Bayliss (21) and Haga (41) at Work and Play. Next year Haga will take over the retiring Champ's seat at Ducati Corse.
2009 FIM Hannespree World Superbike Championship, Round 13 of 14
The Winningest Rider Ever in World Superbike with 50 Wins, on 3 Different Ducati bikes
Bayliss Secures his 3rd World Superbike title at Magney-Cours
5th September 2008, Magny-Cours (France) – With a third place finish in Race 1 and a fantastic race 2 win today at the "Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours", Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) has this weekend been crowned with a remarkable third World Superbike title, powering his Ducati 1098 F08 to victory and snatching the title after round thirteen, despite there being one more round still to race at Portimao (Portugal).
With a total of 410 championship points, and having achieved nine race wins and sixteen podium finishes during the season, the Australian legend Bayliss has ridden the Ducati 1098 F08 factory machine into the record books, a winning bike in its debut season, a feat previously accomplished by Carl Fogarty with the 916 in 1994, and with the 996 in 1998 and by Neil Hodgson in 2003 with the 999.
Davide Tardozzi, Ducati Corse Team Manager, shares the top podium step with Troy Bayliss as they are awarded the Rider's and Manufacturer's World Championship titles for 2008. Tardozi was manager when Troy Corser (at right) rode for Ducati from 1995-99 (along with Cartl Fogarty), and they won both titles in 1996. And then for next year 2009, Noriyuki Haga (left) will replace Bayliss on the Ducati Corse team and has the best chance of any rider in WSB to win for Ducati again.
Todays' results also mean that Ducati has secured the manufacturer's title, for the fifteenth time since the championship began in 1988. This means that in the last eighteen years, the Borgo-Panigale based firm has dominated the World Superbike series, to take the constructor's title home on all but three occasions.
Today Troy started from third position on the grid and knew that to finish Race 1 with an advantage of at least 75 points over Corser, Haga and Neukirchner would be enough to take the title. He therefore rode an intelligent race, leaving Haga to lead while he concentrated on doing just enough to secure the necessary result. He remained in second place for the first nineteen laps before relinquishing that position to Nieto and eventually settling for third place on the podium. Meanwhile team-mate Michel Fabrizio rode a great race, moving up from ninth to third place, only to unfortunately crash out, unhurt, on the nineteenth lap.
In Race 2 Troy was able to ride with less pressure and thus raced for the win. Caught up in a great battle with an old adversary, Haga, Troy proved himself to be the most determined, crossing the line ahead of the Yamaha rider. Unfortunately Fabrizio suffered from technical problems that prevented him from fighting up front, eventually concluding the race in fourteenth place.
39-year old Troy first celebrated a world title with Ducati in 2001, a season in which he dominated the racing on board the 996R, to finish with a 36-point advantage over second-placed rider Colin Edwards. In 2006, racing for the Ducati Xerox Team on board the Ducati 999, Troy's twelve race wins and total of sixteen podium finishes secured him his second world title, a testimony to the incredible competitiveness of the Australian who won the championship by a clear margin of 95 points, ahead of James Toseland.
Bayliss will retire from Superbike racing at the end of the 2008 season, having accumulated over the years an awe-inspiring collection of 50 race wins, 92 podium finishes and 25 pole positions.
Double World Champions again - Troy Bayliss and Team Ducati Corse.
Troy Bayliss (2008 World Superbike Champion - Ducati Xerox Team - Ducati 1098 F08)
"I'm extremely happy to have won my third world championship and to be able to say I have won on three different generations of the Ducati Superbike. I want to thank the entire team who have worked so hard and put a lot of trust in me. Together we have done a great job this season. These last years with Ducati, since 2000, have been a great experience for me. This whole year has been up and down, with several riders remaining consistently fast. From half way through the season we became more confident and so there was a lot of pressure but I've done what I set out to do, I really wanted to win on the three different Ducati Superbikes. It's just a fantastic feeling. Now I have secured the title, I'm looking forward to enjoying the last round at the brand new track of Portimao, where I'm hoping I can finish the season on a high!"
Gabriele Del Torchio (CEO - Ducati Motor Holding)
"I am particularly happy and proud of this victory. Exactly one year ago the MotoGP win added a very important chapter to our history but this win demonstrates, for the fifteenth time, Ducati's supremacy in competitions for production bikes such as SBK. A triumph that confirms the success of the product that is the 1098, a winner in it's debut year, and a point of reference not just on track but also from the commercial and design points of view.
Troy is an icon of our brand, a true Ducatista, who demonstrates characteristics such as determination, intelligence, pride and competitiveness, bringing added value to our company and to our bikes. A rider that "never gives up", he is the public's favourite, it is impossible not to like him. He truly deserved to conclude his career triumphantly, with yet another win to add to the list, consolidating his position among the greats of motorcycling. Ducati owes a lot to Troy and he has always known how to repay the company, writing unforgettable pages of motorcycling history for us. Thanks again Troy, and a particular thanks also to the team, to Ducati Corse and all the Ducati employees who has each played their role to perfection to secure this fantastic result."
Filippo Preziosi (General Director - Ducati Corse)
"Today Troy has given Ducati Corse an unforgettable gift, having now won the World Superbike Championship on three different bikes - the 998, 999 and 1098. On behalf of everybody in Ducati Corse I send a warm embrace to a rider that will remain forever in our hearts. My compliments also go to Davide (Tardozzi), to Ernesto (Marinelli) and to the whole team for the great job they've done."
Troy Bayliss #21 on the grid, claiming another World Championship to add to his two previous ones, # 2+1.
Warming Up on a Chilly Weekend of Hot Racing
After a cold and rainy Friday, the SBK riders faced the decisive qualifying session with not much experience on the setup needed to make the best race. Saturday morning, the temperature was fairly low (14°), and the track was too damp for improving times posted on Friday afternoon, where after one single lap it started to rain.
Final qualifying standing was ultimately the result of one dry lap on Friday, with Haga preceding Bayliss and Checa, and the remaining riders of the top 16 went to the following day’s Superpole. During the Superpole lap, with the Pirelli qualifiers Haga broke the Lap Record time of 1’38.501 by 0.1 second, a time set by the World Champion James Toseland in 2007, taking his first pole of the 2008 season.
With multiple manufacturers in the first row, it was Haga (Yamaha), Nieto (Suzuki), Bayliss (Ducati) and Checa (Honda), while Corser crashed and will start the race from an inconvenient 12th place. The Supersport qualifying made it the 7th pole for Yamaha’s Broc Parkes, preceding the Honda duo of Rea and Pitt, who are still fighting for the championship.
Troy Bayliss dominated both of the day's starts from pole.
