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April 2015

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The Team

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  • David Phillips
    Editor And Chief
    David Phillips is a long-time contributor to print and electronic publications in the U.S. and abroad, including Racer, Autosport, AutoWeek, Motor Sport and SPEEDtv.com, oversees the daily updating of news stories and assigns, edits and contributes feature material for inRacingNews.com.
  • Wil Vincent
    Contributing writer

    Wil is a 25 year old student, town planner, and sim racing commentator, most well known for his work as the lead commentator for GlacierTV. Wil got into commentating through his college student radio, where he also worked as a journalist and interviewer, covering gigs and festivals within the UK, and joined GlacierTV in February 2012, becoming lead commentator a month later. His work culminated in him commentating on the 2013 iRacing.com World Championship Grand Prix Series, iRacing Indy 500, and iRacing All Star Race. When he gets in the virtual cockpit, you'll normally see will taking on the thrill of IndyCar Oval racing, or trying his hand in GT action

    Outside of iRacing, Wil's an avid IndyCar fan, having watched the sport since the late 1990s, and always looks forward to the Month of May. He also enjoys watching NASCAR, Formula 1, and V8 Supercars.

  • Jeff Jacobs
    Contributor

    Jeff Jacobs started autocrossing with the SCCA in 1990 while a student at the University of Florida. He has competed in the SCCA's National Tour and ProSolo series since 1995, winning a ProSolo National Championship in H-Stock in 2011 driving a 2010 MINI Cooper. Jeff completed his SCCA Club Racing drivers' school in 2012 at Roebling Road in a Spec Miata. He currently writes a column for the SCCA's Northeast Division in SportsCar Magazine and is the Region Executive of the Philadelphia Region SCCA.

    Jeff joined iRacing in October 2012. After starting with the MX-5 and SRF cars, he has been concentrating on the Ford Mustang FR500S, competing in the iRacing.com Mustang Cup series and the Continental Endurance Sports Car Series.

  • Cam Stark
    contributing writer

    I began taking sim racing seriously about a year ago, but have loved motorsports from a young age. I began following Formula One first, then realized there are a huge variety of motorsports to watch. iRacing has opened my eyes even more to the diversity and volume of “real world” motorsports, let alone on the sim itself. With the huge varieties of series to choose from, you're spoiled for choice!

    Ever since I began iRacing, I wanted to improve on my ability, be it road or oval. Having not really heard about oval racing prior to November last year (blame the UK press), my mentality towards it has totally changed from what it would have initially been - it's awesome! I recently began road racing again - in the Star Mazda - and have been having a blast ever since. On top of racing the series I have the privilege of writing the articles for iRacing News.

    In all honesty I have surprised myself on iRacing. From being a fairly casual gamer/racer, it's been a world of difference, but it has far exceeded my expectations. I had a very brief stint driving in rFactor leagues, but I found my place of sim racing on this service, and I can't see myself stopping anytime soon.

  • Justin Sutton
    series contributor

    Justin is 29 and lives in Texas with his girlfriend and three dogs. Although always a fan of road racing growing up, Sutton never got the chance to participate in Sim-Racing until 2012 and didn't join iRacing until 2013. The son of a writer, and former resident of Connecticut and Philadelphia, his interests vary. Currently Sutton is a co-owner of YouTube channel focused on racing games and simulators and more specifically Formula One along with his partner Mikko from Finland (BoxBoxBoxGaming). Currently Sutton writes the Skip Barber F2000 and Lotus 49 articles (and the occasional F1 article) for iRacing News, and doesn't get nearly enough time to race the cars he writes about.

    Gaming is a big part of Sutton's life as well as he is both viewer and broadcaster on Twitch along with his girlfriend of seven years. In addition to being an aspiring writer he is a skilled speaker with a focus on commentary of races and hopes one day to do commentary for road racing of some kind.

