Bautista Given Go-Ahead, Will Ride at Estoril

Alvaro_Bautista_at_EstorilAlvaro Bautista has been determined to get back on his Suzuki GSV-R as soon as possible. Now, after passing a medical exam, Estoril has been declared fit enough to ride this weekend.

“I am really pleased I have been given the ok to ride, but I must now see what it feels like to get on a MotoGP bike,” Bautista said. “I have done a bit of Supermotard riding and that felt good, but that is nothing like riding the GSV-R. I will see how things go tomorrow morning and we will make a decision about the rest of the weekend after that.”

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sarmento gave Bautista a thorough examination, and after assessing the Spaniard’s condition, Dr. Sarmento gave Bautista the go-ahead.

It was only 41-days ago that Bautista broke his left femur at Qatar. At the time of his accident his estimated return was two months at the earliest.

Bautista will hop on his GSV-R tomorrow for the first free practice in Estoril, where he will further assess his physical condition.

The Rizla Suzuki team will have test rider Nobuatsu Aoki on hand in case Bautista doesn’t feel like he is capable of competing.

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

2011 British Superbike Preview: Oulton Park

oulton_parkAfter a long winter break, the racing season is back in full swing. The British Superbike riders just finished up the first race of the 2011 BSB season, and will return to the track this weekend at Oulton Park. Tommy Hill leads the series, but only by four points ahead of former BSB champion Shane Shakey Byrne.

Hill, who took second place behind Byrne in the opening race of the season before winning race two, will return to the track that ended his title hopes in 2010. Hill was in the running to claim the BSB title, but crashed out twice during the Oulton Park race, leaving his bike in flames in the corner. Hill will definitely be looking for better results this time around, or at the very least, to leave with his bike intact.

“It is fantastic to be leading the championship but it is only round one,” Hill said. “The bike has been working well and we couldn’t have asked for a better start today. We are now looking forward to Oulton Park and getting the bike to work around what is a completely different track. Hopefully we can get there and come away with a very similar result.”

Byrne, who is currently second in the standings, has two BSB titles under his belt. Byrne made his return to the BSB this year, and started the season off with a race win. Byrne will be looking for title number three this year in order to tie the record set by his teammate and defending champion, Ryuichi Kiyonari.

King Kiyo enters the Oulton Park race with history on his side. Kiyo has taken three wins at Oulton Park, and is ready to add another to his tally.

“I won three times at Oulton Park last time we raced there but I know winning is going to be hard this weekend,” Kiyo said. “Everybody has shown at Brands Hatch that they are faster and so I know I need to find more from me, I have a mixture of memories from Oulton Park and some are very good, some not so much. I have won races but also it is a difficult track. Oulton Park is more technical that the Brands Hatch Indy circuit so a good setting is going to be so important. I want to race again this weekend though as we didn’t win at Brands Hatch. I need wins and podiums for the championship so I will do everything I can.”

Oulton Park will also see the introduction of Jenny Tinmouth, who will be the BSB’s first female racer.

“My ambition has always been to race in the British Superbike series and I’ve been trying to get on one for some time,” said Tinmouth.

The BSB gets underway on Saturday, with both Superbike races on Monday.

British Superbike Overall Standings

  1. T. Hill – Swan Yamaha – 45
  2. S. Byrne – HM Plant Honda – 41
  3. S. Easton – MSS Colchester Kawasaki – 23
  4. R. Kiyonari – HM Plant Honda – 20
  5. M. Rutter – Rapid Solicitors Ducati – 19
  6. T. Bridewell – Tyco Honda – 16
  7. D. Linfoot – Sorrymate.com Honda – 16
  8. M. Laverty – Swan Yamaha – 13
  9. L. Baz – Motorpoint Yamaha – 12
  10. J. Kirkham -Samsung Crescent Racing – 11

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

AMA Pro Racing Heads to MMP For Testing Session

MMPIt’s been more than two months since the AMA Pro Road Racing Championship hit the asphalt. The AMA may not be racing this weekend, but they will hit the track for a testing session at Miller Motorsports Park. The AMA Pro Racing Championship will head to MMP on May 2-3 for an official two day test.

The two day testing session will give riders a good chance to shake off the rust before the second round of the AMA championship at Infineon Raceway on May 13-15.

Here is a press release from the AMA:

The AMA Pro Road Racing Championship returns to asphalt May 2-3 at next week’s official, two-day test at Miller Motorsports Park in Toole, Utah. Located just outside Salt Lake City, the beautiful MMP circuit will play host to the majority of AMA Pro’s top competitors as they prep for both Round 2 at Infineon Raceway (May 13-15) and for MMP’s BigM Weekend presented by Lucas Oil, which will see AMA Pro Road Racing’s Round 3 run alongside Round 5 of the World Superbike Championship, May 28-30.

