Month: September 2016

New kit – BMW Motorrad Street Air by Alpinestars

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BMW Motorrad is launching the BMW Motorrad Street Air by Alpinestars, an advanced airbag system offering comprehensive upper body protection and the freedom to ride a motorbike in both on- and offroad situations.

The technology is adopted from the current Alpinestars Tech-Air® street airbag system, a system which requires no motorbike-mounted sensors and instead relies on a sophisticated algorithm that detects imminent danger and inflates the full upper body airbag to provide a highly-effective crash protection system ahead of the first impact.

The BMW Motorrad Street Air Dry by Alpinestars textile riding jacket is designed to interconnect with the Alpinestars airbag system vest and is an essential component for the system to be fully operational.

It offers instantaneous inflatable upper body protection to the back, kidneys, chest and shoulders – the most exposed areas in a crash. It is also fully independent, incorporating its sensors close to the rider’s or passenger’s body means the airbag activates without the need for a triggering wireless signal to be sent from the bike.

This jacket is the first safety product to be launched under an exclusive agreement, between BMW Motorrad and Alpinestars and is available for both female and male customers in different colorways from October 2016.

Key features of BMW Motorrad Street Air by Alpinestars:

  • Full airbag inflation in 25 milliseconds for protection during crash impacts and loss-of-control situations when riding but also in stand-still situation – for example a rear impact while waiting at traffic lights.
  • Function is independently of the need for sensors to be installed on the bike and the subsequent need to link a specific motorcycle to the airbag system.
  • Immediately ready for use and no time is wasted in setting up electronic pairing between rider and/or passenger and motorcycle. Rider can easily switch between motorbikes without reconfiguring or reinitializing.
  • Placing sensors near to the body means the airbag system can be used on road or for off-road adventure-touring.
  • No need to deactivate the system if leaving the road for off-road trails or to stop in between to change settings. Changing surfaces while adventure touring therefore presents no problem.
  • The system is protected by a durable and water-resistant casing which, when worn under a compatible outer jacket, means the airbag system is fully weatherproof.
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Hero – Dougie Lampkin wheelies IoM TT course

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Trials legend Dougie Lampkin has added another accolade to his impressive trophy haul by becoming the first rider to wheelie the 37.7-mile Isle of Man TT course.

The 12-time world champion set off from the iconic grandstand in the Douglas and battled strong winds, traffic (the roads remained open during the attempt) and the sharp rises and falls of the TT circuit to lap the course in one hour 35 minutes, with the whole feat shown live on Red Bull TV.

This is the first time a live lap of the TT course has ever been broadcast, and the footage showed just how much of a challenge Lampkin faced, his etched with pain, particularly as the wind picked up on the Mountain section.

“It feels fantastic,” said an emotional Lampkin as he arrived at the end of the course.

“The last 15 seconds were really lovely. The rest of it was a challenge.

“I feel absolute massive relief, the build up to it, seven months of planning, everything that’s gone on, like the nightmare with the weather yesterday and still strong winds today on top of the mountain – I was just hanging on really. It wasn’t over until a couple of metres from the end but that last couple of metres was just amazing.”

MotoGP – Aragon win moves Marquez one step closer to third world title

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Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez has taken a stunning maiden win at MotorLand Aragon to extend his championship lead ahead, bringing his career tally to 54 wins and equaling Australian legend Mick Doohanin the all-time standings.

After a scuffle off the line through Turns 1 and 2 at a dry but cool MotorLand Aragon, it was Suzuki rider Maverick Viñales who emerged from the melee to turn his front row start into the early lead in the race. With the front group close all the way down through the top ten, Marquez soon struck to take the lead before a wobble through Turn 7 saw the championship leader drop back into the group slightly, down to P5

The lead began to stretch for Silverstone winner Viñales, before Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi hooked on to the back of the Suzuki rider and began probing for  a way past, finally making a clever but aggressive move to take the lead with 15 laps to go. Viñales, pushing to find an immediate response, then ran wide and let Marquez through, and with reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo then on the scene, the front group divided into two duels.

