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MotoGP grid line up for 2009

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MotoGP grid line up for 2009

Post by Admin on Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:57 am

Just four teams competing in the 2008 World Championship are set to stick with their current line-ups next year, with some exciting rider moves to new teams taking place at the end of the current campaign.

All four Yamaha riders will remain with their current teams, which will provide continuity and stability for new World Champion Valentino Rossi and his talented young colleague Jorge Lorenzo at Fiat Yamaha, as with James Toseland and Colin Edwards in the Tech 3 Yamaha team.

It is a similar story for Rizla Suzuki´s Chris Vermeulen and Loris Capirossi who are set to line-up alongside each other once again on the GSV-R800, whilst Frenchman Randy de Puniet is due to continue with LCR Honda.

However, three riders will welcome new team-mates onto factory machinery when winter testing commences, with Nicky Hayden joining his friend Casey Stoner at Ducati Marlboro, Andrea Dovizioso teaming up with Dani Pedrosa at Repsol Honda and Marco Melandri looking to put his 2008 Ducati misfortune behind him alongside John Hopkins at Kawasaki.

At satellite outfit San Carlo Gresini Honda, meanwhile, Alex de Angelis stays put, with Toni Elias coming into the team to ride a works RC212V from HRC – the little Spaniard rejoining the employers he left at the end of last season.

The one new face certain to be on the 2009 grid is Yuki Takahashi, who takes the step up from the 250cc class to replace factory-bound Dovizioso in a restructured Scot Racing Team set-up.

Takahashi could possibly be joined in the battle for the Rookie of the Year title by two riders who are rumoured to be joining the Alice Team for the coming season – Finland´s Mika Kallio and Ducati´s young Italian tester Niccolo Canepa.

The satellite Ducati team should make a formal announcement on their 2009 plans at the forthcoming Polini Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix on the 17th-19th October weekend.

In addition, an increased Kawasaki and Ducati presence in the premier class next season is still a possibility. Kawasaki are still finalising rider and sponsorship plans to run a third factory Ninja ZX-RR, with an announcement expected imminently.

Sete Gibernau´s much-talked-about return to MotoGP is still apparently on the cards according to Italian and Spanish press speculation, the veteran Catalan possibly making a comeback on a fifth Ducati sponsored by Onde 2000.

With the aforementioned winter tests scheduled to get underway in the week commencing 27th October those remaining positions on the grid are likely to be finalised within the next fortnight, with any announcements sure to be followed closely by motogp.com
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Re: MotoGP grid line up for 2009

Post by Rossilover on Fri Oct 17, 2008 7:56 am

Kawasaki scrap third ZX-RR plan for 2009
By Matthew Birt

MotoGP

17 October 2008 12:16


Kawasaki boss Michael Bartholemy has confirmed to MCN that the Japanese factory will not field a third ZX-RR machine in 2009.

Get all the latest MotoGP news
A proposed deal with current Aprilia 125 and 250 team boss Jorge Martinez has collapsed after the Spaniard was reluctant to run Shinya Nakano on the third Kawasaki.

Kawasaki senior management had only agreed to field the third bike on condition that Nakano was the rider for next season. But that move meant that Martinez’s Spanish sponsor would commit less money to fund the project.

With Kawasaki unable to fill the financial shortfall, the project has been abandoned, leaving only the two-rider factory team with John Hopkins and new recruit Marco Melandri.

Martinez had wanted to run current Aprilia 250GP rider Alex Debon on the bike after Toni Elias turned down a deal to rejoin the Gresini Honda squad next season.

Bartholemy said: “I am disappointed because I think this was a missed opportunity for both of us. We have worked hard to get this third bike on the grid to help move Kawasaki forward and also to get Aspar into MotoGP. Unfortunately we have not been able to reach an agreement and it looks like the project is cancelled.”

The decision leaves Nakano out in the cold after he was axed by Fausto Gresini to make way for Elias. He might now have to take up a testing and development role with HRC
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Re: MotoGP grid line up for 2009

Post by tammerz on Thu Oct 23, 2008 6:48 pm

MotoGP » Gibernau's MotoGP return confirmed.

