Jun 17th (Saturday): Superbike Corse shop will be closed as the staff will be attending the 4th Annual Kurt Caselli Foundation Benefit event that will be held at Doffo Winery 36083 Summitville St, Temecula, CA 92592.  Please join us there from 11am to 8pm. For map location and directions to the winery click here.  For more event information click here.

Doffo Winery will host the 4th Annual Kurt Caselli Foundation Benefit, presented by SCORE International on Saturday, June 17, 2017. Doffo Winery has joined forces with Wilson Cycle Sports KTM of Murrieta, FMF Racing, GoPro, Klim, Torco and District 37 to help raise money for The Kurt Caselli Foundation and their mission to improve the safety of off-road racers. Tickets to the 4th Annual Kurt Caselli Benefit can be pre-purchased online and can also be purchased at the gate on the day of the event. For more information visit






NEXT Event=> Jul 5th (Wed): Bike Night @ Pizza 900° – Laguna Hills, CA @ 6:30pm [Directions]

Jul 22nd (Sat): Burgers & Hot Dogs @ Superbike Corse Parking Lot @ 11:30 am to 1:100 pm [Directions]
Aug 2nd (Wed): Bike Night @ Pizza 900° – Laguna Hills, CA @ 6:30pm [Directions]
Aug 19th (Sat): Open House & Anniversary with Bikes, Music, & Food @ Superbike Corse Parking Lot @ 10:00 am to 2:00 pm [Directions]
Sept 6th (Wed): Bike Night @ Pizza 900° – Laguna Hills, CA @ 6:30pm [Directions]
Nov 6th (Mon): Superbike Corse Track Day @ Chuckwalla Valley Raceway [Directions]

PAST EVENTS (Click on photos to go to event photos page):

6/07/17 Pizza 900deg Bike Nite

6/07/17 Pizza 900 Bike Nite

5/03/17 Pizza 900 Bike Night

5/03/17 Pizza 900 Bike Night

04/09/17 MotoGP Viewing Ride to Doffo

04/09/17 MotoGP Viewing Ride to Doffo



04/05/17 Pizza 900 Bike Night w/Raffle Prizes


2/01/17 Pizza 900deg Bike Night

12/7/16 Pizza 900deg Bike Night




Please find below an obituary for Nicky Hayden issued by the Hayden family.

Nicholas Patrick Hayden

July 30, 1981 – May 22, 2017

Nicholas “Nicky” Hayden passed away on Monday, May 22, 2017, at the age of 35, following a May 17 bicycle accident in Italy.

Born into a large extended Catholic family in Owensboro, Kentucky, Nicky was the middle child of Earl and Rose Hayden, with two brothers and two sisters. The entire family loved motorcycles, and shortly after he could walk, Nicky declared that his dream was to be a world champion. Although life on a farm meant that animals—horses, pot-belly pigs, even llamas—were a part of every day, for Nicky they were just novelties, and while he was a natural athlete, childhood sports leagues were little more than a lark. Racing—for the whole family, but especially for Nicky—was everything. Apart from an annual spring-break jaunt to Panama City, Florida, family trips were to racetracks, first around the Midwest, then the Eastern U.S., and eventually the entire country.

That said, there was never any doubt about where home was. Even after he began traveling the globe to race in exotic locales, Nicky would always return to his beloved “OWB.” He received his education through local Catholic schools—Precious Blood Elementary School, Owensboro Catholic Middle School and Owensboro Catholic High School—and his first jobs comprised helping out at his uncles’ nearby farms, where he began developing the tenacious work ethic for which he would be known throughout his racing career. He remained close with his core group of childhood friends throughout his life, and he helped many young local racers to pursue their own dreams.

For Nicky, a distinguished amateur dirt track and road racing career transitioned into a successful stint in the AMA Grand National Championship and AMA Superbike series, in which he earned the 1999 AMA Supersport and 2002 AMA Superbike crowns with American Honda. He was promoted to the FIM MotoGP series with Repsol Honda, for whom he achieved his dream of earning the World Championship in 2006. Nicky also rode for Ducati and Aspar Racing in MotoGP, and last year he transitioned to the FIM Superbike World Championship with the Ten Kate squad. Along the way, his charisma earned him legions of fans the world over, while his dedication and professionalism earned the respect and admiration of his teams, teammates and competitors.

Among those who knew him best, Nicky was cherished for his generosity, kindness, and mischievous sense of humor. His famous grin was never far from his lips, and he invariably had time to engage with others, even strangers. The life of any party, Nicky loved to dance, wear funny costumes, and pull pranks, often with a microphone in hand.

