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Training for Roadracing
with Chris Vermeulen

by Justin Veivers
Here is an exclusive interview with Vermeulen, his fitness trainer Rob Crick and Suzuki’s Team Physio Dean Miller.

The four discuss how the new brand of MotoGP stars are making their own fitness as important as the performance of the bike when rider and machine take to the track!

In the high paced, high energy and extremely high cost world of MotoGP Racing, it’s the small things that can sometimes make the biggest difference.

The days of riders just being able to show up and hop-on are long gone. The men that straddle these 800cc powerhouses are highly trained and extremely fit athletes.

18 rounds of gruelling racing in 15 countries, on four continents take a massive toll on the body. A MotoGP racer needs to be at peak physical condition for all the racing and testing as well as the intense travelling to and from events.

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racer Chris Vermeulen is the perfect example of the new wave of stars that are gracing race tracks around the world.

The young Australian has ridden bikes for his entire life and fitness has always been a big part of his make up, “You know the level we ride at takes a lot out of your body, you’d be foolish to think you could ride these things and be competitive, if you’ve cut any corners and are not at your peak physically you’ll soon be found out.” Chris added.

Testing the bikes is an important part of improving the riders’ performance, but the twenty four year old puts his body under the microscope as well.

Vermeulen has recently been wired to Garmin’s new Forerunner 305. Primarily for runners, the GPS enabled heart rate trainer delivered some interesting figures.

Dean Miller is Suzuki’s Team Physio and he knows from 30 years of experience in the industry just how important devices like the Forerunner can be. “We’re looking at matching the technology of the rider with the technology of the equipment. A lot of what happens to make these bikes quick doesn’t happen on the race track it occurs in labs and it’s the same with the modern day athlete.”

Miller added, “To be able to have a global instrument pattern to that heart rate is important for us and for him, in perspective of timing when he goes to train; he has a better direct goal of what he needs to do to be at his best.”

The man who’s been responsible for Chris’s fitness for his entire career, Rob Crick, was a keen observer when the data was downloaded. “His heart rate was higher then what we thought it might be, but it confirmed for us that the training we do with Chris is on track. We do a lot of interval work, so he trains constantly in a higher heart rate zone. We push him hard to 190bpm, but 160 to 180 are what we try to maintain.”

Taking a rider’s heart rate is nothing new. It’s the software and amount of information the new technology delivers that’s interesting.

As Dean Miller said, “The riders analyse the data off their machines, now they are able to see and identify what’s going on with their own bodies.”

“It’s funny that my heart rate peaks in the twisty sections of the circuits. I am able to start recovering in the straights when we are doing speeds up to and in excess of 300kms an hour. So at top speed my body is having a rest, that’s incredible.” Vermeulen said.

Crick added, “The software is great, we can pinpoint where his heart rate rises and falls on a map of the race track. We found out it’s not so much the speed of the bike but the physical nature of the race track which has the biggest bearing.”

The data proved a rider’s body goes through an amazing workout every time he suits up. Chris’s heart rate hit a top mark of 179bpm, but was constantly over 160. Put that into the context of a race that lasts, 40 to 45 minutes, it’s an enormous amount of stress on the body.

“The thing is you are working hard physically but also making split second decisions at extremely high speed. Garmin might be able to design something to help me out on the brain side of things!” Chris joked.

The GPS heart rate monitor was also able to give Chris a speed read out, distance covered, terrain and a course layout. One thing measured in the software, that Suzuki doesn’t record, is the gradient levels.

An animated Vermeulen said. “I really found it quiet enthralling to go and download my information, whilst the mechanics were doing the same to the bike. Seriously though, I look for every edge. It confirmed the sort of training I do is working.”

The high speed arena Chris works in is light years away from the world of runners, but the “Forerunner” performed extremely well.

Miller said, “These are the finest motorcycle riders and bikes in the world bar none, so the best are riding the best, when you get to this level the separation can come down to 10’ths and 100’ths of a second , each year the cutting edge becomes much, much sharper. We say about footballers, what an athlete, and wow look at him move. At the same time try and do that with a varied centre of gravity in relationship to the machine, travelling at 300kms an hour , then slow it down and flick it into another corner and then change that centre of gravity almost instantaneously. I think they rate right amongst the top athletes in the world.”

So next time you sit down to watch a MotoGP race, keep an eye out for Chris Vermeulen. You’ll know the amount of effort that’s gone into getting the bike and rider to the peak of their performance!

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Page 2 - Stoner and Ducati Dominate Istanbul MotoGP
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Casey Stoner now leads Valention Rossi for the MotoGP World Championship, as Ducati kicks ass on the Japanese giants.

MotoGP World Championship, Istanbul, Round 3 of 18

Stoner Trumps with another Ducati Win and the Points Lead
Istanbul, Turkey, April 20-22nd, 2007 -Casey Stoner took his second victory of the 2007 season at the Grand Prix of Turkey in a classic race more than a match for last year’s exciting duel. The Australian now leads the championship on 61 points, with a ten point advantage over Valentino Rossi, after triumphing by over six seconds from Toni Elias and Loris Capirossi.

Stoner swept into the lead at the end of the first lap and no one could get close enough to challenge him after that, the Australian extending his advantage throughout to win by 6.2 seconds. Capirossi had a less lonely race, running second behind Stoner early on, then battling back and forth with a group of riders. He lost third place to fellow Ducati GP7 rider Alex Barros exiting Turn 11 on the last lap but fought back into the final chicane to take his first podium of 2007.

Three Ducatis in the top four made this the best-ever MotoGP race for the legendary Italian marque. Bridgestone also enjoyed its best MotoGP result, monopolising the top six places.

Yamaha's 1-2 Punch for Pole at Istanbul MotoGP
Saturday April 21 - It was Valentino Rossi who started the Grand Prix of Turkey from pole position after blazing his trail through the Istanbul Park circuit. ‘The Doctor’ was unstoppable despite some late challenges to his fastest lap, a 1’52.795 over two tenths of a second quicker than Fiat Yamaha team-mate and second-placed rider Colin Edwards. Rossi has never won in Turkey, but enters in rich form after a win at Jerez and lying first in the standings.

Dani Pedrosa will round off the front row for the race, having not quite been able to push for pole as he got caught in traffic with John Hopkins, himself on a flying final lap. The Honda rider pushed his 800cc to go faster than both factory Ducati bikes, Casey Stoner and Loris Capirossi biting at his heels after having placed highly in the free practice sessions.

World Champion Nicky Hayden dug deep for a top six start alongside the red machines, still getting to grips with the new parts brought in for the Honda RC212V. The American has a crucial race ahead of him after a tough start to the season, and qualified ahead of countryman Hopkins, Kawasaki’s Randy de Puniet, Suzuki rider Chris Vermeulen and Gresini man Toni Elias, all four on Bridgestone tyres.

Valentino Rossi, Position 1st - "I'm very happy to have a pole position at this track, which has never been one of my favourites! I've had some bad moments here in the past but this year it feels like a different track for me and I'm having great fun! My M1 is very competitive, a lot more fun to ride here than in the past and the new modifications we have for our engine have made an important difference to our overall performance. The team has done a great job because we had some problems yesterday but they've found some good solutions and now Colin and I are first and second. My tyres are working well and we've found the right front for tomorrow. We need to make a final decision about the rear in the morning. With the qualifying tyre my bike really flew and I was able to do a very good lap; I started my first lap a few minutes earlier than the others and then I knew that I could improve a little bit more with the second qualifying tyre. Anyway all three of us are very close on the front row so I think it's going to be a tight battle tomorrow. Let's hope for good weather and see what happens."

