Danilo Petrucci to Undergo Surgery After MotoCross Training Injury

April 12, 2024Ray Milton
WorldSBK

Barni Spark Racing World Superbike rider Danilo Petrucci suffered a major injury during a motocross training session. His participation in next weekends World Superbike Championship remains doubtful pending preliminary examination. Barni Spark Racing stated, “As a result of a fall during a training with the motocross bike Danilo Petrucci suffered a fracture of the right clavicle and jaw.” It was later announced that Petrucci would undergo surgery.

Given that the next round is one week away time is against Petrucci for getting fit enough to race. We would assume he will miss at least the next round depending on how he recovers from surgery. More to come as we receive updates.

The US media conglomerate Liberty Media announced an acquisition of 86% of Dorna. Dorna, a Spanish company has been the long lasting owner of MotoGP since 1992.

We are thrilled to expand our portfolio of leading live sports and entertainment assets with the acquisition of MotoGP,” said Greg Maffei, Liberty Media President and CEO. “MotoGP is a global league with a loyal, enthusiastic fan base, captivating racing and a highly cash flow generative financial profile. Carmelo and his management team have built a great sporting spectacle that we can expand to a wider global audience. The business has significant upside, and we intend to grow the sport for MotoGP fans, teams, commercial partners and our shareholders.”

“This is the perfect next step in the evolution of MotoGP, and we are excited for what this milestone brings to Dorna, the MotoGP paddock and racing fans,” said Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna. “We are proud of the global sport we’ve grown, and this transaction is a testament to the value of the sport today and its growth potential. Liberty has an incredible track record in developing sports assets and we could not wish for a better partner to expand MotoGP’s fanbase around the world.”

From Liberty Media

“Liberty Media will acquire 86% of MotoGP with MotoGP management retaining approximately 14% of their equity in the business. The transaction reflects an enterprise value for MotoGP of €4.2 billion and an equity value of €3.5 billion with the existing debt balance at MotoGP expected to remain in place after close. The equity consideration to sellers is expected to be comprised of approximately 65% cash, 21% in shares of Series C Liberty Formula One common stock (Nasdaq: FWONK) and 14% of retained MotoGP management equity.”

About Liberty Media Corporation

Liberty Media Corporation operates and owns interests in a broad range of media, communications and entertainment businesses. Those businesses are attributed to three tracking stock groups: the Liberty SiriusXM Group, the Formula One Group and the Liberty Live Group. The businesses and assets attributed to the Liberty SiriusXM Group (NASDAQ: LSXMA, LSXMB, LSXMK) include Liberty Media’s interest in SiriusXM. The businesses and assets attributed to the Formula One Group (NASDAQ: FWONA, FWONK) include Liberty Media’s subsidiaries Formula 1 and Quint, and other minority investments. The businesses and assets attributed to the Liberty Live Group (NASDAQ: LLYVA, LLYVK) include Liberty Media’s interest in Live Nation and other minority investments.

Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) got the weekend started off with back to back wins in the Race 1 and the Superpole Race. After the Superpole race Razgatlioglu said, “I am really happy; I didn’t have more chances because at Turn 10, I lost it because I wasn’t close enough to attack,” said Toprak in Parc Ferme. “I was then just thinking in the last corner and what Valentino Rossi did many years ago, so I thought ‘why not now?’ and I was close enough. I used second gear in the last corner, took the line and the plan was perfect. The acceleration wasn’t bad and I am winning again. I’m not surprised, I was just thinking in the last corner!”

Unfortunately for him he wasn’t able to complete the hat trick in Race 2 because Alvaro Bautista had other plans. It was a positive day for the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. Especially in race 2 where the team finished with both riders in the top 5.

Bautista Bounces Back

The champ is back! Alvaro Bautista secured his first win of 2024 in race 2. It’s no secret that Bautista has been fighting to get back to 100% fitness after a last season injury lingered preventing him from participating in the majority of pre season testing. However, those troubles seem to be behind him now. In Race 1 he showed his prowess fighting from P14 to a podium. That success continued as he pushed through the weekend. The win in Race 2 resulted in his 4th podium of the season and drew him closer to the championship leader; his teammate Nicolo Bulega. Bulega has had a sensational start to his rookie World Superbike season but fell short this weekend for two P2 finishes in Race 1 and Race 2. He currently leads the championship ahead of Bautista by 8 points.

Full Catalunya-Barcelona Round Race 2 Results

After topping the table in Superpole Toprak Razgatlioglu won Race 1 adding his name to the mix of winners in 2024. Razgatlioglu started from the front and didn’t look back. Prior to the race Toprak said, “I think it will not be an easy race weekend for me because we need further improve tire life but the test was also very positive, we also worked on race pace and that was very good.

