Michael van der Mark to make MotoGP debut in place of Valentino Rossi at Aragon

Yamaha has officially confirmed that – as first rumoured last week, then increasing clear during the Misano weekend – Michael van der Mark will make a MotoGP debut in place of Valentino Rossi at Aragon.

Rossi suffered displaced fractures of his right tibia and fibula during an enduro training accident on August 31, ruling him out of his home Misano round.

Yamaha are contractually obliged to replace Rossi at Aragon, which is just 22 days after his accident, well short of the 40-day recovery forecast by doctors.

“Following Valentino‘s crash on Thursday, August 31st, Yamaha decided not to replace him at the San Marino Grand Prix, but for the next Grand Prix in Aragón the team is obliged to enter two riders,” said Yamaha Racing managing director Lin Jarvis. “It being virtually impossible for Valentino to be fit to race in Aragón, Yamaha decided to search for a capable replacement from within its own pool of contracted riders.

“Having previously used Katsuyuki Nakasuga to fill in for Jorge Lorenzo in 2011 and Alex Lowes to replace Bradley Smith in 2016, we decided that Michael van der Mark should have the opportunity this time around. It is never easy to step in to replace another rider and even more difficult to replace Valentino Rossi, but we believe that Michael has all the credentials and experience to do a good job.

“We will give him our very best support and wish him every success for this exciting opportunity. We also hope that Valentino will continue to make a rapid recovery and that we will see him again, back on his YZR-M1, on the earliest possible occasion.”

“I’m excited to be given the opportunity to ride the YZR-M1 at the Aragón MotoGP round,” said van der Mark, who will ride alongside title contender Maverick Vinales. “I‘ve never ridden a MotoGP bike before, so this will be a completely new experience for me.

“I‘m very curious to see what it feels like to ride on such a machine. I realise that it won‘t be easy going straight into an official practice session without any prior testing. Nevertheless, I‘m very grateful to Yamaha for the opportunity. I‘m sure it will be a great learning experience.”

van der Mark stepped up to WorldSBK, with Ten Kate Honda, as the reigning World Supersport champion in 2015.

After nine podiums and fourth in last year’s championship, the 24-year-old Dutchman switched to the official Yamaha WorldSBK team. He has claimed a best finish of fourth this season, but looked on course for the current R1’s first victory before a tyre failure at Misano.

van der Mark also made ten grand prix appearances in the 125c and Moto2 classes between 2008 and 2011, with a best result of 18th in his home Assen race in 2009. van der Mark is now set to be the first Dutch rider since Jurgen van den Goorbergh in 2005 to race in MotoGP.

van der Mark is currently seventh in the WorldSBK standings, two places behind team-mate Alex Lowes.

Rossi should be fit for the following Japanese MotoGP, which starts 42 days after his accident.

Source: Michael van der Mark to replace Valentino Rossi – Official | MotoGP



Triumph provided an update on its Moto2 engine development, showing the 765cc engine undergoing testing in a prototype based on the Daytona.

Dennis Chung September 8, 2017

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.

Triumph to Supply Moto2 Engines

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…”

Source: Triumph Tests Moto2 Engine with Daytona-Based Prototype



Submitted by Visordown on Thu, 09/07/2017 – 12:11

Eicher Motors moving to acquire Italian marque

THE Indian firm that owns Royal Enfield is poised to make a binding bid to acquire Ducati, the Economic Times has reported.

Eicher Motors is finalising terms with advisers ahead of making a $1.8 billion-$2 billion bid by the deadline of the end of September, according to the report.

News that Ducati owner Volkswagen was considering selling Ducati emerged in April.

Eicher Motors is understood to be the only Asian company remaining in the auction.

Other companies to have reportedly shown interest in bidding include Harley-Davidson and India’s Bajaj Auto.

The process suffered a setback earlier this week and was put on hold following resistance from German trade unions, according to sources quoted by Reuters.

The final decision to sell Ducati needs to be approved by VW’s supervisory board in a meeting due to take place on September 29.

An unnamed source ‘directly involved’ told the Economic Times: “The dilligence is on hold for a fortnight. It’s more an issue in Germany ahead of election season. It’s a pause and hopefully not a dead end. With sprawling global operations, hopefully dilligence can still continue in other centres and markets. Preparations at Eicher is still ongoing. They have qualified in the initial rounds and will compete aggressively.”

