Martin takes control on Day 2

Behind the two, Bulega, and Roberts, Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) completed the top five, just ahead of Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP). Rookie Aron Canet (Aspar Team) was back to his old tricks from the Jerez test and slots into an impressive P7, ahead of Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) despite a small spill for the Italian.

Source: MotoGP.comRead Full Article Here

Salač stamps some authority on Saturday

The timesheets were close from second down, with Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) in fourth and Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) in fifth only split by half a tenth – and Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) made for close company in sixth, too. Albert Arenas (Aspar Team) was the leading KTM in seventh but only just, with Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) taking P8. Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0), who has a little less experience of the venue after sitting out the 2019 edition due to his age, was ninth quickest, with Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) completing the top ten – the fastest rookie.

Source: MotoGP.comRead Full Article Here

This is MotoGP™ – the evolution of the classes

MotoGP™, Moto2™ and Moto3™ have drastically evolved over the past decade but we embark on a new decade in the midst of a golden age

During its 70-year history, the MotoGP™ landscape has undergone some incredible transformations and the last decade has been no exception. Beyond the new trends that have emerged like MotoE™ and the eSport World Championship, the technology has evolved considerably as well as the categories!

The introduction of a new format

On the one hand, they have been reorganised for clarity. At the end of 2009, the 250cc disappeared in favour of the Moto2™ World Championship: motorcycles equipped with the same engine – in this case a four-cylinder, 600cc Honda. The idea was to get young riders more acclimatised with powerful machines so that the step to MotoGP™ wouldn’t be as big. A highly competitive category, where the prototypes would dissociate above all by their chassis, which was also inaugurated by the late Shoya Tomizawa’s victory in Qatar.

Two years later, a new era was also beginning in the smallest category. 125cc became the Moto3™ World Championship: 250cc, four-stroke, single-cylinder engines but this time without a single-engine manufacturer. Now MotoGP™ star Maverick Viñales won the very first race there.

New challengers

And then within these categories, brands arrived whilst others returned. At the end of 2011, Suzuki decided to take a break from Grand Prix racing but thankfully the Hamamatsu factory bounced back. In 2015, the Japanese manufacturer returned to the world stage with Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales. Just a few months later, Viñales made sure Suzuki were back on top of the world again with victory at Silverstone. In total, their first campaign back in the premier class resulted in four podiums, but it was only the beginning! Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) triumphed in these colours at the 2019 Grand Prix of the Americas and better still, he managed to put in a repeat performance at the British Grand Prix, finding a last lap, last corner move on the dominant Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) Results that speak volumes about the level they’ve now reached. Their pre-season points towards further success.

Aprilia, for its part, has had a few more difficulties since its return to MotoGP™ in 2015. The Noale factory has, however, a revolutionary 2020 RS-GP that stunned everyone with its performance at the Sepang and Qatar pre-season tests. The Italian outfit appear to have put their struggles behind them.

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A brand new Aprilia in 2020?

KTM was embarking on a larger challenge in 2017 when they entered both Moto2™ and MotoGP™. Without any experience, the brand deployed their great resources and became a true challenger in the intermediate category, winning a handful of races and contending for multiple titles before exiting in 2019. In the big leagues – the class that it will focus all its attention in 2020 – it has managed to reduce the gap year on year, race by race. Top ten finishes have multiplied, with Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) even earning the Austrian factory’s debut podium at the wet season finale in Valencia just over a year ago. Other highlights have included front-row starts in Brno and Misano last season, as well as a sixth-place finish in Le Mans, their best in dry conditions. With another step forward taken ahead of the 2020 season, there’s no question of knowing where the KTM journey ends.

The 2019 campaign was also marked by the arrival of a new engine manufacturer in Moto2™: Triumph. The new weapon of choice? A 765cc in-line three-cylinder, inspired by the 2017 Street Triple. The noise a total contrast to what we had become accustomed to. Its introduction brought incredibly close gaps, a multitude of winners, a rewriting of the record books in both speed and lap record chapters, plus very few technical issues for the riders to encounter.

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A record breaking year for Triumph in Moto2™

More importance given to satellite teams

The aim of making MotoGP ™ as equal and level as possible means the rules are forever evolving. First there was CRT – Claiming Rule Team – in 2012; a class within a class that was created so that teams working with a smaller budget can also take part in the MotoGP™ World Championship. Help came in the form of having twelve engines instead of six and putting 24 litres in the tank instead of 21.

