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Jensen Beeler

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2009-benelli-due-756-6

After its initial unveiling in 2006, and winning accolades in 2007, we finally have shots of the Benelli Due 756 in what appears to be its final form. The Due is expected to be officially unveiled this fall, with production slotted for 2010 or earlier. Powering the new Benelli is a two-cylinder 756cc power-plant making 100hp, and is set to take on the naked medium displacement segment, such as Honda Hornet & Kawasaki Z750. Rumors are the Due will be priced to compete with these bikes as well. 

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max-neukirchner-suzuki-phillip-island-test-2008

The rest of the WSBK field has found their way to Phillip Island for their last testing before racing starts, and a new Max is the man to beat. This time, it was German Suzuki man Max Neukirchner who was the fastest, just dipping underneath the time set by Max Biaggi by .09 seconds. The day was an eventful one, marked by crashes, with Fabrizio, Haga, Checa, and Corser all hitting the dirt and tarmac. Ten Kate Honda’s Carlos Checa was by far the worst. After his off, Checa was taken to hospital for examination after it became apparent that the crash caused him to have memory loss. He was later released from hospital, but his participation in testing tomorrow is doubtful.

 

biaggi-rsv4-phillip-island-test

The first batch of testing has concluded at Phillip Island. As before, Aprilia stands on top of the unofficial podium, but this time the fastest lap of the day was posted by The Emperor himself, Max Biaggi. Following behind him, by just a hundreth of a second, was Ducati’s Regis Laconi. Topping the World Supersport bikes was a former Kawasaki rider Anthony West, who repeated his performance from yesterday by setting the fastest lap of the day on his Stiggy Motorsports Honda.

 

sete-gibernau-valencia-test

Sete Gibernau will be forced to miss the upcoming test at Qatar, due to take place in early March, after the was advised by doctors to let an injured shoulder heal from having a damaged ligament. The injury occurred during training, and  he will need four weeks for the injury to recover properly.

Missing the Qatar test is a bit of a blow to Gibernau, as this would have been his first time riding under the night time lights of the Qatar circuit. This will leave Sete and Niccolo Canepa as the only riders who have not experienced the night conditions at Qatar when the race starts on April 12th.

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rizla-gsx-r1000

We reported to you earlier in the month that . Those rumors seemed all but confirmed when Suzuki showed up to the Sepang testing in the traditional Suzuki racing livery, instead of the usual Rizla powder blue. Things are afoot in the Suzuki camp according to Loris Capirossi. The Italian rider has told GPOne that Rizla has signed a new contract with Suzuki for 2009. According to Capirossi, the deal was done after the Sepang tests, where the Italian and his Australian team mate Chris Vermeulen set some outstanding times.

 

motorcycle-showroom

The Federal stimulus package signed into law yesterday is laddened with initiatives designed to help boost our nation’s economy. None of these provisions, however, will affect the die-hard motorcyclist more than the provision, which allows motorcycle buyers to deduct the sales and excise taxes on their 2009 tax return. Yeah, you really just read that. If you buy a motorcycle under $49,500 and subject to certain restrictions, you can take the tax portion of the OTD price and subtract it from your tax statement next April 15th. How much a buyer benefits will depend on the taxes paid and their personal tax situation, but it the case of your typical sportbike, that’s still nearly a grand off your taxes.

Motorcycle dealers counting on a big boost will not find it here and would be far better served by concentrating on building their business and delivering excellent customer service.

 

There is little doubt that teammates Colin Edwards and James Toseland are not on the best of terms right now. It all started when Toseland allegedly stole Edwards’s crew chief Garry Reinders. Not to leave no good deed unpunished, Edwards took Toselands crew chief, Guy Coulon, in kind. The flip-flop has left the Tech3 camp in a bit of disarray with both riders now touting how much happier they are, although still very bitter about the outcome. Now Tech3 boss, Herve Poncharal, has weighed in his opinion on the matter.

troy-bayliss-phillip-island-2008

With the Aprilia riders having an extra day of tests at Phillip Island, it should be no surprise that they sit on the top of the leader board for testing lap times. This extra day has cause some ire from other team managers who state that Aprilia’s actions are pushing up the costs of testing for everyone else. We think that’s a cheap excuse for the fact that Shinya Nakano leads Regis Laconi, who is back with Ducati, and that Aprilia’s Max Biaggi is in a not-so-distant third. Biaggi finished the day on a bit of a low note, having a relatively low-speed fall towards the end of the day. We’ll have to wait for the other teams to start their testing on Saturday before we can see how the grid is stacking up.