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New EU driving license proposals provoke mixed reactions

May 10th- The European Commission has proposed a revision to European legislation on driving licenses. It claims the suggested changes are geared towards reducing fraud, ensuring freedom of movement for drivers across the EU and reinforcing road safety.

Articles of specific relevance to motorcyclists include the plan to impose a new system of age restrictions on "powerful motorcycles". The commission has put forward the idea that the minimum age should vary between 16 and 24, depending on the "technical characteristics" of the motorcycle and the experience of the rider.

It also suggests that there should be a new license category for mopeds. Promoted as a way to improve safety for young riders, the Commission asserts this rider group has been left outside the scope of its legislation for too long.

Today, the British Motorcycling Federation (BMF) has submitted a 4,000-word response to the UK's Department of Transport, expressing its opposition to the proposals. The BMF claims the changes would equate to 16-year-old riders gaining access to 'A1-class' light motorcycles, with 21 to 23-year-olds having to wait longer - until they are 24 - before they can take a Direct Access test. The Direct Access test involves assessment on an 'A-class' (large-capacity) motorcycle, which, once passed, grants an unrestricted full motorcycle license.

Questioning the benefits of these changes, the BMF argues the proposals represent increased bureaucracy and limited safety advantages. On the subject of the Direct Access test, the Federation identifies safety concerns with older riders, effectively undermining the planned minimum-age increase for young riders.

The Commission does point out that access to powerful motorcycles will not be denied to 21 to 23-year-old riders; it will be granted on condition. Namely, these riders will need to have obtained three years' prior experience on 'A2-category' motorcycles. It will still be possible for Member States to impose their own requirements, allowing the affected countries to retain 14 as the minimum age for driving a moped.

Ideas that are likely to gain support from motorcycle groups include improved medical checks for drivers and greater monitoring of standards for examiners.
As yet, this is a discussion document and it is uncertain which changes will be implemented. Significant cohesion of opinion between Member States could steer the final decisions.

For more information on the Third EU Driving License Directive, visit:

French Grand Prix
Le Mans, France
May 14, 15, 16, 2004

With two rounds of the MotoGP Championship completed, the Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha Team enters the French GP at Le Mans having experienced some scintillating highs already, the pinnacle being the round one race win for 2004 signing Valentino Rossi. Having secured not only that win but two pole positions in as many races, Rossi’s induction into the Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha fold has been nothing short of a sensation, despite a weather-affected result at the most recent Grand Prix in Jerez. The front row start for Rossi’s team-mate Carlos Checa at the Spanish Grand Prix has also offered a tangible reward for his and his crew’s off-season efforts in testing.

Rossi’s spectacular round one win in South Africa, allied to his battling fourth in atrocious conditions at Jerez, leaves him in overall third place in the championship standings, a scant three points behind championship leader Sete Gibernau (Honda) and two behind Max Biaggi (Honda). The ever burgeoning MotoGP circus now rolls on towards the latest venue – the classic circuit of Le Mans.

The motorcycle version of the Le Mans track, substantially different from the longer track used for the 24-hour car race, is the backdrop for what promises to be yet another epic weekend for Rossi and Checa. With the team co-sponsored by Gauloises, the French crowd will have another reason to follow the progress of Rossi, Yamaha’s very own bolt from the blue.

Having secured an outstanding race win during his first ride on the continually improving Yamaha YZR-M1, Rossi looked to be on course for win number two after taking the absolute circuit record at Jerez during the first qualifying session. The advent of more wet weather on race day made set-up for the race an inexact science, with Rossi fighting hard but finishing just off the podium in fourth for the first time in 23 races.

The Le Mans circuit, where Rossi is a previous winner in the MotoGP class thanks to his 2002 success, promises much for the talented 25-year-old from Tavullia in Italy. Now resident in London, the short hop across the Channel to Northern France holds no fears for the five-time World Champion, who can count 125, 250 and 500cc Championships in his trophy cabinet, alongside his pair of MotoGP titles.

After a front row qualifying performance that had his team and the Spanish crowd in raptures at Jerez, Carlos Checa will be hoping for consistently dry conditions for both qualifying and race, alongside the rest of the Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha squad. The 31-year-old Catalan, also now resident in London, has a best Le Mans Premier Class finish of second place in 2001, before the swap to four-stroke machines and recent track improvements to the 4,180m circuit. Currently lying in seventh place overall in the Championship, Checa will be keen to improve on this in France.

Looking to bounce back for his second podium finish of the season, Rossi has 60 Grand Prix victories to his credit, 21 of which have been taken in the new MotoGP class since the championship went back to four-stroke technology in 2002. Having won the past two MotoGP crowns on Honda machinery, Rossi’s ambition brought him to Yamaha in the off-season and he made history by duly becoming the first ever rider to win his first premier class race after signing to ride for a different manufacturer.

At Le Mans, Rossi feels he could have a good chance to bag full points. "Le Mans is definitely a Yamaha track, and I think we have a good chance there,” he stated in the run-up to the Le Mans event. “It can be quite tricky there if the weather is bad, so I really hope we have a bit of luck and it's dry.

The effect of his first Yamaha win in South Africa just over three weeks ago has still not subsided, “People from Italy are still congratulating me,” explained Valentino. “Everyone I know who watched the race on television from Italy said they loved it. It was actually quite hard to be in Italy in the two days after the race because so many people wanted to congratulate me. It was not a normal race! Anyway, we now need to concentrate on getting back onto the podium; we have a lot of work to do.”

Having shown his undoubted pace already this year, Checa approaches the Le Mans race full of anticipation of ever-improving results.

“Le Mans is the kind of track we were always successful at with the two-strokes, but not so far with the four-strokes, and we hope to change that this year,” affirmed Carlos.

Of the track itself, Checa explained, “Actually the Le Mans track improved a lot last year, they changed it at the end of turns two and three, and the asphalt and grip level changed. I basically like the last part of the track, it reminds me of the Calafat circuit in Catalunya. Last year I had a problem in the Le Mans race but I'm focusing on the future now.” Checa’s cause will be further helped by a complete track resurfacing since last year’s race.

