WSBK: Early Battles Make a Masterful Race 1 Win at Misano

A 2WD Hybrid-Electric Motorcycle for the US Military?

In the coming years, US special forces may be riding a tw0-wheel drive, hybrid-electric, multi-fuel motorcycle co-developed by BRD Motorcycles and Logos Technologies. Helping make this project possible is a Small Business Innovation Research grant from DARPA. The goal is to make a single-track vehicle for US expeditionary and special forces that will be nearly silent in operation, yet also capable of traveling long distances. Details on the proposed machine are light, of course, but it sounds like the 2WD dirt bike will be based off the BRD RedShift MX (shown above), and use an electric drivetrain, as well as a multi-fuel internal combustion engine to achieve its goals.

Colin Edwards Will Retire from Racing after 2014 Season

Announcing his decision during the pre-event press conference for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, Colin Edwards told the assembled press that 2014 would be the Texan’s last season racing a motorcycle. Citing a lack of improvement on his performance in pre-season testing and at the Qatar GP, Edwards decision perhaps answers the lingering question in the paddock of when the American rider would hang-up his spurs after an illustrious career in AMA, WSBK and MotoGP. Talking about his inability to come to terms with the Forward Yamaha, which Aleix Espargaro was able to take to the front of the pack in Qatar, Edwards was at a loss when it came to understanding the Open Class machine and his lack of results.

MSF Updates Its Basic RiderCourse Curriculum

It is no surprise that statistics from the NHTSA show that motorcycle accidents and injuries are on the rise. According to the 2012 Motor Vehicle Crash report published by the NHTSA, motorcycle fatalities for that year rose to 4,957, up seven percent from 2011, while injuries increased 15% to 93,000. While the NHTSA statistics are misleading because the motorcycle category includes mopeds, scooters, three-wheelers, pocket bikes, mini bikes, and off-road vehicles, new riders need every advantage they can afford. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has taken notice of these statistics and has revised the curriculum for its Basic RiderCourse to include a new Basic eCourse, which students will take prior to in-person instruction.

Yamaha Trademarks “R1S” & “R1M” at USPTO – “YZF-R1M” Trademarked Abroad – But Why?

Are new Yamaha YZF-R1 models coming down the pipe? That’s the question being asked after trademark filings in the US and abroad tipped off Yamaha Motor’s intention to use “R1S”, “R1M”, and “YZF-R1M” for motorcycle, scooter, and three-wheeled purposes. The filings are being taken as hints towards a possible multiple trim levels of the Yamaha YZF-R1 superbike, with the “S” and “M” designations being different spec machines than the current base model. The “S” nomenclature is a popular one in the two and four-wheeled world, though “M” would certainly be a novel designation, outside of say…BMW.

Bell & COTA Create Texas-Themed Limited-Edition Helmet

Continuing its theme of making limited-edition helmets for premier-class US rounds, Bell Helmets has teamed up with the Circuit of the Americas and Chris Wood, of Airtrix, to create a Texas-themed Bell Star Carbon helmet, just in time for COTA’s MotoGP race next weekend. Available only until April 13th, the Bell/COTA helmet features a red, white, and blue flag motif on the front, with both the American and State of Texas flags visible, which then wrap around the rear to merge with a hardwood design, reminiscent of the floorboards in a Western saloon. The helmet is also crowned with a Longhorn cattle skull, which adds to the Texan motif. The specially designed helmet also features a horseshoe, the COTA logo, and the 2014 Red Bull MotoGP of The Americas logo.

Aprilia Mounting a Return to MotoGP in 2016

Towards the end of the 800cc era, MotoGP looked to be in dire condition. Grids were dwindling, factories were reducing their participation, and teams were in difficult financial straits indeed. By the end of 2011, there were just 17 full time entries, Suzuki was down to a single rider, and were about to pull out entirely for 2012. How different the situation looks today. In a recent interview with the official website, Aprilia Corse’s new boss Romano Albesiano gave a brief outline of their plans. The Italian factory will continue to work with the IODA Racing team for 2014 to collect data on the electronics and tires, which they will use as input on an entirely new project being worked on for 2016.

