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FastDates.com July 2004
Page 1 • Superbike, MotoGP Racing & Calendar Girl News
Official Calendar of the SBK World Superbike Championship
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Page 1 - British MotoGP • LA Bike Show • AMA Mid-Ohio

2004 LA Calendar Motorcycle Show - World Records, Beautiful Girls
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For the complete story go to 2004 LA Calendar Motorcycle Show.

Loris Capirossi (65) stuffs the Twin Pulse Desmosedici into the lead ahead of Rossi (46) and Edwards (15).

MotoGP World Championship , British Grand Prix, Sachsenring, Round 9

Gibernau, Rossi and Capirossi on Front Row for
Honda, Yamaha, Ducati as Title Race Tightens

British Grand Prix, Donington Park, July 24-25th, 2004 A crowd of 82,000 watched a strangely sterile race here at Donington Park. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) won from Colin Edwards (Telefonica MoviStar Honda RC211V), with Sete Gibernau (Telefonica MovisStar Honda RC211V) third. Race day dawned windy and cold in the low 60's as Rossi stole an advantage in this season's tight title race. American Colin Edwards turned in his best ever MotoGP performance after a troubled first half of the season, showing he could well prove a man to be reckoned with as the season resumes on August 22 after the summer break.

Left to right: Colin Edwards shares his first ever MotoPG podium with regulars Rossi and Gibernau.

Final Qualifying

July 24th - This Donington Park race marks a key moment in the MotoGP title struggle and Sete Gibernau (Telefonica Movistar Honda RC211V) qualified second for a front row start. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) is on pole and Loris Capirossi (Ducati) is the third front row starter for tomorrow’s 30-lap race.

The MotoGP circus takes a three-weekend break before the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic on August 22. And with a title chase as closely fought as this one none of the three protagonists; Rossi, Max Biaggi (Camel Honda RC211V) and Gibernau, can afford to hand each other any psychological advantage to take on holiday.
Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC211V) looked strong in yesterday’s timed session and was the overnight provisional pole-man but his challenge in the final hour-long session today failed to gather momentum and he will start from the second row of the grid in sixth place tomorrow.

The new surface here at Donington has proved to be a great improvement. Grip was previously an issue here and the re-layed tarmac now offers more consistency, and perhaps even more importantly, a smoother surface. Bumps into McLeans and Goddards had long been a source of irritation to riders and these have now largely been eradicated.

As per usual, the first three-quarters of the hour were devoted to race distance tyre endurance tests on what is proving to be an abrasive (if grippier) surface. But when the final ten minutes arrived, the action started.
Carlos Checa (Yamaha) hoisted himself to third before Rossi scorched round in 1m 28.987 seconds to post the first sub-1m 29 second lap of this tortuous track. With five minutes to go Hayden was still sitting on his Friday time and was expected to make his move.

But it was Gibernau who made things happen. The Spanish man had been relatively quiet so far this weekend, lurking in fifth place overnight. But he stormed into second with a 1m 29.152 second lap that kept him there in second place on the front row despite the best efforts of the field.

Capirossi tried but ended up 0.057 seconds adrift. But Rossi went at the track again to record first a 1m 28.879 second time and then a 1m 28.720 second effort that proved beyond beating.

Alex Barros (Repsol Honda RC211V) fell at Schwantz Curve mid-session and recovered to qualify ninth. “We had a big wheelie problem yesterday,” he said. “And we found a much better balance on the machine today. On my first lap on a new set of tyres I improved my time and on the second I crashed in fifth gear. If I’d had a bit more time I could have improved, but this isn’t a disaster.”

Nicky Hayden explained his situation. “On my first qualifying tyre I practically matched my time from yesterday and on my second I pushed the front really badly through Hollywood – and messed up the first section. That’s the thing with these qualifiers, they’re so good on the back they push the front.”

“Not easy,” said Gibernau. “But I think I know where we’re struggling – the first part of the lap. It’s a tricky track but we’re still up there, still fighting, especially after two no-scoring races. We’ll be giving it our best shot and see what else we’ve got in warm-up tomorrow.”

The new revised Twin Pulse Ducatis of Capirossi and Bayliss had them back in the hunt at Donnington.

