Carlos Checa Continues To Set Pace at Phillip Island

Carlos_Checa_WSBKCarlos Checa was the fastest once again around the World Superbike track at Phillip Island. Checa was the fastest during the first day of testing, setting the track record with a 1’30.58 lap time. Checa continued to set the pace at Phillip Island on day two, although lap times were slightly slower across the board.

The World Superbike season starts this weekend at Phillip Island, and the Althea Ducati rider has proven that he’s the man to beat. Not only did Checa have a fantastic session at Phillip Island, but he also took home a race win in Australia last year.

The top five finishers today were unable to improve their times from day one. 2010 World Superbike champion Max Biaggi was one of few riders to post a better lap on two, but Biaggi still only managed a sixth place finish.

Jonathan Rea, who finished third overall during the testing session, was taken to the hospital after a crash. Rea was taken to the hospital to have x-rays on his wrist. No word on the condition of his injury, but with just a few days before the start of the World Superbike season, Rea could struggle to see the grid on Sunday.

World Superbike Combined Testing Times From Phillip Island

  1. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 1’30.578
  2. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1’31.196
  3. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’31.206
  4. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 1’31.654
  5. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’31.866
  6. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’31.870
  7. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’32.113
  8. Melandri M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R1 1’32.122
  9. Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha YZF R1 1’32.137
  10. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’32.272
  11. Haga N. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’32.299
  12. Waters J. (AUS) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’32.394
  13. Xaus R. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 1’32.405
  14. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 1’32.413
  15. 52 Toseland J. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 1’32.880
  16. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 1’32.994
  17. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1’33.233
  18. Staring B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’33.398
  19. Yanagawa A. (JPN) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’33.432
  20. Berger M. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1’33.485
  21. Rolfo R. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’33.514
  22. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’33.560
  23. Aitchison M. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’33.721

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2010 Isle of Man TT Privateer Champ, James McBride, to End Privateer Career

james_mcbrideJames McBride, the reigning Isle of Man TT Privateer champion, has decided to end his privateer career. McBride says that he isn’t finished with racing yet, but he won’t be running his own team anymore.

“I’ve been thinking about this for quite a while, but I made my decision whilst travelling back home from the Belfast Bike Show,” McBride said. “I have been truly really humbled and flattered by my Irish fans and sponsor support from the weekend, but after receiving my award I felt it was time to retire my own efforts.”

McBride won the inaugural TT Privateer’s Championship last year, and became a member of the exclusive 130 mph club at the Ulster Grand Prix. After a successful 2010 season, McBride has decided to retire from privateer racing. McBride said he would continue racing if a competitive package came along.

“To improve on last season’s riding I would almost certainly need a stronger budget and dedication from everyone involved, but life is getting busy right now in a number of ways and to retire my own personal efforts would free me up to cope,” McBride said. “However, it would allow room for improvement to my own riding performance with much less energy and focus spent on managing a team and more time to focus purely on my racing.

“So be it if I don’t get to race much in 2011, but I am currently enjoying riding Enduro on my 450 Yamaha regularly and I will still structure a return to Macau in November.”

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Rizla Suzuki, Alvaro Bautista, Set for Second Sepang Test

alvaro_bautista_at_sepangAlvaro Bautista and the Rizla Suzuki squad are back in Malaysia for the penultimate pre-season MotoGP test of 2011 with another comprehensive test schedule ahead of them.

Bautista had an impressive first test of 2011 at the Sepang circuit, despite missing the final day due to illness. He recorded his fastest ever time around the 5,548m circuit earlier this month and is in a determined mood to continue with the work he has already begun.

The team has another busy workload during the three days which will see Bautista test new and updated chassis parts, as well as significantly revised electronic control strategies. This is a very important test as it will be the last time that Suzuki’s engineers will have significant time following a test to scrutinise the data and make any further changes in readiness for the start of the season. The final test – at Qatar – is just a few days before the first race, so Bautista and the team will be looking to get every last bit of track-time and information from these three days as possible.

Suzuki’s MotoGP test rider Nobuatsu Aoki will also join the Sepang test with his own GSV-R and support crew, and will be concentrating on refining the newly-developed strategies as well as confirming the base specification for 2011. He will fly in from Japan having tested at Suzuki’s private test track last Saturday, where he was joined by long-time Suzuki Factory racer and tester Yukio Kagayama for his first feedback on the 2011 GSV-R prototype.

Rizla Suzuki will take to the track on Tuesday March 22nd to continue its countdown for the 2011 MotoGP season, which gets underway next month, with the first scheduled race at Losail in Qatar on Sunday March 20th.

