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New 2004 Sportbikes!
Main Sportbike Contents
Aprilia Index
Aprilia RSV1000R & RF

Ducati Index
Ducati 998R, 998S, 998

 Ducati 999, Multistrada
Ducati Multistrada Test
Ducati 999S Test
Ducati 999R 03 Review
Ducati Classics
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Honda Index
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KTM RC8 Superbike
Suzuki GSXR Index
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Reviews, Tests,
News Features

Aprilia 2004 RSV1000R
   First USA test!
Ducati 2004 Multistrada

   First USA Test!
Superbike Rules
   for 2004! Spec Tires
Ducati 999S First Test!
Valentino Rossi
  Biography of a Champ.
British Sportbike mags
Taking over America!

Rebecca Romijn   Supermodel turns killer   on her Ducati Monster.
SBK Fast Dates Girls   
  Our offical Ducati Corse   umbrella girls at
Paris Motorcycle Show
  Well Worth theTrip

2003 SBK Superbike
March 09 - Valencia E
March 30 - Phillip Is AU
April 27 - Sugo JP
May 18 - Monza IT
June 01 - Oschersleben
June 15 - Silverstone GB
June 22 - Misano IT
July 13 - Laguna US
July 27 - Brands GB
Sep 7 - Assen NL
Sept 28 - Imola IT
Oct 19 - Magny Cours FR

2003 MotoGP
April 06 Suzuka JP
April 27 Welkom SA
May 11 Jerez SP
May 25 Le Mans FR
June 08 Mugello Italy
June 15 Catalunya SP
June 28 Assen NL
July 13 Donington UK
July 27 Sachsenring GR
Aug 17 Brno CZ
Sept 07 Estoril Portugal
Sept 20 Jacarepagua BR
Oct 05 Motegi JP
Oct 10 Sepang Malaysia
Oct 19 Phillip Island AU
Nov 02 Valencia

2003 AMA Superbike
March 5-9 Daytona
April 4-6 CA Speedway
May 2-4 Infineon Sonoma,
May 16-18 Road Atlanta,
May 30/June1 Pikes Peak
June 6-8 Road America
June 27-29 Brainerd
July 10-13 Laguna Seca
July 25-27 Mid-Ohio
August 29-31 Virginia
September 20 Barber AL

Sportbike Pinup Calendars
2003 Calendar Review
2002 Calendar Review   Revealing Expose!

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Japanese Bike Sales Up
Dec 12th - JAMA (Japan Automobile Manufacturers' Association, Inc) has announced that for the month of October, 2003, motorcycle production was recorded at 932,088 units, compared with 912,138 for the same month of 2002. This equates to an increase of 19,950 units - up 2.2 per cent. It means production has now been up on the same month of the previous year for two consecutive months.

Motorcycle exports for October, 2003, are recorded at 122,430 units - up 13,686 units or 12.6 per cent over the 108,744 units recorded for the previous year. This figure also represents an export increase on the same month of the previous year following five consecutive months of decrease.

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FastDates.com December 2003
Page 2 • Racing & Calendar News
Superbike, MotoGP, Calendar Girls

Official Calendar of the SBK World Superbike Championship

Home of the official SBK Fast Dates & Team Ducati Corse Umbrella Girls

Week's Starting Grid: Eric Bostrom Tests Ducati at Daytona.
Calendar girl Nicki Lane goes to Miss World Finals!

Rossi signs with Yamaha It was the Challenge, Not the Money
Neil Hodgsen Interview New 2003 World Superbike Champion speaks out

2004 FIM and AMA Superbike Rules revealed!
New 2004 Aprilia RSVR Superbike First USA track test with Janelle

New 2004 Honda, Yamaha Kawasaki 1000cc Superbikes
SBK World Superbike Hodgson and Xaus at Magney-Cours season final

MotoGP Valencia - Rossi ends the season and his career with Honda
AMA Superbike Roberts wins Barber finale, Mladin takes 4th title.
Britsh Superbike Shane Shakey Byrne clinches the '03

2003 LA Calendar Motorcycle Show 2-Day Street Bike Extravaganza
Ducati Fast Dates Calendar Girls gone wild at Laguna World Superbike

The Pit Board Editorial, Race Schedules, Fan Mail, Index, Feature Article

The new KTM 990cc RC8 Superbike Prototype: just 385 pounds and dirt bike simplicity!

