2019 German MotoGP Results and News
Marc Marquez claimed ten poles in a row at the tight and twisty Sachsenring yesterday. Today he made it ten wins in a row too, in a totally assure first-corner to last ride where he claimed a new lap record, and a two-race lead in the world championship standings.
“It was not the best start, and I braked too late into the first corner,” said Marquez. But he got away with it and retained the lead. “Then it was two laps slow to warm the tyres, then after that the plan was perfect. At the end I was just riding and thinking of my brother [who won the earlier Moto2 race]. I’m really. really happy,” he said.
He broke the lap record on the fifth lap.
The closest combat at the car-park circuit was eventually for fourth place, after Alex Rins (Ecstar Suzuki) had a second race crash in a row, out of a strong second place. This left runner up spot to Maverick Vinales (Monster Yamaha), who was first to Marquez’s second at Assen a week ago.
Cal Crutchlow, overcoming a knee injury and leg fracture sustained in a freak cycling incident earlier in the week, pushed Vinales hard until the last laps, when “a big moment with the rear” convinced him to settle for a safe third, his second podium of the season.
“We know this is the best place we could do today, and we go into the summer break feeling we can be strong,” said Vinales.
The fight for fourth lasted to the bitter end, when Danilo Petrucci finally got back ahead of factory Ducati team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, while independent Pramac Ducati rider Jack Miller likewise got the better of second Suzuki rider Joan Mir. The quartet were over the line in 0.579 of a second.
Valentino Rossi (Monster Yamaha) had been with this quartet, but was almost two seconds off the back at the end.
So too, earlier in the race, had been fast-starting Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha); but he was well out of touch in ninth at the end, Lorenzo replacement Stefan Bradl (Repsol Honda) was a couple of seconds adrift in tenth.
Hopes of a challenge to Marquez by super-rookie Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha) were dashed on only the second lap. A poor start off the front row meant the 20-year-old finished the first lap only seventh, and he slipped off at the looping Omega corner, turn three, after an over-impetuous move up to sixth. “I made a bad decision,” he said later.
Johann Zarco (Red Bull KTM) also crashed out at the notorious Turn 3; while satellite-team Miguel Oliveira fell and remounted at the same spot.
Moto2 Race – 28 laps, 102.788 km
Alex Marquez (EG-VDS Kalex) returned to the winner’s circle for a fourth time this year, after missing out because he was knocked down at Assen. Starting from pole, he took the lead from fast-starting Iker Lecuona (American Racing KTM) on lap seven, then resisting fierce pressure from Red Bull KTM rider Brad Binder, who had forced through from 17th on the grid.
After half distance Marquez was able to ease clear, setting a new record on lap 17, while a fierce fight for second saw Marcel Schrotter (Dynavolt Kalex) exchanging blows with Lecuona and Binder.
At the finish, in spite of a visible shortage of grip, Binder narrowly escaped for second, his best result of the year; while Lecuona’s last-corner attack on Schrotter ended as he slipped off into the gravel, leaving the podium to the German.
Xavi Vierge (EG VDS Kalex) had been in the mix up front but crashed out after a collision with erstwhile championship leader Thomas Luthi (Dynavolt Kalex). The Swiss rider was hit with a “long lap” penalty, and rejoined fifth behind Fabio di Giannantonio (Speed Up).
Augusto Fernandez in the end took sixth from Flexbox HP40 Kalex team-mate Lorenzo Baldassarri; Jorge Navarro (Speed Up) recovered from a dire start for eight ahead of a best-yet Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM), the rookie’s first top-ten. Luca Marini (SKY VR46 Kalex) dropped to tenth after running with the leaders in the early stages; Sam Lowes (Federal Oils Kalex) won a fierce five-bike battle for 11th.
Marquez regained the points lead, 136 to Luthi’s 128. Fernandez has 102, Baldassarri and Navarro both 97.
Moto3 Race – 27 laps, 99.117 km
Teamwork brought a long-awaited first win of the year – and the championship lead – to Leopard Racing’s Lorenzo Dalla Porta, after a desperate Moto3 final lap. Second Leopard Honda rider Marcos Ramirez followed him over the line, the pair ducking inside erstwhile championship leader Aron Canet into the penultimate corner.
The tight turns had kept the field packed up tight, with 21 within just over three seconds at half distance. After that there was a breakaway group of seven, but they had been pegged back again by the finish.
