2018 and the incredible record of the Road to MotoGP™

Growing from the first forays into talent promotion in the days of the Movistar Junior Cup that uncovered talents such as Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner, by 2017 there are several different paths, all of which are designed to discover and nurture talent across the world. The FIM CEV Repsol, the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, the Asia Talent Cup and the new British Talent Cup are the headline acts – and there are new additions being added, such as the Cool FAB Racing British Minibikes Championship, which was recently awarded Road to MotoGP™ status.

FIM Moto-e World Cup to race with Michelin

Pascal Couasnon, Motorsport Director at Michelin, says: “For as long as Michelin has existed, the projects in which it has been involved have sought to take mobility forward, while making it safer, more economical and more respectful of the planet. Progress needs all the stakeholders to innovate, not only on the technological front but also in terms of their vision. As motorcycle racing’s first all-electric competition, the FIM Moto-e World Cup’s creation by the FIM [Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme] and Dorna Sports is a concrete, meaningful move in favour of mobility. For Michelin, it will provide us with an invaluable laboratory for the development of innovations that will go on to feature on our road tyres. We are consequently delighted to be in at the very beginning of this new championship as a technology partner.”

Energica to supply motorcycles for FIM Moto-e World Cup

Livia Cevolini, CEO Energica Motor Company S.p.A, says: “We are proud to have been chosen by Dorna and we are already committed to this project. The passion for engines is what brought us here, to build new dream vehicles right in the beating heart of the Italian Motor Valley, Modena, Italy. We took the electric field to another level: each Energica undergoes quality control and performance tests, and our R&D department is always focused on new technologies and their practical application. Our history comes from racing, our passion for this sector has never faded. Moto-e  is an excellent project. After all, it is what we hoped since our racing years, now it can be managed professionally thanks to Dorna and its unique and long-lasting experience.”

Down to business for the Dutch GP

The City of Assen made a generous contribution of 2 million euros to commence the works at the track, with the economic spin-off from the international draw-card continuing to promote the area on the world stage. The renovation of the Haarbocht stand in 2017 was the first visible result of a 16-million-euro investment program at TT Circuit Assen. However, the investments go beyond upgrading grandstands. Improved catering and toilet facilities are also on the cards, and an extensive fiber optic network will be installed to limit time spent in queues at the circuit entrances when scanning entry tickets, and the use of electronic payment methods at the tracks many ‘Food&Beverage’ points.

Decisions of the Grand Prix Commission on November 29th

The Grand Prix Commission, composed of Messrs. Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna, Chairman), Paul Duparc (FIM), Herve Poncharal (IRTA) and Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA), in the presence of Vito Ippolito (FIM President), Carlos Ezpeleta (Dorna), Mike Trimby (IRTA, Secretary of the meeting), Corrado Cecchinelli (Director of Technology), Mike Webb (Race Director), Danny Aldridge (Technical Director), Fabio Muner (FIM) and Steve Aeschlimann (FIM), in a meeting held in Mies, Switzerland on 29 November 2017, made the following decisions:

