Monthly Archives: September 2017

LOWES SEEKS REDEMPTION IN ARAGON

Sam Lowes returns to the scene of one of his greatest triumphs seeking redemption after a nightmare Gresini Aprilia debut MotoGP™ season. The Lincolnshire rider won the Moto2™ race last year at the magnificent 3.155 miles Aragon circuit and returns to Spain for the Movistar Grand Prix of Aragon on Sunday looking for a change of MotoGP fortune before returning to Moto2 next season.

It’s also a big 23 lap race for Oxfordshire’s Bradley Smith who arrives after his best result of the season at the previous round at a wet Misano in Italy. Smith was tenth, one place in front of his team-mate Pol Espargaro, in KTM’s first MotoGP™ season. Test rider Mika Kallio returns after finishing well ahead of Smith on his previous appearance in Austria and Smith hopes his Misano performance will prevent that happening again.

Isle of Man – based Midlander Cal Crutchlow crashed in the Misano rain but typically remounted to finish 13th on the LCR Honda. Crutchlow brought Ducati rare success in Aragon when he was third three years ago. He’s currently eighth in the Championship three points behind Danilo Petrucci and two in front of double Aragon winner Jorge Lorenzo.

Gloucestershire’s Scott Redding had a morale boosting Misano ride into seventh place on the Octo Pramac Ducati. Five years ago Redding was third in the Aragon Moto2™ race and wants to finish his Pramac Ducati season on a high before joining Aprilia next year.

Two other fallers in the Misano rain were Scotsman John McPhee and Tarran Mackenzie. Oban-based McPhee fell from the British Talent team Honda in the Moto3™ race. He’s seventh in the Championship on equal points with Marco Ramirez and just two behind Andrea Migno.

British Supersport Champion Mackenzie crashed in the early stages of the Moto2™ race after a big crash in practice. He’s still chasing his first World Championship points and where better than Aragon before the fly away races in Japan, Australia and Malaysia.

 
BRITISH GRAND PRIX DATE AT SILVERSTONE OR DONINGTON

The 2018 British Grand Prix date has been confirmed for August 26 but the venue has still to be decided. The venue will be either Silverstone, which has staged the race for the last eight years or Donington Park which hosted the race between 1987 – 2009.

The championship has been increased to 19 rounds with the Chang circuit hosting the first grand prix in Thailand on October 7.
FIM Grand Prix World Championship 2018 Provisional Calendar
Date Grand Prix Venue
18 March Qatar* Losail International Circuit
08 April República Argentina Termas de Río Hondo
22 April Americas Circuit of the Americas
06 May Spain Circuito de Jerez
20 May France Le Mans
03 June Italy Autodromo del Mugello
17 June Catalunya Barcelona – Catalunya
01 July Netherlands TT Circuit Assen
15 July Germany Sachsenring
05 August Czech Republic Automotodrom Brno
12 August Austria Red Bull Ring – Spielberg
26 August Great Britain** TBA
09 September San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
23 September Aragón MotorLand Aragón
07 October Thailand Chang International Circuit
21 October Japan Twin Ring Motegi
28 October Australia Phillip Island
04 November Malaysia Sepang International Circuit
18 November Comunitat Valenciana Comunitat Valenciana – Ricardo Tormo

* Evening Race
** Circuit to be announced

 
DID YOU KNOW

This is the eighth successive year that the Aragon circuit has hosted a grand prix event and below are some facts and stats related to this event:

• Aragon first hosted a grand prix event in 2010, when it became the sixth different circuit that has been used for grand prix racing in Spain. The other circuits that have been used in Spain are: Jerez, Catalunya, Jarama, Montjuich and Valencia.

• Casey Stoner won the first MotoGP race at Aragon in 2010 on a Ducati, the only victory for the Italian manufacturer at this circuit.

• Honda are the most successful manufacturer at the Aragon circuit with four MotoGP victories, with three different riders: Casey Stoner in 2011, Dani Pedrosa in 2012 and Marc Marquez in both 2013 and 2016.

• Jorge Lorenzo has given Yamaha two MotoGP victories at the Aragon circuit, in 2014 and 2015.

• Spanish riders have had great success across all three GP classes at the Aragon circuit, winning fifteen of the twenty-one GP races that have taken place. The only non-Spanish riders who have had a grand prix win at the circuit are: Casey Stoner (MotoGP in 2010 & 2011), Andrea Iannone (Moto2 race in 2010), Romano Fenati (Moto3 in 2014), Miguel Oliveira (Moto3 in 2015) and Sam Lowes (Moto2) last year.