  • Matt Holden
    Contributor

    Matt Holden began his involvement in motorsports at an early age, moving to Charlotte, NC when he was 6 months old. Growing up next door to a NASCAR TV personality, racing has always been a major part of his life. Currently studying Mechanical Engineering at UNC Charlotte, Matt works for US Legend Cars International as a technical inspector and race official at local tracks such as Charlotte Motor Speedway and Concord Speedway. Within iRacing, Matt is the Crew Chief for Gale Force Racing's #05 car in the NASCAR Peak Antifreeze Series, as well as Chassis Engineer for the team's R&D program.

  • Paul Slavonik
    iRacingNews Series Writer

    For all intents and purposes, Paul Slavonik was a late-bloomer to racing. Growing up watching NASCAR drivers such as Davey Allison and Earnhardt Sr. was the furthest extent of Paul’s racing aspirations at the time. Fast forwarding 20 years, Paul began watching the UK show Top Gear and thus ensued a fascination with all things fast. Soon after, Paul stumbled upon iRacing.com and has been hooked on racing ever since.
    A United States Army Veteran, Certified Audio Engineer and aspiring author, Paul spends his time hanging out with his wife and working on his first book. Currently residing in Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), TX, his favorite racing series is the Australian V8 Supercars (go FPR!) and he has recently joined a local ChumpCar racing team. Paul began writing news stories for iRacingNews in January of 2014 and currently covers the GT3 Challenge Series and the V8 Supercars Series.

  • Thiago Izequiel
    Contributor

    Born in 1985 in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Thiago Izequiel is a graphic and web designer, go kart racer, aiming to get a career in motorsports. He started racing in 2007 and joined iRacing in 2010. Thiago lives in Maricá, a little town located in Rio de Janeiro state, around 60km far away from Rio de Janeiro city. In 2014 he started to write for iRacing News and also started to design layouts for racing cars.

    Working as a freelancer today, he started working as a designer in 2006. After a few years working in web design agencies, Thiago decided to follow his dreams and quit his job to work with a racing driver named Suzane Carvalho in 2011, on her driver's school. Things didn't worked out as expected and Thiago, after getting jobs as a front-end developer and social media content developer, went back to the dream path as a freelancer so he could have more time to focus on his driving career.

  • David Moulthrop
    NASCAR Contributor

    David Moulthrop is an award winning motorsports photo journalist and has covered auto racing since the mid-seventies. While he is most well known for his NASCARimages he has also covered F1, American Road Racing, and IndyCar on a regular basis. He has been published in numerous magazines, newspapers and online news sites including, National Speed Sport News, Area Auto Racing News, Auto Racing USA, Stock Car Magazine, Sprint Cup Dateline, and Jayski. David joined the iRacing team in 2004 as a contract photographer and became iRacing's Laser Scan Project Manager in 2005.

  • Jack Davidson
    Staff Videographer

    Jack is a recent grad from Boston University with a passion for filmmaking as well as racing. He grew up playing games such as the Need For Speed series, Gran Turismo, and more recently, the GRID and DIRT franchises.

  • Jason Lofing
    iRacing.com Series Writer
    Jason is 21 years old and was born and raised in Elk Grove. California. A big time NASCAR fan, he hasn’t missed a race on Sunday in years. Lofing is also a huge San Fransisco Giants fan and tries to take in at least a couple games a year. Other than sim racing, his biggest (and far more expensive!) hobby is photography. Although he is rather new to sim racing, Lofing has already accomplished some pretty impressive results, qualifying for the 2011 iRacing Oval Pro Series in Season 1, 2011, winning the inaugural Landon Cassill Qualifying Challenge and finishing runner-up in the second one.
  • Katier Scott
    Contributing Writer
    I am a veteran sim racer who first started racing way back in 1993 on the SPRTSIMS section of Compuserve with a league who can trace themselves all the way to the present. Within that league I act as Chief Steward and try to bring the unique viewpoint that this experience gives me into my articles.
    I have a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Editorial design and have been writing for seven years and currently cover the Lotus 79 CTC and Radical series alongside my freelance work. Living in the UK, as well as motorsports I love Photography, Arts and Crafts and reading.
  • David Ifeguni
    Contributing Writer
    I was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1988 and moved to Midland, Michigan when I was two years old. I stayed there until third grade when I moved to Farmington Hills, Michigan and now I currently live in Naperville, IL where I'm attending Metea Valley High School as a 9th grader. In the past, I have participated in soccer and this year I plan on joining swimming or water polo. My family includes my 15 year old sister, a 7 year old sister and my mom and dad. I have been writing since 6th grade and have participated in many writing contests in my school and have received several awards for writing.
    My fascination for motorsports began when I was nine. The first NASCAR race I watched on TV was the 2009 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, won by Kasey Kahne. My favorite NASCAR drivers are Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Jimmie Johnson. I have watched all the races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series since 2010. I currently have three wins on iRacing, two of them in the Nationwide car at Daytona and one in the Street stocks at Charlotte. My favorite car and type of track on iRacing is the Nationwide Series (B Class) car and superspeedways.

