2005 SBK Corona
World Superbike Championship, Round 4 of 13
Troy Corser Doubles
Valencia World Superbike
Valencia Spain, April 22-24th - Alstare Corona
Extra Suzuki rider Troy Corser won his fourth and fifth races
of the 2005 season at Valencia today, scoring an immaculate
double to finish off an almost perfect weekend of race action.
Chris Vermeulen (Winston Ten Kate Honda) proved the closest
challenger to his countryman, taking his Honda to a brace
of second places, albeit nine and five seconds down on the
1996 World Champion’s race times. Corser’s team-mate
Yukio Kagayama battled his way to third in race one, but a
new rider joined the 2005 podium ranks, when popular Briton
Chris Walker (PSG-1 Kawasaki) ran to a clear third place in
leg two, having harried Vermeulen for most of the 23-laps.
Superbike's incredible depth of talent and competition this
season . Click for the BIG
As the World Superbike and World Supersport teams leave
behind the fly-away sector of the season, the much-used
testing circuit of Valencia adopts the guise of full-on
race venue once more. Starting a run of ten grueling Euro
based races, the Spanish round of the series may also
offer some respite from the series of weather interruptions
which have afflicted the season so far. The stadium style
circuit of Valencia places particular strain on the left
side of tyres thanks to the frequent low gear turns and
lots of time spent at high lean angles.
three additional classes joining the championship this weekend,
two all-new ones for the 2005 season, the 86 riders in the
2004 paddock have now grown to 156, stepping up the technical
and logistical challenge for Pirelli to another level.
The dominance shown thus far by Suzuki is expected to be challenged
much more strongly, by high class entries from other four-cylinder
manufacturers Yamaha, Honda, and Kawasaki, plus twin-cylinder
kings Ducati and the three-cylinder runners Petronas. A podium
finish in Australia by class rookie Max Neukirchner Honda)
, has shown that the level playing filed offered by the adoption
of high quality control tyres from Pirelli allows new talent
to shine through. The close nature of the competition, through
out the field is testimony to the effort put in by Pirelli,
the scale of operations a testimony to the commitment of the
entire Pirelli brand. In World Supersport the other protagonists
will be trying to take a win away from Winston Ten Kate Team,
as Sebastien Charpentier found the Pirelli’s new front
tyre the perfect partner for his all-new front end suspension
package in Australia.
are no less than three new classes to see at Valencia. The
Superstock series, running since 1999, is once more aimed
at the younger rider, but this year the monotyre series has
been promoted to FIM World Cup status, and has seen the minimum
age raised to 20. This has allowed the formation of a 600cc
version, the Superstock 600 European Championship. This new
initiative, on very stock machinery to reduce costs and performance
parameters, will field riders between 15 and 20 years of age.
The 1000cc Superstock category will run on Pirelli Dragon
SuperCorsa tyres, like the Supersport class, with the 600cc
version on Diablo Corsa tyres; racing street tyres to allow
to these new young riders to face the challenges of a tough
and competitive championship. This entry level championship
features non-extreme machinery, making the Diablo Corsa tyres
the perfect fitment. In addition to these new series, which
will feature at five rounds of the main Superbike circus from
now on, Valencia will host a Suzuki GSX-R European Cup 2005
race. This is an invitational category, featuring identically
prepared GSX-R750s, supplied and maintained by Alstare. Looked
after by Fabrizio Pirovano, the machines in the series will
be liveried in the national colours of the riders, of which
there will be 27, 22 permanent plus wildcards. The identical
machines will feature Pirelli Diablo Corsa tyres on the rims.
The same tyres you can fit on this bike to enjoy riding every
day or on track days with your friends.
staff will enter the Valencia race celebrating the success
of their products under the extreme conditions encountered
by the GMT Yamaha squad of William Costes, Sebastien Gimbert
and David Checa, victorious in the classic 24-Heures Du Mans
endurance race on Pirelli tyres. Gimbert, now an SBK regular
will be in attendance as usual in Spain, but adding to the
mix will be the fulsome talents of Checa, riding as a wildcard
and adding even more talent to an already high-quality grid.
Practice Under Warm Spanish Skies
Action Stations: Alstare Corona Extra Suzuki rider Troy Corser
scored yet another early season high with the fastest time
of the opening day, heading up both unofficial and official
qualifying session at Valencia. The championship leader set
a time of 1’35.954, almost 0.8 seconds faster than his
closest rival, when it really mattered this afternoon. Each
session was held in almost ideal conditions with just a gentle
breeze blowing around the stadium-style circuit.
Strolls On: An outstanding first period for Chris Walker (PSG-1
Kawasaki) saw him well up the qualifying order from the start
to the finish. Ultimately second quickest on his ZX-10, hard
work in the chassis and suspension department, plus a machine
capable of posting the highest top speed of the day, 288kmph,
conspired to help the Englishman’s effort.
The Klaffi team has made a serious impact in World Superbike
in 2005, a superb effort in its rookie season in the top category.
Despite a recent collarbone operation for Pierfrancesco Chili,
to repair the break he suffered at the Phillip Island race,
the experienced Italian set third fastest time of all. He
was closely followed by his rookie SBK team-mate, Max Neukirchner,
who is still working on suspension set-up. Third in race two
in Australia, Neukirchner has already shown his true talent,
and at the first time of asking on his full spec machine at
Valencia, he secured fourth best time, 1.173 seconds from
Fifth: Winston Ten Kate riders Karl Muggeridge and Chris Vermeulen
had differing fortunes on day one, with Muggeridge well in
the leading mix; his more experienced Superbike team-mate
Vermeulen in 16th place. Diversity was the key in the top
positions at Valencia, as Yukio Kagayama (Alstare Corona Extra
Suzuki) and Ivan Clementi (Bertocchi Kawasaki) went sixth
and seventh fastest respectively.
