Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative Program Surpasses $6 Million in Funding

With a goal of supporting responsible access to our nation’s public lands for outdoor enthusiasts, the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative program announced it has surpassed $6 million in cumulative funding. As an example of these efforts, during the second quarter of this year, funding went toward three projects in Oregon, providing enhanced riding experiences across the Oregon Sand Dunes National Recreation Area, the Tillamook State Forest, and the Prospect OHV riding area on the Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest. For more information, read the press release below.

Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative

MARIETTA, Ga. (Aug. 29, 2023) — Yamaha Motor Corp., USA, announces the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative (OAI) has surpassed a remarkable $6 million in cumulative funding. A trailblazer in the powersports industry, Yamaha’s OAI remains steadfast in its commitment to championing and safeguarding access to lands for both motorized and outdoor recreation. Since its inception in 2008, the program has fueled the realization of over 470 projects nationwide.

Related: Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative Honors National Public Lands Day

“Fifteen years ago, when Yamaha conceived the Outdoor Access Initiative, we foresaw the positive impact it would have on our valued customers, dedicated dealership network, and the public landscapes we enjoy today,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha’s motorsports marketing manager. “While much work remains, we take immense pride in our contribution of over $6 million thus far. This support underscores our commitment to foster safe, sustainable riding and recreation across public lands.”

Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative

The second quarter of 2023 witnessed the endorsement of three pivotal projects in Oregon through OAI. These initiatives provide enhanced riding experiences across the Oregon Sand Dunes National Recreation Area, the Tillamook State Forest, and the Prospect OHV riding area on the Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest. The range of projects, from erecting informative wayfinding signs to constructing vital bridges and staging areas, epitomizes the essence of OAI’s dedication to lasting improvements in Oregon’s recreational opportunities.

Related: Backcountry Discovery Routes: BMW and BDR Collaborate on New Oregon Route

Amongst the pool of Q2 applications, 18 grants were awarded, totaling an impressive $311,355. The recipients span the following organizations:

  • American Sand Association
  • Bur Oak Land Trust, Iowa
  • Doe Mountain Recreation Authority, Tennessee
  • Douglas County, Oregon
  • Drummond Dirt & Sno-Jacks, Wisconsin
  • Friends of Cow Mountain, California
  • Garland Trail Hawks ATV Club, Maine
  • Great Lot Sportsman’s Club Corp., New York
  • High Desert Keepers, California
  • Island Trails Network Inc., Alaska
  • L.A.N.D.S., California
  • National Forest Foundation
  • Off Road Business Association
  • ODF: Tillamook State Forest, Oregon
  • So. California Mountains Foundation
  • Starbuck Police Department, Minnesota
  • Trash Dogs AZ, Inc.
  • Wilderness Wheelers, Minnesota

Individuals passionate about leading projects to enhance and safeguard access to public lands for motorized and outdoor recreation are encouraged to apply for an OAI grant. Notably, this initiative has expanded to embrace Yamaha’s Power Assist Bicycle group, further preserving access to public spaces for all forms of outdoor and motorized recreation.

The application deadline for the third quarter funding cycle is Sept. 30, 2023. Yamaha welcomes the participation of OHV and bicycling clubs, land stewardship groups, and related nonprofit outdoor recreation organizations. To explore the application process, submission guidelines, and access the Yamaha OAI grant application form, visit the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative website. The website also features an enlightening blog replete with project highlights to fuel inspiration.

Stay seamlessly connected with Yamaha through avenues such as the Yamaha Outdoors podcast, social media channels via @YamahaOutdoors, and by tracking the following hashtags: #Yamaha, #YamahaOAI, #REALizeYourAdventure, #ProvenOffRoad, and #AssembledInUSA.

