break out ur tea and crumpets!!! 675 in bss

January 31, 2008

oy!!! it looks like triumph is racing in a bunch of series this year thanks to the fim allowing 675cc triples to race supersport. yeah, capitalism [/austin_powers]!!! 

embassy racing was chosen by triumph to race the 675 in this year’s british supersport and nat’l superstock championships. the team’s main sponsor will be map electrics and will compete under the map/embassy racing banner. bss riders are the highly experienced glen richards and paul young. rookie, aj venter will race in the nsstk bike.

man, racing-underground is going to be under assault from me trying to keep up on all the racing. i’ll be following motogp, wsbk, wss, and now bss. cheerio…


be1 racing moves up to wss

January 31, 2008

be1 racing will be joining big brother triumph-sc on the wss grid fielding none other than the world’s best supersport bike – the daytona 675 :D last year, be1 raced a 675 in the italian supersport championship and managed a best second place finish at mugello.

be1 brought their bikes to valencia to test in early january and looked impressive. veteran rider, ivan clementi, posted a time that would land him on the front row of last year’s grid while teammate, mark aitchison, was 7-tenths behind. 

a few weeks later, they were back in spain at the almeria wss test. despite its short development, the 675 was very competitive. clementi posted the 2nd fastest time of the event behind gb-honda rider craig jones who broke the circuit lap record. according to clementi, who was running an advanced marelli marvel 4 ignition system, “the new engine management  is undoubtedly a step forward.” on the standard bike, aitchison managed a very respectable 6th place.

a new sheriff’s in town and the wss paddock is shaking in its boots. yeeehaaaw!!! the next wss test is in doha feb 10-11. stay tuned…


in yer face!!!

January 29, 2008

colin edwards claims that he set his best lap of the sepang test on the last day using none other than a “run-of-the-mill” race tire. psychological gamesmanship or truth??? it was the butler in the pantry…

with his move to tech3-yamaha, colin threw out all the old data from the 2007 season and started fresh. probably a good idea considering that colin came in 9th position last year. or maybe the yamaha-michelin combo isn’t so bad after all??? randy de puniet backed up michelin’s progress with fastest lap for the first two days.

anyway, colin looks to be in good form this but the same can be said for the last two and where has he been. mid-pack… let’s hope that he translates these quick test laps into a quick race pace.

internal strife – honda hrc

January 28, 2008
seems like there’s some animosity between honda hrc teammates dani pedrosa and nicky hayden. in a press conference discussing his fractured hand, dani talked shit on both his boss (honda) and his co-worker (nicky):

“I still don’t know what happened to cause the crash. I think that is was something on the bike that maybe failed. The team are looking for some data from the bike that might indicate the something that happened to cause the crash.” “I want to get back on the bike as soon as possible. Historically, Nicky has not been very beneficial when he has taken on the responsibility to evolve the motorcycle.”

talk about hurting feelings… remember when pedrosa torpedo’ed nicky in the penultimate round at estoril almost ruining hayden’s championship in 2006??? even though you could see hayden was pissed, he never trash talked his teammate.


break out the qualifiers: sepang preseason test – day 3

January 25, 2008

nicky hayden, the hardest working man in motogp, finished the sepang preseason test with the fastest time of the day and overall. this time was faster than last year’s pole by more than a second and even bested the circuit lap record by almost 3-tenths of a second. granted, nicky was on qualifiers but so were most of the riders today.

1. Hayden 2.00.326 / 77
2. Stoner 2.00.660 / 27
3. Lorenzo 2.00.766 / 63
4. Edwards 2.01.179 / 34
5. Hopkins 2.01.198 / 42
6. Rossi 2.01.425 / 48
7. Dovizioso 2.01.447 / 51
8. Toseland 2.01.745 / 45
9. Vermeulen 2.01.748 / 70
10. Capirossi 2.01.778 / 62
11. De Puniet 2.01.873 / 56
12. Nakano 2.02.032 / 38
13. De Angelis 2.02.198 / 37
14. Melandri 2.02.725 / 58
15. West 2.02.978 / 39
16. Elias 2.02.995 / 67
17. Jacque 2.03.030 / 40
18. Guintoli 2.03.628 / 39
19. Canepa 2.03.703 / 49
20. Serizawa 2.04.354 / 27

as u can see from the fastest lap time chart below for all three days, de puniet was consistently the faster rider (order determined by avg time). current world champ stoner trailed in second followed by rookie lorenzo. they’re avg times along with hayden were significantly helped by the running qualifiers on the last day. edwards and rossi along top half of the field look good. 

as reported yesterday, hayden was testing a pneumatic-valve engine but it turns out that he was in fact running the traditional spring-valve engine today. he was running the ’07 engine in the ’08 chassis which led to the record breaking laps along with setting his fastest lap on a race tire. when hayden spoke to, he stated that  “the pneumatic-valve engine – as much as I hate to say it, because i know it’s the future and where we need to be – is just not fast enough. i mean the engine performance is not fast enough to check anything.” however, he’s hoping that honda will figure it out by the season-opener.

rossi was undeterred by his teammates faster pace and felt that his bike (new chassis + new engine + new tires) is more balanced on the whole… except on qualifiers. “this afternoon i tried out different rear qualifying tires and wasn’t particularly quick. in my opinion that’s the area we need to work on the most with bridgestone.” has rossi’s gamble with bridgestone rubber paid off??? not yet as he’s got several michelin riders ahead of him and more importantly his main rival for 2008, casey stoner.