Valentino Runs Away With the Race

Sunday 25th - The race began under clouds and remained a predominantly grey affair. Rossi got to Redgate first from the lights, but Loris Capirossi (Ducati) scythed inside him down the super-fast Craner Curves to lead the first lap. Gibernau also made a move on Rossi at McLeans for second place on the opening lap, but the reigning World Champion retook second on the brakes at the Melbourne Loop. Capirossi then began to lose ground and on lap two, eventually fading back to 7th at the end, as Rossi took the lead from Sete at the Esses and held it to the checkered flag.

Rossi slipped around Capirissi and into the lead on the second lap, when he managed to pull out a short gap of 0.7 seconds. The distance between Rossi and the rest of the pack increased until half race distance, and his cushion of time had grown to over two seconds. Rossi continued his race domination to build a four second gap which he guarded throughout the final laps, winning by a margin of 2.945 seconds having eased off to enjoy a victory celebration over the line.

In the early stages of the race it looked as if Sete had the means to mount a challenge and when Edwards began to gain ground on the leaders to lie third on lap three from a second row start from fifth, it seemed a battle royal was shaping up.

Just as Edwards and Gibernau looked to be closing in to dispute the lead by lap nine, specks of rain appeared at Goddards corner, just before the start/finish straight. This unsettled the leaders and Edwards admitted he backed off just enough to let Rossi, who had also slowed slightly, to steal an advantage.Rossi then worked his lead hard enough to hold a 2.2 second gap by two-thirds race distance. And by the closing stages he held a three second advantage over his pursuers.

Carlos Checa’s race start pushed him inside the group of top ten riders, and several aggressive moves during the 30-lap contest helped him to a final sixth place. This enabled him to hold on to valuable championship points and the Catalan rider now lies seventh overall in the standings with 72 points. Rossi leads the championship by 164 points, 22 clear of his closest rivals Gibernau and Biaggi, who are tied on 142. After a charged performance to a second place finish, Colin Edwards (Honda) is fourth overall with 95 points.

VALENTINO ROSSI (1st, 45’30.473)
“This was a great victory at an important race, and the bike was good to ride. I was a little worried about the tyres. I know it was possible to have a good rhythm through the race but at the start I did not have so much feeling with the rear end because it was colder than yesterday. Slowly, slowly the gap came for me at the front. I had a little problem with the gentle rain that started falling, but everybody slowed down and then the weather got better and it was possible to win. This win was very important because today the bike worked very well. I have to say thank you to the team who worked very well all weekend and to Michelin because the tyres worked right to the end. I am happy because I have taken a small advantage in the championship and at some tracks we will not have the advantage in race conditions so it is good to have these extra points. I will sleep much better in the summer break. We have had problems with the rear at the last few races and we hope to be able to fix those on Tuesday when we test here.”

"A lot of people were putting pressure on me this season, people who thought I should be doing better. Well here’s to the nay-sayers I’m back. I made some good passes in the early stages and then I did a stupid thing by backing off when there was a little bit of rain. But my team was awesome this weekend. The front end now does what I want it to do," said a happy Edwards at the end of the race.

Sete was relieved to finish third after two DNFs. "This podium almost feels like a win after the last two races. This was a hard weekend and we ended up changing the set-up almost 100% today. The rain was a worry, but the bike felt good and I could push hard to fight with Colin. This podium is very important."

Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC211V) finished a discontented fourth." I’m not happy, he said. Not happy at all with the way I rode. My bike was good but I didn’t really put the race together. I put my best laps in at the end of the race but I was too far back to fight near the front. It was all pretty frustrating. If the season was going better I could relax a bit, but I just want to train more and come back stronger."

Ninth was the best Alex Barros (Repsol Honda RC211V) could do. The machine didn’t want to turn and there was very little feel, he said. The first half of the race was hard to ride properly and after that the rear became a big problem. Every lap was slower and slower and in the end it was almost dangerous. We test here on Tuesday and we cant afford many more races like this.

Max Biaggi (Camel Honda RC211V) had a torrid time and finished 12th. I felt there was something wrong with gear selection on the sighting lap, he said. I felt the problem in warm-up and thought we had it fixed but we obviously didn’t. I thought about pitting and changing bikes but that might have made things worse in terms of time lost. I got four points and I’m still second in the Championship. Now I’m just looking forward to Brno.