Thursday, 23rd October 2008

Sete Gibernau to ride a fifth Ducati Desmosedici for the new Francisco Hernando Onde 2000 team in the 2009 MotoGP World Championship.
As rumoured, former double MotoGP World Championship runner-up Sete Gibernau will end his two-year retirement and return to premier-class action next season.

It was officially announced at Valencia on Thursday evening that the Spaniard will ride a fifth Ducati Desmosedici GP9 for the new Francisco Hernando Onde 2000 squad, run by '12+1' world champion Angel Nieto's sons Pablo and Gelete.

"I'm excited about what it means to be a MotoGP rider," said Gibernau. "I've come back to enjoy it again and it's a good opportunity for me. That's my main goal; to enjoy riding. I'm still open to learning again, even at 35... I'm going to have to work very hard and I'm ready for that."

Gibernau's Desmosedici will be dressed in white, black and gold colours next year, although his racing number remains unknown. Sete's traditional #15 was taken by Alex de Angelis this season and the bike present at the launch had a question mark in place of a racing number.

Gibernau was Honda's leading rider - and Valentino Rossi's closest title rival - during the 2003 and 2004 seasons, but the pressure of fighting the dominant Italian seemed to take its toll and Sete was left winless in 2005, despite five pole positions.

The Spaniard then moved to the factory Ducati team for the 2006 season, when bad luck and injuries prevented a podium finish. Sete lost his seat to future world champion Casey Stoner for 2007.

After a year away from the racetrack, Gibernau burst back onto the MotoGP scene when his presence as a spectator at June's Catalan Grand Prix resulted in an invitation from Ducati to test an early version of next year's GP9.

Gibernau - a former Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda and Ducati grand prix rider - set a best time of 1min 51.7sec on the radical carbon-fibre framed machine at Mugello, effectively equally the fastest lap by Alice's Toni Elias and Sylvain Guintoli during the Italian Grand Prix.

During his second test Gibernau also got the chance to try this year's GP8 - with which he dropped his best lap time down to a 1min 50.5sec, 0.6sec faster than Marco Melandri and 0.5sec behind Stoner's best Mugello race lap.

Ducati Corse's general manager Filippo Preziosi hoped that Gibernau's immediate pace with the GP8 would 'spur on' Melandri and Elias, who were both still struggling badly to adapt to the machine - Sylvain Guintoli having shown signs of progress.

Gibernau's third and final test for Ducati, in late July, saw him repeat his strong race pace and also set a qualifying tyre time good enough for eighth on the Italian GP grid. The Spaniard now looked certain to replace Melandri during the second half of the season, but the Melandri/Ducati split never happened and Gibernau was left on the sidelines - although clearly not forgotten.

Gibernau, a nine time 500cc/MotoGP race winner, claimed his most recent victory at the 2004 Qatar Grand Prix, a race which saw Rossi demoted to the back of the grid due to overnight grid cleaning by his team. Rightly or wrongly, Rossi blamed Gibernau for the 'unsporting' protest and, after the race, furiously declared that Gibernau 'would not win again'. Although relations between the pair subsequently improved, Rossi's 'curse' is yet to be broken.

Onde 2000 currently runs Pablo Nieto on KTM machinery in the 125cc World Championship. Pablo - a 125GP rider for the past ten seasons, during which he has claimed one race victory, eight podiums and three pole positions - has already announced that he will retire from racing and join brother Gelete in a management role for the team's 2009 MotoGP graduation.

Ducati's 2009 MotoGP line-up will thus be its biggest ever - featuring Stoner and Nicky Hayden at Ducati Marlboro, Mika Kallio and Niccolo Canepa at Pramac and Gibernau with Onde 2000. Gibernau deal has been helped by the single tyre rule, which ended the need for Ducati's Tyre Test Team.

Gibernau's deal means the full time MotoGP grid will increase from 18 to 19 riders next season.