2004 KTM 990 RC8 Superbike Prototype

KTM, one of the world's leading off-road bike manufacturers with World Championship Motocross, Cross Country and SuperMoto titles to its credits, is expanding its motorcycle product line into the streetbike market. They know, like Ducati, winning performance is what sells bikes to the enthusiast bike markets which they target, so their entry into the streetbike market will be harolded with a new leading edge superbike and a factory team entry in the 2006 World Superbike Championship.

The bike you see here is the RC8, the "concept" or first prototype for the new KTM superbike, unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show this month. The bike employs a proven Ducati style trelis chromoly tube frame with a stressed member 990cc 75-degree V-Twin engine of KTM's own manufacture. The design is very simple and clean like a dirt bike, and features a few new innovations like the under seat fuel tank, complete under engine exhaust system, and dry sump lubrication (oil tank in the swingarm?). Obviously midsing on this clean looking prototype are the rear view mirrors and turn signal for street use, along with side number panels.

KTM says they welcome the new production based FIM superbike rules which help to reduce costs and it could be conceivable this bike could go into production for well under $20,000. Hopefully KTM can get the bike into production even sooner than 2006 and possibly enter World Superbike in 2005?

Bonus! KTM RC8 Screensaver and more photos- Click Here

New Aprilia RSV1000RF Racing
Bolonga, IT, Dec 6th, 2003: Aprilia is presenting racing versions of the RSV 1000, RS 250 and RS 125 at the Bologna MotorShow. Also making its debut will be the brand new SXV 4.5 Supermotard. The introduction of the racetrack specials has been in response to the global growing demand for track-dedicated bikes. All the bikes feature aviation fibre fairings, unrestricted exhausts and dispense with unnecessary items such as the lights, horns and mirrors. The ‘racing’ colourway and graphics scheme is common across all three models.

The RSV 1000 R Factory features a 102dB Aprilia Racing titanium exhaust, which equates to a further 10hp in the mid-range and an extra 4hp on the top end with a weight reduction of 8kg (This pipe kit is also avaialble separetly to fit the over 2004 RSV1000 models).
The RS 250 ‘Pista’ has lightweight Aprilia exhausts with Kevlar carbon silencers like those found on the RSW 250 GP bike. The RS 125 ‘Pista’ is designed as the bike for young talent to launch them into motorcycle racing. The bike comes fitted with a special exhaust that features internal welds and a Kevlar carbon silencer.

Road homologation kits will be made available for the RSV and RS 125. The SXV 4.5 is going to race in the World Supermotard Championships next season. Also appearing on the Aprilia stand will be the bikes that raced in the 2003 season: the RS3, RSW 250 and RS GP 125. On Sunday 7th, racers Manuel Poggiali and Alex De Angelis will be on the stand and on Monday 8th, new MotoGP rider and current British Superbike Champion Shane Byrne will be on hand to sign autographs and meet fans.

For More Information on the new Aprilia Mille Racing and Nera models go to: New Bikes Aprilia

British Superbike Champ Shane Byrne
Moves to Aprila MotoGP Team

Nov 23, 2003 -Shane Byrne made his debut for the Aprilia MotoGP team on the second day of a three-day test shared with the Ducati team at Jerez in Spain. The 26-year-old was forced to sit out the first day due to wet conditions, but was able to put in his first MotoGP laps on Tuesday, November 25. Despite a minor crash, the reigning British Superbike champion completed a number of laps on his own before spending a session following test rider Marcelino Lucchi.

