Two title holders! James Toseland on the starting grid at the 2004 Laguna Seca World Superbike round with his dad and FastDates.com Calendar Kitten, Ducati Corse Grid Girl and Miss Great Britain Nicki Lane.
2-Time World Superbike Champion James Toseland Announces his Retirement
Sepember 12, 2011 - Britain's James Toseland was World Superbike Champion in 2004 on a Ducati, and then went on to win the title again in 2007 with Ten Kate Honda. In 2008, Toseland went to MotoGP, but was dropped two years later 2010 returned to the series where he'd previously been successful - World Superbike, now on factory Yamahas. He was replaced there this year by Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty and was picked up by the BMW Motorrad Italia team, but he was injured before even getting started.
Toseland announced his retirement today on his official website. - "As you all know, I've had a tough time since injuring my right wrist during a testing crash at Aragon in Spain earlier this year," Toseland said. "At the time of first seeing my consultant, he warned that the damage to my wrist could be career-threatening, but we both committed to doing everything we could to ensure that I could continue racing. Having struggled through a couple of races and then crashing out in the terrible conditions at Nurburgring in Germany, I went back to see the consultant, Mike Hayton, this week and the diagnosis was the worst I could have prepared myself for.
"The easiest way to explain it is that I don't have enough range of movement in my wrist to race professionally and no amount of physiotherapy is going to improve that. This all led to the verdict that it's no longer safe for me to continue a career in motorcycle racing. I have to put the safety of the other riders on track first, as well as thinking about my own safety. Knowing that I will never again be fully fit to race at the highest level, it's also unfair for me to occupy a great seat in World Superbike that a young, talented rider who is fully fit could take better advantage of."
King Kenny Roberts reunites with his World Championhip Winning 1980 Yamaha GP500 Bike at Laguna Seca
John Hayes (1) congradulates Black Young (79) on the Superbike race win at New Jersey.
AMA National Roadraciong Championship, Round 8 of 8 New Jersey
AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Season Finale
Race Victory to Young, 2011 Championship again to Hayes Millville, New Jersey,September 4, 2011 - In one of the most incredible AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike battles on record, the 2011 championship came down to an epic 23-lap contest that saw the crown change hands nearly a dozen times -- twice on the final lap alone -- before again being bestowed upon Monster Energy Graves Yamaha's defending champion, Josh Hayes. Far from a one-on-one contest, Hayes and Rockstar Makita Suzuki challenger Blake Young faced off not only against each other but against a handful of other riders fast enough to change the fortunes of all.
With an eleven-point lead over Young heading into the final race of the season, Hayes was well aware that math, as well as motorcycles, would play a big part in today's contest. Should Young win the race and collect a point for most laps led, Hayes needed to cross the line third or better to defend his title.
Off the line, Hayes immediately laid claim to Tommy Hayden's holeshot while the rest of today's major players declared themselves almost as quickly, Roger Hayden (National Guard Jordan Suzuki), Ben Bostrom (Jordan Suzuki), Steve Rapp (Cycle World Attack Performance Kawasaki), and Young joining a lead pack that railed through corners in seven- and eight-rider iterations. With the race barely underway, the first of several game-changers was delivered via a red flag (following a crash by Canadian Brett McCormick) that mandated a full restart.
Tommy Hayden (22), Bostrom (23), Young (79) and Hayes (1) battle for the lead early in the race.
When the flag dropped on the second start, it was a whole new race for a suddenly resurgent Young, who charged into second behind Tommy Hayden while Hayes was left to claw his way up from fifth. Hayes proceeded to do just that, dispatching Bostrom and Rapp before pulling three-wide on the front straight with Young and Tommy and putting a pass on the duo that carried him into the lead with Young right behind. When Young took over the frontrunner position with thirteen laps to go, it kicked off a furious sprint to the finish that had race watchers adding and subtracting points as Hayes and Young -- along with both Haydens, Bostrom, Rapp, and others -- slammed through corners in a constant state of flux.
When the white flag flew, Young -- who'd lost a vital buffer when Tommy Hayden crashed out with seven to go -- was again back in business, Roger Hayden and Bostrom having gotten past Hayes just before the penultimate lap. But when Bostrom ran off-track with only corners to go, Hayes jumped forward to sail past Roger Hayden and drag race Young to the line. Young took the race victory by .005 of a second, but the title went to Hayes by 5 precious points.
"I got myself into second and got set for a run up to flag," said Hayes, "and it was a heck of a run, but I didn't have enough to get by him. Man, what an exhale [I let out] once we crossed the line and it was over and done with -- Blake made me race my tail off for that last one, and it was great. He rode like a champ this year; he's won seven races and I've only won three, but my bad days weren't as bad as his. He's still learning and he's young, and I'm sure next year's going to be the same thing all over again. He rode a fantastic year, and what a final day. He really pulled it together, and man, rode like a SuperBIke racer."
