Gazzetta dello Sport: Stoner wildcard in Japan and Australia
According to a report in the print edition of Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport today, Casey Stoner could make his return to MotoGP™ already this season as a wildcard in the Motegi (20 October) and Phillip Island (October 27th) races. The Australian, now starring in the Dunlop V8 Series, would of course return riding a Honda. Livio Suppo, Repsol Honda Team Principal, said: "It would be very nice, but at the moment not to my knowledge. Obviously if Casey wanted to, there would be no problem.”
Roadracingworld.com: US CRT wildcards test in Austin
American website Roadracingworld.com has reported that the two CRT wildcard teams for the MotoGP™ races in the USA, Attack Performance Racing and GPTech, carried out a test at the Circuit of The Americas track on the 12th February. It outlines some of the technical advancements the teams have made in terms of their CRT projects that raced in last year’s season, and highlights the importance the test also had for Bridgestone, who had its first taster of the COTA circuit ahead of the race in April. APR was fielding Blake Young, who has been confirmed as racing for the team, whilst GPTech had Michael Barnes and Ty Howard, with neither yet confirmed for the seat this year.
MCN - Lin Jarvis: "Rossi is still there"
Reviewing the Yamaha Factory Racing riders performance at the first Sepang pre-season test, team boss Lin Jarvis said to MCN there was no doubt about Valentino Rossi's competitiveness for 2013: "I can imagine from his side that is must have been an a breath of fresh air after two difficult years where he has been struggling. Obviously if you are struggling you have self-doubt (...) There is no doubt that he never really clicked with that motorcycle (Ducati) but after two years do you still have it or not? The competition has moved on from then but to see him back at the top very quickly confirmed that he is still there."
BBC: Smith out to emulate Bradl in 2013
British news broadcaster BBC has reported that Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s MotoGP™ rookie Bradley Smith looks to emulate the achievements of last year’s Rookie of the Year Stefan Bradl. LCR Honda MotoGP’s Bradl, who scored four top-five finishes in his maiden season last year, and was consistently in the fight for fifth to seventh place, is an example for Smith as he commences his first season in the premier-class.
Fox Sports: Rossi already on podium pace
Reporting on the first Sepang Official MotoGP™ test, Fox Sports quotes Rossi talking about his podium pace: "I can start the championship with the target to fight Lorenzo and Pedrosa" said Rossi, before adding that he was inspired "one thousands times more than in the last two years (...) Before, you know, you can only fight for the maximum sixth place."
BBC Sport - Crutchlow: Training with Mark Cavendish is tough but fun
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Cal Crutchlow spoke with BBC Sport about his winter training and cycling on the Isle of Man with professional British sprinter Mark Cavendish.
"In the winter I basically turn into a professional cyclist," Crutchlow told BBC Sport. "I live on the Isle of Man when I'm not travelling around the world racing, and that is where Mark is from. It's only a small island and you soon get to know everyone. We met a few times out on our bikes and now, whenever me and Mark are both in the Isle of Man we train together a lot. I try and go and see him race when he's in Europe and he comes to watch a few MotoGP rounds if he can."
South Wales Argus: MotoGP boss backs Ebbw Vale's Circuit of Wales
Welsh news publication South Wales Argus has reported that Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta has visited Wales to discuss the potential inclusion of the planned Circuit of Wales in Ebbw Vale in future seasons of MotoGP. The project is still in its early phases with a planning application still pending, yet Ezpeleta has already given his approval to the track which would be a purpose-built circuit with hotels, indoor dirt-track, academy, and all other facets of modern-day racing.
Motorcyclenews.com: Dorna right to deny Suzuki new entry in 2014
British biking publication Motorcyclenews.com has published an article about Suzuki’s proposed entry to MotoGP, citing an interview with Tech 3 team boss Hervé Poncharal who states that Dorna is right to deny Suzuki a factory entry. The article explained Dorna’s reasons behind the potential block for a full factory entry, and the requirement to use one of the existing teams such as Aspar or LCR to bring its bike back into the fold, to add not only value to independent teams, but also bring stability to the championship.
Bloomberg: Spies discusses Ducati future on US-wide Bloomberg Rewind
Pramac Ducati’s newest addition Ben Spies has appeared on major US news network Bloomberg’s Rewind show, giving the American viewing public an idea of what it is like to race a MotoGP machine around a track. He also spoke extensively about his Ducati switch, the high horsepower factor, and whom he perceives as his main rivals for 2013.
Speedweek.de: Pol Espargaró earmarked for Yamaha in 2014
German publication Speedweek.de has reported that Yamaha is allegedly scouting Moto2 rider Pol Espargaró for a MotoGP ride in 2014. It states that the Japanese factory is keen to get a pre-contract signed with the Spaniard, who could take the Tech 3 seat of Cal Crutchlow, who may leave for factory rides at either Ducati or Suzuki if they become available. With Honda putting its faith into Marc Márquez and Stefan Bradl, Yamaha also looks like the only viable option for Espargaró. Speedweek.de however states that any potential deal is still in the negotiation phase and that nothing is confirmed.