About the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative

Since 2008, the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative has led the powersports industry in supporting responsible access to our nation’s public lands for outdoor enthusiasts. With more than $6 million contributed to over 470 projects across the country, Yamaha has directly and indirectly supported thousands of miles of motorized recreation trails, maintained and rehabilitated riding and hunting areas, improved staging areas, supplied organizations with essential OHV safety education, built bridges over fish-bearing streams, helped children learn to ride bicycles, and partnered with local outdoor enthusiast communities across the country to improve access to public lands. Each quarter, Yamaha accepts applications from nonprofit or tax-exempt organizations including OHV riding and cycling clubs and associations, national, state, and local public land-use agencies, outdoor enthusiast associations, and land conservation groups with an interest in protecting, improving, expanding, and/or maintaining access for safe, responsible, and sustainable public use.

Updated guidelines, an application form, and news about the Outdoor Access Initiative are available at the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative website. For specific questions about the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative, call the dedicated hotline at 1-877-OHV-TRAIL (877-648-8724), email [email protected], or write to:

Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative
3065 Chastain Meadows Parkway, Bldg. 100
Marietta, GA 30066

The post Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative Program Surpasses $6 Million in Funding appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

“Important” to have test team alongside Team HRC, new items “improved bike a bit” for Lecuona

Team HRC were on track at MotorLand Aragon with regular race riders Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge this week as they continued the development of the CBR100RR-R, and they were joined in Spain by test rider Tetsuta Nagashima. The Japanese rider was looking to the future with his testing programme as Honda look to make big gains ahead of the 2024 season to turn themselves into regular podium contenders.

With Nagashima on track, it was one of the first times since Honda re-joined WorldSBK as a full-factory team that they had their test team in Europe testing alongside the race riders. Nagashima racked up 165 laps across both days and set a best time of 1’51.026s. Although he finished last of the 12-strong WorldSBK field, Nagashima was adapting to the circuit and tyres throughout the test. His insight and feedback will no doubt prove valuable to both Lecuona and Vierge, with the Japanese star explaining how important it is for the test team to communicate in person with the race team.

Nagashima said: “This is quite important because, after COVID in 2020, normally Japanese people couldn’t travel to Europe. We have a test team in Japan, and we communicated with the European side via a computer. We can communicate like this but it’s not exactly the same as being here! We understand the problem, but we cannot work like normal. From this year, we came here with the test time and we can talk face-to-face. It’s quite important for me, Xavi, and Iker. I hope now they understand the problem much more.”

Lecuona showed strong pace throughout the test as he finished fourth on day one with a 1’50.950s, one of four riders in the 1’50s bracket. The #7 completed 48 laps on Tuesday before adding another 58 to his tally on Wednesday, where he found time on his bike. He posted a 1’49.466s in the morning, with the Spanish rider opting not to test on Wednesday afternoon. Despite this, he was fourth in the combined classification for day two.

Although he couldn’t detail what he had been trying, Lecuona was positive about the results. He explained: “Day two was quite good, I’m happy. We worked quite well and tried something new. I felt good. We improved my base a little bit and we can use the step we made in the round. I’m always one of the fastest riders in sector three, but I don’t know why! I like this sector. In sector one, I need to check properly. I’m really happy about the test. The new part helped a little bit everywhere. Braking was a bit similar as we’re always really strong under braking. The rest, I think we improved a bit, and the small details make a big different with the lap time.”

For Vierge, he was able to complete 161 laps across the two days as he focused on acceleration. The #97 was second on day one with a 1’50.619s and he followed that up on day two with a 1’49.984s. Finding more than half-a-second, Vierge finished the second day sixth in the classification but, like Nagashima and Lecuona, was left feeling positive.

Reviewing the test, he said: “The test has allowed me to gradually rebuild my confidence. We’ve focused on acceleration, one of our weak points, as this track is good for that kind of test because the grip is not the best. We gathered a great deal of information for the engineers to analyse and are ready for the second part of the season, when we will visit tracks that I think suit us better, so we’ll try to exploit that factor.”

