Jorge Martin crowned 2018 Moto3 World Champion

2018 Moto3 World Champion

Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) is the 2018 Moto3 World Champion, taking the title at Sepang after a stunning season. Seven wins, nine podiums and 11 poles saw Martin a frontrunner throughout the season, and the Spaniard weathered the ups and downs of a tense year of competition to come out on top against key rivals Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PruestelGP) and Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3).

Moto Jorge Martin Champion
Jorge Martin

Jorge Martin – 2018 Moto3 World Champion

“My whole life passed through my very own eyes. I come from a humble family and it wasn’t easy to get here where we are now. I would like to thank everyone who supported me and helped me grow: from the “Cuna de Campeones” to the rookies cup to obviously Gresini Racing. I saw this title almost slipping off my hands in Thailand when I thought I wouldn’t have raced, but we did and I wanna thank everyone, including my rivals. To be winning the title and taking the race win at the same time is probably the best thing in the world, so thank you once again!”

Moto Jorge Martin Champion
Jorge Martin

Martin made his debut on the world stage in 2015 with Mapfre Mahindra, moving up after taking the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup. He scored his first point in the season opener in Qatar and became a regular top 15 contender, ending his rookie year in 17th overall. The following season, the rider from Madrid took another step forward – including his first podium in the wet at Brno – but he also missed a couple of races through injury, therefore ending the season just one place further forward in 16th overall.

2017 saw Martin cement his place at the front as he moved to Del Conca Gresini Moto3, beginning the year on the podium in third at Qatar. He took nine pole positions and eight further podiums that season – but it was a long wait for one to be a maiden win. The Spaniard wrapped that up in the season finale at Valencia; his first trip to the top step setting him up perfectly for an assault on the crown the following year and seeing him take fourth overall in the standings.

Moto Jorge Martin Champion
Jorge Martin

2018 began perfectly as Martin won in Qatar, but Argentina was a tougher race in tougher conditions and he could only manage P11. That was when the man who would push him the most this season – Marco Bezzechhi – took his first win, and a classic rivalry was born. Austin saw Martin back on the top step before two more difficult races and DNFs in Jerez and Le Mans, both seeing the Spaniard victim to serious bad luck at the hands of Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Bezzecchi…

Mugello was a win before a zero in Catalunya, but Martin then took back-to-back wins in Assen and Germany to lead the standings once again. Then, however, disaster struck as the Spaniard broke his left wrist in FP1 at Brno. Operated on and forced to forfeit the round, it was an upset to the Spaniard’s charge.

Back on track in Austria, it was a weekend for Martin to clench his teeth and dig deep, which he did in stunning style to take an emotional podium. In Misano Bezzecchi then faltered and crashed, but Martin could only gain the 20 points for second. Aragon was Martin back on full power at the front for a home win, and the first of the flyaway races in Thailand gave him more of an advantage as Bezzecchi was crashed out and Martin took fourth despite some struggles with his recovery. Motegi then saw the pendulum swing again as Martin crashed in the leading group – and Bezzecchi closed back in with a win.

Moto Jorge Martin Champion
Jorge Martin

Phillip Island was yet more drama. This time Bezzecchi was back on the receiving end of the bad luck as he was hit by another rider, and Martin took some good points although he couldn’t take the win, coming home fourth. That was enough to give him his first match point next time out at Sepang, however, with Martin 12 points clear before the race in Malaysia – and 20 points clear of Di Giannantonio.

After another incredible race, Martin fought it out before pulling the pin to perfection and Bezzecchi was left to battle to try and keep his hopes alive. As Martin crossed the line first for another win, it all went down to the final corner but Bezzecchi couldn’t quite make it through into that crucial fourth place – making Martin the 2018 Moto3 World Champion.


Fausto Gresini – Team Manager

“I was not expecting to win the championship here. It has been a tough race, so it’s twice as rewarding to win it here. Seven years ago we lost Marco here, so I would like to dedicate this title to him. Everyone in the team has been incredible. We are World Champions by getting the most pole positions and race wins and by winning both team and riders’ classifications. It has been a perfect season, and we could still wrap it up with Diggia’s second place!”

Moto Jorge Martin Champion
Jorge Martin

Statistics: Jorge Martin

• Jorge Martín is the third Spanish rider to win a Moto3 title after Maverick Viñales (2013), Álex Márquez (2014) and Joan Mir (2017).

• Martín is the 13th different Spanish rider to clinch to title in the lightweight category. In addition, Martín’s title is the 19th in the lightweight category for Spanish riders and 50th in Grand Prix racing.

• At 20 years and 279 days old, Martín is the fourth-youngest rider to clinch the Moto3 world title after Álex Márquez (18 years 200 days old), Maverick Viñales (18 years 302 days old) and Joan Mir (20 years 51 days old).

• Martín has won seven races so far this season, equaling Luis Salom (2013) and Brad Binder in 2016 in the Moto3™ class.

• Martín has won eight races in his career so far, equalling Maverick Viñales, Alex Rins and Danny Kent in fourth place on the list of riders with most wins in the Moto3 class since 2012.

• Martín has stood on the podium nine times this season so far and 19 in the Moto3 class, one less than Luis Salom and Brad Binder, who both stand in fifth place on the list of riders with most podium finishes in the class.

• With 19 podium finishes, Martín is now in fourth place on the list of Spanish riders with most podium finishes in the Moto3 class after Álex Rins (23), Maverick Viñales (22) and Luis Salom (20).

• This is the fourth successive year that a rider who comes from the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup has won the world title, after Brad Binder, Danny Kent and Joan Mir.

• Martín became the second rider to clinch a Grand Prix world title after winning the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, along with Johann Zarco (2008).

• Jorge Martín has qualified on pole position 20 times in Moto3, a record in the class. His closest rival is Álex Rins with 13, followed by Enea Bastianini with 9. In addition, he took pole five times in a row from Jerez to Assen in 2017, a record streak in the Moto3 class.

• This is the fourth time that a Honda rider has won the Moto3 world title, adding to the championships won by Álex Marquez (2014), Danny Kent (2015) and Joan Mir (2017).

• Martín (186) belongs to the list of four riders who have led more than 150 laps since the introduction of the Moto3 class in 2012, along with Romano Fenati (265), Maverick Viñales (234) and Álex Rins (173).

Moto Jorge Martin Champion
Jorge Martin

Source: MCNews.com.au

Malaysian MotoGP starts at 1600 AEDT | Marquez penalised

Marquez takes pole then has it taken off him

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) secured an 80th career pole position after he was the early master of the wet Q2 conditions at the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix, but there was a small bump back to Earth not long after for the reigning World Champion as he later crashed – and then another hit when he was given a six-place grid penalty for irresponsible riding.

Marquez impeded Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and will now start seventh. It did not look like a purposeful act but a momentary brain fade, while the Spaniard himself was baulked in the session by Valentino Rossi at one point, but both men were amicable about the mistake. The penalty for Marquez is quite a blow as the Spaniard was simply on another level during qualiying, dominating the session throughout and looking untouchable in the tricky conditions. 

Marquez’ heavy penalty means we have Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) now on top after going second quickest in the session. Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) starts second, and fittingly, it’s Iannone now completing that front row.

The MotoGP race starts at the earlier time of 13:00 local time – which makes it 1600 Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time. 


