Honda of Japan lets another Champion slip away...
Shocker! Chris Vermeulen signs for Team SUZUKI MotoGP
October 28th - Suzuki and Chris Vermeulen have agreed terms for the next two years, which will see the rising Australian star race the Suzuki GSV-R in the 2006 and 2007 seasons. Vermeulen joins Team SUZUKI MotoGP from a successful season in the World Supersport and Superbike Championship riding for Ten Kate Honda, the 23-year old finishing this season in second place overall, having won the Supersport Title in 2003. He will ride the Suzuki GSV-R for the first time in the forthcoming Valencia test on Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th November.
It was a suprise move to Suzuki, as Chris was ear marked (see the Istanbul Moto GP coverage beloe) to take Troy Bayliss' seat on the Camel Honda MotoGP Team with the much more competitive Honda RC211, as Troy will return to World Superbike in 2006 to join Ducati where he was World Superbike Champion in 2002. After Honda lost Valentino Rossi to Yamaha back in 2004, it was expected that Honda had learned its lesson not to let any more Champions slip away. But obviously they hadn't. It is also expected that front runner and front crasher Sete Giberneau will be leaving the Movie Star Honda MotoGP team in to join Ducati's GP team in 2006.
Born in Brisbane in Australia, Vermeulen began racing dirt track bikes from the age of 12, before moving onto 250 and 600cc machines in the Australian Championship. In 2000 his talent was noticed by former Suzuki World Champion Barry Sheene, and the late Sheene persuaded Vermeulen to travel to Britain to race. A year in the British Supersport and Superstock championships followed and Vermeulen scored his first Supersport win at Donington Park, accompanied by five wins in the Superstock championship.
For the 2001 season Vermeulen moved onto the world stage with a ride in World Supersport and in 2003 raced to the title in only his third season in this very competitive championship. Vermeulen then made the progression into Superbikes in 2004, developing his machine into a serious contender and notching up four victories.
Vermeulen has already shown, at a young age, his talent to develop a racing motorcycle and his hunger for victory. It is these attributes, coupled with his natural racing talent, which have persuaded Suzuki to offer him the position recently vacated by ex World Champion Kenny Roberts Jr as team-mate to John Hopkins.
Chris Vermeulen: “I’m so excited about the prospects for next year. It’s obviously going to be a difficult season to begin with - there are a lot of new tracks to learn, a new bike and a new team, but I know I am up for the challenge.
“I’ve known Paul Denning since I came to England in the year 2000 and I’m really looking forward to working with him as well as the whole team. I’ll try to take that step up to fill the shoes of Suzuki World Champions like Barry Sheene - Barry was the guy that gave me my first chance - Kevin Schwantz and Kenny Junior. These are all guys that I really respect
“I’m also looking forward to working with Bridgestone as well as Suzuki. It’s another new tyre manufacturer for me. I’ve never ridden on them before, but I’ve heard and seen a lot of good things and hopefully we can do well together.
“I want to thank Suzuki for giving me this chance in MotoGP and for trusting in my ability. Suzuki has been very honest about the current position, and about its future plans. I am very happy to be part of those plans and I’ll be doing everything I can to make sure Suzuki’s faith in me is repaid.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager: “Suzuki is delighted to have secured the services of Chris. He is one of the rising stars of motorcycle racing and will undoubtedly inject some new life into Team SUZUKI MotoGP. He has already shown his hunger for success and his ability to learn new situations very quickly.
“He is joining the team after a very successful year in World Superbikes where he pushed the eventual World Champion - Suzuki’s Troy Corser - all the way. Neither Chris nor Suzuki is under any illusions at the size of our MotoGP task ahead, but we are all confident that Chris is the right choice for the future. We are very grateful to the Ten Kate team for releasing Chris early from his contract, this will enable him to get to know his new crew and ride the GSV-R at Valencia.
“It has been helpful that Chris had the opportunity to ride in MotoGP at the end of this season, but Suzuki’s enthusiasm to sign him was established well before this chance came up. His mature performances in these races have only served to justify that enthusiasm!