Source: Indian owner of Royal Enfield to make bi… | Visordown



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.

Source: Desmosedici Stradale



Submitted by Visordown on Thu, 09/07/2017 – 15:00

This time the bike, not just the engine

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.

Source: Ducati V4 Panigale revealed | Visordown



NEXT Event=>Oct 4th (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):

9/06/17 Pizza 900° Bike Night

08/19/17 Superbike corse Open House


7/22/17 Superbike Corse No-Tax BBQ

7/05/17 Pizza 900 Bike Night

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 Prize




09/05/2017 @ 10:04 AM, BY JENSEN BEELER

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.

Bimota found new life in 2013, when Swiss investors Daniele Longoni and Marco Chiancianesi acquired the failed motorcycle company. Bimota began anew, featuring a BMW-powered model as its centerpiece, the Bimota BB3.

A superbike with a BMW S1000RR power plant, the Bimota BB3 failed to be the sales success that Bimota hoped for, with the company failing to fill the homologation requiremens for the World Superbike Championship, which ultimately lead to their dismissal from the paddock.

Hoping to spur sales, Bimota released a number of restyled models during the 2015 EICMA show, which included a supercharger for its water-cooled Ducati-powered models and a café racer version of hub-center steering Bimota Tesi 3D.

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.

Source: Cycle World

Source: Is This The Final Chapter of Bimota? – Asphalt & Rubber



09/05/2017 @ 8:13 AM, BY DAVID EMMETT

The Movistar Yamaha team have today confirmed that Valentino Rossi is to miss the Misano round of MotoGP. The injury the Italian sustained in a training accident last week is sufficiently severe that he will not be fit for his home round.

Yamaha had widely been expected to withdraw Rossi from Misano, given the fact that he had broken both the tibia and fibula of his right leg, and only had surgery to pin the bones in the early hours of Friday morning.

The last time Rossi broke his leg, it was 40 days before he returned, making Motegi the earliest Rossi is likely to return.

It is also no surprise that Yamaha has opted not to field a replacement for Rossi, as I predicted yesterday. It would not be a popular move with the fans, and it would be hard to find a rider available, willing, and able to fill in for Rossi at such short notice.

If Rossi also misses Aragon, in just under three weeks’ time, Yamaha will have to field a replacement.

Though the Yamaha press release makes no mention of either how long they expect Rossi to be out, nor who would replace him, the most likely option is for Rossi to miss Aragon, and for test rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga to take his place there.

Source: Valentino Rossi Will Miss the San Marino GP at Misano – Asphalt & Rubber



09/04/2017 @ 6:42 PM, BY JENSEN BEELER

Later this week, Ducati will debut its Desmosedici Stradale engine, the new 90° V4 engine that will power Ducati’s next superbike (amongst other models). To see Ducati’s next superbike though, we’ll have to wait until November’s EICMA show in Milan, Italy…or will we?

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.

Photo: Into the Red

Source: Ducati Panigale V4 Spotted in Photo – Asphalt & Rubber



09/01/2017 @ 1:57 AM, BY JENSEN BEELER

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.

For those just catching the news, Rossi was diagnosed with a displaced fracture of his tibia and fibula bones on his right leg, the same leg he broke at Mugello in 2010.

The incident occurred on Thursday, while Rossi was training with his VR46 Riders Academy, riding off-road with enduro motorcycles.

Source: Successful Surgery for Valentino Rossi – Asphalt & Rubber



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.

Source: Ducati’s New V4 Engine Named “Desmosedici Stradale” – Asphalt & Rubber



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.

Tags: Fuel, Gasoline, Powertrain, Diesel, CO 2

Source: Carbon-neutral cars: synthetic fuels turn CO2 into a raw material – Bosch Media Service



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.

Source: Thailand Set to Join 2018 MotoGP Calendar – Asphalt & Rubber



NBCSN’s coverage of the 2017 American Flat Track season premieres on July 3rd at 11 pm ET (8 pm PT), kicking off weekly one-hour telecasts of high-intensity racing and covering all 18 rounds

Fans get ready because the series is heading back to California for the American Flat Track Finals at SoCal Fair to close out the season on Saturday, October 7. Dirt will be flyin’ at the Perris Auto Speedway as riders will battle it out for the Championship in both AFT Twins and AFT Singles classes. Buy your tickets now because this is a race that you don’t want to miss!