Throughout it all, family was Nicky’s anchor. Many Americans who race internationally opt to relocate overseas, but Nicky always preferred to return home between events. Well into his professional career, he resided in an apartment above his parents’ garage, and even after purchasing his own home nearby, he religiously showed up for his mother’s 6 o’clock dinners when he wasn’t traveling. Several years ago, he purchased and refurbished an old building on an Owensboro lake, and what he dubbed Victory Lane Lodge became the family’s preferred location for functions of all types, from Sunday get-togethers to weddings. He loved children and was a model uncle, and friends and family say he was never happier than after meeting girlfriend Jackie, with whom he became engaged last year.

Nicky is survived by his parents Earl and Rose; his siblings Tommy, Jennifer, Roger, and Kathleen; his fiancée Jacqueline Marin; nieces Olivia, Klaudia, Vera, Kyla Jo, and Kate; nephew Colt; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

Visitation will be from 2 to 8 p.m. CT Sunday at Haley-McGinnis Funeral Home in Owensboro. Funeral services will be at noon Monday at St. Stephen Cathedral Church, and will be streamed live on Nicky’s Facebook fan page. Donations may be made to the Nicky Hayden Memorial Fund, which helps local children in the community Nicky loved so much.

Source: Obituary: Nicholas Patrick Hayden | Red Bull Honda World Superbike



2006 MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden has tragically died from injuries sustained in a road traffic accident last Wednesday.

The 35-year-old American, who switched to the World Superbike Championship in 2015 but made two final MotoGP appearances last season, was hit by a car while training on his bicycle at around 2pm near the Misano circuit in Rimini, Italy.

Hayden was transported to a local hospital with ‘extremely critical’ head, chest and pelvic injuries, then on to the intensive care unit of Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena.

Sadly, there would be no improvement in his condition and the hospital has announced the worst possible news.

Although Hayden only won three MotoGP races, he was every inch a champion, both on and off the track.

Hayden was hard but fair in his battles with fellow riders, took pride in never giving up until the chequered flag and set new standards of professionalism when representing his team, sponsors and sport as a whole.

The #69’s exciting dirt-track style combined with a relaxed, welcoming manner, Hollywood smile and Kentuckian quips helped make him an instant hit with fans and media alike from his 2003 MotoGP debut.

If points were awarded for the number of autographs signed, or waving and pulling wheelies for the fans whether finishing a session in first or last place, Hayden would have been a world champion many times over.

His fellow competitors held him in equally high regard. A factory rider for both Honda and then Ducati, Hayden was team-mate to two of the sports all-time greats – Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner – winning their respect and friendship.

Reacting to the news of Hayden’s accident, Rossi called the #69 “one of the best friends I’ve ever had in the paddock”, despite being the rider who ended the Italian’s run of five consecutive MotoGP titles in one of the sport’s biggest upsets at Valencia 2006.

A lack of competitive machinery and a serious wrist injury dogged Hayden’s final years in MotoGP. But the Kentuckian fought back to join an elite group of riders to win both MotoGP and World Superbike races, after switching championships at the end of 2015.

Hayden was competing in his second WorldSBK season, with Ten Kate Honda, when the fateful accident occurred just days after the Imola round.

And now a bright star has gone out.

Having spent almost his entire life racing motorcycles, Hayden was fully aware of the dangers – Daijiro Kato died in Hayden’s very first MotoGP race at Suzuka in 2003, and the American was on track when Marco Simoncelli was killed at Sepang in 2011.

But to lose his life away from the race track, without even the caveat of ‘doing what he loved most and knowing the risks’, seems especially tragic.

Hayden’s death also closes a chapter in US motorcycling history. The former AMA Superbike champion had been the last American competing in MotoGP and now also World Superbike.

We join the whole motorcycling community in offering our deepest condolences to Nicky Hayden’s family – especially his father Earl, mother Rose, sisters Jennifer and Kathleen, brothers and fellow racers Tommy and Roger, and fiancé Jackie – and his many friends at such a difficult time.

Source: MotoGP News – Former MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden dies from injuries



The Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team has given a new update on Nicky Hayden, describing his condition as ‘extremely critical’.

The former MotoGP World Champion was seriously injured in an accidet whilst cycling near Misano in Italy.

Honda’s latest update, at 16.00GMT, says Hayden has suffered a ‘serious polytrauma with subsequent serious cerebral damage’. His condition remains ‘extremely critical’.

He has now been joined by his family.

Full statement below

‘The Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team would like to share the latest news on Nicky Hayden.

‘As well as having his fiancé Jackie by his side, Nicky has now been joined by his brother Tommy and mother Rose who arrived in Italy from the United States earlier today.

‘Below is a statement on Nicky’s condition from the Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena, Italy.

“Nicky Hayden’s clinical condition remains extremely critical.

“The young man, who is still in the intensive care unit of Cesena’s Bufalini hospital, has suffered a serious polytrauma with subsequent serious cerebral damage.

