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."
Cycle World: 'Hayden tests Ducati Superbike at Mugello'
Nicky Hayden has tested a Ducati Superbike machine at Mugello as he continues to assess his options for 2014, having been dropped from the Ducati Team MotoGP™ squad. As reported by Cycle World, the 2006 Champion tested a World Superbike-specification 1199 Panigale R on Wednesday of last week, completing approximately 30 laps in good weather conditions and suffering one crash.
"It was an interesting test," a source at Ducati is quoted as saying. "Nicky found the Pirelli tyres to be quite different. Obviously, the engine performance was quite different, too, but he had a good feeling with the bike." Hayden has reportedly been offered a Ducati World Superbike contract for 2014, although the American has stated that he would prefer to remain in MotoGP™.
Speedweek: ‘Miller poised to join Red Bull KTM Ajo’
Australia’s Jack Miller is set to join Red Bull KTM Ajo for the 2014 Moto3™ season, according to the German press. The outfit, run by Aki Ajo, currently houses championship leader Luis Salom who in-turn will be jumping up to Moto2™.
“We have been watching Jack Miller very closely this season,” KTM Head of Motorsports Pit Beirer explains to Speedweek. “We have been in contact with him for a while. To us, it is amazing how he has been challenging our factory riders despite running with inferior equipment - this is what has persuaded us to bring him to KTM.”
Miller currently competes with Caretta Technology – RTG, racing an FTR Honda.
Sport Bikes: ‘Aspar to run new Aprilia in 2014’
Power Electronics Aspar has elected to remain with Aprilia for 2014, having been presented with options of either staying as the company’s number one outfit - but with an upgraded machine - or switching to the new ‘Honda production racer’.
As explained by French publication Sport Bikes, Aspar Team Manager Gino Borsoi has explained that the 2014 Aprilia bikes will be totally new and including seamless transmission. Various options appear to remain for riders, including current employees Aleix Espargaro (likely to stay but considering NGM Mobile Forward Racing, with it’s new Yamaha lease deal) and Randy de Puniet plus Sylvain Guintoli, Eugene Laverty and 2006 MotoGP™ World Champion Nicky Hayden.
The Age: ‘Doohan: Marquez could become unstoppable’
Marc Marquez will soon become nothing short of unbeatable in the world of MotoGP™ - even this season. That is according to Mick Doohan, who claimed five consecutive world titles with the same Repsol Honda Team between 1994 and 1998.
"Marquez will soon be unstoppable in his rookie season, unless his main rivals – Lorenzo and Pedrosa – can break his momentum," Doohan tells Australia’s The Age newspaper. "They both know it’s the only way to put a dent in his growing confidence.
"Marquez is competing with a clear and open mind, with no pressure at all. He started with zero expectation of winning the title this year and his bosses at Honda are not depending anything in terms of results, so he is just looking at it as though every new victory is a bonus. When Rossi said that Marc should switch to Formula 1, I think he was only half joking!"
Gazzetta: ‘Maybe Marquez will switch to F1, jokes Rossi'
Valentino Rossi has developed a novel idea as a method of beating 2013 MotoGP™ rookie sensation Marc Marquez: sending the 20-year-old debutant to Formula 1…
“The most impressive thing is that he has been on the podium at ten out off 11 Grands Prix and, in the only one he wasn’t at Mugello, that was only because of a trivial mistake when he was running second,” Rossi is quoted as saying by Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport, with Marquez having now become the first rider since himself in 2008 to have won four consecutive premier class races.
“How can you beat Marc? Perhaps he will decide to change sport, maybe going to Formula 1...seriously, though, he and the Honda are proving to be an unbeatable pairing. Maybe stronger than the Pedrosa-Honda package, but I don’t know how much stronger; in the end even Pedrosa had to surrender, though.”
Bike Sport News: ‘Rea confirms MotoGP™ talks for 2014’
Jonathan Rea has reportedly confirmed that he is engaged in discussions with regards to a full-time MotoGP™ debut in 2014. The Northern Irishman first appeared in the sport for two rounds in 2012, riding alongside Dani Pedrosa at Repsol Honda Team for the Misano and Aragon rounds after Casey Stoner had been injured in a crash at Indianapolis.
“It just so happens that, every year, I’ve had the opportunity to stay here in World Superbikes,” Rea explains to Bike Sport News. “Right now my management is having talks with other people as well, looking outside the box. I’m talking to some CRT teams that are looking forward to stepping up (to run MotoGP™ prototype entries). There are a few opportunities out there that I’m waiting for and talking to. I don’t want to name who, but some are really keen.”
Motorcycle News: ‘Crutchlow very happy with Ducati move’
Cal Crutchlow is fully convinced that he has made the right decision in signing up to Ducati Team for at least the 2014 and 2015 MotoGP™ seasons. The Englishman, currently in his third campaign with Monster Yamaha Tech 3, will be making a team move for the first time since joining the World Championship at the start of 2011.
“I am very happy with my decision for next season,” Crutchlow told Motorcycle News. “I believe that Ducati will give me 100% and they know I will for them. I believe my 100% will be good enough to challenge at the front in the future. I am not saying at the first race next year, but I am saying in the future. I am very excited about the project and all I can do is my best and give my all.”