Heading up the field in AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike testing will be reigning SuperBike champion Josh Hayes (Monster Energy Graves Yamaha) and current points leader Blake Young (Rockstar Makita Suzuki). Hayes will be joined by fellow Yamaha SuperBiker Chris Clark (Y.E.S./Pat Clark/Graves Motorsports), while Blake will have teammate Tommy Hayden and Suzuki’s Australian Superbike star, Josh Waters, for brand-centric company.

Team M4 Suzuki’s Round 1 standout (and reigning Daytona SportBike champ) Martin Cardenas will likewise be honing his skills at MMP in the new-to-him class, joined by veteran teammate Chris Ulrich. The Michael Jordan Motorsports effort will be out in force with riders Ben Bostrom (Jordan Suzuki) and National Guard-sponsored Roger Hayden.

Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram will represent just one of a trio of BMW S1000Rs testing at the MMP facility, with Iron Horse BMW fielding both Chris Peris and Tony Kasper. In all, a total of fourteen AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike riders are currently registered for the test.

The AMA Pro Daytona SportBike class will see at least twenty-two of its riders take to the track at Miller, a field that includes Ducati riders Jason DiSalvo on his Daytona 200-winning Team Latus Motors Racing machine, P.J. Jacobson (Celtic Racing), and Jake Holden (DNA Roberson Motorsports), plus a slew of ferocious Yamaha and Suzuki riders.

No fewer than eight Yamaha R6’s, in fact, will be running at Miller, led by Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin. He’ll be joined by Tommy Aquino (Y.E.S./Pat Clark/Graves Motorsports), Melissa Paris (HT Moto Yamaha), and a trio of AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport graduates: LTD Racing/Y.E.S. Yamaha’s Huntley Nash, Cameron Beaubier, and 2010 Top Gun Champion Tyler O’Hara.

On the Suzuki side, 2009 Daytona SportBike Champion Danny Eslick (Richie Morris Racing/GEICO Powersports) will lead the Suzuki delegation to Utah, joined by M4 Suzuki’s talented Dane Westby; Westby’s teammate, Santiago Villa; and Vesrah Suzuki’s highly capable Taylor Knapp and Cory West, among others. A trio of SuperSport Kawasakis will be headed up by Fernando Amantini, while Honda pilot Tyler Odom will likewise put his machinery through its paces.

Thirteen AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport riders are slated to begin testing on Monday, the sessions serving as a preview of the highly anticipated Larry H. Miller SuperSport Challenge event, which will take place during the BigM Weekend and be broadcast live on SPEED2 Sunday, May 29, at 3:05 p.m. PST. Along with the BigM Weekend’s AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 race, the Larry H. Miller SuperSport Challenge will also be included in an AMA Pro Road Racing Special that will air Monday, May 30, at 9 p.m. PST.

The Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport group will be led by Daytona winners Tomas Puerta and Daniel Gaviria on their Team LTD/Y.E.S. Yamahas. SuzukiScoopFans Racing’s Elena Myers was also scheduled to attend the test, but having broken her arm in a Supermoto accident last Monday, she’ll be forced to sit out the test and focus instead on healing in time for a possible return at Round 2. Corey Alexander, however, will be present to represent for Suzuki, while standout young-gun Benny Solis (Team Roadracingworld.com) will lay down laps on his Honda.

The above riders will be joined by Ducati pilots Brad Graham, Jose Flores, and Nicholas Hayman; newcomer Shelina Moreda (Triple Crown Industries Yamaha); and many more.

AMA Pro’s Vance & Hines XR1200 riders are prepping for their first-ever appearance at MMP, and a minimum of eight of the big-twin pilots will be testing May 2-3. They’ll also be preparing for the aforementioned expanded television coverage on SPEED and SPEED2 during the Memorial Day weekend, comprising a live broadcast on SPEED2 (Monday, May 30, at 12:20 p.m. PST) and inclusion in SPEED’s AMA Pro Road Racing Special (Monday, May 30, at 9 p.m. PST).

Daytona winner Kyle Wyman will lead the XR1200 testing group on his RMR Bruce Rossmeyer/Daytona Racing machine, joined by teammates Chris Fillmore and Michael Corbino. AMA Pro Flat Track multi-time champion Joe Kopp (Team Latus Motors) will also be on track, as will SuperSport Top Gun champ Tyler O’Hara and a handful of other Harley-Davidson XR1200 pilots.

