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Jerez hosts MotoGP and Moto2 private tests

The Ducati Team (without official riders), several MotoGP CRT and Moto2 teams will hit the track at Jerez today for a three-day private test. The Ducati Team continues testing the Desmosedeci GP12, this time without their official riders. With Valentino Rossi participating in the Monza Rally Show this week and Nicky Hayden recovering from his recent wrist surgery, the Italian factory has Superbike World Champion Carlos Checa and Franco Battaini present for further testing of next year’s prototype.

Colin Edwards will debut at the controls of the Suter BMW CRT bike, as the Texan returns to the track to begin developing the NGM Forward Racing prototype for the MotoGP class next season. Also present is Colombian rider Yonny Hernandez aboard the BQR Team’s Kawasaki powered FTR machine.

Present for testing in the Moto2 category are teams Mobile NGM Forward Racing with team riders Alex de Angelis and Yuki Takahashi, Marc VDS Racing Team with riders Scott Redding and Mika Kallio, the Aspar Team with Nico Terol and Toni Elías, Pons Racing with Pol Espargaró and Esteve Rabat, Tech 3 with Bradley Smith and Xavier Simeon and the Gresini Team with British rider Gino Rea And More News.

Edwards debuts the Suter-BMW CRT in Jerez test

Over a dozen riders gathered at the Andalusian track in a three-day test that featured MotoGP, CRT and Moto2 bikes on track together. Despite prevalent rain earlier in the week, the first day of testing was held under sun and clear skies, encouraging the riders to squeeze all they could from the eight hours of work (from 10am to 6:00pm) allotted to them each test day.

Colin Edwards wrapped up his first experience aboard CRT machinery today riding the BMW powered Suter CRT bike of his new team for 2012, NGM Forward Racing. The experienced Texan posted a best time of 1'43.9 during his 39 laps, in his first day of track action since getting injured in the tragic accident that also claimed the life of Marco Simoncelli at Sepang. The American was absent for both the Grand Prix of Valencia and end of season Official Test held directly after at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit.

Sharing the track was Yonny Hernandez, who took to the controls of the Kawasaki motor driven BQR FTR motorcycle to turn out a best lap of 1.45.7, and Ivan Silva, who was crowned the Stock Extreme Champion in the Spanish Championship CEV on Sunday, who rode the prototype Inmotec machine to register an unofficial time of 1'45.5 within 40 laps.

Also present was Ducati Team, though without their official riders. Instead the GP12 was put through its paces in the hands of World Superbike champion Carlos Checa and regular Ducati test rider Franco Battaini. The two riders lapped aboard the 2012 1000cc Desmosedici sporting an aluminum frame, although their times were not disclosed.

Several teams from the Moto2 class were present to give their new riders time aboard their new machinery, among them the Aspar Team with riders Nico Terol and former Moto2 World Champion, Toni Elías. The two focused primarilyu on bike geometry and set-up, with Elías putting in a remarkable 104 laps aboard the 600cc bike.

Scott Redding and Mika Kallio of Marc VDS Racing Team continued to familiarize themselves with the Kalex Moto2 that the team will run next year. Redding had a crash early in the day but was unhurt. Also taking a fall in the morning was Pol Espargaró of the Pons Racing team, the Catalan rider was also uninjured and was able to continue the day's testing along side team mate Esteve Rabat.

Testing continues for Moto2 and MotoGP teams

All of the teams who participated in the first day of testing yesterday returned to the track today to get back to the task of testing their 2012 machines. The riders were met with optimal conditions as the temperatures rose higher than yesterday and the sun continued to shine, and they turned laps for the full eight hours granted for testing each day.

Joining the group of CRT, MotoGP and Moto2 machines today was Randy de Puniet on a Bridgestone-shod, Aprilia-powered machine, the same bike last week the former MotoGP racer and current test rider for Aprilia, Alex Hofmann, tested at Valencia´s Ricardo Tormo circuit last week. De Puniet made the most of the test, using the opportunity to get an idea of what the Aspar Team’s Aprilia can do, the bike being the basis of the future CRT the team plans to run in the MotoGP class next year.

The Moto2 class made the most of the good conditions as in just seven days the winter period with its subsequent ban on testing begins for them, though not for the new CRT bikes, for which testing is still allowed for the new category.