Colin Edwards, Position: 2nd Time: 1'52.944 Laps: 21 - "Well after the problems we had yesterday I've got to say a massive thanks to my team. They looked at the issues, got out their protractors, did their maths and worked their magic like always! The Michelin qualifier really sticks like glue for us this year and I was able to really push it. I thought I was going to run into traffic at one point on my last lap but I just kept my head down and somehow came out the other side in front. It was definitely a mistake-free lap. As for tomorrow, we need to work a little bit on our race pace - two tenths would be good but three would be even better! I think we're losing it in T3 so we need to concentrate on that part of the track. We've moved onto a different front from the ‘old faithful' we've been using so far this year because that one was a little bit too close to the limit here, but it's working really well so we just need to make a final decision on the rear. It's a great result for the team to have us both on the front row again so let's hope to make the most of it with a similar result tomorrow!"

Stoner (65) takes over the race lead from polesitters Rossi (46) and Edwards (behind) .

Casey Stoner leads Ducati's 1-3 punch for the Championship Lead
Race Day April 22nd, 2007 -Casey Stoner took his second victory of the 2007 season at the Grand Prix of Turkey in a classic race more than a match for last year’s exciting duel. The Australian now leads the championship on 61 points, with a ten point advantage over Valentino Rossi, after triumphing by over six seconds from Toni Elias and Loris Capirossi.

High hopes for Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards went unfulfilled today as the Fiat Yamaha Team riders, who started from first and second on the grid, were both victims of bad luck at Istanbul Park. The pair got a good start and were leading the pack into turn one before Edwards dropped back as he was unable to get enough heat into his tyre and Rossi made a mistake and ran wide at turn eleven. Disaster then struck for Edwards as he was hit from behind by another rider and sent tumbling into the gravel trap in a crash that involved four riders in total. Rossi meanwhile seemed to be going well and had fought back to second behind eventual winner Casey Stoner, before he suffered a serious rear tyre problem that forced him to roll off the gas and drop right back through the field. The Italian had to use all his talents to keep himself in the race and he eventually brought his Yamaha home in tenth position, taking what were a creditable six points under the circumstances.

Rossi now drops to second place in the championship standings, ten points behind Stoner and 15 ahead of Dani Pedrosa, who was also involved in the first-lap crash. Edwards' unlucky non-finish, only the second in his Yamaha career, means he drops down to sixth. The Fiat Yamaha Team have a one-day test planned tomorrow although Edwards will wait until the morning to confirm if he will ride after badly bruising his knee when he was knocked down.

The Ducati rider was almost gifted the lead early on, when his and team-mate Capirossi’s pressure forced poleman Rossi to run along the grass at the end of the first lap. Seconds later, the major talking point of the day occurred, as Dani Pedrosa and Olivier Jacque collided, turning the Frenchman’s Kawasaki into something of bowling ball, taking out Colin Edwards on the Fiat Yamaha. Also caught up in the incident were Chris Vermeulen and Sylvain Guintoli; the former picking up his bike after being hit by Pedrosa, the latter having to ride all the way round the debris on the run-off section.

Toni Elias in second place was unable to trouble the flying Stoner, but had plenty of his own pursuers nipping at his heels. The Spaniard had started fantastically from tenth, and was battling hard with Rossi in fearless fashion leading to a near-miss between the two riders. The move put Elias in second, where he stayed until the chequered flag, and Rossi right back into the thick of the chasing pack, where he further dropped down before finishing a lowly tenth.

Capirossi completed the podium, holding off a flu-ridden Alex Barros on the line. The two veterans exchanged places on consecutive corners, and with a few extra metres on the final straight the Brazilian may have taken Pramac d’Antin Ducati’s first ever podium.

Marco Melandri threatened a repeat of 2006 as he looked to make it a hat trick of victories in Turkey, but couldn’t make his challenge stick with the top four breaking away. World Champion Nicky Hayden was pipped on the line by John Hopkins after holding firm throughout the race. Hayden was seventh ahead of Randy de Puniet, Alex Hofmann and Rossi.

Elias, Stoner and Capirossi on the podium at Istanbul.

Casey Stoner, race winner, World Championship leader on 61 points - "We had a great race, unfortunately some of the other riders didn't have such a good race. Really, with the way the Ducati and the Bridgestones were today we couldn't do anything wrong. I got past Colin (Edwards) on the first lap because I wanted to make sure I didn't get held up and bumped back like in Jerez. Then Valentino ran off the track, pretty much gifting me first position. From there we put some good laps together, built a gap and continued from there because some of the other riders were having a battle. I don't want to sound confident, but at first I was pushing hard to get a gap, then after it got to 2.53 seconds I tried to slow the pace, just to make sure everything was safe, and the lap times actually dropped from trying to go a bit slower. The Bridgestone tyres were absolutely perfect, in fact the whole package was just perfect. I have to thank a lot of people, all the team and everybody who's contributed to my career, including Anthony Peadon (Australian former international sprint cyclist) for training me over the last few weeks. We are really determined this year, we're not expecting much, we're just doing the best job we can. With Ducati and Marlboro and everybody together I think we can do a really good job and I think and I hope that we can get stronger as the season goes on."

Toni Elias, Gresini Honda: 2nd. - "It was like a 125 race with some unbelievable passes. I concentrated on getting a perfect start and made as many passes as I could on the opening laps but I got stuck behind Hopkins for too long. Once I got past him my pace was good and I was also able to take Rossi. I couldn't challenge for the lead because Casey was so fast so I decided to focus on maintaining my position. I have to thank the team and Bridgestone for the faith they have shown in me. I feel mature and confident because I still think we can improve even more."

Loris Capirossi, 3rd place, 11th in World Championship on 20 points - "The whole weekend has been fantastic for me, I'm back! Twenty days ago I had the best moment of my life when our first kid was born, so now I'm enjoying riding again and I hope my championship starts here because we still have 15 races to go. Everything worked so good, I got a good start and tried to follow Casey but he was so strong and I preferred to go a little slower. I fought a lot, especially with Alex on the last lap. I lost the front in the fast right, my bike start shaking a lot and Alex overtook me, so I said ‘okay, I have only one opportunity to make the podium, to out-brake Alex at the chicane'. I want to say thank you very much to team, to everyone for keeping confidence in me after two difficult races."

Valentino Rossi, 10th +18.999 - "We are very disappointed today because we had high expectations for this race, but instead we had some unexpected problems with the tyre and it's been a disaster for us. Yesterday and this morning the same race tyre felt good but unfortunately today something happened to it after some laps and I couldn't fulfil the potential we had here. We don't know the reason yet for the problem but now Michelin are trying to understand what happened. I had a great start and was leading on the first lap, although I made a mistake at turn eleven when I ran wide and dropped to fifth. However at that stage my bike was working very well and I was able to fight back to second; I felt sure that I was going to have a good battle with Stoner!