“On a personal basis, I first met Chris as a fresh-faced 17-year old when he came over to England with Barry Sheene. He quickly established himself as a tough competitor on the track, but a very likeable young man off it. I have watched his career progress and know that now is the right time for him to make the switch to MotoGP and show the true talent and potential that he possesses.
“Suzuki’s rider line-up of John Hopkins and Chris is young, aggressive, exciting and shows faith in the future. We all have a lot of work to do – now let’s get to it!”
Ben Bostrom suffered a disasterous season in World Superbike this year on the Renegade Honda CBR1000RR.
He and the team were always at the back of the pack, while the privateer Ten Kate team were winning races right from the start.
Double Shocker!! Ben Bostrom Returns to Team Ducati
to join Neil Hodgson in 2006 AMA Superbike
Bologna (Italy), Sat 29 Oct 2005: Ben Bostrom is to partner the already-confirmed Neil Hodgson in the Parts Unlimited Ducati Austin team that will compete in next year's AMA Superbike Championship with factory Ducati 999 bikes.
2006 will mark the second season in America's premier racing category for Hodgson, 31 years old from Burnley, England. The former World Superbike champion finished sixth in his debut AMA Superbike season, winning one race at Road America and stepping onto the podium a further five times in the 10 round/17 race series. Hodgson now has a great opportunity to make use of his learning year to aim for the title and thus fulfil his ambition of becoming the only rider to win the 'triple crown' of British, American and World Superbike titles.
"I'm really looking forward to the challenge in 2006" commented Neil. "I know the 999 will be improved and now I understand how to approach AMA. It's going to be tough to beat Mladin but I've studied everything hard this year and I've got a plan for how to beat him! I really enjoyed working with Eric and it will be equally great to work with his brother Ben .... It's just a pity he's not better-looking!"
Bostrom, also 31 years old and born in Redding (California) in 1974, will step onto a factory Ducati Corse machine again after a three-year gap in which he rode Hondas in AMA Superbike in 2003-2004 and the World Superbike Championship for the privater Renegade Team in 2005. Ben previously rode for Ducati Corse on their World Superbike team back in 2001-2004 after winning the AMA National Superbike Championship for American Honda in 2000. Ben put in a strong season his first year with Ducati Corse back in 2001, but since then has not proven to be a top contender and was consequently these past 4 years let go by Ducati, American Honda and Renegade respectively.
Ben now returns home to America after one year on the world stage to take the place of his younger brother Eric, who won four races with the Parts Unlimited Ducati Austin 999 in the last two seasons of AMA racing. Ducati Corse was faced with a huge delema in choosing a team mate for Hodgson for next year, as there are no up and coming riders in Ameirca or World Superbike available to take a chance on. No top International riders are really interested in racing in America because of the small purses, bush league tracks, the traveling, and the almost certainty they will be waxed by the Yoshimura Suzuki steamroller. Ducati Corse hoped that Ducati 2004 World Champion James Toseland would join fellow Brit Neil Hodgson in America, put the opening left by Chris Vermeulen at ten Kate Honda in WSB was a gift for James sent from Heaven.
Based on Bens poor race record the past 4 years, one would expect that Ducati has put Ben on a performance payment contract to assure that Ben won't be earning much Ducati money unless he places well. Still, just the support of 2 factory bikes and a slew of factory mechanics will cost Ducati Corse around $1 million dollars to support Ben for a full season in AMA Superbike.
"You know, this year was a tough one on the racetrack" declared Ben. "So I'm real excited to be back with a factory that I've had so much success with in the past. We've shared lots of good memories, Ducati and I, and I'm looking forward to a strong season together, and to creating new memories with them."
