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FastDates.com August 2004
Page 1 • Superbike, MotoGP Racing & Calendar Girl News
Official Calendar of the SBK World Superbike Championship
Home of the official SBK Fast Dates & Team Ducati Corse Umbrella Girls

Page 3 - The Decline of Roadracing in America continues...
Daytona's New 600cc 200 Miler and Roadcourse Revealed
Bostrom on the Ropes • Fast Dates Girls Rock Laguna Seca

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2004 SBK FastDates Team Ducati Corse girls Nicki, Andra, Robin in Fast Dates News. HERE

The 600cc Xtreme class features highly modified 600cc Japanese in-line fours modified to Superbike specs, and is currently contested only by, and hence dominated by, American Honda. Above is Miguel Duhamel's Honda CBR600RR. None of the other 3 Japanese teams, plus Ducati, have plans to build expensive "one off" 600cc Extreme bikes to contest the new 2005 Daytona 200 race.

AMA Pro Racing puts the next nail in the Coffin....
Daytona 200 to be opening round of Formula Xtreme 600cc Series!

Editor's note: This week's issue of Cycle News features a round table discussion by CN editors Paul Carruthers and Henry Ray Abrams with AMA Pro Roadracing's chief executive Officier Scott Hollingsworth, director of competition Merrill Vanderslice, roadrace manager Ron Barick, vp of commercial developent John Ferris, director of communications Kerry Graeber, vp Andy Leisner, and director of scoring Ken Rogers.

In theCN interview the Pro Racing Board let it slip out they were "considering" changing the feature class at this coming year's 2005 Daytona 200 Miler from Superbike to 600cc Formula Xtreme, but the discussions up to now regarding this were principally just between AMA Pro Racing and Daytona Speedway, without the formal support of any factory race teams or riders. Said Hollingsworth: "I don't think we're going to share what's been discussed in private discussions with those guys (some of the factory US distributor teams, and not the riders). ... Nobody's commited we're going to do that (change classes for the Daytona 200 Miler) yet."

But within one day of Cycle News going to press with the interview, the decission was made by AMA Pro Racing to make the most important race in AMA roadracing, their crown jewell Daytona 200, now will be a 600cc class contested by possibly just one manufacturer, American Honda

This all comes just as there was a good chance all 5 major Superbike manufacturers would be returning to compete in AMA Superbike Racing in 2005 to the benefit of increasing spectator attendace and re-establishing the lost popularity of professional roadracing in America. As we have mentioned previously, this is all taking place in a climate that AMA Pro Racing has created to continue the decline in spectator attendance and factory team participation at this year's AMA Nationals with its multitude of lightly contested, confuning and duplicate classes.

The 600cc Xtreme class features highly modified 600cc Japanese in-line fours, and is currently contested and dominated just by American Honda, with the other 3 major Japanese distributors expressing no interest in contesting the class for 2005 and beyond. Previously the 600cc Superstock Class, which Extreme has replaced, was contest by all 4 Japanese maufacturers with close and exciting racing. Now it is a class which the world's biggest advocate and supporter of production based road racing, Ducati, has no bike for.

In short, this situation at Daytona has come about because the AMA does not want to loose all the income generated from back gate rider and entry fees during Speedweek at Daytona, their biggest and most popular event of the year for riders and classes. While for the Speedway, paid spectator attendance and profitability at the track during Speedweek does not justify making major and expensive design changes to the track itself to keep it safe for faster Open Superbikes, or to improve the facility in the infieldroadcourse for spectators. Rather than cancel Daytona Speedweek for safety concerns at the out dated facility, the AMA and Daytona have conspired together in secret to just make low cost track changes (see the Track ReDesign Press Release also on this page), and change the Daytona 200 feature race to slower 600cc Xtreme bikesto postpone the inevidible future demise of the facility for roadracing, all at the expense of the continued decline of AMA Superbike and all professional roadracing in America.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Black Friday Aug. 13, 2004) -- AMA Pro Racing announced today that the class structure for the 2005 AMA Chevrolet Superbike Championship will remain unchanged. Additionally, it was announced that the 2005 Daytona 200 will feature Formula Xtreme machinery.

