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MotoGP: Dutch TT to Rossi and Yamaha

June 26, 2005 Valentino Rossi claimed another win, another record and staked another claim to being the greatest ever when he won the 75th anniversary Gauloises Dutch TT at the famous Assen circuit on Saturday afternoon. In doing so, he became the first Yamaha rider ever to win five consecutive premier-class races and fought off a new challenger to his crown in the form of an ever-improving Marco Melandri. Rossi has always had the ability to find something extra when it counts, but he seems to be regularly performing remarkable feats this year, coming up with several stunners on the weekend to increase his points lead in the 2005 title to 63 points – a buffer of more than two race wins.  Read More

KTM 950 SUPERMOTO: the international Press raves!

June 25, 2005 The launch of the new KTM 950 SUPERMOTO was one of KTM’s biggest gambles yet. The Austrian marque has been undergoing the transition from niche purveyor of premium off-road competition machinery to fully-fledged motorcycle manufacturer and has its eyes set firmly on the road bike market with a 990 Supersport motorcycle set to spearhead its road machinery charge and successful forays into (125 and soon 250cc) Grand Prix racing set to give it credibility. So why it would choose to release such an oddball motorcycle as the 950cc supermotard to such great fanfare was a complete mystery … until the press rode the bike, which turned out to be a sensation. Our favourite quote on the KTM comes from Two Wheels Only: “The motorcycling equivalent of a man with a 1000 yard stare, a disturbing twitch and an unhealthy interest in firearms ...”  Read More

Futuristic BMW off-road helmet and body armour

June 21, 2005 With the forthcoming release of the new cross-country BMW HP2 motorcycle, BMW has put together some fancy new off-road gear, and the pick of the bunch is carbon fibre, Kevlar and fibreglass off-road helmet that’s also aerodynamic and aesthetic enough to be seen anywhere. Indeed, we’re predicting that when the helmet becomes available it will be a best seller, particularly if the company decides to fit its Bluetooth and noise cancellation technologies which will enable it to work with a mobile phone and eventually with other Bluetooth devices such as MP3 players and the like. Now there’s a promising thought – imagine trail riding whilst listening to crystal-clear classical music. The new off-road helmet is reconfigurable, and can be used with or without both the visor or the screen and adds to an impressive BMW helmet line-up which also includes the featherweight SportIntegral carbon fibre helmet that weighs just 999 grams.  Read More

BMW HP2 wins on debut at Erzberg Rodeo

June 15, 2005 The new high performance BMW HP2 off road machine got off to a dream start when it won its first competition start at the legendary Erzberg Rodeo in Styria, Austria. The heavenly peace and glorious panorama of Erzberg erupted as more than 1500 riders on all matter of machinery were cheered on by thousands of on-lookers as amateurs and weekend riders battled it out with the likes of enduro world champions, Dakar racers and even freestyle motocrossers! The Iron Road, as it is known, is one of the most prestigious and highly contended enduro-sports events in the European racing calendar.  Read More

MotoGP: The Yamaha M1 wins its fifth race from six starts

June 12, 2005 Less than two years ago the Yamaha M1 factory prototype racing machine was not considered competitive – indeed, it was considered by most to be a dog. It struggled throughout the 2003 Moto Grand Prix racing year, and in the hands of two of the finest professional motorcycle racers in the world, Spaniard Carlos Checa and Brazilian Alex Barros, it finished an entire season with just one third place as its sole podium from 32 starts. In 2004, Yamaha was fortunate to be able to obtain a rare and frightfully expensive throttle controller for one of its machines (also known as Valentino Rossi), making the machine far more competitive – from 16 starts in 2004, the Rossi-fitted machine won nine times and placed second twice and won the world championship. It’s win, with Rossi aboard this afternoon, is its fifth win from six starts this season and Rossi is now 58 points clear of his nearest rival. A look back at the results makes interesting reading – though the bike is reportedly far better than it was, no-one else is making it go fast enough to be competitive.  Read More

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

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