Despite his tumble, Byrne was impressed with the bike: " It’s incredible! Very fast. Everything is different to last year’s superbike and I’ve got to change my style and learn how to ride an Aprilia. There’s lots of room for me to improve but I am confident in Aprilia and that the work carried out so far by Lucchi will benefit me. "

On the third and final day of the test on Wednesday, November 26, Byrne completed 63 laps with a best time of 1:44.7. This time would have qualified him for the 2003 Spanish GP, albeit in 20th place.

The Ducati team was also positive after the test. Working on new components for the 2004 Desmosedici race bikes, Loris Capirossi completed 46 laps, with a best time of 1:42.8. Troy Bayliss managed 52 laps, recording a time of 1:43.1. Both riders were using a race set-up for their updated 2003 machines to test new Michelin front tyres on the last day.

Eric Bostrom will be at the controls of the World Championship winning factory Ducati 999F 03 in AMA Superbike next season, but only if he can first work his way past our beautiful SBK Fast Dates Ducati Corse girls -
Miss Minnesota Janelle Pierzina, Miss Great Brirain Nicki Lane, and Chandi Mason.

FastDates.com sponsored Nicki in the Miss Britain pageant.

Miss Great Britain Nicki Takes on the World
She's off to Venezuela for Miss World Finals

London GB, Dec 1st: Our own Fast Dates and Iron & Lace Calendar cover model and official SBK World Superbike Fast Dates.com Ducati Corse umbrella girl Nicola Lane is off to Venezula this month to take on the world! Our beautiful Miss Great Britain 2003 will be competing in the Tourism World sponsored Miss World finals. Nicki writies us-

"I'm on on the mend from being sick the last 2 months and back to evil exercise again!!! Ha! I've done five bikram yoga classes in five days to get ready. The final for Miss Tourism World isn`t in Hong Kong anymore for two reasons: Loads of girls wouldn`t go 'cos of the SARS scare, and China came in with a massive bid with the condition that Miss China would be placed in the top five! I am therefore off to Venezuela, home of the beauty pageants for the finals Dec. 12th to 21st. You should look at Miss Europe. the winner was a Russian girl, only 16 but absolutely stunning, tall slim and a model.All the info is on their website www.misstourismworld.com."   
For More Nicki go: Meet the ModelsFast Dates News

" I saw our Chandi in the ad pages in British Cosmo! She was advertising some bizarre strapless bra thing, but she looked as gorgeous as ever. Tell her I want her teeth!"

Michelin Tire Tests at Daytona

Eric Bostrom and Ducati Warm Up At Daytona
Daytona Beach, FL, Dec. 4, 2003: Eric Bostrom put on his new red and orange Ducati leathers and turned his first laps aboard the Ducati 999 factory motorcycle on Thursday at Daytona International Speedway as Ducati Austin and Valvoline EMGO Suzuki kicked off a three-day Michelin tire test in preparation for the 63rd Daytona 200 By Arai motorcycle classic on Saturday, March 6.

Bostrom had been riding for Kawasaki USA since 2000, but the distributor's pulled out of AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike for 2004 opening the door for the 27-year-old San Francisco rider to join Ducati.

Bostrom turned his first laps on the Ducati 999 that he'll race in the season-opening Daytona 200 By Arai, being held on a Saturday for the first time in event history. Bostrom's first impressions on the motorcycle were positive.

"The thing is really fun to ride," Bostrom said. "Daytona is a very difficult track to learn a new bike because it's so different from any other track we ride. Everything that comes here is different whether it's tires or big straightaways.

"My initial feelings when I jumped on the bike . . . it was really easy. Right now, we're just trying to figure out how to get in the turns a little bit quicker. The thing is really solid on the exits. Through the middle, it's probably the easiest bike I've ever ridden. Right now, we're just trying to get the entry down. Things are looking pretty good."

Bostrom, who along with Valvoline EMGO Suzuki's Steve Rapp and Vince Haskovec, will test on the historic 3.56-mile road course through Saturday. Beginning Monday, Dunlop will have a three-day tire test in preparation for the Daytona 200 By Arai.

Bostrom hopes his three days of tire testing can lead to a solid run in the Daytona 200 By Arai."Already I've got a good feeling for the tires," said Eric, whose best finish in the Daytona 200 By Arai was a second in 2001.