The class structure for the 2005 championship remains as follows:
Superbike: 901-1000cc four-stroke, two or more cylinders
Supersport: 0-600cc four-stroke, multi-cylinder
Formula Xtreme: 450cc-600cc four-stroke, multi-cylinder; 595cc-750cc four-stroke, liquid-cooled, twin-cylinder; 850cc-1350cc four-stroke, air-cooled, twin-cylinder
Superstock: 745cc-1000cc four-stroke, multi-cylinder

The current class structure was enacted beginning with the 2004 racing season and is expected to remain in place at least through the 2006 racing season. Proposed 2005 rule changes were announced on July 25 and are currently subject to a 30-day comment period. AMA Pro Racing credential holders can make comments on AMA Pro Racing’s RIDERS ONLY website at www.amaproracing.com/ridersonly.

The Daytona 200, formerly part of the AMA Superbike Championship, will now utilize Formula Xtreme equipment. According to Scott Hollingsworth, AMA Pro Racing CEO, this change is being made in response to many of the concerns that have arisen regarding Daytona. “Daytona is a unique place and requires a unique approach. At the same time, Daytona and the Daytona 200 are treasured icons in the racing world,” said Hollingsworth. “To keep that event viable while acknowledging the realities posed by modern, 1000cc Superbikes, we will run the Daytona 200 as a Formula Xtreme race. AMA Superbikes will continue at Daytona but now as a sprint race, consistent with the rest of the Superbike events that comprise our championship.”Hollingsworth stated that the future direction of the Daytona 200 has been discussed for some t

ime and has included input from manufacturers, riders, team principals, tire companies, as well as Daytona International Speedway and International Speedway Corporation. “In meetings dating back to last year, it became clear that a course change and reducing sustained speeds of the 200 were two primary areas that needed addressing,” said Hollingsworth. “There were many innovative ideas put forth but the notion of running Formula Xtreme machinery in the 200 while still showcasing Superbikes was the one idea that had the most merit. From a marketing standpoint, the winners of either race earn plenty of bragging rights because a 200 mile win or a Superbike victory at Daytona are tremendous accomplishments. Another option that was given strong consideration was that of racing Supersport bikes in the 200. However, it’s no secret that Formula Xtreme equipment may one day form the basis for Superbikes. This possible ‘peek into the future’ was the ultimate factor in determining the best long-term solution.”

Hollingsworth stated that these changes, as well as the track reconfiguration that was jointly announced yesterday by AMA Pro Racing and Daytona International Speedway, are examples of the responsiveness shared by both organizations. “Together we have examined the issues, listened to all viewpoints and created a strong direction for the future,” summarized Hollingsworth.

Along with the Daytona AMA Superbike race and Daytona 200, AMA Supersport and AMA Superstock events will also be featured during Daytona Bike Week beginning on Wednesday, March 9, 2005.

New Revised Roadcourse Layout
For Motorcycles at Daytona International Speedway

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 12, 2004) -- For the sixth time since motorcycles began racing at Daytona International Speedway, competitors will compete on a reconfigured course beginning with next year’s Daytona 200 Bike Week, it was announced today. The new configuration will exclude NASCAR Turns 1 and 2 and will shorten the course to approximately 3.0 miles. The previous length of the motorcycle course was 3.56 miles. The Daytona 200 By Arai, scheduled for Saturday, March 12, will now be 67 laps instead of 57.
Since 1961, when motorcycles began competing at DIS, the course configuration has changed five times with distances varying from 2 miles to 3.87 miles. This is the first change since 1985.
The infield portion of the course has also been altered with the exit of the infield now located after NASCAR Turn 2.

“After each event, we discuss with the various sanctioning bodies what we can do to make our events better for our competitors and fans,” Speedway President Robin Braig said. “The changes in the road course for motorcycles will still provide the exceptional motorcycle racing for which Daytona International Speedway is famous for.”

“The reconfiguration underway at Daytona International Speedway is an example of what can happen when a track and sanctioning body proactively work together to create positive change,” said AMA Pro Racing CEO, Scott Hollingsworth. “Beginning in December of last year, we’ve been discussing what was necessary for the long term health of motorcycle racing at Daytona International Speedway. This reconfiguration, along with some additional changes that will be announced in the coming days are the result of that dialogue.”

Officials from AMA Pro Racing confirmed that rider involvement will be a valuable part of the construction process. “It’s important to us that our competitors are involved with this project so the plan is to bring them to Daytona at the appropriate time to provide input,” Hollingsworth said.

