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More than ten different nationalities set to contest seven rounds across four countries in the new Northern Talent Cup Wednesday, 15 January 2020 Both the list of selected riders and the calendar for the inaugural season of the Northern Talent Cup have now been confirmed, with the NTC set to visit four countries in a seven-round 2020 season. 24 competitors, both male and female, will represent 11 countries in the first year of the new Cup, with more than 15 teams set to make up the grid.

A pre-season test at Oschersleben in Germany is the first track action of the year in early April, before Round 1 takes places two weeks later at the iconic TT Circuit Assen as the NTC race alongside the Dutch round of WorldSBK. In May, Round 2 takes the Cup to Austria as they race the Red Bull Ring with the IDM, and in June there are two rounds, both in Germany: first up it’s Speedweek at Oschersleben from the 4th to 6th of June, before the NTC compete alongside MotoGP™ for the first time as part of the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring.

After summer break, the NTC is back with a bang at Brno as the Cup once again races alongside MotoGP™, this time in Czechia, before Rounds 6 and 7 see the Cup round out the season alongside the IDM back in Germany. The Lausitzring hosts the penultimate round from the 11th to 13th September, before the season finale sees the NTC take on classic Hockenheim from the 25th to 27th September.

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Rea, Krummenacher and Gonzalez attended the prize-giving ceremony in Monaco with motorcycling’s best of 2019

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) collected his medal on stage presented and awarded by motorcycling legend and two-time WorldSBK World Champion Max Biaggi
The Principality of Monaco was the setting of this year’s prestigious FIM Awards ceremony with the beautiful Sporting Monte-Carlo venue and its breathtaking views on Europe’s most famous bay having the honour to host almost six hundred guests including motorcycling legends, manufacturers and team representatives, various members of the FIM, championship promoters, representatives of the national federations and, of course, the 2019 FIM World Championships.

After another record-breaking season, that saw him become the most successful rider in WorldSBK, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) collected his fifth consecutive medal in front of the world’s motorcycling elite. Alongside Rea, on the red carpet and then on stage to receive his medal was 2019 World Supersport World Champion Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team).

Following a full year of battles, Krummenacher took the honour at the final round of the 2019 season in Qatar entering the history books as the first-ever Swiss champion in WorldSSP.  It was a history-making 2019 also for Spanish rider Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) that became the youngest World Champion in history after clinching the 2019 World Supersport 300 World Title. Gonzalez also attended the awards with Rea and Krummenacher to collect his medal in front of the world’s best.

The three WorldSBK World Champions were awarded and presented by motorcycling legend and two-time World Superbike World Champion Max Biaggi. Amongst others present were Moto2™ World Champion Alex Marquez, who also took his second world title and Moto3™ World Champion Lorenzo Dalla Porta. 

After the final toast, thoughts are now turning to 2020, as WorldSBK will welcome plenty of new faces, illustrious returns and the reigning World Champions heading into the new season with the pressure to defend their crowns.

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) stands proud with his fifth medal after clinching a record-breaking fifth consecutive WorldSBK title in 2019
L-R: Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan. Bros WorldSSP Team), first-ever Swiss WorldSSP World Champion. Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team), 2019 WorldSSP300 World Champion, the youngest World Champion in history 
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Wednesday, 04 December 2019
MotoGP™ is more than horsepower, overtakes and some of the closest racing on Earth. It’s more than machine. And now, fans can see behind the visor of the men who wrestle those machines around some of the world’s greatest racetracks to see what life is really like behind the scenes. Off The Racing Line is a whole new documentary series showcasing the human side of the world’s fastest motorcycle racing Championship, and the first episode is available now.

On track, MotoGP™ is covered from every angle. But what about off track? Home life, training, their journey to the top…Off The Racing Line lets you get to know the riders as you’ve never seen them before. Miguel Oliveira is the focus of the first 20-minute episode of the documentary as we head for Almada, Portugal, where his journey to the pinnacle of motorcycle racing began.

Nearly two decades since Oliveira’s father, Paulo, first bought the now-Red Bull KTM Tech 3 MotoGP™ rider his first motorcycle, we speak to Miguel, Paulo and his family in-depth about the 12-time Grand Prix race winner’s career so far. And Oliveira isn’t just your typical MotoGP™ rider, as we learn more about how he’s learning to become a dentist, in addition to the Oliveira Cup that he and his father have set up to try and help other young Portuguese riders to follow in the footsteps of their most successful two-wheeled export so far.
Off The Racing Line will visit Jack Miller for Episode 2. Stay tuned for that and in future as we get to know more riders behind the visor as the series goes on!

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he reigning five-time WorldSBK Champion fended off a resurgent Loris Baz, who is back at the front of WorldSBK
The 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is edging ever-closer as the final test of 2019 is all done and dusted. New motorcycles, team changes and rookie and returning riders made headlines across the two days at the Circuito de Jerez, which took place in more-or-less untroubled conditions. Despite a handful of red flags, it was Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) who topped the timesheets, whilst closely behind were Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha) and Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK).