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Source: WorldSBK.com

Oncu testing in Italy on Friday, aiming for Mangy-Cours return

After not being in FIM Supersport World Championship action since the Dutch Round at the TT Circuit Assen, Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) will be back on his ZX-6R machine during a test with his World Supersport team at the Cremona circuit. It will be a key milestone for the one-time race winner as he returns to WorldSSP machinery for the first time since the Assen crash and he is looking at Magny-Cours for a potential return to competitive action.

The #61 suffered a left forearm fracture in a Turn 1, Lap 1 crash with Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) and has not raced since as he recovers from his injuries. He team will visit the Cremona Circuit in Italy to give Oncu his first taste of WorldSSP machinery since the crash as they evaluate a potential return for the Mandalika race winner at Magny-Cours. The French Round takes place next weekend while Oncu’s test is Friday, 1st September.

Oncu had been billed as a potential title contender heading into his fourth season in WorldSSP and won his first race in the Championship in Race 1 at the Indonesian Round, before following that up with fourth in Race 2. That came a week after he secured third in Race 2 at Phillip Island as he started his season in sublime fashion, leaving the opening two rounds of the season third in the standings, 23 points behind Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team).

However, after taking seventh in Race 1 at Assen, Oncu’s season unravelled when he was taken out by Montella on the opening lap of Race 2. Oncu was declared unfit with an arm fracture while the #55 received a double Long Lap Penalty for the next round in Barcelona. The #61 will return to WorldSSP machinery for the first time since that crash tomorrow as he eyes a potential Magny-Cours return.

Manuel Puccetti, the Team Manager, previewed Oncu’s test. He said: “Finally we bring Can Oncu back to the track! His serious arm injury forced him into a long recovery period, in which Can underwent many hours of physiotherapy and long specific training sessions for the injured arm. He has already ridden on Kenan Sofuoglu’s private track with a 300cc bike, together with Toprak Razgatlioglu, Bahattin Sofuoglu and his brother Deniz, but he hasn’t yet climbed onto his 600cc bike, which is a heavier bike. At the moment, we don’t know if he is able to return to racing and for this reason, we have organised this test on Friday at the Cremona Circuit, after which we will know if we can deploy him, as we hope, in the next round at Magny-Cours.”

If the test goes the way both team and rider would like it to and Oncu does travel to Magny-Cours, the 20-year-old will have to undergo the necessary medical checks on Thursday ahead of track action so he can be declared fit to ride.

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Source: WorldSBK.com

5 RED-HOT quotes on the rider market for 2024 from the Aragon test

Normally during testing, swingarms, seat positions and new suspension or brake items are some of the visual things you look out for. But in what is one of the craziest silly seasons ever in MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, it was what riders were saying that was perhaps even more interesting. It’s the time of season where riders are venturing over to rival manufacturers’ hospitalities to do more than check out how good the coffee is, but when the questions are asked, strong answers are given. We’ve put the five best ones below. Don’t forget, get an extensive look at the rumours, gossip and intrigue about 2024’s with our evolutionary silly season story, here!

Guim Roda (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK team principal): “It’s important to put energy on what we can control”

All eyes were on Kawasaki’s box on both days of the test at Aragon. Not only were the team in green testing new parts for 2024 with Alex Lowes on the second day, but test rider Florian Marino was also up to speed with those items on the opening day. However, likewise on the first day, WorldSSP star and 2021 WorldSSP300 Champion Adrian Huertas made his WorldSBK debut and impressed. Guim Roda, KRT team boss, stated that he was “curious” to see what Huertas could do on the ZX-10RR, whilst he when asked about the possibility of Jonathan Rea leaving Kawasaki, he added: “The rumours are there and we’re understanding how to continue with the Plan A and this is the main target. It’s important to put energy on what we can control and the bike performance for 2024. Once we secure our package, we can decide what to explain to the riders to be as competitive as possible.”

