Roberts clinched his fist ever Superbike win this Labor Day weekend
at VIR in the postponed 2nd race.
AMA Chevy Trucks US Superbike Championship, Rounds 15 & 16
Virginia International Raceway, Alton, Virginia, USA
Matt Extends Championship Lead
10th Superbike race win of Season at VIR,
Kurtis Roberts claims his first ever win
Alton, Virginia, Saturday, Aug 30th: Mat Mladin’s
victory in today’s fifteenth round of the AMA Chevy Trucks US
Superbike Championship gave the Australian a total of ten race wins
for the year, equalling a long standing record of race wins in a single
season of the American championship held by former World and American
Superbike champion Fred Merkel.
More importantly for the Yoshimura Suzuki rider, his race win has
seen him further increase his points advantage at the top of the championship
table to 43 over teammate Aaron Yates who finished sixth in today’s
28-lap race held at Virginia International Raceway.
In contrast to many of his race wins this season, Mladin made a steady
start to the race and was placed sixth in the early stages before
making his way forward at the latter end of the race. He took the
race lead on lap 25, passing lead pair Miguel DuHamel (American Honda)
and Italian Giovanni Bussei (Ducati Austin) at Turn One before easing
away to win by 2.093 seconds from DuHamel. Bussei made a mistake on
the final lap and was passed by Ben Bostrom (American Honda) for third.
“It was definitely an important win for us,” said Mladin,
who now has a career total of 24 American Superbike race wins. ”I
started the race off with a plan of watching where Aaron (Yates) was
in the race and my plan was to finish ahead of him. That situation
changed shortly after the start of the race when we realised that
Aaron had a problem. As the race progressed, the gap between the lead
group and myself began to come down and that’s when I started
to push a lot harder and make a move for the front. It all worked
out well, we’ve got a few extra points lead in the championship,
but there is still another race to go tomorrow that we need to do
Earlier in the day Mladin appeared to have secured yet another pole
position for the weekend’s double-header round, but his chance
of further adding to that tally failed as teammate Aaron Yates snatched
pole position with a final lap burst. Yates posted a best of 1-min
25.071-secs to edge out Mladin’s 1:25.304, with the Honda’s
of Kurtis Roberts (1:25.702) and DuHamel (1:25.925) completing the
front row of the grid.
“Qualifying went well for us this morning and we’ve found
a good balance with the bike. Aaron set a fast lap at the end to get
pole, but we’re not too concerned over that as it is just as
important to be on the front row of the grid.”
Saturday - Top 10
1. Aaron Yates (Yoshimura Suzuki) 1:25.071 mins
2. Mat Mladin (Yoshimura Suzuki) 1:25.304
3. Kurtis Roberts (Erion Honda) 1:25.702
4. Miguel DuHamel (American Honda) 1:25.925
5. Giovanni Bussei (Ducati Austin) 1:26.644
6. Jason Pridmore (Attack Suzuki) 1:26.650
7. Ben Bostrom (American Honda) 1:26.758
8. Jordan Szoke (Corona Extra Suzuki) 1:27.836
9. Shawn Higbee (KWS Suzuki) 1:27.945
10. Geoff May (Suzuki) 1:27.992
Superbike Race 1, 28 Laps - Top 10
1. Mat Mladin (Yoshimura Suzuki) 41:06.519 mins
2. Miguel DuHamel (American Honda) +2.093 seconds
3. Ben Bostrom (American Honda) +12.342
4. Giovanni Bussei (Ducati Austin) +16.132
5. Jordan Szoke (Corona Extra Suzuki) +54.955
6. Aaron Yates (Yoshimura Suzuki) +60.904
7. Shawn Higbee (KWS Suzuki) +66.818
8. Geoff May (Team Embry Suzuki) +71.207
9. Jacob Holden (Suzuki) +72.469
10. Mike Ciccotto (Suzuki) +89.664
Roberts Earns First Superbike Win
Alton, VA, Monday Sept 1st: Erion Honda’s Kurtis
Roberts fulfilled a lifelong dream by winning his first ever AMA Superbike
race in the rain-delayed Monday final at Virginia International Raceway,
round 16 of the AMA/Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship.
across the stripe I was tucked in like you’d be at Daytona,”
Roberts, the youngest son of three-time 500cc World Champion Kenny
Roberts, said. “I didn’t know where he’d be coming
from or how close they were at the time and kind of just held them
The win capped
an impressive weekend for Roberts. He was clearly the class of the
field on Saturday, jetting into the lead from the start and never
to be headed. Teammates Bostrom and Duhamel had gone out with him,
only to lose touch near the halfway point when Roberts turned up the
my head down got past the lappers right,” Roberts said. “I
just didn’t think they could keep up to that point. I just kept
going, wouldn’t stop.”
