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Fiat Yamaha Team's Hopes
a Washout at LeMans

May 2othe - Torrential rain in Le Mans today doused the hopes of the Fiat Yamaha Team as Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards struggled in the wet conditions and splashed home to sixth and twelfth respectively. An action-packed race, which saw seven riders crash out, was eventually won by Australian rider Chris Vermeulen, who took his first win in MotoGP.

Black clouds gathered ominously over the MotoGP grid and a few spots of rain just before 2pm meant the race was declared wet. Despite this the riders chose to start the race on slick tyres, with the option of making a pit-stop to change bikes if the weather worsened. Edwards started from pole but was uncomfortable from the start and had dropped to the back of the field by the end of the first lap, before becoming the first to make a pit-stop and change bikes on lap four. Rossi meanwhile pounced from fourth on the grid and took the lead at turn two, holding it until he was passed by Yamaha rider Sylvain Guintoli and Randy de Puniet on lap six as the track became wetter. Rossi was one of the last five riders to come in and change after ten laps and things looked promising at first as he fought back to third but, having opted for a harder-compound wet tyre, he was unable to keep up the momentum as the rain grew heavier and slipped back through the field. Sixth place nonetheless gained him ten important championship points and he holds on to second in the standings. Unfortunately things did not improve for his team-mate; Edwards persevered to the flag but continued to struggle throughout the race and now slips to ninth in the championship.

Valentino Rossi, Position: 6th Time: +53.563 - "Of course I'm very upset about this result because I had a very good feeling in the dry at the start. We made some good modifications to the bike, it was working very well and I thought I was going to be able to fight for the victory. Unfortunately the weather ruined it for us today! We made the pit stop and started the second part of race with hard rain tyres, because we thought it was only going to be light rain. Sadly we were wrong and when the rain got heavier my tyre was too hard for the conditions and I couldn't push. I was very slow from then on and didn't have any grip from the rear. In the last five laps it was quite dangerous as it was very hard to stay upright and I think I lost five or six seconds per lap at the end. We had hoped that this would be a track at which we could gain some ground on Stoner and it's going to be a very hard battle from here because he is very fast, not just on the straights but everywhere! I want to congratulate Chris Vermeulen today because he rode a great race, I think he's a bit of a magician in the rain!"

Colin Edwards
Position: 12th Time: +3 Laps- "We encountered some problems that I've run into before - in Australia last year when I crashed in the rain and at the Jerez test this year. It's hard to explain, but to me it feels like it's related to the engine braking - when we've got less traction from the tyres in the wet it just seems to appear. I think even yesterday's crash was down to something similar. Basically I try to put it into the corner but the rear comes round on me and it slides. Valentino and I have quite different styles - he holds the clutch in there a lot longer whilst I just kind of dump it and today it was a big problem for me. To be honest that wasn't really rain racing for me, it was more like ice racing and it was impossible. At the start it was at its worst because being on a slick tyre with a damp track just exacerbated the problem. I came in early because in the circumstances I thought I'd gamble and hope it was going to chuck it down with rain, but a few laps out there on rain tyres when it wasn't that wet wasn't fun either. I came back in again, thinking maybe the tyre was too hard, and we tried a softer rain tyre and that was better in the end. I'm really sorry to the team and to everyone involved; I don't like wasting my first pole and I had hoped for great things today."


The French Grand Prix ended in disappointment for Kawasaki rider, Randy de Puniet, when he crashed out on the eighth lap, having taken his first ever lead in a MotoGP race in front of his home crowd.

After a difficult start from eighth on the grid, de Puniet was pushed down the order but soon fought back, ploughing his way through the field in the early laps to take a confident lead, much to the pleasure of his countrymen, who were cheering him around the Bugatti Circuit at Le Mans.

The race was officially declared wet but de Puniet, like the rest of the riders, began on slick tyres. The weather worsened as the race progressed and, just he was about to pull into his pit garage to change bikes, the 26-year-old Frenchman lost control of his 800cc Ninja ZX-RR and ended up in the gravel. It was hugely disappointing, especially as he’d been dicing with fellow countryman, Sylvain Guintoli, at the front of the pack, delighting their home fans in the process.

Fonsi Nieto, the World Superbike rider who’s been standing in for the injured Olivier Jacque this weekend, rode heroically in what was his 100th Grand Prix race. He completed the race despite the horrendous conditions and lack of familiarity with Kawasaki's Ninja ZX-RR. Numerous riders crashed out during the 28-lap race, enabling Nieto to finish in 11th place, with a total time of 51’50.572 and earning him five championship points!

Due to his crash, Randy sustained a minor injury to his shoulder but otherwise came out unscathed. Unable to improve on his 19 championship points, he moves down the leader board to 14th place, overall.

After a testing weekend at Le Mans, the team are looking forward to going to Italy in a fortnight, when MotoGP returns to Mugello for one of the biggest races in the calendar.

Fonsi Nieto, Position: 11th - "Conditions couldn't really have been worse for my MotoGP debut than they were today; it was possibly the most difficult race of my life, but as an experience it was definitely worth it. Today was also my 100th Grand Prix start; so to finish the race with five championship points was a nice present. The rain started while we were sat on the grid, and it was at this point that I decided to take is steady to make sure I finished the race, and hopefully in the points. This is what the team asked me to do and I did it. The experience of going into the pits to switch bikes was pretty unique, although I was a little bit nervous because I didn't want to make any mistakes. I made sure I kept a safety margin from the start of the race as my first target was to learn as much as I could, by completing as many laps as possible and bringing the bike home. We achieved this objective. The welcome I received from everyone in the team has been amazing, and they have made me feel at home from the start. I would like to thank them for all they have done for me this weekend."