one other development that came to light on the final day of testing came from kawasaki. they are not only developing a pneumatic-valve system but also a “screamer” engine. kawasaki have been using the gas-charged valvetrain since the start of the 2007 and haven’t had any real problems with it. instead of retrofitting it to an existing engine, they developed the engine from ground up around the system. they’ve also been sending out their test riders (jacque and serizawa) on “screamer” engines. motogp inline-4’s are typically operate on “big-bang” timing where a pair of cylinders fire, followed by a long break, and then the second pair of cylinders fire, followed by a long break. this helps with traction giving the rear tire time to recover from the power pulses. a screamer engine fires each cyclinder one after the other. advantages according to kawasaki are higher revs, smaller package, and lower cg.

next week brings the second preseason test at phillip island. it’ll give us three more days to scrutinize and speculate on the season to come.

randy!!!: sepang preseason test – day 2

January 24, 2008

lcr honda’s randy de puniet topped the time sheets on day 2 of the sepang test. maybe he’s onto something. but testing is testing…

times all across the board continued to drop. there are many more riders in the 2’01s than yesterday. according to, both valentino rossi and nicky hayden were out testing new engines with pneumatic valvetrains. rossi felt that his bike “is already a little faster than last year” while the honda had some teething problems. hayden commented that “pneumatic valves are the way to go because the engine’s got more potential.” i hope these engines are more reliable than last year (but i guess if it doesn’t work u can always hit them with it :D).

colin edwards had a big day posting the 2nd fastest time just 2-tenths off de puniet (both on michelin) but he could’ve been on qualifiers (damn u, speculation!!!). it’s been a while since we’ve seen the texas tornado at the front of the grid.

1. De Puniet 2.01.139 / 63
2. Edwards 2.01.327 /
3. Rossi 2.01.437 / 60
4. Lorenzo 2.01.583 / 54
5. Stoner 2.01.638 / 34
6. Hopkins 2.01.874 / 50
7. Capirossi 2.01.917 / 59
8. Dovizioso 2.02.006 / 54
9. Nakano 2.02.095 / 54
10. Hayden 2.02.102 / 66
11. Toseland 2.02.276 / 59
12. Vermeulen 2.02.371 / 44
13. West 2.02.579 / 59
14. De Angelis 2.02.914 / 41
15. Elias 2.03.311 / 57
16. Melandri 2.03.380 / 46
17. Jacque 2.03.462 / 36
18. Guintoli 2.04.217 / 37
19. Serizawa 2.04.382 / 49
20. Canepa 2.04.427 / 47

i’m kind of disappointed to see alice/ducati so far down in the order. elias and guintoli seem to struggling with the gp8 and are 2+ sec from the front.

and one last thing, dani pedrosa returned home and had surgery on his hand today. he should be back on his feet by the time the second sepang test begins.

i’ll be thoroughly impressed if de puniet keeps up the pace and even carries it into next week’s test at phillip island. it’s good to see new faces mixed in with the battle-tested veterans.

[correction] i forgot that lcr honda is running michelin so make that 5 out of the top 7 on bridgestone

great balls of fire: sepang preseason test – day 1

January 23, 2008

who brought the marshmallows?
w00t bitches!!! the 2008 motogp has commenced and what a drama-filled day it has been. there were several crashes that included valentino rossi imitating a fairy (literally and figuratively) and dani pedrosa hitting the deck and his bike going up in flames. most riders walked away unscathed but dani fractured his hand and will probably be out for some time (the next test is at phillip island next week). liam from speculated that the crash was caused by a rear suspension failure.

the day went to lcr honda rider, randy de puniet, with the fastest time of the day. one thing to remember about preseason testing is that it’s difficult to interpret the results. reports only the fastest time of the day and the number of laps completed. but u don’t know if the rider went out on race tires or super-soft qualifiers which dramatically skew the times. i’d like to see avg lap times with a standard deviation along with the fastest time. dropping a single fast lap using qualifiers doesn’t say anything. being consistently fast does.

Pos. Rider Bike Time Fast Lap Total Laps

1 Randy de Puniet Honda 2’01.377 65 68
Dani Pedrosa Honda 2’01.864 19 47
Chris Vermeulen Suzuki 2’02.074 47 57
Loris Capirossi Suzuki 2’02.416 53 61
Casey Stoner Ducati 2’02.457 21 36
Valentino Rossi Yamaha 2’02.490 44 44
Colin Edwards Yamaha 2’02.549 17 29
Nicky Hayden Honda 2’02.558 64 85
Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 2’02.563 38 43
Shinya Nakano Honda 2’02.622 62 63
John Hopkins Kawasaki 2’02.628 61 62
Andrea Dovizioso Honda 2’02.783 38 52
James Toseland Yamaha 2’03.264 41 45
Alex de Angelis Honda 2’03.301 47 47
Anthony West Kawasaki 2’03.387 30 51
Olivier Jacque Kawasaki 2’03.863 39 53
Toni Elias Ducati 2’03.954 48 55
Marco Melandri Ducati 2’04.414 43 52
Niccolo Canepa Ducati 2’05.580 17 48
Sylvain Guintoli Ducati 2’06.00 17 36
Tamaki Serizawa Kawasaki 2’23.590 6 6

some interesting notes:
-the top 3 riders were probably on qualifiers. the majority of 02’s were mid to high
-capirex was probably the fastest rider on race tires. looks like he’s adapting well to the suzuki
-stoner started the day slowly but is now looking fierce
-6 out of the top 7 are on bridgestone rubber
-rossi is right behind stoner (due to tires??? edwards is behind him on michelin)
-melandri doesn’t look happy so far down the field (almost 2 s off stoner’s time)

but take these observations with a grain of salt. this is the first day on new machinery. all this is assumption and u know what they say about that… can’t wait for day 2 and the rest of the year. hope it’s not a rerun of last years tepid racing.