Coming through at the end, from 22nd on the grid and most of the race out of the points was Canet (Sterilgarda KTM) and the Spaniard seized the lead on the last lap.
But at the bottom of the plunge down the Waterfall “I made one mistake, to not close the door”. The two Hondas pushed through, and it was all Canet could do to hold a third one at bay, as early race leader Romano Fenati (Snipers Honda) crossed the line almost alongside.
Almost as close behind, Raul Fernandez (Sama KTM), briefly leading John McPhee (Petronas Honda), Ai Ogura (Team Asia Honda), Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Honda), pole starter Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Honda) and Jakub Kornfeil (Redox KTM), completing the top ten, all over the line in less than a second.
Dalla Porta’s win followed four second places, and lifted him to the top of the title chart, 125 points to Canet’s 123. Niccolo Antonelli, 12th today, has 87, then Ramirez 78, and double winner Arbolini 77m after scoring just one point today.
The first MotoE race came to a premature end after five of eight laps, after a crash punctured the air fence and brought out the red flags.
The race until then had been close, with a group of four breaking away, and across the line inside one second as the result was declared. The top three were Finn Niki Tuuli (Ajo), Bradley Smith (One Energy) and former 125 champion Mike di Meglio (Marc VDS).
The crasher was Lorenzo Savadori, after contact at the bottom of the Waterfall hill; and the heavyweight Energica bike somersaulted across the gravel and slammed the air fence.
Fears that the red flag were because the bike with its powerful battery was unsafe came to naught. If that had been the case, shown by a red warning light, specially trained marshals and fire-man would have to pick the bike up, and it would be kept in isolation until made safe.
Fifteen minutes of hold-your-breath qualifying saw Marc Marquez and the Repsol Honda again dominant at the Sachsenring, with the rider breaking his own best-lap-time record to claim his own 57th premier-class pole (one short of Mick Doohan), his seventh in a row at the German GP circuit, and Honda’s ninth.
Marquez, who has won for the past nine years at the short, tight “car-park” track, used a two-stop/three-run strategy. He broke the record to take first place on his first run, then went even faster on the third to make assurance doubly sure. His time of 1m 20.195s beat his last year’s pole of 1m 20.270 set
He had to … because the two top Yamahas were pushing hard.
Super-rookie Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Sprinta Yamaha) was especially heroic. In the morning he’d suffered a giant 150 mph tank-slapper that resulted in an agonising “partial dislocation” to his left shoulder. The joint popped straight back into place, and some four hours later, nothing daunted, he pushed through to second, just over two tenths down.
Just six thousandths slower, Assen winner Maverick Vinales (Monster Yamaha) was back on the front row for a third race in a row.
“I am in a good way,” said Marquez. “The first tyre was good, on the second run I pushed but made a little mistake, then I was able to be better on the third tyre. But we have to keep working, because both Yamahas and even the Suzuki have a good pace.”
Quartararo admitted “this morning was really tough, so it feels good to be on the front row. This is one track where it is very important. It will be a long race, but I am ready to fight.”
Vinales was brimming with confidence. “In my best lap, I lost the front with the hard tyre. I had the feeling I could go faster, so in the end I am quite happy. The objective was the front row, and I am starting well, so we will see tomorrow.”
Alex Rins (Ecstar Suzuki) was more than a tenth adrift to head row two from Jack Miller (Pramac), who salvaged Ducati pride at a track and on a day when the factory riders were struggling. Andrea Dovizioso was robbed of the chance of coming through from Q1 by four thousandths of a second right at the end, and will start from 13th; Danilo Petrucci was in Q2, but ended up last after a very fast crash in the early stages.
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), another injured rider after a cycling mishap, came through to a strong sixth.
Row three comprises second Petronas Yamaha rider Franco Morbidelli, Red Bull’s Pol Espargaro on easily the top KTM, and second Suzuki rider Joan Mir.
Taka Nakagami (LCR Honda), still on crutches after he was knocked off by Valentino Rossi (Monster Yamaha) at Assen last week, was the man who denied Dovizioso, and placed tenth. Rossi, also through from Q1, 11th, then Petrucci.
Lorenzo replacement Stefan Bradl (Repsol Honda) starts from the middle of row five, between Dovizioso and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia).