Randy de Puniet, Position: DNF - "I am so disappointed and I'm sorry for my crew, the team, Kawasaki and Bridgestone as they have all worked so hard. The race was declared wet from the start, but I think we all opted to start on slick tyres because the rain was not so heavy, just a few spots, and you can never be sure what will happen in these conditions. Once again I had some problems from the start and I lost some places in the run to the first corner, though I was feeling confident on the bike and I was quickly able to fight myself through the field and take the lead. And then the rain started to fall harder and I was about to come in to switch bikes when I crashed. Maybe I was too fast, I don't know, but the result was that the rear came round on me at the Esses Bleus and down I went. It's a shame because running at the front of the field in my home Grand Prix was a fantastic feeling. But, I learnt an important lesson today and I hope that I will have the opportunity to lead a race again this season, when I might handle things differently. We showed today that we're in good shape and now we must look to securing a good result in the next race at Mugello."

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Page 2 - Vermeulen Wins his first MotoGP at Lemans
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A very wet and cold, but happy Marco Melandri, Chris Vermeulin and casey Stoner atop the podium and LeMans.

MotoGP World Championship, LeMans, Round 5 of 18

His first MotoGP Victory and Suzuki's fist win in 7 years!
Vermeulen takes glory in France

Alice Grande Prix de France, LeMans, May 18-20th - Rain proved to be the great equalizer this weekend as Chris Vermeulen raced to his and Rizla Suzuki MotoGP’s first Grand Prix win at a rain-soaked Le Mans today. Vermeulen rode an almost faultless race in the wet after heavy rain started to fall over the 4.180km French circuit. He entered pit-lane at the end of lap nine to change to his wet-weather prepared Suzuki GSV-R. Within two laps he hit the front and never looked under threat all the way to the chequered flag, the impressive Australian finishing the race over 12 seconds in front of the second-placed man Marco Melandri. World Championship leader Casey Stoner finished third to give Bridgestone tyres a clean sweep on the podium.

Vermeulen now moves up to fifth place in the MotoGP World Championship with Rizla Suzuki MotoGP going up to third in the team’s championship.

John Hopkins looked like he was going to follow up his podium at China last time out with another one today. He produced a number of stunning laps – including the fastest lap of the race – to move into first place on lap nine. After he entered the pit-lane on the next lap to change to his wet bike, he was unable to sustain his momentum and also suffered with a few issues with the set-up of his GSV-R.

Colin Edwards took Pole, which would be all for naught on Sunday in the rain.

Edwards' All or Nothing Lap Takes His First MotoGP Pole

May 19th 2007, LeMans, France - Colin Edwards took his first ever MotoGP pole position as the fastest rider in history at Le Mans, something long overdue for the popular ‘Texas Tornado’. Edwards’ only previous experience of heading the World Championship field was when he won last year’s Official Test BMW Award, but his final all-or-nothing lap at the French circuit in a ‘proper’ qualifying session comes with the bonus of giving him a great chance of his second podium of the year and first GP victory.

French MotoGP sponsor Alice is a very sexy French telacommunications carrier.

The Fiat Yamaha rider had experienced a crash at the end of the morning session, but he appeared unfazed by the high side as he smashed the circuit record at the last possible moment. Already assured of a place on the second row, Edwards had nothing to lose by going all-out for pole, a decision for which rewarded him with a time of 1’33.616.

Colin Edwards, Position: 1st Time: 1'33.616 Laps: 28: "This morning's off was a pretty big one and as I was flying through the air I was pretty sure it was going to hurt! Somehow though I landed, the bike sort of rolled over me, I stood up and realised I was ok! I honestly think that had a positive bearing on my performance this afternoon; my bike was working great but I screwed up the last section with my first qualifying tyre and so I knew it had to make or break the second time around. As I went into that final section I thought "here goes, it's pole or crash and after this morning I've realised the ground doesn't hurt so much after all!" I gave it everything I've got and it paid off. Yet again the Michelin qualifying tyres were brilliant and my bike worked really well with them. It's my first pole in MotoGP so it feels good. As for the race, this place is something of a turnaround for us because we've actually got two race tyres that are working well. I can do 35.0s with both so it's just a case of checking a few things tonight and making our final decision for the race. I've got to say a big thank you to my team because they worked flat out to rebuild my bike after this morning and that's the one I did my lap on. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow; hopefully this is the start of a great weekend."

The fastest lap of the day came somewhat out of the blue, as Casey Stoner had looked all but certain of his first pole of the season. The championship leader was less than a tenth of a second slower than Edwards, and has not been off the front two rows this season.

A rider who has more experience of the Le Mans circuit than most put his knowledge into practice in the afternoon outing, as Carlos Checa returned to the front row on the LCR Honda. He was joined by five time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi as part of the four-rider group who went round in under 1’34.

John Hopkins and Toni Elias completed a top six split equally between Michelin and Bridgestone riders, ahead of reigning World Champion Nicky Hayden and home rider Randy de Puniet. The latter will be hoping for better luck than he had at his maiden MotoGP race in France, in which he was involved in a collision on the opening lap and forced to retire.

The 2006 racewinner and poleman rounded off the fastest ten riders of the day. Marco Melandri was unable to match his timesheet-topping achievement from yesterday and ended up ninth, whilst Dani Pedrosa never looked like troubling the frontrunners onboard the Honda RC212V in tenth.

Special mention must go to the second French rider competing at this week’s Alice Grand Prix de France, Sylvain Guintoli. The Yamaha satellite rider had his best ever MotoGP qualifying session, and at one point was even the fastest rider of the day – much to the delight of the fans gathered at the historic Le Mans circuit. He will start from eleventh place tomorrow.