MotoGP finalises 2016 engine rules

April 3rd, 2015

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MotoGP has finalised engine and software rules for its 2016 regulation change, with an increase to seven engines per season but development frozen and concessions for struggling teams adjusted. After several years of a split between Factory and Open (formerly CRT) rules, the field will be unified when a control ECU is introduced from next season. Motorcycle racing’s governing body, the FIM, announced that the spec electronics will be based on the version used in the Open class at present. Should Ducati, Honda and Yamaha all agree unanimously on a change to the ECU between July this year and the end of 2016, the FIM will permit it provided the manufacturers bear the cost. Conversely any changes to the ECU requested by the organisers cannot take place without unanimous agreement [...]

Pedrosa tries further arm surgery

April 2nd, 2015

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Honda rider Dani Pedrosa will miss at least the next two MotoGP races in America and Argentina after electing to undergo further surgery on his troubled right forearm. The Spaniard revealed the return of pump issues that were causing significant pain after finishing sixth in the season opener in Qatar last Sunday, but said that doctors had advised against another operation following surgery last May. However, after Pedrosa met specialists in Madrid and Barcelona in recent days, Honda has now confirmed he will go under the knife again on Friday morning in Madrid. With a recovery period of four to six weeks, Pedrosa will definitely miss the next two races at Austin and Termas de Rio Hondo. A timeframe for the 29-year-old’s return beyond that has not been set, with [...]

More to come from Ducati, says Dovizioso

April 1st, 2015

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Andrea Dovizioso says Ducati still has a huge amount to learn about and extract from its 2015 MotoGP bike, which came close to victory in the Qatar Grand Prix. Whereas Honda and Yamaha’s evolutionary 2015 machines hit the track for initial tests last summer, Ducati’s GP15 did not begin running until February this year, as the team fundamentally reorganised its MotoGP programme following four barren years. Despite that lack of running, the Ducati set the pace in the final pre-season test at Losail and then took both Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone to the podium in last weekend’s season-opener, with Valentino Rossi only beating Dovizioso by a tenth of a second. “We don’t have to forget that the bike is really new for us, so to finish one tenth behind the [...]

Qatar battle one of my best – Rossi

March 30th, 2015

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Valentino Rossi says his last-lap Qatar Grand Prix battle with Andrea Dovizioso was among the greatest of his MotoGP career. Seven-time champion Rossi overcame Dovizioso’s Ducati by a tenth of a second at Losail on Sunday night, inching out enough of an advantage on the infield on the last lap to fend off the Ducati’s straightline speed advantage on the run to the flag. “I put this battle at the top of my career,” said Rossi. “Dovi rode in a very clever way, but he was also very strong. “He knew that he could win so he gave the maximum. He was aggressive. “I think the best moment was braking for Turn 1, Dovi overtook me from outside, he went wide, he came back, but he stayed on the inside [...]

