Posts Tagged ‘Moto2’

New Kawasaki World Supersport lineup preps for 2012

December 14th, 2011 No comments

Kenan Sofuoglu and Sheridan Morais will line up as teammates in the official 2012 Kawasaki DeltaFin WSS Team, managed by Vanni Lorenzini, and each rider has already started preparations in earnest.

Two time WSS champion Kenan Sofuoglu

Morais first got the chance to ride the Supersport Kawasaki at the end-of-season tests at Portimao, setting the fastest lap time and proving he will be a force to be reckoned with as he moves over to WSS from the Superstock 1000 class. He claimed a podium in that class on the 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R for the Lorenzini by Leoni team at the final round of the year.

Sofuoglu is already a double-championship-winning legend in the WSS paddock and will return after a season spent in the Moto2 Championship. He has already had the chance to test his new machine, and like Morais has set laps at Aragon and Valencia in Spain in readiness for the 2012 campaign, which starts at Phillip Island in Australia in late February.

Kenan Sofuoglu:
“I am very happy for this opportunity given to me by Kawasaki, a chance which has arrived in a particular moment of my sporting career. The experience in Moto2 was important but, for me, it is fundamental to fight for the title and I am sure that with the DeltaFin team behind me this will be possible. I come back to the Supersport World Championship happy with this choice, relying on the technical support of an important company.”

Sheridan Morais:
“I have a good prior relationship with Kawasaki and that has built up here in this paddock. My DeltaFin team and Kawasaki have become like my family in Europe and think it is really like a family. We have a job to do but we all get on and enjoy each other’s company as well. I am working with a lot of the same guys I worked with last year. The Supersport bike is really good and I have lots of telemetry and a number of different things to deal with on the Ninja ZX-6R, more than I did on the Superstock 1000 Ninja ZX-10R. We have had some dry testing time now, so I am getting used to the softer tires and working on suspension a bit. The bike handles so well and I am just getting used to it all. I’m loving it.”

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AMA’s Tommy Aquino to contest final two CEV Moto2 events

November 10th, 2011 No comments

If you’re looking for AMA Pro road racer and second runner up to the 2011 Daytona Sportbike title, Tommy Aquino, this week, don’t bother searching near his Southern California home. You won’t find him relaxing in the west coast sun, enjoying the offseason like many of his fellow competitors.

No way. Tommy’s in Spain. Yes, that Spain; the one 6,000 miles away, across the Atlantic Ocean. Tommy has signed on with Wilmax Racing to contest the final two rounds of the CEV Buckler Spanish Moto2 season in Valencia and Jerez.

Danielle Teal has all of the details over at Next Moto Champion.

Casey Stoner wins the 2011 MotoGP World Championship

October 17th, 2011 No comments

Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) won the 2011 MotoGP World Championship yesterday with a victory in difficult conditions on his home circuit of Phillip Island on his 26th birthday. Finishing behind Stoner were three Hondas, Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini), in a career best second, then Repsol Honda teammates Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa.

Stoner’s chances of winning the title greatly improved when his only title rival, Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha), was declared unfit to race after injuring his left hand in a crash near the end of morning warm-up. That put Stoner in position to take the championship by finishing sixth or better, though he would rather have won in a straight-up fight. Since Stoner had been on the podium in every race he’s finished this year, finishing sixth or better was never in question.

Bolting from his 11th pole position of the year, Stoner controlled the pace on a cold, blustery, but mostly sunlit day, turning the race into a battle for second. Stoner had a lead of 7.4s on the 14th of 27 laps and was well on his way to victory when a light, then heavy rain threatened to turn the race chaotic in the final stages. Two riders pitted to change to motorcycles with rain set-ups, and three others fell, but Stoner survived one harrowing moment, maintained his composure and sped to his fifth consecutive victory at Phillip Island, today by 2.21s.

The win gave him an untouchable championship lead over Lorenzo of 325 to 260, with only 50 points remaining in the final two races in Malaysia and Valencia.

