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The new Losai Circuit is a multi million dollar dream facility situated in the desert on the ocean (in the background) in the oil rich gulf country of Qatar. Note the Astroturf apron between the track and the sand landscape. No need for grael runoff traps here. That's Rossi on the track in the foreground.


Qatar MotoGP Losail Circuit, Qatar, Round 13 of 16

Sete Gibernau Sets His Sights on the MotoGP Title at Qatar

Rossi Crashes Out and points lead tightens up
Grand Prix of Qatar, Losail, Qatar. Sept 30, Oct 1, 2, 2004:
In one of the most riveting MotoGP showdowns of the season sensational Sete Gibernau (Telefonica MoviStar Honda RC211V) put his title challenge back on track with a resounding win in searing heat here in Qatar. His team-mate Colin Edwards (Telefonica MoviStar Honda RC211V) was second and Ruben Xaus (Ducati) third.

In front of a modest crowd of almost three thousand people at Qatar’s inaugural race, Gibernau and Edwards showed their rivals precisely how to master 22-laps of this sinuous 5.4km track. World Championship title race points leader Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) showed how to gift 25 points to a rival by falling on lap six as Gibernau stamped his authority on the contest.

Quatar Pre Race Warm Up
This seasons mighty tussle for MotoGP honours was coming to the Middle East for the first time in history. The Grand Prix of Qatar will offer what looks on paper like an interesting racetrack and will throw in punishing conditions for good measure just as the struggle for premier class supremacy reaches a peak.

Reigning MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) has 229 points after 12 races. His nearest challenger in this seasons intriguing battle is Sete Gibernau (Telefonica MoviStar Honda RC211V) who has accumulated 190 points so far. Max Biaggi (Camel Honda RC211V), after two DNFs at the last two rounds, is on 158 points.

But with four rounds still to go and 100 points available to the winner of all four races, this season is far from over. Gibernau has failed to finish twice this year, matching Biaggi, who was on target for a finish in every race of the season until LorisCapirossi (Ducati) interfered with his progress: once directly in Portugal, and then again in Japan, when the Italian Ducati rider teamed with Suzuki's John Hoskins to set off a six bike pile-up at turn one on lap one. The law of averages points towards Rossi being due one more failure to finish to bring his tally of one DNF so far into line with that of his primary rivals Gibernau and Biaggi. No one relies on luck in this most technical of sports but in any arena, fortune, good or otherwise, usually has a part to play.

Biaggi, no matter how much the Roman refuses to believe his title challenge is over, is no longer a realistic candidate for the title this year. But he will certainly be a factor when it comes to the distribution of valuable points between the top two, Rossi and Gibernau. Rossis 39 point lead over Gibernau is a commanding one but the impetus of this years title fight has already swung twice and there is every reason to suppose it might swing again. Rossi is in the driving seat now, but this is a capricious and unpredictable sport; title aspirations can sometimes be as fleeting as a desert mirage

The Losail International circuit lies ten kilometres from Qatars capital of Doha. The 5.4km track is an unknown quantity for all riders in all classes and the race comes at a critical time in the Championships. The only other track as seldom visited as this is Welkom in South Africa, the opening race in this years season.

The ability of teams and riders to rapidly fathom the fast lines and favourable set-up is paramount here. Failure to get to grips with the track from Friday free training is likely to spell doom such is the pressure this year.

Losail features more turns than any other track on the calendar, six lefts and ten right-handers in all. Nor is there a chicane of any description. This puts a high premium on machine agility and it also brings tyre wear issues into sharp focus. Artificial grass has been placed along the track to allay riders fears of sand being blown onto the surface. The heat will be relentless with track temperatures of up to 50 degrees expected. Ambient temperatures will be equally elevated and any rider not at absolute peak fitness will surely wilt in the oppressive conditions. Set-up will be directed at making the machines manageable with a minimum of physical input from the pilots.

There is also the matter of a 1062m straight, 20m longer than the longest used so far at Catalunya. This puts power and top speed among the requirements and also braking at the end of a 320km/h flat out blast in top gear.

Another factor will be the performance of the track workers. Marshals and officials from Valencia in Spain have been drafted in to ensure the local employees get fully up to speed with the specific requirements of MotoGP.

With $52 million US dollars already lavished on this facility, nothing has been spared in ensuring Qatars inaugural race is anything less than a resounding success. The track remains a mystery until were able to ride during the first free session and understand the real situation, said Gibernau. The high temperatures will definitely be a problem for the tyres and the engine but our biggest worry is sand being brought onto the track.