Martin Up Front: A second row provisional qualifying position
was a good reward for the Petronas team on day one, with Steve
Martin taking eighth fastest time in a highly competitive
session. His speed saw the fastest Petronas ahead of the fastest
Ducati, to the immense satisfaction of the entire Petronas
effort. That honor this weekend was taken by the SC Ducati
999RS of Lorenzo Lanzi, ninth fastest on his booming V-twin.
Hanging Tough For Day Two: Fastest Yamaha R1 rider on display
in Spain was Yamaha Motor France IPONE rider Norick Abe, an
SBK rookie but a hugely experienced rider in other classes
of global races. He was the last rider inside the top ten.
Jose Luis Cardoso (DFX
Yamaha) and Ivan Silva (LaGlisse) gave the first day its first
smattering of Spanish flavor, going 13th and 14th respectively.
Official entries from Noriyuki Haga and Andrew Pitt, both
Yamaha Motor Italia, and Sebastien Gimbert (Yamaha Motor Italia)
struggled somewhat on day one. Gimbert crashed, yet still
set 17 laps to go 15th. Haga was 21st, Pitt 24th.
Doldrums: The competitiveness of the 2005 season was perfectly
illustrated by the fact that the official factory Ducati pairing
of Regis Laconi (Xerox Ducati 999F05) and James Toseland were
in 11th and 12th positions after day one, behind a whole gaggle
of fast multi-cylinder entries. Toseland was a race one winner
last year, Laconi the winner of the greatest number of 2004
Notable Names: Petronas rider Garry McCoy’s 17th place
came after 21 laps of action, with local wild card rider Davide
Checa (GMT94 Yamaha) scoring the top number of circuits, matching
his qualifying position of 27. Local hotshot Fonsi Nieto (SC
Ducati 999RS) is still adjusting to life on a big cc V-twin.,
and ran out 18th fastest of the 33 prospective qualifiers.
The SBK ‘big grid’ saw Ben Bostrom, aided by some
new team personnel and machinery, 20th out of 33.
Practice: 1. Corser (Suzuki) 1m35.954s; 2.
Walker (Kawasaki) 1m36.731s; 3. Chili (Honda) 1m37.003s; 4.
Neukirchner (Honda) 1m37.127s; 5. Muggeridge (Honda) 1m37.146s;
6. Kagayama (Suzuki) 1m37.159s ... 11. Laconi (Ducati Xerox)
1m37.566s; 12. Toseland (Ducati Xerox) 1m37.648s.
Corser takes Superpole in the Shimmering Sunshine
- Superpole Qualifying: Alstare Corona Extra Suzuki rider
Troy Corser proved peerless once more adding Superpole to
his fastest times from all regulation qualifying sessions.
The championship leader set a Superpole best of 1’35.954,
0.449 ahead of second best rider over a single lap, Chris
Vermeulen (Winston Ten Kate Honda). It was Corser’s
first Superpole win of the year, the 31st of his long career.
Regis Laconi (Ducati Xerox) continued his good form in qualifying
into Superpole, going third fastest overall and starting from
the front row of the grid. His experience was a marked contrast
to the woes suffered by his team-mate, James Toseland (Ducati
Xerox) who failed to make the Superpole cut by fully seven
places. The front row will be completed by rookie star Max
Neukirchner (Klaffi Honda), replicating his top-class performance
in regulation qualifying. The 22-year-old German once more
outperformed his team-mate, Pierfrancesco Chili, who qualified
12th, despite his recent collarbone surgery.
Row Rowdies: Andrew Pitt once more installed himself as the
best Yamaha prospect, running his Yamaha Motor Italia machine
into fifth place on the grid, ahead of his fellow Aussie Karl
Muggeridge (Winston Ten Kate Honda). Chris Walker once more
flew the Kawasaki PSG-1 standard high in qualifying, following
up his fourth fastest time in regulation with a seventh fastest
time in Superpole. His was the top ZX-10 on show. He also
made it five different marques in the top seven places, proof
positive of the competitiveness of the new SBK formula.Last
rider on row two proved to be Norick Abe (Yamaha Motor France)
once more putting in an impressive result in what is his rookie
Second in the championship overall at this stage, Yukio Kagayama
(Alstare Corona Extra Suzuki) was only ninth fastest, 1.2
seconds away from the Superpole win. He nonetheless took a
small victory over his fellow Japanese Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha
Motor Italia), who was one place behind, finishing off the
top ten. First wildcard out the pack was Davide the Checa,
the World Endurance ace putting smiles on the faces of his
GMT94 Yamaha squad by following up Superpole qualification
with a third row start in 11th. Chili rounded out row three
Row: First non-factory Ducati belonged to Lorenzo Lanzi (SC
Ducati 999RS) who headed up final Superpole qualifier Steve
Martin (Petronas FP-1), as the Aussie improved to 14th grid
position, from 16th in regulation. Sebastien Gimbert (Yamaha
Motor France). In a superbly close Superpole, all top 15 riders
were within 1.6 seconds of each other. The exception was Ben
Bostrom (Renegade Honda KOJI) who experienced technical difficulties
with the front brake in his fast lap
and was not credited with a time.
