5 October 2015

BSB Silverstone: One hand on the title?

Josh Brookes continued his stunning run of form this weekend at the penultimate round of the MCE British Superbike season, securing the double win and increasing his points lead of 47 points.
Brookes stood on top for both races at Silverstone
Photo: MCE BSB

Putting in a qualifying time of 2.03.984 which could have easily got him on the MotoGP grid earlier this year on top of setting a circuit lap record, the Australian is on the form of his life and it seems to have come at just the right time.

Race report:

Returning American John Hopkins stormed through into first position on the opening lap however the Lloyds British Moto Rapido rider was soon caught by championship contender Brookes. Starting from the fourth row of the grid Shane Byrne made up two positions in the opening lap, starting his charge for the front.

James Ellison shot past Hopkins as he fought to keep up with Brookes however despite staying up with the leader, tyre issues forced the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider to lose a podium spot in the closing laps. Reigning champion Byrne was able to move through the pack and take second position behind flying Brookes, with Peter Hickman securing a stunning third position.

29 September 2015

MotoGP Aragon: Shark Bite

Movistar Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo was able to decrease his points deficit on team-mate Valentino Rossi this weekend, as he dominated in front of his home crowd at Aragon.
The championship just got tighter
Photo: Movistar Yamaha

In classic Lorenzo style the Spaniard took the lead on the opening lap of the race and remained unchallenged for the duration of the race as his competitors crashed and battled it out for the other two positions on the podium.

Now with a gap of just 14 points to Rossi with four round remaining, the championship fight is still well and truly on for Lorenzo.

Race report:

Getting the holeshot into the opening corner from second position on the grid, Lorenzo was determined to make a clear getaway from his competitors. As reigning world champion Marquez chased him, he crashed out of the race from second position on only the second lap, meaning he has failed to finish in the last two Spanish rounds this season.

27 September 2015

Moto3 and Moto2 – Aragon: Title battles rumble on, Oliveira and Rabat winners

Aragon was set to be the scene of some historic moments in the Moto3 and Moto2 classes, but nothing can be certain in the world of racing.

Fresh from inking a new deal Danny Kent looked ready to put in a solid performance and make his title hopes stronger while social media was full of the #ZarcoTitleChance hashtag as the Frenchman arrived with his first title winning opportunity. There was added drama after a huge crash between Dominique Agerter and Xavier Simeon brought out the red flag in the 100th Moto2 race.
Rabat wins Aragon 2015 Moto2
           Timely home success for Rabat      Photo:EG 0,0 Marc VDS

It was however Miguel Oliveira and Tito Rabat who went on to take the spoils after a pair of last lap wars, with Moto3 title rivals Kent and Enea Bastianini both crashing at the end of the race and Zarco unable to find away out of sixth after twelve straight podium appearances.

Race Reports


Moto3 saw the lead change lap after lap with most of the top ten taking a turn at the front before Miguel Oliveira, who had put in the most laps out in first laid claim to the win, keeping clear of the trouble behind him and blocking his nearest rival Jorge Navarro to take victory for Red Bull KTM Ajo.

Navarro's second was all the more impressive given he missed the last round after his heavy practice crash and was only passed fit to race for Estrella Galicia 0,0 after another run to the hospital to be checked after a crash in warm-up.

Third went to a very determined Romano Fenati, with a performance which echoed his run through the pack last year to win, this time the Sky Racing VR 46 rider had to settle for third.

The late crashes for Enea Bastianini, hitting the back wheel of Brad Binder as he hit the brakes taking the pair out and Danny Kent who flew out of contention at the final corner saw all the riders behind benefit from an enhanced position.

Efern Vazquez had worked to move up in the group and the Leopard Racing rider took the spoils snatching a fourth, just ahead of a very impressive ride with the leaders from Philipp Oettl for Schedl GP Racing his best performance in the dry after being a podium finisher at Indy.

26 September 2015

Moto3 and Moto2 :Aragon - The easy way and the Aragon way - Bastianini and Rabat on pole as Kent and Zarco battle hard for third in qualifying.

Moto3 and Moto2 arrive in Spain again, this time at the MotorLand Aragon circuit, with a pretty clean slate as out of the two classes there is currently only one previous winner – Romano Fenati – who last year proved that you can win without securing pole at the track, but you may need a helping hand from the weather.

Rabat Qualifying 2015 Aragon
                  Pole for rapid Rabat                Photo: EG 0,0 Marc VDS
Tito Rabat was in no mood to rely on a rain dance as Johann Zarco can dethrone him as Moto2 champion from this round onwards, needing just seven points over his Spanish rival to guarantee his Moto2 championship. Rabat set about demolishing records as his last stand.

