Red Bull Rookies: Baldassarri Untouchable at Silverstone

Baldassarri_at_silverstoneLorenzo Baldassarri destroyed the opposition to win a soaking wet and freezing cold Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race at Silverstone on Sunday. The 14 year old Italian shot off into the lead and though chased by yesterday’s winner, 15 year old Austrian Lukas Trautmann, he was never headed and won by 11 seconds.

Third man home was 16 year old Frenchman Alan Techer who started from pole position and had great battle for third with 17 year old Czech Tomas Vavrous that went in his favour when Vavrous crashed on lap 9. He rejoined the race in 7th and had got back up to 6th when he slid off again but still remounted to finally finish 10th.

Ivo Lopes, the 14 year old Portuguese who was 2nd on Saturday had a lonely ride into 4th place. He was well clear of a great battle between Javier Pinsach and Stefano Valtulini that went to the 15 year old Spaniard when Valtulini, the 14 year old Italian, made a mistake on the last lap and lost 4 seconds.

Cup leader Arthur Sissis, the 15 year old Australian, saw his points lead slashed to 5 as he crossed the line 6th after an intense struggle with 14 year old Spaniard Josep Garcia who had got in front of Sissis but fell just before the finish. The ex motocrosser was taken to the medical centre and diagnosed with a broken right collarbone.

“My worst weekend in 3 years of Rookies Cup,” said Sissis. “I had no feeling at all, I didn’t feel good, the bike didn’t feel good, just 5 points lead in the Cup, forget the weekend and move on,” He concluded.

Obviously Baldassarri had a very different reaction. “I am very happy, it was a great race, I made a good start and I immediately found a good feeling. I was very comfortable going at that speed and I only had a slide on the first lap when I ran on the grass, after that everything was OK. I looked behind and could see Lukas there but I was not worried, I was getting cold and wet but I knew I could win if I didn’t make any mistakes.”

Trautmann accepted that 2nd was not a bad way to end the weekend after yesterday’s victory. “The start was good and when I saw Lorenzo have his big slide on the first lap I was able to catch him. But that was also a warning about how easy it was to make a mistake in these slippery conditions and I really didn’t want to make a mistake. He was so fast in a couple of sections that I realised it was not possible to go with him and I was happy with second. I watched my pit board that my father was showing and when it showed that I was being caught a little I increased speed and I could see it only varied up and down by a few tenths so that was OK.”

Techer had been disappointed with 6th on Saturday and was thrilled to get on the podium. “I enjoyed that race much more, we made some changes to the bike after the race yesterday and I had much better feeling. It was a fun race with Tomas and when he went I was alone and happy just to get on the podium.”

Sissis wasn’t the only one who wants to forget the weekend, Brad Binder had the same thought. “I even had a crash going out on the sighting lap as Philipp Oettl highsided in front of us. I banged my head on the barrier and hurt my hand which was painful all race. I got a great start though and was going for it, feeling great… until I crashed. I came into the pits to have the handlebars straightened and then did a few more laps but something was jamming and I had to stop again,” concluded the 15 year old South African who had been on pole in Jerez and Estoril, had a 2nd and a 1st at those 2 rounds but has now slipped to 7th in the title chase only gaining a single point this weekend.

With 6 of the 14 races run there are many points still to claim, the first are on offer in 2 weeks at Assen on June 24th and 25th.

Race 2 Results

1. Lorenzo Baldassarri (ITA) 33 minutes 49.359 seconds
2. Lukas Trautmann (AUT) +11.371
3. Alan Techer (FRA) +19.820
4. Ivo Lopes (POR) +42.599
5. Xavier Pinsach (ESP) +49.188
6. Stefano Valtulini (ITA) +53.719
7. Arthur Sissis (AUS) +1’09.500
8. Hafiq Azmi (MAS) +1’26.608
9. Max Enderlein (GER) +1’33.716
10. Tomas Vavrous (CZE) +1’56.474

[Press Release and Photo Courtesy of Red Bull Media]

Courageous Effort Puts Colin Edwards on the Podium

colin_edwards_silverstoneMonster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Colin Edwards produced a heroic performance at a rain-lashed Silverstone circuit this afternoon, the experienced American mastering atrocious conditions during the Airasia British Grand Prix to finish in a deserved third position.

Just nine days after breaking his right collarbone in seven places at the Catalunya round, Edwards showed outstanding skill and bravery today to claim his first MotoGP rostrum since he was second in the 2009 British Grand Prix at Donington Park.