Pre Superpole Qualifying: The final one hour regulation qualifying
session, which determined who went forward to Superpole, and
all grid positions from 17th back, was tortuous for some riders,
most notably World Champion James Toseland. In a field of
33, he qualified 23rd, thanks to his best time from Friday,
1’37.648. Trouble with the front end of his machine
as the seconds of the final session ticked away prevented
him from making one last ditch qualifying attempt. Garry McCoy
(Petronas FP-1) was also out of the Superpole mix, 18th on
his three-cylinder machine. To the surprise of many onlookers,
Spanish Formula Extreme expert Jose Luis Cardoso (DFX Extreme
Yamaha) just missed Superpole, going 17th. Local hero Fonsi
Nieto (SC Caracchi Ducati) was 24th, the last rider on the
sixth row of the grid. For the first time this year, Ben Bostrom
(Renegade Honda KOJI) secured his Superpole start.
There was no joy
for James Toseland as the reigning champion failed to qualify
for Superpole due to a problem when there were just a few
minutes remaining of the morning's second and final qualifying
hour. As a result the 24-year-old will start from row 6 of
the grid in tomorrow's two 23-lap races.
make Superpole because I had a problem with the front end
of the bike three minutes before the end of the session and
after I had changed the tyre I went out again but just missed
the flag by a couple of seconds" commented James. "Unfortunately
we've been going in the wrong direction during qualifying
and when you go in the wrong direction, it all becomes that
bit more difficult. We managed to sort out Friday's problems
with the front suspension but then I had no grip in the rear
so we went back to yesterday's settings and that wasn't much
better. I'm on a factory Ducati so I know I shouldn't be in
this position. You can't really win races from 23rd on the
grid, but I'm sure I can do a good race pace tomorrow so let's
see what we can salvage from here".
1. Corser (Suzuki) 1m35.676s; 2. Vermeulen (Honda) 1m36.125s;
3. Laconi (Ducati Xerox) 1m36.356s; 4. Neukirchner (Honda)
1m36.447s; 5. Pitt (Yamaha) 1m36.558s; 6. Muggeridge (Honda)
1m36.565s; 7. Walker (Kawasaki) 1m36.847s; 8. Abe (Yamaha)
TV COVERAGE: Eurosport
(Europe) - Sunday 24 April, 1200 Race 1 (live), 2300 Race
2 (delayed); British Eurosport (UK) - Saturday 23 April, 1500
BST Superpole (live); Sunday 24 April, 1100-1530 BST Race
1 & 2 (live); La7 (Italy) - Saturday 23 April, 1700 Superpole
(delayed); Sunday 24 April, 1610-1900 Race 1 & 2 (delayed).
SPEEDTV (delayed) 7am Eastern /10am Pacific
Troy Corser (11) took command of both races quickly from pole
was, once more without equal on track, ran up a near ten second
margin of victory on his big GSX-R, finally outpacing Honda
man Vermeulen by 9.116 seconds - and some 12 seconds head
of Corser’s own team-mate Yukio Kagayama. Norick Abe
(Yamaha) was trying to pass Vermeulen for second when he fell
on lap 22 of the 23. Chris Walker took his big yellow PSG-1
Kawasaki to a safe fourth place, having run in the podium
mix for long periods of time. The local crowd had a top ten
finisher to applaud, as Sergio Fuertes secured ninth place
on his Reynolds Motorrad Suzuki.
1: 1 Troy Corser (Aus-Alstare Suzuki Corona
Extra), 2 Vermeulen (Aus-Honda), 3 Yukio Kagayama (J-Alstare
Suzuki Corona Extra), 4 Walker (GB-Kawasaki), 5 Haga (J-Yamaha),
6 Gimbert (F-Yamaha), 7 Chili (I-Honda), 8 Toseland (GB-Ducati),
9 Fuertes (E-Suzuki), 10 Checa (E-Yamaha).
away and clear once more, after some early interventions by
Andrew Pitt (Yamaha Motor Italia), a right royal battle for
second between Vermeulen and Walker was only decided on the
final laps, as Walker slowed to take a safe third - his first
such placing of the season. Despite complaints about machine
set-up and the increase in afternoon temperatures reducing
available tyre grip, Norick Abe (Yamaha Motor Italia) was
a fine fourth, but only after his team-mate Pitt was forced
to slow with an electrical misfire, eventually finishing eighth.
been a perfect weekend and I want to thank the whole Alstare
team for making it all possible," said Corser afterwards.
"Conditions were very variable today - due to the change
in track temperature - but we had done all the groundwork
in qualifying and were ready for anything. I used the same
rear tyre for both races but it didn’t work as well
in race two because the temperature was higher.
first race was pretty comfortable for me and I just controlled
things right from the start and left the rest to sort themselves
out. In race two, I was a bit surprised to see Andrew Pitt
get off the line ahead of me and lead into turn one. I wanted
to pass him as soon as possible because I wanted to run my
own race, so I overtook him on lap two. I then pushed quite
hard for about eight laps and made a bit of a break, but in
doing that, I think I must have worn the rear tyre out a bit.
So I eased the pace, conserved the tyres and kept and eye
on my pit-board.
