Riders from around the nation were invited by motoDNA last year to compete in the first motoCHAMPION competition for the coveted prize of a $10,000 fully sponsored ride in the 2022 OJC.
MotoDNA boss Mark McVeigh says the Cup runs alongside the Australian Superbike Championship.
“If James wins the Oceania Junior Cup he gets placement to the Asia Talent Cup, the next step to MotoGP,” he says.
James is a passionate rider/racer competing from the age of five and would like to race at the highest level, like his idol and fellow central coast rider Casey Stoner.
At the age of 11, James was selected for the Oceania Junior Cup and competed in the support class to the World Superbike at Phillip Island.
He was only 12 when he won the junior North Coast Road Racing Series.
Now he is the world’s first rider to be chosen to race via a data-driven digital championship developed by motoDNA and sponsored by Bendix brakes.
Aussie racers from 11 years old took part in the motoCHAMPION competition at racetracks and go-kart circuits around Australia using bike-mounted GoPro cameras.
Data from the GoPros and sensors on the bike allowed motoDNA to use their unique propriety algorithms to measure a rider’s skill level, rather than their lap time.
It meant racers could compete against even though they were on different tracks.
The motoDNA algorithms measure and grade the riders enabling leaderboards to be created for any riding skill such as throttle, braking and steering.
Throughout the competition the leaderboard changed back and forth between James, Cameron Swain and Hudson Thompson with James winning by a whisker from Cameron, the 2021 bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup Champ who is moving up a class for 2022.
MotoDNA CEO Mark McVeigh says they have been supporting young Australian riders for more than 10 years and he wished James good luck in the 2022 OJC.
“Our team is also pleased with how our new digital platform performed technically,” he says.
“If the riders all lined up to race each other at the same event they would finish in the same order.
“That’s pretty cool and now positions motoDNA to expand to other series in Australia and overseas. We also learnt heaps, refining our algorithms performance and customer experience. “
The motoCHAMPION was launched in partnership with Motorcycling Australia, who develop riders through the bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup (OJC) and the Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK).
Motorcycling Australia CEO Peter Doyle says the OJC Academy is designed to open a pathway into junior road racing and, through its development academy format, lift our youngest motorcycling talent through national competition and set them on a path to international success.
“Developing and facilitating our next generation of riders is a key focus for Motorcycling Australia,” he says.
“We’re excited to be a part of motoCHAMPION in partnership with motoDNA which provides riders with an additional tool in their tool kit to further develop their riding technique and skills.”
Apart from James’s sponsored place in the OJC, the next four motoCHAMPION riders will earn an automatic place in the bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup selection event where they will have the chance to qualify for the 2022 season.
The motoCHAMPION event is sponsored by Bendix which is now taking its stopping expertise to the two-wheeled category says company GM George Kyriakopoulos.
Motorcycle riders will gradually see Bendix brake product become available for their bikes in the Australian market and also see an increased presence of the Bendix brand in the two-wheeled scene.
Ducati test rider Michele Pirro was on track at Sepang overnight with the latest iteration of the Ducati Desmosedici.
The Ducati sported a new much longer exhaust at the Jerez Test in November, and it appears that development has continued on to the latest prototype.
New fairings and air intakes are also markedly different than seen in 2021.
As for engine spec’, Ducati have gone on record that they will not finalise their engine until after both the Sepang and Mandalika Tests, so there is still a lot more work to be done over this following week by the Ducati crew.
Rookies and Test riders will be again on track today and tomorrow, then there is a break in proceedings before the full complement of MotoGP riders hit the track on February 5.
Always the most intriguing innovators in MotoGP, it will be interesting to see what else Ducati bring to the table over the next couple of weeks….
“Top of the list has to be the rookies. Anyone that knows me, knows I’ll always stick these guys at the top. Some people don’t get excited by rookies but I think they’re making a mistake. Rookies change the Championship, plain and simple, and we’ve got some really exciting ones being thrown into the mix this year. It’s the new blood injected into the Championship. For me, seeing how they make friends with their crew chief, seeing them on the bike, seeing their face light up is so special. I suppose I feel this way about the rookies because I know how life changing this opportunity is. It’s truly awesome.