Serafino Foti (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team principal): “He’s like a son to us but racing is racing”

Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) has had his future in the headlines just as much, with the rumours stating that Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) could be on his way to replace him. Team boss Serafino Foti confirmed that Bulega is one of many candidates, but when talking about Rinaldi’s 2024, he said: “We have a really good relationship with Rinaldi. He’s like a son but racing is racing. I hope he can continue with Ducati because we will try to find him a place. The final decision will be made in the next few days.”

Iker Lecuona (Team HRC): “I don’t have any contract right now”

Perhaps the busiest WorldSBK rider throughout summer, with two MotoGP™ races banked and a third one coming up this weekend, Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) didn’t have much of a holiday at all. Team HRC have been the quietest team when it comes to their 2024 line-up, although there’s no direct reason to think one of their riders – Lecuona or Vierge – would leave or be pushed out. Lecuona was linked to a possible move back to MotoGP™ after his replacement rides, but his latest answer was clear, concise and curious: “I don’t have any contract right now, so for now, I’m free.” Make of that what you will.

Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team): “We’re discussing and talking with Barni, probably I’ll stay here”

Having had a sparkling two-day test at Aragon, it was our first opportunity since Most to catch-up with Danilo Petrucci about his 2024 plans. The 32-year-old Italian has had a strong rookie season so far, with three podiums and admitted that he made the correct decision to return to World Championship action after a year in MotoAmerica in 2022. Speaking about his future, he confirmed his priority is to stay where he is: “We are discussing and talking with Barni, probably I will stay here.” When asked if he had other options in WorldSBK, he was as clear as possible: “No.”

Xavi Vierge (Team HRC): “I have news but I can’t say!”

Suzuka 8 Hours race winner, newly-engaged and fast throughout testing; without going into an overwhelming amount of detail, it seems Xavi Vierge’s form has been good enough that he’ll be around for another season. Honda’s line-up has been very coy with regards to news for 2024, and whilst Lecuona stated he “doesn’t have a contract right now”, Vierge – who had his manager Dani Devahive in attendance at the test – said “I have some news but I can’t say.”

Watch the final four rounds of 2023 unfold in style and with 50% off the WorldSBK VideoPass!

Photo credits: LZ Photos Media

Source: WorldSBK.com

Edelweiss Bike Travel Releases 2024/25 Tour Brochure

Make your plans and pack your bags, because the Edelweiss Bike Travel tour brochure is back for the 2024/25 travel season with new tours added to the list of beloved classics. Edelweiss Bike Travel has over 40 years of experience guiding motorcycle tours and currently offers tours in more than 180 destinations.

Edelweiss tours vary in terms of difficulty, length, and type of riding, as well as location. Detailed information about each upcoming tour is available in the brochure to help you pick the tour that’s right for you.

New tours this year include Motorcycle Dream Portugal, Southern Italy Delights and Twisties, Adventure Namibia, Best of Southern Brazil, and more.

Read the press release below for more information about the brochure and a link to download your digital copy or request a copy by mail.

Edelweiss Bike Travel 2024/25 Tour Brochure
Edelweiss Bike Travel has been guiding motorcycle tours for more than 40 years.

The most wonderful time of the year has come again! With great pride and joy, we present to you the brand-new Edelweiss Bike Travel catalog 2024/2025, packed with unforgettable adventures, breath-taking landscapes, and loads of two-wheeled action.

Those who know us also know that resting on our laurels is not our thing at all. That’s why we already have big plans for the upcoming season. We are delighted to inform you that as of today, our brand-new travel program for 2024/25 is now available online and ready to be booked.

Edelweiss Bike Travel 2024/25 Tour Brochure

Related Story: Edelweiss Bike Travel Best of Greece Tour Review

As a thank you for your loyalty and enthusiasm for our tours, we are offering an exclusive early bird discount: Book a guided tour in Europe in 2024 from our Edelweiss standard program until Oct. 31, 2023, and receive a $250 or €200* discount! To redeem, simply enter the booking code EBB2024,and the discount will automatically be deducted from your booking.

(*Valid for new online bookings of guided motorcycle tours in Europe from the standard Edelweiss program until Oct. 31, 2023. Not valid for motorcycle rentals or self-guided tours. The amount will be deducted automatically. No cash redemption possible.)