Helmet issue hampered Lorenzo

March 29th, 2015

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Jorge Lorenzo has revealed that a problem with his helmet cost him a shot at victory in MotoGP’s season-opening Qatar Grand Prix. The race was eventually won by Lorenzo’s Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi. But for most of the distance Lorenzo had been the team’s main victory threat, as he battled with the Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso and led 15 of the 22 laps. Lorenzo lost pace in the closing stages and fell back to fourth behind Andrea Iannone on the second Ducati, and said that slump was because a helmet issue left him struggling to see. “I was feeling better and better, but suddenly there was something wrong when in the top part of the helmet the foam came loose and came down so I lost half of my vision,” [...]

Arm problem could force Pedrosa out

March 29th, 2015

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Dani Pedrosa may be forced to halt his MotoGP career due to an inoperable arm condition. The Honda rider announced after struggling to fifth in the 2015 season-opening Qatar Grand Prix that he had suffered severe discomfort in his right forearm. He said the problem had occurred consistently through 2014 as well, even after an operation to attempt to cure the arm-pump condition following last year’s Spanish GP. “Tonight’s race didn’t go to plan and unfortunately, I had serious problems with my right forearm which isn’t good news for me,” he said. “I worked very hard over the winter in order to find a solution, because I was suffering in every race last season.” Pedrosa said he had been advised not to have any further surgery, so was now at [...]

Rossi wins thrilling MotoGP opener

March 29th, 2015

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Valentino Rossi won MotoGP’s Qatar Grand Prix season-opener after an astounding Yamaha versus Ducati battle, while Marc Marquez was only fifth. Rossi made it over the line just 0.174 seconds ahead of Andrea Dovizioso, denying Ducati its first MotoGP win since October 2010 by a tiny margin at the end of a race-long battle that also involved their pair’s team-mates Andrea Iannone and Jorge Lorenzo. Marquez produced a superb comeback ride having gone off the road and fallen to 25th and last at the first corner of the race, but once through the pack he lacked the pace to catch the top four. Lorenzo was Yamaha’s top man for most of the night. He made an assertive start and then elbowed Dovizioso aside further round the opening lap. As Lorenzo [...]

Dovizioso puts Ducati on Qatar pole

March 28th, 2015

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Andrea Dovizioso underlined Ducati’s MotoGP resurgence by claiming pole position for the Qatar Grand Prix season opener ahead of Honda’s Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez. The combination of Ducati’s winter improvement plus the team’s continued dispensation to use softer tyres in qualifying always made a Dovizioso or Andrea Iannone pole at Losail likely. But in the early stages of final qualifying they trailed the Hondas, as Pedrosa – after a quiet winter and practice – surprised the paddock by pipping team-mate Marquez for provisional pole by 0.013 seconds. Pedrosa then found another tenth to stretch his advantage, while Marquez never did manage to improve on his initial 1m54.437s. Ducati had more to come, though, and on his final lap Dovizioso produced a 1m54.113s to beat Pedrosa by 0.217s. KEVIN SCHWANTZ [...]

Marquez denies Crutchlow in practice

March 27th, 2015

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Marc Marquez edged out Cal Crutchlow by just 0.096 seconds to continue his unbeaten run in Qatar Grand Prix MotoGP practice sessions. Having already been fastest in practice one and two on his Honda, Marquez spent much of Friday’s second session on race preparation, as his 1m54.828s from the previous practice remained unbeaten. But in the closing minutes Marquez still found another 0.002s to ensure he took practice three honours with a 1m54.822s as well. Prior to Marquez’s lap, Crutchlow had looked set to top the session on his first race weekend with LCR Honda. He moved ahead of previous pacesetter Andrea Iannone – his Ducati replacement – late in the session after the Italian had been spent a long spell in front. Iannone was unable to respond as he [...]