2005 AMA Pro Racing events kick off on Wednesday, March 9 with practice and qualifying at the Speedway and the AMA Hot Shoe Series Championship at Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium. AMA Pro Racing practice, qualifying and support races continue on Thursday, March 10 along with the AMA Progressive Insurance Flat Track Championship at Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium. For the second straight year, the Daytona Supercross By Honda will be held under the lights on Friday night, March 11. The 64th Daytona 200 By Arai is slated for Saturday, March 12. Tickets and more information for any of the Daytona 200 Bike Week activities are available online at DaytonaInternationalSpeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

Editor's Comments: The's a lot of positive spin in the above joint issued Press Release from AMA Pro Racing and Daytona Speedway for the road course revision, which may prove to be no more than a low cost Band Aid for what probably remains a critical wound. Eliminating the banking Turns 1 and 2 may keep Superbike tires a little cooler, but the potential for dangerous high speed blowouts and full throttle 190 mph slides through Turns 4 and the Finish Line / Turn 5 will still remain, as well as the dangerous concrete walls. For spectator viewing the revised and shorter roadcourse moved further back in the the infield without spectator bridges, may prove even less accessable on foot or visible from the front grandstands, so spectators may have even more reasons to stay away.

The real Daytona fix would have been to build a new stadium road course section with great spectator viewing bleachers inside Turns 3 and 4, and eliminate the 2 most dangerous banking turns altogether, but that was obliously too cost prohibitive. Hence, the short pavement change at the back of the track which might only make a bad situation, even worse.California Speedway's similar poorly designed infield road course offering poor spector viewing only drew some 2,000 spectators per day at its AMA Nationals back in May.

Meet the "Fonz"
Ducati Briel 750 World Supersport rider Lorenzo "Fonzi" Lanzi just might be racing the last two AMA Superbike rounds next to Eric Bostrom on the Ducati Austin factory 999F04 biikes.

The 22-year old Lanzi is a former European, 250 Italian 250 and 250GP rider. This season riding for Ducati on their new 749 V-twin in the highly competitive 600cc World Supersport class, has only finished as high as fourth this season. Ducati says this year in World Supersport is a development year and plans to return with 2 bikes and riders in 2005. But should Lanzi do well in AMA Superbike, perhps things might change?

Superbike Girls On Film! 
Join us on our trip to World Superbike Weekend at Laguna Seca Raceway with FastDates.com publisher Jim Gianatsis and the official SBK World Superbike and Ducati Corse Fast Dates Calendar Angeles: Robin Cunningham, Andra Cobb and Nicki Lane. All the torrid details and pictures are now in Fast Dates Calendar News!

World Class! Scuderia NCR / Poggipolini flew in from Italy with their $164,000 magnesium and titanium 180hp / 297lb. naked Ducati Superbike powered Macchia Nera to win Best Sportbike at this year's Show, elevating our Los Angeles Calendar Motorcycle Show to World caliber status. Poggipolini's distributor John Murray of RaceMetal.com accepts the Show's coveted Desk Set Trophy utilizing a real Mikuni Carburetor. He's joined by Roland and Ted Sands from Performance Machine, plus SBK World Superbike and Ducati Corse FastDates.com Calendar Cover Angels, Miss Great Britain Nicki Lane and Laura Niles.

Huge Turnout of Exhibitors and Spectators!
2004 LA Calendar Bike Show the Best Ever!
545hp! Motorcycle Horsepower World Record is Shattered

Long Beach, CA, July 17-18th, 2004 -The Los Angeles Calendar Motorcycle Show Weekend presented by Performance Machine and the FastDates.com Calendars and Website at the Queen Mary Event Park in Long Beach, CA, continued to grow as the most popular consumer street bike show in America catering to custom, cruiser, classic and sportbike enthusiasts. Always the 3rd weekend of July, this year’s show featured a incredible weekend of activities and our first ever sold out participation by 165 major motorcycle and product manufacturers, exhibitors and venders, leading custom bike builders from across the world, together with a 2-day jam-packed crowd of motorcycle enthusiasts. Spectator attendance was estimated to be larger than this year's Laguna Seca World Superbike and AMA California Speedway race weekends combined, confirming the LA Calendar Bike Show as the biggest streetbike event weekend in America.

For the complete story go to 2004 LA Calendar Motorcycle Show.