The best-lap record was smashed also in Moto2 … but that was in Q1, by Conveyors Speed Up rider Jorge Navarro. But the Spaniard crashed early in Q2, and it was another through from Q1 who took pole, albeit with a slower lap time.
It was Alex Marquez’s first pole this year, but after the EG-VDS Kalex rider missed much of FP3 with mechanical problems, he admitted “I don’t have a good race pace, and if it rains in warm-up we will lose the chance to improve it.”
Luca Marini (SKY VR46 Kalex), also through from Q1, also made a return to the front row, second fastest; with German Marcel Schrotter (Dynavolt Kalex) third.
This pushed Fabio di Giannantonio (Speed Up) to head row two from Assen winner Augusto Fernandez (Flexbox Kalex) and Iker Lecuona (American Racing) on the top KTM.
Red Bull KTM rider had been a pole candidate, but crashed early in the session and was unable to restart. He will start from 17th. It was his team-mate Jorge Martin leading row three from Xavi Vierge and Remy Gardner (both Kalex). Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) completed the top ten, ahead of Navarro, championship leader Thomas Luthi and Sam Lowes (both Kalex).
Ayumu Sasaki claimed a career-first pole in Moto3, where the first second covered the top 15 runners in Q2. The Petronas rider headed five Hondas, with Team Asia’s Kaito Toba second, then the Leopard Racing pair Marcos Ramirez and Lorenzo Dalla Porta next.
High winds made life difficult for the smallest bikes, and Romano Fenati (Snipers Honda) was one to suffer, with a potential pole lap cancelled after he ran off track limits on the final corner. He was fifth; Jakub Kornfeil (Redox KTM) sixth, the Czech veteran through from Q1.
Albert Arenas (Samar KTM) will lead the third row from Dennis Foggia (SKY VR46 KTM) another rider through from Q2 and Gabriel Rodrigo (Kommerling Honda)/
John McPhee (Petronas Honda) completes the top ten. Double race winner Tony Arbolino (Snipers Honda) and points leader Aron Canet (Sterilgarda KTM) didn’t make it out of Q1, and will start from 19th and 22nd.
Record Lean Angle for Marquez
Marc Marquez broke his own best-lap record at the Sachsenring … and in the process set a new one for another aspect of performance.
During practice, his Repsol Honda recorded an astonishing 66 degrees of lean while rounding the tight second-gear Omega right-hander early on the lap of the smallest, shortest and most concentrated circuit of the year.
It was further than even he wanted to go, he said.
“One reason is the bike is not turning a lot, so I need to lean more to compensate. I need to adapt to the performance of the bike.
“But 66 degrees is too much. I must find another way,” he laughed.
This year’s RC213V, he again explained in Germany, is a more balanced bike than in the past, “not so strong in its good points, but not so bad in the weak points.”
As a result, it was not as easy to win at the good tracks, but he was not having to push as hard at tracks that did not play to the bike’s strengths. “I have not crashed as often this year as before,” he said.
“The most important thing for the championship is consistency.”
Aluminum Chassis for Marquez
Marquez further exercised Honda’s newest carbon-clad chassis at the Sachsenring, but reverted to the familiar all-aluminum unit “for safety”, he said.
“I can be faster on the new chassis, but for the race I will come back to the current one. Perhaps it is slower, but you know how it will react.”
He had done more laps over the two days on the current chassis. “With the new chassis, we know the positives and negatives, and it’s possible the negative things can cause a crash.
“We need more information.”
Quartararo Shaken, Not Stirred
One week ago, Mick Doohan commented that Fabio Quartararo was achieving his speed without understanding a MotoGP bike, but “just riding the wheels off the thing”.
At Sachsenring, the 20-year-old Frenchman proved him right, after a potentially seriously injurious indiscretion left him with a briefly dislocated shoulder, and probably a new respect for the Yamaha M1.
Doohan’s comment was not a criticism. He continued by saying: “We’ve all been there. But he’s doing it better than we did.”
Quartararo’s lucky escape was in FP3, on the exit from one of the most difficult corners of the year – the notorious “Waterfall” Turn 11, now re-named Ralf Waldmann corner in honour of the late former 250 star.
This flat-out right flick over a blind brow into a steep descent follows seven left-handers, and cooling of the right side of the tyre has caused many front-end washouts there over the years, and triggered rapid development of dual-compound front tyres to match similar development at the rear.
