Suter is to withdraw from the 2018 Moto2 World Championship. The Swiss chassis manufacturer was only able to attract a single team for the 2018 season, and have decided that it makes no commercial sense to continue its participation.
The Dynavolt Intact Team, which will field riders Xavi Vierge and Marcel Schrotter for 2018, will make the switch to Kalex instead. Though the decision still comes as something of a surprise, it is entirely understandable.
Our third and final installment (be sure to read the first and second installments as well) in a three-part look at the rule changes made to the World Superbike Championship for the 2018 season. Today we get the perspective of WorldSBK champion Jonathan Rea, the rider with the most to lose from the new rules.
Three years of unparalleled success has seen Jonathan Rea notch up 39 victories, 70 podiums, and 3 WorldSBK titles.
To put those numbers into context, only Carl Fogarty, Troy Bayliss, and Noriyuki Haga have won more races in their WorldSBK careers. It truly has been a historic run of form for Rea and Kawasaki.
For WorldSBK though the achievements have been outweighed by the reaction of fans to these results.
Feeling that significant changes were needed to ensure a more competitive balance for the field, WorldSBK has introduced a wide range of new regulations to curtail the Kawasaki dominance.
The goal isn’t to stop Rea and Kawasaki winning but simply to allow other manufacturers to get on an even keel.
Owners of a 2017 Honda CBR1000RR, or its up-spec sibling the 2017 Honda CBR1000RR SP, should take note, as American Honda is recalling 2,443 units of the superbike for issues with their fuel tank design.
This is because on affected units there may be a gap between the fuel tank cap seal and the fuel filler neck, which could allow water to enter the fuel tank.
Our second installment (be sure to read the first and third installments as well) in a three-part look at the rule changes made to the World Superbike Championship for the 2018 season, today we get the perspective of Scott Smart, the FIM Superbike Technical Director, who rewrote the WorldSBK rulebook.
Scott Smart has been tasked with writing and rewriting the rule book for Superbikes around the planet.
The FIM Superbike Technical Director has been instrumental in bringing about the recent regulation changes for WorldSBK, and speaking at the season ending Qatar round he explained the philosophy behind the changes.
“There’s a lot of benefits to these changes, but the biggest factor is that we want to find a way to have more exciting racing in WorldSBK,” explained Smart.
“With the new regulations each team on the grid has the chance to run the same specification as the factory teams or to develop their own parts. This gives a private team the chance to have a bike with development work already having been completed by simply buying the relevant parts for their bike.”
Ben Spies fans will be happy to hear that the Texan is returning to racing motorcycles, announcing the news while talking to Matthew Miles at Cycle World.
However, the news might not be as expected, as Spies isn’t returning to the superbike paddock, but instead will compete in the AMA National Enduro series next season.
As such, Spies will take part in several rounds on the Full Gas Sprint Enduro calendar, in the mid-level “Pro2” class; as well as an ISDE qualifier, with an eye on making the squad for Team USA.
Episode 66 of the Two Enthusiasts Podcast is out, and in it we cover all the new motorcycles that caught our eye at the EICMA trade show in Milan, Italy.
There are a bevy of new models that we discuss in the show, with bikes from BMW, Ducati, Aprilia, Indian, Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki, Triumph, KTM, and Husqvarna all tickling our fancy.
Some of the highlights include talking about the supercharged Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX; the three-wheeled Yamaha Niken; the 226hp Ducati Panigale V4 Speciale; the very attractive Honda CB4 Interceptor concept; KTM’s two 790 bikes, and BMW’s substantial updates to its GS models.
A bit light on sleep, and certainly over-caffeinated, we think you will find the conversation to be a bit…peppy. Nevertheless, we think you will enjoy this latest edition of the podcast.
One last note for our Californian listeners, we will be doing a live show at the Dainese D-Store in San Francisco on December 13th, at 6:30pm (the show mentions an incorrect time, as schedules have changed since we recorded the show). We hope to see you there!