There was trouble too for Makoto Tamada (Camel Honda RC211V), the winer of last weekend's German MotoGP riding on Bridgestone tyres." The track temperature was much lower today," said the Japanese. "And the rear of the bike didn’t feel right. The situation got worse as the race went on and I couldn’t make any places up at all. Today was just not our day and perhaps we didn’t make the right tyre choice."

MotoGP Race: (30 laps = 120.69 km)
Pos/ Rider / Nat / Team / Motorcycle / Time/ KM/H
1 / Valentino ROSSI / ITA / Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha / YAMAHA / 45'30.473 / 159.124
2 / Colin EDWARDS / USA / Telefonica Movistar Honda Mot / HONDA / 45'33.418 / 158.952
3 / Sete GIBERNAU / SPA / Telefonica Movistar Honda Mot / HONDA / 45'34.899 / 158.866
4 / Nicky HAYDEN / USA / Repsol Honda Team / HONDA / 45'36.569 / 158.769
5 / Troy BAYLISS / AUS / Ducati Marlboro Team / DUCATI / 45'45.184 / 158.271
6 / Carlos CHECA / SPA / Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha / YAMAHA / 45'47.583 / 158.133
7 / Loris CAPIROSSI / ITA / Ducati Marlboro Team / DUCATI / 45'53.786 / 157.776
8 / John HOPKINS / USA / Team Suzuki MotoGP / SUZUKI / 45'58.594 / 157.501
9 / Alex BARROS / BRA / Repsol Honda Team / HONDA / 46'05.853 / 157.088
10 / Neil HODGSON / GBR / D'Antin MotoGP / DUCATI / 46'14.941 / 156.574
11 / Ruben XAUS / SPA / D'Antin MotoGP / DUCATI / 46'17.963 / 156.403
12 / Max BIAGGI / ITA / Camel Honda / HONDA / 46'24.477 / 156.037
13 / Shane BYRNE / GBR / MS Aprilia Racing / APRILIA / 46'27.851 / 155.849
14 / Makoto TAMADA / JPN / Camel Honda / HONDA / 46'37.631 / 155.304
15 / Shinya NAKANO / JPN / Kawasaki Racing Team / KAWASAKI / 46'46.268 / 154.826
Fastest Lap: Colin EDWARDS 1'29.973 160.968 Km/h Lap 8

World Championship Positions:
1 ROSSI 164, 2 GIBERNAU 142, 3 BIAGGI 142, 4 EDWARDS 95, 5 BARROS 86,
6 HAYDEN 83, 7 CHECA 72, 8 CAPIROSSI 64, 9 MELANDRI 57, 10 TAMADA 56,
11 XAUS 46, 12 ABE 41, 13 NAKANO 37, 14 BAYLISS 34, 15 ROBERTS 29.250cc

250cc Race: (27 laps = 108.621 km)
Pos / Rider / Nat / Team / Motorcycle / Time / KM / H
1 / Daniel PEDROSA / SPA / Telefonica Movistar Honda 250 / HONDA / 42'17.705 / 154.090
2 / Sebastian PORTO / ARG / Repsol - Aspar Team 250cc / APRILIA / 42'23.708 / 153.726
3 / Randy DE PUNIET / FRA / Safilo Carrera - LCR / APRILIA / 42'29.168 / 153.397
4 / Alex DE ANGELIS / RSM / Aprilia Racing / APRILIA / 42'30.427 / 153.321
5 / Fonsi NIETO / SPA / Repsol - Aspar Team 250cc / APRILIA / 42'48.135 / 152.264
6 / Anthony WEST / AUS / Freesoul Abruzzo Racing Team / APRILIA / 42'50.712 / 152.111
7 / Franco BATTAINI / ITA / Campetella Racing / APRILIA / 43'09.636 / 151.000
8 / Naoki MATSUDO / JPN / Team UGT Kurz / YAMAHA / 43'12.760 / 150.818
9 / Hiroshi AOYAMA / JPN / Telefonica Movistar Honda 250 / HONDA / 43'15.127 / 150.680
10 / Sylvain GUINTOLI / FRA / Campetella Racing / APRILIA / 43'17.161 / 150.562
11 / Joan OLIVE / SPA / Campetella Racing / APRILIA / 43'23.975 / 150.168
12 / Alex BALDOLINI / ITA / Matteoni Racing / APRILIA / 43'24.271 / 150.151
13 / Hugo MARCHAND / FRA / Freesoul Abruzzo Racing Team / APRILIA / 43'38.730 / 149.322
14 / Johan STIGEFELT / SWE / Aprilia Germany / APRILIA / 43'39.505 / 149.278
15 / Jakub SMRZ / CZE / Molenaar Racing / HONDA / 43'46.825 / 148.862
Fastest Lap: Daniel PEDROSA 1'33.217 155.366 Km/h Lap 11