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Re: MotoGP grid line up for 2009

Post by tammerz on Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:03 pm

Who's Going Where In MotoGP In 2009? Silly Season Roundup
in Alex de Angelis Andrea Dovizioso Ant West Ben Spies Casey Stoner Chris Vermeulen Colin Edwards Dani Pedrosa Ducati Honda James Toseland John Hopkins Jorge Lorenzo Kawasaki Loris Capirossi Marco Melandri Nicky Hayden Randy de Puniet Shinya Nakano Suzuki Sylvain Guintoli Toni Elias Valentino Rossi Yamaha Alvaro Bautista Marco Simoncelli Mika Kallio Yuki Takahashi Sete Gibernau
MotoGP State of the Silly Season 2008 - FINALIZED

Fiat Yamaha
Valentino Rossi Contract through 2010 Rossi will be staying until he decides to retire from the sport
Jorge Lorenzo Contract through 2009 Lorenzo is Yamaha's future, and like Rossi, will be staying until he decides he's had enough.
Tech 3 Yamaha
Colin Edwards 1 year contract through 2009 Edwards is signed for '09, but is unlikely to stay for too much longer. Much depends on what happens in the AMA.
James Toseland Took up option to stay through 2009 Toseland started brilliantly, but has stagnated a little. Will need to show a return to form if he is to stay after 2009.
Repsol Honda
Dani Pedrosa In 1st year of 2 year contract, signed for 2009. Pedrosa and his manager Alberto Puig have firm grip on the Repsol Honda garage. Pedrosa has been drafted in by Honda to win back the MotoGP title, and Puig has taken advantage to ensure that he controls events inside the team. Pedrosa and Puig are rumored to be demanding a wall separating the two sides of the Repsol Honda pits, and will have a very strong say in who will replace Nicky Hayden in 2009. Unfortunately, Pedrosa doesn't really want anyone as a team mate, so any such quest will be very difficult.

The news from Misano that Pedrosa will be running on Bridgestones from the Indianapolis race onwards will potentially make things even more complicated. The question is whether both Repsol Hondas will be on Bridgestones, or just Dani Pedrosa, with the garage split in the same way as the Fiat Yamaha garage.

Andrea Dovizioso 1 year contract for 2009
Andrea Dovizioso was officially announced as Nicky Hayden's replacement at Repsol Honda at Motegi, and with it came some interesting guarantees. These included being offered equal treatment, at least until one of the two Repsol riders gains a significant lead in the 2009 title race. But HRC President Hamane also stated that he would prefer to have both riders on the same tires, and pledged that there would be no dividing wall in the Repsol Honda garage.

Whether the Dovizioso / Pedrosa pairing will work better than Hayden / Pedrosa remains to be seen. Much will depend on how the internal power struggle between sponsor and each side of the garage plays out.

Ducati
Casey Stoner Contract through 2010, option extended last year Casey Stoner, like Valentino Rossi, Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo, can stay at Ducati as long as he likes. He has already brought the factory one title, and looks likely to repeat that feat, if not this year, then sometime in the very near future.
Nicky Hayden Contract for 2009
Hayden's rumored contract was finally announced formally on the Monday after Indianapolis. Hayden has been with Honda since he was a teenager, and so the move is a big step for the Kentuckian. The Ducati has shown to be a tough bike to ride for everyone except Stoner, though things have improved over the past few races. The question is, can Hayden tame the bike like Stoner can? One thing is for sure: it won't be for lack of effort on Hayden's part.
Kawasaki
John Hopkins Contract through 2009 Hopkins is safe at Kawasaki for next year, but you have to wonder just how happy he is about that. The bike has been a disaster this year, after showing so much promise in 2007, and that must worry the American. Kawasaki have promised improvement for next year, and they could make some horsepower gains if they can get the fabulous sounding screamer engine to work. But nothing has been heard of it since being rolled out in April for testing. That's not good.
Marco Melandri Two-year deal for 2009 and 2010 After a disastrous year aboard the Ducati, Melandri had to get out. Released from his 2 year contract a year early, Melandri looked elsewhere, nearly went back to Gresini Honda, who would have welcomed him with open arms, but decided he needed to be on a factory bike, to ensure that he had some input into the bike. Kawasaki was the only manufacturer left with a seat open, and so Melandri ended up there. The question remains, however, why Melandri thinks that a bike that has shown very little potential up until Brno should be any better than the Ducati he struggled on.
Suzuki
Loris Capirossi Contract through 2009 Suzuki announced that they have renewed Capirossi's contract after the Misano round. The deal is just for one year, which makes sense, as the Italian veteran's age and long list of injuries has got to make you wonder just how much longer MotoGP's longest-serving son can continue. Retirement beckons, but whether that's in '10, or '11, or via the friendly side route of World Superbikes remains to be seen.

