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Motorcycles

MotoGP engine capacity to be reduced to 800cc in 2007

June 6, 2005 The biggest news of recent years in motorcycle racing broke over the weekend at the Italian GP when it was announced that the engine capacity for MotoGP would be reduced from 990cc to 800cc from 2007. The aim of the rule change is to slow the machines down, though in effect, it is unlikely to slow the bikes down much, and it will certainly make them more difficult to ride, though not nearly to the degree of the 500cc two-strokes which could only be mastered by a handful of riders in the world. If anything, the rule changes are likely to make it more rather than less difficult for the smaller manufacturers to compete with the engineering prowess and financial power of Honda. Honda promoted the rule change, and had a large say in having it passed, as it provides seven of the 21 bikes on the grid each race.  Read More

Italian MotoGP - Italian tour de force

June 5, 2005 World Champion and Gauloises Yamaha Team rider Valentino Rossi produced one of the best performances of his career today as he outwitted a trio of Italian compatriots to take a stunning home victory at Mugello. Starting from pole position, Rossi was in turn passed by a handful of riders, despatching each in turn until he was left to battle for the victory with his old arch-rival Max Biaggi, eventually finding enough to greet the chequered flag four tenths of a second ahead of his main adversary. Biaggi was Rossi’s main protagonist and antagonist for the early part of his career in the premier class, but had faded from the spotlight in recent years and Rossi’s new arch rival Sete Gibernau crashed out early in the race after fading from the front of the pack to fourth and looking like he was going to finish much further down the points.  Read More

The petrol-engined Derbi on the racetrack

UPDATED May 31, 2005 Electric motorcycles are in their infancy but there’s a realistic promise of electric motor performance that is more suited for the racetrack than that of internal combustion engines and infinitely better suited for the road. As the first electric bikes find their way onto racetracks and begin mixing it with two and four strokes, it appears you need three times the horsepower in a gas-powered motor to get a bike as fast as an electric bike. And then there’s the new 500bhp 67 Kg Symetron electric motor which should really kickstart performance electric automobiles and bikes.  Read More

World Superbike Champs - Ducati fights back

May 29, 2005 Regis Laconi and James Toseland took a win apiece for the Ducati Xerox Team in the fifth round of the World Superbike championship in front of a 70,000 strong crowd at the Silverstone circuit. Frenchman Laconi scored his ninth career triumph and Ducati’s first win of the year when he took the chequered flag in race one, but it was Toseland who really set the home fans alight with a controlled but aggressive display of riding in race 2 to seal the reigning champion’s first win of the year. In the pointscore though, runaway championship leader Troy Corser on the Suzuki GSXR1000R finished second in both races, extending his lead to 78 points – more than three clear race wins.  Read More

World Supersport Rd 5, Ten Kate Honda again

May 29, 2005 Winston Ten Kate Honda’s Sebastien Charpentier (CBR600RR) roared to his third win of the season with another front running display, this time not from team-mate Katsuaki Fujiwara but from Yamaha Motor Germany rider Kevin Curtain (R6), who recorded his third podium finish of the season at Silverstone. Curtain shadowed Charpentier for two thirds of the 28 lap race before a lack of grip forced him to settle for second in the closing stages. Even despite this easing of pace, Curtain finished a huge 18 seconds ahead of third placed finisher Fabien Foret (Honda) to close in on Katsuaki Fujiwara (Honda) for second place in the championship.  Read More

Tyre Down: a smarter, more secure alternative to motorcycle tie-downs

May 23, 2005 Anybody who has ever transported motorcycles knows the problem. The traditional tie-downs used to secure motorcycles on a trailer are a pain-in-the-bum. To make the bikes secure, you need to compress the forks to such an extent that you’re forever damaging the fork seals and the system is far from foolproof as many an expensive toy has jumped off a trailer with no prompting. It was a major problem awaiting a solution and we can honestly say we have seen the solution. Hallelujah brothers and sisters, let us present the TYRE DOWN.  Read More

MotoGP Rd 4: Gibernau close but Rossi again

May 15, 2005 World Champion Valentino Rossi extended his lead at the top of the MotoGP World Championship with a victory from pole position at the French Grand Prix this afternoon. The Italian World Champion recorded the fastest ever motorcycle lap of Le Mans in qualifying yesterday and followed it up with a new lap record on the very last lap of the today's 28-lap race in order to hold out fast-finishing rival Sete Gibernau. Rossi’s win makes it three wins and a second from four starts so far this season, and particularly heartening for Yamaha was the competitiveness of Rossi’s team-mate Colin Edwards who started from second place on the grid, led the race until the final laps when he was mown down by the Rossi/Gibernau juggernaut but easily finished ahead of the field to make up the podium.  Read More

World Superbikes Rd 4: Suzuki & Honda share spoils

May 8, 2005 Team Alstare Suzuki Corona rider Troy Corser (GSXR1000) took a win and a third place in the fourth round of the World Superbike Championships at Monza today extending his lead to 52 points over team mate Yukio Kagayama. Honda’s Chris Vermeulen (CBR1000RR) scored a second race win to revive Honda’s chances in the series and Ducati showed a return to form with podiums in both races.  Read More

MotoGP Rd 3 - Rossi wins rain-swept Chinese GP

May 1, 2005 Gauloises Yamaha Team rider Valentino Rossi made history once again today, becoming the first rider to take a MotoGP victory at Shanghai, with a stunning performance in torrentially wet conditions at the inaugural Grand Prix of China. Despite starting from sixth place on the grid Rossi took control of the race on the fifth lap, taking over from early leader Kenny Roberts (Suzuki) and opening up a clear gap over the chasing pack. It was an advantage the reigning World Champion would never let slip, holding his concentration for the next 17 laps despite the attentions of surprise challenger Olivier Jacque (Kawasaki), riding in place of the injured Alex Hofmann. Jacque passed Sete Gibernau (Honda) for second place with seven laps to go and closed in on Rossi at the front, but was unable to seriously threaten the Italian's second victory from the opening three rounds of the championship.  Read More

Corser played for the final laps of both races, drifting, wheelying and smoking the bags u...

April 24, 2005 World Superbike Championship leader Troy Corser raced his Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra GSX-R1000 to a double race victory at the third round in Valencia today as his main rivals dropped away in the championship chase. Only Honda CBR1000RR-mounted Chris Vermeulen and Corser’s Suzuki team-mate Yukio Kagayama now look to stand any chance of remaining in touch with the runaway points leader. In the World SuperSport race, Winston Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR team again streeted the field.  Read More

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