Colin Edwards worked away on the progress of the Suter-BMW he will ride in 2012 for the NGM Forward Racing team. The Texan’s second day aboard the CRT machine saw him complete 40 laps with a best time of 1’42.6, an improvement of 1.3 seconds over his time of yesterday.

The BQR team ran the Kawaskai powered FTR piloted alternatively by Yonny Hernández and Spanish national Stock-Extreme champion, Iván Silva. Also on track again today were Ducati’s MotoGP GP12 machines with Carlos Checa and Franco Battaini assuming rider duties alongside the Moto2 and CRT machines in the absence of Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden.

Colin Edwards talks CRT bikes

After two days of private testing at the Jerez circuit, the experienced Texan spoke to about his first impressions of the CRT machine, one of the new generation of MotoGP bikes that will join the grid in 2012. This was Edwards' first ride on the BMW-Suter after missing the post- Valencia Official Test while recovering from shoulder surgery.

The veteran expected that there would be work to do before next season, though his first impression of the bike was higher than he originally expected. “Overall, it is better than I thought it would be, the potential is there. I think we are at about 65 percent right now,” he said.

The electronics package the team will use is new to MotoGP, and Edwards said the remaining 35 percent of bike development will come from improvements with those electronics. “The chassis is set up, but the main thing is the electronics and getting the whole package to come together. With the electronics, every time we make a little change and make it better, everything just gets a little smoother and easier.”

Speaking further of the overall impression of the new bike, the Texan said: “The bike reminds me a lot of 2003 when I went to Aprilia. It's got a screamer engine, lots of torque, somebody built the chassis, someone put an engine it, and it came a long way through the year. It was one of the first bikes with ride by wire and all the electronics. It reminds me a lot of that. But I know what I need, I know what I am looking for, I know what want, I know how to make the bike go faster, so the main thing now is just don’t lose focus and keep going down the right path.”

The team spent most of the two days on Bridgestones from 2011, though they did get a chance to test a new rear tire, which created challenges but Edwards is sure are fixable. “We got a little more chatter...once we get the electronics fixed I know that will go away, I am sure it will.”

As for the bike’s lap times, of which the unofficial best time on Wednesday was a 1'43.9 and Thursday was a 1’42.6 (as compared to Edwards’ best time of 1’40.188 in the Spanish GP at Jerez in March), Edwards was unconcerned. “I came here and I would have been happy with just yesterday's times, being injured and all, but I did a ‘42.6 today, which is a little better than a second faster.

Final day of MotoGP and Moto2 testing in Jerez

The third and final day of the private three day test held at the Jerez circuit concluded under perfect weather conditions, although this final day saw fewer participants as several teams completed their work at the conclusion of the day on Thursday.

Yonny Hernandez and Iván Silva returned to the track, taking turns at the controls of the Kawasaki powered BQR FTR prototype. Silva took the morning slot, finishing his session by signing a best lap of 1'44.2 but not improving on his best time from yesterday, a 1'43 .6. Hernandez rode in the afternoon, to post a best time 1'44.0, four tenths quicker than his time from Thursday.

That left Colin Edwards holding the fastest time of the CRT bikes, who posted a 1’42.6 aboard the Suter-BMW of NGM Forward Racing team on Thursday.

Randy De Puniet continued with his tests on the Aprilia powered Aspar Team CRT, putting in 70 laps today. Also joining the big bikes was Ducati test rider Franco Battaini aboard the GP12. The Italian was the only Ducati rider as Carlos Checa completed his testing on Thurday.

Among the representatives of the Moto2 class, Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team) again paced fastest for the third day running. The Briton recorded a best lap of 1’43.3 today, four tenths off his time of 1’42.9 which put him at the head the timesheets on both Wednesday and Thursday. British rider Gino Rea (Gresini Racing) had the only fall of the day, having a minor crash in the afternoon but suffering no consequences. Toni Elias returned to the track, and like his first day of testing, put in a remarkable number of laps, no less than 90 aboard the Suter of the Aspar Team.

