News 19 Aug 2009

Racing Insider #111

In this edition of Racing Insider we have a short version featuring news from MotoGP; AMA SBK; ASBK and AMA MX.

Lorenzo is speculated to have an offer from Ducati

Lorenzo is speculated to have an offer from Ducati

This is going to be a very short edition of Racing Insider today with just one image to keep you entertained, delayed because of a nasty flu that I picked up somewhere during what was the warmest day of the year (I think) on Sunday. Despite this, we’ll push through and bring you the best in racing news and gossip from around the world.

The MotoGP silly season is slowly falling into place after a few major signings announced at Brno last weekend, but the big news stemming from Europe right now is that Ducati has offered Jorge Lorenzo a lucrative two-year deal for the Marlboro-backed team.

It’s a major shock that this news has broken cover after many though Lorenzo would be sticking with Yamaha after the Honda line-up was confirmed to be staying put, but who would Jorge be replacing at Ducati if it’s true?

The surprising thing that selected reporters are saying that he could be used as a replacement for Casey Stoner since many have said he may not be back for the rest of the season or even next year (!!!), but I don’t necessarily believe that because the Stoner camp has been very quiet in the last few weeks.

While Nicky Hayden was believed to be remaining in red, he could also be on the chopping block if Ducati were able to attract Lorenzo, but I’m sure he’d be happy to slide onto a YZR-M1 given the opportunity to partner Rossi again.

Personally, I hope it all happens to be honest.

As mentioned above, Honda’s factory line-up for the 2010 season was secured with current riders Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso re-signing with the Repsol-backed team for two seasons.

The confirmation was made by new HRC president Tetsuo Suzuki at the Brno round last weekend, also ruling out a shock switch by Lorenzo to the Honda team.

While the stability in the factory team remains, the leading satellite Honda effort, Gresini Racing, confirmed that Marco Melandri would be returning to the team to join rookie Marco Simoncelli – leaving Toni Elias and Alex de Angelis searching for seats.

It’s expected that de Angelis will move down to Moto2, while Elias is pleading to remain in MotoGP after finishing on the podium at Brno.

Suzuki has also confirmed current 250cc star Alvaro Bautista after it was expected he would be joining Aspar Ducati, although that seat’s now expected to go to Hector Barbera.

Suzuki’s signing of Bautista to a two-year deal effectively means that Chris Vermeulen will have to find a new ride as Loris Capirossi is all but confirmed to be staying with the Rizla-backed squad, so let’s hope that CV can find a competitive seat.

Mattia Pasini tested a MotoGP bike at Brno in the post-race test, riding the Pramac Racing Ducati in a test that didn’t feature to much due to a rain storm that showered the circuit.

Other notable things at the test included Repsol Honda switching to Ohlins with good results that may see them race with them at Indianapolis, while Suzuki was very secretive with a revised version of the GSV-R.

Aussie Mat Mladin wrapped up his seventh American AMA Superbike Championship at Virginia International Raceway on the weekend, finishing ninth on Sunday to secure the crown in his final season of competition. The weekend was won by Yamaha’s Josh Hayes after he took victory on both Saturday and Sunday.

Mladin has been cruising in recent rounds as he winds down his career, but it would be nice to see him go out with a pair of wins at the final round if he feels he and the track are up to it.


Motologic Racing Honda has snuck in a test at Winton in Victoria this week, testing a few new components to try improve for the remainder of the season after the team actually sat out a number of mid-season tests. Both Glenn Allerton and Wayne Maxwell were reportedly on pace in the test, despite water leaking up through the cracks in the surface and causing them to pack it up early.

KTM had its dealer launch for the 2010 KTM motocross models in Queensland last week, where road racer Shannon Johnson was in attendance as he competes on KTM Australia’s lone RC8R in selected races. One thing to take note of is that European bosses were also here for the launch, so hopefully their interest in ASBK racing has been boosted somewhat upon meeting SJ.

Chad Reed took yet another clean sweep in the AMA Motocross Championship round at Unadilla on Saturday, the Aussie extending his series lead with his third double-win of the year and effectively setting himself up nicely for the title. He was joined by fellow Aussie and Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate Michael Byrne on the podium.

More good news looks to be headed Australia’s way this week with Jake Moss reportedly contesting the remainder of the series on the factory Monster Energy Kawasaki team. Racer X says that Moss has tested the bike this week and will line-up on the grid this weekend at Budds Creek.

Okay, well that’s it from me for today. Apologies for the lack of words in this article, but I can feel those shivers coming back in a real hurry!