After the Japanese Grand Prix the gap with Valentino is increased but I wont give up, I will continue fighting. We are going through a difficult moment, maybe the most difficult of the season, but we are not lost, we know the cause of the problems we had in the past two races and we will work to be competitive.

Gibernaus team-mate ColinEdwards (Telefonica MoviStar Honda RC211V) said, Despite the unlucky race at Motegi I arrive with confidence in Qatar because at Motegi I found a very good setting, and thanks to the new chassis I have a very good feeling with the bike. Qatar is a completely new track, no one has data so we all arrive fresh. We all start from zero and we can use that positively.

Alex Barros (Repsol Honda RC211V) lies fourth overall and said, I'm really looking forward to racing at Doha, a new track and a new challenge. I've been racing in GPs for a few years now and nothing is very new any more. I'm very excited and pretty curious as well. We will all start with no data, no experience and no idea what to expect really. It will be very hot and I'm sure the conditions will create challenges in themselves.

His team-mate Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC211V) is equally determined, This whole season had been real weird, he said. For a whole bunch of reasons it has been pretty hard this season. But I don't want to make lame excuses. At least we all start at Doha on a level playing field and I'm real looking forward to the challenge. Im feeling a little better physically; my shoulders coming good although my knee isn't responding to
treatment as quickly as I want which is a bit of a worry.

Max Biaggi is confident the new track and extreme conditions will suit him. The Roman said. I really like the idea of this race, because it reminds me a bit of the beginning of my career, when everything was new to me, and I had to learn a track in just a couple of days of practice. Besides, I enjoy riding in extremely difficult weather conditions, where the heat doesn't bother me too much. So I'm hoping to do a good race, if nothing else to make up for the misfortune at Estoril and Motegi. This year I had been scoring regularly but to get two zeros in a row have made the championship difficult. That's what is most disappointing, and also the fact that on both occasions my team and I, along with the Honda technicians, managed to do some fantastic work during practice and the bike was really going well. So because of that I want to at least get the satisfaction of getting some good results race by race.

Makoto Tamada (Camel Honda RC211V) is the man in form having scored his second GP win of the season at his home grand prix two weeks ago. The ebullient Japanese rider said. Winning in Motegi, in front of my friends and compatriots, was honestly fantastic, a great emotion that I wont ever forget, but now we have to concentrate on the next race.

Qatar is a track that no team knows of course and none of the tyre manufacturers either. This means that the riders talent will be even more important than normal and that's why I can see myself fighting for the podium at the end of this race. I've seen the track plan and the design looks simple, without too much technical difficulties. It will be better to ride it though before saying too much. Lets say that it shouldn't be too tough to learn, but that we will only know how to act once we get the wheels on the track, but I'm very confident and feeling strong.

Xaus, Tomada, Rossi and Hopkins discuss the track at the press conference.

Xaus Takes provisional Pole on Thursday at Quatar with year old Ducati
Doha, Qatar, Thursday 30th September 2004: The first ever MotoGP qualifying session at the all-new Losail Circuit near Doha in Qatar produced a fascinating contest this afternoon. The session ended with Ducati Alice satlelight team rider Ruben Xaus turning the quickest lap time in practive on the year factory Ducati Desmosedeci GP bike to take provisional pole. The virgin smooth surface conditions of the excellent new Losail Circuit in the desert was adrift with sand dust, making the traction like ice. Telefonica Movistar Honda's Colin Edwards and Sete Giberneau garnered the next two quickest times a few tenths down on Xaus.

Yamaha's Carlos Checa (Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha) snatched head of the second row after setting the fourth fastest time. Team-mate Valentino Rossi was sixth fastest to also put him on the provisional second row. Unsurprisingly lap times have continued to tumble at the impressive new facility with the provisional pole time from this afternoon’s hour almost six seconds faster than this morning’s best. In 37c heat there were some less familiar names vying for the top of the time sheets as the riders battled to find the best lines around the 5.4km, 16-turn circuit situated 20kms north of Doha. A flurry of final flying laps saw Championship-contender Sete Gibernau (Honda) take the last spot on the provisional front row with Checa and Rossi sandwiching Max Biaggi (Honda) behind. Uncharacteristically, World Championship points leader Rossi had a couple of off-track excursions during the session but neither resulted in a fall.