Championship Positions:
1 PEDROSA 180, 2 DE PUNIET 146, 3 PORTO 128, 4 NIETO 94, 5 DE ANGELIS 93,
6 ELIAS 86, 7 AOYAMA 71, 8 ROLFO 67, 9 WEST 65, 10 POGGIALI 63, 11 DEBON 53,
12 BATTAINI 46, 13 GUINTOLI 29, 14 MATSUDO 23, 15 OLIVE 19.

Holly Valance Rocks!
We had to go to Italy for World Ducati Week to discover sexy Aussie/Brit pop vocal & TV soap star Holy Valance and her newest CD "State of Mind" in the music store next to our Grand Hotel in the seaside town of Rimini. This beautiful babe really rocks with her smooth disco pop vocals similar to fellow Aussie Kyle Minogue!!

We have Holly spotlighted in the CD player of our BMW M3 where she kept us and the SBK FastDates.com Calendar Angels / Ducati Corse girls Nicki, Andra and Robin rockin' out on our 110mph run from Los Angeles up to Laguna Seca and back for World Superbike Weekend. Her import CD is a little pricy from Amazon.com, but will worth it. Click to Order.

AMA Chevrolet Superbike Championship Round 9, Mid-Ohio

Maladin and Zemke Share Mid-Ohio Double Header Weekend
Lexington, Ohio, July 25, 2004 - Team Yoshimura Suzuki's Matt Mladin maintained his lead in this year's AMA Superbike title chase with a win in Saturday's 1st race round of the Honda Super Cycle Weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Erion Honda’s Jake Zemke won his second Superbike race of the year, this win coming on the second day, Sunday The win vaulted Zemke into second in the championship point standings behind Mat Mladin (Suzuki), third today, and in front of American Honda’s Miguel Duhamel who crashed out of Sunday's race while running in 2nd place.

Duhamel began the weekend with a strong victory in the Formula Xtreme race, the French-Canadian solidifying his championship lead with two races to go. He and Zemke went head to head in the early going until Zemke fell on a strip of slick pavement that claimed a number of top riders over the course of the weekend. Duhamel cruised home with 12.387 seconds in hand. Erion Honda’s Al
ex Gobert was seventh. Duhamel’s lead over Zemke is 45 points with two rounds remaining.

In Saturday’s Superbike race, Duhamel was a fighting second, crossing the stripe just 0.337 seconds behind race winner Mladin after running him down with time running out. Bostrom was second until lapped riders blunted his charge. Soon after he let teammate Duhamel past to collect maximum championship points. Bostrom finished fourth. Zemke finished fifth after choosing the wrong front tire.

In Sunday's Superbike race,Jetting away from the pole position, Zemke quickly built up a lead that would grow to 12.723 seconds at the end of the 26-lap race. American Honda’s Ben Bostrom slotted into a safe second, pulling quickly away from third place Mladin. The gap at the end would be nearly 10 seconds. Teammate Miguel Duhamel crashed at the end of the back straight on the 11th lap while closing the gap on two riders in front, a potential podium in the making. Knowing that points are only paid for riders who complete 50% of the race, Duhamel soldiered for two more laps to gain a handful of points.

With two rounds-four races-remaining, and 176 points up for grabs, Zemke holds 436 points to Mladin’s 457. Duhamel has 413.

Jake Zemke, 1st Place, Sunday:Worked out pretty good. I got a really good start today and that was definitely an improvement over yesterday and the bike was working really, really well today. Yesterday I chose the wrong front tire and the thing just shredded to pieces. We had no hope but to just bring the thing home. Today, the guys actually gave me a better bike today than I had than yesterday. Hats off to my crew. They’ve been working hard. All weekend long even though I did get on pole, I haven’t been real happy with the set-up. Kind of been struggling to get around the racetrack. It would be OK for a couple of laps but the long distance wasn’t possible. Today the bike was really good all the way through, so hats off to the guys.

