Here are some updates from the world of MotoGP.
Aprilia has confirmed they are returning to MotoGP in 2015. The manufacturer has teamed up with Gresini for a four-year deal, starting next year. Alvaro Bautista has a deal in place for the first two years; in 2015 and 2016, he’ll pilot the Aprilia, but there’s no word as to his teammate yet.
“I feel a great responsibility, but the motivation to succeed in this exciting, all Italian challenge is even bigger,” said Fausto Gresini, team manager. “The Grand Prix world is part of the Aprilia brand and to represent it in the premier class, the MotoGP World Championship, is a source of great pride for all of us.”
Bautista said he was glad he could stay with Gresini through the team’s changing fortunes.
“I am very happy to have signed an agreement with Aprilia for the next two MotoGP world championship seasons,” he said. “Working in close contact with a manufacturer is what I wanted for my future and Aprilia has offered me a great chance … the cooperation between Aprilia Racing and Gresini Racing will allow me to stay with a team that I’ve been racing with already for three years and which has become like a family to me.”
Laverty moves up
Eugene Laverty is moving to MotoGP in 2015, although as of right now, his destination team hasn’t been announced (could it be Gresini?).
His current team, World Superbike’s Crescent Suzuki, issued a press release this morning saying they extend “thanks and best wishes to Eugene Laverty as he prepares to move to the MotoGP Championship for the 2015 season … We wanted to move forward with Eugene into 2015 but at the same time we completely understand his desire to compete in MotoGP.”
Laverty is currently in seventh place in the WSB championship, with 154 points to leader Tom Sykes’s 352. He thanked his team for their hard work this year, even if the results they’d hoped for hadn’t been there.
MotoGP has announced a couple updates to the rulebook.
The rules will now allow motorcycles to be lighter; instead of 160 kg, the minimum weight has been moved to 158 kg. They’re also considering reducing the weight even further, to 156 kg in 2016.
As well, the brain trust behind the series has announced they’re going to put a freeze on teams currently in the series from working on their own electronics development after June 30 next year, except for minor safety tweaks. After that, manufacturers must work with the unified software, which will be based on the electronics open category teams are currently using.
However, for teams not already in the series, MotoGP says the technicians can still use and develop their own software through next season; however, they may be asked to help participate in the development of the unified software package.
To go with the new software regulations, MotoGP also approved some technical regulations regarding sensors and other electronic bits.