Friday, March 31, 2006

DUCATI TO PRODUCE THE HYPERMOTARD


Award winning concept bike will be in showrooms Spring 2007

Bologna, 31 March 2006: After the success of the "concept" presentation in Milan and following the great response from fans,
Ducati has decided to begin producing the Ducati Hypermotard. From its
first moment in the public eye, last November at the EICMA trade show
in Milan, the Ducati Hypermotard has had incredible success. The
Ducati Hypermotard received worldwide recognition and was awarded
"Best of Show" during its debut at EICMA and "Best Bike for 2005" by
the Motorcycle Design Association.

The announcement was made by Federico Minoli, President and CEO of
Ducati Motor Holding, on the Desmoblog, "With the enthusiasm shown by
Ducatisti and the work done in research and development, we have
decided to add the Ducati Hypermotard to our production schedule,
without giving anything else up. We are also going to reduce the
development time thanks to the work done while the bike was still a
concept. I am therefore proud to announce that the Hypermotard will be
available in a dealership near you in the Spring of 2007."

The Ducati Hypermotard incarnates the strength, the fun and the high
performance of an extreme supermotard – re-thought in pure Ducati
style: 100 hp weighing just 175 Kg (385 lbs); an idea, a dream for
every biker that today will become a reality and will be added to the
amazing Ducati line-up. The Ducati Hypermotard will be in dealer
showrooms in Spring 2007.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

DUCATI MARLBORO MEN TURN UP THE HEAT

The Ducati Marlboro Team travels to the Middle-East leading the 2006
MotoGP World Championship after a sensational start to the season in
Spain, where Loris Capirossi took his Desmosedici GP06 to a brilliant
win in front of 131,000 fans.

The Italian squad dominated Jerez: Capirossi and Sete Gibernau
qualified first and second fastest, Capirossi won the race in
spectacular style, a perfect weekend only spoiled when while Gibernau
bike's encountered a technical glitch. Both riders proved that they
are super-fast on qualifying tyres and race tyres, proving that the
long winter's work undertaken by the team, Ducati and Bridgestone has
been abundantly fruitful. The latest version of the Desmosedici V4 has
lost none of its speed but offers improved rideability and
consistency, the main priorities of the winter development programme.

LIVIO SUPPO, Ducati MotoGP project manager
"Jerez was a great weekend - Loris took pole, the win and the fastest
lap and Sete was second in qualifying and fastest in warm-up - it was
just a shame that he had a problem in the race. We go to Losail
leading the championship but we've got to keep our feet on the ground.
It's a long season so we need to keep our focus to ensure we fulfil
our potential. Loris is on a confidence high, hopefully he can
celebrate his 33rd birthday (on April 4th) in the best possible way!
Sete has proved he's fast and I'm sure he'll soon get the good results
he deserves."

LORIS CAPIROSSI, World Championship ranking: first
"I had a perfect bike and perfect tyres at Jerez and we have a simple
target for Qatar - to do the same all over again. We are quite
confident but we know it won't be easy. The toughest thing in Qatar
can be the weather. Two years ago it was almost 40 degrees, which made
riding really tough. I hope it will be cooler this time because we're
there in early April, not early October. The most important thing for
this track is to have a well-balanced bike that changes direction
well. As always, tyres will be important and the Bridgestone rear has
improved a lot since last year, it's got a much better contact
feeling.
"We have a plan to ride streetbikes - I'll have a Ducati 999 - around
the track (with fellow riders' safety commission members Valentino
Rossi and Kenny Roberts Junior) on Thursday night, to see if it's
feasible to run future Qatar GPs in the dark, when it will be much
cooler. They have erected floodlights at several corners, so it will
be an interesting experience!"

SETE GIBERNAU, World Championship ranking: no score
"What happened at Jerez was a pity but these things sometimes happen
in racing. Everyone had worked so hard over the winter and we showed
in practice and qualifying that we are fast. Now we just need a result
to prove it. Despite that disappointment we are ready to fight again.
We are learning all the time and I have a great team behind me, so I'm
looking forward to getting back on track in Qatar.
"I've got nice memories of Qatar - I won the race in 2004. It's a
good circuit, quite particular, with a little bit of everything and
some special turns like the triple right-hander which is really
spectacular. Apart from that, it's sandy and it's hot! There are a lot
of changes of direction during a lap at Qatar so you need the bike to
turn good. But like I always say, MotoGP is so close now that you need
a bike that does everything well, you can win or lose because of the
tiniest difference in bike performance."

THE TRACK
Dominated by a 1.1km straight, the remainder of the 5.4km Losail track
is a sinuous high-speed switchback, with most corners leading into one
another, rather than separated by straights. The circuit was designed
using elements of other famous tracks.
The chief issue at Losail can be sand. Windblown desert sand made the
circuit treacherously slippery during the inaugural 2004 Qatar GP but
the track has improved a lot since then. The heat is another major
consideration at Qatar. In 2004 ambient temperatures nudged 50
degrees, asking much from riders, bikes, tyres and pit crew. This
year's race has been scheduled six months earlier, so conditions
should be cooler.

Lap record: Nicky Hayden (Honda), 1m 57.903s, 164.270kmh/102.073mph (2005)
Pole position 2005: Loris Capirossi (Ducati Marlboro Team), 1m 56.917s

DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM RIDER DATA LOGS
LORIS CAPIROSSI
Age: 33 (born April 4, 1973)
Lives: Monaco
Bike: Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici GP6
GP starts: 232 (62xMotoGP, 59x500, 84x250, 27x125)
GP victories: 26 (4xMotoGP, 2x500, 12x250, 8x125)
First GP victory: Britain, 1990 (125)
First GP: Japan, 1990 (125)
Pole positions: 40 (7xMotoGP, 5x500, 23x250, 5x125)
First pole: Australia, 1991 (125)
World Championships: 3 (125: 1990, 1991, 250: 1998)
Losail 2005 results: Grid: 1st. Race: 10th

SETE GIBERNAU
Age: 33 (born December 15, 1972)
Lives: Switzerland
Bike: Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici GP6
GP starts: 161 (66xMotoGP, 76x500, 19x250)
GP victories: 9 (8xMotoGP, 1x500)
First GP victory: Valencia, 2001 (500)
First GP: Spain, 1993 (250)
Pole positions: 12 (11xMotoGP, 1x500)
First pole: South Africa, 2000 (500)
Losail 2005 results: Grid: 2nd. Race: 5th

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Team Suzuki Press Office – March 29, 2006.


World Superbike Champion Troy Corser and Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra completed the three-day test at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in
Valencia, Spain today with valuable information to carry through to
the next round of the World Championship.

Corser left the circuit today with the fourth-quickest time as
team-mate Yukio Kagayama posted 10th after testing new chassis and
engine components on their GSX-R1000s in readiness for the next round.

Troy Corser: best lap (3-day) 1:34.933:

"Today we carried on trying a whole load of different stuff and maybe
we got a little confused. Many times I went out to test something and
was out for four or five laps to find out as much as possible. We have
been here heaps of times, so we have a pretty good idea of a base
set-up, so that was something we didn't feel we had to chase this
time. All in all, it was a pretty productive three days and we ended
with lots of info and data. Today the clutch was pretty consistent and
it seemed ok even after I had done a practice start. We were testing
so many things that I think Pirelli left us alone for perhaps longer
than we would've liked. That was resolved today and now we have got a
short break for our next test in Misano. There we will have to
concentrate more on finding a good set-up for the race."

Yukio Kagayama: best lap (3-day) 1:35.538:

"Today we continued testing many different things including tyres and
mapping. I put in over 200 laps during these three days and that is a
lot of laps! In the afternoon the wind was quite strong and although
it was not a big problem I knew it would not be possible to chase a
very fast lap time. Valencia is a circuit where you need a good rhythm
to set a fast lap, but it's very easy to lose your rhythm if you make
a small mistake, miss your apex or come up against a slower rider. You
need a clear track and good rhythm for a quick lap and I don't think I
ever got that. But I am happy with the progress we made during the
three days and now the technicians have got a lot of data to analyse
before we make the next step."

Fabien Foret: best lap (3-day) 1:35.771:

"My hands are completely blistered and I am a little tired, but I feel
very positive about my next time on the bike - at the Misano tests in
the middle of April. I'm physically and mentally drained now but, as I
said yesterday, I am beginning to feel that this bike is my bike and I
am starting to have some fun with it. There's a lot to learn, but I'm
happy that we are making progress and I am happy that my understanding
of the bike is improving every time out."

Results (3-day):
1 Bayliss (Aus-Ducati), 182 laps, best lap 1:33.758
2 Xaus (E-Ducati), 138 laps, best lap 1:34.659
3 Lanzi (I-Ducati), 178 laps, best lap 1:34.848
4 Troy Corser (Aus-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra), 195 laps, best lap 1:34.933
5 Martin (Aus- Petronas), 156 laps, best lap 1:35.178
6 Haga (J-Yamaha), 176 laps, best lap 1:35.295
7 Nieto (E-Kawasaki), 201 laps, best lap 1:35.377
8 Pitt (Aus-Yamaha), 180 laps, best lap 1:35.423
9 Fabrizio (I-Honda), 178 laps, best lap 1:35.437
10 Yukio Kagayama (J-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 209 laps, best lap 1:35.538
13 Fabien Foret (F-Alstare Engineering Corona Extra) 202 laps, best lap 1:35.771

Team Suzuki Press Office – March 29, 2006


Rizla Suzuki will travel to the Guadix circuit in southern Spain for a
two-day test session before prior to the second round of the Bennetts
British Superbike Championship at Donington Park on April 9th.

After a pre-season test programme blighted by wet and cold weather,
the move to Guadix, near Malaga on the south coast of Spain, is to try
and ensure dry miles of testing. The 3km long circuit provides a
mixture of fast, slow and multiple corners as well as a 750m straight
which makes it ideal for Shane Byrne and James Haydon to test their
GSX-R1000s to the limit.

Rizla Suzuki Team Manager Robert Wicks said: "We came away from the
opening round of the series knowing we have a competitive bike and the
potential to challenge at the front with both riders. What we need now
is time and laps on the bikes so both riders can go to Donington Park
with increased confidence."

