MotoGP Riders Support Flood Victims at Sepang Test

Sepang_FundraiserThe organizers at the Sepang Circuit in Malaysia decided to hold a fundraiser for flood victims during the MotoGP testing session. The 17 premier class riders, along with their teams, showed their full support today during the Sepang test.

“On behalf of the Sepang International Circuit, I would like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to all the MotoGP riders and team members for supporting our ‘RM2 or More’ Campaign for Malaysia Flood Relief Fund,” said SIC CEO Dato Ahmad Razlan Ahmad Razali.

The “RM2 or More Campaign” started yesterday at the beginning of the MotoGP Sepang test, and will continue until the MotoGP riders leave on Thursday. The Sepang International Circuit is asking for small donations from riders, teams, sponsors, manufacturers, and fans.

The Sepang International Circuit will also step up their fund raising efforts when the MotoGP returns for an official race in October.

“Having all of them together for a group photograph with each and every member of the competing teams at the starting grid today to support the programme was indeed a proud moment for us all at SIC,” Razali continued. “It will definitely inspire us to do even more to help the less fortunate through our events. The response has been very good and I’m definitely touched by everybody’s generosity. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

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Rossi Sits Out of Day 2 Test; Hayden Continues Work on GP11

nicky_hayden_sepangValentino Rossi has been struggling this off-season. Rossi moved to a new team this year, and is doing his best to get the feel of his new Ducati GP11. But an injured shoulder has prevented him from pushing the Ducati to its limits, and today, illness kept Rossi off of the track entirely.

Rossi showed up to the track to this morning, but after feeling ill, decided that it was best to return to his hotel room to rest.

“(Rossi) was feeling weakened by fever and cold when he arrived at the track this morning,” said Ducati in a press release. “After consulting with the team and with doctors from Clinica Mobile, he returned to his hotel, where he underwent anti-flu treatment.”

With Rossi resting in hotel room, Nicky Hayden took to the track to try and finalize settings on the GP11.

“It wasn’t the smoothest day, as we had a couple of time-consuming glitches,” Hayden said. “We had planned to put on some fresh tyres at the end to see how good the changes we’d made really were, but we had a small problem with the gearbox near the end, and there wasn’t time to go back out.”

Hayden finished the testing session more than 2 seconds behind the pace setter, Casey Stoner.

“We still did 44 laps though, and it was a pretty solid day overall. The team really worked hard today, so thanks to them as always. Our gap to the front is still quite big, but we’ve definitely managed to get the chatter a lot better. It’s not completely cured, but it’s good enough that we can focus on some other stuff. I’ve got a lot of work to do tomorrow, so hopefully we can take a big step and leave here positive.”

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Brits Invade the MotoGP

british-flagThe MotoGP features riders from all around the world. The paddock is filled with teams from Australia, Japan, Italy, Spain, America, etc… So it’s no surprise to see plenty of British riders on the grid. But the 2011 MotoGP will have the highest number of British participants in the past 22 years.

There will be 8 full time British riders spread out across the three MotoGP divisions.

Cal Crutchlow will lead the charge for the Brittish as he makes his MotoGP debut. Scott Redding, Bradley Smith and Kev Coghlan will be fighting for the Moto2 Championship, and Danny Webb, Danny Kent, Taylor Mackenzie and Harry Stafford will be competing in the 125cc category.

“I think this level of British rider involvement is recognition on an international scale of the progress being made by British riders and the talent they’ve shown,” said BBC MotoGP reporter Matt Roberts. “The way that Bradley Smith and Scott Redding have performed in recent years has maybe made teams look at British riders in a different way as genuine potential and worth investing in. I think we still don’t have enough British backed riders in terms of sponsorship and team structure, but thankfully there are now Spanish and Italian teams looking towards British riders and recognizing their talent.”

The last time that 8 British riders participated in Grand Prix racing was in 1989.

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