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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Nico Terol to miss British Grand Prix

The Mapfre Aspar rider will take time out to recover from physical issues that have dogged him all season.

Mapfre Aspar rider Nico Terol ended last season in good form, with three victories and a podium, despite some physical problems arising from premature muscle fatigue. This year Terol started out strongly during winter testing but once the season started the muscle fatigue returned and with eleven races already gone in the championship he has been advised by doctors to take a break from racing so that he can be properly examined again and treated. 

The decision to follow the doctors' advice means that Terol will definitely miss the next round of the season, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Since he started with these symptoms Terol has been in the hands of Dr. Ángel Charte, head of the Internal Medicine team at the Instituto Universitario Dexeus and also part of the rapid response medical team at the MotoGP events. The rider has already undergone a host of examinations and over the next few days he will be subjected to an exhaustive run of tests to try and detect the cause of his muscle fatigue. 

The decision to take this break in the middle of the season has been taken jointly by the Mapfre Aspar Team and Nico Terol. Terol has the full support of the team during the time he needs to make a full recuperation. 

Jorge Martínez ‘Aspar’: “It has been hard to take this decision alongside Nico and those closest to him but we have to accept that at the moment he is not 100% fit and the best thing for him is to recover. As a rider myself it hurts me to see my riders, and people that I have affection for, suffering with physical problems. Even though he is going through a tough period Nico is a fighter and he will work hard to recover as soon as possible. He has the full backing of everybody at the MAPFRE Aspar Team, and we just want to wish him well with his recovery.”

Nico Terol: “After eleven tough races because of my health I am going to take some time off to analyse every detail and find the origin of this physical problem so that we can tackle it. I had a few episodes last season but they were only occasional and I was able to recover, even winning some races. The doctors think that with some quiet time away from racing we can find the root of the problem. I have spoken with Jorge and I want to thank him for his understanding at this time. I'm sad for my team, my sponsors and my supporters and I'm also upset because we had high expectations for this season. After winning races last year we thought we would be very competitive this time around.”


Asymmetric front slicks available for Australia and Valencia

Bridgestone has announced that it will be offering its new asymmetric front slick tyre as part of the allocation for this year’s Grands Prix at Phillip Island in Australia and the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia.
Of the many items on the agenda for Bridgestone during the Brno post-race test on Monday, one was to test its new asymmetric front tyre for the first time. As explained by Shinji Aoki, Manager of Bridgestone Motorcycle’s Tyre Development Department, the aim of the test was to evaluate the balance offered between braking stability and edge grip: two key characteristics of a front tyre.

“On Monday, the track conditions were very good in comparison to what we had on Sunday and many riders were able to set better lap times using the same tyre combinations they used for the race,” Aoki explained. “We offered our new asymmetric front slick to all riders to evaluate at Brno and some riders took the opportunity to test these and provide us with feedback.

“Although the Brno circuit is quite balanced in terms of layout and isn’t a circuit where an asymmetric front slick would be offered, we wanted riders to test the braking stability as well as the transition while cornering of this new development.”

Aoki went on to confirm that the new asymmetric front tyre will be available for riders to use across the Australian and Valencian rounds of the season later this year:

“Overall, the reaction to this tyre is that it will work very well at circuits like Phillip Island which have a big difference in the number of right and left corners, so we will be bringing this new front slick to the Phillip Island and Valencia rounds this year as part of our tyre allocation, which we feel will improve safety levels for the riders to an even higher level.”

source: Bridgestone

Bradley Smith: Signed, seamless, ready to deliver

Safe in the knowledge that he is only halfway through an extended Tech 3 Yamaha MotoGP contract, Bradley Smith's top priority is to stretch single-lap form over a complete race distance. 

"I'm feeling very good,” said Smith of the one-year contract extension. “I've got a new deal, found some performance and I'm finally able to stay on a motorcycle more than a few laps! 

