Puneet Varma

2012 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season

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Dates  8 Apr 2012 – 11 Nov 2012
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The 2012 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season was the 64th F.I.M. Road Racing World Championship season. Casey Stoner started the season as the defending World Champion, while Honda was the defending Manufacturers' Champion. Moto2 champion Stefan Bradl joined the MotoGP grid with LCR Honda and 125cc champion Nicolás Terol entered Moto2, racing for Aspar.

Contents

In the premier MotoGP class, the championship battle revolved around Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo and Honda pairing Dani Pedrosa and defending champion Stoner. Lorenzo won four of the first six races to be held in the campaign to open up an advantage over Stoner, before he was taken out of the Dutch TT on the first lap by Álvaro Bautista; Stoner won the race to eradicate the points lead. In the next race, Stoner crashed out of the German Grand Prix on the final lap and allowed Pedrosa to take his first win of the season. Stoner struggled in the next few races – despite a victory at the United States Grand Prix – with his championship challenge ended by a qualifying crash at Indianapolis. After ankle surgery, he returned to the series and won his final race of his career at his home race, the Australian Grand Prix, for the sixth successive season. Pedrosa went on a run of five victories in six races, with the streak being interrupted by a first-lap crash at Misano, where he was taken out by Héctor Barberá. Lorenzo finished second to Pedrosa on each occasion that he had won, and he took advantage of Pedrosa's accident to win at Misano. Lorenzo ultimately won the title with a second-place finish to Stoner in Australia, after Pedrosa had crashed out of the lead early on.

In the other classes, Marc Márquez won the Moto2 championship title after a season-long battle with fellow Spanish rider Pol Espargaró; a third-place finish for Márquez at the Australian Grand Prix – despite a win for Espargaró – was enough to give him his second world title before moving into the premier class for the 2013 season. Márquez's result was enough to give Suter the constructors' title for the class. The inaugural Moto3 world championship title went to German rider Sandro Cortese, following his fourth victory of the season at the Malaysian Grand Prix, which gave him an unassailable points lead over his two title rivals Luis Salom and Maverick Viñales in the championship race. Cortese also became the first rider to win any Grand Prix title for the Austrian manufacturer KTM. KTM also won the constructors' championship at the Australian Grand Prix, doing so after Cortese won the race.

Class changes

The MotoGP class changes to allow up to 1,000 cc (61 cu in) in capacity, with a limit of 4 cylinders and a maximum 81 mm (3.2 in) cylinder bore.

The 2012 season will see the introduction of four-stroke bikes in the new Moto3 class.

Claiming Rule Teams

In 2012 the MotoGP class saw the introduction of Claiming Rule Teams (CRT) to allow for participation by independent teams with lower budgets. CRTs were given twelve engines per rider, six more than the other teams and more fuel – 24 litres (5.3 imperial gallons) instead of 21 litres (4.6 imperial gallons) – but were subject to a factory team buying, or "claiming", their engines for €15,000, or €20,000 with the transmission. The sport's governing body received applications from sixteen new teams looking to join the MotoGP class.

New entries

In June 2011, the FIM announced that six teams from Moto2 – Interwetten Paddock, Forward Racing, Marc VDS, Kiefer Racing, Speed Master and BQR-Blusens (later renamed Avintia Racing) – had been granted entries to the 2012 grid; two additional entries – Paul Bird Motorsport and Ioda Racing – announced that they had been accepted to the grid, running under CRT regulations. However, Interwetten Paddock, Marc VDS, and Kiefer Racing were absent from the revised grid released by FIM in January 2012.

2012 Grand Prix season calendar

The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme released an 18-race provisional calendar on 14 September 2011. Another provisional calendar was released three months later, with the Qatar Grand Prix moved forward by a week.

Notes:

  • ^1 — Races held at night.
  • ^2 — Races held on Saturday, rather than Sunday.
  • ^3 — Only MotoGP race held.
  • Participants

  • A provisional entry list was released by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme on 13 January 2012.
  • Notes
  • ‡ — Gresini Honda nominated to run Michele Pirro on a Honda-powered FTR chassis under CRT regulations.
  • Rider changes

  • Andrea Dovizioso left Repsol Honda Team to join Monster Yamaha Tech 3.
  • Colin Edwards moved from Monster Yamaha Tech 3 to NGM Mobile Forward Racing.
  • Stefan Bradl moved up from Moto2, joining LCR Honda MotoGP.
  • Héctor Barberá still rode a Ducati, but he moved from Aspar Racing Team to Pramac Racing Team.
  • 2011 FIM Superstock 1000 Cup runner-up Danilo Petrucci debuted in the MotoGP category with Came IodaRacing Project.
  • Randy de Puniet exchanged with Barberá, entering Power Electronics Aspar from Pramac Racing Team.
  • Álvaro Bautista, who lost his place at the retiring Suzuki MotoGP team, joined San Carlo Honda Gresini.
  • Iván Silva rode for Avintia Blusens.
  • Aleix Espargaró stepped up from Pons Racing in Moto2 to Power Electronics Aspar.
  • Michele Pirro was confirmed by San Carlo Honda Gresini, promoted from Moto2 to MotoGP.
  • Mattia Pasini debuted from Moto2 with Speed Master.
  • Avintia Blusens promoted Yonny Hernández from Moto2 to MotoGP.
  • James Ellison returned to MotoGP from the British Superbike Championship, riding for Paul Bird Motorsport.
  • Hiroshi Aoyama was moved by Honda to the Superbike World Championship. However, the Japanese rider replaced Yonny Hernández in Valencia.
  • Toni Elías returned to Moto2 from LCR Honda MotoGP. During the season, Elías replaced Barberá (injured) for three rounds.
  • On 1 September 2011, Loris Capirossi announced his retirement from racing to entry the MotoGP Safety Commission.
  • Riders' points standings

    Scoring system

    Points are awarded to the top fifteen finishers. A rider has to finish the race to earn points.

  • Riders marked with light blue background are eligible for Rookie of the Year awards.
  • Rounds marked with light blue background were under wet race conditions.
  • Manufacturers' championship

    Scoring system

    Points are awarded to the top fifteen finishers. A rider has to finish the race to earn points.

    Participants

  • A provisional entry list was released by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme on 13 January 2012.
  • Notes:

  • ^1 — Eric Granado will only be competing from the British Grand Prix onwards, after he reaches the age of 16 which is the minimum age to compete in the championship.
  • Riders' points standings

    Scoring system

    Points are awarded to the top fifteen finishers. A rider has to finish the race to earn points.

    Manufacturers' championship

    Scoring system

    Points are awarded to the top fifteen finishers. A rider has to finish the race to earn points.

    Participants

  • A provisional entry list was released by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme on 13 January 2012.
  • Riders' points standings

    Scoring system

    Points are awarded to the top fifteen finishers. A rider has to finish the race to earn points.

    Manufacturers' championship

    Scoring system

    Points are awarded to the top fifteen finishers. A rider has to finish the race to earn points.

    References

    2012 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season Wikipedia


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