Having just been pipped for top slot at lunch time, the KRT squad were back on top come the end of the test, as Jonathan Rea was the first rider into the 1’38s. The time, which is under Alvaro Bautista’s race lap record from last year, slotted him nicely at the top whilst teammate Alex Lowes completed day two of the test in fourth place. Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) enjoyed a successful comeback to WorldSBK and finished just outside the top ten in 11th, as he continued to become more accustomed to the bike. Aboard the Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki, Lorenzo Savadori finished 15th and began to get used to Showa suspension.

Yamaha were once again leading the charge to Kawasaki, although this time it was Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha) who was second. The Frenchman bolted up to the top just after lunch but was pegged back by the reigning five-time WorldSBK Champion. Eager to improve the feeling on fresh rubber whilst the bike works a treat on old tyres, Baz is back at the forefront of WorldSBK.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team) suffered a mechanical problem which resulted in an oil leak and subsequent crash at Turn 1, bring out the red flags. Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) and Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) also crashed on oil. Van der Mark finished in third overall, just 0.007 from Baz. Having been inside the top four for most of the day, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team) finished seventh, refining his feeling with Ohlins suspension, as he’d not used it before. On the 2020 R1, Niccolò Canepa was eighth. GRT Yamaha’s top rider was Federico Caricasulo in 13th, whilst Garrett Gerloff was 14th.

WorldSBK rookie Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) was the leading Ducati Panigale V4 R rider in fifth, as the British rider continued his understanding of the team and bike in WorldSBK-spec. Redding has pleased the entire team at ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati with his quick adaptation, adding to the positive mood inside the box. The focus for the team on a whole was the balance of the bike and to try some new parts on the rear end. For Chaz Davies, the Welshman finished in ninth and was over 1.5s behind Jonathan Rea. BARNI Ducati’s Michele Pirro was in 12th place.

The best of the BMWs was once again Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), as the British rider continued his progress and used all of his famed development skills in order to get the bike to his liking. The 2013 WorldSBK Champion leapt up to sixth in the final ten minutes of action, making it three British riders inside the top five. New teammate and former WorldSBK title rival Eugene Laverty was quietly going about his business, as he finished in tenth place on his return to the Shaun Muir Racing fold.

The next test for the WorldSBK circus will take place back at the Jerez circuit before moving immediately on to Portimao, from the 21st to the 26th January. Until then, riders and team personnel will be looking forward to relaxing over the festive periods! WorldSBK Jerez Test Day Two Unofficial Times:

1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’38.397 – 61 laps
2. Loris Baz (Ten Kate – Yamaha) 1’39.280 (+0.883) – 83 laps
3. Michael van Der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team) 1’39.287 (+0.890) – 79 laps
4. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’39.400 (+1.003) – 79 laps
5. Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) 1’39.466 (+1.069) – 70 laps
6. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 1’39.587 (+1.190) – 65 laps
7. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team) 1’39.634 (+1.237) – 72 laps
8. Niccolò Canepa (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team) 1’39.967 (+1.570) – 57 laps
9. Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) 1’40.000 (+1.603) – 77 laps
10. Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team 1’40.328 (+1.931) – 65 laps

Tekst WorldSBK press office.
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After the first test of the 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, riders and teams head south from Aragon and take to the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto for more testing on the 28th and 29th November. With keen rookies, numerous Champions and some teams turning a first wheel ahead of the 2020 season, the Jerez test has much importance before the next WorldSBK campaign even begins.

Having topped the testing timesheets from MotorLand Aragon, the ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati pairing of rookie Scott Redding and 2011 WorldSSP Champion Chaz Davies will look to repeat that feat at Jerez. Dialling in initial settings and getting comfortable with the bike, Scott Redding will look to continue his successful transition to WorldSBK at a track he knows well. On the other side of the garage, Davies will be eager to continue working on brake and riding positions in the forthcoming outing.

Over at the Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK set-up, Jonathan Rea had a strong opening day at Aragon before opting not to venture out on the second day. Ready to get back on track and begin his WorldSBK title defence in 2020, the reigning five-time WorldSBK Champion will aim to carry on perfecting and refining his set-up. New teammate for 2020 Alex Lowes will be back in Kawasaki colours and build on his first feelings from MotorLand Aragon, where he finished third on the final day.

With an international line-up at the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team, Jerez gives them another opportunity to make important steps ahead of 2020. At the end of play at Aragon, it was new-kid Toprak Razgatlioglu who was on top and the Turkish-ace will seek the continuation of what has been a positive change to Yamaha machinery. Over in the Dutch corner, Michael van der Mark will want to tame his teammate and get back ahead at Jerez, whilst both riders will be making their debut on the 2020 YZF R1 Yamaha.

Absent from the Aragon test, the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto venue will provide the first glimpse of the 2020 BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team, with Tom Sykes retained alongside newcomer Eugene Laverty. 2013 WorldSBK Champion Sykes had strong performances in 2019, consisting of four podiums and a pole position and will look to consolidate his front-running pace at Jerez. Eugene Laverty joins his third manufacturer in as many years and will look to utilise his versatility to find a good base setting from the off in 2020.