Le Mans MotoGP lap record - Valentino Rossi (Honda) 1m 36.846s 2002
Circuit best lap - Valentino Rossi 1’35.208 (2003)

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MotoCreations to premier new Ducati based Sport Cruiser
at LA Calendar Motorcycle Show July 17-18th

April 30th, Los Angeles, CA - is excited to announce that designer and race car fabricator Mark Savory of based in Chandler, Arizona, will use the Los Angeles Calendar Motorcycle Show, held the July 17-18th 2004 weekend at the Queen Mary in Long Beach,CA, to premier in public his exciting new sport cruiser prototype bike based on Ducat'si venerable Monster with the new DS1000 engine.

Most Ducati and custom Harley owners are affluent enough to have more than one bike in thier garage, and many owners have bikes from both genres. However, the current motorcycle cruiser market has little to offer in a bike with the attibutes and advantages of both generes: a cool looking cruiser for bike night with your buddies and crusin' the strip, along with the performance and reliability and sound of a V-Twin production based sportbike. Savory decided to start his new company to create the right type of bikes the market was missing. The new MotoCreations Ducati based Sport Cruiser concept bike offers that in spades, and potentially at a very affordable price should it be put into limited production by Savory or mass produced by a manufacturer like Ducati.

You can see the world premier of the new MotoCreations Ducati based cruiser at the July 17-18th LA Calendar Motorcycle Show, along with many other sportbike attractions including the Jardine West Coast Horsepower Dyno Shootout, and The Las Vegas Extremes stunt riding team starring Pauly Sherer and beautiful JoJo Farmer. Complete information is available at http;//

Sete Giberneau (15) held off Max Biaggi (3) the entire race in the pouring rain at Jerez to take the win.

2004 MotoGP Championship, Round 2 - Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez June 1/2 2004

First MotoGP race in Europe, Rossi tops qualifying on the Yamaha, but...
When the Rain in Spain falls mainly on the Plain

Sete Giberneau puts Honda on top Race Day
Jerez, Spain, May 1-2nd
-Welkom in South Africa was consigned to the history books, as Jerez loomed large this weekend. Many riders believe the World Championship begins for real in Spain at Jerez with round two of this 16-race season. The first race sometimes throws up a freak result due to the unfamiliar nature of Welkom, which is visited only once a year by MotoGP teams (who don't test there either).

But this year it was Jarez that thrw up a freak result as race day for Round 2 was held in a torrential downpour of rain. Under leaden skies and on a soaking track Sete Gibernau (Telefonica Movistar Honda RC211V) took a home win, Max Biaggi (Camel Honda RC211V) scored a solid second and Alex Barros (Repsol Honda RC211V) stepped up onto the third tier of the podium. It was a dominant performance in front of 125,000 saturated race fans as Valentino Rossi struggled with his Yamaha to come home fourth.

Final Qualifying, Saturday May 1, 2004
Polester Valentino Rossi fights off the Honda Hordes in Qualifying

Spanish rain played havoc with final qualifying here at Jerez in Andalucia today. Minutes before the premier class was set to hit the track for a final showdown for grid positions, a cloudburst put paid to any hope riders had of clawing their way up the rankings after yesterday’s session. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) heads the grid, with Sete Gibernau (Telefonica Movistar Honda RC211V) in second place and Carlos Checa (Yamaha) filling the other slot on the three-man front row.

The majority of the MotoGP riders had planned to try final chassis settings and test potential race tyre choices over a simulated race distance this afternoon. But unpredictable weather threw the best-laid plans into confusion, and as so often happens, it paid to put in the best possible lap in the opening session.
The only benefit anyone derived was trying various chassis adjustments to cope with a drying track where rivulets of draining water made efforts to control the 200bhp MotoGP machines hazardous. But the chances of tomorrow’s conditions replicating the rare combination produced today are slim. Much work this afternoon was in vain.

For spectators, however, the sight of the world’s best riders struggling to contain the brute power of the big bikes was a big plus. And although teams derived little benefit from a bleak hour of final qualifying, the crowd will rarely see riders hanging the rear ends of their machines out in spectacular efforts to assess grip levels on the exits to Jerez’s turns.

Slippery track conditions during this afternoon’s final qualifying session at the 4.423 km Jerez circuit ensured that none of the MotoGP challengers would improve on their opening day qualifying times. Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi relied on his first day lap time of 1’40.818 to take his second pole in as many races on the Yamaha YZR-M1, whilst his team-mate Carlos Checa (1’41.427) secured a front row start in third. They share the revised three-rider front row of the grid with Checa’s fellow Spaniard, Sete Gibernau (Honda, 1’41.198), second fastest. The weather-affected session started with the track surface still seriously wet in places, drying out faster in others, with the final section of the session providing the quickest lap times. The fastest, although not affecting the grid positions for Sunday’s 27-lap MotoGP race, was Kenny Roberts’ Suzuki with a time of 1’46.997, second quickest being Troy Bayliss (Ducati, 1’48.224).

Rossi’s first day brilliance on the YZR-M1 makes his pole lap the fastest ever at Jerez, a particularly impressive achievement as it came after only two one hour practice sessions. The 25-year-old Italian has an enviable record at Jerez, having won the past three premier class races at the Andalucian track.

Valentino Rossi (Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha), 1st: 1'40.818
"Yesterday was fantastic and that lap was finally what gave us pole position. We did a very good lap time at the end and the bike was also not so bad with race tyres. This afternoon was a bit of a waste of time. It was raining and we were not able to make some modifications we had wanted. We were just going around and around. For tomorrow I hope, for all the riders and all the fans, it will be dry. I have great memories of this circuit; it has always been good to me from the first test I did on the 125 to now. I always like the longer corners here. I think that Sete and Max can be very fast in the wet, also Bayliss."

Gibernau, 2nd fastest, is playing down his chances in tomorrow’s race. “My heart says win, but my head is telling me different,” he said. “I don’t have a good rhythm for the race although I am really motivated for it. I will be going for the win but I know it will be hard. I just want a dry race so we can understand better what’s been happening to us so far.”

Carlos Checa (Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha), 3rd: 1'41.427
"Finally here I was able to get a good feeling thanks to the technicians and team. They have understood quite well what I have said and we’ve made improvements. I am able to ride the way I want to, braking and getting on the gas where I want and that has given us a front row start."

Max Biaggi (Camel Honda RC211V) heads the second row in fourth. “We needed to test the bike in dry conditions. Minutes up until the final session it seemed the rain would hold off but instead we’ve had to make do with the worst conditions possible – in-between weather. I’m on row two which won’t be easy to get a good start from.”

