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MotoGP

— Motorcycles

Major factories reveal new 800cc MotoGP machines

September 26, 2006 Images of next year’s MotoGP bikes and reports on the new bikes began to filter in yesterday as the major factories returned to action at the Motegi circuit for an afternoon of testing the next generation of machinery following Sunday’s Grand Prix of Japan. Repsol Honda team riders Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa were present with Hayden testing newly developed parts for his ‘New Generation’ RC211V while Pedrosa gave the newly announced V4 800cc MotoGP machine its first public viewing. At the same time Suzuki tested its 2007 V4 800cc machine with domestic test riders and Ducati rolled out the 800cc Desmosedici for both Capirossi and Gibernau to try. Pneumatic valves are likely to be run by all the machinery with realistic chances next year. The image agllery is a ripper, with detail pics of the Suzuki, Honda and Ducati machinery. Read More
— Motorcycles

Ducati 800cc MotoGP bike tests

August 23, 2006 With the World MotoGP championship at its most exciting for more than a decade, progress is continuing behind the scenes for the radical restructuring of the class next year to an 800cc capacity limit. The day after his superb win at Brno on the weekend, Loris Capirossi made his track debut with the new 800cc Ducati Desmosedici and the Italian was immediately impressed right from the start. “The first impression was positive,” said Capirossi. “The bike's handling has improved a lot and that's important. This bike has to be ridden in a different way to the GP6, it's actually very enjoyable, a bit like a 250 machine and testing it now was interesting and useful so we can immediately start to work on it. The engine is different, obviously less powerful but it makes a great noise!” Read More
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Ducati to auction 2005 MotoGP-winning bike

June 10, 2006 In an extraordinary move, Ducati has released one of its 2005 MotoGP-winning race bikes for sale by public auction. The Desmosedici GP5 with which Loris Capirossi won the Grand Prix of Malaysia last September will go to auction in Monterey during the weekend of the US GP at Laguna Seca. One wonders just exactly who might roll up with a chequebook on the day given that the Ducati was the horsepower king of MotoGP in 2005 and both Honda and Yamaha would no doubt love the chance to have a look inside the 190kW (255 bhp) Desmosedici which redlined at 16,550 rpm and regularly topped the best they could build by several km/h at the speedtraps. We are unaware of any precedent for the auction. See the image gallery for images of the actual bike to be auctioned. Read More
— Motorcycles Feature

Ducati's US$70,000 Desmosedici RR MotoGP replica for the road

Ducati became the first manufacturer to release a roadgoing version of a MotoGP race machine yesterday, when it showed the prototype version of the Desmosedici RR which will go on sale as an extremely limited edition next year – only 400 machines a year will be built and the price will be around US$70,000. Ducati chose the magical atmosphere of the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello to launch the RR production prototype and it was a fitting venue at which to show the first-ever road-going MotoGP motorcycle. You can put your name on the list to own one here and it should be noted that if you own a Ducati 999R, you get priority. Unlike the V-twin bikes which have made the Ducati name famous, the Desmosedici RR uses an L-four layout. That’s the replica and the original racer together. Full details and extensive photo gallery inside. Read More
— Motorcycles

Night MotoGP racing on the agenda

April 25, 2006 As television plays an ever greater role in the globalization and monetization of sport, sport is evolving. Once upon a time a time difference meant just delaying the telecast on the TV, but as the internet has hastened deadlines and live sport means “when it’s actually” happening, time-shifting events is now being considered. One such innovation on the horizon is night racing, a regular and ever more frequent autoracing fixture in recent years but until now not tried in the pinnacle sports of either car or motorcycle racing. Earlier this month the three permanent riders on the MotoGP Security Commission (Valentino Rossi, Kenny Roberts Junior and Loris Capirossi) tried out the Losail circuit in Qatar during full darkness to evaluate the feasibility of holding races at night. MotoGP points leader tried the circuit on a Ducati 999R, the headlamps of which proved to be indispensable for those parts of the track without the benefit of artificial lighting. Similarly, Rossi rode a Yamaha sports bike and Roberts rode a Honda CBR1000RR sports bike in their respective determinations. Read More
— Motorcycles

Rd 2 MotoGP: Rossi fights back

April 9, 2006 Camel Yamaha Team rider Valentino Rossi returned to the top step of the podium after a stunning ride in yesterday’s Grand Prix of Qatar. Rossi’s 54th career MotoGP victory was sealed with a perfectly timed run in the second half of the race, passing early leader Casey Stoner (Honda) on lap 10 of 22 and holding off a late attack from Nicky Hayden (Honda) and Loris Capirossi (Ducati), who completed the podium. The win brings Rossi’s premier-class tally level with that of Mick Doohan, with only the legendary Giacomo Agostini now ahead of him on 68 victories. Casey Stoner's pole position in only his second Grand Prix, followed by leading for the first ten laps indicates MotoGP has unearthed yet another potential star - though Stoner was eventually fifth, he already looks capable of winning a race when he gets some riding condition capable of sustaining his speed for an entire race. Read More
— Motorcycles