Edelweiss Bike Travel 2024/25 Tour Brochure
Save $250 by booking a tour before October 31, 2023.

While you’re already dreaming of the next adventure on two wheels, our brand-new catalog for 2024/25 with all the tours and information about Edelweiss Bike Travel is on its way to you! Haven’t signed up to receive the catalog yet? Just click on the link below and get your free printed version delivered. If you prefer browsing through the digital version, you can also download the catalog directly from our website.

We have worked tirelessly to put together another spectacular program that will make all your dreams of exciting motorcycle tours come true. With our commitment to always offer the ultimate travel experience for all motorcycle enthusiasts, we have further enhanced our proven tours and expanded our program with a variety of new destinations.

Edelweiss Bike Travel 2024/25 Tour Brochure

The successful AMA Alps Challenge tours, where we conquer the 40 highest passes in the Alps, will be included in the program as fixed Edelweiss AMA Alps Challenge tours:

We have also checked out South Europe and are excited to explore charming Portugal and the Southern Apennines in Italy with you.

We have expanded our long-distance destinations to include tours in Namibia and Brazil, which not only offer breath­ takingly beautiful landscapes and cultural highlights, but also plenty of thrilling curves.

Not to forget: Our beautiful new tour in Southeast Asia!

And also off-road fans have every reason to be excited: We have new Unpaved-Tours! Edelweiss now offers three new guided Adventure Country Tracks (ACT) tours in Italy, the Balkans, and Greece.

Whether you dream of exploring the majestic mountain roads of the Alps, traversing the wild and untouched Patagonia, visiting the charming villages of Europe, or experiencing the endless landscapes of the Australian outback – with Edelweiss Bike Travel, you will undoubtedly find the perfect motorcycle tour to turn your dreams into reality!

Your Edelweiss Bike Team

The post Edelweiss Bike Travel Releases 2024/25 Tour Brochure appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Lowes reveals Kawasaki’s 2024 development plan: “Our main focus is acceleration and top speed”

Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK rider Alex Lowes got his first taste of the Aragon test on Wednesday after only taking part in one of the two days. Lowes was on track with teammate Jonathan Rea and the two riders shared a split programme for their ZX-10RR with Rea focusing on the upcoming rounds while Lowes had an eye on the 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season, much like development rider Florian Marino had on Tuesday.

After Marino and WorldSSP star Adrian Huertas stepped in on Tuesday due to Rea and Lowes only having one day left of their allocated ten for testing, the race riders were back on their machines on Wednesday. The #22 had three ZX-10RR machines to test on Wednesday while the six-time Champion had two as they completed a busy day in Spain. The pair had a split approach to the test, with Lowes focusing on the future while Rea’s focus was solely on the final four rounds of the season.

In the morning, Lowes completed 48 laps and was the eighth-fastest rider as he tested all three of his bikes, setting a fastest lap of 1’50.600s. He was around 1.5 seconds slower than the fastest time, set by Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) who used a qualifying tyre for his time. The Brit added 82 laps in the afternoon to bring his total to 130 for the day and he finished in fifth overall after setting a 1’49.791s.

Reflecting on his busy day, and the developments towards 2024, Lowes said: “The lap time wasn’t bad, it was at the hottest part of the day just after lunch. I finished with a 15-lap run on harder tyres to try and take some grip away, because that’s where we normally struggle. It was mentally tiring. I had three bikes. You’re sort of a bit nervous to make the wrong call now in case it hinders you in four months. A lot of the stuff we’re trying was the first try of new parts. You have to get a feel for it, give your positive and negative points and then move on. It’s not a case of keeping it on the bike and building up a setting like you would in a race weekend.