Combined Free Practice Times
1. Colin Edwards (USA) Fiat Yamaha Team 1'33.616
2. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro Team 1'33.710
3. Carlos Checa (SPA) Honda LCR 1'33.859
4. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team 1'33.875
5. John Hopkins (USA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1'34.102
6. Toni Elias (SPA) Honda Gresini 1'34.125
7. Nicky Hayden (USA) Repsol Honda Team 1'34.247
8. Randy de Puniet (FRA) Kawasaki Racing Team 1'34.318
9. Marco Melandri (ITA) Honda Gresini 1'34.360
10. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 1'34.412
11. Sylvain Guintoli (FRA) Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3 1'34.507
12. Chris Vermeulen (AUS) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1'34.574
13. Alex Barros (BRA) Pramac d'Antin 1'34.817
14. Shinya Nakano (JPN) Konica Minolta Honda 1'34.834
15. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Ducati Marlboro Team 1'34.903
16. Makoto Tamada (JPN) Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3 1'35.346
17. Alex Hofmann (GER) Pramac d'Antin 1'35.578
18. Kenny Roberts Jr (USA) Team Roberts 1'35.681
19. Fonsi Nieto (SPA) Kawasaki Racing Team 1'36.312

Le Mans: Lap Record: V. Rossi (Yamaha) 2006, 1'35.087
Le Mans: Best Lap: C. Edwards (Yamaha) 2007, 1'33.616

His first MotoGP Victory and Suzuki's fist win in 7 years!

Chris wheelies his Suzuki down the flooded track towards the finish line to the cheers of his team.

Vermeulen takes glory in France

Alice Grand Prix de France, May 20th - Chris Vermeulen was the winner of a breathtakingly unpredictable Alice Grand Prix de Prance at the historic Le Mans circuit, with the heavy rainfall ironically ending a six year drought for Suzuki in MotoGP.
The Australian had previously benefited on home soil in the first ever flag-to-flag race, and did even better on the 800cc to take his maiden victory in the premier class. His triumph also means that five of the last six Grand Prix winners have hailed from the Antipodean island.

With rain threatening, the lights on the grid went out and a crowd of 74,000 watched with some trepidation as the field barreled into turn one with specks of moisture dotting the competitors’ visors and screens. Stoner got the jump into the turn followed by American John Hopkins (Suzuki), but it took only four more corners before Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) took the lead.

This would be a difficult race over 28-laps of this 4.180km track in conditions that worsened as the laps clicked down. The first half of this race was frenzied affair with riders pitting to change machines (and with them tyres) and pole-man Colin Edwards (Yamaha) was the earliest visitor to pit lane on lap four.

As Rossi led the opening lap across the start/finish straight (a scant 450m of it) conditions were plainly difficult. And it was the riders with the least to lose and the most to gain who put the power down early and gambled their way to the front. Alex Barros (Ducati) lay third with Sylvain Guintoli (Yamaha) and Randy de Puniet (Kawasaki) both, as dutiful Frenchmen, giving it everything in the treacherous conditions.

The race was an incredible display of the competitive nature of MotoGP, and provided fans with the sight of a number of first time leaders as the riders negotiated the changeable weather conditions and bike change choices. The opening laps saw proud moments for Randy de Puniet and Sylvain Guintoli, who led their home race with amazing rides. The French duo showed no fear amongst former winners and World Champions, and the sight of Guintoli at the head of the field on his own merit was a memorable one for his countrymen and Yamaha satellite team. Unfortunately the two both crashed as their gamble on staying out ahead of the majority of the field just failed to pay off.

Championship leader Casey Stoner slams into the Ducati pits mid race to swap bikes from dry to wet weather tires as the rain started to come down harder. All the riders made pit stops to change bikes.

With Edwards swapping bikes Rossi held a 1.8 second advantage over Barros, who was giving it everything in second. The Brazilian was followed by Stoner, de Puniet and Guintoli. But the native riders were restless and by lap six Guintoli led from de Puniet with Rossi losing momentum and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) moving up the order to fifth.

On lap seven Carlos Checa (LCR Honda RC212V), who was holding seventh from a front row start, crashed and this unleashed a torrent of activity at the front with Guintoli going down on the next lap, Toni Elias (Gresini Honda RC212V) on the eighth, and de Puniet shortly after the Spaniard.

By this time the red and yellow striped flags were out to signal a significant deterioration in adhesion as John Hopkins led the pack. Those who had not pitted earlier now did so, including Hopkins and Pedrosa and this second tier of tyre swappers tended to do better (in the final analysis) than the first wave.

By lap 10 the track was completely wet, meaning that the riders were effectively obliged to change bikes in order to remain competitive. Carlos Checa and Toni Elias hit the deck before there was a chance for them to make the switch, and a chaotic pair of laps followed as the pack rearranged themselves. Some semblance of order was established when all the riders had moved to their wet bikes, with Vermeulen making the best of the situation to lead all the way to the end after a battle with previous flag-to-flag racewinner Marco Melandri.

By lap 12 it was Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki) who held second place before overhauling Hopkins for the lead. Melandri then blasted past the American to take second with Rossi now third. Guintoli had nursed his machine back to pitlane to exchange his battered bike for a straighter version and he rejoined the fray in 13th spot, while Vermeulen led Marco by 1.6 seconds.

Things were very wet now. Melandri was giving his all to reduce Vermeulen’s advantage and by lap 14 he had shaved the Aussie’s lead to 1.1 seconds. It was Vermeulen and the Italian first and second with Rossi and Stoner some ways behind in third and fourth, with Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V) fifth, Alex Hofmann (Ducati) sixth and Dani seventh.