Parts Unlimited Ducati Austin owner Terry Gregoricka commented on his team's new line-up: "Neil had a great first season with us, winning one race and always fighting hard throughout the season and I'm convinced he can challenge for the title in 2006. Ben has had great success with Ducati in the past and I feel sure he will remember that and get on the gas! His crew chief Gary Medley has worked with him before and that's also sure to be an advantage. I believe Neil and Ben will work well together as a team and knowing each other will certainly help. 2006 is going to be even tougher than this year but I am convinced that our two riders will go well and that they can both win races throughout the season."
Ducati Corse Superbike director Paolo Ciabatti added: "We are officially involved in the AMA Superbike Championship for a second year with the Parts Unlimited Ducati Austin team and once again we will have two world-class riders. The American market is very important to Ducati: our participation in the AMA championship with a factory effort shows our strong commitment to the series and is a key element of the company's marketing strategies in this area of the world."
Melandi scored his first of certainly many more MotoGP victories to come.
2005 MotoGP World Championship, Turkey Round 16 of 17
Marco Melandri takes his maiden MotoGP victory
at historic new Istanbul track opener
Istanbul, Turkey , Oct 21-23rd - Marco Merlandri on the factory RC211 Movie Star Honda pulled out his first ever MotoGP win over friendly rival Valentino Rossi after a thrilling first race at the Istanbul Park circuit in Turkey. The Italian youngster clinched his maiden premier-class victory with a performance that reflected his dominance throughout free practice this weekend, despite having conceded pole position to his team-mate Sete Gibernau on the final lap of qualifying yesterday afternoon.
Melandri snatched the lead from Gibernau in the first corner and, after briefly conceding his position on lap four, he was back in front just two laps later as the Spaniard ran into the gravel and saw his chance of winning his first race this season disappear. Whilst Rossi recovered from a bad start to pile on the pressure over the final few laps, Melandri held firm to take the chequered flag with a comfortable advantage of 1.513 seconds.
“I haven’t won a race since Valencia in 2002 so this is the perfect way to end a wonderful weekend for me,” said Melandri, who had stood on the top step of the 250cc and 125cc podiums on seventeen occasions before moving up to the MotoGP headliner class in 2003. “ I have had bad luck and injuries this year so to come back and end the season like this is unbelievable.”
Max Biaggi is dwarfed by the huge Istanbul pit structure and on the front straight. The government built Istanbul Park Circuit is described as the finest racing facitity and track ever built, but the middel eastern country has almost no motorsports fan base as shown by the small spectator turnout at this, and last month's Formula One car race.
Gibernau eclipses Melandri to seal inaugural Istanbul pole
Sete Gibernau became the first rider to lap quicker than Marco Melandri at the Istanbul Park circuit in this afternoon’s single qualifying practice for the Grand Prix of Turkey, snatching pole position from his young team-mate on the final lap of an exciting afternoon session. Gibernau’s time of 1’52.334 was enough to secure top spot thanks largely to a mistake from Melandri, who ran wide during his final pole assault after again dominating the time sheets throughout the majority of the day. The Spaniard’s fourth pole position of the season also puts him within touching distance of the BMW Award for the MotoGP Best Qualifier, with a 1.956 second advantage over Valentino Rossi and just one qualifying session remaining at Valencia in two weeks’ time.
“From the first moment we came here I’ve felt comfortable with the track and the bike has been working well,” reflected Gibernau. “It is very technical and has a bit of everything; I’m enjoying myself. When you are having fun everything else seems to come much easier and we’re in good shape. This morning we ran almost a full race distance and in the afternoon I was able to put in a good qualifying lap so hopefully our progress can be confirmed in the warm-up tomorrow. I’m not obsessed about winning but I am about having a good race!”
Nicky Hayden responded to Melandri’s challenge by recording the third fastest time of the afternoon session to complete an all-Honda front row. The American is tied on points with the Italian in the battle for the second place in the championship and, after lapping 1.268 seconds slower than his rival yesterday, he was able to close the gap down to just over five tenths today.
