L’Equipe: De Puniet to have sabbatical in 2014
Randy de Puniet will not participate full-time in next year’s MotoGP™ World Championship, according to French sports newspaper L’Equipe.
De Puniet is quoted as saying “I’ve decided to go in a new direction and to continue with the Suzuki development work which we started on this year.”
During the season which has just concluded De Puniet had already taken part in several tests on the Suzuki XRH1 which the Japanese factory aims to bring into MotoGP in 2015. The French rider is reported to be looking forward to testing the bike in races as a wild card.
CNN - Marquez: The new king of MotoGP's Spanish empire
Global media outlet CNN have recognized the unique achievements and talents of newly crowned rookie MotoGP™ World Champion Marc Marquez, singling him out for praise amongst the trio of Spaniards who clinched this year’s titles across the three categories.
Acknowledging the strength of Spain’s participants in the World Championship, with the Moto3™ crown taken by Maverick Viñales and the Moto2™ title clinched by compatriot Pol Espargaro, CNN underlined Spaniard Marquez’ profile as ‘a 20-year-old whose debut season in the elite division has delighted even the most jaded observers of this most daring of motorsports.”
Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna, is also quoted in the report, commenting of Marquez, "Immediately when he arrived in the top class he started coming to the MotoGP executive commission with the other riders, and immediately he wanted to hear and give his opinions; he's a great talent but also a great personality. Of course the personality is important, but just the personality is not enough - it needs to be the personality together with a great, great rider."
Reuters: Let’s not compare Marquez and Rossi says Spencer
Marca: HRC to try and lure Lorenzo for 2015
In an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca, HRC vice-president Shuhei Nakamoto indicated that Jorge Lorenzo could be a potential signing for their 2015 line-up.
"Marquez, Pedrosa and also Jorge Lorenzo all have a two-year contract so we'll speak with the three of them (ahead of the 2015 season)," declared Nakamoto.
Prompted on the role of Casey Stoner, who took part in the development of the RC213V and the RCV1000R "production racer" with various testing sessions this year, Nakamoto indicated that the role of the Australian still had to be decided.
The Star: Hafizh Syahrin green light for full 2014 Moto2™ season
Autosport.com - Moody previews MotoGP™ showdown
MCN: Cal Crutchlow excited ahead of Ducati debut
CNN preview Marquez and Lorenzo showdown
Sport Bikes: ‘Michael Jordan leaves AMA and considers MotoGP™’
After a decade in the United States’ AMA championship, Michael Jordan Motorsport, owned by the legendary basketball player of the same name, has elected to refocus its business model and this could involve a switch to the MotoGP™ World Championship.
In a statement published by Sport Bikes, the team’s Vice President for public relations, Kreig Robinson states, “We are evaluating the options of MotoGP™ and World Superbikes in order to see which option is best for a team structured like ours. We have built up and developed bikes using our own resources.
“In Superbikes the EVO class is now coming, while in MotoGP™ we have both the Moto2™ class as well as the new Open category (in the premier class). I cannot see us building a MotoGP™ prototype; it would be more advantageous for a team like ours to follow the model of another, such as LCR or Aspar. However, what is perfectly clear is that we want to start racing on an international level.”
Motorcycle News: ‘Honda Production Racer likely to use 23-litre fuel tank’
According to Motorcycle News, Honda is likely to fit a fuel tank of 23-litre capacity to its ‘Production Racer’, to be introduced into the MotoGP™ class in 2014. From the start of next year, Factory machines will be limited to running a maximum of 20 litres, whereas non-factories will be permitted to use a maximum of 24 litres.
“Our calculations say that for all races there will be no problem with 23 litres and they will not need to use a leaner mixture even with 23 litres,” Shuhei Nakamoto, Executive Vice President of HRC, is quoted as saying. “At 22 litres the production machine would have to use a leaner mixture, so 23 is enough. To run the production bike with 20 or 21 litres is impossible, but with 23 litres of fuel on the production machine the rider will be able to use full power; at fuel-critical circuits such as Motegi and Silverstone, the factory prototypes will have to use a leaner mixture, so the gap between them will be closer.”
This week, former title winner Casey Stoner has been testing the Production Racer - which uses conventional spring valve technology and a standard gearbox - at Motegi. One of the riders racing it in 2014 will be Briton Scott Redding, stepping up to Gresini from Moto2™.
Speedweek: 'Eugene Laverty in MotoGP™ with Ducati in 2015’
According to a report on German website Speedweek, Eugene Laverty - younger brother of Michael - is poised to sign a new contract with Ducati, but only if it includes the option to move to the MotoGP™ World Championship in 2015.
A 2014 contract with Laverty’s Aprilia Superbike factory team is reported to be out of question for the riders currently sitting second in World Superbikes, as Sylvain Guintoli and Marco Melandri are already confirmed. Although Power Electronics Aspar is believed to be interested in his services for MotoGP™, a contract has not yet been submitted.
However, it is stated that Ducati is highly interested in both Northern Irishman Laverty and Wales’ Chaz Davies, which could allow the former to ride with Ducati for one year in Superbikes so long as his deal contains a guaranteed to move to MotoGP™ for 2015.
Motorcycle News: ‘Josh Herrin to join Caterham Moto2™ team’
Josh Herrin will join Caterham as it enters a team into Moto2™ next year. That is according to Motorcycle News, which reports that the 23-year-old Californian ‘immediately confirmed he had clinched a deal to switch to Moto2™’ after wrapping up the AMA title at Laguna Seca last weekend.