Quartararo made the corner, but on the ensuing 150 mph plunge the bike went into such a violent tankslapper that it wrenched his left shoulder out of its socket. It quickly relocated itself, but was for a while severely painful.
Asked what had happened, he explained: “I had a new tyre, and on my fourth lap I tried to make Turn 11 on full gas, and one the exit I got a big shaking.”
Making light of it, he continued: “Now I am balanced. I have problems in both arms.” (He is still recovering from arm-pump surgery on his right arm a month ago.) His front-row companions were asked if they had ever tried to take the corner on full gas.
“No,” said Marquez firmly; adding: “It depends on how you have the electronics, but I prefer to use the throttle [for control].”
Maverick Vinales laughed. “You can try it … if you want to end up in the gravel.”
Rossi Overcomes Crash
Valentino Rossi’s bid to end his worst ever spell in MotoGP – three successive non-finishes – had a shaky but ultimately positive outcome in qualifying, when he managed to get out of Q1 to be sure of qualifying in the top 12.
Had he not done so, it would have been for a fourth time in the last six races, as he struggles to regain confidence on a Yamaha that suits rookie Fabio Quartararo but not the seven-times premier-class champion.
He did have to go through Q1, but managed to top the times … only to crash on his slowing down lap, giving his pit crew anxious moments, with only ten minutes before the start of Q2.
“My team did a great job to recover the bike, which was the one I felt better on,” he said. His lap times in Q1 would have put him at the head of the third row, “but I lost the feeling a little and I couldn’t make the same lap time in Q2.” He qualified tenth, heading row four. “My pace is not so bad, but on a hot lap I suffer a bit,” he said.
Rossi crashed out of the last three races and dropped to fifth overall, 88 points adrift of Marquez, and only five ahead of Quartararo.
Tuuli Earns Very First MotoE Pole
Finnish former Moto2 rider Niki Tuuli claimed a little piece of history by taking the first ever MotoE pole position, after the 18 riders each had a single lap in a Superpole format.
The Team Ajo rider had a massive advantage of better than three-quarters of a second over Tech 3 rider Hector Garzo, who was fractionally faster than Eric Granado (Avintia Esponsorama).
Sixteen of the 18 riders of the identical Energica machines were spread across more than four seconds behind Tuuli’s 1:27.456, which would have put him 22nd on the Moto3 grid.
Ex-MotoGP rider Bradley Smith was seventh; former 125 world champion Nico Terol eighth, and nine-times MotoGP race winner Sete Gibernau 13th.
Two riders were black-flagged and condemned to the back row for missing their departure slot from pit lane, which in the absence of any other thrills sent Dorna’s dutiful commentator into paroxysms of excitement. The departure slots must be carefully timed to avoid conflict with the rider already on his single fast lap.
In spite of a couple of crashes so far, including one for Australian Josh Hook, the specially trained safety marshals have not yet been required. With the pent-up power of the batteries that produce some 160 bhp and an impressive 148 ft/lbs of torque, a crash carries potential risk of fire or electrocution.
In spite of an atmosphere of amused tolerance, the paddock acknowledged the overall significance of tomorrow’s first race in the all-electric FIM Cup series.
’Ring king Marc Marquez fought back at the end of the second free practice today to take control of the lap times after super-fast young rookie Fabio Quartararo had been on top in the first-morning session for Sunday’s German MotoGP.
Marquez headed typically close time at the short and tight “car-park” Sachsenring outside Chemnitz, with 14 riders within one second of his 1m 20.705 lap time, half-a-second short of his own all-time best lap.
Conditions were warmer after an overcast morning; and with an uncertain forecast for tomorrow after two races with fine weather throughout Marquez reverted to the cautious practice of fitting a soft tire to put in a banker lap, to be sure of the top ten for tomorrow’s Q2 session. While all the others do this as a matter of course, the dominant Repsol Honda rider’s confidence has been so high that he did not bother to do so at Montmelo and Assen.
Quartararo’s bid to regain supremacy was thwarted when he was held up behind his Petronas Sprinta Yamaha team-mate Franco Morbidelli, and he ended up a close but frustrated third.
Second-fastest was Alex Rins; at another track where the sweet handling of the Ecstar Suzuki makes him a podium favorite.
Assen winner Maverick Vinales (Monster Yamaha) was fourth, ahead of the continually surprising Pol Espargaro’s Red Bull KTM. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) overcame painful injuries (see separate News story) to slot into a strong sixth/
This left Jack Miller as top Ducati on the Pramac satellite-team machine, with Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso eighth and ninth on the factory Ducatis.