He was holding
a nearly 10 second lead, with the checkered flag less than five laps
away, when his rear tire overheated. After a quick pit stop, he re-joined
the track to finish 13th.
Duhamel took over the lead when Roberts went out, then was passed
by Mat Mladin (Suzuki). Soon Duhamel got stuck behind former World
Superbike rider Giovanni Bussei late in the race. It was only after
Bussei misread the flagman that the Duhamel and Bostrom were able
to move up to second and third. In American Superbike racing, the
flagger waves a white flag to signal the final lap. Bussei thought
it was the checkered flag, and slowed down, allowing both Duhamel
and Bostrom past.
Sunday’s Race 2 of the two round weekend was delayed for several
hours after a rider in an earlier race dropped oil over a large section
of pavement. Race officials spent hours cleaning it and one race was
run. Torrential rains hit soon after and the residue from the oil
slick made the track unsafe and the decision was made to come back
on Monday morning. Monday’s race was green-lighted at 9:20 a.m.,
Roberts speeding to the front and leading most of the laps, only giving
way mid-race to Suzuki’s Aaron Yates. Then Roberts took it back
on lap 12 and fought Yates to the end, holding him off by 0.772 seconds.
to American Honda’s Miguel Duhamel with Ben Bostrom fourth,
for the second day in a row slowed by a loss of feeling in his hands.
In his attempt to become the first rider in the American
AMA series to have won four national Superbike titles, Matt Mladin
heads to the final double-header round of the season at Barber Motorsports
Park in Alabama (September 21 & 21) holding a 38-point lead over
Yoshimura Suzuki teammate Aaron Yates (493 - 455), after finishing
fifth in today’s race.
Today’s rain delayed and shortened Superbike national (reduced
from the original 28 laps to 20) saw Mladin adopt the same tactics
as he did on Saturday for the first of the weekend’s Superbike
races where he sat patiently behind the lead group and waited for
an opportunity to present itself. It did on Saturday as he was able
to make his way forward and claim his tenth race win of the series.
Today Mladin again dropped to the rear of the lead group of riders
in the opening laps of the race with Honda’s of Kurtis Roberts,
Miguel DuHamel and Ben Bostrom battling close with championship contender
Yates. Rather than risk being involved in any unnecessary incidents,
Mladin elected to play it safe and by race end had increased his overall
point’s margin at the top of the table by an additional five
points over the course of the weekend.
“The boys were really going at it out front, so I was quite
happy to sit in behind them and wait and see what would happen,”
said Mladin. “They were really chopping each other up and having
a big go at it and I didn’t want to be part of it, so I decided
to sit there and wait to see if they came back to me like they did
on Saturday that would be good, but if they didn’t it wasn’t
that bad either.”
“It’s not the time of the year when I need to push hard
and risk crashing or breaking things on the bike to win races when
all we have to do is bring it home. For the first ten laps I was right
with them, but then just slipped off the pace a little and at the
end I just brought it home.”
“We came into the weekend holding a 33-point lead in the championship
and left with a 38-point margin, so it’s good. We’re not
the ones chasing, so that’s the position that we want to be
in heading to the final at Alabama.”
Superbike / Race 2:
1. Kurtis Roberts (Honda)
2. Aaron Yates (Suzuki)
3. Miguel Duhamel (Honda)
4. Ben Bostrom (Honda)
5. Mat Mladin (Suzuki)
6. Giovanni Bussei (Ducati)
7. Jason Pridmore (Suzuki)
8. Shawn Higbee (Suzuki)
9. Jordan Szoke (Suzuki)
10. Steve Rapp
1. Mat Mladin (493)
2. Aaron Yates (455)
3. Ben Bostrom (432)
4. Kurtis Roberts (405)
5. Miguel Duhamel (393)
6. Eric Bostrom (350)
7. Shawn Higbee (346)
8. Jason Pridmore (339)
9. Jordan Szoke (260)
10. Vincent Haskovec (241)
Better Piston Control = More Power
The Constant Volume Combustion Engine
Just when we thought there was no development potential left
for the reciprocating internal combustion engine, those pesky
Italians who keep reinventing the wheel and winning world championships
against the technological might of the rest of the world, seem
to have done it again! Motor Union Italia has
devised and designed a revolutionary engine featuring conventional
drivetrain components, cost effective production using exhisting
tooling, while overall dimensions and recipricating weight are
lower than a traditional four stroke engine's.
