Suzuki confirm testing return

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Aoki has confirmed that Suzuki will be testing at Montmelo at the post race test.

Aoki has confirmed that Suzuki will be testing at Montmelo at the post race test.

Suzuki have confirmed that they will be joining the MotoGP grid for the post Catalunya test which takes place on June 17th.

The news has come from test rider Nobuatsu Aoki who is currently at the Sepang test.

Aoki was speaking to crash.net, and he told them that they have already been testing the brand new bike , which is belived to be an inline four with a big-bang firing order, at the private test track and at Motegi, and that he and a European rider will be testing in Montmelo.

The former GP winner declined to comment on who the European rider was, but it is widely accepted to be Randy De Puniet, who is believed to be in talks with Suzuki about becoming a test rider.

He did however confirm that Suzuki plan on entering a two-rider factory effort, running under the full MSMA rules. The MSMA rules mean that they can only use 5 engines per season and 20 liters of fuel each race.

The benefit of competing as an MSMA team is they can use their own software on the Magneti Marelli ECU.

Names are already being thrown about as to who the two riders may be, with Crutchlow, Spies and De Puniet among the favourites to take the ride next season when the fully return.

Pedrosa fastest again in Sepang

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Dani Pedrosa makes it four from four in Sepang.

Dani Pedrosa makes it four from four in Sepang.

Dani Pedrosa was once again the fastest man during day one of the second MotoGP pre season test in Sepang, on a day where the weather had the ultimate say and brought the day to a premature end.

The Spaniard continued his sublime form the first test, although today he didn’t get the chance to improve on his times from the first test.

During the first test the 2012 runner up managed a best time of 2’00″100 over the three day test, where today the best he could manage was a 2’01″580, nearly one and a half seconds slower.

“We tested a few things on the suspension and also mapping,” explained Pedrosa.

“It was harder at the beginning because the track was a little dirty – I guess from yesterday and beforehand when we had heavy rain. But, bit by bit, the track was improving so I guess from tomorrow we should be able to continue with the same things: the suspension and the mapping for corner entry, that’s basically our plan. Hopefully we will also get a long run in.”

Second place, just like the previous three days of testing was reigning World champion Jorge Lorenzo.

Lorenzo was just a little more than two tenths of second adrift of Pedrosa, as he continued to work on race set up and persisted on working on longer consistent runs.

Getting through 25 laps the World champion said, “Not so much new stuff today, we just tried to improve our current settings. We made some modifications but nothing special. For the next two days, more of the same!

“We need to improve the acceleration a little bit but for the moment no new bits to try. The track was more slippery than the first test due to the rain which has left the tarmac in a worse condition.”

Marc Marquez continued to impress and he finished the day in third position. Despite the impressive times, Marquez did suffer a small crash with his RC213V, but it was so minor he remounted and rode it back to the pits.

“I’d done a lot of laps on that set of tyres and then got to the slowest corner on the circuit,” said a smiling Marquez.

“It was quite strange because I started to loose the front, but it made it look like the bike had actually stopped! I fell off the bike, picked it up and continued…so I only lost about ten seconds. It was quite strange!”

The surprise and star of the day was young German Stefan Bradl. The LCR Honda rider was fourth position, and only 0.017s from the fully factory supported Marquez.

“The track was a bit slippery, so conditions were not as good as they had been for the last Sepang test,” the German explained.

“It took some time to get up to speed for a proper lap time and then it still took me some time to build confidence when we fitted new tyres.

“By the end of our running we had found ourselves in a good position, so that was good. We still have some things to try in terms of geometry and lifting the bike and I also suffered a bit today with braking – it wasn’t as stable as at the last test.”

Valentino Rossi continues his re-adaption onto the Yamaha M1, and even reverted to the 2012 machine in an effort to get himself reacquainted with the Yamaha. The doctor found himself four tenths off the pace, a similar margin to the first test, and ended the day in fifth position.

“The first day is not so bad, but we were unlucky because we had a small problem with the bike which had the new chassis so we had to stop and use the old bike,” said the Doctor.

“We made some tests with that using just one tyre and my pace and my lap times were not so bad. After we waited for the afternoon for the real work but the rain came so we decided to stop continue tomorrow. If it rains again tomorrow we will do some laps in the wet conditions.”

In sixth position was Briton and Yamaha satellite rider Cal Crutchlow, and he  continues to impress on his Tech3 M1.

Crutchlow was approximately one and a half seconds off his best time from Sepang’s first test so the Brit wasn’t too disheartened.

Right behind Crutchlow was Gresini Go & Fun rider Alvaro Bautista, who is continuing development and the learning process with his Showa suspension. He was also the final rider to be within a second of Pedrosa’s best time.

Up next was the factory Ducati duo of Andrea Doviziso and Nicky Hayden who were eighth and ninth respectively, as they worked with a new fuel tank for the first time in an effort to improve weight distribution.

The pair improved on their gap to the top from the first Sepang test, with Andrea Doviziso 1.2 seconds adrift whilst his team mate was a further three tenths adrift.

Rounding out the top ten was Tech3′s MotoGP rookie Bradley Smith. Smith suffered his first crash on the Yamaha M1, although the Brit was unharmed much like his fellow rookie.

Aleix Espargaro was just behind Yamaha test rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga as he ended the day twelfth fastest, and was the third victim of the dirty track as he also crashed his Aspar ART machine.

Ducati Pramac duo Ben Spies and Andrea Iannone, were also paired together and separated by just 0.003s as they were twelfth and thirteenth fastest.