Colin Edwards, who trails the pair by eight points in the championship, will continue his quest for the runner-up spot from the second row of the grid in tomorrow’s race after a close battle with his Yamaha colleagues Valentino Rossi and Toni Elías. Whilst Rossi will be launching his bid to equal Mick Doohan’s record of twelve wins in a single season from fourth place, Elías made the most of a tow from Edwards on the final lap to line-up behind the American in sixth – improving his previous best ever qualifying performance from last weekend at Phillip Island by one place.
Makoto Tamada propelled himself several places up the grid with a final lap effort that was good enough for the seventh fastest time. The Japanese rider lines up ahead of Alex Barros and Carlos Checa on the third row, knocking his compatriot Shinya Nakano back to the fourth row ahead of Chris Vermeulen, who produced an impressive performance in only his second MotoGP appearance to out-qualify the experienced Max Biaggi. Lone Suzuki rider John Hopkins qualified fourteenth fastest despite suffering from a heavy cold, whilst it was announced that his team-mate this season Kenny Roberts, who is out of the final two rounds with a broken wrist injury, will not have his contract renewed by the factory next year.
Melandri (33) leads Giberneau(15) and Hayden (69) mid race with Rossi closing from behind.
Melandri takes maiden MotoGP win
Today belonged to 23-year-old Honda hotshot Marco Melandri (Team Movistar Honda RC211V) who won his first MotoGP race from reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) with Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC211V) third. The 23-lap race got off to a blistering start at this 5.340km track that was new to all riders this weekend. With ambient temperature at 20 degrees and with the track surface at 26 degrees, conditions were ripe for a fierce contest – but no one had an answer to Melandri’s sheer pace here.
The Italian had qualified on the front row for the eighth time this season and this time he made sure the victory was his as he scorched into the downhill left-hand turn one with five clear bike-lengths between him and his team-mate Sete Gibernau (Team Movistar Honda RC211V), who eventually finished fourth.
The pattern for the race was set early when Melandri, Gibernau and Hayden made the early running. Rossi got a poor start and had to claw his way up from eighth in the opening lap, but by lap three he was making inroads into Hayden’s third place, setting a fastest lap of 1m 53.7 seconds as he did so. Then it was Gibernau’s turn to make the running with a fastest lap as he and Melandri circulated together in a bid to establish supremacy. But Gibernau succumbed to the ongoing Rossi curse as he visited the gravel trap on lap five. The Spaniard rejoined the race in seventh place – but despite a spirited effort he was never going to get back on terms with the front-runners.
Melandri was never going to be denied this victory. He looked smooth and rapid as he made the fastest lap of the race with a 1m 53.11s effort on lap 17. He was carving times in the mid 1m 53s region throughout the race and this was always going to be too hot a pace for anyone to get near him – let alone make a pass.
As Rossi climbed to second past Hayden on lap eight Melandri held a 1.075s lead. This was extended to 1.5 seconds by lap 12 and to a full two seconds by lap 17. It dropped to 1.5 seconds again in the closing laps, but by then he had done more than enough to reap the rewards for his determination to end his first season with Honda in the premier class with a richly deserved win. Marco Melandri became the fourth rider to defeat MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi this season after a thrilling first race at the Istanbul Park circuit. Melandri snatched the lead from Gibernau in the first corner and, after briefly conceding his position on lap four, he was back in front just two laps later as the Spaniard ran into the gravel and saw his chance of winning his first race this season disappear. Whilst Rossi recovered from a bad start to pile on the pressure over the final few laps, Melandri held firm to take the chequered flag with a comfortable advantage of 1.513 seconds.
“I was disappointed to lose pole position yesterday but it taught me an important lesson for today and I just tried to ride without putting pressure on myself. I had fun and focused on my rhythm, even when Valentino got close I just kept taking it lap by lap. I have had bad luck and injuries this year so to come back and end the season like this is unbelievable.”
Second place for Rossi represented his fifteenth podium finish from sixteen races this season but it also means that the Italian will not be able to break Mick Doohan’s record of twelve race victories for a single season, with one remaining chance to equal the Australian’s total in the final round of the season at Valencia in two weeks’ time. Whilst Gibernau returned to the track in fourth place he could do nothing to prevent Nicky Hayden from clinching his third consecutive podium placing, with the American now trailing Melandri by nine points in the chase for second place in the championship.