If the early laps were a maelstrom of activity, the second half of this contest was enlivened only by Melandri’s enthusiasm to catch Vermeulen. By lap 18 the tenacious Italian had carved the gap down to 0.5 seconds. Stoner in third was a considerable 15 seconds adrift of the protagonists, having taken advantage of Rossi’s difficulties in maintaining an economical line out of the turns in the deluge.

Shinya Nakano (Konica Minolta Honda RC212V) crashed and splashed down at the Flip-Flop on lap 21 as his predecessor in the Konica Minolta seat, Makoto Tamada, now riding for Yamaha, was lapped. There was standing water on track now and Hayden was a man who made the most of the slippery tarmac taking Rossi, who ran wide again, for fourth on lap 22.

Vermeulen though was clearly in charge. It took him a mere five laps to re-establish his authority on the event by giving Marco a 2.3 second hole to fill. Barring disasters he was going to take the flag. The disaster fell to Nicky. On lap 26 he crashed heavily while holding fourth.

The Aussie Suzuki man took his first MotoGP win in style, wheelying over the line with Marco having settled for second. Championship points leader Stoner rode to a neat third place here at Le Mans, only the fifth round of an eighteen race series. Dani (who many believe finds racing in the rain a bother) took an eager fourth. The all-Bridgestone podium all had comfortable gaps between each other, and also from fourth placed rider Dani Pedrosa. Although not a fan of wet weather racing, the Spaniard certainly had a good ride from low down on the grid to add more points to his championship tally.

Rossi (46) on Michelins, once again found himself at a disadvantage both on dry and later wet tires, to the Bridgestone riders like Vermeulen and Stoner (27) who gets by here on lap 5.

A clearly delighted Alex Hofmann took fifth at Le Mans, his best result in MotoGP. Overtaking five time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi will have been a moment to savour for the German, who pumped his fist in the air upon crossing the finish line.

Rossi lost ground in the overall classification courtesy of a sixth place finish, having strayed wide in the difficult conditions on a pair of occasions. The Italian was passed by Pedrosa, Hofmann and Nicky Hayden as he struggled on the right hand corners of the Bugatti circuit, although the American’s crash with two laps to go effectively bumped up his rival to a top six place.

Meanwhile, Hayden rode an impressive race after getting a bad start and finishing the first lap in 10th position. But the Kentucky native put his head down and worked his way through the pack to finish in seventh place. "I got a terrible start," he said after the race. "I'm not sure what was going on. I almost stalled it and that pushed me back a little bit. I felt like I was just working my way up in the pack for the whole race. That start really killed me. Hopefully, tomorrow we can make a few improvements and get a better start and finish up a little closer to the podium."

One of the early beneficiaries of the bike change, John Hopkins ran wide whilst battling with Melandri and could not get higher than seventh, ahead of Loris Capirossi on the second factory Ducati.Makoto Tamada took ninth in his best result for Dunlop Tech 3 Yamaha, ahead of his outstanding team-mate Guintoli who also achieved the same.

Results MotoGP: Race Classification MotoGP : (28 laps = 117.04 km)
Pos/ Rider / Nat / Team / Motorcycle / Time/ KM/H / Gap
1 / Chris VERMEULEN / AUS / Rizla Suzuki MotoGP / SUZUKI / 50'58.713 / 137.752 /
2 / Marco MELANDRI / ITA / Honda Gresini / HONDA / 51'11.312 / 137.186 / 12.599
3 / Casey STONER / AUS / Ducati Marlboro Team / DUCATI / 51'26.060 / 136.531 / 27.347
4 / Dani PEDROSA / SPA / Repsol Honda Team / HONDA / 51'36.041 / 136.091 / 37.328
5 / Alex HOFMANN / GER / Pramac d'Antin / DUCATI / 51'47.879 / 135.572 / 49.166
6 / Valentino ROSSI / ITA / Fiat Yamaha Team / YAMAHA / 51'52.276 / 135.381 / 53.563
7 / John HOPKINS / USA / Rizla Suzuki MotoGP / SUZUKI / 51'59.786 / 135.055 / 1'01.073
8 / Loris CAPIROSSI / ITA / Ducati Marlboro Team / DUCATI / 52'19.954 / 134.187 / 1'21.241
9 / Makoto TAMADA / JPN / Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3 / YAMAHA / 51'34.842 / 131.281 / 1 lap
10 / Sylvain GUINTOLI / FRA / Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3 / YAMAHA / 51'40.165 / 131.056 / 1 lap
11 / Fonsi NIETO / SPA / Kawasaki Racing Team / KAWASAKI / 51'50.572 / 130.617 / 1 lap
12 / Colin EDWARDS / USA / Fiat Yamaha Team / YAMAHA / 51'06.769 / 122.669 / 3 laps

Pole Position: Colin EDWARDS 1'33.616 160.741 Km/h
Fastest Lap: John HOPKINS 1'38.678 152.495 Km/h Lap 5
Circuit Record Lap: Valentino ROSSI 1'35.087 158.255 Km/h 2006
Circuit Best Lap: Colin EDWARDS 1'33.616 160.741 Km/h 2007

World Championship Positions:
1 STONER 102, 2 ROSSI 81, 3 PEDROSA 62, 4 MELANDRI 61, 5 VERMEULEN 55,
6 HOPKINS 48, 7 CAPIROSSI 38, 8 ELIAS 35, 9 EDWARDS 35, 10 HOFMANN 30,
11 HAYDEN 30, 12 BARROS 27, 13 CHECA 20, 14 DE PUNIET 19, 15 NAKANO 15.

Lorrenzo Increases 250cc GP Lead
Reigning 250cc World Champion Jorge Lorenzo made it four wins from five in his title defence with victory from pole at Le Mans, extending his lead in the standings to 32 points. He broke free from the pack early on, but was reined in by a number of his quarter litre rivals as they tried to have a pop at the Mallorcan.

