The Sepang test is just around the corner, and the movers and shakers of MotoGP are moving and shaking. Here are a few updates of what’s going on in that scene.
Live Experience App on sale
MotoGP fans can keep track of on-track action by the minute with the Live Experience smartphone/tablet app, and for right now, it’s on sale. Buy it now, and you’ll get 15 per cent off, and you can follow the action when it starts tomorrow in Malaysia. Along with live timing, you’ll get photos, videos and news updates.
Optimism for Barbera
Hector Barbera has been working hard in the off-season; in an interview with MotoGP.com, he said he’s been “cycling on the road almost every day, going to the gym and practicing motocross, dirt track and cross country skiing, in addition to training at altitude.” It’s exhausting just to type that list! But as a result of all his effort, Barbera said he’s better-prepared than ever for this year’s campaign.
Barbera says it’s going to be a difficult year, facing the factory Yamahas, Hondas and Ducatis, but he reckons he should be placing between eighth and 12th. He’s hoping to mount a strong challenge against the Pramac Ducati riders and the Forward Racing Yamaha machines too.
Barbera still isn’t sure exactly what options he’ll have on the Ducati machine he gets, but he’s looking forward to not being hamstrung by CRT rules. He’s hoping to have the same engine braking capability as the factory bike and improved suspension – both upgrades he believes will help a lot.
India update #1
There’s been plenty of chatter about bringing both MotoGP and World Superbike to India in recent years, and MotoGP big boss Carmelo Ezpeleta has confirmed his organization is still planning to pull this off.
In an interview with Reuters, Ezpleta said India was a very important market for MotoGP. The real question is whether they can circumnavigate the miles of red tape and bureaucracy in their way.
If the series can eventually figure out a way to get an Indian race running, the potential for motorcycling in general is huge. India is motorcycle-mad, and if the country’s fans get to see roadracing’s top stars first-hand, it’s sure to mean an even bigger explosion of interest.
India update #2
While MotoGP management chatted about their desire to enter the Indian market, manufacturer Mahindra announced their plans to continue in Moto3. They’ll have four teams and nine bikes in that series, including a tie-up with the Aspar team. They seem intent to learn from roadracing, and in theory, their machines will start to see technology trickle down to the street in coming years, possibly giving them a leg up on their made-in-India competition.