Valentino Rossi (2nd +1.513) "On Friday and Saturday we struggled to find a good setting for the bike; yesterday morning I felt like I wanted to go home! It wasn't until qualifying practice yesterday afternoon that we began to understand what the problem was. We made some more steps forward in the warm-up this morning and went in a slightly different direction with the setting, which in the end wasn't so bad. Unfortunately I made a big mistake at the start and conceded a couple of seconds to the leader, which proved to be a big gap to make up. Melandri was very fast throughout the race and in certain points of the track I knew he was faster than me, so it would have been very hard to pass him. Anyway, I am satisfied with second place - it is a good result for us after all the troubles we've had this weekend and I'm really pleased with the way the team worked to overcome a difficult situation."
Colin Edwards’ chances of beating the Honda youngsters to the coveted runner-up spot are all but over after the Texan could only muster seventh place in today’s race behind Carlos Checa and Toni Elías, who passed his Yamaha colleague with a daring pass on the final lap. Edwards now cuts a distant figure in fourth place in the championship, 21 points adrift of Melandri.
Colin Edwards (7th +29.255) "I struggled today. I've been trying a new riding style this weekend which has really helped me find some more pace from the bike, but my instinct took over at the start of the race and I just went back to my old superbike style, trying to squeeze everything out of the bike. Once I had calmed down and focused on the new style I managed to get it together and I actually set my fastest lap of the race on lap 20, which tells its own story. I hate to say that this Grand Prix has been like a test but we have to look to improving our performances next season and I firmly believe we have contributed to that here, even though the race result was not what we were after."
Whilst Makoto Tamada, Alex Barros and Shinya Nakano completed the top ten, Chris Vermeulen capped an impressive second weekend in MotoGP as a replacement for Troy Bayliss by clinching eleventh place. The Australian’s performance was made all the more remarkable by the fact that he finished ahead of Honda colleague Max Biaggi, as well as other full-time riders such as Rubén Xaus and John Hopkins.
Riders contracts and lawsuits being what they are, World Superbike star Chris Vermeulen filled in for injured Troy Bayliss at Istanbul on the factory Camel Honda wearing mock Team Camel livery with Chris name and bike image where the Camel name and logo normally go. Look for those leathers now on E-Bay.
In a strange turn-around for next year, Chris was expected to taking Troy Bayliss' seat on the Camel MotoGP Team. Troy will return to World Superbike to join Ducati where he was World Superbike Champion in 2002.
But a week later on October 28th it was announced that Chris would be riding for the Suzuki MotoGP team as a replacment for Kenny Roberts Jr. who's contract with the team had expired. After Honda lost Valentino Rossi to Yamaha back in 2004, it was expected that Honda had learned its lesson. Not so.