Sadly though, after ten or eleven laps, the tyre started to lose all grip and I had to slow right down because I was quite scared. It felt like there was a big problem with the tyre and I had to go very carefully just to finish. We were very unlucky today, we started first and second but Colin crashed when he was hit and then I had this problem. I'm also quite unhappy with Elias today because I think he was quite dangerous - more than once he passed me on the inside and then altered his line. This is not a correct way to race. We're all quite sad tonight but we have many more races so we will look forward now to China."

Results MotoGP: (22 laps = 117.48 km)
Pos/ Rider / Nat / Team / Motorcycle / Time/ KM/H / Gap
1 / Casey STONER / AUS / Ducati Marlboro Team / DUCATI / 42'02.850 / 167.638 /
2 / Toni ELIAS / SPA / Honda Gresini / HONDA / 42'09.057 / 167.227 / 6.207
3 / Loris CAPIROSSI / ITA / Ducati Marlboro Team / DUCATI / 42'10.952 / 167.102 / 8.102
4 / Alex BARROS / BRA / Pramac d'Antin / DUCATI / 42'10.985 / 167.1 / 8.135
5 / Marco MELANDRI / ITA / Honda Gresini / HONDA / 42'11.139 / 167.089 / 8.289
6 / John HOPKINS / USA / Rizla Suzuki MotoGP / SUZUKI / 42'13.036 / 166.964 / 10.186
7 / Nicky HAYDEN / USA / Repsol Honda Team / HONDA / 42'13.089 / 166.961 / 10.239
8 / Randy DE PUNIET / FRA / Kawasaki Racing Team / KAWASAKI / 42'17.584 / 166.665 / 14.734
9 / Alex HOFMANN / GER / Pramac d'Antin / DUCATI / 42'18.892 / 166.579 / 16.042
10 / Valentino ROSSI / ITA / Fiat Yamaha Team / YAMAHA / 42'21.849 / 166.385 / 18.999
11 / Chris VERMEULEN / AUS / Rizla Suzuki MotoGP / SUZUKI / 42'29.099 / 165.912 / 26.249
12 / Carlos CHECA / SPA / Honda LCR / HONDA / 42'32.396 / 165.698 / 29.546
13 / Shinya NAKANO / JPN / Konica Minolta Honda / HONDA / 42'39.772 / 165.22 / 36.922
14 / Makoto TAMADA / JPN / Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3 / YAMAHA / 42'41.390 / 165.116 / 38.54
15 / Sylvain GUINTOLI / FRA / Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3 / YAMAHA / 42'42.187 / 165.065 / 39.337

Pole Position: Valentino ROSSI 1'52.795 170.433 Km/h
Fastest Lap: Chris VERMEULEN 1'54.026 168.593 Km/h Lap 21
Circuit Record Lap: Toni ELIAS 1'52.877 170.309 Km/h 2006
Circuit Best Lap: Sete GIBERNAU 1'52.334 171.132 Km/h 2005

World Championship Positions:
1 STONER 61, 2 ROSSI 51, 3 PEDROSA 36, 4 ELIAS 35, 5 MELANDRI 30, 6 EDWARDS 26,
12 NAKANO 15, 13 CHECA 14, 14 HOFMANN 12, 15 DE PUNIET 11.

250cc GP - Dovizioso Slows Lorenzo's Run Away
Andrea Dovizioso finally brought an end to Jorge Lorenzo’s perfect record in 2007, displaying his new-found aggression once again to beat his fierce rival to victory in Turkey. The Italian battled tooth and nail for every centimetre onboard the Team Scot Honda, heading the podium which involved the same three riders as at Jerez three weeks ago.

Starting from pole, Dovizioso took the holeshot to draw first blood in the showdown, leading in the early stages before intermittent turns by eventual third-placed rider Alvaro Bautista and reigning World Champion Lorenzo. In amongst all this, last year’s race winner Hiroshi Aoyama crashed out, and brother Shuhei and Aleix Espargaro both received ride-through penalties for jump starts.

On the final lap, Dovizioso and Lorenzo came into contact on the final section of Istanbul Park, with the Italian holding his ground and Bautista attempting to take advantage. He maintained the advantage on the final straight, and took his first victory of the year to round off a fantastic weekend.

Just off the podium once again, Alex de Angelis was unable to join in a battle which he would surely have relished. He came in ahead of 250cc rookies Thomas Luthi, Mika Kallio and Julian Simon, with the top ten completed by Hector Barbera, Marco Simoncelli and Fabrizio Lai.

GP 250cc: (20 laps = 106.8 km)
Pos / Rider / Nat / Team / Motorcycle / Time / KM/H / Gap
1 / Andrea DOVIZIOSO / ITA / Scot Racing Team / HONDA / 39'31.153 / 162.148 /
2 / Jorge LORENZO / SPA / Fortuna Aprilia / APRILIA / 39'31.256 / 162.141 / 0.103
3 / Alvaro BAUTISTA / SPA / Master - Mapfre Aspar / APRILIA / 39'31.471 / 162.127 / 0.318
4 / Alex DE ANGELIS / RSM / Master - Mapfre Aspar / APRILIA / 39'36.047 / 161.814 / 4.894
5 / Thomas LUTHI / SWI / Emmi - Caffe Latte Aprilia / APRILIA / 39'50.908 / 160.809 / 19.755
6 / Mika KALLIO / FIN / Red Bull KTM 250 / KTM / 39'54.099 / 160.594 / 22.946
7 / Julian SIMON / SPA / Repsol Honda 250cc / HONDA / 39'54.436 / 160.572 / 23.283
8 / Hector BARBERA / SPA / Team Toth Aprilia / APRILIA / 40'18.831 / 158.952 / 47.678
9 / Marco SIMONCELLI / ITA / Metis Gilera / GILERA / 40'29.635 / 158.245 / 58.482
10 / Fabrizio LAI / ITA / Campetella Racing / APRILIA / 40'29.887 / 158.229 / 58.734
11 / Aleix ESPARGARO / SPA / Blusens Aprilia / APRILIA / 40'39.741 / 157.59 / 1'08.588
12 / Karel ABRAHAM / CZE / Cardion AB Motoracing / APRILIA / 40'40.185 / 157.561 / 1'09.032
13 / Dirk HEIDOLF / GER / Kiefer - Bos - Sotin Racing / APRILIA / 40'41.158 / 157.499 / 1'10.005
14 / Alex BALDOLINI / ITA / Kiefer - Bos - Sotin Racing / APRILIA / 40'45.662 / 157.208 / 1'14.509
15 / Ratthapark WILAIROT / THA / Thai Honda PTT-SAG / HONDA / 40'48.885 / 157.002 / 1'17.732

Pole Position: Andrea DOVIZIOSO 1'57.473 163.646 Km/h
Fastest Lap: Andrea DOVIZIOSO 1'57.815 163.171 Km/h Lap 14
Circuit Record Lap: Dani PEDROSA 1'57.595 163.476 Km/h 2005
Circuit Best Lap: Alex DE ANGELIS 1'56.930 164.406 Km/h 2005

World Championship Positions:
6 LUTHI 24, 7 SIMON 17, 8 TAKAHASHI 17, 9 AOYAMA 15, 10 LAI 15, 11 SIMONCELLI 14,
12 DEBON 11, 13 KALLIO 10, 14 AOYAMA 10, 15 LOCATELLI 10.

