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News: Honda Ron Haslam Race School set to close

Ron Haslam Race School

Ron Haslam Race School

Ron Haslam has announced that this year will be the final year of the Honda Ron Haslam Race School after 24 years.

During that time, the school. which operates at Donington Park, has shared its riding knowledge with more than 86,000 riders, with training taking place on and off track.

A statement said: “No words can say how grateful and honoured we are for what we have achieved. Each year we have had the best and amazing bikes to ride on the best circuit in the world, Donington park. MSV’s support since taking over the circuit has been fantastic, providing us with their newly refurbished facilities and looking after the race school throughout.

“We have been working hard with MSV to secure 10 days, three of which will run until 8pp so we can accommodate everyone this season. ”

Ron and Ann are working on future plans to continue in some form to provide training and share Ron’s expertise and knowledge.

News: EICMA bike show cancelled

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This year’s EICMA trade show in Italy has been cancelled due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, with organisers hoping to tun the show again in 2021.

EICMA managing director Paolo Magri said: “The value and international leadership of our exhibition-event have [sic] convinced us not to wager on the evolution of the health situation linked to the Covid-19 emergency and, above all, to listen to and protect the whole of the two-wheeler industry which, with Fiera Milano primarily and our partners, continues to see in EICMA a successful model and its most important opportunity for b2c and b2b at shows.”

 

News: UK arm of California Superbike School set to reopen

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The UK arm of the California Superbike School is set to rise from the ashes following the announcement that the track-based rider training school is set to reopen.

The Silverstone-based institution went into liquidation last October, but school founder Keith Code has confirmed it’s returning for 2020. This is a good thing; the school was at the forefront of track-based rider training and its methods and results are proven.

While the school is not currently taking bookings for its scheduled UK School dates as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, riders can register their interest on the company’s website.

New metal: Ducati Hypermotard 950 RVE

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Meet the Ducati Hypermotard 950 RVE, the latest arrival to the Bologna-based manufacturer’s line-up.

The bike is essentially a standard Hypermotard 950, complete with an up-and-down quickshifter, wrapped in an eye-bleedingly loud new new graphics kit.

The bike will cost £11,750 and sits between the £10,995 standard machine and the £14,595 SP model.

The standout feature of the bike is the new ‘Graffiti’ livery, which uses ultra-thin decals in an attempt to mirror an air-brushed finish. Characterised by its half-black-half-red rims and ‘Hyper’ messaging along the tank, it’s a world away from the company’s traditional paint.

The RVE is set to arrive in dealers in July.

News: Motorcycle Live 2020 cancelled

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The team behind the UK’s biggest bike show, Motorcycle Live, have announced that the 2020 show has been cancelled due to the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak and the associated safety concerns that would mean for visitors and workers at the show.

Taking place annually at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC), the 2020 show was scheduled to take place between November 21 and 29, but this has now been put back until November 2021.

Event Managing Director, Finlay McAllan, said: “The decision to postpone this year’s show has not been taken lightly. Our concern for the safety of our visitors, exhibitors and industry colleagues is at the heart of this decision.

“Running an event like Motorcycle Live under the Covid-19 related restrictions – such as adhering to social distancing requirements, restricting attendance numbers and dictating the direction of people around the hall – all ultimately would have impacted negatively on the experience of those attending and therefore the very essence of the show.”

RIP: Alpinestars founding father Sante Mazzarolo passes away

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On Friday, Sante Mazzarolo, the founder of Alpinestars, passed away at the age of 91 at his home in Maser, Italy.

Sante’s rise is the stuff of folklore: in 1963 the leather craftsman founded the company Alpinestars in the small Northern Italy town of Asolo and with the perennial Alpine star flower as its namesake, he began producing the first products bearing the Alpinestars moniker.

At that time a new sport called motocross was establishing itself and becoming quite popular across Europe. Very much aware of the sport, Sante realized an opportunity to apply his talents and technical acumen to design a new type of footwear that would meet the protective needs and demands of this beautiful yet brutal form of athleticism. The revolutionary boot he produced would become an archetype for motocross protection.

Shortly after establishing the company in its state-of-the-art headquarters in Maser, northern Italy, Sante began working on a new, revolutionary boot for local enduro and motocross riders who had started importing bikes from overseas and establishing the sport of off-road motorcycle racing. Sante’s boot immediately became the industry leader and a benchmark for racing performance. Development started from the moment the first boot was produced, with the help of feedback from the riders, and by the early 1970s, Roger de Coster had brought Alpinestars its first World Motocross Championship accolade.

Roger de Coster won five World Motocross Championships and began a continuous run of World Championship success for Alpinestars that continues to the present day.

Sante was honored with a number of Italian design and product awards in the early years of the company, establishing a reputation for creativity and innovation that took another step when he began development of road racing products in the 1970s. Kenny Roberts became Alpinestars’ most high profile Grand Prix World Champion when he took his first title in 1978.

Development continued at pace, with the company producing boots for all forms of motorcycling, road and off-road, for competitive use and leisure, and in the mid-1980s Alpinestars USA was opened with a new base in Los Angeles, California.

