Month: July 2017

Endurance racing – Yamaha Factory Racing Team writes history with third consecutive Suzuka victory

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The Yamaha Factory Racing Team wrote an incredible page in the endurance racing history after taking their third consecutive win at the 2017 Coca-Cola Suzuka 8 Hours.

It was a double celebration for the manufacturer as the The GMT94 Yamaha Official EWC Team secured the 2016-2017 FIM Endurance World Championship title after a strategic race performance.

The race itself saw lead rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga initially swallowed by the lead pack into Turn One as the race got underway, but the experienced test rider quickly began fighting his way back to the front to sit just behind the #634 bike going into the second lap. Never more than 0.1 or 0.2 seconds behind, the hunt ran on until Lap 16 when the local hero took the lead briefly before hitting heavy traffic with backmarkers and some light rain on parts of the track.The first hour was soon up and Nakasuga returned to the pits to hand the YZF-R1 over to teammate Alex Lowes.

The British rider was quick to get up to pace and was soon leading a highly competitive pack by a little over a second. Hard work saw that build to nearly four seconds before it was time to hand over to the team’s third rider, Michael van der Mark. The Dutchman put his head down and was working hard to maintain the lead built by Lowes when disaster struck for the chasing #634 bike, giving the Yamaha Factory Racing Team a big time gap at the front.

From then on, the trio were never troubled by the competition, keeping up their dominant weekend-long pace and building up to a lap clear of the rest of the pack by the end of the race. Lowes took the honour of the last hour’s ride, slightly calmer than his previous stint that saw him break the race record not once, but twice. First smashing the standing 2:07.943 with a 2:07.402, then later delivering an unbelievable 2:06.932 lap.The factory YZF-R1 crossed the line in first to the delight of the thousands of Japanese race fans present, writing a historic page in the endurance racing book with the second ever consecutive triple race win by one team in the history of the race. Nakasuga added to the honours by becoming the first Japanese rider to ever win the Suzuka 8 Hours three times in a row.

Alex Lowes said: “I’m really happy to win the Suzuka 8 Hours again, it’s a fantastic event. I was a little bit nervous in the last hour; because these two guys did a fantastic job, we had a little bit of a lead which makes you a little bit more nervous because it’s easy to lose your concentration. The Yamaha Factory Racing Team did a fantastic job, I really enjoyed the bike, I enjoyed the experience again and I’m looking forward to coming back next year to do it again!”

The GMT94 Official EWC Team started the eight-hour race from 15th on the grid with Niccolò Canepa lining up for the Le Mans dash to the #94 YZF-R1. The Italian started climbing through the order just 30 minutes into the race despite the less-than-ideal conditions with intermittent rain falling in sections of Suzuka Circuit’s west course.

The Italian then came in for the first pit stop, passing the bike to his veteran teammate David Checa, who kept up the pace set in the first hour.As the hours wound down, the French team were able to reel off consistent laps in the 2’10s as they focused not on winning the race, but on controlling the point difference to their championship title rivals.Third team rider Mike Di Meglio made a strong impression on his Suzuka debut in the Endurance World Championship, bringing the team as high as eighth before a 30-second stop-and-go penalty relegated them back to 11th.

This was still well ahead of their main title rivals, however, and the team carried on with their strategy and focused on maintaining their pace. As evening fell on the track, Checa went out for the final stint, coming in for a brief pit stop before taking the checkered flag and clinching the Endurance World Championship title, the third one to the team’s name.

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Tested – Continental Race Attack

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These tyres are mind blowingly good, so good in fact that I’m still struggling to get my head around just how exceptional they are.

The tyres you see here – a soft front and an endurance compound – have just come back from three hot days on track at Jerez, and their performance is simply staggering around the circuit’s 2.75 miles of gloriously fast straights, late apex technical twists and turns.

Scrubbing in takes just one lap, and they have so much grip I’m able to push hard straight away around every single one of the 13 corners. I don’t use tyre warmers, but these tyres allow me to stay with – and ride past – those riders who are.

Once they’re up to working temperature they’re superb; they’re stable and offer supreme levels of confidence inspiring grip. And the amount of heat they generate and retain is astounding.

What did become clear as the day progressed is that they’re sensitive to pressures, and will quickly tear if over or under inflated. I thought they were cold tearing initially, but the opposite was true, and once I’d adjusted the pressure they responded straight away and came back to me.

