\Although only in their second season in the premier class, KTM MotoGP squad have sounded their intent to challenge for prominence on the grid. The team have progressed from a satellite squad to a full-fledged factory squad within a year.
This year, the team is pitting four KTM RC16s on the grid, all carrying a 2020 spec. The KTM riders for 2020 season are Pol Espargaro, in his fourth season with the team, rookie Brad Binder, Miguel Oliveira year two rider and another rookie Iker Lecuona. Espargaro is a MotoGP veteran, while Binder has been a regular at KTM who captured the Moto3 title a year ago. He moves up to MotoGP with KTM this season.
All KTM riders have already completed both a private and
official IRTA test so far since January and will lap Losail from 22 February for
three days in the final dialling-in outing before Grand Prix action commences
at the same venue in early March.
2020 Red Bull KTM Tech3 RC16 challenger
Red Bull KTM Tech3 boast some novelty factor for 2020 with
their ‘Organics by Red Bull’ livery and a fresh look for the crew. The
potential of the third generation of the KTM RC16 is eagerly anticipated after
the firm expanded their test team efforts with the experience of former champion
and Repsol Honda man Dani Pedrosa complimenting the long-standing knowledge of
Mika Kallio in 2019.
KTM Motorsport Director Pit Beirer commented, “2020 is about to begin and I would say we are exactly where we expected to be. We’ve had everything on a road map and have followed it with the full support of the company and the board. Last year we worked with a satellite team and four riders that provided valuable feedback and the groups spurred each other on, but, at the same time, it pushed us to the limit for resources and raised us to the peak where we are now. I would not say we have a ‘satellite team’ now but instead we are a KTM ‘pack’ with friendship and trust, and I include our test team in that whole organization.”
Apart from MotoGP, KTM has fourteen KTM RC4 riders in lower category; namely the Moto3. KTM also supplies bikes to riders participating in the 2020 seven-round Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup and the brand-new Northern Talent Cup series.
With about a month before the 2020 Formula 1 season kicks off in Australia, F1 Teams do their customary introductions to promote new challengers and driver lineups.
We start with the Reigning Champion Mercedes-AMG F1 Team. The Champs put their new Mercedes-AMG F1 W11 EQ Performance challenger on track at Silverstone for its initial testing. This is the 11th F1 car by the Silver Arrows since their return to the Series.
Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas return for another season to defend the team’s championship honors. Both drivers pilot the car that had 10,000 new parts. The car continues to run on a 1.6-liter V6 hybrid engine, since 2014.
Ferrari’s 2020 challenger is called the SF1000. The SF1000 denotes the Prancing Horse as the first team ever to take part in 1000 Formula 1 Grands Prix. This year, Ferrari observe its 70th anniversary in the series.
Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc are back as pilots for a second year driver pairing. Both drivers are in the Catalunya track for the first testing of the season, starting 19 February.
Marking its 70th year in F1, Ferrari have participated in 991 races and won 238 of them. In the new season, Ferrari intend to push for glory and expect both drivers to battle for top honors at every race.
McLaren took the covers off their 2020 F1 Challenger MCL35 last week at their headquarters in Woking. The 2020 team feature Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris in their second year as the team’s driver tandem.
The McLaren MCL35’s papaya and blue livery remains similar to last season. The car is powered by a Renault E-Tech 20 engine.
McLaren and the other F1 teams are preparing for the pre-season test in Catalunya from 19 – 21 February. Next, the teams conduct a second test from 26 – 28 February.
Renault F1 Team previewed its R.S. 20 challenger with drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon, recently. The 2020 challenger, powered by the E-Tech 20 engine, is set for full reveal at the Catalan track in Barcelona on 19 February.
Ricciardo is into his 2nd season with Renault, while Esteban Ocon, a graduate of the Mercedes driver development program, joins the French squad from a year spent at Mercedes-AMG F1 team as test driver. The Frenchman has raced for the now defunct Force India squad from 2017 – 2018.
Red Bull Racing
Red Bull Racing’s RB16 debuted at Silverstone in its familiar colors. The RBR squad feature Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon, who’s called up from sister team Toro Rosso.
RBR prepare for the first of two three-day tests starting 19 February at the Circuit Catalunya.
