300th vistor!!!

March 28, 2008

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thanks to everyone that have stopped by my blog.

there hasn’t been much going on in the way of racing as both wsbk and motogp have been on breaks. but motogp resumes this weekend at jerez and wsbk the following weekend in valencia (the spanish are lucky).

posts in the oven:

  • jerez report
  • daytona report
  • results of the 848 v 750 v 675 v 600 shootout
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rare, unseen gregorio lavilla interview footage

March 25, 2008

it’s amazing what u find on rideontwo.com‘s forums these days. at the moment, there’s fervent rumormongering, dare i say gossip, on nicky hayden’s fate at honda hrc being dished here and here. this lull in action is driving the forum mad! 

forum newcomer rodlynnracing posted a video (above) of a candid interview (with a slight twist) with gregorio lavilla (airwaves ducati, currently paul young honda) after winning the 2005 british superbike championship. if ur a fan of motorcycle racing, u’ll, as the japanese say, “www” (translation).

creature comforts ftw! 


shift change – gp of qatar

March 23, 2008

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two weeks ago, motogp made history by running under the floodlights of losail international circuit.

at first, i thought that it was an cheap (?!?!) gimmick but i’m sold after watching the race. the lights added a whole new dimension that i didn’t expect.

the weekend was a complete success with only one minor quibble – the cool track temperature. several teams expressed their concern about this issue asking for the race to be run later in the year (originally qatar was run in sept). qatar officials would like to retain the opening race slot which will likely delay the start of the season to april and we wouldn’t have a month long break to the second race.

qatar was run at night for several reasons, one of them being the sweltering heat during midday. however, temperatures plummeted once the sun set. in fact, it was actually too cold. the tarmac cooled to a frigid 13 deg c (55 deg f) whereas typical summer day track temps are around 35-40 deg c (95-104 deg f). 

i’d rather see the qatar race return to its sept date and the season kick off with jerez or another european round. the atmosphere at qatar is subdued and fan unfriendly. it seems very sterile since the only grandstand is on the main straight and the track is located in the middle of the desert. unless u’re an emirate prince u have no place being there.

maybe the qatar round should just be removed from the calendar altogether. but it looks like we’ll have to wait until 2016 for that to happen. by then their oil reserves will have run out…


motorcycle racing returns to indy

March 22, 2008

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motorcycle racing will at long last return to the hollowed grounds of the indianapolis speedway this sept. it will mark the first two-wheeled event at the facility since its first month of operation in august 1909.

the 2008 motogp season is shaping up to be a historic year. first, under the lights in qatar and later on in the year running at the “brickyard.”

american nicky hayden (repsol honda) will christen the event by riding a restored indian motorcycle, which competed in the first motorized race at ims on aug 14, 1909. afterwards, he’ll be hopping on a slightly more modern cbr1000rr to do some serious laps and check out the new 16-turn layout.

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i’ll be attending this event riding the 675 down this sept. let me know if u’re going!

it should be an exciting event rivaling the f1 races held over the last couple years. too bad we won’t see the bikes charging the banking as turns 1 and 5 bypass these parts of the famed oval :(


[setup] tire tech

March 18, 2008

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i don’t claim to be a suspension guru or tire expert so take the following post with a grain of salt. hopefully, my logic is sound but feel free to leave a comment if something doesn’t add up. 

the 675’s dragon supercorsa pros reached the end of their life last season (see above photo) so i’ve been doing some research on new tires over the last couple of days. the dcp’s were great unexpectedly lasting 6k miles with 2 trackdays on them. i’d highly recommend them except they’re way too expensive (~$450/set).

choosing tires is often a difficult and arduous task. it’s a highly subjective matter that only you can judge. a particular tire may feel good for u but not for another person. in other words, it’s trial and error. 

superbike (uk journo) conducted a in-depth test of the popular high performance tires on the market. they ranked the pirelli diablo corsa 3 and dunlop gp racer (qualifier in the states) as the top track tires based on lap times and feel.

tires are pretty important since the they are only part of the bike that directly interfaces with the tarmac. profile and rubber compound are the key elements in the tire’s feel. sport rider has a good basic write-up on tire construction and how it affects handling (it’s a little old but still applicable today).

one thing to remember if u increase the rear tire size, it may increase steering head angle affecting turn-in and straight-line stability. raising the front forks will compensate for the larger rear tire thus altering swingarm angle which basically turns things into a cluster fuck. basically, if u don’t know how it will affect ur bike stick with the the stock size and u’ll avoid a headache.

new tires will be shod in the spring once things warm up. i’ll let u know what i went with and how they feel.


will ducs cross the pond in 2009?

March 13, 2008

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the ama superbike paddock has been an all japanese affair over the last couple of years. at the end of the 2006 season, ducati na decided that they wouldn’t be returning the following year saying “[their] primary objective… has been acheived”. coincidentally, the italian marque released their new from the ground up 1099cc v-twin superbike, the 1098, in 2007 which didn’t meet ama sbk engine specs. they said they’d be back in 2008 but alas there are red rockets on the grid.

in 2009, the ama rules will allow ducati to race it’s 1200cc powerplant but it will need to be more stock than what is currently raced in world sbk (ie oem or homologated cranks, rods, pistons, and transmission). these rules don’t just apply to ducati. other manufacturers will have to adhere to the new regulations as well. basically, they want the bikes to closer resemble what’s in the showroom.

one area that has been completely left open is electronics, aka traction control, a discipline that ducati excels at. in fact, they’re the first company to implement real traction control on a production bike (dtc) with the 1098r. 

in previous years, ama sbk followed the same rules as world sbk (with exception to engine capacity). with the 2009 rules, however, the ama and wsbk will be very different. basically, manufacturers will have to build two different spec bikes – one bound for america and the other to europe.

the ama rule changes are meant to both slow the bikes as well as bring costs down. but at what price?the japanese manufacturers with their gargantuan racing budgets won’t have a problem developing two different bikes. can a small company like ducati (or even aprilia) do this? can ducati afford to snub one of its largest markets?

if the new regs are approved, next season should be very interesting. the playing field will be evened and hopefully we’ll see an end to the suzuki dominance and a return of the bologna bullet.

[UPDATE] i stand corrected. the 2008 ama rules already allow wsbk-spec 1200cc twins. in fact, i was informed that boulder motorsports is running a 1098r this year.


motoczysz c1 documentary to air march 25th

March 12, 2008

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the motoczysz c1 is by no means breaking news. however, the discovery channel finally released the date that the documentary on this revolutionary motorcycle is going to air. it will premiere on the discovery hd channel monday march 25th at 8pm est/pst (kind of ironic that the us is the last country to air it). viewers set ur tivo’s!!!

for a basic overview of the bike, click here

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