PRE-SALE: Tickets On Sale Now: SoCalFair.com

Grandstand Reserved Seating – $20.00 (Includes Fair Admission).

General Admission (Open Seating) – $5.00 (Does not include Fair Admission)

Grandstand Seating: SoCalFair.com

8700 Lake Perris Drive, Perris, CA 92571  /   (951) 657-4221.  through SoCal Fair. Parking is $8.

For questions, please contact AFT Events at tickets@americanflattrack.com.  All tickets sales are final and non-refundable.

Source: American Flat Track Event Info – 2017 Cycle Gear American Flat Track Finals presented by Indian Motorcycle



American Flat Track is America’s original extreme sport. At its core, it’s a highly competitive, adrenaline-fueled American motorcycle sport featuring customized motorcycles reaching top speeds of up to 140mph, piloted by young, athletic and marketable world-class athletes.

With roots dating back to the first two-wheel speed demons in the 1920s, American Flat Track is widely regarded as the most prestigious and competitive form of dirt track motorcycle racing in the world. A lot has changed over the last 90 years, but the spirit of the sport remains as perhaps the truest, purest test of man and machine. Today, the series is comprised of two classes: AFT Twins and AFT Singles.

On a typical race day, both American Flat Track classes begin the day with practice and qualifying sessions prior to opening ceremonies. From there, it’s nothing but exhilarating, full-throttle racing action as the field in each class qualifies for the night’s main event through a series of heat and semi races.

In addition to watching the thrilling on-track action, events also feature fan walks where fans are invited into the paddock to meet the stars of the sport and watch the crew chiefs and mechanics at work.


American Flat Track Twins is the pinnacle of dirt track motorcycle racing globally, and has been since the professional ranks were formalized as the Grand National Championship in 1954. On Mile and Half-Mile tracks, custom-built twin-cylinder motorcycles generating 90+ horsepower race bar-to-bar at speeds in excess of 140 mph, often drafting to the finish line and requiring a photo finish to determine the race winner. On Short Tracks and TTs, the spirited nature of single-cylinder production-based 450cc motorcycles makes for races filled with exciting passing. Beginning in 2017, the AFT Twins category will consist exclusively of the big twins.


The American Flat Track Singles class is geared for cultivating young dirt track talent as riders hone their skills en route to the AFT Twins ranks. Up-and-coming competitors make their mark in racing aboard production-based 450cc motorcycles offering upwards of 60 horsepower. Racing at speeds faster than 100 mph, AFT Singles riders compete aboard singles at all Short Track, TT and Half-Mile courses. The stars of tomorrow battle it out on motorcycles produced by Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki, and Yamaha, to name just a few. Starting with the 2017 season, AFT Singles will exclusively feature the spirited singles.

Source: American Flat Track – About American Flat Track



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.

Source: Join the AMA



(Perris, CA, July 28, 2017) Carl Wuersch, CEO of the Southern California Fair, is pleased to announce that legendary motorcycle racer Sammy Tanner has been named “Grand Marshal” of the October 7th American Flat Track Final. The race will take place at Perris Auto Speedway during the 104th Annual Southern California Fair on the SoCal Fair and Event Center.
A native of Texas, Tanner began racing motorcycles as a youngster and he carved out not only a very successful career as a racer, but as a showman as well. In the 1960’s, his name was synonymous for winning and by the time his legendary career had ended, he had amassed over 400 victories. Among them was seven Grand National triumphs. Included in the GN wins were four at the track he first came west to race on, legendary Ascot Park in Gardena, California. He was the only rider to win Nationals at Ascot on two different bikes (BSA and Triumph). Another of his seven first place GN finishes was on the famous Springfield mile aboard a BSA in 1964.

