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The nine-round UK championship is in doubt following the decision by the MCRCB because the sidecars failed to meet the criteria laid down by the governing body. The sidecars have already lost their supporting race at WSB meetings. The teams are hoping for a reprieve at a meeting today of the MCRCB, amongst other sporting bodies. The most famous sidecar racer, Steve Webster, only found out 10 days before the first race at Silverstone.
Due to problems with the Petronas race bike the road production version has been delayed and should be delivered this year, 18 months after the planned launch, following changes to the tea's structure after changing from engineering Swiss Suter to Ricardo in Sussex, UK. The WSB race bike ridden by Troy Corser and Chris Walker are currently lacking in power and cannot keep pace with the lead Ducatis. The launch is planned in a few months.
Who is Britain's best all-round motorcyclist? Which one of our top Road Racers, Motocrossers, Supermoto, Trials and Enduro stars can cut it in all four disciplines and become the UK's best all-rounder?
Moto 1 Promotions are proud to present Moto 1, a prestigious new event designed to find the UK's number one all-round motorcycle competitor. It's all taking place on the 30th and 31st October 2004 at the UK's premier motorcycle venue, Donington Park.
Moto 1 will see twenty-four of the United Kingdom's best riders all compete in trials, moto-cross, supermoto and road racing over the two-day event. The rider with the best overall score from the four events will take home the Moto1 plate.
In addition to the multi-discipline Moto1 event, the promoters are planning an action-packed weekend of motorcycle entertainment. Events confirmed so far include the final round of the World Stunt Riding Championship and a freestyle motocross event. Extra entertainment will be provided by the Purple Helmets whilst the infield area will also see a 30,000 sq. ft. covered exhibition featuring displays and trade stands - all with a Bikesport theme.
Further events and activities are currently being negotiated.
Moto1 is the brainchild of Robbie and Margaret Allan, successful promoters of the Scottish Motorcycle show for the past 26 years. They've been developing the concept of Moto 1 for the past four years and are looking forward to turning their dream into reality.
"We've got an experienced board of directors with recognised pedigrees in motorsport, a perfect venue and we're looking forward to providing a fantastic weekend's entertainment." commented Allan after signing with Donington Park recently. "Donington is the ideal venue for all of our events - it's got GP-standard facilities, and lots of accessible infield where we will run the motocross and supermoto. There's even a wooded area well suited to trials," he continued.
Donington Chief Executive Robert Fearnall has welcomed Moto1 as an 'exciting addition to the calendar.' He added, "we are delighted to host a new event that should provide some really good competition combined with maximum attraction as a family day out".
Robbie and Margaret Allan, Robbie has had a motorcycling career spanning over six decades. Starting back in 1957 as a scrambler he has competed successfully in trials, motocross and, more recently, road racing.
In 2004 he and his famous brother Vic are fighting to defend their title after lifting the British Endurance Championship crown in 2003.
Peter Duke, son of the legendary Geoff Duke O.B.E., is Managing Director of Duke Marketing, the world's leading publisher of two and four wheel video entertainment.
As a competitor, Duke rode in Trials and Enduros for several years, finishing runner-up in the British Enduro Championship 125cc class. Peter currently competes successfully in the Isle of Man Rally Championship.
Bill Gwynne is Managing Director of Bill Gwynne Rallyschool International where he's taught drivers the art of rally driving since 1983.
Gwynne won three Welsh Scramble Championships in the late fifties, was selected to ride for both Trophy & Moto-Cross Des Nations teams in 1960 and finished runner-up in the FIM European 750cc Cup in 1967.
As a rally driver he won five national rally championships and won again most recently in 2003. Still competing on two wheels, he was the Southern Moto-Cross Over 60's Champion in 2002. Gwynne also works as a test and development driver for the Subaru World Rally Team.
Malcolm Rathmell was a top motocrosser, grass track racer and enduro rider in the 70's. Rathmell's best known as a trials rider but also won four ISDE Gold Medals in his career.
He won six British Trials Championships in the 70's, the Euro/American (now World) Championship in 1974, the Scott trial six times and the Scottish Six Days trial twice. In 1978 Rathmell became the UK's first all-round motorcycle racing champion when he won the 'Superbike 6' event.