Race 1 - Hagas Wins, Bayliss Settles for 3rd to take his 3rd World Championship
After his record-setting Superpole lap, Haga began the race as the favourite, but shortly after the green light, Bayliss took an early lead. Having a comfortable points lead in the Championship, the paddock was already busy making projections of his potential his race win. This changed a few laps into the race when Haga and Nieto passed the #21 Ducati, and not just a rider was losing the lead, but a possible Champion was reaching for the Title as Corser was just behind him.
The race strategy of Haga proved to be a good one: he decided to use a harder compound on the rear and started to push immediately as strong as possible, it seemed that no rider could catch him and this momentum helped to maintain a fast pace until the checkered flag.
Late in the race, Michel Fabrizio pace was strong enough to keep pace with his teammate Bayliss and defend him from Nieto, but then crashed with only a few laps to go.
Fabrizio holds off Nieto, Corser, Biaggi and Neukircher before his frotn tire went away and he slid out.
The final result left Noriyuki Haga winning the race in front of 78,000 enthusiast SBK fans cheering him on, but the newly crowned World Superbike Champion Troy Bayliss was able to stand on the podium ahead of Biaggi, Neukirchner, Corser and Checa. This finish gave the first seven positions to four different bike manufacturers.
Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB): “It’s a great result, the bike is working very well. During this weekend the weather was not so good but my team made a good set-up on the bike for me and I had a very comfortable feeling riding it. I want to say thanks to Yamaha, congratulations for Nieto and of course Troy for winning the title.”
Fonsi Nieto (Suzuki Alstare): “For sure it was a really hard race with these conditions, it was very cold on the track. I tried to push at the beginning on a full fuel tank, but I had a lot of problems. In the end I came past Troy, I didn’t want to make him crash because he was fighting for the championship. I love this track and it’s great to be on the podium again.”
Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox): “This last championship has been up and down the whole year, everyone has been fast but a little bit inconsistent and that made it easier for me. Half-way through the year we were very confident but it was a case of not losing the title rather than winning it. I did what I set out to do and win three titles on three different Ducati machines, so that’s a great achievement. Finally it’s done and I can go out and relax a bit more and see if I can win race 2!”
Bayliis follows Nieto across the finish line for 3rd place in Race One, good enough to secure the Championship with 3 races still remaining.
SUPERBIKE Race 1: (Laps 23 = 101,453 Km)
Pos / Rider / Nat. / Team / Gap
1 / HAGA / JPN / Yamaha YZF-R1 / Yamaha Motor Italia WSB / 38'33.367
2 / NIETO / ESP / Suzuki GSX-R1000 / Team Suzuki Alstare / 6.223
3 / BAYLISS / AUS / Ducati 1098 F08 / Ducati Xerox Team / 6.875
4 / BIAGGI / ITA / Ducati 1098 RS 08 / Sterilgarda Go Eleven / 7.237
5 / NEUKIRCHNER / GER / Suzuki GSX-R1000 / Team Alstare Suzuki / 8.925
6 / CORSER / AUS / Yamaha YZF-R1 / Yamaha Motor Italia WSB / 10.714
7 / CHECA / ESP / Honda CBR1000RR / Hannspree Ten Kate Honda / 16.176
8 / KAGAYAMA / JPN / Suzuki GSX-R1000 / Team Suzuki Alstare / 22.661
9 / SOFUOGLU / TUR / Jr. Honda CBR1000RR / Hannspree Ten Kate Honda / 27.224
10 / LAVILLA / ESP / Honda CBR1000RR / Ventaxia VK Honda / 31.300
11 / LACONI / FRA / Kawasaki ZX-10R / Kawasaki PSG-1 Corse / 35.558
12 / MUGGERIDGE / AUS / Honda CBR1000RR / D.F. Racing / 35.774
13 / GIMBERT / FRA / 94 Yamaha YZF-R1 / Yamaha France Ipone GMT / 36.078
14 / NAKATOMI / JPN / Yamaha YZF-R1 / YZF Yamaha / 36.289
15 / WALKER / GBR / Honda CBR1000RR / Ventaxia VK Honda / 40.472
Fastest Lap 6° Carlos Checa 1'39.834 159,060 Km/h
With the Championship secure, Troy (21) put on a harder rear tire for Race Two that would go the distance and rode wide open to take his 50th World Superbike career race win, leaving Haga (41) and the rest of the leaders behind.
Race 2: Bayliss Sets an Exclaimation Mark on the Tite with his 50th SBK Race Win
Even the rain cannot stop the SBK, and Magny-Cours offered once again an unpredictable race. With the Title already on his pocket, Troy Bayliss raced just for the aim of winning, as every top rider cannot shave the addition of finishing first across the line. Like in the first race, Haga seemed to be able to win, with only Bayliss able to follow his rhythm. After a few laps, rain almost brought out the red flag, but riders kept the pace and rain did subside. Haga lost a few tenths being cautious to the oncoming rain, while Bayliss and Corser calmed the gap and even passed him, but soon the Japanese rider confidence was restored and returned to his fight with Bayliss.
Haga was racing with the same choice of tyres as Race #1, medium front / hard rear, while Bayliss made the opposite choice going for a hard front / medium rear (instead of the soft front tyre of Race #1). To cap off his already Championship-winning day, the Ducati Xerox Team Troy Bayliss raced an amazing finish, crossing the line in 1st position, almost 1.0 second ahead of Haga who couldn’t hold his pace in the last lap. Haga 2nd place finish put him also in the same position for the Championship, 5 points ahead of his teammate Corser.
The last race will be in Portimão, Portugal and will be decisive for assigning the last two available places on the Championship podium, as there are 50 points still to assign and four riders with the potential to reach the 2nd or 3rd step.
Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox): “It was a great race in the end, we made one change and put on a harder front tyre for the second race. The grip was similar but more consistent during the race. I was struggling on the exits to the tight corner, losing a bit to Nori, but it’s always like this. You lose some and gain some. I gave it my all, there wasn’t much to lose, I put three good laps together at the end and it was a great win.”
Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia): “In the last five laps my rear tyre started to go off and I could not open the gas, but Troy and I had a great fight. Once again a big thanks to the team, they did a great job all weekend.”
Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia): Starting from the third row meant that it was going to be a tough race for me, but I managed to get a good start and get through the first few laps. I had a bit of a tussle with Rolfo and Checa, and then when the rain started to come, I thought this is my chance to make up some time. I caught these guys but couldn’t go any further. The front tyre was almost finished on the right side and I almost took Troy out. Shame I was so far back, but now we’ll see if we can win one at the next round.”
For Race Two, Troy donned his new Suomy Limited Edition No 21 of 1098 to be made hemets. Your Ducati dealer should have the other 1097.
