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The contracts of both Lorenzo and teammate Andrea Dovizioso expire at the end of the season, although Ducati has made it clear its intention is to keep both riders for 2019 and beyond.
However, the pair both find themselves in very different situations compared with two years ago, when their current deals were signed.
Dovizioso’s base salary is around 2m euros a year, a number agreed before the Italian had won a race for Ducati – but since then he has won seven times and challenged Marc Marquez for last year’s title.
On the other hand, Lorenzo was lured from Yamaha on a deal worth at least 12m euros a year but failed to win a single race as he took longer than expected to acclimatise to the Ducati.
Ciabatti underlined that Ducati won’t be able to repeat that offer when it comes to the current cycle of contract negotiations, but admitted the Italian marque is likely to have to “reward” Dovizioso with an increased salary.
“The intention is to keep working with both riders, but our economical limit is clear,” Ciabatti told Motorsport.com.
“We will talk with our sponsors because Telecom Italia decided to leave us and when we get an idea of how much money we can provide, then will be easier to talk to the managers [of the riders].
“What is evident is that the situation is very different compared to 2016. When we hired Jorge, he had a very important offer from Yamaha for two more years and was the current world champion.
“When we renewed with Andrea, in the middle of 2016, he had never won with Ducati. We will reward what he did in 2017.
“A rider like him, with a contract expiring at the end of this year, is in a stronger negotiating position than before.
Randy Mamola will be the newest edition to the list of “MotoGP Legends” – an honor roll that serves as the World Championship Hall of Fame for motorcycle racing.
Racing alongside some of the greatest names in Grand Prix motorcycle racing, Mamola is known best as the winningest GP rider never to win a GP championship, with 13 race wins and 57 podiums credited to his name.
Mamola is as famous for his aggressive on-track riding style during the 1970s and 1980s, as he is for his generous contributions to the sport and world at large, which continue to this day as a co-founder to the Riders for Health charity.
A GP staple, you can often find Mamola in the MotoGP paddock, rider-coaching for several racers, interacting with his legion of fans, and occasionally brow-beating unwieldy motorcycle journalists.
An immensely popular rider with GP fans, Mamola raced back when men were men, and there were some of the biggest names in the sport, such as Wayne Gardner, Freddie Spencer, and Kenny Roberts Sr.
A four-time runner-up in the 500GP Championship, Randy Mamola retired from motorcycle racing in 1992.
“I didn’t expect it but it was a pleasant surprise to start my day when I got the call!” said Randy Mamola. “When I told my wife and son, as you can imagine it was huge congratulations but then ‘Oh no! Now we have to live with a legend!’”
“MotoGP is my life and I’ve been in the paddock for 39 years. I’ve seen so many things from when I was first in the paddock at 19 and it’s an honor and a privilege for me to be included in such a high level group of riders.”
“I’m also excited I’ll be inducted in Texas with my family and friends coming. After the ‘wow!’, eventually you have to absorb what it is, and then you think about how this is such an honour to be accepted by your peers as well as the people who have run Dorna for the past 25 years.”
“I hope somewhere along the line I am able to pay this back even more with the work I continue to do in the paddock. I believe and I think I’m the first Legend who has never been a World Champion.”
“I think the accomplishments I’ve had and being a such a part of charity work is another part to add. Spreading the sport, supporting the sport…you are an ambassador whether that’s the title you have or not. It’s a privilege to work in the paddock and I don’t take it lightly.”
Mamola will be inducted later this season, at the MotoGP round in Austin, Texas.
After F1’s recent ban on grid girls many feel MotoGP should follow suit, though not everyone shares that sentiment.
Last Wednesday Formula 1 announced that it was ending the practice of using grid girls. Grid girls, umbrella girls, paddock girls, whatever you want to call them, the practice consists of young, attractive, scantily clad women standing next to a racer on the grid, shielding said racer from the sun via an umbrella (hence the name). With F1 ending the long-running practice a debate now rages on about whether or not grid girls have any place elsewhere in today’s motorsport world.
The practice supposedly began at the 1983 24 Hours of Le Mans when sunscreen purveyor, Hawaiian Tropic, brought a posse of bikini-clad model-types to the iconic event for promotional purposes. Since then grid girls have become a regular fixture in high-level motorsport competition. Thirty-five years later however, many are wondering if grid girls do more harm than good. Formula 1 – which is owned by the media giant Liberty Media – put out a statement on January 31 explaining the organization’s reasoning behind doing away with grid girls starting in the 2018 season.
“Over the last year we have looked at a number of areas which we felt needed updating so as to be more in tune with our vision for this great sport,” said Sean Bratches, Managing Director, Commercial Operations at Formula 1. “While the practice of employing grid girls has been a staple of Formula 1 Grands Prix for decades, we feel this custom does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern day societal norms. We don’t believe the practice is appropriate or relevant to Formula 1 and its fans, old and new, across the world.”
In the wake of this shake-up, we collected opinions from various women in motorsports – journalists, racers, and even some grid girls – and here’s what they had to say.
Longtime grid girl and ring girl
“I’ve been doing this for over eight years now and it should be our choice what we do for work, whether it be this, whether it be hostessing, ring girl duties, we should have the choice. What’s annoying me more than anything is the so called feminists, they are not even really feminists, are defending us without even asking us how we feel, and we’ve lost out jobs because of this. I have been a grid girl for 8 years and I have never felt uncomfortable!No one forces us to do this! This is our choice!”
“Its probably not the best way to market whatever product it might be towards women, but it definitely gets attention. It doesn’t make me uncomfortable really, because I’m of the mind that if a girl wants to sign up for that gig that then that’s really her business… We are both there for our different jobs. I’m comfortable with being judged for what I’m doing on the track more than I would be for standing around in Lycra.”
UK-based motorcycle journalist
“This is the 21st century, and the argument that the whole notion of a grid girl is completely outdated does make sense. If a company relies heavily on pretty women promoting them, then maybe they need to rethink their brand. The practice of using grid girls does seem a little outdated, but I certainly don’t think banning them is the answer. Instead of banning women who are a part of motorsport, we need to make tweaks and encourage more women to get involved in other aspects of racing too.”
Toronto-based journalist, event host, and bike enthusiast
“I have often wondered why MotoGP, just like so many other Motorcycle and other motorsports, need to employ scantily-clad young women in their promotions and events. It feels rather unoriginal and for a woman who is getting into the sport, can lead to being self-conscious just by virtue of being female. It’s quite transparently sexist and, much like any sport or entertainment that utilizes female nudity to enhance its appeal, leads me to wonder if it isn’t insecure about its own inherent appeal or value.”
Professor of chemistry, avid race fan, writer, MotoGP/WSBK flag marshall
“This is an important discussion and it should not be oversimplified or trivialized. I hope that women will be encouraged to participate in Motorsport in all ways that suit their own individual choices. I feel that it shouldn’t be “all or nothing” but instead an equal opportunity for men and women to enter into Motorsport in the manner that they choose.”
Though not a woman’s opinion, we’ve included the often outspoken Lauda’s take on this as well:
Three-time F1 world champion
“This is a decision against women. Men have made the decision over the heads of women. This is not doing any favors to F1 and especially not for women. Grid girls have always belonged in F1, and they should continue to belong in F1. You should be allowed to have grid girls because the drivers like them, the audience like them, and no one cares.”
As with any potentially controversial issue, such as dealing with gender issues, there’s a broad range of opinions about this grid girl situation. How will it affect series like WSBK and MotoGP? Time will tell.
The Asphalt & Rubber traveling circus doesn’t stop, and after spending less than 12hrs at home after the Honda Gold Wing launch, I’m back at it…this time in Valencia, Spain for the Ducati Panigale V4 international press launch.
Arguably the most anticipated motorcycle to debut for the 2018 model year, the Panigale V4 is a huge step for Ducati, mostly because of the Italian company’s radical departure from its iconic v-twin power plant configuration, in favor of the 90° V4 engine configuration.
Now with four-cylinders of fury, this 1,103cc, 214hp, V4 machine is set to tackle the superbike market, but will it live up to the hype? Well, that’s what we’re going to find out.
To do so, Ducati has us riding at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, which is just outside of Valencia and home to the final round of the MotoGP Championship. A fun and flowing track with a little bit of everything, Valencia should be a good spot to see how the Panigale V4 truly handles.
With a bevy of electronic upgrades and plenty of features, we will need all the time that we can get to in order to play around with Ducati’s flagship model, and see how it goes.
Per our new review format, we will be giving you a live assessment of the new Ducati Panigale V4 S right here in this article (down in the comments section), and there we will try to answer any questions you might have.
So, here is your chance to learn what it’s like to ride the Ducati Panigale V4, before even my own proper reviews are posted. As always, if I don’t know an answer, I will try to get a response from the Ducati personnel. So, pepper away.
You can follow our thoughts on the bike live via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and you can see what our colleagues are posting on social media by looking for the hashtag #PanigaleV4.
