Provisional 2015 Moto GP calendar revealed


The provisional calendar for the 2015 Moto GP season has been announced by Dorna today, featuring the same schedule as 2014 bar some minor date adjustments.

Once again, the premier world motorcycling series will enjoy an 18-round season, starting in Qatar at the end of March and finishing in Valencia, Spain in November.

In fact, Qatar is one of just two rounds to see its date change, being held one week later than in 2014 to reduce the three-week gap between the first and second races of the year.

The United States will host two Moto GP races as per 2014. The Grand Prix of the Americas will be held at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on April 12th 2015, whilst Indianapolis’ road course will host a race on August 9th.

Besides Qatar, the only race to change its date is the Argentinian Grand Prix, which will now go back-to-back with Austin as the second and third rounds of the year.

The British Grand Prix moves away from Silverstone after five years. In the absence of the Circuit of Wales (which has a contract but is still to be constructed), the race returns to Donington Park.

2015 Moto GP World Championship provisional calendar

1. Grand Prix of Qatar 29th March
2. Grand Prix of the Americas 12th April
3. Argentinian Grand Prix 19th April
4. Spanish Grand Prix 3rd May
5. French Grand Prix 17th May
6. Italian Grand Prix 31st May
7. Grand Prix of Catalunya 14th June
8. Assen TT (Netherlands) 27th June
9. German Grand Prix 12th July
10. Grand Prix of Indianapolis 9th August
11. Grand Prix of the Czech Republic 16th August
12. British Grand Prix 30th August
13. San Marino Grand Prix 13th September
14. Aragon Grand Prix 27th September
15. Japanese Grand Prix 11th October
16. Australian Grand Prix 18th October
17. Malaysian Grand Prix 25th October
18. Grand Prix of Valencia 8th November

Hunter Lawrence defends Haiden Deegan after controversial block pass at Detroit


Media and fan attention focused on a controversial run-in between Haiden Deegan and his Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing teammate Jordon Smith during Round 10 of the Monster Energy Supercross race at Detroit, after which the 250 East points’ Hunter Lawrence defends the young rider in the postrace news conference.

Deegan took the early lead in Heat 1 of the round, but the mood swiftly changed when he became embroiled in a spirited battle with teammate Smith.

On Lap 3, Smith caught Deegan with a fast pass through the whoops. Smith briefly held the lead heading into a bowl turn but Deegan had the inside line and threw a block pass. In the next few turns, the action heated up until Smith eventually ran into the back of Deegan’s Yamaha and crashed.

One of the highlights of the battle seemed to include a moment when Deegan waited on Smith in order to throw a second block pass, adding fuel to the controversy.

After his initial crash, Smith fell to seventh on the next lap. He would crash twice more during the event, ultimately finishing four laps off the pace in 20th.

The topic was inevitably part of the postrace news conference.

“It was good racing; it was fun,” Deegan said at about the 27-minute mark in the video above. “I just had some fun doing it.”

Smith had more trouble in the Last Chance Qualifier. He stalled his bike in heavy traffic, worked his way into a battle for fourth with the checkers in sight, but crashed a few yards shy of the finish line and was credited with seventh. Smith earned zero points and fell to sixth in the standings.

Lawrence defends Deegan
Jordon Smith failed to make the Detroit Supercross Main and fell to sixth in the points. – Feld Motor Sports

“I think he’s like fifth in points,” Deegan said. “He’s a little out of it. Beside that it was good, I don’t know. I wasn’t really paying attention.”

Deegan jokingly deflected an earlier question with the response that he wasn’t paying attention during the incident.

“He’s my teammate, but he’s a veteran, he’s been in this sport for a while,” Deegan said. “I was up there just battling. I want to win as much as everybody else. It doesn’t matter if it’s a heat race or a main; I just want to win. I was just trying to push that.”

As Deegan and Smith battled, Jeremy Martin took the lead. Deegan finished second in the heat and backed up his performance with a solid third-place showing in the main, which was his second podium finish in a short six-race career. Deegan’s first podium was earned at Daytona, just two rounds ago.

But as Deegan struggled to find something meaningful to say, unsurprisingly for a 17-year-old rider who was not scheduled to run the full 250 schedule this year, it was the championship leader Lawrence who came to his defense.

Lawrence defends Deegan
A block pass by Haiden Deegan led to a series of events that eventually led to Jordon Smith failing to make the Main. – Feld Motor Sports

“I just want to point something out, which kind of amazes me,” Lawrence said during the conference. “So many of the people on social media, where everyone puts their expertise in, are saying the racing back in the ’80s, the early 90s, when me were men. They’re always talking about how gnarly it was and then anytime a block pass or something happens now, everyone cries about it.

“That’s just a little bit interesting. Pick one. You want the gnarly block passes from 10 years ago and then you get it, everyone makes a big song and dance about it.”

Pressed further, Lawrence defended not only the pass but the decision-making process that gets employed lap after lap in a Supercross race.

“It’s easy to point the finger,” Lawrence said. “We’re out there making decisions in a split millisecond. People have all month to pay their phone bill and they still can’t do that on time.

“We’re making decisions at such a fast reaction [time with] adrenaline. … I’m not just saying it for me or Haiden. I speak for all the guys. No one is perfect and we’re under a microscope out there. The media is really quick to point a finger when someone makes a mistake.”

The media is required to hold athletes accountable for their actions. They are also required to tell the complete story.