SUPERBIKE Race 2: (Laps 23 = 101,453 Km)
Pos / Rider / Nat. / Team / Gap
1 / BAYLISS / AUS / Ducati 1098 F08 / Ducati Xerox Team / 38'33.579
2 / HAGA / JPN / Yamaha YZF-R1 / Yamaha Motor Italia WSB / 0.909
3 / CORSER / AUS / Yamaha YZF-R1 / Yamaha Motor Italia WSB / 2.966
4 / CHECA / ESP / Honda CBR1000RR / Hannspree Ten Kate Honda / 7.175
5 / XAUS / ESP / Ducati 1098 RS 08 / Sterilgarda Go Eleven / 12.822
6 / BIAGGI / ITA / Ducati 1098 RS 08 / Sterilgarda Go Eleven / 13.004
7 / KAGAYAMA / JPN / Suzuki GSX-R1000 / Team Suzuki Alstare / 18.876
8 / NIETO / ESP / Suzuki GSX-R1000 / Team Suzuki Alstare / 19.512
9 / NEUKIRCHNER / GER / Suzuki GSX-R1000 / Team Alstare Suzuki / 19.627
10 / ROLFO / ITA / Honda CBR1000RR / Hannspree Honda Althea / 21.425
11 / LANZI / ITA / Ducati 1098 RS 08 / R.G. Team / 25.133
12 / LAVILLA / ESP / Honda CBR1000RR / Ventaxia VK Honda / 30.538
13 / SMRZ / CZE / Ducati 1098 RS 08 / Guandalini Racing / 35.334
14 / FABRIZIO / ITA / Ducati 1098 F08 / Ducati Xerox Team / 38.453
15 / WALKER / GBR / Honda CBR1000RR / Ventaxia VK Honda / 40.008
Fastest Lap 5° Troy Bayliss 1'39.818 159,086 Km/h
Lap record : 2008 Carlos Checa 1'39.834 159,060 Km/h
Best Lap: 2008 Noriyuki Haga 1'38.444 161,310 Km/h
Riders Championship Standings:
1 BAYLISS 410, 2 HAGA 325, 3 CORSER 316, 4 NEUKIRCHNER 298, 5 CHECA 284,
6 BIAGGI 235, 7 NIETO 234, 8 FABRIZIO 203, 9 KIYONARI 193, 10 XAUS 171,
11 KAGAYAMA 153, 12 LAVILLA 117, 13 SMRZ 116, 14 LANZI 109, 15 MUGGERIDGE 75.
Andrew Pitt Cliches Another 600cc Supersport Title for Ten Kate Honda
With a race full of surprises and definitely a thrilling show, an assignment of the 2008 WSSP Championship Title to the Ten Kate team would mean for the 7th in a row for the Dutch squad. In 2002 and 2003, before the “Control Tyre era”, Ten Kate was winning on Pirelli tyres, and now that everybody is on the same rubber they are still leading the series.
With 11 points of advantage on his teammate and 50 to be assigned, Andrew Pitt was facing this race only to win, even despite the potential results of his contender, being the only sure strategy.
Championship protagonists soon started to fight and the race was definitely amazing, but a mistake of Harms changed the scenario: he touched Rea who crashed and brought Parkes with him. The two Honda riders could rejoin, but lost too much time, while the pole winning Yamaha rider Parkes was forced to retire.
Pitt immediately had the chance to close the Championship as Rea was his first contender, but Brookes and Veneman tried until the last corner to ruin his plan.
In the meantime, Rea tried a desperate race and lap after lap made an extraordinary job finishing 10th. Andrew Pitt was crowned the new World Supersport Champion, but at Portimão there will be a tough battle between Rea, Brookes and Parkes for the remaining positions.
SUPERSPORT Results: Race: (Laps 22 = 97,042 Km)
Pos / Rider / Nat. / Team / Time / Gap
1 / PITT / AUS / Honda CBR600RR / Hannspree Ten Kate Honda / 37'57.929
2 / VENEMAN / NED / Suzuki GSX-R600 / RES Software Hoegee Suzuki / 1.250
3 / BROOKES / AUS / Honda CBR600RR / Hannspree Stiggy Motors. / 1.514
4 / LAGRIVE / FRA / Honda CBR600RR / Intermoto Czech / 1.685
5 / VAN KEYMEULEN / BEL / Suzuki GSX-R600 / RES Software Hoegee Suzuki / 5.075
6 / ROCCOLI / ITA / Yamaha YZF-R6 / Yamaha Lorenzini by Leoni / 13.171
7 / NANNELLI / ITA / Honda CBR600RR / Hannspree Honda Althea / 13.386
8 / FORET / FRA / Yamaha YZF-R6 / Yamaha World Supersport / 19.563
9 / HAYES / USA / Honda CBR600RR / Parkalgar Racing Team / 19.677
10 / REA / GBR / Honda CBR600RR / Hannspree Ten Kate Honda / 21.686
11 / VIZZIELLO / ITA / Honda CBR600RR / Benjan Racing Team / 22.599
12 / FUJIWARA / JPN / Kawasaki ZX-6R / Kawasaki Gil Motor Sport / 24.967
13 / VOSTÁREK / CZE / Honda CBR600RR / Intermoto Czech / 28.888
14 / CLEMENTI / ITA / Triumph 675 / Triumph Italia BE1 Racing / 29.351
15 / HARMS / DEN / Honda CBR600RR / Hannspree Stiggy Motors. / 38.000
Fastest Lap 5° Broc Parkes 1'42.593 154,782 Km/h
Lap record: 2007 Kenan Sofuoglu 1'42.740 154,560 Km/h
Best Lap: 2008 Broc Parkes 1'41.543 156,380 Km/h
Riders Championship Standings:
1 PITT 194, 2 REA 164, 3 BROOKES 157, 4 PARKES 139, 5 LASCORZ 105, 6 FORET 105,
7 JONES 100, 8 VENEMAN 92, 9 HARMS 71, 10 NANNELLI 60, 11 ROCCOLI 58,
12 LAGRIVE 56, 13 VIZZIELLO 52, 14 AITCHISON 40, 15 VAN KEYMEULEN 38.
European 1000cc Superstock Race to Smrz on Honda
As always, the STK 1000 race is a thriller, and Magny-Cours was no different, with riders battling from the first to the very last meter of the French racetrack. With only two races remaining, this was a key race for the four riders challenging for the Title, as only 50 points remain and five riders are very close.
From the first corner you knew this race would be sharp, with six riders fighting at each braking point and continuously swapping their positions.