“Obviously I'm very happy that Yamaha and Herve [Poncharal] have shown the belief in me for another season. It's nice to have ridden a MotoGP bike for 18 months but also know that I'm going to be riding it for another 18 months.”

Smith's seat had been in doubt due to his ninth place in the world championship. The 23-year-old hesitates to label pressure as the cause of a tough mid-season, which included five falls at the Sachsenring. 

“I had a few grands prix where I made bad decisions. Where I just started to ignore warning signs and feedback, rather than pressure because I've had that all my life in motorsport,” Smith explained. 

“It's more about how you interpret warning signs. Sometimes you think, 'ok, today it doesn't feel good and we'll back it down one or two percent'. The alternative is that when it doesn't feel good, you're just not willing to accept it. You think you are Superman and can just out-ride it. 

“But sometimes you have to be in that desperate place. I was trying to secure my ride. I knew that I could and I believed that riding through dangerous situations is the way to do it. It wasn't and it's not a smart move! It creates more problems than it's worth. But it's a tough one to find the balance [when you are riding on the edge].” 

One glance at Smith's left hand shows he isn't afraid to push the limits, his little finger being permanently bent downwards. 

“I don't have the tendon. I haven't had it for twelve months. So the finger doesn't move, but I had it put into a handlebar position! I have a special glove, but it doesn't change my riding. We don't really use the clutch anymore. I had to remember to use the clutch on the R1 [while doing pillion rides around Silverstone, pictured] because we've got an auto-backshift now. It was strange using the clutch again.” 

Not using the clutch lever when shifting down the gearbox is one of the main technical innovations made available by Yamaha for its satellite team this season, the other being a seamless shift gearbox. 

Smith and rookie team-mate Pol Espargaro's machines are, “the same specification as Jorge Lorenzo rode from Misano to the end of last year. It's a great bike.” That means they are using the first generation of Yamaha seamless, which offers the super-fast upshifts from second gear onwards. However first to second gear is still a normal shift, passing through neutral. 

Factory Yamaha riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo received a second generation seamless this year, with neutral moved 'out of the way' and seamless shifts between every gear. 

“Neutral is still between first and second gear for us,” Smith confirmed. “I don't know where the Factory Yamaha team have got it. I know Honda have it at the bottom.” 

Is the slower shift from first to second gear noticeable for Smith at the start of a race? 

“I don't know if that is exactly why, but I seem to launch good in first and when I put in second everyone seems to come back past me. But we also have some room for improvement with our launch control as well. I started fourth at Brno and got swallowed by both the Factory Yamahas into turn one. It's a killer when that happens! We are working on it.” 

If the present pattern of hand-me-downs continues, Smith and Espargaro will get the full range of seamless upshifts from Yamaha for 2015. However the Factory team are still likely to be a step ahead, with Yamaha under pressure from Rossi and Lorenzo to replicate the seamless downshifts (as well as upshifts) on the Honda. 

Back to this year and Smith began the season in style by qualifying on the front row in Qatar. He then fell while in the hunt for a debut podium at Losail, before a career best fifth next time in Texas. However Smith didn't break the top six again until just after his contract renewal, at Indianapolis, then qualified fourth and the top Yamaha last time at Brno. 

“I've put in some good performances. Still not clinched that [standout] race result, but Indy was a step forward and I believe Brno would have been as well if we didn't have tyre issues in the race.” 

Smith believes design changes made for the latest Factory team M1 have improved early race pace. It's an attribute Smith and his team are seeking to achieve with set-up and riding changes. 

“Where Yamaha have improved with their new bike is in race spec form and that is the next area where we need to try and improve as well,” Smith explained. “It's a case of bike balance. My bike is very balanced towards the front end with full fuel and it's difficult to keep rear contact. I think that is something Yamaha has been working with for their new bike. 

“It looks like it is more balanced towards the rear. It doesn't seem to help [Lorenzo and Rossi] so much on a one-off lap, but especially at the beginning of races. The second half of the races I'm closer. So it's a case of dynamic balance and weight balance. 