“The prognosis remains reserved.”‘

Source: WSBK News – Nicky Hayden condition ‘remains extremely critical’



UPDATE: The Cesena hospital reports that Nicky Hayden remains in a serious condition and has been moved to intensive care. Several sources state that Hayden has been placed in a medically induced coma, for at least 24 hours.UPDATE: Statement issued by the Cesena hospital on Thursday morning: “There are no substantial changes… Nicky Hayden remains hospitalised in the intensive care unit, the clinical picture remains extremely serious.”UPDATE: Statement from Nicky Hayden’s Ten Kate Honda Team:”Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team rider Nicky Hayden was involved in an incident while cycling near Rimini, Italy yesterday afternoon (Wednesday, 17th May)”Following the incident, Nicky was treated on site by medical staff and then taken by ambulance to a hospital near Rimini for immediate treatment. Once Nicky’s condition was stabilised, he was transferred to Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena and remains in the hospital’s intensive care unit.”Members of Nicky’s team and his fiancé are with him in the hospital.”We would like to thank everyone for their kind wishes and messages of support and the assistance of emergency and medical services. Once an official statement regarding Nicky’s condition is released by the hospital or Nicky’s family, a further update from the team will be issued.”

Source: WSBK News – Nicky Hayden injured in ‘serious’ road accident



Having missed the Jerez test, the MV Agusta squad had plenty of work to do in Portimão. Their sole rider, Leon Camier, had a tremendous 2016 campaign, but in the face of regulation changes, he faces the daunting task of trying to make the F4 into competitive package once again.

The Englishman had seven Top 5 finishes last year, and 15 Top 10s, and helped to change the perception of the Italian squad. Previously, MV Agusta had been consistent under-performers and tail-enders in WorldSBK, but their form last year gave plenty of hope of revived fortunes.

The ban of split throttle bodies, which allowed the cylinders to be opened independently when accelerating, hit the team hard in their initial tests and it appears that over the last two months little progress has been made on the issue.

“We have to be realistic with our goals for this year because the change from split throttle bodies has caused us some problems,” admitted Camier. “I think that it will continue to cause us problems and even though we might be able to mask it with electronics it’s not right with this bike.

“The rules are pretty fixed, so there’s only a few things we can do, and we’ll probably have to just focus on electronics to help us. Electronics are the biggest thing that we’ll work on because we’re using the standard throttle bodies now and not the split. That’s better today but it’s still not great.”

“We need to improve not just power, but also power delivery. Last year despite the lack of power, we had something that I could still ride well because I felt good on the bike, but the change of the throttle bodies has meant that right now I can’t feel that. It’s definitely the area we need to work on most.”

Camier set the fifth fastest time by the end of the Portimão test, half a second back from the leading Ducati.

While Chaz Davies was comfortably the fastest runner, Camier took heart that he was within three-tenths of Eugene Laverty’s Aprilia. The 30-year-old also takes heart in the fact that the team has planned a raft of upgrades to the bike.

“We’re not far off the others which is pretty good considering it’s our first day back on the bike,” Camier said on the first day of testing. “It’s difficult to say if we’ve made much progress yet, but hopefully for Australia we’ll have a new engine.”

“At the minute, we’re still on last year’s spec of engine, but we’ve a different tank to try to make the weight lower while keeping the same balance. We’ll try a different riding position too.”

“There’s a lot of things to come because we need more engine braking, but that will be helped with the new exhaust that we’re waiting for.”

“I’m hoping that we’ll have everything for Australia because it’s something that I’ve been looking for, for a long time. We’ve a new swingarm coming, but I’m not sure how that will change things. The 2017 bike will be a little more refined all around.”


Source: MV Agusta Faces Rule Changes Challenges in WorldSBK – Asphalt & Rubber



It will perhaps race in 2019: it will be sold in the Premium segment but “at a reasonable price”

Of the first two presentations of the seasons, that put on by Ducati provided us with the most information, though we didn’t like the ‘damnatio memoriae’  that Andrea Iannone was subjected to, totally missing (along with his Austrian GP victory) from the video.

Speaking with Gigi Dall’Igna, we noted how the Borgo Panigale manufacturer has still not digested the wing ‘ban’, citing dangerousness as an excuse: “the MotoGP is definitely less safe without spoilers”, stated the designer of the Desmosedici, while Claudio Domenicali didn’t hold back either.

Having informed us that the engine of the GP17 has been significantly redesigned, and now boasts better performance “thanks to a different overall approach, though it is still a 90° V”, Domenicali lingered on what makes Ducati what it is.

“A business with an Italian heart and a German mind, which invests in young people, offering them work opportunities rather than pushing them to move overseas. It’s true, Audi is on our backs, wanting results, but that’s extra motivation. When you write that 40% of young people are unemployed, consider that fact that, thanks to Ducati, some great engineers can remain in Italy, rather than going abroad. There is excellence in Bologna too, in Emilia Romagna, an Italian region”.

