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Ivan: LANZI AND BUSSEI WERE TEAMED UP FOR AMA FINALE AT VIR
Alton (Virginia) - September 14, 2004: Italians Lorenzo Lanzi
and Giovanni Bussei will team up with Parts Unlimited Ducati Austin
for the season finale at the AMA Superbike race at Virginia International
Raceway this weekend. The two races at the 2.25 mile (3.62 km)
road course will wrap up the 2004 season, which saw the return
of a full factory-supported Ducati team to the American series.
suffered shoulder and rib injuries from a high-speed crash at
Road Atlanta that will force him to miss the final round. "It’s
really disappointing to miss this race, but after visiting with
Dr. Ting, it became clear that it wouldn’t be safe to ride
so soon,” explained the 27-year-old from Las Vegas, Nevada.
“We’ll be visiting him again next week to see which
direction we need to go to quickly get the shoulder up to full
strength. And I’m still going to be in Virginia to meet
with fans and support the team, Ducati, and all of our partners."
factory World Supersport rider Lorenzo Lanzi has visited the Virginia
track once before during a test session in August. The 22-year-old
from Cesena, Italy, currently sixth in the World Supersport points
table, is excited about his AMA debut.
feeling really good about the AMA race – hopefully we can
get a good result,” declared Lanzi. “I like the VIR
track a lot. It’s a beautiful place, full of ups and downs
and very safe. The bike is going well and in the couple of tests
I’ve done, I’ve gone well with the Michelins. My rivals
out on the track will be different, but this race is a new stimulus
for me as I will be up against some really strong riders.”
veteran Giovanni Bussei is no stranger to the Parts Unlimited
Ducati Austin team, having raced with them in the latter half
of the 2003 season. Bussei was poised for a podium finish last
year at VIR when he mistook the penultimate lap’s waving
white flag (not used in European racing) combined with a checkered
flag in the background, as signaling the end of the race. The
Turin-born Italian rider, who will celebrate his 32nd birthday
on Wednesday, is looking forward to working again with some familiar
like to say a big thanks to Ducati for giving me the chance to
race the AMA season finale. It’s really great to be going
back for this race as part of the factory Parts Unlimited Ducati
Austin team,” commented Bussei, who returned to World Superbike
at Brands Hatch with a private Ducati 998RS after racing the first
half of the season in World Supersport.
“Last year I had some good races with the 998, including
this one at Virginia, but this will be a new experience for me
with the 999. I rode the bike for the first time last week at
Mugello and I feel pretty sure I can get a good result for the
team at VIR.
DUCATI MOTOR HOLDING CONFIRMS ITS INTEREST
IN APRILIA GROUP
Apriia saga continues....
Piaggio is out, Ducati is back again in an attempt to buy part
or all of the major manufaturer who is some $265 million in debt,
Aprilia posted a $52.9 million dollars loss on $643 million in
sales in 2003......
9th, 2004, Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. (NYSE: DMH, Borsa
Italiana S.p.A.: DMH), a leading manufacturer of high performance
motorcycles today confirmed its interest in the Aprilia Group,
reiteratingits offer made on July 30th, 2004.
Ducati has confirmed its interest in Moto Guzzi and Aprilia’s
off-road project, recognizing an indicative value of Euro 40 Million
for these assets
the Hell is Ten Kate?
And how are they beating the factory teams?
Zdenka is Back...
...and Hotter Than Ever!
the month of August was a slow week in motorcycle racing. There's
nothing left in American roadracing for AMA Pro Racing to screw
up. There hasn't been any new up and coming riders in years. There's
no new 600cc Supersport bikes so the print magazines can bore
us with their annual "Exclusive 600cc Supersport 6-way Shootout!"
leaves us, FastDates.com, with all the cool stuff like hot bikes
and cool babes, including this month, the world's first test of
the new 2005 Ducati 999R Superbike with the mouth
wattering Miss Texas and World Superbike girl, Robin Cunningham.