"It was tough, tough weekend for me, for sure," said a disappointed Young. "Today, I don't think it was skill or anything but mainly just heart. I just wanted to show what my team was capable of and what they've been doing all year long. I wanted to end the season like that, and I did; I wanted to bring the win home for them because they deserve it. I definitely was confident today to let it all hang out -- I didn't really worry where Josh was, I just wanted to win. I'm happy I've had the season that I've had, but I'm kind of sad that it's over -- I'd like to go at it a little bit more. I have go back and try harder; I didn't get it done this year. But you'll see me back next year, a little bit stronger."
"With ten to go," said Roger Hayden, "I figured I had to make a push. It was a crazy race -- people crashing, guys all over the place -- but I got lucky a few times and on the last lap I closed up on Blake ... and tried to get up the inside of him a little bit. But he was able to block me, like you're supposed to do on the last lap, so I ended up third. It was a pretty good race for me and a good way to end the season strong for me and the team -- give us something to build on. Hopefully [next year] I can challenge these guys again."
Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP Race Staying at IMS Through 2014
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - September 4, 2011 Despite dewindling spectator attendce since its inaugural race at the Brickyear 3 years ago, yhe Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP race will continue at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from 2012-14 through an agreement reached between officials from IMS and Dorna Sports, the commercial rights holder for MotoGP. The fifth annual Red Bull Indianapolis GP – featuring the high-tech, 200-mph motorcycles and the world’s best riders of the MotoGP World Championship – is scheduled for Aug. 17-19, 2012, a week earlier than this year. A total of 3 MotoGP rounds are on the schedule in America for 2012 including Laguna Seca with has anotheryear in its contract, and the all new Texas International Roadracing Center still under construction in Austin, Texas.
Tickets for the 2012 event can be purchased now by visiting www.imstix.com, calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700 or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area or visiting the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street. Ticket office and phone hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday. Existing customers can renew tickets at www.imstix.com through Monday, Sept. 19.
“We’re happy to welcome back the exciting action and colorful, daring riders of MotoGP to IMS,” said Jeff Belskus, IMS president and chief executive officer. “This event brings a unique international flavor and style of racing to the Speedway that has become a solid, new tradition on our annual schedule. We’re excited about the event’s potential for continued growth into the future.”
MotoGP fans will see new machinery in the premier class in 2012. Riders will compete on 1000cc prototype motorcycles, with more speed and power than the 800cc machines used since 2007. There also will be at least three Americans on the MotoGP starting grid for the fifth consecutive year at IMS: 2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden, 2010 Rookie of the Year Ben Spies and Colin Edwards. Hayden and Spies each are two-time podium finishers in the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, and Spies won the pole for the 2010 race.
“It’s great news to hear that Indianapolis is going to stay on the calendar for another three years,” Spies said. “As every rider knows, there’s nothing more special than coming to a home race and putting it all on the line in front of your fans.
I’ve had pretty exciting races there so far in GP, and there’s so much history at the Brickyard, it’s a pleasure to be a part of it. I hope it continues to be a platform to bring MotoGP to a bigger American audience.”
World Championship support classes Moto2 and the new Moto3 will return to IMS in 2012. Other support classes will be announced in the future.
Rossi's Latest MotoGP Bike Copies Aluminum Monocoque of the New 2012 Superbike Aragon, Spain, Sept
15th - As we reveled here in Pit Lane News back in July, testing on the upcoming all new 2012 Ducati 1199 Superbike revealed the carbon fibre monocoque airbox/steering head assembly copied form the current MotoGP bikes was found in track testing to be too stiff for good handling, and a change to a cast aluminum monoque structure which had some flex (like a traditional full-frame bike), handled much better. Now for the first time, production bike design now transfer up to racing, with the news that Rossi will ride a Ducati GP12 that features its carbonfibre monoque structure changed to aluminum as well to cure the GP bikes handling problems when MotoGP practice gets started at Motoland Aragon tomorrow in Spain.
In a pre-race press conferent today at the Aragon Motorland Circuit, Rossi confirmed that the GP's monocoque has evolved from carbon fibre to aluminum: "We tried something different in the bike [at their recent test in Mugello] to improve the front feeling and turning," Rossi said today. "I was a bit faster than the last time, but especially the feeling is quite good. So we are looking forward."
Asked directly about the use of an aluminum frame, Rossi said, "It's not a frame. The philosophy of Ducati remains the same. The front part of the bike is a bit different and is aluminum and not carbon fiber like it was before, it's a question of time with regards to the material. We have to work, to try to understand, and with aluminum we need a lot less time than the carbon. It's just the first step, we'll keep working and we'll try to come back and fight for the front positions."
