Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Lorenzo clinches MotoGP title

Lorenzo clinches MotoGP title

2010-10-10 14:06
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Jorge Lorenzo (AP)

Malaysia - Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo claimed his first world MotoGP crown on Sunday after finishing third in the Malaysian Grand Prix while team-mate Valentino Rossi won the race with a brilliant performance.
Italian Andrea Dovizioso on a Honda came second.
Lorenzo set himself up to lift the crown by taking pole position, his sixth of the season.
Former world champion Australian Casey Stoner crashed out on lap two.
The 31-year-old Rossi, who joins Ducati next season, put in a spectacular performance to power his machine from the second row to beat Dovizioso and his team-mate Lorenzo to the chequered flag.
Rossi stamped his dominance over the other talented riders from the 10th lap, leading the pack until the end of the race. He had battled his way from 11th on the first lap .
The Italian clocked 41 minutes 3.448 seconds in the 20-lap race while Dovizioso was just 0.224 seconds behind.
Rossi has a strong record in Malaysia and last year clinched the MotoGP world title at Sepang when he finishing third after starting from pole.
It was a dream weekend for Lorenzo after the only man who could stop him from being proclaimed champion Honda rider Dani Pedrosa pulled out having fractured his collarbone in a crash in Motegi last week.
Lorenzo was in imperious form during the early part of the race - leading the other riders - but tyre concerns forced him to be cautious.
"When the tyre started to slide, I decided (just) to finish the race," he said. "Today is the happiest day of my life and I want to celebrate it."
Earlier, his post-race party on the track ended abrutly when a Spanish flag got entangled round the side of his rear tyre.
Rossi said it was great to secure his 46th victory with Yamaha. It was his second win of the season, the previous being in Qatar.
"To win on this track is important. Now I am back to clinch victories," he said.
Rossi said he rode a fast pace and concentrated on leading the pack as he was able to accelerate quickly out of corners.
"I had a great pace. Lap by lap I was able to catch-up with Dovizioso and Lorenzo. I never give up. I gave all my energy to win," he said.
The superb win in Malaysia pushed Rossi up to third position behind the injured Pedrosa from fifth in Japan. Rossi has 181 points and Pedrosa 228.
Dovizioso, who is fourth in the overall standings, said it was a tough battle as he struggled in vain to overtake Rossi.
"Anyway, the second position is a victory for me. It is important for us to win in the remaining races," he said.
Meanwhile Spain's Toni Elias clinched the first-ever Moto2 world championship crown as Italy's Roberto Rolfo won the race.
A fourth-placed finish was enough for Elias to claim the championship.
Spain's Marc Marquez on a Derbi won the 125cc race ahead of Pol Espargaro also on a Derbi and Nicolas Terol on an Aprilia.
The determined 17-year-old pole starter clinched his eighth win of the season.
After Malaysia, the riders will head to the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island on October 17 and then to Estoril on October 31. The championship ends on November 7 in Valencia.

Lorenzo wins to set record points haul

Lorenzo wins to set record points haul

Sun Nov 7, 2010 3:27pm GMT
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By Mark Elkington
VALENCIA, Spain (Reuters) - World champion Jorge Lorenzo won the last race of the MotoGP season in Valencia on Sunday to claim his ninth victory of the campaign and set a record points tally of 383 for the year.
The Spaniard, who wrapped up the title last month, passed Valentino Rossi's previous record of 373 set when the Italian won the title in 2008.
Lorenzo survived a brush with Marco Simoncelli when he almost slid off the track and passed Casey Stoner, who had started on pole, to hit the front with eight laps to go.
The 23-year-old Yamaha rider pulled away to finish comfortably ahead of Australia's Stoner, who was competing for the last time on a Ducati before moving to Honda.
"I'm on a cloud. I feel much more emotional winning here than when I won the title in Malaysia," Lorenzo told Spanish state television.
"Over there I felt very cold, but here after a mad race, and after many problems on each lap, the sacrifice was worth it because I won here in front of all those fans.
"It's a race I will remember for the rest of my life."
Rossi finished third in his final race for Yamaha after seven successful seasons and hugged his bike on the side of the track after the race. He moves to Ducati next year.   Continued...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