How QP progressed

Marquez had led the field over the line and set the first benchmark; a 2:13.641 to edge out Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing), who was just behind the Spaniard on track. Iannone was also within a tenth after the first lap, with a mere 0.051 splitting the top three, but with a banker lap under his belt, Marquez then slammed in a rapid second lap to considerably shift the goal posts. A 2:12.161 put him a full 1.264 quicker than the man who’d taken over at the top, Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing), as the World Champion put some serious daylight between himself and his rivals. The Repsol Honda rider then lost the front at Turn 4, however, and there was no saving this one.

MotoGP Malaysia QP Marquez CrashMotoGP Malaysia QP Marquez CrashMotoGP Malaysia QP Marquez CrashThe field then set about trying to beat Marquez’ marker. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) shot up to P2 but was still over a second off and then on his final flying lap and then Italian crashed at Turn 9, before Iannone went up to P2 but the gap was remained 0.936. A flying Frenchman then propelled himself into second with Zarco cutting the gap to eight tenths and fellow YZR-M1 rider Rossi then leapfrogging him. Could either go one better on their final attempt?

Zarco put in a personal best lap to re-take P2 from ‘The Doctor’, but the gap between the number 93 and his rivals remained 0.548 after a masterclass from Marquez for his 80th career pole position across all classes. Then, though, news came through of the penalty and although it remains a Marquez pole in the statistics, he’ll be starting seventh.

Marc Marquez – P1 then demoted to P7

“I think that being able to quickly adapt to sudden changes in track conditions is one of my strong points. Today I took advantage of that, even if, honestly, it wasn’t easy. It was the first time this weekend we rode in the wet, and we even crashed. But the feeling was there and we achieved the pole position, which is a good feeling even if we’ll ultimately start from the third row. The most important thing is that we made a huge step forward with the setup in dry conditions, and now I think we’re competitive. I also adapted my riding style a bit, and now we’re closer to the faster guys, who here are Dovizioso and Viñales. Now we’ll see which conditions we’ll have tomorrow, then we’ll try and make a good start and if possible we’ll fight for the podium.”

MotoGP Malaysia QP Marquez Zarco RossiJohann Zarco – P2

“We started with soft-soft and could see that Aleix (Esparagaro) went well with these tyres. I tried to do it, but it didn’t work and I said to myself, it’s not normal that I’m that slow. So I stopped to change to the other bike and asked to put in the medium rear. We already planned to use the harder front tyre. From the first lap, I knew something is possible. On the last lap, my feeling was great, but I was sliding on the rear in turn three and in turn four. I got quite some signals and lost a few tenths, so I wasn’t sure if I could have done the lap time of Marc (Marquez). Anyway, it was great. I enjoy the second place and wish for a podium tomorrow.”

MotoGP Malaysia QP Zarco
Johann Zarco

Valentino Rossi – P3

“This kind of situation is always difficult, because you have to go into the qualifying with no data and no feeling. I’m very happy about the front row and I’m also happy because I have a good feeling with the bike, I could ride it in a good way. I tried qualifying with a soft rear, Márquez and Zarco used the medium. I ran into some traffic, I had to fight with Bautista a bit. But in the end this result is good, because at a certain point we thought we weren’t going to do the qualifying, so starting from the front row is very important. The race tomorrow will be held earlier, which I think is very clever, because at three o’clock the conditions are always bad here, every day. Maybe we can have a dry race, or at least race with a normal amount of water.”

Andrea Iannone – P4

“Today has not been easy, but it was much better than yesterday because we improved a lot with the bike and the feeling. I end today with a positive feeling and this is important for me. Unfortunately in my last flying lap I got held up at corner 9 and I lost 4-tenths of a second, without that my final time could have been even faster. That was a shame but finally I will start on the first row which is a good position. Tomorrow will be hard but we feel ready.”

That means Dovizioso starts fourth despite his crash, with fellow Desmosedici rider Miller ending the session P6 after setting his best lap on his final lap. Milerl now starts in the middle of a second row completed by teammate Danilo Petrucci.

Andrea Dovizioso – P5

“Today we had to adapt to the different situations that we encountered on the track, both in the morning and the afternoon, and as a result we were unable to try everything we had planned. Both Marquez and Viñales improved their pace and I think that tomorrow there will be a group of riders fighting for the leading positions. In Q2 I made a mistake and crashed on my best lap. We also had to use a front tyre that was too hard, like many other riders, and I entered Turn 9 too quickly and slid onto the grass. Pity because we could have started from the front row, but in any case it was important to be able to lap on the wet asphalt in case it rains tomorrow in the race. In any case I believe we can be competitive both in the dry and the wet.”

MotoGP Malaysia QP Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso

Jack Miller – P6

“If I have to be honest I was convinced that I could win the front row but in the second time attack the front tyre started to deteriorate a lot. Starting from the second row is still a good result also in light of the race pace that throughout the weekend was very positive”.

MotoGP Malaysia QP Miller
Jack Miller

Danilo Petrucci – P7

“After the first run I had a lot of confidence. We decided to try the soft rain tyre at the rear but only afterwards we realized that it was less performing than the medium one. I don’t know what the weather will be like tomorrow but I am confident I can stay in the Top 5”.

MotoGP Malaysia QP Petrucci
Danilo Petrucci

Marquez heads Row 3, ahead of Friday’s quickest rider Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Q1 graduate Alvaro Bautista (Angel Nieto Team).

Alex Rins – P8

“I think today was a really good and solid day, especially as we tested our rhythm with used tyres and it wasn’t bad. Qualifying was a bit of a shame because our strategy could have been different, if I had stopped to change the tyre I could have been closer to the front. But we’re happy with the grid position anyway and we’ll try and get a good start tomorrow and be fast.”

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team), Australian GP winner Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) line up on a super-powered Row 4.

Maverick Viñales – P11

“We didn’t have a good attempt during today’s qualifying. The bike wasn’t working well, so it was difficult. What’s certain is that it wasn’t the tyre that caused the problem, it was the bike set-up for the wet, so that’s what the team needs to work on. In the dry we already set up the bike quite well. I don’t know what I should expect for tomorrow’s race, but it will be very interesting. In any case, we have a much better prospect now the schedule for tomorrow has changed, because the chance of rain is higher at three o’clock than it is at one. So, I hope the track will stay dry, because that’s when I feel the best. We have to see, but in FP4 I was really fast, and I felt so good on the bike. I think I can overtake quite fast at this track because the bike is good on acceleration. I need to concentrate on the start, and let’s see if I can make my best start of the year!”


MotoGP Qualifying Results

2018 Sepang MotoGP Q2 Qualification
Pos Rider Team Time
1. Marquez M. Repsol Honda 2:12.161
2. Zarco J. Monster Tech 3 +0.548
3. Rossi V. Movistar Yamaha +0.848
4. Iannone A. Team Suzuki Ecstar +0.936
5. Dovizioso A. Ducati Team +1.022
6. Miller J. Alma Pramac Racing +1.113
7. Petrucci D. Alma Pramac Racing +1.252
8. Rins A. Team Suzuki Ecstar +1.302
9. Bautista A. Angel Nieto Team +2.024
10. Pedrosa D. Repsol Honda +2.282
11. Vinales M. Movistar Yamaha +2.695
12. Espargaro A. Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +3.179
2018 Sepang MotoGP Q1 Qualification
Pos Rider Team Time
1. Bautista A.  Angel Nieto Team 2:13.311
2. Espargaro A.     Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +0.024
3. Redding S. Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +0.475
4. Pirro M. Ducati Team +0.512
5. Simeon X. Reale Avintia Racing +0.660
6. Espargaro P. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +0.821
7. Smith B. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +1.021
8. Luthi T. Marc VDS Racing Team +1.532
9. Morbidelli F. Marc VDS Racing Team +1.683
10. Bradl S. LCR Honda +2.053
11. Abraham K. Angel Nieto Team +2.368
12. Nakagami T. LCR Honda +3.247
13. Syahrin H. Monster Tech 3 +3.514