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Mat Mladin in his old familiar place out front.

AMA Superbike Championship, Barber, Round 2 of 11

Mladin Doubles Down at Barber Superbike
Barber Motorsports Park, AL, Friday April 19-21st, 2007 - Matt Mladin was finally able to step back out of the shadow of his Yoshimura Suzuki teammate Ben Spies to claim both AMA Superbike race wins this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park Raceway outside of Montgomery, Alabama. Spies never let Mladin relax as he chased the Aussie to a close second in both races, and Honda's Miguel Duhamel finsihing a distant third both days

Ben Spies Untouchable in Barber Superbike Qualifying
Barber Motorsports Park, AL, Friday April 20, 2007 - - Ben Spies the reigning AMA Superbike champ captured the provisional pole for this weekend’s AMA Superbike doubleheader in convincing fashion on Friday afternoon at Barber Motorsports Park. The 22-year-old from Longview, Texas established a new track record, lopping tenths off his previous mark with a fast lap of 1:24.318.

Ben actually posted multiple laps in the ‘24s, a feat no other riders accomplished during the session even once. His ’ Yoshimura Suzuki teammate, Mat Mladin, came closest to doing so, dipping into the low ‘25s while preparing for tomorrow’s race with a best time of 1:25.013. Tommy Hayden, the third factory Suzuki ace was right on Mladin’s heels with a late flier that stopped the clocks at 1:25.070.

No one outside of the Yoshimura tent managed to post a time within one-and-a-half seconds of the Spies’ provisional pole mark. Eric Bostrom was fourth overall on the Yamaha USA YZF R1 at 1:25.832, followed closely by American Honda’s Miguel DuHamel at 1:25.942. Jordan Suzuki’s Jake Holden was an impressive sixth best, with Yamaha runner Jason DiSalvo, second Honda man Jake Zemke, Holden’s teammate, Aaron Yates, and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jamie Hacking rounding out the top ten.

AMA Superbike Provisional Qualifying
1. Ben Spies (Suz) 1:24.318
2. Mat Mladin (Suz) 1:25.013
3. Tommy Hayden (Suz) 1:25.070
4. Eric Bostrom (Yam) 1:25.832
5. Miguel DuHamel (Hon) 1:25.942
6. Jake Holden (Suz) 1:26.045
7. Jason DiSalvo (Yam) 1:26.052
8. Jake Zemke (Hon) 1:26.401
9. Aaron Yates (Suz) 1:26.434
10. Jamie Hacking (Kaw) 1:26.577
11. James Ellison (Hon) 1:27.021
12. Matt Lynn (MV) 1:27.450

The Yoshimura Ronco-matic as team mates Mladin (66) and Spies (1) dice and slice their way into the lead

Mladin Kicks Things Off On Superbike Saturday

Superbike Race One, April 21, 2007 - Mat Mladin finally found ais way back to the top of the podium as the Six-time AMA Superbike champ picked up career victory #52 following a tense, race-long duel with rival Ben Spies on Saturday afternoon at Barber Motorsports Park. The hard-fought victory halted the young Texan’s early-season perfection and further cemented the notion that this year’s championship fight is going to be the most fiercely contested the series has seen in years. The win was especially sweet for the determined Australian as he climbed back on top of the podium at the same racetrack Spies kicked off his ’06 title run in earnest.

Mladin took control of the race early, ripping past his Yoshimura Suzuki teammate and holeshot artist Eric Bostrom to take the lead on the opening lap on the exit of Turn 5. While the Yamaha ace slowly slipped down the order, the dominating Suzuki-powered duo quickly dropped the field, opening up approximately a second of space between them and their pursuers on each successive lap.

Spies applied varying amounts of pressure over the course of the 28-lap contest, from showing Mladin a wheel on occasion in the early stages to appearing in danger of falling out of contention -- logging three straight laps (21-23) more than a half-second back -- and then finally turning the heat back on at the race’s conclusion where Spies’ tried in vain to find a way through.

Mladin suffered in traffic on a number of occasions, losing the precious tenths of padding he worked so hard to achieve. However, the scariest occurrence was an early run-in with a lapper where the Suzuki star narrowly avoided disaster, squeezing through the tightest of quarters as both men ducked up the inside of a corner. He displayed his trademark ice-cool demeanor each time, however, never getting frustrated or giving Spies an opening to take advantage of.

Mladin explained what happened on the close call, stating, “I don’t like to complain about lappers; they’re all out there trying to race as fast as they can. But that guy got the blue flag about half a lap before he looked over his shoulder. And when he looked over his shoulder I was already coming up in the inside and he decided he wanted to go to the inside after he looked over his shoulder. And again he was just going there, it’s not like he moved there or anything on me. By the time he moved there and it was all happening he was already committed. All I could do was let the brake off and just touch the gas a little bit just to get through and past him. Other than that it wasn’t too big a deal. Yeah, it was a bit close but today we survived that one.”

Mladin admitted that Spies’ challenge kept him occupied throughout. “You always have to be concerned, for sure. You know Ben was riding really good and I knew coming across start/finish most of those laps I had .2 or .3. -- at one stage I had .6 there. So all I had to do was go as quick as I could and keep it clean. We kept it really, really clean. Pushed as hard as I could on the last lap. Didn’t make any mistakes, didn’t run wide anywhere.

Speaking about his failed attempt to steal away the win at the end, Spies said, “I gave everything I had. He had some really good strong points and it was good to follow that and see that for tomorrow and what we need to improve on. His strong points were really where you need to get the pass done and that’s what was making it really tough.

Spies was visibly weaker exiting the hairpin Turn 5, a vital corner and a favored spot for overtaking. “That was pretty much the case every lap. I did everything I could and when you’re giving up big time on drives out of the corner it makes it really hard to stay there. We didn’t quite have the grip we wanted for whatever reason and that could be my fault. We just need to try to get a better set-up tomorrow and get some better grip because that’s where we were really losing the time. It’s hard to make both ends work on the bike and we know what we need to do to fix it and hopefully we can.”

The race for third was almost as entertaining as the struggle for the win. A huge pack battle whittled down to a dogfight waged by Jordan Suzuki’s Aaron Yates, third Yosh runner Tommy Hayden, and American Honda teammates Miguel DuHamel and Jake Zemke.

Zemke dropped off the chase late, leaving DuHamel to slug it out with the Suzuki-mounted riders. The Canadian worked past the Georgian with just over one remaining to take over third and held off the counter-attack to claim his second podium finish of the 2007 season.

Yates and Hayden finished closely behind to round out the top five, while Zemke brought his CBR1000RR home in sixth. Jamie Hacking came out on top of a third pack of factory riders, eventually breaking free of Yamaha USA teammates Eric Bostrom and Jason DiSalvo to claim seventh, his first Superbike finish for the Monster Energy Kawasaki team.

Lucca Scassa on the Fast By Ferracci MV Agusta helps add a little interest to the AMA Superbike proceedings.