The manager also spoke about support, taken to mean passion.

“Ducati is not anti-Rossi. It’s right that there’s support for one or the other. Support is great. There are all types of supporters, of fans. The important thing is that this doesn’t deteriorate into faux pas, into booing and spitting. We are not against Valentino, we are ducatisti, and it’s normal that Italians support Italian riders, but we are that too. Sure, if we were to win the title with Lorenzo it would be embarrassing”, he concluded, alluding to the ‘valentino years’.

In his role of Conductor, Domenicali also revealed that the next Superbike will have a V-4 engine, and not the classic twin.

“The development we’ve carried out with the MotoGP has been exceptional – he explained with pride – we have a very reliable engine, compact and equipped with interesting technology. We are seriously considering producing a version for the customers, because it is start of the art motorcycling technology”.

Domenicali then clarified that this bike, due to the fact that it would be destined to take part in the production-derived racing series, won’t be a new Desmosedici road bike, like the limited edition model that was produced, with costs that meant it was out of most fans’ reach, and that “it would instead be sold in the Premium segment, but at a reasonable price”. So just like the Panigale R ridden today by the Davies-Melandri pairing.

Lips are still sealed with regard to the V-4 project. What is certain is that the Panigale will compete as far as 2018. Then, that year, the four-cylinder should appear and would probably be seen on track in national series or, perhaps, in the Superstock, to solve the inevitable teething problems. It would then debut in Superbike in 2019, or beyond.

We’ll have to see whether, in the meantime, Ducati gets involved in the Moto3 project, something that was hinted at last year (see the VIDEO with the statement) by Dall’Igna and then blocked to allow the Veneto engineer to focus fully on the MotoGP.

There are many irons in the fire in Borgo Panigale. A world title would certainly help too.

Source: Domenicali: a Ducati V-4 coming to Superbike |



Download 2017’s first issue of Redline, the magazine dedicated to Ducatistas around the world!The celebrations for our 90th Anniversary have come to an end, but the surprises continue!With an extraordinary gallery of images, this month Redline Magazine reveals the new developments for 2017 presented during the International Motorcycle Exhibition in Milan: the 1299 Superleggera, the Quintessence of Ducati, the Monster 797, Monster 1200 and the Multistrada 950.The Ducati Riding Experience is back with its three cores: DRE Racetrack, DRE Enduro and the big new development for this year DRE Safety, dedicated to those who want to improve their road riding techniques.In this issue ample space is dedicated to the Borgo Panigale Experience: a visit to the Museum and Factory, the exciting Stands, the world of the Desmo Owners Club and the Dream Tour dream weekend.Not to mention the new line of apparel and accessories, news from the Scrambler Land of Joy and the final story from our Globetrotters.But that’s not all. Download your copy now and discover all the colours of passion.

Source: Ducati

RPM ACT REINTRODUCED IN CONGRESS – American Motorcyclist Association


RPM Act Bill would protect U.S. motorsports

U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and his colleagues reintroduced H.R. 350, the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2017 (RPM Act), a bipartisan bill that would protect the right to modify street vehicles into dedicated racecars and the industry’s right to sell the parts that enable racers to compete.

The AMA joins SEMA and other organizations in supporting this important legislation.

The RPM Act, cosponsored by 44 members of the U.S. House, would ensure that converting motor vehicles, including motorcycles, for use exclusively in competition does not violate the federal Clean Air Act.

For nearly 50 years, the practice was unquestioned until the EPA published proposed regulations in 2015 that deemed such conversions illegal and subject to severe penalties. While the EPA withdrew the problematic language from the final rule making last year, the agency still maintains the practice is unlawful.

When the RPM Act was first introduced in 2016, racing enthusiasts and Americans working in the motorsports parts industry flooded Congress with nearly 200,000 letters in support of the bill.

Motorsports competition involves tens of thousands of participants and vehicle owners each year, both amateur and professional, according to SEMA. Retail sales of racing products make up a $1.4 billion market annually.  There are an estimated 1,300 racetracks operating across the country, including oval, road, track and off-road racetracks, the majority of which feature converted race vehicles that the EPA now considers to be illegal.

Source: RPM Act reintroduced in Congress – American Motorcyclist Association



President’s designations raise concerns about motorized access to public lands

PICKERINGTON, Ohio  – The designation of two new national monuments by President Barack Obama this week could jeopardize access for responsible motorized recreation on more than 1.6 million acres of public land in Utah and Nevada.

Using the Antiquities Act of 1906, the president designated 1.35 million acres in southeast Utah as the Bears Ears National Monument and nearly 300,000 acres in Clark County, Nev., just northeast of Las Vegas, as the Gold Butte National Monument.