Moto2

Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) stormed to Moto2 pole position at the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix, setting the only laptime in the 2:05s to better closest challenger Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) by a stunning 0.488 seconds. Marquez Fabio Quartararo (MB Conveyors – Speed Up) completing the front row of the grid at the Sepang International Circuit – with ‘El Diablo’ 0.666 off the top…

MotoGP Malaysia QP Moto Alex Marquez
Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS)

From the outset, it was Marquez who looked menacing and sure enough on his third flying lap, the Spaniard set a sensational 2:05.629 to go 0.692 faster than anyone else. The gauntlet was well and truly thrown down, with Quartararo and Remy Gardner (Tech 3 Racing) sitting as his two closest challengers in P2 and P3 – 0.026 separating the duo, with Marini just 0.009 off a provisional front row with 15 minutes to go.

The timing screens then went stagnant in Sepang and that seemed to be that, with no one able to vastly improve on their early laps. However, this then changed when Marini went from P4 to P2 with under five minutes remaining, although the gap to Marquez was still 0.488. Quartararo, after being pushed down to P3 by Marini, then set a personal best but it wasn’t quite enough to improve his position as the standings were set.

So it was Marquez who took pole – despite a late crash at Turn 1 – to continue his dominant weekend, with Marini and Quartararo joining him on the front row. Fourth place went to Gardner, the Australian producing career-best qualifying in P4 to finish just 0.052 off the front row, with Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) lining up alongside him in P5. Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) completes the second row ahead of his second match point on Sunday.

Remy Gardner – P4

“Today has been a very positive day. I did a really first lap on the first exit of Qualifying, luckily, because then the track went hotter and it was a lot more greasy towards the end. Also the tyres only lasted for one lap. I managed to put a pretty decent lap together in the first lap and we were sitting in P3 for a while all the way until the last two minutes. We put in a new set of tyres again and I tried, but it was just really difficult out there. Quartararo did a good job to pass me in these conditions. We were close to parc fermé, but not in, anyway, I don’t think it’s going to change a lot for tomorrow. We still need to work on our race pace in the Warm up, but I’m happy.”

His title rival Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) remains close, however. The Portuguese rider was heads up Row 3 and was just 0.068 in arrears – with the duo also having played a little bit of cat and mouse in qualifying. Xavi Vierge (Dynavolt Intact GP) ended qualifying in P8, 0.070 away from Oliveira, with Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) completing the top ten.

Marquez looks like he’s going to take some beating in Malaysia. Will he take his first victory of the season? And can Bagnaia seal the World Championship? The two title rivals line up in tandem on the grid, with Oliveira out to put the celebrations on hold.

Moto2 Qualification
Pos Rider Team Time
1. Marquez A. Estrella Galicia Marc VDS 2:05.629
2. Marini L. Sky Racing Team VR46 +0.488
3. Quartararo F. Beta Tools-Speed Up Racing +0.666
4. Gardner R. Tech 3 Racing +0.718
5. Pasini M. Italtrans Racing Team +0.810
6. Bagnaia F. Sky Racing Team VR46 +0.920
7. Oliveira M. Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.988
8. Vierge X. Dynavolt Intact GP +1.058
9. Binder B. Red Bull KTM Ajo +1.112
10. Schrotter M. Dynavolt Intact GP +1.113
11. Fernandez A. Pons HP40 +1.249
12. Navarro J. Federal Oil Gresini +1.272
13. Baldassarri L. Pons HP40 +1.335
14. Lecuona I. SWI +1.412
15. Locatelli A. Italtrans Racing Team +1.457
16. Nagashima T. Idemitsu Honda Team Asia +1.591
17. Aegerter D. Kiefer Racing +1.614
18. Mir J. Estrella Galicia Marc VDS +1.622
19. Pons E. Pons HP40 +1.622
20. Raffin J. Garage Plus Interwetten +1.736
21. Lowes S. SWI +1.750
22. Corsi S. Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2 +1.865
23. Roberts J. NTS RW Racing GP +1.887
24. Odendaal S. NTS RW Racing GP +1.937
25. Pawi K. I. Idemitsu Honda Team Asia +2.054
26. Tuuli N. SIC Racing Team +2.796
27. Danilo J. SAG Team +2.871
28. Pratama D. E. Federal Oil Gresini +3.140
29. Cardelus X. Team Stylobike +3.360
30. Vinales I. Forward Racing Team +3.895
31. Fuligni F. Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2 +4.313
32. Sucipto R. T. QMMF Racing Team +4.924

Moto3

Moto3 Championship leader Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) took pole for the 11th time in 2018 at the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix, setting a new lightweight class qualifying lap record at Sepang. But the Spaniard heads main title rival Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PruestelGP) by just 0.032 to set us up for a Sunday stunner, with Tony Arbolino (Marinelli Snipers Team) continuing his strong weekend to take P3 on the grid.

MotoGP Malaysia QP Moto Martin
Jorge Martin

It was John McPhee (CIP – Green Power) who led for the majority of the session and with 15 minutes remaining, despite Bezzecchi briefly taking over at the top, McPhee had moved the goal posts again – his advantage sitting at an impressive 0.584. That was immediately trimmed to 0.052 with Martin going second fastest, however, and Free Practice’s fastest man Arbolino then jumped up to second – with McPhee then clear at the top by only 0.020.

When it was time for the final lap dash, Martin and Bezzecchi both left it late to head out – the latter crossing the line with just four seconds of the session remaining to begin his final lap. Arbolino, Martin and Bezzecchi were then all up in the opening two sectors, but provisional pole man McPhee was also looking to increase his advantage – and that’s exactly what he did. It was only by 0.060 though, with the three riders behind all on fast laps…

Martin then came across the line to top McPhee’s new benchmark by 0.350, as Arbolino slotted into P2 after he also beat the Scotsman’s time. Bezzecchi then made his final lap count and although he missed out on pole to rival Martin, he was just 0.032 down. The two title rivals therefore start side by side, although the third man in the hunt – Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) – starts down in P13 with a little more work to do.

Joining McPhee on Row 2 are Australian GP winner Albert Arenas (Angel Nieto Team Moto3) and Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing), who was lingering down in P20 with 15 minutes remaining before a final push, with Row 3 an all-Japanese affair. Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) sits P7 to lead Kazuki Masaki (RBA BOE Skull Rider) and Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) in P8 and P9 respectively. Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) rounds out the top ten; an impressive session from the Italian as he continues to recover from his Japanese GP injuries.

It’s match point to Martin in Malaysia, but with Bezzecchi breathing down his neck on the starting line, another awesome Moto3 race looks set to take place.