CRTs were then replaced by the Open class from 2014. This time, the teams entered in this class agreed to have the same Magneti Marelli ECU in return for certain privileges, again linked to the number of engines, the litres of petrol, and also the types of rubber. These same privileges were also given to certain manufacturers who hadn’t tasted victory in previous years or were simply making their debut. Ducati thus decided to join the class in order to properly prepare for the future.

Just two years later, the Factory versus Open fight was ended. Everyone was, therefore, suddenly in the same boat. The same ECU, 22 litres of petrol and seven of the exact same engines for the season. However, concessions were still granted to new brands, or to those that didn’t stand on the top step of the podium between 2013 and 2015, with their concessions reviewed and renewed depending on results. For the upcoming season, just two manufacturers will benefit from a helping hand. Both Aprilia and KTM will, among other things, have nine engines throughout the season with one upgrade permitted throughout the course of the year.

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Off the Racing Line #2: Jack Miller

Now, in modern-day MotoGP™, nearly all of the factories have their own satellite teams, which all carry greater importance than ever before. Proof of this is Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol), Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia of Pramac Racing, Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and Red Bull KTM Tech 3’s Miguel Oliveira and Iker Lecuona only competing with the same machinery as their factory counterparts. Truth be told, manufacturers are well aware of the benefits that having as many competitive motorcycles on the grid as possible can be for data collection, especially since these riders are fully capable of fighting victories, podiums and pole positions. Just look Jack Miller’s Assen win in 2016 or by Cal Crutchlow conquering Termas de Rio Hondo in 2018, plus Brno and Phillip Island in 2016. Fabio Quartararo is not to be forgotten too, with seven podiums and six poles last season; performances which convinced Yamaha to give him a full-factory Yamaha M1 for the 2020 campaign.

Over the years, the classes have evolved with the sole purpose of maintaining the cornerstones of MotoGP™ – passion and excitement. As we enter a new decade, the premier class boasts the closest and most competitive field arguably in its history, whilst continuing to smash lap records and speed records at every circuit year on year.

Every race weekend LIVE and OnDemand, exclusive interviews, historic races and so much more fantastic content: this is VideoPass

Source: MotoGP.comRead Full Article Here

**WIN MY ONE OFF AUSSIE HELMET**

It was so difficult being at home in Northern Ireland and watching the fires from afar. We have a beautiful mountain property in Wandiligong that came under threat with the fire burning in Abbeyard near Bright in the Alpine region in North East Victoria. My wife Tatia’s parents were staying there when police told them they should vacate. We felt helpless and scared, so I decided that I would race in Australia with a special helmet design and sell it after to donate the money to a worthwhile cause. The WorldSBK organisation got involved with BlazeAid and with this platform we can auction the helmet. When I spoke to Aldo, who has designed my helmets for the last few years we came up with this cool concept. I love it, and hope that you do!” Thanks to Arai & the WorldABK paddock, here’s my ONE OFF special edition Aussie helmet. I’ll be wearing it this weekend then it’s all yours ! Happy bidding guys. https://www.charitystars.com/product/jonathan-rea-s-special-helmet-worn-in-the-australian-superbike-grand-prix


Source: Jonathan Rea On Facebook

It was so difficult being at home in Northern Ireland and watching the fires from afar. We have a beautiful mountain property in Wandiligong that came under threat with the fire burning in Abbeyard near Bright in the Alpine region in North East Victoria. My wife Tatia’s parents were staying there when police told them they should vacate. We felt helpless and scared, so I decided that I would race in Australia with a special helmet design and sell it after to donate the money to a worthwhile cause. The WorldSBK organisation got involved with BlazeAid and with this platform we can auction the helmet. When I spoke to Aldo, who has designed my helmets for the last few years we came up with this cool concept. I love it, and hope that you do!” Thanks to Arai & the WorldABK paddock, here’s my ONE OFF special edition Aussie helmet. I’ll be wearing it this weekend then it’s all yours ! Happy bidding guys. https://www.charitystars.com/product/jonathan-rea-s-special-helmet-worn-in-the-australian-superbike-grand-prix