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

PARTS UNLIMITED DUCATI COMPLETES TEST PROGRAM AT BARBER

Leeds (Alabama) 28 March 2006: Neil Hodgson and Ben Bostrom of the
Parts Unlimited Ducati Team tested at Barber Motorsports Park on
Monday and Tuesday. Both riders saw their schedule put into fast
forward mode on Tuesday afternoon because of weather issues. Wet
conditions at the tight 2.3-mile circuit on Tuesday morning kept the
teams off the track until noon, but the afternoon saw a flurry of
action on the Birmingham track. Fortunately, both riders were able to
complete the testing program for their Ducati 999 Superbikes.
Neil Hodgson saw a best lap of 1:25.7, good for fourth fastest. "It
was a good test for us here at a circuit that doesn't really suit our
bike's strengths. We tested a lot of things and eliminated some
possibilities for the race weekend, for sure. It should help us get up
to speed quicker. I'm positive for the race but this is one of those
tracks where the rider really needs to muscle the bike around," said
Hodgson, who finished fourth at Barber last season. "It's a very
physical track."

"It's going to be a lot of hard work, but I think the key is being
consistent over the course of the race," said Ben Bostrom, whose best
lap on the day was 1:26.5. "The good thing about today is that we were
able to get more laps in and learn some things."

"Despite the rain, we were able to complete our test program," said
Team Technical Manager Gabriele Raccio. "We felt we made real progress
with Neil over the two days. Ben and his crew tried a lot of different
configurations with his bike and we are confident he will do well in
the race when we come back."

The next AMA Superbike race is the Barber Motorsports Park round, April 14-16.

Unofficial Lap Times 1. Mat Mladin, Suzuki 1:24.7 2. Ben Spies, Suzuki
1:25.3 3. Jake Zemke, Honda 1:25.6 4. Neil Hodgson, Parts Unlimited
Ducati 1:25.6 4. Tommy Hayden, Kawasaki 1:25.6 6. Roger Hayden,
Kawasaki 1:26.0 7. Aaron Yates, Suzuki 1:26.1 8. Miguel Duhamel, Honda
1:26.4 9. Ben Bostrom, Parts Unlimited Ducati 1:26.5

Team Suzuki Press Office – March 28, 2006.


Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra continued their extensive work
testing different components and a variety of settings at Valencia in
Spain today and made good progress.

Despite not using any qualifying tyres today, Troy Corser finished
second quickest, just half a second or so behind Troy Bayliss
(Ducati). Yukio Kagayama ended fifth quickest and Alstare Engineering
Corona Extra rider Fabien Foret posted the 16th fastest time as he
continued his steep Superbike learning curve. Foret was only a second
behind Corser - an indication that the Frenchman is getting to grips
with his life in Superbike.

Strong winds hindered today's tests, but Kagayama was the only rider
claiming not to have been affected by them in the afternoon session.

Troy Corser - 1:35.571:

"So far the two days have gone pretty well and we've tested a variety
of stuff including different clutch components, forks, rear shocks and
other stuff. These are the kind of things we never get a real chance
to try out during a race weekend, so these three days are giving us a
lot of time to try things and evaluate them. All the info should help
improve what is already a good package.

"Today was a bit windy and I had to be careful exiting turns one and
also going over the hill before the last two turns. It would've pretty
easy to crash through there so I made sure I took it carefully. It was
hotter in the afternoon and I felt that the tyres didn't work as well
as the morning when it was a bit cooler. For me, generally, the
Pirellis are like that and it's something to be aware off - especially
in a race.

"My little finger of my right hand has been a little stiff since the
fall at Phillip Island and it's possible that it may have a greenstick
fracture. It's a little bit sore when I pull my gloves on, but not bad
enough to affect me on the track. Tomorrow we've got more different
things to try and by the end we should have a lot of useful
information to study."

Yukio Kagayama - 1:35.889:

"I think the tests have gone well so far. I had a little crash
yesterday, but no damage - well not to me anyway! Sorry to the
mechanics though, because I gave them extra work! Here we have been
trying many different things; trying to get a good setting for the
bike so that when we come here for the race in one month or so, we can
start in a good position. We had some clutch problems in Qatar, so
this is one area where we have been working on and hope to have a good
solution by the end of tomorrow.

"Many riders said they had problems with the wind and change of
temperature this afternoon, but for me there was no big difference!
Maybe the tyres do not work as well when it is hotter, but I didn't
notice it so much. I'm happy with the progress we have made so far and
hope to make further progress tomorrow."

Fabien Foret - 1:36.577:

"I am happy because I am finally beginning to enjoy riding my bike.
When I first jumped on it, I think I was trying to ride it a bit like
I rode in Supersport. But yesterday and today it is beginning to feel
like my bike and I am starting to have fun with it. You can ride a
Supersport bike fast even if the set-up is not perfect, but you can't
do that with a Superbike because there are so many more variables.
Understanding them takes time and I am learning as fast as I can.
Riding the first two rounds of the championship was a good experience,
but it is good to come here with no pressure and try different things.
I think we are making good progress now and I am hoping it continues
tomorrow."

Best lap times (after two days):1 Bayliss (Aus-Ducati) 1:34.987, 2
Troy Corser (Aus-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 1:35.571, 3 Haga
(J-Yamaha) 1:35.618, 4 Walker (GB-Kawasaki) 1:35.827, 5 Yukio Kagayama
(J-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 1:35.889, 6 Nieto (E-Kawasaki)
1:35.974, 7 Lanzi (I-Ducati) 1:36.009, 8 Muggeridge (Aus-Honda)
1:36.034, 9 Xaus (E-Ducati) 1:36.175, 10 Pitt (Aus-Yamaha) 1:36.215.
16 Fabien Foret (F-Alstare Engineering Corona Extra) 1:36.577.

DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM WINS THRILLING SEASON-OPENER


Loris Capirossi won today's season-opening Spanish GP in brilliant
style to put the Ducati Marlboro Team at the top of the MotoGP points
table for the first time in history. But it was a day of mixed
emotions for the team with Sete Gibernau withdrawing due to a gear
sensor problem which affected his bike's electronics.

Capirossi and Gibernau had qualified first and second fastest, with
Gibernau quickest in this morning's warm-up session, so the team had
high hopes of a double podium result. Capirossi led the race from
start to finish to beat runner-up Dani Pedrosa by 4.375 seconds and
completed a perfect weekend: pole position, race win and fastest lap.
Today's victory was the Italian's fourth MotoGP success for the Ducati
Marlboro Team, his sixth premier class triumph and his 26th career
win.

FEDERICO MINOLI, Ducati CEO and president
"Winning today's race is the perfect end to a hard winter's work.
Everyone who believes in this project has worked so hard and today all
that work paid off. Loris rode like a lion, he gave us an amazing
race. It's a pity for Sete, he's shown that he's strong and that he's
fast and I'm sure we could have had both bikes on the podium today,
but he still has 16 races ahead of him."

LIVIO SUPPO, Ducati MotoGP project manager
"It's a day of mixed emotions for us - Ducati deserved a double podium
today. I'm so happy for Loris, he did a great job and rode a wonderful
race, he had the situation under control. On the other hand, I'm
really sorry for what happened to Sete. My thanks to our technical
partners Bridgestone and Shell Advance who have done so much in
contributing to this victory."

LORIS CAPIROSSI, winner
"This is my fourth year with the Ducati Marlboro Team and this is the
best start we've had to a season, today's win was just the best. The
team has done a great job all winter, especially at the tests we did
here two weeks ago. After that we knew we had a good opportunity to
win and after practice and qualifying we were quite confident.
"My target today was to not try too hard in the early laps, but I got
away in first place, so I tried to make a gap on the others. First it
was (Nicky) Hayden behind me, then Pedrosa came at me. I decided to
make a good rhythm that wouldn't stress the tyres too much, then
during the last six or seven laps I pushed again and was able to take
the advantage once more. "I have to say thanks to everyone at Ducati
who worked so hard for this and also to Bridgestone who have made big
improvements over the winter. This is our second season with
Bridgestone and our collaboration is working so well. I will try to
repeat today's result as often as possible but it won't be easy!"

SETE GIBERNAU, DNF
"I've no words really, we've all been working so hard over the last
few months but we're leaving the first race with no result. It's a
real pity, everything had been going so well. My congratulations to
Loris and Bridgestone for a fantastic win, now we look forward to the
next race in Qatar in two weeks time."

Valuable Start for Rizla Suzuki


Rizla Suzuki racers James Haydon and Shane 'Shakey' Byrne scored
valuable points in both races at the opening round of the Bennetts
British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch Indy circuit.

In the first dry race, Byrne battled to sixth while Haydon recovered
from a poor start to claim 10th. The race was cut short after 20-laps
when Ducati rider Leon Haslam suffered a spectacular crash going into
Paddock Hill bend. He was unhurt and his Ducati team mate Gregorio
Lavilla won the race.

The second race started in damp conditions and the weather played
havoc with tyre choice for all teams. Both Rizla Suzuki racers started
with intermediate front and slick rear tyres anticipating the weather
to improve but the rain continued to fall throughout the 30-lap race.
Both riders showed immense control and maturity with Haydon coming
home in seventh and Shakey in 11th as Honda's Ryuichi Kiyonari won the
race.

Defending Champion Lavilla heads the Championship table and the Rizla
Suzuki racers are equal seventh.

Rizla Suzuki races at Donington Park in Derbyshire at the second round
of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship on April 9th.

James Haydon:

"In the opening race on the second lap I went into the left hander at
Surtees too fast when my tyre wasn't up to full temperature and ended
up grass tracking. I lost six or seven places and then spent the rest
of the race fighting back. I got to 10th before the race was cut short
and I'm frustrated because I think I could have got another couple of
positions if it had gone full distance.

"Race two was hideous because of the damp conditions. Like most of the
rest of the field, I picked the wrong tyres and ended up riding a
restrained and controlled race to score points in seventh. My
confidence is building and I'm keen to get back on the bike as soon as
possible."

Shane Byrne:

"The first race was very positive and gives us an indication of where
we are in relation to the rest of the field. The second race was hard
because of the conditions and I also got a terrible start.

"I learnt a lot by following other riders and I am comfortable on the
Rizla Suzuki, so today has been good from that perspective. I am now
desperate to test before we go to Donington so I can find out more
about my bike and what changes we need to make to go faster. I need
and want to be challenging at the front to win races."

Robert Wicks -Team Manager:

"The weather conditions were difficult and we are pleased we are
leaving here with some solid points in the bag for both riders. James
and Shakey both rode with controlled aggression and have given
excellent feedback to their crews which will improve the bikes for the
next round.

