ROUND THIRTEEN 2012 MotoGP™ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 16
REA MAKES GRAND PRIX DEBUT ON WORLD CHAMPION’S HONDA
Ulsterman Jonathan Rea makes his MotoGP™ debut riding World Champion Casey Stoner’s Repsol Honda at the Aperol Grand Prix of San Marino and the Riviera of Rimini at Misano on the Adriatic coast of Italy on Sunday.
The 25 year old will replace the injured Stoner at Misano on Sunday and at Aragon in Spain in two weeks’ time after just two test sessions on the Honda RC213V machine at Brno and Aragon. In between the two tests he competed in two World Superbike races at the Nurburgring in Germany at the weekend riding the Honda Fireblade machine.
Last month Rea helped Honda win the prestigious Suzuka Eight Hour race in Japan and also tested the 800cc Honda MotoGP machine in Malaysia a couple of years ago. He has racing experience at both Misano and Aragon in the World Superbike Championship.
“I’m happy with the test we did in Aragon. Now we’re not looking at the lap times so much, but the gap to the front which is decreasing every test, so I’m happy with that. On the first day we did a lot of work with the base setting and we confirmed that the next morning. I’m still not completely happy finishing the corner, but on the final afternoon I did a long run and my fastest lap came at the end, so I need to push these tyres much harder and it’s a question of trust.
It’s been a good opportunity to test before the race; the Repsol Honda Team gave me the best opportunity, knowing the bike and the circuit and I am constantly learning. I raced in Germany at the Superbikes this weekend, so it will be a busy period for me but I will try to take advantage of it and enjoy it as much as I can. I’m grateful to Honda for giving me this opportunity. I don’t underestimate the challenge.”
CRUTCHLOW TO CONTINUE WHERE HE LEFT OFF
Cal Crutchlow can’t wait for the 28 lap race at Misano on Sunday after re-writing the history books in the previous round at Brno in the Czech Republic. The Isle of Man –based Midlander became the first British rider to finish on a MotoGP podium for 12 years with a brilliant third place finish behind championship leaders Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo riding the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha.
Crutchlow in just his second MotoGP season lies fifth in the championship and has plenty of experience at the 2.262 miles Misano circuit in MotoGP and World Superbikes. He trails team-mate Andrea Dovizioso by 28 points in their battle for fourth place with six rounds remaining. Cumbrian James Ellison continues his fight for CRT honours. Riding the Paul Bird Motorsport ART machine he’s 18th in the championship three points behind Colin Edwards.
Gloucestershire teenager Scott Redding wants to forget the previous Moto2™ round in Brno where he started from the front row of the grid but crashed the Marc VDS machine at the third corner. He held onto fifth place in the championship two places in front of his great British rival Bradley Smith. The 21 year old Oxfordshire rider recovered from a bad qualifying session to finish eighth in Brno riding the Tech 3 machine. He’s desperate for a strong finish to his Moto2 career before joining MotoGP next season. It was also a tough Brno weekend for Londoner Gino Rea who crashed in the early stages but remounted to finish 24th.
Kent-based Danny Webb has recovered from his hand and wrist injury to return to the saddle of his Mahindra machine in the Moto3™ race. He will be joined by Wiltshire teenager Danny Kent who needs some more podium finishes to push on from eighth place in the championship. His one podium finish was a third place in Holland and he trails KTM team-mate Zulfahmi Khairuddin by ten points in their battle for seventh.
PEDROSA CHASING HATRICK TO KEEP THE PRESSURE ON
Dani Pedrosa chases a hatrick of MotoGP victories to close the gap on championship leader Jorge Lorenzo in the Aperol Grand Prix of San Marino and the Riviera of Rimini at Misano on Sunday.
The Repsol Honda rider arrives at the 2.626 miles Misano circuit on the Adriatic coast of Italy after winning the last two rounds at Indianapolis and Brno to close the gap to just 13 points on Lorenzo with six rounds of the 18 round championship remaining. It promises to be another head to head confrontation between the two bitter Spanish rivals who have both won at Misano in the last couple of years. Lorenzo brought Yamaha victory last year with Pedrosa on the top step of the podium the previous year.
