Friday, October 24

REMINDER: ONE MORE YEAR FOR BRIDGESTONE IN MOTOGP

We have had a lot of enquiry regarding the tyre situation MotoGP, so here is the state of play:  Bridgestone's contract was due to expire at the end of this season (2014) but it extended it for one more year.

Click here for the details.

In 2016, Michelin will take over as the sole supplier to the MotoGP field.  With that change, the wheel size will revert back to 17-inch from the 16.5 inch size that has been used for several years.

Michelin will test at all MotoGP tracks in 2015 in preparation for taking over the sole supplier contract in 2016.

Click here for the details 


TIME RUNNING OUT FOR MARQUEZ

Time is running out for Marc Marquez.

Although he clinched his second MotoGP world championship at the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi on October 12 (details here ) a run of off-the-podium results, and a crash at last weekend’s Australian MotoGP race at Phillip Island leave him with just two races to go to match Mick Doohan’s unbroken record of 12 race wins in the premier class in a single season (details here )

At Thursday’s press conference on the eve of the Shell Advance Malaysian Grand Prix, Marquez was joined by Valentino Rossi, Bradley Smith, Cal Crutchlow, Tito Rabat and Alex Marquez to address the media.

This weekend gives Marquez (Repsol Honda) another chance to register a 12th victory of the season, which would equal Doohan’s record from 1997 for most premier class wins in a single season.
The visit to Sepang also provides Marquez with an opportunity to put Sunday’s Phillip Island race out of his mind after he crashed out when leading in Australia.
Marquez commented: “It is time to try and be on the top again as I have not won since Silverstone.  We will try to be ready to fight for victory on Sunday if it is dry, if it is wet we will see.  It will be difficult because everyone has a lot of testing experience from this track.”
He continued, “I was trying to ride a different kind of race in Australia, to be strong from the beginning and make a gap.  I thought riding without pressure it was time to ride a special way but it just didn’t work on Sunday.  Anyway I expect Vale, Jorge and Dani to be strong here in Malaysia.”


Thursday, October 23

GP BIKES ON MALAYSIAN STREETS

Nicky Hayden leads local GP riders down the boulevard in front of the office of the Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in Putrajaya, the administrative centre of Malaysia.

Before heading to the Sepang International Circuit for this weekend’s Shell Advance Malaysian Grand Prix, Nicky Hayden caused a stir on the streets of nearby Putrajaya.  The 2006 World Champion kick-started the weekend in energetic fashion, accompanied by a number of Malaysian riders.

With Malaysia hosting the penultimate round of the 2014 FIM MotoGP World Championship, Hayden dazzled all as race fans flocked on Wednesday morning to Putra Jaya, the federal administrative centre of Malaysia.

Crowds flocked to watch, helped by the fact that October 22 is a public holiday in Malaysia, marking Diwali, also known as Deepavali, or the Festival of Lights, the beginning of the Hindu New Year.  It is celebrated on the 15th day of Kartika (October/November) in the Hindu calendar and the fact it is a public holiday in majority Muslim Malaysia serves as a reminder of religious tolerance.


The American rider enjoyed the privilege of riding his Honda along the streets of the city centre, side-by-side with Malaysian Moto2 rider Azlan Shah along with his Moto3 counterparts Zulfahmi Khairuddin, Hafiq Azmi and wildcard Hafiza Rofa.

“To ride the wide streets and avenues of Putrajaya has been an amazing experience!” said the Drive M7 Aspar rider.  “Of course, I couldn’t ride at the kind of speeds I will manage at Sepang, but the turnout from the local fans was awesome.  This will be my 12th MotoGP race start in Malaysia.  After finishing tenth in Australia last weekend, I’m now just looking forward to arriving at Sepang for what is a big weekend for myself, the team and our title sponsor.  I hear a big crowd is expected!”



Following the street demonstration, American Hayden and his Malaysian counterparts were quizzed by the media in a press conference before heading to Sepang ahead of Free Practice.  Also present were Malaysian stars of the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup, with its inaugural season set to meet its climax with a double-header at Sepang this weekend.


The first World Championship track action will begin at 9am local time on Friday (2pm New Zealand time), with Sunday’s MotoGP race commencing at 4pm local time (9pm New Zealand).