Although the media spotlight does not shine as blindingly on the Ducati MotoGP effort now that Valentino Rossi has left the team, development continues and the company is working hard to improve its results in the premier Grand Prix class.
Part of that development involves the use of a "laboratory bike" with test riders Michele Pirro and Franco Battaini evaluating a constant stream of updates. Former FTR CRT rider Pirro raced the lab bike at the recent Jerez event, finishing 11th, and will compete in other races this year.
At the recent MotoGP event in Austin, Tex., Repsol Honda rider Marc Marquez became the youngest-ever rider to win a premier-class Grand Prix race, displacing Freddie Spencer from the record he had held for more than 30 years. It was the young Spaniard's second MotoGP race, and after two rounds he is tied with reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo atop the point standings.
Almost lost in BMW's celebration of Chaz Davies winning both World Superbike races at Motorland Aragon in Spain was Sylvain Barrier's victory aboard a BMW in the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup race at the same event. Barrier's win itself was not unexpected - the Frenchman is the reigning champion in the class - but the race marked a milestone in that Barrier rode a BMW HP4 equipped with DDC (Dynamic Damping Control), BMW's semi-active electronic suspension system.
In the current issue of Inside Motorcycles, my article covers some of the electric racing motorcycles and how improving battery technology is leading to some very different design paths from what we consider conventional.
One electric bike I find particularly interesting from a chassis design point of view is the Brammo Empulse RR. On that machine, the motor is located under the swingarm rather than in what we consider the traditional engine bay, and this turns out to be a favourable arrangement when anti-squat and chain pull is considered.
Dua Motorsports has posted a correction to its press release from last fall listing the winners of its 2012 Atlantic Roadracing League contingency program. The program offered contingency funds to the top finishers in the ARL Amateur Superbike division.
If you watch MotoGP racing you have no doubt noticed almost all the riders hanging their inside legs off the footpeg and to the side of the motorcycle at the entry of many turns. It has become quite common over the last few years and has more recently spread to the other Grand Prix classes and World Superbike. "Why do they hang their legs out like that?" is probably the question I am most asked when the topic of MotoGP comes up.
Today was a great day. I was finally able to sneak my way into a Main Event after a brief time of horrible luck. We showed up at Volusia Speedway Park's half mile today not knowing what to expect, having not run it before. I had heard horror stories about the track and how bad it is. I was a little skeptical at first, but as soon as I hit the track I knew I would be fine.
Shane said it best! "We are not in Kansas anymore Toto." The first day of racing here is over and that was the best way to say it. A fast track, really fast riders and a lot of riders!
Day 2 of our trip was much different than the first. We started off again with driving from our hotel in Summersville, West Virginia and drove all the way to Savannah, Georgia. After driving for about 8 hours we got to Oglethorpe Speedway and got caught up with a couple of Canadian buddies. We unloaded the trailer and prepared ourselves for the first practice of the day.
Breakfast in Ontario, lunch in Pennsylvania, dinner in West Virginia. This pretty much describes how the first day of our excursion went.
Lots of driving and lots of laughs, as the family and I drove from our house in Kitchener all the way to West Virginia (about 850 km). We had to make a little detour because my fellow Canadian racer Shane Corbeil, who is also racing during bike week, forgot his boots in Niagara Falls! The family and I thought that was quite funny and definately cracked a few jokes about it with Shane.