Managed by Bob Moore who also represents Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith, Herrin is reportedly yet to name the team with which he will join Moto2™ but it is expected to be Tony Fernandes-run Caterham which is rumoured to be considering a Suter frame.
Gazzetta dello Sport: ‘Ducati ready for a radical change’
According to a report in the printed version of Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport, Ducati parent company Audi is preparing for a heavy investment in order to carry out a radical change of the Desmosedici GP14 MotoGP™ bike for next year.
Paulo Ciabatti, Ducati’s MotoGP Project Director, confirmed: “The ‘evolution not revolution’ strategy has not yielded the results we expected. Now it is time to take drastic steps and we assure you that some have already been taken! We have obligations to those who have supported us since our arrival in the championship. The new Ducati should break cover at the opening Sepang test in 2014.”
Zee News: ‘Bollywood star plans to invest in Moto2™ team’
Bollywood actor John Abraham is in talks to finalise a multi-million pound investment in a Moto2™ team, according to India’s Zee News.
The report reads that Abraham, who is a bike lover and has visited MotoGP™ in the past, is now involved in ‘advance talks’ to buy equity in a team; furthermore, this is believed to be one of the current outfits in the Moto2™ class.
BBC Sport: ‘Eugene Laverty aiming for MotoGP™’
Eugene Laverty, younger sibling of PBM rider Michael, is aiming to join his brother on the MotoGP™ grid from the start of next season. In Turkey last weekend, the 27-year-old pulled off an impressive performance to win both World Superbike races.
“I want to be in MotoGP™,” Laverty told BBC Sport. “It is where I feel my future lies, but I am not sure what Aprilia's plans are. I am in talks with them about a move into MotoGP™ - that is where I want to be going. However, things have been stalling in recent weeks and I have been getting a bit impatient with that because I feel I have been doing the business for them (in World Superbikes).
“I would like to be in MotoGP™ with Aprilia because I have been with them for two years now and I know the bike and the electronics well, which is important.”
Motorcycle News: ‘Spies ruled out for rest of 2013’
Ben Spies will not be returning to MotoGP™ during the 2013 season, according to a report by Motorcycle News. So far in his maiden campaign with Ignite Pramac Racing, the Texan has taken part in only the first two races.
Spies’ latest injury is a dislocated shoulder, sustained in practice for what was set to be his comeback race at Indianapolis in mid-August.
"It seems that he is not coming for the rest of this season and we are now looking for a replacement," Francesco Guidotti, Team Manager at Pramac Racing, is quoted as saying by Motorcycle News. "It seems Ben will not be ready. We are looking for someone for the rest of the season but not for next year. Our priority is to wait for Ben. When I speak with him or text him, his frustration over the situation is clear and he wants to come back."
Guidotti denies that Ducati will be terminating Spies’ contract: "We plan to race two bikes and I don’t think Ducati wants to break the contract with Ben. We are looking at a scenario in case he doesn't come back, but we have to do that. But we have not contacted any rider and we are waiting for Ben."
AS: ‘Caterham considers Moto2™ for 2014’
Caterham is considering an expansion from four wheels to two from next year, as the Spanish press reports that the Tony Fernandes-run company is eyeing up the Moto2™ World Championship.
Fernandes - the Malaysian entrepreneur who owns airline AirAsia as well as the Caterham F1 and GP2 teams - has already applied for a place on the 2014 Moto2™ grid with Suter bikes, according to a report by AS. Such an entrance would coincide with the inaugural season of the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup, which begins next year and will be based at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit.
Forbes: ‘Rossi the world’s highest-paid motorcycle racer’
Valentino Rossi is paid more than any other motorcycle racer in the world, according to Forbes which has released a list of motorsport’s highest-paid competitors.
The Yamaha Factory Racing rider is reported to receive total annual earnings of $22 million, made up of $12 million salary/winnings and a further $10 million in endorsements. The overall list is topped by Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who earns less in endorsements than Rossi (at $2 million) but the Formula 1 driver collects overall earnings of some $30 million per annum.
Autosport: ‘Rossi says he lacked Marquez’s self-belief’
Valentino Rossi claims self-belief is the main difference between his maiden 500 season in 2000 and Marc Marquez’s debut MotoGP™ campaign in 2013.
Riding for Honda in 2000, newcomer Rossi impressed by finishing overall runner-up to Kenny Roberts Jr. courtesy of two race victories and a further eight podium finishes. So far this year, Marquez has achieved five wins from 12 Grands Prix and missed the rostrum on only one occasion, when he crashed out at Mugello.
"What Marquez is doing this year is very impressive," Rossi is quoted as saying by Autosport. "For me, more than anything he has the mind. He started this year to win the championship.
"In 2000, when I was a rookie, I didn't do that; I thought it would be impossible in my first year. Maybe for that reason I didn't win, but Marquez arrived with the mindset to win in his first season. I have never seen a rookie like him."
Motorcycle News: ‘PBM reveals factory plans for 2015’
PBM owner Paul Bird has stated that he intends to run a factory-based effort alongside Yamaha or Ducati from the 2015 MotoGP™ season. At present, the British outfit is competing with two CRT bikes, one being an ART-Aprilia with Colombian Yonny Hernandez and the other the in-house PBM bike, also powered by an Aprilia engine and ridden by Northern Ireland’s Michael Laverty.
Regarding the future, Bird has ambitious plans. "We’re already looking at our long-term plans," he tells Motorcycle News. "We’ve prepared a four-year plan from 2015 onwards…the deal would be for full factory bikes, though. We’ve been talking to both Yamaha and Ducati and I’m happy that there’s something on the way. We’ll keep working at it and it’ll hopefully build momentum through 2014."