Taking to their social media channels, Ducati unveiled the GP22 that is set to once again be a major title threat in the hands of Francesco Bagnaia and Jack Miller. The release comes on the opening day of the Sepang Shakedown Test, where Test Rider Michele Pirro is putting the new bike through its paces. There are few surprises in regard to the design, with the Borgo Panigale sticking with their iconic colours which are renowned the world over. The new-look bike will be in action over the course of the weekend in Sepang, while the factory Ducati’s Team Presentation is penciled in for Monday, February 7th at 16:00 CET.
Ducati’s trusty Test Rider Michele Pirro was riding the GP22, which was sporting the long exhaust we saw at the tests last year. The other exhaust, that comes out by the side of the ‘salad box’, has been shortened. The Italian was continuing work on the aero package we saw at the Jerez Test too.
In his debut premier class season, Martin claimed four pole positions, three podium finishes and one victory, which helped him take the Rookie of the Year crown. The Spaniard became just the fifth rookie to claim a race win in the MotoGP™ era after Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda), Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Tech3), Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo. Entering into his sophomore season, the number 89 will be expected to improve upon his ninth-place finish from 2021.
Compared to the C Evolution, weight is down by more than 15 percent. (BMW Motorrad/)
BMW famously jumped into the electric motorcycle market with the BMW C Evolution scooter in 2014. I rode the prototype as long ago as 2012 and, despite its sheer mass compared to conventional, petrol-drinking scooters, was immediately impressed. Now, with the radically styled CE 04, BMW has significantly moved the game on.
Compared to the C Evolution, weight is down by over 15 percent, charging times have been shortened, and its claimed range stands at 80 miles. And, of course, it’s styled like no scoot we’ve seen before. When in 2017 BMW first teased us with images of CE 04, not even the most ardent BMW supporter would have envisioned that the production bike would be so like those daring early sketches. Even when BMW unveiled the concept bike in 2020, most thought its shape would be sanitized and softened before being signed off. But BMW has stuck to its guns, let the designers have free rein, and produced a bike that looks like it’s 10 years ahead of its time, like a prop for a sci-fi blockbuster rather than a bike you can buy.
BMW calls its new CE 04 “the silent revolution: a new chapter in electric-powered urban two-wheeled mobility.” (BMW Motorrad/)
Cleverly, technology and know-how have been shared across BMW platforms, the CE 04 using modified, smaller versions of lithium-ion battery cells that power the iX automobile range, ensuring reliability and safety as well as significantly reducing R&D costs. Maximum output is 42 hp at 4,900 rpm, top speed a claimed 75 mph, and acceleration an impressive 31 mph in 2.6 seconds. This is a quick scooter.
The lithium-ion battery can be charged from a regular household socket from flat to full in 4 hours, 20 minutes, or with an optional extra quick charger (6.9kW) in 1 hour, 40 minutes. A 20–80 percent charge takes just 45 minutes, again with the optional fast charger, or 1 hour, 40 minutes with a conventional standard charger. A 45-minute fast charge equates to a civilized lunch or a lingering coffee break (while you upload images of your cool CE 04 to social media).
Technology and know-how have been shared across BMW platforms, the CE 04 using modified, smaller versions of car battery cells from the iX range. (BMW Motorrad/)
Fully charged range is a quoted 80 miles, but this will ultimately depend on how you ride plus the riding mode selected. On the base CE 04 there are three modes to choose from, each with a different re-gen (recharging the battery while on a closed throttle, like engine-braking) while an optional Dynamic mode can be added.
Press the keyless ignition, then press the starter button while holding a brake lever (both brakes are on the bars like any modern scooter) and you’re ready. The sidestand acts as a hand brake or kill switch, so you can’t move forward with it down. The 10.25-inch TFT dash lets you know you’re ready, then it’s twist the throttle and go—that simple.
The lithium-ion battery can be charged from a regular household socket from flat to full in 4 hours, 20 minutes, or with an optional extra quick charger (6.9kw) in 1 hour, 40 minutes. (BMW Motorrad/)
So far not that different to a petrol scooter, except with no engine noise or buildup of revs the first few near-silent yards are slightly disorientating—and the initial turn of the throttle and instantaneous acceleration take you a little by surprise. But after a mile or so, it becomes natural and second nature, especially as the throttle connection on the new CE 04 is excellent.
