Speedweek: Davies to get Ducati test rides
According to German publication Speedweek, Welshman Chaz Davies, who has a two-year WSBK contract with Ducati, will also be granted a number of test rides on the Italian factory’s Grand Prix racer.
Davies, who was in the GP paddock from 2002 until 2006, allegedly commented that while a return would be a dream of his, it would have to be under the right circumstances. And to aid this process he ensured that his contract has a number of test rides included. Though when and where these will take place is apparently not yet decided.
MCN: 'Yamaha quash Ducati-Lorenzo link'
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Managing Director Lin Jarvis has strongly denied the media rumours linking double MotoGP™ world title winner Jorge Lorenzo with a move to Ducati for 2015.
Spanish radio station Onda Cero had reported this week that the shock Ducati-Lorenzo move could go ahead, but speaking to Motor Cycle News Jarvis stated:
"I don’t think Jorge sign any deal with Ducati. Will Ducati make him a proposal? Maybe. But right now there is no truth of this rumour and hopefully Jorge will stay with us in the future."
Speedweek: 'KTM open to 2016 Moto2™ entry'
Pit Beirer, KTM’s Head of Motorsport, has spoken to German publication Speedweek, saying that the brand is considering entering the Moto2™ class from 2016 on, should the regulations be opened up and multiple engine manufacturers allowed. It is alleged that the brand would like to enter a 500cc two cylinder, thereby matching the 250cc cylinder capacity of the Moto3™ and MotoGP™ classes. This, according to Beirer, would however not be set in stone, and a 600cc four-cylinder entry could also be a possibility – as long as there is room for manufacturer competition.
Weighing in to the Moto2™ regulations discussion is Eskil Suter or Suter Racing, who told Speedweek that a 750cc three-cylinder engine could compete in the Moto2™ series as well against the current 600cc (with matching power characteristics), thereby opening the door to further manufacturers. Regulations will be set early this year, as any significant changes in regulations will require a development period of two years for any current or aspiring manufacturers.
Onda Cero: ‘Lorenzo to Ducati for 2015’
Two-time MotoGP™ World Champion Jorge Lorenzo could leave Yamaha for Ducati from the start of the 2015 season, reports Spain’s Onda Cero.
As reported by the radio station, the Mallorcan rider - who had ridden for Yamaha Factory Racing since his debut premier class season in 2008 - has already given Ducati a ‘yes’ with regards to a preliminary agreement for 2015 onwards, with an alleged offer of 15 million euros per season.
Since arriving in the premier class, Lorenzo has claimed two world titles for Yamaha in 2010 and 2012, respectively. To date, he has celebrated 31 MotoGP™ race wins.
This news was quickly denied by Ducati Motor Holding CEO Claudio Domenicali, who joked with La Stampa: "Really? Then we should also sign Marquez and can save us the development of the bike."
BSN: ‘Ducati denies switch to Open bikes’
Ducati has rebuffed speculation that it could be running its Ducati Team bikes under Open regulations from the start of the 2014 MotoGP™ season.
Such a move would allow the Italian outfit to benefit from a maximum 24 litres of fuel across a race distance (as opposed to 20 for machines running under Factory regulations), as well as avoiding the new engine freeze and being able to run up to 12 powerplants per rider per season, as opposed to five.
“Ducati thinks that it is important to explore the potential of the new Open regulations, also because this should be the future technical direction of the MotoGP™ Championship, and for this reason has decided this year to enter one GP13 bike with Yonny Hernandez for Pramac Racing Team under these rules,” Ducati spokesman Julian Thomas explains to Bike Sport News.
“Currently there are no further plans regarding the Open option and all the other Ducati GP riders will conduct back-to-back tests comparing the GP13 and GP14 Factory bikes in the first Sepang test from the 4th to the 6th of February.”
MCN: ‘Pol Espargaro says Marquez not target’
Pol Espargaro insists that former Moto2™ rival Marc Marquez will not be his target this year, as the pair prepare to reunite on-track as the former joins the new MotoGP™ World Champion on the premier class starting grid.
In 2012, the duo went head-to-head for the Moto2™ crown in a season which included an infamous clash between the pair at the Catalan Grand Prix. A year later, Marquez went on to historically pick up the MotoGP™ title on his first attempt with Repsol Honda Team while Espargaro did the honours in the intermediate tier of the World Championship, racing for the Tuenti HP 40 outfit.
“My target is to be as close as possible to the first Yamaha,” Espargaro, who now joins Monster Yamaha Tech3 in MotoGP™, tells Motorcycle News. “Firstly I have to be as fast as Bradley (Smith, team-mate) and after that we will see what happens. But the reality is to be close to Bradley.
“I fought with Marc a lot in the past but Jorge (Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing) is much better than me and he was not faster than Marc in some races last year.”