On the opening laps he had to contend with 125cc World Champions Alvaro Bautista and Thomas Luthi, the latter having tasted victory in France in 2005 and 2006 when riding in the lower cylinder category. Neither were quite up to the task of following in the Spain’s No1 Aprilia rider’s footsteps, with both running off-track when challenging Lorenzo.

One man who has proven that he can hang with the champion is Andrea Dovizioso, the only other rider to have won a 250cc race this season. The Italian led the way during a tense battle that also involved Alex de Angelis, although eventually Lorenzo played his trump card on the fast first section to power away from the duo, who completed the podium spots.

Hector Barberá finished fourth after losing a few tenths due to tyre problems, ahead of countryman Julian Simon on the Repsol Honda. Marco Simoncelli, Mika Kallio and Alvaro Bautista completed the top eight, with the latter coming back from 19th after his off-track excursion to overtake Shuhei Aoyama and A

250cc Race: (26 laps = 108.68 km)
Pos / Rider / Nat / Team / Motorcycle / Time / KM/H / Gap
1 / Jorge LORENZO / SPA / Fortuna Aprilia / APRILIA / 43'12.237 / 150.93 /
2 / Andrea DOVIZIOSO / ITA / Kopron Team Scot / HONDA / 43'12.393 / 150.921 / 0.156
3 / Alex DE ANGELIS / RSM / Master - Mapfre Aspar / APRILIA / 43'14.970 / 150.771 / 2.733
4 / Hector BARBERA / SPA / Team Toth Aprilia / APRILIA / 43'18.208 / 150.583 / 5.971
5 / Julian SIMON / SPA / Repsol Honda 250cc / HONDA / 43'18.348 / 150.575 / 6.111
6 / Marco SIMONCELLI / ITA / Metis Gilera / GILERA / 43'34.990 / 149.617 / 22.753
7 / Mika KALLIO / FIN / Red Bull KTM 250 / KTM / 43'35.376 / 149.595 / 23.139
8 / Alvaro BAUTISTA / SPA / Master - Mapfre Aspar / APRILIA / 43'39.653 / 149.351 / 27.416
9 / Shuhei AOYAMA / JPN / Repsol Honda 250cc / HONDA / 43'41.152 / 149.265 / 28.915
10 / Anthony WEST / AUS / Team Sicilia / APRILIA / 43'46.187 / 148.979 / 33.95
11 / Ratthapark WILAIROT / THA / Thai Honda PTT-SAG / HONDA / 44'10.137 / 147.633 / 57.9
12 / Fabrizio LAI / ITA / Campetella Racing / APRILIA / 44'10.248 / 147.626 / 58.011
13 / Alex BALDOLINI / ITA / Kiefer - Bos - Sotin Racing / APRILIA / 44'18.488 / 147.169 / 1'06.251
14 / Taro SEKIGUCHI / JPN / Campetella Racing / APRILIA / 44'18.957 / 147.143 / 1'06.720
15 / Eugene LAVERTY / IRL / Honda LCR / HONDA / 44'19.886 / 147.092 / 1'07.649

Pole Position: Jorge LORENZO 1'37.934 153.654 Km/h
Fastest Lap: (New record) Andrea DOVIZIOSO 1'38.566 152.669 Km/h Lap 26
Circuit Record Lap: Hiroshi AOYAMA 1'39.964 150.534 Km/h 2006
Circuit Best Lap: Jorge LORENZO 1'37.934 153.654 Km/h 2007

World Championship Positions:
6 SIMON 37, 7 LUTHI 32, 8 KALLIO 30, 9 LAI 25, 10 SIMONCELLI 24, 11 AOYAMA 22,
12 WEST 19, 13 AOYAMA 17, 14 TAKAHASHI 17, 15 WILAIROT 16.

Los Angeles Calendar Motorcycle Show event weekend, Long Beach, Queen MaryPlayboy Playmate and FastDates.com Calendar Kitten Tamara Witmer warms things up at our Bike Show's Queen Mary venue with the Roland Sands KR 5-Cylinder MotoGP Board Track Racer. Tammar will be hosting this year's Show and will be featured in all 3 of our Calendars! Yeow!

$70,000 in Cash and Awards at the
The Biggest & Best Custom & High Performance Street & Sportbike Event in America!

Performance Machine presents the
LA Calendar Motorcycle Show Weekend July 14-15th 2007

the Queen Mary Event Park, Long Beach, CA
America's Premier Custom and Performance Streetbike Show

Long Beach, CA, May 1st, 2007 - Join 20,000 motorcycle and rock music enthusiasts for the world's most exciting 2-day motorcycle event weekend in the beautiful Queen Mary Event Park on the grass alongside the Pacific Ocean in Long Beach! This is the world’s premier motorcycle show weekend featuring some 300 major motorcycle and parts manufacturers, selected product and apparel venders, now with a new All Brand Motorcycle Swap Meet venue add.

