Mick finally returned for the penultimate round at Interlagos in Brazil. He was a shadow of the rider who had so dominated proceedings before Assen. Gaunt and grey after seven weeks of hell. His legs were spindly remnants of what they used to be, and his right calf was still encased in a light cast, but nothing was going to stop him defending that precious 22-point lead he still held over Rainey. I have never seen anybody give so much with absolutely no reward. After 28 laps, 121.044 kms of excruciating pain the Australian finished with no points in 12th place in the race won by Rainey, but he was back and ready for the final showdown at Kyalami in South Africa just two weeks later. He was hanging onto the Championship lead by two precious points.
Dr. Xavier Mir (MotoGP™ Traumatology Specialist): “Marc Marquez underwent surgery 13 days ago and today he returned to the operating room. The first operation was successful, what was not expected was that the plate was insufficient. An accumulation of stress in the operated area has caused the plate to suffer some damage, so today the titanium plate has been removed and replaced by a new fixation. The rider has not felt pain during this period. He has always followed the medical advice given and the feeling from his body. Unfortunately, an over stress has caused this issue. Now we have to wait 48 hours to understand the recovery time.”
As Marquez returns, there are also two more riders suffering through the pain barrier, although both managed to finish the Andalucia GP. 2016 Czech GP winner Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol), with more recovery time for his scaphoid, will want to be able to go the distance a little better, and Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins, with a dislocated shoulder compounded by a small fracture, will be aiming to take a step forward too. The Spaniard took a hard-grafted tenth place last time out, but after Suzuki’s incredible preseason showing he’ll want to recover more ground and score as quickly as possible. The good news for the Hamamatsu Factory in the second race in Jerez though was Joan Mir, with the number 36 putting a crash in the season opener behind him to take fifth and get some reward for his speed. He’ll be even more keen to conquer Brno too, as the Czech track was the scene of his huge crash in testing last season that sidelined him for two races.
Three races, three winners is the simplest way to write the story of Moto2™ so far in 2020. It was Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) taking the lead in Qatar before he had to settle for understudy in Round 2, with Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) bouncing back to take the second victory of the season. Then it got even closer, with a crash during the Andalucia GP seeming to put the Japanese rider on the back foot – and a new winner emerging onto the top step, for the first time in the intermediate class no less. The new kid on the victory block was Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team), and it means we head into Brno with only five points separating the top three. 50, 48, 45 – Nagashima, Bastianini, Marini. With another 75 in play in the next three weekends.
For McPhee, the Czech Repubic holds good memories as it’s the site of his first Grand Prix win. Suzuki has had some solid speed at the venue too, and Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) was on the podium there last year. Ogura was in the top six – as a rookie – Darryn Binder (CIP – Green Power), who stormed from the near back of the grid to take fourth in the Andalucia GP, was a top ten finisher in 2019. The likes of Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse), Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) and Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) have solid finishes at the track too, adding more and more names to the hat for who will be fighting it out it what will surely prove another Moto3™ classic battle at Brno.
“Never say never in this kind of thing. If I think back to when he was very young, when he started and won, he was having fun and that’s why many love him. He was able to combine exceptional talent with a passion for motorsport, with fun, with a feeling of community. Today there are many young and talented drivers, just think of Marquez who is still very young, so it is possible that some of his records will be beaten over time by Maverick, Fabio, or who knows by whom. But the complete package is not, Valentino is unique, the next riders will bear their baggage, their character, their talent, their style. Life goes on and it will be interesting to see what the future holds.”
Despite KTM Group’s boss saying sales were up during the pandemic, the Austrian company has suffered a one-third sales slump as it offers two rare RC16 race bikes for sale.
In the first six months of 2020, sales of KTM Group motorcycles, which also includes Husqvarna and Gas Gas, were down 33% from 135,711 to 90,331.
This is despite several reports that CEO Stefan Pierer said they were not affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and had hired more people.
Certainly sales are strong in Australia.
Meanwhile, KTM Motorsports is selling two race-prepared KTM RC16 factory MotoGP bikes from last year’s season.
This is a very rare opportunity.
The only other time we can recall MotoGP bikes being sold was in 2012 when Ducati sold Casey Stoner’s 800cc Desmosedici for about $A455,000 and Valentino Rossi’s bike for $A444,000.
They were sold because the series moved from 800cc to 1 000ccc.
The unspecified 2019 KTM race bikes will come with a Pol Espargaro’s racing leathers and helmet, other merchandise and a VIP MotoGP hospitality weekend in 2021.
KTM is asking about $A475,000 each for the bikes.
If you’ve got that sort of money after raiding your superannuation, send an email to [email protected].
KTM will compile a list of buyers and make a final decision on the lucky buyers.
In 2020, the focus for the riders will now move from on-track battles to virtual workshops aimed at improving some important skills off the bike. These CHAMPS Virtual Workshops focus on communication and social media, as well the importance of the English language for those who are not native speakers. The first two workshops took place mid-July, with more organised for the coming weeks as the grid gear up for 2021. The ATC will also continue to have a vibrant presence on social media, and the homepage of the Cup will continue to publish updates on current events, as well as showcase the best of the ATC and some of the closest racing on two wheels.
This tutorial is provided by Williams_Adrian, the double winner in the first round of the 2020 Global Series, and a gamer hoping to take Red Bull KTM to eSport success this summer and autumn! The 23-year old Spaniard showed his class in this year’s Pro Draft, and here his demo lap shows off the best racing lines and gear changes around this 18-corner track.
All three categories of the World Championship face a new grand Prix which kicks off on Thursday, August the 6th with the pre-event press conference. The MotoGP™ riders summoned to speak at 17:00 (GMT + 2) are Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT), Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) , Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda Team).