The correct technical definition of this new type of engine
is: 6-stroke isovolumetric engine with revolving con-rod and
the heavy crankshaft and piston rods employed in conventional
engines which operate on a less than ideal symmetrical movement,
and now employing what is essentially a large camshaft profie
to more accurately control the piston's positioning in the cylinder
during the combustion process, the volumetric effenfiency of
the engine can be improved even further. A simple discussion
of this new engine design can be found on the Ducati.com website
The bike Aprilia
should, but won't be returning to race in World Superbike with in 2004.
The new generation Aprilia RSV Mille R hits US showrooms in September.
Complete details HERE.
Demise of World Superbike?
Manufacturers Let the Sport and the Fans, Down.
Laguna Seca, CA (July. 12, 2003) -- World Superbike
and its controling brothers, Paulo and Maurizio Flammini, were hit
with some bad news at Laguna Seca World Superbike weekend, which for
some reason did not hit the headlines in the "other" motorcycle
media. A press release issued by the MSMA (the manufacturers representatives)
stated that Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Aprilia would not return to
World Superbike in 2004 as previously planned.
This news release came as FGS (the controling body
of SBK) announced that they would unify rules along the lines of the
AMA and BSB National Championship rules and other championships around
the world and not run air restrictors as the factories had previously
said they wanted. These new SBK rules would closely resemble the new
1000cc rules for the American and British Championships and would
essentially open the doors for numerous wild card riders and teams
at every country's SBK venue.
Word has it that the above mentioned factorys were
just looking for an excuse not to return to World Superbike so they
could continue with their more costly investments in the new MotoGP
four stroke World Championships. And then with the FIM announcing
that Pirelli would be the spec tire supplier for the SBK Championship
in 2004, leaving Dunlop and Michelin out in the cold, that was the
nail in the coffin the manufacturers needed.
So where will it all go? With the resurgance of MotoGP
as the premier 4-stoke series in motorcycle racing, SBK realizes their
series needs to be more production based. But their numerous rules
changes over the years and the perceived past imbalances between twins
and fours, 750cc and 1000cc, whether real or imagined (because some
factories s obvioulys tried harder than others to win -is Kawasaki,
Yamaha, Aprilia doing any better in MotoGP? No) obviously pissed off
Were SBK is mistified is that all the major Japanese
factories will have all-new 1000cc in-line four cyclinder superbikes
for 2004 that are perfectly tailored to the new SBK rules, but with
the exception of Suzuki, they won't be coming out and play. Instead,
they will leave it up to their Distributors in various countries to
choose if they want to race the new 1000cc fours in their own national
superbike series. And at this point in time many distributors like
Yamaha, Kawasaki, Honda, Aprilia in counties like America and Great
Britain may not go Superbike racing in their own national series.
It is certainly a sad prospect for Superbike fans, and the sport in
general that so many manufacturers are no logner supporting what once
was the best motorcycle racing in the world for a 10 year period.
does our calendar girl Amanda
California model and actress Amanda Swisten (above) was featured
in our 2002 Iron & Lace and 2003 Garage Girls Calendars.
With Amanda's Iron & Lace photo shoot with photographer
Jim Gianatsis filmed and featured on a segment of Speed TV's
magazine has discovered beautiful Amanda with a very sexy 5-page
pictorial of our girl shot by photographer Robert Maxwell in
their September 2003 issue on newstands now. You can see a lot
more of Amanda in the new movie American Wedding (the third
helping of American Pie) in theatres now, and in our very own
Mariah to take it to the MAX to subscribe.
is New Stablemate at FastDates.com
The latest addition to our FastDates.com garage is the new
Multistrada 1000DS, Ducati's long awaited and finally finally
released dual purpose streetbike. Superbike girl Chandi
Mason first tested it for us at the US press into back
in June, and came back ranting and raving about it, so we
just had to get one for our very own. This past Friday things
were a little slow around the office here, so we took our
new bright red Multistrada on an afternoon blast along Angeles
Crest Highway (north of Los Angeles) to Wrightwood for lunch,
and then back. About a 140 mile round trip which we accomplished
in about 2 hours on the smooth flowing 7,000 foot high mountain
twisties running between 60-80 mph the entire way in pure
comfort. Great bike!
weekday is the time to ride the Crest as there was absolutely
no traffic or CHP, except for a group 5 of factory BMW test
cars blasting past us coming the other way, a having to
stop a few minutes whicle the Sheriff's rescue hilicopter
had to land in the middle of the road to medivac out a hapless
Honda RC51 rider who wadded up his bike in a corner.
can read Chandi's test of the Ducati Multistrada HERE.