Makoto Tamada (Camel Honda RC211V), riding on Bridgestone tyres, made progress here with a fifth place. “I’m not 100% in the wet so I’m hoping for a dry race. I’ve got a good rhythm going and if everything goes to plan I’ll be fighting with the front guys. My general feeling with the bike is much better and we’ll just have to see what the weather brings.”

Things went less well for Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC211V) in seventh on row three. “We had a lot of what we wanted to try today, but we didn’t get round to it. We need track time, but so does everyone else. This afternoon was bad because it was wet and dry. We tried a cut Michelin slick just to see how it felt and it was okay but we needed a front as well. It could all be a bit of a gamble tomorrow.”

Colin Edwards (Telefonica Movistar Honda RC211V) in eighth place is hoping for a wet race. “We have a good wet weather set-up while at the moment in dry conditions we’re having the same problems we had in South Africa.”

Alex Barros (Repsol Honda RC211V) is upbeat despite only qualifying ninth. “We were restricted by the conditions. We had some front-end problems in the morning session and then made some adjustments, but in the afternoon it was impossible to tell if we were going the right way. But we’ve got an idea of both wet and dry set-ups and we’re looking forward to the race.”

Valentino Rossi (46) attempts to hold off Alex Barros for 3rd, but thefactory Hondas worked better in the wet than the Yamaha M1 and Rossi had to settle for his first non podium finish in 2 years.

Giberneau and the Honda hordes back on top in Sunday's Rain
Raceday, Sunday May 2nd - Under leaden skies and on a soaking track Sete Gibernau (Telefonica Movistar Honda RC211V) took a home win, Max Biaggi (Camel Honda RC211V) scored a solid second and Alex Barros (Repsol Honda RC211V) stepped up onto the third tier of the podium. It was a dominant performance in front of 125,000 saturated race fans. And as the season unfolds, this was a timely reminder that Honda has a tradition of winning it is keen to maintain.

Gibernau excels in the wet and with the track awash since the morning and with even more rain falling as the day went on, he was clearly the man best equipped to shine on this dull, dank day. After his fall here last year this was precisely what the Spanish star needed. He now heads the World Championship points table.
Gibernau qualified second on the front row and led the pack into turn one from the lights. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) who qualified on pole was right behind him with Biaggi in close attention and Carlos Checa (Yamaha) who also started from the front row was up with the leaders.

Rossi and Checa, both starting from the front row, filed into the first turn behind early leader and eventual race winner Sete Gibernau (Honda).Coming under pressure from the riders behind, Rossi chose discretion at the start, as first Checa and then second place finisher Max Biaggi (Honda) passed him. A fight for second place saw the position swapped between Checa and Biaggi twice, but ultimately Biaggi made a small break, finding himself behind leader Gibernau, whilst Melandri powered through to take third place on lap four. Checa and Rossi held fourth and fifth positions respectively until Rossi mounted a successful attack on lap nine and Alex Barros (Honda) passed Checa soon after.

Rossi survived a huge near-high-side at the exit of the first hairpin on lap 12 and Barros took the opportunity to glide past on the sodden track surface. With Melandri out on lap 19, after falling on the slippy track, Barros was promoted to third, Rossi fourth. After experiencing traction and vision concerns, Checa made a late attack on Colin Edwards (Honda) and duly passed him to finish in sixth place.

But by lap four a pattern to the race was emerging. Sete and Max were the fastest men out there and their RC211Vs were clearly in a class of their own in the appalling conditions. Marco Melandri (Yamaha) was riding an excellent race and was now running third after starting from the fourth row of the grid.
But this was to be the Sete and Max show and as they duelled in the deluge setting fastest laps they opened a gap on Melandri that grew to nearly 13 seconds before their pursuer fell off on lap 19 of this 27-lap contest. Max had lead Sete for one lap before he ran wide and allowed his rival through on lap 17 and then Sete began to stretch his advantage.

As the race closed Sete worked a one a half second lead to a 5.453 second advantage at the flag and at this early stage of the season Max was not about abandon a relatively secure second place in a vain attempt to attack Gibernau. Alex Barros finished a full 52 seconds behind the winner while Rossi came in fourth. Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC211V) worked his way up to 5th at the finish after languishing in tenth during the opening laps.

“I knew my set-up wasn’t perfect,” said Gibernau. “But the rain compensated for that and the crowd were so good that I felt like I an extra gear. I didn’t want to make a mistake like last year and I could feel the pressure Max was putting me under. I had to push where I was strong and this is a good result for us.”

Biaggi was happy enough with second. “I gave my best until almost the end,” said the Roman. “The I decided to accept second with two laps to go after a big slide when I lost so much ground I couldn’t recover it. I want to congratulate Sete who rode superbly and deserved this win. This is my best start to a season since 1998 and I’m really looking forward to Le Mans now.”

And for Barros this result was a big lift. “It seems a long time since I’ve been on a podium. The winter was difficult and now I’m healthy again. I knew I couldn’t ride at Sete and Max’s pace so I just rode my own race. When I saw Marco crash I tried to keep things safe and take the podium. I look forward to being even more competitive as I get stronger through the season.”

For Hayden, in only his second ever wet Grand Prix, fifth place was a fair result. “We made some changes after the morning warm-up and the bike felt good straight away in the sighting lap. I got my head down and decided there was no point just riding around. I caught Valentino at the end and showed him my front wheel but I couldn’t make the pass stick. Anyway a good end to a hard weekend.”

Colin Edwards (Telefonica Movistar Honda RC211V) finished seventh. “The cold was a big problem for me. I had to see the doctor at the end because I was freezing and in a bit of trouble. But the main trouble was trying to get a feel for the limit of grip at the front end. I’m still a bit gun shy.”

Makoto Tamada (Camel Honda RC211V) riding on Bridgestone tyres was short of feel and pitted to find a solution. “These conditions were appalling,” said the Japanese. “I decided to pit because I had no feel from the rear at all. But it was just as bad when I tried another tyre. I knew the race was finished for me but I went out again to gather information.”

The World Championship points table looks like this with two of the 16 rounds completed: Gibernau 41 points, Biaggi 40, Rossi 38 and Barros 29.