They’re also incredibly durable. I went faster than I’ve ever been and after three blisteringly hot days on track they’re still good, despite having covered some 450 hard miles.

Recommended.

Road racing – Martin quits Honda

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Guy Martin has called time on his Honda road racing career after just six months, with the team struggling to get the new Fireblade fit for the roads.

The move is in stark contrast to the moment he joined the team earlier in the year when he was unveiled as team-mate to TT legend John McGuinness.

However, the new bike has been beset with electronic problems – John McGuinness suffered serious injuries when the throttle stuck open during Superbike qualifying at the NW200, and Martin then had a huge crash at the TT after experiencing what he described as ‘a boxful of neutrals’.

The team withdrew the bike from the TT and even though Martin tested at Cadwell a fortnight ago, he still coundn’t gel with the bike he labelled ‘a Jonah’. He said: “I went into the year right excited about the new Honda. I thought it would be great straight away and so did the team. I soon realised that it needed a lot of developing. It will be great, but it needs time and I’ve got loads of other projects going on, that I’d rather use that time for.

“I didn’t get involved to develop a bike over months and years – I was told I’d have a bike capable of winning straight away and that’s why I couldn’t turn down the opportunity.

“The TT was a bloody disaster. Aside from walking the dog and racing the Mugen, I didn’t enjoy it. It was clear even before that we were going to struggle and then it turned into me really being a test rider, which I did, but after we did more testing at Cadwell a few weeks back, I said to the team the bike won’t be competitive at the Ulster Grand Prix. They decided to withdraw me from the event, although they didn’t tell me, which is OK as the decision was made for me.

“There’s no bad feeling. Neil Tuxworth has been upfront with me from the start and it’s a shame for everyone that the new bike hasn’t worked. I know how much effort I put in and so do the team, so no regrets but I’ve got no plans to do anymore road racing on the Hondas this year.”

The father to be revealed that he will still race, but on his own terms. He said: “I’ve not given up on racing or road racing, there’s no unfinished business and I want to race classics and oddball stuff. All I’ve been thinking about recently is Pikes Peak and any spare time my brain has had is about Pikes Peak on 4 wheels. That job is down to me and if it doesn’t work, it’s my fault and I like that. Nigel Racing Corporation (NRC) current plans are preparation for Pikes Peak and classic racing but the plans can change with the wind.”

Tested – 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000

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Meet the Suzuki GSX-R1000, the bike Suzuki hopes will restore their brand image and see them return to the top of the sportsbike tree.

It has already got off to a good start – it made a winning debut in this year’s superstock class at the hands of Richard Cooper while Michael Dunlop piloted it to a win in this year’s Senior TT race. So, the package works, but just how good is it on Britain’s roads?

Looking at the bike in the flesh and the bike’s styling is dominated by THAT exhaust. Yes, the MotoGP paint is well finished, and the clocks look neat, if unspectacular, but there’s no getting away from that end can. It’s massive. Bigger than the Hubble Space Telescope. And it’s hideous too. Unfortunately, the official line from Suzuki is that they’d rather you didn’t ditch it in favour of a tasty, sleeker aftermarket item. Bummer. And then there’s the plastics. They’re very samey. Think evolution, not revolution. Shame.

Now we’ve addressed the elephants in the room, let’s get back to the bike itself. Swing a leg over the bike and the first the first thing you’ll notice is that everything feels ‘just so’. Everything fits – bars and pegs easily accommodate my 6ft 2in frame – yet the bike feels really small and compact. It feels very much like a 600 and makes you feel properly in control. It’s a neat trick.

Turn the key, watch the weirdly retro clocks do their thing, twist the throttle and the next thing you’ll notice is the exhaust note. Suzuki claims this is the most powerful, hardest-accelerating, cleanest-running GSX-R to date, and it sounds menacing. Angry even. As well as shorter-stroke dimensions, a higher compression ratio, a new valve operating system (finger followers instead of bucket tappets), this GSX-R features the MotoGP-developed SR-VVT (Suzuki Racing Variable Valve Timing). This centrifugally operated system, built into the intake cam sprocket, uses 12 steel balls and slanted grooves to rotate the sprocket and retard the intake valve timing at 10,000rpm.

A new, ride-by-wire intake system and revised ram-air system also help. The result of all that is a 14,500rpm rev limit and 199bhp peak power at 13,200rpm.