Marquez looked menacing and quickly closed Rossi down, making his move on the inside on the ‘Aragon Corkscrew’ and making it stick. The Spaniard eked out a gap, and with the Doctor struggling to match the pace of the Honda, Lorenzo sensed blood and upped his game. The Movistar Yamahas then tussled for P2, with Lorenzo looking much quicker than his team-mate. The pressure was ultimately too much for the Italian, who ran wide, and Lorenzo ducked inside to take second place.

But nobody could catch Marquez, who crossed the line in first to return to the top spot of the podium at a Spanish race for the first time since the 2014 finale in Valencia.

The Spaniard said: “I’m very happy to have taken the win at a home Grand Prix, and one of my favourite races. I was waiting for this GP, it was a ‘red point’ on the calendar for me, as I saw it as one where I wanted to attack and where I could win the race. It was an important victory, but nothing is finished yet. I said yesterday that something can always happen in a race, and it was a miracle that I didn’t crash today when I almost lost it in turn 7. That was when I decided to relax a little and go back to my mentality from practice of riding precisely and braking in the right places.

“All this made for a more entertaining race, with many overtaking moves at the start, and a second part in which I was able to open a gap to Valentino, which was important. He had gone several races gaining points on us, and we wanted to stop that trend, because otherwise it would boost his morale and perhaps create doubts for us. Now we leave Aragón with a larger advantage and more convinced ahead of the flyaways.”

Lorenzo crossed the line in second, with Rossi finishing third. The result was a missed opportunity for Rossi to close on title leader Marquez, dropping nine points on the championship leader taking the win.

Mention must also go to former world champion Nicky Hayden, who was deputising for the injured Jack Miller on the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda and claimed a single world championship point, despite never having ridden the bike, tyres or electronics.

The land of the rising sun is the next stop for the 2016 MotoGP World Championship, as the Twin Ring Motegi beckons Marquez, who is now 52 points clear at the top of the standings, back to the scene of his 2014 title win.

MotoGP – Marquez dominates qualifying at Aragon

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The grey of Friday at MotorLand Aragon turned powder blue on Saturday, as qualifying brought warmer temperatures and late September sun for Aragon. Q2’s pre-session favourite for pole was unquestionably Marc Marquez after the Repsol Honda rider was fastest by some margin in both FP3 and FP4, and #93 turned promise into pole position in spectacular style to head the timesheets by an incredible gap of six tenths.

FP4 saw PULL&BEAR Aspar rider Yonny Hernandez into the top ten, but the Colombian sadly wasn’t able to replicate the performance in Q1 as Pramac’s Danilo Petrucci, Avinita Racings’ Hector Barbera and Aprilia Racing Team Gresini duo Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl joined the South American in the battle for graduation to Q2. Petrucci eventually topped the session, with Bradl piloting the Aprilia through to Q2 for the second successive race after Bautista managed the same at Misano last time out. Alex Lowes (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), replacing the injured Bradley Smith for the third time in a row, had a heavy crash in FP3 and subsequently decided to sit out qualifying– he will make a decision on whether to race on Sunday morning.

With Q2 underway Marquez hit first, and the Repsol Honda rider’s first flying run proved to be his fastest time – just shy of a 1:46 lap of the 5.1km venue – with LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow slotting into P2 early on and Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo dramatically pulling the pin to post a laptime to take a provisional front row.

As the second runs got underway, Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso leapt up into P2 before former teammate Cal Crutchlow lost his Honda into Turn 1 in the first high profile crash of the session. It was then Suzuki’s Maverick Viñales who struck and moved up into second, just as Friday’s fastest rider, Honda’s Dani Pedrosa lost the front mid-way through a potential pole.

The last minute drama wasn’t over there, as Lorenzo again improved his laptime in the final minutes to knock Dovizioso back off the front row, completing the all-Spanish top three on home turf behind Marquez and Viñales.

Marquez, who claimed the 64th pole of his career, said: “I’m very happy with how the day went, especially with the pace we had in FP4, which was very good. Today we found a good setup for the bike and we were able to improve on yesterday, although it was a shame about the crash this morning.

