It seems that the Kawasaki drama is finally about to come to a close. Marco Melandri has announced that he has decided to sign with the new Hayate Racing Team (the official name of the 1 bike Kawasaki MotoGP bid). Not wanting to be left out, John Hopkins has also made a statement about his situation and plans for the 2009 season.
Confusion in Daytona, Florida lead many race fans, and racers with some doubt as to who won, and whether not a full race had in fact occurred for this year’s Daytona 200. In a press release issued by the AMA, the sequence of events that led to the 6-lap sprint to the finish are as follows:
The lighting system that illuminated the chicane that leads into NASCAR turn 3 experienced a failure on or about lap 36, which brought out the “safety” (AKA pace) car. During this caution an unnamed rider collided with Graves Yamaha’s Tommy Aquino, causing Aquino to go down, which brought out the red flag, idling the field for nearly a half-hour. After a few warm-up laps behind the safety car, racing resumed only to to go back under caution when M4 Suzuki’s Kris Turner went down in the Horseshoe. Racing resumed in earnest on lap 49 and did not go back to yellow for the remainder of the race.
AMA race director Colin Fraser said that the discrepancy was a mistake and would not make excuses for the foul-up.
Lastly, Paradigm Racing’s Barrett Long, after a post-race protest, was given credit for a lap that was not counted during the red flag period which elevated him to 6th place ahead of Chaz Davies. Continue reading for the racing results.
AMA Superbike kicked off this weekend to substantially less fanfare than WSBK did last week. AMA Superbike has become the bastard-child of road-racing for a variety of reason. One, Mat Mladin has already been forecasted to win all the races this year now that Ben Spies has moved on to World Superbikes. Two, the bikes being raced aren’t really superbikes. Three, AMA Superbike has been boring for the past 5 years or so. While we do not attempt to make excuses, or even argue these valid criticisms of AMA Superbike, you’d be wrong if you thought the first race of the AMA season was boring. It’s true that Mladin took over on the 7th lap and won by over a second but the actual racing was a lot more entertaining than that.
We all have an intersection or two that we absolutely despise in our home town. Hearing our ire and road rage, Forbes has compiled a list of the 100 worst intersections in the United States. As one would expect, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago keep popping up, though other areas like New Haven, Austin and even Honolulu have traffic nightmares to offer. Forbes relied on data from Inrix, a company whose traffic data, culled from commercial vehicle GPS units and state departments of transportation, is facilitating traffic avoidance functionality in GPS units. Ford will be using the predictive routing to keep its new vehicles out of traffic jams, and Garmin and TomTom also rely on Inrix. Source: Forbes via Autoblog
Dani Pedrosa was operated on by a team of doctors at the USP Institut Universitari Dexeus yesterday evening. The medical staff placed a titanium screw in Pedrosa’s left wrist and a skin graft on his left knee. The two doctors carried out both of the three-hour operation at the same time, with the left knee skin graft taking the most time. At the press conference the doctors spoke about each procedure and the likely recovery time.
“Dani Pedrosa received a graft on the open wound using a rotation graft, a graft of skin and fat taken from the inside of his left thigh to cover the affected area,” stated Dr. Ferreira. “We must now wait for scar tissue to form; the patient will be able to start moving a little within three weeks and within a minimum of four he can begin to bend the leg.”
“The fracture on the left distal radius, which was affecting the joint, has been repaired, it was then fixed with a titanium screw. The functioning of the affected zone will begin within ten days, in the meantime Dani Pedrosa will stay in hospital for the next 72 hours” said Dr. Mir.
With doctors saying that it will be four weeks before Pedrosa can even bend his knee, it is very likely that Dani will be unable to test at Jerez, which is in three weeks.
For those of you living and riding in the State of California, you should be aware of a proposed senate bill that will require smog checks for motorcycles. Senate Bill 435, introduced by California State Senator Pavley on February 26, proposes smog checks on motorcycles, beginning January 1st, 2012, for all motorcycles model year 2000 or newer. California until now has had the wisdom to exclude motorcycles from smog tests.
SB 435, as introduced, Pavley. Smog check program: motorcycles. Existing law establishes a motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program (smog check), administered by the Department of Consumer Affairs, that provides for the inspection of motor vehicles upon registration, biennially upon renewal of registration, upon transfer of ownership, and in certain other circumstances. Existing law exempts from biennial inspection all motorcycles until the department implements test procedures applicable to motorcycles. Violations of smog check requirements are a crime. This bill would require the department to include model-year 2000 and newer motorcycles in the smog check program beginning January 1, 2012.
If you live in the State of California, the time to contact your state legislators is now.
We usually don’t post up videos from YouTube unless there’s a story behind them, but I think we can make an exception in this case. In this video, a DRZ-SM rider jumps an entire intersection in our home town of San Francisco. Awesome.
The injury Dani Pedrosa suffered at Qatar is worse than at first thought. We reported earlier that Pedrosa had come away from the accident with only bruising and swelling, but after a closer examination it is now apparent that Dani has suffered a distal radius fracture, an injury which will require the fitting of a titanium screw to compress the fracture. He is scheduled to undergo surgery on Wednesday afternoon.
As the MotoGP Official Night Test came to a conclusion at midnight in Qatar on Tuesday, it was Casey Stoner who sat proudly at the head of the time sheet. This was the last day for the MotoGP field to get practice in the desert night before the season starts, and is the second of three tests planned for the 2009 season. The next outing for the MotoGP riders is the Official MotoGP Test at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain which takes place on 28th & 29th March. MotoGP will then return to Qatar for the first Grand Prix of the year on 10th-12th April.
After the torrential rain on Sunday evening, riders were not taking any chances with cool temperatures and a dirty track surface from high winds earlier last night. Without little surprise, lap times were well off record pace, and most riders were not taking any extra chances after seeing Chris Vermeulen, Dani Pedrosa and Mikka Kallio all crash out, and the track red flagged twice. Despite the carnage, Casey Stoner found himself on the top of the stack as the fastest rider of the day in the second round of testing at Qatar.
Testing was cut short for the first day at Qatar as a rare rainstorm put a hold to the first session under the lights of the MotoGP Official Night Test. At 6pm there were ambient temperatures of 68ºF and track temperatures of 75ºF, but an hour later heavy rain drove the riders off track and back into the shelter of their pit-boxes. Almost half the MotoGP field had not left their garages before the rain arrived, including Valentino Rossi, Casey Stoner, and Dani Pedrosa.