Sounds impressive enough, but words cannot do justice to just how rampant this combination feels on the open road. The bike has plenty of grunt on tap from 5,000rpm, but get the needle dancing above 10,000 rpm and the VVT system starts rotating the position of the cam sprocket on the camshaft – then you’ll feel the bike take off and accelerate like a locked-on heat seeking missile. It feels fast, really fast, so fast that you’ll have to recalibrate your mind to deal with the violent acceleration. Delivery is smooth, linear and instant – hedges fly past in blur as you scream your way to the limiter, seamlessly snicking gears thanks to the optional bi-directional quickshifter and autoblipper. It’s a pure assault on the senses – intoxicating and addictive – everything biking should be.

And that quickshifter is also worthy of praise. It’s as good as faultless. In the 1200 miles we spent together I never missed a shift or snicked a false neutral. It’s easily the best in class and far superior to the systems used by BMW, Aprilia and the likes. The fuelling is spot on too, allowing you to mete out all that power as you see fit. In fact, it’s so good that I never felt the need to try either of the two softer riding modes, both of which give a less immediate throttle response while still giving you access to all of those 199 ponies.

And then there’s the sophisticated suite of rider aids which do a good job of enhancing the riding experience. The traction control system is unobtrusive and works well. It’s divided into three categories, with levels 1 to 4 designed for the track, 5 to 8 for street riding, and 9 and 10 for wet riding conditions.

There’s no wheelie control as such, although the traction control cuts  naturally bring the front wheel down. You can even adjust the traction control on the move, but you have to roll off to select the different settings. It’s not a major inconvenience, but it’s worth pointing out.

The ride is decent too, thanks to the suspension, which is still from Showa. The Big Piston Forks are proven, while the revised, multi-adjustable shock does a good job of smoothing out the worst bumps while letting you feel exactly what is happening beneath you.

Show the GSX-R a bend and the big Suzuki’s chassis shines. Suzuki’s engineers have again turned to MotoGP for the frame design, and to this end it is 20 per cent lighter than that used in the outgoing model. And rotating the engine back in the frame by six degrees has allowed its centre of mass to be moved forward by 20mm, and this, when combined with a 20mm extended swingarm, has resulted in more weight over the front wheel. This change inspires huge levels of confidence, allowing you to enjoy the  accurate and predictable steering as you motor through the twisties.

Even the brakes – the traditional Achilles heel of every GSX-R – work. Yes, lack the savagery of a BMW S1000RR, but they’re a vast improvement on Gixxer’s of old. They’re consistent, progressive and have good ultimate stopping power.

A Gixxer has always been the weapon of choice for sporty road riders, but as the litre class moved on bikes like Aprilia’s RSV4, BMW’s S1000RR and Ducati’s Panigale meant the Gixxer suddenly felt very analogue in an age dominated by digital bikes. However, this bike is good enough to return Suzuki to the very pinnacle of the species. It really is that good, and even now, a week after I rode the bike, I’m still grinning like a loon in exactly the same way I did after my first ride. It may not be the most powerful, the fastest or the most agile, but it’s a supremely capable and confidence-inspiring motorcycle, one which has the perfect balance of rider-friendliness and blistering, exhilarating performance. Ride one and discover that intoxicating acceleration for yourself. I guarantee you’ll be smiling from ear to ear if you do.

BSB – Shakey takes championship lead after taking double at Brands

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Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne completed a dream double in front of a huge home crowd at Brands Hatch to take the lead in the BSB championship standings.

The two races on the legendary Grand Prix circuit produced five different podium finishers, representing five different manufacturers and five different teams with just seven races now remaining before the Showdown.

An incredible battle opened the day as Byrne denied Dan Linfoot his first ever MCE BSB victory as the Be Wiser Ducati rider stole the lead at Surtees with two laps to go before the race had a premature end due to changing conditions.

At the start of Race One Luke Mossey had fired the JG Speedfit Kawasaki off the line to take the lead from pole sitter Josh Brookes and Linfoot. However, a hectic opening few laps saw Brookes try and attack, but Mossey was keeping his cool as Byrne held station in sixth place.

On the fifth lap Byrne went for a move on Haslam at Surtees, but ran out wide and dropped back three places, giving himself more work to do. At the front Brookes had hit the lead, but Mossey instantly fought back and regained the position.

