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December 2003 Motorbike and Motorcycle News
 
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Lap Record - Velentino Rossi (Honda RCV); 1:33.31 (2003)


The Northern Ireland rider, Robert Dunlop, has announced that he will quit motorcycling after the 2004 season. The 43 year old won the 125 cc event at the 2003 Ulster Grand Prix, he is hoping to win the TT and North West 200 before he quits. He intends to focus on his sons, William and Michael, and pass his motorcycling experience to them. He suffered a major accident on the Isle of Man in the mid 1990s and was forced to restrict his competition entry to the 125 cc class


The opening round of 2004 BSB will be held at Silverstone, only 12 rounds were announced, the round on 15th August is yet to be determined. The calendar leaves free the World Superbike rounds in Britain at Silverstone and Brands Hatch, to enable some of the British riders to compete in WSB. Click below for the full 2004 race calendar;

British Superbike 2004 Full Race Calendar

To avoid a clash with the F1 at Silverstone, the MotoGP date at Donington 2004 has been switched from 11th July to 25th July. The Brazilian MotoGP date has also been switched from 31st July to 4th July. See the full race calendar:

MotoGP 2004 Race Calendar

Neil Hodgson finished in the top 5 of the award and made a special appearance on a Ducati 999, doing a burnout in front of Gary Lineker, millions watched brief highlights of his world title success in the 2003 World Superbike Championship, proving that motorcycle racing is finally getting the recognition it deserves.


Excellent news for all motorcycle race fans, who are not privilaged to receive Sky. In addition, Neil Hodgson is signed to ride in MotoGP, following his 2003 World Superbike crown, Valentino Rossi has also switched from Honda to Yamaha after three successive titles, so the racing should be closer than ever. It has not been announced yet how many races will be shown live.


Hodgson completed his first day of testing for, he completed 30 laps at Valencia in Spain on his new Ducati d'Antin 990 cc machine. He recently admitted suffering from sleepless nights and nightmares of being thrown from his new bike. Also testing were Ruban Xaus, Shane Bryne and Jeremy McWilliams


All because the Magny Cours circuit in France needs to raise 7m to remain on the F1 calendar, as a result the British Formula One GP could be moved to Silverstone on 11th July, clashing with the MotoGP round at Donington on the same day. Because of TV scheduling priorities, the MotoGP would have to be moved. This may have knock-on effects to the Suzuka eight hour race, the Brazilian F1 GP, the dates are to be confirmed at an FIA Council meeting on Friday


The Norton rotary racer sold for 42,000.00, twice the guide price, to the National Bike Museum, Roy Richards (Museum Chief) was determined to get the bike at any cost. The museum suffered the horrific fire earlier this year which destyoyed hundred of bikes. He also bought an identical 1994 Duchams bike for 37,000.00 and a non running show bike for 14,400.00. Other items sold were;

  • H reg. JPS F1 - 7900.00
  • Ex police model - 1500.00
  • Norton factory sign - 150.00
  • Duckhams Norton leathers worn by Jim Moodie and Ian Simpson - 1200.00
  • 1980 600cc Yamaha engined HL Motocrosser built by Norton - 3000.00
  • 1992 Norton Commander, 1985 Norton police bike and large Norton display sign - 6660.00
  • Posters, photos and artwork - 1800.00
  • 200 colour posters of 1953 Norton model 7 - 100.00
  • Lage signed picture of Trevor Nation - 85.00
  • Two Duckhams Norton bike covers and union flags - 280.00
  • Grinding machine - 20.00 (non working, estimated repair in excess of 5000.00)
  • The 220,000.00 raise will go the estate of Keith Moore, owner of Norton Rotary Engineering. Relive the memories, visit www.jpsnorton.com.


    McWilliams joins Shane Byrne at Aprilia for an all British MotoGP team in 2004.


    Dunlop will soon know whether they can take WSB to court over its recent decision, forcing all WSB teams to use Pirelli tyres. The European Commission has not yet reported its findings but a decision is due to be made soon. The FIM and WSB owners are due to stick with Pirelli, irrevevant of the decision made by the EC.


    Carl Fogarty's WSB top man, Neil Bosworth has left Foggy Petronas Racing and is 'on leave'. Neither party would comment for legal reasons.


    Bryne rides and crashes his new 230 bhp Aprilia and is totally blown away by its power. The 26 year old got a big surprise at Jerez in Spain last weekend, it was a big wake-up call for Bryne who is now understanding the challenge ahead of MotoGP 2004


    Roger Smith, owner of a Neil Hodgson replica Fila 999R Ducati for the past six weeks, watched in horror as Neil binned it while riding round the Isle of Man, two weeks prior to his debut test on a MotoGP factory Ducati Desmosedici. Sportingly, Neil signed the tank afterwards.