Marquez fastest again in practice

March 27th, 2015

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Marc Marquez continued to dominate the early running in Qatar’s MotoGP season opener, topping the second free practice session by nearly half a second. After leading the way in Thursday’s opening 45-minute session, the two-time champion set his 1m54.828s on the second lap of his first run, and lapped consistently in the 1m55s bracket for the remainder. Marquez was the only rider to dip below 1m55s, with Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa again his closest challenger, albeit 0.447 seconds in arrears. Behind Pedrosa, the same margin covered six riders. Only seventh on Thursday after setting the pre-season testing pace, Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso was third-fastest. Cal Crutchlow was among the late improvers, jumping up to fourth on his LCR Honda in the closing minutes, while Dovizioso’s new team-mate Andrea Iannone also made [...]

Stoner to return to racing for Suzuka

March 27th, 2015

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Two-time MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner will make a comeback to racing at this year’s Suzuka 8 Hours in July. Stoner stunned the MotoGP paddock by retiring at the end of the 2012 season, aged 27. He later became part of Honda’s test roster, and will team up with World Superbike rider Michael van der Mark and fellow Honda tester Takumi Takahashi aboard a CBR1000RR at Suzuka. Stoner, who won the MotoGP title in 2007 and ’11, tested the bike at Sepang back in January. “After riding the bike in Sepang a few months ago, I’ve been speaking closely with Honda about the possibility to take part in Suzuka,” said Stoner. “It’s always been an event I wanted to do and something I was never able to consider when I [...]

Marquez tops first Qatar practice

March 26th, 2015

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Two-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez started the 2015 season as he finished 2014, topping the first practice session of the new campaign in Qatar. Marquez’s Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa led the way in the early stages of the 45-minute session, before the Spaniard took control during his second run, with just under half an hour remaining. In an incident-free session, Marquez’s 1m55.281s lap was ultimately 0.076 seconds clear of Pedrosa. In Suzuki’s MotoGP return, Aleix Espargaro made an impression with the third-fastest time, 1m55.685s, set in the dying minutes. Team-mate Maverick Vinales was 17th and the best of the three rookies in the field. Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo was fourth while Cal Crutchlow finished ahead of the Ducatis in his first race weekend session since switching to LCR Honda. A week [...]

Crutchlow wants momentum back

March 25th, 2015

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Cal Crutchlow is looking to regain the momentum his MotoGP career lost during an injury-disrupted season with Ducati, following his 2015 switch to LCR Honda. The Brit finished fifth in the 2013 standings on a Tech 3 Yamaha, claiming two pole positions and four podiums, but a crash during 2014′s second round at Austin marred the remainder of his campaign. With an injured hand, he missed the next race at Termas de Rio Hondo and eventually scored a single podium at Aragon on his way to 13th in the points, eight places behind team-mate Andrea Dovizioso. After agreeing to terminate his two-year deal early, he has moved to the satellite Honda outfit. “Of course, but that isn’t down to the team or the bike that I was riding,” Crutchlow told [...]

Redding sets podium target for 2015

March 24th, 2015

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British youngster Scott Redding has set his sights on claiming a MotoGP podium during his first season on a factory specification bike. A race winner in 125cc and Moto2, the 22-year-old stepped up to the premier division in 2014 aboard a Gresini-run Open-class Honda, finishing 12th in the standings with a pair of sevenths his best results. In 2015, gets a factory bike, as Marc VDS takes over the fourth works-specification Honda previously fielded by Gresini. “2014 was a bit of an annoying season for me, because I was told that it was a bike that was going to be capable of good results, but then we got the bike and it wasn’t what they said it was,” Redding told AUTOSPORT. “We didn’t have an opportunity to fight at the [...]

Dovizioso: Ducati better than Stoner’s

March 23rd, 2015

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Ducati’s 2015 MotoGP bike is “stronger and more competitive” than the machines with which Casey Stoner won 23 grands prix and a championship between 2007 and ’10, reckons Andrea Dovizioso. Although Ducati’s win-less streak now stretches back to Stoner’s 2010 Australian GP triumph, the restructured team topped the final pre-season test in Qatar last week with Dovizioso and team-mate Andrea Iannone. Asked by Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport how the revitalised Ducati compared to Stoner’s era, Dovizioso replied: “I believe nowadays we are stronger and more competitive. “Back then Casey would dominate, but it was mostly down to himself making the difference, as in fact the second Ducati was nowhere near. That means the bike wasn’t so competitive. “Now, instead, the GP15 is competitive, it’s basically normal and it works. [...]