wind in race two was a bit of a problem because it was different
in different parts of the circuit. But it was great to do
another double and extend my lead in the championship to 31
23 = 92,115 Km)
Pos /Rider /Nat. /Team / Time /Gap
1 / T. CORSER / AUS / Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra / 37'31.052
2 / C. VERMEULEN / AUS / Winston Ten Kate Honda / 37'40.168
3 / Y. KAGAYAMA / JPN / Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra /
37'43.840 / 12.788
4 / C.WALKER / GBR / PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse / 37'47.919
5 / N.HAGA / JPN / Yamaha Motor Italia WSB / 37'48.934
6 / S. GIMBERT / FRA / Yamaha Motor France-Ipone / 37'57.547
7 / P. CHILI / ITA / Klaffi Honda / 37'59.836 / 28.784
8 / J. TOSELAND / GBR / Ducati Xerox / 38'07.656 / 36.604
9 / S. FUERTES / ESP / Reynolds Motorrad / 38'10.576 /
10 / D. CHECA / ESP / Yamaha GMT 94 / 38'10.827 / 39.775
11 / I. CLEMENTI / ITA / Kawasaki Bertocchi / 38'11.099
12 / B. BOSTROM / USA / Renegade Hon / 38'13.993 / 42.941
13 / G.BUSSEI / ITA / Kawasaki Bertocchi / 38'18.557 /
14 / L. ALFONSI / ITA / D.F.X. Treme / 38'18.637 / 47.585
15 / I. SILVA / ESP / LaGlisse / 38'20.045 / 48.993
Fastest Lap 2° Troy Corser 1'36.721 149,068 Km/h
2 : (Laps
23 = 92,115 Km)
Pos /Rider /Nat. /Team / Time /
1 / T. CORSER / AUS / Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra / 37'52.057
2 / C. VERMEULEN / AUS / Winston Ten Kate Honda / 37'57.418
3 / C.WALKER / GBR / PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse / 37'59.241
4 / N.HAGA / JPN / Yamaha Motor Italia WSB / 38'02.657
5 / N. ABE / JPN / Yamaha Motor France-Ipone / 38'03.960
6 / B. BOSTROM / USA / Renegade Koji / 38'11.257 / 19.200
7 / Y. KAGAYAMA / JPN / Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra /
38'11.402 / 19.345
8 / A. PITT / AUS / Yamaha Motor Italia WSB / 38'15.303
9 / D. CHECA / ESP / Yamaha GMT 94 / 38'16.844 / 24.787
10 / P. CHILI / ITA / Klaffi Honda / 38'17.356 / 25.299
11 / S. GIMBERT / FRA / Yamaha Motor France-Ipone / 38'17.552
12 / M.NEUKIRCHNER / GER / Klaffi Honda / 38'19.890 /
13 / I. CLEMENTI / ITA / Kawasaki Bertocchi / 38'23.396
14 / G.VIZZIELLO / ITA / Italia Lorenzini by Leoni / 38'25.070
15 / L. ALFONSI / ITA / D.F.X. Treme / 38'26.081 / 34.024
Fastest Lap 2° Troy Corser 1'37.756 147,490 Km/h
Lap Record: 2003 Neil Hodgson 1'35.007 151,760 Km/h
Superbike Points (after 3 rounds): 1 Troy
Corser 141, 2 Yukio Kagayama 110, 3 Vermeulen 90,
4 Laconi 54, 5 Abe 44, 6 Neukirchner 41, 7 Haga 40, 8 Pitt
39, 9 Walker 38, 10 Toseland 30.
- 1. Suzuki 150; 2. Honda 93; 3. Yamaha 65; 4. Ducati 64;
5. Kawasaki 50; 6. Petronas 1.
(71) holds off Neukircher (94) in Race 2 before falls allowed
Bostom (155) up to 8th.
Down, Neukirchner Flies: Karl
Muggeridge (Winston Ten Kate Honda) had another tough day,
being run off track in race one (to eventually retire), and
then crashing in race two. Another top Honda hopeful, Max
Neukirchner, suffered the biggest highside of the season on
the fast approach to the final corner on the opening lap,
launching himself and bringing down Lorenzo Lanzi’s
Ducati. The Italian rider broke his collarbone as a result,
missing race two. In race two Neukirchner recovered sufficiently
to record a 12th place finish. His team-mate Pierfrancesco
Chili struggled with pain and fatigue in his broken collarbone
area to take a seventh and a tenth place finish.
Moves On Up: Ben Bostrom (Renegade Honda Koji) was
a disappointed 11th and then an excellent sixth on his CBR1000RR
Fireblade, happy to be running back inside the top ten, and
securing 14th position in the championship.
weekend for Ducati Xerox Team: Round 3 of the World
Superbike Championship proved to be a difficult weekend for
the Ducati Xerox Team as Régis Laconi missed both races
due to a crash in the morning warm-up, while James Toseland
did the best he could from a sixth row starting-grid position.
it was a weekend to forget for us" declared Ducati Xerox
Team director Paolo Ciabatti. "This morning Régis
was quicker than everyone in the warm-up but his crash meant
that he could not take part in the two races, in which I am
sure he would have given Corser a hard time. James on the
other hand, was unable to find the right direction in qualifying
and this conditioned his two races on Sunday. Now is the time
to concentrate on Monza and focus all of our energies on the
next round, which is traditionally an important appointment
for Superbike and for Ducati".
was ruled out of the action today after a crash half-way through
the morning warm-up, when contact was made with a slow-moving
rider on the outside of the final curve. Laconi suffered concussion
and was immediately examined by on-circuit doctors before
being taken to Valencia hospital for an MRI scan, and for
precautionary reasons a decision was taken for him not to
am fine but now I just need a few days to recover for Monza.
It's a track I like, we are at home and Ducati is always very
fast" declared Laconi. "This was a very big crash
and I feel very lucky because I could easily have broken something
and been out of action for some time. I am obviously disappointed
because I wanted to take part in the second race, but I did
receive a big bang on the head and was unconscious for a few
minutes so the doctors said it was better that I didn't."