And for you
real sexverts, we'd like to introduce you again to our beautiful
FastDates.com calendal Angel, Penthouse Pet and Czech mate Zdenka.
This beauty from Prauge has been featured in our calendars since
2001, and was our offical SBK Fast Dates Calendar girl at Laguna
Seca in 2002 with those photos appearing in 2003 Fast Dates. Zdenka
has also served as the official Aprilia MotoGP umbrella girl (left)
at her home circuit of Bruno the last 3 years wearing some pretty
sexy domimatrix gear.
to Los Angeles this summer looking hotter than ever and we were
happy to shoot her for the next 2006 Calendars, plus a sexy nude
pictorial for our Members Corner
where you can visit Sexy Zdenka right now! Who says summer has
to be boring?
Ducat's i Delima
Who will Ducati select replace Bostrom at VIR?
(See Ducati Press Release at right) Hopefully Ducati Corse might
send a current World Superbike contender Toseland, Laconi, or
even Frankie Chili to come over and race the final AMA race at
VIR along with Lorenzo Lanzi. The
only probem is that all 3 of these winning Ducati riders are in
the points racelead for the World Superbike Championship and can't
risk crashing and being hurt at a back water race in Podunk, Virginia.
is Ducati's biggest market and they can't be embarassed.
Ducati definetly needa a rider capable of beating Suzuki's Matt
Mladin and winning the race at VIR. But there just aren't any
"up and coming" Americans worth investing in.
Particularly for a 1-time race coming in cold, Ducati needs to
bring a proven and current WSB Ducati winner.
Superbike winners Troy Bayliss and Ruben Xaus are again a good
choice to head a new Ducati Corse team in America in 2005, but
they are unfortunately racing the Japane motoGP the same weekend
as VIR. Lorenzo Lanzi may be their only rider choice for VIR this
year when there are so many American riders in America, but non
capable of winning the AMA National on a factory Ducati.
Who do you
think Ducati should put on Eric Bostrom's Superbike for VIR and
FORTUNA YAMAHA TEAM PREVIEW
Japanese Grand Prix
September 17, 18, 19 2004 ROSSI AND CHECA BEGIN THEIR
GRAND TOUR OF THE EAST
Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha Team riders Valentino Rossi and Carlos
Checa, leading forces in the ever-growing MotoGP circus, now leave
the European arena behind in their quest for their next haul of
championship points, starting at Motegi in Japan. The Japanese
Grand Prix, the lone event in Yamaha’s home country this
season due to safety modifications being carried out at Suzuka,
kicks off an Asian and Middle Eastern run of MotoGP events over
the next few weeks. Formerly known as the Pacific GP, Motegi has
taken over Suzuka’s formal title as the Japanese Grand Prix.
sixth win of the year at the recent Estoril round and a positive
post-race test in readiness for the end of season intercontinental
races, the whole Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha Team approaches the
Motegi event with high expectations. Rossi, winner of the last
three World Championships in the MotoGP class, has adapted to
the Yamaha YZR-M1 in a spectacularly successful manner, winning
the season opener at Welkom, and following it up with additional
victories at Mugello, Barcelona, Assen, Donington and now Estoril.
His most recent triumph gave him an impressive and significant
29 point lead, as his main championship rival Sete Gibernau could
only finish fourth overall in Portugal.
After a positive
Estoril result for Rossi’s team-mate Carlos Checa, in both
race and post-event test sessions, the 31-year-old London resident
approaches the final flyaway races with genuine prospects for
improving his championship position of sixth, before the season
concludes in his native Spain in Valencia on 31 October.