Ben Bostrom, 2nd Place, Sunday: I was riding, Jake (Zemke) was flying, and he gapped us out. I knew Mat (Mladin) was trailing me there. I didn’t know where Miguel (Duhamel) was, but I knew Mat was smart was going to play it safe for the championship. So I just continued my pace to haul down Jake, but he was going too fast. My bike was awesome all day long. I thought we could go quicker and I kept pushing. We couldn’t go any quicker. So then I had to settle for that lap time and keep going. The lappers weren’t so bad today. Yesterday they were awful. So we just cruised around we ended up second. It’s nice to be on the podium again.

Miguel Duhamel, DNF, Sunday: It was going real good. I was being really cautious those first four five laps. I was over a second slower than what I set in the morning. After what six laps or something. Seven, I said, let’s pick up the pace. Then I started getting into 27.9’s and that felt real comfortable and right away I could see the gap shrinking to Mat (Mladin) and Aaron (Yates). I was very confident I was going to catch them before the end of the race and dice with him and pass him. Pass him is one thing. I knew I was going to catch up because my bike was running really good. It’s just unfortunate. We’ve got four races to go and we’ll go tackle those like we’ve got nothing to lose.

Miguel Duhamel, 2nd Place, Saturday:
The bike was working really good, and I put my head down, and to me it seemed I was the fastest guy out there. I was able to reel in Mat (Mladin), and on a few occasions through even lapped riders, even though he would break away, I'd run back in. So things are looking good for tomorrow. It was a fun race. It was definitely greasy. I was spinning up everywhere and sliding. Hopefully we got some good camera shots of that. Putting on a pretty good show trying to get up there. Didn't have any options besides going out there and putting the power down and trying to reel in Mat (Mladin).
Ben Bostrom, 4th Place, Saturday

We came up on five guys coming into turn two and I thought, ‘Well maybe I can swoop them on the inside and cut them off on the little left before the Keyhole.’ But instead those guys…a blue flag doesn’t mean nothing to them. They just stay right on their line and pushed me to the curb. So (Mladin) Mat goes around me on the outside and got a couple of lappers in the process. That’s what gapped us out initially. I lost the front in the Keyhole trying to catch up a little bit. We should have made it back. I know Miguel and I would have caught up instantly if there weren’t lappers. In this case it was probably his race to win, but you can’t. I’m not racing for the championship, so I let him by. I knew I’d be able to stick with him. I knew we’d finish second or third. That would be great.

Jake Zemke, 5th Place, Saturday: There was a lot of traffic for sure, but we were having some difficulty with our tires. The front tire was just completely shredded. I had no grip from the get-go. I even felt it on the warm-up lap a little bit, but first couple laps of the race it was definitely not going to get the job done. We were actually OK there in the early part of the race. We started making ground back up on Ben (Bostrom) and Mat (Mladin), but I was having rear grip problems as well. And then the only place I could make ground was on the brakes and I did that as long as I could and pretty soon the brakes didn’t work so well. Then I just thought about bringing it home it one piece.

Saturday Superbike:
1. Mat Mladin (Suzuki)
2. Miguel Duhamel (Honda)
3. Aaron Yates (Suzuki)
4. Ben Bostrom (Honda)
5. Jake Zemke (Honda)
6. Josh Hayes (Kawasaki)
7. Eric Bostrom (Ducati)
8. Jacob Holden (Suzuki)
9. John Haner (Suzuki)
10. Larry Pegram (Yamaha)
Sunday Superbike:
1. Jake Zemke (Honda)
2. Ben Bostrom (Honda)
3. Mat Mladin (Suzuki)
4. Aaron Yates (Suzuki)
5. Josh Hayes (Kawasaki)
6. Jacob Holden (Suzuki)
7. Eric Bostrom (Ducati)
8. Larry Pegram (Yamaha)
9. Eric Wood (Suzuki)
10. John Haner (Suzuki)