Results MotoGP : (27 laps = 119.421 km) Pos/ Rider / Nat / Team / Motorcycle / Time/ KM/H
1 / Sete GIBERNAU / SPA / Telefonica Movistar Honda Motor / HONDA / 52'01.293 / 137.736
2 / Max BIAGGI / ITA / Camel Honda / HONDA / 52'06.745 / 137.496
3 / Alex BARROS / BRA / Repsol Honda Team / HONDA / 52'53.863 / 135.454
4 / Valentino ROSSI / ITA / Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha / YAMAHA / 52'59.849 / 135.200
5 / Nicky HAYDEN / USA / Repsol Honda Team / HONDA / 53'00.576 / 135.169
6 / Carlos CHECA / SPA / Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha / YAMAHA / 53'08.477 / 134.834
7 / Colin EDWARDS / USA / Telefonica Movistar Honda Mot / HONDA / 53'20.832 / 134.313
8 / Kenny ROBERTS / USA / Team Suzuki MotoGP / SUZUKI / 53'46.350 / 133.251
9 / Shinya NAKANO / JPN / Kawasaki Racing Team / KAWASAKI / 52'07.304 / 132.380
10 / Michel FABRIZIO / ITA / WCM / HARRIS WCM / 52'16.335 / 131.998
11 / Norick ABE / JPN / Fortuna Gauloises Tech 3 / YAMAHA / 52'19.549 / 131.863
12 / Loris CAPIROSSI / ITA / Ducati Marlboro Team / DUCATI / 52'22.550 / 131.737
13 / Alex HOFMANN / GER / Kawasaki Racing Team / KAWASAKI / 52'26.929 / 131.554
14 / Nobuatsu AOKI / JPN / Proton Team KR / PROTON KR / 52'39.533 / 131.029
15 / John HOPKINS / USA / Team Suzuki MotoGP / SUZUKI / 52'59.546 / 130.205
Fastest Lap: Sete GIBERNAU 1'53.508 140.279 Km/h Lap 11

World Championship Positions:
1 GIBERNAU Sete 41, 2 BIAGGI Max 40, 3 ROSSI Valentino 38, 4 BARROS Alex 29,
5 HAYDEN Nicky 22, 6 EDWARDS Colin 18, 7 CHECA Carlos 16, 8 CAPIROSSI Loris 14,
9 ABE Norick 12, 10 NAKANO Shinya 11, 11 ROBERTS Kenny 8, 12 TAMADA Makoto 8,
13 FABRIZIO Michel 6, 14 MELANDRI Marco 5, 15 HOPKINS John 4.

GP250 Round: 2 - Jerez GP250
The 250 race was packed with incident, but sadly not much racing. Roberto Rolfo (Fortuna Honda RS250RW) won by 8.7 seconds from Randy de Puniet (Aprilia) with Fonsi Nieto (Aprilia) second – a full 23.8 seconds behind de Puniet. The track was soaking and it was controlled consistency that brought rewards in the conditions.
Pole man Sebastian Porto (Aprilia) could do nothing to catch the rain men and the Argentine could only manage a distant seventh. But two of the other front row starters had an even worse time of it. Manuel Poggiali (Aprilia) fell on lap one and could not restart, while Danny Pedrosa (Telefonica Movistar Junior Team RS250RW) went down without injury on lap six while lying fourth.
The surprise man of the opening laps was Hiroshi Aoyama (Telefonica Movistar Junior Team RS250RW) who looked like he was capable of matching Rolfo’s speed until he parted company with his machine on lap four. There were 11 fallers in a 32 rider field.
Race: 26 Laps Pos. Rider Manufacturer Nat.Time
Circuit: Jerez Circuit Length: 4423 , Lap Record: 1' 44.444 (Daijiro Kato, 2001) , Fastest Lap Ever: 1' 43.959 (Daijiro Kato, 2001)
1 R. Rolfo Honda ITA 52' 20.145
2 R. de Puniet Aprilia FRA +8.740
3 F. Nieto Aprilia ESP +32.623
4 A. West Aprilia AUS +32.844
5 A. Debon Honda ESP +58.884
6 A. de Angelis Aprilia SMR +1' 3.950
7 S. Porto Aprilia ARG +1' 5.322
8 A. Vincent Aprilia FRA +1' 8.923
9 G. Lefort Aprilia FRA +1' 47.081
10 N. Matsudo Yamaha JPN +1' 49.191
11 A. Baldolini Aprilia ITA +1' 55.028
12 T. Elias Honda ESP +2' 1.756
13 H. Marchand Aprilia FRA +1 lap(s)
14 J. Stigefelt Aprilia SWE +1 lap(s)
15 T. Sekiguchi Yamaha JPN +1 lap(s)
Fastest Race Lap:
Pos. Rider Manufacturer Nat. Total Time
1 R. Rolfo Honda ITA 1' 58.815

AMA Chevrolet Superbike Championship Rounds 4 & 5 – Infineon Raceway, California, USA

Matt Mladin Continues his AMA Superbike Points lead with 1-4 Finishes at Infinion, Duhamel Takes Race 2

Sonoma, California, USA (Sunday, May 2) – Mat Mladin maintained his place at the top of the points table after completing this weekend’s double-header round of the American AMA Chevrolet Superbike Championship at California’s Infineon Raceway with a victory and a fourth place finish.

The four times and defending American Superbike champion was in dominating form throughout the weekend continuing his record breaking run with his 35th career pole position and his 28th career AMA Superbike win on Saturday, but a chance to repeat those efforts in today’s second national were thwarted by a problem that his Yoshimura Suzuki team were unable to rectify during the course of the race.

With five rounds of this year’s championship complete, Mladin continues to hold a 24-point advantage over today’s race winner, Honda’s Miguel DuHamel (177 to 153) with Jake Zemke (Honda) third with 150.

Friday, April 30: Four times American Superbike champion Mat Mladin smashed the Infineon Raceway Superbike lap record on his way to grabbing provisional pole position for this weekend’s double-header American AMA Chevrolet Superbike Championship round after today’s opening qualifying session.

Mladin blasted his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 around the 2.2 miles (3.54km) 11-turn circuit, stopping the clocks with a time of 1-min 36.917-secs, over half a second quicker that his nearest rival, Honda’s Ben Bostrom (1:37.498). Fellow Honda rider Jake Zemke was fractionally slower, setting the third fastest time of 1:37.511, ahead of Mladin’s teammate Aaron Yates (1:38.012).

Mladin led both of the morning’s free practice sessions, before topping the leader board in the first of the two official qualifying sessions for this weekend’s round.