It was so difficult being at home in Northern Ireland and watching the fires from afar. We have a beautiful mountain property in Wandiligong that came under threat with the fire burning in Abbeyard near Bright in the Alpine region in North East Victoria. My wife Tatia’s parents were staying there when police told them they should vacate. We felt helpless and scared, so I decided that I would race in Australia with a special helmet design and sell it after to donate the money to a worthwhile cause. The WorldSBK organisation got involved with BlazeAid and with this platform we can auction the helmet. When I spoke to Aldo, who has designed my helmets for the last few years we came up with this cool concept. I love it, and hope that you do!” Thanks to Arai & the WorldABK paddock, here’s my ONE OFF special edition Aussie helmet. I’ll be wearing it this weekend then it’s all yours ! Happy bidding guys. https://www.charitystars.com/product/jonathan-rea-s-special-helmet-worn-in-the-australian-superbike-grand-prix
Source: Jonathan Rea On Facebook

Harley-Davidson boss Matt Levatich quits

Harley-Davidson boss Matt Levatich has just announced his is stepping down as the company experiences its biggest sales slide since the Global Financial Crisis.

In response to Levatich stepping down as CEO, president and board member, Harley shares jumped 4.9% on American markets.

Levatich legacy

Levatich took over in May 2015 and was pivotal in developing bold new strategies for the traditional brand, including:

We’re not sure if this announcement means the company no longer endorses these strategies.

“I am very fortunate to have spent many years with a company as revered as Harley-Davidson,” Levatich says.

“The grit and determination of the employees and dealers and their passion for bringing our brand of freedom to people around the world has always been inspiring.

“I am proud of what we have achieved during my time as CEO, in one of the most challenging periods in our history, and I am confident that the progress we have made on the More Roads plan will position Harley-Davidson for long-term success.”

Matt Levatich Harley-Davidson CEO politics silicon confirmsMatt at the 115th Harley party in 2018

HOG shares have fallen 46% since Levatich took charge and Harley bike sales in the US last year were the lowest in at least 16 years.

While in Australia last year, Levatich put some of the blame on motorcycle journalists.

Matt Levatich Harley-Davidson CEOP and president boss HogLevatich in Australia last year

New boss

The Board of Directors has appointed current Board member, German-born Jochen Zeitz, as Acting President, CEO and board chair.

A committee of the Board will be formed and an external search firm engaged to find a new CEO.

Levatich is expected to assist with the transition through the end of March.

Zeitz will remain chair when a new CEO is appointed and current chair Michael Cave is now presiding director.

“The Board and Matt mutually agreed that now is the time for new leadership at Harley-Davidson,” Zeitz says.

Jochen Zeitz with LiveWireJochen Zeitz with LiveWire

“Matt was instrumental in defining the More Roads to Harley-Davidson accelerated plan for growth, and we will look to new leadership to recharge our business. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Matt for his 26 years of service to Harley-Davidson. He has worked tirelessly to navigate the Company through a period of significant industry change while ensuring the preservation of one of the most iconic brands in the world.

“The Harley-Davidson Board and leadership team will continue to work closely together as we search for a new CEO. We have confidence that our combined leadership experience and deep understanding of Harley-Davidson will ensure an effective transition. As a passionate Board Member of Harley-Davidson, I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues and other Harley-Davidson stakeholders to advance and deliver the Company’s strategy and execution during this important time,” Zeitz says.

Zeitz has been a member of the Harley-Davidson Board of Directors since 2007 and established the Company’s Brand and Sustainability Committee.

He served as Chairman and CEO of the sporting goods company PUMA from 1993 to 2011. He was also PUMA’s CFO from 1993 to 2005. Zeitz served as a director of luxury goods company Kering (formerly PPR) from 2012 to 2016. He was a member of Kering’s Executive Committee and CEO of its Sport & Lifestyle division from 2010 to 2012. Zeitz is also a Board Member of the Cranemere Group Limited and is on the Board of The B Team which he co-founded with Sir Richard Branson.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Harley President/CEO Levatich is Out

Harley-Davidson, Inc. (“Harley-Davidson”) (NYSE:HOG) today announced that Matthew Levatich has stepped down as President and CEO and as a member of the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors has appointed current Board member Jochen Zeitz as Acting President and CEO. A committee of the Board will be formed, and the Company will utilize an external search firm to undertake a search for a new CEO, and a further announcement will be made at a later date. Levatich will assist with the transition through the end of March. As part of this leadership change, Jochen Zeitz has also been named Chairman of the Board and will remain Chairman once a new CEO is appointed. Current Chairman of the Board, Michael Cave, is now Presiding Director.

Here’s the rest of the story at Yahoo! Finance.

The post Harley President/CEO Levatich is Out appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.

Crash speed ‘not linked to rider injury’

Speed is not necessarily linked to the severity of injuries in a motorcycle crash, according to the first global rider report on motorcycle crashes.