Unusually the Qatar MotoGP race will be run on Saturday at the local time of 3pm (2pm CET). The starting grid for the race will be decided during tomorrow afternoon’s final qualifying session when lap times are expected to improve even further.

Championsip Points Leader VALENTINO ROSSI (6th, 2’03.274s)“That was a really strange day. I really like this track in terms of the layout and design. It is wide and technical with no bumps. There are some difficult parts and some fast corners where you really need to know how to ride. The problem is there is no grip because of the dust. This morning it was like riding in the wet but it was obviously a lot better this afternoon. The interesting thing will be to see how it is tomorrow morning. If sand blows on again tonight then we’ll start again and it will be hard to go faster.

“We have a few problems here. Mostly with the front setting and grip and I couldn’t go as fast as I wanted. I went off the track as I was trying to find the braking points and they were difficult to find. In the end I didn’t use qualifying tyres and so I think my time was OK. Xaus and Edwards were very fast but anyway, I am sixth which is not so bad and I think my championship rivals are in a similar position to me.”

PROVISIONAL FRONT ROW
1. Ruben Xaus (SPA) D’Antin MotoGP 2’01.309
2. Colin Edwards (USA) Telefonica Movistar Honda 2’01.617
3. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Telefonica Movistar Honda 2’01.882

PROVISIONAL SECOND ROW
4. CARLOS CHECA (SPA) Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha 2’02.744
5. Max Biaggi (ITA) Camel Honda 2’03.054
6. VALENTINO ROSSI (ITA) Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha 2’03.274

Carlos Checa put his Yamaha on the Pole.

Carlos Checa Storms to Pole on Friday
Friday Oct. 1st: Carlos Checa (Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha) rode a stunning final qualifying session this afternoon to take the pole position for tomorrow’s inaugural Qatar Grand Prix. The 31-year-old Spaniard moved to the top of the time sheets with eight minutes remaining. Despite a lot of movement in the positions behind him, Checa’s time stuck until he bettered it himself with another stunning and final lap.

Checa’s team-mate Valentino Rossi had been in the number one slot when Checa went fastest. The five-time World Champion and current series leader eventually slipped to an unfamiliar third row start with the eighth fastest time after a succession of riders put in flying laps in the final minute of the hour-long session.

Alex Barros (Honda) saved his best to the very last to promote himself to second on the grid with Rossi’s main Championship rival Sete Gibernau (Honda) completing the front row. Checa’s time was over two seconds faster than yesterday’s fastest as the grip continued to improve at the new track.

1 Carlos Checa, SPA (Yamaha), 1’58.988
2 Alex Barros, BRA (Honda), 1’59.119
3 Sete Gibernau, SPA (Honda), 1’59.126
4 Nicky Hayden USA (Honda), 1’59.187
5 Shinya Nakano JPN (Kawasaki), 1’59.232
6 Loris Capirossi ITA (Ducati), 1’59.281
7 Rubens Xaus SPA (Ducati), 1’59.352
8 Valentino Rossi, ITA (Yamaha), 1’59.494
9 Troy Bayliss USA (Ducati), 1’59.551
10 Colin Edwards, USA (Honda), 1’59.582
11 John Hopkins, USA (Suzuki), 1’59.944
12 Max Biaggi, ITA (Honda), 2’00.063
13 Makoto Tamada JPN ( Honda), 2’00.638
14 Jeremy McWilliams GBR (Aprilia), 2’00.660
15 Neil Hodgson GBR (Ducati), 2’00.826
19. Yukio Kagayama, JPN (Suzuki), 2’02.151

CARLOS CHECA (POLE POSITION, 1’58.988s) “We have done a great job to arrive here and get pole. I didn’t really expect it but just rode the bike with full confidence. Michelin has done a good job but I am especially pleased with the work of my team. We went back to a setting that we used a few races ago and it worked well. It’s going to be a tough race in these temperatures, especially for the tyres. But I believe we have the right choice and a tyre that will go the distance.
“The important thing tomorrow will be to get a good start and that is why this pole is so important. A good line has developed on the track now, but off that line it is very slippery and it will be hard to overtake. We’ll see what happens, but I am confident I can have a good race tomorrow. At least we know it’s not going to rain!”

The race starts at 3pm local time (2pm CET) tomorrow (Saturday) at the all-new Losail Circuit. The impressive new facility is situated 20kms north of Doha and features a 5.4km track made up of 16 varied turns.


Sete tightened up the Championship chase on Rossi at Qatar with 3 rounds remaining.