Chris Vermeulen Contract through 2009
Chris Vermeulen's position at Suzuki was looking decidedly shaky, at least until two podiums in a row put some firm ground under his feet. But with one of those podiums coming in the wet and the other at Laguna Seca, his best track by a long way, a prolongation with Suzuki was not entirely certain. Vermeulen reportedly fell short of a performance clause at Laguna Seca which would have brought him an automatic extension, and since Laguna, he has been engaged in haggling between himself, the team and Suzuki, about the size of his wage packet.

The deal was finally done after Misano, and announced after the Misano MotoGP round, together with Capirossi's deal being announced. Like Capirossi's deal, Vermeulen's was just for one year. Vermeulen was praised for his development and progress, and this will have to continue if Vermeulen is to remain in MotoGP for another year.

Gresini Honda
Toni Elias 1 year contract for 2009
The remaining seat at Gresini Honda was finally wrapped up at Phillip Island, with Toni Elias being formally announced as partnering Alex de Angelis. More intriguingly, it was also announced that Elias would be given a factory-spec RC212V, making it the third factory Honda on the grid.

This is the package that Vermeulen rejected when he decided to stick with Suzuki. Just how smart Vermeulen's move was remains to be seen, although with the single tire contract going to Bridgestone, and the Japanese tire maker talking about drastically standardizing production and reducing the numbers of tires available, Elias, who requires a special front tire to suit his extraordinary style, could well suffer badly, opening the door again for Vermeulen at the end of the year.

Despite earlier reports linking him to Gresini, Marco Simoncelli will be staying in the 250 class.

Alex de Angelis One-year deal for 2009 Alex de Angelis has already signed a one-year deal with Gresini, as he has the double advantage of being both fast and Italian, helping in finding sponsors. Doubts remain about his propensity to head into the gravel at every opportunity, however, and the man from San Marino will have to fall off a lot less next year if he is to stay in MotoGP much longer.

Alice Ducati
Mika Kallio Contract for 2009
Although Alvaro Bautista may have been the 250 world champion in waiting before the start of the season, he has long been overtaken by two other young chargers. The Italian Marco Simoncelli, currently leading the championship, and the Fin Mika Kallio have both been made offers by Livio Suppo of Ducati to ride for the satellite Alice Ducati team, which is being transformed into the Junior Ducati team, a feat that Ducati have learned from Ferrari. Simoncelli will be staying in the 250 class, for another year, and so has been ruled out of contention. Kallio is willing, and as KTM have decided to withdraw from the 250 class, stepping up to MotoGP is his best career move.
Niccolo Canepa Contract for 2009
By the middle of the season, it was clear that Niccolo Canepa would be racing a Ducati next year. The only question was, which one, and in which series? For a while, Canepa looked like moving up to the Xerox Ducati World Superbike squad, but after impressing Ducati bosses during testing - and being the only man to get close to Casey Stoner's times around Mugello - Canepa has been signed to join the satellite Ducati team in MotoGP. A former FIM Superstock 1000 champion, Canepa could be the surprise of the 2009 season.