Valentino Rossi squeaked into a potentially important tenth, eight tenths down on provisional pole, and less than a hundredth clear of Aleix Espargaro on the top Aprilia.
Then Morbidelli, second Suzuki rider Joan Mir, and Jorge Lorenzo’s replacement on the second Repsol Honda, Stefan Bradl.
Second Pramac Ducati rider Pecco Bagnaia missed the afternoon session after being taken to hospital to investigate possible concussion after a seemingly innocuous spill in the morning.
Given fair weather, all have another chance to try for the top ten in tomorrow morning’s FP3.
2019 German MotoGP Results and News—MotoGP Friday (click PDF)
Continuing KTM problems notwithstanding, Red Bull teamster Brad Binder pushed through to the top of free practice times at the Sachsenring this afternoon, repeating his form a week ago at Assen.
KTM riders still have problems they hope will be solved by a new chassis due during the summer break, but in the meantime progress at tests have made much more of the Austrian machine’s potential, with satellite American Racing team rider Iker Lecuona third fastest.
In between, Xavi Vierge (EG-VDS Kalex) was almost four tenths slower than Binder’s blinding 1m 23.948, a couple of tenths off the all-time record.
Times were very close behind the second-fastest rider, with 25 more riders in the single second from Vierge.
Replacement Petronas Yamaha rider Jonas Folger was fourth on combined times, thanks to his session-topping time in the morning; with fifth-placed Marcel Schrotter (Dynavolt Kalex) likewise failing to improve.
Assen winner Alonso Fernandez (Flexbox HP40 Kalex) was sixth, then erstwhile pints leader Alex Marquez (EG-VDS Kalex), who became the last of many riders to fall at the ultra-slow Omega Kurve loop at the end of the session.
Earlier leader Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP40 Kalex) was eighth, ahead of the Kalexes of Tetsuta Nagashima and Luca Marini; post-Assen points leader Thomas Luthi (Dynavolt Kalex) was 11th. The potentially important top 14 (should it rain tomorrow) are completed by Fabio Di Giannantonio (Speed Up), Jorge Martin (KTM) and Jorge Navarro (Speed Up).
Assen pole qualifier Remy Gardner (ONEXOX Kalex) was 18th overall; American KTM rider Joe Roberts 24th.
2019 German MotoGP Results and News—Moto2 Friday (click PDF)
With 21 riders within a second of the top time, fractions made a difference in Moto3. Ex-Red Bull Rookies champion Ayumu Sasaki’s 1m 26.526 on the Petronas Honda headed well-mixed blend of Honda and KTM, less than four-tenths down on the tight track’s all-time record.
Rookie Raul Fernandez (Sama KTM) was hundredths behind in second, and Marco Ramirez (Leopard Honda) third. Assen podium man Jakub Kornfeil (Redox KTM) heads the next trip, from Honda Team Asia’s Kaito Toba and points leaderAron Canet (Sterilgarda KTM). Then a trio of Hondas: the EG team’s Alonso Lopez, Petronas rider John McPhee and Romano Fenati (Sniper).
Dennis Foggia (KTM) finished the top ten, one place ahead of Tony Arbolino (Snipers Honda), whose Assen win last week made him the first this year to win more than one race.
2019 German MotoGP Results and News—Moto3 Friday (click PDF)
2019 German MotoGP News
Petrucci stays with Ducati
Danilo Petrucci will stay with the factory Ducati team. As all had expected, the renewal of his contract for next year was officially confirmed on the eve of the German GP.
Ducati had already indicated this intention, but at Assen a week ago the deal had not been finalized. Now rider and factory have agreed to terms and signed on the dotted line.
Petrucci’s position had been heavily reinforced by his maiden win at the Italian GP at Mugello. He had “found great chemistry with the team” from the outset; and also praised the help from his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, who had been “like a brother to me”.
Since Petrucci signed up at the end of last season, the pair had trained together, and Dovizioso had shared other important aspects of his overall package.
The deal with Ducati, said Petrucci, meant “both parties wanted to continue this adventure. But it doesn’t mean there is now less pressure. In fact it is the opposite; we want to go to the top three in the championship.”
Next year will be the 28-year-old’s ninth in the premier class, after his debut in 2012 in a lowly CRT team. He is currently third overall in the championship, behind Marquez and Dovizioso.