It was a similar affair at the start of the qualifying sessions in Moto3, though the title hunt remains more open. It was the second place man in the overall standings here too, Enea Bastianini who found record pace at the last second to swing into pole with Danny Kent struggling for clear track or a good tow before a final solo lap saw him climb to third.

Qualifying Reports


UPDATE: In Moto3 Maria Herrera, Andrea Migno, Isaac Vinales, Lorenzo Dalla Porta and Garbiel Rodrigo were all penalised for their qualifying actions and missed ten minutes of warm-up and a three place grid demotion.

Enea Bastianini took his fourth pole on his thirteenth and final lap around Aragon in Moto3 qualifying, needing a last minute record lap of the Spanish track (1m 57.755) to rise to the top of the timesheets.

The Gresini riders final dash deposed long time front runner Miguel Oliveira who had been the most consistent over the 40 minutes and fast on his own or looking for a slipstream for the Red Bull KTM Ajo Team.

Danny Kent kept himself busy looking for a tow only to find a sea of bikes behind his Leopard machine each time he left the pits or slowed for space. A final run alone saw the British championship leader back in contention with a front row start.

21 September 2015

BSB: Brookes smashes Assen

The Milwaukee Yamaha squad will be celebrating all the way back to England after not only silencing critics on the capabilities of the new R1 Yamaha throughout this season, as well as number one rider Josh Brookes extending his championship lead over title rival, Shane Byrne.
Brookes leads the field this weekend
Photo: MCE BSB

It was all to play for going into the opening round of the Showdown and after a two-way scrap for the win last-time out at Oulton Park between Shakey Byrne and Josh Brookes, it set the scene for a tough competition between Yamaha and Kawasaki this weekend. Brookes excelled in the tricky conditions in Assen by sealing his fourth double win of the season while Byrne was unusually left behind, a bit short off the pace and off the podium. James Ellison has made a speedy recovery from his broken wrist and was the top Kawasaki by sealing two rostrum finishes.

Race Reports

Race One:
Brookes led the pack off pole position followed by Ellison and Byrne with John Hopkins tucked in behind. After a Byrne mistake going into the Chicane allowed Hopkins to move into third, where they both spent a lap jostling for third position. The pair soon had Michael Laverty for company and with two decisive moves on lap 13 Laverty stole the third position and sealed his first podium of the season. By this time Brookes had broken away at the front from Ellison in second and Byrne and Hopkins continued to scrap but for fourth place and it was Byrne who crossed the finishing line in fourth.

15 September 2015

MotoGP Misano: Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming...

Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez judged conditions perfectly to take his fourth victory of 2015 in the Gran Premio TIM di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, crossing the line first ahead of British duo Bradley Smith and Scott Redding in a flag-to-flag race defined by mixed conditions.
MotoGP victory for the first time at Misano for Marquez
Photo: Repsol Honda

Hometown hero Valentino Rossi failed to capitalise on his race lead and came home fifth, fortuitously extending his points advantage over teammate Lorenzo as Rossi's title rival crashed out from second after leading off the line. Earlier dry conditions in Misano allowed Italy's Enea Bastianini to claim his first win in Moto3 and saw leader Johann Zarco extend his lead in Moto2, before the weather changed and set the stage for a chaotic MotoGP race defined by strategy and tyre choices. Full reports from Moto2 and Moto3 can be found here.


Lorenzo lead off the line, as the Majorcan rider does so often, and Marquez proved the only rider able to run the early pace of the 2010 and 2012 World Champion, with Rossi left behind in third. Although the white flag shown on lap 2 signalled that the riders could pit for wet tyres if they wished, the track remained dry enough for slicks for several more laps until Scott Redding crashed on lap 7 and the first riders to pit for wet weather tyres took the gamble.

13 September 2015

Moto3 and Moto2 : Misano – Go big or go home - big performances from Bastianini and Zarco bring wins.

Misano was the scene of some big performances across the classes. Moto3 was still a close last lap scrap, but one which led to an Enea Bastianini win to keep the title alive as Danny Kent received an in-race penalty.

Moto2 saw Zarco place himself well to benefit from an early crash from the leaders before pulling out a classy performance and enough of a lead to bag another win and edge closer to his title hopes becoming a reality.

Race Reports


Moto3 had a fierce bunch of six riders in contention for much of the race with standout performances amongst the action for Bastianini leading from pole and Miguel Oliveira doing much of the front-running.
Rabat stages a comeback as Rins interferes Photo: EG 0,0 Marc VDS

The pair pulled away slightly as the final lap dash began, Red Bull Ajo rider Oliveira looked confident leading at the start on his new KTM frame but on the back straight a perfectly timed move let home rider Bastianini through. The Gresini rider held firm for a career first win.

The pair were joined on the podium by Ongetta-Rivacold's Niccolo Antonelli, his third rostrum finish in as many races.

