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The WithU RNF team is to switch from Yamaha to Aprilia for the coming seasons. An agreement was reached with Aprilia between the Le Mans and Mugello rounds for the team to become a satellite team for the Noale factory, and field two more Aprilia RS-GP MotoGP machines from 2023 and beyond.

The deal came about after talks with Yamaha failed to yield satisfactory results for RNF. The Malaysian team had long been hoping to play a role as a junior team to the factory, in the mold of Pramac at Ducati and Tech3 at KTM. But RNF never felt they got the support from Yamaha which they had wanted.

A switch from Yamaha to Aprilia allows them to make that step forward. Though details are sparse in the press release, it is clear that RNF will get much stronger support from Aprilia than they did from Yamaha, with the team to serve as a conduit for talent into the factory team.


The deal was announced just before MotoGP FP1, a surprising moment to choose. But that was a result of factory rider Aleix Espargaro prematurely tweeting and then deleting a welcome to RNF to Aprilia. But by then, it was too late to retract.

The original plan had been for an announcement to be made in the afternoon, but Espargaro’s over-eager thumbs forced Aprilia and RNF to announce earlier.

The move by RNF leaves Yamaha with just two bikes on the grid for 2023. The Japanese factory had been in talks with the VR46 Mooney team to race Yamahas next season, but the team is currently still set to race Ducatis.

RNF’s departure is the second time a satellite team have left for greener pastures. Tech3 dropped Yamaha and switched to KTM at the end of 2018.

Source: RNF; Photo: Aprilia

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past month or so, you will have heard the criticism of MotoGP. Though the field is close, it has become harder and harder to overtake the riders in front.

The Le Mans race was a case in point: the 27-lap race featured only a handful of overtakes, most of which were made possible only by a mistake by the rider ahead.

The problem was brought into stark relief by last weekend’s WorldSBK races at Estoril.

Alvaro Bautista, Jonathan Rea, and Toprak Razgatlioglu put on a dazzling display of passing in all three races on Saturday and Sunday, finding ways to jam their bikes ahead of each other into the first corner, the fourth corner, the Parabolica Interior, and the tight, awkward uphill chicane.

They produced three glorious races.

The Lusail International Circuit is to undergo major renovation work at the end of 2022 and into 2023, to upgrade the facilities and paddock.

As a result, it will relinquish its position as the first race of the MotoGP season, instead being moved back to the end of the year.

With Qatar out of the frame as the first race of 2023, this hugely increases the chances of Phillip Island as the first race of the season.

To help celebrate 50 years of the “M” brand in BMW, your favorite German manufacturer is releasing today the heavily worded BMW M1000RR 50 Years M Edition superbike.

Based on the already spicy BMW M1000RR, in all its carbon fiber glory, the 50 Years M Edition model brings extensive use aluminum and carbon parts, featuring a light-silver anodized aluminum swingarm, M GPS lap trigger, a M endurance chain, and passenger seat and seat cover.

You can get it in any color you want, so long as its “Sao Paulo Yellow” – which is pretty striking, if you ask us.

There is a MotoGP race at Le Mans this weekend, but to be honest, it is hard to concentrate on the race. A lot has happened in the past couple of weeks, which has shaken up MotoGP to a degree we hadn’t expected even as late as two weeks ago.

Suzuki’s withdrawal blows the MotoGP silly season right open, with not just rider seats up in the air, but grid slots and bikes too.

Then there’s the controversy over tire pressures being routinely under the minimum allowed, and whether that is even an issue or not, given the MSMA have agreed not to do anything about it.

Episode 276 of the Paddock Pass Podcast is out, and this one has Steve English and Gordon Ritchie on the mics, talking about the WorldSBK action from Assen.

The guys kick off with a debate over who, if anyone, was to blame in the clash between Jonathan Rea and Toprak Razgatlioglu which blew Race 2 wide open.

Next, they talk about how Alvaro Bautista has taken charge of the championship, in part thanks to his penalty in the Superpole race and the win in Race 2.

The show then discusses where the rest of the field stand after Assen, starting with Honda. Steve and Gordo discuss how well Iker Lecuona has made the transformation from the MotoGP paddock to WorldSBK, then they look at how Yamaha are faring, and they discuss the situation at BMW.


Lastly, Steve and Gordo take a look ahead at the Estoril round, coming up on the weekend of May 22nd.

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Source: SoundCloud

The role of tire pressures, and especially for the front tire, has grown in importance in recent years, as aerodynamics and ride-height devices have made the front ever more sensitive to pressure and temperature changes.

It is common to hear riders complain of temperatures and pressures skyrocketing after getting stuck behind other bikes, and kept out of the cooling air.

It is therefore not surprising that factories and teams try to manage tire pressures as carefully as possible.

The Ducati DesertX is an important model for the Italian brand, as it marks the first modern 21″ dual-sport from the brand, and Borgo Panigale’s entry into the middleweight ADV space.

The DesertX has come a long way since its 2019 concept debut, where it first came from the Scrambler subrand and with an air-cooled DesmoDue engine.

Now water-cooled (using the 937cc Testastretta 11° engine) and under the main Ducati marque, the Ducati DesertX is finally getting into the hands of the motorcycling press, which means we have no shortage of high-resolution photos to share with you.