Sante handed over the reigns of the company to his son, Gabriele, 25 years ago, but he was still a regular visitor to the company’s racing facilities in Maser.

Rest in peace Sante.

News: TVS buys Norton Motorcycles for £16m

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Norton Motorcycles has once again risen from the ashes after being sold to TVS Motors, the third-largest two-wheeled manufacturer in India.

The £16m deal sees TVS buying Norton all in cash following the company’s recent turmoils; Norton had been placed in administration after suffering financial problems when millions of pounds went missing from a pensions scheme while simultaneously been pursued over by the UK authorities over unpaid taxes.

The deal will see TVS invest funds in Norton’s Commando, Dominator, and V4 RR bikes, though quite how a ‘budget’ Indian bike brand pumping out low capacity machines will manage a luxury UK marque is anybody’s guess. Watch this space…

New metal: Lego unveils Ducati Panigale R

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LEGO has unveiled a Ducati superbike fit for every pocket; the £55 Ducati Panigale V4 R.

Available from June 1, this 646-piece LEGO Technic model is the first to be created under an agreement between the LEGO Group and Ducati Motor Holding and is also the first LEGO Technic motorbike to feature a 2-speed gearbox which activates the V4-cylinder engine.

Additional features include front and rear suspension, front and rear disc brakes, an exhaust pipe, screen and dashboard, and once complete, the kit measures some 32cm long, 6cm high and 3cm wide.

Aurélien Rouffiange, Senior Designer at LEGO Technic, said: “It was essential that I included as many authentic details from the real motorbike as I could, ensuring I captured all the bike’s curves and the unique features. We demonstrated what the LEGO Technic range is capable of by engineering a fully functioning motorcycle gearbox for the first time and connecting it to the spinning V4 cylinder engine using existing pieces.”

MotoGP: Second Virtual Race set for Sunday

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Following the overwhelming success of MotoGP’s first ever Virtual Race, a second event will take place this Sunday, with lights out at 15:00 (GMT +2) .

The second installment will see another cast of premier class superstars lining up, with a few returning from the first race – like reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez – and a few new faces taking on the competition too, including the likes of Valentino Rossi and Danilo Petrucci.

As per the first Virtual Race, the riders will be playing on the official MotoGP19 Videogame from videogame developer Milestone, with Race Two set to take place from a virtual Red Bull Ring with the race length set to 10 laps. Just like in the first event, a five-minute qualifying session in time-attack mode will decide the grid positions before the lights go out, and each rider will be live on the stream throughout the broadcast.

The second event will be shown in full on Sunday the 12th of April at 15:00 (GMT+2), with qualifying broadcast before the race. Fans can watch on motogp.com and esport.motogp.com, on selected TV broadcasters, and across social media platforms including YouTube (via the MotoGP and MotoGP eSport channels), MotoGP eSport Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook (via both the MotoGP and MotoGP eSport pages).

The line-up is as follows:
Repsol Honda Team: Marc Marquez, Alex Marquez
Ducati Team: Danilo Petrucci, Michele Pirro
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP: Valentino Rossi, Maverick Viñales
Petronas Yamaha SRT: Fabio Quartararo
Pramac Racing: Francesco Bagnaia
LCR Honda Idemitsu: Takaaki Nakagami
Reale Avintia Racing: Tito Rabat

Road racing: Arai launches 2020 Isle of Man TT Limited Edition Arai RX-7V

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The 2020 Isle of Man TT races may have been cancelled due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic (and the governmental health guidelines that are in place around Europe) but while the sound of racing motorcycles will not now echo down Bray Hill this summer, one part of the annual festival will still  be available – the 2020 Isle of Man TT Limited Edition Arai RX-7V!

Despite the lack of racing, Arai made the decision to launch the limited edition to honour the spirit of the TT in its absence and the new helmet features classic lines and a bold black, red and gold colour scheme combined with familiar TT-specific details, like Ellan Vannin (the Manx name for the Isle of Man) in Celtic-style lowercase script mirroring ISLE OF MAN either side of the central Arai logo, as well as the three legs of man – the famous triskelion – highlighted in Gold (against an outline of the 37.73mile/60.725km TT course) on the sides and chinbar. A stylised outline of the Senior Trophy, flanked by LIMITED EDITION tags are the finishing touches.

Ingmar Stroeven, Arai Helmet (Europe) B.V. Managing Director: “These are challenging times and sometimes sport must take a back seat to life. We were really looking forward to revealing our 2020 Isle of Man TT Limited Edition RX-7V on Friday the 27th of March on the Isle of Man, alongside Michael Dunlop and Steve Plater. But it’s not to be. For all of us at Arai the TT is such a special event and one we engage with completely, in terms of riders and fans alike. And it is for this reason we have decided to go ahead with this year’s Isle of Man TT Limited Edition RX-7V – which we feel is absolutely stunning – and do our part to keep the irrepressible feeling of the TT alive.”

For more information on the IoM TT Limited Edition Arai RX-7V visit the RX-7V page on our website.