Saturday Superbike Results:
1 66 Mathew Mladin Henderson, NV Suzuki GSX-R1000 28 --- American Suzuki / Yoshimura US
2 1 Ben Spies Longview, TX Suzuki GSX-R1000 28 0.116 American Suzuki / Yoshimura US
3 17 Miguel Duhamel Las Vegas, NV Honda CBR1000RR 28 26.350 American Honda Motor Co
4 20 Aaron W Yates Milledgeville, GA Suzuki GSX-R1000 28 26.580 Jordan Suzuki
5 22 Tommy Hayden Owensboro, KY Suzuki GSX-R1000 28 27.613 American Suzuki / Yoshimura US
6 98 Jake P Zemke Paso Robles, CA Honda CBR1000RR 28 35.474 American Honda
7 2 Jamie A Hacking Denver, NC Kawasaki ZX-10R 28 45.927 Monster Energy / Kawasaki Motors Corp
8 32 Eric Bostrom Las Vegas, NV Yamaha YZF-R1 28 48.212 Yamaha Motor Corp
9 40 Jason Disalvo Stafford, NY Yamaha YZF-R1 28 52.574 Yamaha Motor Corp USA
10 77 James Ellison Rancho Palos Verdes, CA Honda CBR1000RR 28 59.916 Corona Extra Honda
11 95 Roger Lee Hayden Owensboro, KY Kawasaki ZX-10R 28 Monster Energy / Kawasaki Motors Corp
12 50 Matt D Lynn Ball Ground, GA MV Agusta F4-1000R 312 28 MV Agusta / Fast by Ferracci
13 59 Jake Holden Eatonville, WA Suzuki GSX-R1000 28 Jordan Suzuki
14 111 Jordan M Szoke Brantford, ON Kawasaki ZX-10R 27 --- Kawasaki
15 24 Clint Mcbain Cochrane, AB Suzuki GSX-R1000 27 --- Cyclespace.com
16 55 Kevin Lacombe Granby, QC Yamaha YZF-R1 27 --- Brooklin Cycle Racing
17 14 Steve Crevier Maple Ridge, BC Yamaha YZF-R1 27 --- Yamaha Toyota Canada
18 10 Doug Chandler Salinas, CA Honda CBR1000RR 27 --- No Factory Support Rcng
19 61 Scott Jensen Peoria, AZ Suzuki GSX-R1000 27 --- HALOF Rcng / Suzuki
20 333 Tristan Palmer Warwickshire, Suzuki GSX-R1000 27 --- Govnors Bridge Motorcycles

RACE TIME: 39:53.255 min.
WINNER'S AVG. SPEED: 96.872 mph

The Mladin, Spies and DuHamel's Sunday Superbike Repeat
Superbike Race Two ,April 22, 2007 - The start of Sundy's 2nd Superbike Race saw Tommy Hayden (Yoshimura Suzuki GSXR1000R ) and Eric Bostrom (Yamaha USA R1) pulling excellent starts to lead the field through turn one and around for the opening lap, followed closely by Ben Spies and Mat Mladin, then Yates, DuHamel, DiSalvo, Zemke, Hacking and Roger Hayden. But the opportunity for a different race outcome from Saturday's result soon vanish on lap 2 as Mladin passed his Yoshimura teammate Spies, and they together, passed both Hayden and Bostrom for the front spots and disappeared for the second day in a row.

By the time the race was 5 laps down Miguel DuHamel had moved the American Honda CBR1000RR into 3rd, and Aaron Yates had his Jordan Suzuki past Eric Bostrom. The only drama for the remaining 17 laps was to see whether Yates could close the short gap to Tommy Hayden ahot 50 feet in front of him, but Aaron never could.

Yates had said earlier, he enjoyed the opportunity of being the Number One rider on the Jordan team and not having to compete for attention and parts as he had to the last 2 years at Yoshimura. But it was also known the team had just gotten their new box stock model 2007 Suzuki GSXR1000Rs just 3 weeks before Barber, and had to build their new Superbikes from scratch without testing, factory parts or setup help. So being Number One on a private team without worksks parts might not be all its id to be. Still to his credit, Yates was beating a lot of factory riders from Yamaha, Kawasaki and Honda.

Up front, Mladin had checked out on teammate Spies with Aaron attacking the Barber track with controled vengence, power sliding through the high speed corners while leaving black streaks on the asphault, building up a 2.4 second lead at mid-race, then dialing the pace back down to maintain his secure lead to the finish. Sunday's race pace for the front runners was about a second a lap quicker than on Saturday, in part to a little warmer weather, the faxt many riders had swtched from hard to medium hard compound tires, and then track itself had enough rubber laid down that it was super sticky.

"It was a good weekend for us," said Mladin. "We tested here about a month ago. We have a good motorbike with the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 and we ran a good pace with consistent laps. So coming into this race, we knew what we had and it was just a matter of keeping it clean for all 28 laps. The Suzuki worked well throughout the whole race and we just did what we had to do to bring it home with a win."

Early in the race, Spies slotted in behind Mladin in second position. He pushed hard but was unable to overtake his team mate, with the result being a strong second-place finish. Although he didn't win the race, Spies' impressive ride helped him maintain his lead in the AMA Superbike points chase.

"I just couldn't get into a rhythm today," said Spies. "And I made a bunch of little mistakes that added up. It was all me. I wish we could have been there for the win but we just couldn't do it today. The Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 was working good and was actually working better at the end of the race. We kept going faster and faster. We didn't win the race but we didn't get outright smoked either. Hopefully we can come back strong for Fontana."

Meanwhile, after initially leading the race, Tommy Hayden settled into fifth position and was turning consistent laps. With less than 10 laps to go, however, he made a pass for fourth position and held on to the finish.

With the end of racing on Sunday evening all the teams would be packing up their transporters and heading out overnight for the 3-day drive to California Speedway and the 3rd round of AMA National Championship this next weekend. Somewhere in between then the bikes would need to be rebuilt by the coming Friday's practice..

Sunday Superbike Results:
1 66 Mathew Mladin Henderson, NV Suzuki GSX-R1000 28 --- American Suzuki / Yoshimura US
2 1 Ben Spies Longview, TX Suzuki GSX-R1000 28 0.992 American Suzuki / Yoshimura US
3 17 Miguel Duhamel Las Vegas, NV Honda CBR1000RR 28 10.329 American Honda Motor Co
4 22 Tommy Hayden Owensboro, KY Suzuki GSX-R1000 28 21.268 American Suzuki / Yoshimura US
5 20 Aaron W Yates Milledgeville, GA Suzuki GSX-R1000 28 22.160 Jordan Suzuki
6 32 Eric Bostrom Las Vegas, NV Yamaha YZF-R1 28 29.441 Yamaha Motor Corp
7 40 Jason Disalvo Stafford, NY Yamaha YZF-R1 28 32.034 Yamaha Motor Corp USA
8 2 Jamie A Hacking Denver, NC Kawasaki ZX-10R 28 36.175 Monster Energy / Kawasaki Motors Corp
9 95 Roger Lee Hayden Owensboro, KY Kawasaki ZX-10R 28 42.959 Monster Energy / Kawasaki Motors Corp
10 98 Jake P Zemke Paso Robles, CA Honda CBR1000RR 28 48.813 American Honda
11 77 James Ellison Rancho Palos Verdes, CA Honda CBR1000RR 28 Corona Extra Honda
12 88 Luca Scassa Willow Grove, PA MV Agusta F4-1000R 312 28 MV Agusta / Fast By Ferracci
13 24 Clint Mcbain Cochrane, AB Suzuki GSX-R1000 27 --- Cyclespace.com
14 111 Jordan M Szoke Brantford, ON Kawasaki ZX-10R 27 --- Kawasaki
15 44 John Haner Austin, TX Suzuki GSX-R1000 27 --- Millenium Tech / KWS Mtrsprts / American Suzuki
16 14 Steve Crevier Maple Ridge, BC Yamaha YZF-R1 27 --- Yamaha Toyota Canada
17 61 Scott Jensen Peoria, AZ Suzuki GSX-R1000 27 --- HALOF Rcng / Suzuki
18 62 David Weber Alpharetta, GA Suzuki GSX-R1000 27 --- Millenium Tech / KWS Mtrsprts / American Suzuki
19 333 Tristan Palmer Warwickshire, Suzuki GSX-R1000 27 --- Govnors Bridge Motorcycles
20 55 Kevin Lacombe Granby, QC Yamaha YZF-R1 27