Rossi makes Monza Rally Show history

Valentino Rossi:
“This was one of the most hard fought Monza Rallies that I have raced at, because there were four cars able to win, and everybody was close right up until the end. Unfortunately the team made a small mistake with the weight of the car on Friday. We didn’t calculate for the lights on the front of the car. It was a stupid mistake! When I stopped after stage two and they said I was under weight and I got a 10 second penalty – I said it was over. But I gave it maximum attack and risked a lot, especially in the second to last stage. It’s a shame to not get the Master’s stage result, but for me the more important, so I’m happy! The Monza Rally Show is always great fun, because it’s a real race where you can drive these types of cars fast – but at the end you can enjoy it too with less pressure at the end of the season. All the team is very happy because after this week we start our winter holiday and there’s always a great atmosphere. To enjoy it, you still have to try your maximum, and the challenge is very difficult and the level his very high. Especially in the last few years the event has grown up a lot, and there are real rally drivers here now to have a lot of fun competing against. This is our unique team at Monza so it’s something special, and it wouldn’t be the same to do the rally alone. Of course driving with the Brivios and Uccio is very funny; because you can talk a lot about the technical things but at the same time still make a lot of jokes if you’re faster or slower than them! This year I also have my brother Luca because he came to me and said  ‘I want to come, I want to come’ so I organised it. He’s fast, he’s enjoying it, and I think he’ll keep doing it in the future. We speak a lot, with Davide and Uccio but especially with Luca, to try and share the secrets. It’s his first experience with a rally car and he’s already fast so I’m happy and he’s happy. But the contract is that he can be fast but not as fast as me!”
Luca Marini:
“The most important result is that I had a lot of fun this weekend! The car is incredible and was very very fast and challenging to drive. Also my times weren’t so bad. On Friday I think I was a little bit too excited and I lost some time by making small mistakes, but after that things settled down for me. I finished 11th in my class and 26th overall, which I am very happy about. In the Masters Show I took the chequered flag – and wanted to put on a small show for the fans. I took the corner at the wrong speed and when I pulled the handbrake I touched the tyre barrier and had a small crash! My brother told me that if you don’t do this in the Masters Show during your first year, then you are not a rally driver. I just hope to be here next year now. I need to talk with my boss – my brother – about coming again and maybe bringing a WRC car instead of an R5!”

Honda Racing celebrates 2017 season

Marc Marquez
“I really enjoy Honda Racing Thanks Day because every year it gets more and more interesting and enjoyable for us. Everything is always perfectly organized, and we get to try many different cars and bikes. This year, for instance, we had the chance to drive an F3 car. It was a new experience that I liked a lot, so thanks to Honda for this special treat. Today it was an honour to make a lap together with Takuma (Sato) who won at Indy! It was also very good to meet so many Japanese fans. When we come here for the GP they’re always so supportive and make us feel really welcome, so I’m happy to be here for them and to be able to celebrate another great season together. The Riders Title was our main target, but having also achieved the Triple Crown with the Constructors and Team Titles is a particularly special feeling.”
Dani Pedrosa
“I enjoy this event very much. The season is of course demanding on the mind, as you must keep focused all the time, so it’s really nice when we come here in December when we’re completely ‘stress-free’ and can have fun with the cars and bikes. I really enjoyed driving the F3 car; I think it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had at Honda Racing Thanks Day, and one of the best overall apart from riding my MotoGP bike! Last year we tried the NSX, which was very nice, but this time was even better—maybe because I could feel the air, like on my bike. It’s possible to brake so late into the corners, and the entire time that I was driving I was thinking about what it would be like in an F1 car! It was an amazing experience. I think this event is also very special for the fans because they can really get quite close to us, and we also have more time to dedicate to them. That’s great because when we come here for the race it’s more difficult to spend time with them. There’s always a great atmosphere here and just fun.”

Crashes in 2017: when and where?

Per session, most crashes happened in the race – with 333 crashes in 2017. Next up is FP3 – with MotoGP™ riders often pushing to gain direct entry to Q2 – on 192 falls, followed by qualifying, as can be expected in the fight for grid positions and pole: there were 189 crashes over MotoGP™ Q1 and Q2, Moto2™ and Moto3™ qualifying sessions.

Forward Racing switch to Suter for the future

“I’m very happy to work again with Suter Industries, which were already a vital part at the beginning of our Moto2 experience,” says Team Principal Giovanni Cuzari. “This is a return to the origins; looking back to the past I see not only the same bike supplier but also Milena Koerner, who started the Moto2 experience with us. I still have very good memories of these years, the start of everything, a period of hard work that has rewarded us with fantastic results. During my latest visit to the headquarters, 7 years after my last trip to Turbenthal, I saw great progress and a lot of investments made by this company and I think that Suter Industries is the only engineering in the Championship that could bring important updates race by race.”