Rathmell now runs a successful off road motorcycle business, Malcolm Rathmell Sport, importing the popular Sherco (formerly Bultaco) trials bike.
Further info can be obtained from Carly Rathmell, Email: email@example.com
Regis Laconi (Ducati Fila) finally got his championship season off to the best possible start with a convincing win in race 1 of the second round of the World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island, but then blotted his copybook with an unexpected crash on lap 14 of the second race while leading comfortably.
Team-mate James Toseland fared little better in today's two 22-lap races, the British rider taking the final podium slot in the first after a terrific scrap with Vermeulen (Honda) and Martin (DFX Ducati), and then crashing out on lap 3 of the second. In his first-ever Superbike season, Australian Garry McCoy (Xerox Ducati) took his first win in race 2 in front of a 50,000 strong home crowd.
"I am so happy to win my first race with Ducati Fila. That's what I wanted in Valencia but it didn't come there. I didn't push so hard because the track temperature was very warm, I just preserved my tyre and tried not to destroy it," declared Regis after race 1. "I didn't make a good start, I had to pass Leon (Haslam) and also James but I think I made a good race. In the second race I just lost the front, I don't understand what happened because I was pushing hard and riding to keep the distance from the next bike. It was very strange because I'm beginning to know the tyres quite well, maybe I was pushing too hard, maybe the temperature was cooler, but for sure I'm not happy with what I did today in race 2."
James Toseland leaves Phillip Island with his championship lead intact but also disappointed with his performance. "After a few laps I was finding it difficult to put the power down in the first race but by the time Martin had caught up and passed me he was having similar problems" declared James. "I hung on to him, made a mistake with six laps to go, then Chris (Vermeulen) took Steve (Martin) and left a gap for me to pass him for third. It was a fantastic race, the last few laps were speedway-style!. "We made a slight modification to the set-up at the rear for race 2, which gave me a much better feeling. I was a bit too confident however because I went into Siberia, the rear grip wasn't there, I pushed the front too hard and it went away from me. The only thing I'm happy about in that second race is that we are getting there with the bike and I'm still leading the championship."
RACE 1: Laconi (Ducati Fila); 2. Vermeulen (Honda); 3. Toseland (Ducati Fila); 4. Martin (DFX Ducati); 5. McCoy (Xerox Ducati); 6. Sanchini (Kawasaki) ; etc.
RACE 2 : 1. McCoy ; 2. Vermeulen ; 3. Chili (PSG-1 Ducati) ; 4. Borciani (DFX Ducati); 5. Corser (Petronas); 6. Haga (Renegade Ducati); etc.
POINTS: (Riders) 1. Toseland 61; 2. Chili 56; 3. McCoy 55; 4. Vermeulen 55; 5. Haga 43; 6. Borciani 43 . 10. Laconi 25. (Manufacturers) 1. Ducati 100; 2. Honda 55; 3. Petronas 42; 4. Kawasaki 27; 5. Suzuki 18; 6. Yamaha 13.
This news item was kindly provided by www.GetYourRideOn.com
Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi recorded the fastest lap of the weekend as an intense fight saw the top 13 MotoGP riders, including Rossi's team-mate Carlos Checa, finish the Barcelona IRTA Test with times inside one minute of each other.
Today's MotoGP riding agenda entailed three sessions, and with a prize of a BMW Z4 up for grabs during the 45-minute afternoon official practice, Italian Rossi prevailed at the last minute with a time good enough to keep him at the top of the combined standings throughout the final free practice later on. After an early fall along with five other riders due to oil on the track, Carlos Checa finally finished the test ninth fastest at his home circuit, pleased with his progress and feeling positive for Jerez next week. The incident interrupted the first half of the early afternoon session, as the red flags were put out whilst track officials cleaned up the oil.
The leader board was dominated in the early afternoon by American Colin Edwards, who put in a string of consistently fast laps on his Honda machine. With seven minutes left on the clock, Rossi took the lead with a flying lap, only to relinquish it again to Edwards a few minutes later. Returning to the pits for a brief tyre change, Rossi took the lead again on his last lap with a time of 1'44.571. This was enough for him to claim the BMW prize, despite last minute charges from Edwards again (1'44.653) and fellow Honda rider Sete Gibernau (1'44.669.) Checa, slightly shaken up from his earlier brush with the tarmac, was happy to post the eighth fastest time of 1'45.171.