Moto3 Qualification 
Pos Rider Team Time
1. Martin J. Del Conca Gresini Racing 2:11.731
2. Bezzecchi M. PruestlGP +0.032
3. Arbolino T. Marinelli Snipers Team +0.334
4. Mcphee J. CIP Green Power +0.350
5. Arenas A. Angel Nieto Team Moto3 +0.480
6. Bastianini E. Leopard Racing +0.491
7. Suzuki T. SIC58 Squadra Corse +0.812
8. Masaki K. RBA BOE Skull Rider +0.896
9. Sasaki A. Petronas Sprinta Racing +0.906
10. Antonelli N. SIC58 Squadra Corse +0.948
11. Binder D. Red Bull KTM Ajo +1.017
12. Vietti C. Sky Racing Team VR46 +1.032
13. Di Giannantonio F. Del Conca Gresini Racing +1.066
14. Dalla Porta L. Leopard Racing +1.081
15. Canet A. Estrella Galicia 0,0 +1.142
16. Foggia D. Sky Racing Team VR46 +1.209
17. Lopez A. Estrella Galicia 0,0 +1.244
18. Norrodin A. Petronas Sprinta Racing +1.358
19. Ramirez M. Bester Capital Dubai +1.382
20. Toba K. Idemitsu Honda Team Asia +1.429
21. Perez V. Reale Avintia Academy +1.450
22. Kornfeil J. PruestlGP +1.913
23. Migno A. Angel Nieto Team Moto3 +1.948
24. Atiratphuvapat N. Idemitsu Honda Team Asia +1.987
25. Oettl P. Sudmetall Schedl GP Racing +2.224
26. Wongthananon A. VR46 Master Camp Team +2.771
27. Nepa S. CIP Green Power +2.961
28. Yurchenko M. Marinelli Snipers Team +3.137

Source: MCNews.com.au

Dani Pedrosa P10 Qualifying Malaysia

P10. Hoy hemos mejorado algunos aspectos, pero no lo suficiente como salir en buena posición de parrilla. A ver mañana las condiciones y si podemos hacer una buena salida. /Today we have improved some aspects, but not enough as to get a good grid position. Let’s see the conditions tomorrow and if we can do a good start.
#DP26 #MalaysianGP #RepsolHondaTeam


Source: Dani Pedrosa on Facebook

Details about 2019 Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory and RSV4 RR Released

The 2019 Aprilia RSV4 1100 and RR have been announced with plenty of detail. Looks like we’ll need to have another V4 comparison sooner than later. We’re okay with that. 

Begin Press Release: 


APRILIA RSV4 1100 FACTORY AND RSV4 RR

THE EXTRAORDINARY PROJECT THAT NEVER STOPS GROWING, INTRODUCES THE FASTEST, MOST POWERFUL AND LIGHTEST RSV4 EVER – NEW 217 HP V4 ENGINE

MORE ADVANCED CHASSIS ARCHITECTURE AND BRAKES WITH REDUCED WEIGHT

THE RR VERSION, EQUIPPED WITH A 201 HP 1000 CC V4 ENGINE, IS AVAILABLE IN TWO NEW AND ATTRACTIVE GRAPHIC DESIGNS.

2019 Aprilia RSV4 1100

Aprilia RSV4 has always set the bar in terms of sportiness and performance, the best example of just what can be accomplished drawing from the valuable experience of a winning Racing Department like Aprilia’s which, in its brief history, has earned 54 world titles, seven of which in the World SBK championship. Skills honed on the track and transferred to the factory product to provide everyone with the same excitement that the motorbikes prepared by Aprilia Racing do.

Unmistakable in its design lucidity and applied technology, the RSV4 is conceived around a 65° V4 engine never before seen on a factory sport bike, a framewhich is the heir to a dynasty that has won 18 titles and 143 Grand Prix races in the 250 GP class, enhanced by the most modern applied electronics systems to manage the engine and the bike’s dynamic performance. This is a true vocation of Aprilia, which was the first manufacturer to adopt the Ride-By-Wire multimap accelerator as standard equipment, but above all the first to patent the APRC dynamic control system, with the exclusive features of self-calibration and wheelie control, in the spirit of maximum effectiveness at the service of top performance.

2019 Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory

2019 Aprilia RSV4 1100

The RSV4 project has always pursued a stated goal: to be the absolute best and fastest uncompromising superbike, the one that comes the closest to Aprilia racing bikes in terms of performance and effectiveness. A premium product at the top of its category dedicated to extremely demanding customers who want top shelf performance and refined technical equipment, provided thanks in part to the use of prestigious materials like aluminum, titanium and carbon.

Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory – the latest step in this evolutionary line – boasts exceptional performance combined with a racing frame, suspension, and electronics package, each evolved even further.

In line with the exclusivity of this model, the Aprilia Style Centre has worked hard to make the RSV4 1100 Factory unique and recognizable even by its colors and attention to detail. The color combinations aim to enhance the exclusive nature of prestigious materials such as carbon (on the front mudguard, the side panels, the exhaust terminal guard and the aerodynamic winglets), in contrast with the titanium finish of the street-legal Akrapovic exhaust terminal, the same color as the forged aluminum wheels. For the graphics of the superstructure, an attractive total matt black look was chosen that enhances all the beauty of the sculpture-like twin-spar frame and swingarm made of aluminum. Given the incredible performance achieved by RSV4 1100 Factory, for the first time on a factory superbike, Aprilia introduces aerodynamic winglets on the fairing, thanks to the developments made by Aprilia Racing on the RS-GP prototype from which they are derived. The particular shape designed in the wind tunnel and the inclination at which they are mounted take advantage of the downforce of the channeled air to let the winglets increase stability at high speeds, contributing to decreasing the tendency for wheelies coming out of turns and at the same time increasing stability in hard braking.

Record Performance for the Aprilia 1100 V4

With the introduction of RSV4 1100 Factory, Aprilia makes all the top performance a sport rider could desire available, combined with that character and inimitable sound of the V4 from Noale. There is no other powerplant of its kind that can boast a ten-year-long history of wins. A platform capable of satisfying the needs of the most advanced sport rider and also representing an exceptional base to develop a racing bike. After reaching the benchmark of 201 HP in the street-legal factory configuration in 2017, the V4 from Aprilia reaches another evolutionary crossroad, increasing displacement to 1078 cc. This change was decided based on the experience and the outstanding feedback from critics and the public already obtained with this solution on the Tuono V4, the sport naked version of the RSV4 which went from 1000 to 1100 cc in 2015.

The RSV4 1100 Factory engine displacement is achieved thanks to new pistons with bore that went from 78 to 81 mm; the 52.3 mm stroke remains unchanged with respect to the 1000 V4 engine that still powers the RSV4 RR. The compression ratio of 13.6:1 also remains unchanged. To improve wet sump lubrication, there is a new oil pump with greater flow capacity; the piston temperature has now been lowered thanks to the use of a double oil jet. The timing system boasts optimized intake valve timing, while the primary drive now counts on a longer ratio for fifth and sixth gear. The electronic injection system now uses a throttle valve support with a more aerodynamic profile in order to improve fluid-dynamic permeability. The Magneti Marelli 7SM ECU has a new specific map with limiter management set at 13,600 rpm. This brings maximum power to 217 HP at 13,200 rpm, setting the bar in the category; maximum torque also benefits from these changes, obtaining a clear increase along the entire range of more than 10% compared to the 1000 cc engine and reaching a maximum value of 122 Nm at 11,000 rpm. This is an important value that makes the RSV4 1100 Factory not only more effective in acceleration even from low speeds on the track, but also more thrilling to ride on the road. Last, but not least, the exhaust system was optimized, not only in the layout of the manifolds, but also adding the street-legal titanium Akrapovic terminal as standard equipment, significantly lighter than the previous unit. The new Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory also benefits from finer calibration suited for the revamped performance of its APRC electronic controls package.