Valentino also confirmed that he will race in the Japanese Grand Prix in Motegi after earlier saying that he might not go. "I will go to Japan for the race. All the tests are negative, it looks quite safe so yes, I will go to race at Motegi," he said.
Ducati's 2012 Superbike Revealed Further with new 'SuperQuadro' engine and Rossi Graphics September 1st - We now have the first leaked official factory press photo of the all new Ducati 1199 Superbike, dressed in special edition Valentino Rossi MotoGP livery to commentate the famous Italian rider's marriage to the Bologna motorcycle brand. Were guessing the picture was leaked from a press kit provided by Ducati to a print magazine, who's 2-3 month in-print lead time would coincide with the bike's world wide premier at the EICMA Show in November.
The real name of Ducati's 2012 superbike will be either 'SuperQuadro' or 'Panigale.' In a carbon copy of the leak of the Diavel's name last year, the contenders for the official title have been revealed thanks to Ducati's efforts to copyright the name and prevent other firms from using it.
Translating to 'over-square' - a reference to the new bike's engine, which features an unusually large bore and short stroke - the SuperQuadro name could be used purely on the engine, just as the current 1198's motor is referred to as the Testaretta Evoluzione. However, the trademark application is for rights to name an entire bike rather than just an engine.
Ducati has also applied for a trademark on the name 'Panigale' - a reference to the Borgo Panigale district of Bologna where the firm is based. Ducati already makes accessories carrying the Panigale name, but the latest trademark application includes the rights to use it as the name for an entire bike.
Of all the names rumored before, the SuperQuadro title is closest to the 'Superquadrata' badge that appeared with the earliest whispers of the new bike, more than a year ago. Internally, the project is referred to as 'XTreme' but that name was never intended to be carried over to the production bike.
The small resolution / size of this particular leaked press photo (above) makes it difficult to read, but we're guessing the model name on the side of the fairing below "Ducati" is '1199P' with the 'P' denoting a new 'Panigale' designation for the up-specification, Ohlins equipped formerly named 'S' model Superbike. As is usual Ducati's practice from previous Superbike generation releases, the Standard and S-models are released the first year, with the R homologation race model coming the following year. Also making us believe this is not the 'R' model are the base model wheels and street legal exhaust system. An R-model would have the full race spec Termignoni Exhaust System and lighter forged machined Marchesini race wheels as seen on the factory Corse race Superbike which Troy Bayliss is seen testing in the photo above.
Ducati previews the first of its 2012 range with new Streetfighter 848 September 12, 2011 - Ducati confirms their 2012 Streetfighter 848 with the first officially released images of the brand new model set to add everydayaccessibility to the Italian manufacturer’s famous naked sport bike family. Combining a new and brilliantly engineered 848 Testastretta 11° engine with the enhanced geometry of a chassis that provides confidence-inspiring agility, the Streetfighter 848 has enriched its user-friendliness with a smooth and flexible power delivery, revised ergonomics and Ducati Traction Control.
The Ducati Streetfighter scored a round one knock-out when it entered the ring for the first time at the Milan show back in November 2008, winning the ‘Most Beautiful Bike’ award and raising the bar for extreme naked bikes. Its asphalt-ripping reputation became the desire of sport naked connoisseurs throughout the world and the Streetfighter 848 will now widen that appeal even further with enhanced usability.
Available in North America from January 2012 onwards, the new fighter is dressed in red for Ducati traditionalists, while yellow makes a return for mid-range purists and “dark stealth” provides a matte-black reminder of the Streetfighter’s aggressive image.
John Hopins (21) on the Cresent Suzuki takes a double win in British Superbike Championship ahead of Swan Yamaha team riders Laverty and Hill
2011 British Superbike Superbike Championship, Round 10 of 12 Donnington
American Hopkins takes Championship Lead in
British Superbike with Double Wins at Donnington Park Donington Park, Sunday September 11th, 2011 – American ex patriot John Hopkins took the 2011 Championship points lead in the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship today aboard his Crescent Suzuki GSXR with back to back race wins. The BSB title bout is the most competitive National Championship Superbike series in the world, and the former Suzuki MotoGP rider showed his renewed potential to the world this past July at the Silverstone World Superbike round, where as a wild card rider, John qualified on the Pole and finished the day's two races in 5th and 7th. And as a result, Crescent Suzuki announced that John will move to World Superbike next year.
John Hopkins closes on Laverty (7) and Hill (33) in Race One.
Hopins battles Laverty and Hill in Race One
The opening race of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship Showdown saw a thrilling four way battle for supremacy between the Title Fighters as John Hopkins threw the gauntlet down to his rivals by winning the first race of the day at Donington Park.
