grid in Moto3™. But just 0.001 adrift of Antonelli was 2017 qualifying superstar Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) – who took pole for half of the races last year – with Argentine Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Skull Rider), completing the front row of the grid.

2017 Rookie of the Year Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) kicked off his season in style by heading the second row, with Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) putting in a stunner to make it two Japanese riders inside the top five. Marco Bezzechi (Redox PruestelGP) is looking very at home on his KTM too, lining up on the outside of the second row.

Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing) and the Leopard Racing duo of Lorenzo Dalla Porta and Enea Bastianini complete the top ten.

Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) is the top rookie and lines up 13th, whilst all eyes were on the other Spanish newcomer Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) after he suffered the only crash midway through the session at Turn 9 – rider OK.

The stage is set for the opening Moto3™ race of the season on Sunday and it kicks off at 16.00 local time (GMT+3).
Moto3™ Qualifying Results
1 - Niccolò Antonelli (ITA) HONDA 2'06.364
2 - Jorge Martín (SPA) HONDA + 0.001
3 - Gabriel Rodrigo (ARG) KTM + 0.484