Newest Calendar Kitten Chrissy Blair (above) will fly to Miller World Superbike, Utah, with FastDates.com publisher and photographer Jim Gianatsis to shoot the next Fast Dates World Superbike Calendar and serve as an official SBK Umbrella Girl on the starting grid for Monday Memorial Day's races. Teaming up with Chrissy for this year's calendar shoot and also serving as an official SBK girl is San Francisco based Umbrella Girls agency model Torunn Sivesind, who also work for SBK at Miller last year.
Calendar Kittens will be frolicking in force on the Miller starting grid as beautiful Camilla Chinquy (brunette below), who appears on the cover of the soon to be releases 2013 Fast Dates World Superbike Calendar with Carlos Checa's World Superbike Championship winning Althea Ducati, returns to serve as Carol's Althea umbrella girl on race day, with 'Milla's college room mate Caitlyn Christensen handling the umbrella for Althea team mate and reigning 1000 Superstock Champion David Giugliano.
So with four beautiful Fast Dates Calendar Kittens, 2 reigning World Champions, 5 race winners in the premier class this season so far, SBK World Superbike USA at Miller Motorsports Park couldn't get any more exciting!
World SuperbikeChampionship, Round 6 of 14, Miller USA
USA World Superbike Preview! High Plains Drifting at Miller Motorsports Park
FastDates Calendar Kittens Heat Up the Starting Grid
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, May 26-28th 2012 – In the wake of two fantastic races at Donington that saw five different riders and four different manufacturers vying for the win right down to the wire, the eni FIM Superbike World Championship is now heading towards the Utah high plains for the sixth of the 14 rounds in this year’s calendar. As is tradition, the two races will be held on Monday 28th May, Memorial Day, in honour of the US Armed Forces, so first qualifying will take place on Saturday.
The production-based racing series arrives at Miller Motorsports Park, the safest and most modern circuit in north America. The facility was inaugurated in 2008 and is located around 40 kms from the centre of Salt Lake City, the capital of the state of Utah, not far away from the legendary Bonneville Salt Flats, the scene for the world land-speed record attempts made every year.
World Superbike has been the main event of the year in this area of the USA since its very first edition in 2008. The track measures 4.907 kms and on the long 1.1 km pit straight Superbike machines come close to 320 km/h (200 mph). In fact, the Miller circuit is expecting the 200 mph mark to be exceeded this time around as it has set up a ‘Quest for 200’ ticket prize draw competition for the general public. Judging by the astonishing top speed of 339.5 km/h reached on the long Monza straights by Tom Sykes on a Kawasaki, this particular record could quite easily be broken.
The US Round is always one of the most fascinating because Superbike was born and developed in the United States half-way through the 1970s, before gaining world championship recognition in 1988. The race actually appears to bring good luck all round as for the past three seasons the winners at Miller Motorsports Park have all gone on to become world champions that year.
The previous round in the UK did not change things at the top that much as Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing), who has led the table since the opening race, the first and only one won by the former world champion this year, continues to lead. Biaggi won here two years ago on his way towards taking his 2010 world title.
Biaggi is the man in the cross-hairs of Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), who as well as claiming four Tissot-Superpole wins out of five, dominated at Monza and the 26 year-old Brit is now just five points behind the leader. Each race of the 18 remaining (9 rounds) assigns 25 points to the winner so there is still much to play for.
A win at Donington for Jonathan Rea also put the Honda World Superbike Team rider back on track and the young man from Northern Ireland now has two wins to his name this year and is in third place, 20.5 points off the top slot. Miller could be a crossroads for Althea Racing’s title hopes as the 39 year-old from Spain, Carlos Checa, has always made the difference here, dominating both on a four-cylinder Honda (2008) and a twin-cylinder Ducati (2011). Checa, who has been on pole three times in 2008, 2010 and 2011, will again be going for the big win to make up the 23 points separating him from Biaggi.
Morale in the BMW Motorrad team is at an all-time high following Marco Melandri’s first historic win for the German manufacturer on the British circuit. The Italian is 31 points down on Biaggi, and is followed in turn by his team-mate Leon Haslam, their points haul and positions in the table seriously affected by the double elimination at the final hairpin at Donington.