Superbike Standings
(After 14 of 18 rounds):
1. Mat Mladin (457)
2. Jake Zemke (436)
3. Miguel Duhamel (413)
4. Eric Bostrom (336)
5. Ben Bostrom (306)
6. Geoff May (299)
7. Aaron Yates (272)
8. John Haner (262)
9. Eric Wood (239)
10. Josh Hayes (237)

Formula Xtreme:
1. Miguel Duhamel (Honda)
2. Jason Pridmore (Suzuki)
3. Vincent Haskovec (Suzuki)
4. Larry Pegram (Yamaha)
5. Heath Small (Yamaha)
6. Ty Howard (Yamaha)
7. Alex Gobert (Honda)
8. Giovanni Rojas (Yamaha)
9. Opie Caylor (Suzuki)
10. Jason Farrell (Kawasaki)

There's more!   Go to Pit Lane News Next Page

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Nicki is featured on the cover of
2005 Fast Dates, Iron & Lace
and in Members Corner

Nicki is a Renegade
July 26th - Our own SBK World Superbike FastDates.com Calendar Angel Nicki Lane (and Miss Great Britain) has just been contracted to be the official spokesmodel for the British Team Renegade Ducati in World Superbike with riders Nori Haga and Steve Martin. The team has just picked up additional sponsorship from a new Japanese apparel company named Koji which is similar to our Von Dutch, and Nicki will also be assisting in introducing Koji apparel to the European market. Nicki's official duties kick off this next weekend at her home World Superbike Round at Brands Hatch, GB.

LA Calendar Bike Show Happenings
Above: Resse Rooke wins Again! Jardine West Coast Horsepower Dyno Shootout sees new world horsepower record at 545hp!

Below: NCR's $160,000 Macchia Nera came al the way from Italy to win Best Sportbike!

Below: "Joe Millionaire" Evan Marriot with Purrfect Angelz Lisa Lagdon (featured in the August Playboy) and two Team Bolt-On Cuties.

Sunday July 25th - Ducati Marlboro Team riders Troy Bayliss and Loris Capirossi scored one of their best results of the year at Donington Park this afternoon, coming home in fifth and seventh positions. The hard-fought race was difficult for everyone, since today's weather was much cooler than it had been on Friday and Saturday, affecting bike settings and tyre choice. Light drizzle also fell during the race. Nevertheless Bayliss and Capirossi underlined the team's return to form, Capirossi qualifying on the front row for the first time and then leading the first lap of the 30-lap event.

"Finally we've got a result that proves we are on our way back," said Ducati Marlboro Team director Livio Suppo. "Overall this has been a good weekend for us - both riders' lap times were good and their finishing positions weren't so bad, especially considering it was a very, very fast race, 36 seconds quicker than last year's. Now we head into the summer break with the bike and riders in a good mood, so we can look forward to some relaxation after such a busy period, with six races over the last eight weekends."
Today's race was won by reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi, watched by a record crowd of 82,000; more than four times the figure of four years ago.

Ducati Marlboro Team rider Troy Bayliss rode a thrilling race to fifth place at cool, cloudy and breezy Donington today. The Aussie, who started fourth on the grid after missing a front-row start by five thousandths of a second, ran strongly throughout, surviving one heart-stopping moment when he ran off the track at the daunting 120mph/195kmh Craner Curve. This morning Bayliss proved the usability of Ducati's new Twin Pulse motor by topping the damp warm-up session.

"I'm really happy to finally get a decent result under my belt, especially after a tough few races," said Bayliss. "But really I thought I might do a bit better. The track was quite a bit cooler than it had been and we lost some grip. I had one big 'let go' down Craner which was pretty scary. It was a long ride across the grass, I just told myself 'don't touch anything!'. It also rained a bit a couple of times during the race but only enough to cost us a couple of tenths a lap. But overall I'm really happy, I know I can ride up front, so during the break I'll be relaxing and training hard so we can get some good results during the rest of the season."

Loris Capirossi had high hopes of scoring his first podium result of the year at Donington today but the cooler conditions took the edge off the Ducati Marlboro Team rider's performance. That's not to say he didn't try hard from start to finish, including a hugely brave move on lap one through Craner, when he grabbed the lead from Rossi.

