Casey Stoner to test at Sepang for Ducati

Ducati has announced today that Casey Stoner will test for the italian team at Sepang. The test will be a private one and will be held between 24-26 January.

Stoner, aged 32, won two MotoGP world championships in 2007 and 2011. He shocked the motorcycling world when he announced his retirement in 2012, at only 27 years old.

So far, Stoner has refused to say whether he will race with a wild card or not this season. Since his 2016 comeback to Ducati he did not race and it is highly unlikely for that to happen in the near future.

The new MotoGP season will start in March at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.

 

Photo – Ducati Press

Oliveira dominates Moto2 again as Morbidelli becomes World Champion

Miguel Oliveira repetead the magnificent performance from Phillip Island and won the Moto2 race after leading from start to finish. Brad Binder completed the second straight KTM double, while Franco Morbidelli completed the podium and became the 2017 Moto2 World Champion.

Unfortunately, the championship equation was solved before the race start, as Thomas Luthi was declared unfit to start after a fracture of the ankle was revealed following his crash during the qualifying session. With an advantage of more than 25 points, Franco Morbidelli was sure that he would be crowned World Champion at the end of the race irrespective of his result in it.

Miguel Oliveira took the lead in Turn 1 after starting from P2 and started to put distance between him and the EG 0,0 Marc VDS riders slowly but surely. Francesco Bagnaia and Brad Binder were closely following the VDS duo, aspiring to the 2nd place.

A first incident occured when Takaaki Nakagami and Sandro Cortese slided out of the race. Some turns later, a multiple incident ended the race of Luca Marini, Axel Pons, Khairul Idham Pawi, Remy Gardner and local wildcard Ekky Patrama. Also, Alex Marquez crashed while in 2nd, throwing away his chances at the 3rd place in the championship. The Spaniard got up and rejoined the race, only to crash again in the following lap. This time it was game over.

As Oliveira was cruising to a new victory, Bagnaia lost the rhytm of Morbidelli and Binder and dropped out of the battle for the second place. Binder stayed close to Morbdelli, but he did not show any overtake intentions until the closing stages of the race.

With 5 laps to go, rain made its appearance and the red flag with red diagonals was brought out by the track marshalls. Brad Binder realised that this might be followed by a red flag if the conditions were to worsen, so he made his move on Morbidelli.

The championship leader did not fight back, settling on the last step of the podium till the end of the race.

Miguel Oliveira crossed the line in 1st place for the 2nd time in 2 weeks, with Brad Binder completing once again a superb Red Bull KTM Ajo double. Morbidelli finished 3rd and the party kicked-off in the pits, as the Brazilian-Italian is the new World Champion.

An interesting battle emerged for the 4th place, with Mattia Pasini walking away victorious after defeating Pecco Bagnaia. Fabio Quartaro was in charge of the 5th place for some time, but his pace dropped and he was overtaken by Pasini, who eventually also went past Bagnaia. Local hero Hafizh Syahrin took advantage of Quartararo s struggles and went past the Frenchman to clinch P6. Xavi Vierge offered another solid prestation, crossing the line in P8, ahead of former teammate Isaac Vinales and Tetsuta Nagashima, who locked out the top 10.

The difference in the championship standings between Morbidelli and Luthi was increased to 45 points (288-243) with only 25 up for grabs, so we have our new Moto2 World Champion. Miguel Oliveira secured the bronze medal, as he is now 26 points ahead of rival Alex Marquez (216-190). An all-Italian battle will emerge in Valencia for the 5th place, as the difference between Bagnaia and Pasini consists of only 13 points in the favour of the rookie (161-148).

Franco Morbidelli became the first Italian World Champion since Valentino Rossi, who won MotoGP World Championship in 2009. The last Italian World Champion in the intermmediate class was Marco Simoncelli, who was crowned 250cc World Champion in 2008. What is interesting is that all these 3 Italian riders were crowned World Champions at the Sepang Circuit.

photo credit – Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS

Mir wins three-way battle in Sepang and clinches 10th win of the season

Joan Mir entertained the Malaysian fans with another masterclass win on the Sepang International Circuit, the 10th of the current season. Jorge Martin and Enea Bastianini completed the podium.

Jorge Martin started like a rocket from P2 on the grid and took the lead after Turn 1. At the end of the first lap, he had already put a gap of more than 1 second between him and the rest of the pack.

Enea Bastianini, Gabriel Rodrigo, Joan Mir, John McPhee and Livio Loi tried to catch up with him, but, eventually, only Mir and Bastianini managed to do that. Livio Loi ran all alone in P4 in the second part of the race, as the 5th place was disputed by a group of 10 riders.