Hopkins said: "The focus for me was always on the race win and podiums are good but to win the championship we need to be winning races. We made a few points back on Tommy which was what we needed to do this weekend so we have made a good start to the Showdown. That was amazing; one hell of a race and I had a good view over the opening laps before we had a really good battle amongst us for the win. I knew we could be strong at the end of the race and the adrenaline really does mask the pain I had in my hand until the cool down lap. There was definitely no screwing around in that race and now I am one hundred percent focused to win the next one too for Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki."
Shane 'Shakey' Byrne got the hole shot off the line on the opening lap into Redgate ahead of Michael Laverty, Tommy Hill and Hopkins however the lead changed at Mcleans as the Swan Yamaha of Laverty dived down the inside to take the lead.
Laverty then was coming under pressure from Byrne and Hill but it Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki's Hopkins who was charging forward with a move on Hill on the inside into the Foggy Esses on the second lap as the Title Fighters scrapped for the first win of the Showdown.
Laverty was defending his position hard but Byrne then went ahead at the Old Hairpin on the third lap to reclaim the lead as the Title Fighters were inseparable on the Leicestershire circuit. The second Swan Yamaha of Hill then was moving up the order as he passed Hopkins at Goddards at the end of the sixth lap before passing his team-mate at the same place two laps later. The order was then Byrne, Hill, Laverty, and Hopkins until lap eleven when a dramatic lunge from Hill forced him and Byrne wide at Goddards and as the four leading riders exited the corner they were side-by-side.
The 4-way battle with Byrne (67) Laverty (7), Hopkins (21) and Hill (33).
The quartet approached Redgate at the start of the twelfth lap as Hopkins and Hill went for the outside line, Laverty dived for the inside to take the lead from Hopkins, Hill and Byrne, but the second HM Plant Honda of Ryuichi Kiyonari was forced to retire at that point of the race with a technical problem which gave him the first no points score of the Showdown.
At the front Laverty still held the lead from Hopkins and Byrne who had passed Hill again to move third, with the pair then swapping places on the seventeenth lap, whilst Hopkins moved into the lead with a decisive move in the Fogarty Esses with three laps remaining. The Swan Yamaha rider continued to pile on the pressure but it wasn't enough and Hopkins had the edge on the final lap to take the first win of the Showdown ahead of Laverty and Hill with Byrne dropping back towards the end in fourth.
Jon Kirkham on the second of the Samsung Crescent Racing Suzukis was fifth as he moved ahead of Peter Hickman on the eleventh lap, with the Tyco Honda rider then dropping back to seventh as Title Fighter Josh Brookes worked his way up to sixth in the final laps. James Ellison was eighth ahead of Martin Jessopp who again finished in the top ten on the Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati whilst Graeme Gowland won the Mirror.co.uk BSB Evo race in tenth.
John Hopkins, Michael Laverty and Tommy Hill being interviewed after Race One.
BRITISH SUPERBIKE RACE 1:
POS / RIDER / NAT / MOTORCYCLE / TIME / GAP
1 / John HOPKINS / USA / Suzuki - Samsung Crescent Racing / 30:17.023 /
2 / Michael LAVERTY / GBR / Yamaha - Swan Yamaha / 30:17.503 / 0.480
3 / Tommy HILL / GBR / Yamaha - Swan Yamaha / 30:17.804 / 0.781
4 / Shane BYRNE / GBR / Honda - HM Plant Honda / 30:20.943 / 3.920
5 / Jon KIRKHAM / GBR / Suzuki - Samsung Crescent Racing / 30:23.368 / 6.345
6 / Josh BROOKES / AUS / Suzuki - Relentless Suzuki by TAS / 30:27.304 / 10.281
7 / Peter HICKMAN / GBR / Honda - Tyco Honda / 30:30.164 / 13.141
8 / James ELLISON / GBR / Honda - Team SorryMate.com / 30:35.601 / 18.578
9 / Martin JESSOPP / GBR / Ducati - Rapid Solicitors Bathams Ducati / 30:39.177 / 22.154
10 / Graeme GOWLAND / GBR / Honda - Team WFR / 30:39.566 / 22.543
11 / James WESTMORELAND / GBR / Honda - Team WFR / 30:50.313 / 33.290
12 / Ian LOWRY / GBR / Kawasaki - MSS Colchester Kawasaki / 30:50.517 / 33.494
13 / Glen RICHARDS / AUS / Honda - Team WFR / 30:51.456 / 34.433
14 / Tommy BRIDEWELL / GBR / Yamaha - Motorpoint Yamaha / 30:58.638 / 41.615
15 / Barry BURRELL / GBR / BMW - Buildbase BMW Motorrad / 31:00.085 / 43.062
Fastest lap: John HOPKINS Suzuki - Samsung Crescent Racing Lap 2 1:30.109 159.92 Km/h
Hopper plans to join the World Superbike Championship next year. Hopkins Again in Race 2 as title Contenders Laverty and Byrne take themselves out Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki's John Hopkins doubled up on victories at Donington Park today in the first races of the Showdown, but whilst the American celebrated ahead of title rival Tommy Hill it was a disastrous race for Shane 'Shakey' Byrne and Michael Laverty.