“We are concerned about continued access to these public lands for responsible motorized recreation,” said Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations. “With the national monument designation comes a review of management plans that could curtail or eliminate some off-road riding areas.”

The Antiquities Act authorizes the president to issue proclamations to protect “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest,” while limiting those designations to “the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected.”

“These new designations cover far larger areas than needed to ensure that historic landmarks are preserved,” Allard said. “None of the Utah congressional delegation wanted this, and many Nevadans were opposed to it, too.

“The designation of national monuments, whether by the president or by Congress, should include careful consideration of the wishes of local stakeholders, including nearby communities, elected officials and those who use the land,” Allard continued.

Utah’s attorney general has threatened a lawsuit to reverse the Bears Ears designation, and the Utah congressional delegation vowed to pursue legislation to undo it.

A study by UtahPolicy cited by U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) found that 60 percent of Utah residents opposed designating the Bears Ears area as a national monument, while 33 percent supported the proposal.

Nevada’s congressional delegation was divided along party lines, with Democrats praising the designations and Republicans condemning them.

Christy Goldfuss, managing director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said the Antiquities Act does not give a president authority to undo a designation, a position the courts have upheld. She acknowledged that Congress could take action, though.

“The AMA supports the congressional delegations that work with local stakeholders and Native American tribes on these issues,” Allard said. “Presidents should not bypass Congress on issues of public access to U.S. lands, and the opinions of all stakeholders–gathered through town meetings and formal comments–should factor heavily into the final decision.”

Source: American Motorcyclist Association objects to scope of two new national monuments – American Motorcyclist Association



Nicky reveals: “I am still not at full fitness and I still won’t be ten days from now. I hope to recover by Australia”

His 2016 season ended ahead of schedule because a crash in training forced him to skip the final tests of the season in Jerez. For Nicky Hayden the worst is now behind him. The surgery on the collateral ligament of his right knee, conducted by Doctor David Chao, went perfectly and now the Honda rider is on track for recovery.

The days go by quickly and the Jerez tests are just around the corner for the American on 24 and 25 January, the first of the new season. In a recent interview granted to the SBK channel, the American explained what happened in the month of November, saying that he has never had an injury this serious before.

However, he prefers to look forward, because he cannot wait to get on the new Honda. When? Hayden has no doubts: “The plan is to use the 2017 bike already in Jerez, but I’d rather not say too much about it.” You may recall that last year there was already an initial contact, but with the street Honda.

He is certainly still not at full fitness, but Nicky warns: “Unfortunately I am still not at 100% and I won’t be even ten days from now. In any case, I hope to recover by the first race in Australia since it is still a month and a half away.” The competition has therefore been warned.

Translated by Jonathan Blosser

Source: Hayden: In Jerez you will see the new Honda |



“I hope Damian can follow in the footsteps of American greats such as Kenny Roberts and Kevin Schwantz”

After first meeting at the Austin MotoGP last April, Arch Motorcycle founders Keanu Reeves and Gard Hollinger have offered support to assist the 12 years old Damian Jigalov and his family as they prepare to tackle the Italian CIV Championship with team RMU.

Keanu and Gard are both are heavily embedded in the motorcycling community and have attended several MotoGP and WSBK races in the past couple of years and were immediately drawn to the youngster, hoping he can follow in the footsteps of American greats such as Kenny Roberts, Kevin Schwantz and more recently Nicky Hayden and Ben Spies.

Damian joined the Arch Motorcycle family at a track day at Laguna Seca at the end of last year and impressed all in attendance. Damian will carry an Arch Motorcycles logo on his Dainese leathers for the 2017 season.

This first round of the CIV Pre Moto3 Championship will take place in Imola on 22 and 23 April.

“Damian and his family were introduced to us in Austin last year and told us about their plans and both Keanu and I wanted to help – said Gard Hollinger – They’re a great family and Damian is surrounded by the right team to help him grow. All of us here at Arch are excited to be a part of this family and welcome him into ours! We hope to help him continue to grow and eventually reach the World Championships and fingers crossed we’ll have an American Champion in MotoGP in a few years! Good luck Damian!”

 “I’m so grateful to Keanu, Gard and all the people at Arch – replied Damian Jigalov – They’ve welcomed me into their family and I was lucky enough to ride some pretty special bikes with them at Laguna Seca at the end of 2016. I hope they can make it to a few of my races this year, I will keep working hard and hope to come back with a Championship!”

Source: Keanu Reeves and Arch Motorcycles become sponsor of Jigalov |



To call the last couple of years for MV Agusta turbulent would probably be understating the situation.

The company has struggled for financial stability ever since its re-acquisition by the Castiglioni family, and that struggle has recently come to a zenith with the firms debt restructuring and investment by the Anglo-Russian investment group Black Ocean.

