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MOTOREX Racing Report 2015 EN

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MOTOGP MOTO2 WORLD

MOTOGP MOTO2 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TURBULENT YEAR FOR THE SWISS DREAM TEAM When Daniel Epp, Tom Lüthi’s long-standing manager, decided to end his career as a MotoGP team owner, the sponsors remained loyal, stepping up to assist Frédéric Corminboeuf at CGBM Evolution with establishing a second Interwetten team and creating what became known as the “Swiss Dream Team” prior to the season. Both Lüthi, from Derendinger Interwetten Racing, and Dominique Aegerter, from Technomag Interwetten Racing, switched from Suter to the German Kalex brand that had been so successful last year, with young Robin Mulhauser completing the all-Swiss line-up. However, lots of rain during the winter break meant little opportunity to fully test the new racing chassis by the time of the first race. Third place in Qatar turned out to be an encouraging result for Lüthi, considering his fall during warm-up and the highly spectacular race. In Le Mans, he appeared to be holding his own against the top Moto2 riders, delivering a strong showing right from the first practice and a competent first victory for the new team on the new bike. Things started to turn more than just challenging in the Italian Grand Prix of Mugello, however, when Lüthi crashed while leading the pack, even though Aegerter finally seemed to get into his stride with his first podium finish. Things failed to improve when mysterious front tyre trouble cropped up in the rain of Silverstone and kept haunting the team from then on. Aegerter was injured in a bad fall in the Aragon Grand Prix and had to be replaced by Australian Josh Hooks for the remaining races. The overseas races brought the next disappointments for Interwetten, with crashes in Japan and Australia for Lüthi. Even a podium finish in the final race in Valencia came DOMINIQUE AEGERTER © Photos: Technomag Racing Interwetten TOM LÜTHI too late to make any difference to his overall ranking, ending the season in fifth. Still: “In Mugello, Tom was in the lead and he was on his way to the podium in Indianapolis when Lowes fell directly in front of him”, team owner Frédéric Corminboeuf commented. “In practice in Japan and Australia, Tom was the only one to keep up with those who went on to win. While these results might not be all we had hoped for, we know there is only very little missing.” Consequently, both Lüthi and Aegerter were glad to extend their contracts in mid-September, with Interwetten CEO Werner Becher counting them among the favourites once more on their 2016 Kalex bikes. ROBIN MULHAUSER © Photos: Friedrich Weisse / Derendinger Racing Interwetten © Photos: Technomag Racing Interwetten 14

MOTOGP MOTO2 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON A fantastic third road racing season has seen young Edgar Pons from the Paginas Amarillas HP 40 team crowned European champion. The second son of former Champion Sito Pons, who grew up in motocross, has consistency to thank for his title: five wins in Portimao, Barcelona, Aragon (two) and Navarra as well as four second places and a third – his “worst” result of the season. In addition, Pons junior, who is slated to join his father’s Moto2 team for 2016, started early with several stints in the Moto2 World Championship this year. EDGAR PONS © Photos: Pons Racing Team MOTO3 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MAGNIFICENT OLIVEIRA This year, even a run of bad luck could not stop Miguel Oliveira from fighting for the Moto3 world championship up to the last race. Making the switch after finishing tenth in Moto3 last year, the young Portuguese has fully taken off in the Red Bull KTM Ajo Racing Team, delivering six stunning victories so far in Mugello, Assen, Aragon, Phillip Island, Sepang and Valencia as well as two second places in Misano and Motegi, missing the start only at the German Sachsenring Grand Prix after crashing in practice. Undaunted by surgery and unexpected tyre troubles, the 20-year-old racer finished the season in second, a mere four points behind world champion Kent, and is slated to move up to Moto2 in 2016. With team-mate Brad Binder a solid sixth, next season is looking bright for the Red Bull KTM Ajo Racing Team. © Photos: Milagro / KTM Images WORLD SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP MIXED RESULTS FOR VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI ALEX LOWES Whenever Alex Lowes from Lincolnshire had the chance to shine in the 2015 WSB season, he took it, the limited potential of his Suzuki notwithstanding. Delivering a lot of very fast qualifying results, success finally came in the guise of a podium finish in the second race in Thailand – his best result of the season, with tenth place overall and a Yamaha factory contract for 2016 as a reward. Team-mate Randy de Puniet, in contrast, would probably like best to strike this season from his memory, despite bookending it with more-than-decent seventh place finishes in the first race in Australia and the last one in Qatar. These results aside, though, the Frenchman had to retire from a total of nine heats and finished another four times without any points. RANDY DE PUNIET © Photos: Gold and Goose Photography 15

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