Spec-Sheet Comparison of Relevant Models to the Ducati Panigale V4 S:
2018 TO BE FIRST SEASON FOR COMPULSORY AIRBAGS IN MOTOGP
Submitted by David Emmett on
The 2018 season sees the start of airbags being made compulsory for all three MotoGP classes. All riders with a permanent entry in MotoGP, Moto2, or Moto3 will have to use an airbag in their leathers from the coming season onwards.
This is part of a long-term push by Dorna, the FIM, and IRTA to improve safety for riders in racing. While the three MotoGP partners continue their work on improving the safety of circuits, the next frontier is improving the protection provided by the gear riders use. Airbags are just one facet of this safety drive: the FIM is becoming increasingly involved in all aspects of rider safety. Their most recent focus has been on improving the safety of helmets (link is external), including doing work on so-called oblique impacts, or how helmets absorb impacts when struck at an angle.
Airbags have played an increasing role in racer safety since they were first introduced to racing ten years ago. The original airbags focused mainly on protecting the neck and shoulders, their biggest objective being reducing the severity of the impact on shoulder joints and protecting collarbones, still one of the most common injuries among racers. As time has gone on, that protection has increased, offering protection to the rider’s back, chest and ribs as well.
These advances have mainly come in two areas: increased computing power and a better understanding of airflow. Airbag systems have first to understand whether a rider is actually crashing or not (for example, is the rider just getting a little kick from the rear as the rear tire slides then grips again, or are they being thrown out of the saddle?). Gains here have come through better and cheaper processing power, but also more data analysis. Each airbag is fitted with a data recorder, which logs the data through the accelerometers and gyroscopes it uses to detect crashes. As the airbag makers have more data to analyze, they have been able to refine their algoritms more and more.
The other advance is in the pneumatics of airbags. Compressed air has to pass from the reservoir (in the rider hump) into the airbags around the body to inflate them within a few hundredths of a second. That requires moving a lot of gas in a short period of time, and that has required working out the fastest and most efficient way of distributing it from the air capsules to the airbag.
The advances have come in part as a result of the arms race between Dainese and Alpinestars, he two Italian racing leathers companies which have pioneered the technology. As each company improved their product – Dainese’s D-Air (link is external), and Alpinestars’ Tech-Air (link is external) – the other was forced to keep up.
Dorna had wanted to make airbags compulsory earlier, but the complications of technology made that impossible. It would have restricted riders to specific suit makers, cutting down on their ability to find sponsorship. A compromise was found when Alpinestars and Dainese agreed to offer airbags which could be inserted inside the leathers of other protective clothing manufacturers. Alpinestars and Dainese offered the specifications of the airbags, without revealing the underlying technology, allowing other brands to produce suits to accommodate them.
As an example, here is a photo of British Moto3 rider John McPhee taken at Aragon last year. McPhee is wearing a D-Air undervest using an airbag. This fits under the suit from his personal leathers sponsor, Macna.
The push for airbags has also had positive effects for sports and activities outside of motorcycle racing. The technology has been passed on from motorcycling to skiing and horseriding, and Dainese is working on applications outside of sports altogether, including in public transport (buses), and even for the elderly, protecting older people with osteoporosis from fractures suffered in domestic falls.
Below is the press release from Dorna with more details of the compulsory airbags:
Airbags: compulsory from 2018
New regulations designed to increase rider safety set to come into force for the new season
From 2018, it will be compulsory across all classes within the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship for riders’ race suits to be fitted with airbag systems. These must be worn in every session by every permanent rider, and must be functional when on track. Wildcard riders are the only exceptions, and replacement riders are exempt from the rule for their first two events only. Thereafter, replacement riders’ suits are subject to the same requirements and specifications as those of permanent entrants.
The airbag should cover and protect at least the shoulders and the collarbone. Full or central back protection is optional. However, if a manufacturer chooses to have back protection, it must cover the whole spine. Small variations according to the specifics of each system are allowed, as are variations to accommodate the different morphology of each rider, but the same key areas and guidelines are in place for every manufacturer.
Each airbag system must pass a series of tests to prove it fully complies with the regulations. Requirements range from the battery and electronics to deployment and inflation times, with accidental deployment also an important factor. An accidental deployment of the airbag must not risk causing a rider to crash or impede a rider from controlling their motorcycle. In addition, airbag systems must not require any parts to be added to the motorcycle, and must be triggered without the rider being tethered to the bike.
Each manufacturer must self-certify on the official documentation for the suit that their system fully complies with the regulations and reaches these standards. They must also declare the reliability of their system based on internal testing.
These regulations mark yet another step towards increased rider safety, with the FIM, IRTA and Dorna all committed to making sure MotoGP™ is as safe as possible – and always evolving.
After the departure of both Shuhei Nakamoto and Livio Suppo from HRC and the Repsol Honda team, Honda has announced that it will be making Alberto Puig Team Manager of the Repsol Honda team.
The appointment of Puig did not come as a surprise. Puig has a long and storied history with Honda, having raced for them in 500GPs, then moving on to a variety of management roles associated with Honda.
Puig was instrumental in the Movistar Cup, the series from which a vast array of talent came, including Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa, Toni Elias, and much more.
He went on to become Dani Pedrosa’s personal manager, before moving on to run the Honda Asia Talent Cup and work with the British Talent Team in recent seasons.
But this appointment also marks a break with recent history. Alberto Puig is a very different character to Livio Suppo, who he nominally replaces.
Suppo approached the role of team manager very much from a marketing perspective. Puig is much more of an ex-racer, and is much closer to the Japanese engineers than to the marketing and media side of the operation.
Though Puig’s ability to manage a team is beyond question, he faces some unique and severe challenges in managing this specific team, the Repsol Honda team.
Puig is a no-nonsense character who can be abrasive, and he already has a problematic relationship with the two riders in the Repsol Honda team.
Though he was Dani Pedrosa’s manager for a long time, he spent last season criticizing the Spaniard in his role as an expert commentator for Spanish broadcaster Movistar. Puig criticized Pedrosa’s approach and attitude, and may have a few fences to mend on that side of the garage.
But Puig’s relationship with Marc Marquez’s side of the garage is even more troubled.
Puig has long regarded Marquez’s personal manager Emilio Alzamora as a rival, and having the two in the same garage when Puig still managed Dani Pedrosa was a major challenge for HRC.
Both Puig and Alzamora were more concerned with preventing the other side of the garage from seeing their respective riders’ data than with cooperating towards a common goal.
That failure was an indirect result of the lack of communication within the Repsol Honda team, with Alzamora wanting to keep Puig away from Marquez, and Alzamora also distrusting Livio Suppo and then chief mechanic Cristian Gabarrini, all of whom he regarded as holdovers from the Casey Stoner era forced on them by Honda and Suppo.
Alzamora won that particular battle. The following year, the remnants of Stoner’s crew were forced out of the Repsol Honda team, and Marquez was reunited with his full former Moto2 team.
Alberto Puig had stopped managing Dani Pedrosa, and moved on to other projects with Honda, but the tension between the two remained, as Alzamora was also managing the Estrella Galicia Moto3 team, and excluded Puig from involvement.
Puig has also had his moments in the past with the Repsol Honda team. As Dani Pedrosa’s manager, he was severely critical of Nicky Hayden when the American was Pedrosa’s Repsol Honda teammate.
With that history behind him, Puig is being thrown straight into the deep end. His first order of business as Repsol Honda team manager will be to negotiate new contracts with Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.
The long-standing enmity between Puig and Alzamora will complicate negotiations with Marc Marquez, though Marquez has repeatedly stated he is very happy with Honda, and has no intention of leaving.
Whether Puig will be keen to keep Pedrosa on after spending so much of 2017 criticizing is also open to question.
But finding a replacement for Pedrosa could be tricky, as Marquez is perfectly happy with Pedrosa as a teammate, and he – and especially Alzamora – could view any replacement as a potential threat, especially given Puig’s stellar reputation for nurturing new talent.
With the appointment of Puig, HRC have brought in a superbly competent and proven manager. But they have also set themselves some interesting challenges along the way.
TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY (12/29/17) OF A MASSIVE BREMBO BRAKE RECALL
Today is the first day of a massive recall for Brembo brakes, as our inbox just received the first official notice of what is expected to a recall that touches a multitude of brands that use the Italian company’s high-performance line of brake master cylinders.
The issue stems from the Brembo’s popular PR16 radial master cylinder unit (the master cylinder that is often paired with the Brembo M50 calipers), which apparently can crack internally at the piston, which can then lead to front brake failure.
Because of the physical properties of the piston material used on the master cylinder, and the porosity generated during the injection process used to create them, the piston could crack when used on race tracks, or with frequent ABS intervention, or when the motorcycle falls to the ground.
As such when the piston cracks, the front brakes may not operate properly during a braking procedure, which can lead to the front brakes failing entirely.
Brembo has been able to identify that the faulty piston is made from a type of plastic (polyphenylene sulphide), and to remedy the situation, an aluminum piston will need to be used as a replacement piece.