Hopkins said: "It's extremely special for me to win both races on a day of remembrance back home in America. It was a shame to see Shakey and Michael crash out but that is racing. I got out there and had the pace to really put the hammer down. I passed early in the race but that one was more painful than the first but we come away from here with the lead and that is what we needed."
Laverty slides into and takes out Byrne on the opening lap of Race 2. Both remount from the gravel trap to finsih in the top ten.
The second race of the Showdown started in dramatic style on the opening lap as Laverty went for the inside line into Redgate for the first time and collided with Byrne as the pair ended in the gravel. The pair frantically picked up their bikes and rejoined the race, but around half a lap down they then had a massive task to close the gap and score vital points for their title bid.
Hill had led on the run to Craner Curves from Ryuichi Kiyonari and Hopkins as the trio, avoided the Title Fighter clash ahead of them. Hopkins was instantly on the attack and he made a move down the inside at the Melbourne Loop to move second behind the Swan Yamaha rider.
Hill held the lead until the fifth lap when Hopkins carved ahead at the Fogarty Esses and despite Hill's best efforts he was unable to regain the lead. The Swan Yamaha rider was forced to settle for second and in doing so lost his lead in the championship to the Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki rider by three points ahead of the penultimate round at Silverstone.
Kiyonari was running third until the eleventh lap when Jon Kirkham forced his way through at the Old Hairpin, with the defending champion then losing another place to Josh Brookes at the Fogarty Esses. Martin Jessopp on the lone Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati then also passed the HM Plant Honda rider on the same lap at the Melbourne Hairpin.
Kirkham then consolidated his third place and his second podium finish of the season but the battle for fourth was a paint-swapping affair between Jessopp and Brookes, with the Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati rider securing his best finish of the season. Kiyonari had to settle for sixth ahead of James Ellison on the Sorrymate.com Honda and an impressive ride from Byrne put him eighth. Chris Walker and Graeme Gowland rounded out the top ten with Laverty finishing 14th
BRITISH SUPERBIKERACE 2:
POS / RIDER / NAT / MOTORCYCLE / TIME / GAP
1 / John HOPKINS / USA / Suzuki - Samsung Crescent Racing / 30:15.777 /
2 / Tommy HILL / GBR / Yamaha - Swan Yamaha / 30:17.763 / 1.986
3 / Jon KIRKHAM / GBR / Suzuki - Samsung Crescent Racing / 30:19.092 / 3.315
4 / Martin JESSOPP / GBR / Ducati - Rapid Solicitors Bathams Ducati / 30:21.755 / 5.978
5 / Josh BROOKES / AUS / Suzuki - Relentless Suzuki by TAS / 30:24.101 / 8.324
6 / Ryuichi KIYONARI / JPN / Honda - HM Plant Honda / 30:28.013 / 12.236
7 / James ELLISON / GBR / Honda - Team SorryMate.com / 30:28.318 / 12.541
8 / Shane BYRNE / GBR / Honda - HM Plant Honda / 30:39.222 / 23.445
9 / Chris WALKER / GBR / Kawasaki - Pr1mo Racing / 30:42.085 / 26.308
10 / Graeme GOWLAND / GBR / Honda - Team WFR / 30:42.523 / 26.746
11 / Tommy BRIDEWELL / GBR / Yamaha - Motorpoint Yamaha / 30:44.828 / 29.051
12 / James WESTMORELAND / GBR / Honda - Team WFR / 30:45.475 / 29.698
13 / Barry BURRELL / GBR / BMW - Buildbase BMW Motorrad / 30:51.408 / 35.631
14 / Michael LAVERTY / GBR / Yamaha - Swan Yamaha / 30:53.677 / 37.900
15 / Glen RICHARDS / AUS / Honda - Team WFR / 30:54.583 / 38.806
Fastest lap: Michael LAVERTY Yamaha - Swan Yamaha Lap 4 1:29.680 160.69 Km/h
Calendar Kitten Tiffany Toth is newest Playboy Playmate for September 2011! August 20th, 2011 - Fast Dates.com Calendar Kitten Tiffany Toth is Playboy magazine's newest Playmate for September 2011 as revealed in the latest issue of Playboy on newsstands now and on the Playboy.com website. FastDates.com pubkisher Jim Gianatsis discovered Tiffany and start shooting with her some 5 years ago and she has appeared in all our Calendars since the 2008 through to the latest 2012 editions. Tiffany now joins a long list of Calendar Kittens who have gone on to become, or have been Playboy Playmates beginning with legendary Pamela Anderson on the cover of our first Fast Dates Calendar in 1991.