Unofficial times - Day three


Yonny Hernández (BQR-FTR Kawasaki) 1.44.0 (23 laps)
Iván Silva (BQR-FTR Kawasaki) 1.44.2 (37 laps)
Carlos Checa (Ducati Test Team) did not participate
Franco Battaini (Ducati Test Team) not provided
Randy De Puniet (Aspar Team) not provided (70 laps)


Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team) 1.43.0 (54 laps)
Bradley Smith (Tech 3) 1.43.1 (57 laps)
Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team) 1.43.4 (69 laps)
Gino Rea (Gresini Team) 1.43.8 (58 laps)
Xavier Simeon (Tech 3) 1.43.9 (80 laps)
Toni Elías (Aspar Team) 1.44.6 (90 laps
Nico Terol (Aspar Team) 1.44.7 (73 laps)

Randy de Puniet to MotoGP Aspar Team in 2012

The Aspar Team has joined the list of teams to compete the 2012 season with CRT (Claiming Rules Team) bikes. In addition, the team will have two riders, Randy de Puniet and Aleix Espargaró.

De Puniet had the opportunity to complete two days of testing with the Aspar Team, and feelings of both sides have been magnificent. On the other hand, Valencia and Italian firm set are linked since 1996, have sealed their way four titles and seven subtitles. So the Aspar Team has decided to rely on Noale house as a supplier of engines for its new adventure CRT.

Jorge "Aspar" Martínez:

"We are convinced that this challenge will be very successful, both with the riders and the engines, which will be supplied by Aprilia. We wanted to work with the brand in this new project because of our good working relationship and for their proven capabilities in smaller categories. Our goal this year is to be the best CRT and prepare to go a step further in 2013."

Randy De Puniet:

"I am delighted to return to the Aspar Team, a team I raced with in 2005 in 250cc. I have very fond memories of that time. Together we will embark on a new challenge, CRT. I realize that this team is very competitive and will fight for the best material, in fact I have been able to train with them and the conclusions have been optimal. CRT is the future of MotoGP and I think there will be a lot of work ahead, but a very rewarding work. The goal for the next season will be to adapt as quickly as possible to the prototype, and gradually catch the front runners."

"Training in Jerez was productive and I was able to get a lot of information about the bike. It’s clear that we are still far from what the final motorcycle will be, but I'm very happy with how everything has happened. The test in Jerez gave me the opportunity to realize the enormous potential of the new concept of CRT,and I am proud to be one of the pioneering riders in this new category."

Aleix Espargaró:

"First of all, I am very excited to be on the Aspar Team, and returning to MotoGP is a big motivation for me. 2010 was quite positive for me and I would have liked to stay another year. I think for my weight and my height I can adapt well to the category and the bike."

"I am convinced that the year will go very well and I'll get great results for the Aspar Team. CRT is a completely new class, and we will initially have a lot of work, but I have chosen the Aspar Team is because I know it is a team that will face the new category very seriously. They are very professional and certainly developed a great bike.

Rossi second in Monza Rally Show

The 2011 edition of the Monza Rally Show ended yesterday at the historic Italian circuit near Milan, with 97 drivers on track including 8 World Rally championship winners, 5 European Rally championship winners, an IRC Rally title holder, 11 Italian Rally series winners, and 3 winners of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Eight times World Rally champion, Sébastien Loeb, won the classic three day, nine-stage event in his Citroen DS3 WRC, and was also the receiver of the Master Show- Marco Simoncelli Trophy, the final stage award dedicated to the memory of the late MotoGP rider who was due to compete at Monza in a Fiesta RS WRC.

Rossi put on an excellent display of his ability to race four wheeled machinery, beating the specialists in two of the stages while sporting a tribute to his friend and fellow MotoGP racer Simoncelli on his car. The final results saw the Ducati rider finish 24 seconds behind Frenchman Loeb, with Dindo Capello, one of the title winner of several editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, coming in third.

Among other familiar names in the competition were Davide Brivio who finished seventh overall, Uccio who came in 31st, with riders Andrea Dovizioso 54th, Claudio Corti 60th, and Andrea Iannone in 70th place.

Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez of Spain and Red Bull AJo Motorsport rouds the bend during first free practice for the Australian MotoGP, which is round 16 of the MotoGP World Championship, at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on October 15, 2010 in Phillip Island, Australia.

Moto GP Round 16

The story of MotoGP so far this season has been the success of Casey Stoner and his Marlboro Ducati team. This year he has taken nine victories, three podiums and, most importantly, the coveted world championship title, all with two rounds of racing left to go. In fact, he has never finished outside the top six in any race this season. This incredible consistency has denied Valentino Rossi a championship title for the second year in a row, as Stoner sealed the title after a difficult wet and dry Round 15 at Motegi.