Gibernau Takes Race Win, Rossi Crashes out, Xaus on Podium

Race Day Saturay 2nd: Today was packed with drama – on and off the track. Before the race began Honda lodged a protest against Rossi’s crew for tampering with his grid slot by burning rubber from a paddock scooter onto the tarmac to enhance grip at the start.

Yamaha then made a tit-for-tat protest about Biaggi’s crew who had swept his grid slot clean. Both were upheld and Rossi and Max Biaggi (Camel Honda RC211V) were each given a six second time penalty before the start. This relegated them to the back of the grid.

Carlos Checa (Yamaha) got a lightning take-off and led into turn one with Gibernau in hot pursuit. Sete then made short work of his Spanish rival and led across the line after lap one. Ruben Xaus was third with Shinya Nakano (Kawasaki) in the hunt in fourth. Rossi was already eighth and was holding nothing back in his bid to get on terms near the front.

Edwards was lying sixth in the opening laps but the Texan was getting into a rapid rhythm and began to close down the front runners. First he took care of Xaus and Alex Barros (Repsol Honda RC211V) on lap two for fourth place, then he inherited third on the next lap when Nakano’s engine expired.

Rossi was now through to a spectactular 4th from his last place start, but his bid to snatch victory in adversity foundered when he made one of his customary wide exits on a fast left-hand turn before the final corner onto the straight. On grass he might have got away with it, but the articicial Astroturf laid trackside here to counter drifting sand caught him out and he fell heavily.

Gibernau was now in total control out front by four seconds and Edwards was working on depriving Checa of second place. He made his move on lap eight and then had his team-mate as a target. Try as he might Edwards could not catch Gibernau and although he reduced the gap to 1.6 seconds in the closing stages, Gibernau ran out an easy winner in a hard, hard race.

“When is a win ever easy?” said an exhausted but buoyant Sete. “Sometimes it’s hard just to finish sixth like in Japan two weeks ago. This was difficult and the team did a great job. They gave me a great bike and I really enjoyed riding it here today. I’ve got the best team and factory in the business behind me and it showed here today.”

Edwards was generous to his team-mate and said, “After the first three laps Sete was away and gone. I got past Carlos but that was as much as I could manage. That was an awesome race and it’s great for Sete to get maximum points. As far as any team efforts go – this is as good as it gets.”

Barros finished fourth. “I got a bad start,” said the Brazilian. “I passed Xaus and then Valentino touched me and I went off line into the dirty section of the track and lost a few places. Then I was right behind the smoking Kawasaki and I had to brake and ran off track. I had a chance to fight with Sete today and we missed the opportunity.”

His team-mate Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC211V) was fifth and said, “My first few laps were so slow it was embarrassing. When the front tyre got more scrubbed in I got back into a decent rhythm and if I try to look positively at this we got a top five finish. And this is the first time we’ve scored any points since Donington in July.”

Max was sixth. “What can I say about the starting penalty?” he said. “The result of it is that for the third race in a row our plans have been ruined. But I don’t ever give up and even though the rear tyre was sliding in the dirty part of the track I finished the race. Rossi was in the cleaner part of the track at the start and got away better than me. But I’ll be riding as hard as ever in Sepang.”

Makoto Tamada (Camel Honda RC211V), riding on Bridgestone tyres, had a troubled weekend and finished tenth. “The trouble was a lack of feel at the front-end and I just couldn’t be as aggressive as I needed to be in the turns. I’m not worried too much about Sepang next weekend because although the conditions might be similar we have a lot more data from there.”

Ducati Marlboro Team riders Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss endured a disappointing Marlboro Qatar Grand Prix at Losail today, neither rider finishing the incident-packed GP. In pitilessly hot conditions, with ambient temperatures nudging 40 degrees, both men had high hopes for the race after qualifying on the second and third rows of the grid. But Bayliss made his exit in the early stages, while Capirossi retired just after halfway through the 22-lap event. The race was won by Sete Gibernau, while World Championship leader Valentino Rossi crashed out.

"That was a disappointing race for us," commented Ducati Marlboro Team director Livio Suppo. "We had a chance of a good result here, but it didn't happen. Loris was going well and he was able to keep a very good pace, but he had some unbelievable luck when he ran off the track after touching a piece of Rossi's broken windscreen that was lying on the track. After that he had some problem with his bike which forced him to pull into the pits. We are investigating what went wrong. Troy meanwhile had a rear problem which we are looking into with Michelin. I never like to talk about bad luck but for sure we've been unlucky today. Finally, I would like to offer my congratulations to Ruben Xaus and the whole D'Antin Ducati team for scoring their first podium today".