“I also have a few weaknesses with my riding style that I'm trying to iron out. I'm working with Randy Mamola around the track to try and figure out what I need to do compared to other riders: Video analysis, photo analysis and what he can see. 

“That is the next level. There is only so much you can extract from a motorcycle. You have to do the rest of it yourself. 

“This year I've been smoother on the bike. You have to be very quiet, you almost have to creep on the motorcycle rather than jerk it around and upset the bike too much. I've had to work on that, even at the test on Monday, especially in the changes of direction.” 

Smith remains firmly in the fight for top satellite honours, sitting 13-points behind Pol Espargaro but equal with LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl and ahead of Gresini Honda's Alvaro Bautista, with seven rounds to go. Reigning Moto2 champion Espargaro joined Tech 3 in place of Cal Crutchlow, who had helped guide Smith through his debut season. 

"At the beginning of the season it was quite different," Smith said of his new team-mate. "But we've gained a relationship and I think it's better for me to not be as friendly with my team-mate as last year. Having Cal as a team-mate for my first year was great because it helped smooth the introduction to MotoGP. It's quite an isolation when you come to MotoGP and a lot of pressure. So having him there for support was good. 

"But in terms of my career it's better to have someone that I'm competitive against and is a rival, because it is going to push me forward and push me on. I'm excited to be in the same team with him for another one and half seasons because I think the rivalry will push us both forwards." 

The next round will be Smith's home GP at Silverstone, an event he admits to 'dreading' as a rookie last season. "I feel like I'm ready for Silverstone this year. I wasn't last year. I was actually dreading it, but now I'm really excited." 

Smith, who qualified tenth and finished ninth on his home premier-class debut, added: 

"I wasn't fast enough this time last year. It was a cold weekend, the tyres were not really working and I had no experience of how to make them work. I rode nervous and tense. I didn't enjoy last year but I'm looking forward to changing that. 

“I've got a completely different outlook now and I'm ready to ride the M1 how it should be ridden at Silverstone." 

MotoGP comes to Silverstone on August 29-31, coverage starts from Friday at 8:30am and continues on Saturday and Sunday exclusively live on BT Sport.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Lorenzo edges thrilling battle for Qatar pole

Jorge Lorenzo Pole Position Losail 2012

Jorge Lorenzo came out on top in a gripping head to head with Casey Stoner for pole position at the first round of the 2012 MotoGP™ World Championship, the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar, whilst Cal Crutchlow made it two Yamahas on the front row with his best-ever qualifying display.

1 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha Factory Racing 1'54.634
2 Casey STONER Repsol Honda Team 1'54.855 0.221 / 0.221
3 Cal CRUTCHLOW Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1'55.022 0.388 / 0.167
4 Ben SPIES Yamaha Factory Racing 1'55.512 0.878 / 0.490
5 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati Team 1'55.637 1.003 / 0.125
6 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1'55.858 1.224 / 0.221
7 Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team 1'55.905 1.271 / 0.047
8 Hector BARBERA Pramac Racing Team 1'55.983 1.349 / 0.078
9 Stefan BRADL LCR Honda MotoGP 1'56.063 1.429 / 0.080
10 Karel ABRAHAM Cardion AB Motoracing 1'56.198 1.564 / 0.135
11 Alvaro BAUTISTA San Carlo Honda Gresini 1'56.521 1.887 / 0.323
12 Valentino ROSSI Ducati Team 1'56.813 2.179 / 0.292
13 Colin EDWARDS NGM Mobile Forward Racing 1'57.644 3.010 / 0.831
14 Randy DE PUNIET Power Electronics Aspar 1'58.266 3.632 / 0.622
15 Aleix ESPARGARO Power Electronics Aspar 1'58.520 3.886 / 0.254
16 Yonny HERNANDEZ Avintia Blusens 1'58.795 4.161 / 0.275
17 Michele PIRRO San Carlo Honda Gresini 1'59.085 4.451 / 0.290
18 Mattia PASINI Speed Master 1'59.195 4.561 / 0.110
19 Danilo PETRUCCI Came IodaRacing Project 1'59.664 5.030 / 0.469
20 Ivan SILVA Avintia Blusens 2'00.493 5.859 / 0.829
21 James ELLISON Paul Bird Motorsport 2'00.757 6.123 / 0.264