"This weekend has proved we have a very fast motorcycle that has lots
of potential and two riders champing at the bit to win races. We will
now do everything we can to unlock that potential."

Race One Result: 1: Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 15:28.510, 2: Karl
Harris (Honda) +4.222, 3: Michael Rutter (Honda) +8.758, 4: Ryuichi
Kiyonari (Honda) +8.891, 5: Jonathan Rea (Honda) +12.363, 6: Shane
Byrne (Rizla Suzuki) +18.556, 7: Michael Laverty (Honda) +18.793, 8:
Dean Thomas (Kawasaki) +19.171, 9: Glen Richards (Honda) +19.285, 10:
James Haydon (Rizla Suzuki) +20.402.

Race Two Result: 1: Kiyonari 25:39.805, 2: Leon Haslam (Ducati)
+10.069, 3: Lavilla +19.240, 4: Craig Coxhell (Kawasaki) +21.922, 5:
Harris +23.918, 6: Tommy Hill (Yamaha) +25.842, 7: James Haydon (Rizla
Suzuki) +48.840, 8: Thomas +53.371, 9: Richards +1 lap, 10: Ollie
Bridewell (Suzuki) +1 lap, 11: Shane Byrne (Rizla Suzuki) +1 lap.

Championship Positions (after 1 round): 1: Lavilla 41, 2: Kiyonari 38,
3: Harris 31, 4: Haslam 20, 5=: Rutter, Thomas 16, 7 = Shane Byrne
(Rizla Suzuki) and James Haydon (Rizla Suzuki) 15, 9: Richards 14, 10:
Coxhell 13.

DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM SET QUICK TIMES ON RACE TYRES IN ONE-DAY AT JEREZ

Just 24 hours after the celebrations over the victory of Loris
Capirossi in the opening round of the 2006 MotoGP season, the Italian
team was back at work today at Jerez for a one-day scheduled test on
the Andalusian circuit.

The Italian rider focussed mainly on testing new Bridgestone tyres and
continuing the Ducati Desmosedici GP6's development schedule. Loris
lapped consistently around the 1m41s mark, ending the day with a best
time of 1m40.798s.

Sete Gibernau put aside his Jerez race disappointment to immediately
set the quickest time of 1m40.504s on the fourth lap of his opening
run of the day. A harmless slide interrupted the Spanish rider's
session for a few minutes but the Spanish rider was able to
successfully conclude the test in preparation for the next round of
the championship in Qatar.

Temperatures: air 23° / track 31° C

1) Nicky Hayden (Honda) 1m39. 910s
2) Sete Gibernau (Ducati) 1m40.504s
3) Loris Capirossi (Ducati) 1m40.798s
4) Casey Stoner (Honda) 1m40. 821s
5) Daniel Pedrosa (Honda) 1m40. 845s
6) Carlos Checa (Yamaha) 1m40. 932s
7) Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1m40. 966s
8) John Hopkins (Suzuki) 1m41.096s
9) Shynja Nakano (Kawasaki) 1m41.178s
10) Toni Elias (Honda) 1m41.193s
11) Makoto Tamada (Honda) 1m41. 234s
12) Marco Melandri (Honda) 1m41. 400s
13) Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1m41. 442s
14) Cris Vermullen (Suzuki) 1m41. 554s
15) Kenny Roberts (KRHonda) 1m41.861s
16) James Ellison (Yamaha) 1m42.924s

Progress for FPR after day one of Spanish test


Both Foggy PETRONAS Racing riders made strides forward during the
first day of the official Superbike World Championship test at
Valencia, Spain, today.

Steve Martin finished the day 13th fastest out of the full World
Superbike field, with a time of 1:37.07 which bettered his previous
fastest at the circuit on the PETRONAS FP1, despite experiencing an
engine failure towards the end of the first session which caused a
spectacular high-side from which he escaped uninjured. Team-mate Craig
Jones also made in-roads into his previous best time at the circuit as
he gained further valuable track experience and set-up knowledge.

The team were also able to compare a new engine development, featuring
a new cam-shaft designed to improve the mid-range power spread, to
that used at Phillip Island in the recent races.

Troy Bayliss, who is leading the championship after the opening two
races, set the pace once again with a time of 1:35.220.

Steve, who was 10th fastest after the morning session, said: "I was
lucky to get away with the crash but, although this may sound strange,
I am glad that it happened in one respect. I haven't really given my
body a knock since my operation last year and it is good to get it
over and done with and know that I am just as strong as I used to be.
I have not been too worried about lap times as I only used two rear
tyres in each session and I am sure I could have bettered my time if I
had stuck a softer one in at the end. Our aim is to do consistent
times on race times so that we can fully evaluate the different engine
configurations. There is no doubt that the new camshaft provided more
torque, but at the expense of top speed down the main straight.
However, on race tyres, I was able to match my qualifying time from
the race weekend last year, and was able to lap in the low 37s
throughout the day."

Craig said: "I am reasonably pleased because, although I did not do
any quick times today, we have made progress and have a direction to
go in with the bike's set-up. I have found a front end set-up that I
quite like and a back-end set-up that I also quite like. It's just a
question of putting together the whole package now. I have gone a
second quicker than when we tested here last year and we have got a
game plan for tomorrow to reduce the times further."

First day times, Superbike World Championship official test, Valencia,
Spain: 1 Bayliss 1:35.220; 2 Corser 1:36.080; 3 Barros 1:36.292; 4
Haga 1:36.309; 5 Muggeridge 1:36.327; 6 Lanzi 1:36.360; 7 Walker
1:36.450; 8 Kagayama 1:36.725; 9 Pitt 1:36.740; 10 Nieto 1:36.808; 13
Martin (Foggy PETRONAS Racing) 1:37.072; 28 Jones (Foggy PETRONAS
Racing) 1:40.226

Friday, March 24, 2006

Spanish Grand Prix, Jerez Practice


DAY ONE 2006: DUCATI MARLBORO MEN UP FRONT

Ducati Marlboro Team riders Loris Capirossi and Sete Gibernau enjoyed
a positive first day of the 2006 MotoGP World Championship at Jerez
today, completing the first two practice sessions for Sunday's keenly
awaited, season-opening Spanish GP a close second and equal third
fastest.
Conditions weren't perfect, with this morning's session held in cold
and damp conditions and this afternoon's in cool and windy conditions
with dark clouds threatening. Capirossi was quickest in the damp and
led much of the second session, ending up just 0.012s behind reigning
World Champion Valentino Rossi. Gibernau was also impressively fast
this afternoon, a mere 0.185s off 'pole position' and looking forward
to further progress tomorrow, for which the weather forecast predicts
sunny and warm conditions.

LORIS CAPIROSSI, second fastest, 1m 41.625s
"This afternoon was the first real practice session, although the
track was still damp in places, so I couldn't use my usual lines
everywhere. The damp bothered me more than I expected. Furthermore, no
rubber has been laid down, which means the track conditions are very
different from the tests we did here two weeks ago. But overall I'm
very, very happy with today. I'm only 12 hundredths behind the fastest
guy which is nothing, and we were fast in the wet, so we are ready
whatever the weather. The bike set-up is almost identical to what I
used at the tests, the tyres are the same too, though we'll test some
new Bridgestones tomorrow. We know we can be faster than today, which
is good. I'm okay, I'll keep working and hope for some nice weather."

SETE GIBERNAU, equal third fastest, 1m 41.798s
"Today was okay, no one could do any real work this morning, so this
afternoon was like our first practice session. Even then conditions
weren't perfect, it seemed like there were still a few damp patches
out there, so we're not going quite as fast as we were at the tests.
For me, we need to make the bike easier, more natural. I'm still
fighting with it more than I'd like, but the team has got some ideas
to work on that. I'm not really thinking too much about lap times at
the moment. I know we can be fast but we need to be constantly fast,
so we're working more towards a good race pace. Bridgestone have some
new tyres here, so we've still got more stuff to try tomorrow."

Temperatures: Ambient: 23 degrees. Track: 33 degrees

Saturday, March 18, 2006

HODGSON QUICK AT INFINEON DESPITE LIMITED TESTING TIME

Sonoma (California) 17 March 2006: The Parts Unlimited Ducati team saw
weather problems derail their Infineon Raceway test on Thursday and
Friday. Rain and cold kept riders Neil Hodgson and Ben Bostrom from
getting much track time with their Ducati 999 Superbikes at the scenic
track north of San Francisco and just thirty minutes from the famous
Golden Gate Bridge. Thursday's action was completely rained out, with
Friday's testing limited to some very cold laps of the 2.2-mile
(3.54-kilometer) circuit that began just before noon. Some teams left
the circuit early.

Neil Hodgson's lap time on a "green" track was 1:38.1, unofficially
tied for the best lap at the test. Ben Bostrom, who worked on testing
different parts on the Ducati 999 for the team on Friday, turned in a
best lap of 1:39.8.

"I'm happy with this test, even though we only were able to complete
part of one day," said Team Technical Manager Gabriele Raccio. "The
lap times were not good compared to the lap records because of the
rain, but we did manage to get some work in. Neil was as fast as
anyone at the test with a time of 1:38.1, which tied him with Tommy
Hayden for the quickest on Friday afternoon. Ben's main goal was a bit
different today. He tested some components on the bike and we did not
adjust the setup for a fast time. The conditions will be very
different than when we race here."

"The track was really too green in the morning and too cold in the
afternoon to get much done in the way of working on the chassis for
the race," said Bostrom. "We were able to work on gearing and brakes
and I got 'plugged in' to the circuit after being away for a year,
though. It was good to get back on the track again."

The next AMA Superbike race is the Barber Motorsports Park round, April 21-23.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Episode 10


Download Episode 10 here

Welcome to the 10th episode of Roadracer Podcast, today is March 15, 2006; I am your host John Bunce.  In today’s episode news from the Daytona 200 and an interview with first year AMA racer Aaron Eldridge.

Well what a show for the Daytona 200.  A very exciting race and lots of political crap and wrangling going on prior, during and after the race.

But before we get started, lets play a listener voice mail from Richard in Maine.

PLAY VOICEMAIL

Thanks for the comments Richard.  I am really trying to get my pronunciation down on the names of the teams.  It’s a work in progress and I hope that I am improving every time I do a new show.  You have to get your bike really for the track and come out to Loudon.  Or you can just rent a bike from the Penguin Racing School and have a go on a Ducati.  I’ll put a link on my web site for the Penguin school, they are a bunch of great guys and it’s a great school.  http://www.penguinracing.com/     

Ok, Lets start with the Superbike race:

It was pretty straight forward.  Miladin wins…..see how easy that was…….

