A good opening day for Jorge Lorenzo, who finished with the 2nd fastest time.
Marc Marquez suffered an electrical problem during FP1, and had to push his Honda RC213V back down pit lane.
Bradley Smith was the surprise package of the day finishing with the fastest time.
The Le Mans round of MotoGP is a truly schizophrenic event. The track sits just south of the charming old city of Le Mans, a combination of medieval center and 19th Century industrial outskirts. The surrounding area is lush, rolling hills, woods alternating with open green fields.
It is very much a provincial idyll…until you reach the Le Mans circuit, and its campsites, where visions of Dante unfold before your eyes, and disinterested guards look on as large drunken hordes set about recreating some of the more gruesome scenes from Lord of the Flies.
Some people love it, others hate it. Veteran journalist Dennis Noyes always says it reminds of going to Hockenheim in the 1990s, when the police would not enter the woods at the heart of the track until the Monday after the race.
Then they would go in “to pull the bodies out,” as he so colorfully put it. Outside the track, the atmosphere is one of quiet provincial charm. Inside, all is wild, free, and out of control. It is an event that should be experienced at least once, though to be honest, once was enough for me.
When it comes to real road racing, the boys on Hondas are always the short-list of whom to beat. Gearing up for the North West 200 this weekend and the rapidly approaching Isle of Man TT, the road racing season is firmly upon us.
Never mind circuits and race tracks, these guys let it all hang out on public roads, with speeds approaching and surpassing 200 mph on some courses. Make no mistake, this is risky business.
Mental preparedness and track knowledge are key, but that doesn’t mean that machine shakedowns are unnecessary. Although the Honda CBR1000RR racing package hasn’t changed much over its eight years of use, HRC has been able to refine the Fireblade to be a keen, and more importantly, a reliable weapon on the roads.
This year, John McGuinness and Conor Cummins will wear the factory HRC livery, as they take on the other top riders. Honda has put together a quick video of the two racers, with their thoughts on the 2015 season. Check it out after the jump.
It’s been a while since we heard from Zero Motorcycles, but the Scotts Valley company continues to build and refine its electric motorcycle offering.
Helping to ensure that the electric motorcycle company continues to build upon its successes, the California Energy Commission (CEC) has issued a grant to Zero Motorcycles, to the tune of $1,009,220.
Zero’s investors will be matching that sum, and invest the combined $2 million in continued research, development, and assembly at the company’s California headquarters in Scotts Valley.
After Honda first released heavily cropped and vignetted photos of the 2016 Honda Africa Twin, we have been wanting to know more about the 1,000cc ADV bike.
It helps that a video leaked of the Africa Twin out playing in the dirt, but of course we know that the CRF1000L (as Honda designates it) will be very similar to the True Adventure prototype that Honda brought to EICMA.
But like the spoiled children we the media are, we want to open all our Christmas presents right now, so we go digging through the interwebs for every little clue.
Luckily, patent applications for the Honda Africa Twin’s design show the new off-roader in all its glory, sans color unfortunately. Still, this is our first glimpse at the final design of the Africa Twin, which will be in US dealers early next year.
Whether you like the man or not, you have to admit that Cal Crutchlow is looking good this year on the satellite Honda with LCR, as he sits 6th overall in the Championship.
Cal has always been one of the most underrated riders in the MotoGP paddock — you’ll know this because he’s the first one to tell you. It’s sort of like CrossFit.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big Cal Crutchlow fan. He is affable in person, and meaner than a terrier on the track — my two big criteria for any motorcycle racer.
However, it’s getting harder and harder to cheer for the British rider, even though he’s posting some of the best results ever in his GP career.
Indian motorcycle brands getting involved with Western companies for R&D isn’t anything new, in fact the entire Erik Buell Racing story seems to center around that very issue.
So, it shouldn’t shock anyone to hear that the iconic Royal Enfield motorcycle brand has acquired famed British performance house Harris Performance.
“Royal Enfield is working on its new generation of products and platforms; to have the Harris Performance team dedicatedly working with us will clearly enhance our engineering and product design capabilities,” said Siddhartha Lal, CEO Royal Enfield.
It looks like some video of the new Africa Twin has leaked out of Honda HQ, showing the adventure-touring bike going through its paces.
From the few glimpses we see from the video, the Honda Africa Twin looks very similar to the True Adventure prototype that Honda unveiled at EICMA.
Designated as the Honda CRF1000L, the Africa Twin is shaping up to be a very interesting motorcycle from Big Red.
Another bike is affected by the Öhlins suspension failure, as American Honda has submitted what it calls the Honda CBR1000S (that’s the CBR1000RR SP for everyone else) for recall with the NHTSA.
In total 504 units are affected by Honda’s recall, which applies to 2014 motorcycles made between December 9, 2013 and to March 28, 2014, and to 2015 motorcycles made between October 20, 2014 and February 27, 2015.
It looks like we were only partially correct in our news that Brammo would be returning to the Isle of Man TT, as the brand’s sister company, Victory Motorcycles, will in fact be racing an electric entry — one that looks like a rebadged Brammo Empulse RR — in the TT Zero event at the historic road race.
According to its press release, Victory Motorcycles will field a two-rider team, comprised of William Dunlop and Lee Johnston (a photo of “General Lee” testing a Brammo superbike is what initially sparked this news).
While Victory is calling its racing platform a “Victory electric race prototype motorcycle” the chassis and fairings give way to a shape we recognize as the Brammo Empulse RR electric superbike.
While having a quick look through some pictures from Jerez, I stumbled across this one from the pre-event press conference that made me chuckle. I thought it would make for a funny “Caption This” post for the readers of Asphalt & Rubber.
I’ll start us off with: M.M.: “I’m a little concerned Dovi. The instructions said the swelling should go down within 4 hours. That was 5 hours ago and it still looks like this.
Over to you guys.