First win of the season for Matej Smrz (MS Racing Honda), the Czech rider getting the better in a hectic final few laps over Frenchman Freddy Foray (Coutelle Suzuki) and Claudio Corti (Yamaha Motor Italia Junior Team), who scored his first podium this year. There were upsets for the four riders fighting for the title, which will now go down the wire in Portimao. The best finisher was Alex Polita (Sterilgarda Go Eleven Ducati), who finished fourth, ahead of the new points leader Xavier Simeon (Suzuki Alstare). Out of the points was Brendan Roberts (Ducati Xerox Junior Team) with gearbox problems, while Maxime Berger (Hannspree IDS Ten Kate Honda) could only finish 11th. All four are separated by nine points and still have a chance of taking the title.
Superstock 1000 FIM Cup Results: 1. Smrz M. (CZE) Honda CBR1000RR 24'07.794 (153,554 kph); 2. Foray F. (FRA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 K8 0.463; 3. Corti C. (ITA) Yamaha YZF-R1 0.543; 4. Polita A. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1.001; 5. Simeon X. (BEL) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1.792; 6. Millet J. (FRA) Yamaha YZF-R1 2.556; 7. Barrier S. (FRA) Yamaha YZF-R1 8.425; 8. Foray K. (FRA) Yamaha YZF-R1 8.701.
Points (after 9 of 10 rounds): 1. Simeon (Suzuki) 131; 2. Polita (Ducati) 127; 3. Berger (Honda) 124; 4. Roberts (Ducati) 122; 5. Pirro (Yamaha) 89; 6. Smrz (Honda) 73; 7. Giugliano (Suzuki) 72; 8. Antonelli (Honda) 57.
Beautiful Tamara Wasson on location at the classic Texaco service station in Hollywood, California, with Kevin Schwantz's 1994 GP World Championship Suzuki RG500 in the photo featured on the cover of the 1996 Fast Dates Calendar.
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Ginger Schweizer gasses up Wayne Rainey's 1993 GP World Championship winning
Yamaha YZR500 at the Rock Store, the photo featured on the cover of the 1994 Fast Dates Calendar.
2009 SBK World Superbike Team & Rider LineUps
BMW MOTORRAD’S WSBK DREAM TEAM IS COMPLETE
Champion Troy Corser to Race BMW World Superbike in 2009/2010
Munich, 25th September 2008 - BMW are happy to announce that Australian Troy Corser has signed to ride the all new BMW S1000RR in next year’s Superbike World Championship. The former double World Superbike and 1-time American Champion has agreed terms for two years and ends months of speculation as to who will join Spaniard Ruben Xaus in BMW’s debut in the Superbike World Championship next season.
Troy won the Superbike World Championship in 1996, becoming the youngest rider ever to do so in the process, and then again in 2005. He has been runner-up in the WSBK championship once and third place on three occasions. To date he has taken part in over 300 races, been on the podium 126 times, and his 42 pole positions have earned him the nickname of “Mr Superpole”.
Troy is married to Sam and they have two children, Kalani Gray (5) and Kelissa Illiana-Rose (3). Troy was born in Wollongong, Australia but he and the family are now Monaco residents. Sam is also a former FastDates.com Calendar Kitten having modeled in the 1999 Fast Dates Calednar with her then boyfriend's factory Ducati 998RF World Chapionship winning Superbike.
Peter Mueller (Executive Vice President Development and Model Lines)
With Troy and Ruben, I feel confident we will have the best riders possible for our start in the Superbike World Championship. Troy has unrivalled experience in the series and that, together with Ruben’s exuberance, is our ‘dream team’ and the combination we wanted, right from the start of this project. I feel sure that their knowledge of the series will definitely help us become competitive very quickly.
Berti Hauser (Director of BMW Motorrad Motorsport)
I am delighted that Troy is joining our team and that our jigsaw is now complete. He was in our minds from the start and I am very happy because I believe he and Ruben are the best combination of riders for our new challenge. Troy has told me that is excited about helping us develop the bike and be part of the project from the start. He also said that he would like to be the first rider in WSBK history to win the title with three different manufacturers and that he is physically and mentally ready make that his target.
The 2009 World Superbike Team / Rider LineUps are shaping up as follows:
Look for an exciting jammed packed 40 Rider grid for the first time ever!
BMW Factory: Troy Corser, Ruben Xaus
Ducati Xerox Corse: Noriyuki Haga, Michel Fabrizio
Boulder Ducati: Jake Zemke?
RG Ducati: Regis Laconi, Fonsi Nieto?
Ten Kate Hannspree Honda: Carlos Checa, Ryuichi Kiyonari, Jonathan Rea - World Superbike
Andrew Pitt and Kenan Sofuoglu - Wrold 600cc Supersport
Althea Hannspree Honda: Tommy Hill
Sterilgarda Alex Polita Ducati: Brenden Roberts, Shane Burne or Leon Haslam
Guandalini Team: Jakub Smrz,
Stiggy Motorsports Honda: Josh Brookes, Leon Haslam
DFX HOnda: Karl Muggeridge, Regis laconi or Luca Scassa
Paul Bird Motorsdports (Honda or Kawasaki): Riders unconfirmed
PSG-1 Kawasaki Factory: Makoto Tomada, and ?
Aprilia RS4 Factory Team: Max Biaggi, Alex Hoffman
Suzuki Alstare: Max Neukircher, Yukio Kagayama
Yamaha Motor Italia: Tom Sykes, Ben Spies
Yamaha Team France YZF: Unnamed Japanese rider,
Regis Laconi, Ben Bostrom?
GMT 94 Team: David Checa, Regis Laconi?
2008 MotoGP World Championship, Australian Grand Prix Round 16 of 18
Casey Stoner's Homecoming at Phillip Isand
Phillip Island, Australia, Saturday Oct. 5th - In front of 50,541 spectators at Phillip Island, Casey Stoner repeated his 2007 home victory in the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon. The Ducati rider led the race from start to finish after taking off from pole, and eventually crossed the line some six seconds ahead of his nearest rival.
Stoner´s fifth victory of the year, combined with a first lap crash from Dani Pedrosa, means that last year´s MotoGP World Champion is all-but assured of the runner-up spot in the standings in 2008. Pedrosa picked up a contusion to his left leg in the fall, but was otherwise unharmed in the incident.
Stoner´s future Ducati teammate Nicky Hayden attempted to keep up with the local hero over the course of the race, but the Australian proved too hot to handle in the final third. From then on Hayden had to be aware of the threat of newly crowned MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi lurking in the shadows, as the Fiat Yamaha stalked the man who beat him to the title in 2006.
Casey Stoner lead his home track MotoGP from start to finish with future teammate Nicky Hayden (69) in close persuit for the firsty half off the race, while just behind, Yamaha's James Toseland (52) battled off 4 other riders for 3rd place.