Miladin and Spies ran away from the field right from the start, with Miladin leading 13 of the 15 laps and Spies leading for 2.  Miladin played Spies like a fiddle and let him pass on the final lap as they entered the banking and then re-passed by drafting him at the finish line for the win.  This is what Duhamel did to Zemke in the 2005 Daytona 200   Ahh rookies…they will never learn….

Roger Hayden ended up crashing and cracking some bones in his foot, but he will be back for the next round.

Daytona 200 Formula Extreme race.

In the beginning Yamaha riders DiSalvo and Bostrom took the lead for about 7 laps before being caught by the Honda riders Duhamel and Zemke.

Lapped riders became a factor by lap ten of the race.  It just goes to show that the factory motorcycles are just so much faster and with better horse power.

By lap 14 Zemke and Duhamel were firmly in the lead.

On lap 20 Duhamel takes the lead from Zemke and both riders complete their scheduled pit stops on Lap 20 and 21.

After the pit stops Duhamel takes the lead again until lap 44.

On Lap 32 Buell rider Jeremy McWilliams has problems in the pit, with his bike falling off the stand and the front wheel wouldn’t go back into place and front brake problems.

Duhamel crashes on Lap 44.  He gets up runs over to his bike and joins the race again.  On lap 45 Duhamel pits his Honda.  At the pit stop he is yelling for duct tape to repair his broken face shield that is being held on by only one side.  His front fairing is damaged and he has no windshield for the bike.  As Duhamel leaves the pit the duct tape does not hold and he continues on.

On lap 48 racer Danny Eslick pits his Suzuki for a scheduled pit stop.  Eslick finished 4th in the 2005 Daytona 200.  Eslick had a slow pit stop with front wheel problems and in his frustration he fires his clutch on the way out.  Listen on how not to make a clutch last for 200 miles.

Play Clip

On lap 49 Eslick is done and retires his bike.  Listen to what Gregg White had to say.

With 15 laps to go, Duhamel might come in for a new helmet, but decides against it.  Duhamel has a radio inside the helmet for communication with the pit crew.  

13 laps to go the pace car comes out and screws up the field by coming out in front of Bostrom and Duhamel, essentially screwing up the order of the race.  So Zemke is still in first place but Bostrom and Duhamel are almost a whole lap behind Zemke.  What the pace car is supposed to do is if they come out in the wrong spot the passenger in the pace car is supposed to signal the riders to pass until the race leader is in the proper position.

Of course at the end of the race there was a protest to the pace car situation by the Factory Yamaha team and the AMA denied the protest and made the race results official.

Protest by Factory Yamaha team: http://www.roadracingworld.com/news/article/?article=25253

I will post on the web site press releases from the AMA for everyone to read.  What the AMA said was that the pace car incident did not have an effect on the outcome of the race and the protest was denied.  I think that is a bullshit answer.  By the pace car coming out it put some of the riders like Bostrom and Duhamel almost a lap behind the leader without any chance of catching up.  I think the best thing to have done was that if the AMA could have recognized their screw up that they should have done a restart from pit lane to correct the procedure or just continue to way the riders around until Zemke was in the proper spot.
AMA Pro Racing statement on Daytona 200 by Honda resultsDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 11, 2006) – Race control called for the pace car to bring the field under control after Anthony Fania crashed in NASCAR Turn 4 on lap 55 of the Daytona 200 by Honda. Fania’s motorcycle was visible to race control, but the rider himself was not initially in sight. Race control felt it was imperative to bring the field under control as quickly as possible and that is why the pace car immediately entered the track.It is important to reiterate the urgency of bringing riders to a controlled speed when a rider could be in a potentially hazardous position on the track.AMA Pro Racing official Ron Barrick stated that even though pace car procedures were not able to be fully implemented he is confident that it did not ultimately change the outcome of the race. This is based upon lap times and the relative positions of the leaders prior to the pace car-controlled laps.“Safety is our overriding concern,” said Ron Barrick, AMA Pro Racing Series Manager for Road Racing. “We did what we did for the protection of our competitors.”

With 10 laps to go the race was restarted.  By lap 8 Duhamel gets around bostrom and then is re-passed by Bostrom later on.

The coverage by Speed TV of second place Erion Honda Josh Hayes really wasn’t mentioned.  Hayes was basically in a race by himself with no pressure from the Yamaha Factory team or Duhamel.  He kind of snuck up on my while I was watching the race.

For the last 3 laps Hayes was making a great effort to catch Zemke but couldn’t get it done.

And the final results are posted on the web site; it was Zemke, Hayes, DiSalvo, Bostrom and Duhamel.

Ok we are going to take a break and when we get back I’ll have my interview with first year AMA racer Aaron Eldridge.

Play Promos.

Welcome back and lets get straight into the interview with Aaron Eldridge

Play interview.

Ok, that’s going to wrap it up.  And don’t forget to listen to the Motorcycle Podcast Group round wheel discussion show #2 on the motorcycle safety course.  We also have a new forum for everyone to participate in at the MPG and the web address is http://forum.motorcyclepodcastgroup.com.  And send me your email and voice mail to either my skype address at roadracerpodcast or my new voice mail phone number 1-775-429-5742.  Put a pin in my frappr map, I want to see people from all over the world on it.  And don’t forget my survey, it’s anonymous and only takes a minute to do.

Take care and I’ll see you at the track…..

Saturday, March 11, 2006

65th Daytona 200 Race Results

1. Jake Zemke, Honda, 68 laps.
2. Josh Hayes, Honda, 68.
3. Jason DiSalvo, Yamaha, 68.
4. Eric Bostrom, Yamaha 68.
5. Miguel Duhamel, Honda, 68.
6. Aaron Gobert, Honda, 67.
7. Geoff May, Suzuki, 67.
8. Eric Wood, Honda, 66.
9. Blake Young, Suzuki, 66.
10. Will Gruy, Yamaha, 65.
11. Ryan Elleby, Honda, 65.
12. Tony Meiring, Suzuki, 65.
13. Mark Crozier, Suzuki, 65.
14. Ricky Orlando, Kawasaki, 65.
15. Rob Frost, Kawasaki, 64.
16. Brian Stokes, Yamaha, 64.
17. Victor Chirinos, Kawasaki, 64.
18. Oliver Jervis, Kawasaki, 64.
19. Robert Fisher, Suzuki, 64.
20. Bostjan Pintar, Yamaha, 64.
21. Johnny Rock Page, Yamaha, 64.
22. Bostjan, Skuic, Honda, 64.
23. Opie Caylor, Suzuki, 64.
24. James Kerker, Honda, 64.
25. Dan Ortega, Suzuki, 63
26. John A. Ashmead, Kawasaki, 63.
27. Dirk Sanchez, Kawasaki, 63.
28. Marco Martinez, Yamaha, 63.
29. Joseph Ford, Yamaha, 63.
30. Mark McCormick, Yamaha, 63.
31. Jeremiah J. Johnson, Suzuki, 63.
32. David McPherson, Yamaha, 63.
33. Akiharu Shigeno, Kawasaki, 63.
34. Raymond Bowman, Suzuki, 63.
35. David Sadowski, Jr., Yamaha, 63.
36. John Caleb Linder, Yamaha, 62.
37. Jeffrey Purk, Yamaha, 62
38. Armonda Ferrer, Kawasaki, 62
39. Santiago Villa Venegas, Yamaha, 62.
40. Rick Shaw, Yamaha, 61.
41. Brett Champagne, Suzuki, 61.
42. Spencer Stuart, Yamaha, 61.
43. Lance Yeager, Kawasaki, 59.
44. Dejan Senk, Honda, 58.
45. Ray Gordon, Ducati, 55.
46. Morgan Murphy, Suzuki, 55.
47. Scotty Van Scoik, Kawasaki, 55.
48. Anthony Fania, Yamaha, 50.
49. Danny Eslick, Suzuki, 49.
50. Tyler McDonald, Yamaha, 47.
51. Bill Card, Yamaha, 43.
52. Jeremy McWilliams, Buell, 37.
53. Josh Day, Yamaha, 36.
54. Rico Penzkofer, Buell, 25.
55. Ty Howard, Honda, 21.
56. Trey Yonce, Yamaha, 19.
57. Keith Marshall, Suzuki, 15.
58. Steve Crevier, Buell, 14.
59. Justin Filice, Honda, 7.
60. Barrett Long, Yamaha 7.
61. Alastair Seeley, Yamaha 6.
62. Jean Paul Tache, Kawasaki, 6.
63. Nathan Hester, Yamaha, 2.
64. Mike Ciccotto, Buell, 2.

Time of race: 2:00:01.245
Margin of victory: 1.562 seconds.
Winner's average speed: 100.3 mph.
Laps led: Zemke, 35. Duhamel, 22. Bostrom, 11.

Team Suzuki Press Office – March 11, 2006.


Defending Champion Mat Mladin headed a Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000
one-two at the opening round of the AMA Superbike Championship at
Daytona in Florida today.

The six-time series winner beat team mate Ben Spies by less than
300ths of a second after 15 laps at Daytona Speedway after taking the
lead early on. Spies briefly led on the seventh lap but the Australian
retook him one lap later.

Third team rider Aaron Yates moved from ninth at the start to finish
in sixth place.

Said Mladin: "It was a good race. It's good to get the Yoshimura
Suzukis up here one and two. In these races you can look really good
or you can look really bad. Today came out good for us and now I'm
ready to head on to the next round."

Thursday's qualifying session saw Mladin capture his third Daytona
Superbike pole position by posting a record-breaking time of 1:37.075.
Spies came in a close second with a fast 1:37.559 lap time. Yates,
still suffering from a shoulder injury and conserving his energy for
the afternoon's Superstock race, posted a 1:39.429 time and carded a
third-row grid position.

"The new Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 is working beautifully," said
Mladin after qualifying. "It's fast, the suspension is working well
and the tyres are good. It's a great motorbike to start the season
with."

In Saturday's 15-lap race, Mladin showed exactly how good of a
motorbike the GSX-R is by getting a great start and pulling quickly
into the lead. He pulled away with Spies in tow. Mid-race, they
swapped spots but a lap later, Mladin regained the lead. On the last
lap, Mladin again let Spies go by but then passed him right before the
finish line.