MotoGP Round: 16 - Turkish MotoGP
Length: 5378 Lap Record: 1' 53.111 (Marco Melandri, 2005) Fastest Lap Ever: 1' 52.334 (Sete Gibernau, 2005) Race: 22 Laps
Pos.Rider Manufacturer Nat. Total Time
1 M. Melandri Honda ITA 41' 44.139
2 V. Rossi Yamaha ITA +1.513
3 N. Hayden Honda USA +6.873
4 S. Gibernau Honda ESP +12.420
5 C. Checa Ducati ESP +26.963
6 T. Elias Yamaha ESP +29.105
7 C. Edwards Yamaha USA +29.255
8 M. Tamada Honda JPN +33.345
9 A. Barros Honda BRA +33.790
10 S. Nakano Kawasaki JPN +44.225
11 C. Vermeulen Honda AUS +46.099
12 M. Biaggi Honda ITA +50.184
13 O. Jacque Kawasaki FRA +56.766
14 R. Xaus Yamaha ESP +1' 1.360
15 J. Hopkins Suzuki USA +1' 3.391
Fastest Race Lap: Pos. Rider Manufacturer Nat. Total Time 1 M. Melandri Honda ITA 1' 53.111
Championship Standings MotoGP
Pos. Rider Manufacturer Nat. Points
1 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 351
2 Marco Melandri Honda ITA 195
3 Nicky Hayden Honda USA 186
4 Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 171
5 Max Biaggi Honda ITA 163
6 Sete Gibernau Honda ESP 150
7 Loris Capirossi Ducati ITA 148
8 Alex Barros Honda BRA 136
9 Carlos Checa Ducati ESP 125
10 Shinya Nakano Kawasaki JPN 93
11 Makato Tamada Honda JPN 84
12 Toni Elias Yamaha ESP 68
13 Kenny Roberts Suzuki USA 63
14 John Hopkins Suzuki USA 60
15 Troy Bayliss Honda AUS 54
16 Ruben Xaus Yamaha ESP 51
Stoner Wins 250cc Race
Casey Stoner bounced back from the disappointment of seeing his 250cc World Championship chances disappear in his home round at Phillip Island seven days ago by taking victory in the first ever quarter-litre race at this circuit. Stoner led the race from the first corner and held off a late challenge from recently crowned double-World Champion Dani Pedrosa to become the first Australian rider ever to score five wins in a season in the class. Hiroshi Aoyama completed the podium after an intense battle with pole setter Alex de Angelis, who crashed in the final corner but was able to remount and finish seventh.
Fast Dates Calendar Motorcycle Roadracing News. Complete coverage of the SBK World Superbike, AMA National Superbike and MotoGP World Championship. Superbike, sportbike, grand prix, MotoGP, race, racing, news, coverage, photos, pictures, Fast Dates Calendar and Umbrella Girls. Racing, road race, track, motorcycle, news, results, girls, models, Mat Aladdin, Max Biaggi, Valentino Rossi, Ben and Eric Bostrom, James Toseland, Regis Laconi, Loris Capirossi, Troy Bayliss, Troy Corser, Noriyuki Haga. Ducati 999 Monster Multistrada, Yamaha R6 R1, Honda CBR600RR CBR1000RR, Kawasaki ZX6 ZX6RR ZX10, Suzuki GSXR600 GSXR750 GSXR1000, Aprilia Mille, MZ Agusta F4 Brutale. Los Angeles Calendar Motorcycle Show.
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TOSELAND SIGNS FOR WINSTON TEN KATE HONDA
James Toseland will ride for the Winston Ten Kate Honda team in the 2006 World Superbike championship after agreeing terms with Gerrit and Ronald Ten Kate in Holland last Saturday (22 October).
The 25-year-old British rider from Sheffield, who will be renewing his working relationship with Honda after five years with Ducati, was World Superbike champion in 2004 and finished fourth in this year’s series. Toseland's signing is to replace team rider Chris Vermeulen who finished 2nd overall in this year's World Superbike Championship, but who is now moving to MotoGP to ride for the Honda factory team.
Ronald ten Kate – team manager: “We are absolutely delighted to have secured James’s services for next year’s World Superbike campaign with Winston and Honda. It’ll be our third year in the series and 2006 probably represents our best opportunity to win the title and add to our four consecutive World Supersport championships. Last year was really a toe in the water for us and I think that this year, with a little more luck earlier in the season, Chris Vermeulen would have had a strong chance of winning the title. James fits exactly what we are looking for in a rider – he’s young, talented and highly motivated. We are really looking forward to bringing the best out of him and, in the conversations that we’ve had, I can see how eager he is to get on the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade. His career started with Honda and it’ll be good to get him winning with Honda again. I know he will fit into the team extremely well and the guys are really looking forward to working with him.”