In base spec the CE 04 has those three riding modes to choose from—Eco, Rain and Road—each with its own throttle response and engine-braking (re-gen), while our test bike was also fitted with the optional Dynamic mode. The Dynamic mode also changes the standard traction control and ABS to lean sensitive (ABS Pro and Dynamic Traction Control).
A 20–80 percent charge takes just 45 minutes, again with the optional fast charger, or 1 hour, 40 minutes with a conventional standard charger. (BMW Motorrad/)
For those unused to the way electric bikes react off a closed throttle, Eco and Rain modes are probably the safest options as they deliver very soft power, with a super-smooth transition from a closed to an open throttle. Some electric bikes can also respond abruptly—like a switch—but BMW has overcome this with the CE 04.
Road mode and the Dynamic option turn up the volume. The throttle remains smooth but the torque kicks in hard, impressively so considering the CE 04 is comparable to a midsize 400cc petrol scooter. There is no lag or clutch delay, just instant drive (peak torque is at just 1,500 rpm).
Using BMW car technology, this stunning A2 electric scooter is all new for 2022, boasting a 75 mph top speed, 0–50 kph (31 mph) in 2.6 seconds. (BMW Motorrad/)
The CE 04 can outgun almost anything away from the lights and do so in perfect silence. The lights go green… Twist the throttle… And you’ve left the traffic far behind. Hitting painted lines or manhole covers can activate the traction control and in damp and cold conditions, the rear Pirelli will need plenty of assistance from the TC. Meanwhile, the silence just adds to the fun of putting overexcited drivers in their place.
Aside from throttle response, engine-braking is significantly different in each mode, with Eco delivering strong engine-braking and more recuperation of the battery. In the city, with timing and experience, you can almost get away without using the brakes. Road and especially Rain mode have much softer braking strategies.
Fully charged range is a quoted 81 miles but this can depend on how you ride, plus the riding mode selected. (BMW Motorrad/)
The CE 04′s mass is trimmed down to a respectable 509 pounds compared to the C Evolution’s 606 pounds but it is still 55 pounds heavier than BMW’s own C 400 X (454 pounds). To help offset that bulk, it is equipped with a reverse drive, which is activated via a button on the left bar. Twist the throttle and the CE 04 moves slowly backward, which is particularly useful for getting out of negatively cambered parking bays.
On the move, the extra weight isn’t so noticeable as BMW has cleverly placed many of those pounds low in the chassis, with the dense and bulky battery cells carried horizontally on a platform under your feet, giving the CE 04 with a low center of gravity. The BMW is much narrower than petrol-drinking competition, too, especially toward the rear (where normally you would find an engine and an exhaust). A reasonably low, 30.7-inch seat height also exacerbates this sense of lightness and agility.
The 10.25-inch TFT dash lets you know you’re ready, then it’s twist the throttle and go. (BMW Motorrad/)
A single, directly mounted shock with spring preload adjustment and 35mm Showa fork work to control all that weight and torque. The steering comes more from the middle of the scoot, as the CE 04 swings from one turn to the next. Cutting through city traffic is easy, despite a long wheelbase, and you only really notice its mass when riding on more open roads during faster direction changes at speed. But in a blind test you’d be hard-pressed to guess its actual weight as it feels so light on the move.
The Showa ride quality is impressive, taking on speed bumps and road imperfections with relative ease. Perhaps it doesn’t feel as plush as some of the competition, but the CE 04′s silent running adds means you can hear the suspension moving, which somehow makes it seem like it’s working harder too…
The optional Dynamic mode also changes the standard traction control and ABS to lean sensitive (ABS Pro and Dynamic Traction Control). (BMW Motorrad/)
The flat seat might look as comfortable as a park bench, but is far more accommodating than it appears (plus BMW offer six different seat options). BMW quotes a range of 81 miles, and there’s a clear range indicator on the 10.25-inch color screen, showing how many miles you have left in the bank. After 38 miles, I still had a further 37 miles in reserve, which equates to 75 miles, and my riding was spirited at times.
