MotoGP- Latest News 26/05/2017

Rossi Injured In MotoX Accident

MotoGP star Valentino Rossi has been involved in a motocross training accident and taken to hospital with a mild thoracic and abdominal trauma.

The Yamaha rider slipped from first to third in the title standings after falling, while battling team-mate Maverick Vinales for victory, on the final lap of the French MotoGP.

Valentino Rossi Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

The next event is Rossi’s home Italian round at Mugello, from June 2-4…

Full Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team statement:
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team rider Valentino Rossi was involved in a motocross training accident at the Cross Club Cavallara in Mondavio (Pesaro Urbino, Italy), on Thursday, May 25th.

The 38-year-old Italian rider was taken to a local hospital for a medical check-up, where he was diagnosed with mild thoracic and abdominal trauma.

No fractures have been detected in any part of the body and no serious traumatic pathologies were found.
Barcelona Made For Honda

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has undergone revisions since last year’s round, when Moto2 rider Luis Salom was killed in a practice crash at the fast right-hander formerly known as Turn 12.

As a precaution, MotoGP riders were switched to the Formula 1 version of the track after Salom’s accident during testing, featuring a tighter version of the Turn 10 left-hander and bypassing Turn 12 by using the chicane F1 has used since 2007.

Over the winter, another chicane was built slightly to the north of the existing one for MotoGP, giving riders more run-off area.

Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team

Ducati, Honda and Aprilia, along with several satellite teams, were in Barcelona this week for a two-day test, with several leading riders giving their verdict on the changes after sampling them for the first time.

“It’s difficult for Ducati and for Yamaha, the Honda is much shorter and has more agility,” said Lorenzo of the new chicane. “They are much faster in slow corners in first gear, they turn better.

“The last sector is made for Honda, they are three tenths faster. In the rest of the track, we are ok. We are very similar to them.”

Lorenzo’s teammate Andrea Dovizioso said that the new chicane was “not so nice to ride”, but said the fact it’s safer than the previous layout meant organisers “made the right decision.”

Honda’s Marc Marquez voiced his approval for the revised track, despite the fact a number of riders – including the Spaniard and teammate

KTM Points Are Unexpected

KTM’s early record of scoring points in three of its first five MotoGP races is not something it expected, Bradley Smith says

The Austrian manufacturer becomes the sixth on the grid this year, and Smith had forecast that scoring points would be difficult, especially in the first phase.

However, Pol Espargaro and Smith both scored points in its second race in Argentina with 14th and 15th, and then with 12th and 13th at Le Mans.

Bradley Smith Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Smith also grabbed two points at Jerez, and when asked by Motorsport.com said scoring in three of the first five races not on its radar.

“I thought that it was going to take a little bit longer to figure things out,” he said.

“It’s a very competitive class this year. All the satellite motorcycles that are out there are doing a tremendous job.

“We see Johann Zarco at the top, even Danilo Petrucci and Scott Redding at Le Mans, Jonas Folger.

“All those bikes are very competitive this season. To kind of come in here and be as close as we are I think is already showing good speed.

“The fact that we are ahead of some satellite Ducatis, some satellite Hondas, the Aprilia, during sessions on a regular basis now is good.”

Points have been aided by attrition, but Smith believes strong reliability – other than a clutch failure for Espargaro at Austin – adds to the merit of what KTM has achieved so far.

“They’re doing a great job,” he said. “Touch wood, at the moment the reliability is a certain strong point of the motorcycle.

“That means we’re out there every session, every race, and finishing right now, so long may that continue.”

KTM made the second phase of qualifying for the first time at Le Mans, both Espargaro and Smith advancing based on their times in a drying third practice session on Saturday morning.

They ultimately qualified eighth and 10th, and feel the bike is better over a single lap than a race distance, even with the new engine adopted at Jerez.

“We are trying to understand how to manage this engine with these electronics,” Espargaro said.

“We are getting more experience and, especially in one lap, we are more competitive than before, but still we are weak when the [rear] tyre is dropping.

“We are missing some turning and missing the initial grip. We found the bike is just shaking, going away off the line and this affects it so much and it’s a waste of time and a waste of energy.

“We made a big step with the engine, now we need to do the same thing with the chassis because we need it.”

 Aleix Espargaro Season A Disaster

Espargaro joined Aprilia from Suzuki for 2017, riding an RS-GP that has improved considerably since it was introduced at the start of last season.

While the package still lacks in acceleration, its trait of not working the rear tyre too hard helped Espargaro charge to sixth in the Qatar season opener, right behind Honda pair Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.

However he subsequently crashed out of the Argentina race, struggled with his front tyre at Austin and finished ninth at Jerez.

A return to the top six was on the cards at Le Mans before Espargaro suffered an engine failure while closing on Jorge Lorenzo, leaving him 14th in the points.

Asked if the failure was a price of Aprilia’s development efforts, Espargaro said: “It is possible, but we are a factory and we need to work as a factory.

Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

“So, we need to improve. I came to Aprilia because it was a factory team, if not I would have gone to a satellite team. So if I’m here I want everyone to work as a factory team, this is why I came here.

“I think we are doing great things. The championship position is really a disaster, but apart from America race we were always fighting for top eight, top six, which is great but just not the best luck.

“I was five seconds behind Lorenzo [mid-race] and when the engine stopped I was just one second from him, so it’s a shame because we could have put again in the Aprilia in the top six.”

Led by Tech 3 Yamaha rookie Johann Zarco – who grabbed his maiden podium at Le Mans – in fifth place, seven satellite riders are currently ahead of Espargaro in the standings.

However the Spaniard says he is happy with move, and the project’s trajectory.

“This was my decision, my decision was to join Aprilia,” he said. “I put everything I had in my hand, I’m working more than ever in my life, more focused than every in my life.

“I spend a lot of time with my Marco [Eschenbacher], my crew chief. We do a lot of meetings after every session to try to improve the Aprilia and I’m happy with the decision I take.

“Maybe, if I was on a Tech 3 bike or a satellite Ducati I would be fighting for the podium.

“But I had the option and I choose Aprilia, so no regrets. Happy overall with how the things are going, but obviously we need a little bit more luck.”

Pictures: Michelin