Team LCR
Randy de Puniet Contract for 2009 The most cash-stricken team in the paddock will be back next year, after renewing with Randy de Puniet. De Puniet keeps showing he is capable of being very fast, but then keeps ruining it by crashing. The Flying Frenchman may be back for 2009, but until he can stay on the bike, his future will continue to be uncertain.
Scot Honda
Yuki Takahashi 1 year contract for 2009
Being on a 250cc Honda may guarantee that you won't become world champion in the class, but so far, it does seem to guarantee that you will get a ride in MotoGP. Being forced to wring the last drop of performance from a clearly underpowered bike teaches a rider a lot about maintaining speed wherever possible, and makes a great showcase for riders prepared to try and outride the bike. It got Andrea Dovizioso his ride in the MotoGP class, and now, it has done the same for the man who took his seat, Yuki Takahashi. Takahashi is having a good year in 250s, despite being on the underpowered Honda, and with Dovi moving over to Repsol, the logical step was for the Scot Team's 250 rider to step and fill his boots.

Team JiR
Out of MotoGP
JiR is the loser from the Team Scot / JIR divorce, and is almost certain to be out of MotoGP. HRC have favored Team Scot instead of the team that did rather poorly when Makoto Tamada and Shinya Nakano rode for them, awarding the RC212V which the joint team ran to Team Scot instead of JiR.

Despite team owner Luca Montiron insisting he had a sponsor and a contract for a bike, as well as a top rider to put on the bike, HRC came down in favor of Team Scot at Motegi. Montiron issued a polite, though bitter, press release announcing his split from Honda, and is likely to move to World Superbikes, to run the Aprilia team with Max Biaggi.

JiR was Ben Spies' last hope in MotoGP, and despite impressing almost everyone during his wildcard appearances, the triple AMA champion instead made the switch to ride a Yamaha in World Superbike. Spies is said to have imposed a condition that he would get promotion to MotoGP in 2010, stepping up to join the Tech 3 Yamaha team.

Aspar Kawasaki - Out of MotoGP
Alex Debon / Shinya Nakano Out of MotoGP
First a Suzuki, then a Ducati, then maybe a Yamaha. Jorge Aspar Martinez has been round almost every manufacturer in his quest to field a team in MotoGP, but after being turned down by almost everyone, it seemed that he had finally reached an agreement with Kawasaki to field a third Kawasaki.

As for the rider, an argument blew up between Aspar and Kawasaki over who to sign. Kawasaki wanted Shinya Nakano to ride the bike, a rider with proven development skills, though with a rather patchy record over the past few years.

Aspar, though, wanted a Spaniard, as they had a Spanish title sponsor lined up to fund the project. At first, Alvaro Bautista looked like being the most likely candidate to join the team, but the Spaniard announced at Misano that he will be staying in 250s for one more season, to attempt to win the championship.

With most of the top Spanish talent already signed, that left Aspar with only the veteran 250 rider Alex Debon. When Kawasaki told Aspar that Debon was not acceptable, and Aspar retorted that if Kawasaki wanted Nakano, they'd have to fund half the project, then that was the end of the project.

There is still a very small chance that Kawasaki will expand the factory team to include Nakano on a third bike, but that would require funding from Dorna. That team, though, would have nothing to do with Aspar.

Onde 2000 Ducati
Sete Gibernau One year contract for 2009 After test riding for Ducati, Sete Gibernau looked certain to take Melandri's place until the end of the year, with maybe another year with the factory team to follow. But since the Hayden-Ducati deal has almost been finalized, Gibernau had reportedly been offered a ride on the satellite Alice team. The problem Gibernau had was one of money, a problem which is now supposedly solved, by the intervention of the Onde 2000 team. Onde 2000 currently run 2 bikes in the 125 class, but the owner of the construction company running the team has now stumped up the cash to run Sete Gibernau on a 5th bike. The team was presented officially on the eve of the Valencia Grand Prix.




Riders in bold have signed and confirmed contracts.



Updated October 24th, 2008

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Re: MotoGP grid line up for 2009

Post by tammerz on Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:02 am

MotoGP Poor Value
By Andy Anderson

MotoGP

12 November 2008 11:09


I note with great interest the comments made by Valentino Rossi regarding MotoGP being boring.