- Petrucci revealed that he plans to start the summer break by getting his first motorcycle license. “I have the test next Tuesday, but I will not say where, in case I do not pass.”
Crutchlow crashes… his bicycle
Bicycles are dangerous, and the latest motorcyclist to prove it is LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow, who slipped while on a training ride in the short break after last weekend’s Dutch TT, and suffered ligament damage to his right knee and a crack in the tibia bone.
The damage was to the anterior cruciate ligament, he revealed, saying: “we had to have some fluid removed as it was swollen”.
Bizarrely, the Briton, whose seventh at Assen was his best finish since placing on the podium at the opening round in Qatar, wasn’t even riding at the time. On a cobbled road, he had stopped to make adjustments.
“I got off to check the saddle height. Bent to look at the saddle, and my foot slipped from underneath on a cobble.”
He was doubtful about being able to ride, but pushed on to place sixth in FP2.
Stefan Dorflinger—MotoGP Legend
German-born Swiss rider Stefan Dorflinger (left) was inducted to the MotoGP hall of fame at the Sachsenring, in acknowledgment of his domination of the now-defunct smallest class between 1982 and 1985. Riding a monocoque-framed Kreidler, Dorflinger won 18 GPs, the first nine when it was a 50cc class, and the second after the category had grown to 80cc.
The forgotten class began in 1962 and was first dominated by Japanese machines. It was terminated at the end of 1989. The most successful rider was Angel Nieto, with six titles.
Kymiring nearing completion
Finland’s Kymiring came a step closer to being included in next year’s calendar, after a successful inspection by FIM and Dorna officials on July 1 emerged “pleased with safety issues, the layout of the circuit, and the progress of construction works”, according to a statement from Dorna.
The 4.6-km track will be ready for two days of MotoGP tests on August 19 and 20, in the break between the Austrian and British GPs; with riders welcoming the new venue, especially if another GP – bringing the tally to 20 races – will (in the words of Marc Marquez, echoed by his peers) “mean more racing and less testing”.
Finland was a regular stop on the calendar between 1962 and 1981, by when the annual visit to the Imatra was a popular stop-over, although the dangers of the road circuit (which included a rail level crossing) eventually made it unfeasible. The new circuit is at Kymenlaakso, closer to the capital Helsinki, which lies some 100 km to the south-west.
MotoE Takes Flight
E-Bikes were go at the Sachsenring, where 18 riders essayed the first free practice for the new all-electric class, competing for the first FIM MotoE cup.
Swiss former Moto2 rider Jesko Raffin (pictured) was fastest on the Dynavolt team bike, half-a-second clear of Finland’s Niki Tuuli (Ajo) and San Marino GP veteran Alex de Angelis (Pramac).
With all riders on identical (and at more than 260 kg identically heavy) Energica machines, lap times were at best two seconds short of Moto3 times, with Raffin’s best of 1m 28.751s eight seconds slower than Marquez’s MotoGP time.
The spread of times was more worrying, with 17th-placed Maria Herrera more than three seconds down (18th Lorenzo Savadori only ran two timed laps before slipping off). Veteran Sete Gibernau (Join Contract Pons) was 13th, more than two seconds away.
Bikes could get spread out, even in a short eight-lap sprint race.
But the mood was generally welcoming, and early-days performances not expected to detract from the overall importance of the new initiative. At best it offers chances for a real racing future, and at worst it at least relieves MotoGP from being threatened by a rival series.
While MotoGP riders at the pre-event press conference trotted out the predictable comments that they would miss the noise of “real racing bikes”, all welcomed another avenue for both old and new riders to compete, while Franco Morbidelli went against the tide, saying: “I like them. They are something new.”
No Go For Dimas
Indonesian Moto2 rookie Dimas Ekky Pratama withdrew from the German GP after completing only three times laps in the morning practice session, worried about the effects of concussion and blurred vision, after being eliminated from last weekend’s Dutch TT in morning warm-up after a collision with Stefano Manzi.
Worryingly, the decision was made by the rider and his Honda Team Asia squad, after he had been passed fit to ride by the official medical staff.
In spite of long-standing plans to improve the situation, MotoGP’s assessment of concussion still falls far short of (for example) rugby union, where players are prevented from taking part for the merest hint of it.
In this case, at least the rider knew better.
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