Miller is also a happy hunting-ground for Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati) who scored his first Superbike podium here twelve months ago. The Frenchman then broke the winners’ ice two rounds back at Assen.
The FIXI Crescent Suzuki team has managed to recover the services of top draw rider John Hopkins in record time, the ever-popular American missing Donington due to the effects of his high-side at Monza. The team is also hoping a lot from Leon Camier, whose best results at Miller are two second places.
The uncertainty surrounding the eventual outcome of this year’s World Superbike races is sure to continue in the USA. It is worth mentioning that in the nine races held so far this season, there have been six different winners (Biaggi, Checa, Rea, Guintoli, Sykes and Melandri) on five different makes of bike: Aprilia, BMW, Ducati, Honda and Kawasaki. Only Suzuki is yet to make the grade but the Crescent-Yoshimura combination are working hard to close the gap.
Points (after 5 of 14 rounds): 1. Biaggi 128.5; 2. Sykes 123.5; 3. Rea 108; 4. Checa 105.5; 5. Melandri 97.5; 6. Haslam 89; 7. Guintoli 85; 8. Laverty 65; 9. Giugliano 50; 10. Smrz 44.5; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 161.5; 2. Aprilia 139; 3. BMW 131; 4. Kawasaki 129.5; 5. Honda 112; 6. Suzuki 40.5.
FastDates.com Calendar featured builder Shinya Kimura, former Best of Show and Class winner at past LA Calendar Motorccyle Shows, attended the Quail Motorcycle gathing this year with his latest build, a 750cc MV Agusta cafe racer, and took home 2 awards!
Shinya will be also be in attandance at the 2012 LA Calendar Show July 22nd with this MV Agusta and another World Premier cusom build.
The Quail Motorcycle Gathering 2012
By Jim Gianatsis / photos by Jim Gianatsis
Carmel, California, May 3-6 2012 - I hadn't ridden a motorcycle up the beautiful California coast from Los Angeles in a few years, and the occasion of the 2012 Quail Motorcycle gathering in Carmel, California, offered the perfect opportunity to make amends. I also wanted to ride up to the Quail event to do some marketing for our upcoming LA Calendar Motorcycle Show, hang out with my friends Jim Giuffra and Shelby Thompson from AFT Customs who are regular participants and bike building winners at the Calendar Show, and to see what other opportunities might pop up.
Complete Story and Photos HERE
Calendar Show World Premier - The New / Old Crocker Motorcycle!|
Among the Calendar Show's World Premiers this year will be the first showing of the newly reborn Crocker Motorcycle (shown above),
produced by Michael Schacht of Crocker Motorcycle Company, this new production bike, built to the original designs, is now availble for sale.
It's a true replica of the original 1936 high performance Crocker V-twin machines of which only 200 were built.
Order Advance Calendar Bike Show Tickets Now!
Lorenzo takes the checkerd flag with a secure 9 seond lead over the field.
MotoGP World Championship, Round 4 of 18, LeMans
Lorenzo wins Lemans in the rain, Rossi takes Stoner for 2nd on the last Lap
LeMans, France, May 18-20th - Yamaha factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo delivered a master class in wet racing today to take a flawless victory in the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France. Starting from fourth position on the second row, the determined Mallorcan took the lead on the first lap, immediately creating a gap to the following pack. Championship rival Casey Stoner attempted to make a small dent in the time to close Lorenzo down mid race however the race leader remained untouchable. Lorenzo crossed the finish line almost ten seconds clear to take the full 25 points and move eight points ahead at the top of the Championship standings.
Valentino Rossi scored his best ever finish in 2nd place aboar the Ducati, in hard-fought race in wet conditions during the French Grand Prix at Le Mans, where he climbed from the third row of the grid to the second step of the podium. Having started from seventh place, the Italian advanced to third by lap three, at which point Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow joined him in a long battle. He picked up his pace around seven laps from the end, eventually setting the fastest lap of the race and closing the gap to Casey Stoner, who he overtook on the final lap. His runner-up finish behind winner Jorge Lorenzo is his best result with Ducati so far. Nicky Hayden, despite an unfortunate start, worked his way up to sixth by the finish.