“We need to try to find some more speed on the straight. Our bike is very good especially when the track’s grippy. With the Kawasaki, you can go down to a lap time so fast. Our first laps today were already in the mix even though we missed a day’s testing. It’s very easy to ride the bike to a certain level. We need to now find some real performance in terms of a race situation and being able to battle with the guys a bit easier. A lot of that will come from acceleration and speed. That’s an area that we’re focusing on, whether it’s engine, aerodynamics, rider position… that’s our main focus.”

Team Manager Guim Roda also spoke about the 2024 development plan as Kawasaki look to return to winning ways on a consistent basis next year. Although the Japanese manufacturer won the last race, in Race 2 at Most, it was their only win of the 2023 season and both KRT and Kawasaki will look to return to the top step, on a consistent basis, as soon as possible.

Roda said: “It was positive. It’s not easy for a fast rider. Many times, it’s just a matter of times of feedback, not how fast or not we can go. It’s to collect information, it’s not easy. Especially for a rider who immediately wants efficiency. At the same time, we combined them with some idea that we can use in the last four rounds. It has been, from an engineering perspective, very productive. I know Alex would like to do more laps on his race bike, but he understood the target.”

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Source: WorldSBK.com

Rea pips Bautista, Petrucci as the trio display race lap record pace at Aragon

The final day of MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship testing concluded at MotorLand Aragon with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) topping the times despite missing the first day. The #65 tested only on Wednesday but he was straight up to speed as he joined Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team), who topped the morning session, in going under the existing race lap record.

SPLIT PROGRAMME FOR KAWASAKI: one eye on the present, one on the future

Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK’s race riders, Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes, only rode for one day at Aragon but they made use of it with Rea leading Lowes in a 1-3 in the afternoon session, and a 1-5 overall. The pair had a split programme for their sole test day with the #22 focusing on future developments and the 2024 season, while Rea was looking at the present as he looked to prepare best for the final four rounds of 2023. Rea was fastest in the afternoon as he set a 1’49.101s, which was good enough for top spot overall as he went under the race lap record, while Lowes posted a 1’49.791s for fifth. Lowes was the busiest rider on track, completing 130 laps; including 82 in the afternoon alone.

EVENLY MATCHED: Petrucci, Bautista set same lap time as Ducati try new items

Petrucci used the SCQ tyre to set his best time of 1’49.168s to finish the morning session on top, and joint second overall. The #9 spent the afternoon doing some comparison work between brake disks as he looked to find time in this part of the cornering phase to maximise his lap time. The WorldSBK rookie also had some electronic setups to try with engine braking as well as small adjustments to the triple clamp. In total, he completed 47 laps after ending his testing programme early on Wednesday.

At the factory team, Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) got his hands on a new front fork that’s been designed with 2024 in mind, while the #1 also worked on some setup ideas they have in made if the feeling improved compared to yesterday. He finished the day with the exact same lap time as Petrucci, a 1’49.168s, as he added 97 laps to his total. However, at the very end of the day, Bautista crashed at Turn 14. Teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi finished the day in seventh with 72 laps under his belt.

HONDA’S RAPID PACE CONTINUES: Lecuona surges into the top four

Honda continued to have three riders on track at Aragon with Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) the fastest of the trio. He completed 58 laps, all in the morning as he opted not to go out in the afternoon and set a 1’49.466s to secure fourth overall, with teammate Xavi Vierge in sixth as he put another 87 laps in on Wednesday. Tetsuta Nagashima was also on track as part of the test team and rounded out the WorldSBK field but did add a valuable 80 laps to Honda’s test programme, with the Japanese rider improving his time, like the majority of the field, in the closing stages of the test.

VAN DER MARK ON TOP AT BMW: nothing to separate the quartet of BMW riders

Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) led the four BMW riders between eighth and 11thplace. The Dutchman completed 79 laps as he continued gaining fitness following his return from injury while he also tried some new brake ducts. His best time, a 1’50.362s, put him two tenths clear of Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) in ninth with Scott Redding (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK) completing the top ten with a 1’50.655s. Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) lost a chunk of running time in the afternoon when he had a mechanical issue but was still able to add 73 laps to his tally and finish in 11th.