Tiffany is a native of Orange County, just south of Los Angeles, and of course loves hanging out at the beach. The 25 years old has been modeling professionally since leaving high school, and now also works as a professional makeup artist and stylist. "I've always wanted to be in Playboy. Ever since I can remember, I've had this fascination with Playboy. I collected the magazine and idolized the Playmates. I even imitated their hair and makeup. And now here I am! Everything is exactly as I imagined it."
It the four years that FastDates.com has been shooting with Tiffany, she's appeared with some pretty cool bikes including the limited-edition Ducati Testastretta Tri-Colore in 2009 Fast Dates, and some cool old retro customs from legendary builder Shinya Kimura in 2009 Iron & Lace. In the just released new 2012 Calendars Tiffany is featured in both Iron & Lace and Garage Girls - so get your order in now as they will sell out fast!
Actually, when we first meet Tiffany four year ago she was already shooting for Playboy, only it was for their website as one of their Cyber Girls. People always asked her, ourselves included, when is Playboy going to realize what they have an make you a Playmate? We're guessing Hugh Hefner finally noticed her at a Mansion party and did make it happen. Congratulations Tiffany, we love you!
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World Superbike Has New Owners, Agian Two years ago SBK World Superbike was purchased by Infront Sports. Now Infront Sports itself has been purchased, which should change nothing as fars as the racing goes, while adding an influx of money for additional growth of the production bike based World Championship
Bridgepoint reaches agreement to acquire Infront Sports & Media AG
Paris, France / Zug, Switzerland, 2 September 2011 – European private equity firm Bridgepoint has reached an agreement to acquire Infront Sports & Media AG, one of the world’s most respected and leading international sports marketing companies based in Zug, Switzerland, taking 100 per cent of Infront’s shares from Jacobs Holding AG, the Junkermann Group and Dr Martin Steinmeyer for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition is subject to the approval of the antitrust authorities.
After an intense period of growth and another year of high performance, Infront today occupies a strong position in the global sports marketing industry representing more than 120 top sports rights holders and delivering 2,300 event days each year. In 2010, Infront generated revenues of over EUR 600 million and has more than 20 offices across Europe and Asia and a diversified rights portfolio in winter sports, football and summer sports. It is also a key player in media production handling some of the most complex sports events, including the FIFA World Cup™.
In football, it is partner to international and national federations (e.g. the German Football Federation DFB), leagues (e.g. the Italian Lega Calcio) as well as clubs (e.g. A.C. Milan, FC Schalke O4, SV Werder Bremen). In winter sports, Infront is the undisputed market leader representing six out of the seven Olympic winter sports federations, including FIS for skiing and the IIHF for ice hockey; in motor sports, it is the promoter of the FIM Superbike World Championship. Infront is also one of the leading sports marketing organisations in China where it represents the Chinese Basketball Association – on league and national team level.
Dr Andreas Jacobs, Chairman of the Infront Board of Directors, said: “We are pleased that after an extensive strategic review we have found a new investor which will actively contribute to Infront’s ambitious growth plans which we believe will be of great benefit to our esteemed clients as well. We wish Bridgepoint and Infront well on behalf of the current shareholders.”
Miss Nicole Junkermann, Vice Chairman of the Infront Board of Directors, said: "We feel a phase of the successful story of Infront initiated by Robert Louis-Dreyfus has ended today. Infront remains a great testament of the enterpreneurial spirits embodied in the organization. We are confident the new shareholder will allow Infront to reach even greater goals in global sport
The Devil Made Us Do It! Testing the Ducati Diavel in Italy
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Heather Rae Young!
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Rea and Honda together in 2012
Saturday 3 September 2011
Jonathan Rea will ride a Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade in the 2012 World Superbike championship following an announcement from the Castrol Honda team at Nurburgring in Germany today.
The 24-year-old from Northern Ireland chose his comeback weekend after three months out through injury to sign a year-long extension to his long association with Honda that has seen him ride at Supersport and Superbike level in both British and World championships.
Rea has ridden with the Honda Motor Europe-supported team run by the Ten Kate organization in the Netherlands for the past four seasons, the last three of which have been on Honda’s CBR1000RR Fireblade.
The 2012 season will mark the 20th anniversary of the Fireblade’s introduction and Rea and his team are looking forward to competing once more against some of the world’s best riders and manufacturers in the World Superbike championship.
Jonathan Rea - We started talking quite early this season and it was clear to me that everyone was aware that we were struggling with the bike in some areas. After four years with this team, and even more with Honda, it was refreshing and inspiring to see how intent everyone was on addressing the problems. These are difficult economic times everywhere, but Honda and the team have increased their commitment and ticked all the boxes for me, so I’m really, really happy. There’s no championship left to fight for this season, but that won’t stop us trying as hard as ever for race wins. And the fact that we’re not battling for a title means that we can also continue our development work for next year. I’d like to thank Honda for the continued support and the team for everything they do for me. Together, we all have unfinished business in the World Superbike championship.