Chassis: Even More Effective Going Through Corners and in Braking

Aprilia is known as one of the best chassis manufacturers in the world and the RSV4 represents the synthesis of the technical prowess Aprilia has acquired in top level world championships. A particularity which is still exclusive to the RSV4 RR and Factory (and which has always been a characteristics of the previous generations) is the exceptional range of possible adjustments that the standard equipment chassis is able to provide. In fact, the Aprilia is the only superbike that allows the rider to adjust the engine position in the frame, the headstock angle, the swingarm pivot and the rear end height, naturally in addition to the fully adjustable suspension. Just like a real racing bike.

The ever-popular and winning structure of the Aprilia RSV4 frame has remained unchanged and it takes advantage of the forged and molded aluminum elements capable of guaranteeing exceptional performance, thanks in part to the perfectly balanced rigidity and torsional flexibility values. Precisely because of the wide range of possible adjustments provided by the frame, the frame and suspension setup and the weight distribution on the RSV4 1100 Factory have been revisited. Thanks to new steering bushings (+ 3 mm both upper and lower), the inclination of the headstock decreases, and the offset of the new steering yoke also changes, now reduced by 2 mm. This results in a 4 mm shorter wheelbase. The overall result is that it brings the front end closer to the rider, increasing the load on the front wheel (and therefore stability), but without decreasing agility. One of the points of excellence of the RSV4 (and unequalled to date by any other bike) has always been its performance in the delicate and important braking-turning-cornering speed phase which Aprilia has managed to further amplify on the RSV4 1100 Factory, not only thanks to the changes to the front end, but also thanks to the new setup of the Öhlins NIX fork, with 5 mm more travel (125 mm total), a choice that lets the rider corner even better.

The suspension system is completed by two other prestigious Öhlins elements: the adjustable series TTX shock absorber and the steering damper, also adjustable. In order to guarantee and further increase stability coming out of turns, RSV4 1100 Factory has also undergone some changes to the swingarm which is now stiffer with a significant increase of yaw and torsion, guaranteeing more precision coming out of corners.

The braking system, already top shelf in the previous version, has also benefited from important upgrades: the Brembo Stylema front calipers, lighter and more efficient, take the place of the M50 calipers and are now fitted with pads with higher friction coefficient performance. The new brake calipers can be combined with the pair of carbon air ducts (similar to those used by Aprilia Racing on the RS-GP), which let you keep the operating temperature under control, ensuring the same exceptional braking performance even in the most extreme use. The curb weight of the RSV4 1100 Factory with a full tank is 199 kg, thanks to the introduction of the new titanium exhaust terminal and the new ultra-light Bosch lithium battery.

APRC: From Aprilia, the Cutting-Edge in Electronics

Aprilia RSV4 1000 RR and RSV4 1100 Factory are fitted with an exceptional dynamic controls package designed and patented by Aprilia. Each one of the two models benefit from a specific calibration of all the controls in line with the different performance levels the two bikes can boast. APRC (Aprilia Performance Ride Control) is the well-known dynamic control suite derived directly from the winning technology in world Superbike, one of the most complete and refined currently available on the market. The particular positioning and orientation of the inertial platform that governs the operation of the system allows for optimum possibilities of detecting the bike’s dynamic conditions and, consequently, more effective electronic control strategies.

The fourth evolution of Aprilia’s APRC is perfectly integrated with the electronic fine tuning guaranteed by the full Ride-by-Wire throttle control which is completely built-in and requires no other components for electronic throttle valve management. This provides clear benefits in terms of weight (compared to a traditional system, the savings can be quantified at 590 grams). 

APRC, which comes as standard equipment on the Aprilia RSV4 RR and RSV4 1100 Factory includes:

  • ATC: Aprilia Traction Controladjustable on the fly (without having to release the throttle) to 8 settings thanks to a practical joystick, boasts high performance operating logic.
  • AWC: Aprilia Wheelie Control, the wheelie control system that can be adjusted to 3 levels, has extremely precise operating strategies. Wheelie control can be adjusted on the fly without closing the throttle, like the ATC, thanks to the practical left side electric block.
  • ALC: Aprilia Launch Control, for use on the track only, with 3 settings, uses highly effective operating strategies.
  • AQS: Aprilia Quick Shift, the electronic gearbox that allows shifting without closing the throttle and without using the clutch, also equipped with thedownshift function, to allow clutchless downshifting. Its open-throttle downshifting feature is exclusive.
  • APL: Aprilia Pit Limiter, the system that lets you select and limit the top speed allowed in pit lane at the track or simply to make it easier to comply with posted speed limits on the road.
  • ACC: Aprilia Cruise Control. Electronic management has allowed cruise control to be introduced, very convenient on longer trips because it lets you maintain the set speed without touching the throttle.

In addition to the fourth generation APRC system, RSV4 RR and Factory come from the factory standard with advanced multimap Cornering ABS, developed in collaboration with Bosch to guarantee not only extreme safety on the road, but also the best possible performance at the circuit. The 9.1 MP system, with truly contained weight and dimensions, is able to optimize braking and the ABS intervention in corners, thanks to a specific algorithm that constantly monitors various parameters such as lateral acceleration, the pressure applied to the front brake lever, the lean, pitch and yaw angle, modulating the braking action in order to better guarantee the ratio between deceleration and stability. The ABS system works in unison with the Aprilia RLM (Rear Liftup Mitigation) system that limits the lift of the rear wheel during more abrupt braking. Cornering ABS, fine-tuned in accordance with Aprilia’s specific indications, is adjustable to 3 levels of sensibility. Each of the three Cornering ABS maps can be combined with any of the three engine maps (Sport, Track, Race), allowing riders with different experience and skill levels to find the best possible combination for their style. The three maps are “full power” and differ in the way they unload the power onto the asphalt of which the Aprilia V4 is capable in the two available configurations (1000 cc for the RR and 1100 cc for the Factory), in addition to the percentage of engine brake dedicated to them.

The color TFT instrumentation is a true digital computer with exceptional display features, now further improved thanks to increased brightness. The two selectable screen pages (Road and Race, both with night and day backlighting) correspond to as many represented indexes. Available as an accessory for both the RSV4 RF and the RSV4 1100 Factory is V4-MP, the Aprilia multimedia platform that lets you connect your smartphone to the vehicle via Bluetooth, introducing for the first time a true corner by corner electronic settings calibration system with data that can subsequently be downloaded to your laptop (or displayed directly on the smartphone) for analysis, just like they do at the races. V4-MP is characterized by a new connection protocol that reduces smartphone battery consumption to a minimum, in addition to providing a wide range of circuits already mapped in which you can manage the electronic settings corner by corner, as well as user acquisition of a new circuit that is not in the list Aprilia has provided. V4-MP also includes the infotainment system, introduced by Aprilia for the first time on the RSV4, to manage voice commands and incoming/outgoing telephone calls with your smartphone. These activities are also displayed and managed by the digital instrumentation.

2019 Aprilia RSV4 1100

2019 Aprilia RSV4 1100
2019 Aprilia RSV4 1100
2019 Aprilia RSV4 1100

2019 Aprilia RSV4 RR

2019 Aprilia RSV4 RR

Aprilia RSV4 RR represents a top shelf technical platform, ready to provide the rider with a “race replica” performance and feeling. In order to support the most demanding riders, one of the available accessories Aprilia offers is the Track kit, a package of prestigious parts that work together to improve many aspects of the RSV4 RR such as its weight, handling, aerodynamics and, last but not least, its appearance. The MY19 version of RSV4 RR has not undergone any technical changes with respect to the previous version.