FP1 roadster

One of the most exclusive road motorcycles in the world went on sale recently when Petronas' highly-publicised FP1 roadster was released at GALERI PETRONAS in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Only 100 of the limited edition machines will be built, primarily for World Superbike Championship homologation purposes, and Australia has close ties to the project in that the racebike upon which the roadster is based has been ridden this year by Australian Troy Corser.

The unveiling the first large capacity roadster to originate from Malaysia was attended by Malaysia's Minister of Youth and Sports Dato' Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and one of the key figures in the project, Carl Fogarty.

"There is no doubt that this will be the most beautiful bike on the roads. This motorcycle is a credit to PETRONAS, to Malaysia and everyone who been connected with the project. I am very proud to be associated with the FP1. As the first road bike created from a race bike it combines cutting edge technology with real elegance and has set new standards at the top end of the road bike market" said Fogarty.

A total of 150 units of the road version of the FP1 have been manufactured to meet the condition set by the F'd'ration Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) before it could allow the Foggy PETRONAS Racing Team to compete in the World Superbike Championship. The first batch of 75 units of the bikes was manufactured in the United Kingdom and the second batch of the bikes was assembled in Malaysia by PETRONAS.

Of the 150 units, PETRONAS will make available 100 units of this limited edition of the PETRONAS FP1.

Aprilia RS250 - the LAST fire-breathing two-stroke roadster

The roadster's dashboardIt's the closest thing you'll find to a genuine Grand Prix racing machine on the road, be it two wheels or four. Its 250cc two-stroke motor produces in excess of 60 brake horses, giving it a specific output of 240 bhp per litre - more than the fastest MotoGP bikes and on a par with competitive Formula One engines. And it's the last one - the fire-breathing two-stroke racer-roadster is about to become extinct. The next batch of Aprilia RS250 road bikes will be the last - as the last bike of its type, it's the last chance to own one new. Ever!!!!

Around 40 years ago, the two-stroke engine came into its heyday. The engines were cheap to manufacture, and produced exceptional performance in comparison to four-strokes of equivalent capacity.

Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki sold thousands of 250 two-strokes based around their racing machines and many of the biggest names in motorcycle sport got their start in the 250 production racing class. In Grand Prix racing, the two-stroke quickly became unbeatable. Producing an unreliable 50bhp in the sixties, the development of the two-stroke racing motorcycle continued at breakneck speed for four decades, with the top 250s of today producing 100bhp plus.The road bike

Throughout the sixties the wail of expansion chambers slowly but surely banished the roar of four-stroke racing machinery at world championship level, at first in the smaller classes, and eventually in all classes. Once Yamaha worked out that it could shoehorn two 250s together and make a four-cylinder 500, the writing was on the wall. Jarno Saarinen scored the first win in the premier-class by a four-cylinder two-stroke machine in May 1973, and Giacomo Agostini rode to the last four-stroke machine to victory (prior to the current rule changes), at the Nurburgring in August 1976. It was the end of the four-stroke era, the last victory by MV Agusta and Agostini's last as well.

Aprilia didn't enter racing until the late eighties, winning its first GP in 1987, its first 125 title in 1992 and its first 250 title in the hands of Max Biaggi in 1994 and since that time the majority of bikes on the 125 and 250 World Championship grids have been produced by Aprilia.The need for harsher emission standards for road-going machinery was having an opposite effect on the two-stroke's success on the road however.

The last 250 two-stroke manufacturer of road bikes in Japan was Suzuki and Aprilia has been using the Suzuki v-twin 250 two-stroke motor as the heart of its roadster since then. With Suzuki ceasing production, Aprilia no longer has a supply of motors and is running out its road bike RS250 models and the 2004 model will be the last - the very last example of a breed of motorcycle which will hold a special place in the heart of motorcycle enthusiasts forever.