The worldwide study makes a mockery of anti-speed campaigns such as “Every K over is a killer” and the overly simplistic “Speed kills”.

Some 127 riders from Australia last year were among 1578 from 30 countries who participated in the research, rather than academics simply studying data.

The authors of The Dynamics Of Motorcycle Crashes : A Global Survey of 1578 Motorcyclists — all of whom are motorcyclists — say their findings show that “orthodox motorcycle accident analysis” appears to be “looking the wrong way”.

“Typically, motorcycle accident studies have identified human error as the major cause of collisions,” they say in their synopsis.

“Other reasons considered are the lack of training, sports bike riders taking unnecessary risks and riding at high speeds which has been used as a measure for severe injuries.”

Speed not linked

But one of the most important findings is that the speed of a motorcycle involved in a crash is only randomly linked to the seriousness of injuries.

“The speed of the motorcycle when it crashes with another vehicle, road infrastructure or an object or animal does not necessarily determine the severity of the injuries of the motorcyclist,” they say.

“This finding is important because it allows analysts and researchers to focus their attention on what the evidence in this study provides, which is the mechanism of the crash (the trajectory of the rider post-crash and what he/she hits) has far more importance than speed in terms of the type and the severity of injuries.

“In fact, the post-crash motion “topside” occurred in 63% of those cases where the rider collided with a car.”

(By “topside”, they mean the bike was still upright on impact with the rider seated.)

“In terms of injuries, this type of trajectory dominates both the range of type of injuries and the severity.  

“This is an area of research that needs further attention, indeed, the report recommends further research that has been drawn out from the conclusions.”

We hope the authorities pay some attention to this report, rather than making knee-jerk legislation responses to the latest crash statistics.

Riders surveyed

stupidity a factor in motorcycle crashesElaine Hardy

We published a plea in May 2019 from authors Elaine Hardy, Dimitri Margaritis, James Ouellet and Martin Winkelbauer for riders to take part in the comprehensive survey.

The authors say they received a good response from 126 Australia riders.

They say riders who replied came from a varied age range, motorcycling experience, as well as depth of skills and training.

“The new research presented in the report, most importantly involved riders bringing their personal experience and their expertise beyond that of simple academia,” the authors say.

“Riders understand motorcycling in way quite different than that of academia, where statistical analyses of large databases such as police reports and hospital records has displaced research that requires in depth crash scene investigative knowledge.

“The riders’ crash details which were provided through the responses to the questions as well as the comments they offered, brought those stories of personal experiences which included treatment of their injuries, pillion riders and the dynamics of their crash, that in their own words allowed a deeper insight into the dynamics of crashes and the circumstances.

“These could not have been captured in a usual ‘tick box’ survey.”

Authors are riders

The authors say the fact that they are all motorcyclists s important as they are “aware of the dynamics of riding a motorcycle with the potential risks riders face”.

They say this helped them to analyse the responses better as they understood the issues riders face in traffic and out on the road.

“Particular focus most relevant to motorcycles included the use of protective equipment and assistance systems, in particular Advanced (anti-lock) Braking Systems (ABS),” they say.

It follows a 2016 study by UK motorcycle road safety researcher Dr Elaine Hardy into ABS-equipped bike crashes called “Effects of ABS in motorcycle crashes”.

Her study found that simple stupidity, irresponsibility and bad luck were often overlooked as causes of a motorcycle crash.

More segments of this latest report will be published and analysed by Motorbike Writer over the next few days so stay tuned.

Meanwhile, here is an infographic that outlines the survey respondents.

Crash speed ‘not linked to rider injury’

Authors:

  • Elaine Hardy, Motorcycle Research Analyst, UK; 
  • Dimitri Margaritis, Research Associate, CERTH/HIT, Greece;
  • James Ouellet, Hurt Report co-author, USA; and
  • Martin Winkelbauer, Senior Researcher, KFV, Austria.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

NBC Sports Group and MotoGP™ partner on multi-year agreement

Four races will air on NBC in 2020, beginning on Sunday, May 3, at 1:30 p.m. ET with the Spanish Grand Prix from Circuito de Jerez. Additionally, NBC will air the Dutch TT from the TT Circuit Assen on Sunday, June 28, at 4:30 p.m. ET; the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday, October 25, at 3 p.m. ET; and the season finale in the Comunitat Valenciana in Spain on Sunday, November 15, at 2:30 p.m. ET. 

Source: MotoGP.comRead Full Article Here