Ronald ten Kate – team manager - We are really happy to have Jonathan with us for a fifth year, especially after all his time on Honda machinery. We don’t need to explain how this year did not bring what we all hoped for, but, for both rider and team, there is a very big ambition for 2012. With ongoing and new development on the bike and a new drive within the team, we are totally committed to repaying Jonathan’s unwavering loyalty to us and Honda in the best way possible.
Carlo Fiorani – Honda Motor Europe - Of course, we are very proud that Jonathan has decided to stay with Honda for the 2012 World Superbike championship. He is one of the fastest riders in the paddock and this decision, which is based on a mutually satisfactory relationship, is very important for us and for the championship. After a lot of bad luck in 2011, we really want to come back strongly next season and this decision will help us to do that.
Valentino Concludes sixth Ducati GP12 Bike Test at Mugello
Mugello, Italy, Thursday Sep 08 2011- For the final day of a three-day test at Mugello, Valentino Rossi joined the Ducati Test Team to work on developing the 2012 race bike. In doing so, he utilized the sixth of eight days during which factory riders may participate in such outings. The Italian turned a total of 82 laps in conditions that were sunny but not overly hot.
Rossi had a fall on the exit of the Scarperia-Palagio section during the third lap of his first outing in the morning, but it didn’t affect the team’s work, which continued until 6:30 p.m.
Filippo Preziosi and Vittoriano Guareschi were in the garage to follow the test, and official test rider Franco Battaini, who had ridden the two previous days, was with Rossi on the track.
“It was an interesting day, although it was also quite long, because we rode until 6:30,” Rossi said after the test. “Developing a bike requires a lot of focus and effort, but it’s also very exciting and fulfilling to be part of a group of people pushing as hard as it can in the same direction. Today we confirmed various aspects of the GP12’s electronics and chassis, collecting a lot of useful information for Filippo and the guys in the factory. I think that the work is well underway as we prepare for our next steps.”
Silly Season Rumor Mill
Simoncelli to Ducati and Hayden to the Farm?
Marco Simoncelli on the San Carlo Gresini Honda is saying that he wants and deserves a full factory Repsol Honda ride next season in MotoGP. The only problem is the factory Honda squad already has 3 top riders in Stoner, Pedrosa and Dovizioso.
And Stoner is on a long term contract with Honda, and all three Repsol riders are well ahead of Marco in the Championship standings.
Word is that Marco now has an offer from Ducati to join their team in 2012. We know that Rossi isn't leaving, so the chances are that the Kentucky Kid, Nicky Hayen will finally be put out to pasture, either way. We've never been a big Hayden fan a to justify keeping him on the Ducati MotoGP team for 4 years with lackluster results, just to tie-in with his popularity to the American market, has never held water with us.
While over in World Superbike word is that American John Hopkins, wildcard rider at the Silverstone SBK race last month who took Superpole, and currently racing the British Superbike Championship, joining World Superbike next year on a Suzuki. But it is unclear if Francis Bata's current Alstare Suzuki team and rider Michele are included in Suzuki's plans for 2012. We also know that Fujio Yoshimura would also like to join World Superbike in 2012 with Suzuki factory supported team. But Suzuki of Japan has a difficult time just budgeting for one team with one rider, so the chances of 3 teams and 3 riders is slim to none.
Checa Closes in
on the Superbike Crown
No other rider in World Superbike history has let slip a lead as larger as 72 points with three rounds of the season remaining.
Carlos Checa's chances of securing the 2011 World Superbike Championship title have been dealt a service at the Nurburgring after securing an 11th win of the season in Max Biaggi's absence.
The Spaniard began the race weekend with a sizeable 62 point advantage over Biaggi, but the Italian's decision to sit out the event due to a foot injury immediately handed Checa a prime opportunity to put the 2011 title out of his reach.
Duly going on to secure an 11th win of the year, Checa's margin grew to 74 points over Marco Melandri, who now assumes the status as his closest title challenger.
Dedicating his win to Claudio Castiglioni, who recently passed away, Althea Ducati rider Checa was delighted with his victory, even if he would have preferred Biaggi to have taken part.
“The first race was very special for me, and signifies my first ever SBK win at the Nürburgring. I would like to dedicate this result to Claudio Castiglioni, he was an extremely important figure in the motorcyling world and it is also in part thanks to him that we are here racing these bikes today.
“The race one result was very important in terms of the championship. I knew that it was important to increase the gap between me and Noriyuki in the first half of the race and this small advantage proved useful in the final stages when I began to suffer from a lack of grip.
In the rain-affected race two, Checa preferred to adopt a cautious approach, dropping from first to 14th in the opening stages, before steadily working his way up to eighth at the chequered flag.