“In qualifying I was very comfortable on my first lap, as it is when the tyre has its maximum potential, and I also pushed on my second lap but not as close to the limit. With today’s temperatures we were able to work very well with the front end. Hopefully the good weather continues tomorrow. If it gets colder, we would have to reassess the front tyre choice. Regardless, I’m satisfied; like every year, I feel very good at this track and I hope we can finish well on Sunday.”

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1 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team HONDA 1’47.117 2 7 329.3

2 25 Maverick VIÑALES SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR SUZUKI 1’47.748 6 7 0.631 0.631 330.4

3 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YAMAHA 1’47.778 7 7 0.661 0.030 329.0

4 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team DUCATI 1’47.819 6 7 0.702 0.041 337.8

5 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda HONDA 1’47.843 3 7 0.726 0.024 328.3

6 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YAMAHA 1’47.951 7 7 0.834 0.108 329.3

7 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team HONDA 1’48.017 6 7 0.900 0.066 330.6

8 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR SUZUKI 1’48.230 7 7 1.113 0.213 325.6

9 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA OCTO Pramac Yakhnich DUCATI 1’48.236 6 6 1.119 0.006 331.4

10 45 Scott REDDING GBR OCTO Pramac Yakhnich DUCATI 1’48.242 7 7 1.125 0.006 333.4

11 44 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YAMAHA 1’48.448 5 6 1.331 0.206 324.9

12 6 Stefan BRADL GER Aprilia Racing Team Gresini APRILIA 1’49.083 3 8 1.966 0.635 321.8

WSBK – SMR to get Aprilia Factory support

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One of the worst kept secrets in the WSBK paddock is official – Aprilia will be providing factory backing for the Milwaukee SMR squad for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

The team, which is having a torrid campaign with BMW machinery, has recently signed Eugene Laverty and Lorenzo Savadori to ride for them, both of which are well though of in the Aprilia camp.

The RSV4 RF is one of the best bikes in the paddock, although it is notoriously difficult to set-up, requiring factory technicians to unlock its full potential.

The news leaves current riders Karel Abraham and Josh Brookes out of a ride, with Brookes expected to return to BSB.

Romano Albesiano, Aprilia Racing Manager, said: “Our agreement includes, in addition to providing bikes and materials, support from Aprilia Racing personnel to manage and develop the RSV4, within a Factory Support type relationship.”

“The birth of the Milwaukee Aprilia Racing Team also marks Eugene Laverty’s return to WSBK, a rider who we know well and whose professional and personal qualities have our utmost respect.”

“He will have Lorenzo Savadori working alongside him, a young rider who has been part of our sports project for two seasons in which he won the Superstock 1000 title first and then drew attention in WSBK with an extremely positive rookie year.”

 

MotoGP – Kentucky Kid set to fill in for Miller at Aragon

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Honda’s WSBK pilot Nicky Hayden is returning to MotoGP, deputising for the injured Jack Miller on the factory Honda at the Aragon GP.

The former world champion will be riding for the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Racing team for the Spanish round at Motorland Aragon, filling in while Miller recovers from his hand injury.

Hayden said: ““First of all I want to wish Jack a speedy recovery. He is a buddy of mine and he is a rider I believe in a lot, so I hope he can get healthy as quickly as possible to show the high potential we all know he has got.

“This is an unusual experience for me because I’ve never been a stand-in rider before. But I have a good relationship with Honda and when the idea first came up they were behind it and Ten Kate gave me their blessing, so it is nice to go and help out another Honda team.”

“For me it just a chance to go and have fun.I know MotoGP is not a place that’s always easy to have fun because the level is so high but I’ve got a lot to learn and it won’t be a walk in the park.”

“I haven’t ridden the bike and there are different tires, and electronics, but I’ve got a lot of experience and I get another shot at MotoGP, which is great for me personally.”

“I want to thank Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS for the opportunity and Ten Kate and my sponsors who all made it happen and I will try and do them all proud.”