"With about five laps to go, I figured that's what I would do," Mladin
said of letting Spies by at the end. "I tried to catch him by
surprise. After I got going, I gave him a little more room on the
banking because I wanted to make sure I didn't pass him too soon."

Said Spies: "Mat and I both got great starts on the Yoshimura Suzuki
GSX-R1000s and I knew it would be settled between the two of us. I
tried to make it work at the end but he caught me at the finish. But I
was just happy to stay with him for the whole race and I'm glad we got
out ahead of everybody."

Yates, meanwhile, was still nursing the shoulder he broke at last
month's California Speedway test. Starting from the Daytona third row,
he slotted in behind the lead groups and rode consistently to sixth
place.

"I'm happy with my results," said Yates. "Considering my condition,
I'm pretty pleased with this outcome. Overall, we've made some
progress with the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 and I'm looking forward
to getting in condition so I can race with my team mates for the win."

Daytona Superbike Results: 1 Mat Mladin (Suzuki), 2 Ben Spies
(Suzuki), 3 Miguel Duhamel (Honda), 4 Neil Hodgson (Ducati), 5 Tommy
Hayden (Kawasaki), 6 Aaron Yates (Suzuki), 7 Ben Bostrom (Ducati), 8
Jake Zemke (Honda), 9 Jason Pridmore (Suzuki), 10 Jake Holden
(Suzuki).

HODGSON FIGHTS FOR POSITION IN DAYTONA


Daytona (Florida) 11 March 2006: Parts Unlimited Ducati's Neil Hodgson
battled for a podium spot in Saturday's Daytona Superbike race before
finishing a close fourth. Hodgson, who rebounded from a touchy moment
in the chicane during the opening laps of the race, used his Ducati
999 to pass several riders and make a strong charge toward the front
in the 15-lap race.

"I rode as hard as I could and just wish we had a second race here.
We'd make a few little changes and be right there in the swing of
things," said the 2003 World Superbike champion. "I quite enjoyed it.
Passing a few people made the race for me. The bike feels quite a bit
better than last year. I've got a great feel from the 999 and hope we
can improve that in testing."

Hodgson was 6.017 seconds from the leader at the finish.

Ben Bostrom was disappointed to finish seventh with a grip issue after
qualifying on the front row. However, he was upbeat after the Daytona
race despite the event not living up to his expectations. "The bike's
fantastic, that's the real bummer," said Ben. "I really like riding
this bike and I think it's the most fun I've ever had roadracing. Off
the start, it's just that the tire felt like it was an old race tire.
I could only do a 1:39.5 lap. It never got worse and never got better.
The bike's great, we just needed more grip out there today."

Parts Unlimited Ducati will next race at Barber Motorsports Park, April 21-23.

Results: 1. Mat Mladin, Suzuki 2. Ben Spies, Suzuki 3. Miguel DuHamel,
Honda 4. Neil Hodgson, Parts Unlimited Ducati 5. Tommy Hayden,
Kawasaki 6. Aaron Yates, Suzuki 7. Ben Bostrom, Parts Unlimited Ducati
8. Jake Zemke Honda 9. Jason Pridmore, Jordan Suzuki 10. Jake Holden,
Jordan Suzuki

Press release issued by Parts Unlimited Ducati

Jake Zemke Wins First Daytona 200 By Honda


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (March 11, 2006) -- Honda rider Jake
Zemke held off Erion Racing's Josh Hayes in a nine-lap pace car
restart to capture his first Daytona 200 By Honda victory on Saturday
at Daytona International Speedway.

"Everybody knows about the Daytona 200," Zemke said. "It's
something as a kid that you always look at the names on the list of
the winners of the Daytona 200 By Honda and it's a who's who list. I'm
proud to put my name up there."

While it was Zemke's first Daytona 200 By Honda victory, it was
Honda's 11th in the prestigious motorcycle classic.

Zemke, riding the No. 98 Honda, held off Hayes, aboard the
No. 4 Honda, over the final nine laps for 1.562–second margin of
victory.

In Zemke's previous two Daytona 200 By Honda starts, he
earned second and third-place finishes.

Hayes was delighted with his runner-up finish. He said in
his three previous Daytona 200 By Honda starts, he never made it to
the first pit stop.

"I was gaining on him," Hayes said of Zemke. "I really started trying
hard. I thought I might have something for him. Once he realized I was
there and coming, he picked up the pace. He won it honest."

Yamaha's Jason DiSalvo earned a podium appearance in his first start
in the Daytona 200 By Honda.

Miguel Duhamel had himself in perfect position for his record sixth
Daytona 200 By Honda victory. Riding with a sizable lead, the Canadian
rider took a hard spill entering Turn 1 on Lap 44. Despite a broken
visor and wind screen, Duhamel continued to fight for the win but
settled for a fifth place finish.

"I was just trying to salvage, to see if anything was going to go my
way and have a shot at it still," Duhamel said. "It was real
disappointing. Nothing you can do. That's racing."

The top-finishing Buell rider was three-time Irish champion Jeremy
McWilliams, who finished 52nd and earned the $10,000 Cal Rayborn
Award.

Mladin Wins Opening Round Of AMA Superbike

Mat Mladin played the chicane the perfect way on his way
to victory in the opening round of the AMA Superbike Championship on
Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.

Mladin, riding the No. 1 Suzuki, and his Yoshimura Suzuki teammate Ben
Spies were able to break way in the 15-lap event. On the final lap,
Mladin, not wanting to lead Spies out of the chicane, backed off
allowing Spies to take the lead.

The Aussie then quickly hustled his Suzuki around NASCAR Turns 3 and 4
to nip Spies at the start/finish by .032 seconds.

"With five to go, I figured that was what I was going to have to do,"
said Mladin, who earned his third straight Daytona Superbike win and
his fifth overall. "I certainly didn't want to slow up going into the
chicane and try to let him by there because it's just become silly.
Everyone doesn't know who wants to take the lead.

"I just tried to catch him by surprise. I made sure he had momentum
when he went past so he couldn't check up and if he didn't, I would've
been gone anyway. It worked well this time. That will go in his memory
bank and probably won't work next year. I'll have to come up with
another plan."

Said Spies: "I was figuring I was going to be that guy who got drafted
and beat at the line."

Mladin, who is chasing an unprecedented seventh AMA Superbike
championship, earns the maximum amount of points (38) this weekend at
Daytona as he earned the pole, led the most laps and earned the
victory.

Rounding out the podium was five-time Daytona 200 By Honda champion
Miguel Duhamel.

Press release issued by Daytona International Speedway

Friday, March 10, 2006

Daytona 200 Podcast

I try some commentary of the Formula Xtreme Daytona 200 Qual, the Supersport and Superstock races on Thursday, March 9, 2006.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Hacking, Roger Lee Hayden Find Daytona Glory

Press Release from Daytona International Speedway

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (March 9, 2006) -- Thursday's Superstock and
Supersport final delivered two first-time Daytona International
Speedway winners.

Jamie Hacking can finally call himself a winner at Daytona
International Speedway after his thrilling victory in the Superstock
event.

After coming up short so many times in tight finishes at "The World
Center of Racing," Hacking was able to nip Yamaha teammate Jason
DiSalvo at the start/finish line by a mere .072 seconds.

"It's been nine years since I've been in here," Hacking said. "I have
second place lined up there on the shelf, and now I've finally got
that one to go up there in the middle of them."

Hacking, riding in second place on the final lap aboard the factory
No. 2 Yamaha, felt like he was in perfect position behind the leader
DiSalvo.

"I was hoping he was going to play the cards like he played them and I
took them," Hacking said. "I didn't think he wanted to lead me out of
the chicane but he did. I ran out of the banking, let him go and
breathed the bike a little bit.

"I've been in too many situations where I caught myself out trying to
make the break too early. I left it as late as possible and ran him
down pretty good. I dove down to the inside. If I had to take it to
the dirt, I was going to the dirt to win this one."

DiSalvo gave credit to Hacking's slingshot move at the checkered flag.

"He just played the draft right -- Miguel Duhamel right," said DiSalvo
referring to five-time Daytona 200 By Honda winner who has patented
the slingshot move out of the Daytona chicane.

Aaron Yates delivered a third-place finish aboard his Yoshimura Suzuki
despite an injured shoulder he suffered during a recent test session
at California Speedway.

Hacking continued his Daytona successes on Thursday with a runner-up
finish in the Supersport race behind winner Roger Lee Hayden.

Hayden, riding the No. 95 Kawasaki, was able to break away from the
competitive field in the final laps for the 1.609-second victory.

"The first 15 laps was a little bit of a struggle," Hayden said. "I
changed my gearing right before the race because I thought we had a
pretty bad headwind. It really wasn't the right decision.

"I couldn't get by either one of these guys (Hacking or Tommy Hayden)
by the stripe so I knew my only chance was to try to break away. Once
we got into lappers, they were getting out the blue flag, and I was
being a little bit aggressive."

Tommy Hayden, the 2005 Supersport champion competing in his only 2006
Supersport event of the year, finished third on his No. 1 Kawasaki.

BOSTROM QUALIFIES ON FRONT ROW AT DAYTONA

Daytona (Florida) 9 March 2006: Ben Bostrom of the Parts Unlimited
Ducati Team will start on the front row for Saturday's Daytona
Superbike race aboard his factory Ducati 999. Bostrom was third in
Thursday's session with a time of 1:38.012, held in sunny, cool
Florida weather. Teammate Neil Hodgson qualified sixth with a time of
1:38.491 and showed a consistent pace throughout qualifying that he
hopes to maintain for race distance.

"It's good to be on the front row, but at the same time, I'm a little
disappointed," said Bostrom, the 1998 AMA Superbike champion. "As sure
as I threw my leg over that motorcycle, I thought I could have done a
high 1:36 and I thought no one could stop me for pole position. The
track really changed out there for our second session, though. There
wasn't as much grip as I would have liked. The times from the others
were pretty hot but I don't know if the other guys can turn those lap
times all day on Saturday. We're looking really good for the race,
especially since the Ducati seems to pull all the way down the
straight. The 999 seems like a quick starter off the line, too. I
can't wait."

Bostrom has plenty of experience at Daytona, and won the pole and
finished second in 2003. However, Ben raced in Europe last season and
missed the inaugural race on the new track configuration. Neil Hodgson
finished a competitive second in last year's race, though, despite it
being just his first attempt on the high banks of Daytona.