The World Championship points reckoning has now tightened considerably. Rossi still leads with 229 points from 13 races. But Gibernau is back in business with 215, with three races and 75 points still up for grabs. Max lies third with 168.

MotoGP Race Results: (22 laps = 118.36 km)
Pos/ Rider / Nat / Team / Motorcycle / Time/ KM/H
1 / Sete GIBERNAU / SPA / Telefonica Movistar Honda Mot / HONDA / 44'01.741 / 161.293
2 / Colin EDWARDS / USA / Telefonica Movistar Honda Mot / HONDA / 44'03.056 / 161.213
3 / Ruben XAUS / SPA / D'Antin MotoGP / DUCATI / 44'25.585 / 159.850
4 / Alex BARROS / BRA / Repsol Honda Team / HONDA / 44'27.199 / 159.754
5 / Nicky HAYDEN / USA / Repsol Honda Team / HONDA / 44'33.158 / 159.397
6 / Max BIAGGI / ITA / Camel Honda / HONDA / 44'40.950 / 158.934
7 / Norick ABE / JPN / Fortuna Gauloises Tech 3 / YAMAHA / 44'55.114 / 158.099
8 / John HOPKINS / USA / Team Suzuki MotoGP / SUZUKI / 44'59.747 / 157.828
9 / Alex HOFMANN / GER / Kawasaki Racing Team / KAWASAKI / 45'06.061 / 157.459
10 / Makoto TAMADA / JPN / Camel Honda / HONDA / 45'20.259 / 156.638
11 / Yukio KAGAYAMA / JPN / Team Suzuki MotoGP / SUZUKI / 45'51.179 / 154.877
12 / James HAYDON / GBR / Proton Team KR / PROTON KR / 45'53.899 / 154.724
13 / James ELLISON / GBR / WCM / HARRIS WCM / 45'55.641 / 154.626
Fastest Lap: Colin EDWARDS 1'59.293 162.356 Km/h Lap 11

World Championship Positions:
1 ROSSI 229, 2 GIBERNAU 215, 3 BIAGGI 168, 4 EDWARDS 131, 5 BARROS 128,
6 TAMADA 120, 7 CHECA 102, 8 HAYDEN 94, 9 CAPIROSSI 84, 10 MELANDRI 75,
11 XAUS 69, 12 ABE 64, 13 NAKANO 62, 14 HOFMANN 43, 15 BAYLISS 42.

250ccRace Results: (20 laps = 107.6 km)
Pos / Rider / Nat / Team / Motorcycle / Time / KM / H
1 / Sebastian PORTO / ARG / Repsol - Aspar Team 250cc / APRILIA / 41'17.343 / 156.361
2 / Daniel PEDROSA / SPA / Telefonica Movistar Honda 250 / HONDA / 41'18.957 / 156.259
3 / Hiroshi AOYAMA / JPN / Telefonica Movistar Honda 250 / HONDA / 42'00.655 / 153.674
4 / Franco BATTAINI / ITA / Campetella Racing / APRILIA / 42'02.470 / 153.563
5 / Fonsi NIETO / SPA / Repsol - Aspar Team 250cc / APRILIA / 42'04.525 / 153.438
6 / Toni ELIAS / SPA / Fortuna Honda / HONDA / 42'16.814 / 152.695
7 / Roberto ROLFO / ITA / Fortuna Honda / HONDA / 42'28.756 / 151.980
8 / Alex DEBON / SPA / Wurth Honda BQR / HONDA / 42'39.463 / 151.344
9 / Hugo MARCHAND / FRA / Freesoul Abruzzo Racing Team / APRILIA / 42'39.505 / 151.341
10 / Joan OLIVE / SPA / Campetella Racing / APRILIA / 42'46.381 / 150.936
11 / Sylvain GUINTOLI / FRA / Campetella Racing / APRILIA / 42'57.464 / 150.287
12 / Erwan NIGON / FRA / Equipe GP de France - Scrab / APRILIA / 43'00.359 / 150.118
13 / Taro SEKIGUCHI / JPN / NC World Trade / YAMAHA / 43'00.399 / 150.116
14 / Johan STIGEFELT / SWE / Aprilia Germany / APRILIA / 43'08.227 / 149.662
15 / David DE GEA / SPA / Wurth Honda BQR / HONDA / 43'10.370 / 149.538
Fastest Lap: Alex DE ANGELIS 2'03.015 157.444 Km/h Lap 4