According to documents filed National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 1% of the 1,800 affected Aprilia units are expected to show cracking of the master cylinder piston.
However, noting that several other brands use the same master cylinder setup on their superbikes and high-performance sport bikes, our sources have indicated to us that other recalls can be expected in the coming weeks from a multitude of other brands, including Ducati and KTM.
It is not clear at this time how this recall affects those who bought Brembo radial master cylinders as an aftermarket replacement for their bike’s braking setup. Hopefully we can find more information on that, though the PR16 is typically not bought as an aftermarket part.
For now, concerned Aprilia owners may contact Aprilia customer service at 1-212-380-4433, but know that Aprilia dealers will replace the front master cylinder free of charge. The Aprilia recall is expected to start January 15, 2018.
We will post subsequent notices from NHTSA for other brands that are affected by this Brembo brake recall. Stay tuned.
Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo believes he is riding better now than when he won his third MotoGP title with Yamaha.
After nine years with Yamaha, Lorenzo switched to Ducati for 2017, though found adapting to the Desmosedici a difficult task as he endured his first winless year in the premier class.
He ended the campaign seventh in the standings on 137 points, and with just three podiums to his credit – the best of those a second place finish in Malaysia.
Admitting that he still has a lot of work to do to become “completely comfortable” on the bike, Lorenzo is adamant he has become a better rider since joining Ducati.
“Honestly, I think I’m a better rider now than I was two years ago,” he said.
“I’m riding another bike with positive things and negative things, and little by little I’m taking quite the maximum with this bike I can get, even if I think I have margin to improve this performance.
“But I’m still not completely comfortable, I cannot ride it the natural way I would like.
“Every time we are getting closer, I’m very happy about the work of the team, they try to give us a better bike.
“Six victories for Andrea [Dovizioso, teammate], quite good second half of the season from my side, I think we will be quite ready to fight from the beginning, both riders, to try again to win the championship [this year].”
Lorenzo fully expected 2017 to be a difficult year, but relished the challenge of adapting to the GP17 and remained confident throughout he would eventually be competitive on the bike.
“Well, first of all I decided to start this project because I wanted a new challenge and stimulation, something really difficult to get, that is winning the world title with Ducati,” he said.
“I said when I made the decision, if I wanted to stay in my comfort zone I would have stayed at the same team I raced for nine years.
“I took this challenge because I knew it would be difficult, I knew Gigi [Dall’Igna, general manager] and I wanted to do something new, something more stimulating for my motivation.
“[It] was very hard, especially in the beginning of the season, we didn’t have the new fairing that gave me more confidence on the front.
“I needed to ride the bike in the opposite style I rode normally, but as you see it was a matter of time.
“I’ve always been competitive with all the bikes I’ve had in my career, and I knew it would be the same with Ducati. I’m almost demonstrating that now.”
Ducati is prepared for a “difficult negotiation” to retain Andrea Dovizioso for the 2019 MotoGP season, according to the team’s sporting director Paolo Ciabatti.
Dovizioso enjoyed a breakthrough campaign with the Italian manufacturer last year, winning no fewer than six races and taking the championship battle with Marc Marquez down to the final race.
However, the 31-year-old – along with almost the entire premier-class grid – is out of contract at the end of 2018, and his strong recent form is expected to make him a key player in the silly season.
In an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport, Ciabatti admitted that Dovizioso is likely to demand a salary similar to that of MotoGP’s biggest names to remain at the squad he has raced with since 2013.
He underlined Ducati’s preference is to retain both Dovizioso and three-time champion Jorge Lorenzo, who was lured away from long-time employer Yamaha at great expense but endured a winless 2017.
“Obviously we would like to keep both riders, but our budget is not infinite and we cannot spend it all in one direction while retaining a margin for development,” said Ciabatti.
“We are aware Dovizioso expects an offer in line with his latest results – obtained, it must be said, thanks to his great personal development and exceptional form, but also thanks to the sport and the competitiveness of his Ducati. Six races are not won by accident.
“We will start talking to Andrea soon, about both financial and technical matters. He expects a salary in line with that of the other top riders. It will be a difficult negotiation.
“We will start talking after the Sepang test at the end of the month.”
Last year, Dovizioso revealed he had been approached by Honda about a potential return to the team he raced for in 2009-11 in the event that the Japanese marque lost Dani Pedrosa to Yamaha.
Two-time MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner will return to action when he tests for Ducati at the Sepang circuit later this month.
The Australian, who last rode the Italian manufacturer’s bike at Valencia in September last year, will join fellow test rider Michele Pirro in the three-day test, which takes place on January 24-26.
Although Ducati is yet to reveal its plans for the test, Stoner’s programme could include riding the 2018 bike before Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo ride it in the first official pre-season test that kicks off in Malaysia two days later.
Stoner, the MotoGP world champion with Ducati in 2007, already took part in the first test with what was then the Italian maker’s newest bike, the GP17, last year.
Yamaha will also be present at the Sepang test with Katsuyuki Nakasuga and Kohta Nozane, while Honda could field former MotoGP star Stefan Bradl alongside test riders Hiroshi Aoyama and Takumi Takahashi.
Sylvain Guintoli will ride for Suzuki, while Mika Kallio and Matteo Baiocco will be on testing duties for KTM and Aprilia respectively.
Ducati World Superbike rider Chaz Davies believes that the series’ new-for-2018 rules will unfairly hinder the Italian manufacturer.
Between them, Kawasaki and Ducati have won all bar three WSBK races since 2015, prompting organisers to introduce new rules for next season in a bid to tighten up the field.
Among the measures to be put in place are an adjustable rev limit and a freeze on engine development for teams that tally up the necessary concession points from dry-weather top three finishes.
But Davies feels it is unfair to put Ducati in the same bracket as Kawasaki, as only he has been the only rider able to consistently win on the Panigale in recent years.
“I would argue that Ducati hasn’t dominated like Kawasaki has,” Davies, who finished runner-up to Rea in 2017, told Motorsport.com.
“They have dominated this championship now for the last five years. They didn’t win the championship every year, but in that period they have had such a strong and dedicated package.
“We at Ducati have finished runner-up twice in the last three years and third once. But Marco [Melandri] has won one race this year.
“So even though people put us in the same box [as Kawasaki], the situation is actually pretty different. I won the races, I am the guy willing to take the extra risks, so why should I be penalised for doing that?”
Melandri: New rules a “low blow”
Melandri shared his teammate’s frustration at the new rules, as the Panigale has lost ground exiting corners due to a lack of torque at low revs from its twin cylinder motor.
“Now with the standard gearbox with the engine revs lowered, we will struggle,” predicted Melandri, who returned to WSBK in 2017 after a year and a half on the sidelines.
“For us it was a low blow, because we lack torque at low engine revs. Turning 2000 revs less than a four cyclinder [engine], we have a lot of work to do.
“We have to change gears much more often than the others, so it will be fundamental to try to have a more ’rounded’ engine.”
Former MotoGP race winner and World Superbike champion Troy Bayliss is set to return to full-time competition next year with an Australian Superbike Championship programme.
The 48-year-old will ride a Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition for the DesmoSport squad he co-owns with Ben Henry.
It will be Bayliss’ first full season of racing in a decade, and his first competitive outing at all since his two-round cameo in World Superbikes at the start of the 2015 season.
It’ll also be a chance for him to finally win an Aussie Superbike crown, having twice finished runner-up in the series early in his career before heading to Europe.
According to Bayliss he went close to joining the series midway through this year to replace injured rider Callum Spriggs, but he ultimately elected to wait for next year.
“Initially, I did want to see another young guy on the bike but after I rode it, I felt that I needed to contest the championship and try and win myself the elusive Australian Superbike title,” said Bayliss.
“I definitely feel like I have some unfinished business.
“I have a bit of work to do in terms of fitness but after testing the bike and running it at the Adelaide Motorsport Festival I feel I am definitely up to the task.”
Ducati Australia and New Zealand CEO Warren Lee said getting Bayliss back on a bike is a big coup for the series.
“We’re naturally all super excited that Troy has decided to race again on a Ducati Superbike and in the ASBK for 2018,” said Lee.
“When he was racing in the World Championships and since returning to Australia, Troy has always been such a great ambassador for Australia and our motorcycle sport and industry. His passion for motorcycling and ‘putting back in’ attitude is why he is Australia’s and one of the world’s most popular and liked riders.
“I’m sure everyone can’t wait to see him back out there racing next year in the ASBK with the DesmoSport Ducati Team on board the beautiful Panigale R Final Edition.”
The 2018 ASBK series kicks off at the WSBK round at Phillip Island next February.
BRUCE BROWN, AMA MOTORCYCLE HALL OF FAME MEMBER, PASSES
Movie maker produced classic ‘On Any Sunday’
December 11, 2017
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Legendary filmmaker Bruce Brown, who produced the classic motorcycling movie “On Any Sunday,” died Sunday, Dec. 10. He was 80.
Bruce Brown at the 2012 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Las Vegas.