Toro Rosso becomes Alpha Tauri Team
At the Alpha Tauri Team unveiling recently in Salzburg, the squad presented its 2020 challenger, the AT01, and title partners AlphaTauri. They’ve gone from Energy drink to a fashion label, owned by Red Bull.
The AlphaTauri F1 cars took to the track in Misano, before being transported to the first testing site at Catalunya. The driver pairing comprises Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat. “There’s a new chapter coming with Scuderia AlphaTauri. I like fashion as well, so for me it’s great to be combining a fashion brand with Formula 1. I think it’s a great adventure that is starting now and I’m really excited to get started properly on track and take the brand to another level,” Gasly said.
Alfa Romeo Racing
The Team formerly known as the Sauber F1 team has unveiled its 2020 challenger, the C39, at the Fiorano. The Alfa Romeo Racing team conducted a first shakedown of the C39 in pre-launch ‘snakeskin’ livery at the track. Kimi Raikkonen was on hand in Fiorano to take the car out for a first shakedown.
The livery of the C39 by Centro Stile Alfa Romeo took its inspiration from one of the Brand’s dominant icons, the heraldic ‘Biscione’. The snakeskin pattern not only endows the car with an exotic look, it also camouflages its normal appearance and disguises its secrets until the official launch at the Circuit Catalunya.
Prior to the start of the pre-season test at Circuit de Catalunya, Alfa Romeo Racing took the covers off the new-liveried C39 with drivers Kimi Räikkönen, Antonio Giovinazzi, test/reserve driver Robert Kubica and development driver Tatiana Calderon.
Since taking in Alfa Romeo Racing, the race car has that familiar Alfa Romeo racing colors. For 2020, the paintwork is developed by Centro Stile and theme represents the “Speed-Pixel”: a graphic evocation of speed and time in what is the year of the brand’s 110th anniversary. There is also a return to a simplified quadrifoglio design and an enlarged Alfa Romeo script on the engine cover which is now overlapping the main logo. Alfa Romeo Racing squad aims to battle regularly in the midfield and a shot at the top five on the grid.
Formula E, the only all-electric racing series, is getting bigger as the FIA has recognized it and dubbed it the FIA Formula E Championship for 2021 season.
With the title, the Formula E Championship is set to utilize the next-gen Gen2 EVO restyled version of the current Formula E race car. DS Automobiles and its Formula E partner DS TeCheetah have presented the preliminary livery of the Gen2 EVO racer for the 2020/21 season or season 7 of the championship.
What’s the Gen2 EVO?
The DS squad’s DS E-Tense FE20 design of the Gen2 EVO is spearheaded by the DS Automobiles Design Studio. They work with the DS TeCheetah team to incorporate the facelift imagined for season 7 while retaining the black and gold codes of the race car.
DS Automobiles and its sporting entity DS Performance has successfully completed the transition between the two generations of Formula E cars. With a motor that increased to 250kW and a battery of 52kWh, the 100% electric discipline has benefited from a profound transformation between 2018/2019 by allowing drivers to compete in an entire E-Prix distance without car change-overs.
Aligned with DS TeCheetah, the DS E-Tense FE19 won the two championship ‘Drivers’ and ‘Teams’ titles last season. This season DS E-Tense FE20 is succeeding on urban circuits around the world (with a podium in Santiago last month), the next generation is already under study.
For an avant-garde discipline like DS Automobiles, Formula E will evolve the design of its car for the 2020/2021 championship. Modification of the front and rear appendages, addition of a ‘shark fin’ on the bonnet and opening of the front wheel arches, the Gen2 EVO symbolizes the uniqueness of the discipline and embodies the electric motor sport of tomorrow.
The next Formula E racer will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show on 3 March. The team’s Formula E champion and driver Jean-Eric Vergne, the first double Formula E champion and ambassador from DS Automobiles, will be on hand to take the covers off the next Formula E race car.
Reigning Champions Repsol Honda unveiled their 2020 new challenger
in Indonesia prior to the first official pre-season testing at Sepang Circuit.