This Is Pretty Much What the Monster 800 Will Look Like

With the advent of the Ducati Monster 1200, it was only a matter of time before Ducati’s middleweight liquid-cooled “Monster 800″ would be spotted, and unsurprisingly the machines have a great deal in common. The one big difference seems to be that the 821cc Monster gets a double-sided swingarm, which has become Ducati’s new way of differentiating between its big and medium displacement models of the same machine, see entry for Ducati 899 Panigale. With the spied Ducati Monster 800 looking ready for primetime, and a pre-fall launch isn’t out of the question. Giving us an excellent glimpse into what the Ducati Monster 800 would look like, Luca Bar has again used his Photoshop skills to render up images of the still unreleased “baby” Monster.

Photos of the Mugen Shinden Ni sans Fairings

Given the competitive nature of the electric racing realm, its rare to see the big high-power bikes without their fairings, as teams are reluctant to reveal their secret sauce. Debuting the Mugen Shinden San this past weekend in Tokyo though, Team Mugen did just that, giving us a glimpse into the inner workings of the team’s 2013 race bike, the Mugen Shinden Ni. You don’t have to be an electron-head to get excited by these photos, as any race bike with a carbon fiber frame and swingarm is pretty drool-worthy, though the Shinden Ni’s carbon fiber battery enclosure does hide a great deal of the electric superbike’s geek factor. While the sheer size of the battery bike is impressive, it was expected when the Shinden was first announced.

Mugen Shinden San (神電 参) Electric Superbike Revealed

Mugen’s third purpose-built electric superbike for the Isle of Man TT, the Mugen Shinden San, has been revealed in Japan. Campaigning two machines for this year’s TT Zero race, Mugen has John McGuiness and Bruce Anstey at the helm of its “Shinden San” bikes, as the duo looks for a one-two finish in this year’s race. With MotoCzysz not racing at the Isle of Man this year, Mugen is a hot favorite to take the top podium spots, as well as crack the 110 mph barrier for electrics on the historic Snaefell Mountain Course (Mugen is targeting a 115 mph lap). An evolution on the company’s previous designs, the Shinden San fits 134hp — 10hp more than last year, thanks to a new smaller three-phase brushless motor provided by Mission Motors — into its 529lbs bulk.

Trackside Tuesday: The Winning Personality of Jack Miller

Chatting with a couple of NASCAR fans recently, I was reminded that any competition is boring if you don’t care who wins. But if you do care, then even cars driving around in circles can be very compelling entertainment. Those NASCAR fans really cared about how their favorite drivers finished, and not only how they finished in the latest race, but what and how those drivers were doing off the track as well. Those fans had been captured by the personalities of those drivers. One of the things NASCAR does well is sell personalities. All major sports-related businesses do this to some extent, but some organizations do it better than others.

WSBK: Early Battles Make a Masterful Race 1 Win at Misano

06/12/2011 @ 3:53 am, by Victoria ReidComments Off

WSBK: Early Battles Make a Masterful Race 1 Win at Misano AltheaRacingTeam Photo309217403448 635x566

Tom Sykes (1:55.197) was the surprising pole sitter for the 2011 World Superbike round at Misano, with Carlos Checa, Jakub Smrz, and Marco Melandri also on the front row. Saturday’s damp Superpole session made for a crash-fest, with Checa, Smrz, Eugene Laverty, Ruben Xaus, and Leon Camier, among others, all crashing. Neither Xaus nor Camier managed a time in S1 and qualified fifteenth and sixteenth, respectively. Sykes’ time was inspired, with the next-fastest Kawasaki of Joan Lascorz qualifying twelfth.

Third factory Kawasaki rider Chris Vermeulen was knocked out after the final qualifying practice, which is surprisingly good news for a rider that has yet to complete race distance in the 2011 season. Also recovering James Toseland was replaced for this weekend and next by Italian rider Lorenzo Lanzi, as his testing injury re-flared after the previous round in the United States. On Sunday morning, Checa was back into his top spot on the timesheets, leading Badovini, Fabrizio, Haga, and Smrz as the fastest five for the warm-up. Rea was taken to a local hospital after a heavy crash at Turn 11 in the warm-up, after being quite uncooperative in the medical center.

