MotoE innaugural race gift card give away!

That’s right, MotoE’s first EVER race is this Sunday and to celebrate, the winning “team creator” will celebrate with a gift card! All you need to do is register, have your account approved and sign up for the MotoE event at Sachsenring midnight Saturday (ie before MotoE event starts). Winner will be determined by highest points scored and earliest time submitted.

COTA Turns Up the Heat

Alex Rins won his first-ever victory at the Austin MotoGP, barely holding off Valentino Rossi, who took second. This race marks Suzuki’s first win since 2016. Rossi kept the lead until the third to last lap, when he was overtaken by Rins.

Perhaps the most shocking moment of the race came when Marc Marquez fell at the end of the back straight while holding a 3.6 second lead over Rossi. Up to this point, he had been unbeaten on U.S. soil and the fall destroyed any hopes he had of achieving a seventh successive victory.

Jack Miller rounded out the podium at third, his first time back since his wet 2016 Assen victory. “It’s great to be back here,” he said. “Long time between drinks, that’s for sure!” Miller smiled. Early on, Cal Crutchlow took a spill while competing with Rossi for second place, allowing Miller to gain a place. He held at third after Marquez’s fall.

Overall, Andrea Dovizioso now leads the racers this season with 54 points, then Rossi with 51, Rins with 49, Marquez with 45, and Danilo Petrucci with 30 points.

The 5.5 km Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Texas is one of the season’s most popular events. It features a staggering 133-foot climb followed by a sharp blind left into turn 1, which is right in front of the grandstand.

Some racers like Aleix Espargaro had concerns about the safety of the track itself. “[It’s] super dangerous,” he said. “I’ve never ridden a track like this. It’s not at the level of MotoGP. Not at all. I don’t think we can race here one more year with these conditions. Absolutely no way.” Espargaro said his steering lock broke two times on the back straight in FP1 because of severe bumps.

The weather was a little wet on Saturday and the morning’s Free Practice 3 sessions for MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 were cancelled due to lightning.

The COTA race reignited the penalty debate over jump starts when Maverick Vinales and Joan Mir moved slightly before the red lights went out. Crutchlow made the same mistake in Argentina not long ago. In all three cases, no significant advantage appeared to have been gained, which again called into question the severity of the ride-through penalty issued for these early starts.

When asked about the penalty, Vinales said, “[It’s] very difficult to explain. I think on the start the bikes get hot and I think the clutch [engages] before it’s released. On the start I just put full gas [with the clutch engaged]. The first two to three seconds were okay, then in the last moment the bike started to move. I didn’t release the clutch, nothing.” Vinales eventually recovered from 19th to 11th after the penalty.

Celebrating with Amazon GC giveaway!

MotoGP is in the United States, and we’re celebrating by giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to the top player who has the best predictions for the race on Sunday! And if you refer someone and they win, we will give you a $10 gift card too! It’s the last time until later this season that we have an early afternoon lights out to start the race. Starts Sunday at 1pm MDT. Can’t wait!

Terms: Good only for the MotoGP race in Austin 2019. Anyone can sign up/register to win this event, past or current points are no indicator for winning. Must be 18 years or older to newly register, must provide social media account url and/or friend referral description. Not all new accounts will be approved, reserve right to refuse. In the event of a multiplayer tie, the gift card amount will be reduced.

Showdown in Qatar

The 2019 season exploded into action on March 11 in Qatar at Losail International Circuit Sports Club. Andrea Dovizioso led the first seven laps, while Alex Rins and his Suzuki led the pack for the next three. Dovizioso regained his lead until lap 21, when Marc Márquez took over briefly.

“[Rins] wanted to be faster too soon, and that was bad for the tire,” said Dovizioso. “Fortunately, I had more power on the straight. I lost a little bit of time in the middle of the corner because his speed in the middle of the corner was amazing. But I was able to overtake him every time and continue to save the tire. That was the key to try to put Marc on the limit in the last few laps. It helped me to understand Márquez’s bad situation on the rear tire.”

In the end, Dovizioso took first, eclipsing Márquez by .023 seconds. LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow placed third and Rins was fourth. 40-year-old Valentino Rossi finished fifth, though he started in 14th place. He was just a 0.6 second behind Dovizioso.

All eyes were on Australian Jack Miller during the second lap when he had to slow down to deal with a loose seat unit on his Ducati. After throwing the seat out, he was able to climb back into the top ten. But without the grip of the seat to move his body properly, he had to retire from the race during lap 13. “The seat is glued on to the subframe,” he said. “And with the subframe being painted, the paint didn’t stick well enough and the glue ripped the seat and the paint off.”

In other news, rookie Fabio Quartararo had a rough start during the race. He had to begin from the pit lane after his Yamaha stalled on the grid. But despite this rocky start he was the fastest man on the track early on, and ended up finishing 16th in the race, just missing out on a point-scoring position. Quartararo, who showed promise during testing and throughout practice, was fifth in FP2 and FP4, qualifying fifth.

Following the race, it’s evident the Hondas are essentially even with Ducati where speed is concerned. Yahama on the other hand didn’t fare quite as well, though they have done well in Qatar in past. We can’t wait to see what the next race brings.