I have been involved in all forms of road racing for the best part of sixty years,travelling all over the world to support bike racing,and without doubt Moto-GP as stated by Valentino has become boring to watch (125s and 250s excepted).

For fans to travel too Moto-GP and watch three races one, of which has only eighteen riders, plus the occasional incidents in the first couple of corners, plus tyre and mechanical breakdowns, together with the disparity of the machinery,produces boring races.And unless some changes are made fairly rapidly support from sponsers and spectators will gradually diminish.

Some suggestions to bounce around:-

1. Have two races for each class, it works well in WSB and BSB

2. More riders on competitive machines

3. Grid reversals,(handicaping) look how exciting the racing is when Rossi has a poor grid position, and it also gives everyone a chance.

4. Support races? 600/900s Proddies?

5. Modern Classic Race/series (50/60/70/80s).?

6. Bring back the sidecars? But whatever is decided we need a full race program and value for money as in WSB and BSB which are by far and away the best racing series in the world today.

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Re: MotoGP grid line up for 2009

Post by valegirl46 on Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:54 am

Moto GP Team shake ups

Written by Larry Tate, Nov 20th 2008

Even more than usual, there will be lots of rider and team changes in Moto GP and World Superbike in 2009. Things have pretty much settled out, and the initial test sessions have already taken place, mostly to let riders start to get familiar with their new teams, although there have been some startlingly quick times as well.

First, Moto GP. The big change there is with the factory Repsol Honda team, where American Nicky Hayden, the 2006 world champion, is leaving for Ducati. He'll be partnering with '07 champ Casey Stoner on the beastly Ducati Desmosedici that so far, nobody but Stoner has been able to make work at all. Hayden (like Stoner) has a dirt track background and likes a "loose" bike that moves around and likes to be muscled, so that bodes well for the Kentucky Kid's chances. He rode the bike the day after the final race at Valencia, and was turning competitive times the first day (and was fastest in the rain on day two).

It's ironic in a way that Stoner and Hayden will be together, as Ducati only hired Stoner after their attempts to get Hayden fell through two years ago. Despite the crappy way Hayden has been treated by Honda in the past two seasons, he (as ever) took the high road on the way out, saying, "I have to [say] thanks to my team, to Honda, to Michelin and to everybody here. They made me a world champ, I'm grateful to them all."


Mika Kallio to Moto GP Hayden's replacement on the factory team is 22-year-old Andrea Dovizioso, who had an excellent first year in Moto GP on a "customer" Honda, and managed a podium (third) at the end of the season. His style is more like that of Dani Pedrosa who returns to the team, as both are graduates of the 125/250 cc GP classes.

The Alice-sponsored satellite team is dropping both its '08 riders, Sylvain Guintoli and Tony Elias, and has signed Mika Kallio from the KTM 250 cc GP squad and Niccolo Canepa, who was an official Ducati test rider in 2008.

There will also be a new satellite Ducati team sponsored by Onde (a big Spanish land development company), featuring none other than Sete Gibernau, who retired after the 2006 season. Gibernau did some testing for Ducati during 2008, but hasn't raced in two years.

The Yamaha team will stand pat with '08 champion Valentino Rossi returning on the Fiat-sponsored squad along with Jorge Lorenzo, who had an up-and-down season - literally. Lorenzo was blindingly fast but also had some of the most incredible highside crashes seen since the 500 cc two-stroke days. The Tech 3 satellite team also returns unchanged with ex-World Superbike title winners James Toseland and Colin Edwards back. There was some talk about Edwards moving back to the U.S., then about going back to World Superbike, but that seems to have fallen through.

Suzuki is also standing pat, having re-signed both Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen. Neither rider has really shone the last couple of seasons (mind you, neither has the bike), and it was a bit of a surprise when Suzuki decided to keep them both. That was particularly true in that three-time U.S. superbike champion Ben Spies was desperate for a Moto GP ride and had done extremely well in three wild-card outings in 2008.