Rossi stayed on top for the rest of the day but the final leader board altered slightly during the last session of the test, when Honda team-mates Alex Barros and Nicky Hayden put in hot laps of 1'44.631 and 1'44.634 respectively to take them second and third fastest of the test. Checa had another unfortunate fall at the same corner as earlier, caught off-guard by tyres which were slightly too hard. However he was not hurt and continued to work on the set-up of Yamaha's latest engine spec, which he first tested on Friday.
Valentino Rossi, 1st: 1'44.571 (34 laps)
"This is really satisfying! I am really sincerely very happy to win this car, to have got this time and to have put in more than one fast lap. The whole day has been a brilliant surprise and we're all very happy. I think this year will be great for the Championship as a whole because it's going to be very competitive. Everyone has put in so much hard work - the team and the Yamaha engineers - and we've done a great job so far. There is still a lot of work to do and a long way to go, but we've made a good performance. This year is going to be a great challenge; let's see if we can continue as we have started today."
Carlos Checa, 9th: 1'45.171 (33 laps)
"The moment I went out on the track for the qualifying session I felt there was some oil on the track, and before I could do anything about it there were six bikes on the ground. The new engine spec I'm trying works quite well with this chassis but we need to alter the set-up a bit more; I still have a long way to go. Valentino did a great job today and it's very motivating to have him as a team-mate; it's a great challenge for me to see how close I can get.
Davide Brivio (Team Director)
"We didn't win a race and we didn't get any points but it's nice to win this first prize. I'm very happy that we can offer today's results to everyone involved in the project. We are having a very busy winter and it's very satisfying for everyone on days like today. This will give us more motivation to continue working hard with the target to be competitive in a race situation as soon as possible."
A 40-minute MotoGP super-sprint to win a sports car gave a 30,000 crowd a high-point during three gruelling days of testing and it was Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi topped the timesheets for the final day with a 1m 44.571s lap set during the televised sprint session. He won a new BMW sports car, but must be happier with the speed of his M1 machine as was Marco Melandri (Fortuna Gauloises Tech 3), who finished ninth fastest.
As snow still clung to the peaks of the surrounding hills, the sun finally shone on the Catalan circuit after two cold and wet days. But even today became gloomy for five riders involved in a multiple pile-up in the early stages of the sprint. Jeremy McWilliams crashed his Aprilia and the oil spill brought down the two Ducati riders Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss, Alex Barros (Honda) and Carlos Checa (Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha Team).
But Melandri escaped the carnage and set about working his way through the 40 minutes at a hot pace to finish 9th fastest with a 1'45.196s lap in the sprint session. The top three overall at the end of the day were Rossi, Barros and Nicky Hayden (Honda). And Melandri, who worked his machine well to finish only 0.625s shy of Rossi's time. Marco continued to graft throughout the rest of the afternoon and found enough sustained speed to finish the day 10th overall.
His team-mate Norick Abe's day came to a premature end after he crashed in the final ten minutes of the sprint. But the Japanese had shown speed in yesterday's saturated session and was looking to translate his rain prowess into a fast dry time today. He was unhurt but did not ride for the rest of the day.
Marco Melandri, 10th: 1'45.196s (38 laps)
"If someone had told me I'd only be just over half a second away from Rossi's best time before we came here - I would not have believed them. I was losing nearly all the time in the last section of the track because the power delivery is very sharp. But I'm really close to Carlos' (Checa) time (by just over 0.02 of a second) and that was what I was aiming for before we came here. During the rest of the afternoon I tested tyres and tried to get as many laps in as I could. This has been a good weekend despite the weather."
Norick Abe, 22nd: 1'47.429s (26laps)
"We finished on a bad note, unfortunately. I put a softer tyre on for the sprint session and was catching a group in front of me, but when I got to the second main section of the track I crashed. This is my third crash this year and I've never had a problem with crashing as soon as I push hard before. But we'll find a solution to this before Welkom I'm sure."