    Canadian will no longer host the World Superbike Championship on 4th July, as it failed an inspection on Tuesday and there will not be enough time to complete the necessary work. Organisers are now looking for a replacement venue


    The Norton rotary factory and its contents, including some very unique memorobilia, are being sold following the death of the owner, Keith Moore, in September this year. Norton continues to exist in America, but the original Company is effectively no longer trading. Sale items include road version rotary F1, Duckhams rotary racers, a selection of older classics, workshop equipment, engineering drawings, Duckhams leathers worn by Ian Simpson and Jim Moodie, original pit boards and lots of Norton memorobilia. Visit www.andrew-grant.co.uk for more details.

    www.jpsnorton.com

    Neil Hodgson and Carl Fogarty continue to trade verbal blows. Foggy "Hodgson has got such a boring image. He has only started all this to spice himself up". Neil "As a rider I respect Carl, but now he's saying some pretty crazy things in the press". Neil wishes to draw a line under the whole affair but refuses to withdraw his comparison of Foggy and Doohan, Neil was quoted as saying "I honestly believe that Mick Doohan was a better rider". Fogarty saw red and refuses to let the matter rider. Ironically, at the NEC show in Birmingham Neil confirmed that Carl would be the Godfather of his newly born baby. The pulic feud contines......


    Stunt rider, Jason Rennie, broke Evil Kenivel's 1975 long jump record at the Cardiff SuperX Stadium.The 33 year old from Wrexham jumped half of Cardiff's Millenium Stadium pitch during the Future West Supercross round on Saturday. Kenivel crashed while attempting to improve on his 1975 records, crashing in to the 12th bus of 15 at Wembley Stadium. Jason enters the Guiness Book of Records as the longest jump in an enclosed stadium.

    Evil Kenivel Website

    Suzuki has quit World Superbikes, as a result no Japenese factory teams are left in the series for 2004, this leaves Gregorio Lavilla out of a job. The only works teams in WSB for 2004 will be Ducati, Petronas and Chinese manufacturer Zongshen, running a Suzuki GSXR 1000. WSB will be devestated by this news as many talented riders, such as Troy Bayliss, Colin Edwards, Noriyuka Haga and now Neil Hodgson have left the series for the MotoGP, following the new Pirelli control tyre rules. The Motorcycle Sport Manufacturers' Association (MSMA) stated that none of its members would enter WSB in 2004 in protest of the rule change. Who's In;

    1. James Toseland - Ducati 999R - Fila Ducati
    2. Troy Corser and Chris Walker - Petronas FP-1 - Foggy Petronas
    3. Chris Vermeulen - Honda Fireblade - Ten Kate Honda
    4. Who's Not;

    5. Honda - Quit after Colin Edwards won the title in 2002
    6. Aprilia - Quit in 2002, running Noriyuka Haga on a RSV Mille
    7. Yamaha - Quit in 2000, running Noriyuka Haga on an R7
    8. Kawasaki - Quit in 2003 as it is an MSMA member
    9. Suzuki - Quit in 2003 as it is an MSMA member
    10. For one reason or another the following riders are all unemployed, Noriyuka Haga; refused to extend his MotoGP Aprilia ride, Andrew Pitt; dumped by Kawasaki, James Hayden; split from Foggy Petronas Racing,, Sean Emmett; has not secured a ride for 2004, Gregorio Lavilla; Suzuki quit WSB and Gary McCoy; split from Kawasaki's MotoGP Team.





    Suzuki Quits WSB - Nov 26th 2003



    News Archives | Current News

    Neil Hodsgson has admitted that his Aprilia bike for MotoGP 2004 was more difficult to ride than he imagined it would be. Hodgson last rode a GP bike in 1995 and is not due to test the Aprilia until February 2004 in Malaysia. He will be riding a privateer Ducati for Team D'Antin, whil Troy Bayliss has switched to a works ride.


    Noriyuka Haga is apparently weighing up two options to ride in WSB in 2004, boosing the credability of the series following the depature of many of the top riders, more news to follow on this when available


    The Aussie will ride a 999 Ducati for te NCR team in 2004, boosting the credIbility of the WSB series. This follows the 31 year old quitting the Kawasaki MotoGP team after a terrible season. McCoy has no experience of racing Superbikes, his history is 125s, 500s and MotoGP.


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