An awful lot happened at Jerez on Sunday, when the 2020 MotoGP season resumed/started. First, an update on Marc Márquez.
After a preliminary examination in hospital, with the swelling of the initial trauma surrounding Márquez’ broken humerus starting to reduce, doctors are optimistic that Márquez has not suffered damage to the radial nerve in his right arm.
That would greatly improve his chances of a speedy recovery, a pin or plate enough to hold the bone in his upper arm together. Dr Mir, overseeing Márquez’ care, told the media that Márquez could be ready to race in Brno.
That would mean missing just a single race, the Grand Prix of Andalusia, to be held on Sunday at Jerez once again. But it would also leave Márquez a long way behind in the championship in an extremely shortened season.
Fabio Quartararo and Sergio Garcia have both been handed penalties for using unauthorized machines to practice on track. The pair have been punished by being forced to miss the first 20 minutes of FP1 when action resumes on Friday.
The two were punished for separate incidents, Garcia for riding at Aragon in June, Quartararo for riding at Paul Ricard in the same month.
Two unnamed riders have been caught infringing the Grand Prix testing and practice regulations.
In a press release issued today, the FIM announced that breaches of the rules had been reported, which would be investigated during hearings to be held at the (re)opening of MotoGP at Jerez, on July 19th.
Though neither the names nor the specific infraction were mentioned in the press release, the wording of the announcement makes clear that the incident involves either Moto2 or Moto3 riders, and that they are accused of having used bikes that were not eligible to be used for training.
Episode 149 of the Paddock Pass Podcast is out, and this one is a special show that dives into everything you ever wanted to know (and more) about electronics and data as it pertains to motorcycle racing.
As such, this episode sees David Emmett hosting a special guest on the show, data engineer Peter Bom, who is a former crew chief and data recording engineer for the Moto2, Moto3, and WorldSBK classes, as well as an analyst and commentator for Dutch Eurosport
Admittedly, we had some technical difficulties with the recording, so it might be a bit rougher than you would normally expect from the Paddock Pass Podcast, but what Peter has to say is incredibly insightful and interesting, and certainly well worth the effort.
Today, the FIM announced that the Grand Prix Commission had decided on revised engine allocations, for both the MotoGP and Moto3 classes. And in doing so, they gave a hint at how many races a 2020 MotoGP calendar might contain.
Episode 135 of the Paddock Pass Podcast is out, and this one covers the season-opener for the grand prix season, which oddly didn’t include the MotoGP riders. We are of course talking about the Qatar GP.
On-hand in the Middle East was the dynamic duo of Neil Morrison and David Emmett, as they discussed the racing action for the Moto2 and Moto3 classes.
It has been a decade, but it is here at last. The last time a rider from the United States of America took pole position in a Grand Prix was in 2010, at Indianapolis, where Ben Spies set the fastest time in qualifying. The last time an American rider was fastest in the intermediate class was Kenny Noyes at Le Mans in 2010. 2010 was a good year for Americans in racing.
Are we likely to see a revival of Americans in Grand Prix racing? Unlikely, given that there is only one rider from the US current in the entire series. But that doesn’t preclude seeing a lot of success for the US this year.
Joe Roberts has found something this year. The American Racing team (owned, ironically, by someone who is not American) have taken a big step forward with the Kalex, and the bike suits Joe Roberts’ riding style much better than the KTM did.
There is nothing like the sight of racing motorcycles entering a track for timed laps to bring a circuit alive.
If yesterday, the atmosphere was best described as eerie, the baritone roar of a pack of Moto3 bikes was enough to snap the MotoGP paddock out of its malaise.
We went from wandering around looking lost to watching the timing screens, and jumping out of the way of bikes as they entered the pits.
Walking up and down pit lane, and with a chance to focus on Moto2 and Moto3 exclusively, a few things catch your attention.
The Grand Prix Commission is working through the unintended consequences of the decision to restrict testing in all three Grand Prix classes.
Those restrictions have been a positive aid in reducing costs, but have made it impossible to use riders not currently under contract unless their contracted riders are absent due to illness or injury.
Adding a further layer of complexity to this is the current state of the MotoGP rider’s market: with everyone out of contract at the end of 2020, and a large crop of Moto2 riders looking to step up, the factories want to take a look at riders not currently on the MotoGP grid.
Do not adjust your computer monitors, you are not seeing things incorrectly. This KTM Moto3 bike is having a bit of an identity crisis, as it is now known as the Husqvarna FR 250 GP. Yes, the Swedish brand is making its re-entry in the grand prix racing next year.
Set to be campaigned by Max Racing, which is the team name of former world champion Max Biaggi, Husqvarna’s push back into the Moto3 series is sure to make waves, and that’s before we tell you that the named riders are Romano Fenati and Alonso Lopez.
As you can imagine then, the news made waves when it was announced at the EICMA show in Milan, though perhaps there is some hope that Biaggi’s veteran status can ease the rough edges found on Fenati.
Their home Grand Prix is traditionally the place where KTM announce the racing plans, and this weekend’s Austrian MotoGP round is no different.
There is to be a shakeup in the Moto2 and Moto3 classes, while the Austrian manufacturer has extended its commitment to MotoGP for five more years beyond 2021.
KTM will stop as a chassis manufacturer in Moto2, but bring back Husqvarna as a separate team and bike in Moto3.