MotoSBKAmericaGP

While getting ready for the 2019 of all things racing (especially the two wheel kind!) and looking for fast ways to find results of various races over the upcoming year I noticed something very odd. WorldSBK results and calendar information are actually hosted on MotoGP’s website. It’s hidden to most who don’t go looking for it. But it’s there. I guess it makes a little sense as I am fairly sure (even more so now) that Dorna (who owns MotoGP) also seems to own WorldSBK now. I’ll give some examples; you can actually check it out for yourself too.

The calendar for WorldSBK starts here:
http://www.worldsbk.com/en/calendar
And then if you click on say, Australia you end up here:
http://www.worldsbk.com/en/event/AUS/2019
And if you watch the page load in google (or check under the sources link and dig a bit) you will notice:
http://destination.motogp.com/en/gp/2017/worldsbk/australian-round

HUH. I thought that was kind of odd for what is very much two different championships. But I guess I get it, kind of, from a resourcing perspective.

Then I was looking at MotoAmerica races and as SLC isn’t too far away I thought about maybe scheduling time to go check it out. But.. having just got done going through the calendar stuff on MotoGP and WorldSBK, I noticed that MotoAmerica is showing (at the moment at least) that they’ll be down in Texas over April 12-14th. Exactly the same time MotoGP will be.

  • https://motoamerica.com/texas/
  • Click buy tickets brings you to
  • http://www.circuitoftheamericas.com/motogp-2019/tickets

HUH??

Needless to say, I don’t get it. I haven’t ever dug into how far Dorna’s reach/purchasing has taken it (They also own the F1 championship for those unaware. Also for those unaware F1 is owned by John Malone now. I’m not sure if that means that he ( John Malone’s Liberty Media ) owns Dorna or just F1)

What tangled webs are woven.

Whats new for 2019 in MotoGP

For some the 2018 season ended great; for many and others, well… they just couldn’t wait for their new beginning in the following month. There are quite a few changes coming for 2019 and in case you haven’t been following: team changes, rider changes, and even number changes.

We’ll start with the teams. Tech 3 dropped Yamaha and picked up KTM. So you will now see Tech 3 KTM which sounds weird, it doesn’t quite roll of the tongue like it did before.  However, the Black and White Red Bull livery is sleek, and is easily one of my favorite. Marc VDS dropped out and Petronas Yamaha has replaced Angel Nieto Ducati as the new Yamaha satellite team.

Now onto the riders. Try and hold your breath for this one. Ready, set, go!

Lorenzo will now ride next Marc Marquez on Repsol Honda team replacing retired Dani Pedrosa. Petrucci moves from satellite Pramac Ducati to replace Lorenzo on Ducati team. Francesco Bagnaia, one of 4 rookies (will get to them in a minute) from Moto2 replaces Petrucci on satellite team Pramac Ducati. Iannone moves from Suzuki Ecstar to replace Scott Redding on Aprilia Racing Team Gresini. Joan Mir, another rookie from Moto2 replaces Iannone on Suzuki Ecstar. Zarco moves from Tech 3 to replace Bradley Smith (moving to MotoE), on RedBull KTM Factory. Abraham moves from Angel Nieto Ducati (now defunct) to replace Simeon (moving to MotoE) on Avintia Ducati. Morbidelli from Marc VDS and Fabio Quartararo, another rookie from Moto2, fill the new Petronas Yamaha. Ending with Miguel Oliveira the last rookie to join the quartet to ride for Tech3 KTM. Bautisa, well.. the Spaniard plans to be the man to push Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) off the top spot of the championship, which is anything but straight forward. Scott Redding heads to British Superbike Championship (BSB)

Whew, that’s a lot of moving around and did you catch those rookies? Mir, Quartararo, Oliveira, and Bagnaia all came up from Moto2. Quartararo finished 10th and Mir finished 6th last year, not the most exciting. Not like Oliveira and Bagnaia which ended the season within 10 points of each other with Bagnaia coming up on top. These two each, ended their season with 13 podiums and 0 wrecks. Even though Bagnaia came out as the winner, Oliveira seemed to be more consistent. Oliveira always stayed within arms reach of the podium in the other 6 whereas Bagnaia only managed to stay in the top 10 for 3 out of those 6. That being said I still think it’ll be a tight race between the two for ROTY.

Moto2 will see some changes, notable for sure is Triumph’s entrance as an engine with their 762cc triple.

And last but not least, the number change. #26 is now #12. Vinales made this change just days after the 2018 season ended. He “wants a fresh start.” He has a new rider coach, Julian Simon, a new crew chief, Esteban Garcia, a new engine, and now a new number. Why 12? From what I have read, his childhood motocross number was 12 and early into his career that was his number as well. When moving up the the next level the 12 was always taken so he took on 25. The last 2 years has been something of a wreck for him and he’s hoping that with all the “new” it will bring out the best.

Well there you have it. Already some excitement for the 2019 season. I know it’s only December and we haven’t even had Christmas, but I’m counting down the days.94 days til’ Qatar on the wall, 94 days til’ Qatar..