With that comes some harsh realities, namely that MV Agusta will not be producing a new superbike any time soon, as the cost of the project exceeds the Italian manufacturer’s capabilities – so said MV Agusta CEO Giovanni Castiglioni while talking to Alan Cathcart for Australian Motorcycle News.

Instead, the company will focus on a new four-cylinder Brutale model, which will get a displacement increase to 1,200cc. We expected to see this machine at the 2016 EICMA show in Milan, but alas we will have to wait a bit longer for its debut…for obvious reasons.

Castiglioni is rumored to have sold somewhere between 30% and 40% of MV Agusta to the Black Ocean investment group, though no dollar amount has been associated to that transaction. Similarly, there has been no word regarding Mercedes-AMG’s ownership position in the Italian marque.

One would presume from the lack of news on this front that AMG’s interest’s remain in MV Agusta, and presumably that Giovanni Castiglioni no longer has an outright majority in the company’s ownership structure, both of which would be interesting developments in MV Agusta’s ongoing saga.

MV Agusta has also quietly rolled back its volume expectations for motorcycle production, with Cathcart reporting that MV Agusta plans now to sell 5,000 units annually, down from the 9,000 figure we have previously heard from Castiglioni.

That figure is more in line with the number of staff that we are seeing let go from MV Agusta, with the workforce going from roughly 300 people down to a number below 200. AMCN reports too that the R&D department has shrunk from 70 people to 40.

With much still to come from MV Agusta’s debt restructuring, new model development, and 2017 racing plans, we see no shortage of news coming from Italy about this historic brand. Stay tuned.


Source: No Money for New MV Agusta Superbike, Says Castiglioni



Why are more and more F1 fans watching MotoGP? And is this a good thing or a bad thing?

You know the world is changing when the world’s most eminent Formula 1 journalist argues in the world’s most eminent motor racing magazine that F1 needs to learn something from MotoGP.

In the current edition of this website’s print magazine, Nigel Roebuck starts out by comparing the dwindling number of F1 spectators at Sepang with the Malaysian circuit’s sell-out MotoGP crowd. He goes on to examine the possible causes for waning interest in F1.

If each sport’s TV viewing figures are to be believed (ha!), F1 has lost about a third of its viewers over the past decade, down to about 400 million; while MotoGP claims it has an audience of 300 million households, which very roughly equals 1.2 billion people. Those numbers don’t seem to add up – surely more people still watch F1 – but they do underline the general feeling that F1 is waning while MotoGP is waxing.

Roebuck – who has covered F1 since 1971 and is a keen follower of MotoGP – has plenty to say about F1’s problems, including the damage done by incessant rule changes.

“Motorcycle racing remains essentially unchanged as a spectacle,” he says. “While Formula 1 has progressively slipped into a malaise from which it’s proving difficult to escape.”

But the main thrust of his story concerns F1’s relentless drive towards exorcising each and every danger from its midst. “The gladiatorial aspect of F1, traditionally essential to its fans, is long gone,” he adds.

He discusses the state of play with various greats from today and yesterday, including three-time F1 champion Niki Lauda, who still bears the scars of the fiery accident that nearly claimed his life in 1976. “First, the cars are too easy to drive now,” asserts Lauda. “In MotoGP they are fighting all the time not to crash, and this is what we have to get back in F1, because then you will see the difference between drivers again – and that’s absolutely vital.”

Roebuck suggests that many modern circuits – take a bow, Hermann Tilke – are designed “to put fans to sleep”. He is especially critical of asphalt run-off. He’s has had enough of it, as have many people in F1, including some drivers, which is good news for MotoGP riders, although rather too late for Luis Salom.

Empty grandstands at Sepang for the 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix

Roebuck correctly observes that the lines marking circuit limits have become nothing more than guidelines, with drivers treating the asphalt runoff as a handy extra section of racetrack. True, they may get sanctioned for going too far, but this involves penalties during a race or, even worse, afterwards, which isn’t the kind of thing that gets fans excited.

The answer? The return of gravel traps, which make life much more difficult for reckless and/or greedy drivers. On this subject he quotes Red Bull F1 star Daniel Ricciardo. “I’m a fan of gravel traps because they punish you,” says Ricciardo. “If you don’t get stuck, you have stones in the tyres and in the side-pods, so there’s no way you get an advantage.”

Asphalt runoff does have its uses – in the right place it can reduce the kind of purling crash that causes many injuries in bike racing – but it’s become too prevalent. Gravel traps slow fallen riders and bikes more effectively, which is vital when a corner isn’t surrounded by acres of runoff.

Asphalt runoff has been around for almost a decade and many MotoGP rides hated it from the outset, especially 2007 and 2011 champion Casey Stoner.

“It pushes people to be more on the ragged edge,” Stoner told me back in 2009. “Riders have got so much confidence that they’re not scared. All they see on the other side of the kerb is more kerb, so there’s no fear.”