“Sammy is going to be our Grand Marshal for the American Flat Track Final,” Wuersch said. “It will make a great show for us to have him here. When I made up the list of people I thought we would ask, he was at the very top. I have known him a lot of years. I think everybody pretty much knows Sammy Tanner. He is a name in the industry that is tops and he was a sensational rider. His career as a racer ended years ago, but he has stayed involved with the sport and has always tried to make it better.”
In addition to his prowess as a Flat Track racer, Tanner also had a few goes at road racing and speedway. He dabbled in sprint cars in 1959 and seven years later was lined up to drive for now National Sprint Car Hall of Fame car owner, Bruce Bromme Sr. However, seeing a fiery sprint car crash at Springfield changed his mind.
Always the entertainer, Tanner never raced the Bromme sprinter, but he did race against a sprint car in a rather rare event. It was a special match race that pitted Tanner on his motorcycle against rough and tumble Don Hawley who was driving a sprint car. Tanner had another motorcycle racer booked to take on Hawley, but when he could not get insurance on the other rider, he went ahead and did it himself.
These days Tanner is still busy working with and supporting racers of the two-wheeled and four-wheeled varieties. He has been an Arai Helmet distributor since 1979 and has helped thousands of racers realize their racing dreams. Tanner’s website can be reached at the following link: http://sammytanner.com/
Tickets for the race, which will feature the best flat track racers from across North America and which could well decide the AFT 2017 championships, are already on sale online. Reserved seats for the race are $20.00 and include a free ticket to the annual fair. General admission tickets are $5.00 and require the purchase of a $10.00 fair admission ticket. Advance tickets for the historic race are available 24-hours a day by clicking on the following link: http://bit.ly/2sVZ2Zg.
Fans who ride a motorcycle to the race will receive free parking on the fairgrounds.
The race will be the first National in Southern California staged on anything, but a horse racing track since Ascot closed in 1990. On race day, gates will open at 11:00 AM and open practice will begin around 1:00 PM. Qualifying will be at 5:00 and the first race will roll off the line at 7:00.
The American Flat Track Series, which matches the top Flat Track racers on oval and TT tracks, opened the campaign at Daytona International Speedway in March and will feature races in 13 different states in 2017. Fans can get a sneak peek at the exciting action they will see in October at the fair by watching previous rounds on NBSCN.
Before and after the race, fans will be able to enjoy a day and night at the Southern California Fair that will include carnival rides, great fair food, livestock, midway games, music, displays and more.

To keep up with the daily happenings of the SoCal Fair and Event Center and the AFT, fans can use the following social media links.

Website: http://www.socalfair.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/socalfair/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/socalfair
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/socal_fair/

To keep up with the American Flat Track Series
Website: http://www.americanflattrack.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmericanFlatTrack/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmericanFlatTrk
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/americanflattrack/

Source: Sammy-Tanner-Grand-Marshal-Press-Release.pdf



One of the most talked about episodes after the Brno GP was the incident involving Aleix Espargaró and Andrea Iannone during the bike change. The Aprilia rider, after the bike change, departed his garage just as the Suzuki rider was re-entering. Andrea had to brake suddenly to avoid him and he slipped on the wet yellow stripe, the consequence being that his bike fell over against his teammate, Rins’ bike.

Initially the mechanic responsible for releasing the rider was blamed, considering the fact that the rules give the rider re-entering the right of way, not the rider exiting. Even Romano Albesiano, Aprilia Racing manager, had pointed out how Aleix was not at fault in that episode, complaining about the 3-position penalty.

However, a video of the episode has surfaced on Facebook (you can watch it by clicking the photo above) that exonerates the mechanic. In fact, seeing Iannone arriving, the crew member tried to keep Espargaró from leaving. In fact, the Spaniard departed when the mechanic still had both hands on the top fairing, trying to stop him, and he had to move out of the way at the last minute to keep from being run over.

It was, therefore, Aleix’s over-enthusiasm in a hectic moment of the race that caused the accident and not a mistake by the mechanic.

This time, Race Direction made the right call.

Source: MotoGP, Aleix-Iannone incident: a video exonerates the mechanic | GPone.com



The Sena 10Upad replaces the ear/cheek padding in select model helmets to keep the nuts and bolts of the system out of sight. […]

MO staffers are big fans of Sena products, but not everyone wants a communication unit mounted on the side of their helmet. The Sena 10Upad replaces the ear/cheek padding in select model helmets to keep the nuts and bolts of the system out of sight – and the wind.