Fiat Yamaha rider and newly crowned 2008 World Champion Valentino Rossi recovered from yesterday's bad crash in Qualifying which left him starting nesr the back of the grid, to charge through the field from the fourth row at Phillip Island today, eventually taking second behind Casey Stoner. His team-mate Jorge Lorenzo took a second consecutive fourth place after a race long battle with several other riders.
A mistake during qualifying yesterday had left Rossi with strained neck muscles and a grid position of 12th, but the Italian relishes a challenge and he was already up to eighth by the end of the first lap, despite narrowly missing a collision when Alex de Angelis crashed out in front of him. On lap four Rossi found himself the back marker of a Yamaha trio, behind his team-mate Lorenzo and Tech 3 rider James Toseland. He despatched the Spaniard within two laps and got by Toseland soon after but the Briton put up a spirited challenge, wresting third back and hanging on for five more laps until Rossi eventually got the better of him. With a podium place secure the eight-time champion could have been forgiven for coasting home but he is never one to take the easy option and, with clear air and his M1 and Bridgestone tyres working perfectly, he gradually began to close on Nicky Hayden, who was nearly six seconds ahead. Little-by-little he made up the gap until he was within striking distance, making his move on the very last lap to take second and his 14th podium of the season.
Rossi overtook Hayden on the final lap, and held off the American´s attempts to re-pass him as the chequered flag loomed. Starting from his worst position on the grid of the entire season, Rossi´s move up to second from twelfth was nothing short of majestic.
Rossi´s teammate Jorge Lorenzo came home fourth in the battle of the race, involving himself, Shinya Nakano, James Toseland and Andrea Dovizioso. Toseland had been the chief protagonist of the action over the course of the 27-lap race, duking it out with Rossi and Lorenzo in the early stages and pushing hard for the podium on his 28th birthday. The Tech 3 Yamaha rider gave perhaps his best performance to date onboard a MotoGP bike, and was unlucky to be hustled by the more experienced Nakano and relegated to sixth.
Colin Edwards, Randy de Puniet and Loris Capirossi rounded off the first ten past the line, whilst home rider Chris Vermeulen was denied the chance to push for a higher position by his running off-track on the opening lap. Rossi´s charge up the field could easily have been halted by the only other crash apart from that of Pedrosa, when Alex de Angelis hit the ground just a few yards in front of him.
Casey Stoner- Race Winner - "I wasn´t disappointed in Japan, the two crashes that I had was when I lost the championship. Valentino has ridden really well and was hard to beat this year. This morning we changed some things on the bike and felt comfortable. We knew that the race was going to be hard, as normally you cant get away here, but we did. Nicky was with me for a while but then he seemed to drop off. To be World Champion last year and in running for second this year is great; If we can challenge for the title again next year it will be fantastic, and if not for now the home victory is something that we can be happy with."
Valentino Rossi - Position: 2nd Time: +6.504 - "That was a very exciting race for me, from start to finish! Unfortunately I made a small mistake yesterday and I paid a high price for it - both with my starting position and with my body! This morning my neck was okay but I had a lot of pain in my head, so I have to say thank you to Dr. Costa and the Clinica Mobile because they gave me a lot of massage and some medicine and I was in better shape for the race. I got a good start and I was lucky to miss de Angelis by just a couple of centimetres, and then I arrived to Lorenzo and Toseland. The first time I passed James I thought I would be able to go but then he passed me back and I realised that his pace was not so bad, and we had a great battle! He was very strong and difficult to pass but once I did get by I was able to go and then I just kept pushing and gradually Nicky got bigger and bigger. It was fun to keep fighting till the last lap and I am very happy with this second position because it's always a great emotion to be on the podium here. Thanks to my team and to Bridgestone, with Casey as strong as he was I think this was the best we could have done today and I really enjoyed the race."
Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 3rd. - “We got a really good start and I thought was going to lead. Things felt pretty good early on, I went a lot faster in the race than I went all weekend. The bike and everything was working pretty good, so I was able to stay with Casey for a while, I felt comfortable there. Then once he started to pull away I had some issues, I couldn’t keep the corner speed I had early on. I enjoyed the race, it was a lot of fun – riding this track for 27 laps is quite intense, you don’t realise how fast you’re going around here.
It was a good battle at the end, Valentino started coming for me, I started to ride a little harder but I ended up going a little slower. I tried to stay wheels in line as best I could and hold him off. But I didn’t get off the last corner great going into the last lap. Coming down the start-finish I saw him on the big TV screen out of the corner of my eye, so I knew it was going to be tough, there wasn’t much I could do, I didn’t have much tyre left. Nonetheless it’s cool to be on the podium, I enjoyed the race. My Michelin guys wanted me to run a harder tyre. I did the sighting lap on that tyre, put back in my original choice for the race. The warm-up was really good, it was nice to get some heat in there. It got a little loose at the end but it was fun. A big thanks to my team and to all my fans for sticking with me.”
Casey meets his fans.
Race Classification MotoGP : (27 laps = 120.096 km)
Pos/ Rider / Nat / Team / Motorcycle / Time/ KM/H / Gap
1 / Casey STONER / AUS / Ducati Marlboro Team / DUCATI / 40'56.643 / 175.990 /
2 / Valentino ROSSI / ITA / Fiat Yamaha Team / YAMAHA / 41'03.147 / 175.525 / 6.504
3 / Nicky HAYDEN / USA / Repsol Honda Team / HONDA / 41'03.848 / 175.475 / 7.205
4 / Jorge LORENZO / SPA / Fiat Yamaha Team / YAMAHA / 41'08.143 / 175.170 / 11.500
5 / Shinya NAKANO / JPN / San Carlo Honda Gresini / HONDA / 41'08.557 / 175.141 / 11.914
6 / James TOSELAND / GBR / Tech 3 Yamaha / YAMAHA / 41'08.886 / 175.117 / 12.243
7 / Andrea DOVIZIOSO / ITA / JiR Team Scot MotoGP / HONDA / 41'09.423 / 175.079 / 12.780
8 / Colin EDWARDS / USA / Tech 3 Yamaha / YAMAHA / 41'22.563 / 174.152 / 25.920
9 / Randy DE PUNIET / FRA / LCR Honda MotoGP / HONDA / 41'22.680 / 174.144 / 26.037
10 / Loris CAPIROSSI / ITA / Rizla Suzuki MotoGP / SUZUKI / 41'23.442 / 174.091 / 26.799
11 / Toni ELIAS / SPA / Alice Team / DUCATI / 41'23.670 / 174.075 / 27.027
12 / Anthony WEST / AUS / Kawasaki Racing Team / KAWASAKI / 41'44.451 / 172.630 / 47.808
13 / John HOPKINS / USA / Kawasaki Racing Team / KAWASAKI / 41'44.976 / 172.594 / 48.333
14 / Sylvain GUINTOLI / FRA / Alice Team / DUCATI / 41'45.542 / 172.555 / 48.899
15 / Chris VERMEULEN / AUS / Rizla Suzuki MotoGP / SUZUKI / 41'45.578 / 172.553 / 48.935
Pole Position: Casey STONER 1'28.665 180.598 Km/h
Fastest Lap (New record): Nicky HAYDEN 1'30.059 177.803 Km/h Lap 3
Circuit Record Lap: 2005 Marco MELANDRI 1'30.332 177.266 Km/h
Circuit Best Lap: Casey STONER 1'28.665 180.598 Km/h 2008
World Championship Positions:
1 ROSSI 332, 2 STONER 245, 3 PEDROSA 209, 4 LORENZO 182, 5 DOVIZIOSO 145,
6 HAYDEN 131, 7 EDWARDS 126, 8 VERMEULEN 118, 9 NAKANO 106, 10 CAPIROSSI 102,
11 TOSELAND 100, 12 ELIAS 91, 13 GUINTOLI 60, 14 DE ANGELIS 55, 15 DE PUNIET 54.
Simoncelli Tops GP 250cc
Marco Simoncelli held off the challenge of Alvaro Bautista at Phillip Island to edge one step closer to the 250cc world title, taking his fifth win of the 2008 season in a fiercely contested duel. The race had been a two-rider battle between the top pair in the class from the halfway point, as Simoncelli and Bautista shook off the rest of the leading pack with some blisteringly fast laps. Sebastian Porto´s circuit record from 2004 came tumbling down after having been broken by Simoncelli on just the second lap, and the final moments of the race involved Bautista stalking his persistent rival for a last-gasp pass.
Simoncelli found just enough of an advantage to steer clear of Bautista´s advances, the two riders touching on the last lap in a tense moment. Both riders stayed up, with the Metis Gilera rider pulling away from the Mapfre Aspar man.
The top three in the race were the same as in the overall standings, with Mika Kallio slipstreaming Julian Simon on the home straight to take the podium by just 0.028. The Finn picked up valuable points for his own attempts to prevent a Simoncelli title victory, whilst Simon was once again denied a first podium in the class.
Alex Debon, Roberto Locatelli and Yuki Takahashi had an entertaining fight to decide positions five through seven, whilst Aleix Espargaro, Ratthapark Wilairot and Fabrizio Lai rounded off the top ten. Simoncelli has the chance to win the quarter-litre crown at the next race in Malaysia.
Results 250cc (25 laps = 111.2 km)
1 / Marco SIMONCELLI / ITA / Metis Gilera / GILERA / 39'02.553 / 170.890 /
2 / Alvaro BAUTISTA / SPA / Mapfre Aspar Team / APRILIA / 39'02.776 / 170.874 / 0.223
3 / Mika KALLIO / FIN / Red Bull KTM 250 / KTM / 39'17.003 / 169.842 / 14.450
4 / Julian SIMON / SPA / Repsol KTM 250cc / KTM / 39'17.031 / 169.840 / 14.478
5 / Alex DEBON / SPA / Lotus Aprilia / APRILIA / 39'28.779 / 168.998 / 26.226
6 / Roberto LOCATELLI / ITA / Metis Gilera / GILERA / 39'28.945 / 168.986 / 26.392
7 / Yuki TAKAHASHI / JPN / JiR Team Scot 250 / HONDA / 39'28.987 / 168.983 / 26.434
8 / Aleix ESPARGARO / SPA / Lotus Aprilia / APRILIA / 39'43.099 / 167.982 / 40.546
9 / Ratthapark WILAIROT / THA / Thai Honda PTT SAG / HONDA / 40'02.772 / 166.607 / 1'00.219
10 / Fabrizio LAI / ITA / Campetella Racing / GILERA / 40'23.378 / 165.190 / 1'20.825
11 / Karel ABRAHAM / CZE / Cardion AB Motoracing / APRILIA / 40'25.355 / 165.056 / 1'22.802
12 / Alex BALDOLINI / ITA / Matteoni Racing / APRILIA / 40'25.417 / 165.052 / 1'22.864
13 / Imre TOTH / HUN / Team Toth Aprilia / APRILIA / 40'26.548 / 164.975 / 1'23.995
14 / Lukas PESEK / CZE / Auto Kelly - CP / APRILIA / 40'42.293 / 163.911 / 1'39.740
15 / Simone GROTZKYJ / ITA / Campetella Racing / GILERA / 39'21.775 / 162.719 / 1 lap
Pole Position: Marco SIMONCELLI 1'32.075 173.910 Km/h
Fastest Lap (New record): Alvaro BAUTISTA 1'32.710 172.719 Km/h Lap 22
Circuit Record Lap: Sebastian PORTO 1'33.381 171.478 Km/h 2004
Circuit Best Lap: Marco SIMONCELLI 1'32.075 173.910 Km/h 2008
World Championship Positions:
1 SIMONCELLI 240, 2 BAUTISTA 203, 3 KALLIO 191, 4 DEBON 166, 5 BARBERA 142,
6 TAKAHASHI 134, 7 PASINI 125, 8 SIMON 109, 9 AOYAMA 108, 10 LUTHI 95,
11 LOCATELLI 88, 12 ESPARGARO 72, 13 WILAIROT 57, 14 FAUBEL 54, 15 PESEK 37.
Valentino Rossi Talks About His 8th World Title
Motegi, Japan 28/09/2008 - “I think it’s difficult to say, but maybe this is even better than the first championship with Yamaha in 2004. In 2004 I arrived after three championships in a row; the change was very big and no one expected me to win then, not even us to be honest! But this year is great too because I didn’t start as the number one favourite after losing for two years. The taste of this is something special.
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United States Superbike Championship UpDate -
Stalled or Stillborn?
Oct 1st- The Motorcycle Industry Council's (MIC) announcement last month to move ahead with a distributor supported professional Superbike Championship (USSB) as an alternative to the amateur class focused Daytona Motorsports Group / AMA Series, seems stalled at the moment. We put in a phone cal to the MIC this week and were told that nothing had yet taken place, anyone sending in resumes for a position with the USSB were having them stacked in a folder, and there was no time schedule to move forward with producing the series and hiring a team leader or staff for 2009.
At closer look this may be a bigger project than MIC President Tim Buche realized in trying to produce the USSB Championship in time for the 2009 season for a number of reasons:
Without a strong central figure - a so called "Racing Czar" to set up and manage the Series, with that person having a motiation (piece of the action) for success including ownership of the Series and earning himself a profit from it, it just might be dead in the water. Would MIC President Buche, who is certainly on a fixed income with no growth or profit potential, be willing to hire under contract a Racing Czar to produce the series and make it a success. What is that "Racing Czar" or possible "Marketing Director" of the Series brings in a major title sponsor, like say Coca-Cola for $5 million dollars, would they be able to pocket a 20% / $1 million dollar sales commission? Probably not, particularly if the MIC President who proposed and plans to set up the Series is drawing a regular pay check....