Gazzetta dello Sport: ‘Valentino Rossi preparing Moto3™ team’
According to a report in the print version of Gazzetta dello Sport, Valentino Rossi is preparing to enter his own, all-Italian team into next year’s Moto3™ World Championship. The story explains that Rossi’s outfit would be present in the lower class, running KTM machinery for riders Niccolo Antonelli and Romano Fenati, currently competing with the respective GO&FUN Gresini Moto3 and San Carlo Team Italia squads. On top of this, technical representatives are believed to have already been signed, although they are yet to be named.
Furthermore, it is also being reported that Rossi is looking to launch a brand-new riding school which would be based at the Italian ranch of the nine-time title winner.
Speedweek: ‘Rossi staying in MotoGP™ until 2016’
Valentino Rossi is reported to have told Speedweek that he will continue competing in MotoGP™ until 2016. At present, the nine-time title winner is in his first season back with Yamaha Factory Racing follow two winless years with Ducati Team.
“My plan is to remain with Yamaha,” the Italian says. “I still want to be able to fight to finish on the podium or for victory, as I did at Assen. After 2014 I want another contract with Yamaha for two more years, to stay with the factory team until the end of 2016, if Yamaha agrees; I think it will be enough after that [laughs].”
BBC Sport: ‘Poncharal evaluating Lowes for Moto2™’
Britain’s Sam Lowes is a potential Tech 3 candidate for Moto2™ in 2014, according to a report by BBC Sport. The rider is currently competing in the World SuperSport series and leading the standings for Yamaha.
"We are both with Yamaha and [sponsors] Monster and he has real potential so I'd be happy, but I don't know what he wants," says Tech 3 Team Manager Herve Poncharal. The report goes on to suggest that the French outfit could run a pair of British riders next season, as Danny Kent is under contract until the end of 2014.
Motoworld: ‘Two serious MotoGP™ offers for Redding’
Motoworld reports that Moto2™ championship leader Scott Redding will announce plans to progress to the top MotoGP™ class following this weekend’s German Grand Prix. According to the Spanish publication, the British rider had been presented with ‘two serious MotoGP offers’, with a third being to climb up the ladder with his current Marc VDS Racing Team which could field a Kalex bike with a Yamaha lease engine; this, however, is being suggested as less likely. An option being put forward as more probable is that of replacing Bryan Staring on the second Gresini machine.
Motomatters.com: Yamaha working with Tech3 to keep Crutchlow
According to an article on online publication Motomatters.com, Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis has said the Japanese factory is working closely with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 outfit to keep hold of British rider Cal Crutchlow. With Crutchlow out of contract at the end of the season, he is regarded as hot property following his performances this year, and could be tough to hold on to. It is alleged that other teams have already made sizeable offers, with Jarvis saying that matching the Brit’s “desire” could be tough to fulfil – although they will try.
MCN: ‘Honda and Ducati want Redding’
Moto2™ standings leader Scott Redding is wanted by Honda and Ducati for a 2014 ride in the premier class, reports Motorcycle News this week.
The talented Briton, who currently rides for the Marc VDS Racing Team and has won two races already this season in the intermediate class, could therefore be set for a switch to Gresini Honda on the Honda production racer or potentially a ride on the Desmosedici prototype next year.
Redding test rode the Italian bike last year but it was decided he would benefit from another year in Moto2 in 2013.
MCN quote Ducati’s MotoGP Project Director Paolo Ciabatti as saying “Ducati tested with Scott last year and we have kept the relationship and contact open.”
Meanwhile Honda boss Livio Suppo told MCN: “Scott is a very interesting rider for us. He is doing a good job in Moto2.”
Gazzetta.it: ‘Rossi says no to sports psychologists’
According to a report published in Monday’s online edition of Gazzetta dello Sport, Valentino Rossi has refused any assistance from sports psychologists in a bid to overcome his difficult start to the 2013 season. “I don’t believe in those things,” he said. Such aids had been used by his teammate at the end of his maiden premier class season in 2008. “Jorge Lorenzo would have reached his current level anyway, without that kind of help,” Rossi added.
MCN: ‘Spies could be out until Indy’
It is being reported that Ben Spies could be out of action until the Indianapolis Grand Prix in August. Should this be the case, the American will have the entire summer break to recover.
Due to problems with his injured shoulder and a painful pectoral muscle, Spies has missed all 2013 races to date with the exception of the Qatar and Americas events. He attempted to return at Mugello last weekend but was again forced to pull out.
“(To return at) Laguna I would say I’d be rushing things, but in six weeks maybe I can be 100% for there,” the American tells Motorcycle News. “Right now I’m shooting for Indy but I am not trying to set too many dates in my mind.
“I just want to get back and, when they say I’m good to go and the right shoulder is as good as the left, that’s when I’m going to be come back and race - when I know I’m not risking messing my shoulder up for ten more years or for next year.”
Marca: Burgess dubs Rossi title win ‘minor miracle’
It would possibly take a ‘minor miracle’ for Valentino Rossi to win another MotoGP™ title, Crew Chief Jeremy Burgess has been quoted as saying.
“I would say that would be a wonderful dream – perhaps a minor miracle,” the Australian told Spain’s Marca. “While at Ducati, Vale told me that he was perhaps no longer at the level of Lorenzo or Stoner, but certainly not at that of only sixth or seventh place either. We’ve now got people like Marquez arriving. Vale has had a lot of success. He will be competitive at various circuits, but only time will tell whether he is able to pick up the title. You have to accept the passing of time.”