Agostini on Ansa.it: "World championship difficult for Rossi"
Italian site Ansa.it reported that MotoGP Legend Giacomo Agostini spoke out on "rival" Valentino Rossi’s chances this upcoming season... "I am convinced that Valentino Rossi is not finished, but I think it will be difficult for him to win the next championship." This is the 15 times World Champion’s summary of the upcoming 2013. "In those days I did a double shift, but it’s completely different these days.” Rossi turns 34 years in February, of which Agostini said: “The age factor counts and applies to everyone, otherwise I'd still be in the saddle.”
Gazzetta dello Sport: Cecchinelli "introduces" control ECU
In an interview with the popular Italian "pink publication", Gazzetta dello Sport, MotoGP Director of Technology, Corrado Cecchinelli, spoke about the single ECU and its gradual integration into the MotoGP World Championship. According to a report in the journal, Cecchinelli has confirmed that the Magneti Marelli system will be used by "the BMW Ioda, the Avintia, the Forward Kawasaki and Paul Bird ART" bikes from 2013. The Italian added: "This unit, the cost of which is around 50-100 thousand Euros, is already better than what Ducati and Yamaha have, and in 2014 and there will be a derivative of this version."
Cycleworld.com: Spies speaks out about leaving Yamaha
On American motorcycle website cycleworld.com, Ben Spies has spoken out about his split with Yamaha, the circumstances that led to his controversial announcement of the situation, and what made him sign for Ducati. In the interview he talks frankly about his difficult relationship with the Japanese factory, as well as the comparison and difference in riding styles to Jorge Lorenzo, which he believes will benefit him on the Ducati.
Speedweek.de: Vermeulen linked with Ioda in MotoGP
German magazine www.speedweek.de has stated that Australian ex-MotoGP rider Chris Vermeulen has been linked to the last vacant seat on the 2013 grid in the form of Came IodaRacing Project’s CRT Suter-BMW machine. The out-of-contract rider is looking for a step back into racing, and after his ride on the then NGM branded machine in Le Mans earlier this year, has been linked with a return to racing with the Italian outfit.
Motorcycle News: Edwards in talks about Yamaha 2014 engine deal
According to British publication Motorcyclenews.com, NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards has held tentative talks with senior Yamaha management about his Forward Racing squad leasing a YZR-M1 engine and electronics package for the 2014 MotoGP world championship. Yamaha will lease as many as four YZR-M1 motor packages for 2014, as the factories commit more entries to end MotoGP being a two-tier class with factory prototypes and production-based CRT machinery. Edward’s current line of though is meant to be to stick with the FTR chassis he tested in Valencia earlier this month.
Viñales to race with KTM Laglisse in 2013
Spanish newspaper Marca reports that Maverick Viñales has penned a deal with the KTM Laglisse team for the 2013 season. The Spanish rider is poised to make his debut on KTM machinery on Tuesday at Almeria and will be paired in 2013 with female rider Ana Carrasco, who has just complete the Spanish Championship with Laglisse.
MCN: Randy de Puniet close to Suzuki MotoGP test deal
Suzuki looks likely to place its faith in the experience of Randy de Puniet to spearhead its return to MotoGP in 2014, as reported in MCN.
The Frenchman is in negotiations to head development of Suzuki’s new 1000cc project, which will be extensively tested in Europe next year.
The current Aspar Aprilia ART rider is close to clinching a deal that he hopes will give him a chance of leading Suzuki’s factory effort in 2014, despite rumours already rife that the Japanese factory will target Ben Spies and Cal Crutchlow.
He confirmed he has the full blessing of Aspar boss Jorge Martinez to accept the Suzuki deal.
He told MCN: “We just need to wait and see what is the Suzuki plan and to understand where and when the tests will be. But this could be a very good opportunity for me to be back on a prototype bike and to develop a factory machine. I really hope this will happen.”
Sydney Morning Herald: Switch to V8 Supercars is likely for Stoner
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, "life after MotoGP for Casey Stoner will involve driving a V8 Supercar. It's just a question of when." The article mentions that the two-time MotoGP World Champion could make a V8 racing debut as soon as February on the undercard of Adelaide's Clipsal 500.
SpeedTV: Preziosi Out At Ducati?
According to the Speed TV website, rumors suggest that Ducati Cose General Manager and Technical Director Filippo Preziosi is destined to be replaced. "Preziosi appears set to carry the can for two winless seasons despite the high-profile presence of seven-time world champion Valentino Rossi" according to Speed TV.
Sky News: Stoner seeks victory in last hurrah
Retiring dual MotoGP champion Casey Stoner is determined to bow out on a high at this weekend's Valencia Grand Prix Sky News Australia reports, quoting the Repsol Honda rider: "I hope we can be competitive there and with the track going left it should suit our bike and me a little better at this point. It's not going to be easy but it would be nice to get another good result in my final race in MotoGP."