Over at Kawasaki, Anthony West is out (he's returning to World Supersport 600s) and is being replaced by Marco Melandri. Melandri was being chased by Kawasaki last season, but made an ill-starred decision to join the Ducati squad instead. He had a horrible season, just couldn't get on with the bike, and was so embarrassed by his performance he says he was on the verge of quitting racing completely. But mid-season Kawasaki had already decided to let West go, and when Ducati and Melandri decided to amicably part ways despite his two-year contract, the Green Team snapped him up.

American John Hopkins returns as team leader, after a truly awful year battling injuries and a bike that clearly was nowhere near the rest of the field. He'll be praying for a big jump forward.

Shinya Nakano, who had a good season to finish ninth overall, didn't land a Moto GP ride for '09 and will be leaving for World Superbike, where he's joining the brand-new Aprilia team.
The biggest single change for 2009 will be having one tire supplier - Bridgestone. Riders have been complaining about tires for decades, of course, but the last two seasons it's gotten out of hand, with teams even switching suppliers mid-season. The Moto GP brass asked for tenders for a spec tire (which is pretty much the way most top-level series in both cars and bikes are these days), and only Bridgestone made an offer, as Michelin walked away. If you think the deal was fixed beforehand, you wouldn't be alone.
Riders are no doubt going to be unpleasantly surprised when the reality of fewer available tires, let alone compounds, hits them. Still, the concept has worked well in World Superbike with Pirelli, so who knows?
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Re: MotoGP grid line up for 2009

Post by tammerz on Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:03 am

No Brits in 2009 250GP class
By Matthew Birt

MotoGP

16 December 2008 14:57


In what is expected to be the last season in which the two-strokes 250s will race exclusively on their own at Grand Prix level, no British rider will compete in the quarter-litre class in 2009.

MCN exclusively revealed last week that the 2010 250GP championship is likely to be split, with 50 per cent of the grid occupied by the new more affordable 600cc four-strokes.

The 250 two-stroke class will be replaced by the 600cc series in 2011.

Looking at next year, Irish privateer Eugene Laverty’s departure to the World Supersport class has left no homegrown talent in the 250GP series.

Hiroshi Aoyama, who was the victim of KTMs shock withdrawal at the end of 2008, has been given a lifeline by the Scot Honda squad. Reigning world champion Marco Simoncelli is following the trend of close friend Valentino Rossi by shunning the chance to run the number one plate on his Metis Gilera machine. He will retain his number 58 instead.

And reigning world 125 champion Mike di Meglio will run number 63 in his rookie 250 campaign as he partners Alvaro Bautista in the hugely successful Aspar Aprilia squad.

Provisional 2009 250GP entry list:

4 Hiroshi Aoyama, Scot Honda Racing
7 Axel Pons Pepe World Pons WRB
8 Bastien Chesaux Racing Team Germany
9 Toni Wirsing Racing Team Germany
10 Imre Toth Team Toth Aprilia
12 Thomas Luthi Emmi - Caffe Latte
14 Ratthapark Wilairot Thai Honda PTT SAG
15 Roberto Locatelli Metis Gilera
16 Jules Cluzel Matteoni Racing
17 Karel Abraham Cardion AB Motoracing
19 Alvaro Bautista Mapfre Aspar Team
21 Hector Barbera Pepe World Pons WRB
25 Alex Baldolini WTR San Marino Team
28 Gabor Talmacsi Balaton Racing Team
35 Raffaele de Rosa Scot Racing Team
41 Aleix Espargaro Campetella Racing
48 Shoya Tomizawa Team CIP
51 Stevie Bonsey Aprilia Madrid
52 Lukas Pesek Auto Kelly - CP
58 Marco Simoncelli Metis Gilera
63 Mike di Meglio Mapfre Aspar Team
75 Mattia Pasini Team Toth Aprilia

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~God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the weaponry to make the difference~

tammerz
tammerz
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Re: MotoGP grid line up for 2009

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