Click for Wide Screen: Two girls apparel sponsor Koji brought to the Brands Hach World Superbike weekend get down and dirty in Pit Lane with lots of humping, bumping, grinding and fondling in front of world TV, the media and millions of viewers. FastDates.com is a big supporter of Girls Going Wild on Pay Per View, at Strip Clubs and Bachelor Parties.

Team Koji Renegade Gets Dirty (Dancing), drops
Miss SBK World Superbike Nicki Lane for being too Clean

Brands Hatch, GB, Aug 6th - Just in case you missed the world television broadcast of the SBK World Superbike Races last weekend from Brands Hatch, it was notable for 2 reasons. The first was Renegade Ducati rider Noriyuki Haga pulling off an incredible double race win aboard the team's Ducati 999RS05 after exciting race long battles with Regis Laconi and Frankie Chili.

The other was the "Dirty Dancing" pit lane victory celebration performed by the Koji girls from Team Renegade's new clothing sponsor. It seems the British clothing company Koji brought 4 of its own girls to the race to add a little 'color' to the Renegade teams's new Koji graphics and the starting grid pagentry. The Koji girls went wild when Haga won the first race and began humping, bumping and grinding on each other in pit lane in front of the SBK World TV feed. Well, it seems the Koji apparel people took offence when we said the Koji girls were acting all 'slaggy like"* in our Tire Chatter section next to the Brands Hatch race report.

Too much class: Miss SBK World Superbike Fast Dates and Ducati Corse girl Nicki Lane.

If you remember last week, we also reported that our beautiful SBK World Superbike Fast Dates girl Nicki Lane, Miss Great Britain, had been hired by Renegade team principal Mark Griffiths to be the team's official Spokesmodel for the remaining World Superbike rounds this season. Nicki did a fantastic job for the team at Brands Hatch, including serving as the offical team umbrella girl for Nori on the starting grid of both races. However, when the other Koji girls started acting "all porn like" on pit row for media attention, our classy Nicki was instructed by the team (and rightly so) to keep her distance from them.

Unfortunately, our accurate reporting of what took place in pit lane with the other Koji girls gave Renegade sponsor Koji the excuse they wanted to demand Team Renegade break their contract (the contract with Nicki was announced on their website) with Nicki as official spokesmodel and not use her again. We're sure Griffith's was caught between a rock and a hard place when it came to appeasing his new sponsor Koji, or keeping a class act like Nicki Lane as spokesmodel (Nicki even gave the team a big promotional plug in a huge feature article about her in the British Sun newspaper the following weekend).

"There will be serious repercussions following this incident (Our news report in Pit Lane News -Ed.), and lawyers have already been instructed accordingly. In the meantime, we insist that the article is removed immediately, and that an apology and correction is published in place of the existing and offending article. I would ask that you sent me an immediate acknowledgement of this e-mail, also confirming that the article has been removed. We will then be in touch further through our representatives in due course." (signed) GM Griffiths, President - Renegade Racing Company Limited

OK Mark, the article has been removed, the correction is printed above, and you have our "sincerest heart felt apology." The Koji girls in question were not acting like silicates, but more like exotic dancers. And we give a huge thumbs down to apparel company Koji and Team Renegade for breaking its contract and not being a class act like our Nicki Lane.

*Definition: Slaggy (a.) Of or pertaining to slag; resembling slag; as, slaggy cobalt.
Slag (n.) A product of smelting, containing, mostly as silicates, the substances not sought to be produced as matte or metal, and having a lower specific gravity than the latter; -- called also, esp. in iron smelting, cinder. The slag of iron blast furnaces is essentially silicate of calcium, magnesium, and aluminium; that of lead and copper smelting furnaces contains iron.