"During practice we were very good," said Capirossi. "The weather changed and that gave me some problems - mainly less stability than usual during heavy braking. I started well but once I noticed I was having a bit of trouble on the brakes, I had to ease my pace slightly. I also slowed a little when it started raining. Anyway, all things considered I am happy. Today wasn't the easiest of races for us but we have proved once again that the bike is growing and that we are moving forward."

Naked Desmosedici! FastDates.com takes an exclusive visit inside the
Ducati Corse MotoGP Race Shop!
Plus - See our visit to
Ducati Racing School
At Misani Italy!

Proposed 2005 AMA Superbike Rule Changes Miss the Big Picture
Editor's Note: Below is a press release from AMA Pro Racing which announced "new" rule changes for the 2005 season. The only noteworthy item we read in what are really just mionor changes are to allow any rider to race in any class. Effectively the AMA is trying to fill out its less than full starting grids in classes which have less than full support from all the factory teams.

Unbelievably, Pro Racing is doing nothing to address the major problems it created this year in the structure of the different classes themselves. The 600cc Formula Extreme class will remain a useless and boring romp for Team Honda and should be eliminated altogether, or revert back to the once popular 600cc Supersport class with the inclussion of Ducati's 750cc twin. While Suzuki still has no class to race its hugely popular GSXR750.

The 1000cc Supersport class remains a useless duplication of 1000cc Superbike and should be eliminated altogether so all the factory and support teams will return to Superbike where they belong.

When AMA Nationals like those at California Speedway, Barber Motorsports, Colorado and Virgina International aren't pulling more than 2,000 spectators per race weekend, the current state of AMA Pro Racing in America is a disaster. The published attendance figures of 93,000 spectators for this July's Laguna Seca World and AMA SuperbikeWeekend were an outright lie (we only counted 4,000 spectators trackside on Sunday. Added in generously another 1,000 milling around in the Paddock and Midway during the race, and another 1,000 for riders and their teams and venders, and Laguna WSB Weekend might have had 6,000 people total. Daytona back in March wasn't much better.

Also in the Pro Racing rules proposal is a request for a new "Spec Bike ' class. Remember the last spec bike class the AMA tried was in the mid '90s for Harley-Havidson Sportsters and it was a disaster, as the stock bikes were ill handling and not cabale of being raced without blowing up.

Perhaps this new "Spec Class" class will be a reprive for Suzuki's GSXR750 if they foot the sponsorship? But why do we need another boring one brand class in a weekend of 1 and 2 brand dominated racing? We feel AMA is missing the big picture and just making their problem worse.
- Jim Gianatsis

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (July 25, 2004) -- AMA Pro Racing has announced the proposed technical rule changes for the 2005 AMA Chevrolet Superbike Championship. AMA Pro Racing licensed riders and credential holders may comment on proposed rule changes during a 30-day period beginning Monday, July 26 through Wednesday August 25. Comments can be made on AMA Pro Racing’s RIDERS ONLY website at www.amaproracing.com/ridersonly. At the conclusion of the 30-day period, AMA Pro Racing will review submissions prior to forwarding the package to the AMA Pro Racing Board of Directors for ratification.
Proposed technical rule changes for the 2005 season can be viewed at www.ussuperbike.com.

The 2005 AMA Chevrolet Superbike Championship will include current support classes (Supersport, Formula Xtreme and Superstock) and discussions are ongoing to include a spec class at certain rounds.

Scott Hollingsworth, AMA Pro Racing CEO confirmed that 1000cc Superbikes will remain the premier class in the championship.
“The current technical rules and class structure that went into effect at the end of 2003 have increased parity, lowered equipment costs and produced some of the most competitive, hard fought racing in years,” said Hollingsworth. “We expect to see these technical rules continue through 2006 and believe this stability will result in continued growth in fan interest as well as greater manufacturer participation.”

Currently Ducati, Honda and Suzuki field factory-supported teams. Each manufacturer has earned at least one victory in the 2004 season.

“Expanding the appeal of AMA Superbike racing is one of the core initiatives of AMA Pro Racing,” continued Hollingsworth. “Many of our promotional partners report that AMA Superbike events represent the highest attended spectator event at their respective facilities. We’re confident that our championship will continue to provide positive, long term value to our fans, sponsors, riders and teams.”