“Race two on the other hand was one of the hardest races I've ever run. We were obliged to try to finish it of course but I was really suffering due to the sheer quantity of water and track conditions, and couldn't even see as far as the next corner!
“I'm sorry for those who took risks and I'm also sorry that Biaggi was not racing with us today. I hope he gets better and that we'll see him back at Imola. But for us it was a very positive day and I'm very happy with the outcome.”
With Melandri finishing in sixth, he was able to chip the gap between the two down to 72 points. Even so, Checa still enjoys one of the largest margins of any rider in WSBK history with three rounds remaining. Indeed, only a handful of riders have established a more advantageous position at this stage, with each going on to secure the crown.
Kawasaki to Drop Paul Bird Motorsports and Nurburgring winner
Sept 4th - Paul Bird has revealed neither his team nor Tom Sykes will be retained by Kawasaki for the 2012 World Superbike Championship on the day the British rider scored the manufacturer's first win in five years.
Bird made the startling revelation in his own personal press release, in which he criticised Kawasaki's decision to drop Sykes, particularly in light of his remarkable ride to victory in a sodden second race at the Nurburgring.
Bird signed Sykes on a personal contract for the 2011 season after Kawasaki's decision to retain Chris Vermeulen and honour a long-standing agreement with Joan Lascorz. As such, PBM has run a three-rider team this season, though Vermeulen has skipped several races through injury.
With Sykes scoring a second pole position with the manufacturer at Misano, Bird was shocked to learn that neither he nor Paul Bird Motorsport – which assumed running its WSBK effort in 2009 – will be retained for next year just hours before going on to take a surprise win.
Nonetheless, he is proud to see them 'responding magnificently' to the news by going to claim a landmark win.
"Having learned this morning [Sunday] that we wouldn't be running the Kawasaki team next year was a massive blow and the team responded magnificently with our strongest performance of the season. As well as us, Tom was told his services would not be required next season so what better way of proving a point than giving the factory its first victory in five years, but you have to say they make some great decisions don't they?
“Getting sacked proved to be a lucky omen for us and I'm delighted for Tom and the team as they have been through the mill at times with this project. It's a shame we can't see it through given all our hard work but as one door closes, another one opens and we look forward to the challenges ahead should we decide to carry on."
Paul Bird Motorsport replaced PSG-1 Corse as Kawasaki's official representative in World Superbikes in 2009, by which time the ZX-10R was beginning to age. Even so, in the hands of Sykes in 2010, the team put in some fine performances, renewing hope the new ZX-10R would transform them into consistent front runners.
Though the bike hasn't established itself fully yet, Sykes and Lascorz have posted some encouraging results, culminating in Sykes's impressive victory at the Nurburgring.
One possible contributing factor to the change of teams was the PBM Race Transporter was found by British Customs to be smuggling drugs back into England after the Assen SBK round.
Lascorz is tipped to stay on in 2012, with the likes of Marco Melandri and Randy de Puniet linked with Sykes's apparently vacant seat. Provec Motocard.com, which runs the Kawasaki team in World Supersport, has been tipped to take over from Paul Bird Motorsport.
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2011 Sturgis Rally Attendance Numbers and Age Demographics
August 16th, 2011
From Associated Press.
1- Traffic counts into and out of Sturgis by the State Department of Transportation were down nearly 12 percent through Thursday. Attendance at last year’s rally was estimated at 466,769, up from 442,163 in 2009. The 60th rally in 2000 drew the biggest crowd so far, an estimated 633,0002
2- Young adults are the holy grail for everyone in motorcycling. But rallies continue to attract mainly aging crowds. A recent survey shows that 61 percent of Sturgis Rally attendees are between the ages of 41-65, and 38 percent are ages 41 to 53.
3- Reservations for campgrounds and hotel and motel rooms booked by Black Hills Central Reservations were down about 6 percent for this year’s rally..
4- The city of Sturgis issued 719 vendor licenses in 2011, down 5.5 percent from the 761 issued last year.
We are the last of the Motorcycle Generation
The attendance age numbers at Sturgis confirm: 99% attendees ar aged 41-65 years old, means NO new riders are coming into the Harley market at all.
Still, you'ld need to attend a different type of major motorcycle event in the USA like the Laguna Seca MotoGP last month, or the Indianapolis MotoGP this weekend to see if there is also a younger demographic sportbike market out there, but how young?
These major race weekends pull about 30,000 spectators. And I'd guestimate their age range is slightly younger at 35 - 60 years old.
So the Sportbike market in the USA is only about 15% as large as the Harley Market.
But either way, the grim future is, that because of the median aging of the American motorccyle rider continues to growg older by 1 age year per calendar year, the USA motorcyce market will continue to shrink at a rate of 3-5% per year.
And I would not expect new "Green Technologies" like electric motorcyles to change that in the near future. We are the last of the motorcycle generation. - Jim Gianatsis