RACE TIME: 40:03.204 min.
WINNER'S AVG. SPEED: 96.471 mph

Josh in the office, racing for Erion on the bike American Honda was too embarrassed to keep winning on in a very lightly contested class. Hopefully for next year the 600c Xtreme class will adopt SBK 600cc Supersport Rues and all the factory teams will be in this class, leaving the 600cc Superstock class to privateers, or we can so dream....

Josh Hayes Takes 600cc Xtreme

April 22, 2007 - Josh Hayes, the defending Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme champion was determined to make up for his Daytona 200 disappointment at the series’ second round at Barber Motorsports Park and it showed. The Erion Honda star put on a dominant display, leading all 17 laps from pole and ultimately pulling away to 6.096 margin of victory in front of a large pack of friends and fans who made the trip over to Alabama from his home state of Mississippi.

The race’s early stages promised a more competitive affair, as the Attack Kawasaki duo of Steve Rapp and Ben Attard followed tightly on Hayes’ CBR600RR’s rear wheel over the race’s opening lap-and-a-half. However, Aussie Attard highsided out of second, forcing Rapp (and Hayes’ teammate Aaron Gobert) to slow and take evasive reaction in order to avoid hitting the sliding rider.

Hayes took maximum advantage of the situation, putting his head down and further increasing the gap with nothing but clear track in front of him. “This is what I had planned for Daytona and it didn’t work out,” Hayes remarked. “When we went home and sat down and tried to figure out what we’re going to do, we said, ‘hey, you know what? We’re the champs. We want to get every point every weekend. We want to lead every practice.’ We want to just do the work and that’s what we came here to do. We worked really hard."

Daytona winner Rapp held on to second until the very final moments of the race while Gobert made a dogged pursuit. The Aussie had to endure a second near miss when Celtic Racing’s Chaz Davies crashed awkwardly in front of him, but he bounced back to close in on Rapp on the final lap.

Taking advantage of a lapper, Gobert zigged where Rapp zagged and came out the other side in the runner-up spot less than a half a lap from the checkered flag. He held off Rapp’s counterpunch and gave the Erion Honda squad a 1-2 response the Attack team’s Daytona success.

Gobert said, “It’s really tough here to get a good break with the lapped riders and passing is also difficult. I got the same thing as Steve -- I got stuck in the chicane, changing directions with a lapped rider two laps earlier. I actually saw Steve catching the guy and I thought, ‘this is exactly how I did it so when he gets caught up, I’ll get a run on him.’ But he slowed down and timed it and well and I was like, ‘I’m not going to get it right and Steve and I are just going to go together.’

Marty Craggill came out on top of a four rider Honda/Ducati tilt for fourth, claiming the position on his Boulder Motorsports Ducati 749R. He was followed by Rockwall Honda’s Ryan Andrews, Ducati-backed Larry Pegram, and Andrew’s teammate Ryan Elleby. Team Hunter’s Cory West finished eighth, followed by Canadian legend Steve Crevier and David Anthony.

Hayes’ win tightens up the early points race with Rapp still leading at 66, but only three points up on the reigning champ.

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Federico Minoli, Ducati President on Today's MotoGP Victory
"Three Ducatis in the top four is really amazing, it's our best-ever result in MotoGP, a fantastic day. Casey has been so strong all weekend, Loris showed a lot of character holding onto third and I'm really happy for Alex too. To see our other team go so well is another testimony to the talent of our engineers. Casey again showed great maturity, he kept extending his advantage throughout the race and always kept his cool. The kid has a great future in front of him."

Nicky Hayden,
Slip, Slip, Slipping Away...

Repsol Honda: 7th. "My start was pretty decent and I made a couple of passes in turn four on the first lap. For a while I was enjoying the battle, dicing with a few guys and having a bit of fun and at the end of the race, with four or five laps to go I was thinking 'you know what, I'm going to be able to steal a podium here'. But after about half race distance I was having real trouble getting through the fast right-hander at turn 14. Early in the race it was my best corner, but at other parts of the track I was braking so deep to make up time that I used up the front tyre a little bit. At the end, and I know it's a pretty weak excuse, but I just couldn't get through that right-hander. That affected my acceleration up that hill and I started losing positions. On the last lap I gave it one last go through there to try to be close on the brakes to let me try to do something down at the hairpin, but when I got in there I just pushed the front to the edge of the track and had a big moment - I barely stayed on. It's another seventh place and I know people will still be on my case about it, but the truth is the team worked really hard this weekend and I rode as hard as I could for 22 laps. I don't' want to play the 'first Michelin' card because my tyres were pretty good. The rear was really consistent, though I had some issues with the front. I really would have loved to give the team a better result this weekend but we've got a test here tomorrow and we'll look to get a few things straightened out."

Kawasaki's De Puniet
Scores his career best inIstanbul, teammate Oliver Jaque takes out Colin Edwardsand four other riders.

Randy de Puniet finished today's Turkish Grand Prix in eighth place, his best result to date since moving up to the MotoGP class with Kawasaki at the start of the 2006 season.

De Puniet's race didn't get off to the best start, after difficulties getting his Ninja ZX-RR off the line dropped him back to 13th place at turn one, but he recovered quickly as he chased hard to catch the group of riders ahead of him.

De Puniet's consistency, combined with the impressive performance of his Bridgestone tyres, allowed the Kawasaki pilot to bridge the gap to current championship leader Valentino Rossi, who was the last man in a six-way battle for third place, with just five laps of the race remaining.

De Puniet was quick to put in a pass on Rossi for eighth place in the final turn, but the Italian managed to retake the position on the main straight. The Kawasaki rider eventually made the pass stick at turn four, but by then, with just three laps left to run, the gap to the ongoing battle for the final podium position was too big to bridge.

But eighth place, just 14 seconds behind race winner Casey Stoner (Ducati), is de Puniet's best result in the premier class to date, and one on which he is keen to improve on further as the season progresses.

But while de Puniet was satisfied with the performance of himself and his Ninja ZX-RR today, his Kawasaki teammate, Olivier Jacque, was left battered and bruised after crashing out of the race on the opening lap.

The 33-year-old Kawasaki rider moved to the inside of the track to pass Alex Barros (Ducati) and Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki) on the run down to the final turn, but with his view obscured by other riders Jacque missed his braking marker and got into the final turn too hot.