And for your very own full size screen saver of Chandi and
the Multistrada click HERE
to Pit Lane News Next Page
Calendar Girl News! Go to: Fast
Dates • Berm Busters
• Iron & Lace
click to see much more ...
New 2004 FastDates.com Calendars now available!
Janelle, Chandi and Joanna Krupa get down to work
in the 2004 Garage Girls calendar available right here.
POINTS LEADER MLADIN
FOCUSES ON FINAL U.S. SUPERBIKE ROUNDS
The AMA Chevy Trucks US Superbike Championship heads to Virginia
International Raceway this weekend (August 30 - 31) with Australian
Mat Mladin holding a 33-point lead in the title chase with two rounds
(four races) remaining in this year’s championship.
As is always the case for Mladin when he is preparing for any race
meeting, he will calculate what needs to be achieved at the meeting
to satisfy his and his team’s goals for the weekend as well
as the overall championship placing.
VIR is a venue that the three times American Superbike champion
has never won at, but while he will be looking to break his win
drought there, he will also be riding with a championship win in
“It does present a bit of a challenge for us not having
won a race there before,” said Mladin “it’s at
the time of the season where I still want to win races, but it’s
getting to the point where we are starting to think about the championship
a little bit. We have to take things how they come and see what
happens when it’s race time. For sure I would still like to
win there, but on the other hand, I will not be putting myself into
any unnecessary situations either.”
Two weeks ago, Mladin and his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 were the
fastest combination in a three-day test conducted at VIR leaving
the championship point’s leader in a positive frame of mind
for this weekend’s upcoming double-header round.
“The five-week break in the championship before Virginia
gave us a little bit of time to get some things sorted and also
allowed us time to do a bit of testing which has proven to be very
valuable for us. We had a three-day test at VIR, along with other
tests at Barber Motorsports Park and Daytona, each of which, were
good. Not only have we learned more about the bike for the remaining
races, we are already planning for next year. It’s a fairly
important time for us.”
Following on from the VIR test in early August, Mladin headed to
Daytona last week to take part in a Dunlop tyre test. The timing
of the test proved valuable, with favourable weather conditions
allowing Mladin to turn a number of laps in the low 1:48 bracket.
“We went there to test tyres for Dunlop and now they’ve
gone away to get something better for the December test. It was
a good test definitely. If we didn’t make that trip last week,
I think we would have been in a lot of trouble come the December
test. If the tyres can last in the hotter conditions that we had,
then they should last a bit longer in what are normally cooler conditions
come race time at Daytona in March, whereas the December test is
generally cooler than the conditions that we would expect in March.
So this is probably the best test for them.”
With this year’s championship winding down with just Virginia
and Barber Motorsports Park, Alabama (September 21) remaining, Mladin
finds himself in a position where he can further add to his record-breaking
career in the AMA Superbike Championship. Already the all-time AMA
Superbike pole position record holder with 30 (with six poles in
2003), he has an opportunity to surpass a number of other win records,
such as the all-time career win record which stands at 26 (he currently
has 23), the most number of race wins in one season which stands
at 10 (he currently has 9) and most importantly he is aiming to
become the first rider to have won four AMA Superbike Championships.
“A lot of people have asked me about the records that
are able to be broken this year, but for me personally and for Suzuki,
our most important goal is to win the Superbike Championship. That
is what I am here to do and that is by far the most important. If
we are in a position to take another race win or so in the remaining
rounds that will be great as well, but we have to achieve our main
Comments from VIR
Second Place, Saturday
When Kurtis (Roberts) had his problem, that was unfortunate for
him. But I’m like hey, we’re racing for a win. And I
couldn’t get by Giovanni Bussei and I kind of said, well,
you know I can draft by him. I was able to get more speed to the
start-finish line that he was on is Ducati,. My Honda was faster.
So I said you know, worst case scenario, I’m just going to
pass him at the line and everything was beautiful until Mat (Mladin)
came around and passed us both. And I was like, ‘Oh god.’