In 2003, Aprilia's 250 race bikes won 14 of the 16 world championship races, with five different Aprilia riders standing atop the podium. Significantly, the speed traps often showed the fastest ten riders were all Aprilia mounted. Not surprisingly, the roadster bears a very strong visual relationship to Aprilia works racing bikes which won the World 250 title last year in the hands of Manual Poggiali.And riding it was a HOOT!

At low engine speeds, it has less power than a 125 scooter, and even when the revs climb past 5000 rpm, the engine is still clearing its throat, but pedal the gearbox to keep the revs above 8000rpm, and it is one of the most thrilling experiences you'll have on two wheels.Though the two-stroke 90' V twin engine may have originated from Suzuki, it's Aprilia's knowledge of the induction and exhaust cycles which give the RS250 the edge over the same motor in its last guise as a Suzuki. Actually, an edge is too much of an understatement.

For the last few years the Aprilia 250 has won every production race at the Australian titles and in some years has scored every POINT - i.e. it took all 15 point scoring places at all rounds of the title. There are almost as many changes to the motor than bits you'd recognise as Suzuki, with the resultant unit having the finest credentials ever to grace a 250 two-stroke roadster.The road bike

Funnily enough, while the motor kicks hard over 8000rpm, it is not the motor that is most likely to catch the RS250 rider out - it's the brakes.

With a dry weight of 140 kilograms and two 298 mm diameter floating disks on the front wheel, with two Brembo twin-piston callipres on each (with four differentiated diameter pistons), the front brake has more power than you'd have thought possible. Though it has loads of feel, it warrants immense respect because once you've become comfortable with the RS around the roads, you'll find yourself getting into corners with the back wheel OFF THE GROUND!!!

If you fancy yourself backing a road bike into corners this is the bike you can do it on. Alongside a Buell, this is the easiest bike we've ever ridden upon which to perform very impressive stoppies (getting the back wheel waaay off the ground under brakes. Given its tenuous relationship to the tarmac under deceleration, the 220 mm diameter twin-piston rear brake is gentle and progressive. Nor is the 60 horsepower motor and its 220 kmh top speed the most impressive aspect - that's almost certainly the chassis and suspension set-up, which offers a precision unmatched by anything registerable on two wheels.The road bike

So precise is the steering that it feels like you can claim any spot on the road just by willing the machine over it, regardless of the speed or camber of the bend.So it is a roadbike, and it can be ridden on the roads every day without the motor filling up with gunk, but the road is just not its natural habitat.The road bike

The RS250 is a racer first and a roadster second. Though it has pillion pegs, don't even think about trying to carry a pillion unless there's absolutely no alternative - it's painfully uncomfortable for both, the bike is unbalanced and walking might be a better solution.

The RS250 is ideally something to buy to put in the garage and stay there except for track days. It is a motorcycle to be oggled for its craftsmanship - next time you get near one of these babies, take a bit of time to check out the swinging-arm, the effort that has gone into wrapping those expansion chambers around the motorcycle so NOTHING scrapes (this is a motorcycle upon which you'll get your knee on the ground before something else touches), and just behold the attention to detail, all the way down to the race computer with adjustable redline and lap timing which nestles inside the fairing.The road bike

It is the finest example of a breed of motorcycle which is about to become extinct. It is also the final example - the point at which evolution stopped after 50 years of refinement and development of the roadgoing two-stroke.

I think I'll go and have a good cry!!!!

Dovizioso provides explanation for second successive crash

Tuesday, 07 July 2009

Another DNF for Andrea Dovzioso at Laguna Seca saw him drop from fourth to sixth in the general standings.

Whilst his team-mate Dani Pedrosa bounced back from Repsol Honda’s Assen disaster with a superb win at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Colin Edwards earned more points in seventh place Andrea Dovizioso lost ground to both riders in the championship on Sunday, as he crashed out on lap seven.

