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March 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, oversees the daily updating of news stories and assigns, edits and contributes feature material for
  • 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 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

    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 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

    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 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

    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.

  • 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 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.

Marquez sets record Sepang test pace

February 6th, 2015

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Honda’s Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa finished the first three-day MotoGP test of the new season comfortably on top of the timesheets. Marquez made the most of cooler temperatures during the morning session at Sepang, the reigning world champion laying down a record-setting 1m58.867s on the eighth of his 52 laps, before completing a 20-lap race simulation in the afternoon session. “The truth is that when I saw the time I was surprised, just like everyone else,” said Marquez. “In any case, I must say that today the track was fast, as we all rode faster than before. “I’m glad I was able to set a good lap, but more important is the fact that I felt very comfortable, right from the start.” Pedrosa also set his best time during [...]

Lorenzo tops second day for Yamaha

February 5th, 2015

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Jorge Lorenzo edged out Andrea Dovizioso’s Ducati to put Yamaha on top on the second day of 2015 pre-season MotoGP testing at Sepang. Yamaha had been fastest for much of the opening day before being upstaged by Marc Marquez’s Honda. But on Thursday Lorenzo put in a lap of 1m59.963s around the Malaysian Grand Prix venue late in the morning to pip Dovizioso by 0.052 seconds. Dovizioso was still thrilled with the pace and Ducati’s long-run performance, especially as the team’s definitive 2015 bike is still yet to appear. World champion Marquez had to settle for third place, 0.183s off Lorenzo. He also had a minor fall at Turn 7 in the closing minutes. Honda had brought a wide variety of chassis configurations – including both 2014 and ’15 bikes [...]

Marquez pips Rossi in first 2015 test

February 4th, 2015

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Reigning champion Marc Marquez set the pace in the first 2015 MotoGP pre-season test session at Sepang. The factory Honda rider jumped to the top of the timesheets in the closing 10 minutes of the six-hour session, his best time of 2m00.262s enough to beat Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi by 0.118 seconds. Rossi had headed the times for much of the day, his best effort of 2m00.380s coming relatively early on, and it remained good enough for second despite Marquez’s late improvement. The second Yamaha of Jorge Lorenzo came third, 0.259s adrift of the pacesetter. Andrea Dovizioso’s Ducati was fourth fastest, the Italian using an updated version of last year’s GP14 with the 2015 bike not due to arrive until the next test at Sepang later in the month. He was [...]

Honda presents its 2015 MotoGP bike

February 1st, 2015

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Honda presented its 2015 MotoGP bike in a launch event in Bali on Sunday ahead of the start of pre-season testing next week. World champion Marc Marquez and team-mate Dani Pedrosa unveiled a slightly revised look for the title-holding team, with Red Bull increasing its presence in the Honda livery. Repsol remains as title backer for a 20th year. Honda has won the teams’ and constructors’ titles, as well as taking Marquez to the riders’ crown, for the past two seasons. Its 2015 bike has been testing since last summer. “It’s been a long and busy winter break and now I’m really looking forward to starting the season,” said Marquez. “It’s great to be able to present our new bikes in Indonesia, it’s such a beautiful backdrop. “It’s my first [...]

Stoner continues Honda test work

January 31st, 2015

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Retired double world champion Casey Stoner completed more testing mileage for Honda this week ahead of the start of official 2015 MotoGP winter running at Sepang next Wednesday. Stoner has continued to make semi-regular test appearances for Honda since retiring from competition at the end of 2012, and will maintain that role this season. He carried out back-to-back tests with Honda’s 2014 and ’15 MotoGP bikes over three occasionally rainy days at Malaysian Grand Prix venue Sepang. “Overall it’s been a good test, very positive and we got a lot done,” said Stoner. “On the first day we worked on the base set-up and tested some small things before the rain arrived and we had to stop. “Then on day two I spent a lot of time doing a back-to-back [...]

Yamaha unveils 2015 MotoGP bike

January 28th, 2015

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Yamaha has unveiled its 2015 MotoGP YZR-M1 and a revised livery for Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo’s machines. The team held a launch event in Madrid on Wednesday morning to show off an altered colour scheme including more prominence for title sponsor Movistar. Yamaha’s riders have lost the title to Honda man Marc Marquez for the past two seasons, and were left reeling when Marquez won 10 straight grands prix at the start of 2014. Kouichi Tsuji, group leader of Yamaha’s MotoGP programme, said the margin between the two teams was smaller than results suggested, and that though there was limited scope for big steps, his team had made significant progress. “We had second on the podium 10 times, and eight times the difference from the winner was two seconds [...]

Injured Hernandez to miss first test

January 23rd, 2015

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Pramac Ducati rider Yonny Hernandez will miss the first MotoGP test of 2015 after dislocating his shoulder in a training incident. The Colombian crashed while riding on a dirt track, sustaining the injury to his left shoulder. “Examinations showed microfractures without any lesions to ligaments and tendons,” said a Pramac statement. “Recovery time is estimated at three weeks.” Ducati’s factory test rider Michele Pirro will be loaned to Pramac for the February 4-7 test at Sepang in Hernandez’s absence. Pirro made several racing appearances for the team in 2013, standing in for the injured Ben Spies. Pramac is confident Hernandez, who is starting his second full year with the squad, will be fit for the second winter test on February 23-26, also at the Malaysian Grand Prix venue. Ioda convert [...]