Pedrosa Tops Stoner in Pole Start for LeMans MotoGP
Qualifying Saturday, May 19th -
The Monster Energy Grand Prix de France in Le Mans provided spectators with three gripping qualifying session where riders once again battled each other, as well as the elements. In the MotoGP™ class, it was Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa who took his first pole position of the season ahead of teammate Casey Stoner. Having started in the wet, the session dried out with 30 minutes to go, leaving Pedrosa to post a time of 1.33’638 to snatch pole, and record his fourth ever MotoGP Le Mans pole position. Stoner, who had been the pace setter until the final session had his first crash of the season in the day’s morning practice, yet walked away unscathed.
Completing the front row is Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso, who also achieved his best grid position of the season so far in third. Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo heads the second row in fourth after being held up in traffic on his final hot lap. Behind him in fifth is Dovizioso’s teammate Cal Crutchlow, who had been the early pace setter in the session, yet couldn’t quite match the Italian’s speed. Sixth place is occupied by Lorenzo’s teammate Ben Spies, who will be looking to take this form into tomorrow’s race and fight for a podium.
Ben Spies seemed a little distracted at LeMans, bested in Qualifying and in the Race again my Yamaha team Lorenzo, and the Monster Yamaha B squad of Dovizioso and Crutchlow.
The third row is headed by Valentino Rossi in seventh, his best grid position so far this year, who qualified as top Ducati after lapping consistently quick ahead of San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista. Bautista, who had been in the top five for most of the practice sessions, crashed out in the last minute of qualifying on his final attempt. Pramac Racing Team’s Héctor Barberá sits in ninth, ahead of other satellite Ducati rider Karel Abraham on-board his Cardion AB Racing machine.
Power Electronics Aspar’s French rider Randy de Puniet finished top CRT in 12th, much to the delight of the home fans.
LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl crashed half way through the session, after being one of the first riders to head out on slicks on the drying track. Iván Silva saved a near low-side early on, before taking an excursion into the gravel towards the end, while De Puniet’s teammate Aleix Espargaró’s misery continued this weekend as he had to return to the pits with bike issues.
Rossi (46) makes his way past past the Monster Yamaha's of Dovioso (4) Crutchlow (behind) on the opening laps.
Lorenzo makes it look easy
Race day Sunday, May 20th - On a day that saw all three classes of the MotoGP™ World Championship come up against the worst weather condition seen so far this season at the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France in Le Mans, it was Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo who retook the championship lead as he dominated in tricky conditions. He finished ahead of Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi, who recorded his and the Italian outfit’s best result since joining them last season.
At the start of the race it was however Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa who got off to one of his trademark starts followed closely by teammate Casey Stoner. Their lead was short lived, as Lorenzo charged past the pair and instantly pulled out a gap. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow also made a good start in fourth, followed by a surging Rossi in fifth.
It was heartache for the French fans from the beginning as Power Electronics Aspar’s local rider Randy de Puniet dropped his bike on the grid, and had to head out on his spare one. Near the front, Rossi soon moved past Crutchlow to take fourth, with Dovizioso following suit almost instantly. Avintia Blusens’ Iván Silva’s race was ended early as he fell foul of the wet conditions, crashing out of the race in the opening stages. With Lorenzo building a three second lead, Stoner pushed past Pedrosa to chase down his championship rival. Pedrosa seemed to struggling on the wet surface, with Rossi capitalising on this to take third with 21 laps left. The Tech3 pair passed Pedrosa even further down the order as they looked to hunt down Rossi.
Towards the back, Lorenzo’s teammate Ben Spies was struggling and had a wobble at the end of turn two, shortly after which he entered the pits. Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham retired with 17 laps to go, with NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s replacement rider Chris Vermeulen also having to come in for a helmet change.
As Lorenzo was maintaining his lead around the three-second mark ahead of Stoner, it was the ensuing tussle for third between Crutchlow, Dovizioso and Rossi that was providing some breath-taking overtaking in horrific conditions. Ten laps before the end it was misery for Crutchlow as he lost the front in the first chicane, leaving the two Italians to fight it out for the final podium spot, with Rossi taking third just two corners later. The Brit managed to restart his bike and re-join in eighth. Meanwhile, Lorenzo had extended his lead to six seconds at the front with Stoner a further four seconds ahead of Rossi.