"The race package we have is quite good," said Hodgson, a resident of
the Isle of Man. "We have chosen a tire and we know exactly what we
have with our settings. There are some races that you aren't sure of
where you stand, but this isn't one of them. Looking at the lap-by-lap
times of all the riders, I think it's going to be a close race. I'm a
little disappointed to be on the second row. I thought we had enough
to start out front, but that's racing."

Duhamel, Mladin Win Poles At Daytona

Miguel Duhamel On The Pole For Daytona 200 By Honda

Mladin Wins AMA Superbike Opening Round Pole

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (March 9, 2006) -- For the second straight year,
Canadian Miguel Duhamel captured the pole for the 65th Daytona 200 By
Honda Formula Xtreme event scheduled for Saturday at historic Daytona
International Speedway.

Duhamel, riding the factory No. 1 American Honda, turned a track
record fast lap of 1:40.928 seconds, 105.224 mph to earn the pole for
the legendary motorcycle event as well as a Rolex watch.

"It means a lot to come out here and get the pole and get the
beautiful Rolex watch," said Duhamel, who has five Daytona 200 By
Honda wins but only two Daytona 200 By Honda poles. "It means a lot to
the team, especially this year, with all the competition. Some people
were thinking it was luck last year, but it was actually determination
and a faster CBR600RR."

If the 37-year-old Montreal native, who now calls Las Vegas home, wins
the prestigious 200-mile motorcycle road race on Saturday he will
become the first six-time winner in the storied history of the race,
which first ran in 1937.

Duhamel is currently tied the legendary Scott Russell with his fifth
victory in the Daytona 200 By Honda last March.

"It's hard," Duhamel said of winning the Daytona 200 By Honda. "You've
got to respect Daytona. It's a hard race, it's 200 miles. If I do win
six, I'll definitely go out, break my training regime and party with
my guys."

Rounding out the podium was second place Jason DiSalvo aboard a Yamaha
(105.134), third place Eric Bostrom (104.795) and fourth place Jake
Zemke (104.209).

Other notable Daytona 200 By Honda qualifiers include Erion Honda's
Josh Hayes (Sixth, 103.961) and Aaron Gobert (Seventh, 103.925) and
Jeremy McWilliams aboard the Buell XB12R (103.574).

Mladin On The Pole For AMA Superbike Championship Opening Round

The track qualifying records continue to fall during
Daytona 200 Week By Honda as Yoshimura Suzuki's Mat Mladin captured
the pole for Saturday's Opening Round of the AMA Superbike
Championship at Daytona International Speedway.

Mladin, a native of Australia who is gunning for his
seventh AMA Superbike title this year, toured the 2.95-mile Daytona
International Speedway with a track-record lap of 1:37.075 seconds,
109.400 mph to earn his third Daytona Superbike pole and record 48th
career Superbike pole.

"I couldn't test here in December recovering from surgery last year,"
Mladin said. "We haven't been here in 12 months and the bike is
certainly very different from what it was 12 months ago so that puts
me at a little bit of a disadvantage. But the race track still goes
the same way. We've got more grip in the infield and that shows in the
lap times."

Mladin's pole was the eighth time a Suzuki has sat on the pole for the
Daytona Superbike.

Rounding out the front row for the Opening Round of the AMA Superbike
Championship was second-place qualifier Ben Spies (108.857),
third-place Parts Unlimited Ducati rider Ben Bostrom (108.354) and
fourth-place American Honda rider Miguel Duhamel (107.996).

Team Suzuki Press Office – March 9, 2006.

Yoshimura Suzuki's Mat Mladin set pole position for Saturday's opening
AMA Superbike Championship race in Daytona, Florida today with team
mate Ben Spies a close second.

Reigning Champion Mladin put in a time of 1:37.075 on his GSX-R1000 –
a faster time than the six-time Champion did last year at the same
event – with Spies less than half-a-second behind.

Third Yoshimura team rider Aaron Yates recorded the ninth fastest time
and will lead the all-Suzuki third-row which includes Roberto Pietri,
Eric Wood and Jake Holden.

Daytona AMA Superbike Qualifying (Thursday): 1 Mat Mladin (Yoshimura
Suzuki) 1:37.075, 2 Ben Spies (Yoshimura Suzuki) 1:37.559, 3 Ben
Bostrom (Ducati) 1:38.012, 4 Miguel Duhamel (Honda) 1:38.337, 5 Jake
Zemke (Honda) 1:38.398, 6 Neil Hodgson (Ducati) 1:38.491, 7 Roger Lee
Hayden (Kawasaki) 1:38.573, 8 Tommy Hayden (Kawasaki) 1:38.904, 9
Aaron Yates (Yoshimura Suzuki) 1:39.429, 10 Jake Holden (Suzuki)
1:40.470.

Superstock Qualifying Results, Daytona, March 8, 2006

Superstock Qualifying Results, Daytona March 8, 2006

1. Jason DiSalvo, Yamaha YZF-R1LE, 1 minute, 39.185 seconds.
2. Geoff May, Suzuki GSX-R1000, 1:39.712.
3. Eric Bostrom, Yamaha YZF-R1LE, 1: 40.062.
4. Jamie Hacking, Yamaha YZF-R1LE, 1:40.074.
5. Damon Buckmaster, Kawasaki ZX-10RR, 1:40.136.
6. Aaron Yates, Suzuki GSX-R1000, 1:40.333.
7. Steve Rapp, Suzuki GSX-R1000, 1:40.369.
8. Joshua Hayes, Honda CBR1000RR, 1: 40.865.
9. Aaron Gobert, Honda CBR1000RR, 1:41.101.
10. Jason Pridmore, Suzuki GSX-R1000, 1:41.140.
11. Jacob Holden, Suzuki GSX-R1000, 1:41.584.
12. Martin Craggill, Suzuki GSX-R1000, 1:41.680.
13. Cory West, Suzuki GSX-R1000, 1: 41.875.
14. John Haner, Suzuki GSX-R1000, 1:41.876.
15. Chris Ulrich, Suzuki GSX-R1000, 1:42.113.
16. Larry Pegram, Honda CBR1000RR, 1:42.181.
17. Robertino Pietri, Suzuki GSX-R1000, 1:42.305.
18. Ben Attard , Kawasaki ZX-10RR, 1: 42.655.
19. Matt Lynn, Suzuki GSX-R1000, 1:42.889.
20. C R Gittere, Suzuki GSX-R1000, 1:43.934.

Supersport Championship Qualifying, Daytona 2006

Supersport Championship qualifying

1. Roger Lee Hayden, Kawasaki ZX-6RR, 1 minute, 41.552 seconds.
2. Jamie Hacking, Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:41.667.
3. Tommy Hayden, Kawasaki ZX-6RR, 1:41.921.
4. Geoff May, Suzuki GSX-R600, 1: 42.225.
5. Ben Spies, Suzuki GSX-R600, 1:43.217.
6. Ben Attard, Kawasaki ZX-6RR, 1:43.425.
7. Alastair Seeley, Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:43.436.
8. Damon Buckmaster, Kawasaki ZX-6RR      , 1:43.708.
9. Pascal Picotte, Yamaha YZF-R6, 1: 44.077.
10. Danny Eslick, Suzuki GSX-R600, 1:44.089.
11. Tyler McDonald, Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:44.859.
12. Michael Barnes, Suzuki GSX-R600, 1:45.019.
13. Blake Young, Suzuki GSX-R600, 1:45.046.
14. Darren Luck, Suzuki GSX-R600, 1: 45.052.
15. Rob Frost, Kawasaki ZX-6RR, 1:45.398.
16. Ryan Elleby, Honda CBR600RR, 1:45.429.
17. Barrett Long, Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:45.986.
18. Will Gruy, Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:46.016.
19. Chris Caylor, Suzuki GSX-R600, 1: 46.648.
20. Nathan Hester, Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:46.860

HODGSON AND BOSTROM TEST THE LIMITS AT DAYTONA

Daytona (Florida) 7 March 2006: Parts Unlimited Ducati's Ben Bostrom
and Neil Hodgson kicked off the 2006 AMA season today with two
practice sessions at the famed Daytona International Speedway on their
Ducati 999 Superbikes. Hodgson set his personal best time on the day
of 1:38.834 during the morning practice, good for the second quickest
overall time in that session. Ben Bostrom's best on the day was
1:39.728 in the morning, around one tenth quicker than he did in the
afternoon session.

Hodgson was quick early at Daytona, but was caught out by the
shortened practice session in the afternoon. "This morning was really
good," said Hodgson. "In the afternoon, we were trying some new things
and had a had a little problem with the bike that cost us some time.
Our best lap time wasn't as impressive in the afternoon as we lost
some track time due to a few factors. It's not that big a deal,
though. I know where I'm going around here now and I think I could lap
this place with my eyes closed. We've made progress."

Bostrom declared himself content with his day's effort. Daytona is his
first ever race on the 999, although Bostrom rode the previous
generation Ducati Superbike earlier in his career. "I'm happy with
today. I got a little bit of a slow start but the bike settings are
like they were before at the test," he said. "It was the first day
racing of the year, a day to get your head back into it before
qualifying tomorrow. We were getting some laps in today. I really
don't want to change anything right now with the 999 because the
Ducati works best in a small setup window with just minor changes.
Today I learned something about braking on the Ducati that's pretty
cool and I think it will help. I have a great team behind me and I
can't believe how good the situation is for me here."

The Parts Unlimited Ducati Team will qualify for Saturday's race on
Thursday afternoon.

Best practice times: 1. Ben Spies, Suzuki 1:38.129 2.Mat Mladin,
Suzuki 1:38.308 3. Neil Hodgson, Parts Unlimited Ducati Team 1:38.834
4. Jake Zemke, Honda 1:38.972 5. Roger Hayden, Kawasaki 1:39.097 6.
Miguel Duhamel, Honda 1:39.153 7. Tommy Hayden, Kawasaki 1:39.369 8.
Ben Bostrom, Parts Unlimited Ducati Team 1:39.728

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

DUCATI MARLBORO MEN SET FOR FINAL TEST

Ducati Marlboro Team riders Loris Capirossi and Sete Gibernau look
forward to their final pre-season test at Jerez this weekend, just two
weeks before the 2006 MotoGP World Championship gets underway at the
Andalucian track.

Capirossi and Gibernau are hoping for a sunny weekend and are
confident of continuing the progress made during the useful session at
Catalunya last weekend. Though he was not in the "spotlight" during
the 40' timed session, Sete was able late in the afternoon to set the
fastest time of the day during his first ride on the wet with his
Desmosedici GP6, and Loris announced he was happy with Bridgestone's
latest tyres, despite a stomach bug that kept him off the track for
almost an entire day.