Another problem is the U.S. Motorcycle Importers remain strongly aligned to the AMA as the largest enthusiast based motorcycle organization in America, as well as for working united in facing the US government in Washington. And not to forget the AMA (and now its selected professional roadracing organization the DMG) are the official U.S. endorsed body of the Federation International de Motorcycle (FIM).
Having a competing organization, the USSB, running under FIM rules as are need for future success and to be more closely ties to SBK World Superbike, could be a political nightmare. How can wild card riders and teams in USSB compete in World Superbike events in the USA which would be sanctioned by the AMA/DMG?
And now, with the competing USSB Championship on the table and a possible reality, the DMG may be closer to capitulating and adopting the FIM Superbike and Supersport classes which the USSB and distributor race teams want. The distributors would rather their race teams stay with the AMA if possible, than start afresh with a new series. And that might be why progress seems to be stalled at present in forming the USSB.
For the moment the USSB remains a pie-in-the-sky fantasy with not much hope for success. It looks to be muddled in a quagmire - much like the AMA Championship before it - with no true direction, no strong leader with a piece of the pie to motivate him, and too much distributor involvement in its organization and politics to be a commercial success. Much like the AMA which allowed professional racing in America to fail.
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MotoGP Moves to Single Tire Brand Rule for 2009
FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix
Change to the Regulations
For safety and cost reasons, the Grand Prix Commission, composed of Messrs. Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna, Chairman), Claude Danis (FIM), HervÈ Poncharal (IRTA) and Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA), in the presence of M. Paul Butler (Secretary of the meeting), in a meeting held today at the circuit of Motegi, unanimously decided to introduce the following change to the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Regulations.
The Grand Prix Commission has decided unanimously that there will be a single tyre supplier for the MotoGP class as from 2009. Proposals to supply the tyres must be handed to the FIM and Dorna by October 3rd at the latest. The final decision will be announced by the GP Commission by October 18th at the latest.
Michelin Release 9/28-
The decision to move to a single tire supplier for the 2009 MotoGP World Championship is a major change to the regulations of a series that was created in 1949.
Michelin notes with interest the reasons given by the governors of this sport to which Michelin remains very committed after many years of involvement.
Michelin is examining the opportunities offered by these new regulations and will make an announcement in the next few days as to whether or not the company will tender to supply tires to the premier-class championship that Michelin has won on 26 occasions since 1973.
Michelin Will Not Bid
For MotoGP Tire Contract
Michelin Press Release, Paris - Oct 4th - Michelin has decided not to submit a bid to the governing body of the MotoGP World Championship. At the same time, Michelin regrets not being able to contribute to the organizers' important discussions to improve rider safety and reduce costs.
The spirit of competition has always been central to Michelin. Motor sports at the highest level are useful because competition among several tire manufacturers is a valuable stimulus for developing increasingly high-performance tires that will one day equip customer vehicles. Tires play a key role in a vehicle's performance and can make a considerable difference. This competition among manufacturers helps to make racing exciting.
The radial tire, which was invented by Michelin, has been improved through racing, and the improvements have since been passed on to consumers. Michelin's dual compound technology for motorcycle tires was first tested in MotoGP racing and is today integrated into premium products for the brand's customers. The MotoGP Championship organizers have decided to use a single tire supplier for the coming seasons, which effectively eliminates the competitive environment that has led to so much progress.
The R&D resources allocated for MotoGP racing will be redeployed to support innovation, which is at the heart of Michelin's customer-focused strategy.
Ben Spies signs with Yamaha World Superbike for 2009
01/10/2008 - American racing sensation Ben Spies has signed up to the Yamaha factory World Superbike Team to partner 23 yr old British rider Tom Sykes for the 2009 season. The 24yr old American rider from Dallas is fresh from a record third championship win in a row, taking the AMA Superbike Championship crown again for 2008. Spies is only the fourth rider in the history of AMA Superbike to win three consecutive titles and 3rd on the all-time AMA Superbike wins list with a total of 28 AMA Superbike wins. This now completes the Yamaha World Superbike team for 2009.
Spies has been racing and winning in the AMA Superbike Championship since 2005, and has an unrivalled 90% podium finish rate for racing, the highest for any AMA rider in the history of the championship. He took second place in his rookie year followed by the three successive championship wins. Prior to this he had a three year stint in the AMA Supersport Championship,. Spies turned pro in 2000, racing in the AMA Superstock Championship for two years before joining AMA Supersport in 2002.
Spies has also ridden in MotoGP in 2008, starting in place of injured Loris Capirossi at the British GP, finishing 14th place scoring his first MotoGP points. He had a further 2 wildcard outings, achieving 8th at Laguna Seca and an even more impressive 6th at Indianapolis.
“I’m very excited about joining Yamaha in World Superbike,” Spies said. “This is a positive step for the direction of my career. I’ll have a great opportunity to race on many of the top road racing circuits in the world. Riding with a company as passionate about racing as Yamaha is going to put me in a good position to contest for a world championship right from the start.”
“Superbike racing originated in America, but it’s been a while since we’ve had an American world champion. There’s a great tradition of American riders in World Superbike and I hope to put my name alongside great champions like Fred Merkel, Doug Polen, Scott Russell, John Kocinski and Colin Edwards. “
“After considering my offers it became obvious to me that Yamaha would be a great home. Yamaha was excited about the possibility of me joining them and they just made me feel like I was coming into a great family. You look at how Yamaha treats its riders and how, even after their careers are over, they’re always part of the Yamaha family. That was really important to me. I’m looking forward to the challenge at hand and to work with Yamaha to produce a winning team and ultimately a World Superbike Championship.”
Massimo Meregalli (Yamaha’s factory Superbike Team Manager) – “We’re really enthusiastic to have signed Ben Spies for the 2009 team. He’s proved to be a very skilful and successful rider in AMA Superbike, he has been one of the riders we have followed closely this year. We are sure he will be a great combination with Tom Sykes, the team are looking forward to starting with them both next year. There will be a lot to learn with new circuits and new bikes but we also have new motivation as a fresh team and will give 200% to help the riders win in 2009. ”
“We’re very excited to have Ben join the team” said Yamaha Motor Europe Racing Division Manager Laurens Klein Koerkamp. “He’s proved to be a top rider with his AMA titles and recent rides in MotoGP, we believe he’s got a long future ahead of him at the highest levels in motorcycle racing.