You hear Stoner’s argument – that too much safety can cause more danger because it encourages more risk-taking – more often these days, even though the Aussie admitted the fear factor was always an attraction.

“Fear is part of what gives you the adrenalin rush, it’s part of why we love to do what we do, because it gets your heart racing, it gets your blood pumping,” he said. “It’s that slight bit of fear that keeps you interested.”

This brings us back to Lauda’s comment about MotoGP riders “fighting all the time not to crash”. Bike racers live on the razor’s edge, which is where they belong. They are gladiators battling the fear and each other, which is presumably why more F1 fans watch MotoGP now.

Perhaps MotoGP’s relative simplicity is also an attraction. While F1 keeps tinkering with its rules and World Superbike and British Superbike have their own regulatory contrivances, MotoGP stays old-school: the quickest rider over one lap starts from pole, the quickest rider over 25 laps wins the race and the rider with the most points at the end of the season wins the championship.

Racing should be exciting enough on its own. If it isn’t, then fix that problem, don’t just paper over the cracks with a few wacky rules.

I have only one concern: that MotoGP might get too popular. Just because motorcycling’s premier class keeps growing and becomes more mainstream doesn’t mean it will get any better. In fact I’ve always found the opposite: bigger TV figures mean more bullsh*t, more media hype and more people in the paddock who know or care nothing about bike racing but know how to sniff out a moneymaking opportunity.

And with these people come private jets full of (mostly) irrelevant celebs who totter about on the grid, desperately trying to bask in the reflected glory of the riders.

The one Dorna document I refuse to even look at during each MotoGP weekend is its list of celebrity visitors, usually published on Sunday mornings, presumably with the hope of turning us all into a froth. I really don’t care if Kanye West or Bono or Richard Branson show up to compare trophy wives and trophy watches, while marvelling at the exciting motorbikes whizzing past. Motorcycle racing was never meant to be about VIPs. To me, one of its biggest attractions has always been its classlessness.

Source: MotoGP: bigger than Formula 1? | Motor Sport Magazine



The highly popular Californian is convinced: “success depends on the stars. The fans love conflict. The new rules? Dangerous for the winner.”

He arrived at the icy Bologna Motor Show in December 1999 directly from Los Angeles, finding a temperature change of about 30°C (lower), beginning the most important chapter of his career: Benjamin Bostrom, 25 year-old Californian, Ducati’s was the new choice to ride alongside His Majesty, Carl Fogarty on the factory Infostrada team, with his calling card: giving riding lessons in the Super Motard race to the participants, The King, Alex Barros, Loris Capirossi, Ruben Xaus and others selected from SBK and Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing.

Always in form and smiling, honest with people and friendly to all, Ben was the typical “Made in the USA” boy next door who had grown up having fun on his BMX, skateboards and all the other toys that come from his part of the world, before falling in love with dirt track riding: “I made the tyres slide because the stable bike with a lot of grip didn’t give me good sensations. For me it was fun to ride the bike sideways and make the tyres slide.”

Ben had already showed off this style of his to the world championship public in the race he rode with Honda as a wild card at Laguna Seca in 1998, finishing on the podium. 1999 got off to a hard start for Ben who momentarily lost his proverbial smile: “It was my first time out with the AMA Ducati in February. I had done twenty laps with the Dunlops. That is their available life at Daytona. The team recommended making some changes to the bike and changing tyres, but I wanted to see how far we could push. My goal was another lap or two. I didn’t even manage to finish one lap because the rear tyre exploded and I was thrown into the air by an extremely violent high side, at about 270 kph on the banking. Seeing the blue sky, I thought that this was not exactly the ideal place for an accident. I touched the wall, because my helmet was damaged… Mat Mladin and my brother, Eric stopped on the track near me and, looking at them without the visor on my helmet, I thought that I wasn’t dead. I woke up in the hospital with a destroyed hand and burns everywhere. This accident happened to Barry Sheene, Ben Spies and me; I would not wish it on anyone.”

Making a great comeback, in ’99, Ben won as a wild card at Laguna Seca SBK with the USA Ducati. In 2000, he was initially signed on the factory team and he finished the season on Caracchi’s team, bringing home some important podium trophies.

The best year was yet to come for Bostrom, by that time nicknamed “BB” with his unmistakeable number 155: “2001 was excellent because I had a factory Ducati and my beloved Dunlops at the same level as the Michelins. There were a lot of us battling for the win and that’s the way it stayed until the end of the season.  I felt like I was playing with friends that I could go out and have a beer with on Sunday. Before and after the races, Edwards and I would have a pizza, drink beer and party in our motorhomes. I got along with everyone, even with the fastest and fiercest.”

Who do you think your toughest rival was?