The title was Stoner’s second; he also won the 2007 MotoGP World Championship, giving him the distinction of opening and closing the 800cc era as world champion.

The victory came on a day when Honda celebrated their 60th Constructors Championship and 18th in the premier class, and 15th riders championship in the premier class. Honda has an insurmountable 75 point lead, 380 to 305, over Yamaha with two races remaining.

Though Stoner’s win was never in doubt, the same couldn’t be said of the other podium positions. By the fourth of 27 laps, Honda riders held the top four spots and began an inter-family battle that would go down to the final lap. Simoncelli took over second on the second lap and held the position almost to the end. Only on the 25th lap did Dovizioso find a way past, holding the position for two laps. But on the final lap, when the track was again dry, Simoncelli re-asserted himself to finish second, a career best in the premier class. Dovi was third at .244s, with Pedrosa dropping off the pace at the end to finish fourth.

What wasn’t known at the time was that Pedrosa’s front tire had degraded, taking away his corner entry speed and forcing him to abandon the podium fight. Rather than risk crashing, and losing valuable championship points, he made the wise decision to secure fourth, and give Honda a top four sweep.

Toni Elias (LCR Honda MotoGP) survived the adverse conditions to finish eighth, tying his season best. Elias was again troubled by rear grip issues, caused by the dropping temperature. Still, he rode a smart, calculated race using his experience to avoid the traps that befell a number of others.

Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) was also having a good race when he crashed four laps from the end on a wet track. At the time, the Japanese rider was immersed in a scrap with two other riders for eighth. One of the other riders also fell, leaving only ten finishers.

Aoyama will be joining the World Superbike Championship aboard a HANNspree Ten Kate Honda in 2012 and wants to finish his MotoGP career strongly in the final two races.

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FTR Moto looks to repeat last year’s success at Aragon

September 16th, 2011 No comments

Yonny Hernandez returns to Moto2 action in Aragon

FTR Moto is aiming to repeat its double podium finish of 2010 in this Sunday’s 13th round of the Moto2 World Championship at Motorland Aragon in Spain.

FTR machines finished first and third at Aragon last year, and M211-mounted youngsters Pol Espargaro (HP Tuenti Speed Up) and Esteve Rabat (Blusens-STX) will both be looking for victory on home soil after taking podium finishes already in this campaign.

Rabat sits in ninth place in the World Championship points standings with Espargaro 17th, just 19 points behind 10th place in the closely fought series. Italian Simone Corsi, on the Ioda Racing Project M211, remains the highest-placed FTR rider. Corsi is in sixth place after tremendous consistency has seen the five-times 125cc GP race winner finish in the top 15 in every Moto2 race of 2011.

Corsi’s teammate, Mattia Pasini  continues to show the promise and potential of a race winner, aiming to add to his 10 grand prix victories in the final five races of 2011.

MZ-FTR rider Max Neukirchner aims to return to the form that led to seven point-scoring finishes from the first eight rounds this year, while his teammate Anthony West continues his quest to repeat the performance of Assen, Holland in June when he took fourth place.

Yonny Hernandez will return from injury on the Blusens-STX team’s M211 alongside Rabat and Kenny Noyes (FOGI/GP Tech M211) – with both Rabat and Noyes hoping to benefit from a Valencia test last week.

Ratthapark Wilairot (Thai Honda Singha SAG) and teammate Santiago Hernandez will be out to secure valuable World Championship points at a crucial stage of the season as will Valentin Debise on the Speed Up M211, while Joan Olive will represent Alex Debon’s Aeroport de Castello team at Aragon and for the remainder of 2011.

“Aragon is a really important race for everyone,” explained FTR’s Steve Bones. “There are three rounds outside Europe after this before the Valencia final round in November so all teams and riders will begin to switch a little focus to 2012 and many riders will be out to impress. I think we are pretty well placed for a win with the younger FTR riders now firmly displaying their obvious potential.”

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Vacation’s over, back to racing for FTR Moto

August 11th, 2011 No comments

FTR Moto returns to Moto2 World Championship action this weekend after a four-week break for round 10 of the series at the Brno circuit in the Czech Republic.

