2015 MotoGP Grid LineupWhen the 2014 MotoGP season finale concluded last weekend at Valencia, the traditional post-season test took place at the same Spanish circuit.
During that test, the face of 2015 MotoGP emerged, which includes many newbies – though some are seasoned GP riders. These riders include Maverick Vinales, Jack Miller, Loris Baz, Eugene Laverty, Marco Melandri and Alex de Angelis.The 19-year-old Vinales – the 2013 Moto3 Champion and 2014 Moto2 Rookie of the Year – has garnered a total of 16 GP wins throughout all classes. The Spaniard was recruited to the Suzuki MotoGP Team, and will compete on the all-new GSX-RR next to the top Open-class rider of 2014 MotoGP, Aleix Espargaro.Vinales will have much guidance throughout 2015 MotoGP from his teammate and team manager Davide Brivio – who was once Valentino Rossi’s manager.The other youngster to join the premier-class grid is the Australian Jack Miller. He won six races in 2014 Moto3, just missing the title to Alex Marquez – the younger brother of two-time MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez.Miller – a usual crowd favorite – will compete on the CWM LCR Honda Team on an open-class RC213V. He will ride under the guidance of Lucio Cecchinello, who helped Casey Stoner make it to the top.From France arrives Loris Baz, who competed alongside 2013 World SBK Champion Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) in the 2014 SBK series. The 21-year-old Baz won a few races, and will compete on the NGM Forward Racing Team (Yamaha) next to the German Stefan Bradl.Another transplant from World Superbike is the 28-year-old Eugene Laverty. The Northern Irishman joins Nicky Hayden on the Drive M7 Aspar (Honda) team. Laverty has won races in the World Superbike and Supersport series, and also competed in the former 125cc and 250cc classes in GP.The experienced Marco Melandri departs with the Aprilia Racing Team in World Superbike to join the new Factory Aprilia Gresini team in 2015 MotoGP. The former 250cc Champion spent eight years in GP, racing in the premier class from 2003 – 2010. During that team, the 32-year old Italian won five races.In 2014 World Superbike, Melandri races alongside this year’s champion, Sylvain Guintoli. Melandri won six races in 2014 aboard Aprilia RSV4 machinery.As for the Spaniard Alex de Angelis, he spent the periods in both the Moto2 and MotoGP classes. In 2015, he continues with the Octo Iodaracing Team.The MotoGP grid returns to action at Sepang February 4-7 for the first official test of 2015.
Hello everyone and welcome once again to the Ultimate Motorcycling podcast—Motos and Friends. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Motos and Friends is brought to you by the Yamaha YZF-R7—Yamaha’s awesome supersport machine that is as capable on the racetrack as it is on the street. …and it’s comfortable too! Check it out at at your local Yamaha dealer, or of course at YamahaMotorsports.com.
In this week’s first segment, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the BMW K 1600 GT. This is the sporty bagger version of BMW’s K series of machines, those are the models with the awesome 6-cylinder engine. The GT has been given a little makeover for 2023, and Nic gives us his take.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my all time heroes—three-time World Champion racer ‘fast’ Freddie Spencer. I’ll do my best not to come off as too much of a fanboy here, but frankly it’ll be tough!
In my humble opinion, Spencer is a contender for the GOAT—greatest of all time. Sure, his career was a little shorter than some, and his number of championships falls behind the likes of Lawson, Doohan, Rossi, and of course Marquez. But at the time, Freddie literally changed the way motorcycles were ridden. 30 years before Marc Marquez, Freddie was able to push the front wheel into a slide, corner after corner, lap after lap in order to get the bike turned faster than anyone else. Freddie took completely different lines and was able to get on the throttle so early he could out accelerate anyone off a corner.
In the modern era, of course Freddie is the chairman of the FIM MotoGP Stewards panel. This is the panel of referees for all three classes of Grand prix racing. I talked to Freddie about his task there, and although for contractual reasons with Dorna and the FIM he cannot talk about specific riders, teams, or events, nevertheless his explanation of the job makes for interesting listening. It’s a tough job, and frankly I wouldn’t want to do it!
Actually—Ultimate Motorcycling is giving away five copies of the book—signed by Freddie himself—to the first five listeners who contact us with the correct answer to the question: How many national AMA championships did Freddie win, and which years were they?
Please email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will contact the winners and send you a signed copy of Feel. Those five winners will be announced on a future episode. Unfortunately for legal reasons this offer is ONLY open to US residents.
So, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!