“Bruce Brown’s influence on motorcycling in the 1970s was profound,” said American Motorcyclist Association President and CEO Rob Dingman. “’On Any Sunday’ highlighted the unique talents needed for different forms of racing and showcased the fun that people find in motorcycling.”
Mr. Brown’s early acclaim resulted from his groundbreaking surfing movie, “Endless Summer,” which was released in 1966. “On Any Sunday,” released in 1971, helped spur the explosive growth of motorcycling in the 1970s.
“I think many people changed their minds about motorcyclists after watching the movie,” Mr. Brown once said.
“On Any Sunday” earned Mr. Brown an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary in 1971.
Mr. Brown was born in San Francisco on Dec. 1, 1937. He grew up in Southern California, attending school in Long Beach before moving to Dana Point.
In the late 1960s, motorcycling was sweeping across the country and Southern California was the Mecca of the sport. While visiting Japan, Mr. Brown and his wife rented a Honda scooter and enjoyed the freedom of riding. When he returned home to California, he bought a used Triumph Cub.
Many of the surfers whom Brown hung out with were getting into riding as well. Several of them took up desert racing. Brown got more involved in the sport and began attending races around Southern California.
Even with financial backing from legendary actor and motorcyclist Steve McQueen, Mr. Brown did not have a large budget for “On Any Sunday.” So he improvised by using 24-volt batteries in the 12-volt film cameras, producing a makeshift high-speed camera. He also used a helmet-mounted camera on some of the riders, one of the earliest times something like that was attempted.
Mr. Brown was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999. His complete bio can be found at www.motorcyclemuseum.org.
Valentino Rossi has confirmed that Yamaha’s 2018 MotoGP challenger will be based on the 2016 version of the M1, following this week’s private test in Sepang.
The Italian was joined by works teammate Maverick Vinales and Tech 3 rider Johann Zarco in Malaysia, where comparisons between the 2016 and 2017 versions of the M1 were made.
It followed a Valencia test where the trio likewise spent time considering which of the two bikes should form the basis for the Iwata marque’s 2018 machine.
Rossi has revealed all three agreed at Sepang that Yamaha should ditch the troubled 2017 bike and stick with the 2016 version that Zarco used to such good effect during his rookie season.
“We tried the old bike, the one from 2016,” Rossi told Italy’s Radio Deejay. “We deliberated and we were all agreed the 2017 bike was worse.
“We still have to see what the new bike will be like, there will be something interesting. But the base will be the bike from 2016.
“Now is a critical moment. Between now and February, Yamaha needs to make a big leap forward.”
Reflecting on a season that yielded only fifth place in the points, Rossi said his mistake was to assume that the problem was with him and not the bike when Vinales went fastest in last year’s Valencia test.
“The problem was that when Vinales arrived, he went very fast,” Rossi added.
“I tried it and I didn’t like it, but I thought, maybe because it was the end of the season, I was out of shape.
“So we continued with that project [the 2017 bike], but this was a mistake because we lost a lot of time.”
AMERICAN MOTORCYCLIST ASSOCIATION DEFENDS MOTORCYCLISTS’ FOURTH AMENDMENT RIGHTS IN AMICUS BRIEF TO U.S. SUPREME COURT
Unlawful search and seizure protection should cover motorcycles.
November 21, 2017
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The American Motorcyclist Association filed an amicus brief with the highest court in the land Nov. 20 defending the rights of motorcyclists against unlawful search and seizure as protected by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The amicus brief was filed in case No. 16-1027, Ryan Austin Collins v. Commonwealth of Virginia. The Supreme Court of Virginia ruled that, because Collins’ vehicle was a motorcycle and not a car or truck, the officers who searched under Collins’ motorcycle cover did not need a warrant to do so. The AMA’s brief argues that the judgment of the lower court should be reversed.
AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman stated that the amicus brief points out an example of how motorcyclists’ rights can be threatened at all levels—and branches—of government.
“The AMA and its members must be vigilant at all times, because we can never know where the next threat will be,” Dingman said. “The U.S. Supreme Court is the final arbiter on matters of Constitutional rights, and the Court’s decisions direct the enforcement of law across the country at all levels. When motorcyclists’ freedoms are before the Court, it’s critical that we speak forcefully and convincingly to defend those rights.”
The AMA’s brief states: “This Court’s analysis should not be affected by the fact the vehicle searched was a motorcycle rather than a car or truck. … There is nothing inherently suspicious—and no inherent justification for a search—in the use or ownership of a motorcycle.”
The brief points out that a motorcycle cover is commonly used to protect motorcycles from the elements, to provide privacy and to prevent theft.
“By removing and looking beneath the cover of the motorcycle parked in the curtilage of the home, the police conducted a warrantless search in violation of the Fourth Amendment,” the brief continues.
While the AMA’s brief expresses no opinion regarding the petitioner’s ultimate guilt or innocence of the alleged crime, it emphasizes that motorcycles should not be subjected to unreasonable searches and seizures. The consequences of the erosion of motorcyclists’ protections under the Fourth Amendment would be severe.
But, while praising Dovizioso’s efforts this season, ex-Honda team principal Livio Suppo insisted that reports of a renewed bid for the 31-year-old’s services are wide of the mark.
“It’s no secret that last year, when there was the possibility that Dani [Pedrosa] was leaving, we spoke with Dovi,” said Suppo before the recent news of his departure from Honda.
“We like Dovi, we know his value, we know he is a good rider. Honestly everybody in this paddock didn’t expect the season he’s done, and we are very happy for him.
“At the time [last year] we spoke to him, but next season everybody has riders under contract so there’s no need to speak about it.”
Yamaha team boss Lin Jarvis added that Dovizioso’s interests would be best served by remaining at Ducati rather than risking a switch to a rival manufacturer.
“There’s no truth honestly to any of these rumours [of Yamaha wanting to sign Dovizioso],” he said. “But I have great respect for Andrea.
“You reap what you sow, and in Andrea’s case it didn’t arrive by accident – it arrived by five years of commitment to the project.
“He’s grown with the bike, and this year, all of the stars aligned for Dovi and he had a phenomenal season. From his side, I believe the best thing for him is to remain at Ducati.”
Ducati sporting director Paolo Ciabatti conceded that the Italian manufacturer will most likely have to up its financial offer to Dovizioso in light of his success when negotiations about a contract extension begin.
“Negotiating power is always based on your results,” admitted Ciabatti. “A rider with a winning history, as Dovi has had this year, will be in a stronger position when he negotiates.
“I’m sure when the time comes, we will have to consider that he’s won seven races for Ducati – and hopefully some more.”
NOTICE OF MEETING: PISMO STATE BEACH AND OCEANO DUNES STATE VEHICULAR RECREATION AREA LISTENING SESSION
Public encouraged to attend presentation regarding plans for this important recreation area
The American Motorcyclist Association believes you may be interested in attending a meeting of California State Parks regarding the future of the Oceano Dunes (Pismo) State Vehicular Recreation Area. The California Department of Parks and Recreation is seeking feedback on the development of a Public Works Plan.
DPR currently operates Oceano Dunes SVRA and Pismo State Beach under Coastal Development Permit A-4-82-300-A5. A PWP would promote greater efficiency for DPR to meet obligatory code compliance, provide a diverse range of recreation opportunities, and improve public service facilities. The Coastal Commission reviews and approves PWPs in the same manner as Local Coastal Programs as described in Chapter 6 of the Coastal Act.
This meeting offers a forum for the public to learn about the PWP process and provide input about their vision for visitor experiences and recreational opportunities at these park units. This will be the first of several public meetings about the PWP project.
DATE & LOCATION: 6:30 – 9 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 30, Ventana Grill, Pacific Room, 2575 Price St., Pismo Beach, Calif.
If you have comments and questions to be addressed at this meeting but cannot attend, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Meeting facilities are accessible to people with disabilities. If you need specific accommodations, please contact Vicki Perez at (916) 324-5801.
Now more than ever, it is crucial that you and your riding friends become members of the AMA to help us protect our riding freedoms. More members mean more clout against the opponents of motorcycling, and your support will help the AMA fight for your rights – on the road, trail and racetrack and in the halls of government.
URGE YOUR FEDERAL REPRESENTATIVE TO CO-SPONSOR H.R. 3990 LIMITING PRESIDENTIAL MONUMENT AUTHORITY
Legislation to help ensure designations have local support
The American Motorcyclist Association supports H.R. 3990, the National Monument Creation and Protection Act, introduced in October by U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah). The bill amends the American Antiquities Act of 1906, further defining the authority of presidents who use the act to set aside public lands as national monuments.
Currently, the Antiquities Act allows presidents to make national monument designations, but limits the area of new monuments to “to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected.”
The AMA believes that previous presidents overstepped their authority under the act and designated much larger swathes of land as monuments, sometimes encompassing millions of acres. Such sweeping designations may jeopardize opportunities for responsible motorized recreation.