Joan Mir was the first one to make a move on Martin. There was nothing the Del Conca Gresini rider could do, but he managed to stay close to the World Champion, not letting him go away. Once he got near the two Spaniards, Bastianini managed to overtake both and take the lead, but, just like Mir, he was not able to pull a gap.

With 4 laps remaining, Joan Mir took the lead from Jorge Martin, who was also overtaken by Bastianini. Some turns later, Martin fought back against Bastianini, nearly touching the Italian and pushing him outside the track limits. This duel slowed down both men, allowing Mir to pull a gap of more than half a second.

Martin was not able to melt the difference to Mir, and, in the last lap, he was again caught by Bastianini and overtaken by the Italian. However, in the last turn, Martin made a decisive move and secured 2nd place.

Joan Mir crossed the line in P1, clinching his 10 win of 2017. Now, he is 1 win away from Valentino Rossi s record for the most wins in the lightweight class (11 – established in 1999 in the former 125cc class). Jorge Martin once again missed a good chance to score his first ever career win, but this 2nd place brings him important points in the battle for 4th in the championship. Enea Bastianini had to be satisfied with 3rd, while Livio Loi came in P4 after a solid and solitary race.

Andrea Migno won the hard fought battle for P5, with John McPhee and Romano Fenati closely following in 6th and 7th, respectively.

Aron Canet came behind Fenati in 8th, with Fabio DiGiannantonio and Bo Bendsneyder completing the top 10.

In the championship standings, Joan Mir, already World Champion, extends his lead to 86 points ahead of Romano Fenati (321-235). The Italian veteran secured the runner-up spot as he is now 43 points ahead of Aron Canet, with only 25 still up for grabs. Jorge Martin consolidates 4th, as he is now 18 points ahead of teammate Fabio DiGiannantonio (171-153). Martin goes into the final round with a slight chance of finishing 3rd, as he sits 19 points behind Canet.

photo credit – Leopard Natural

#21 vs #12 – All the scenarios that would make Morbidelli a World Champion on Sunday

Franco Morbidelli left Australia with a 29 point advantage over Thomas Luthi. Thus, the Brazilian-Italian has the first chance to matematically clinch the title this Sunday on the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. Below you can check all the scenarios from which would result the coronation of Morbidelli as the 2017 Moto2 World Champion.

— If Morbidelli wins the race, he will win the championship no matter on which place Luthi crosses the line.

— If Morbidelli finishes 2nd or 3rd, he will win the championship if Luthi does not win the race.

— If Morbidelli finishes 4th, he will win the championship if Luthi does not finish 1st or 2nd.

— If Morbidelli finishes 5th, 6th ot 7th, he will win the championship if Luthi does not finish on the podium.

— If Morbidelli finishes 8th or 9th, he will win the championship if Luthi does not finish inside the Top 4.

— If Morbidelli finishes 10th, he will win the championship if Luthi does not finish inside the Top 5.

— If Morbidelli finishes 11th, he will win the championship if Luthi does not finish inside the Top 6.

— If Morbidelli finishes 12th, he will win the championship if Luthi does not finish inside the Top 7.

— If Morbidelli finishes 13th, he will win the championship if Luthi does not finish inside the Top 8.

— If Morbidelli finishes 14th, he will win the championship if Luthi does not finish inside the Top 9.

— If Morbidelli finishes 15th, he will win the championship if Luthi does not finish inside the Top 10.

— If Morbidelli fails to score points, he will win the championship if Luthi does not finish inside the Top 11.

In tomorrow s race, Morbidelli will start from pole position, while Luthi will start from the 5th place on the grid. The Moto2 battle will commence at 13:20 local time (7:20 Romanian time).

photo credit – The Checkered Flag

Michael van der Mark will replace Jonas Folger at Sepang

After being absent in the last two rounds, Jonas Folger will also miss the Malaysian GP. Unfortunately, the german rider didn’t manage to cure his Epstein-Barr virus so far and he will most likely miss the last round of the season in Valencia as well.

Given this problem, Tech3 announced that Michael van der Mark will replace Folger at Sepang. van der Mark, aged 24, will finally make his MotoGP debut after being snubbed by Valentino Rossi’s return to action at MotorLand Aragon.

Initially, van der Mark was announced as the replacement rider for Rossi, but, given the italian’s sudden comeback, he was ruled out for the third spanish week of the season.

Michael van der Mark will make his MotoGP debut next week. The young dutch rider is currently riding for Yamaha in the Superbike series, where he is currently sixth in the standings.

 

Photo – Yamaha Racing

 

Marco Simoncelli la 30 de ani

Marco Simoncelli ar fi împlinit astăzi 30 de ani.