“The first session we were a little bit stale and things `weren’t going how I would have liked, but the second session saw us start to get into the groove and it felt good,” said Mladin.

“We worked on race set up and tyre selection for much of the day, but when we did put a softer qualifying tyre at the end of the session we didn’t do such a good job with it. I got baulked once while I was out there on my fast lap but we still did a good job with it and came away with the fast time.”

“Things are looking alright at the moment. We have another 40-minute session tomorrow morning before the first of the two races and we should be able to confirm a few more things in that session.“

The competitive nature of this years manufacturers has seen the intense rivalry between the riders and teams being matched by that of the tyre manufacturers. Yoshimura Suzuki’s tyre supplier Dunlop, have been working extremely hard over the past 12 months, developing tyres to suit the needs of the modern day crop of Superbikes and arrived at Infineon Raceway this weekend with yet another transporter full of new race rubber for their supported teams to evaluate.

A firm believer of continued development with both the motorcycle and tyres, Mladin relishes the opportunity to test new parts, including tyres.

“Dunlop have a whole bunch of new stuff for us to look at and we’re running through them now. There’s a lot of new stuff for both the front and rear for everyone to choose from. They (Dunlop) have obviously been under a bit of pressure in the past few months both with their own tyres and from the added tyre competition this year, so it’s great to see them respond in such a positive manner. It seems that every race this year Dunlop have some new tyres for us to test, which is great to see and how it really should be.”

The Australian rider arrived at Sonoma, north of San Francisco being undefeated in the three Superbike nationals held this year and holds a 24-point lead over Zemke on the championship points table.

Having won both corresponding races last year, Mladin will be aiming to emulate that feat and further build to his points tally as he chases an unprecedented fifth national title.

QUALIFYING, 2004 AMA Chevrolet Superbike Championship

Friday Top 10
1. Mat Mladin (Yoshimura Suzuki) 1:36.917 mins
2. Ben Bostrom (American Honda) 1:37.498
3. Jake Zemke (Erion Honda) 1:37.511
4. Aaron Yates (Yoshimura Suzuki) 1:38.012
5. Miguel DuHamel (American Honda) 1:38.495
6. Eric Bostrom (Ducati Austin) 1:38.516
7. Josh Hayes (Attack Kawasaki) 1:39.310
8. Larry Pegram (Yamaha) 1:40.003
9. Chris Caylor (Empire Racing Suzuki) 1:40.213
10. Geoff May (Suzuki) 1:40.252
1. Mat Mladin (Yoshimura Suzuki) 1:36.916 mins
2. Aaron Yates (Yoshimura Suzuki) 1:37.266
3. Jake Zemke (Erion Honda) 1:37.361
4. Ben Bostrom (American Honda) 1:37.498
5. Miguel DuHamel (American Honda) 1:37.633
6. Eric Bostrom (Ducati Austin) 1:38.516
7. Josh Hayes (Attack Kawasaki) 1:38.770
8. Larry Pegram (Yamaha) 1:39.962
9. Chris Caylor (Empire Racing Suzuki) 1:40.213
10. Geoff May (Prieto Racing Suzuki) 1:40.252

Mladin Takes Saturday's Superbike Win
RACE ONE, Saturday, May 1st, - Defending American Superbike Champion Mat Mladin has kept his unbeaten race record for this season intact after winning today’s fourth round of the American AMA Chevrolet Superbike Championship at Infineon Raceway, California.

In taking out his 28th career AMA Superbike race win, Mladin extends his points lead in the championship to 33-points from Honda’s Miguel DuHamel and Jake Zemke (150 to 117) who finished second and third in the first of the weekend’s two 28-lap Superbike nationals and are tied on points.

As has been the case for the season so far, Mladin and his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 were in dominating form all day. Prior to the commencement of today’s Superbike race, Mladin wrapped up yet another Superbike pole position after his record breaking lap time recorded in yesterday’s opening session was good enough to keep him at the top of the time sheets and the number one starting position for each of the weekend’s races.

The Hondas broke well on Saturday, class rookie Zemke moving into his first ever Superbike lead on the second lap. Zemke controlled the pace until the sixth lap when he was passed for the lead, but led the Honda trio which was second through fourth. That’s how they’d finish, though in a different order.

A steady start to the race saw Mladin sitting comfortably in third place on the opening lap, before moving up a spot as he closed in onto the rear of early race leader Zemke. The pair pulled a small gap over the remainder of the field in the opening laps before Mladin made his move to the front on lap six. The pace of the four times American Superbike Champion showed as he became the only rider in the race to drop his times into the 1:37 bracket, reeling off a blistering 1:37.946 on lap seven as he worked at building a gap over Zemke.

Zemke tried to stay with Mladin, but as the race approached mid-distance, the more experienced Mladin was able to put together a number of fast consistent laps as they began to work through the first groups of lapped riders. By race end Mladin crossed the line with a 6.749 second advantage over DuHamel, who worked his up to second on lap 19, leaving Zemke in third which he held to the flag. Miguel's American Honda teammate Ben Bostrom was slowed by tire problems to a fourth place finish.

Zemke admitted making a “rookie” mistake and abusing his tire on the abrasive, hot surface, allowing the more experienced Duhamel to take second and make a run at the leader. Ben Bostrom, who also struck tire problems while in third, fell back to fourth, where he’d finish.

“The race panned out pretty well for us, coming away with the win was what we were after and that’s given us that little bit extra buffer on the points table,” said Mladin.

“Dunlop have been very good this weekend, arriving here with a whole new batch of tyres for us to try and today’s race was another where we were able to put them to good use and they worked well.”

“After getting a break on Jake (Zemke) in the first half of the race, the backmarkers became a bit of an issue in the second half, but having that small lead, I was able to get through them as best I could while keeping my lap times as consistent as possible.”

“Looking at tomorrow’s race, it will start a couple of hours earlier than today’s and they are forecasting much higher temperatures, so we’ll be keeping a close eye on the weather and track temperatures.”