Hervé Poncharal (Team Director)
"Marco is very close to the best time, and we know
why he can't quite match it. It's because our current
engine's power delivery is very aggressive, but he
could match Rossi in all sections except T3 (the second
last quarter of the track). It's good to see that
the new engine Rossi has seems to have solved the
power delivery issues - and that's good for all Yamaha
riders. Marco is a key man for Yamaha and he's mentally
tuned-in and he knows he will stay motivated while
Yamaha works to support us. Norick struggled a bit
here overall but shone in the rain yesterday on a
16.5" front Michelin wet, but overall we can be happy
with being only 0.6 seconds away from the fastest
Kieran Clarke, Steve Plater and Sam Corke
Langley Mill based Kieran Clarke had a harsh opening
reality to his first British Superbike races yesterday.
With the whole aspect of British Superbikes being
a whole new experience for the young 18-year-old it
was certainly an interesting opener for the rookie.
With wet and drizzling conditions for race one it wasn't the ideal situation to be a new rider out on track. Kieran coped with the conditions well and although he was steady for the opening few laps he soon realised the potential that he and the bike had. He settled into a rhythm and began to work his way up the timing sheets. Gaining in confidence as the race progressed he was soon putting in consistent lap times fastest than the majority of the field. His fastest lap was a 1:39.987, which bettered that of World Championship winning bike from last season. Sean Emmett who this season is riding for double British Championship winning team Monstermob could only manage a best time of 1:40.121.
Kieran's serge forward came to late however; he gained himself a respectable 16th place in his opening race and placed himself onto the point's table with 4 Championship points under his belt.
Track and weather conditions improved drastically for the second race and Kieran was feeling confident as he challenged his next hurdle. A great start for him saw him settled in at a comfortable 12th position from 17th on the grid. He soon got his head down and was on a mission to gain himself a top ten finish.
A hard fought battle ensued and Kieran was determined to prove himself. Slowly but convincingly moving through the field he was adamant of securing a strong finish. He became locked in a battle with Privateer rider Sam Corke and Factory Virgin Yamaha Rider Steve Plater. The three swapped places lap after lap and it was Kieran that tucked himself into a comfortably 9th place.
On the last lap Steve Plater made a last attempt to pass both Corke and Clarke into the last chicane. Forcing Plater to brake late which had a domino affect back to Kieran, Kieran didn't manage to pull on the brakes fast enough and ended up shunting Sam Corke's bike. This threw Kieran over the handlebars and the bike 20-foot into the air, luckily both riders were ok. However Kieran's Hydrex Yamaha was looking very second hand.
Kieran commented 'We were dicing all the way around the track and I was struggling with my tyres in the second half of the race. It was extremely close between the three riders and I didn't have enough time to pull on the brakes and stop me crashing. Although I didn't finish the race which I wasn't so happy about as a top ten placing was on the cards. It's still been a very productive weekend for me and I've learnt a lot from it. It's the first time I've competed in a race on a Superbike and the power difference to what I was riding last year is unbelievable. I'm looking forward to Brands Hatch in a few weeks time.'
Team Owner Colin Appleyard said 'I think Kieran has proved himself today that he can ride up there with the best. It's a shame he came to blows as he was doing so well. He still gained some points in the first race and I'm sure Kieran will rapidly progress as the season moves on.'
Information provided by Carly Rathmell, firstname.lastname@example.org
Langley Mill based Kieran Clarke will undertake his biggest challenge to date this weekend. It's the first round of the British Superbike Championship at Silverstone Circuit on Sunday 28th March.
Kieran, at only 18-years-old has secured himself a ride with the Keighley based Colin Appleyard British Superbike Team. Running on factory R1 Yamaha's throughout the year, Kieran will undertake a new venture in his already successful career.
He started riding competitively at the age of 7 and gained many British Motocross Championship titles. A spate of serious injuries forced Kieran to hang up his Motocross boots and focus himself in the new direction of Road Racing. In 2002 Kieran competed in 6 rounds on the British Junior Superstock series fighting tough battles and securing valuable results.
In 2003 Kieran completed his first full season on a road bike. Contesting in the fiercely competitive R6 Cup. A series set up by Virgin Team Manager Rob McElnea, each rider competed on a standard R6 Yamaha and the series was targeted at riders aged between 18 - 22. Kieran's confidence and skills grew stronger and stronger throughout the year and this was very evident in the results he was gaining as the season progressed.