Begin Press Release:



The 10Upad for HJC IS-17 offers the functionality of a Sena headset, but is completely invisible from the outside of the helmet. Take and make phone calls, listen to GPS navigation, stream and share music, talk to other riders through 4-way intercom and more all through the 10Upad. The new design is our easiest unit to install yet, simply snap in the right and left cheek pads and you’re ready to ride. The intuitive tri-button control is located at the lower part of the left cheek pad for easy access while riding.The 10Upad is now available for the HJC IS-17, and will soon be available for the HJC IS-MAX2, and Shoei RF-1200 helmets, along with even more models in the future.

Source: Sena 10Upad Released – Motorcycle.com News



Certification documents from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board reveal a new Corse-edition Ducati 959 Panigale is on the way.

The 2018 Ducati 959 Panigale Corse has been certified with the same emissions information as the 959 Panigale, suggesting no differences in the 955cc V-Twin desmodromic-valve engine which Ducati claims produces 158 hp at 10,750 rpm and 77.9 lb-ft. at 9,000 rpm. So, if the engine’s the same, what can we expect to see from the Corse version?

The last time Ducati released a Corse special edition was in 2013 with the 848 EVO Corse. It too had the same engine as the regular model but added an aluminum fuel tank that increased fuel capacity to 4.75 gallons from 4.09 gallons while weighing 2.2 pounds lighter. Ducati also upgraded the EVO Corse’s rear suspension from a Showa shock to an Öhlins and increased the front brake discs to 330mm. Either change would be update over the regular 959 Panigale.

The 848 EVO Corse also added traction control and a quick shift system. The current 959 Panigale already has both, but we might see the addition of cornering ABS or wheelie control inherited from the 1299 Panigale. And, of course, a special edition model also calls for a special edition color scheme.

We’ll find out more information as it becomes available. Check back here on Motorcycle.com for the latest updates.

Source: 2018 Ducati 959 Panigale Corse Revealed in EPA and CARB Filings



A VW spokesman said its “subsidiaries are not up for grabs by bargain hunters.”

Rumors have been swirling around since April that Volkswagen (technically Audi) was going to put Ducati up for sale to help pay the price of Dieselgate. According to a Reuters report, Ducati isn’t going anywhere for now.

A sale of Ducati and a couple other assets including transmission maker Renk were likely up for review. Volkswagen reportedly got the companies evaluated by bankers and reviewed tentative offers from the likes of U.S. firm Bain Capital, Indian bike maker Eicher Motors, and a few others.

However, labor leaders have saved Ducati from a buyout. Half of the seats on the supervisory board that makes decisions on asset sales are employees and they saw to it that Ducati and Renk aren’t going anywhere.

The reason for not wanting to sell Ducati is simple—why sell an asset that’s profitable? A big influx of cash from a sale would be nice, but Ducati has been doing well lately and it’s showing no signs of slowing down.

“The employee representatives on Volkswagen’s supervisory board will neither approve a sale of Ducati, nor one of Renk or MAN Diesel & Turbo,” a spokesman for VW group’s works council told Reuters on Saturday.

“Everyone who can read the VW half-year results should know: We don’t need money and our subsidiaries are not up for grabs by bargain hunters.”

We’re pretty excited about this news because Audi has been an excellent steward of the Ducati brand. Under their leadership, Ducati has started and grown the fantastic entry-level Scrambler line while making its world famous sport bikes and the beloved Monster better than ever.

Source: Ducati Isn’t for Sale, Volkswagen Says – The Drive



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



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 Multistrada 950 will transport you to Genova, where you’ll be immersed in its traditional atmosphere and the charm of its alleyways.

Also, the summer clothing line, the new Ducati Bicycles By Bianchi collection, and more, in the second issue of Redline for 2017.

Download your copy and follow your passion!

Source: Ducati




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

Catch Tanks

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.

Other Matters

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.

Source: MotoGP™



06/28/2017 @ 11:54 pm, by David Emmet

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.

Source: MotoGP Dashboard Messages Approved, Starting in 2018 – Asphalt & Rubber




Want to watch the fastest motorcycle run ever up Pikes Peak? At this year’s Race to the Clouds, Chris Fillmore took his KTM 1290 Super Duke R on a record-setting ascent to the mountain summit, with an impressive time of 9:49.625.

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.

Source: Watch Chris Fillmore’s Record-Breaking Ride up Pikes Peak – Asphalt & Rubber