With the holiday season receding into the rear view mirror, that means that we are getting closer to seeing bikes on tracks.
Testing starts this week for both the MotoGP and WorldSBK paddocks, and before testing, the Movistar Yamaha team will present their 2018 livery later on this week as well.
The action starts on Tuesday in Jerez, where virtually the entire WorldSBK paddock is gathered for a two-day test.
The Andalusian track will see the first real test of the 2018 WorldSBK machines, with the teams all having had the winter break to develop their bikes under the new technical regulations – new rev limits, and better access to cheaper parts.
All eyes will once again be on triple and reigning WorldSBK champion Jonathan Rea, the man who dominated at Jerez in November.
JD Beach has won the fifth edition of the Barcelona Superprestigio indoor flat track race. The American passed Toni Elias in the first couple of laps and led for almost the entire 16 laps of the Superprestigio Superfinal.
Beach entered the Superfinal as favorite, having won all three of the Open class final races to face off against the best of the roadracing world in the Superprestigio class.
Briar Bauman, the second American entry, finished in second, not far behind Beach, having fought his way through from fourth in the early laps.
Mark your calendars, because the 2017 Superprestigio flat track event is this weekend. But if you’re like us, you likely won’t be in the Barcelona over the weekend, which means you need a way to watch some of motorcycle racing’s top riders battle it out on the dirt oval.
No worries, the folks at FansChoice.TV have your back on this, offering a livestream of the Superprestigio flat track race to American viewers.
Commentary will be handled by American Flat Track’s very own Chris Carr, who knows a thing or two about going fast in the dirt. Coverage on FansChoice.TV will start at 9am PST, with racing expected to stat around 9:30am PST.
The organizers of the Barcelona Superprestigio indoor flat track event, to be held in Barcelona on 16th December, published the provisional entry lists on Thursday. The entries contain more than their fair share of talent, with eight world champions in different disciplines lining up on the grid.
Arguably the biggest name from the road racing scene is double Moto2 world champion, MotoGP Rookie of the Year, and best independent team rider Johann Zarco. The Frenchman is due to line up on the grid representing Yamaha.
His compatriot World Supersport champion Lucas Mahias will also be racing in the Superprestigio, as well as former Moto2 world champion and reigning MotoAmerica champion Toni Elias.
The Barcelona Superprestigio dirt track event returns for its fifth edition this December 16th.
But the indoor short track held at Palau Sant Jordi, south of the city center, will be without a couple of its big name riders this year, including the originator of the idea, Marc Marquez.
The Spaniard announced a few days ago on his Twitter account that he would not be racing in the event, citing the need for a rest after a long season. Just how much of it was his own decision, and how much the result of pressure from Honda, is unknown.
HRC were known to be deeply unhappy about Marquez racing in an event which is fraught with the risk of injury, but were unable to stop him.
Last weekend, the MotoAmerica season was onto its second round of the year, with racing action happening at Road Atlanta. The racing has been good so far in MotoAmerica this year, so if you haven’t been watching it, you have been missing out.
If you haven’t been watching, then you have also been missing-out on the feud that is brewing between Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias and Monster Yamaha’s Cameron Beaubier. Exchanging some hand signals on the track, the pair exchange some words as well in Sunday’s post-race press conference.
In short, it looks like the gloves will be coming-off in the future MotoAmerica rounds, as these two riders fight not only for the MotoAmerica Championship title, but also against each other.
The great state of Texas once again hosted MotoGP and MotoAmerica this past weekend, at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin.
Dorna said that attendance was higher than last year’s number of 56,000 on race day, but did not release an actual figure. Based on my own experience, I would say that attendance was likely up the entire weekend.
Weather played a definite factor in this year’s activities, with Friday being hot and humid, while Saturday was cold, damp, and windy, which led to multiple crashes during practice and qualifying. Thankfully, the weather on Sunday was sunny and breezy, but not too windy, making for a truly beautiful race day.
The MotoGP paddock was the usual beehive of activity this weekend, with scooters darting back and forth, carrying crewmembers, racers, and photographers.
With increased factory involvement and a competitive field the first shoots of a resurgence for motorcycle racing in United States are starting to grow. The United States has been a consistent breeding ground for world-class racers over the last four decades, but the decline of domestic racing has hit that talent pipeline hard in recent years. Honda’s WorldSBK star Nicky Hayden is the country’s sole representative on the Superbike grid, and with no American riders racing in MotoGP, it’s clear just how far the country has fallen from the map. One of the biggest reasons for this was the decline of production based racing in the USA.
Episode 43 of the Paddock Pass Podcast is out, and the show covers this past weekend’s Superprestigio flat track race in Barcelona.
Talking about the Superprestigio and flat track racing in general, Neil Morrison, Steve English, and David Emmett are joined by American freelance motorcycle journalist and photographer Andrea Wilson, who brings her unique insight into the sport of to the podcast.
The show covers first the action-packed day in Spain, where some of the biggest names from multiple two-wheeled racing disciplines competed for the ultimate in bragging rights.
After analyzing Marc Marquez’s victory over Brad Baker, the show takes a turn to talk about flat track racing in the United States, and the changes that the American Flat Track series is seeing for the 2017 season.
Packed with insight, we think you will enjoy this special episode immensely.
As always, be sure to follow the Paddock Pass Podcast on Facebook, Twitter and subscribe to the show on iTunes and SoundCloud – we even have an RSS feed for you. If you like the show, we would really appreciate you giving it a review on iTunes. Thanks for listening!
Asphalt & Rubber is fortunate to publish this outstanding photos by friend and photographer/journalist Steve English. Most motorcycle racing fans will know Steve for his work as a commentator on the World Superbike Championship feed, but thankfully his skills translate to dirt ovals as well. We hope you enjoy his photos. -JB
Marc Marquez has taken revenge at the event he helped to create, winning the 2016 edition of the Superprestigio in dominant style. The 2016 MotoGP champion had dominated the qualifying heats, and chose the inside gate to start from. Though he dropped behind the excellent French Supermoto champion Tom Chareyre