The three-day session will give the pair a chance to conclude their
winter development duties and start working towards a machine set-up
and tyre choice that will deliver the best race-long performance at
the flowing Jerez circuit. Vittoriano Guareschi will also be present
at Jerez, continuing in his role as test rider.

LIVIO SUPPO, Ducati MotoGP project leader
"Overall we have had a pretty good winter, now we are looking forward
to this final test and the first race of the 2006 season. Catalunya
demonstrated the excellent progress made by Bridgestone over the last
few months but the weather wasn't good enough for us to do any real
endurance runs, so we hope the conditions are better at Jerez. If the
weather is okay, our focus will be doing long runs, so we can give
Bridgestone a real idea of what's required for the Jerez race on March
26."

Team Suzuki Press Office

Suzuki Australia will be the major sponsor of this year's seven-round Australian Superbike Championship that begins next month in New South Wales.
 
The new arrangement sees Suzuki offer financial support to the nation's premier national road racing championship, covering the series and visiting all six states of Australia.

Said Glyn Griffiths, National Marketing Manager - Motorcycles, Suzuki Australia: "Team Suzuki has achieved major success in Superbike racing both in Australia and around the world.

"With Australian riders, Suzuki has the reigning World Superbike Champion, the current AMA Superbike title and we have won four of the last six Australian Superbike Championships.

"Suzuki's new role as a major sponsor of the Australian Superbike Championship befits our position as a major, dominant force in Superbike racing on the domestic and world stages. This relationship with series promoter, AUSCO, is a natural extension of our commitment to racing both locally and globally.

"Becoming a major series sponsor for the Aussie Superbikes is just one area in which Suzuki is stepping up its racing activities for 2006 and we are extremely excited and confident about our new race program," he added.

AUSCO General Manager, Terry O'Neill is delighted about the new partnership with Suzuki Australia.

He said: "This is a significant agreement we have reached with Suzuki Australia as support from the motorcycle manufacturers is vital for the wellbeing of Australian road racing.

"Suzuki's sponsorship of the Australian Superbike Championship is a major contribution to the longevity of the sport in our country."

Three-time Australian Superbike Champion, Shawn Giles and his Team Suzuki team mate, Robbie Bugden will take to Eastern Creek Raceway in New South Wales for round one of the Suzuki sponsored Australian Superbike Championship on April 7-9th.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

TWO BUELL RACERS ON DAYTONA THUNDERBIKE PODIUM

Seven Buell Riders in Top Ten at ASRA Season-Opener; XBRR Wins First Race  

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 5, 2006) – Harley-Davidson/Buell of Frederick rider Bryan Bemisderfer rode a Buell Firebolt XB12R to a second place finish at the first American SportBike Roadracing Series Thunderbike National race of the 2006 season at Daytona International Speedway. Hal's Speed Shop/Sound Waves rider Sam Rozynski was third, also on a Buell Firebolt XB12R. The race was won by Nate Kern on a BMW R1100S.
  
Millville & Wildwood Harley-Davidson/Buell rider David Estok, the 2005 Thunderbike series champion, put his Buell Firebolt on the pole with a lap of 1 minute 51.263 seconds during Saturday qualifying.
  
At the start of the Thunderbike final, Estok burned up his clutch and pulled off the exit of the International Horseshoe on the opening lap. Hal's Speed Shop rider
Dan Bilansky, who qualified second on a Buell Firebolt, led the opening lap but suffered a mechanical failure on the main straight and pulled off. That left the door open for Kern, who started the 10-lap race from the back row after his third place qualifying effort was disallowed due to a technical infraction.
  
Appleton Buell/Hoban Brothers Racing rider Jeff Johnson was fourth on a Buell Firebolt, followed by Hal's Speed Shop/Spyder Leatherworks rider Paul James, also on a Buell Firebolt. Dave Maney was sixth on a Ducati 748, followed by fellow Ducati rider Michael Delage and Buell rider Chris Young. Blue Springs Harley-Davidson/Buell rider Walt Sipp, who started from the back row due to missing qualifying on Saturday, worked his way up to second before he crashed out on the second to last lap and finished ninth. Liberty Harley-Davidson/Buell rider Anthony Caligiuri rounded out the top ten.
  
"I'm really excited to see so many privateer racers campaigning Buell XBs. We really believe in grassroots racing and our whole racing contingency and support program is geared to support their efforts," said Chairman and Chief Technical Officer Erik Buell.
  
Earlier during the Championship Cup Series multi-regional events at Daytona, the new Buell XBRR notched its first race win in the hands of Buell of Hannover (Germany) rider Rico Penzkofer, who topped former World Superbike racer Dario Marchetti and his Ducati 999RS in the CCS SuperTwins event on Saturday. Four different Buell dealer teams racing the Buell XBRR used the CCS/ASRA race weekend as a shake-down and practice opportunity for the Daytona 200, scheduled for Saturday, March 11. They continue testing today and Tuesday during the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association event. AMA practice begins Wednesday with qualifying for the Daytona 200 on Thursday.
  
The next event on the eight-round ASRA Thunderbike National schedule is April 21-23 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.

FOUR FORMER WINNERS TO BATTLE IN DAYTONA’S REPSOL LUBRICANTS SUPERSTOCK SERIES OPENER

Defending champ Yates expects to be ready to go in spite of pre-season crash

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (March 7, 2006) -- The 2006 Repsol Lubricants Superstock Series opener at Daytona International Speedway will feature a clash of four former winners. Aaron Gobert, Jason Pridmore, Josh Hayes and Aaron Yates are all past winners of the Daytona Superstock race and are all slated to line up for the final on Thursday, March 9, in one of the strongest field of riders featured during Daytona’s Motorcycle Speed Week.

Defending Repsol Lubricants Superstock Series champ Aaron Yates suffered a broken shoulder only a month ago while testing at California Speedway making him questionable for Daytona, but Yates thinks now that he’ll be ready to race.

“I just got on a dirt bike yesterday and did a little riding,” Yates said on March 3rd. “I’ve been riding a street bike to keep the feel of things and building up my strength. I think I’ll give it a good test this weekend and then have a rest on Monday and Tuesday and hopefully be ready to go when we take to the track on Wednesday.”

In spite of his injuries Yates says he won’t just be riding for points at Daytona.

“I’m making really good progress every day,” he said. “If it keeps getting better at the rate it has been then I think I’ll be in the hunt for the win. My goal is to be in the lead pack on the last lap and have a chance to win it.”

Yates last won the Daytona Superstock race in 1996, when the class was still 750cc Supersport bikes.

Yates is just one of a multitude of Suzuki riders expected to race. The Jordan Suzuki team will field three riders in the Daytona Superstock race including two-time race winner Jason Pridmore. Pridmore is trying to become the first three-time winner of the race. He will team with Steve Rapp and Jake Holden making up one of the most talent-rich teams in the series.

Australian Marty Craggill was the top privateer in AMA Superbike last year. This year the Hotbodies Racing Mladin Motorsports Suzuki rider will now focus on Superstock.

"Talking to Suzuki they were keen to giving us more support in Superstock,” said team owner Mat Mladin. “Now at least Marty will have a bike that’s competitive. The rest is up to him.”

Team M4 EMGO Suzuki has won this race three times, including last year with Vincent Haskovec. This year Geoff May will try to uphold the honor of the team. Under the same tent comes the Roadracingworld.com Suzuki team with Chris Ulrich and Robertino Pietri. Pietri is the 20-year-old son of former AMA Superbike and Formula One factory rider Roberto Pietri of Venezuela.

Millennium/KWS Suzuki will field John Haner and Matt Lynn aboard Suzuki GSX-R1000s in the Superstock class.

While Suzuki has numbers on its side, the other factory or factory-support teams make up for lower numbers with top-notch riders. Take Yamaha for example. Graves Yamaha has a potent trio of Jamie Hacking, Eric Bostrom and Jason DiSalvo on R1s. With those three riders there’s a very good chance that Yamaha will have more than one rider on the Daytona Superstock podium.

Attack Kawasaki brings Aussies Ben Attard and Damon Buckmaster to Daytona. Attard is considered an up-and-coming rider in the series, while Buckmaster is a proven veteran.

Erion Honda dominated Formula Xtreme in the early years when it was a big-bore class. Erion hopes to reestablish that dominance in Superstock with riders Josh Hayes and Aaron Gobert. This is the only team to feature two past winners of the Daytona Superstock race. Gobert won the event in 2004 and went on to win the championship, while Hayes took top honors at Daytona in 1999.

Qualifying for the Daytona Superstock race starts Wednesday (March 8) afternoon and the 13-lap final will take the green light on Thursday, March 9 at 3:50 pm EST. It will be televised live on SPEED.

Rizla Suzuki British Superbike


Rizla Suzuki British Superbike team riders Shane Byrne and James Haydon put their new GSX-R1000 K6 race bikes through 200 laps of intense testing at Snetterton in Norfolk this week.

With track temperatures barely above freezing, both riders lapped within a tenth-of-a-second of each other.

The Rizla Suzuki Team will test again at Mallory Park on March 14th.

Shane Byrne:

“Since the test finished I’ve been sitting in my car with the heater and heated seats working overtime. It was very cold today on track but that didn’t prevent us from doing a lot of laps and getting to know the bike better. I’m really pleased with the amount of laps I was able to do and the feeling I’m getting for the bike.

“I think we went as fast as we could given the conditions. Chances are we will be racing in cool conditions at some stage this season given the British weather and today will stand us in good stead when that happens.”

James Haydon:

“It’s great to get back out on the Rizla Suzuki and blow the cobwebs out of my system. By the end of the day I felt I had brushed off most of the rust from the winter lay-off and now I’m ready to really ride and race again.

“It was bitterly cold on track but that wasn’t going to stop me from completing as many laps as I could and I feel we have made a positive step forward. I’m enjoying my riding and can’t wait for the next test.”

Niall Mackenzie - Race Operations Manager:

“Despite the chilly conditions, we achieved quite a lot. Both riders completed nearly 100 laps to kick off what will be a fairly intense testing schedule over the next three weeks in the lead up to the first race.

“The new evolution of the Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 is excellent. We have a strong engine, chassis and suspension package. We go to Mallory Park next week with a spring in our step after today – there’s nothing like getting out on the bikes to fire the riders up.