Under H.R. 3990, presidents would gain authority to reduce the size of existing monuments, under some circumstances. In addition, the legislation would allow the president to unilaterally designate land up to 640 acres. Monument designations between 640 and 10,000 acres would be subject to review under the National Environmental Policy Act. Designations between 10,000 and 85,000 acres would require approval from all county commissioners, state legislatures, and governors in the affected area.
We hope you will use the simple process below to send a message to your representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives to co-sponsor this important legislation. You can preview the message before submitting it.
Now more than ever, it is crucial that you and your riding friends become members of the AMA to help us protect our riding freedoms. More members mean more clout against the opponents of motorcycling, and your support will help the AMA fight for your rights – on the road, trail and racetrack and in the halls of government.
To join, call (800) AMA-JOIN. To encourage your friends to join, tell them about the many AMA benefits you appreciate and forward the phone number to them.
Thank you in advance for taking part in this important effort to match recreation opportunities to demand. If you do submit comments, please let us know at email@example.com.
U.S. TRADE REPRESENTATIVE IS ‘SYMPATHETIC’ ON BIKES FOR BEEF TARIFF ISSUE, BUT WON’T TAKE ACTION
Tell USTR and Congress you want action, not sympathy!
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told a congressional committee that he is “sympathetic” to American motorcyclists, dealerships and others, but he cannot remove small-displacement European motorcycles from a proposed import tariff while negotiations continue in a dispute with the European Union over U.S. beef imports.
Lighthizer addressed the issue before the House Ways and Means Committee in response to a question from U. S. Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio). He said that he had heard from motorcyclists and from the motorcycle industry. The exchange between Renacci and Lighthizer starts at 2:01:00 of this video.
Tell Lighthizer we need action, not sympathy!
Use the American Motorcyclist Association’s convenient tools to urge the U.S. Trade Representative to withdraw this ill-conceived proposal to enact a 100 percent tariff on 51cc to 500cc motorcycles from the European Union. Motorcyclists should not be penalized with exorbitant tariffs because of a dispute over beef.
If enacted, this tariff will cause serious and irreversible harm to American small- and medium-sized business owners who sell the vehicles. Additionally, consumers will be denied access to certain models of competition and recreational motorcycles that contribute to the lifestyle and wellbeing of millions of American families.
The time is now to voice our continued, strong opposition to the proposal. America’s motorcyclists aren’t pawns in a game of international chess. Take action now to protect against significant hardships this tariff will cause to hardworking, everyday tax-paying Americans.
Tell Ambassador Lighthizer and Congress to remove motorcycles from the proposed tariff. Make our voice stronger by sharing the AMA Action Alert. Share with your friends on Facebook.
Now more than ever, it is crucial that you and your riding friends become members of the AMA to help protect our riding freedoms. More members mean more clout against the opponents of motorcycling. That support will help fight for your rights – on the road, trail and racetrack and in the halls of government. If you are a motorcycle rider, join the AMA at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/membership/join.
LATE MOTORCYCLE INDUSTRY ICON TOM WHITE TO BE HONORED AT GLEN HELEN RACEWAY ON NOV 11
November 06, 2017
Orange County, Calif. — Glen Helen Raceway and the White family will honor motorcycle industry icon and AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Tom White with a memorial ride day and life celebration on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, according to a press release from Dubya USA.
White passed away Nov. 2 in his home in Orange County.
Glen Helen Raceway will be open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the event.
Glen Helen staff and the White family will honor Tom’s life in a trackside ceremony at 11 a.m.
The White family invites all friends and motocross enthusiasts to attend Tom’s memorial ride day. All entry fees will be waived in Tom’s honor, but the White family will accept donations to the Early Years of Motocross, which will be distributed among several of Tom’s favorite charitable organizations.
“Tom loved Glen Helen Raceway, both the facility itself and its incredible staff,” said the White family. “Whether it was announcing the REM Series races every weekend, organizing the World Vet Motocross Championship, or working with track owner Bud Feldkamp to procure the AMA National or USGP event, Tom’s second home was that race track. Our family thanks the owner and operators of Glen Helen for honoring him with a wonderful day of riding to celebrate his life and the motorcycle community he loved so dearly.”
Glen Helen Raceway is at 18585 Verdemont Ranch Road, San Bernardino, Calif. Visitors should take the 215 freeway to the Palm Ave. exit, and head southwest. Turn right onto Verdemont Ranch Road and follow the signs.
ABOUT GLEN HELEN RACEWAY
Located in San Bernardino, Calif., the world famous Glen Helen International Raceway is the premier motocross racing facility in the United States. It has hosted the United States Grand Prix of Motocross, Motocross des Nations, AMA Motocross National, World Vet Motocross Championship, and the World 2-Stroke Championship. Its weekly REM motocross series is one of the most popular in the country.
ABOUT TOM WHITE
Tom was raised near the ocean in Huntington Beach, Calif., where he grew up surfing before discovering his life-long passion: motorcycles. He soon found his niche in flat track racing, eventually earning national number 80 as a professional.
In 1976, White founded Tom White’s Cycle Specialties, which would later become White Brothers Cycle Specialties when White partnered with his twin brother, Dan. Over the next 25 years, White Brothers would grow into a nearly $40 million-a-year company that employed nearly 200 employees at its peak. White sold White Brothers in 2000, and turned his attention towards restoring and collecting vintage motocross bikes.
Over the next decade, White’s collection grew to over 170 motorcycles, including a variety of unique models from brands such as Husqvarna, CZ, Maico, Bultaco, BSA, and others. White believed his efforts were but one piece of a greater industry initiative to ensure the history and legacy of motorcycle racing in the United States remained intact and relevant for future generations of racers and fans.
White’s Early Years of Motocross Museum, located on his family’s private property in Orange County, California, is not open to the public, but it has played host to motorcycle industry events including product launches, professional racing media gatherings, as well as numerous charity fundraising efforts.
In addition to his role as a motorcycle historian, White discovered another passion over the past few decades: announcing motorcycle races. White became the announcer of the weekly REM motocross series at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, California, one of his greatest joys. In 2017, White was honored with a monument along Glen Helen’s Walk of Fame. White also served as the announcer for many professional races throughout the United States, reveling in the thrill of all disciplines of motorcycle racing.
In 2014, White was inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame. And in 2018, White is due to receive the prestigious Dick Hammer lifetime achievement award from the Southern California Trailblazers Motorcycle Club.
“While we mourn the loss of an incredible human being, we also celebrate his life, his achievements, his passion for motorcycles, and his love of friends and family,” says the White family. “We hope that Tom’s life story serves as inspiration to everyone that fierce determination and good will can yield a life extraordinarily well lived.”
Tom White passed away peacefully in his home in Orange County, California, on November 2, 2017, surrounded by his family and several of his favorite motorcycles.
AMA MOURNS PASSING OF TOM WHITE, MOTORCYCLING ICON
AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer was beloved philanthropist
November 02, 2017
Tom White passed away on Nov. 2, 2017.
Tom White, a motorcycle racer, philanthropist and historian and the co-founder of White Brothers Cycle Specialties, succumbed to cancer today, Nov. 2, at his home. He was 68.
“Tom White was one of the great people in motorcycling,” said Rob Dingman, president and CEO of the American Motorcyclist Association. “In addition to his personal accomplishments on the track and in the business community, Tom was a wonderful person and a joy to be near.”
In addition to founding White Brothers Cycle Specialties, Mr. White created the World Vet MX Championship and the World Four-Stroke Championship, established the Early Years of Motocross Museum and competed as AMA National No. 80 in flat-track competition from 1971 to 1976.
“While we mourn the loss of an incredible human being, we also celebrate his life, his achievements, his passion for motorcycles, and his love of friends and family,” the White family said in a statement. “We hope that Tom’s life story serves as inspiration to everyone that fierce determination and good will can yield a life extraordinarily well lived.”
White Brothers grew into a $40 million-a-year company that employed nearly 200 employees at its peak, the family said. Mr. White sold the business in 2000, turning his attention toward restoring and collecting vintage motocross bikes, culminating in the Early Years of Motocross Museum, situated on his family’s property in Orange County, Calif.
Mr. White’s lasting contributions also included the Edison Dye Motocross Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes the person or persons who have made the largest impact on the growth of motocross in America.
Mr. White’s family said that he enjoyed announcing motorcycle races during the past several years at the weekly REM motocross series at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, Calif. This year, Mr. White was honored with a monument along Glen Helen’s Walk of Fame.
Mr. White also volunteered many years as an announcer at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, an annual fundraiser for the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation.
Mr. White is survived by his wife, children and grandchildren. His family said that he will be honored in a memorial service to be announced at a future date.
18 Oct 2017
MotoGP 2019: ‘The number of official, three day tests outside of Europe is reduced to two’
As rumoured, MotoGP is to place new limits on private testing in 2018, with one of the three official pre-season tests also being dropped in 2019. The changes follow concerns that teams were using their five days of private testing to gain a set-up advantage for a circuit ahead of the race weekend, rather than for pure bike development. Testing will also be banned during the summer break next season.