With large patches of standing water littering the circuit and heavy rain falling throughout, Edwards quickly got to grips with the treacherous conditions and he needed only five laps to pass compatriot Ben Spies to move into fifth. Edwards maintained a fast and consistent pace, and while other riders were being caught out by the tricky conditions, the 37-year-old called on his vast experience to keep his composure and concentration to secure his 12th MotoGP podium.

British rider Cal Crutchlow spent a comfortable night in the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford after he suffered a broken left collarbone in a high-speed crash at the start of yesterday’s qualifying session.

Crutchlow’s collarbone, which is broken in three places, will require surgery, but no decision has been taken on whether he will remain in Oxford or be transferred to Manchester to see a specialist who has treated the 25-year-old for a previous shoulder injury. Crutchlow is also being assessed for a neck injury and further information on his condition and recovery w ill be made available at the earliest opportunity.

Colin Edwards 3rd – 37 points:

“That was an unbelievable race and to finish on the podium feels amazing. I was happy to qualify eighth but never in a million years did I think I’d be on the podium just over a week after breaking my collarbone. I need to thank Dr Xavier Mir for the repair job he did on my shoulder and also my guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3 because they gave me a phenomenal bike today. My shoulder felt great and it was the muscle damage around my ribs that caused me the most pain. But the rain definitely helped because it was a lot less physical than in the dry. I just gritted my teeth and got on with it, just trying to stay smooth and not make any mistakes. Conditions were pretty bad and it was a case of working out when and where you could push. I’d have been happy to fin ish the race and then go home to think about Assen. But I saw a few people succumbing to the conditions and I saw P3 on by board and I couldn’t believe it. At that time though there were still eight or nine laps to go and I couldn’t feel my hands or my feet because it was so wet and cold. It was difficult but it was a good way to the end the weekend for the Team after what happened to Cal. Nobody wants to get hurt, but being injured for your home race is really tough to take, so I wish him a quick recovery and hope to see him back in Assen.”

Herve Poncharal – Team Manager:

“Colin was absolutely amazing. Nobody would have bet any money on him to be on the podium just one week after having an operation on his broken collarbone. But Colin has been a hero and this is a memorable day for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. It was a bad day yesterday when we saw Cal crashing and he was forced to miss his home race. But Colin helped put the smile back on the faces of everyone inside the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team with a brilliant ride. And not only was he fast but he was very brave too. He was robbed of a podium finish in Jerez in similar conditions a few weeks ago and I have to give him a lot of respect because it would have been easy just to go home to rest after his injury in Catalunya. He rode for the Team more than anything and it shows how much he is still enjoying racing and how motivated he is. He has been in a lot of pain but he’s never complained and he treated the weekend like a normal weekend and his ride was the best of the day in MotoGP. He didn’t make a mistake like some of the others so we are overjoyed. We can’t be completely happy because of what happened to Cal and it was a big pity he couldn’t race, but he is a fighter and we’ll see him back stronger than ever soon. I know how much he wanted to ride in front of his home crowd, bu t he has seen what Colin has achieved so quickly after his collarbone injury, so hopefully this will be a good inspiration for him.”

[Press Release and Photo Courtesy of Yamaha Tech 3 Racing]

Checa Wins Fourth Consecutive Race at Misano

carlos_checa_wins_misanoCarlos Checa has done the double, again. Checa won both races at Miller Motorsports Park over Memorial Day weekend, he opened the 2011 World Superbike season at Phillip Island with a double victory, and now the Althea Ducati rider has done it again at Misano.

Checa took his 7th and 8th wins today at the Misano circuit, and currently leads the series by 72 points ahead of Max Biaggi.

“It was a fantastic performance,” Checa said after the race. “We expected to be competitive, but not at this level. It was the best we could get at this track.”

Biaggi, who took second in race 1, found himself again playing second fiddle in race two. Biaggi is second in the standings and still hasn’t found a win this season.

Noriyuki Haga took the final spot on the podium.

World Superbike – Race 2 Results – Misano

  1. Checa
  2. Biaggi
  3. Haga
  4. Badovini
  5. Haslam
  6. Fabrizio
  7. Guintoli
  8. Xaus
  9. Lacorz
  10. Vermeulen

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Checa Continues Win Streak at Misano

carlos_checa_Misano_WinCarlos Checa took his 7th win of the season today at Misano, beating out Max Biaggi during the first World Superbike race of the weekend. Checa has won the last three races of the 2011 World Superbike season and will be going for this third double of 2011 this afternoon.