Monday, March 06, 2006

PARTS UNLIMITED DUCATI TEAM SEEKS DAYTONA GLORY, HODGSON AND BOSTROM READY TO RACE AMA OPENER

PARTS UNLIMITED DUCATI TEAM SEEKS DAYTONA GLORY, HODGSON AND BOSTROM READY TO RACE AMA OPENER

Daytona (Florida) Monday 6 March: The Parts Unlimited Ducati Team's 2006 AMA Superbike season begins this week with the traditional Daytona opener. Racers Ben Bostrom and Neil Hodgson will race Ducati 999 Superbikes for the fabled Italian company's US racing effort this year, with Saturday's 15-lap race kicking off the 30th season of Superbike racing in America.

Hodgson, the former World Superbike champion who raced the complete AMA schedule for the first time last year, says he is much more comfortable this time around. "I'm feeling really good about this season. It will be nice to show up at a circuit and know which way the track goes," laughed Hodgson, who won at Road America in 2005. "This time of year is for a strict training regime, staying focused, and getting in shape. I'm really looking forward to Daytona and starting the racing again. I'm very relaxed and confident heading into the season."

Neil finished a strong second in last year's Daytona race.

Ben Bostrom returns to the AMA and Ducati after competing in World Superbike last season. Bostrom, after showing good form in winter testing, is eager to race the Ducati 999 for the first time.

"I'm both excited and nervous about Daytona this year," said Bostrom. "It's my first real race on this particular Ducati and I've been gone to Europe for a little while. One thing's for sure - it's great to be back on a factory team and be back here in the US. So far, the bike had been fantastic in testing, but now it is time to race. I want to get a feel for how it's going so we can see where we stand. Daytona is a big race and very important but it is also the first one in a long season."

Team manager Tom Bodenbach echoes the sentiments. "We feel we have improved over the winter and anxious to see if this is the case. We believe we can make a good run at the championship in 2006 against a very tough field. I think Neil and Ben are in good shape and ready to go. Both are legitimate contenders for the championship, in our eyes, and the team is working well together."

Final qualifying is Thursday afternoon, and the 70-kilometer Superbike race will be held Saturday at 11:15 EST.

The Circuit - The 2.95 mile (4.7 kilometers) Daytona International Raceway circuit is located on the eastern coast of Florida. The track called "The World Center of Racing" has been hosting motorcycle events since the 1960s after the historic race moved from a combination road/beach course located a few miles away. Known for the high-speed drafting battles, the banked turns of the Speedway (which reach 31 degrees) have seen many exciting Superbike races over the years. A challenging series of infield turns counter the demands of the banking and make bike setup a tough compromise for the AMA riders and teams. The riders say the revised course that avoids part of the banking has made the Speedway more like a conventional racetrack, yet tire issues always pose a threat.

Statistics -- Mat Mladin of Suzuki set pole in last year's race (1:38.232), the first using the current configuration. He also won the 15-lap race, followed by Parts Unlimited Ducati's Neil Hodgson and Suzuki's Ben Spies.

AMA PRO RACING AND CCS/ASRA COOPERATE TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL SOFT BARRIERS AT DAYTONA

Racing organizations unite to offer unprecedented protection

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (March 6, 2006) -- CCS/ASRA (formerly Formula USA) and AMA Pro Racing have joined forces at Daytona International Speedway during Bike Week to provide riders in both events, as well as in the AHRMA Historic races, unprecedented protection by combining the organizations' soft barriers in addition to those owned by the Speedway.

CCS/ASRA will keep its barriers in place during the vintage and AMA Pro Racing segments of Bike Week. In return, AMA Pro Racing deployed its soft barriers several days earlier than normal to help provide extra protection for riders in the CCS/ASRA events. Jointly the organizations will service and maintain all barriers during the deployment period.

"This is a huge deployment and a textbook example of cooperation between organizations for the greater good," said Hugh Fleming, Director of Safety and Logistics for AMA Pro Racing. "Many of the soft barriers owned by each organization were provided by the Roadracing World Action Fund so every fan, business and racer who has contributed to the fund had a part in this."

The combined efforts of AMA Pro Racing and CCS/ASRA, along with those of Daytona International Speedway will result in over 1870 feet of protective barriers being deployed.

Soft barriers cushion the impact of a fallen rider and have proven to be excellent tools in the reduction of rider injury.

Motorcycle racing activities at the Speedway kicked off on March 3 with CCS/ASRA events. AHRMA Classic Days road racing take place on March 6 and 7 and the AMA Pro Racing schedule starts on Wednesday, March 8. This year's events will conclude with the 65th running of the Daytona 200 by Honda, the opening round of the AMA Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series, on Saturday, March 11.

HAYDEN SET TO DEFEND DAYTONA SUPERSPORT VICTORY

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (March 6, 2006) -- Tommy Hayden will not defend his title in the 2006 Pro Honda Supersport Championship presented by Shoei, but he will race with the No. 1 plate on his Kawasaki one time when he makes a special appearance in the Daytona Supersport race in front of a live national television audience on Thursday, March 9 at Daytona International Speedway.

Hayden feels racing Supersport at Daytona only frees him from worry and will enable him to concentrate on his main priority this year: an AMA Superbike Championship.

"I've never had a one-off ride like this in road racing before," said the eldest of the three racing Hayden brothers from Owensboro, Ky. "It'll be kind of nice to not have to worry about points or anything except going for the win. I haven't been testing the Supersport bike much, but our team has a pretty good set up and I feel comfortable with it, so we should be ready to go."

When asked if the race came down between him and his teammate and brother Roger Lee - who is racing the entire series - what he would do he replied, "May the best man win. I respect the Daytona Supersport race too much to do anything but go for the win if I have the opportunity. It will be nice after Daytona though to be able to root for Roger Lee in the class. It's been tough battling each other for the championship. I really want him to win it this year."

Roger Lee stormed back after his bike broke at Daytona last year to finish second to Tommy in the Supersport point standings last season. The youngest of the Hayden brothers is expected to be a heavy favorite to win this year's championship and a victory at Daytona would put him in a great position to do just that.

Kawasaki is loaded in Supersport at Daytona. In addition to the Hayden's on the factory ZX6Rs, Attack Kawasaki features the strong Australian duo of Ben Attard and Damon Buckmaster. Attard and Buckmaster are serious challengers for the title this season and could give a factory support team the championship for the first time in six year.

Jamie Hacking won the Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei in 2003 and he'll be eager to win it back in 2006 on the potent factory Yamaha R6. Hacking has been oh-so-close to winning the Daytona Supersport race. The Carolinian has finished on the podium three times and he hopes to finally stand atop the box in the Daytona winner's circle this year.

Ben Spies leads Suzuki's effort in the class. The young Texan scored a career best fourth in the Daytona Supersport race last year. This time around he has an improved Suzuki GSX-R600 and hopes to find himself leading the pack at the checkered flag. 

Florida's own Michael Barnes is a former Supersport winner at Daytona. He won the fall Supersport race that used to be held in October back in 1989. Now 17 years later he's still seeking that elusive first win in the March event. While Barnes is one of the most experienced veterans in the field, his Team M4 EMGO Suzuki running mate is young Texan Shea Fouchek. Many expert observers are predicting great things from Fouchek, who came out of the same Texas racing system that produced such greats as Freddie Spencer, Kevin Schwantz, Doug Polen, John Kocinski and Colin Edwards. 

Chris Caylor and Tony Meiring make up a solid team in the Safety First Suzuki squad. MPT Suzuki's Danny Eslick is also a rider to watch, a fast-rising Oklahoman now in his second full season of road racing.

Honda is not fielding a factory effort in the class, but San Francisco Bay Area's speedster Jeffrey Tigert could surprise a lot of people on his Pro Honda Oils-backed CBR600RR.

Qualifying for the Daytona Supersport race starts Wednesday (March 8) afternoon and the 22-lap final will take the green flag on Thursday, March 9 at 4:50 pm EST. It will be televised live on SPEED Channel.

Tickets for the Daytona Supersport are available at www.racetickets.com or by calling
1-800-PITSHOP.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

WSBK Race Results Australia 2006


Welcome to the World Superbike edition of Roadracer Podcast. Today is Sunday March 5, 2006, I am your host John Bunce.  In today’s special edition of Roadracer Podcast I am going to try some race commentary for the World Superbike race that was held over the weekend at Phillip Island Australia

Race 1

The start of the race had Troy Bayliss on a ducati, leading Troy Corser on a Suzuki and James Toseland on a Honda.  Bayliss had a great start and immediately began to run away from the other riders opening up the gap. Former Moto GP rider Alex Barros steadily moved up during the first few laps.

Corser and Barros traded position during the first 8 laps of the race, and passed Toseland on lap 8 to put him in 4th place.  On Lap 10, Italian Rider Iannuzzo crashed on his Suzuki  Lap 12 British rider Jones crashes on his Petronas FP1 after a small high side

By Lap 16, Corser and Barros were gaining on Bayliss by one second a lap.  You could see that Bayliss was having rear tire problem with his Pirelli control tires that are mandatory for World Superbike.

Lap 17, Karl Muggeridge on his Ten Kate Honda retires with rear tire problems.

At the start of Lap 18, Corser and Barros catch and pass Bayliss on the front straight.  Bayliss would continue to have tire problems and would end up finishing 6th.  Barros continued to try and get around Corser until the end.

And with that the race results:  Corser, Barros, Toseland, Haga, Rolfo and 6th place Bayless.

Race #2

Racer 1 winner Corser was on Pole for Race 2, but after the start Haga was leading with Race 1 winner Corser in 2nd, Toseland 3rd and Bayliss in 4th.  By the end of Lap 1, Toseland and Corser pass Haga and take the lead.  

Lap 4 had race 1 winner Try Corser crash after high siding.  Alex Barros was close to the crash and ending up hitting Corser head with his Honda while Corser was laying on the ground.  Lap 8 Toseland and Bayliss take approximately a 5 second lead over the rest of the field.

Lap 10 had Karl Muggeridge and Lorenzo Lanzi crash out.  Lanzi high sided in front of Muggeridge bringing both riders down.

Lap 15 Bayliss takes the lead from Toseland and opened up a one second gap.  Lap 16 Alex Barros gets by Haga and moves into third place.  Bayliss is far enough ahead that he takes the win with a 5 second gap in front of Toseland.

The race results: Bayliss, Toseland, Barros, Haga, Pitt and Kagayama 6th

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