We are still not at really 100 per cent but I am learning the bike every day and we are improving. My general feeling is not bad. This race weekend will be very important for me. I try to make it to the podium and my big target is to win the race because I never won at Catalunya before. I hope we will win this weekend, I will try to do my best.” Little did he know his efforts would end up seeing him to the top in Superpole and the winner in race one.

Razgatlioglu Reflect After the Race

After the race Razgatlioglu’s tone changed, “I am really happy. Thanks to my team, they did an unbelievable job with really hard work and finally we are winning,” he said. “This victory has special importance for me as I never won here on this circuit before. It has been my dream and finally I have a victory in Catalunya. This is an unbelievable moment because this race was really hard. If we win here, I think fighting will be easier on other race tracks. After Bulega passed me, I just followed him but after two laps I said, okay, I am pushing a little bit too hard for the rear tire. The podium is enough for me because I know that on this track, the rear tires have a big drop on the last five laps.

Then on the last five, six laps I saw that Bulega started to drop and I pushed hard, especially on the brakes. At the first round of the season I felt a lot of pressure as I was my first weekend with BMW but here that was not the case anymore but as Markus Flasch is here, we wanted to achieve something for him. To get pole position and win the race made it an unbelievable day. We have two more races tomorrow and now we will focus on those.”

The Ducati Front Runners Settle for 2nd and 3rd

Nicolo Bulega beat out his teammate and last years champion. The pair finished P2 and P3 respectively. Alvaro Bautista finally looked his normal self on track today after struggling to get back to form after fighting a pre season injury. One thing that has become clear. Alvaro Bautista will not be running away as the sole championship contented this year. While still early its clear that there are multiple contenders for the title this year. The most important is Bulega who as a rookie has outperformed the reiging champion thus far in 2024.

Sam Lowes and Jonathan Rea did not finish the race.

Full Race 1 Result are Below

The top four riders in FP2 were all aboard Ducatis. The pack was led by Nicolo Bulega the World superbike rookie that has turned heads since pre season testing for his first run at a world superbike title. Bulega said, “I’m happy because we worked very well today collecting a lot of data that will be useful tomorrow. We also did a good job with the tires which allowed us to have clearer ideas. It will be essential to make the right choice also because tire wear will probably be one of the determining factors for the race.” On day one of racing action at Catalunya Ducati riders Bulega, Alvaro Bautista, Danilo Petrucci and Alex Lowes topped the field. Toprak Razgatlioglu fell to P5 after topping the table in FP1 ahead of his teammate.

Alvaro Bautista Responds to Hints at Intra Ducati Competition

Alvaro Bautista finished behind his new teammate Bulega in FP2. Bautista has been battling injuries that have lingered from the pre season which have slowed down his pace on track. When asked about intra team competition Bautista said, “If it’s like that, I’ll sign now! Because for me it has been a really hard winter and first race, because the feeling riding the bike was not the best and I couldn’t ride as I wanted. First, I thought it was because of my injury, but in the test, I felt okay and I couldn’t ride like I wanted yet, so there was something wrong.

Fortunately, today we found something that helped me a lot to ride as I wanted. Tomorrow will be another day and we will try to keep this improvement. Races in Barcelona are really hard for the tires, and you have to manage really well the situation. In the past I did it well, but I was the fastest on race pace, so it was easy to be 3-4 tenths slower than my normal pace to manage the tire. Now I’m not the fastest guy, so I need to push from the beginning. It’s a different situation.”

Alex Lowes gets the World Superbike season off to a great start after securing 2 of 3 wins this weekend at Philip Island. In Race 2 the race came down to the final two laps after a delay and subsequent red flag that came out as a result of Jonathan Rea’s major crash incident at Turn 11. Additionally, Andrea Locatelli had to retire from the race due to a risky defensive maneuver against a pass attempt by Alex Lowes. However, as a result Locatelli went off at Turn 4 crashing out of the race. The DNF saw his run of weekend success come to an end.

Locatelli Discusses Off At the Hairpin at Phillip Island

“The feeling was amazing in Race 2, I think in the end this weekend we did a really good job and we never made any mistakes. Unfortunately, we are checking on the data and we don’t know yet what was the reason but the bike was in neutral – so then I was wide and when I tried to put again the gear, I made a mistake and I lost the rear. It is a big shame because everything was working well and it was just the last lap and we were fighting for the race win.

Feels a bit like a bad dream, but at the same time I want to say thanks to Yamaha and the team because we were working well during the weekend – we were fast in every condition and every session in front – so this is for sure something good for us and let’s see what we can do in the next race. We will be on track for two days of testing before the Barcelona round, we need to improve a little bit more but the confidence on my R1 is good so let’s see what we can do.”