His first win came at Rockingham Motor Speedway circuit at the beginning of July. Named as one of the best races of the year Kieran truly came into his element. Looking smooth and confident Kieran made a point of making the win his.
Following his first win at Rockingham gave Kieran a taste for winning and made him more eager to go out and do it again. Looking strong and determined he headed to Donington Park. The races were being run alongside the Donington Moto GP in July, in front of a massive 80'000 people in scorching temperatures, Kieran dominated both the races. He fought two tough battles but gained an impressive lead in both races. Never stepping off the podium in any of the last races Kieran managed to finish 3rd overall in the Championship. A very healthy position for his first full year as a road racer and named by Rob McElnea as the smoothest R6 Cup rider out on track.
Kieran's good year didn't finish there, in December he was named as the ACU Academy Rider of the Year. An achievement that was a credit to how he had ridden over the past season.
2004 brings a new task for Kieran and his team as he prepares himself for the big step into the fiercely competitive British Superbike Championship. Labelled as one of the toughest National Championships in the World and producing World Champions such as Neil Hodgson and Troy Bayliss. Kieran is eager to be apart of this stunning series.
Gaining the support from Hydrex, Black Horse, Shell, Heanor Haulage, Furygan Leathers, OGK Helmets, Oxstar Boots, Poole Motorcycles Kieran is keen to ensure he does the best possible job for his team and his sponsors in 2004.
Kieran will be competing in a Championship, which has seen a massive spectator growth in recent years. It is becoming ever popular within the Media Circles. With live showing on Sky Sports for each race plus highlights the following week on Terrestrial BBC. Plus National coverage in the 7 specific motorcycle magazines, the weekly Newspaper Motorcycle News, local and national papers are also provided with full race reports of Kieran's progress. The British Superbike Championships is now being pushed into the publics' faces and is proving to be one of the best ways to promote a product. Adding to those, full updates on Kieran's website www.kieranclarke.com this will ensure everyone is throughly up to date at all times.
His race dates for 2004 are as follows: -
- 26 - 28 March - Silverstone
- 10 - 12 April - Brands Hatch
- 23 - 25 April - Snetterton
- 01 - 03 May - Oulton Park
- 21 - 23 May - Mondello Park, Ireland
- 04 - 06 June - Thruxton
- 18 - 20 June - Brands Hatch
- 02 - 04 July - Knockhill, Scotland
- 16 - 18 July - Mallory Park
- 13 - 15 August - Croft Race Circuit
- 28 - 30 August - Cadwell Park
- 10 - 12 September - Oulton Park
- 17 - 19 September - Donington Park
Honda racing boss Carlo Fiorani has vowed to do anything to stop Rossi winning the MotoGP 2004 series, he has warned that all three Honda MotoGP teams could work together to thwart his chances this year. This includes the following riders; Edwards, Gibernau, Tamada, Barros, Hayden and Biaggi.
Kurtis Roberts has been ruled out of the MotoGP testing at Catalunya and Jerez next week, following suffering a dislocated shoulder on his Proton earlier this month. He is recuperating in California, trying to get fit for the opening round in South Africa next month.
Chris Burns Harris WCM team is struggling to find a new backer in time for the testing at Barcelona and Jerez.
Suzuki have taken their first delivery of the new GSX-R 750 and should arrive in the dealers showrooms in the next few weeks. Don't forget to put your clocks forward this weekend and take advantage of some evenings ride-outs next week.
Christian Iddon had mixed results at the opening round of the 2004 British Supermoto Championships at Lydd yesterday. The reigning Champion had varied fortunes come race day. Head of Husky Sport, Mike Carter, had delivered a 450 Husqvarna to the young 19-year-old and Iddon was keen to get it run in.
Running throughout the Spring/Summer the weather sadly was not reflecting that fact, with gale force winds and heavy rain on Saturday. The atrocious weather conditions prevented the riders getting full track time, as the conditions were nearly impossible to ride in.
Conditions had improved slightly on race day, although large damp patches around the track were clearly visible. This wasn't going to hinder Christian as he competed in his first 450 Final on board the new Husqvarna. Gaining a healthy lead young Iddon was on mission to show the crowd what the nifty 450 can really do. Impressing the spectators with his unique riding style it really gave them a taste of Supermoto and the sliding technique that Iddon has mastered so well. The Husqvarna 450 is still one of the newest bikes on the 450 market and already it is proving to be extremely competitive.