The decision to drop one of the official pre-season tests for 2019 is mainly in response to the growing number of races; Thailand is joining the calendar in 2018 and Finland in 2019, with others also showing interest.
The 2018 pre-season test line-up is Sepang, Buriram and Losail. Buriram has replaced Phillip Island in order to gather data (especially tyre data) ahead of October’s inaugural Thai MotoGP. However once the Buriram venue is ‘known’, it is perhaps the most logical venue to be dropped from the 2019 test schedule.
The full wording of the testing changes can be seen below:
MotoGP Class Testing Restrictions – Effective Season 2018
Current arrangements for official tests are unchanged being a two day test after Valencia, three of three days tests at the beginning of 2018 at circuits outside of Europe and three, one day tests on Mondays after events.
Teams are restricted to five days of private tests with their contracted riders. After the winter test ban period only three days of testing are permitted prior to events and other tests can only take place on a circuit where the event has already taken place. No testing can take place within 14 days of the event at the same circuit.
No testing with contracted riders is permitted in the “summer break”. In 2018 this means between Monday 16 July and Thursday 02 August.
Test teams of Manufacturers may nominate three current Grand Prix circuits at which they may test at any time except within 14 days of the event at that circuit. They may also test during the three days preceding the first official test after the winter test ban period. Such teams may also participate at all official tests.
MotoGP Class Testing Restrictions – Effective Season 2019
Regulations will be as per season 2018 above with the following changes:
The number of official, three day tests outside of Europe is reduced to two.
Teams will continue to be restricted to five days of private tests with their contracted riders. However, at least two days of private testing must take place between the last event of the season and 30 November. Remaining tests can take place at any time but not within 14 days of the event at the same circuit.
Other amendments agreed during the Motegi weekend, all effective from the 2018 season, were as follows:
All rider’s race suits must be fitted with an Airbag system designed with the purpose of minimising injuries. The technical specifications of the systems and the testing methods were also approved.
Moto2 Testing with Triumph Engines
Each manufacturer of Moto2 chassis who is supplying teams in the 2018 season may test chassis fitted with Triumph engines for a maximum of ten days per manufacturer. Testing may be conducted using any rider and the number of riders who may participate on each test day is not limited.
MotoGP Class Wild Card Machines
Each wild card entry is restricted to the use of three engines for their exclusive use. The technical specifications of the engine, ECU hardware, other electronics. etc., must be as those for the manufacturer of the machine.
Wild Card Entries in the MotoGP Class
Each Manufacturer is permitted to enter a maximum of three wild cards per season. With the exception that Manufacturers who benefit from concessions are permitted to enter a maximum of six wild card entries per season. Entries from any single Manufacturer cannot be at consecutive events.
Triumph has released an update on the development of its Moto2 engine, showing for the first time a prototype undergoing tests at the Ciudad del Motor de Aragon circuit. Triumph is set to replace Honda as the sole engine supplier for the Moto2 World Championship in 2019, using a motor based on the 765cc Inline-Three powering the Street Triple RS.
For this test, the engine is mounted to a race chassis based on the current Daytona 675. Former 125cc World Champion and Moto2 runner-up Julian Simon took the prototype out on a shake down test to produce data on the engine’s performance and durability under racing conditions.
Triumph calls this a race prototype chassis, though the frame, and swingarm, not to mention the fairing, look similar to the existing Daytona 675. The subframe, however, looks new, and the prototype sports race suspension, OZ wheels and a different exhaust system
Based on the Speed Triple RS’ 765cc engine, the Moto2-spec powerplant includes a number of modifications including a revised cylinder head, titanium valves and stiffer valve springs. Triumph also added a tuneable slipper clutch and added a taller first gear. Moto2 bikes will also be managed by a spec ECU by Magneti Magelli. In its production form, Triumph claims the engine offers 121 hp at 11,700 rpm and 57 lb.-ft. at 10,800 rpm. The race engine will be higher revving and should see a significant bump in power and torque.
According to Triumph, development is proceeding ahead of expectations with Simon able to produce consistent and competitive lap times. Triumph says it is on schedule to deliver the first batch of Moto2 race engines by June 2018.
“At this stage of the development program we are in a good place. We are very pleased with the pace that Julian is showing with the latest engine and his feedback has been very positive,” says Steve Sargent, Triumph’s chief product officer. “We have confidence that we will deliver an engine that the teams will enjoy racing with and a spectacle and sound that will excite the fans.”
Simon has been playing a key role in developing the engine and he says the engine has improved since he last tested it.
“I am really happy to be here in Aragón testing the development of the 2019 Moto2 engines with Triumph,” says Simon. “I can see there has been a big improvement with the latest engine, giving a great feeling. There’s a lot of power and the gearing is fantastic, and for the sound, this is also fantastic. To me, it’s fun.”
Of course, this does raise the question of if (when?) we’ll see a new Daytona 765 enter production. Unfortunately, this prototype offers little clues about a potential new model; there’s far too much of the existing Daytona 675 in the test prototype, and we’d have to expect a new model would look a little more different from is predecessor.
Then again, the video does end with a tease about there being “even more to come in 2018…”
DUCATI DESMOSEDICI STRADALE: THE SOUND OF A NEW ERA
The new engine derived from MotoGP
“We are proud to reveal this technological jewel that starts a new chapter in our company’s history, demonstrating its vitality and high level of investment in the development of new products. This engine also demonstrates the close collaboration between Ducati Corse and the group developing production motorcycles, and how much racing is able to develop technology that is then usable for the standard models”
Claudio Domenicali – CEO Ducati Motor Holding
The new V4 90° engine, based on the experience gained in MotoGP where the performance of the four-cylinder Desmosedici is at the top of its class, was designed to equip future Ducati supersport models. By transferring the technology of its most powerful engine from competition to production, Ducati offers its enthusiastic customers the experience that has been acquired over many seasons of MotoGP.
It’s called Desmosedici Stradale and is destined to become a milestone in the history of the company based in Borgo Panigale, which before now had never equipped a mass-produced sport bike with a four-cylinder engine
A V4 for the future of Ducati sport bikes
The Ducati Desmosedici Stradale is born from the heart of the Ducati Desmosedici GP and now is ready to turn its power and excellence into pleasure for all roadgoing sportbike enthusiasts. Unique, light, compact, technically advanced, with an unmistakable sound.
An engineering masterpiece, capable of bringing together the smooth power delivery of its V4 with the racing attitude and the strength more of its 210 Cv.
ONLY this morning, Ducati unveiled the engine that will power its first four-cylinder production bike, the Panigale V4, due to officially debut on November 5.
Thanks to the dark wonders of the internet, though, you don’t wait until then to see it, because this, the best leaked image of it so far, has just emerged.
It’s not the first look we’ve had at the complete 1103cc machine, which makes a claimed 210hp and 88.5lbft. Earlier this week a mobile phone picture of it emerged, apparently at a circuit where it had been undergoing tests.
But this picture is better quality and leaves no doubt as to what we’re looking at, thanks to ‘Panigale V4’ clear on the side of the fairing.
It shows that the new model doesn’t stray far from the look of the existing V-twin Panigale, with similarly-shaped headlines, fairing and tail unit.
But the differences are also more discernible. The headlight recesses have grown, likely incorporating airducts.
There also several subtle differences to the bodywork, including the fairing, tail unit and front mudguard.
The Ducati Panigale V4 is due to be officially unveiled in Milan at 9pm on November 5 and go on sale next year.
Ducati says the engine is derived from that of the Desmosedici GP machine raced in MotoGP.
The firm says it’s suited to the track but also designed for the needs of the road, with good low-down and mid-range torque, achieved with the help of its slightly larger displacement than its MotoGP ‘counterpart’.
A higher-revving R version of less than 1000cc, intended more for track use, is in the ‘advanced development stage’ according to Ducati.
Read more about it, including the full specs, in our separate story on the engine here.
The Bimota brand has a storied past, from its creation by Valerio Bianchi, Giuseppe Morri, and Massimo Tamburini, to its modern rebirth (several times over).
In between those chapters, we have seen a story born out of the company’s Rimini headquarters that has created some of motorcycling’s most iconic models, but it seems that the Bimota story is set to end.
In a story published by Cycle World, Bruno dePrato reports that Bimota has closed its doors in Italy, and all but officially ceased its business operations.
Now, the company has been reduced to reports of a few models trickling somewhere out of Switzerland, the homeland of Bimota’s current investors – as they seemingly deplete the final count of inventory pieces.
The recent news of Bimota’s closing shouldn’t surprise followers of the motorcycle industry though, as the Italian brand hasn’t shown signs of life to our recent memory.
This should also be a sad day for motorcycle enthusiasts, as the Bimota brand is responsible for some of the best motorcycles ever created, mixing both beautiful styling with cutting-edge performance.
The Italian marque has always struggled to recapture the magic that it once showed with its founding members. Maybe one day that special formula of talent will return to this phoenix of a brand.