Toseland finished eighth in race 1 from his 23rd grid position
and 19th in the second race after he had to make a pit-stop
to change the front wheel following a lap 4 incident caused
by another rider. "I was riding round with people I shouldn't
be riding round with, given the qualifying position"
two his charge to the front was halted when Garry McCoy fell
after a contact with wildcard Ivan Silva (La Glisse Yamaha),
running Toseland off the track. Restarting, he came in to
fit a new front and finished 19th and last, lapped while in
got a decent start again but going into turn 4 and a Yamaha
came steaming underneath me and pushed me really wide. I was
lucky to stay on and then had to change the front tyre because
the brakes were locking up. Monza is the next race, we just
need to find some traction because there's not much wrong
with the top speed of the bike. We're struggling and we need
to find the form again but there's nothing wrong with the
bike and nothing wrong with me. We rode hard in the first
race but couldn't really do much more after going off the
track in race 2."
No Score: One race finish for Steve Martin was not
enough to score a point for the three-cylinder entries at
Valencia, with his 17th place not quite enough for a point.
Another rider leaving with a no score is local hero Pablo
Nieto, 17th and then a retiree on his SC Ducati 999RS.
Winston Ten Kate Honda rider Sebastien Charpentier scored
his second race win of the season, battering his way through
the last lap after what looked like a tactile fight with his
following team-mate, Katsuaki Fujiwara. Yamaha honor was upheld
with third for Kevin Curtain (Yamaha Motor Germany) some 21
seconds down on the leading battle. Michel Fabrizio (Team
Italia Megabike Honda) was overwhelmed by the charge of Curtain,
with his team-mate Fabien Foret (Team Italia Megabike Honda)
fifth, and Broc Parkes rounding out the top six on his Yamaha
Motor Germany R6. Barry Veneman was top Suzuki finisher, seventh
on his Suzuki Netherlands GSX-R.
rounds of the World Superbike and Supersport series take place
at Monza on May 8.
That Kick Ass!
Bell as Veronica Mars
Modern Day Nancy Drew
heats up UPN Television, Tuesdays 9/8C
In the wealthy, seaside community of Neptune,
the rich and powerful make the rules, they own the town
and the high school, and desperately try to keep their
dirty little secrets just that…secret. Unfortunately
for them, there's Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell), a smart,
fearless 17-year-old apprentice private investigator
dedicated to solving the town's toughest mysteries.
the day, Veronica must negotiate high school like any
average teenage girl. At night, Veronica helps with
her father's struggling, new private investigator business,
sneaking through back alleys and scooping out no-tell
motels with a telescopic-lens camera and her math book
in an attempt to uncover the California beach town's
The 2005 Multistrada 1000Smodel features Ohlins race quality
suspension front and rear, along with carbon fibre bits like
the front fender and cam belt covers. Also on our bike is
the Ducati Performance Termignoni exhaust silencer. Our tester
is beautiful SBK Fast Dates Ducati Corse World Superbike girl
Fast Dates Ducati Corse girl and bikini clad Tomb
gets into some hard core action with the Ducati Multistrada
FastDates.com Bike of the Year Award
Ducati Multistrada 1000S DS
no secret the Ducati’s Multistrada 1000 DS which was
first introduced back in 2003 was one of our favorite motorcycles.
The somewhat quirky looking, do everything aircooled V-twin
Desmo did everything really well. It may not have been the
world’s best bike in any one particular category from
canyon carver, to off road adventure bike, to around town
commuter, to cross country tourer -but it was very close.
It does excel in everything really well.
other bike on the market is quite capable of matching the
Ducati Multistrada for overall versatility, performance and
just sheer riding pleasure. Now with the introduction of the
new upgraded Ohlins suspended 1000S model for 2005 the Multistrada
has become so close to perfect in so many categories that,
as an overall package the staff at FastDates.com, the world's
premier streetbike website, feels the new Multi S is the world’s
best streetbike. It’s so good in fact, we decided to
create an award and make the Multistrada 1000S
our first ever FastDates.com Bike of the Year for
2005. Our congratulations go out to Ducati and Multistrada
designer Pierre Terblanche for creating the perfect bike.
Ducati Multistrada S Feature Story with Rockin' Robin
view anyone saw of him all weekend, the untouchable Matt Mladin.
AMA Superbike Championship, Round 2 of 11
Mladin Doubles Down
in Alabama, leads Yoshimura Suzuki Sweep
Birmingham, AL, April 22-24: Team Yoshimura
Suzuki's Matt Mladin totally dominated both rounds of the
AMA Superbike Championship this weekend at Barber Motorsports
Park in Alabama, completely outpacing his pursuers by as much
as 1 second per lap as needed to secure both Saturday and
Sundays 23 lap races by some 10 seconds. It was nearly a Team
Yoshiura sweep of the podium both days with team mates Aaron
Yates and Ben Spies besting Ducati's Neil Hodgson on Saturday
for the remaining 2 podium spots. While Sunday's Race 2 saw
Hodgson improve on his bike's setup to finish 2nd ahead of
Spies, as Yates had to pull into the pits to replace a damaged
tire while running second ahead of Hodgson.
The once dominate American Honda distributor team of Miguel
DuHamel, Jake Zemke and Kurtis Roberts, forced to race this
year without the much more competitive and expensive CBR1000RR's
built by HRC of Japan, are struggling this year on their budget
home built copies. In the pecking order of things, the new
G5 Suzuki GSXR1000 is a generation ahead of the rest of the
field and particularly unbeatable in the hands of Mladin.
The factory Ducati 999F05 in the hands of ex World Champion
Hodgson looks to be the only contender, and the Hondas will
be barking for table scraps.
Parts Unlimited Ducati Austin team of Eric Bostrom and Neil
Hodgson spent much of Friday with their factory Ducati 999s
parked and watching the rains fall at the 2.3-mile Barber
Motorsports Park circuit. A controversial afternoon qualifying
session was red-flagged and eventually cancelled just minutes
after it began prematurely. Heavy winds and hail began to
fall shortly after the riders were signaled to begin the qualifying
period, which was started several minutes before the scheduled
time of 4:30 PM.
decided to drop the green flag about ten minutes early, and
the people that were ready got to go. We were thinking of
the schedule, so we got left out," says Eric Bostrom.