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Mike di Meglio- 2008 125cc World Champion
Australian Grand Prix - Sunday 5th Oct.r 2008 - After coming to the attention of the French Motorcycle Federation in the 2002 Prix de l’Avenir, Mike di Meglio was invited to take a trial with the Liegois team in Carole, with whom he took part in a Spanish Championship race.
He made the most of his opportunity, finishing third in the race and looking at a move up to the international stage. The French youngster turned 15 on the eve of the first test of the 2003 season and made his 125cc World Championship debut that year on an Aprilia. He found the going tough in his first season, crashing several times and not achieving results of any note.
In 2004 he was recruited by Gino Borsoi to represent Globet.com Racing but had an inconsistent campaign, before stepping up a notch with the same team the following year, onboard a Honda, to win his first ever Grand Prix in Turkey in the penultimate race of the season. Di Meglio would have to wait four years to add to his win tally.
After a disappointing year for the French Motorcycle Federation team in 2005- in which he finished in 25th position after picking up just eight points all year- Di Meglio moved to the Team Scot Honda outfit for 2007, with the highlight of his year a fourth place in Japan.
On board a factory Derbi machine in 2008, for the Ajo Motorsport team, Di Meglio has enjoyed the fruits of his labours on competitive machinery. Three race victories and the most consistent results in the class have made the Frenchman one of the stars of the series this year, and have elevated him above his rivals in the hotly-contested category.
Injured Stoner to see out the Season in order to test new Ducati GP9
Monday, 06 October 2008
The need to test the Ducati Desmosedici GP9 at Valencia is Casey Stoner´s main motivation for not undergoing immediate surgery on his left wrist.
The winner of his home race in Australia for the second consecutive year, despite a scaphoid injury in need of urgent surgery, 2007 World Champion Casey Stoner admits that the only reason for his continuation of the current season is the necessity of testing the Ducati Desmosedici GP9 at the post-race test in Valencia.
Currently ahead in the battle for second place in the 2008 campaign, Stoner has been riding through the pain barrier and at less than peak fitness. With the title already awarded to Valentino Rossi and the long recuperation period required post-operation, the option to miss the final races of the season was considered by the rider and his team, but the need to shape the direction of the 2009 bike´s development is motivating Stoner´s decision to ride out the year.
`(the Valencia test) is the only reason that we are continuing with the season´ says Stoner, who previously rode the GP9 at a post-race test held in Catalunya.
`We need to test that bike again, because there is going to be a three month period in which I can´t test, and the technicians will need as much information as they can get. If I´m going to ride after the race at Valencia then I may as well take part in these last two races. If it gets impossible to ride then we´ll stop and get the operation, but right now it looks like we can finish the season.´
Stoner is wary of the demands of the next track on the calendar, Sepang in Malaysia, with its intense heat creating added difficulty for those unable to compete at 100%. Whilst training has been difficult for the reigning titlist, he will be trying all that he can to reach race form, as he did to get around the pain involved in braking at Phillip Island.
The prospect of a spell on the sidelines has also left the Ducati rider in reflective mood, although no less competitive-minded.
`We´ve got two races to go, and things need to go right for us to confirm second place in the World Championship. I´ve been thinking a lot lately, and to have second place by your name in this championship is something to look back and be proud of when you´ve retired. We´re making the best of my career, and I think that we can be back fighting for the title next year,´ philosophised Stoner.
Watanabe parts from Crescent Suzuki in BSB
07/10/08 - CRESCENT, the organisation behind the official Suzuki British Superbike team, has confirmed that 2008 Superbike racer Atsushi Watanabe will not be retained for the 2009 season.
Atsu joined the Crescent operated Rizla Suzuki squad for the 2008 BSB season and has enjoyed a fruitful season learning the British circuits under the guidance of one of the best teams. He has enjoyed varying degrees of success with a best result of 7th in the second race at Cadwell Park in August. On top of this, he finished runner-up in the prestigious Suzuka 8-hour event in Japan.
Atsu will move to the Relentless by TAS Suzuki squad for 2009, spearheading its challenge in the British Superbike Championship.
Atsu said: “I am very grateful to Crescent for bringing me to the British Superbike series. I have learnt much this year that I hope I will be able to use to get good results next season. I am very happy to be staying with Suzuki and in BSB in 2009.”
Crescent Team Manager Jack Valentine said: “Atsu is one of the nicest people I have ever met but unfortunately he will not be racing for our team in 2009. I am pleased to say that he will remain within the Suzuki family however and in British Superbikes. The whole team thanks him for his efforts and wishes him the very best for the future.”
Atsu will race alongside Tom Sykes in the Rizla Suzuki team at the final round of the 2008 British Superbike season at Brands Hatch Indy circuit in Kent this weekend.
For more information on the Crescent operated official Suzuki BSB team, visit www.rizla-suzuki.co.uk.
Suzuki committed to BSB success in 2009 with signing of MotoGP Rider Sylvain Guintoli
11/10/08 - MotoGP star Sylvain Guintoli will be going for Championship glory with Suzuki’s official team, run by Crescent, in British Superbikes in 2009 – and the team is confident its new signing will be able to challenge at the front right from the start.
Frenchman Guintoli, from Romans in France, now living with his wife Caroline and daughters Alicia (3-years) and Layla (6-months) near Market Bosworth in England, has been one of the most promising new stars in MotoGP racing over the last two seasons, scoring a best result of fourth at the 2007 Motegi GP. Now the 26-year-old is turning his considerable talent to winning the BSB Championship.
Suzuki BSB Team Manager Jack Valentine is delighted to have secured the services of one of the world’s top riders. He said: “Sylvain brings MotoGP class to Suzuki and British Superbikes and I think he will be a race and Championship contender. He has real pedigree as his efforts in MotoGP have proved over the last two years, the sort of determination to succeed that matches the team’s ambitions and one of the best Superbikes in the world at his disposal in the Crescent developed Suzuki GSX-R1000.
“This signing means Suzuki will be fighting for top honours in BSB 2009. We will be putting a full test and development programme in place for Sylvan and no stone will be left unturned in our efforts to win.
“Sylvain will make his debut appearance for the team at the Suzuki stand at the NEC Show in late November and he is already excited to meet the public and fans. He is a breath of fresh air to the team and one that we have utmost confidence in for success in 2009.”
Suzuki GB Marketing Manager George Cheeseman said: “It is fantastic news that Sylvan has chosen to ride for Suzuki’s official British Superbike team – it is credit to the team and the BSB series that it can attract such an international talent.
“Suzuki is absolutely committed to success on the race track and this signing proves how serious we are at getting back the BSB title we won in 2004. Sylvan will have the all new GSX-R1000 at his disposal and together I think they will make a fantastic partnership and one that will lead from the front.