Rossi’s win at Estoril was his 39th in the premier class
and his 65th Grand Prix victory overall, a remarkable achievement
for a 25-year-old rider who took both the 125cc and 250cc World
Championship crowns before his move to the premier class in the
Having improved his win average for the season to over 50% of
all races, Rossi has every reason to feel confident in his and
his team’s abilities as Motegi approaches. London-resident
Rossi, born in the Marche region of Italy, fully realises the
importance of this race, held in front of all the Japanese factory
personnel. He is nonetheless encouraged by the results of the
recent Estoril test, where small changes to his YZR-M1 gave him
slightly more fulsome and smoother bottom range power.
remaining race is really important now we’re heading towards
the end of the season,” said Rossi. “Motegi will be
really important and may be the hardest race for us. It’s
a Honda track and they will have an extra wildcard rider there.
It will be quite difficult to beat everyone but I will try. Acceleration
is the big requirement at Motegi; there are three 5th gear straights
and one 6th gear. Hopefully we will find the horsepower we need.”
impressive in scale and build quality, is not a classic circuit
in Rossi’s eyes. “It’s not one of my favourite
tracks but I will give it my best go,” stated Valentino.
“The flyaways are more difficult anyway because Europe feels
more like you’re at home, you have your motorhome there,
also I have the Yamaha truck where I get changed, and you have
all your own equipment. The flyaways are less homely; you feel
a bit more alone.”
ultimate aim is still to be isolated at the very top of the championship
table come late October, but knows it may take that long for the
title to be decided. “I still think it’s possible
that the championship could be decided at the last race, but for
sure it would be better if not!”
pre-race thoughts once more turn to how to overcome his competitors
in Motegi and especially extend his lead over his main championship
Estoril victory was really important because Gibernau seemed to
be so strong at the Czech Grand Prix,” affirmed Rossi. “There
were five Honda bikes in the first five places at the Motegi race
last year, so it will be quite hard for us there. But everyone
in the team wants that victory so we’ll go for it!”
MARLBORO MEN BEGIN OVERSEAS ODYSSEY
The Ducati Marlboro Team arrives at Twin Ring Motegi to begin
a gruelling run of four overseas races over just five weekends.
Competing in the Land of the Rising Sun for the first and only
time this year, the Italian squad is anxious to continue the progress
made with its Desmosedici GP4 over the last few months.
Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss didn't get close to the podium
at the Marlboro Portuguese GP on September 5, both men rode determined
races, racing through the pack from the fourth and fifth rows
of the grid. But there's no doubt that they face another tough
weekend at Motegi, a Honda-owned circuit constructed by the Japanese
manufacture to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 1998, at a cost
of US$350 million.
this may be our most challenging race of the year," says
Ducati Marlboro Team director Livio Suppo. "We never test
in this track and we've only been there once in 2003 for the Pacific
GP. Last year we had a tough time at Motegi, but we really learned
a lot, so we're approaching this year's race in a positive state
of mind. Although our results at Estoril don't look that great,
our race pace was good, so I think we again showed we are improving.
We know that we are heading in the right direction, so we'll keep
going in that direction."
track is very stop-and-go, dominated by slow-speed hairpins, so
the most important performance factors are braking and low-gear
acceleration. This requires a delicate compromise in set-up.
"At Motegi you need to set up the bike mostly for braking
and acceleration, rather than corner speed," says Ducati
Marlboro Team technical director Corrado Cecchinelli. "But
you have to be careful, because the two things usually don't come
together. If we choose the correct springs and suspension settings
we can improve braking without hurting the bike's attitude during
acceleration and vice versa. Last year at Motegi we had a tough
time, but it was our first visit to the place, so at least now
we know what the troubles may be."
racing the MotoGP circus continues its end-of-season overseas
odyssey, with the Marlboro Qatar GP two weeks hence, followed
immediately by the Marlboro Malaysian GP and the Australian GP.
The season concludes at Valencia, Spain, on October 31.
HOPES FOR BETTER LUCK AT MOTEGI
Loris Capirossi may only have finished seventh at Estoril two
weeks ago but his ride was one of the most impressive of the day,
considering he had been rammed off the track on lap one, regaining
the tarmac in 19th place. At Motegi he hopes for better luck so
he can display to full effect the recent improvements made to
his Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici GP4.