 

BSB –Byrne dominates Showdown opener and does the double at Donington

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Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne celebrated a double dose of victory in the opening round of the BSB Showdown at Donington Park.

The four-time champion fought intensely with his title rival Leon Haslam, who finished second in Race One but crashed out of contention while battling to settle the score in Race Two.

In the opening Showdown race Byrne claimed a storming victory to move back to the top of the standings by just two points from arch rival Haslam who finished second.

At the start of race one Title Fighter James Ellison had taken the initial advantage from his team-mate Haslam, Byrne and Christian Iddon. Byrne was instantly on the attack though and moved into second with a move at the Hairpin on the second lap.

The Be Wiser Ducati rider then waited a lap later to make a pass on Haslam with a dive down the inside at the Esses to hit the front of the pack. It was on the same lap that Title Fighter Luke Mossey run straight on into the Esses before retiring to the pitlane with a brake issue.

Byrne and Haslam then pushed on at the front, with Byrne gradually edging a gap on his main title rival to win the race. The battle for third went down to the final laps and Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran was pushing to move back into the top three. The Australian waited until there were just three laps to go before pulling off a move into the Esses and then fending off the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider.

Peter Hickman was able to fight off Richard Cooper and Dan Linfoot in an intense battle for fifth place with Iddon holding eighth after dropping back down the order with an off track moment at Goddards earlier in the race. John Hopkins and Michael Laverty completed the top ten.

In Race Two Haslam looked to have the edge off the line as the pack steamed into the Craner Curves for the first time, but Ellison forced his way through with a determined move to take the lead.

O’Halloran was denied the chance to try and make his Race One podium a repeat performance when he crashed out at the old Hairpin when the pack concentinered up. The Australian was left clearly frustrated as he now drops to fifth place in the Showdown standings ahead of Assen.

At the front Ellison was holding off Haslam and Byrne, but the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team-mates were soon to swap positions when the ‘Pocket Rocket’ moved ahead on the seventh lap. Ellison was then under fire from Byrne, who a lap later forced his way ahead as he focused on Haslam ahead of him.

Haslam and Byrne were then scrapping at the front, but as the pair dived for the Melbourne Loop, Ellison pulled one of the most spectacular moves of the season to ride around the outside of the duelling pair.

Ellison led over the line but Haslam then moved back ahead in one of the most intense races of the season so far between the leading trio. Ellison was dropping down the order as he began to lose grip and Linfoot took the advantage to move into third.

Haslam and Byrne were dicing at the front but then disaster struck the former championship leader when he crashed out at Redgate; frustrated the local hero was forced to watch the remainder of the race from the sidelines, subsequently falling 27 points behind double winner Byrne with still five races of the Showdown remaining.

Haslam’s crash promoted Tyco BMW’s Iddon to third behind Linfoot as he returned to the podium for the first time since the second round.

The battle for fourth went to JG Speedfit Kawasaki with Peter Hickman leading Richard Cooper and Tommy Bridewell, who had a full-blown battle to the finish after Ellison dropped down the order to seventh. Luke Mossey, Billy McConnell and Glenn Irwin completed the top ten.

Byrne leads the Title Fighters to Assen , enjoying a 27 point advantage over Haslam, but Linfoot is now just 26 points adrift of second place with Ellison hot on his heels ahead of O’Halloran. Mossey ended a tough weekend with a single eighth place to hold sixth in the standings.

 

WSBK – Davies dominates in the dry, Rea reigns in the rain

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The first of the two WSBK races after the summer break at the German Lausitz EuroSpeedway circuit, a track where the factory derivative World championship has not raced since 2007, finished with Ducati’s Chaz Davies claiming the Race One win.

The Welshman’s domination of the race was a crushing blow to the Kawasaki duo of Tom Sykes and Johnny Rea, winning with a gap of more than ten seconds ahead of his nearest rival Sykes, posting the best lap time and snatching pole in the morning.