The Buckingham, England-based company sits third in the Riders and Constructors World Championships with Italian rider Simone Corsi – on the Ioda Racing Project team’s FTR M211 – looking to give FTR a repeat of last year’s podium finish at Brno.

FTR enjoyed third place in last year’s race and three finishers in the top seven. Now, as FTR’s young crop of 2011 stars begin to realize their potential, this second half of the campaign is poised to see some of those riders, including Esteve Rabat (Blusens STX), Yonny Hernandez (also with Blusens STX), Pol Espargaro (HP Tuenti Speed Up) all improve on their top-six finishes so far this year.

“The results are starting to happen now and much of the FTR success in 2011 has come in the last three or four rounds,” said FTR’s Steve Bones. “Since the last round in Germany a month ago we’ve had a good chance to review the nine races so far and it’s left everyone at FTR pretty excited about the second half of the 2011 World Championship.”

Additionally, Max Neukirchner on the MZ-FTR is looking to add to four top-10 finishes so far this year while his teammate, Australian Anthony West, is out to improve on his season-best of a fourth place, at Assen in Holland.

Corsi’s Ioda Racing Project teammate Mattia Pasini has finished in the top six this year already and has proven an ability to lead races. The Italian rider will now be looking to perform in front of the traditionally strong Italian travelling support at Brno.

Thai rider Ratthapark Wilairot (Thai Honda Singh SAG) is out to add to his only point-scoring finish of the year in Spain while Santiago Hernandez (SAG Team) and Frenchman Valentine Debise (Speed Up) go in search of their first points of 2011.

Bones continued: “Obviously Simone Corsi has proven to be the most consistent of any rider in the Championship but, from an FTR perspective, we have a good line-up of quality riders who are all capable of causing a surprise or two on their day.”

Elena Rosell set for another wild card ride at Aragon

July 29th, 2011 No comments

The Mapfre Aspar Team and Elena Rosell have reached an agreement to collaborate until the end of the season. Elena will have the opportunity before the Aragon round to test the Suter Moto2 machine for several days, allowing her to get used to a very different type of bike than the Stock Extreme bike she pilots in the CEV Buckler Spanish Championship

Following her Moto2 World Championship appearance at Assen, Rosell placed fifth in the latest CEV Buckler race and was first in the privateer category. This summer she will work on becoming accustomed to the Suter machine before taking part in the World Championship class again at the Motorland circuit, a track where she debuted last year in the CEV Stock Extreme class, finishing eighth.

Jorge Martinez:
“For the Mapfre Aspar Team, Elena is a taking on the challenge to again compete in the Moto2 class. We believe that she is a skilled rider and we want to prove that in another trial of the Championship. To be ready, she’ll have a series of training to learn more about the bike and the category of Moto2. She’ll be much better prepared for the Gran Premio de Aragón than she was for Assen, and will be able to demonstrate the great that rider she is. In the Netherlands, it’s true that she encountered an adverse situation. But I am convinced that upon her return to the World Championship she’ll do well, that’s what we all want.”

Elena Rosell:
“I’m happy about this new opportunity the team is giving me. I have to say that since the day after Assen we have been working on this possibility, and that Jorge and the whole team were interested in helping me. I’ve already raced twice in Alcañiz and want to reach the Grand Prix with a lot of time on the Suter; that will help me do well. Jorge has been watching me all the time and even came to the Albacete CEV Buckler race to wish me luck. He really brought it because the race went very well for me!”

Three FTR Moto2 riders finish in the top 10 at Estoril

May 2nd, 2011 No comments

FTR Moto continued its challenge for the Moto2 World Championship as three of its M211 riders finished in the top 10 of Sunday’s third round at Estoril in Portugal.

2010 125cc second runner up, HP Tuenti Speed Up team's Pol Espargaro

The IODA Racing Project Team’s Simon Corsi finished in fifth place and has moved to within 11 points of second place in the Championship. Ever-improving Pol Espargaro took his first World Championship points of the year as the young Spaniard brought his HP Tuenti Speed Up Team M211 home in sixth place at the end of the 26-lap race.