Ducati breaks ‘tough’ on small teams

November 26th, 2014

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Ducati’s rules break hurt MotoGP’s leading non-factory teams in 2014, reckons Yamaha chief Lin Jarvis. At the start of the year Ducati controversially chose to run to ‘Open’ regulations, allowing greater development scope plus tyre and fuel advantages in exchange for running a standard ECU. Yamaha and Honda’s satellite teams Tech 3, Gresini and LCR remained under ‘Factory’ rules, and Jarvis believes they were deprived of chances to star because of Ducati’s dispensations. “For the factory teams it’s not a big issue, because with four riders at the front, Ducati’s advantage has not really affected the championship,” said Jarvis. “I think it’s made it a bit difficult for some of the satellite teams to maintain motivation. “There are some circumstances where their riders are performing exceptionally well and they may [...]

Ducati no longer ‘embarrassing’

November 17th, 2014

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Ducati is no longer in an “embarrassing” position in MotoGP after the progress it has made during the 2014 season, according to sporting director Paolo Ciabatti. The Italian team has not won a race since Casey Stoner’s victory in the 2010 Australian Grand Prix, but ’14 was its most encouraging campaign since then, as it closed the gap to the frontrunners and took three podium finishes with Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow. Ducati controversially opted to run under ‘Open’ regulations this year, allowing it more scope for development in exchange for running a standard ECU. As this dispensation was originally intended for satellite and private teams, MotoGP adjusted the rules to create a halfway-house ‘Factory 2′ category for the Ducatis. Ciabatti admitted that the rules breaks had helped Ducati regain [...]

Marquez leads final 2014 MotoGP test

November 12th, 2014

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Marc Marquez set the pace on the third and final day of MotoGP’s post-season test at Valencia on Wednesday. The double champion was one of the first to break the three-hour silence at midday after the riders were reluctant to take to the damp track following Tuesday’s downpour, and his early benchmark of 1m31.667s remained unbeaten until mid-afternoon. Jorge Lorenzo was the first to beat that time, before Marquez’s Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa went quicker still and stayed atop the timesheets until the final 20 minutes of the session when Marquez set the fastest time of the week. His 1m30.973s on the 2015-spec Honda RC213V was a miniscule 0.002 seconds quicker than what Lorenzo achieved on Monday and he finished the day 0.146s ahead of Pedrosa, who failed to improve [...]

Petrucci tops wet MotoGP testing

November 11th, 2014

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Heavy rain ruined the second day of post-season MotoGP testing at Valencia, with only 10 riders setting times and Danilo Petrucci quickest on the Pramac Ducati. No dry running was possible at all on Tuesday, with rain falling early in the day and a heavier downpour striking mid-afternoon. Pramac’s 2015 signing Petrucci managed a 1m42.431s to go fastest by just over a second from Aspar rider Nicky Hayden. Valencia MotoGP testing shots in the AUTOSPORT news gallery Several of those who went out had minor crashes, with falls for pacesetter Petrucci, Scott Redding, Loris Baz and Cal Crutchlow, the latter choosing not to venture out again or set a time. Three riders still managed over 40 laps, as Hayden tested Honda’s 2015-spec Open class bike for the first time, while [...]

Melandri returns to MotoGP with Aprilia

November 10th, 2014

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Marco Melandri has sealed his return to MotoGP after a four-year absence by securing the final seat on the 2015 grid with Gresini’s new Aprilia programme. The 32-year-old won five grands prix during his initial MotoGP stint from 2003-10. Although he rode for the factory Yamaha, Ducati and Kawasaki teams, his greatest seasons were all with Gresini, then a Honda satellite team but now becoming Aprilia’s factory partner for its MotoGP return. Melandri has spent the past four seasons in World Superbikes, finishing in the top four in the championship in every year. He rode for Aprilia this season after previous campaigns with Yamaha and BMW. “I was offered the chance to develop a completely new project and it is something that I have not yet done in my career [...]

Lorenzo leads post-season test

November 10th, 2014

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Jorge Lorenzo led the first post-season MotoGP test of the 2014/15 winter at Valencia. After his bid to beat Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi to second in the championship ended with a failed wet-tyre gamble in Sunday’s race, Lorenzo gave himself a lift with a test-topping lap of 1m30.975s. He headed an all-Yamaha top four, with Tech 3 duo Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith between Lorenzo and Rossi. Andrea Iannone’s first day in official Ducati colours resulted in fifth place, two spots ahead of new team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, as they sandwiched leading Honda rider Dani Pedrosa. Champion Marc Marquez ostensibly had the day off, but took to the track for a few demonstration laps alongside his brother Alex, who was given a quick run on the Honda MotoGP bike as a [...]