Jesse rooke, Tamara Witmer, Cora Skinner, Iron & Lace CalendarFormer LA Calendar Motorcycle Best of Show winner Jesse Rooke shot with us again, just this month, for the next edition of the Iron & Lace Calendar with beautiful Calendar Kittens Tamara Witmer (left ), this year's Bike Show Master of Ceremonies, and Cora Skinner (right). Of course, Jesse will be on hand at this year's Show again with his latest bikes and holding free Calendar Bike Builder Seminars. Big 1080 Screensaver

Spectators can meet top celebrity custom bike builders including Russell Mitchell, Jesse Rooke, Roland Sands, Harold Pontarelli, Shinya KimuraAmerican Thunder, Build or Bust, and V-Twin TV. Watch the excitement of the S&S Cycle World Championship Horsepower Dyno Shoot Out. Attend free Calendar Bike Builder Seminars with with the top builders. See the world's top custom bikes in the Performance Machine Calendar Bike Building Championship and in the exciting Star Motorcycle Metric Midway featuring Japanese & European Cruisers and Sportbikes, and free Star Motorcycle demo rides along the beautiful Pacific Ocean.
and others featured on TV's

Also featured with admission both days is the exciting Calendar Girl Music Festival with beautiful girl bands headlined by singer/songwriter Kari Kimmel, with the naughty schoolgirl AC/DC tribute band Whole Lotta Rosies, world renoun show band Nicki Nova and Liquid Blue, Mary Falls and Reckless Driver, and the sexy Purrfect Angelz and Hollywood PinUp Girls high energy dance and musical burlesque shows. The weekend is hosted by Playboy Playmate Tamara Witmer and Miss Texas Rockin’ Robin Cunningham, and other FastDates.com Calendar Kittens with the annual world premier of the new 2008 FastDates.com Motorcycle Pin Up Calendars.

Many of the world's top Pro and Amateur street bike builders will be in attendance to compete in the Performance Machine Calendar Show Bike Building Championship with a bulging purse of $70,000 in cash and awards. This year's Show Contest features 3 new classes including the Iron Works magazine Street Chopper, and Bar Hopper classes, and Yamaha's the new Star Motorcycles sponsored Metric Cruiser Class located in the exciting new Star Motorcyles Metric Midway featuring Japanese Cruisers, along with classes for European and Japanese Sportbikes. There are 10 Calendar Bike Building Championship Classes including the premier Radical Pro Builder Class sponsored by Iron Works magazine, with a $5,000 Performance Machine product award up for grabs, as well as the coveted Performance Machine Best of Show Trophy.

Newly added this year is the Calendar Motorcycle Show Swap Meet for all brands of mototcycles managed by Topping Events, which will take place in a separate location in the Queen Mary facility at the Seaside Village. Thie Swap Meet will give venders an affordable venue to showcase used motorcycles and parts for sale to the large Calendar Motorcycle spectator auduence.

You'll find special attractions for the entire family and receive complimentary admission aboard the historic Queen Mary ocean liner to make it an incredible experience you'll remember always. For additional details, the show schedule and parking information visit www.FastDates.com. Show information HERE.

Calendar Girl Music Festival, Queen Mary, LA Calendar Motorcycle Show, female, girl singer songwriter band burlesque

Ah let's see.... Mladin, Spies, and somewhere behind them, DuHamel. I guess we can still keep running this same photo every AMA Superbike race weekend.

2007 AMA Superbike Championship. Round 4 of 11

Mladin Tops Spies at Infinion AMA Superbike
Sonoma, CA, M ay 20, 2007 - Yoshimura Suzuki's Mat Mladin picked up his 55th career AMA Superbike victory in the first race of the double-header AMA Superbike weekend at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California on Saturday afternoon with his team mates Ben Spies and Tommy Hayden second and seventh.

"It was a good race for us," said six-time AMA Superbike Champion Mladin. "I'd like to thank my Yoshimura Suzuki crew who've worked really hard in the off-season and in testing to try and get the number-one plate back."

The previous day, defending AMA Superbike Champion Spies picked up his 11th career pole position, posting a track record-breaking lap time of 1:34.991. This accomplishment also marks Spies' fourth consecutive pole position of the season. Spies actually crashed after turning his fastest lap and went out on his back-up bike in Saturday's qualifying session to focus on race set-up.

"The Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 is working really good," said Spies of qualifying first. "I'm really happy with it. Today, we went out on race tyres and ran the same pace as yesterday. It was good to get my confidence up and work on race set-up after the crash yesterday. I couldn't tell a difference between the two bikes."

Today's race winner Mladin was second-fastest in qualifying with a lap time of 1:35.128, while Jordan Suzuki's Aaron Yates qualified third with a 1:35.875 lap time. Hayden rounded out the second row of the grid with a 1:36.860 lap time. In the 28-lap Superbike race, Mladin got the holeshot and led from beginning to end. The result is that Mladin now trails Spies in the overall championship standings by only five points.

"It was a good race for us," reiterated Mladin. "We got a good start and we just put our head down and tried to go as quick as possible. I just tried to reel off some good laps and keep it as clean as possible… I lost a little bit of rhythm, but it seems like everybody else did too. It was a good day for us and hopefully we'll get another win tomorrow."

Spies tucked in right behind Mladin and pursued his team mate for all 28 laps. The young Texan rode as hard as possible and brought home an impressive second place, maintaining his championship lead. "I got my butt kicked," laughed Spies. "I guess I forgot how to ride a motorcycle. But I rode as hard as I could and Mat rode a great race. I did everything I could and even ran off the track on the second lap. I just tried to get as many points as I could today. It's a long season and this is just one race. Hopefully, we'll come back strong for tomorrow."

AMA Superbike Top 10 Finishers:
1 Mat Mladin (Yoshimura Suzuki)
2 Ben Spies (Yoshimura Suzuki)
3 Miguel Duhamel (Honda)
4 Jason Disalvo (Yamaha)
5 Jake Zemke (Honda)
6 Roger Lee Hayden (Kawasaki)
7 Tommy Hayden (Yoshimura Suzuki)
8 Jamie Hacking (Kawasaki)
9 James Ellison (Honda)
10 Matt Lynn (MV Agusta)

There's more!   Go to Pit Lane News NEXT PAGE

Hot Calendar Girl and Bike News! Go to: Fast DatesCalendar GirlsIron & Lace

BikerKiss.com - the largest biker personals site!