“(He laughs)… Noriyuki Haga! You could hear the noise of his engine behind you. He always tried to pass where nobody would have imagined. He was completely nuts. Another one was Troy Bayliss who tried to get by you at any time and he couldn’t care less. That was his personality on the track. He would sniff out your scent, like a dog looking for a bone. But off the track he was a gentleman, like Frankie Chili and Giò Bussei.”

You haven’t raced for several years. Are you still active in sports and do you watch the races?

“Now I bust my ass on bicycles and, believe me, it is harder than bikes. I am a professional dad and in my free time I follow the races, especially Hayden, because going back to SBK from MotoGP is not easy. He and Jacobsen are the only significant Americans outside the USA: the AMA has been in trouble, but now, with MotoAmerica the way Wayne Rainey is running it, things are improving but it will take time to reap true results and export new, young riders.”

What would you suggest to increase the show in SBK races?

Riders need to be on the front page of general interest periodicals so the public will recognize the protagonists: Valentino Rossi is an all-around celebrity and not just a motorcycle rider. I also had my share of popularity because I appeared in various show business and music periodicals. The success of a championship depends on where the superstars are. Fans go where there is conflict. In MotoGP, Rossi and Marquez do not get along and that draws crowds. However, in order to stay out of trouble, a celebrity needs to always be him or herself, in any situation. Anybody who lies or plays a part will be exposed sooner or later and that is a real shame.”

The latest incidents of presumed hatred and conflict that were created ad hoc to increase tension and the battle between the riders disgusted Ben: “In my long career, I never had enemies and I never hated any rider. When I take of my helmet I have to congratulate my rivals. Thanks to them, you pushed beyond your limits.”

The SBK starting grid will be shaken up for Race 2. What do you think of that?

Well, all that will be nice for the crowds at the track and TV spectators. Nevertheless, I think that it will be dangerous for the winner because, since he is theoretically the fastest, he will have to take risks to get to the front. Changes should be introduced progressively, without distorting the original format.”



“We will try to find a compromise. If the GP17 had worked the same without spoilers the competition would not have copied us”

One of the many reasons that the 2017 world championship is so eagerly awaited is obviously the new clash between Valentino Rossi and new Ducati rider, Jorge Lorenzo. The two will have to deal with the umpteenth rule change that prohibits any aerodynamic appendages.

“And to think that Ducati designed them specifically to improve safety –Davide Tardozzi explained to Corriere dello Sport – the spoilers made the bike more stable on the straights and in braking, and they decreased wheelies during acceleration. The fact that everyone copied us proves our point. Even those riders who said that the winglets were of no use now realize how much less stable the bike is in braking. We want to emphasize that this has decreased safety, not increased it.”

However, those who expect to see revolutionary fairings will be disappointed.

“We will be in Sepang from 25 January to do comparative tests between the old and new fairings with Michele Pirro and Casey Stoner, but externally you will not see any great differences.”

They say that MotoGP, as we already saw in F1, will reveal the new aerodynamics only at the first Grand Prix.

“At Valencia a fairing was approved. In 2017 only two can be developed, one of which must be approved before the Qatar GP. During the year, either one can be used indifferently, or the 2016 fairing without winglets can be used. Unfortunately, the rule is not very specific on what can and cannot be done, to the extent that Dorna’s Technical Director, Danny Aldridge will have the final, unquestionable say. After a visual inspection, he will say whether it is okay or cannot be done.”

Aerodynamically speaking, this is a huge step backwards. Bear in mind that, not only did MV Agusta test spoilers on their fairings in the days of Read e Ago, but Suzuki also used them with Barry Sheene from 1976.

The question is: how will the load lost by the prohibition of winglets be recovered?

“With balancing tests. We will need to find the same traction too. We will try to find a compromise, because if the bike were to accelerate without winglets the same way it does with them, they would have been useless.”

The championship will begin on three tracks that favour Ducati: Losail, Austin and Rio Hondo.

“This means that it will also be more difficult to win on those tracks because our rivals will not be caught unprepared – Tardozzi continues – The true test bench for us, on the other hand, will be the fourth round at Jerez, because that is a track where we have always struggled a lot.”

In order to speed up development, as we all know, a third GP17 will be entrusted to team Pramac-Ducati in the able hands of Danilo Petrucci,

“If necessary – Tardozzi confirmed for Corsport – if an evolution is available for only one bike, Dall’Igna could decide to have Petrucci test it first.”

The stated goal is the world title.

“When a manufacturer signs a three-time world champion, you cannot hide behind a finger – Tardozzi admits – The goal is the world title by 2018.”

The main rivals will be Yamaha, Honda, and even Suzuki.

“They have world champion riders on their teams who have already shown what they are capable of. Suzuki, on the other hand, has Iannone, a rider for whom we have great respect.”

Source: MotoGP, Tardozzi: Ducati will fly even without wings |