With five laps to go Stoner was held up slightly by Avintia’s Yonny Hernandez, who was being lapped, allowing Rossi to get to within half a second of the Australian world champion. Two laps later, Dovizioso crashed out of fourth tying to stick with the pair, while down the field Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci crashed out of 11th.
Rossi (46) caught and passed, was repassed, then passed again Stoner (1) on the final lap. All the riders ran full-wet Bridgestone tires the entire 28 lap race.
The last three laps gave MotoGP fans a racing delight, as old adversaries Stoner and Rossi swapped positions throughout. It was however Rossi who looked back to his old self as he passed Stoner in the first chicane on the last lap, after which he pulled out a lead big enough to secure second.
At the end it was Lorenzo who took the chequered flag to take an eight-point lead at the top of the championship ahead of Stoner, who came home in third. Pedrosa managed fourth, while LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl recorded his best ever result in fifth, ahead or Rossi’s teammate Nicky Hayden. Dovizioso, who managed to re-join after crashing, finished seventh ahead of his teammate Crutchlow, while Pramac Racing’s Héctor Barberá and San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista completed the top ten. Paul Bird Motorsport’s James Ellison put in a great performance to finish as top CRT in 11th.
Lorenzo's factory Yamaha Team mate Ben Spies continues to be plagued by bad luck; having made a good start the Texan slid on the start finish line paint, dropping several places. A subsequent issue with his race visor letting in water and reducing vision meant an unscheduled pit stop, allowing the majority of the field past and compromising his race. Spies finished 16th and remains 11th in the standings as they go to Catalunya in two weeks time.
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha 1st - “It was really difficult to hold concentration today, in the dry it’s complicated but in the wet it’s even more. The race feels much longer and you have to remember where the corners are slippery every lap. If you forget one you can crash very easily. I started the race determined to be in first position from the beginning and managed to keep my concentration even when Casey was catching me. It would have been easy to push a bit more and make a mistake at that moment but I waited for a few more laps to see what happened then opened the gap again to win this fantastic race. A big thank you to my team who worked very hard in difficult conditions to make a set up that worked for me.”
Valentino Rossi, Ducati 2nd - “I’m really, really happy. We knew we had a special opportunity in the wet today, so I tried to ride perfectly and not throw it away. I started well and immediately made up some positions, and then I passed the two Yamahas to get behind Stoner. I was able to match his pace, but then my visor started to fog and I had to slow down for a couple of laps until I was able to clear it by lifting it a little. Once I could see again, I re-passed Cal and then Dovi. When I realized that I could really push hard and that it was possible to catch Stoner again, I went for it. It was a great race and a nice, fun battle with Stoner to the last lap. I enjoyed myself and I’m happy for my team and all the guys at Ducati, who are working so hard for me. Now we must continue giving our all until we’re also able to be competitive in the dry. We found a good base to work from in Portugal, and it wasn’t bad in the dry here, either, although not as good as in the wet. Now our main goal is to take another step forward and make up some more tenths.”
Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda: 3rd - “I was pretty happy to hold on for a podium today. In the early stages Cal, Valentino and Dovi were behind me putting on a lot of pressure, but we managed to pull a small gap on them as I was chasing Jorge. Then as soon as the rain stopped and the track was less wet, our tyre temperatures got too high, we started spinning and there wasn’t anything I could do about it. I thought the three of them would catch up and perhaps overtake me, but we managed to hold on for third. I enjoyed the battle with Valentino at the end, there was clean overtaking and we swapped positions a few times, but in the end we knew that Valentino had better pace than us and after he passed there was no way I could stay with him. We did everything we could today and to come away with a podium is a good result.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 4th - “I had no traction out of the corners, especially in first and second gear, and I wasn’t able to advance. We made a few changes to the configuration of the bike after warm-up, hoping to improve it a bit. In the end it was other way around, but these things can happen. In the race I immediately realised it was not my day, not a day to take risks and it was important to simply reach the best position. I was lucky – after the crashes of both Tech 3 Yamaha – to finish fourth. Wet races can be like this and today was just not our day. We lost many points to Lorenzo, but the Championship is very long and we will have our time. This race is over and we must now think towards Catalunya. I’m really looking forward to going there. It’s a circuit that motivates me a lot and I will have all my family and friends with me. The team is working very well, we have a good bike and we’ve been fast in every race, but we need to be determined. Let’s see if we can speed up a little and take our first win of the season in Catalunya.”