Championship Positions:
1 PEDROSA 254, 2 PORTO 211, 3 DE PUNIET 187, 4 ELIAS 152, 5 AOYAMA 119,
6 DE ANGELIS 114, 7 NIETO 105, 8 ROLFO 101, 9 WEST 88, 10 POGGIALI 79,
11 DEBON 75, 12 BATTAINI 70, 13 GUINTOLI 34, 14 MATSUDO 26, 15 OLIVE 26.



Superbike Maternity Ward - The Testastretta Engine production line at Ducati.
A FastDates.com Exclusive Here


FastDates.com Movie Review

Hot Chicks that Kick Ass
Resident Evil: Apocalypse

MILLA JOVOVICH returns in the sequel to the exciting first movie Resident Evil as Alice, a former Special Tactics warrior who awakens from a terrible sleep to find her worst fears realized -- the virus infected human population have turned into bloodthirsty Undead.

Assisting Alice in saving Racoon City and the world from disaster is another beautiful warrior Jill, played by Sienna Guillory who kicks Undead ass like a mini skirted Lora Croft.

We love the entire genre of Kick Ass Chick movies that are pouring out of Hollywood these days and Resident Evil: Apocalypse is one of the best! Complete Revue HERE

Going to work in mini skirts with automatics weapons and Samurai swords to kill Undead.

 


There's more!   Go to Pit Lane News Next Page

Hot Calendar Girl and Bike News! Go to: Fast DatesBerm BustersIron & Lace


click to see much more ...


 



New 2005 Fast Dates
Garage Girls, Iron & Lace
- Order Now.
Be warned - We under printed this year and will sell out early.
Ask your favorite dealer to order them now, or click on the cover to order online.
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Naked Desmosedici!
Exotic Prototypes,
Naked Pinup Calendars

FastDates.com takes an exclusive visit inside the very exciting Ducati Corse and very boringly restricted
Honda MotoGP Race Shops!


Robin grids World Championship points leader Regis Laconi.

FastDates.com Screensavers - Because Robin Loves You!
Robin & 999R05 -Stunt Road
Robin & 999R05 - Scott's Road
Ducati 999R05 - Front
Ducati 999R05 - Rear

Robin Cunningham was our offical SBK World Superbike Fast Dates calendar Angel and Team Ducati Corse umbrella girl for World Championship points leader Regis Laconi at Laguna Seca. All the the sexy details are in Fast Dates News.

Also look for "Rockin Robin" featured as hostess on 3 new TV shows premiering this fall. Robin will be hosting the WB Channel's new X-Music Network show starting in September where she will be interviewing hot up and coming new bands. She will also be hosting on Black Belt TV, a new martial arts TV network premiering in November, as well as the new TV series Underwater Odessy about swimming with Dolphins on the ABC Family Channel.

World Superbike Heats up in 2005 with rider moves to Japanese brand teams
Word has it former Wold Superbike Champion Troy Corser will be leaving the uncompetitive Foggy Petronas team after 3 years to join an expanded Ten Kate Honda SBK superbike team in 2005 alongside race winner Chris Vermeulen. While other top Superbike star Noriyuki Haga will be racing for the European based factory Kawasaki team. It looks like the SBK World Championship will be returning to a very competitive multi-brand series again. Although this year's 5-way title battle was the closest and hardest faught title bout ever, thanks in part to the spec Pirelli tires.

Yamaha paves the way for the 2005 American MotoGP
Laguna Seca, USA
Sept 30, /2004
- Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA is stepping up to fund the track safety improvements required by the Federation Internationale de Motorcyclisme (FIM) to homologate the track for the 2005 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, round nine of 17 in the 2005 MotoGP World Championship.
In addition to sponsoring the track improvements, Yamaha is serving as the official motorcycle at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and as a “Proud Sponsor” of the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix through 2007.

“We’re thrilled by the interest from Yamaha in particular and the motorcycle community overall in this event coming to the U.S.,” said Gill Campbell, CEO/general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “Yamaha’s generosity has made it possible to bring the MotoGP World Championship back to the USA for the fans to enjoy.”