Născut la 20 ianuarie 1987, Marco Simoncelli a reprezentat dovada că nu contează cât trăiești, ci cum o faci. O carieră scurtată în mod tragic pe 23 octombrie 2011 ar fi putut arăta cu totul altfel dacă circumstanțele erau puțin diferite.

Dar cum? Se știe deja că la momentul Sepang 2011, Marco Simoncelli era văzut ca fiind următorul mare campion al clasei MotoGP. De aici vine și scenariul nostru ipotetic. Cu o lună înainte de accidentul fatal din Malaezia, Super Sic semnase cu echipa lui Fausto Gresini și pentru 2012.

Dacă luăm la puricat evoluțiile lui Alvaro Bautista, cel care a avut ingrata misiune de a-l înlocui pe Simoncelli, vom constata că italianul s-ar fi descurcat la fel de bine precum în 2011, dacă nu, chiar mai bine.

Circumstanțele ar fi devenit favorabile, iar foarte probabil locul în echipa Repsol Honda i-ar fi aparținut. Dar cine ar fi fost coechipierul său? Dani Pedrosa? Puțin probabil. Marc Marquez? Cel mai probabil.

Nu ne rămâne decât să ne imaginăm cum ar fi arătat o echipă formată din Simoncelli și Marquez la Repsol Honda. Un adevărat dream team, nu-i așa? Ambii piloți cu stiluri foarte agresive de pilotaj, foarte populari în rândul fanilor, dar și foarte dornici de gloria supremă.

Ar fi fost foarte frumos, dar din păcate, realitatea ne obligă să ne trezim. Acel incident fatal din octombrie 2011 a venit ca un pumnal înfipt în inima fanilor marelui Simoncelli. Asemeni unui Gilles Villeneuve în Formula 1, legenda lui Marco Simoncelli s-a stins mult prea devreme și în circumstanțe mult prea tragice.

Dacă Sepang 2011 nu s-ar fi întâmplat, acum am fi vorbit de un campion mondial. Marco Simoncelli a avut toate calitățile necesare pentru a triumfa și la clasa mare. Din nefericire, acum vorbim despre regretatul pilot italian la timpul trecut, în loc să-l urmărim pe pistă alături de Rossi, Marquez sau Lorenzo.

 

credit foto: roadracingworld.com

Casey Stoner va testa alături de Ducati la Sepang

Casey Stoner va fi prezent la testele care se vor desfășura la sfârșitul acestei luni în Malaezia

Această știre a fost confirmată ieri după-amiază de Ducati, prin intermediul unui comunicat de presă. Pilotul australian, în vârstă de 31 de ani, se pare că va testa noile soluții aerodinamice propuse de echipa din Bologna, asta după ce aripioarele laterale au fost interzise prin regulament începând cu acest sezon.

Tot prin intermediul acestui comunicat de presă, staff-ul tehnic al team-ului din Bologna a atras din nou atenția asupra faptului că prin eliminarea acestor elemente aerodinamice, stabilitatea motocicletelor va fi mult mai redusă.

Testele din Malaezia vor avea loc la finele acestei luni, iar echipa italiană își va folosi întregul efectiv avut la dispoziție. Prin urmare, pe lângă Casey Stoner, vor testa atât Andrea Dovizioso, cât și Jorge Lorenzo, noul pilot al glonțului din Bologna.

 

credit foto: Ducati Corse Press

SBK: Sylvain Guintoli va absenta în etapa din Malaezia

Accidentat în antrenamentele contând pentru ultima etapă, desfășurată la Imola, Sylvain Guintoli va absenta la Sepang.

Campionul mondial din 2014 s-a accidentat în Superpole-ul etapei din Italia. La ghidonul motocicletei Yamaha, francezul a suferit un high side serios și a fost nevoit să declare forfait pentru restul weekendului.

Pilotul din Hexagon, în vârstă de 32 de ani a făcut public în această dimineață faptul că nu va concura în grand prix-ul malaezian, din cauza accidentărilor suferite la Imola. Francezul nu s-a recuperat pe deplin și va putea reveni abia cu ocazia etapei de la Donington, ce urmează să se desfășoare în perioada 27-29 mai.

Un înlocuitor nu a fost încă numit, iar cel mai probabil Yamaha va conta doar pe serviciile lui Alex Lowes pentru etapa malaeziană de la finalul acestei săptămâni. Campion al competiției în 2014, alături de Aprilia, Sylvain Guintoli ocupă locul 11 în clasamentul general al piloților.

Însănătoșire grabnică, Sylvain Guintoli!