A big crash for Shaun Winfield caused the first BMW Safety Car deployment of the season, but the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha rider was able to walk away from the incident.

When the race resumed Peter Hickman instantly went for a move as did Linfoot and by the end of the next lap it was Linfoot leading the way from Mossey, Hickman, Leon Haslam and Brookes with Christian Iddon also in close contention.

Hickman waited two more laps before he got his opportunity to snatch the lead; moving ahead at Surtees to push Linfoot back into second place.

Linfoot was coming under pressure from Mossey as he dived down the inside at Paddock Hill Bend on the twelfth lap but the Honda Racing rider fought back and repaid the move into Druids to regain the position.

Hickman was still leading the pack for the Smiths Racing BMW team with Linfoot, Mossey, Haslam and Iddon hot on their heels as Brookes dropped back and was fighting off James Ellison and Byrne.

Linfoot regained the lead on Lap 16 with a decisive move at Paddock Hill Bend, but the defending champion was on the move and he had worked his way up the order to take the lead at Surtees with two laps remaining. The red flag was then bought out when light rain began to fall, but it was enough for Byrne to claim the win.

The result meant Linfoot celebrated his first podium of the season for Honda Racing with Haslam returning to the podium for the first time since Oulton Park as he held off Hickman and Brookes.

The second race was shaping up to be a dogfight between the defending champion and Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha’s Brookes with the pair hitting the front of the pack, and as the Australian hounded down his rival; he crashed out at Surtees on the ninth lap.

As Byrne edged ahead the battle behind was intensifying for third position as Ellison, Iddon, Haslam and Hickman traded blows in their quest for a podium finish. Ellison was upping the pace on the McAMS Yamaha and was able to hold off Iddon as the pair returned to the podium.

Hickman doubled up on fourth places for the Smiths Racing BMW team and continues to hold the final place in the top six with three rounds remaining before the Showdown. Hicky had battled intensely with Haslam during the earlier stage of the race, but was able to forge ahead to leave the JG Speedfit Kawasaki riders battling for fifth with Haslam holding off Mossey and Jason O’Halloran.

Rookie Bradley Ray, Michael Laverty on the second of the McAMS Yamahas, and Jake Dixon completed the top ten.

Byrne said: “The first race was a lot tougher than what I was hoping for but the safety car coming out did me a favour and I got going straightaway again.

The bike had felt really good all weekend in the dry and we were able to prove that in the race so a big thank you to the team. The pace was even hotter in the second race and with a good start decided I had to get to the front as quickly as possible and go for it.

“Once I’d got the lead, I just tried to stay as consistent as possible and watched my pit board. I just kept my rhythm and concentration so to get the double is brilliant and we’re achieving just what we wanted to at our strong circuits.”

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race one result:

1. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)

2. Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +0.365s

3. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.737s

4. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +0.795s

5. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +1.535s

6. James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +1.717s

7. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +2.102s

8. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +3.631s

9. John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +3.708s

10. Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +3.792s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race two result:

1. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)

2. James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +5.787s

3. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +6.167s

4. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +8.039s

5. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +10.079s

6. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +10.530s

7. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +10.866s

8. Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +13.246s

9. Michael Laverty (McAMS Yamaha) +14.002s

10. Jake Dixon (RAF Reserves Kawasaki) +14.983s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Brands Hatch:

1. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 190

2. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 161

3. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 159

4. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 133

5. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) 129

6. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 119

Classic racing – Brittens to return for IOM Classic TT Races

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The iconic New Zealand-built Britten machine will make its return to the Isle of Man in August with not one but two of John Britten’s ground-breaking creations taking to the Mountain Course once more at the Classic TT Races.

The pink and blue Britten and CRS Britten, owned respectively by Kevin Grant and Bob Robbins, were both campaigned at the 1994 Isle of Man TT races and will be ridden this year by Bruce Anstey and fellow Kiwi Stephen Briggs in the Classic Racer Magazine Classic TT Retro Parade on Monday 28th August.

Grant’s machine won the BEARS World Championship in the 1990s and was ridden by Nick Jefferies at the 1994 Isle of Man TT Races with the 1993 Formula One TT winner lapping at more than 118mph from a standing start in the 1994 Senior Race before being side-lined with a gearbox issue.

The machine has continually been demonstrated around the world since and returned to the TT in 2004 with triple World Champion and double TT winner Hugh Anderson MBE on board. It was last seen on the island in 2014 when Anstey paraded the bike during the Classic TT festival and the 12-time TT Race winner will again put the bike through its paces.