The CE 04 comes equipped with underseat storage, enough for a full-face helmet, which is accessible from the side as the seat is fixed in place. There’s also phone storage up front which is cooled by an electric fan to stop your device overheating. The dash has connectivity as well as integrated map navigation. Switch gear and the BMW navigation wheel are simple and easy to use. Like the ignition, the underseat and phone storage are all keyless. The feel and touch of the storage is first class. And should you require more storage there are neat side and rear bags available.
The standard CE 04 comes equipped with underseat storage, enough for a full-face helmet, which is accessible from the side as the seat is fixed in place and very neat, like a large pannier. (BMW Motorrad/)
The job of stopping 509 pounds of escoot is down to two four-piston calipers grabbing two 265mm discs, with a single 265mm disc on the rear (front brake: right bar; back brake: left bar). They perform without fuss and are backed up by all that engine-braking, which is especially strong in the Eco mode. The brakes are not linked and ABS comes as standard. If you want ABS Pro (cornering ABS), you pay extra for the Dynamic package.
And while the three riding modes, ABS, and TC come as standard, for lean-sensitive ABS, TC, and riding aids and the additional Dynamic mode you need the Dynamic Package (380 pounds, which at time of writing converts to $509), which also adds Headlight Pro and daytime running lights.
Aside from throttle response, engine-braking is significantly different in each mode, with Eco delivering very strong engine-braking and more recuperation of the battery (converting kinetic energy into electrical energy). (BMW Motorrad/)
The CE 04′s only serious flaw is its price, which is $11,795 for the base model and a big ask for those looking for an economical commute in and out of the city. Our testbike came in the dramatic Avantgarde color package and was equipped with the Dynamic package. BMW also fitted the City package, including much-needed heated grips, tire pressure control, an anti-theft alarm, and centerstand (not shown on our testbike) which costs more. Should you wish, there is an additional Comfort package (heated grips and a comfier heated seat), and a high windshield. Additionally, there is the essential fast charger for another upcharge.
The CE 04 looks like BMW’s vision for the city commuter of the near future, but is a for-real production motorcycle that we will be able to buy this March. Furthermore, it works supremely well as a city scoot. If money was no object, I’d take the CE 04 over its petrol equivalent every time. Aside from its battery range there are no disadvantages over normal combustion-engine scoots, and I believe an 80-mile range is large enough for this type of bike. It’s easier to ride, silent, quick, and incredibly stylish—a stunning brilliant example of clever engineering and design.
In standard spec the CE 04 has three riding modes to choose from: Eco, Rain, and Road. (BMW Motorrad/)
But you can’t hide the price, which is around double the petrol equivalent. At $11,795 for the base model, it is expensive, and to get the best out of the CE 04 you really need the fast charger and the Dynamic pack.
If you want quality, the latest tech and style, and money isn’t a problem, then for commuting I’d highly recommend the CE 04. But for many it may be just too expensive for now.
The flat seat might look as comfortable as a skateboard, but it’s far more accommodating than it appears, plus BMW offers six different seat options. (BMW Motorrad/)
Jacob Roulstone is another of Australia’s many talented riders that will be competing in two prestigious championships in Europe this year as he graduates from two years in the European Talent Cup into the recently rebranded FIM Junior GP World Championship (formerly the CEV Moto3 Junior World Championship), as well as competing in the 16th running of the Red Bull Rookies Cup (RBRC).Along with fellow countryman, Harrison Voight it will be a doubled-pronged attack of Aussie representation in both classes for ’22.
In the past few years, Jacob has flown under the radar, as he chases that “yellow brick road” of dreams. He may have gone unnoticed by many on the outside, but he’s been making a bigimpression on many in the race paddocks, and that’s why this year, he has his best prospects of success thus far in his relatively short road racing career.
While he has done plenty of laps of the dirt and bitumen in Australia, the majority of his road racing experiences have been in Asia and Spain. It’s not through choice. It’s just the way it’s all unfolded.
Roulstone kicked off his international travels with the Asia Talent Cup in 2019 where he finished 11th, with five top ten finishes from the 12 races contested.
In that year he also competed in Australia in the new Oceania Junior Cup as well as the 300cc classes but due to date clashes with the ATC, missed three rounds of the ASBK titles.
At the end of 2019 he received an offer to compete in the European Talent Cup, a class of the Spanish CEV Championships, with the Leopard Impala Junior Team and the decision was made to relocate.