For 2020, the rider pairing shall be defending champion Marc Marquez and Alex
Marquez, the brothers would be riding the new-liveried Honda RC213V MotoGP
M. Marquez helped Repsol Honda to their 25th manufacturers title and third straight triple crown last season. Marquez and Repsol Honda are gunning for another strong year as they welcome Moto2 champion Alex Marquez, who replaces Jorge Lorenzo, to the team. With 309 victories in the premier class, Honda have established themselves as the dominant force in two-wheel racing.
The Marquez brothers are preparing for first pre-season test of the 2020 season at Sepang, from 7 – 9 September. The brothers are testing the new RC213V for the first time on track as the new season kicks off proper at the Losail circuit from 6 – 8 March. “Repsol Honda and HRC have achieved incredible things and continuing this success is a big source of motivation for me, and now I’m eager to start another season and compete again on the RC213V,” the Reigning Champion said.
The younger Marquez commented, “It is a privilege to be part
of the family that is the Repsol Honda Team. Already I have had the special
feeling of stepping in the garage for the first time, working with my team for
the first time. I know that there is much to learn and achieve in 2020 but I am
devoted to giving my best, I’ll try to improve and learn every day and hope we
can do a great season step by step.”
Repsol Honda are expecting great things from the Marquez brothers and the indomitable RCV213V machine. It all starts today at the Sepang track and another pre-season test, then the first race in Qatar.
Yamaha MotoGP Team have unveiled their 2020 Challenger at
the official pre-season testing site in Sepang. As the year before, the rider
line-up remains 9-time Champion Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales.
The 2020 Yamaha YZR-M1’s color scheme remains the same as
the previous year, with the team’s YZR-M1, the pit box, and the riders’
leathers sporting the title sponsor’s ‘Monster Energy black’-to-‘Yamaha Factory
Racing blue’ gradient. The M1 also features subtle blue stripes that add a
further dynamic to the sleek design. The perfect blend between Yamaha’s
aesthetic and Monster Energy’s instantly recognizable claw branding is also
represented in the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team logo and the team gear.
Yamaha MotoGP riders are eager to get back on track after a mediocre last season. Vinales was third overall in 2019, while Rossi was seventh in the final rankings. Vinales faired better than Rossi with additional two wins. Fan favorite Rossi is a longtime rider at Yamaha, since 2004, before he jumped to Ducati for a brief time. He returned to the factory Yamaha squad in 2013. This season marks his 13th season with factory Yamaha. With Yamaha, the Doctor has attained four titles in 2004, 2005, 2008, and 2009. Every fan can bet he’ll be as competitive as ever in 2020, but will he be able to upstage his younger rivals?
“At the end of last season we were in decent shape, so I‘m really excited to start working again on our goal to get the title and as many wins as possible. For sure, I‘m looking forward to riding my M1 again. I‘ve used the winter months really well. I‘ve done a lot of physical training and riding to make sure my body and mind are in top shape. We need to work hard and be focused on our goal right from the start, so that‘s exactly what we‘ll do!” Vinales commented.
Rossi added, “It‘s time to get serious about 2020. I‘m very
curious to see what steps we can make during the Sepang Test. For sure, Yamaha
have prepared some new things for us to try, and anyway the first laps of the
year on a MotoGP bike after the winter break are always a unique sensation. For
sure we have a lot of work ahead of us, but the team and I are ready for it.”
Former Yamaha MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo has returned to the squad, where he won 5 titles. He is the test rider and has clocked first kilometers on the YZR-M1 in the shakedown test held on 2-4 February, after a three-year interval with Ducati. He completed his first test with satisfactory results, and his vast riding experience is expected to be a huge asset to Yamaha’s engineers over the course of year.
Suzuki MotoGP has unveiled their 2020 machine color scheme at the first official pre-season testing in Sepang. The 2020 season marks Suzuki’s 60th year in two-wheel racing, which began in 1980’s the Isle of Man’s Tourist Trophy. After that, the brand then got into its first GP and Championship title with Ernst Degner on the saddle in the 50cc category of 1982 season. From then until 2019, Suzuki would have 14 more championship titles, right up until the most recent victories in 2019 with Álex Rins at the Grand Prix of The Americas and British GP.