"Neil and I both made one circulation, but not a lap
at speed. Then the red flag came out."
While the AMA would not rule the session times invalid, they
did refuse to award any rider the provisional pole position.
not the end of the world, it's just frustrating," says
Hodgson, who will have the opportunity to qualify tomorrow
morning for the Barber races. "As a rider, you've come
here with some built-up nerves and anticipation of a good
day. This race is what I call the real beginning of the season
and you just want to get started after all the time off since
Daytona. And you get here and this develops."
says the lack of track time hasn't helped any with his acclimation
to the AMA-style doubleheader with one race on Saturday and
one on Sunday. "What seems weird to me now is knowing
that I'll be racing tomorrow afternoon. In all my years racing,
I've always had four hours of total practice before the races.
Thankfully, we tested here, and the situation (with the weather)
is pretty much the same for everyone else."
In a rainy AM practice, Hodgson was a fine third quickest
with a time of 1:39.502. Bostrom was clocked at 1:43.579,
which was 14th place in the session standings.
morning qualifying will set the grid for the two 28-lap, 100
kilometer Superbike races, the first of which is to be held
at 3:50 PM local time on Saturday.
Practice times: 1. Spies (Suzuki) 1:37.966,
2. Mladin (Suzuki) 1:39.098, 3. NEIL HODGSON (PARTS UNLIMITED
DUCATI AUSTIN 999) 1:39.502, 4. Matthew McBride (Kawasaki)
1:40.153, 5. Aaron Yates (Suzuki) 1:40.460, 6. Miguel DuHamel
(Honda) 1:41.174 … 14 ERIC BOSTROM (PARTS UNLIMITED
DUCATI AUSTIN 999) 1:43.579
is Perfect on Both Race Days
AMA Superbike Championship and Mat Mladin and his new Suzuki
GSX-R1000 remained perfect for both Saturday and Sunday's
AMA Superbike rounds at Barber Motorsports Park, quickly storming
into the lead of both days' 28-lap races and quickly storming
away the pack behind at a rate of a second per lap in the
beginning each race of the 2.3-mile raceway, then backing
off to win by about a 10-second margin.
for a five-time champion who has made a career out of demoralizing
and relentless domination, it’s difficult to recall
any time in which Mladin’s grip on the series has appeared
any tighter than it does now.
Just as he did on Saturday, the Aussie opened his lead to
double digits before taking his time through the lappers and
claiming the checkered flag on one wheel. This caution and
celebration decreased his advantage at the conclusion of the
contest, but it remained a still-imposing 9.740 seconds.
been a good weekend for us,” Mladin said nonchalantly.
“It was another good race. The tire didn’t hook
up quite as good as yesterday; it was certainly a bit of a
struggle to do some of the lap times for the first 15 to 18
laps. It might have been just a little bit warmer track temperature
or something, but things just weren’t quite as comfortable.
But other than that, it was a good race -- can’t complain.
The new bike is unbelievable and the tires are working great
overall. It’s been a great start to the season.”While
it became fairly evident that there wasn’t likely to
be much of a race for the win as early as lap 1, there was
some hope for a dogfight to decide the runner-up position.
Mat Mladin did it again -- he took the early lead, logged
lap after flawless lap, and walked away with his 34th career
AMA Superbike race win this afternoon at Barber Motorsports
Park. After working past a quick-starting Aaron Yates in just
over a lap’s distance, the Aussie put in multiple laps
that were actually tenths of a second quicker than the best
his rivals could manage in qualifying, let alone race conditions.
This rapid pace saw Mladin build up his advantage around the
scenic 2.3-mile circuit by second-sized chunks for a time
rather than the usual tenths or hundredths.
was in double digits by lap 17 of 28 and hit its zenith a
single lap later (11.245) before Mladin eased his pace and
coasted to a still-lopsided 7.395-second margin of victory.
“It was a good race,” Mladin said afterwards.
“We thought off qualifying that we had a little bit
of pace so we wanted to try to get the lead as quick as possible
and then try to get away. And that’s what happened.
That’s it. We just have a little better set-up than
these guys at the moment and we were able to do it.”
escaped from the field, Yosh teammate Yates clung onto his
tail for a few precious laps. This gained him a gap on the
rest of the field, and for most of the contest, the Georgian
put in a lonely ride in second. Thankfully the battle for
third was considerably more intriguing. Ducati Austin’s
Neil Hodgson and third works Suzuki entry Ben Spies duked
it out for the majority of the race with Spies repeatedly
looking for a way past the very experienced Briton.
a couple near misses with the lappers earlier in the race,
Spies finally used them to his advantage, running up the inside
of Hodgson and a group of slower riders simultaneously entering
Turn 6 on lap 24. The bold maneuver paid off, and the young
Texan followed it up with a few stellar laps to end any thoughts
Hodgson may have had about a response.
explained, “We just came out of that bottom corner (Turn
5) and going up the middle straight I saw a bunch of lappers
coming up; he kind of got on the outside of them and didn’t
get a really good run. I just went all the way to the inside,
and then he all the sudden cut to the inside too. We almost
had to come to a standstill with the way I was entering the
corner. I just got by him and put my head down and got a gap.”
