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MotoGP

— Motorcycles

World MotoGP Championship-winning Suzuki for sale

May 13, 2009 The opportunity to own a world championship winning motorcycle is extremely rare. Usually, the only chance to obtain such a beastie is reserved for the people who have ridden them, and hence very few championship winning bikes exist outside the private collections of former world champions, or in factory museums. Now former Grand Prix motorcycle road racing world champion Franco Uncini has decided to auction the Suzuki 500 XR40 on which he won the his 1982 World MotoGP Championship via international Auction House COYS in Monaco on May 18. Read More
— Motorcycles

Ducati Desmosedici GP9 carbon fibre frame

Ever since designer John Barnard built the 1981 F1 McLaren MP4-1 chassis from carbon fibre, the world has become increasingly aware of this novel composite material that is very stiff, three times stronger and more than four times lighter than steel! Within a year or two, carbon fibre became the construction material of choice for F1 designers. Strangely, it has taken nearly three decades for a carbon fibre-framed motorcycle to take a race win at the highest level. The World MotoGP Championship kicked off this evening in Qatar, with Casey Stoner taking the first win on the carbon fibre-framed Ducati Desmosedici GP9. His emphatic win indicates yet another competitive-edge Ducati technology to back up its landmark desmodromic valve-train and traction control technologies. Read More
— Robotics

Robotic Electric Motorcycle concept capable of MotoGP speeds

We're familiar with the soccer playing exploits of intelligent machines in Robocup and have been treated to a taste of what autonomous robotic systems are capable of in events like the DARPA Urban Challenge, but could a rider-less motorcycle robot compete with the speed demons of MotoGP? That's the vision of Japanese computer graphics designer Yutaka Igarashi who has conceived a new robotically controlled motorcycle design aimed at beating the lap time of a MotoGP bike around a circuit. Read More
— Motorcycles

2009 World Superbike Championship: season preview and predictions

The global financial crisis has clearly hammered the highest echelons of prototype racing, with established teams like Honda and Kawasaki pulling out of F1 and MotoGP respectively in the last couple of months. But for the production-based (and much cheaper) World Superbike series, things have never looked better than they do at the start of 2009. Despite the retirement of beloved champion Troy Bayliss, the 2009 WSBK grid will field a record 32 bikes from a record 7 manufacturers as BMW and Aprilia join the fray with exotic new machinery. There's also an influx of phenomenally talented riders - including AMA champ Ben Spies, BSB champ and ex-GP god Shakey Byrne, and precocious youngsters Tom Sykes and Leon Haslam to do battle with battle-hardened veterans like Nitro Nori Haga, Biaggi, Corser and Kagayama. The first pre-season test has been run, giving us a glimpse at who's fast and who's faster, so it's time for a WSBK season preview, looking at the class, the teams, the bikes and the personalities that make SBK the race series to watch in 2009. Read More
— Motorcycles

MotoGP stars launch the all-new 2009 Yamaha YZF-R1 in Vegas

Yamaha's superstar MotoGP team, including Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Colin Edwards and James Toseland, have assembled to throw their star power behind a completely reworked 2009 R1 launch in Vegas - but the magnificent machine barely needs any help to stand out on its own. One hundred and eighty two horsepower (before ram air kicks in) and 206 kilgorams dripping wet, for less than US$15,000 - aren't these magnificent times for motorcycle fans to live in? Read More
— Motorcycles

MotoGP night race testing begins

February 28, 2008 For all the thrill of attending a Formula One (F1) or MotoGP event, the majority of the live spectators view the races on TV, and the majority of both sports’ income comes from television rights. F1 and MotoGP are both broadcast to more than 200 countries with Formula One attracting television fees of around US$380 million annually for a cumulative season audience of around 580 million unique viewers. In order to “optimize” television rights revenues, both sports are now moving to night Grands Prix in some time zones so the races can be broadcast live in prime time in the key European markets. The first night “test” begins today in Qatar and presents some interesting logistical problems for the teams. Read More
— Motorcycles

Yamaha unveils Rossi’s 2008 YZR-M1 MotoGP machine

January 19, 2008 Yamaha unveiled its 2008 YZR-M1 MotoGP machine this week in a large event held in conjunction with sponsors Fiat in Turin, Italy. Last year the M1 was one of the slowest machines on the grid and played a major role in Valentino Rossi’s worst season for a decade, prompting Rossi to roundly criticise the machine publicly and Yamaha to test a V4 configuration and pneumatic valves in the hope of closing the horsepower gap to Ducati’s desmodromic valve system. With Honda employing a pneumatic valve system in its 2008 machine, Yamaha will be the only contender relying on traditional valve springs to close its valves this year. Despite this, Yamaha’s frightfully expensive throttle control system (Rossi) shares favouritism for the title with Ducati’s Casey Stoner (both 6/4). Read More
— Motorcycles

Ducati reveals 2008 Desmosedici GP8 MotoGP machine

Ducati this week unveiled its 2008 MotoGP machine at its annual Wrooom - MotoGP Press Ski Meeting at Madonna di Campiglio. The new GP8 Desmosedici is understandably based on the GP7 which won the 2007 MotoGP title, with small but important changes in the area of the frame, rear suspension geometry, motor and electronic system. The Desmosedici is equipped with exactly the same traction control system used on the new 1098 R road bike which swept all before it in motorcycle magazine awards around the world. No doubt Ducati’s test rider Vittoriano Guareschi was thankful for the traction control as he rode the new machine before the press for the first time – the ice floor he had to contend with could easily have caught out any rider. Read More
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