“Helping bring the MotoGP World Championship back to the U.S. was an excellent opportunity for us to show our appreciation for our customers and fans,” said Bob Starr, corporate communications manager, at Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA. “And since this race corresponds with Yamaha’s 50th anniversary, we could think of no better way to celebrate than with over 100,000 U.S. fans.”

Plans for the track improvements were completed in concert with Claude Danis, president and circuit inspector for the FIM, and the necessary permits are being obtained. Work is scheduled to begin in November, with the first phase to increase runoff area in Turn 9 (Rainey Curve). The Turn 9 bridge will be moved Dec. 22 through 24 to an area between Turns 8A and 9. The track will remain open during this phase of construction.

Other changes being made to the circuit include widening the front straight by moving the outside (riders’ right) wall back and increasing the run-off area in several turns, including Turn 2 (Andretti Hairpin). These changes will be made when the track is shut down completely from May 2–June 15. The paddock will remain operational during this time.

Tickets for the 2005 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix are on sale now. General admission tickets and a limited number of paddock passes are on sale via the track’s ticket office – 1-800-327-SECA (7322) – during normal business hours or online at www.laguna-seca.com/Tickets.

AMA Supermoto Championship Finale to be held at
Bally’s Las Vegas

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Oct. 1, 2004) -- AMA Pro Racing announces that the 2004 AMA Championship finale, the AMA Red Bull Supermoto-A-Go-Go, will be held at Bally’s in Las Vegas on Saturday, Nov. 13. Additionally, Paris Las Vegas will host the annual AMA Pro Racing Awards Banquet the next day on Sunday, Nov. 14. The two attached hotels are located on the world famous Las Vegas Strip.

“We’re thrilled to bring the AMA Red Bull Supermoto A-Go-Go to the Strip in the heart of Las Vegas,” said Chris Bradley, AMA Supermoto Series Manager. “Our friends at Red Bull know how to throw a great party and this event will be huge.”
Riders expected to compete in the finale include former AMA Motocross champs Jeff Ward, Doug Henry, Jeremy McGrath and Travis Pastrana; three-time AMA Superbike Champion Doug Chandler and former 500cc Grand Prix world champion Kevin Schwantz from road racing; and freestyle motocross legend Mike Metzger. Up-and-coming Supermoto stars such as Chris Fillmore, Ben Carlson and Mark Burkhart and a few prominent regulars from the international ranks, including Jurgen Kunzel, Kurt Nicoll and Alexandre Thiebault are also expected.
Bradley added that the finale is sure to be loaded with even more international stars from around the world, possibly making it the greatest collection of motorcycle racing talent from various disciplines on one track.

“Last year we had interest from several world championship competitors, but they weren’t eligible to race based on the qualifying criteria. This year the rules allow FIM world competitors to race in the AMA Supermoto finale. This should lead to a number of additional big name riders competing along side the prominent lineup of riders already slated to race,” said Bradley.

Las Vegas resident and AMA Superbike road racer Ben Bostrom, won last year’s winner-take-all Supermoto class title at the AMA Red Bull Supermoto-A-Go-Go championship finale in a breathtaking race in what many referred to as the best AMA race of any series last year. Former AMA Motocross Champion, Grant Langston won the Supermoto Unlimited class title. Both are expected to return to Vegas.

The AMA Red Bull Supermoto-a-Go-Go will be pivotal in determining the championship picture as the race pays double points for the first five finishers in both the Supermoto and Supermoto Unlimited classes.

Near the hustle and bustle of the Strip, an entertaining track mixed with high-speed pavement and technical Parts Unlimited UrbanCross and dirt sections will be constructed on the grounds behind Bally’s and Paris.

This year’s event will be free admission with pit passes available for purchase. Visit www.redbullsupermotoagogo.com and www.amasupermoto.com in coming weeks for detailed event information.
For immediate post-race results, points, live transponder scoring, in-depth series and rider information and much more, log onto www.amasupermoto.com.

Kenny Roberts
Out of Action after Motegi

BSB SUPERBIKE STAR KAGAYAMA TO JOIN HOPKINS
IN QATAR
Team Suzuki Press Office – September 28, 2004.
Battered but unbowed after a bruising Japanese GP, the Suzuki MotoGP team take to the new track for the Qatar GP this Saturday, with long-time Suzuki stalwart rider Yukio Kagayama joining team regular John Hopkins for the first of three flyaway GPs over the next three weekends.