MotoGP Round 1: Ducati leads the world

March 26, 2006 Ducati’s Loris Capirossi won today's season-opening Spanish GP to put the Ducati Marlboro Team at the top of the MotoGP points table for the first time in history. The race could prove to be a pivotal moment in MotoGP history, as it saw reigning champ Valentino Rossi knocked off on the second corner, and the coming of age of two of Rossi’s much younger rivals in Danni Pedrosa and Casey Stoner. Pedrosa incredibly challenged for the lead in his first MotoGP race and headed a Honda RC211V freight train that stretched from second (Pedrosa) through sixth place (Hayden, Elias, Melandri, Stoner). Stoner was almost as impressive, as his sixth came after missing the pre-season meaning he started his first race on a bike that was well behind in development. With Kawasaki now competitive with race leading machinery and more promise from Suzuki, it’s clear that 2006 will be a far more evenly balanced year of competition. In true never-say-die fashion, Rossi remounted after his first lap crash and finished the race to grab 14th place and two championship points – perhaps a pointer to just how valuable points will be over coming months. Read More
— Motorcycles

Super-Fast Ducati MotoGP Team tops leaderboard in final pre-season MotoGP tests

March 14, 2006 A few months is a long time in motor racing and Ducati enters the 2006 season with realistic optimisim considering the poor shape its race effort was in just over six months ago. At that time the company’s perpetual superbike crown was all but lost and the MotoGP race machine had not yet blossomed in the way it did in the final races of 2005 before a Capirossi injury ended a string of poles, fastest laps and race winning efforts. Now the company’s fortunes are following on from that showing with continued speed and now two riders capable of challenging Valentino Rossi for a win. Troy Bayliss has put the factory superbike back on top after four races in the 2006 championship and the two MotoGP riders have finished first and second in the final official tests prior to the commencement of hostilities. Both riders are fit and fast and the bike is “smoking.” Even better news is that Kawasaki’s big spending is paying off (Nakano was third fastest), Suzuki is running at the front with two good riders and a slew of promising new Honda riders have all showed race leading pace. Everyone is in great shape to attempt the impossible, or at very least highly improbable – beating Valentino Rossi and his Yamaha in what everyone accepts will be his last year of MotoGP. Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards experienced tyre difficulties in the final test, but Rossi clearly has what he needs to continue his winning ways. But the big news on the final day of testing was the pace of the Ducati Desmosedici which put Capirossi and Gibernau ahead of everyone, both on race and qualifying tyres, on the final of the three MotoGP test days. Read More
— Motorcycles

Ducati 2006 MotoGP bike unveiled - 235bhp, 148 kg

January 20, 2006 – At the beginning of each racing season, just before the engines fire in anger for the first time after the Christmas lull, Ducati’s MotoGP team and Ferrari’s Formula One team share an annual appointment on the mountains of Madonna di Campiglio in Trento with a media and ski get-together - the formula of the event revolves around skiing in the mountains together with a round of press meetings and conferences. This year Ducati took the opportunity to pull the wraps off the Desmosedici GP06, the new MotoGP machine that Loris Capirossi and Sete Gibernau will be campaigning this season. A rare insight into a new MotoGP machine - 235 bhp at 16,500 rpm and a dry weight of just 148 kilograms Read More
— Motorcycles

Young Guns Set To Load MotoGP Bullets

November 10, 2005 Elite motorcycle racing has many similarities to Formula 1 but it also has many differences, and perhaps the starkest contrast became evident on the Valencia racetrack in Spain yesterday just three days after the last race of the 2005 season. Formula 1 driver changes are major announcements in exotic locations. In MotoGP, all of the rider changes that had been rumoured and spoken of in hushed terms for the previous three months were suddenly on display as the first official test session for 2006 got underway. Honda’s big hope for 2005, Spaniard Sete Gibernau, was riding a Ducati. More significant though was the absence of many of the senior names which have monopolised the key factory rides for the last five years and in their place a half dozen or more new riders who have surfaced though 125, 250 and superbike – Pedrosa, Vermeulen, Stoner, Divizioso, Luthi, De Punier, Kiyonari and Neukirchner were among those who got their first chance on the ultimate racing machines yesterday as the Japanese factories (primarily Honda) made it clear they were seeking the next Valentino Rossi. Extensive image library Read More
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