With the onslaught of the plague, it was almost over before it started. No sooner had Jacob and his mother, Leah arrived in Spain, the country went into complete lockdown. The pair were confined to their hotel room for 105 days and for the first 10 weeks of lockdown they weren’t allowed out of their room. Contemplate that predicament…
That confined experience would test the mettle of anyone, but for a 15-year-old champing at the bit to go racing and explore new frontiers, it would’ve been extremely challenging – to say the least!
And not only for Jacob.
Parents would empathise with Leah’s plight being locked in a as she attempted to cook up a storm with just a microwave oven and a single hot-plate! There’s only so much hotel room service food one can handle at the best of times, let along in a lockdown
Thankfully, the season was contested and at the completion of his first year in the ETC, Roulstone finished a very creditable 17th overall with a brace of top ten finishes.
Pretty impressive considering the circumstances. Especially in a field stacked with locals who knew all the vagaries of the local tracks that hosted the ETC after racing on the tracks for years.
The progression and improvement continued in the ETC last year, after he signed again with the Leopold Impala Junior team.
Jacob kicked off the year perfectly with a win at the opening round at Estoril (Portugal), however he had to wait until the final round at Valencia to climb the podium again: In the first race of the final round, he finished second, 0.120 sec off the win and backed that up with third place in his final race in ETC, for ninth overall.
After two years in the European Talent Cup, Jacob makes the move upwards into the newly-named “Junior GP” category with the highly regarded, and vastly experienced personnel involved with the Aspar Gas Gas Junior Team, owned by multiple world champion and living legend, Jorge “Aspar” Martinez.
Being signed to the team is a massive dose of credibility and the faith they have in Jacob’s ability. For a rider to sign with Team Aspar you have to have that “something”.
It’s not all about money, as some may have you believe, as all riders – particularly Spaniards – dream of a ride in Aspar’s team.
Jacob’s signing for the future is also kudos to Aspar for looking outside the locals of the Iberian peninsula to sign the Australian teenager, when there may have been plenty of attractive alternatives.
Martinez has not only taken notice of his efforts, but has brought him into the fold, and not with just a short term plan. There are long tern goals pencilled in for the teenager, if Roulstone can deliver.
Hopefully with the faith shown by Martinez, in the next year or so, Jacob’s name and his talents will become more familiar to followers of road racing, not only in Australia, but worldwide.
Jacob Roulstone DOB: 4 Feb 2005 Lives: Jamberoo (NSW)
Mark Bracks: So where did you start? Were you a dirt tracker like many others?
Jacob Roulstone: “Firstly, I started with MX for a bit of fun. When I was younger, Dad did a bit of road racing so we were always around that. We tried some flat track and enjoyed that, traveling all over for a couple of years. I won three Australian Championships in 85-150cc Big Wheeland 80cc modified.
“I also rode an NSF100 at the local kart track, every week nothing major, just working on the small bike. My father wanted me to be able to push the small bikes around, lose the front, lose the rear and learn on an old Moriwaki 80 as well around places like Eastern Creek and Wakefield, with the St George club. and then at Broadford and at Phillip Island.
“In 2018 we went to the ATC try-outs and I was fortunate to be invited to do the ATC in 2019, where my best result was a fourth.
“Also in 2019, I did the new Oceania Junior Cup and the 300cc classes as well. I never really gelled with the 300 bikes. At the time I was only quite small, and very light, and it was difficult to move around on the larger machine.
“I suit the Moto 3 and the European Talent bikes a lot better, but I have shot up in the last year.
“After the ATC I went to Europe for the 2020 European Talent Cup with the Leopard Impala Junior Team, riding a Honda NSF250R, the same bikes as ATC except we had more data. When I went over to Europe I was a year older than a lot of the riders because they do stuff a lot earlier now.
“For ’22 my dreams are coming true as I have been signed with the Aspar Gas Gas junior team. They are a very good team.
“As well, I have been lucky enough to be selected for the RBRC as well.
“The Gas Gas Moto 3 is pretty much a KTM, like the Rookies bike, so they are quite similar. If we were on a Honda , like in the ETC, it would be more difficult to jump from one to another.”