Motegi very much," says Capirossi. "The track isn't
particularly technical - just full throttle, brake, full throttle,
brake. And all the hairpins make it very difficult for a rider
to make a real difference over his rivals. But some sections are
quite enjoyable. My favourite is under the bridge and then through
the fast series of curves. I think the most important aspect of
bike set-up is braking stability for all the hairpins.
The bike gets
better and better, so my current aim is to keep making progress,
going for the best championship position and working to make sure
we have an even better bike for next season."
place of Motegi in 2002 was also the last time a two-stroke 500cc
GP bike scored a podium finish.
RETURNS TO MOTEGI WITH A POINT TO PROVE
Troy Bayliss is looking forward to riding Motegi, after enjoying
his first visit to the track last year. Unfortunately the Ducati
Marlboro Team rider's race ended after a few hundred metres, when
he was taken out by another rider. So like team-mate Capirossi,
the Aussie is also hoping for some help from Lady Luck at Motegi.
riding the track last year," says Bayliss. "But we didn't
really get things so good for the race, then I got taken out at
the first corner, which was a bit of a bummer. Overall it wasn't
a great weekend, so hopefully we'll have a better weekend this
time around. It's a pretty straightforward kind of a track. What
you really need is good braking stability into all the hairpins
because you can make up a lot of time on the brakes. And you need
good low-gear acceleration and traction for the hairpin exits.
a couple of good results this year - Mugello and Donington - and
we've made some pretty good progress, but it's also been a bit
frustrating at times. But all you can do is keep working at it."
Twin Ring Motegi is stop-and-go in character with few high-speed
corners. The track features plenty of slow turns linked by medium-length
straights which puts the emphasis on braking and acceleration
performance. It's not so popular with many MotoGP riders because
they feel the track's uninspiring layout doesn't test their riding
skills to the limit. On a positive note, the track is grippy,
smooth and pretty safe. The venue hosted its inaugural Grand Prix,
the Japanese GP, in 1999. Over the past four years Motegi's world
round has been called the Pacific GP, but this time the track
once again hosts the country's national GP.
christened Twin Ring Motegi because it features both a Grand Prix
track and an Indy oval, is one of the newer circuits on the GP
calendar. The venue is located in the hills to the north west
of Tokyo, between the cities of Mito and Utsonomiya. Motegi's
construction entailed a massive civil engineering project that
included the razing of seven hills and the filling of two valleys.
Twin Ring Motegi: 4.801km, 2.983 miles
Lap record: Valentino Rossi (Honda), 1m 48.885s
Pole position 2003: Max Biaggi (Honda), 1m 47.696s
From Assen WSB
LEON ROARS: Leon Haslam could not quite stick with the leaders at
Assen, but he took his Renegade Ducati Koji 999RS machine to an
excellent brace of sixth places. He stuck with the leading bunch
for a period in each race, and his 20 points in total keep him in
eighth place overall.
KEEPS IT REAL: Garry McCoy (Xerox SC Ducati 999RS) had an up and
down Assen, taking a battling eighth place in race one but suffering
a technical problem in race two. He looked like the rider who
won a race at Phillip Island earlier in the year, as he rampaged
through the middle order in race one.
STROKES: A high point of seventh for Troy Corser was the best
result for the Foggy Petronas team, on their updated and uprated
FP-1 three cylinder machines. The 900 triples were a little outgunned
at Assen, with Corser riding well in a lonely race two but Chris
Walker not getting into contention.
PARTY: Steve Martin (DFX Ducati) was a strong seventh in race
one, but a crash in race two ruined what was a promising day for
the seasoned Aussie rider. His team-mate Marco Borciani scored
a ninth and an eighth, with the last two riders in the top ten
of race two being Ivan Clementi (Bertocchi Kawasaki ZX-10) and
Petronas pilot Chris Walker.
Desmosedici! FastDates.com takes an exclusive visit inside the
Ducati Corse MotoGP Race Shop!
Plus - See our visit to Ducati Racing School at Misano!