Saturday Results
Round 4, 2004 AMA Chevrolet Superbike Championship, Top 10 / 28 laps
1. Mat Mladin (Yoshimura Suzuki) 46:19.27 minutes
2. Miguel DuHamel (American Honda) + 6.749 seconds
3. Jake Zemke (Erion Honda) +17.391
4. Ben Bostrom (American Honda) +26.824
5. Eric Bostrom (Ducati Austin) +29.736
6. Josh Hayes (Attack Kawasaki) +50.377
7. David Stanton (Suzuki) +1:01.126 mins
8. Larry Pegram (Yamaha) +1:20.043
9. Geoff May (Prieto Suzuki) +1:23.614
10. Aaron Yates (Yoshimura Suzuki) +1:26.954

Duhamel Wins Sunday Superbike as Mladin Struggles with Bike Problems
American Honda’s Miguel Duhamel had a podium-filled weekend, rolling his Hondas into victory lane as the winner of the Superbike and Formula Xtreme race, as Hondas dominated on a sun-splashed weekend at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, the heart of California’s wine country. In Sunday’s Superbike race, the wily French-Canadian made up over two seconds on the final lap to pull off a daring last corner pass of Erion Honda’s Jake Zemke, then sped to victory by 0.196 seconds. Teammate Ben Bostrom was fifth.

“I thought, what the hell, maybe give it a shot, maybe I can surprise him at the end,” Duhamel said. “Maybe a lapped rider, a little bobble, maybe I can sneak up on him. That’s what happened.”

After leading the time sheets during the morning warm up session, Suzuki GSX-R1000 mounted Mladin looked set to continue his unbeaten run in the championship, but his machine struck problems early in the race, leaving him unable to challenge the lead group. Unable to find a cure for the problem, Mladin held third place for much of the race before being passed by teammate Aaron Yates with a handful of laps to run, finishing fourth. After running second for a substantial amount of the race, DuHamel converted a last corner pass on Zemke to snatch the win.

“We had a few things go wrong out there today and basically couldn’t get the job done,” said Mladin. “We tried to get it sorted during the stoppage with the red flag on lap eight, but weren’t able to.”

“All in all though, we came here looking for a pair of wins and managed to take one of them and we leave here with a 24-point lead in the championship. It was a frustrating way to finish the weekend as we dominated qualifying and the opening race yesterday.”

“Our attention will now focus on the next round at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama. We tested there not long ago and felt good with the package, so we’ll be heading there with the same determination and game plan as we did for this weekend.”

Minutes after spraying champagne in the Superbike winner’s circle, Duhamel and Zemke were battling again, this time in the Formula Xtreme race. Again, the result was similar. Zemke led throughout, but it was Duhamel coming through at the end, though this time with less drama. Duhamel passed Zemke with two laps to go and went on to win by 1.985 seconds, keeping his Formula Xtreme perfect season intact, three for three. Joining Duhamel and Zemke on the podium was Erion Honda’s Alex Gobert, making it another Honda sweep. Of the nine possible Formula Xtreme podium positions in 2004, Honda CBR-600RR’s have taken eight.

The weekend’s success gives Honda a commanding lead in Formula Xtreme, Duhamel leading Zemke 112 to 94 with Alex Gobert third at 83. After five of 18 Superbike races, Hondas are two-three, with Duhamel second at 153 points and Zemke third with 150. Mladin leads with 177.

The championship now heads to Birmingham, Alabama for rounds 6 and 7 of this years AMA Chevrolet Superbike Championship at the Barber Motorsports complex.on the weekend of May 15 & 16.

Sunday Superbike Results:
1. Miguel Duhamel (Honda)
2. Jake Zemke (Honda)
3. Aaron Yates (Suzuki)
4. Mat Mladin (Suzuki)
5. Ben Bostrom (Honda)
6. Steve Crevier (Suzuki)
7. Josh Hayes (Kawasaki)
8. Larry Pegram (Yamaha)
9. Geoff May (Suzuki)
10. Shawn Higbee (Suzuki)
AMA Superbike Point Standings:
1. Mat Mladin (Suzuki) 177
2. Miguel Duhamel (Honda) 153
3. Jake Zemke (Honda) 150
4. Geoff May (Suzuki) 108
5. Lee Acree (Suzuki) 105
6. Larry Pegram (Yamaha) 97
7. Eric Bostrom (Ducati) 96
8. John Haner (Suzuki) 84
9. Ben Bostrom (Honda) 79
10. Cory West (Suzuki) 77

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Aprilia Bankruptcy -
Back from the Brink?
Aprilia USA Press Release: Woodstock, GA (May 6, 2004) -Aprilia SpA, the Noale, Italy based manufacturer of award-winning motorcycles and scooters, today announced new credit lines for $30 million Euros as well as renewal of existing lines, for a total global line of credit of $180 million Euros. The financing agreement was reached with the assistance of a consortium of financial institutions, including Interbanca and Caretti & Associati. This new round of funding allows Aprilia to resume full production and satisfy high market demand as the main riding season gets underway in most parts of the world. Demand has been especially strong in Aprilia's growing U.S. market.

Despite being a relative newcomer in the market--the company established its U.S. subsidiary in 1999--American consumers have embraced the Italian manufacturer's award-winning line of scooters and motorcycles.

Aprilia, which offers more scooter choices than any other manufacturer in the U.S. market, just posted its best April sales month ever, increasing 30.6% over April, 2003. In addition to strong scooter sales, Aprilia's line of high-performance super sport bikes and adventure touring bikes continue to win awards for their thrilling combination of ride characteristics, technology and style.

This new round of funding allows Aprilia to concentrate on the industrial plan and continue its growth by exploiting its extraordinary know-how and brand popularity. The industrial plan will include reorganization initiatives designed to gain cost savings and operational efficiencies. In addition, Aprilia will continue to proactively discuss business investment opportunities with financial and/or industrial investors to assure the necessary resources are in place for continued growth of the company's prestigious Aprilia, Moto Guzzi and Laverda brands.

Monday, May 3rd - While no official announcement has been made by Aprilia, word has it that Aprilia of Italy has ceased production of motorcycles going into this weekend and the factory will be closed from this day onward, until new investment capital or a restructing plan can be worked out with the Italian government. Aprilia is europe's 2nd largest motorcycle manufacturer.

For the moment it appears, Aprilia USA will remain open to serve its American dealers with inventory in its warehouse and in shipment.

April 28th - According to reports, Aprilia has just 5 days to find £5 million to avoid bank ruptcy - puting the future of the company, and particularly it MotoGP program, in doubt.

Britain's Motorcycle News has stated that Aprilia has total debts of £147 million, forcing hault o production becasue parts suppliers are refusing to deliver until they are paid money owed 9amounting to 23.5 million).