Marquez takes Valencia win

November 9th, 2014

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Marc Marquez claimed a record 13th victory of the 2014 MotoGP season by battling to victory in the drizzly Valencia finale. Valentino Rossi clinched the championship runner-up spot with second in the race, and was on course to seal his points position even before a disastrous tyre gamble ruined rival and Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo’s race. That tyre miscue was prompted by the second shower to hit the Valencia Grand Prix. The first came just in time for the start, and second-place qualifier Andrea Iannone revelled in it, charging into an early lead on his Pramac Ducati as the rest tip-toed around on the slippery track. Iannone’s lead grew to 1.7 seconds before Rossi and Marquez, who had jumped from fifth to third off the line, found their feet and [...]

MotoGP to race at Red Bull Ring

November 8th, 2014

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MotoGP will return to Austria in 2016 for the first time in nearly two decades. The Red Bull Ring, which played host to a Formula 1 grand prix again this year, is set to get a MotoGP date the year after next. A statement from MotoGP promoter Dorna read: “Red Bull’s Dietrich Mateschitz and Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta have reached an agreement which will see MotoGP return to Austria as early as 2016, with the race to be staged at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. “Pending all of the necessary official approvals for the Red Bull Ring, Dorna will propose the inclusion of the grand prix to the FIM to be scheduled in the 2016 season.” Austria hosted grand prix motorcycle racing most years from 1971 to 1997, [...]

Rossi takes first pole since 2010

November 8th, 2014

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Valentino Rossi denied Andrea Iannone a maiden MotoGP pole position in Valencia qualifying, as a crash left Marc Marquez back in fifth. Provisional pole had changed hands relentlessly in one of the hardest-fought Q2 sessions of the year before Rossi claimed his 50th MotoGP pole and his first since the 2010 French Grand Prix. Rossi’s Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo was the early pacesetter, before Tech 3 rider Pol Espargaro and Iannone took turns up front. Iannone looked a strong contender for his and Pramac’s maiden pole in his last event before officially becoming a works Ducati rider, reclaiming the spot once after a quick lap from Rossi had briefly demoted him. Marquez was only seventh initially, although he was just 0.222 seconds from first place in an extremely tight pack. [...]

Marquez still on top despite crash

November 8th, 2014

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Marc Marquez topped the third free practice session for MotoGP’s Valencian Grand Prix, leading Pol Espargaro and Jorge Lorenzo. The Honda rider, who was fastest in both of Friday’s practice sessions, spent basically all of the 45 minutes on top of the timesheet, cementing top spot, and a place in Q2, with a 1m30.950s – the first time of the weekend under 1m31s. But it wasn’t a perfect session for Marquez; shortly after setting his best time the world champion fell at Turn 5, and had to switch to his second bike. Pol Espargaro did his best to hunt Marquez down in the last 10 minutes, but could only manage a best of 1m31.083s, 0.133 seconds shy of Marquez’s time. Lorenzo, meanwhile, spent most of the session in the middle [...]

Marquez ends Friday on top in Spain

November 7th, 2014

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Marc Marquez once again topped the timesheets after the second free practice session of MotoGP’s season ending Valencian Grand Prix, pipping Andrea Dovizioso and Aleix Espargaro to the fastest time. Marquez was the first man to dominate the times in the 45-minute session but only after the 21-year-old had repeated his error from first practice, running very wide in the blustery conditions at Turn 1. The world champion ended the session with a 1m31.454s. Jorge Lorenzo temporarily put his Yamaha 0.053 seconds quicker than Marquez shortly after the halfway point. The two-time MotoGP champion would end the session in fourth place, only 0.114s seconds behind Marquez, but separated from him by Dovizioso and Espargaro. Cal Crutchlow, who had briefly topped the session early on, ended up fifth fastest as the [...]

Marquez pips Lorenzo in first practice

November 7th, 2014

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Marc Marquez beat Jorge Lorenzo to the fastest time in the first MotoGP practice session of the Valencian Grand Prix with a blistering late improvement on his final lap. Yamaha’s Lorenzo had led for the majority of the session after the early flurry of changes at the top of the timesheets had settled down. World champion Marquez was finding the limit straight away as the Spaniard was forced to run wide at Turn 1 after touching the pitlane exit line under braking on a windy day at Valencia. Aleix Espargaro looked set to go fastest late on before an untidy end to the lap meant he finished in third ahead of Dani Pedrosa. The Honda rider was visibly fighting his bike throughout the session, regularly wrestling it into the apex [...]

De Angelis stays in MotoGP with Ioda

November 7th, 2014

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Alex de Angelis will remain in MotoGP next year with the Ioda team. The 30-year-old from San Marino, who was a podium finisher during his only previous full-time MotoGP campaign with Gresini in 2008-09, returned to the premier class from Moto2 in the summer to replace Colin Edwards at Forward Racing. With Forward opting to sign Stefan Bradl and Loris Baz for 2015, de Angelis will take the Ioda seat left vacant by Danilo Petrucci’s switch to Pramac Ducati. “This enhances even more my decision to leave the Moto2 class to move back up to MotoGP,” said de Angelis. “We will begin immediately by testing on Monday to see what our potential is. “I want to thank [team owner] Giampiero Sacchi for giving me this opportunity and for organising everything [...]