Expedia.com - Fast and Easy!


Playboy Playmate Tamara Witmer

Kittens on the Prowl
2007 LA Calendar Motorcycle Show Weekend

Hosted by Calendar Kittens!
Playboy Playmate Tamara Witmer, Miss Texas / Miss Hooters
Rockin Robin Cunningham,
97.1 KLSX Radio and Penthouse Pet Sam Phillips.

    Live 97.1 FM Interviews
& Music with Tamara Whitmer and Kari Kimmel

• June 21st Thursday 8pm PST
    Conway & Whitman Show
• July 10th Tuesday 8am PST
    Adam Corrola Show
• July 2-15th Radio Ad Campaign

Listen On Line:

Kari Kimmel
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LA Calendar Show
July 14-15th
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.com

Kari's new CD "A Life in the Day" will be sold at the show, or go to www.karikimmel.com to get your own copy today!
Kari's songs now on itunes...


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Shake Up At Ducati!
Ducati Motor Holding will announce a new CEO early next week

Friday 18th - Former Ducati CEO Federico Minoli announced in a video statement that he was stepping down. The move will be effective May 21.

Minoli said the new owners of DMH, an Italian private equity firm called Investindustrial Holdings, want a CEO “who is closer to them.”

“It’s a good time to leave the company because the company is back on track for growth and profitability,” Minoli said in the video statement.

Minoli had been with DMH for 11 years. “We think we left our mark on Ducati,” he said, “and for sure, Ducati has left a big mark on myself.”

Here at FastDates.com we are extreamely shocked and saddened to hear of Minoli's forced leaving of Ducati. No other company leader in recent years has been more the personality and strongand popular leader of a motorcycle company than Minoli. He was always within easy reach of the media asnd Ducati owners from shows to events and by personal Eamial, and the Ducati.com Blog. One of our fondest memories of Federico was watching him serve dinner to thousands of Ducati riders at World Ducati Week 2004.

The Board of Directors appoints Gabriele Del Torchio new Ducati CEO
Bologna, May 21, 2007 – Today, the Board of Directors of Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. (BorsaItaliana: DMH; NYSE: DMH) appointed Mr. Gabriele Del Torchio as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Company, vesting him with the executive powers relating to the ordinary management of the
business and affairs of the Company in accordance with the general and special budgets approved by the Board of Directors.

The Board, moreover, appointed Mr. Giampiero Paoli as Chairman of the Company.

Therefore, the Board of Directors decided to implement the Corporate Governance Code adopted by Borsa Italiana and resolved to establish a corporate governance system tuned to the market's expectations and based on a Chairman, entrusted with the role of organizing and coordinating the activities performed by the Board of Directors, and a Managing Director, vested with the executive powers relating to the management of the Company.

Mr. Del Torchio and Mr. Paoli accepted their appointment.

The new Company’s executives have thanked Mister Federico Minoli for his contribution over the past years at the head of Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A.

The newly appointed CEO has emphasized: “I am delighted and honored to take on this new
important professional challenge today. Ducati is a national champion appreciated all over the world and joining a team that has achieved such great success is a stimulus to do well. Ducati’s primary objective, today and for the future, is to keep relying on the distinctiveness of its products, true icons on the international motorcycling arena, offering its clientele ever increasing quality, reliability and
technological innovation. The Corse division, an area of excellence for Ducati, will continue to provide a steady foundation for the company. Using the “know-how” perfected on the track means injecting our core product with the extra that gives us a significant advantage over our competitors both now and in the future. Ducati is set to achieve further growth and efficiency, higher revenues and greater profitability. The results yielded by the turn-around, achieved by the management over the last year, should be
encouraging for more shareholder satisfaction”.

MotoGP Technology book

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Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden wireless screensaver
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Strong second row start for Hopkins at Le Mans
May 19th -John Hopkins will start from fifth place on the grid for tomorrow’s French Grand Prix, following an impressive practice and qualifying performance today.

The Rizla Suzuki racer signalled his intentions in this morning final free practice session by posting the fastest time. He also led the way with the highest amount of laps, as the hard-working Anglo-American circulated the 4.180km French track 32 times.

During this afternoon’s qualifying session Hopkins (1’34.102, 29 laps) led the leaderboard on several occasions – again on race tyres - but was just unable to grab a front row start, missing out by only 0.243 seconds.

Chris Vermeulen (P12, 1’34.574, 26 laps) again made big steps on his Rizla Suzuki GSV-R during both of today’s sessions. He was unfortunately blocked on his last qualifying lap – a common feature on such tight tracks as Le Mans – and was unable to get as good a starting position for tomorrow’s race as he would have liked.

This afternoon’s qualifying was held in warm and sunny - but also overcast - conditions. Track temperatures reached 32°C as Yamaha’s Colin Edwards took pole position.

Tomorrow’s 28-lap race is round five of the MotoGP World Championship and the race begins at 14.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT).

John Hopkins: “I’m really happy with the way the day has gone. We got two full sessions with a dry track and we were able to dial in the set-up and finalise what tyres we’ll use tomorrow – if it’s dry! We did quite a long run this afternoon and got a good race pace going that felt really comfortable. I got a good rhythm and made a point of riding on my own and doing things my own way. On the qualifiers I gave it my all and I am happy that we made it onto the front two rows because it’s going to be really crucial to get a good start tomorrow. I need to be in the front pack from the start. Hopefully it will be dry for the race and we’ll go out and just give them hell!”