Hiro Aoyama impressed on his Avintia CRT machine as he was 17th fastest, and  faster than Randy De Puniet, Colin Edwards and his team mate Hector Barbera.

Michael Laverty was forced to sit out the first days test and his new PBM machine is not track ready, and the team are still dialling in the Magneti Marelli electronics.

Sepang Test 2 Day 1 test results:

01- Dani Pedrosa – Repsol Honda Team – Honda RC213V – 2’01.580 (43 laps)
02- Jorge Lorenzo – Yamaha Factory Racing – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 0.235 (25)
03- Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team – Honda RC213V – + 0.362 (23)
04- Stefan Bradl – LCR Honda MotoGP – Honda RC213V – + 0.379 (38)
05- Valentino Rossi – Yamaha Factory Racing – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 0.448 (25)
06- Cal Crutchlow – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 0.692 (28)
07- Alvaro Bautista – Go & Fun Honda Gresini – Honda RC213V – + 0.782 (32)
08- Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP13 – + 1.221 (22)
09- Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP13 – + 1.563 (46)
10- Bradley Smith – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 2.052 (24)
11- Katsuyuki Nakasuga – Yamaha Test Team – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 2.154 (24)
12- Aleix Espargaro – Power Electronics Aspar – ART GP13 – + 2.361 (28)
13- Ben Spies – Ignite Pramac Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP13 – + 2.467 (25)
14- Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Team– Ducati Desmosedici GP13 – + 2.470 (32)
15- Wataru Yoshikawa – Yamaha Test Team – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 3.010 (23)
16- Michele Pirro – Ducati Test Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP13 – + 3.046 (38)
17- Hiroshi Aoyama – Avintia Blusens – BQR FTR – + 3.163 (30)
18- Randy De Puniet – Power Electronics Aspar – ART GP13 – + 3.708 (22)
19- Takumi Takahashi – HRC Test Team – Honda RC213V – + 3.930 (34)
20- Colin Edwards – NGM Mobile Forward Racing – FTR Kawasaki – + 3.938 (21)
21- Danilo Petrucci – CAME Iodaracing Project – Ioda Suter BMW – + 4.247 (35)
22- Karel Abraham – Cardion AB Motoracing – ART GP13 – + 4.258 (26)
23- Yonny Hernandez – Paul Bird Motorsport – ART GP13 – + 4.328 (29)
24- Hector Barbera – Avintia Blusens – BQR FTR – + 4.328 (30)
25- Claudio Corti – NGM Mobile Forward Racing – FTR Kawasaki – + 4.726 (26)
26- Bryan Staring – Go & Fun Honda Gresini – FTR Honda MGP12 – + 5.150 (34)
27- Lukas Pesek – CAME Iodaracing Project – Ioda Suter BMW – + 6.411 (25)

Gino Rea back to Moto2?

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Could Gino be handed a Moto2 lifeline?

Could Gino be handed a Moto2 lifeline?

Gino Rea is potentially being lined up to replace the injured Tom Luthi during the opening two races of the season with the Swiss rider out with a broken arm.

Rea is currently without a ride for 2013, and German site Speedweek are reporting that the injury to Luthi may well prove to be the shop window opportunity that Rea is looking for on a race winning machine.

Rea is familiar with the Suter Moto2 machine after he converted from a Moriwaki chassis in 2012 with his Gresini team, claiming a third place in Sepang with it too.

There are also some rumours suggesting that the Interwetten Team are considering not replacing Luthi for the opening two rounds, saving on two every expensive trips to Qatar and Texas.

There is even some suggestion from Speedweek that if Rea impresses he could find further opportunities at races such as Assen, Sachsenring and Misano due to the teams IRTA ranking.

With no official word from the Interwetten team these are still very early rumours, although it could potentially be the chance that Rea so desperately craves without a 2013 ride.

Melandri’s fear for Checa

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Melandri knew something was wrong immediately and sprinted over to Checa.

Melandri knew something was wrong immediately, and sprinted over to Checa.

Marco Melandri could’ve been badly injured, or even upset at the crash caused by Carlos Checa during Race One of this weekends World SBK opening round at Phillip Island, instead the Italian was more concerned about the Italian.

On lap 13 of the 22 lap race, heading into Honda corner, Checa lined Melandri up to attempt an overtake up the inside. Once the Spaniard had realized he couldn’t execute the move, he attempted to sit the bike up.

Unfortunately he couldn’t get the bike up in time, and as a result hit the back of Melandri causing both of them to go down, Checa came off worse. The 2011 world champion smashed the back of his head, and Melandri knew that something was wrong immediately.

“I don’t know what happened to Carlos,” said Melandri.

“I felt a hard hit, I wound up on the ground, and I was afraid that I injured my shoulder.  I’ve have four shoulder surgeries, so I’m very familiar with the dynamics of the bones and tendons.

Checa being taken away on a stretcher with his neck being stabilized.

Checa being taken away on a stretcher with his neck being stabilized.

“But my first concern wasn’t for myself, it was for Checa.

“He was lying motionless at the side of the track, his eyes were open, but he was breathing.

“The marshals moved him around like a piece of plastic, putting him on the stretcher in a very unorthodox way.  These things shouldn’t be happening.  I got upset about it, but it wasn’t helping the situation.”

As a result Checa was airlifted to hospital, and forced to sit out of Race Two, thankfully it was more precautionary measures.

UPDATE

Checa has now been released from hospital, and has told his fans that he is fine.

dd