Realising his mistake, Jacque tried to look for a gap through which to run on, but was unable to avoid colliding with the rear of Colin Edward's Yamaha at the apex of the turn. Jacque and Edwards both crashed as a result of the collision, with Dani Pedrosa (Honda) and Vermeulen also crashing whilst taking avoiding action.

"I am really sorry about what happened and there are no excuses: I made a mistake. I got a decent start and I was feeling good. It was a big group and I saw a good opportunity to make places up after the fast turn into the chicane. I was in the middle of the group and I missed my braking marker and when I braked it was too late. There was no space. I had no way out and couldn’t avoid touching Edward’s rear wheel. I made high flight and landed on my coccyx. I thought I had broken it, as it was really painful, but luckily it is not. Now I still feel a little bit dizzy but I feel even worse for the team as we had worked really hard throughout the weekend and the bike was feeling very good. I’m really looking forward to China to work even harder and reward them.”

Jacque was lucky to escape with just a sore head and a bruised coccyx, but these minor injuries are enough to rule him out of Kawasaki's planned development test at the Istanbul Park circuit tomorrow.

Nicky Hayden
After Race Follow Up
Excuse #3 of 18?

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 7th. "My start was pretty decent and I made a couple of passes in turn four on the first lap. For a while I was enjoying the battle, dicing with a few guys and having a bit of fun and at the end of the race, with four or five laps to go I was thinking 'you know what, I'm going to be able to steal a podium here'. But after about half race distance I was having real trouble getting through the fast right-hander at turn 14. Early in the race it was my best corner, but at other parts of the track I was braking so deep to make up time that I used up the front tyre a little bit.

At the end, and I know it's a pretty weak excuse, but I just couldn't get through that right-hander. That affected my acceleration up that hill and I started losing positions. On the last lap I gave it one last go through there to try to be close on the brakes to let me try to do something down at the hairpin, but when I got in there I just pushed the front to the edge of the track and had a big moment - I barely stayed on. It's another seventh place and I know people will still be on my case about it, but the truth is the team worked really hard this weekend and I rode as hard as I could for 22 laps. I don't' want to play the 'first Michelin' card because my tyres were pretty good. The rear was really consistent, though I had some issues with the front. I really would have loved to give the team a better result this weekend but we've got a test here tomorrow and we'll look to get a few things straightened out."

Kenny Roberts Jnr, KR212V: 16th.“It felt like the rear tyre went flat. It didn't feel right on the sighting lap. I thought it might come in, but it never did. I thought it was flat and I was kind of nervous about what the problem might be; because when they're not the right pressure and have that type of feeling you can't be careful enough. Around the last five laps I also seemed to pick up a vibration, not sure if the two things are related or not but the guys will check it out.”

First lap incident costs Vermeulen podium challenge
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racer Chris Vermeulen was involved in a first lap crash at today’s Turkish Grand Prix, almost definitely costing him a place on the podium - his race pace after he and rejoined the race was as good as any other rider on the track.

Vermeulen was caught up in a four rider crash, caused by Kawasaki’s Olivier Jacque and also involving Dani Pedrosa and Colin Edwards. Vermeulen’s bike was lying on top of Pedrosa’s and the determined Australian dragged it off, got back on and re-joined the race. The Rizla Suzuki GSV-R sustained some damage in the accident but Vermeulen battled back to secure 11th place at the end of the race, setting the fastest time on the penultimate lap. The accident cost Vermeulen over 22 seconds from start to finish and his final race time was only 20 seconds off second place.

John Hopkins was involved in an equally exciting race. The 23-year old Anglo-American battled all race long for the podium, but the highly competitive 800cc championship meant he had to fight for every place and eventually brought his GSV-R home in sixth place, just ahead of World Champion Nicky Hayden.

Over 40,000 people watched Casey Stoner on the Bridgestone-shod Ducati take victory at a sunny Istanbul circuit, and also witness Bridgestone have the first six bikes across the line for the first time ever in GP history.

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP now travels to the Far East for round four of the MotoGP World Championship at Shanghai in China on Sunday 6th May.

Chris Vermeulen: “I got a bit boxed in on the first lap and immediately got involved in a battle, but we soon straightened things out. I had just passed Alex Barros when another rider took out Edwards and Pedrosa right in front of me and I had nowhere to go but down. That was the worst part of the race, but luckily my bike was still running and lying on top of Pedrosa’s. I grabbed the clutch, pulled my bike off his and re-joined the race. My handlebar was bent and the fairing was broken but everything else seemed to be fine. I gave it a lap or two to see if everything was ok and then just got my head down and went for it. I started to chase after the other guys and do some fast, consistent laps. I kept it as smooth as I could and managed to get up to 11th. I know I set the fastest lap near the end so who knows what might have happened if I hadn’t have crashed. We now need to take this forward to China, qualify well and make sure we don’t get knocked off again!”

John Hopkins: “It was certainly a dogfight out there! I would firstly like to thank – and congratulate – Bridgestone. They have done a great job here especially on my behalf. Last year I had to pit for a new tyre and this year they had the top six places, so well done to them. I got a decent enough start and made some early passes, and I got my head down and really got stuck into the race. At about half distance I got involved in a hell of a fight where everything just kept turning upside down. One minute I was in seventh then up to fourth or third and then back to sixth. I had to work for every bit today and would definitely like to have gone for that podium place, but we got some good points. Now it’s time to go to China, I got a fourth there last year and I’m really looking forward to going back. It’s a nice flowing track and I think the Suzuki GSV-R and the Bridgestone tyres will work well!”

Paul Denning – Team Manager:

“Rizla Suzuki MotoGP had high hopes yesterday of a great result here. We did see a good performance, but unfortunately it was not a great result. For me the ride of the GP came from Chris Vermeulen, he had enough pace to win the race! To pick himself up and achieve such fast lap-times immediately, and with a damaged bike, was just incredible. It also culminated in him setting the fastest time on the penultimate lap of the race. It just shows what a true racer he is and if everything goes his way he certainly has the ability to challenge MotoGP’s established stars on a regular basis.

“John rode a brilliant first lap to get to third position, and was involved in a frenetic battle throughout the race and we are all a bit disappointed that we couldn’t quite get that podium we are after. Nonetheless the Suzuki GSV-R has worked really well here in Turkey, Bridgestone has dominated all weekend, now let’s go to China and carry on the good work!

LeMans Qualifying
World Endurance Championship

April 20, 2007-Suzuki's GSX-R1000K7 dominated qualifying for the opening round of the FIM World Endurance Championship at Le Mans in France today with the Suzuki Endurance Race Team topping the time sheets.

SERT No. 2 Team riders William Coste, Guillaume Deitrich and Max Neukirchner put in a time of 1:39.354 on the 4.4km Bugatti circuit beating Yamaha GMT94 (1:39.559) and Suzuki's reigning World Champions Vincent Philippe, Matthieu Lagrive and new team rider Julien Da Costa - who replaces retired Keiichi Kitagawa for 2007 - in a close third with a time of 1:39.663.

The SERT No. 1 team finished second at Le Mans in 2006 and last won the race in 2004 so will be hoping to start their 2007 title defence with a victory for the new GSX-R1000 race bike.