Romano Fenati was the best of the rest, standing out with his unusual lines through the corners and very much in contention for Sky Racing VR46 as he reeled back in the leaders as the final lap unfolded.

Fifth went to the second Red Bull KTM Ajo bike over the line, Brad Binder, with a dramatic day ending in sixth for Britain's Danny Kent.

The Leopard rider was running on the back of the lead pack but had to drop a place under Race Direction's orders after a series of laps where he had exceeded the track limits. His title lead is now down to 55 points after Bastianini's victory, which the Italian celebrated by getting a patriotic flag style paint job in his hair trackside.

Alexis Masbou finished seventh and was the best of the SaxoPrint-RTG riders with John McPhee racing further back for 19th.

12 September 2015

Moto3 and Moto2 round up - Misano : Bastianini and Zarco both leave it late to snatch pole

UPDATE: In Moto3 Hiroki Ono and Jorge Martin both receive three place grid demotions for dangerous riding, while Jakub Kornfeil starts last for a technical infringement.

Both Moto3 and Moto2 look to have their championship winners sorted out and while Johann Zarco seems capable of turning things up a notch in Moto2 to stay ahead, Enea Bastianini looks ready for one final lunge to stop Danny Kent, made all the harder after his fall at Silverstone as Kent took the spoils.

Qualifying Reports


Enea Bastianini racked up pole number three for the season with a great late lap seeing him hit pole despite nearly hitting Jorge Martin.

The Gresini rider set a storming lap of 1m 42.486 on his Honda beating all-comers despite his traffic troubles.
Familiar? Marini has a Moto2 wild-card  Photo:PonsRacing.com

Behind him Brad Binder secured his first front row start and was the top KTM rider with championship leader, Leopard's Danny Kent, needing a last minute fast lap to propel him up to third, as he aims to move closer to the Moto3 title.

His late dash knocked Niccolo Antonelli into fourth for Ongetta-Rivacold as he continues a strong second half to the season. The Italian is joined on row two by fellow countryman Romano Fenati, the Sky team racer another rider finding late improvement.

2 September 2015

Pol Espargaro talks Suzuka, contracts, and team mates with PaddockChatter

Monster Yamaha Tech3's Pol Espargaro currently lies 9th in the MotoGP World Championship standings with 81 points to his name, two points behind the man in front and crucially, 34 points behind his team mate Bradley Smith who's in 6th.
Espargaro will remain with Tech3 in 2016
Photo: Tech3

It's safe to say it hasn't been the ideal second year in the premier class for Espargaro. Having finished 6th overall in his debut year, many were anticipating the Yamaha factory contracted former Moto2 World Champion to be top Satellite rider this year, or at least sit far closer in the standings to being the top dog of non-factory riders.

We caught up with the younger of the Espargaro brothers to talk about his season so far, his relationship with his team mate and the all important (in terms of pleasing the big bosses in Japan) victory at the Suzuka 8 Hour...

Was it important for you to re-sign with Yamaha and Tech3 early on this season?
Yes, when you sign again you become more relaxed, you are riding a bike and you are always trying to do your best but always there is something in mind that is making rounds in your mind and tyo be really fast you need to have everything clear. But this is the job of the manager, the manager need to solve all the problems and all the contract problems without the rider think about it and finally we did so we are happy.

1 September 2015

PaddockChatter gets the '#MotoGPBuzz' at the British GP, in pictures.

MotoGP is launching a new social media initiative called "#MotoGPBuzz" for 2016, whereby it's giving fans the opportunity to win VIP experiences at Grands Prix. Simply use the hashtag on the various social media platforms to be within a chance of winning.

This weekend, courtesy of Motul, PaddockChatter was fortunate enough to give the experience a whirl and use the opportunity to get some behind the scenes snaps from Silverstone for your viewing pleasure. For full galleries of the weekend, visit and 'like' our Facebook page and for more refined and careful selection of pics, follow us on Instagram.

31 August 2015

Bradley Smith: "Espargaro beating me in his first season was difficult to swallow"

Bradley Smith has had a good couple of months, heading over to Japan and securing the victory aboard the new Yamaha R1 on their 60th anniversary and resigning for another season with Monster
Smith in action at Silverstone
Photo: Monster Tech 3
Yamaha Tech 3, he went into his home round feeling more relaxed and positive.

Making it safely into qualifying two on Saturday, Smith was then able to secure a top seven finish in wet conditions, which despite being apprehensive about he was able to finally feel confident in wet conditions.

PaddockChatter caught up with Smith before his home race:

Congratulations on resigning, was it important to get it out of the way before Silverstone?
"During the last couple of races it’s been quite a mental toll. At the end of the day this is my life and my dream so when you’re speaking so passionately about that, you feel drained. You’re pouring everything out there, it’s difficult to swallow certain emotions at certain points. So it’s nice to get that out of the way and to see the guys smiling. All the guys have said they’re dead excited about working another season with me next year, and it wasn't necessarily the same words they said last year so it’s nice to have that round as well as to have them happy to work with me, just as I’m happy to work with them."