Showdown at the Finish Line

The final lap of the race was full of action with Alvaro Bautista and Alex Lowes going head to head down to the wire. The pair pulled away from the battle for 3-4 on the penultimate lap. The margin for victory came down to the finish line with Lowes edging out Bautista by 0.048s. It was a positive race for Bautista who has seemingly been less than 100% leading up to Race 2.

Lowes was ecstatic after having won the Superpole Race earlier this weekend. “It has been a long time since our last win but we have been working hard,” Lowes Said. “In the Superpole Race I was really emotional, I think I was crying on the in-lap. On Race Two I felt I would have more chance if it was a longer race. I was a bit disappointed after the pre-race tests on Tuesday because my tire life looked good. We have been working really hard to make the bike smoother this year and easier to manage.

We cannot read too much into this final race…We know this is a special circuit, but you still have to manage the race well and the bike still has to look after the tire. I think mine was the best tire at the end of the race. Alvaro’s bike was moving a lot and he could not enter into corners. I sat there behind and tried to look after the tire as much as possible. I am obviously very happy. It has been a big, important winter, changing many small details. I am fit and strong now, improving my confidence. I did a good job today…To get two wins today was fantastic, and mixing it up there, I was really happy. The guys have done a fantastic job all weekend.”

Full Race 2 at Phillip Island Results Below

PosRiderTeamMotorcycleGap
1Alex LowesKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR11 Laps
2Alvaro BautistaAruba.it RacingDucati Panigale V4 R+0.048
3Danilo PetrucciBarni Spark RacingDucati Panigale V4 R+1.178
4Andrea IannoneTeam Go ElevenDucati Panigale V4 R+1.275
5Nicolo BulegaAruba.it RacingDucati Panigale V4 R+2.346
6Michael Ruben RinaldiMotocorsa RacingDucati Panigale V4 R+2.913
7Sam LowesElf Marc VDS RacingDucati Panigale V4 R+3.480
8Garrett GerloffBonovo Action RacingBMW M 1000 RR+4.119
9Dominique AegerterGYTR GRTYamaha R1+5.152
10Michael van der MarkROKiT BMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR+5.159
11Axel BassaniKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR+5.183
12Remy GardnerGYTR GRTYamaha R1+7.652
13Xavi ViergeTeam HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R+9.082
14Philipp OettlGMT 94Yamaha R1+10.279
15Bradley RayMotoxracingYamaha R1+11.806
16Tito RabatPuccetti RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR+17.416
17Scott ReddingBonovo Action RacingBMW M 1000 RR+21.815
18Tarran MackenziePetronas MIE RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R+25.481
19Adam NorrodinPetronas MIE RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R+32.107
DNFAndrea LocatelliPata PROMOTEONYamaha R1
DNSToprak RazgatliogluROKiT BMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR
DNSJonathan ReaPata PROMOTEONYamaha R1
DNSIker LecuonaTeam HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R

Kawasaki man Alex Lowes secured his first win of the season in the World Superbike Super Race at Phillip island today. Lowes finished 4th in race 1 leaving him outside of the podium places but slowly started to inch his way the front with a 3rd place finish in Superpole and now a win in the Superpole Race. Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) fell short of his attempt at a sweep this weekend. Bulega qualified on pole but have a substantial drop in pace in the Superpole race which saw him drop behind. Lowes was able to pull away in clean air ahead while the battle for second ensued behind.

Toprak Razgalioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), Andrea Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) and Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) all had the opportunity to make a move for the podium but the Aruba.it Racing riders continued to drop off in the closing stages of the sprint. The squabbling behind allowed Lowes to increase his lead ahead of Andrea Locatelli to 1.1s. However, it was a positive day for Yamaha as they secured their second podium of the season. Razgatlioglu rounded out the top 3. The finish in the Superpole race will set the grid for Race 2 later today.

Prior to the the start of the race weekend Dorna announced obligatory pit stops for Race 1 and Race 2 but that requirement did not extend to the Superpole Race.

Full Phillip Island Superpole Race Results

Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) played spoiler for the first World Superbike race of the season. The pre season pace of Bulega has shown to be amongst the best on grid. In some cases Bulega topped all of the grid veterans. Today he solidified his presence in the championship with a win in his first World Superbike race. Bulega lead the Italian riders who dominated in race one with Andrea Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) and Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven) finishing in second and third respectively. It was the first time in World Superbike history that two rookie riders finished 1-2 in their debut event.

After securing P1 in Superpole Bulega put on a masterclass to finish first. The win is already a change to last season with Bulega’s Aruba.it Racing teammate and 2023 World Superbike champion Alvaro Bautista, winning the majority of the races in 2023. The Superpole race and Race 2 are up next. After round 1 at the conclusion of the race weekend we will analysis on where the teams stand.