The fastest Independent team at Aragon was the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team squad and they’ll look to be in the hunt at Jerez too. Despite never raced in Europe before, Garrett Gerloff finished ahead of his teammate at Aragon and will look to continue getting accustomed to Pirelli rubber, working on the exit of corners at a brand-new circuit. Federico Caricasulo was victorious at Jerez in WorldSSP in 2019 and has good memories of the circuit. Aiming to get back ahead of his teammate, Caricasulo will look to enhance his feeling with the Yamaha.

Other Independent teams joining the field at Jerez include the BARNI Racing Team with Michele Pirro, and not Leon Camier. Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha will feature Loris Baz as the Frenchman will turn a first wheel of 2020. Kawasaki Puccetti Racing will also return to action with Spanish rider, Xavi Fores, who makes his comeback to WorldSBK in 2020. Team Pedercini Racing will also return, with Jordi Torres and Lorenzo Savadori set to complete their first tests for 2020.

Puccetti Kawasaki also headline a raft of WorldSSP teams in action. They’ll be back on track after a recent Valencia test with WorldSSP rookie Philipp Öettl, whilst reigning WorldSSP Champion Randy Krummenacher (MV AGUSTA Reparto Corse) makes his debut for MV Agusta. Despite having a WorldSBK presence, Pedercini won’t be testing in WorldSSP.  

Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) makes his WorldSSP debut, whilst Kallio Racing are on track with Isaac Viñales and new signing, Hannes Soomer; Toth by RPM84 Yamaha are also at Jerez with Loris Cresson. The all-new Turkish Racing Team get their first taste of WorldSSP track time with Can Öncü, along with the EAB Ten Kate Racing Team of Steven Odendaal.

On top of all of that, Ana Carrasco will get to ride Jonathan Rea’s ZX-10 RR that she was due to ride at Aragon before conditions deteriorated.
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Marquez crashes after shadowing the Frenchman in Q2, Yamaha lock out the front row

Saturday, 02 November 2019
Fabio Quartararo took a sensational home GP pole position for Petronas Yamaha SRT in a hugely dramatic Q2 at the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix; a stunning 1:58.303 meaning he saw off fellow Yamaha riders Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) in the fight for the top. Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez crashed out from following the Frenchman, and he’ll start P11.

A frantic session started with Marquez backing out of his first flying lap, and soon after the 2019 World Champion was locked on to Quartararo. The rookie kept his head down on his first lap to take provisional pole, however, before Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) then took over at the summit in Q2.

Quartararo remained unfazed though, firing in a stunner as Marquez quickly lost touch. The Hondas of Marquez and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) were unable to do anything about the flying Frenchman, but Viñales was the next to take up the challenge and he managed to edge him out by just 0.087.

And then came the drama. As Quartararo headed out for his second run, Marquez rumbled out of pitlane right next to the Yamaha and shadowed him around Sepang, intent on remaining latched onto the rear of the fastest man on Friday. But would Quartararo ruin his next lap in order to not drag the World Champion round? The answer was no, and as the number 20 fired his Yamaha out of the final corner and down the straight, it was go time.

Despatching Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) to latch back onto Quartararo, Marquez made Turn 1 in hot pursuit before it all went wrong soon after. Pushing to stay with the rookie, the reigning Champion then suddenly suffered a highside and tumbled off in to the gravel at Turn 2 as Quartararo continued his final charge.

At the time of the crash, Marquez was fifth. As the red and yellow sectors lit up the timing screens for the rest, that started to look in doubt. And sure enough, it would all shuffle again. Quartararo was pulling out the tenths; 0.2 under halfway around the lap, 0.3 under at the third split…but would he hold on? A slight twitch at the final corner threatened to spoil a phenomenal lap but, although losing time, Quartararo took the chequered flag to take an immense fifth pole of 2019 and his sixth consecutive front row start.

Viñales and Morbidelli make it a Yamaha front row lockout in Malaysia in second and third, with a Ducati, Honda and Yamaha making up the second row: Jack Miller (Pramac Racing), Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP). Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) spearheads Row 3 in P7 ahead of Petrucci, with LCR Honda Idemitsu’s Johann Zarco having a sterling ride in Q2 to grab his best dry qualifying of the year in P9 – the second best Honda on the grid.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) took P10 in the end and pipped the man he’s fought for the title for the last three years to the honour, with Marquez’ crash proving even more costly than it initially seemed and the number 93 down in P11 in his worst qualifying since Mugello 2015. Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) took P12 to start alongside him.

Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) and Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) complete the top fifteen.

The Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix was already set up to impress, but a tale of two halves for Marquez and a few of his biggest rivals mean Sunday is really poised for a showdown. Who can take the heat? Find out at 15:00 (GMT +8) as the lights go out for the premier class.
Tekst Motor GP
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