This photo is going around the internet, purporting to show the new “Panigale V4” superbike. The photo looks legit, and looks very similar to the spy photos that we have seen of the Ducati’s new superbike machine.
The bodywork on the Ducati Panigale V4 mimics very closely the previous generation Panigale (the v-twin model), though there are some obvious changes. It looks like the headlight recesses also channel air around the body, likely to aid in cooling the V4 engine.
We can also see the “frameless” chassis design continues, with the aluminum black frame spar going from the rear cycling bank, attaching to the front cylinder bank (hidden under the fairing), and protruding forward to make the headstock/airbox.
The exhaust on the Panigale V4 also looks similar to the v-twin model, though it appears that there is a twin-pipe loop under the rider’s seat, rather than the single-pipe on the previous edition.
The engine case is also different from before, and placed in a slightly different position on the motorcycle.
While there are subtle differences between the Ducati Panigale V4 and the Ducati 1299 Panigale range, what is perhaps more interesting is the similarities between the two bikes.
It looks like Ducati will have an interesting presentation in Milano, in two months’ time.
The Movistar Yamaha team has updated us on Valentino Rossi’s condition, as the MotoGP underwent surgery on his right leg earlier today.
Rossi was first examined at the Ospedale Civile di Urbino, where he was initially diagnosed, then he was transferred to the Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Ospedali Riuniti in Ancona, where the surgery was performed.
The team reports that the operation was a success, and that the doctors implanted metal pins (locking intramedullary nails, to be precise) into Rossi’s leg to hold the bones together.
“The surgery went well. This morning, when I woke up, I felt already good,” said Valentino Rossi in a press statement. “I would like to thank the staff of the Ospedali Riuniti in Ancona, and in particular Doctor Pascarella who operated on me.”
“I’m very sorry for the incident. Now I want to be back on my bike as soon as possible. I will do my best to make it happen!”
It is not clear how long Valentino Rossi will be on the sidelines for the rest of this year’s MotoGP season, though his championship hopes have certainly been dashed.
DUCATI’S NEW V4 ENGINE NAMED “DESMOSEDICI STRADALE”
08/31/2017 @ 11:52 AM, BY JENSEN BEELER
In one week’s time, Ducati will unveil its new V4 engine, which will power the next-generation of the Italian company’s superbikes and other high-powered motorcycles.
Set to debut the Thursday before the San Marino GP round for MotoGP, Ducati has begun teasing us some information, the first of which is the new motor’s name, the Desmosedici Stradale.
True to Ducati naming conventions, the name of the engine literally means what it is, a road-going version of the Desmosedici engine that powers Bologna’s MotoGP project.
Between the choice of that name, and the fact that the motor will debut at a MotoGP round, it is clear that Ducati is playing to the engine’s roots that stem from the Desmosedici GP bike, which also uses a 90° V4 power plant with desmodromic valves.
We can expect some technology from the v-twin “Superleggera” to be used as well, with the new Desmosedici Stradale engine being a sort of hybrid of the two engine designs.
At the event in Misano, we expect Ducati to give all the technical specifics of the Desmosedici Stradale engine, including its unique firing order. Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali hinted to A&R that motor’s firing order is something special, saying it was “something between a v-twin and V4.”
Domenicali added with a smile that “the most interesting stuff is inside,” referring to the technology and design found within the Desmosedici Stradale engine. This news should mean that the unveiling next week should be very interesting for both Ducatisti and motorcycle enthusiasts.
It is also important to remember that the Desmosedici Stradale engine will not only power Ducati’s next superbike platform, the but the V4 engine will also be used for several other Ducati models, likely those that require high-power outputs.
We look forward to seeing Ducati’s new superbike debut at the EICMA show later this year, and to also seeing what new models the Demosedici Stradale powers in the coming model years.
CARBON-NEUTRAL CARS: SYNTHETIC FUELS TURN CO2 INTO A RAW MATERIAL
Gerlingen, Germany – Up until recently, a carbon-neutral combustion engine was the stuff of dreams. Now it may soon become reality. The secret lies in synthetic, or carbon-neutral, fuels, whose manufacturing process captures CO2. In this way, this greenhouse gas becomes a raw material, from which gasoline, diesel, and substitute natural gas can be produced with the help of electricity from renewable sources. “Synthetic fuels can make gasoline- and diesel-powered cars carbon-neutral, and thus make a significant contribution to limiting global warming,” says Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. Bosch experts have put an exact figure on the contribution that could be made solely by the European car fleet: by 2050, the use of synthetic fuels as a scheduled supplement to electrification could save up to 2.8 gigatons of CO2, or 2,800,000,000,000 kilograms.1 That is three times Germany’s carbon-dioxide emissions in 2016.
Low-soot combustion reduces cost of exhaust-gas treatment
A look beyond Europe’s borders shows how urgent it is to further reduce traffic emissions: if the climate targets set by the Paris conference are to be achieved, CO2 emissions from traffic worldwide will have to be reduced 50 percent over the next four decades, and by at least 85 percent in the advanced economies.2 “Achieving our future climate targets calls for other intelligent solutions apart from electromobility,” Denner says. After all, even if all cars were to drive electrically one day, aircraft, ships, and even trucks will still run mainly on fuel. Carbon-neutral combustion engines that run on synthetic fuels are thus a very promising path to explore – also for passenger cars. In addition, synthetic fuels can be designed to burn practically soot-free. In this way, the cost of exhaust-gas treatment can be reduced.
One further crucial advantage is that the existing filling-station network can continue to be used. The same applies to the existing combustion-engine expertise. Moreover, even though electric cars will become significantly less expensive in the years ahead, the development of these fuels may be worthwhile. Bosch has calculated that, up to a lifetime mileage of 160,000 kilometers, the total cost of ownership of a hybrid running on synthetic fuel could be less than that of a long-range electric car, depending on the type of renewable energy used.
A new lease on life for filling stations and old vehicles
Technically speaking, it is already possible to manufacture synthetic fuels. If the electricity used is generated from renewables (and thus CO2-free), such fuels are carbon-neutral and very versatile. The hydrogen (H2) that is initially produced can be used to power fuel cells, while the fuels created following further processing can be used to run combustion engines or aircraft turbines. Pilot projects to commercialize synthetic diesel, gasoline, and gas are currently underway in Norway and Germany. In addition, because synthetic fuels are compatible with the existing infrastructure and engine generation, achieving a high degree of market penetration would take far less time than electrifying the existing vehicle fleet. Nor will anything change for the drivers of older vehicles, as even classic cars will still run on synthetic gasoline – in terms of chemical structure and fundamental properties, it is still gasoline.
Q&A – More about synthetic fuels
What needs to happen before synthetic fuels become established?
Despite everything, considerable efforts are still needed before synthetic fuels can become established. The processing facilities are still expensive, and there are only a few test plants. The German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is thus supporting synthetic fuels as part of its “Alternative energies in transportation” initiative. The widespread use of these fuels will also be helped by the increasing availability of, and thus falling prices for, electricity from renewables.
How are synthetic fuels made?
Synthetic fuels are made solely with the help of renewable energy. In a first stage, hydrogen is produced from water. Carbon is added to this to produce a liquid fuel. This carbon can be recycled from industrial processes or even captured from the air using filters. Combining CO2 and H2 then results in the synthetic fuel, which can be gasoline, diesel, gas, or even kerosene.
How expensive will the fuel be?
At the moment, producing synthetic fuels is a complex and expensive process. However, a production ramp-up and favorable electricity prices could mean that synthetic fuels become significantly cheaper. Present studies suggest that the fuel itself (excluding any excise duties) could cost between 1.00 and 1.40 euros a liter in the long run.
What’s the difference between synthetic fuels and biofuels?
Synthetic fuels do not mean a choice between fuel tank and dinner plate, as biofuels do. And if renewable energy is used, synthetic fuels can be produced without the volume limitations that can be expected in the case of biofuels because of factors such as the amount of land available.
The news that Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta is on his way to Thailand to sign a contract with the Buriram circuit to host MotoGP from 2018 signals that the publication of a 2018 provisional MotoGP calendar is imminent.
The Thai round of MotoGP is the final piece of the puzzle needed for putting together next year’s Grand Prix schedule.
The 2018 calendar will consist of 19 races, with the Thai round being added to the Pacific flyaways held in October. The series kicks off March 18th, at Losail in Qatar, a week before the Formula 1 season-opener in Australia.
To prevent the risk of night dew forming and making the track surface treacherous, the race is to be moved a couple of hours earlier, with the race set to start at 7pm local time instead of 9pm.
The 2018 schedule will look very similar to this year’s calendar, the races following much the same sequence. Thailand will be added to the three existing flyaway races in the Pacific region in October.
The plan, as we understand it, is to split the races up with a break of one weekend between the four races. It is still uncertain how the back-to-back weekends will be split up, whether the split will be three and one, or two and two.
Sepang has an agreement with Dorna to be the penultimate race on the calendar, and the last race of the flyaways. The Malaysian circuit is also believed to be keen not to be paired with Thailand on back-to-back weekends, as they fear that having the two events too close together will eat into their attendance figures.