Despite a bumpy start to the race weekend at Philip Island, which included two rough falls in Friday's free practice session, Stoner secured a front row start, qualifying in third place behind pole-position man Dani Pedrosa. Rossi, sporting a tasty new red/white colour scheme on his FIAT Yamaha, completed the front row in second position.

Stoner, fresh from his world championship win at Motegi during Round 15, was looking well-placed to take a race win at Philip Island, his home circuit. This was to be his first race on home soil all year, making it all the more important. He did just that, taking a start-to-finish victory, some six seconds ahead of Ducati teammate Loris Capirossi when the chequered flag was raised. This Ducati one-two gave Marlboro Ducati the World Constructor's Championship title. Stoner was the first home-grown winner of the Australian MotoGP since Mick Doohan in 1998.

Stoner was untouchable from the word go when the starting lights went out. Despite starting from third position on the grid, he was first man through turn one. 2006 world champion Nicky Hayden, who holds the outright lap record at Philip Island, was piling on the pressure in the early stages, shadowing Stoner through every turn in the hope that he would run wide or make a mistake. After a brief foray into the lead, Hayden dropped back down the order, however. He was later forced to retire due to teething problems with his Honda RC212V. Stoner was undeterred by Hayden's early challenges, and by lap 15 had carved out a distinct advantage over the rest of the pack. All this time, Rossi, Pedrosa and Marco Melandri had been scrapping over second place, though they were soon demoted to third, fourth and fifth when Loris Capirossi zoomed by them on his Marlboro Ducati. Loris was on incredible form, though by the time he had got himself into second place he was too far behind Stoner to make an attempt at catching him. Stoner crossed the line in first place with a 6-second advantage, with Capirossi second and Rossi third. Pedrosa was a distant fourth, whilst Alex Barros and Randy de Puniet rounded out the top six.

Speaking after the race, Stoner said, "I've been working very hard for a lot of years trying to win here. This whole season has been magical for us, we came here with a lot less pressure after winning the title in Japan, so I could really enjoy this race. It's definitely my best victory so far. I have to thank the Australian fans, it's good to see so many of them here and I hope they've had a lot of fun, I really appreciate it."

Race Result:

1 -Casey Stoner (Marlboro Ducati)

2- Loris Capirossi (Marlboro Ducati)

3 -Valentino Rossi (FIAT Yamaha)

4 - Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda)

5 - Alex Barros (D'Antin Ducati)

6 - Randy De Puniet (Kawasaki Racing)

Championship Standings:

1 -Casey Stoner (322)

2- Valentino Rossi (230)

3 - Dani Pedrosa (201)

4 - John Hopkins (165)

5 - Chris Vermeulen (160)

6 - Marco Melandri (154)

Moto GP

The day clearly belonged to one driver and one driver only - Casey Stoner. The main Aussie of the Moto GP show silenced all his critics. Unusually for the 21 year old team Ducati rider he had a bad start. Slipping down the order to seventh position. This never seemed to phase the guy aptly described as "a genius" by his project manager Livio Suppo. Instead of tip-toeing around the drenched circuit and waiting for things to unfold ahead of him, Stoner went ahead and in the next 3 laps worked his way up to third place. By halfway through the race he'd passed the race leader Colin Edwards (who had led the race from pole position up to that point) and from there on in he never looked in the slightest discomfort with riding in the changing conditions, changing conditions because the track had started drying out to the point that a clear dry racing line had formed on the track.

Chris Vermeulen (are the Aussies taking over?) had to repay his team because he had crashed his bike 3 times over the weekend, so finishing 3rd was good enough for him. Having started way back in 12th position he had an excellent start and managed to pass Valentino Rossi in the closing stages of the race. Rossi brought his bike in to 4th place to at least keep the fight for the championship between himself and Stoner more than alive. Rossi had a difficult race firstly not having the pace of Casey Stoner and also tearing his tyres up in the latter half of the race due to the track drying out.

John Hopkins caught Rossi at the end but couldn't put in a decent passing move on the 7 times Donington winner so had to settle for 5th.

The rest of the top 10 finishers were Randy de Puniet on his Kawasaki in 6th, still recovering from his knee surgery. Alex Barros passed Dani Pedrosa for 7th place on the last lap of the race. Pedrosa started well on his Honda but slipped down the order and seemed a bit easy for the other riders to get past. Behind Dani Pedrosa were Alex Hoffman and Marco Melandri, with Melandri seeming to have made an incorrect tyre choice since he came to the party in the latter stages as the track dried out.