After four rounds Stoner and Lorenzo have won two races each, but today’s result moves the Spaniard back into the title lead he had held following his success in last month’s season-opening Qatar GP. Eight points now separate the pair with 14 rounds still to go. The MotoGP circus now returns southward for the Catalan Grand Prix at Catalunya on June 1/2/3.
RESULTS MOTOGP RACE: (28 laps = 117.18 Km)
POS / RIDER / NAT. / TEAM / MOTORCYCLE / TIME / KM/H / GAP
1 / JORGE LORENZO / SPA / YAMAHA FACTORY RACING / YAMAHA / 49'39.743 / 141.571 /
2 / VALENTINO ROSSI / ITA / DUCATI TEAM / DUCATI / 49'49.648 / 141.102 / 9.905
3 / CASEY STONER / AUS / REPSOL HONDA TEAM / HONDA / 49'51.041 / 141.037 / 11.298
4 / DANI PEDROSA / SPA / REPSOL HONDA TEAM / HONDA / 50'09.104 / 140.19 / 29.361
5 / STEFAN BRADL / GER / LCR HONDA MOTOGP / HONDA / 50'12.220 / 140.045 / 32.477
6 / NICKY HAYDEN / USA / DUCATI TEAM / DUCATI / 50'12.585 / 140.028 / 32.842
7 / ANDREA DOVIZIOSO / ITA / MONSTER YAMAHA TECH 3 / YAMAHA / 50'39.502 / 138.788 / 59.759
8 / CAL CRUTCHLOW / GBR / MONSTER YAMAHA TECH 3 / YAMAHA / 50'44.895 / 138.542 / 1'05.152
9 / HECTOR BARBERA / SPA / PRAMAC RACING TEAM / DUCATI / 50'47.589 / 138.42 / 1'07.846
10 / ALVARO BAUTISTA / SPA / SAN CARLO HONDA GRESINI / HONDA / 50'52.936 / 138.177 / 1'13.193
11 / JAMES ELLISON / GBR / PAUL BIRD MOTORSPORT / ART / 51'06.406 / 137.57 / 1'26.663
12 / MATTIA PASINI / ITA / SPEED MASTER / ART / 51'07.376 / 137.527 / 1'27.633
13 / ALEIX ESPARGARO / SPA / POWER ELECTRONICS ASPAR / ART / 49'55.456 / 135.799 / 1 LAP
14 / MICHELE PIRRO / ITA / SAN CARLO HONDA GRESINI / FTR / 50'03.709 / 135.426 / 1 LAP
15 / YONNY HERNANDEZ / COL / AVINTIA BLUSENS / BQR / 50'13.248 / 134.997 / 1 LAP
Pole Position: Dani PEDROSA 1'33.638 160.896 Km/h
Fastest Lap: Valentino ROSSI 1'44.614 144.015 Km/h Lap 21
Circuit Record Lap: Dani PEDROSA 1'33.617 160.932 Km/h 2011
Circuit Best Lap: Dani PEDROSA 1'32.647 162.617 Km/h 2008
CHAMPIONSHIP POSITIONS TO DATE:
1 LORENZO 90, 2 STONER 82, 3 PEDROSA 65, 4 CRUTCHLOW 45, 5 DOVIZIOSO 44,
6 ROSSI 42, 7 BRADL 35, 8 BAUTISTA 35, 9 HAYDEN 33, 10 BARBERA 26, 11 SPIES 18,
12 ESPARGARO 12, 13 PASINI 6, 14 DE PUNIET 6, 15 ELLISON 5.
Casey on the grid last year with wife Andrea, who has stayed back home in Australia this year with their new first child.
SHOCKER! Casey Stoner Announces His Retirement at the End of 2012
Honda Racing, Thursday, May 17, LeMans, France - Reigning MotoGP World Champion and 2012 points leader Casey Stoner stunned the MotoGP paddock at Le Mans this afternoon when he announced his retirement. The 26-year-old will stop racing motorcycles at the end of this season.
