The start of a new year, and though there is little going on in the world of motorcycle racing in the first week of January, there is still enough to fill our weekly news round up. Here’s what happened this week.
A new year is upon us, and with it, a new season of motorcycle racing, full of hope, opportunity and optimism. What will 2016 hold for motorcycle racing fans?
With testing still weeks away for World Superbikes, and a month away for MotoGP, it is far, far too early to be making any predictions. But why let that stop us?
Here are some predictions for 2016 that we are making.
Miller Motorsports Park is set to change hands, after the Miller family’s LHM Group decided not to renew its lease with Toole County on the property.
This created a situation where bids were tendered for a new operator, which lead to Mitime Utah Investment, LLC — a subsidiary of Chinese company Geely Holding Group, which is also the owner of automotive company Volvo — winning the bidding process with a sum of $20 million, two months ago.
That sale though has been vacated by Third District Judge Robert Adkins, who agreed with the petition of Center Point Management (CPM) that the company’s $22 million bid should have won, since it was higher and the County has an obligation to sell the property for the most money.
The World Superbike championship is to undergo a radical shake up. Today, the Superbike Commission, WSBK’s rule-making body, announced two major changes aimed at improving the health of the series.
The first change is the most noticeable. As predicted when the 2016 WSBK Calendar was published, World Superbike races are to be held on both Saturdays and Sundays, with Race 1 being held on Saturday, Race 2 on Sunday. This means that Superpole has now been moved to Saturday morning, rather than the afternoon.
The move, the Superbike Commission says, is to provide a fuller experience for fans at a WSBK weekend. The move has been made after consultation with the teams, TV broadcasters, and with circuit owners, which produced positive feedback.
Just because it’s the offseason doesn’t mean the guys from the Paddock Pass Podcast aren’t busy cranking out shows. Episode 12 finds David, Neil, and Tony after the Jerez test for both the MotoGP and World Superbikes, as well the Macau Grand Prix.
The boys talk about how the MotoGP teams are handling the unified electronics and adapting to the Michelin tires. They also gives us a status update on how the Aprilia and KTM projects are coming along.
Moving on to WSBK, there is a good discussion about the speed from the Kawasaki factory bikes, and how Nicky Hayden is handling the switch to the production class, with the Honda CBR1000RR. You will also enjoy Tony’s report from the Macau Grand Prix, the last stop on the 2015 road racing calendar.
The show is continues its mix of useful racing insight and friendly banter – if you ever wanted to know how much KTM’s Moto3 bike weighs in pixie farts, this is the show for you.
As always, be sure to follow the Paddock Pass Podcast on Facebook, Twitter and subscribe to the show on iTunes and SoundCloud – we even have an RSS feed for you. If you like the show, we would really appreciate you giving it a review on iTunes. Thanks for listening!
The World Superbike championship promises to bring new excitement for 2016. New bikes, and above all, new riders are adding an international flavor and much more interest to the series.
WSBK had already gained a top-flight American rider, with Nicky Hayden joining the Ten Kate Honda team, but now they have a top Australian rider as well.
Today, the Milwaukee team, run by Shaun Muir, announced that they will be making the switch from the BSB championship to World Superbikes, taking reigning BSB champion Josh Brookes along with them.
The FIM today released the provisional 2016 calendar for the World Superbike championship. There is good news and bad news in the calendar, with Portimao disappearing from the calendar, but Monza making a welcome return.
World Superbikes will also be returning to Germany, with the entire circus turning up to the Lausitzring, just north of Dresden.
The best news is that there are no direct clashes with MotoGP, but WSBK will be running on the same date as F1 for nine rounds, though only the Donington and Monza rounds happen in the same timezone.
Given the different time schedules for F1 and WSBK, bike racing fans should not have to miss any of the action.
The folks at Kawasaki are really enjoying their 2015 World Superbike Championship victory – and honestly, can you blame them? Jonathan Rea lit up the WSBK field, and dominated the series on his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R race bike.
For 2016, you can already get the race-inspired Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R KRT Edition, but for our European riding brethren, another model might tickle your fancy. Behold, the 2016 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R “Winter Test Edition” street bike.
The Aprilia Factory Works program is easily the most ridiculously awesome thing to come out of the 2015 EICMA show because it offers regular consumers (with a healthy pocketbook) the chance to own a 230hp+ Aprilia RSV4 superbike, just like what they race in the World Superbike Championship…and very close to what they race in MotoGP
Aprilia was a little vague though on what the Factory Works program entailed, but thankfully today at the EICMA show they clarified what exactly would be available from Aprilia Racing.
Coming up with five trim-levels for the RSV4 superbike, Aprilia has basically answered every track day enthusiast’s / amateur racer’s wet dream, and distracted us from the fact that the Noale company has a woefully aging product lineup.
However, this news is certainly less about a motorcycles with ridiculous horsepower figures, and more about a proven racing division opening up its service to a broader range of clientele.
Nicky Hayden is back to work this week, testing his new WSBK-spec Honda CBR1000RR race bike at the Motorland Aragon race track. An important day for the Kentucky Kid, the weather unfortunately didn’t get the memo and thus didn’t cooperate – heavy fog engulfed the track, along with very cold temperatures.
As such, Hayden didn’t get much time on the Honda CBR1000RR, riding only a handful of laps during the test – mostly fulfilling team media obligations and getting the Honda’s basic setup to his liking.
Hayden will have a second opportunity to test the Honda CBR1000RR at Aragon on Tuesday, and later this week he will appear at the EICMA trade show in Milan, Italy.
If you want an advance preview to Hayden’s appearance, Honda Pro Racing has put together a nice video interview with the former MotoGP champion. Check it out, after the jump.