The 2020 Suzuki GSX-RR is decked in a combination of the familiar blue, mixed with a more traditional slate silver. From the technical standpoint, the MotoGP bike takes on a new engine spec and the riders will take it for a thorough test at upcoming pre-season venues in Sepang and Qatar. The technical team have also worked to develop new solutions for the chassis, set up and electronics, in the off season.
The team riders in the 2020 season features returning riders RIns and Joan Mir. Both Spaniards enter the 2020 season following a successful and propitious 2019. Finishing 4th in last year’s championship standings, taking two excellent victories and eleven Top 5 finishes, Rins proved his place among the top riders in MotoGP. He is ready to attack this brand new season with gusto, aiming to build on his results and add more trophies to the cabinet. His team mate completed a notable rookie season with Suzuki last season, which included a total of top ten finishes, with a fifth place finish at the Australian GP, as his best result.
“Last season brought me one of the most
exciting feelings on earth which was to win my first #motogp race. It was a
dream come true, and the second victory felt amazing too. I will bring those
emotions with me into 2020, as well as the awareness of the growth that I’ve
made,’’ Rins said.
“Now in 2020
we have to stay focused and get good results, more podiums for sure and
hopefully also more wins. This is the path to success, I believe; little by
little, step by step, with hard work all together,” he added.
Second-year rider Mir commented, “The first year has been a learning one, the MotoGP machine is such a beast that you have to learn how to control it, and I had huge support from all of my team. Now I want to build on my experience and start placing my name among the top riders. I’m really eager to get on my MotoGP machine again in Sepang and start to improve further.”
The riders will have opportunities to prove themselves in the new season
against the likes of the Repsol Hondas, Yamahas and Ducatis/
Goodyear is the new tyre supplier of the World Endurance Championship (WEC)
and European Le Mans Series (ELMS), following decades of non-involvement in
major International Motorsports. As the
official tyre partner, Goodyear provides all LMP2 entrants in the 2021 24 Hours
of Le Mans, including cars from outside of WEC and ELMS. The cars will benefit
from the latest developments in Goodyear Racing tyres. In addition, Goodyear
will also increase its brand visibility on and off the track to support its
launch of the latest range of Eagle F1 SuperSport tyres, featuring motorsport-derived
Some of you might remember in the 70s and 80s that Goodyear was a proud
tyre supplier of Formula 1. Goodyear shod F1 cars won 368 GPs.
A multi-year deal was signed between Goodyear and the organizers Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO). Previously, the WEC series had multiple tyre suppliers. The ACO made a move in the off season to appoint a single tyre supplier for the new season. Goodyear now officially supplies tyres to the LMP2 category. The 2020/21 WEC season, featuring 8 rounds, will kick off at Silverstone next September, before continuing across four continents around the world, and has its climax at the 24 hours of Le Mans in June 2021. Goodyear-equipped cars have won the Le Mans on 14 occasions, from 1960s till 1990s.
Apart from the WEC, Goodyear supplies to the ELMS, the continental endurance racing series. ELMS will begin in April 2021 with six races slated for six of Europe’s top circuits.
Gerard Neveu, CEO of the World Endurance Championship and European Le
Mans Series, stated: “Since announcing its comeback this year, Goodyear’s
commitment to top level performance has been very impressive. To win a World
Championship’s LMP2 class at only the third attempt shows the investment,
technology and dedication of the Goodyear team. We are proud to have Goodyear
as a premium partner in WEC and ELMS, and our LMP2 teams will benefit from high
level professional support to ensure the continuing close competition in the
Ducati MotoGP has unveiled its 2020 challenger ahead of the new season of the Premier two-wheel racing series. As last season, the team have stuck with its title sponsors and is still known as the Mission Winnow Ducati team.
For 2020, the team’s riders remain Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci who took the covers off the new liveried Desmosedici GP20 challenger at the intro ceremony in Bologna. The GP20 is decked out in bright red with a few details in black and chrome. First assignment for the 2020 bike is the pre-season tests coming up. The first test is slated for 7 – 9 February at the Sepang track. The 2020 MotoGP season starts in early March at the Losail Circuit in Qatar. There are a grand total of twenty races scheduled this season.