"I think probably the biggest part of the puzzle to winning this race is to have a bike go around here for 57 quick laps. It's very difficult. Here, a lot of times if you have a good setup for brand new tires, it'll be a poor setup for used tires. You'll have some screaming laps (in the beginning of a run) but you'll fade to the back as soon as the tires go off."

One fact that Bostrom is aware of is that Ducati has never won the Daytona 200 By Arai. He says it would be special if he could lead the Italian motorcycle manufacturer to Gatorade Victory Lane at Daytona for the first time in the legendary race.

"I've heard about that," Bostrom said of Ducati's woes at Daytona. "It would be special. They've already showed me a huge amount of commitment to my program. Realistically, it's going to be a big job. There are a lot of teams that come here with a lot of history. To say we're going to come in and win doesn't seem like an educated statement. We're going to come out here with our race face on. I'm sure we'll know more after the next couple of days of testing where we stand."

Michelin tire testing continues on Friday. The session is free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of DAYTONA USA. Tickets for the Daytona 200 By Arai on Saturday, March 6 and the inaugural nighttime running of the Daytona Supercross By Honda on Friday night, March 5 are available online or by calling (386) 253-7223.

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The Ducati Paul Smart Replica features the new DS1000 aircooled engine in a retro unfaired chassis complete with wire spoke wheells, a weird conventional swongarm with side mounted single shock, and modern front forks, brakes and electronics. More HERE

Ducati to Preview Dream Machines at Cycle World Shows,
Long Beach - Dec 12-14th and New York - Jan 2-4th
November 7th - Ducati North America will be bringing to America their 3 new "Dream Machine" Sport Classic prototypes which were premiered at last month's Tokyo Motorcycle Show. Inspired by the Sportbikes of the 1970s, Ducati’s Three SportClassic Prototypes are the Stuff of Enthusiast’s Dreams

The USA unveiling will take place at the Long Beach Convention Center in Southern California December 11th 2003, and the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City January 2nd 2004. You can see more details and pictures on all three Ducati Dream Machines HERE.

Eric Bostrom will also be visiting the Show – in his first public appearance as a Ducati rider. The 2004 Los Angeles International Motorcycle Show will be at the Long Beach Convention Center on December 12th through 14th, 2003. In addition to the new 2004 Ducati range and the US debut of the Sport Classic concept bikes, Ducati AMA Superbike rider Eric Bostrom will attend on Saturday and Sunday to sign autographs.

Eric won the 2001 AMA Supersport 600 championship and finished 2nd in the AMA Superbike series during the same year. In 2002 his efforts realized a respectable 2nd place finish in AMA Superbike. Unfortunately, an injury in 2003 prevented him from finishing better than 7th in the championship points. Now Eric is back and his partnership with Ducati’s world-famous racing division leads the effort to regain the AMA Superbike title. Eric will be riding a factory-supported 999 for Ducati Austin, a bike that has recently conquered the World Superbike Series. Eric is really eager to get started. He said, “Obviously, jumping onto the World Championship machine brings high expectations, but at the moment I just can't wait to get on the bike. Between the 999, myself, and the Michelins, 2004 is going to be an exciting year.”

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Covergirls Janelle, Chandi and Joanna Krupa get down to work
in the 2004 Garage Girls calendar available right here.

Mladin Does Daytona
Dunlop Tire Test Week
Daytona Beach, Florida, USA (Monday, 8 December) – Defending American Superbike champion Mat Mladin heads a strong list of riders who will be taking part in this week’s three-day Dunlop tyre test at the famed Daytona International Speedway on the American east coast.

The test will see Mladin rejoin his Yoshimura Suzuki team for the first time since winning an unprecedented fourth AMA Superbike crown at Barber Motorsports Park, Alabama on September 21 after returning home for a short break and for the birth of his first child.

This weeks test will mark the beginning of Mladin’s pre-season preparation as he strives to win a fifth title.