But if the £5 million needed to pay off interest to banks isn't found by the may 3rd deadline, Aprilia will be declared bankrupt - a situation they are attempting to avoid bt finding investors willing to buy a small, or even controling shares in the company. However, even if investors are not found in time, the banks could decide to keep Aprilia afloat by apointing their own managers, whose job would be to make the company profitable again - and who could well see the MotoGP program as an unnecessary expense.

Suggestions are that Aprilia's financial problems began 3 years ago, and were triggered by Italy's decission to impose mantory helment laws for motor scooter riders. Scooter sales, a major sourch of Aprilia's income in Europe, dropped immediately as a result. The financial problem was then compounded by Aprilia's heavy spending in buying the Laverda and Moto Guzzi brands at the same time with the anticipation of sales remaining high.

Ducati expressed recently an interest in buying moto Guzzi, while the Canadian firm Bombardier is tipped as Aprilia's most likely investment savior.

April 1st - Ivano Beggio – sole owner of the Aprilia group – is looking for a major new investor to buy a large share in the company but denies rumours the company has called in the receivers.
As reported in MCN earlier this month, Beggio has put the firm’s future under the control of financial advisors Caretti & Associati and bank Interbanca, who are looking for investors or industrial partners to take a share in the firm.
Beggio is believed to be looking for a single large investor rather than several smaller ones, and as such is likely to relinquish at least a proportion of his control over the company. An " industrial partner " is likely to be another bike firm – but at the moment, discussions with several possible investors are still in early stages.
The firm is also undergoing some restructuring of financial arrangements and a concerted effort to cut costs and improve efficiency.
Aprilia has been struggling to find its feet again for the last three years, ever since European scooter sales fell dramatically, particularly in Italy where a new helmet law virtually killed the market. A huge influx of cheap, far-eastern scooters hasn’t helped matters – although recent deals have seen Aprilia linking up with scooter firms in China and India to combat this threat.
Aprilia spokesman Paul Walker strongly refuted current rumours that either Aprilia or subsidiary Moto Guzzi has called in the receivers, saying: " There’s no truth in the rumours whatsoever.
Moto Guzzi’s production has been reduced over the last few weeks, due to relatively weak demand for the bikes, but Aprilia claims any shortage of Aprilia models in showrooms is down to high demand rather than reduced production. The firm claims its production lines are running flat-out to fill orders.
The source of the latest rumours is a letter sent to dealers last week explaining the intention to restructure Aprilia’s finances and look for a partner to buy into the company.

There are several rumours flying around in Italy as to who might buy a stake in Aprilia. Favourites include BMW – who’s F650 used to be built by the Italian firm – or engine manufacturer Rotax, which is owned by Ski-Doo manufacturer Bombardier and makes the RSV’s V-twin and the Pegaso’s single.

New MotoGP Rules includes proposals to reduce engines to 900cc
May 4th - The Motorcycle Sports Manufacturers' Association (MSMA) have announced plans to reduce the capacity of MotoGP machiens from 990cc to 900cc by 2007.<br><br>The MSMA - which includes Aprilia, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki and Yamaha - have reacted to ever increasing speeds in the premier-class by suggesting the lower engine capacity, together with a reduction in fuel and increase in weight.

"In the interests of safety, the manufacturers have unanimously decided that it is necessary to place a limit on the increase in motorcycle performance," explained Takanao Tsubouchi, secretary general of MSMA."This will already start in the year 2005 when fuel tank capacity will be reduced from 24 to 22 litres, but in the long term this measure would not have been sufficient.

"For this reason the MSMA has decided to propose a reduction in engine capacity from 990cc to 900cc, starting from 2007. The intention is not to reduce performance but to prevent a continuous improvement in speed and lap times.

"It has (also) been proposed (to have) a new weight rule from 2007:

2 Cylinders: 133kg
3 Cylinders: 140.5kg (currently 135kg)
4 Cylinders: 148kg (currently 145kg)
5 Cylinders: 155.5kg (currently 145kg)
6 Cylinders: 163kg (currently 155kg)

"A possible reduction of the 22 litres fuel tank capacity will be defined during 2005."

It is interesting to note that the planned weight for twin-cylinder machines, 133kg, may allow Ducati's traditional choice of engine configuration to be competitive in MotoGP in the future, while Honda's rumoured V3 project could be a tempting 15kg lighter than a V5 - instead of the 10kg allowed at present.

The MSMA proposals will now be presented for consideration by the Grand Prix commission, made up of representatives of Dorna, FIM, IRTA and the MSMA themselves.

While reducing engine displacement to 900cc in MotoGP will certainly help restore interest and manufacturers' support for World Superbike with it's 1000cc limit and similar horsepower bikes.

Rider Quotres from
Jerez MotoGP

Sete Gibernau, Telefonica MoviStar Honda: 1st :
“Winning here is just the best. It was one of the toughest races of my life because it was here at Jerez and I crashed last year. I wanted to give something back to the fans who have always shown their support for me.I know that they suffered a lot because of the weather so this win is for them because my heart was stronger than my rivals today and the fans have carried me to victory. I have always wanted to take on the responsibility people have handed to me and I think I am meeting the objectives we set at the end of last season. I knew I had improved but I surprised myself again today with my level of riding. The set-up of the bike is still not where it needs to be – we are struggling to understand all the data but I am confident that this will improve. I have to keep calm and find the solution to these problems, which will hopefully emerge in the tests we have planned here for Monday and Tuesday”.

Max Biaggi –
Camel Honda (, 2nd:
“We’re at the second race of the year, and since 1998 I’ve never been as well placed in the standings. It’s a statistic which just shows the determination with which we’ve begun this season. This morning in the warm up we had some slight issues and so we changed the set-up to find a solution. Hats off to the team, they worked exraordinarily and it’s enabled me to be competitive in the race. During the race the gap kept increasing and decreasing and I was always close to Sete. Only two laps from the end, after a dangerous skid, I decided to content myself with second. I had lost ground and tried to make it up. Congratulations to Sete, a great race.”

Sito Pons –
Camel Honda (Team Owner):
“I’m very satisfied, we’ve finished the second race of the year and we’re just a point away from the championship leader. It was a difficult race, in tough weather conditions and we didn’t make any mistakes. Max worked hard throughout the race to keep the chance of victory alive, never putting a foot wrong. If he could win, then fine, but it’s best to think about working towards the title, and that’s what he’s done today. I feel for Makoto, who didn’t finish the race after starting from such a good grid position, and I hope that in the next race we can have a good result from bnoth riders. The Spanish GP has been a great event despite the rain, with 200,000 people coming throughout the weekend. A great motorcycling festival.