Join FastDates.com at the OC Roadhouse Saturday 21st!
Costa Mesa, CA - Our official FastDates.com apparel designer and supplier , Feelin' Lucky, is opening its first retail consumer store with a big Open House Party this coming weekend at its new location in Costa Mesa, CA. The grand opening celebration for O.C. Roadhouse takes place this Saturday, August 21st from 11am - 5pm. In attendance will be FastDates.com Calendar photographer and publisher Jim Gianatsis, together with one of the beautiful Calendar Angels to autograph and sell the new 2005 FastDates.com Calendars. The OC Roadhouse is located at 1660 Placentia Avenue in Costa Mesa, CA 92627. Phone 949-645-3550. Additional details and map online at OCRoadhouse.com

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Eric on the Ropes?
Ducati Corse Bringing Supersport Rider Loronzeo Lanzi to America
Aug 6th - Team Ducati Corse completed a 2-day test with their Superbike teams at Mugello, Italy this week. SBK team riders Regis Laconi and James Toseland where joined by AMA Ducati Austin rider Eric Bostrom. The test, in part, was to see why the Ducati Austin team with Eric Bostrom wasn't proving to be as competive in American Superbike racing (America is Ducat's most important market ) as Ducati expected. Despie Eric winning at his favorite Pikes Peak AMA round back it May, Ben hasn't been a front runner at the other AMA Superbike rounds this season.

At the Mugello test Laconi was fastest, with Bostrom lapping close to Toseland's times. The bike and set-up and procedures that the Ducati Austin team (which uses factory Ducati Corse mechanics) all checked out, seeming to indicate it possibly was Eric Bostrom and not the 999F04 racebike which might be in question.

Eric turned in a good number of laps on a Michelin-shod Ducati Corse Superbike but was unable to lap much faster than the Ducati Corse riders who were on the slower Pirelli spec tires. At Laguna Seca last month the AMA Superbike teams on Dunlop and Michelin race rubber were some 2 seconds quicker that the World Superbike riders on spec Pirellis. Thus indicating at the Mugello test, Ben was about 2 seconds a lap slower with the same bike on the same tract at the same time as his European team mates.

Ducati Corse management, In an attempt to get a better comparison of another rider on the same bike and Michelin tires as Eric, brought Ducati Briel 750 World Supersport rider Lorenzo "Fonzi" Lanzi to the testand put him on a Michelin shod 999.

The 22-year old Lanzi is a former European, 250 Italian 250 and 250GP rider. This season riding for Ducati on their new 749 V-twin in the highly competitive 600cc World Supersport class, has only finished as high as fourth this season.

The additional comparison proved significant as Lorenzo lapped about a second and a half faster than Bostrom, setting a fast time of 1:54.9 compared to Bostrom's quickest of 1:56.6. And this was only the second time Lanzi had ridden a Superbike.

Ducati Cose is now sending Lanzi to America where he will join Ducati Austin with Eric in testing the 999F04 at Virginia International Raceway on August 11-12. Should Lanzi prove to again be quicker than Bostrom back in America under similar test conditions, we can bet Lanzi will be Bostrom's team mate on a 2nd bike at the two remaining AMA rounds. Ducati Corse will still be fully supporting Eric who is under contract for the AMA season, but if Eric doesn'r match Lanzi's pace he certainly will be replaced for next year.

Whether Lanzi might be the rider to replace Eric (should he need to be replaced) can't be answer at this time, since Ducati has previously said they are commited to World Supersport this year as a development year, and they plan to contest it in full force in 2005 with a 2-rider team. Meanwhile, Ducati does have 3 former World Superbike race winning riders running mid-pack in MotoGP this season, who could probably be instant race winners in American Superbike should Ducati Corse want to bring them here in 2005.

Lanzi is Quicker at VIR
VIR, Aug 14th - Lorenzo Lanzi did lap quicker than Eric Bostrom at theVirginia International Raceway test. In Lanzi's first ride at the track, andin America, and the Corse Supersport rider lapped slightly faster than Eric Bostrom after a two-day test plagued by rain.

Eric's fast lap was a 1:26.7 while Lanzi posted a 1:26.4.
Ducati's plan is to now have Lanzi join Bostrom at the VIR race on an equal Ducati Superbike on Michelin tires.
Lanzi will not be racing at Road Atlanta as there is a date conflict. The World Supersport series is in action at Assen on the Atlanta weekend

Great Pricing for Aprilia Sportbikes in USA
Consumer concern over financial problems at Aprilia of Itally have slowed bike sales significantly in America. Our local dealer in Los Angeles says they are discounting the hot new RS Mille and Mille R as much as $2,000 off suggested list price to help them sell. If you've been waiting to get a great sportbike at a great price, this is now the time to make your best dealer with your dealer. Pro Italia in Glendale, CA, is one Aprillia dealer offering a special $2,000 bike discount pricing.