The GP20 as a legitimate contender in 2020
The GP20 has been revised for the better from last season’s exploits. It’s got an engine that features a counter-rotating crankshaft, a spine and slice traction control. The new elements contribute to a more efficient aerodynamics, alongside the new aerofoils. This means the bike is even faster and has a competitive edge over its rivals.
Ducati hopes for a better competitive edge against their Japanese opponents i.e. the Hondas and Yamahas. The team would again rely on Dovizioso and Petrucci on their quest for MotoGP glory. “Last year we finished as runner-up for the third consecutive time behind Marc Màrquez, a rider that for sure made the difference last year, but we also did our best managing well our potential. Every year has its own story, and it is not easy to predict what will happen in 2020. Our goal is clear; we want to challenge for the title again,” Dovizioso remarked.
“I know our rivals will be back stronger this year, but that counts for me too. I have been improving and growing each season, and this year I want to confirm my results and make further steps forward compared to last year,” Petrucci concluded.
Ducati and fellow MotoGP manufacturers are preparing for the first pre-season test coming up on 7 February at Sepang.
Malaysia’s Motorsport Athlete and best known local female race driver Leona Chin is making a historic debut in the GT World Challenge Asia Series in 2020. This is Leona’s first appearance in a sanctioned International motorsport event. The Reigning Malaysian Motorsport Athlete will drive for the Legacy Racing Team, alongside one of the country’s known motorsports personality Tengku Djan Ley.
Malaysian-bred Legacy Racing Team featuring Leona and Djan fields the amazing Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the GT World Challenge 2020. The team’s technical aspects is supported by Tedco Racing, a Malaysian-bred organization known in domestic motorsport scene.
Leona has been involved in local motorsports
scene since her breakthrough in 2006 as a Red Bull Rookie. Her earlier exploits
pitted her as an aspiring female drifter, hence the title Malaysia’s Drift Queen,
to this day. As drifting competitions fizzled out at the turn of 2010s, she
switched to grassroot racing to pursue her goals as a female racer in domesticated
series. Between 2012 – 2016 Leona pursued her motorsport endeavors not only
locally but across borders as she participated in Mini Challenge Asia Series
and Renault Clio Cup China. She has made plenty of appearances for supercar and
auto brands, as well as a number of
grassroot events. A couple of years ago, she became an ambassador of Mitsubishi
Malaysia and proved that a pick up could drift as well. She returned to local motorsports
last year where she pariticpated in the Malaysian Championship Series (MCS), finishing
runner-up. Naional carmakers Proton was impressed
by her performance during the season and appointed her a factory driver for the
last few races of the season.
Now, Leona sets her goals even higher as she prepares
for her debut season in the GT World Challenge Asia Series. “It’s always been a
dream of mine to race in the GT championship! It’s my debut and I understand
that it’s going to be a tough challenge especially on my first foray in a GT3
car. I’m very excited to face this challenge and hope to give my best to
achieve some good results,” an excited Leona remarked.
Leona and her co-driver will face six rounds
of pure adrenaline GT racing through some of Asia’s most revered tracks like
the Sepang circuit, Shanghai circuit, Suzuka circuit, Fuji Speedway and more.
2020 GT World Challenge Asia calendar
Round 1 Sepang Circuit, Malaysia 28 – 29 March
Round 2 Chang International Circuit, Thailand
25 – 26 April
Narrowly losing the Drivers WRC title to rival Toyota, Hyundai World Rally Team (WRT) has vowed to go into the new season with an ultimate goal of winning the titles outright, both the drivers and manufacturers. As always, the WRC season kicks off at the Rallye Monte Carlo, 23-26 January.
In 2020, Hyundai WRT will compete in its seventh season with four drivers, new and old. Reigning Champion Ott Tanak will jon Thierry Neuville, Dani Sordo and Sebastien Loeb in the new season. They will all pilot the revised Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC.
The i20 Coupe WRC, last season, scored wins on tarmac
(Corsica), gravel (Argentina/Sardinia) and mixed surface (Spain). The car has
been improved and upgraded for 2020 with one aim – win drivers and manufacturers
The 2020 WRC calendar features 14 rounds across the globe.
There are new territories to explore for competing teams such as; Kenya (July),
New Zealand (September) and Japan (November).