• Casey Stoner’s two victories are the only occasions that a non-Spanish rider has stood on either of the top two steps in the MotoGP class at the Aragon circuit.

• Marc Marquez has been on pole on all four occasions he has raced in the MotoGP class at the Aragon circuit.

• In addition to Casey Stoner’s win in 2010, the only podium finishes for Ducati riders at Aragon are; third for Nicky Hayden in 2010 and third for Cal Crutchlow in 2014.

• The best result at Aragon for Suzuki is the fourth place finish achieved last year by Maverick Viñales.

• Aragon is one of just five circuits on the current grand prix schedule that run in an anti-clockwise direction, along with Austin, Sachsenring, Phillip Island and Valencia.

• Aragon is one of just three circuits on the current grand prix schedule where Valentino Rossi has not had a MotoGP victory, along with Austin and the Red Bull Ring.

• The three riders standing on the MotoGP podium in Aragon last year (Marquez, Lorenzo, Rossi) had a record accumulated total of 232 grand prix wins across all classes.

 

ALL POINTS TO ARAGON SHOWDOWN

Something has to give at Aragon Sunday when Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Marquez arrive at the Spanish circuit on equal points with just five rounds of this amazing 18 round MotoGP™ World Championship remaining. They have both amassed 199 points and scored four victories apiece as they arrive at the superb 3.155 miles Aragon circuit for yet another showdown before the vital three flyway races that will have such a bearing on the outcome of the championship.

Marquez, fresh from his last lap victory in Misano has won two MotoGP™ races on the Repsol Honda at Aragon including last year. He will receive good support from team-mate Dani Pedrosa who was a winner on home soil five years ago. Casey Stoner brought Ducati victory eight years ago at the first Aragon grand prix but since then they have only taken two podium finishes, but history has made no difference to Dovizioso’s barnstorming performances this year. The Italian is in the form of his life and will receive good support from team-mate Jorge Lorenzo a double Aragon winner with Yamaha and Danilo Petrucci who was so close to victory at Misano on the Octo Pramac Ducati.

The MotoGP™ Championship is not just a two horse race with Maverick Vinales hanging in there just 16 points behind the two leaders. The Movistar Yamaha rider was fourth last year on the Ecstar Suzuki and has a new team-mate for the 23 lap race on Sunday. Fresh from his first World Superbike podium for Yamaha at the weekend Dutchman Michael van der Mark makes his MotoGP debut replacing the injured Valentino Rossi at a circuit he knows well.

Two riders looking for a change of fortune are previous Moto2™ winners in Aragon. Andrea Iannone and Sam Lowes are experiencing nightmare MotoGP seasons but have Moto2 wins in Aragon, while KTM test rider Mika Kallio returns to put the pressure on Pol Espargaro and especially Bradley Smith.

The Moto2™ World Championship has been blown wide open following the crash of championship leader Franco Morbidelli in Misano. His nearest rival Tom Luthi finished second and closed to within nine points of the Italian who he joins at Estrella Galicia Marc VDS Honda in MotoGP™ next year. Morbidelli was third last year behind team-mate Alex Marquez, who returns after missing Misano and winner Lowes, with Luthi in fourth place. Miquel Oliveira returns on the KTM to the circuit where he won the Moto3 race a couple of years ago.

Another former Aragon Moto3™ winner Romano Fenati arrives full of confidence after his wet Moto3 win in Misano. Despite his second win of the season the Italian still trails Joan Mir in the championship by a massive 61 points after the Spaniard was second in the Misano rain that brought about so many crashes. Third placed Aron Canet chases his fourth win of the season.

 
TELEVISION TIMES

BT SPORT 2
Friday 22 September: 8.00 – 15.00
Saturday 23 September: 8.00 – 15.15
Sunday 24 September: 7.30 – 15.00

CHANNEL FIVE
Highlights Monday 25 September 19.00

talkSport2 will also have live commentary of the race on Sunday.