 The Inimitable Character and Performance of the 1.0-Liter Aprilia V4

The primary and unique characteristics of this 999.6 cc gem of Italian technology, the ones that led to the creation of the best superbike of all times, are in common with the 1078 cc engine that powers the Factory version. This is the world’s first full scale production motorcycle with a high performance narrow V4 engine, the most revolutionary and powerful engine ever built by Aprilia. An engine that has been made unmistakable because of the use of “total” electronics, because of its extremely compact size and light weight, to which the magnesium external housings, oil sump and cylinder head covers contribute. The narrow V architecture has made it possible to make an engine that is extremely compact lengthways which helps to centralize weights and to have an extremely high-performance chassis. The timing system uses very particular kinematics: the chain camshaft drives only the intake camshaft which in turn drives the exhaust camshaft via a gear. This allows for extremely compact heads, to the advantage of the frame layout which, on the RSV4, is as compact as that of a Grand Prix bike. the crankcase is monobloc with integrated aluminum cylinder liners to ensure maximum rigidity and consistent performance. The countershaft dampens vibrations.

Power and maximum torque are respectively 201 HP at 13,000 rpm and 115 Nm at 10,500 rpm; bar-setting values that are joined by the one-of-a-kind sound that has always been the true soundtrack Aprilia V4 engines have always offered. Like the 1100 cc V4 of the Factory, the RR’s 1000 cc also boasts ultra-lightweight pistons fitted with segments that reduce the blow-by effect in order to combine high performance and reliability. There is also a honing treatment for the connecting rod heads that contributes to reducing friction. The valve return springs also guarantee reliability during heavier workloads, while the valves benefit from optimized timing. The gearbox has a linear sensor that guarantees impeccable shifting operation, while the RSV4 RR exhaust system has a silencer fitted with double lambda probe and integrated valve.

Chassis: Just Like a Real Race Bike

Aprilia RSV4 is the representative par excellence of Aprilia tradition in packaging state of the art chassis architecture, thanks to the know-how acquired in top level world competitions. The frame with exceptional adjustment possibilities and the swingarm exploit pressed and cast elements welded to one another. The ration between torsional stiffness and flexibility is one of the secrets of the RSV4 chassis architecture’s success. It is the same structure that equips the Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory, although the latter boasts a different steering geometry.

The chassis architecture of the RSV4 RR is completed by a Sachs suspension trio (instead of the Öhlins equipment on the RSV4 1100 Factory), made up of a fork with 43 mm stanchions and a shock absorber with separate “piggy back” and a steering damper, the first two fully adjustable in all hydraulic functions and in spring preload (the shock absorber also has a center-to-center length adjustment that allows the height of the rear end to be changed).

On the RSV4 RR, Aprilia offers a pair of cast aluminum wheels and a Brembo braking system that is the absolute top of the line in this category: the front relies on a pair of new 5 mm thick steel discs with a diameter of 330 mm, gripped by the monobloc M50 calipers fitted with high friction coefficient brake pads.

Versions and Colors

Aprilia RSV4 RR is available in two attractive new color schemes on a black and grey base (Rivazza grey and Arrabbiata black) with red wheel rims.

Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory is the exclusive version that comes standard with latest generation Öhlins suspension systems, lightweight aluminum forged rims and the titanium Akrapovic exhaust terminal. It stands out for its dedicated Atomico 6 graphics which highlight and enhance the use of precious technical materials such as carbon, thanks to the contrast with the total black matt paint. The upper steering yoke enhanced by the laser etched writing ‘1100 Factory’ in contrast completes the features of the new RSV4.  

2019 Aprilia RSV4 RR

2019 Aprilia RSV4 RR

The post Details about 2019 Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory and RSV4 RR Released appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.

Backcountry Discovery Routes Debut Trailer for Southern California BDR

I know we’re not the only ones anticipating the Southern California BDR. Check out the trailer below for a taste of what’s to come January 1, 2019. 

Begin Press Release: 


Seattle, WA – (October 30, 2018) – The adventure motorcycling non-profit Backcountry Discovery Routes (BDR) releases trailer for their upcoming Southern California Backcountry Discovery Route (CABDR-South) documentary film.  The CABDR-South is the ninth route developed by the BDR for dual-sport and adventure motorcycle travel and the first Wintertime BDR.  Free GPS tracks and travel resources on RideBDR.com, and a waterproof Butler Motorcycle Map, and feature-length expedition documentary film on DVD and video-on-demand will be available to the community on January 1, 2019.

The film features 4-time Baja 1000 Champion and Dakar Rally Racer Quinn Cody of KTM, taking a first run on the new Southern California route.  The spectacular yet challenging 820-mile ride across the south-eastern region of California, starts in Yuma, AZ, and ends in Benton, CA.  Primarily using rugged two-track and remote dirt roads the route leads riders through majestic canyons, rocky riverbeds, and sandy washes of California’s famous deserts and national preserves. You’ll experience quirky desert enclaves and ghost towns, visit historic mines, see ancient petroglyphs and intaglios, dip in healing mineral hot springs and ride among the unique Joshua trees in the Mojave National preserve.

“I’ve been riding in the deserts of California all my life, and was happy to discover some new dirt two-track and stunning locations on the Southern California BDR.  This route showcases the best backcountry terrain, scenery, and history So. Cal. has to offer.  Riders will definitely be challenged in many ways on this route, but will have the backcountry motorcycle adventure of a lifetime.  I can’t wait to share this route with the community.”  –  Quinn Cody, 4-time Baja 1000 Champion and Dakar Rally Racer, KTM Research & Development 

A film tour presented by MotoDiscovery is being planned in over 40 cities across the country.  Dealerships and motorcycle clubs interested in hosting the film event locally are encouraged to contact BDR by January 1 to reserve their date on the tour.

The World Premiere of the film will take place in conjunction with the Long Beach IMS show, on Friday, November 16, 2018 at Art Theatre Long Beach. For tickets and additional information, visit www.RideBDR.com.

The project is presented by KTM North America and BMW Motorcycles of Riverside, with additional support from Touratech, KLIM Technical Riding Gear, Rottweiler Performance, Wolfman Motorcycle Luggage, SENA, Arizona Motorcycle Adventures, Trailmaster Adventure Gear, PYI, CORVA, and James Howard Creative Group.

The post Backcountry Discovery Routes Debut Trailer for Southern California BDR appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.

MV Agusta Receives Capital Investment to Support Growth Trajectory

MV Agusta has received some big money for its big plans. Stay tuned for news from EICMA regarding MV’s future plans.

Begin Press Release: 


MV AGUSTA HAS COMPLETED AN IMPORTANT CAPITAL INJECTION TO SUPPORT ITS GROWTH

Varese, 2nd November 2018 – MV Agusta, the iconic motorcycle company, leader in the production of premium motorcycles, has completed a capital injection of approximately Euro 40 ml in order to strengthen the company resources to enhance its industrial and commercial plan.

This additional capital has been completely injected by MV Agusta shareholders bringing their total injection in the company in excess of Euro 50 ml over the last 12 months.

The industrial plan of the historical Italian brand is based on several key pillars: focusing on premium high-quality products, developing the sales network, and increasing the level of service as well as producing the most beautiful, technologically advanced motorcycles in the world.