source: MotoGP Official

Luthi seals top spot in qualifying

Thomas Luthi Losail 2012

After leading all three practice sessions Thomas Lüthi booked pole position on the Moto2™ grid for Sunday's Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar, just ahead of Marc Márquez and Andrea Iannone.

1 Thomas LUTHI Interwetten-Paddock 2'00.187
2 Marc MARQUEZ Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol 2'00.259 0.072 / 0.072
3 Andrea IANNONE Speed Master 2'00.296 0.109 / 0.037
4 Pol ESPARGARO Pons 40 HP Tuenti 2'00.597 0.410 / 0.301
5 Mike DI MEGLIO S/Master Speed Up 2'00.625 0.438 / 0.028
6 Max NEUKIRCHNER Kiefer Racing 2'00.658 0.471 / 0.033
7 Esteve RABAT Pons 40 HP Tuenti 2'00.793 0.606 / 0.135
8 Claudio CORTI Italtrans Racing Team 2'00.874 0.687 / 0.081
9 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Italtrans Racing Team 2'00.898 0.711 / 0.024
10 Simone CORSI Came IodaRacing Project 2'00.986 0.799 / 0.088
11 Julian SIMON Blusens Avintia 2'00.992 0.805 / 0.006
12 Bradley SMITH Tech 3 Racing 2'01.015 0.828 / 0.023
13 Scott REDDING Marc VDS Racing Team 2'01.031 0.844 / 0.016
14 Mika KALLIO Marc VDS Racing Team 2'01.111 0.924 / 0.080
15 Alex DE ANGELIS NGM Mobile Forward Racing 2'01.181 0.994 / 0.070
16 Dominique AEGERTER Technomag-CIP 2'01.374 1.187 / 0.193
17 Toni ELIAS Mapfre Aspar Team 2'01.618 1.431 / 0.244
18 Xavier SIMEON Tech 3 Racing 2'01.718 1.531 / 0.100
19 Johann ZARCO JIR Moto2 2'01.910 1.723 / 0.192
20 Roberto ROLFO Technomag-CIP 2'02.018 1.831 / 0.108
21 Randy KRUMMENACHER GP Team Switzerland 2'02.097 1.910 / 0.079
22 Angel RODRIGUEZ Desguaces La Torre SAG 2'02.142 1.955 / 0.045
23 Ricard CARDUS Arguiñano Racing Team 2'02.500 2.313 / 0.358
24 Axel PONS Pons 40 HP Tuenti 2'02.535 2.348 / 0.035
25 Yuki TAKAHASHI NGM Mobile Forward Racing 2'02.637 2.450 / 0.102
26 Nicolas TEROL Mapfre Aspar Team 2'02.811 2.624 / 0.174
27 Gino REA Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 2'02.934 2.747 / 0.123
28 Ratthapark WILAIROT Thai Honda Gresini Moto2 2'03.031 2.844 / 0.097
29 Anthony WEST QMMF Racing Team 2'03.621 3.434 / 0.590
30 Alexander LUNDH Cresto Guide MZ Racing 2'04.130 3.943 / 0.509
31 Marco COLANDREA SAG Team 2'04.424 4.237 / 0.294
32 Elena ROSELL QMMF Racing Team 2'05.183 4.996 / 0.759
33 Nasser Hasan AL MALKI QMMF Racing Team 2'05.591 5.404 / 0.408

source: MotoGP Official