The two-day test will begin with team move-in Sunday night, and on-track activities will run 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days, the schedule comprising five morning sessions and seven afternoon sessions. AMA Pro National Guard SuperBikes will share the track with AMA Pro Daytona SportBikes, while Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport riders will run jointly with AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 pilots.

Fans are welcome to attend the test, free of charge, and are encouraged to come out and cheer for their favorites. For directions and information, visit http://www.millermotorsportspark.com or call 435-277-RACE (7223). For additional information about the BigM Weekend presented by Lucas Oil, visitwww.BigMweekend.com. For information or tickets to AMA Pro Road Racing’s upcoming Round 2, May 13-15 at Infineon Raceway, visit http://www.infineonraceway.com.

AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines.  Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at http://www.amaproracing.com.

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

2011 MotoGP Preview: Estoril

estoril_circuitThe MotoGP riders have had nearly a month off since the second round of the season in Jerez, but they’ll return to the track this weekend for round three of the 2011 MotoGP season. Jorge Lorenzo is the man to beat as the MotoGP riders prepare to take to the grid in Portugal.

Lorenzo has won the last three races at Estoril. And even more impressive, he’s done so each time from the pole position. Lorenzo currently leads the series, taking a win in Jerez and a second place finish in Qatar, and could be tough to beat this weekend.

“This week we will be in Portugal, a country where I’ve had nice moments,” Lorenzo said. “In Estoril I got my first victory in the MotoGP class in 2008 which I repeated over the last two seasons. The track has turned into a talisman for me and it is the place where the astronaut always comes back.

“We have been training for a month, and I hope that this makes us fit for a good race. We are in front of the standings, but it is very early and it is just the beginning. This week will also be important since we are testing on Monday and we will certainly be able to check a lot of things for the future set-up.”

Lorenzo is sure to get a lot of competition from the Repsol Honda team. Casey Stoner has been the hands on favorite this season, but a crash during the race in Jerez dropped him from first to third in the overall standings. Stoner will be looking to make up those lost points this weekend.

Dani Pedrosa should also be fighting for the podium. Pedrosa has managed to find the podium twice the season, despite an ailing shoulder. Pedrosa was able to have corrective surgery over the break. If Pedrosa is healthy this weekend, he’ll be challenging at the front of the race.

Valentino Rossi will also be looking for his first podium. Rossi also benefited from the extended break, giving him some extra time to rest his shoulder. Rossi has 5 victories at Estoril and an additional 5 podiums. The Doctor has been feeling better and better, and he is eager to return to glory.

Rossi’s teammate Nicky Hayden will also be looking for his first podium of the season. Hayden is currently in fourth place behind Lorenzo, Pedrosa, and Stoner, but hasn’t been able to break onto the podium just yet. Hayden has a best finish of fourth at Estoril something that he’ll be trying to improve upon this weekend.

Ben Spies was dangerously close to scoring his first podium of the season at Jerez, but lost control of his bike late in the race and crashed out of contention. Spies is one of the fastest riders on the track, and he’ll be looking for redemption in Estoril.

MotoGP Overall Standings

  1. Lorenzo – Yamaha – 45
  2. Pedrosa – Honda – 36
  3. Stoner – Honda – 25
  4. Hayden – Ducati – 23
  5. Rossi – Ducati – 20
  6. Aoyama – Honda – 19
  7. Dovizioso – Honda – 17
  8. Barbera – Ducati – 14
  9. Crutchlow – Yamaha – 13
  10. Abraham – Ducati – 12

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Pramac Racing Ready for Estoril

pramac_racing_riderThe Pramac Racing team is ready for Estoril. Randy de Puniet will be lining up on Sunday for the Portugal GP, and his teammate Loris Capirossi could be there as well. Capirossi has been dealing with an inflamed shoulder injury, but says that he is confident that he’ll be on the bike this weekend.

Capirossi, like a few other riders in the MotoGP, benefited from the extended break when the Motegi GP was rescheduled. Capirossi had almost a month to recover from his injury, but even with the added time, it may be too soon to race again.

“I like Estoril, although I’ve never done a great deal,” said Capirossi. ‘In this week I have been training twice a day, I’m at 90% of the my physical condition. Running in the water will not be easy, but the bike paradoxically be better in the wet. I am confident we will succeed.”

Randy De Puniet also had some minor surgery during the break. De Puniet had a screw removed from his left knee during the break.

There is a great desire to start again. Physically I’m fine, and I hope that bike is ready for Estoril. I know that Ducati can give us many satisfaction if we work well. All that remains is to prove in these days. The weather? It may rain, it does not matter to me.”

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com