Christian wasn't to be so lucky in the 650 Final, as the flag came down Christian had his head down and was determined to gain some valuable points at the start of the season. This wasn't to be, on lap two, Christian came to blows as he entered one of the slow corners he got caught up and crashed. The crash damaged the bikes CDI unit, which meant Christian, was unable to restart and remount.
This left an intense battle between David Tougher, Ady Smith and Jay Smith who were locked in a tight battle for the first 650 win of the season. The races were being run at 15 minutes per race plus two extra laps. Husky Sport mounted Jay Smith was slicing through the field and had Tougher and Ady well in his reach. 10 minutes passed and the heavens opened, the race was stopped and declared a result as they had run over half distance. A third place for Jay Smith and he was very content. New boy to the pack Dave McKee finished a very strong 5th, it was his first time out on the Husqvarna and the season looks to have started well for him.
Commenting Jay said 'If I'd had the extra five minutes I might have been able to real the two in. They were both very close and things were going really well. Still I'm really happy with third place and it's given me some good points in the bag which I can't complain about.'
Dave McKee was equally pleased saying 'The bike was really easy to adapt to and it really surprised me as it was a lot lighter than what I imagined it to be. I was using slicks in the 650 final and when I started to rain I lost two places which I was a bit gutted about. It's been a great opportunity for me to come on board into the Husky Sport squad. I'd like to thank Mike Carter for helping me out with this and I'm sure I can get some good results over the season.'
Information provided by Carly Rathmell, email@example.com
Christian Iddon will be hoping to regain his British Summer Supermoto title this weekend as he heads for the opening round of the Summer Series at Lydd Race Circuit, Kent. Sideways Promotions will again be hoping to run another successful Championship and Iddon will be up against some tough characters in a battle to regain his number one plate. Christian who wrapped up the Winter Championship a couple of weeks ago is feeling confident and in good form as the new series approaches. Commenting Christian said 'I had a good Winter Series and won the title, I'm looking forward to defending my summer title. It won't be easy I know that as there are some very good riders out there. I have a good set-up behind me and looking forward to getting back out there, the bike is great and is running really well and I'm feeling confident and happy.'
Warren Steele, will unfortunately, not be competing in the first few rounds as he has to undergo another operation in an attempt to repair his badly broken leg. Steele made a brave decision to compete in some of the winter series races but a huge crash at Pembrey aggravated his leg and snapped two of the screws. Speaking to a disheartened Warren he said 'It's been a real blow has my injury. I was hoping I'd be fit for the start of the summer but this has really put a spanner in the works. The crash I had in France did a lot of damage more than I originally thought. I've got a good surgeon so I'm confident he will have me back on my feet as soon as possible.'
There is a new member to the team who will replace Warren whilst he is sitting it out. Husky Sport are happy to have signed and be helping Irish Star David McKee. Thanks to the support from Sammy McMinn of Ulster Aerials and John Gill of Gill Contracts for their assistance in putting this deal together. He will be competing in all the 650 and Open Class races in the British Championship and as one of Ireland's fastest Supermoto Riders he will be a rider to watch out for as he will be challenging hard to ensure he gains the top spot.
Jay Smith will also be flying the Husky Sport Flag for the Summer Championship and he's more than capable of challenging the front runners and posing a series threat to his fellow rivals. Mike Wright is continuing to develop the nifty 450 Husqvarna and will be competing in the fierce class throughout the season.
Supermoto is still managing to pull in the top names, former World and British Superbike Rider James Haydon will be competing this weekend. As well as Terry Rymer and Swiss ace Danni Muller who was a serious threat to Iddon throughout the Winter Series. Danni is keen to make his mark in the UK Series. Not forgetting the ever-talented Ady Smith who will be fighting hard. This season again will be a tricky one and the racing will be as tight and close as ever. With Husky Sport having a strong dominant team they will be the ones to watch out for.
Information provided by Carly Rathmell, firstname.lastname@example.org
Aaron Yates has been fined £30,000 and banned for a race for headbutting an opponent at last week's Daytona 200. He crashed with a lapped rider, Anthony Fania Jnr, and kicked and headbutted him, he later apologised but may also suffer financial penelties from HJC, his helmet sponsor and legal action. The fine could be halved if he agrees to attend an anger management course.
