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GP Week : Issue 168
titanrace.com High performance engine oil providing optimum protection. LUBRICATION PROVISIONAL CALENDAR ANNOUNCED CRT? HOT ROAD BIKE COMING FROM HONDA The release of the 2013 MotoGP World Championship calendar did little to clear up speculation that there would be a third round of the series in the US, while the rest of the dates remain largely unchanged. For months Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta has said there would only be two races in the US, despite the expectation of the Circuit of the Americas (CoTA) in Austin, Texas coming onboard. The Red Bull US Grand Prix and Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix both have contracts for 2013, which Ezpeleta was reminded of by track principals who weren’t going to be left out. CoTA is currently embroiled in litigation with 1993 500cc world champion Kevin Schwantz, the Austin resident who signed a 10-year contract with Dorna to promote a grand prix in April of 2011. Alleging that Schwantz hadn’t fulfilled his promotional commitments, Dorna severed the contract and began negotiating directly with the circuit early in the summer. It isn’t known if Dorna has a contract with the CoTA. The provisional calendar doesn’t specify a date for either the Austin race or one in Argentina at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, which was announced during the Dutch TT at a news conference dominated by a spat between the Spanish and Argentine governments over Argentina having earlier this year nationalised the YPF subsidiary of Spanish oil giant Repsol. Austin is expected to run on the weekend of April 19-21, a week after the Argentine GP. The only race to leave the calendar is the Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril, which was expected. The rest of the calendar has been lightly massaged. The British Grand Prix at Silverstone has been moved from its rain-plagued June date to Sept. 1. Now it will be the last of three GPs after Indy and the Czech Grand Prix in Brno-that follow the summer break. The dates of the end-of-season flyaways have also been changed. The Malaysian GP, traditionally the middle of the three, now comes first on Oct. 13, followed by Phillip Island a week later, then the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi on Oct. 27. The financial difficulties in Spain, specifically in Jerez de la Frontera and Valencia, had no effect on their races. Spain will again host four races, with Catalunya and Aragon also keeping their dates. The Buddh International Circuit outside of New Delhi was expected to follow Qatar at the start of the season, but didn’t make the cut. MOTOGP >>> NEWS Honda Motor CEO Takanobu Ito has teased the motorcycle world by announcing that the company is developing a Super Sports motorcycle with MotoGP technology. The announcement was tucked away at the end of a Honda automotive press release, and said: “Honda is developing a new Super Sports motorcycle which will feature technologies derived from Honda’s MotoGP machines. This bike will seek to deliver the same passion and excitement that the RC30 (VFR750R) Super Sports bike created when first introduced in 1987.” Immediately there was speculation that this would serve as the base for a CRT machine to compete with Aprilia’s ARTs and others. But HRC boss Shuhei Nakamoto has been adamant that the company has no interest in the CRT class. Instead, a senior Honda Europe official believes the bike will be the basis for Honda’s Superbike production racer. He also believes it will presented at the September 2013 shows and available for Superbike racing in 2014, if produced in sufficient numbers. As to which MotoGP technologies the bike could include, the list is endless. A good reference would be the $72,000 USD Ducati Desmosedici RR, the road-going version of the Ducati’s D16-RR 990cc MotoGP machine. When it went on sale in a limited edition of 1500 in 2006, the RR had top of the line components from Ohlins, Brembo, Magneti-Marelli, and others, along with the liberal use of exotic materials. Given Honda’s engineering prowess, the new bike will have some version of their proprietary electronics, though it’s unlikely it would have the seamless shift transmission, given the cost. 2013 MOTOGP PROVISIONAL CALENDAR 31 March – Qatar* Doha/Losail 14 April – TBC 21 April – TBC 05 May – Spain(STC), Jerez de la Frontera 19 May – France, Le Mans 2 June – Italy, Mugello 16 June – Catalunya, Catalunya 29 June – Netherlands**, Assen 14 July – Germany, Sachsenring 21 July – United States***, Laguna Seca 18 August – Indianapolis, Indianapolis 25 August – Czech Republic, Brno 01 September – Great Britain, Silverstone 15 September – San Marino & Riviera di Rimini, Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli 29 September – Aragón, Motorland 13 October – Malaysia, Sepang 20 October – Australia, Phillip Island 27 October – Japan, Motegi 10 November – Valencia, Ricardo Tormo-Valencia * Evening Race ** Saturday Race *** Only MotoGP class TBC (To be confirmed) 17 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: