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HRC confident Marquez will be close to full fitness in Qatar

Matthew Birt, 17 March 2014 10:07

Honda is confident reigning world champion Marc Marquez will be close to 100% fitness to begin the defence of his MotoGP crown in Qatar this weekend. The 21-year-old has missed pre-season tests in Sepang and Phillip Island after breaking his right leg in a dirt track training accident in Spain last month. The last time the Repsol Honda rider rode ...

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Smith and Espargaro impressed with new Yamaha gearbox

Matthew Birt, 12 March 2014 08:59

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 duo Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro have both hailed the benefits of Yamaha’s seamless shift gearbox ahead of the start of the 2014 MotoGP campaign. Smith and Espargaro tested the new transmission at the second Sepang test and during last weekend’s Qatar night session, and both say it makes their YZR-M1 machinery easier to ride over ...

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'Unbelievable' race simulation thrills Aleix Espargaro in Qatar

Matthew Birt, 10 March 2014 09:20

Aleix Espargaro continued his outstanding winter testing form in Qatar last night by finishing the final pre-season action of 2014 on top of the timesheets. The Forward Yamaha rider was doubly happy after an impressive best lap of 1.54.874 put him just 0.033s clear of younger brother Pol Espargaro. But it was a fast and consistent race simulation that boosted ...

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Stefan Bradl ends pre-season with two crashes

Matthew Birt, 10 March 2014 09:16

Stefan Bradl’s winter testing campaign certainly didn’t end on a high after he suffered two crashes on the final night of testing at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar. The LCR Honda rider had already walked away unhurt from a spill at Turn 6 when he fell again while on the seventh lap of a planned full race simulation. The ...

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Scott Redding surprised by race run speed

Matthew Birt, 10 March 2014 09:11

British rider Scott Redding gave himself a morale boost heading into his rookie MotoGP campaign after he delivered an impressive first distance run on the new Honda RCV1000R production bike in Qatar last night. The 2013 Moto2 runner-up set his best time at the three-night Qatar test on the second flying lap of his 20-lap long run, which was two ...

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Crutchlow baffled by front tyre issue in Oz race simulation

Matthew Birt, 05 March 2014 15:19

British rider Cal Crutchlow was left baffled by a front tyre issue that forced him to abort a planned full race simulation on the final day of Bridgestone’s crucial tyre test at the Phillip Island track in Australia. Crutchlow was scheduled to do a full distance run of 27 laps in cool and windy conditions on the final afternoon, but ...

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Pol Espargaro plans style tweaks at Sepang 2

Matthew Birt, 24 February 2014 11:21

Reigning Moto2 world champion Pol Espargaro will focus on riding style tweaks when he makes his third pre-season testing appearance for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad in Sepang later this week. The Spaniard has been impressive in his previous two YZR-M1 appearances and has been inside the top 10 and close to new teammate Bradley Smith in Valencia and ...

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Suzuki: No plans to join Open class in 2015

Matthew Birt, 24 February 2014 11:05

Suzuki will return to MotoGP in 2015 as a full factory entry, with the Japanese factory rejecting the chance to join the new Open category. It had been rumoured that Suzuki would participate as an Open entry next year to take advantage of extra engines, softer tyres, more fuel and more options to test during the season. But an Open ...

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Colin Edwards impressed by Aleix Espargaro’s Sepang speed

Matthew Birt, 13 February 2014 12:29

Veteran American Colin Edwards heaped praise of new Forward Racing teammate Aleix Espargaro after the Spaniard’s brilliant start to the 2014 MotoGP testing campaign in Malaysia last week. Making his debut on the new Open category FTR-Yamaha, Espargaro was the revelation of the Sepang test by finishing fourth quickest. The ex-Aspar Aprilia rider was only beaten by Marc Marquez, Valentino ...

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Bradley Smith focuses on race pace in Sepang

Matthew Birt, 07 February 2014 09:21

Eighth position on the timesheets and outpaced by Aleix Espargaro’s new Open class FTR-Yamaha suggests this week’s Sepang MotoGP test was a tough affair for British rider Bradley Smith. Nothing could be further from the truth though, as the 23-year-old dedicated the majority of his time on track to refining race settings rather than chasing an outright fast lap time. ...

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