Full Race 1 Results are Below

PosNo.RiderBikeGap
111N. BULEGADucati Panigale V4R 
255A. LOCATELLIYamaha YZF R12.280
329A. IANNONEDucati Panigale V4R2.630
422A. LOWESKawasaki ZX-10RR4.728
554T. RAZGATLIOGLUBMW M 1000 RR5.706
677D. AEGERTERYamaha YZF R18.333
760M. VAN DER MARKBMW M 1000 RR8.647
89D. PETRUCCIDucati Panigale V4R9.965
931G. GERLOFFBMW M 1000 RR11.699
1097X. VIERGEHonda CBR1000 RR-R12.423
11 45S. REDDINGBMW M 1000 RR14.413
1247A. BASSANIKawasaki ZX-10RR16.668
1314S. LOWESDucati Panigale V4R18.388
1421M. RINALDIDucati Panigale V4R23.560
151A. BAUTISTADucati Panigale V4R32.471
165P. OETTLYamaha YZF R135.580
1765J. REAYamaha YZF R137.949
1853T. RABATKawasaki ZX-10RR39.427
1995T. MACKENZIEHonda CBR1000 RR-R54.890
2027A. NORRODINHonda CBR1000 RR-R57.202
2128B. RAYYamaha YZF R158.642
RET87R. GARDNERYamaha YZF R118 Laps

Andrea Locatelli turned the field on its head on day one of Phillip Island weekend to kick off the World Superbike Championship. Locatelli pilot his Yamaha R1 to set a lap record breaking time of 1’29.197s. The record was previously held by Tom Sykes. The majority of FP1 was plagued with rainfall so lap times remained tame after Locatelli set the early pace. Windy conditions garaged most of the riders deeming it an unnecessary risk to run during FP1.

2023 Champion Alvaro Bautista struggled after the track began to dry and he did not break into the top 5. Teammate Nicolo Bulega who had blistering pace in preseason testing also fell behind finishing just ahead of his teammate but in 7th place. FP2 is up next.

Full FP1 Results are Below

World Superbike testing concluded this week at Phillip Island with Toprak Razgatlioglu finishing on top in the final day of testing. Razgatlioglu narrowly edged out the top time ahead of World Superbike rookie Nicolo Bulega who has been flying since his first day on the Ducati superbike machine. Razgatlioglu admittedly had some doubt heading into the test but was able to put them aside on the track.

Toprak Razgatlioglu (#54 BMW M 1000 RR, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team)

“I have to admit that I was really scared before I came here because this is not a track that suits my style. In addition, it was the first time for me to ride here with the BMW M 1000 RR. But I tried to do my best in every session. On this track, you need more grip to ride the bike. The old surface did not offer so much grip but on the new one, I was feeling too much grip and the bike was feeling really good. It was working really well and we made a very good lap time with the SC0 tire.

In general, the bike is working really well with the SC1 tire and we found a very good set-up. I am happy, but that was just testing and in the last ten minutes, everyone pushed for good lap times, including me. We did a very good one, we finished in P1. This is good but I am focused on the race because I am working for the race and we will see. It looks like it could be a flag-to-flag race because the tire is destroyed after ten laps, but we will see – in general, I am happy!”

Locatelli Leads the Way for Yamaha

Andrea Locatelli lead the way for Yamaha with Jonathan Rea crashing on the final day of testing. Locatelli was 3rd fastest behind Bulega while teammate Rea finishing 15th fastest. He said, “So, it was an interesting day! Unfortunately, it was just one day of testing – it is not easy to do everything but we were working well this morning and especially during this afternoon to understand which was the best rhythm to do on the race tire.

Everything was working well, my confidence on the R1 feels amazing – I was fast in every run, so this is something positive for us. In general, I am really happy – I can’t wait to start the weekend and I am really excited to start the first race here in Phillip Island. The track was changing a lot, with the new surface grip is quite high, so let’s see what we can do. We have some days to check the data and try to improve a little bit more, but we did really well today. Our target is the podium, we are here for this – and maybe try to win.”

Yamaha is looking to keep their forward momentum going after the loss of Toprak Razgalioglu after last season. Rea brings a plethora of experience to the team. We will see come round 1 if that experience will help him over come the seeming limitation he had at Kawasaki last year.

Bautista Fighting Injury

Last year’s champion Alvaro Bautista has been in recovery from neck injury a suffered in the MotoGP Malaysian Grand Prix last year. “Since the start of pre-season, this is the first day I’ve been able to focus on working to improve my feeling with the bike without having to worry about my physical condition. This makes me very happy even though there is still a lot to do to be in the best condition. Anyway, I am looking forward to getting on track from Friday to work on the details that need to be fixed to be competitive during the weekend“ It’s clear Bautista is still not at 100% but continues to improve as we approach the season opener.

Top Times from the Final Day of Testing