News 20 May 2009

Racing Insider #93

Reed speaks out to on his AMA Motocross season. Plus news from MotoGP; WSBK; AMA SBK; and BSB.

Spaniard Sete Gibernau has undergone successful surgery to his broken collarbone sustained at the Le Mans MotoGP round in France last weekend, receiving a plate and screws in order to strengthen the injury.

Gibernau is expecting to be back in the for the Grand Prix of Catalunya, which is his home round near Barcelona, and that event takes place on the weekend of 12-14 June.

Nieto will likely replace Sete Gibernau in Mugello

Nieto will likely replace Sete Gibernau in Mugello

What that does mean though is that he’ll definitely miss next weekend’s Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, and his Grupo Francisco Hernando Ducati team is expected to announce a replacement rider within the next few days.

That rider is thought to be Fonsi Nieto, whose brother Pablo is the team manager for the team, but his complication comes in the fact that he has already agreed to ride for the Alstare Suzuki team in World Superbike for the Miller round in place of Max Neukirchner.

The American WSBK round is the same date as Mugello’s GP next weekend, so if Nieto is to have a chance of racing in place of Gibernau then the Alstare team better get a replacement ASAP – see the WSBK section below for possible candidates.

Other news that has been revealed this week is that Bridgestone has found the cause of Dani Pedrosa’s front tyre failure at the Grand Prix of Japan in Motegi, with a foreign object seemingly weakening the rubber and causing it to uncharacteristically chunk through the race.

The possibility of Gabor Talmacsi to Team Scot Honda on Yuki Takahashi’s second bike is shrinking, with word from Europe coming through that Talmacsi’s Balatonring sponsorship will actually be remaining with Team Aspar.

If that does remain the case, Talmacsi has lost one of his greatest supporters, although Aspar will certainly need a Hungarian rider to replace Talmacsi if he is to keep the Balatonring Circuit satisfied with the deal.

Good news coming through the email server today has been that Frenchman Regis Laconi has successfully had surgery following his devastating accident on the opening lap of the first practice in South Africa last weekend.

Laconi was operated on at the Sunninghill Hospital in Sandton (Johannesburg) by Dr. Maurizio Zorio, and the head physician confirmed that the operation was a perfect success and did not require any further intervention.

The Ducati rider was fitted with a metal plate that stabilised the two cervical vertebrae fractured in the crash, and in addition a fragment of bone that had lodged close to the spinal cord was also removed and plastic surgery was carried out on the relevant area with a skin graft from the hip.

Regis is thankfully reported to be reacting well and in the next 24 hours will be reawakened once again to begin the long period of rehabilitation, remaining in hospital for the next few weeks before being flown to a specialised rehab clinic in Paris.

While it would be a massive task if the veteran were to begin racing again, the best news is that he’ll still be able to walk and use all his limbs barring any complications from here on out.

Will Blake Young be on an Alstare Suzuki at Miller?

Will Blake Young be on an Alstare Suzuki at Miller?

As mentioned in the MotoGP news above, Fonsi Nieto’s managers are most likely trying to get him out of his Alstare Suzuki agreement to race at Miller next weekend so he can go and race MotoGP in place of Sete Gibernau.

Speculation is building in Europe that the Suzuki ride was offered to Mat Mladin but he reportedly declined, and now all eyes are on young up and comer Blake Young, who is Mladin’s current Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate.

Mladin has urged Young to get overseas as soon as possible recently, so it is very likely that if Young has in fact been offered a seat in the WSBK team that he would grab it with both hands as long as his hand injury sustained at Barber’s AMA round is good enough to ride.

Speaking of AMA Superbikes, Aaron Gobert has recently been testing an electric bike at Thunderhill Raceway in Northern California, with the Brammo company getting ready for the electric bike race at the Isle of Man TT. Check out this video here to see his thoughts on the bike after his first ride.

Michael Rutter has split with the North West 200 British Superbike team, ironically just days after the NW200 real road race was run last weekend. Rutter and the Rob Mac Racing team have been struggling with the new R1 so far this year, although the NW200 sponsorship will be staying with the team despite Rutter racing under the NW200 banner on a Ducati last year.

Replacement riders that have been mentioned to date include a number of BSB privateers, although the most interesting one mentioned has been Michael Laverty, brother of current World Supersport sensation Eugene Laverty.

Michael actually competed in the South African World Supersport race last weekend and finished a promising 11th, also competing in various AMA Superbike races so far this year with the Celtic Racing team.


Reed spoke to about his outdoor season

Reed spoke to about his outdoor season

Chad Reed has officially confirmed that he’ll be riding in the AMA Motocross Nationals this year, but we have actually been holding off on the news for quite some time after Reed told us exclusively a number of weeks ago.

Reed will contest the entire series, but Aussie fans can breathe a sigh of relief because he will still be returning home at the end of the year to defend his Australasian Super X Championship.

“I’m in Oz right now and getting a bunch of business taken care of, pretty much just living up to my end of the bargain with some obligations that I have and then Wednesday next week I’ll fly back to the U.S. and start testing and preparing for the outdoor nationals,” Reed revealed in his short vacation back in Australia almost two weeks ago.

“I’m looking forward to it. It’s something that has been burning and I’ve had the fire back all year long. My return to Suzuki has been awesome, both here in Australia and abroad in the U.S. I’ve had a lot of fun working with Jay Foreman and Perry Morrison here in Australia, as well as Roger de Coster and the team staff over there.

“It’s kind of brought back that happy feeling of being a kid and enjoying racing again. Riding for Yamaha it kind of became a job, very political and I didn’t really like living by those rules. I was your typical Australian athlete, I guess, and didn’t enjoy doing that. I just feel like I have a little more freedom with Suzuki that allows me to be me and have a little more fun.

“I feel like I’ve got a hell of a lot of fight left in me and I want to go race the outdoors. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve kind of had a rough time outdoors, but in saying that I think people underestimate what I can do outdoors. I feel I can be strong and feel I can win championships, so three weeks from now we’ll see if that’s reality or not.

“I’m hoping to win right off the bat and be in the battle for the championship.”

The outdoors have all of a sudden gotten a heck of a lot more interesting people! We can’t wait.