Aprilia Confirms Buyout Agreement with Piaggio
8/13/04 Woodstock, GA - Aprilia World Service USA Inc. is pleased to communicate the announcement of the industrial and strategic agreement between Piaggio and Aprilia. In the agreement, Piaggio will obtain a 100% stake in the Aprilia group.

Ducati America back on track to Profitability
New Ducati American president Michael Lock who has been on board for just over a year now, has gotten the American Ducati distributorship back on track to profitability after the US branch posted some $50 million in losses under previous short term president Joe Piazzo. The road back to profitability included resolving parts distribution problems, and ordering a minimum number of 2005 bikes for the US market, and employing special dealer incentive programs and low 2.9% consumer financing to move out unsold 2002 and 2003 bikes. Now Ducati USA dealers are faced with a shortage of new bikes to sell and it may be a few months before new bike supply can catch up with demand.

Preview - Gauloises
Czech Grand Prix, Brno
August 20, 21, 22 2004
The 16-round MotoGP World Championship prepares to recommence after a three week summer interval, reconvening in Brno on August 22. The Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha Team approaches its latest challenge in far better shape than the majority of its rivals, after some outstanding individual and team performances since the start of the season in April.

World number one Valentino Rossi has displayed dazzling winning form in his first Yamaha year. His five 2004 victories thus far are as impressive as they were somewhat unexpected at this early stage of the new partnership. The upshot of the 25-year-old’s points gathering performances, and the ever increasing capabilities of the Yamaha YZR-M1, is a 22-point lead over their closest competitors in the Riders’ Championship.

Carlos Checa, the Fortuna-branded rider in Yamaha’s cosmopolitan factory squad, has experienced an up and down season so far, his pinnacle performance was second at Le Mans in round three. He, like Rossi, is a big fan of the high-speed turns and committed downhill corner entries of the Brno track, a point which gives all involved a high degree of confidence at what is a Gauloises sponsored event.

Rossi’s blue M1, as well as an on-track points gatherer, scooped an award from a spectator survey conducted at the Donington MotoGP weekend from British biking weekly Motor Cycle News (MCN). The bike was voted best designed machine of 2004, while the factory team was blessed with the accolade of favourite team in the paddock, proof of the overall prowess and high profile of the Yamaha factory effort.

Surfing high on the wave of Rossi’s latest crushing triumph at the Donington Grand Prix three weeks ago, the team nonetheless continued its relentless pace of development by staying in situ to test one day later. The aim to solve some set-up issues which had appeared on occasion this year was achieved. After this successful one-day test the team has enjoyed its longest break since the start of 2004, recharging batteries in readiness for the final gruelling segment of the season.

Out to repeat his perfect performance of race victory, fastest qualifying time and lap record in last year’s Brno event, Rossi knows he will have to labour hard in qualifying to repeat his 2003 success story.

“I made a beautiful race in Brno last year,” said the Italian. “It’s not necessarily my favourite circuit and I really don’t know how the M1 will go there as it’s so diverse; high speed but still with many turns, up and downhill sections, adverse cambers, et cetera. Anyway, Checa was good there last year and Yamaha is very fast there traditionally.”

Rossi knows he has to keep the pressure on his opponents at this vital part of the season. “Although I’m leading the championship it’s not by enough points to feel safe yet, every point from now on is crucial if we are to think about being in a position to win the championship. The win in Donington before the summer break was magic but there were still some problems and room for improvement. We made some good progress in the one-day test after Donington, where we tested new front fork settings and engine mapping. The stability felt better and it was a worthwhile day - but we still have a way to go.”

Rossi acknowledges that it is not only himself he has to consider at Brno. “This year has so far been a real surprise and we have made remarkable progress. But Honda have made a lot of progress at the same time, and Sete and Max are stronger now than ever. I know that Yamaha will have been working non-stop through the summer break to make even more improvements, so let’s see what happens in Brno. The riders have had three weeks off so everyone should be revitalized. It’s certainly going to be a great second half of the season, perhaps with even better battles than there have been in the first half.”

Championship Contender Haga Receiving Treatment for Back Injury
Aug 9th - Following his crashes at Laguna Seca and Brands Hatch, which still didn't prevent him from posting double wins at Brands, Noriyuki Haga returned to Japan for a special consultation with his physicians, having complained of severe back pain.