Talented Blusens-STX rider Esteve Rabat completed the top 10 to add to his point-scoring finishes in the opening two rounds, and the 21-year-old is joint 12th in the World Championship. Rabat started the race from 10th place and was involved in a six-way battle for sixth in the closing stages.

Kenny Noyes – on the FOGI Racing/GP Tech-backed FTR machine – continues to adapt to the M211 and took his best finish of the campaign with 17th place, an agonizing five seconds away from 14th place. Yonny Hernandez finished 18th, less than a second behind Noyes, on the Blusens-STX M211, missing out on Championship points for the first time in 2011. Colombian Hernandez fought through the field after being 36th at the end of the first lap.

Mattia Pasini finished 20th on his IODA Racing Project Team machine with Santiago Hernandez 24th on the Stop and Go Team M211. Luckless French youngster Valentin Debise crashed out of 14th place with three laps to go on the HP Tuenti Speed Up M211 while Ratthapark Wilairot was forced to retire his SAG Team machine on lap 22. Kev Coghlan opted not to race the Aeroport de Castello M211 after a Friday morning practice crash left the young Scotsman with a broken hand.

“Our results at Estoril were pretty solid again and we’re starting to see the emergence of the FTR riders as they become more acquainted with their respective M211 machinery,” said FTR’s Steve Bones. “Simone Corsi is definitely proving himself as a Championship contender and I’d like to think that, with the improvements we have planned, he can repeat what he did in Jerez and lead a race before hopefully securing a first win for himself, the IODA Team and FTR.

“And the improved performance of some of the younger riders; Espargaro, Rabat, Debise and Hernandez means we have an exciting year ahead. We’re third in the Constructors Championship and I’d like to think we can join the battle for that title in the next few rounds.”

Mixed fortunes in mixed conditions for Simon and Forés

April 29th, 2011 No comments

The first day of the bwin Grande Premio de Portugal was a less fortunate one for the Moto2 riders than it was for their contemporaries in 125 and MotoGP, who enjoyed two dry free practice sessions. The afternoon outing for the intermediate class was hit by rain showers that were only light but heavy enough to spoil the riders’ plans. Only sixteen Moto2 riders took to the track in the afternoon, with conditions not appropriate to draw any real conclusions on setup.

In the Mapfre Aspar box Julián Simón preferred not to ride this afternoon while his teammate Xavi Forés opted to complete twelve valuable laps as he continues to get to grips with a circuit he barely knows. Simón finished up fifteenth on the time sheets, but the Spaniard’s position in no way reflects his true potential, having lapped among the pacesetters throughout the majority of the morning session before struggling on a hard tire. Forés was also some way down the timesheets as he grappled with the complexities of the Estoril layout and the rookie is hoping for better weather tomorrow as he looks to close the gap.

Julián Simón, 15th, 1.43.155 (12 laps):
“This morning I had a good feeling with the bike. The position doesn’t look good but that’s circumstantial because of the fact we switched to a hard tire at the end of the session and couldn’t improve our lap times. I was up there from the start this morning and our pace is good. The only thing that didn’t work was the hard tire but it was important for us to rule it out. I think the Valencia test was good for us. Hopefully the weather stays good so we can continue to work on the set-up in the dry. If it rains we will have to just do our best to get a feeling for the wet conditions and get a good grid position for the race. It wasn’t really raining this afternoon but the track was too wet for slicks and too dry for wets so we preferred to stay in.”

Xavi Forés, 32nd, 1.44.253 (29 laps):
“I spent the morning session getting used to the track because I hardly know it. My intention was to complete as many laps as possible and get behind some fast riders to get my lines. At the end the position is quite far down but I was on the same tire all session and I made gradual improvements, which is another positive. It was a shame about the rain this afternoon because I would have liked to work more on learning the track, especially T4, and tried new things. We didn’t go too badly in the wet apart from a little setback with the front tire. We’ll have to wait and see what happens tomorrow but I’d like to get more experience in the dry because I’m sure it won’t rain on Sunday.”