You can listen to the show via the embedded SoundCloud player, after the jump, or you can find the show on iTunes (please leave a review) or this RSS feed. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well.
I am always kind of amazed that when KTM shows its hot new bikes at a trade show like EICMA, the Austrian brand does such a bad job sharing the media it creates. Such is the case with the KTM 790 Adventure R prototype.
As such, only a handful of studio shots were released to the public upon the bike’s debut in Milan, Italy. But yet, KTM has clearly gone through the trouble of doing photo shoots with the middleweight ADV machine, and still the “Ready to Race” brand isn’t spreading the love.
Fortunately, we do have a couple photos of the KTM 790 Adventure R prototype, lifted from KTM’s Facebook page, and they do entice.
When it comes to the Montesa Cota 300RR, not too much changes for the 2018 model year, but that’s not going to stop us from sharing a gallery of 50 or so photos of this trials motorcycle.
A bike built for trials competition, the Cota 300RR is two-pounds lighter than the “consumer” focused 4RT260, and it features a number of components for that task, like HRC carbon fiber parts for the clutch cover protector, exhaust pipe guard, and headlight visor.
It also has an anodized chassis, as well as lightweight D.I.D aluminum rims that feature black-anodized machined hubs and Michelin tires.
The Montesa Cota 300RR is of course powered by a Honda four-stroke, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected 288cc single-cylinder engine, which has both a longer stroke and bigger bore than the Montesa Cota 4RT260.
Capable of only holding half a gallon of fuel in its tank, the 2018 Montesa Cota 300RR tips the scales at a paltry 162 lbs at the curb. A bike built to do a single task, very well, we think its red and black color scheme looks rather fetching as a bonus. Don’t you think?
The first installment in a three-part look at the rule changes made to the World Superbike Championship for the 2018 season (be sure to read the second and third installments as well), today we get an overview of the new WorldSBK rulebook, and its likely effects.
The opening round of the 2018 World Superbike season may be 100 days away, but the race to get ready for Phillip Island has begun in earnest.
The majority of the paddock are in the south of Spain, commencing winter testing at Jerez, and there is certainly a lot of work to be done.
The biggest single change in the history of the series will see widespread changes to the technical regulations. The headline act has been the introduction of mandated, and variable, rev limits for each manufacturer in a bid to curtail the dominance enjoyed by Kawasaki and Ducati in recent years.
FIM WorldSBK Technical Director, Scott Smart, was the man tasked with writing the framework for the new look regulations. The Englishman has rewritten the book on Superbike regulations in recent years and admitted that the biggest goal of the changes was to create a more balanced field.
The time schedule for the 2018 round of MotoGP at Qatar is to undergo a radical shake up. As we have previously reported, from next season, the time slots are to be moved up much earlier, with most of the action taking place during the day, and only the MotoGP race to take place completely at night.
The change has been made to address a range of problems at Qatar. The 2017 race came under threat when rain started falling between the end of the Moto2 race and the planned start of the MotoGP race.
Fortunately, the track dried sufficiently for the race to start with a 45 minute delay, but the later start pushed the race right into the time period during which the dew usually starts to settle on the track, rendering it treacherous.
The dewpoint at the track has caused problems ever since the race switched to being held at night. As temperatures drop during what is the most humid (a relative term, admittedly) part of the year in Qatar.
That part of the year is also the time at which rain is most likely to fall, despite still being relatively rare. In 2017, rain caused the loss of qualifying for all three classes.
The 51st running of the Macau Grand Prix got underway today under auspicious conditions, the race organizers finding a narrow window in the rain to let the motorcycles out on the road course.
That would prove to be a fateful move however, as the race would last only six of its twelve laps, with tragedy striking and red flags flying.
A crash in Fisherman’s Bend caused the race’s early conclusion, and in its aftermath we have learned that British rider Daniel Hegarty lost his life in the unfortunate incident.