With regards to the sales network, MV Agusta is adopting a strategy focused at reducing the current number of dealers allowing its best dealers to increase their territories as well as promoting new mono-brand stores. MV Agusta Moscow is opening within the current month and MV Agusta London by mid-2019 together with other 6 new mono-brand stores within the next 12 months.
Another key point of MV Agusta plan is the reinforcement of the service level to both the existing network and clients through the introduction of a new integrated system linking MV Agusta, its network and supply chain in order to reduce the lead time of spare parts and accessories as well as the new product delivery to the market.

Additionally, after completing their core 3 cylinders product line that now ranges from 675 cc motorcycles to 800 cc high-performance motorcycles, MV Agusta is launching a new range of premium 4 cylinders of 1000 cc displacement.

In the coming days, MV Agusta will unveil the all-new Brutale 1000 hyper-naked with a record top speed of 312 km/h and an astonishing 212 hp. The fastest and most powerful naked bike ever produced.

Along with the all-new Brutale 1000, MV Agusta will unveil the F4 Claudio, a masterpiece, produced in only 100 units and dedicated to Claudio Castiglioni, the soul of MV Agusta and inventor of the F4 Superbike.

The MV Agusta Board of Directors appointed Giovanni Castiglioni as President and Timur Sardarov as the new Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Board of the Group.

The post MV Agusta Receives Capital Investment to Support Growth Trajectory appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.

Alex Rins tops tight Friday at sweltering Sepang

2018 Malaysian MotoGP

Friday Practice Report


Despite the threat of rain throughout the day, the MotoGP riders were able to get two full dry sessions done and dusted in Malaysia, and it was the Suzuki leading the way as the chequered flag came out at the end of FP2.

Rins was the man at the summit thanks to his late FP2 time, with Dovi failing to improve on his FP1 time in the afternoon session – P7 for the Italian in FP2.

Alex Rins – P1

“I’m really happy because the bike was really good today. Our rhythm was strong, even with a used tyre, so we’re feeling hopeful. The bike has actually changed quite a lot since we tested here; it has better top speed and we have a different configuration of aero fairing, so we can clearly see the positive development which has taken place during the season. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

MotoGP Malaysia Fri Alex Rins
Alex Rins

Marquez, meanwhile, finished the second session in P2, but the World Champion had an eventful day. In typical Marquez fashion, the number 93 had to save the front of his RC213V numerous times across the two sessions.

Marc Marquez – P3

“All in all it was a good day for us. This morning I felt good, but this afternoon we struggled a lot at the beginning of the FP2 session: I had some moments and had save it a few times. Finally, we changed the front tyre from hard to medium and in the last run we could improve our speed and our lap time. Anyway we need to work very hard on our race pace. We’ll try a different setup in order to see if we may manage better the front tyre. We need to make a step forward is we want to get closer to Dovizioso, who at the moment is the fastest out there.”

MotoGP Malaysia Fri Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez

There were no such close shaves for fourth place overall and sixth fastest in FP2 Valentino Rossi though, as ‘The Doctor’ had a strong Friday to end the day so close to the top.

Valentino Rossi – P4

“The first day is positive for us, because I was quite fast this morning and also this afternoon. After checking the data on Phillip Island, we worked a lot on the setting of the bike. We tried to improve the grip level, especially from the rear tyre. The first impression is positive, because I was good on a hot lap and also the pace is not so bad. It’s only Friday, so we still have to see, but the start was good. Now we have to concentrate especially on the tyre choice, because it’s still very open, front and rear. We also have to wait and see what the weather will be like. We hope it will remain dry, especially for Sunday.”

Just behind him and fifth on the combined times was Jack Miller on board his Alma Pramac Racing Ducati, the Australian setting a quickest time of 1:59.771 to end FP2 in P3, and Miller was also the first rider to dip into the 1:59s in FP2.

Jack Miller – P5

“I had a lot of fun today and I’m satisfied with what we did in both FP1 FP2. I am very confident because we are fast on both race pace and lap time. Tomorrow we will also have to work on the tyres to find out which is the best choice for the race”.

MotoGP Malaysia Teams Friday Miller
Jack Miller

Meanwhile, Australian GP winner Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) completes the day P6 on the overall times, the Spaniard going fourth fastest in FP2 to end the day less than two tenths off P1.

Maverick Viñales – P6

“It’s been a positive day, because I honestly didn’t expect to be so competitive here. Last year I struggled a lot, this is one of the tracks I struggled at the most, but suddenly, when I went out today, I felt really good. In FP1 I had a good rhythm and we have to keep working in that way. I need to concentrate a little bit more on the lines, but there’s not much to work on. We have to put in a good lap for qualifying and then make sure we’re ready for the race. I hope it will stay dry, because I had such a good feeling, but in Japan when I jumped on the bike with wet tyres, I felt strong too. We have to keep focusing on the set-up we have right now, and let’s see what happens. If the race is wet, I hope we will have had the chance to work on the wet set-up before then. The level this year is much higher and we’re already pushing and putting in time-attacks in FP1, so that’s why the lap times are so fast.”

Just 0.009 behind him at the end of Friday’s proceedings sits Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing), P7 overall for the Italian thanks to his FP2 time, with Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) improving by over half a second in the second session to end Friday in P8.

Danilo Petrucci – P7

“We are in good shape in terms of speed but I don’t know if we can be as fast lap by lap on race pace. When the tyres start to heat up I feel a vibration that makes me lose grip. I haven’t tried the soft tyre yet and we’ll do it tomorrow. There’s a lot of confidence for qualifying”.

MotoGP Malaysia Teams Friday Petrucci
Danilo Petrucci

Johann Zarco – P8

“The first day in Malaysia has been very difficult for me. The base we had, even if we did the winter test, was not working here and I was pretty slow. Fortunately at the end of the session this morning, I could improve my lap time and be inside the top 10. Also in the afternoon I was in the top 10 at the end of the practice, but we are struggling a lot with the traction, with the rear grip. We try to work on it, but we couldn’t find a good solution yet. Therefore, I’m a bit worried for the rest of the weekend. I keep pushing, though it’s just another experience to take with this bike at this circuit. I hope we can find something that helps for the next days and be ready for the race. It’s a track I like, so I would love to have a decent feeling.”

MotoGP Malaysia Fri Zarco
Johann Zarco

Completing the provisional automatic Q2 places were Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) in P9 and Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Aleix Espargaro in P10 – the latter struggling with grip in the afternoon.

Andrea Iannone – P9

“The weather here always makes things more difficult, and it’s very hot today like every year. We struggled a bit in the morning but in FP2 I could improve, we need to continue to work because I still have room for improvement in braking and acceleration. We’ll try our best and find the solutions so I can be quicker tomorrow. But I’m in the Top 10 and Q2 at the moment and that is a good sign.”

MotoGP Malaysia Fri Andrea Iannone
Andrea Iannone

Aleix Espargaro’ – P10

“I am happy with the way things went today. I continued using the upgraded bike and I had a good feeling straight away, especially in the morning. In FP2 I managed to be rather fast with used tyres. We need to work a bit more on grip at the rear, but overall, things are not bad. When I put on the soft tyre toward the end, on the other hand, something didn’t work. The grip was not what I expected, so I was unable to lower my time. In any case, a combined top 10 spot is a good start to the weekend for us.”

MotoGP Malaysia Fri Aleix Espargaro
Aleix Espargaro’

Dani Pedrosa – P11

“Today we had not really a good feeling. No much grip on the rear and we also struggled a lot in turning. I could not make the pace I would like to have here. In the afternoon we improved the lap time but the grip was even worse. We need to improve the bike’s setup because so far we have not the feeling we had in the test. We must to figure out what to do for tomorrow and keep working hard. It will be important to go out tomorrow and try to improve.”

