sound the trumpets – phillip island wss roundup

March 6, 2008

wss-r2mccoy.jpg

supersport

sandwiched in between the 2 superbike races is the always entertaining supersport race. typically, wss been a dominated by the screaming 600cc inline-4’s of honda and yamaha (ducati only won the championship once in 1997). that could all change this year with the fim’s decision to allow triumph’s brilliant daytona 675 (675cc inline-triple aka trumpet) into the paddock.

ok… i’m a little biased since in own one but u can’t deny the fact that the 675 will be the fly in the wss ointment (much like the 1098rs). round 2 on the island is proof of this notion.

let’s just say qualifying for the triumphs was less than good with a lonely ivan clementi (be1 racing triumph) mixed in with japanese machinery. garry mccoy on the factory-backed bike struggled to find grip.

the race got off to a cracking start with andrew pitt (ten kate honda) leading the way followed closely by a group of 4 other riders. coincidently, the be1 triumphs swapped places on the first lap. mark aitchison moved up to 8th while clementi slipped to 13th. broc parkes (yamaha wss) surged into the lead on the second lap but mg corner unkindly pulled the rug out from under his front tire ending his day.

this group of 5 riders (pitt, robbin harms – stiggy honda, josh brookes-stiggy honda, fabien foret-yamaha wss) were engaged in a fierce dogfight that ensued for the entire race. an injured jonathon rea (ten kate honda) couldn’t hang with them and dropped back a couple seconds to lead the second group. tv coverage was so focused on the lead pack that the wily mccoy managed his way up from a dismal 17th to pass rea on the 7th lap shocking the announcers. i wasn’t so shocked ;) more stoked!

mccoy bridged the gap (more than 2 secs) with 5 laps to go mixing it up at the sharp end. rea was also pulled along and poked his nose into the brawl. mccoy briefly battled for 4th but unfortunately his tires were knackered with a couple laps to left and ended up 6th as rea squeezed by for 5th. the top 3 left foret on the on the final lap (after he was leading) and it was anyone’s race. pitt pipped (aaahhahaha!!!) brookes for the win by a hair (= 0.062 secs) with harms rounding out podium.

i was thoroughly surprised to see the stiggy motorsports hondas ruff up the factory boys.

but i was even more taken aback with the efforts of garry mccoy and triumph-sc especially considering that they retired in qatar just a week prior. in only their 2nd race, they managed a top 10 finish. franco farne black magic must’ve worked as the bike managed the 2nd fastest top speed down the chute at 284kph (176mph!!!). this result really demonstrates that the mccoy-675 package is working. like honda’s revamped superbike, the triumph should be able to make considerable improvements over the season.

as was said in the previous post, we’ve got a month break.

now we get to see if motogp can compete with wsbk/wss… 


cbr1000rr: from bland to bitchin’

February 17, 2008

don’t get me wrong, honda’s cbr1000rr aka fireblade is some serious kit. it has been given a major update this year and journo’s have given it stellar reviews despite the stiff competition. great engine, great suspension, great controls, great styl… fuck no!!! the styling is atrocious!!! it makes cream-of-wheat seem interesting. the bike lost all the aggressiveness and sportiness of the previous generation. gone is the underseat exaust and cat-like mug. now we have a bike with a bulbous erect prick for an exhaust, featureless side fairings, and droopy-eyed headlights. totally disappointed.
 
that is until i peeped the race-prepped version…
 
 
the short motogp-inspired exhaust looks great and clearing off the license plate assembly cleans up the tail.
 
below is a video from mcn that show a little more detail of the ten kate bikes. looks like they’re sporting an arrow exhaust that will hopefully trickle down to the consumer. sexy. sexy.

 


did michelin steal randy’s mojo???

February 13, 2008

after a great start to the year, lcr-honda rider randy de puniet has been off the mark lately. at the sepang II preseason test, he led the first two days and wasn’t far behind on the final day. he looked consistently fast. de puniet was well off the pace at phillip island just a week later. it’s not like he wasn’t work hard. he put in 115 laps on the final day trying to sort his issues. what happened, randy??? i had high hopes for you this season but alas u dashed them :(

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.

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