Dovizioso had started in a promising manner from fifth on the grid and was riding strongly in fourth place in the early laps. The Italian looked capable of challenging for the podium but in an unfortunate incident he clipped the poles separating the pit lane exit from the fast first corner and bent his clutch lever.

Although he managed to keep pace with the leaders, his control of his factory RC212V was hindered and he crashed at the fifth corner on the seventh lap, forcing him out of the race for the second consecutive round.

Afterwards, the 23 year-old commented, “We were in good shape, I’d got into a fast rhythm and I’m sure we could have had good result, so I’m very disappointed. Unfortunately I made a mistake and I spoiled my opportunity.”

Explaining what had occurred in more detail he added, “During the first laps, I was behind Valentino Rossi, I wanted to overtake him and I was very close at the end of the straight. It’s a blind point and I was so close that I didn’t see the plastic poles that separate the track from the pit lane. I hit a few of them and in the impact the clutch lever bent, and from that moment on I couldn’t control the engine braking. It was my mistake as my line was too far to the left but after that it was tough to ride and change gear properly.”

He continued, “Nevertheless, I tried to stay up with the leaders. Then I lost the front and crashed after having had a couple of warnings. I’m really disappointed because we are getting closer to front-running pace at every race and here we could have done well. Still, I believe in myself, in the machine and in my team, and I really hope to get a good result soon.”

Tyres top of the agenda for Melandri

Friday, 24 April 2009

Hard left side poses problems for Italian star.

Placing eighth as he continues to regain confidence and learn the Hayate Racing Kawasaki bike, Marco Melandri had another impressive showing in Japan on Friday. He was working for the majority of the session with his second machine, after a minor electrical problem with his main bike.

Despite his progress, the Italian admitted to being less than fully comfortable with the tyre choice available to him for the weekend.

“It took us nearly all the session to understand that we need to use the softer tyre with the second bike, because the weather is a little cold,” said Melandri after the run.

“The big problem for us is that Bridgestone brought a harder left side to their tyres, which are difficult to warm up in the first three laps. With the session being so short, long runs are difficult to make.

“The medium tyres are a little too hard for me. The soft ones look a bit too hard on the left but the right seems ok. I know that (Mika) Kallio had a crash when the tyre was cold, because you go a long time without riding on the left at this track. However, there’s such a difference between the two tyres that there is really only one choice for the race.”

Melandri’s quickest time stopped the clock at 1’50.123

Lorenzo: “I’d thought that it was all over”

Sunday, 05 July 2009

Spaniard given five-week collarbone recovery expectation after Laguna Seca third place.

A nasty Saturday crash well and truly put a spanner in the works of Jorge Lorenzo’s preparations for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, a race that he would start from pole position after clocking a speedy qualifying lap just before the fall. A superhuman effort from both Lorenzo and his doctors powered the Spaniard to third place in the latest round of the MotoGP World Championship, and kept up the pressure on Fiat Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi in the standings.

“When I crashed yesterday, I thought that it was all over for the weekend,” admitted Lorenzo after stepping onto the podium, unable to even spray the celebratory cava due to a dislocated collarbone. He passed a late fitness test that also included a check on his leg, hit hard in the fall.

“Thanks to the work done by the doctors I was able to race, and we did well today. Finishing the race was a happy ending for us,” he continued, before looking back on a passing attempt that could have placed him ahead of Rossi before the chequered flag.

“I could have taken second place, but made a mistake when overtaking Valentino on the last corner. However, third place isn’t something to be sad about here, it’s something to be happy about.”

Lorenzo is sadly all-too-familiar with the feeling of riding injured, and is thankful that he should be able to improve his condition to make the next race at Sachsenring a more comfortable affair. Further analysis will be undertaken back in Spain, but the early comeback plan seems positive for the title contender.

“I’ve been told by the doctors that the tendon injury in the collarbone will take five to six weeks to heal, if everything passes without problems. We are going to try our best to be back in much better shape for Sachsenring.”

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