MotoGP Malaysia Fri Pedrosa
Dani Pedrosa

Local favourite Hafizh Syahrin, who is the only rider of the permanent MotoGP field, who had not tested this year before the Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit, had the difficult task to make up for this in just two sessions today. 

Hafizh Syahrin – P18

“Today has not been easy. This morning I felt comfortable and we weren’t too far. In the afternoon, we changed the suspension on the bike to improve, but it doesn’t seem to be the right way. I feel a bit confused, because we have a rhythm, we have ok grip, but the bike doesn’t want to turn, so it’s really difficult. This afternoon we will analyse everything in order to make an improvement for tomorrow. We believe we can do it, but we need to find a good way.”

MotoGP Malaysia Fri Syahrin
Hafizh Syahrin

Returning from injury, Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) endured a tough opening day. The five-time World Champion finished bottom of the timesheets and over three seconds adrift of the fastest time, and will further assess his fitness on Saturday.

2018 MotoGP – Sepang Friday Combined Practice Times

  1. RINS  Alex SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar 1’59.608
  2. DOVIZIOSO Andrea ITA Ducati Team 1’59.697 / 0.089 (FP1)
  3. MARQUEZ Marc SPA Repsol Honda Team 1’59.701 / 0.093
  4. ROSSI Valentino ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’59.767 / 0.159 (FP1)
  5. MILLER Jack AUS Alma Pramac Racing 1’59.771 / 0.163
  6. VINALES Maverick SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’59.802 / 0.194
  7. PETRUCCI Danilo ITA Alma Pramac Racing 1’59.811 / 0.203
  8. ZARCO Johann FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2’00.159 / 0.551
  9. IANNONE Andrea ITA Team Suzuki Ecstar 2’00.502 / 0.894
  10. ESPARGARO Aleix SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 2’00.552 / 0.944 (FP1)
  11. PEDROSA Dani SPA Repsol Honda Team 2’00.579 / 0.971
  12. BAUTISTA Alvaro SPA Ducati Team 2’00.664 / 1.056 (FP1)
  13. NAKAGAMI Takaaki JPN LCR Honda 2’00.829 / 1.221
  14. MORBIDELLI Franco ITA EG 0,0 Marc VDS 2’00.981 / 1.373
  15. ESPARGARO Pol SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 2’01.020 / 1.412
  16. SMITH Bradley GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 2’01.230 / 1.622 (FP1)
  17. BRADL Stefan GER LCR Honda 2’01.313 / 1.705 (FP1)
  18. SYAHRIN Hafizh MAL Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2’01.419 / 1.811 (FP1)
  19. ABRAHAM Karel CZE Angel Nieto Team 2’01.684 / 2.076
  20. REDDING Scott GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 2’01.690 / 2.082 (FP1)
  21. LUTHI Tom SWI EG 0,0 Marc VDS 2’01.743 / 2.135
  22. SIMEON Xavier BEL Reale Avintia Racing 2’01.900 / 2.292
  23. TORRES Jordi SPA Reale Avintia Racing 2’01.940 / 2.332
  24. LORENZO Jorge SPA Ducati Team 2’03.204 / 3.596 (FP1)

Moto2

Friday at the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix belonged to Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) in the Moto2 class, as the 2014 Moto3 Champion topped both FP1 and FP2. The Spaniard managed to best Fabio Quartararo (MB Conveyors – Speed Up) at the end of FP2 by 0.030 after setting a 2:06.928 on his final lap so it was close but he kept the top spot, with Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) third – 0.161 back. He was just ahead of teammate and Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia and the two did a good few laps together on track, perfecting their teamwork…

The track conditions were tricky for the opening minutes of the second session but with the rain clouds clearing, the Moto2 field were able to get a good dry stint on Friday afternoon. At the end of play, Marquez and Quartararo were the only two riders to venture into the 2:06s, the latter improving from a P13 finish in the morning, but it was Bagnaia who had the advantage in terms of the title fight – with sole rival Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) a little further back in eighth.

Between the two, it was Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) who completed the top five on Friday and the Italian led FP2 by over a second at the one point after ending FP1 in P2. Then the first of the KTMs on the timesheets was Sam Lowes (Swiss Innovative Investors) in P6, as he just got the better of Oliveira.

Behind the Portuguese rider, Pons HP40’s Lorenzo Baldassarri completes Friday in P8, with Remy Gardner (Tech 3 Racing) kicking off his weekend with a solid P9 on the combined times – the Australian consolidating a top ten place after ending FP1 in P7.

Remy Gardner – P9

“It has been a pretty good day here. This morning it was still patchy when we went out, but we put the slick in when there was still some water on track and we ended up seventh, which was quite decent. Before FP2 it was raining, so everyone went out with wet tyres and of course we did the same, but the track was completely dry after it dried up in just some seconds. We came back in, put some old slicks back in, did a run and improved on our time from this morning. At the end, we put in the soft tyre and made a big step forward. We still need a bigger jump for tomorrow, but I think we’re on the right track after a good start. We just have to see how the weather plays out.”

MotoGP Malaysia Moto Remy Gardner Fri
Remy Gardner

Australian GP winner Brad Binder rounded out the top ten on board his Red Bull KTM Ajo machine, moving up the timesheets after a tougher FP1.

Joan Mir (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) had a late crash at Turn 15 in the afternoon – rider ok.

2018 Moto2 – Sepang Friday Combined Practice Times
  1. Marquez 2m06.928
  2. Quartararo 2m06.958
  3. Marini 2m078.089
  4. Bagnaia 2m07.106
  5. Pasini 2m07.107
  6. Lowes 2m07.315
  7. Oliveira 2m07.551
  8. Baldassarri 2m07.605
  9. Gardner 2m07.644
  10. Binder 1m07.685

Moto3

Tony Arbolino (Marinelli Snipers Team) ended Day 1 at the Shell Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix at the top of the timesheets in the Moto3 class, with the Italian setting a 2:14.227 on a dry Sepang International Circuit before the rain started to fall with just under 20 minutes remaining, curtailing the day’s action. John McPhee (CIP – Green Power) and Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) completed the top three, with Championship leader Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) rounding out a top four covered by a mere 0.024 seconds.

After his huge Japanese GP crash, Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) returns to action in Malaysia still nursing his injuries picked up in Motegi but nonetheless, the Italian impressed on Day 1 to end fifth fastest, just 0.122 off the top. Countryman Andrea Migno (Angel Nieto Team Moto3) completed Friday another tiny margin in arrears, 0.003 back in P6, with the same gap separating him from another Italian in P7: Enea Bastinaini (Leopard Racing). Title contender Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PruestelGP) is eighth overall, but the gap is just 0.155 between him and the fastest time.

Ninth quickest was fastest rookie Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0), with Australian GP winner Albert Arenas (Angel Nieto Team Moto3) rounding out a top ten that was covered by only 0.321 in Malaysia. P3 in the Championship, Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) finished Friday in P13.

2018 Moto3 – Sepang Friday Combined Practice Times
  1. Arbolino 2m14.227
  2. McPhee 2m14.237
  3. Canet 2m14.247
  4. Martin 2m14.251
  5. Antonelli 2m14.349
  6. Migno 2m14.352
  7. Bastianini 2m14.355
  8. Bezzecchi 2m14.382
  9. Lopez 2m14.547
  10. Arenas 2m14.548

Source: MCNews.com.au

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