That’s just unfortunate. But yeah, I had a plan for Bussei,
didn’t have a plan for Mat (Mladin). I just needed to get
by him. If I got by him then it’s a different story, but I
couldn’t and Mat (Mladin) could.
Third Place, Saturday
Not much to tell. It wasn’t too good. the first half of the
race was quite fun. I haven’t really run up front the whole
season. So it felt good to be up there. My hands actually went to
sleep. I was still giving it all I got. When you can’t feel
the handlebars it’s a bit scary. I was still pushing hard
and trying and these guys just outrode us today and had things working,
so it was pretty cool for them and a bummer for Giovanni (Bussei).
These boys (Mladin and Duhamel) were coming up behind us pretty
quick and the door was right there, so just kept my head down. And
this track’s great when it’s hot. It’s like riding
on grease full time. You’re sliding around. It’s fantastic.
13th Place, Saturday
I picked a tire out of all of them that I thought was going to
be the best of that. I didn’t override it. I just keep chunking
them. It gave no warning. When I went to brake I felt it really
start to vibrate and all of sudden and it was so bad I couldn’t
even lean it over. I knew straight away what happened. It wasn’t
blistering at all. I was pulling away easily, even slowing down
I was still pulling away quite a bit.
pop rockers M2M come from Norway and sould like they're from heaven.
1st Place, Monday
After this year, it’s kind of like ‘What’s next?
You’re going the last three laps, who knows what’s
going to happen. I wanted to win one real bad all year. We’ve
been so close so many times the last few for reasons keeping us
away from it. Especially Saturday, 10 seconds with four to go.
I was thinking ‘Don’t crash, don’t crash,’
the next thing you know the thing feels like it’s got a
speed bump in the tire. I was pretty motivated. I just didn’t
want to lose at all.
3rd Place, Monday
It was just a hell of a race. It was a sprint, 20 laps. I got
dropped with about four or five laps to go a little bit. I kept
believing I could get back up there but then I hit some traffic
again. The whole race actually I was really comfortable, I was
saving my tires. I was hoping they’d get too excited and
use too much of their tires and I’d have something for them
at the end. I was really banking on that. But like I said I got
caught back a little bit. A couple of times I bridged it back
to them, but that last time, the last five laps just couldn’t’
Bostrom, Fourth Place, Monday
The bike and tires were perfect. I had the same tire I had yesterday.
My hands fell asleep. Fortunately they shortened the race because
I was about to get a hell of a lot slower. Obviously I don’t
know what it is. I’ve got to fly back to Dr. Ting to find
out what. I talked to (Repsol Honda’s) Nicky Hayden and
he said he had the problem when he rode the Superbike.
hitting the radio waves in NYC
Eric Bostrom fans in the New York City area will
want to tune into 92.7 WLIR on their FM dial tomorrow at 4:15pm
(EST) to catch up with the Kawasaki Superbike rider, who is quickly
healing after his shoulder surgery and hopes to be back on his
Kawasaki in a few weeks. Radio sensation and personality, Orli
(aka 'The English Muffin') will be interviewing Eric for her popular
afternoon radio show (which runs weekdays from 3pm-7pm).
took the time out of his rehabilitation schedule to give the interview.
"It'ss great to be able to reach out to race fans in New
York City who don't get the chance to catch our racing live without
trekking long distances. I really wish we had a race up there.
But it¡|s great what ¡¥muffin¡| does for
our sport by promoting it like she does to the mainstream."
big race fan, "The English Muffin" often promotes motorcycle
racing on her show by broadcasting race results and discussing
road racing with her listeners. ¡§It¡|s been
great watching both Bostroms race, but I first contacted Eric¡|s
manager because there is nothing like watching the underdog ride
the *&$!* out of one of the oldest bikes on the track. I had
him pegged to win the title this year till Yates took him out.
Not to mention the fact that he rides that thing like he¡|s
being chased by a herd of horny rhinos, but then you hear him
speak and he¡|s a sweetheart ¡V how can you not love
When asked why she promotes motorcycle roadracing to her sizeable
audience of mainstream listeners, she answered in this way: ¡§It
makes every other sport look like waltz dancing. It¡|s sex
on wheels. Really seems like a no brainer to me!"
can visit the station's website at www.wlir.com and view the English
Muffin's profile under "JOCKS". The rock station will
also be providing a link on their website for fans to listen to
the interview if they are unable to catch the interview by radio.