The CRS Britten competed at the TT on more occasions than any of the other Britten machines with Shaun Harris’ ride in the 1996 Senior being one of the most popular finishes of recent times. The machine has only recently returned from being on museum display to being demonstrated at events internationally.

Briggs, who competed in the Supersport 600cc TT races in 1994 and 1996 will ride the equally striking black and yellow CRS Britten. Both bikes have been rebuilt completely to ensure there are no issues and are sure to be one of the most popular attractions at the 2017 Classic TT.

Tickets for Classic TT races and events are available to book now starting from as little at £5, see theClassic TTpage for details and a full schedule of events.

New metal – Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition

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Meet the Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition – the company’s farewell to its desmodromic V-twin platform.

However, this isn’t a limited edition, but instead a numbered edition machine – Ducati will continue to manufacture the Panigale R Final Edition for as long as there is consumer demand for it.

Looking at the bike’s spec list, it’s clear that this bike is a celebration of the Panigale, and the bike features the best bits of the model range.

Each 1299 Panigale R Final Edition is individually numbered and will be offered in a dedicated tri-colour scheme. An offshoot of the 1299 Superleggera engine, the Final Edition Superquadro packs nearly 209 bhp at 11,000rpm and peak torque of 142Nm at 9,000rpm. It features a lighter crankshaft with a larger crank pin and tungsten balancing pads, while the con-rods, like the intake-exhaust valves, are made of titanium. As on Superbike engines, the two 116 mm diameter pistons have just two segments and slide on steel cylinder liners.

It’s also Euro 4 compliant.

The chassis set-up on the Ducati supersport is the same as that of the Panigale R, and features an ultra-compact monocoque and Ohlins suspension. The bike also gets the Euro 4 compliant all-titanium Akrapovic exhaust with dual silencer, just like the one on the WSBK Panigale R racer.

The electronics package features the Bosch Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and is equipped with cornering ABS, Ducati Wheelie Control EVO (DWC EVO), Ducati Traction Control EVO (DTC EVO) and Engine Brake Control (EBC). These systems have default settings linked to the selected Riding Mode (Race, Sport and Wet) but can be personalised as desired.

 

Tested – BMW RnineT Racer

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There are now five bikes bearing the R nine T moniker, and this is the latest addition to the family – the Racer.

Essentially the sporty version of the range, the Racer S definitely looks the part. Long and low, the Racer comes with a fairing complete with BMW Motorsport paint, a steel fuel tank, a set of clip-on bars, new rearsets and a single seat. The rest – the headlight, clocks, the tail – has already been seen on the original R nineT. Yes, it may be a spare parts lash-up, but the overall effect is stunning – this looks every inch the carefully crafted cafe racer. This is in no small part down to the fact that Boxer motor looks perfectly so at home in a café-racer, especially one as sleekly proportioned as the Racer.

The first thing that makes itself known when sitting on the bike’s comfortable and beautifully sculpted solo seat is the long reach to the bars. It’s really, really long and effectively forces you to lean forward across the long petrol tank, putting pressure on your wrists, forearms and neck.

Trundling through town this splayed riding position feels counter intuitive, but leave town, head for the open roads and wind the throttle on and you’ll notice that that low fairing does a good job of directing some of the wind from your chest, allowing you to take some weight off your wrists.

On the move, the dohc, 1170cc eight-valve Boxer engine, which is based on the unit which previously powered bikes such as the R1200GS, has a broad spread of torque and enough power for very lively and engaging ride. The fuelling is crisp and the mid-range acceleration is strong, meaning that the Racer pulls cleanly at low speed, surges past traffic with a twist of the throttle, and sits smoothly and effortlessly at the legal limit.

It’s vibey though – its unique configuration, whereby both pistons go in and out at the same time, means you’re always aware of the engine thumping furiously below you. Admittedly, it’s never that intrusive, but it’s still there nonetheless. No doubt BMW owners would refer to this as ‘character’.

Push on and you’ll notice just how much mass there is over the Racer’s front wheel. This, when combined with the narrow clip-ons, means that the Racer struggles with the tight and really twisty stuff, initially feeling reluctant to turn in, but it’s perfectly happy on the more flowing, sweeping bends. It’s very much a bike which responds to firm rider input and feels stable and predictable, allowing you to push it to the limit of its modest ground clearance.