late charge was so effective it had him thinking about a possible
runner-up finish. He cut two seconds off Yates’ advantage
within a couple laps and moved within a half-second of his
teammate. The Georgian stepped his pace back up, however,
and gave himself just enough breathing room to secure second
“After I got by Neil, I put down something like a ’26.0
with three laps to go, and I saw how quickly (Yates) came
back to me. I thought we might have something for him, but
then he saw +0 on his board and he sped up a couple tenths
a lap. I was like, ‘I’m on the podium if I keep
it up so I better not do anything too stupid.’”
feels good, said Aaron Yates of his day, "Second place,
good points. But Mat was so far up front there, it’s
a little hard. But we’re working on our bike and trying
to get it going better. We still have a little more work to
do so that we can get it up on top. I always seem to struggle
finishing the turns late on these things. You get to sliding
around there and not really being able to drive forward."
maintained fourth and picked up a second consecutive rock-solid
finish to open his AMA Superbike career. American Honda’s
Miguel DuHamel crossed the line a little more than three seconds
behind the former World Superbike champ after chasing the
Hodgson/Spies battle and thinking he might have a shot at
a podium for a time. The Canadian attempted a late charge
of his own, but his tires refused to cooperate, forcing the
former AMA Superbike champ to accept fifth. DuHamel’s
teammate, Jake Zemke, dropped out of the race while running
sixth on lap 10. His absence turned a tight fight between
second Ducati Corse pilot Eric Bostrom and the Jordan Motorsports’
duo of Jason Pridmore and Steve Rapp into a battle for sixth.
Late in the contest the basketball legend’s riders dropped
the Ducati star and made it an all Jordan scrap for sixth.
Ultimately, Pridmore claimed the spot with Rapp in seventh
a half second back. Bostrom followed them home in eighth.
Superbike Race Results:
1. Mladin (Suzuki) 2. Yates (Suzuki) 3. Spies (Suzuki) 4.
NEIL HODGSON (PARTS UNLIMITED DUCATI AUSTIN 999) 1:39.502,
1:40.153, 5. DuHamel (Honda) 6. Pridmore (Suzuki) 8. ERIC
BOSTROM (PARTS UNLIMITED DUCATI AUSTIN 999)
drag races Yates down the front straight. The V-Twin Ducati
had the bite out of the corners while the 4-cylinder GSXR
had the power to smoke the rear tire at will which
cost Yates a podium spot in Race 2.
In Sunday's Superbike race Mladin’s Yoshimura Suzuki
teammates, Aaron Yates and Ben Spies, ran with Ducati Austin’s
Neil Hodgson in the race’s early stages until the young
Texan Spies dropped off the pace of the Georgian and Briton
ever so slightly. Yates and Hodgson settled into a nice duel
before second-placed Yates suddenly pulled into the pits to
fit a new rear while working lap 18. Hodgson couldn’t
believe his luck, finding himself all alone in second with
just a handful of laps remaining.
Just as he did on Saturday, the Aussie opened his lead to
double digits before taking his time through the lappers and
claiming the checkered flag on one wheel. This caution and
celebration decreased his advantage at the conclusion of the
contest, but it remained a still-imposing 9.740 seconds.
“It’s been a good weekend for us,” Mladin
said nonchalantly. “It was another good race. The tire
didn’t hook up quite as good as yesterday; it was certainly
a bit of a struggle to do some of the lap times for the first
15 to 18 laps. It might have been just a little bit warmer
track temperature or something, but things just weren’t
quite as comfortable. But other than that, it was a good race
-- can’t complain. The new bike is unbelievable and
the tires are working great overall. It’s been a great
start to the season.”
the 2003 World Superbike champ held onto the position and
proved once again that he’s already one of the AMA’s
elite even at this early stage in his American racing career.
Hodgson commented, “It was a tough race -- a long race,
especially when Aaron pulled out. It made it more difficult
for me because it was quite boring then because I was completely
on my own. Up until that point I was quite enjoying it --
just sort of planning where I could pass Aaron because I was
quite comfortable sitting behind him. I was really shocked
when he started looking around and pulled into he pits. I
thought that was strange, but I was quite happy though.”
the much-anticipated battle for second evaporated, a slugfest
that emerged for third didn’t disappoint. After dropping
his pursuit of Hodgson and Yates, Spies continued going backwards
until he found himself three full seconds behind a charging
The American Honda legend may have had a few thoughts of joining
the scrap for second himself but soon had a resurgent Spies
on his hands. The Texan started tracking the Canadian down
with a little over seven laps remaining before closing to
within striking distance on lap 23.
Superbike Race Results:
1. Mladin (Suzuki), 2. NEIL HODGSON (PARTS UNLIMITED DUCATI
AUSTIN 999) 1:39.502, 1:40.153, 3. Spies (Suzuki) 5. DuHamel
(Honda), 4. DuHamel (Honda, 5. Eric Bostrom (Ducati), 6. Josh
hayes (kawsakai), 7. Vincent Haskovec, (Suz). 8. Aaron Yates
(Suz), 9. Martin Craggil (Suz), 10> John Haner (Suz).
Superbike, Round 3 of 13
on HM Plant Honda
at Mallory BSB
Mallory Park, GB, April 22-24th -Michael
Rutter took a devastating double victory at the third
round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship
in front of his home fans at Mallory Park in Leicestershire.
The HM Plant Honda Racing star took maximum points and
the championship lead after his team-mate Ryuichi Kiyonari
was injured in an incident earlier in the day.
Practice and Qualifying
British Superbike season points leader, Honda's Ryuichi
Kiyonari will start from pole position for the Mallory
Round on Sunday. Rizla Suzuki's Scott Smart will start
from seventh and John Reynolds from 9th in tomorrow's
third round of the British Superbike Championship at
Mallory Park in Leicestershire.
worked hard during both qualification sessions on the handling
of his Rizla Suzuki. He eventually qualified 7th, disappointed
not to have had a clear lap at the end of the session to improve
JR suffered from cramp in his broken right leg in the morning
session. A massage helped the British Superbike Champion through
second qualifying and he took an impressive 9th place to head
the third row on the grid.