“This is the opening week of the Yoshimura Suzuki’s testing program for next year and I am looking forward to it in that respect,” said Mladin. “The team have been working extremely hard since the end of the season and I’m feeling refreshed and ready to go. 2003 proved to be a good year for us and at this point, I cannot see any reason why we should not be able to reproduce the same form in 2004.”

“We have a lot of work to do before the season commences in March,” Mladin added. “The AMA have modified the rules in the Superbike class and we have to now get the best out of our bike in accordance with the rules. Another area in which we have to work hard will be tyres and that’s where we will start this week. We had a tough time with tyres here last year, so it will be interesting to see what Dunlop have for us this week.”

The 2003 season proved to be a stellar year for Mladin where he not only clinched his fourth AMA Superbike championship, but equalled Fred Merkel’s long standing record of ten race wins for a season, extending his overall career win tally to 24. He also further extended his own record of pole positions to 31 after setting the fastest time during qualifying on seven occasions in 2003.

This week’s test (Monday through Wednesday) will be a precursor to the Daytona 200 which opens the 18-race 2004 AMA Chevy Trucks US Superbike Championship on Saturday, March 6.

Eric Does Long Beach
for Ducati

Eric Bostrom will be in attendance in the Ducati USA display at the Los Angeles International Motorcycle Show at the Long Beach Convention Center on December 12th through 14th, 2003, in his first public appearance as a Ducati rider. In addition to the new 2004 Ducati range and the US debut of the Sport Classic concept bikes, Ducati AMA Superbike rider Eric Bostrom will attend on Saturday and Sunday to sign autographs.

Matt LeBlanc
Does Long Beach

for an Aprilia Nera
"Friend"s TV star Mat LeBlanc will be in the Aprilia display at the Advanstar Cycle World International Motorcycle Show in Long Beach at 1pm on Saturday Dec 13th to pick up the keys to his new Limited addition $40,000 Aprillia RSV1000R NERA.

We hope the $1 million dollar per episode sit com star, an avid sportbike fan, who is not known outside the show for his acting or comedic skills, is paying full sticker price for his new toy, and that Aprilia USA is not giving him the bike for free for the questionable publicity value.

Matt' visit to the Aprilia factory earlier this year where he met the company president and got to preview the new Nera is profiled on the Aprilia.com website. He currently owns a previous generation Mille R and sometimes rides up to the Rockstore, outside Los Angeles on Sundays.

The RSV 1000 R Nera is based on the RSV1000R Factory, which has already been described by press -including FastDates.com in our test - as one of the best ever sportbikes. The Nera goes further in performance and refinement by employing replacement carbonfiber, titanium and magnesium components to form a "unique, light-weight, more powerful and more aggressive bike". Made in a limited edition of 200 certified and numbered bikes, the RSV1000R is further emphasized by the entirely black colour, set off against a Titanium Gold painted frame and swing arm. All the fairings are made of carbon, including the tank*. The wheels are magnesium. The components are held in place with Ergal Aprilia Racing nuts and bolts for maximum light-weight. The weight has been kept down to a class record of 175 kg / 385lbs.

For More Information on the new Aprilia Mille Racing and Nera models go to: New Bikes Aprilia

Bologna Motor Show features a Real World Superbike Paddock with Teams, Bikes and riders for its fans
4th – 14th December 2003
Superbike World Championship fans will not have to wait until the new season starts next February in Valencia, Spain as it will “race” at the Bologna Motor Show from 4th to 14th December.

This extraordinary event is the result of extensive cooperation between FGSPORT and Promotor to continue the tradition of taking Superbike, its riders and teams directly to the fans and offering them both access and insight into the series that has generated so much passion, excitement and enjoyment over many years.