As you’d expect from BMW, there are a wide range of accessories for the bike with everything from a brushed aluminium petrol tank to a pillion seat available. And if customising your Racer feels too much like hard work, there’s even a Racer S version, complete wire wheels and heated grips.

So, the Racer is a very good looking bike which is perfect for short Sunday blast and popping down to the local bike meet for a drink and a blether. Try one, you may just like it.

 

 

BSB – Byrne takes first season double at Snetterton

MCE British Superbike Championship

Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne delivered his strongest performance of the BSB season so far to claim his first double win of the season for the Be Wiser Ducati team, holding off the challenge from arch rival Josh Brookes in both races.
On the opening lap of race one Leon Haslam fired himself to the front on his racing return ahead of James Ellison, but the McAMS Yamaha was instantly on the attack and claimed the lead with a move at Brundle. Pole sitter Byrne had dropped to fourth at the start, but by the second lap he had pushed his way back into third place when he passed Dan Linfoot on the brakes into Riches.

A lap later and Byrne was up to second, out dragging Haslam down the Senna Straight to move ahead. The defending champion then had Ellison in his sight and on the fifth lap a mistake from the race leader gave Byrne the gap he needed to snatch the position and move to the front of the pack.

Byrne was being chased by Ellison but there was further disappointment for the McAMS Yamaha rider when he suffered a technical problem which forced him to retire from the race. Byrne had the advantage but behind there was a battle of the Australians as Jason O’Halloran was fending off the challenge from Brookes.
Brookes forced the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha ahead and then held off his Honda Racing rival as he bid to close down Byrne, but at the flag it wasn’t enough to make a final strike back; however he showed his rivals he was back in business as he bids for a second crown.

O’Halloran was soon under pressure from a closing Haslam over the final laps but he managed to fend off the closing JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider to return to the podium. Haslam celebrated his return to racing action with a fourth place ahead of the second Honda Racing Fireblade of Dan Linfoot.

Jake Dixon got the better of Peter Hickman in the closing stages with John Hopkins, Bradley Ray and Sylvain Guintoli completing the top ten.

In the second race Byrne again started from the pole position, but it was Brookes that launched off the line fastest at the start to lead the pack into Riches for the first time ahead of Ellison and Byrne with Haslam holding fourth place.

Hopkins and O’Halloran though were moving through the field and the pair were soon on the back of the leading trio of Brookes, Ellison and Byrne. At the front Byrne made a move on Ellison on the ninth lap to close in on his Australian rival, but the McAMS Yamaha wasn’t going to settle behind the five-time champion. However as Ellison bid for podium contention, he crashed out unhurt at Murrays.

At the front Byrne was closing on Brookes and on lap 14 the Be Wiser Ducati rider pushed ahead on the run down to Riches, which O’Halloran repeated on Hopkins as the pair exchanged blows in the battle for third position.

Byrne was able to hold off the counter attack from Brookes to the finish to claim his first double win of the season with O’Halloran completing the first double podium for the Honda Racing team as Hopkins dropped to fifth when Jake Dixon made a last corner move on the final lap.

Hickman claimed sixth place which fired him into the Showdown six in the standings ahead of Linfoot and Haslam. Guintoli and Mossey completed the top ten, with the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider still holding the advantage at the top of the standings ahead of Brands Hatch.

Byrne said: “It’s been a good weekend and in both races, I used my head and bided my time. I didn’t make the greatest of starts in race one but stayed safe in the first few laps and we’d worked hard over the weekend to make sure we were fast throughout the race.

“I took my time to get to the front and then at half race distance pushed on a bit and it all panned out perfectly.

“Race two was definitely tougher as Josh (Brookes) was setting a good pace. He put the hammer down around half race distance so I made my move and obliterated my own lap record to grab the lead soon after.

“The Be Wiser Ducati team did a great job all weekend and after only getting a couple of thirds at Knockhill and with Glenn getting injured, it’s good to put the smiles back on everyone’s faces, especially ahead of my home round at Brands Hatch which is next.”