Chris Vermeulen: “I was a little bit frustrated at the end of qualifying as I didn’t get a clear lap on my last tyre. It’s a bit annoying, but you get that on tight tracks and it’s all part of racing. We made a lot of progress this morning and I was consistently faster lap-by-lap. I was within half-a-second of the fastest rider on race tyres all session this morning, and again this afternoon I was right up there. The bike has improved and my crew has worked really hard to get it right for here. Fourth row is not an ideal starting position, but I’ve had good results from further back than that! It’s just a matter of getting my head down and catching those front guys.”

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"

French MotoGP Quotes
Sunday May 20 2007

Ducati Marlboro Team rider Casey Stoner extended his lead at the top of the MotoGP World Championship with a superbly judged ride to third place in atrocious conditions at Le Mans this afternoon. Team-mate Loris Capirossi had a much more difficult ride to eighth in the soaking wet conditions because of a bike problem.

The race started with light drizzle falling at some parts of the tricky French circuit, Stoner keeping out of trouble in the midst of the leading pack while some of his rivals were riding like it was the last lap, several of them crashing out. When heavier rain started falling at one-third distance riders came into the pits to swap to bikes fitted with rain tyres. Stoner maintained his composure despite the treacherous conditions, slipping to seventh at one point but then moving forward, getting the best out of his second GP7 and its Bridgestone rain tyres to take third place on lap 17.

Capirossi had his work cut out starting from the fifth row of the grid but the Italian charged through the pack to move into fifth place before the heavier rain came. However, when he swapped bikes his number-two GP7 didn't have exactly the right engine mapping for the rain and he was unable to keep improving.

CASEY STONER, 3rd place, World Championship leader on 102 points - "I was surprised to stay upright really! I thought it was going to be difficult to finish because a lot of people were slipping off for what looked like no reason. In the first part of the race it was light rain and there were a lot of people going fast but a couple of corners later they'd be on the ground, so you weren't too sure how hard to push. We got through that part, got on the wet-weather tyres at the right time and from there just tried to play it smart. I felt like we did that today, we did everything right. I went back to eighth or ninth or something - I couldn't really see my pit board with all the rain - then at the end we managed to pull back up to a podium position and bring it home. The Ducati and the Bridgestones seemed to work really good in the wet, considering we haven't had time to get used to them in the rain. I did have a few issues with rear grip, so I hope it's wet tomorrow so can do some more wet testing."

LORIS CAPIROSSI, 8th place, 7th overall on 38 points - "I'm very sad because I had the chance of a good result in the rain. I changed bikes at the best moment, swapping over a lap before the others and I found myself up front with Chris [Vermeulen, the race winner] but I soon realised something was wrong because the bike was very difficult to ride. The engine mapping wasn't right, the team had made a mistake. It's a real shame and even if I understand that this kind of thing happens I'm obviously not happy. I had to defend myself as best as I could and it wasn't easy because I risked falling every time I braked. Now we just have to look forward to the next race".

LIVIO SUPPO, Ducati MotoGP project manager - "That was another superb race from Casey, it's great to get a podium in such tricky conditions. He was very smart to come in to change bikes at the right moment and he didn't take risks when he didn't need to, he showed so much maturity. The bike worked well and the Bridgestones were very good, that's why they had all three guys on the podium. We have to apologise to Loris because we made a mistake - the engine mapping on his second bike wasn't exactly right for the conditions. We are very sorry that he wasn't able to get a better result because of this but sometimes these things can happen."

Honda rider quotes French GP – Le Mans Race
Marco Melandri, Gresini Honda: 2nd.“It was an amazing race. From the start it was very difficult on slick tyres and many riders who are not normally in the top were really pushing. I didn’t push then. When it started raining hard I didn’t know when best to come into the pit and change to wet tyres because half the track was wet and half not so bad. When Chris (Vermeulen) went into the pits I thought OK now I have to go in. We have never tested Bridgestone tyres here and only had one wet test in the winter. The team had a good set up on my spare bike and it felt good from the beginning. When I caught Chris I didn’t want to pass him and decided to wait. But I have short legs and could not get my knee down onto the track to control the front when I had a couple of big slides, one in sixth gear! So I decided to let Chris go.”

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 4th. "Well I'm really happy with the result because this was a very hard race and we came through strongly. We learned a lot from the previous wet race in Australia last year and this time the change of bikes was very quick which meant I could keep ahead of the riders who were behind me as I came into the pits. My team did a great job so thank you to them. At the start of the race I think many of the riders in front of me had hard tyres on because I was able to move forward in the first laps. Once the rain came it just got heavier and heavier, yet I was still able to improve on every lap. It was a case of just trying to get used to the situation because when I swapped to the other bike with the wet set-up, the gears, suspension and obviously the tyres were all different. Although it's only fourth place I'm very happy today because I needed a good result like this in the wet and it gives me a lot of confidence."

Toni Elias, Gresini Honda: dnf – crash. “Within the first lap of the race conditions were difficult. When the rain started to get heavier I was trying to work out when best to go to the pit box for wet tyres. Then, suddenly, without any warning the bike went down. It was quite a heavy fall and my back is very painful. I went to the Doctor for an Xray and luckily nothing is broken. I am very disappointed because I have not scored points in the last two races. ”

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: dnf – crash. "That's a shame for sure. We had a pretty solid fourth place there with just a couple of laps to go and the bike was feeling pretty good in the wet. But then as soon as I touched the brake at the end of the back straight it folded on me. I hadn't even started back-shifting yet and before I knew it I was just picking up speed as I hit the ground - it was a rough ride. It sucks, but it seems like no bones are broken and that's a good thing, though I've damaged some cartilage in my ribcage. It's just hugely disappointing for me and the team but I can't blame it on anybody but myself today. The bike was not bad in the wet - for sure it was moving around a little bit and some of the other riders took off but we definitely didn't deserve that today. I guess that's how it goes sometimes so we'll just keep working at it and come back hard at the next race in Italy."