Davies got off the line well, followed by the trio of Sykes, Rea and Italian Lorenzo Savadori on the IodaRacing Team bike, with Davide Giugliano, Nicky Hayden, Jordi Torres and Michael Van Der Mark squabbling for honours in the second pack.

The first surprise of the race came in the seventh lap when Jonathan Rea, in third place at the time, crashed after going long on a corner and was forced to retire to pit lane. The Ulsterman later admitted that a false neutral had caused him to crash, an issue which has blighted his title defence, costing him a whole host of valuable points.

Lorenzo Savadori (riding in a provisional podium position) then joined him a lap later, retiring after losing the front end of his bike and ending up in the gravel.

Lap nine saw the race lose one of its protagonists, with local hero Markus Reiterberger forced to retire because of a technical problem with his BMW.

In the meantime, Davies continued to ride undisturbed at the front, stretching out his advantage over his nearest rival, Tom Sykes to six seconds.

The second part of the race had no more exciting surprises in store for the leading riders, and Davies crossed the line first with more than ten seconds on the second place finisher, Tom Sykes, and eleven ahead of the third place rider, Honda’s Nicky Hayden.

The victory gives the Welshman his fifth win of the season after his double wins at Aragón and Imola and strengthens his hold on third place in the overall standings.

If the weather conditions were fair on Saturday, Race 2 was almost wash out. In fact, just a few moments before the start, light but persistent rain began to fall on the track, forcing race direction to delay the start no less than twice before deciding on a reduced, 16-lap race.

At the start, Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes got off the line well, overtaking Chaz Davies on the Ducati to move into the lead. A few corners later, Jonathan Rea also managed to get past the Welshman. Unfortunately, Sykes was unable to finish even the first lap, sliding to the ground before completing it, but managing to remount and rejoin the race in penultimate place.

The race lead went to his teammate Jonathan Rea, ahead of the Ducati pair of Davide Giugliano, in second place, and Davies in third.

On the fourth lap Davide Giugliano suffered a heavy crash, followed quickly by Lorenzo Savadori, Anthony West and Jordi Torres. The wet conditions were wreaking havoc, and on Lap 11 Yamaha’s Alex Lowes fell, as did Honda’s Michael van der Mark four laps later. The Dutchman’s bike took a proper beating but he was able to remount and rejoined the race in eighth place.

Towards the end of the race, Yamaha’s Sylvain Guintoli, who was returning to racing following a lengthy injury lay-off, overtook Davies to move into fifth place, but it was Rea who prevailed, crossing the line an astonishing 13 seconds ahead of Italian Alex De Angelis on the IodaRacing Team bike, and 15 seconds ahead of Xavi Forés on the Barni Racing Team machine in third place. Leon Camier piloted his MV Agusta to fourth place ahead of Sylvain Guintoli and Chaz Davies.

Moto 2 – KTM unveils its plans to join series in 2017

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KTM is to enter the Moto2 class in 2017 supplying the Ajo team with two bikes, which will be ridden by Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira.

The move means the team, which is currently heading the Moto2 series with Johann Zarco, will ditch Kalex and become the Austrian’s official factory backed outfit, a move which will provide young riders with a career path all the way through the FIM CEV Moto3 championship to MotoGP.

The riders are well known to the team and the paddock – Brad Binder is a race away from becoming the 2016 Moto3 world champion, while Miguel Oliveira came within a cat’s whisker of snatching the Moto3 crown in 2015.

The bike itself uses KTM’s signature steel trellis frame and there’s also an aluminum swingarm, WP suspension and the spec Moto2 Honda CBR600RR engine.

If it goes as well as it looks, this bike could well be chasing for the title in its maiden year. Watch this space.

New – Dainese Mugello R D-air® racing suit

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This is the new Dainese Mugello R D-air® racing suit – the company’s latest evolution of its airbag technology.

The one-piece state-of-the-art suit boasts 25 new features, with the airbags now covering the neck, shoulders, collarbones and the lower sides of the rib cage.

The Mugello R D-air® racing suit, available also through Dainese’s custom works program, will be introduced in two color options from April 2017 starting from £3,399.95.