MCN: ‘Redding didn’t expect Marquez title win’
In previous seasons, Scott Redding had shared the race track with Marc Marquez. However, in 2013, the Englishman was certainly not expecting the Spaniard to clinch the MotoGP™ premier class world title on his first attempt.
“I expected him to win races but I didn’t expect him to win the championship,” Redding, who finished runner-up to Pol Espargaro in Moto2™ as Marquez became the youngest ever premier class title winner, told Motorcycle News. “Winning the championship came from the confidence he got from winning races…I don’t think he expected to win the championship but he got confidence and got more into it, then he saw what was achievable so his confidence just kept building more and more and he got stronger and stronger.”
As Marquez moves into a second campaign with Repsol Honda Team in 2014, Redding will join him in the MotoGP™ tier on-board an Open specification GO&FUN Honda Gresini machine.
inSella: ‘Rossi and Alonso to be Le Mans team-mates?’
Former MotoGP™ World Champion Valentino Rossi could partner F1 counterpart Fernando Alonso as team-mate in the Le Mans 24 Hour car races of 2015 and 2016.
According to Italy’s inSella, Rossi (MotoGP™ World Champion of 2001-05 and 2008-09) and Alonso (F1 title winner of 2005-06) could be joining forces for the world-famous event, with the possible partnership having already received support - via Twitter - from Mark Webber, who next year will be switching from F1 to the world of sportscar racing.
MCN: ‘Redding relishing battle with Hayden’
Moto2™ championship runner-up Scott Redding is thoroughly excited about his MotoGP™ debut in 2014, not least as the Englishman will be racing the all-new Honda RCV1000R machine that will also be used by 2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden.
Whereas Hayden will ride the motorcycle formerly dubbed the ‘Honda Production Racer’ for Power Electronics Aspar, Redding will step up to the premier class with the same machinery while racing for GO&FUN Honda Gresini.
"When I heard Nicky was going to be riding the (RCV1000R) I was really happy," Redding explained to Britain’s Motorcycle News.
"I want to be the best non-factory rider next year and I am not a person who wants to win anything without any competition. I like to work and fight for it…it will be interesting to see how (Hayden) does and I am looking forward to fighting with him; and it is not going to be impossible to beat him."
MCN: 'Stoner to continue in Honda testing role'
HRC will continue to count on the technical feedback of former MotoGP™ World Champion Casey Stoner for the development of their prototype machinery in 2014, report motorcyclenews.com.
Stoner, who won the MotoGP™ title for Ducati in 2007 and for Repsol Honda in 2011, was drafted in by HRC to test the 2014 factory machine this year – having retired at the end of the 2012 season. He also gave some feedback on the new Honda RCV1000R production racer.
HRC boss Shuhei Nakamoto told MCN that Stoner will continue to be involved with Honda testing in 2014 - but noted that the Australian is not scheduled to take part in the tyre test at Phillip Island from 3rd-5th March.
FT highlights Coleman's Riders for Health work
Having recently won the UK's Women of the Year Barclays award, Riders for Health co-founder Andrea Coleman has been interviewed by the Financial Times on the work of the charity in Africa.
The FT.com describe Coleman, who set up Riders for Health in 1990 with her husband, Barry Coleman and Grand Prix racer, Randy Mamola, as ‘the woman helping to improve lives in Africa thanks to health workers and the art of motorcycle maintenance’.
The paper also states that, ‘The systems that Riders for Health has created, in partnership with other NGOs in seven countries across Africa, help bring predictability into the healthcare system.’
Riders for Health is the official charity of the MotoGP™ World Championship.
Cycle World: ‘Ten top Nick Hayden travel tips’
2006 MotoGP™ World Champion Nicky Hayden has shared his top ten tips for global travel, as he prepares for an all-new challenge in 2014 with Power Electronics Aspar.
Included in Hayden’s tips, as published by Cycle World, are trying one’s best to sleep on flights while avoiding perils such as ‘skinny jeans’ and food poisoning. The American also insists that his mobile phone must be fully charged en route to the next airport, while admitting that he is often accompanied while traveling by an acquainted pillow from his bed at home.
Cadena SER: ‘Marquez would not block Lorenzo Honda move’
In an interview with Spanish radio station Cadena SER, Marc Marquez has claimed that he would not prevent Honda from signing up title rival Jorge Lorenzo, as well as admitting that he understands if current teammate Dani Pedrosa has been bothered by the rookie’s title success of the 2013 season.
“I would never block the arrival of Lorenzo – it would be interesting to have him in the box,” Marquez commented. “I do not mind who my teammate is; I just try to get the most out of it and learn as much as possible.”