James Toseland - “It’s sometimes an over-used expression but I’m just over the moon to be riding with the Winston Ten Kate Honda team for next year. It’s been a stressful couple of weeks but now we’ve done the deal I just can’t wait to get on the bike. I’ve had a good five years with Ducati but now I feel I’m really moving onwards and upwards, as well as coming home to Honda. We all saw in last year’s World Superbike debut season for the Ten Kate team that they had a really strong package with the Fireblade that turned them into championship contenders at the end of the season. I’ve watched the bikes on the track this year – particularly racing against Karl Muggeridge at Magny-Cours – and you can see how much development work they’ve done. Four consecutive World Supersport championships with four different riders show how strong and consistent the team can be. We all know how powerful the Ten Kate engines are and I’m really excited about helping to continue developing the chassis as well. I visited the team’s workshop in Holland over the weekend and it really is very impressive. They’re totally switched on and it’s obvious that they’re doing this to win. I can’t wait to start working with them and I’m very excited about becoming part of that famous Ten Kate racing ‘family’.”
Date of birth: 5 October 1980
Place of birth: Sheffield, United Kingdom
Hobbies: training, playing piano
1992: Junior motocross
1994: 125cc Yamaha
1995: Junior road racing championship
1996: British Superteen championship – final position 11th
1997: Honda CB500 Cup – champion
1997: British Supersport championship (Honda) – 3rd
1998: World Supersport championship (Honda) – 18th
1999: World Supersport championship (Honda) – 11th
2000: British Superbike championship (Honda) – 12th
2001: World Superbike championship (Ducati) – 13th
2002: World Superbike championship (Ducati) – 7th
2003: World Superbike championship (Ducati) – 3rd
2004: World Superbike Championship (Ducati) – 1st
2005: World Superbike championship (Ducati) – 4th
Kenny Roberts Jr
and Suzuki to Part Company
Team Suzuki Oct 33nd - Kenny Roberts Jr will not have his Team SUZUKI MotoGP contract renewed for the 2006 season, when his current agreement comes to an end in December.
The 32-year old American joined Suzuki in 1999 and within two years the Suzuki Factory and Roberts Jr were celebrating victory in the 2000 World Championship. In his first two seasons with Suzuki, Roberts Jr won eight Grand Prix and was on the podium a further nine times. Suzuki and Roberts Jr have found success a little harder to come by in recent seasons, but still he showed his race-craft at a rain-soaked Donington Park in July this year where he finished in second place.
Roberts Jr has been instrumental in the development of the prototype Suzuki GSV-R race bike and has been a consistently good ambassador for Suzuki, and a consummate professional, throughout his career. He is the second highest rider in Suzuki’s list of Grand Prix starters – behind only 1993 World Champion Kevin Schwantz.
No announcement has yet been made on Roberts Jr’s future plans. The 2000 World Champion was due to make his final appearance for Suzuki at the last round of the season in Valencia, but the injuries sustained at Phillip Island have ruled him out of that event.
Kenny Roberts Jr: “I could easily sit here and talk for hours about all the great times I have had with Suzuki; they have always been honest and have given me their best. I will of course miss many people. Over the years I have made many friends here at Suzuki, from the engineering level, to the management and of course within the team. I have many individual people to thank, but that is for another time. I am eternally grateful for what Suzuki has done for me. They have given me the chance to win a World Championship and I wish them the best. I know they can achieve whatever they wish to do.”
Paul Denning: – Team Manager: “It has been a great honour to work with a Kenny during my first season in MotoGP. His knowledge and understanding of a racing motorcycle is better than any other racer I have met. He has great respect from all at Suzuki for bringing them the World Championship in 2000 and for the tireless work he has put into developing the GSV-R into a competitive race bike. He will always be regarded as a great champion within the history of Suzuki.
“Suzuki has made this decision because it must look towards the future and the new breed of motorcycles and racers that are due to arrive on the scene. We need to place Suzuki back at the forefront of Grand Prix racing and we must take a fresh and new approach in order to achieve that. Kenny would no doubt have achieved strong results and contributed more to the development of the GSV-R, but we must look further than 2006 and start to make plans for the next generation of machines in 2007 and beyond.
“On behalf of Suzuki Motor Corporation, we would like to thank Kenny for his skill, his dedication and his commitment to Suzuki since 1999. Together, Kenny and Suzuki became World Champions and that is something that will never change.