30 August 2015

Moto3 & Moto2 round up – Silverstone: Kent win raises the roof, Zarco amazes in the rain

The British Grand Prix at Silverstone was granted some thoroughly British weather as the rain arrived during the opening race in Moto2 before lashing down to send sixteen riders in to the gravel in Moto3.

It was to be the championship leaders that would shine through the downpour, with Johann Zarco and Danny Kent adapting quickly to the challenges on track as their rivals faltered.

Race Reports


His only goal on the grid was to “finish the race” and Johann Zarco pulled it off in style adding to his impressive win tally and treating us to his now customary backflip for the fifth time this year.

As the changing conditions and a drying line shredded tyres it was Johann Zarco who used best his wet weather ability to pull out an impressive 3.36s gap aboard the Ajo Motorsport Kalex at the chequered flag, pulling out a huge 85 point title lead in the process.
Tyre trouble - Rins shows us what's left! Photo:PonsRacing

Early leader Alex Rins looked to have the race sewn up before the conditions gave everyone a headache and Zarco powered past his Paginas Amarillas HP 40 machine. He also needed to retake Rabat in the final few laps and had a last try at reeling in Zarco, but had left himself too much to do with too little time.

His big push occurred when Florian Alt flew past him and the rookie thought he had been pushed down to fourth, while in reality Alt was just un-lapping himself form his pit visit to change tyres.

Tito Rabat survived a late wobble and an attack from his EG 0,0 Marc VDS Team mate Alex Marquez for the final podium spot, with rookie Marquez fourth again equalling his best result in the class, which was previously achieved at just the last round in Brno.

Jonas Folger battled up to fifth for AGR Team, pole man Sam Lowes struggled after crashing in warm-up but rallied with the support of the home crowd to take sixth as the top Speed Up rider.

Ant West again brought his rain skills out to claim eighth from a 22nd place start for QMMF, narrowly beating Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Tom Luthi ( Derendinger Racing Interwetten) over the line leaving them ninth and tenth respectively.

MotoGP: Redding talks about his equal best home GP finish and Pramac Ducati move

It was announced this morning that Scott Redding has signed a one year deal with Pramac Ducati after a tough year with Marc VDS aboard the Honda and he equalled his best result of the season in-front of his home crowd at Silverstone.
Photo: PaddockChatter

Making it through into Q2, Redding was able to qualify in seventh position but got a slow start off the line in his first wet MotoGP race, down in 14th. Once the 22 year old was able to get his tyre to work with the bike he was able to get into a strong pace and work his way through the field.

Reaching his goal of a top seven finish Redding was happy with the weekend's result: "The pace was good all weekend, for a little bit of the race I was struggling to get into the rhythm and to get the tyre to work but after seven or eight laps I was able to get the electronics and traction control and I found a bit of rhythm to close on the guys in front of me. 

MotoGP Silverstone: Singing In The Rain

Valentino Rossi secured his first ever win at a rain soaked Silverstone ahead of Italian duo Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizoso, as Marquez crashed out and Lorenzo failed to make the podium.
Rossi took his first wet win in ten years
Photo: Yamaha MotoGP

The British Grand Prix took a dramatic turn as the rain began to fall as riders headed out on their warm up lap, and avoiding a 'Sachensing 2013' situation with all riders starting the race from Pit Lane, the race was red flagged and restarted.


As the riders lined up on wet tyres for the restarted race, Lorenzo got a strong start off the line and led the pack into the first corner as Marquez and Rossi were chasing from behind.

On just the second lap of 20 Jack Miller did the unthinkable and took out his team-mate Cal Crutchlow at his home race, which he has in turn been given a penalty point for. Crutchlow however entered the pits and rejoined the race as there were so many laps left on the clock.

29 August 2015

John McPhee talks MotoGP, luck and team-mates with PaddockChatter

John McPhee stunned everyone when securing a podium in Indianapolis, which may have been through luck but was a strong achievement in tricky weather conditions.
McPhee enjoyed success at Indianapolis
Photo: John McPhee

In his third full season in the Moto3 class, the young Scot has found in difficult to get a good pace aboard his Saxoprint RGP this season, securing some solid top ten finishes McPhee is hoping to be up and fighting for podiums but ultimately it seems to be down to getting luck on his side

Are you happy with how this year has gone?
"No I’m not really that happy with how its been going. But I am happy with my riding and the progress I’ve been making. I’ve been training harder than I ever have, I’ve been working harder with the bike and the team than I ever have, but we’ve not really got the results we’ve deserved. Obviously other than the podium at Indy which was a great feeling, and then last weekend in Brno we were really close to the front.