Following a series of tests and x-rays, doctors have diagnosed that he has a badly sprained back, and will need intensive treatment if he is to be fit enough to contest round 9 of the Superbike World Championship at Assen, at the beginning of September. The news has rocked his Renegade Ducati team, which is still celebrating Haga’s sensational double victory at Brands Hatch – his first back to back double in four years.

A team manager explained, Haga is already undergoing intensive treatment in a frantic bid to be fully fit for the next event. ‘Nitro complained of back pain on Sunday morning following his Saturday crash at Brands Hatch. He was very uncomfortable after the first race and I didn’t think he would be up to it to do battle again for the second race, but thankfully, he was.’

He went on to say, ‘Haga-san is now in the process of receiving specialist electro-therapy from his Japanese physicians. I will speak to him again on Wednesday to establish how the treatment is going, but I would have to say that his fitness will be doubtful for Assen.’

Haga is currently lying in third position in the rider standings on 212 points, just 6 points behind championship leader Regis Laconi.

Ride With World Champions!
GP Riding Academy at
Phillip Island in November

ICR Moto Generation announces the appointment of three World Championship racers as chief instructors for the ICR Grand Prix Riding Academy in November 2004.

Daryl Beattie, Andrew Pitt and Kevin Magee are set to provide a rewarding and memorable experience for a limited number of international motorcycle riders at the world class Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne, Australia.
Catering to all levels of male and female riders, participants undertake an intensive and comprehensive motorcycle riding and race skills academy with five days on the track. All tuition comes packaged with an all inclusive luxury 8 day/7 night package, which includes luxury accommodation, transfers and all meals in Australia, nightly entertainment, tours and sightseeing and much more.

Cornering, Braking, Passing
Throttle Control, Lean Angle
Track Position, Body Position
[more] 8 DAYS, All expenses paid
7 NIGHTS .Luxury accommodation 5 DAYS RIDING. The track bikes:
Each rider is provided with an ICR edition 2004 Honda CBR 600RR to ride whilst at the event... and bikes are race track prepared, running the latest Michelin Pilot Power tyres. ICR GP Riding Academy events are an all expenses paid experience that others only dream of... with one lucky participant winning a brand new ICR edition Honda CBR 600RR, delivered to their door... simply for attending this event.

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

Naked Desmosedici! FastDates.com takes an exclusive visit inside the
Ducati Corse MotoGP Race Shop!

Plus - See our visit to Ducati Racing School at Misano!

Aprilia Declines Ducati's Offer, Piaggio Now Looking to Buy
August 04th - Aprilia's management has rejected Ducati's recent bid to buy the financially troubled company which lost $50 million last year, and Ducati has stated they would not change their offer, Italian scooter maker Piaggio has now stepped up to acquire the company. Piaggio's offer is on the table until August 14.

Piaggio's current chairman,Roberto Colaninno, has stated his desire to also hold all Italian motorcycle manufacturers under one roof. Colaninno became involved in the Italian motorcycle industry after successfully leading Olivetti in its $35 billion takeover of Telcom Italia. Ousted from Telcom Italia, Colaninno traded his shares for IMMSI, the Italian property management firm which holds over 30% of Piaggio. The Piaggio Group, including its brands Gilera, Vespa and Derbi, produced 430,000 vehicles in 2003.

Along with Ducati and Piaggio, offers for the ailing Aprilia have come from BRP-Rotax and Kymco. Kymco is the Taiwan scooter manufacturer whichproduces 480,000 vehicles annually . There is a rumor Kymco's bid is highest. BRP-Rotax is the Austrian engine manufacturing subsidiary of the Bombardier Recreational Products Company from Canada whose annual sales total $1.9 billion.

Aprilia annually produces some 20,000 motorcycles and 170,000 scooters. It is having trouble managing its $264 million debt, and last year posted a loss of almost $50 million, events which have attracted the bids for acquisition.

Conti Road Attack
highlight at INTERMOT

GERMAN tyre manufacturer Continental will be exhibiting at INTERMOT, the principal European motorcycle show, to be held from September 15th to 19th, 2004. The company will be located in Hall B2, at Stand 625. The main focus of Continental's exhibit will be on the ContiRoadAttack and ContiForce SM tyres. Launched in April this year, the ContiRoadAttack has already received several favourable reviews. The ContiForce SM is designed specifically for Supermoto bikes and has been enthusiastically accepted by this niche sector.