Checa made his push for the front halfway through the race and was able to keep 2010 champion Biaggi at bay until he crossed the finish line. Checa took his 7th win today by nearly a full second ahead of the 2010 champ.

Checa now has 67 points ahead of Biaggi. Marco Melandri, who was second in the standings going into today’s race, took the final spot on the podium  and dropped to third in the overall standings, three-points behind Biaggi.

World Superbike – Race 1 Results – Misano

  1. Carlos Checa
  2. Max Biaggi
  3. Marco Melandri
  4. Tom Sykes
  5. Eugene Laverty
  6. Leon Camier
  7. Sylvain Guintoli
  8. Ayrton Badovini
  9. Joan Lascorz
  10. Maxime Berger

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Motorcycling in America – 1997

Life In America
1997 – Median household income is $37,006, which is about what it was in 1989 after adjusting for inflation. The world is transfixed by news of the death of Princess Diana in Paris. Microsoft becomes the world’s most valuable company at $261 billion. Mike Tyson bites off Evander Holyfield’s ear in a boxing match. A civil jury finds O J Simpson guilty. Elton John’s tribute to Princess Diana, Candle In The Wind, is the number one song of the year. The Simpsons become the longest running animated series in prime time TV. Titanic, sinks the competition at the box office. Gas stays the same at $1.22 per gallon. $8,999 spent on a Suzuki TL1000S will buy you all the performance of a Ducati 916 at a little more than half the price

Number One Motorcycle Trend:
The recovering economy, and surging demand for cruisers, particularly Harleys is and their failure to meet demand is creating an industry for kit bikes and “custom” cruisers powered by other than Harley V-Twins.

European Brands Road Tested
Bimota: vDue 500. BMW: F650ST, K1200RS, R1100RS, R1200C. Ducati: 916, 900SS, Monster 900, S2. Gas Gas: 250 Endurocross. Husaberg: FX501, FC501. KTM: 250 E/XC, 620 R/XC, 200, 250SX. Moto Guzzi: Centauro V-10. TM (Italy): 300E. Triumph: T509 Speed Triple, T595 Daytona, Sprint 900.

Asian Brands Road Tested
Honda: CBR600F3, XR400R, CBR1100XX, VTR1000F, XR650L, Valkyrie, CBR900RR, VFR750F, CR250, Shadow Ace 800, CR250R. Kawasaki: Ninja ZX-6R, KLX300, Ninja ZX-11, Ninja ZX-9R, KX500, Vulcan 800 Classic, KX250.  Muzzy: Kawasaki SB750 Raptor. Suzuki: GSX-R600, TL1000s, Marauder 800, RMX250, DR650SE, GSX-R1100, RF900R, Bandit 1200 ABS. Yamaha: YZF600F, WR250, YZF1000R, Royal Star Deluxe, YZ125, Virago 750, V-Star Classic, YZ250.

American Brands Tested
ATK: 250LQ. Buell: S3 Thunderbolt, S1 White Lightning. Harley-Davidson: FLH Road King, XLH Sportster 883. Victory: V92C.

Quickest, Fastest
Quickest V-Twin tested: Suzuki TL1000s: Quarter mile, 10.76. Top speed 153.8 MPH.

Fastest and quickest bike tested: Honda CBR1100XX: Top speed 174 MPH. Quarter mile: 10.27.

Other Issues
After years of dominating world’s GP500 competition, only one American rider Kenny Roberts Jr., is active on the circuit.

Vance & Hines land a contract with Ducati for a US Superbike team.

Arkansas becomes the first state in 14 years to amend or repeal a helmet law. Texas dumps lid law for riders over 20 years of age.

Hyosung motorcycles make their first appearance on the pages of Cycle World, but announce no plans to import.

Former AMA MX champ Jeff Ward places third at Indy in his rookie year.

Harley-Davidson’s sales are up 14% over previous Jan – Jul period.

Honda celebrates their 50th anniversary.

Scott Russell, aboard a Yamaha, wins his 4th Daytona title – a record. Pascal Picotte on a Honda wins 600 Supersport race. Rich Oliver, Yamaha, wins 250GP class and Jason Pridmore takes the 750 Supersport win. Daytona’s Supercross is won by Kawasaki’s Jeff Emig.

Bikes must be getting more reliable, Cycle World editors ask readers to send in more tech questions.
John Kocinski wins World Superbike title aboard a Honda.

Doug Chandler, Kawasaki, takes the US Superbike title for the second time.