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Snetterton, Race one result:
1.  Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)
2.  Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +3.295s
3.  Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +7.698s
4.  Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +7.885s
5.  Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +11.656s
6.  Jake Dixon (RAF Reserves Kawasaki) +14.513s
7.  Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +14.698s
8.  John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +16.596s
9.  Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +17.140s
10.Sylvain Guintoli (Bennetts Suzuki) +21.341s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Snetterton, Race two result:
1.  Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)
2.  Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +0.686s
3.  Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +7.701s
4.  Jake Dixon (RAF Reserves Kawasaki) +8.261s
5.  John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +8.544s
6.  Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +13.576s
7.  Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +13.615s
8.  Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +17.625s
9.  Sylvain Guintoli (Bennetts Suzuki) +20.022s
10.Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +23.088s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Snetterton:
1.  Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 147
2.  Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 140
3.  Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 132
4.  Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) 118
5.  Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 115
6.  Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 93

MotoGP – Marqyez extends German winning streak

09 Alemania 29, 30 de junio y 1 y 2 de julio de 2017. Circuito d

Reigning Champion takes eighth successive win at the Sachsenring, under pressure from a stunning rookie ride by home hero Folger.

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez has taken an incredible eighth win in a row at the Sachsenring, extending his run from the 125 World championship to another year of the premier class – with all those wins from pole.

However, it was anything but easy, however – with German rookie Jonas Folger on the Tech 3 Yamaha pushing the reigning champion throughout the race in a stunning ride to his first podium. Dani Pedrosa on the seconf Repsol Honda completed the podium.

Marquez took the lead into Turn 1 from pole, with teammate Dani Pedrosa slotting into second as Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo sliced through from P6 on the grid to third, pushing Pramac’s Danilo Petrucci and Jonas Folger back.

Marquez and Pedrosa began to pull away in the lead as Folger charged through to get himself into third, and then started threatening the Repsol Honda duo in the lead.

The Tech 3 rookie look composed and smooth and quickly took Pedrosa and prepared to attack Marquez – pushing through soon after and below lap record pace.

With Petrucci through on Lorenzo into fourth, it was Valentino Rossi on the factory Yamaha who struck next, with the Italian, Andrea Dovizioso on the factory Ducati and Petrucci battling for fourth as Pedrosa began to drop back from the lead duo.

Folger then headed wide and Marquez took the opportunity, but couldn’t shake the German.

That’s the way it stayed – with Marquez’ pitboard remaining +0.1 lap after lap, and the rookie not for giving up. Facing down the reigning.
Finally it was a small mistake that saw Folger run deep, and Marquez pulled the pin to stretch the gap – eventually crossing the line for win number eight just over three seconds clear.

Folger’s tyres were shot, but he kept his head to cross the line in second for his first premier class podium, sealing the deal in an incredible performance at his home race. Dani Pedrosa completed the podium after a more lonely ride in the latter stages, also bouncing back from a tough Dutch GP.

As the top ten battled it out further, Rossi found his fourth under attack from Dovizioso, with team-mate Viñales then joining the fight. After some stunning wheel-to-wheel action, it was Viñales who took P4, with teammate Rossi close behind to complete the top five.

Bautista took P6 after an impressive ride, with Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro crossing the line in seventh for a good haul of points for the Noale factory ahead of the summer break.

Championship leader going into the race, Dovizioso crossed the line in eighth and remains third in the standings – ahead of a stunning comeback from Johann Zarco (who guided his Tech  Yamaha to ninth after fighting from P19 on the grid. LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow completed the top ten, with Jorge Lorenzo crossing the line in P11 after running at the front earlier in the race.

Danilo Petrucci was another who fell back, taking twelfth ahead of another double points finish for Red Bull KTM’s Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith. Jack Miller on the Marc VDS Honda completed the top fifteen.

Marquez said: “I’m very, very happy. I knew before the weekend that this was an important moment in the Championship and that the Sachsenring was an important circuit for us. It was the place to take a risk if necessary and to try to win. So I’m happy we took these 25 points and the lead in the Championship before the summer break.

“I wish to dedicate this win to Nicky (Hayden) and his family. I had promised this to myself after his incident because we had some very good moments together and he was a friend.

“The race was very tight. Honestly, before the start I thought I would have to battle with Dani, but actually there was also another very fast opponent. I was very surprised at the beginning to see Jonas there, and I thought he might stay in between with the other riders, but he actually remained there! He was quite a tough opponent!

“The Championship is very close with four riders within 10 points and with Dani also not far away. Everything is open, so we’ll keep the same mentality, the same positivity and hard work. Now we have a few days of holidays, but not too much to be ready for Brno test!”