Toba talks about tough 2017

KT: “I had no idea how to manage the mental side so my crew chief and the team staff all helped and supported me, which is how we could come through this tough season. I always tried to keep my confidence up, remembering the thrill of riding the bike for the first time and stay positive. But even so, sometimes I couldn’t manage by myself, and I felt down. During those times, my team encouraged me to get back to a positive mindset. For example, when I went to a track that I had raced in CEV or the Rookies Cup, and my lap times and results were worse than last year, I almost lost confidence. But looking at the data, there was always something positive, which was good to get my confidence back. And it also gave me the opportunity to learn where I had to improve. It was a very tough season for me because I didn’t get any decent results, but at the same time, I believe that I will be stronger when I overcome these issues. I also learnt how to manage myself. So, I firmly believe this year’s experiences were an excellent opportunity to make me stronger.”

Dunlop remains tyre supplier to Moto2™ and Moto3™ until 2020

Moto2™ was launched in 2010 and Moto3™ in 2012, replacing the outgoing 250 and 125 classes respectively. Dunlop have been the exclusive tyre partner from the beginning of both Championships, after also having proven the most successful tyre company in the 250 and 125 categories – including claiming 17 250 World Championships before the category was replaced by Moto2™. Since the introduction of the new categories, Champions have included Marc Marquez, Maverick Viñales, Johann Zarco and Pol Espargaro – showing the effectiveness of the categories in creating MotoGP™ frontrunners.

MotoGP™ and Milestone to race together until 2021

Luisa Bixio, Vice President of Milestone, said: “We are very glad to continue working with Dorna Sports. MotoGP™ has been a key title in our portfolio during the past years and it will continue to play this relevant role in the future. The partnership with Dorna has proven to be excellent: year after year, we have been able to grow this license in the videogame world, achieving solid results until this year, when we successfully entered together into the eSport scene. We are confident that, together with Dorna, we will be able to provide all fans of the MotoGP™ franchise with an increasingly engaging experience in the future.”

Rossi debuts stunning winter test helmet at Sepang

“Huichol art immediately intrigued me, because it uses many of my symbols, like the sun and moon or the turtle,” explains Rossi. “We have tried to recreate the effect of the beads that the Mexicans use to bring color and shape to these objects, but to do so with a Valentino Rossi twist. The helmet looks really good, Aldo Drudi did a great job, as did Davide in particular – he created the beads with a brush, one by one. We might say that the helmet has become a work of art, something we’ve never seen before.”

FAB Racing becomes a path on the Road to MotoGP™

In the Championship, riders from as young as six have the opportunity to progress through three Minimoto and two MiniGP classes in order to hone the skills and racecraft necessary to go on to compete at national, international or Grand Prix level. Allied to Cool Milk and a ‘Partner Series to BSB’ since 2016, Cool FAB Racing continues to grow at an ever-increasing rate – with its new status on the Road to MotoGP™ sure to contribute even further to its rising popularity and success.

2017 Season Review: Khairul Idham Pawi

“Yes, of course. This year, I changed my training from last year, because Moto2 is more demanding, especially physically. At home, I train almost every day. I go cycling, go to the gym to work out, and ride my bike; doing motocross on a CRF450, and road race training on a CBR600. I will keep on training this way and work harder during the winter break in Malaysia.”

FIM Awards: 2017 World Champions awarded in Andorra

Now the curtain really does come down on 2017, with focus now shifting forward to 2018 and the MotoGP™ paddock largely dormant until the first testing of the new year. Some, like Joan Mir and Franco Morbidelli, face a new challenge in a new category and reset to rookie mode. Others, like Marquez, gear up to defend the crown won this season over another titanic calendar of incredible on-track action.

FIM Gala: 2017 World Champions awarded in Andorra

Now the curtain really does come down on 2017, with focus now shifting forward to 2018 and the MotoGP™ paddock largely dormant until the first testing of the new year. Some, like Joan Mir and Franco Morbidelli, face a new challenge in a new category and reset to rookie mode. Others, like Marquez, gear up to defend the crown won this season over another titanic calendar of incredible on-track action.