The event, which is expected to draw a crowd in excess of 100,000, gets underway at 15.00hrs local time tomorrow (Saturday) and finishes at 15.00hrs Sunday afternoon.

Final Classification: 1 SERT No 2 - Costes, Deitrich, Neukirchner (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 1:39.354, 2 Yamaha - Gimbert, Checa, Four - 1:39.559, 3 SERT No 1 -Philippe, Da Costa, Lagrive (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 1:39.663, 4 Yamaha - Jerman, Scarnato, Cudlin - 1:40.282, 5 Yamaha - Piot, Huvier, Auger - 1:40.960.

Team Suzuki Endurance Wins 24- Hours du LeMans
April 22, 2007 - Suzuki's new GSX-R1000K7 dominated the opening round of the World Endurance Championship at Le Mans in France with both Suzuki Endurance Racing Team entries finishing first and second at the end of the gruelling 24-hour race.

SERT's number two team of William Costes, Guillaume Dietrich and Max Neukirchner crossed the finish line at 15.00hrs local time with total of 818 laps completed, just 1:19.938 minutes ahead of reigning World Champions SERT number one, comprising Vincent Philippe, Matthieu Lagrive and Julien Da Costa.

Kawasaki Motor France finished in third position on 817 laps with Yamaha GMT 94 fourth on 811 laps.

SERT No. 1 led from the start but after the first hour they came under attack from Yamaha GMT 97 with just six seconds separating the pair. SERT No. 2 held third ahead of Kawasaki France. They increased their lead to one lap as the teams moved into Sunday morning and held it until a small problem with an oil pipe forced them to make an unscheduled pit stop.

This allowed Suzuki's second GSX-R1000 through into the lead, which they held for three hours until the repaired Suzuki of SERT 1 charged by to the front once again. But their team mates weren't giving up and they retook the lead with just under two hours to go, which they held until the flag.

Provisional Results: 1 SERT2 - Costes/ Dietrich/ Neukirchner (Suzuki GSX-R1000K7) 818 laps, 2 SERT 1 - Philippe/ Da Costa/ Lagrive (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 818, 3 Kawasaki Motor France - Plater/ Mazuecos/ Giabbani (Kawasaki) 817, 4 Yamaha GMT 94 - Gimbert/ Checa/ Four (Yamaha) 811, 5 Yamaha Austria Racing - Jerman/ Scarnato/ Cudlin (Yamaha) 810.

Yamaha Virtual SuperSport Bike Show & Tickets to Laguna Seca MotoGP 2007
Yamaha Press Release April 12th - Submit a photo of your personalized Yamaha Sportbike to enter the bike show and have it displayed on yamaha-motor.com.
Browse through the Yamaha Virtual SuperSport Bike Show to see how owners have personalized their Yamaha SuperSport Bikes.
From the bikes entered, 150 will be selected as winners.
Owners of the bikes chosen will receive full 3-day U.S. MotoGP Race Admission tickets for two along with an invitation for a special V.I.P. dinner on Friday evening during the MotoGP weekend.
Winners will also receive FREE motorcycle parking in a specially designated Yamaha location at the track.
U.S. MotoGP is in Monterey, California, July 20-22, 2007.

Yamaha Motor Show
Contest Details Here

MotoGP Technology book

Kari Kimmel
Click to Listen & Buy It Now

What's Hot!
Kari Kimmel
Incredible new singer/song writer
featured on top TV and Movie sound tracks will be performing music from her awesome new CD live at our upcoming LA Calendar Motorcycle Show both days on July 14-15th!

Kari Kimmel on You-Tube

Ducati 1198R
Production Superbike
Waiting in The Wings

A little birdy just told us that Ducati does have a full-on 1198cc World Superbike R production model being tested, and that they are now waiting for announcement from SBK World Superbike that
V-twins can move up to full 1200cc displacement in the Superbike class. If so, the homologation 1198R could go into production soon after the announcement with delivery late this fall.

If you ask why does Ducati ned a bigger 1198cc Superbike while they are continuing to kicking ass with the old 999F model. As we reported earlier, Ducati also hopes that SBK will changes the current ruels which allow highly modified engines, and instead have the engines follow more Superstock rules. With Superstock engine rules the bigger V-twins will remain close in performance to the inlin-fours, and the Ducati will be more affordable and competive for private teams in World and National Championships. Stay tuned!

Akarpovic sport exhaust systems

Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden wireless screensaver
NEW! FastDates.com
Cell Phone Wallpapers!

Pirelli's $10 Million Action Car Chase Web Film with Uma Thurman
What do you do when you are the world's largest tire company with Billion dollars to spend on advertising? Sponsor the SBK World Superbike Championship. Produce the world''s most expensive nude Pirelli PinUp Calendar featuring famous Hollywood starlets and then don't let anyone buy it. How about make an action bhort website movie for $10 million dollars staring Kill Bill actress Uma Thurmond?

Click for a roll with these cuties!

Rizla Suzuki's
Wacky Website

Cigarette rolling paper company Rizla is the sponsor of the factory Suzuki MotoGP team with riders John Hopkins and Chris Vermeulen. So how does Rizla try to garner attention when the Suzuki team isn't winning races and their product has nothing to do with motorcycles. How about a tongue-in-cheek website that takes a Monte Python style humerous look at their involvement in racing!
Check it out by clicking above and going to "The More Rizla Project"

Ducati North American Holds Suprbike Concorso Competition
The Contest highlights Ducati Superbike history and performance; one Ducatisti will take home a 2007 1098 Superbike

Cupertino, California (March 30, 2007) – Ducati North America announces today the Ducati Superbike Concorso; a competition celebrating over 30 years of Ducati Superbikes.

From Cook Neilson's 1977 Daytona win to the recent introduction of the dramatic 1098, Ducati Superbikes have dominated racing circuits and become style icons worldwide. The Ducati Superbike Concorso highlights the history and spirit of these motorcycles and celebrates the passion of their owners.

The Concorso is open to all 1972-2007 Ducati Superbikes and will recognize performance and history as well as beauty and craftsmanship. The contest consists of four regional rounds, which will coincide with AMA Superbike Championship races. The fifth round will be featured online at www.ducatiusa.com. This will culminate in six finalists and four Ducati-selected wild-cards to be chosen to compete on Ducati Island during the final AMA Superbike Championship round at Laguna Seca in September, 2007.

The Grand Prize winner will take home a new Ducati 1098 Superbike. The top winners in "Modified/Performance Superbike" and "Original/Restored Superbike" categories will each win once-in-a-lifetime trips to Italy, where they will visit the Ducati factory and the Milan Motorcycle show as VIP guests.

"The Superbike Concorso is a celebration of motorcycles that have put Ducati on the map since the 1970’s," said Michael Lock, CEO of Ducati North America. "Many Ducati enthusiasts don't realize just how many significant Superbikes we have built over the years, and how timeless and beautiful the designs are.”

The Superbike Concorso begins at the Fontana, California round of the AMA Superbike Championship on April 27-29, 2007. The event will also make stops at Laguna Seca (July 20-22, 2007), Mid Ohio (August 3-5, 2007) and Road Atlanta (September 1-2, 2007).

Full contest details and further information can be found at www.ducatiusa.com.