By | September 19th, 2017|Uncategorised|Comments Off on LOWES SEEKS REDEMPTION IN ARAGON

PRESSURE ON AS SMITH RETURNS TO SCENE OF SUCCESS

The pressure is on Bradley Smith when he returns to the scene of his greatest MotoGP™ success on Sunday. Two years ago Smith finished second at the 2.626 mile Misano circuit on the Adriatic coast of Italy and returns on Sunday for the Tribul Mastercard Grand Prix of San Marino and the Riviera of Rimini desperate for a change of fortune in the 28 lap race.

It’s been a tough season for the Oxfordshire rider as he helps develop the new RC16 KTM in the debut MotoGP™ season for the Austrian team. Tyre problems kept him out of the points in his home Silverstone race a couple of weeks ago and he arrives in Italy knowing the results must improve. KTM tested at Misano a couple of weeks ago and Smith also has a new crew chief. He is confident the tide will turn at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli on Sunday.

In that same race two years ago Gloucestershire’s Scott Redding finished in third place and like Smith, a repeat would be just perfect. Redding, who moves to the Misano – based Gresini Aprilia team next year replacing Sam Lowes, arrives following an encouraging eighth place at Silverstone on the Octo Pramac Ducati.

Another team based at Misano are LCR Honda which makes it an important race for Isle of Man –based Midlander Cal Crutchlow. He’s eighth in the World Championship just one point behind four times Misano winner Jorge Lorenzo and produced a superb ride to fourth place in the previous Silverstone round.

It’s an ironic race for Lincolnshire’s Sam Lowes at the home of his Gresini Aprilia team. They have terminated his two year contract at the end of his first MotoGP season. He will return to the Moto2™ class next season, replacing the MotoGP™ bound Tom Luthi at CarXpert Interwetten. It’s been a tough time for the former World Supersport Champion and he is desperate to finish the final six MotoGP races with some points scoring rides, especially at Misano on Sunday.

Oban – based Scotsman John McPhee got caught by the last lap Moto3™ red flag at Silverstone to finish 13th. The British Talent Team Honda rider is sixth in the championship but only five points behind Fabio Di Giannantonio in fifth place.

British Supersport Champion Tarran Mackenzie crashed in the Moto2™ race at Silverstone but remounted to finish the race. With six rounds of his debut season remaining he chases his very first championship points in the 26 lap race on Sunday.

 
ROSSI OUT OF HOME RACE AFTER ENDURO CRASH

Local hero Valentino Rossi misses his home race after breaking the tibia and fibula in his right leg when he crashed during enduro training on Thursday.

The 38 year old, nine times World Champion, returned to his Tavullia home on Saturday after an operation in Ancona. His home town is situated just a few miles from the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.

It’s too early for Rossi to set a date for a return to the track. He currently lies fourth in the World Championship and finished third at the previous round in Silverstone and also won the Dutch TT in Assen this year.

 
DID YOU KNOW

This will be the 21st time that Misano has hosted a motorcycle grand prix event and below are some facts and stats related to the event:

• The first grand prix event to take place at Misano was in 1980; the 500cc race was over 40 laps of the circuit that measured 3.448 km and ran in an anti-clockwise direction and was won by Kenny Roberts.

• The Misano circuit hosted a GP event for a total of ten occasions between the years of 1980 and 1993.

• Misano did not have a grand prix event for thirteen years following the accident that ended the career of Wayne Rainey in 1993.

• When GP racing returned to Misano in 2007, it was on a much revised 4.18 km circuit running in the opposite direction to the earlier layout.

• There have been nineteen previous San Marino Grand Prix events. The first San Marino Grand Prix was held at Imola in 1981. Three different circuits have hosted the San Marino Grand Prix – Imola twice (1981 & 1983), Mugello four times (1982, 84, 91 and 93) and Misano on thirteen occasions (1985, 86, 87 and from 2007 onwards).

• Yamaha have been the most successful manufacturer in MotoGP™ since the grand prix series returned to Misano in 2007 with six victories, the last was with Valentino Rossi in 2014.

• Honda have had a three MotoGP™ wins at the Misano circuit, including for the last two years.

• The win by Marc Marquez in 2015 was the first for Honda at Misano since 2010 and followed four successive wins for Yamaha at this circuit.

• Ducati’s single victory at Misano was in 2007 with Casey Stoner. Since Stoner’s win in 2007 Ducati have had two more podium finishes at this circuit: Toni Elias 3rd in 2008 and Valentino Rossi 2nd in 2012.