Suzuka 8 Hours
Izutsu takes Suzuka win aboard CBR1000RR Honda

Suzuka, Japan 25.07.2004.Ukawa -Tohru Ukawa and Hitoyasu Izutsu raced their Seven Stars liveried CBR1000RR Honda to a historic victory at the 27th running of the Suzuka 8 Hours, held at the classic Japanese circuit today. The experienced pairing led the race virtually every step of the way, lead off rider Ukawa moving into the lead half way round lap one and from that point on they never looked back.

They finished the race almost two laps ahead of the Yoshimura Suzuki of Watanabe and Kagayama with the ATS DDBOYS CBR1000RR of Hamaguchi and Moriwaki completing the podium places. It was the eighth consecutive Honda victory in the grueling event and their 19th overall.

Ukawa’s victory was his fourth Suzuka 8 Hour triumph a result that gave him an equal share of the record set by Australian Wayne Gardner over a decade ago.
Ukawa said. “It’s fantastic to win the 8hr race. I didn’t feel that long today. During the first session, when I was leading the race, pace cars entered the track and I took the advantage of it. Usually, accidents happen during the early hours, so I was cautious. But I nearly crashed when there were oil patches on the track. After that, everything went smoothly and during my last run, I was not pushing so hard, may be 70% of my performance.”

For team mate Izutsu it was a dream come true. “I joined Honda to win the 8hr race so I am really happy today. Today, many teams retired and there were less back markers towards the end and it was easier to pass them. #11 crashed and retired during the first hour and we had to finish this year. We couldn’t repeat what had happened last year. The gap between us and Yoshimura became bigger toward the end so I didn’t have to push so hard. At the beginning of this weekend, my back ached because I crashed during the testing in June and broke ribs. But today I was in best shape as the temperature was cooler than that of Thursday or Friday. I thank everyone for this victory.

The first hour of the race was a lottery and the winners took full advantage of the confusion caused by the crash that removed the second Seven Stars CBR of Gaku Kamata and Ryuichi Kiyonari from the race. Kamata, who was racing in place of the injured Yuki Takahashi, crashed their CBR after just half an hour. Worse was to follow for Honda when the much fancied pairing of Shinichi Ito and Takeshi Tsujimura (F.C.C. TSR ZIP-FM CBR1000RR) clashed with the Team Harc-Pro CBR of Yoshiteru Konishi and Tsuyoshi Yasuda.

The accidents brought out two pace cars with Ukawa in between them and he eased away to hand over a one minute lead to Izutsu at the first of the seven refueling stops. Barring a crash or mechanical failure the race was Ukawa’s and Izutsu’s to loose.
They made no mistake slowly but surely easing away from the field to give the CBR1000RR a maiden victory in the event repeating the first time victories scored by its predecessors, the twin cylinder VTR1000SP and the RC45.
At half race distance the eventual winners were a lap clear of the Yoshimura Suzuki with the Kenz Motul Suzuki of Saito and Fukami. The race pattern remained the same at the front until the seventh hour when the Kenz Motul Suzuki was forced out handing third to ATS DDBOYS CBR.

The leading trio were never under pressure and finished in that order the Seven Stars Honda two laps clear of the Yoshimura Suzuki with ATS DDBOYS machine a further lap down. Tatsuya Yamaguchi and Kazuki Tokudome brought the Masked Rider Blade Honda home in fourth place with the Team 22 Police Nationale & Tsukigi Racing pairing of Kishida and Giabbani a fine fifth on their CBR1000RR.
Seven Stars Honda Team manager Kazuhiko Yamano was delighted with the performance of the new CBR100RR.

“What a perfect win that was. I relied on both Ukawa and Izutsu so I wasn’t nervous at all. All the members of the team were together to achieve this victory. I want to thank the staff, sponsors and fans for supporting us.”
The race win rewarded sponsor Seven Stars for keeping faith with Honda after the disaster of the 2003 event when chaotic events unjustly removed both Seven Stars liveried VTRs from the race. HRC General Manager Koji Nakajima said. “Last year, two Seven Star Hondas retired so we had to win this year. It was very long since then. Also you never know what might happen during the race, so I wasn’t confident today till the end. I want to thank everyone who supported us.”

Veteran rider Shinichi Ito made a token appearance in the last 30 minutes of what might well be his last 8 hour race much to the delight of his many fans who cheered him around every lap he put in on the F.C.C. TSR ZIP-FM machine.