FTR Moto prepares for Estoril

April 28th, 2011 No comments

FTR Moto is looking to improve on the opening two rounds of the Moto2 World Championship at this weekend’s bwin Grande Prémio de Portugal at the Estoril Circuit.

Simone Corsi put an FTR chassis on the podium at Jerez

FTR enjoyed a first podium finish of 2011 with the IODA Racing Project’s Simone Corsi taking third place at Jerez in Spain three weeks ago, and seven of the 10 FTR riders have already scored World Championship points after just two of the 17 rounds.

Corsi’s teammate Mattia Pasini took his first points of 2011 with 13th place at Jerez and will be aiming higher at Estoril while World Championship debutant Kev Coghlan has an excellent eighth-place finish in Jerez to build on aboard his Team Aeroport de Castello machine.

Yonny Hernandez, on the Blusens-STX FTR machine, has already shown consistency in 2011 with two point-scoring finishes and the Colombian will be chasing a first top 10 finish on his M211 in Portugal. His teammate, Esteve Rabat, has also scored points in both the Qatar and Spanish races and will, like Hernandez, be chasing a first top 10 finish on Sunday.

Thai rider Ratthapark Wilairot collected his first points of the year at Jerez with 12th place while his fellow Stop and Go Team rider Santiago Hernandez continues the search for his first points of the year, as does Kenny Noyes on the FOGI/GP Tech Team M211.

“The opening two rounds have been manic and the rain in Jerez threw in added drama so the Championship is probably still just settling down and in the next few rounds a pattern should emerge as to who can challenge for the 2011 title,” said FTR’s Steve Bones. “We’re certainly enjoying the early success and getting the World Championship points on the board and obviously hope that continues in Portugal on Sunday. Since Jerez and with the data collected from the first two rounds, we’re confident we have further developed and improved the M211 and are thankful to the teams for their feedback.”

FTR Moto calling on Spanish experience

March 31st, 2011 No comments

FTR Moto heads into Sunday’s second round of the Moto2 World Championship in Spain looking to capitalize on the Jerez circuit experience of much its 12-strong rider line-up.

Non-Spanish riders Kev Coghlan (Team Aeroport de Castello), Kenny Noyes (FOGI/GP Tech Team), Yonny Hernandez (Blusens-STX) and brother Santiago Hernandez (Stop and Go Team) are all graduates of the CEV Buckler Spanish Championship classes.

Esteve Rabat

Additionally, Spanish riders Esteve Rabat (Blusens-STX) and Pol Espargaro (HP Tuenti Speed Up Team) will both be keen to impress on their FTR M211 debuts in their home Grand Prix.

The IODA Racing Project’s Simone Corsi arrives in Spain after a sixth place finish in the opening round in Qatar two weeks ago, improving from 11th on the grid to take 10 World Championship points on his M211.

His luckless team-mate Mattia Pasini was one of eight riders to crash out of the opening round and the determined Italian will be keen to impress at Jerez – the circuit where, in 2006, he recorded the first of 11 pole positions in the 125cc World Championship. Pasini also climbed the podium at Jerez in 2008 after taking a runner-up finish in the 250cc race.

“We got the 2011 World Championship under way with four of our riders in the points but, as is always the case with racing and development, you always feel you can do better and hopefully that will be the case in Jerez this weekend,” said FTR’s Steve Bones.

He continued: “We began our Moto2 story as a constructor in Spain at the end of 2009 and with four Grands Prix there last year plus our Spanish Championship commitments it really does feel like home. Last year we felt like we had a possible race win on the cards at Jerez after Alex Debon showed tremendous pace in the practice sessions – all until a first lap crash.

“This year we are looking to the strong Spanish presence and Spanish Championship experience that we have on the M211s. We’re also keen to continue our technical development after spending time testing at Jerez in the winter months so this weekend also offers us a comparison test for development of the new machine.”