• Suzuki has had two podium finishes in the MotoGP™ era at Misano circuit, both of which came in 2007 when Chris Vermeulen finished second and John Hopkins third. Vinales’ 5th place finish last year was the best result for a Suzuki rider at Misano since Loris Capirossi finished 5th in 2009.

• The most successful riders at Misano since racing returned to the circuit in 2007, each with four victories, are Jorge Lorenzo (1 x 250cc, 3 x MotoGP) and Marc Marquez (1 x 125cc, 2 x Moto2, 1 x MotoGP)

• Dani Pedrosa’s victory in 2010 is the last time that the MotoGP™ race at Misano was won by a rider starting from pole position.

• Lorenzo Baldassarri’s victory at Misano last year was the first Moto2™ win by an Italian for 4 years, since Andrea Iannone won at Mugello in 2012.

 
13 POINTS SEPARATE TOP THREE IN MISANO MELTDOWN

Andrea Dovizioso returns home to the Adriatic coast of Italy with a precious and precarious nine point lead with six rounds of the MotoGP™ World Championship remaining. The 2.626 miles Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli situated a couple of miles inland from Riccione stages the vital round 13 of the title chase with just 13 points separating the first three riders.

Dovizioso, riding the factory Ducati, leads the way after winning his fourth grand prix of the season at the previous round at Silverstone in England. Both the rider and his team will receive massive support from the patriotic home crowd especially after winning the previous Italian round in Mugello, as they fight off the challenge of World Champion Marc Marquez and Maverick Vinales in what promises to be another enthralling 28 lap encounter. Previous championship leader Marquez was desperately unlucky at Silverstone when he was side-lined with a blown engine challenging for the lead. He trails Dovizioso by just nine points and has won in all three classes at Misano. His Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa won in Misano last year and hangs onto his championship chances by a finger nail 35 points adrift of Dovizioso whose team-mate Jorge Lorenzo has won four times at Misano including three MotoGP victories.

Third placed Maverick Vinales bounced back to form at Silverstone on the Movistar Yamaha finishing second, almost catching Dovizioso on the last lap. He will be without team-mate Valentino Rossi and the further Yamaha threat will come from the Monster Tech3 duo of Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger. Frenchman Zarco won the Moto2 race a couple of years ago and is having a superb MotoGP debut season, lying sixth in the championship. Folger is three places behind him and returns after missing the Silverstone race following a high speed crash in the Sunday morning warm-up session.

Cal Crutchlow, who was fourth at Silverstone and is eighth in the championship, will be desperate to bring LCR Honda success at their home base. Aleix Espargaro has similar sentiments at Gresini Aprilia’s homecoming while Danilo Petrucci, who’s experiencing a real up and down season, seeks home support on the Octo Pramac Ducati.

Another Italian returning home leading the World Championship is Franco Morbidelli. The Estrella Galicia Marc VDS Kalex rider opened up a 29 point lead in the Moto2™ Championship after finishing third at Silverstone. The two riders who finished in front of him could again prove the biggest threat in the 26 lap race on Sunday.

Takaaki Nakagami won his first race of the season after announcing his departure to MotoGP next season while veteran Mattia Pasini, who has been on pole at the last two rounds, is relishing the prospect of racing at his home circuit especially after whetting his appetite with victory at Mugello. Tom Luthi is another rider MotoGP bound as he chases his next year’s premier class team-mate Morbidelli for the championship while Morbidelli’s team-mate Alex Marquez will be hoping for no repeat of his Silverstone crash. KTM come into the race with high hopes. Last year’s Moto3™ winner Brad Binder and Miquel Oliveira spearhead their efforts.

Spanish teenager Jean Mir replaces Morbidelli in Moto2 next year and has every chance of bringing the Moto3™ World title with him. The Leopard Racing Honda rider holds a massive 64 point lead in the championship over Silverstone winner Aron Canet. Italian Romano Fenati is just two points adrift and it promises to be another frantic 23 lap encounter.
TELEVISION TIMES

BT SPORT 2
Friday 8 September: 8.00 – 15.00
Saturday 9 September: 8.00 – 15.15
Sunday 10 September: 7.30 – 15.00

CHANNEL FIVE
Highlights Tuesday 12 September 19.00

talkSport2 will also have live commentary of the race on Sunday.

By | September 4th, 2017|Uncategorised|Comments Off on PRESSURE ON AS SMITH RETURNS TO SCENE OF SUCCESS