Bridgestone reveals new tyre markings

March 19th, 2015

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Bridgestone has outlined its full selection of slick tyre markings for the 2015 MotoGP season, following the introduction of two new variants. Sporting a single yellow stripe, a new extra-hard compound rear tyre will make its debut in round three of the championship in Argentina, catering for the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit’s abrasive nature. The asymmetric front slick first used late last year returns following further development, and will feature a light blue stripe when it appears at selected rounds. The remaining four slick compounds – extra-soft (green), soft (white), medium (no stripe) and hard (red) – retain their 2014 markings, while the softer of the two wet tyre compounds will again have a white stripe. “The coloured tyre marking scheme we implemented last year was designed to make [...]

Final day of MotoGP test rained off

March 16th, 2015

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The final day of MotoGP pre-season testing in Qatar was called-off due to rain at the Losail circuit on Monday. Organisers initially delayed the start of the day’s running in the hope that the weather would clear, but the test was eventually abandoned without anyone turning a lap due to the conditions. It was not deemed safe for the MotoGP field to complete any running in the rain due to the glare that would be caused by the floodlights at the track, which has always hosted night races in the series. Ducati caught the eye by topping the first two days of the test with its new GP15 bike, and its general manager Luigi Dall’Igna said the team was disappointed to miss out on the final day of running. Day [...]

Dovizioso keeps Ducati on top in Qatar

March 15th, 2015

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Andrea Dovizioso fended off Marc Marquez to keep Ducati on top for a second day of MotoGP testing in Qatar. In a repeat of Saturday’s session, Ducati team-mates Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone and Honda man Marquez swapped the top spot between themselves through the evening, as again most riders waited until darkness to take to the Losail track. Dovizioso emerged in front with a 1m54.907s, beating Casey Stoner’s 2008 lap record. He was 0.184 seconds faster than Marquez, with Iannone just 0.013s further back. Ducati fitted more upgrades to its still-developing GP15 for Sunday, with a new exhaust and a return to the winglet concept on its fairing that it last used in 2010. Yamaha was closer to the pace after an unhappy Saturday, as Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi [...]

Iannone leads Ducati one-two in test

March 14th, 2015

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Andrea Iannone led a Ducati one-two on the first day of the final 2015 pre-season MotoGP test in Qatar. On a very encouraging day for Ducati at Losail, Andrea Dovizioso and Iannone established themselves up front early on as most waited until night fell to undertake concerted running. World champion Marc Marquez put his Honda ahead for a spell, but then a 1m55.265s from Iannone on the new GP15 re-established Ducati’s advantage. Dovizioso moved up to second shortly afterwards, 0.098 seconds off his team-mate and 0.191s ahead of Marquez’s Honda. Suzuki also showed excellent form, as Aleix Espargaro went fourth fastest for the returning team. His team-mate Maverick Vinales crashed both his main and spare bikes during the day. He was unhurt and ended up 11th. With Dani Pedrosa moving [...]

Circuit of Wales inquiry begins

March 10th, 2015

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A public inquiry into the planned £325million Circuit of Wales development, which will determine the future of the proposed British MotoGP venue, has begun. The 10-day inquiry will assess the project’s request last September to deregister 250 hectares of common land in south Wales, where the circuit and additional facilities would be built. It will end on May 20, with the planning inspector then due to make his recommendation to senior government ministers. A final decision on the application is not expected until June, though it could take until September, and development cannot take place unless it is approved. Supporters of the Circuit of Wales gathered outside Blaenau Gwent council offices earlier on Tuesday, and Heads of the Valleys Development Company chief executive Michael Carrick reiterated his confidence in the [...]