In a dramatic and significant achievement, the international paddock will be transplanted to one of the main halls at the Bologna Motor Show creating an epic and dynamic arena for fans of the sport. Fans will feel right at home inside the 1,200 square meter paddock that will contain the following exciting elements:

7 teams will present their racing trucks and bikes that have been competing in the 2003 season: Ducati Fila, Ducati NCR, Suzuki Alstare, Kawasaki Bertocchi, PSG-1, Ten Kate Honda, Yamaha Belgarda.
· 13 riders will be present, including: Neil Hodgson Superbike 2003 World Champion, Ruben Xaus second in the final standings, Regis Laconi and James Toseland Ducati Fila new signing for 2004, Lorenzo Lanzi, the young new entry climbing the Supersport ladder, David Garcia who flies the Ducati NCR flag, Mauro Sanchini 2003 Italian Champion together with team mates Ivan Clementi and Stefano Cruciani who will be riding the Kawasaki Bertocchi machines next year, the lion Pierfrancesco Chili, the PSG-1 standard-bearer, Chris Vermeulen, 2003 Supersport World Champion together with Brock Parkes, the Ten Kate Honda rider and Jurgen Van den Goorbergh from Yamaha Belgarda.

Pirelli, the official tyre supplier of the 2004 Superbike and Supersport World Championships will be present with a full race service truck and will organize promotional events and activities for the public.
· And something special for the first time - a real novelty in the form of bike and car together for the joy of the fans. A BMW M5, the first example of the exciting new race series SUPERSTARS will be on show for the public. The racing car has already been presented to a selected number of tuners and drivers at the Vallelunga Circuit in early November.

The heart as usual, will be the SBK Ring where the riders, following the SBK philosophy of public engagement, will be at disposal of all the motorcycle fans for interviews, autographs and talks on 7 and 8 December.

Pirelli pays SBK $3 Million for World Championship exclusive
Rumors have now leaked out that Pirelli's exclusive spec tire contract to FG Sport, owners of the SBK World Superbike and Supersport Championships will see Pirelli paying FGS $3 million per year for the exclusive spec tire supplier contract.

We feel the spec tire deal is great in that it helps the important SBK production bike based World Championship series survive during this difficult time without Japanese factory support, and remain somewhat affordable to privateer teams which are now the backbone of the series.

We might suggest, if you love Superbikes like we do, we hope sportbike fans will let their displeasure be known for manufacturers pulling out of Superbike racing by only buying bikes from the manufacturers who remain active in World and National superbike racing.

Canada Dropped from 2004 SBK Schedule
Dec 2nd, 2003 -
The previously scheduled Superbike & Supersport World Championship event in Canada will not be held. The event which was scheduled in Mont Tremblant, Québec, Canada, on July 4, 2004, will not take place. Following the circuit inspection by CCR inspector Claude Danis, the numerous works cannot be carried out in time and therefore
the circuit cannot be homologated. Series promoter FGSports is currently
studying possibilities of replacing the event. The calendar for the 2004 season is the following:

February 29 Spain Valencia X
March 28 Australia
Phillip Island X
April 18 San Marino/Saint-Marin Misano X
May 16 Italy/Italie Monza X
May 30 Germany/Allemagne Oschersleben X
June 13 Europe Silverstone X
July 4 tba tba
July 11 United States
Laguna Seca --
August 1 Great-Britain
Brands Hatch X
September 5 Netherlands/Pays-Bas Assen X
September 26 Italy/Italie Imola X
Oct 3 France Magny-Cours X

X-Both Supersport & Superbike

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Monstermob signs Emmett for its National Championship winning British Superbike team
Nov 28 -Sean Emmett will race for the Monstermob Ducati team in British Superbikes in 2004. He’ll ride a factory-backed 999 V-twin for what is the most successful team in the UK over the last few seasons.
The 33-year-old landed the ride despite competition from Noriyuki Haga, Andrew Pitt, James Haydon and others, and admits: This has to be my best chance ever of winning the title. "

Monstermob claimed the BSB title in 2002 with Steve Hislop and retained it again in 2003 with Shane Byrne. Byrne has moved to MotoGP with Aprilia).

Emmett said: " The deal happened very quickly. I was offered the No1 Ducati ride in America, but after speaking with team boss Paul Bird I knew I wanted to stay in the U.K. "
Bird said: " We chose Sean over Haga, Pitt and McCoy because of his experience of British tracks, and on a Ducati. "