“On a personal level, I would like to thank Kenny for helping me and the team to learn so much during 2005. We will miss his consummate skills and his partnership. We very much hope that Kenny will stay in contact with us in the future – much like Kevin Schwantz, Kenny will always be one of Suzuki’s Champions at all levels.”
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Ducati 2006 MotoGP Riders
For next season it is expected that the injured Loris Capirossi will remain with Ducati thanks to his 2 races wins the second half of this season. This year's team mate Carlos Checa is expected to leave the team to replace Troy Bayliss (who returns to Ducati Superbike in 2006) on the Camel Honda factory team. Capirossi's team mate on the Ducati Desmosedici team is going to be none other than Sete Giberneau who will leave the Telefonica Moviestar Honda team where the front runner has been cursed by rival Valentino Rossi with a merciless string of bad luck all year. We guess Ducati and Sete expect him to find some new luck with the team change, but just as likely the Ducati team wants to brighten up their pit garage with the addition of Sete's girlfriend, supermodel Ester Canadas.
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Join FastDates.com at a Live Charlottte Martin Recording and DVD Release Party in Hollywood Nov 17th!
Join us live as Charlotte invites you to the intimate recording of her debut DVD, Something Like A DVD. The private recording is slated for Thursday, November 17, 2005 at The Silent Movie Theatre and the $40.00 USD ticket price includes entrance to the DVD recording, access to the autograph signing, and one autographed copy of Something Like A DVD.
Complete details with ticket ordering on Charlotte's website at:
World Supersport Program
Oct 1st - Yamaha will compete in the 2006 Sup0er.spo.rt World championship with Australian riders kevin Curtin and Broc Parkes racing the new Yamaha YZF-R6 through the Yamaha Motor germany team.
Yamaha's all-new YZF-R6 was unveiled to the world's press in paris last month. The new macnine is the company's most tencnologically advanced production model to date and boasts impressive specifications including an inovative electronically controlled throttle system, new chassis, a completely redesigned and more powerful engine with a slipper clutch fitted as standard. Once again, yamaha is offering a full range of racing parts for the YZF-R1 and YZF-R6 through its YEC (Yamaha Engineering Corporation) company. Full information on the kit parts in avaialble at
2006 range of Yamaha's Racing Kit Parts now available
27/10/2005 - Yamaha Engineering Corporation (YEC) is again producing a full range of racing parts for the YZF-R1 and YZF-R6 machines, designed in accordance with FIM superbike and supersport regulations. YEC is a Yamaha subsidiary company based in Japan. One of its activities is the production of high performance racing parts, which provide that vital edge for Yamaha riders to compete successfully on race tracks the world over. Among the successful riders that used YEC kitparts in 2005 were Noriyuki Haga, winning two races in the Superbike World Championship, and the Yamaha GMT94 team, winning the Le Mans 24-hour race.
For 2006, YEC has developed a range of parts to turn the all-new YZF-R6 into a world and national level supersport racer. Next to that, new YZF-R1 parts are also available to order now. As an additional service, European YEC customers competing at national, European or world championship level will be invited at the end of December to sign up, free-of-charge, for the Yamaha Race Training (YRT). YRT is a three-day course where teams receive invaluable technical training from Yamaha's Japanese and European race engineers, with ample track time available for pre-season testing. This special training will be held at the Valencia circuit in Spain between 22-24 March 2006 (limited places available).
Motocross riders are catered for too with their own range of racing parts developed by Yamaha Rinaldi Research and Development (YRRD), the company that is also responsible for preparing the factory Yamaha YZ450FM machines of MX1 world champion Stefan Everts. YRRD parts are available for the YZ450F, YZ250F and YZ125 models.
Further information on YEC, including recommended retail prices, YRRD parts and more YRT information, is available by visiting www.yamaha-racingparts.com. The order deadline for the first delivery of 2006 is November 14. To order, customers are requested to contact their national Yamaha distributor.