The Repsol Honda rider cited personal reasons for his decision, as well as suggesting that MotoGP’s new direction – with the introduction of lower-cost and lower-performance CRT machines for some riders – also played a part.
“This has come after a long time of thinking and talking with my family and my wife,” he said. “It’s been coming for a couple of years now. At the end of this season I will finish my career in MotoGP and follow different things in my life. After so many years of doing the sport I love, for which myself and my family have made so many sacrifices, this sport has changed a lot and it’s changed to the point where I’m not enjoying it. I don’t have the passion for it, so it’s better if I retire now. It’d be nice if I could say I’ll stay one more year but then when does it stop, so we decided to finish.
“My decision isn’t going to change anything this season. We still want to win races and we’ll still put in 110 per cent of effort and maybe even more
“I’ve been watching this championship for a long time and it’s easy to see what works and what doesn’t.
“There are many, many different reasons but basically it’s me losing my passion for the racing and my enjoyment for the sport. Sure, I’m going to enjoy this year but I’m sure if I continue it would be a mistake.
“There’s many things I’d like to do with my life. I don’t want to keep racing bikes to the point where I lose my passion for motorcycles. I love bikes, they’ve been my whole life, and if I keep doing this I’m afraid I’ll completely lose my passion. Maybe I’ll still have some involvement in the sport, if I can find the energy, to maybe help some young riders, things like that.
“We’ve had a great career, we’ve had some fantastic races and I feel even after my first championship in 2007 I’d already reached my goal. This was my dream: to be World Champion. It’s been a difficult up and down road but a fantastic one. I won’t have any regrets.”
The Australian started racing in dirt track competition when he was four-years-old. A multiple state and local champion, his family moved to Britain when he was 14 so he could start racing on tarmac. He won a British roadrace title at his first attempt – in 2000 – and made his Grand Prix debut in the 250cc class in 2002, when he was 16 years old. He won five 250 GP victories and two 125 GP victories before graduating to MotoGP in 2006, with LCR Honda. The following year he won his first MotoGP victory and the world title with Ducati. He has won 35 races in the premier class
British fans were happy to settle for an Italian on a German bike winning Race One after an exciting five rider battle for the lead all race long. It would get even beter in Race two.
History for BMW and Melandri, a dramatic win for Rea
Race Day, Sunday 13 May 2012–A 48,500 strong crowd saw some astounding race action at Donington in two sun-blessed 23-lap races, which culminated in a moment of history for one of the world’s most important motorcycle manufacturers, some of the best SBK racing ever seen and changes near the top of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship table.
After Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) won the first race, the German manufacturer added its name to the list of race-winning makes for the very first time. In race two a classic multi-rider battle ended up in joy and heartbreak for some top riders, as Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) came out on top after a final corner melee.
The end result of one of the best days of racing imaginable is that Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) leads the championship with 128.5 points, from double podium man Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) on 123, and Rea on 108. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) is fourth on 105.5. The top four championship places are now covered by only 23 points, after five rounds and nine individual races. COMPLETE COVERAGE HERE
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We love our cartoon character FastDates.om Gas Pump Girl were been running as our official logo the past 10 years. It was originally drawn by a talented artist named Kai Buskirk for the motorcycle event T-Shirt company Feelin' Lucky. But after some 10 years now, we felt it was time for a new look for our Calendar tart. I'd been looking for a pinup artist to redraw a new calendar Kitten for a few years now, but just didn't come across anyone whose's style I liked...until now.
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Team BMW estatic over its first ever World Superbike Championship Victory - that was also a Double!
Donington,Sunday, 13th May 2012. - The long awaited next milestone has been achieved: Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport has climbed onto the top step on the podium. At Donington (GBR), the team not only celebrated its first victory in the FIM Superbike World Championship, but also its first ‘one-two’ in the series. Factory riders Marco Melandri (ITA) as winner and Leon Haslam (GBR) being second gave BMW Motorrad the perfect finish in race one in today’s fifth round of the 2012 season.
