Witnessed by the fact that this weekend’s Valencia Grand prix will be going ahead without three of its stars. Of course, a minute’s silence will be observed in memory of Marco Simoncelli and the Gresini team will field Aoyama (fittingly, his last race with the team before heading off to Ten Kate in the WSBK in 2012) and their two Moto2 riders as well. The Valencia authorities are trying to see of they can organise a “minute of noise” in Simo’s memory as his father has said would be the most appropriate way for the fans to remember him. I somehow don’t think that will be too difficult to get off the ground. Should they be able to do so, it will probably resemble this tribute organised during the week at Brno where 1500 motorcyclists circulated the famous GP venue in Marco’s honour.
All teams as well as the fans will be showing their respect in various way and I expect to see all MotoGp bikes wearing the #58 somewhere or other. Word that Valentino Rossi will be wearing a special #58 livery on the Ducati has been spreading but nothing official has been said. As for leaving the pole position vacant in Simo’s honour, it sounds like a nice idea, but I doubt it will happen. Valencia will be Casey Stoner’s 100th Grand Prix appearance.
Then 2010 World Champion, Jorge Lorenzo has decided to sit out the meeting, his finger far from healed (he’ll probably miss the test day that follows Valencia also). His place will be taken by the Yamaha test rider again. And the 2011 Moto2 World Championship is decided in favour of Stefan Bradl, with news in that Marc Marquez will not be competing, still suffering from double vision after his FP accident at Sepang. So, only the last-ever 125cc championship to decide and every bit of logic and mathematics says that that honour will fall, quite rightfully, to Nico Terol who has been the standout rider throughout the season.
In WSBK, former MotoGP, Moto2 and, Superstock 1000 rider, Noccolo Canepa will be the lead rider for the Ducati Roma Team, the outfit that has risen from the ashes of the Supersonic team. And Leon Camier has been confirmed as the 2nd rider in the Alitalia Aprilia squad for 2012. (think I might have said that yesterday)
Honda has announced a huge boost (around 20%) to its worldwide sales compared to the figures for the same period last year, so things may finally be looking up. Despite this, net profits are still down, indicting that the sales have been achieved by slicing the margin, a good short-term strategy but not one Honda will want to persevere with for too long.