Lorenzo, Biaggi and Anderson now join a long list of greats that have been made MotoGP™ Legends that includes Giacomo Agostini, Mick Doohan, Geoff Duke, Wayne Gardner, Mike Hailwood, Daijiro Kato, Eddie Lawson, Anton Mang, Angel Nieto, Wayne Rainey, Phil Read, Jim Redman, Kenny Roberts, Kenny Roberts Jr, Jarno Saarinen, Kevin Schwantz, Barry Sheene, Marco Simoncelli, Freddie Spencer, Casey Stoner, John Surtees, Carlo Ubbiali, Alex Crivillé, Franco Uncini, Marco Lucchinelli, Randy Mamola, Kork Ballington, Dani Pedrosa, Stefan Dörflinger, Jorge Martinez and the late, great Nicky Hayden.
If there is a pivotal moment in Yamaha’s path to 2020, it is Saturday, 11th August 2018. Maverick Viñales had qualified in eleventh, over a second behind polesitter Marc Márquez. Valentino Rossi hadn’t even made it into Q2, and would start from sixteenth. On Saturday afternoon, before Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales started the debriefs with the press, Yamaha’s MotoGP project leader Kouji Tsuya made a public apology, to Yamaha’s riders, and to the media. The M1 wasn’t good enough, and Rossi and Viñales deserved better.
A pre-season test at Oschersleben in Germany is the first track action of the year in early April, before Round 1 takes places two weeks later at the iconic TT Circuit Assen as the NTC race alongside the Dutch round of WorldSBK. In May, Round 2 takes the Cup to Austria as they race the Red Bull Ring with the IDM, and in June there are two rounds, both in Germany: first up it’s Speedweek at Oschersleben from the 4th to 6th of June, before the NTC compete alongside MotoGP™ for the first time as part of the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring.
Reigning British Talent Cup Champion Scott Ogden is one of three new faces to the team, although he has already made appearances replacing the injured Yuki Kunii in 2019. Ogden will now be a full-time part of the JTT, and he’s joined by some stiff competition in the fight to be the top rookie next season: Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup runner-up Takuma Matsuyama and fellow frontrunner Tatchakorn Buasri. Matsuyama, from Japan, narrowly missed out on the IATC crown this year but showed some incredible form to take it to the wire. Thai rider Tatchakorn Buasri, meanwhile, was one of the few to beat Matsuyama to a victory in 2019, and the two will doubtless see their rival pick back up where it left off as they graduate to the FIM Moto3™ Junior World Championship.
By contrast, Alex Marquez is a rookie, with very limited experience in MotoGP™. Like his brother, he has titles in both smaller classes. Unlike his brother, he took longer to finally clinch a Moto2™ crown, and he moves up to the premier class at 23 years of age, having spent five years in the intermediate class. The experience of Maverick Viñales, Alex Rins, Joan Mir, and Fabio Quartararo is that it is better to move up quickly, rather than spend years in Moto2™. And of course, it is easier to adapt to MotoGP™ on a rider-friendly Yamaha or Suzuki, which require less of a drastic change of riding style.
Jack put up his 2018 MotoGP helmet up for auction and raised 22 bids worldwide.
The auction has now closed and raised $18,000!
Jack has promised to sign the helmet and ship it out to the recipient.
Jack Miller’s MotoGP helmet
Toby auctions gear
Toby is also auctioning his starting jersey and pants with proceeds going to the NSW Rural Fire Service.
Current highest bid is still $13,001.
Auction closes on 18 January at 5pm (AEST).
If you can’t bid, please donate on this link. So far he has raised $2777.
There is a host of bushfire appeals you can donate to. See the list below.
Otherwise, we suggest helping local communities by waiting until the emergency has passed, then visiting the areas and spending your money on fuel, food and gifts.
Royal Enfield Australia has announced a five-day “Coastal Tour” departing from Melbourne on 7 March 2020, navigating the east coast to Noosa on 11 March.
The event is open to all Royal Enfield riders for the full ride or partial rides in their local areas. Click here to register.
• Australian Red Cross Disaster Response and Recovery Fund;
• WIRES Emergency Fund for Wildlife;
• Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park owner Dana Mitchell’s GoFundMe;
• Fire Relief Fund for First Nations Communities GoFundMe;
• Mallacoota Fires Support Fund for East Gippsland on GoFundMe;
• Australian photographer Kara Rosenlund’s koala crisis bushfire recovery GoFundMe;
• Mogo Zoo on the NSW South Coast GoFundMe established by MP Emma Husar;
• South Australian Adelaide Hills Wine Region Fire Appeal GoFundMe;
• A GoFundMe to rebuild the Bargo Dingo Sanctuary in NSW;
• The Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund appeal for fire-affected East Gippsland communities; and
• Zoos Victoria Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund.
Prevent appeals scams
To help people looking to donate safely and effectively, the National Bushfire Recovery Agency has published a list of registered charities that accept tax deductible donations and are running bushfire appeals.
The initiative is in response to the difficulty for many in identifying charities and fundraisers with the capacity to deliver relief and whose focus is on bushfire relief or recovery.
People who want to donate to a charity should check the charity’s details on the ACNC Charity Register acnc.gov.au/findacharity. To confirm if their chosen charity has tax deductible status, they can access the ABN link on a charity’s record.
Replacing the Motostar series, the British Talent Cup will become the sole British Moto3™ class in 2020; acting as the breeding ground for the next two-wheeled talent in the country. With 20 races taking place over ten race weekends, the riders will face challenging UK circuits, including Silverstone, Oulton Park, Donington Park, Snetterton, Knockhill, Brands Hatch and Thruxton, as well as the iconic ‘Cathedral of Speed’, Assen. Alongside that, the British Talent Cup will also race alongside the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in August.
As yet another action packed year draws to a close, what better time than now to reflect on some of the most dramatic MotoGP™ photos of 2019? The skills of riders involved were higher than ever, leading to a host of barely believable saves across all three grand prix classes.
As yet another action packed year draws to a close, what better time than now to reflect on some of the most dramatic MotoGP™ photos of 2019? The year belonged to the three World Champions – Marc Marquez, Alex Marquez and Lorenzo Dalla Porta – but a total of 23 riders across all three classes experienced that winning feeling this year.