Team regular Kenny Roberts Jr. will be out of all three races and for the first two will be replaced by Kagayama, fresh from third place in the British Superbike Championship, where he rode a Suzuki GSX-R1000. Roberts and his team-mate John Hopkins were both victims in a multiple pile-up at the first corner of the last round, at Motegi, when six riders were knocked out of the race.

The horrendous luck put paid to the Suzuki team’s high hopes in their home GP. Hopkins had qualified second for a career-first front row start, with Roberts close behind. Both were quick off the line, with Hopkins lying second into the first corner when he was skittled from behind. Potentially the best race of the year lasted only a few hundred yards.

Both Suzuki riders were injured, and 2000 World Champion Roberts not only suffered burns to his neck and right arm when he was pulled into Max Biaggi’s machine, but more seriously, dislocated his elbow. Further investigation on arrival home in the USA revealed ligament and bone damage, and Roberts will not be fit to ride until the final round, the Vale! ncia GP on October 31.
Hopkins suffered a gash to his buttoc ks and two broken ribs. Directly on arriving home in England, he began a course of intensive laser therapy, determined to be fit enough to race, to take advantage of the growing strength of the Suzuki GSV-R MotoGP prototype, and of the ever-improving Bridgestone tyres.

Kagayama’s return to the team revives memories of the Japanese rider’s spirited previous outings, both on the 500cc Suzuki two-stroke GP machine and the 990cc four-stroke GSV-R, introduced for the new MotoGP class in 2002.
It also offers fresh input at a crucial stage of development of the machine. Over recent races, performance and results have been improving steadily and in Japan, a new exhaust configuration boosted mid-range power to offer a continuing improvement.

“What happened at Motegi was the worst of luck, but we’re determined to keep going forwards at Qatar and the subsequent rounds,” said team manager Garry Taylor.

Capirosi Fighting for Fitness after Motegi
Loris Capirossi is battling to be fully fit for the Qatar Grand Prix. A multiple pile-up at the first corner of the recent Japanese GP left the Italian with a fractured bone in his right foot, the foot he uses to control rear-wheel braking aboard his Ducati MotoGP Team Desmosedici GP4.

“I have been undergoing plenty of therapy for the foot, so hopefully it won’t be a problem in Qatar,” said Capirossi. “Anyway, it’s going to be an interesting weekend for everyone because none of us know anything about the track. Also, it’s our first GP in the desert, so we know the heat will make it a tough race. But the fact that it’s a brand-new circuit isn’t a concern – one hour is usually enough to learn somewhere new. These three back-to-back races aren’t a problem because we’re getting used to doing so much riding in a short time. The only worry is picking up an injury that might slow you at the next two races or even force you to miss them.”



Zdenka is Back...
...and Hotter Than Ever!
We'd like to re introduce you 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.

Zenka returned 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!

Maxsym Launches
GP500 and GP600 Engines

MAXSYM ENGINE TECHNOLOGY, based in Banbury, Oxfordshire, in the United Kingdom, will unveil its GP500 and GP600 racing engines at INTERMOT in Munich, Germany, from September 14th to 19th, 2004.
The company will be found at stand 373 in Hall A1. Its display will include a GP500 for superkarts and a GP600 for Supermoto bikes, as well as a range of components and customer options.
Suitable applications for these engines include motorcycles (both road and Supermoto), ATVs, karts, single-seater race cars, snowmobiles and personal watercraft.
Each engine has an inline twin cylinder configuration and incorporates Maxsym’s patented balance system. The net result is, Maxsym claims, a motor that delivers high performance in a lightweight package.
Depending on the version supplied, power output ranges from 75 to 110bhp. Options include either wet or dry sump; electric or kick start; digital fuel injection or carburettor, and either a six-speed sequential transmission or fixed reduction gear (for snowmobiles and PWCs). The design features a reversible monoblock cylinder head so that either the intake or exhaust ports can face forward.
The engines will be available to individuals, race teams and OE manufacturers. Interest is also invited from importers and distributors.

MAXSYM ENGINE TECHNOLOGY
Banbury, Oxfordshire, UNITED KINGDOM
Tel: +44 (0)1608 685155
Fax: +44 (0)1608 685156
E-mail: info@maxsym.com
www.maxsym.com



Karl Muggeridge - World Supersport Champion
A spectacular three race winning run at the end of the 2003 World
Supersport season was an impressive feat for the combination of Karl Muggeridge, Ten Kate Honda and the new CBR600RR Honda, but it was just a taster of what was to come. For the complete omplete story go to:
Who the hell is Ten Kate?