Alvaro Bautista:

“I am eager to get to the test and continue with what I started earlier this month. I tried many new things in the first test, but didn’t finish the whole schedule because I was ill on the last day. I am sure the engineers at the factory will have some more updated parts for me to check out in Sepang, because with even missing the final day we still did lots of laps and I’m sure they’ve put the data to good use. I know after the first test that we can be more competitive and fight for podiums at some races – I feel very positive about 2011. As I am the only rider in the team it’s great feeling to know that a Factory like Suzuki is working just for me! We know the bike works well in hot conditions – like we have in Malaysia – but in this test we will be trying lots of components and strategies that should make it work better in other situations.”

[Press Release and Photo Courtesy of Rizla Suzuki]

Yamaha Factory Team Unveils 2011 MotoGP Livery in Malaysia

Defending champion Jorge Lorenzo and teammate Ben Spies helped unveil the Yamaha Factory Team’s 2011 MotoGP livery today in Malaysia. The Yamaha team, which is defending it’s third consecutive MotoGP championship, unveiled the 2011 YZR-M1, which was dressed in a Yamaha corporate blue color scheme, and incorporated the iconic Yamaha speed block design.

The Yamaha Factory Team will continue preparations for the 2011 MotoGP season tomorrow at the testing session at the Sepang track.

“I’m very happy to be here again preparing to start another season riding with Yamaha,” said Jorge Lorenzo. “Winning the World Championship last season was an incredible feeling, but now we start again. I have a great crew and with the hard work of the Japanese engineers over the winter I feel confident we can fight for more success this year.”

This is Yamaha’s 50th year of MotoGP racing, and both Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo will work hard to bring Yamaha one more title.

“We worked really hard last year to earn the seat with the Yamaha Factory team so it’s a great feeling to be here alongside Jorge,” said Ben Spies. “It’s obviously a special year for Yamaha with the 50th Anniversary of GP racing celebrations so I’m really stoked to be par t of it. The bike’s feeling really good, we’ve got a few days more of testing now to really shake it down and fine tune the set up and we’ll be ready to go. I’m loving the corporate blue colour scheme, I’m a big fan of the design.”

The Yamaha team will have one more testing session before the start of the 2011 MotoGP season. After Sepang, the Yamaha team will travel to Qatar for one last session before the season starts on March 20th.

“I’m proud to be here for the 2011 Yamaha Factory Racing launch and the start of a new era for the team,” said Lin Jarvis, Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Racing Srl. “This is an important year for us being our 50th anniversary of involvement in Grand Prix racing and we start the season not only with the reigning MotoGP World Champion but also welcoming Ben Spies, last year’s Rookie of the Year to the Factory Team. It’s fitting that we will line up for the start of this special year in our corporate colors.”

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Police in California to Ride Electric

Zero Motorcycles' DS in Scotts Valley PD Livery
Zero Motorcycles' DS in Scotts Valley PD Livery
Scotts Valley, a small municipality north of Santa Cruz in California, has become the first city in The Golden State to employ the Zero DS electric motorcycle for use with its police department. The new addition will serve as a resource for local patrols and traffic enforcement. Zero has the perfect vehicle for such duties and the Scotts Valley PD will be proving just that in the coming months.

Zero Motorcycles' DS Electric Motorcycle
Zero Motorcycles' DS Electric Motorcycle
Zero Motorcycles enjoys a rather close relationship with the city of Scotts Valley, and that helped with this arrangement. This new machine will be used by the police to respond to motor vehicle accidents, patrol urban areas, and will be a primary source of transport when police are called to the area’s many bicycle and hiking paths.

As part of an evaluation process, the DS will be put through its pacesby some of the finest motor officers on the force. If things go as well as expected, the department could find itself owning many more Zero bikes in the near future.

As we all know well, the Zero DS electric has a 50 mile range and is perfectly capable of highway speeds. It also has that wonderful electric power delivery – instant torque and brilliant acceleration. With a lightweight frame, top-notch suspension, and that quick throttle reaction, the DS provides a comfortable and highly-maneuverable mount for the rider.

The SCARAB - Another Electric Option for Police
The SCARAB - Another Electric Option for Police
As for durability, Zero updated their entire model line with its new state-of-the-art Z-Force Air Induction System which pushes fresh, cooling air over the electric motor so that power remains constant and the motor can take almost any abuse. And, with the DS model, the Scotts Valley officers can go anywhere, be it paved or not, to administer help or the law as required – and they can do it quietly!

The hope for Zero is that other law enforcement offices throughout the US and other nations will see the unique benefits that using an electric motorcycle provides. The lack of noise alone gives any electric bike an advantage over its petrol-powered counterparts; perps won’t hear the police coming.

Zero Motorcycles will work very closely with any public service department interested in adopting their machines, and of course it won’t hurt their already stellar reputation for quality and performance. Having your product meet the criteria of a very harsh fleet environment is an ideal proof for what you produce, and all of Zero’s customers will benefit. Guess that those who take them illegally will have a problem, though…at least in Scotts Valley.

For more information on Zero Motorcycles, step this way –

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