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Marquez Tops Valencia Practice, Marc VDS Gets Title Sponsor, More Rider News

Marc Marquez has just taken one more step towards new records in the MotoGP history books after he topped the first three Free Practice sessions ahead of the last round of the season in Valencia. The two-time World Champion has shown an increasingly better pace through the three outings.
Spectacular shot of Jorge Lorenzo in the free practice at Valencia, 2014 14 photos
Valencia 2014, FP2Valencia 2014, FP1Valencia 2014, FP3Valencia 2014, combined FPValencia 2014, MarquezValencia 2014, carbon discsValencia 2014, Randy de Puniet, wildcard for SuzukiValencia 2014, LorenzoValencia 2014, Redding looks happyValencia 2014, RossiValencia 2014, Aleix EspargaroAlex De Angelis and Florian AltValencia 2014, Aoyama is the new HRC test pilot
Even though Jorge Lorenzo led most of FP1 yesterday, Marquez’ final flying lap was 0.193s faster than what the Mallorcan had posted. Aleix Espargaro, Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi rounded up the first 5 positions in FP1.

Free Practice 2 saw a slower Marquez, but his time was still better than what the rest of the pack. In FP2, Andrea Dovizioso was second-fastest, followed by Aleix Espargaro, Lorenzo and Cal Crutchlow on the factory Ducati without the latest upgrades. Marquez was also the first rider to take a fall in Valencia this weekend. This morning, he lost the front of his Honda in Free Practice 3, in mid-Turn 5, but was unscathed.

This happened just after he managed to become the first rider to drop into the 1’30s. His 1’30.950 lap become the fastest of the timed sessions which counted towards Qualifying. In FP3 he was followed by a very fast Pol Espargaro, Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso.

Qualifying 2 promises quite a show, as the first 9 riders are separated by less than half a second. It’s definitely cut-throat time this weekend, with the Valencia round being the last occasion for some of the riders to make a point and improve their standing. Certain positions are separated by few points only so there is still much to change in the final shape of the 2014 ranking.Estrella Galicia 0,0 teams up with Marc VDS
Estrella Galicia 0,0 has become the title sponsor of Marc VDS in the first MotoGP year of the Belgian team. The Belgian beer tycoon marc van der Straten is well-known for his abilities to draw sponsorships, and having Estrella Galicia 0,0 as a partner for the MotoGP team is a most welcome asset.

Marc VDS has just secured one of the Honda satellite bikes and will field Scott Redding in 2015 aboard an RC213V machine equipped with Ohlins suspensions and Brembo brakes, as opposed to the Showa and Nissin corresponding parts the bike has now.

On the other hand, Estrella Galicia 0,0 has thus established a presence in all the three GP classes with Monlau Repsol Technical School in Moto3 and the same Marc VDS in the intermediate category. So far Redding has shown a very good pace aboard his current bike, so we’re expecting to see much more from him in 2015.Octo Iodaracing completes rider line-up for 2015
Octo Iodaracing has announced the rider duo for 2015. Ioda will field the San Marino-based Alex de Angelis in MotoGP and German Florian Alt in Moto2. The former has a two-year deal, whereas the latter inked a one-season contract.

De Angelis has accumulated a lot of experience in all three classes as he rode for Honda and Aprilia, even as a factory rider for the house of Noale. His best result was a second place at Indianapolis in 2009. Alt arrives from the FIM CEV Repsol Moto2 series, where he has had a great season and is looking forward to become a rookie in the GP championship.Hiroshi Aoyama becomes an official HRC test rider
2009 250cc World Champion Hiroshi Aoyama has been appointed as the official factory test rider in 2015 for Honda Racing Corporation. Aoyama is already on duty this very weekend, as he will be riding the Open class Honda RC213V-RS bike in Valencia. The RC213V-RS is the new Open-spec Honda equipped with a pneumatic valve engine.

So far, the Free Practice sessions saw a much faster Aoyama, clearly benefitting from the increased power output of the higher-revving bike. The first official tests of the 2015 season debut on Monday, with Karel Abraham and Nicky Hayden sharing the same bike Aoyama has just started developing for HRC.

Randy de Puniet, Suzuki’s development rider during the last two years was rewarded with the honors of riding the all-new GSX-RR machine in its maiden race as a wildcard appearance in Valencia. De Puniet will be heading for WSBK in 2015.

The French rider did not hide his enthusiasm ahead of this Sunday’s race: “I’m ready for it, because I miss racing. I am excited about the idea, keen to get going, but we are not setting any targets in terms of results. I know it’s hard to pick up the pace at the end of a season. I’m not under pressure. Whatever happens, it won’t change my future. For me this race is a reward.”

Get your beers closer tomorrow and enjoy the final act of the 2014 MotoGP championship. We already know who the champion is, but there are a lot of other riders who will battle hard, as there is still much glory at stake.


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