Going on to discuss Pedrosa, Marquez recognised that his Repsol Honda Team partner had been ‘put in place’ and that he would dislike the same situation should the roles have been reversed. “I would be the first to be annoyed,” said the 20-year-old.
Il Messaggero: ‘Valentino to marry?
Italian newspaper Il Messaggero has echoed a rumour triggered by ‘Chi’ magazine, indicating that Valentino Rossi could soon marry his girlfriend, model Linda Morselli. It is believed the couple is organising a ceremony to be held in Limbiate, a town close to Milan in which Morselli lives.
However, Rossi has been prompt in holding back any details; during an interview with Radio Deejay, he explained that neither a date nor location had yet been decided.
MCN: 'Kenny Roberts - Marquez can dominate MotoGP™ for years'
American MotoGP™ legend Kenny Roberts says Marc Marquez can dominate the premier class for years to come, following the Spaniard’s 2013 triumph – as reports the UK’s Motorcycle News.
Roberts was the last rider before Marquez to win the premier class title at the first attempt and he believes the Repsol Honda youngster has the attributes to continue as the top man in MotoGP™ for the foreseeable future.
"From what I’ve seen of him this season he is a pretty amazing guy," enthuses Roberts. "Ability-wise I don’t think there is any question he can dominate the sport now. In terms of ability I just don’t see anything holding him back. He is very enthusiastic and he loves what he is doing and that is going to be a hard combination to beat."
Speedweek.com: Bradl to train with Checa and Demaria
German publication Speedweek.com has reported that LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl will step up his training this winter by training with three-times MX3 Champion Yves Demaria in France, and then in Spain with ex-MotoGP rider and one time WSBK Champion Carlos Checa. He has also teamed up with new personal trainer Bernd Thuner, a sports scientist who has written more than 30 books. This, hopes team boss Lucio Cecchinello will propel Bradl to the next level.
PU24.it: ‘Adidas To Sponsor Yamaha and Sky VR46 teams’
Yamaha Factory Racing looks set to gain another sponsor for 2014. According to PU24.it - the same website which broke the news of Rossi's decision to drop Jeremy Burgess - sportswear manufacturer Adidas is set to sponsor the factory Yamaha outfit of Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo next season.
The deal is said to be part of a larger contract, which will involve the Team Sky VR46 Moto3™ squad as well. The deal appears mainly aimed at the Italian market; according to PU24, one of the benefits for Adidas will be better visibility for its ads on the Sky Italia channel, which will be broadcasting MotoGP™ in Italy next year, and which is a co-sponsor of Rossi's Team Sky VR46 Moto3™ squad.
Bikesportnews.com: Camier in line for IODA seat in MotoGP™
British motorcycle publication Bikesportnews.com has quoted that Leon Camier, who last year rode for Suzuki in the World Superbike Championship, could be making his way to MotoGP™ next year with the IODA team. The Italian outfit, which has already retained the services of Danilo Petrucci, is also rumoured to be opting for Aprilia’s ART package instead of the BMW-Suter combination it has been running so far. Andorra-based Camier, from the UK, is said to be close to a deal, though is waiting for some detail to be ironed out, whilst also considering a few offers from WSBK.
Rolling Stone: ‘Stoner is unique, says Rossi’
Following a pair of problematic years with Ducati Team in 2011 and 2012, Valentino Rossi has admitted that former Ducati rider Casey Stoner was ‘unique’ in the way the Australian mastered the situation to become Champion with the marque in 2007.
Whereas Stoner claimed the world title with the Italian outfit, Rossi would manage to achieve no race wins and only three podiums finishes over the course of two years.
"Stoner did an amazing job at Ducati," Rossi tells Rolling Stone magazine, describing his own time at Ducati as having not made him stronger, but only ‘older’. "When I looked back at his telemetry I used to wonder how he’d achieve such times!...I immediately realised the bike wasn’t the best. I’m certain that, was Stoner to climb onto (Andrea) Dovizioso’s Ducati tomorrow, he’d still manage to finish a race in sixth place. He used to ride in an incredible way. He’s unique.
"Do I miss him? On the track, yes. He has fantastic talent and was difficult to beat. But off the track, no I don’t miss him. Without him there is much better camaraderie between the riders."
Motoworld: ‘Puig leaves Dani Pedrosa’s box’
Reported by Motoworld, Alberto Puig is to leave the role of Dani Pedrosa’s right-hand man as Raul Jara fills the breach from 2014 onwards.
As described in the article by the Spanish sports portal, the split is a ‘separation, not a break, between Dani Pedrosa and Alberto Puig and ends 15 years of the intensely close working relationship whether at the circuit or away from it.
The role of Puig will change at races, but the former rider will continue to act as a representative of Pedrosa. Now, such support will be coming from Raul Jara, who has long since served as a spotter for Pedrosa at the race tracks.’