World Champion Casey Stoner, who won at Misano five years ago, will miss the race recovering from the operation on his fractured right ankle. He will be replaced by Suzuka Eight Hour race winner Jonathan Rea who makes his grand prix debut.
Stoner’s third place in the championship is coming under threat from Italian Andrea Dovizioso who in turn is involved a battle with his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team-mate Cal Crutchlow for fourth. It was a big weekend for the pair of them in Brno with Dovizioso agreeing a two year deal with Ducati and Crutchlow securing his first ever MotoGP podium.
Valentino Rossi will be replaced by Dovizioso at Ducati next year as he makes a much publicised return to Yamaha. It will be a bitter sweet weekend for the nine times World Champion at his home track. The Italian lives just five miles from the circuit where he won in 2008 and 2009 but will be making his last appearance for Ducati in Italy. He’s involved in a tremendous battle for sixth place in the championship with World Champions Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista. The trio separated by just five points with Rossi’s team-mate Nicky Hayden in ninth place and likely to return after missing both Indianapolis and Brno through injury. Spaniard Hector Barbara is also expected to return riding the Pramac Ducati following his practice crash at Indianapolis.
Power Electronics Aspar team-mates Aleix Espargaro and Randy De Puniet are separated by just four points as they continue their battle for top CRT honours while David Salom replaces Ivan Silva in the Avintia Blusens BQR team for the remainder of the season. Italian Danilo Petrucci will ride a BMW Suter machine replacing his Came Ioda.
Spanish teenager Marc Marquez is a clear favorite to win the Moto2 race on Sunday and the World title before the final race of the season. The Catalunya Caixa Repsol Suter rider chases his seventh win of the season at the circuit where he has won both 125 and Moto2 races to increase that impressive 48 point championship lead. Nothing is ever clear cut in Moto2 racing and the likes of this year’s other grand prix winners Pol Espargaro, Tom Luthi and Andrea Iannone will make life as tough as possible for Marquez before he departs to MotoGP next year.
German Sandro Cortese has been almost as impressive in the Moto3 Championship building up a 32 point lead with a combination of consistency and aggression. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider may have only won two grands prix but has only finished off the podium in one of the 11 rounds. In contrast second placed Maverick Vinales has won five grands prix but then produced just one more podium finish. Vinales must win on Sunday and hope for a rare Cortese mistake in the mayhem of a Moto3 Championship that has also brought wins for Jonas Folger, Luis Salom, Romano Fenati and Louis Rossi.
MISANO FACTS AND FIGURES
REVERSED MISANO RETURNED IN 2007
The 2.626 miles Misano circuit returned to MotoGP action in 2007 after a 14 year absence but running the opposite way round. The circuit, which is situated near to Riccione on the Adriatic coast of Italy, stopped hosting MotoGP events following the serious accident of the 500cc World Champion Wayne Rainey in 1993. It returned in 2007 running the opposite direction and with a number of safety changes.
The original circuit was built in the mid seventies to replace the sea front road circuit which staged early season international meetings.
The Misano circuit was the home track for the late Marco Simoncelli and his San Carlo Gresini team. Consequently there will be a number of special events to celebrate the career of Marco who lost his life at the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang last year.
The 1993 500cc World Champion Kevin Schwantz has led a cycle ride relay, The Cycle of Wishes, from Donington Park in England to Misano. On Thursday evening all competitors’ in the grand prix this weekend will cycle a lap of honour of the Misano circuit to celebrate the life of the former 250 cc World Champion.
Circuit Length: 4.226kms
Width: 14 m
Pole Position: Left
Longest Straight: 565m
Left Corners: Six
Right Corners: Ten
Pole Position Record:
Friday 15 September
1210 – 1500 British Eurosport – Live Practice Moto3, MotoGP, Moto2
Saturday 16 September
1150 – 1505 BBC Red Button & British Eurosport – Live Qualifying Moto3, MotoGP, Moto2
Sunday 17 September
0955 – 1205 BBC Red Button – Live Moto3 and Moto2 races
0945 –1200 British Eurosport – Live Moto3 and Moto2 races
1230 — 1400 BBC2 and HD Live MotoGP race