Dixon breaks finger in Jerez test, but cleared to compete in Qatar

Jake Dixon sustained a broken finger on the second day of Moto2’s Jerez test, but has been cleared to ride in Qatar.

Dixon was riding in the second session of the day when he crashed. Following the accident Dixon returned home to the UK and was diagnosed with a broken ring finger on his right hand.

The 2018 BSB runner-up did not return for the final day of testing, but was given the all clear to participate in the Qatar test and ride in the first race of the season on 8 March.

“It was a good start to the test and we got through some things, but the session before I had the crash we struggled a bit,” said Dixon.

“We found some positives with edge grip but then we tried something with the front fork and it wasn’t as good.

“For the second session we made a modification to the fork to see if we could make it better, and it generally felt like the bike was performing better but with the crash it’s difficult to know and understand fully.

“We’ve improved the rear grip but we still need to improve the front and the natural turn-in, so that’s what we keep working on into the test in Qatar.

“With the finger, the doctor said I’ve broken the top of my finger on the tip, and also I’ve taken a piece out of the side of it. He said it won’t be a problem for the Qatar test and race though, which is good news.

“I have another check-up on Monday to re-dress it and he’s going to make a cap for it to fit over the top inside the glove so it protects it when I ride, but overall he said that it’ll be fine so I look forward to continuing our work in Qatar.”

Team Director Johan Stigefelt added: “For Jake, it’s a real pity he crashed on the second day because the result of that was that he lost one and a half days of testing – half the test.

“He was building the confidence to start really pushing and improving his lap times, so of course there is much more to come there.

“Fortunately, it seems that the injury in his finger won’t prevent him from participating in the following test in Qatar and in the opening Grand Prix of the season, so we look forward to picking up where this test was left off next week. In the meantime, we wish him a speedy recovery.”

Formula E Rookie Test: Who’s driving in Marrakesh?

The annual Formula E rookie test will take place in Marrakesh on 1 March, following the ePrix on 29 February.

Drivers from a number of categories will take part in the test from Formula 3 championships to endurance racers.

Audi

Mattia Drudi Kelvin van der Linde

BMW

Lucas Auer

Kyle Kirkwood

Dragon

Joel Eriksson

Sérgio Sette Câmara

Jaguar

Jamie Chadwick

Sacha Fenestraz

Mahindra

Sam Dejonghe

Pipo Derani

Mercedes

Jake Hughes

Daniel Juncadella

NIO

Daniel Cao

Nissan

Jann Mardenborough

Mitsunori Takaboshi

Porsche

Fred Mako

Thomas Preining

Techeetah

Filipe Albuquerque

James Rossiter

Venturi

Arthur Leclerc

Norman Nato

Virgin Nick Cassidy

Alice Powell

 

Torres fills last WorldSBK seat by joining MIE Honda

Moto2 race winner Jordi Torres has become the last rider to join the Superbike World Championship grid after signing for the MIE Racing Althea Honda Team.

Torres had been due to remain with Team Pedercini Racing, but was dropped in favour of Sandro Cortese.

The Spaniard will also compete in the MotoE World Cup for Join Contract Pons 40, and is scheduled to compete in ESBK with Team Laglisse.

The team unveiled their new livery in Japan, with Torres’ team-mate Takumi Takahashi, and although he wasn’t in attendance the team announced his signing.

Torres has raced in WorldSBK since 2015 and took his only win to date in the series in Qatar at the end of his debut season.

Storm Stacey to join BSB with GR Motorsport

Storm Stacey will become the youngest British Superbike rider in history after signing for GR Motorsport Kawasaki for the 2020 season.

Stacey will be 16 years old, 11 months and 19 days when he makes his debut at Silverstone in April, and has been given dispensation to compete on a superbike by the ACU and the series’ governing body MCRCB. His graduation to BSB has also been supported by series organiser MSVR.

Stacey rode for GR Motorsport’s STAUFF Academy in the Superstock 600 class last year and took two wins at Oulton Park and finished in third place overall. Stacey has also finished in third overall in Motostar in 2017 and 2018.

Stacey said: “This is really exciting for me – I am still only 16 and I am going to be riding a Superbike in BSB this year!

“I cannot thank the team and everyone who has supported me so far in my career enough because without them I would not have this opportunity this year.

“As a team we had looked at Superstock 1000, but after some laps to get a feel for it at both Donington Park and Jerez it felt really natural straight away and I was able to post some good times despite it being my first test.

“The team then wanted to give me this chance on the Superbike and I can’t wait to get started. The way I look at it is it will be a big learning curve but I got inspiration from Ryan Vickers, who moved from the Superstock 600 to the Superbike last year.

“It’s a more powerful bike with no traction control, but I am sure it will feel like second nature to me after the first round of tests. It will take me some time but there is no pressure on me and I love to learn the bike and understand it. That was what I did last year in the Superstock 600 class and we were fighting for the title at the final round!

“I have been getting myself in gear ready for testing and this new challenge and I am really looking forward to having this chance to prove myself on the Superbike gradually over the season.”

Team Owner Brent Gladwin added: “As part of our 2020 celebrations to announce that Storm will be lining up in the Superbike class is something that we are immensely excited about.

“It is a landmark season for us with it being the 25th year in racing, so to be able to continue our ethos of young rider development by giving such a young and talented rider the chance to progress from the STAUFF Academy to the Superbike grid makes me extremely proud.

“Storm has shown such a level of ability and maturity both on and off the track and this is something that we are looking forward to developing throughout the 2020 season.

“We know that it is a big step up from the Superstock 600 class, but from what we saw at the tests at the end of last season on the big bike, and with no pressure, Storm can learn and progress throughout this year and into the next. I think we are going to have a lot of fun!

“We now look forward to the first official test next week where Storm will make his public debut on the Superbike and announcing the exciting 2020 STAUFF Quick Connect Academy line-up on our return.”

Jehan Daruvala joins Red Bull Junior Team, to race in FIA F2 with Carlin

Jehan Daruvala has become the latest member of the Red Bull Junior Team and will compete for Carlin in FIA Formula 2 this year.

Daruvala previously drove for Carlin in European Formula 3 in 2017 and 2018 and will be team-mates with fellow Red Bull junior Yuki Tsunoda.

Last year Daruvala made his debut in FIA F3 with Prema and finished in third place overall with two wins to his name.

Daruvala said: “I’m very happy to be back for my third season with Carlin, it’s great to be working with some of the same people again on the engineering side as I make the step up to F2.

“It’s a new challenge for me, but I think for everyone, including the teams there will be things to learn this year.

“I’m very proud to be going into the season as a Red Bill Junior which will of course be added pressure but I believe I have the platform to deliver, so it’s going to be up to me.  I can’t wait to get going.”

Team Principal Trevor Carlin added: “We’re delighted to welcome Jehan back to the team for his third season with us.

“His performances last year in FIA F3 were extremely impressive and we really believe in him.  There’s no reason why he can’t make it all the way to the top.

“Without a doubt there will be a lot to learn – both for Jehan as a driver in a more powerful car and also for the team with the new 18-inch wheels but we have a great team ready to meet those challenges.”