It was an exciting road leading to the historic first victory in race one. Starting from second, Leon took the lead immediately by passing pole-sitter Tom Sykes (GBR). Marco maintained his third position. At the end of lap four, Sykes passed Leon again, while Marco was successfully defending attacks from Max Biaggi (ITA). On lap 12, Leon fought his way back into the lead, and when Marco passed Sykes on lap 14 for second, the two BMW riders started their nail-biting battle for victory, changing positions at the very top several times. Then, with three laps to go, Leon went wide onto the grass, slipping back to third behind Sykes. Marco was able to open a gap and get the first victory, while Leon did not give up the fight and overtook Sykes for second at the beginning of the last lap, securing the double triumph for BMW Motorrad.
Today was close to being a dream Sunday for the Bavarian team, with Leon being on his way to home victory and Marco lying in second at the last corner of the second race, but racing can be more than tough: They were denied another well-deserved triumph when an over-optimistic manoeuvre by another rider forced both to crash. From the start, they fought a breathtaking battle with Sykes, Biaggi and Jonathan Rea (GBR) for the top positions. With seven laps to go, Leon took the lead, determined to celebrate the next BMW victory on his home soil. Meanwhile Marco succeeded in the battle for second and there was just one corner to go to another ‘one-two’. In this last corner, the too ambitious final attack by another rider forced Leon into a crash. Leon’s bike slid across the asphalt and hit Marco’s RR with the Italian’s race ending in the gravel. Leon was classified 15th and Marco as retired. Rea won ahead of Biaggi and Sykes.
In the Rider’s Championship, Marco is fifth with 97.5 points, followed by Leon, who is sixth with 89 points. In the Manufacturers’ Standings BMW improved to second after race one, but slid back to third with 131 points after race two. BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet SBK Team’s Michel Fabrizio (ITA) was tenth and 13th, his team-mate Ayrton Badovini (ITA) 11th and sixth.
Result Race 1: 1st / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:28.999 min
Result Race 2: DNF / Gap to 1st: 1 lap / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:29.138 min
“It is an awesome feeling for me to put my name in the history books of a factory like BMW Motorrad. I could not have dreamt of this when I was young. I just want to say thank you to BMW Motorrad in Germany, to the team at the track and to everybody involved in the project. We have been working so hard and we have never been close to giving up, even when we have had some difficulties. We will keep pushing, and I am more than happy.
I am disappointed with the result of the second race. I was trying to pass Leon in the final corner, although I knew it would be difficult but I am a racer and I had to try. I ran a little wide and expected Leon to pass me back – finishing second would have been ok for me. Then Leon was hit and he crashed. His bike hit me and I crashed too. I feel sorry for both of us but that’s racing. We now have to keep our heads up high and look forward to Salt Lake City where we hope to be fighting for wins again.”
Result Race 1: 2nd / Gap to 1st: 00:00.728 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:29.097 min
Result Race 2: 15th / Gap to 1st: 01:20.196 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:39.308 min
“What a day. I had a good pace in race one. In the end, I have to say that I am kind of disappointed with the second place. I had a big wobble out of Coppers and it actually put me on the right hand side of Marco instead of the left, and he braked a bit earlier that lap. I had nowhere to go, so I opted for the gravel. It was kind of a combination of things that caught me out but fair play to Marco. A BMW 1-2 result is just fantastic. Right now I just want to forget race 2. I feel a bit frustrated because I was going for my first win for BMW Motorrad – at my home round, but we were denied that well deserved victory. The crash was not my fault at all… Anyway, that’s racing, and we’re now looking forward to the next round. Hopefully we can turn things around at the next race meeting at Salt Lake City. I want to dedicate my race 1 result to Robert Fearnall, who was a close friend of the family.”
Bernhard Gobmeier (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director):
“The first race was absolutely thrilling. We saw bike-to-bike action, and our opponents gave us a hard time on the track. Marco’s race was impressive: He organized his race excellently, showed great overtaking ability and consequently deserved the victory. For us it is even more satisfying to see that Leon was also able to showcase his talent. He also had great battles on the track and completed BMW Motorrad’s first double victory in World Superbikes. This 1-2 is the result of the hard work of everyone involved in this project – in Munich, in Stephanskirchen and at the track. A big Thank You to our riders and the whole team.
The second race was again great – until the last corner. It is just too disappointing to see both riders crash blamelessly when leading the pack into the final corner of the race. Now we have to keep our heads up and look forward to Salt Lake City. We hope to fight for wins there as well.”
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