On the start, Sykes got a good start, leading into the first turn. Haslam, though, was into second from fifth around the oustide of Checa, with Biaggi fourth. Haslam went up the inside of Sykes for the lead, as Checa attempted to take second from the Brit a turn later. Instead, it was Biaggi who went second. At just the end of the first lap, Haslam led Biaggi, Sykes, Checa, Melandri, Smrz, Guintoli, Corser, Laverty, and Lascorz as the top ten.

Biaggi did not remain second for long, taking the lead from Haslam as Checa also moved around Sykes. Soon thereafter, Melandri took fourth from Sykes, with the Kawasaki rider seemingly going backwards. Soon, Biaggi had more than six tenths on Checa, with Haslam, Melandri, and Sykes the top five. Just before crossing the line, Smrz spun and fell down in front of much of the field on the straight to end his race.

Biaggi still led the same top five at the end of the fifth lap, with Checa slowing closing on the Italian. Melandri slid through on Haslam for third, and a lap or so later teammate Laverty took fifth from Sykes, only to lose it, then make the pass stick. Checa had closed right up on Biaggi eight laps into the race while Melandri was four seconds behind the pair in third. Laverty was all over the rear of Haslam, looking for a way past for fourth, only for  Haslam to crash.

Back at the front, Checa aggressively went under Biaggi when the Italian went a bit wide at about the halfway point of the race. Biaggi kept close to the Spaniard while Melandri was nearly five and a half seconds behind them. The two leaders settled in for a bit, staying close together but without any dicing over the lead. Soon, Biaggi began to make a few small mistakes and allowed Checa to gain a second on him.

The field was well spread out when five laps remained, Checa leading Biaggi by two seconds, Melandri well adrift in third, Laverty three seconds behind his teammate, and Sykes holding station in fifth. Checa remained consistently quick and smooth through the final laps, though the real drama came from pole-sitter Sykes. He caught up Laverty in fourth with two laps to go and was just a tenth behind him as they crossed the line to start the final lap. In the end, Checa won the first race at Misano, with Biaggi second, Melandri third, and Sykes pushing through on Laverty nearly at the line. Camier completed the top five. Despite his masterful race form, Checa stalled his bike just before starting his celebrations and was forced to get a lift with Xaus (who finished eleventh) to the podium.

World Superbike Race Results from Race 1 at Misano:

Pos. No. Rider Team Diff.
1 7 Carlos Checa Althea Racing Ducati -
2 1 Max Biaggi Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team 0.984
3 33 Marco Melandri Yamaha WSBK Team 17.124
4 66 Tom Sykes Paul Bird Racing Kawasaki 18.652
5 58 Eugene Laverty Yamaha WSBK Team 18.929
6 2 Leon Camier Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team 21.003
7 50 Sylvain Guintoli Team Effenbert-Liberty Ducati 22.942
8 86 Ayrton Badovini BMW Motorrad Italia 23.117
9 17 Joan Lascorz Paul Bird Racing Kawasaki 31.729
10 121 Maxime Berger Supersonic Racing Ducati 31.729
11 111 Ruben Xaus Castrol Honda 34.466
12 15 Matteo Baiocco Barni Ducati Racing Team S.N.C. 36.683
13 53 Alessandro Polita Barni Ducati Racing Team S.N.C. 37.984
14 77 Chris Vermeulen Paul Bird Racing Kawasaki 41.016
15 57 Lorenzo Lanzi BMW Motorrad Italia 43.514
Not Classified
8 Mark Aitchison Team Pedericini Kawasaki 4 Laps
44 Roberto Rolfo Team Pedericini Kawasaki 10 Laps
91 Leon Haslam BMW Motorrad 15 Laps
11 Troy Corser BMW Motorrad 19 Laps
41 Noriyuki Haga PATA Racing Team Aprilia 20 Laps
84 Michel Fabrizio Team Suzuki Alstare 21 Laps
96 Jakub Smrz Team Effenbert-Liberty Ducati 23 Laps

Source: WSBK; Photo: Althea Ducati

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