Race news: MotoGP and Dakar updates

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Things could be looking up for Karel Abraham. Photo: MotoGP
Things could be looking up for Karel Abraham. Photo: MotoGP
Things could be looking up for Karel Abraham. Photo: MotoGP

Here are some updates from the world’s top roadracing and off-road racing series.

Nicky Hayden needs a new motor, after blowing up his fifth. He may get a few more miles out of one of his older ones, though. Photo: MotoGP
Nicky Hayden needs a new motor, after blowing up his fifth. He may get a few more miles out of one of his older ones, though. Photo: MotoGP

Nicky Hayden’s bad luck continues to hold, with word the MotoGP rider’s factory Ducati has used up all the allotted engines for the 2014 season. Hayden says he’s got a bit more use left in one of his six motors, but he thinks he might have to get a new motor for the Phillip Island round in Australia, meaning he’d start from the pits. That’s the punishment MotoGP metes out if you need to use a sixth motor.

Hayden had a DNF in Sunday’s race when his motor grenaded mid-race. Ducati engineers are poring over the engine in their top-secret labs in Bologna as we speak …

Karel Abraham had much better news. Abraham has been slugging it out aboard a Claiming Rules bike this season, but next season, he’s going to be on a Honda. Sure, it’s Honda’s production racer, not a factory bike, but he’s got to be excited about the move.

Abraham’s bike won’t have a seamless gearbox and will have conventional cam-operated valves, not hydraulic valves, so his machine won’t be as high-spec as the factory team’s, and they’re using a spec ECU. However, the production bikes will also be allowed 24 liters of fuel per race, not 20, and they will be allowed to go through 12 motors a season, not five. Actually, that’s starting to sound like a good deal for Hayden …

Why are they all smiling? Because they're on the new 450 Rally from KTM ...
Why are they all smiling? Because they’re on the new 450 Rally from KTM …

In the world of off-road racing, KTM has unleashed their latest version of the 450 Rally on the world. It saw its first taste of competition in Rallye du Maroc yesterday.

They say the bike has been re-designed from the ground up for 2014, and that’s probably a good thing. While Marc Coma is still riding for KTM, teammate Cyril Despres is riding for Yamaha now, and Honda has also upgraded their 2014 450 considerably.

Along with Despres, Fracisco Lopez, Kurt Caselli and Ruben Faria are also all racing the new 450 in Morocco. If you want to follow the race, their web site is here.

Speaking of that new Honda – you can see it in action in the video below.

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