James Hayden and Terry Rymer have swopped superbikes for Supermoto this weekend at the first round of the British Supermoto series at Lydd Raceway in Kent.
Ryuichi Kiyonari was one of only a few riders that dared to race round Donington last Sunday in blustery and wet conditions, he was sideways out of every corner and gave the fans a real display, he covered 47 laps. The likes of John Reynolds, Yukio Kagamaya, Sean Emmett and Gary Megson didn't even venture out. Stuart Easton clocked 27 laps on the ex-Bryne machine, Ducati 998 F02.
At the Australian F1 GP last weekend Valentino Rossi admitted that he loves F1 and would dearly love to compete at this level one day. He has already booked a test with the Toyota F1 team, to coincide with the MotoGP round at France in May, close to Toyota's test track. The only man to have achieved a world the world titles on two and four wheels is John Surtees. He was seven-time motorcycle GP champion between 1956 and 1960 and won the world F1 title in 1964.
Just 5 months ago Yukio Kagayama suffered a horrific accident and was given just hours to live, yet only a few days ago he was testing his GSX-R1000 for Suzuki in preperation for the new BSB season. Kiyonari topped the timesheets, 3 tenths outside Neil Hodgson's WSB lap record and claims that he can go faster through smoother riding and bike set-up.
- Ryuichi Kiyonari, JPN (Honda Fireblade) - 1:35.3
- John Reynolds, GBR (Suzuki GSX-R1000) - 1:35.9
- Michael Rutter, GBR (Honda Fireblade) - 1:36.2
- Yukio Kagayama, JPN (Suzuki GSX-R1000) - 1:36.9
Roberts destroyed the all-new Proton V5 GP bike after only half a lap last weekend when the bike exploded into flames after he highsided the bike. Roberts was rushed to hospital with a dislocated shoulder and could be out of action until next month. Honda, Suzuki and Ducati were also testing at Valencia continuing their pre-season development, the unofficial lap times are below:
- Nicky Hayden, USA (Honda) - 1:33.3
- Loris Capirossi, ITA (Honda) - 1:33.4
- Alex Barros, AUS (Ducati) - 1:33.5
- Troy Bayliss, AUS (Ducati) - 1:33.5
- Kenny Roberts, USA (Suzuki) - 1:34.0
- Gregorio Lavilla, SPA (Suzuki) - 1:34.8
- Nobuatso Akoi, JPA (Proton) - 1:35.9
Four-time AMA Superbike champ, Mat Mladin won Saturday's Daytona 200 following 3 pit stops for fuel and tyres, instead of the usual 2 stops. This is Mladin's third success at the Daytone 200. Ben and Eric Bostrom both retired early from the race. Anthony Gobert was stuck in Australia when he was supposed to be at the Daytone 200, he couldn't get a visa in time and his passport was at the US embassy in Sydney. Daytona 200 Results:
- Mat Mladin, AUS (Suzuki)
- Jake Zemke, USA (Honda)
- Miguel DuHamal, CAN (Honda)
- Jack Pfeifer, USA (Suzuki)
- Lee Acreen, AUS (Suzuki(
Croft has replaced Rockingham for BSB, giving fans in the North East access to the championship, Mallory Park returns after a year's absence. The Brands Hatch rounds on 12th April and 20th June will use the short Indy course, not the GP circuit.
Following our recent report, Michelin have guaranteed Hodgson top-spec tyres, as a result of Hodgson's team boss meeting with Michelin staff at Valencia to make sure the Brit gets a better deal. Hodgson also recently made a special appearance in a pop video for Ride by Princess.
GP owners Dorna have signed a five year contract to promote BSB. Former owner, Octagon sold its four race tracks to Jonathan Palmer an therefore no longer have a vested interest in the series. There are rumors that BSB could feature in Europe at Assen and also act as a feeder class to MotoGP. BSB could rival WSB which no longer has any Japanese factory support.
Yukio Kagayama recovered from a broken Pelvis for pre-season testing in Spain, the 29 year-old Japanese rider finished a second off fastest lap by team-mate John Reynolds. Further testing is scheduled at Donington Park prior to the start of the BSB season on 28th March at Silverstone.