A similar effect has been seen at Brno, where ticket sales have fallen since being paired with the Austrian round at the Red Bull Ring, just 300 kilometers away.
There are still a few question marks left in the calendar. The locations of two races are yet to be confirmed. The demise of the Circuit of Wales project leaves the British Grand Prix without a definite home at the moment, though the choice will be between Silverstone and Donington Park.
Silverstone is the current favorite to get the race, as the facilities at Donington are not up to hosting MotoGP. The paddock and garages are simply not large enough to house MotoGP’s ever expanding trucks and hospitality units.
However, Donington’s new owners MSV are known to have an interest in hosting MotoGP.
The other unknown is the location of the German Grand Prix. The Sachsenring has historically been a very popular location for the event, with crowds regularly exceeding 90,000 on Sundays.
But the circuit has struggled to make money, in part due to the high costs for erecting temporary grandstands around the circuit. Attempts to offset the costs by raising ticket prices caused attendance to fall sharply, dropping from 93,000 in 2016 to 77,000 in 2017.
According to German-language publication Speedweek, the ADAC, who own the rights to the German Grand Prix, are considering a switch to the Nürburgring in western Germany. Attendance at that race was poor in the past, but that was during the 1990s, when the popularity of the sport was at a low.
Crowd sizes everywhere have grown enormously, and with successful German riders like Jonas Folger in the sport, attendance should be greater.
Preseason testing kicks off on January 28th in Sepang, with two more tests set to take place before the first race in Qatar. There will be a test at Buriram in Thailand, to provide the teams and Michelin data for the track, and then the series will head to Qatar, for a final test ahead of the first race.
With the season expanding to 19 races, at least one of the preseason tests is due to be dropped, but that will only take place once MotoGP has raced in Thailand.
NO VOTE ON BILL THAT PROMOTES WIDER AVAILABILITY OF UNSAFE E15 FUEL – THANK YOU!
You’ve made a difference! Because of your help, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works announced July 21 that there will be no vote on the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act (S. 517).
The bill, introduced by U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), would amend the federal Clean Air Act’s ethanol waiver for limitations on Reid Vapor Pressure (a measure of gasoline’s propensity to evaporate).
If passed and signed into law, the legislation would allow the sale of E15 fuel – which can damage motorcycle and ATV fuel systems and engines — during the summer riding and driving season, June 1 through Sept. 15. Under current EPA regulations, E15 cannot be sold during these popular travel months.
The American Motorcyclist Association opposes E15 fuel because using E15 in motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles is illegal and may cause engine and fuel system damage and void the manufacturer’s warranty.
None of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles in use in the United States is approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to use E15 or higher ethanol blends.
The rush by the ethanol industry to force more E15 fuel into the marketplace greatly increases the chance of inadvertent misfueling by motorcyclists and ATV owners — as well as owners of boats, small engines and other machines that are not certified for E15 use. Blender pumps, confusing pump labeling and the lack of any significant consumer education by the ethanol industry or the federal government all contribute to the potential for misfueling.
Now more than ever, it is crucial that you and your riding friends become members of the AMA to help protect our riding freedoms. More members mean more clout against the opponents of motorcycling. That support will help fight for your rights – on the road, trail and racetrack and in the halls of government. If you are a motorcycle rider, join the AMA at americanmotorcyclist.com/membership/join.
1299 PANIGALE R FINAL EDITION – WHEN THE END TELLS THE WHOLE STORY
This is the celebration of the twin cylinder Ducati Superbike legacy. We combined the most advanced aluminium monocoque chassis with our most powerful Superquadro engine to create the Panigale 1299 R Final Edition. For passionate riders ready to own the strongest part of Ducati’s V-twin history, complete with celebratory livery and numbered billet top yoke.
Discover more on panigale.ducati.com
DOWNLOAD DUCATI’S 2nd 2017 ISSUE OF REDLINE MAGAZINE!
This Redline issue is loaded with emotions and new discoveries for Ducatisti hearts.
The success that was branded double D (Ducati-Dovizioso), first at Mugello, with the historic all-Italian victory and an unrestrained Petrucci taking bronze, followed by a second win at Montmelò, launches the Italian flag with Ducati’s name on it towards exciting races.
Adventurous like no Ducati before it, the Multistrada 1200 Enduro Pro arrives on the scene to let you explore the world on two wheels and go where no one has yet dared to go.
More in this issue, the SuperSport: comfort and versatility united into a sporty soul.
On the Scrambler slope: the return of the Full Throttle in grand style and the reveal of the Mach 2.0.
The unveiling of the DRE Safety Academy, the Ducati riding course focused on safety, with an in-depth look at the “Bosch Cornering ABS”, the latest technology on the motorcycle safety frontier.
The Grand Prix Commission, composed of Messrs. Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna, Chairman), Paul Duparc (FIM), Herve Poncharal (IRTA) and Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA), in the presence of Carlos Ezpeleta (Dorna), Mike Trimby (IRTA, Secretary of the meeting) and Corrado Cecchinelli (Director of Technology), in a meeting held in Assen on 24 June 2017, made the following decisions:
Technical Regulations – Effective Immediately
Detailed changes concerning tank capacity, including tubing, and non-return valves were approved.
Chassis Construction Materials
During the GPC meeting in Losail new regulations were approved concerning materials that may be used in the construction of Moto3 and Moto2 class chassis. With slight modifications, primarily concerning the material used for swinging arm and wheel spindles, the regulations will now apply to chassis in all classes.
Technical Regulations – Effective 2019
Updated, detailed specifications for Moto2 electronics and ancillaries were confirmed.
Sporting Regulations – Effective Immediately
Insurance for Wild Card Riders
Wild card riders will henceforth be included in the accidental injury insurance provided by IRTA and will no longer need to obtain insurance from their National Federation for that event. This will give them the same level of cover as the permanently contracted riders.
Participation in Different Championships at the Same Event
At some events there are races for the same category of machine in different Championships. It will no longer be permitted for a rider to compete in more than one Championship during the same event.
Dashboard Displays and Messages
It has already been confirmed that machines in the Moto3 and MotoGP class must have the dashboard facility to display text messages, linked to the current warning lights, with effect from 2018. This will also apply to the Moto2 class from 2019. The GPC have now confirmed the precise list of messages that will be sent with the warning lights by Race Direction.
Some teams already have the facility on their machine dashboards to receive text messages and, following approval from the Safety Commission, the GPC confirmed that such teams may already use this facility as a “virtual pit board”. This does not require any amendments to existing regulations.
Appointments of Official Suppliers
The GPC confirmed the appointment of the following official suppliers to the Championship:
– Triumph as supplier of engines for the Moto2 class with effect from 2019.
– Dell’Orto as supplier of the ECU for the Moto3 class from 2018 to 2020
Request from HRC
The GPC approved a request from HRC to, in the interests of safety, replace the inlet valves on a number of their Moto3 class engines due to a manufacturing flaw leading to incidences of cracking. The changes will be made under the supervision of Technical Direction staff and engines so affected will be limited to a total usage of 2,200 km.
On the eve of the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring, the Grand Prix Commission, MotoGP’s rule making body has allowed a system which was first mooted at the same race last year.
In Assen, the GPC gathered to discuss various minor tweaks to the MotoGP rules, but among them was a major upgrade: permitting the use of dashboard messages by the teams from 2018.
The ability to send messages is piggybacking off the system put in place to aid Race Direction. With spec ECUs and spec dashboards in Moto3 and MotoGP, Race Direction had long wanted the ability to send messages to the bikes on track.
They can already send a signal warning the riders that the race has been red-flagged, or to tell a particular rider that he has been black-flagged, but they had wanted to expand on that ability.
The spec ECU and dashboard used in both Moto3 and MotoGP is capable of operating in full duplex mode, both sending and receiving messages via the timing loops around the track.
That allows Race Direction both to send a message to one or more riders, and to be certain that they have actually received the message (though seeing/reading/comprehending it is a different kettle of fish altogether).
At the Sachsenring MotoGP race last year, a debate unfolded over whether teams should be use that system to send their own messages. The desire to be able to do so came from the fact that multiple riders missed their pit boards, and did not come in on time, thereby throwing away any chance of winning the race.
Afterwards, several riders expressed a desire to be able to receive messages from the team, to help them decide when was the best time to swap bikes from wet tires to slicks.
Their wish has now been granted. From 2018, when the dashboard message system is adopted in MotoGP and Moto3 (Moto2 is to follow, when the engines are switched to Triumph and the electronics to Magneti Marelli), the teams will also be able to send their riders messages, without any limitation or restriction.
More impressive though is the fact the Fillmore broke the record on his rookie debut to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
If you have less than ten minutes to spare, you can watch Chris Fillmore’s run up the mountain. It’s extra enjoyable, because the Pikes Peak organizers thought that the first three minutes of the video should include a voice-over interview with Fillmore at the mountain’s summit, rather than letting us listen to that KTM purr.