Alex Barros, Repsol Honda Team: 3rd:
“I’m very happy. It seems a long time since I have been on the podium. The winter was difficult with the shoulder surgery and I am pleased as my doctor has given me a ‘green card’ of health now. The race was very hard and the circumstances changed throughout it but it was the same for everyone. I knew that I couldn’t ride at the pace of Sete and Max so I keep my own. I had a battle with Valentino and Carlos and then I take fourth place. When I see Marco crash I try to ride safe and take the podium. I am very happy for my team – we all work very hard and this is good news for the Repsol Honda Team. The championship is very long and I look forward to being more competitive as my strength builds. A good result today for a start.”

Valentino Rossi (Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha), 4th:
"Finally I am happy and relieved because it was a miracle not to fall off. It’s a great shame because I couldn’t go so fast at the end. I didn’t have much grip, mostly from the rear and we’ll have to work on set-up to improve this. It’s strange not be on the podium because the last time was in Brno in 2002, when I had a tyre problem. Each lap I was trying to be more aggressive and the front of the bike felt okay. I think we have quite a gap to make with Honda in wet weather, but in general we have had a good weekend, with another pole position. One thing is for sure, this is going to be a great championship! Like I have always said, Sete and Max are going to be my main competitors."

Nicky Hayden,
Repsol Honda Team: 5th:
“This morning I really couldn’t get the feeling I wanted in the warm up session. It seemed like a long wait to the race! We made a couple of big changes and I thank my guys for some good ideas. My mechanics and the Michelin and Showa people. The bike felt good straight away in the sighting lap. I got a good start and was right there, but at the end of the first straightaway I locked up the front wheel in braking and ran wide in the turn. I saw a load of guys just streaming up the inside! Next time I went past I saw P12 so I just got my head down and decided there was no point in just riding round. I found a good spot on the track and passed a lot of guys there. Edwards, Checa and Hodgson. I caught Valentino and right at the end got right up there showing him my front wheel but I couldn’t make a pass stick. Anyhow; a good end to a hard weekend. Only my second wet GP and last time I finished 11th! We learned a lot and we move on from here.”

Colin Edwards,
Telefonica MoviStar Honda: 7th:
“I had a hard time in the race today. I had no feeling in my hands on the last lap and I couldn’t open the gas or brake properly – it was so hard. I need a lot more laps on this bike because I am still not riding on the limit and need more confidence to be able to do that. Hopefully we will get a few answers from the test here”.
Fausto Gresini, Team Manag

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AMA Superbike Quotes from Infinion

Miguel Duhamel
Second Place Saturday
I caught up to Jake (Zemke) pretty quickly and he looked like he was just trying to get home. My bike was working better for sure, it was working really good. Then I was just trying to put in some good laps to get away from Jake a little bit. I was just focused on doing my thing and I saw Mat (Mladin) coming back to me a little bit. I just wanted to see if I could do something. Coming out of the chicane I hit a false neutral and then I slammed it into second like a complete amateur and stretched my chain out. Then the chain was jumping on the sprocket for the rest of the race so I didn't want to throw away a hard earned second.

First Place Sunday
After the fact, it’s obviously a great feeling to be able to do that today. I just rode my you know what off. Just rode as hard as I could. A couple of times I got pretty bad headshakes, sliding going over the curbs and doing tankslappers, doing what you had to do on the last lap. You have to pull the pin and hope it goes your way. It looked like he wasn’t expecting me and that was wonderful because it’s a hard track to pass on. He didn’t do anything wrong. I was able to get a 1:37 out of my bike. A lot of the credit goes to my crew. They gave me a great bike. I wasn’t going to be terribly disappointed if he won and I got second. It was just a matter of my bike worked better than his. I had the opportunity and I went for it.

Jake Zemke
Third Place Saturday
With Miguel [Duhamel] it really wasn't much of a battle. He came around me and my tire was already toasted so I didn't have anything for him. He came back to me once or twice because of some traffic, but not close enough for me to do anything. My hat's off to Mat [Mladin] and Miguel because those guys rode really good today. Unfortunately, I just didn't have enough tire to last the whole race. We'll put our heads together tonight and come up with a better strategy for tomorrow.

Second Place Sunday
I backed the pace off about a second from what I’d been running and that was obviously too much. I had no idea he was there until I sat up and broke and this red thing went by me. I said, ‘This is weird.’ I don’t know how he did it, but he stopped the bike at full lean angle in the middle of the corner. He did a great job of making sure I couldn’t get back by him. You can look back, but the cardinal rule is never look back. You’ve always got to
To be honest, I can’t tell you the last time I saw someone come from almost three seconds back to win a race. It definitely caught me by surprise to be sure.

FPR's testing gain in Spain
May 7th - Foggy PETRONAS Racing today completed a valuable one day test in the sunshine of Valencia in Spain.
Efforts were focused on mapping the engines that will be used for next weekend's fourth round of the Superbike World Championship at Monza, which are expected to provide more consistency and reliability.
A further engine development stage is planned to be in use for the Laguna Seca round in July, when an increased power output is predicted.
The team worked through a comprehensive engine development testing schedule, but also achieved further progress with the PETRONAS FP1's temperature management and rear suspension settings.
Chief Engineer, Steve Thompson, said: "We've achieved a very good amount in just one day of testing and are happy with the progress we're making with the engine development and mapping. This has resulted in better drivability and improved cooling and, we're pleased with the consistency from one engine to another."
Former World Superbike Champion and bike development expert, Troy Corser, commented: "We've made a lot of changes to the mapping settings throughout the day and certainly made improvements all round, but particularly with the initial throttle opening. We've also been trying different variations with the rear suspension compression and rebound in order to increase grip and try to get better wear from the rear tyre, which is the same tyre as we used here for the race at the start of the season. It's made a bit of difference but the tyre still isn't lasting as long as we would like it to."
And Chris Walker said: "This is the first time I've ridden the bike with the new engine developments and it looks promising. I've spent most of the day doing a few laps and then coming back into the garage to make some setting changes, but every time I've gone back out there has been an improvement with the bike. We came here to test different mapping settings and gain further data for the engine and cooling system, which we have done successfully, so it's been a good day." Products
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