Both Rizla Suzuki riders were well under the 1.39-mile long
Mallory Park track record of 51.722s. Superbike racing starts
at 13:15 tomorrow, Sunday, April 24th. It will be covered
live on Sky Sports and a highlights program will be broadcast
by Channel 4 the following Sunday.
"We worked to refine the handling on my Rizla Suzuki
today and we have achieved a lot. I will now sit down with
my crew and decide on a final set-up for the races. We will
then trial that in morning warm-up and hopefully go even faster
"Seventh on the second row is a fair starting position,
but I was only one tenth of a second behind fourth. I didn't
get a final flying lap at the end of qualification but I am
sure I could have challenged for the front row."
JR: "In first qualifying I was suffering from cramp in
the back of my right leg. Now the bones are healing, I am
asking more of the muscles and they are protesting. I had
a massage in-between qualification sessions and felt 100 per
cent better in the afternoon. I'll be going back to the physiotherapist
tomorrow before the races.
"My Rizla Suzuki crew has been incredible again. Everything
I ask for I get and my GSX-R1000 is absolutely on the money.
It is capable of going a full second faster if I was fully
fit. I'm starting to enjoy my riding and racing again and
that is the best feeling in the world."
1: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) 50.593, 2: Michael Rutter (Honda)
+0.223, 3: Glen Richards (Kawasaki) +0.390, 4: Dean Thomas
(Kawasaki) +0.651, 5: Karl Harris (Honda) +0.665, 6: Leon
Haslam (Ducati) +0.702, 7: SCOTT SMART (RIZLA SUZUKI) +0.752,
8: Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) +0.846, 9: JOHN REYNOLDS (RIZLA
SUZUKI) +0.904, 10: James Buckingham (Suzuki) +0.944.
Day Doubles for British Hero Rutter
Michael Rutter on the the HM Plant HondaCBR1000RR became the
first rider to break team mate Ruichi Kiyonari's early season
domination of the British Superbike Championship. Rutter powered
to a winning Mallory Park double, moving ahead of his team-mate
Ryuichi Kiyonari who was ruled out the action as he took a
bruising in a heavy tumble early on in the opening race. The
exciting Japanese rider, unbeaten prior to that, faces a race
against time to be back in action at the Cheshire circuit,
and, along with Sendo Kawasaki rider Steve Plater, will be
having a scan to determine his fitness to participate.
First Race was stopped after Kiyonari crashed on
the approach to Edwina’s chicane. The 22-year-old Japanese
star lost control under heavy braking, ran on to the grass
and parted company with his HM Plant Honda Racing CBR1000RR
Fireblade. After being temporarily knocked unconscious, Kiyo
recovered in the circuit medical centre from concussion, but
played no further part in the day’s proceedings.
led the first race from start to finish after the restart
using the power and handling characteristics of his factory
Fireblade to best effect. Third into the first turn, the 31-year-old
Midlander swept into the lead on the entry to Edwina’s
chicane before establishing a race-winning advantage. With
the help of a new lap record (0:51.590) on lap three, the
HM Plant Honda Racing star’s winning advantage over
Glen Richards was more than six seconds at the chequered flag.
Second Race was stopped and restarted twice with
one consistent factor – Michael Rutter at the head of
the Superbike field on the all-conquering factory HRC-prepared
Fireblade. The final positions were decided at the third time
of asking over 12 laps of the 1.39-oval circuit. Rutter made
the early running with Glen Richards, before the Kirkby Mallory
resident made good use of his local knowledge to pull away
over the shortened race distance.
the runner-up in last year's British Superbike Championship,
is keen to build on his success, and is eager for Kiyonari
to be back on track: "I would rather have been winning
with him out there and am keen for more success - there is
a long way to go in the championship and my focus is all about
no doubt that the bike is going well at the moment and the
input from both HRC and Michelin has been invaluable - we're
seeing the fruits of our labour now," smiled Rutter who
holds a 19 points advantage over his team-mate.
aim to be riding at Oulton Park, and I was happy for Michael
that he took the victories - I feel OK except for a bit of
a sore head and neck and will out there if I am fit to ride,"
said Kiyonari who has bitter-sweet memories of the circuit
from his first visits last year.
them the two Honda riders have won all six races so far, but
the opposition is closing in on them. Gregorio Lavilla, whose
presence in the Airwaves Ducati team for the remainder of
the season has been confirmed, is riding superbly and poses
a real threat, although he has not ridden the circuit before.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship – Round
Race One – 25 laps
1 M Rutter HM Plant Honda 21:48.024
2 G Richards Hawk Kawasaki 21:54.730
3 L Haslam Airwaves Ducati 21:58.378
4 S Emmett Virgin Mobile Samsung Yamaha 21:59.323
5 S Smart Rizla Suzuki 22:01.489
6 D Thomas Hawk Kawasaki 22:05.662
Two – 12 laps
1 M Rutter HM Plant Honda 10:27.220
2 G Richards Hawk Kawasaki 10:28.166
3 G Lavilla Airwaves Ducati 10:28.217
4 D Thomas Hawk Kawasaki 10:29.241
5 L Haslam Airwaves Ducati 10:29.733
6 K Harris Honda UK 10:35.610
Michael Rutter 119
Ryuichi Kiyonari 100
Gregorio Lavilla 88
Glen Richards 83
Sean Emmett 65
Leon Haslam 62