Bracks: How do you rate your last couple of years?
Roulstone: “Really good. In 2020 I had not many expectations. It was a learning year; what it was like living over in Europe. I learnt all the data engineering, all the differences so you can ride over there as it is very different to here; how they ride. They’re a lot more aggressive. A lot faster.
“In 2021 they were about two-seconds faster than in 2020. I don’t know why. It was just ridiculous. They’re closer to Moto3 times which is incredible.
“To finish ninth in the championship out of 50 riders is quite good and to be the first of theinternationals, I think up to 15th, the rest were Spanish is very good too. It was productive year and I am extremely happy with it.”
Bracks: No doubt that had a bearing with where you have ended up with the team for this year.
Roulstone: “Absolutely. You could be the best kid but you still have to have the results.”
Bracks:But you have to behave off the bike as well.
Roulstone: “Yes for sure. You don’t want you or your team to be disrespectful. Sometime you have to bite your lip if there is an issue. You always have to be thinking about that. My parents have taught me quite well in that regard.”
Bracks: You seem to have had a similar path to Harry Voight racing against each other growing up and now in the same class again this year?
Roulstone:” Yeah we were doing the same thing with dirt track for awhile so we have raced against each other a bit but I think he went to road racing a year or so before I did. Should be fun to be on track with him again like back in 2019 with the ATC.”
Bracks: So are you learning a trade or anything?
Roulstone: “I am still doing school. I do school every day. I have a tutor. I don’t like sitting around doing nothing . I do distance education. It’s a little bit like home schooling but all the work is already set out for us. I do that every morning until about 1 o’ clock then I’ll do all my exercises, go to my trainer, gym or we go riding or something along this lines. It’s all pretty serious. I will definitely do some studies in engineering or something like that.I do enjoy that. If I don’t make it I can’t do nothing. I have to have something to fall back on.”
Bracks: Where are you based over there?
Roulstone: “We live north of Barcelona near Gerona on the Costa Brava. We live at one of the old team bosses houses. We still have a great relationship with all of them which is good. Even though I have left their team we are still a part of the family. They help me with everything; my training and help me with riding. It’s difficult sometimes over there, but we have good relationships with people which makes a big difference.”
Bracks: So are you pretty fluent with Spanish now?
Roulstone: “I can understand what they are talking about, but i find it very difficult to speak. Hopefully this time next year I’ll be able to speak it fluently. That’s my goal for the year, besides riding.”
Bracks: Spanish or Catalan as you live in Catalunya?
Roulstone: “I haven’t had my sights on learning Catalan whatsoever. It’s too difficult. (with a laugh).”
Bracks: Yeah I know exactly what you mean. It sounds like you’ve got your heart set on being in Spain for the next few years then?
Roulstone: “Absolutely. It’s the place to be.
“This year is a learning year like 2021 was; learning a new team and a new bike. They are a high profile team, so there will be expectations, so I’ll be going out and trying to win each time but its going to be extremely… a lot more difficult than it was. I’m not having huge expectations but every time I go out, I’ll try and win. That’s just me.
“In the RBRC I believe I can go quite good. My goal is to get two years in each championship to do this year, then next year.In just about every session I want to be top ten and my goal is to finish with a podium or two. It’s going to be difficult. But I have the right team, I have the right people around me who I believe can get me there.
“I wanted to bring my crew chief and mechanics but they couldn’tdo it for one reason or another. I have new everything: Two new mechanics and two new data engineers but it’ll be good as with rookies and Moto3 I have the same mechanics so I’ll be able to get a good relationship with them.
“I will have to learn with my new data engineer. They are good people. It’s all learning and taking in the experience.”
Bracks: Do you get on with other riders?
Roulstone: “We have a good little group of internationals; a Canadian and American. It’s the group we train with during the week. I try to have a good relationship with all the riders. Some struggle with that but I’ve been able to set up good relationships with the Spanish and some, I am great friends with.”
Bracks: So when does this year’s adventure start?
Roulstone: “We are leaving on February 7. We have an Aspar training week the day after we arrive so we head straight down to Valencia.”
Bracks: All the best, with the next chapter, mate.
Roulstone: “Thanks, Bracksy. I’ll be giving it a good crack!”