BULEGA ON TOP AGAIN: Championship leader fastest in WorldSSP

Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) continued to be the faster of the two WorldSSP riders on track ahead of Tarran Mackenzie (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team). The #11’s best time of 1’53.941s was set in the morning session and he racked up 37 laps while Mackenzie lapped around three seconds slower. He completed 31 laps on day two.

Full results from day two at Aragon:

1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’49.101s, 68 laps

2. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 1’49.168, 97 laps

3. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) 1’49.168, 47 laps

4. Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) 1’49.466s, 58 laps

5. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’49.791, 130 laps

6. Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) 1’49.984, 87 laps

7. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 1’50.094, 72 laps

8. Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 1’50.362, 79 laps

9. Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) 1’50.557, 83 laps

10. Scott Redding (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 1’50.655, 81 laps

11. Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) 1’50.935, 73 laps

12. Tetsuta Nagashima (Team HRC) 1’51.026, 80 laps

Watch more WorldSBK action throughout 2023 using the WorldSBK VideoPass – now 50% off!

Photo credits: LZ Photos Media

Source: WorldSBK.com

What was Nagashima testing for Honda at Aragon?

The Aragon test for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship field that travelled to MotorLand Aragon gave Team HRC a chance to run their test team alongside regular riders Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge. Tetsuta Nagashima was on the CBR1000RR-R machine for the two-day test as he worked on the bike as well as with the race riders to help make gains and turn Honda into a consistent front-running manufacturer after a tricky 2023 so far.

The season started well for Honda in Australia and Indonesia as they consistently battled for top six finishes including Vierge scoring his maiden podium at Mandalika. However, since then, results have been harder for the Japanese manufacturer to come by. At times, it has been a struggle to break into the top ten for Lecuona and Vierge although they returned there at Most in all three races for the first time since the Emilia-Romagna Round in June.

At the Aragon test, Nagashima was drafted in to help with their testing programme. The Japanese rider was last on both days of the test but clocked 165 laps across Tuesday and Wednesday as he looked to help develop the CBR1000RR-R machine. Despite trickier conditions on day one due to the wind, Nagashima was able to help and an improved feeling on Wednesday, where conditions were less windy, gave him a better reference and more consistent lap times.

Nagashima had to adjust to the bike and Pirelli tyres during the test and he was more comfortable on the second day compared to the first with more experience under his belt. This enabled him to work on solving problems the CBR1000RR-R has to help refine it into a more complete package, which could have an impact both for the end of the 2023 campaign and looking ahead into next year and beyond.

Reviewing his test and explaining the benefit of the test team being at the track, Nagashima said: “I had a good feeling today about the track and the Pirelli tyres. Still some small problems where I struggled a little bit. I felt comfortable. The morning was a little bit less windy, and I could test, I could compare some new things. It felt better. In the afternoon, it was a bit more difficult because of the wind. It was a bit like day one. We kept the lap time more consistent than day one. I feel quite positive about the bike and what the test team understands. We have to understand what we need and where we have to improve. This test, they understand what we have to do and which problems we have to solve, and we have to work for this programme. I hope they solve it for next year. We were testing everything but especially for turning and acceleration. We are struggling a lot on the exit of corners, Xavi and Iker especially, I think.”

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Source: WorldSBK.com

Bautista works on front fork setup at Aragon: "Trying to improve the feeling in the braking area"

Testing is a chance for teams and manufacturers to try out new components, but it’s also a chance for suppliers to test new items too. On day two of the Aragon test, Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) sported a new Ohlins-manufactured front fork on his Panigale V4 R, with a view of the new design being used in 2024. The reigning Champion was the only rider who tested this new item out at Aragon.

The forks are inspired by MotoGP™ and are softer when moving side-to-side but keep the same strength when moving up and down. Manufactured for this test, the #1 was the first to try the new design on WorldSBK machinery at the Aragon test and he spoke about why he and the team were working on the front of his Panigale V4 R.

Bautista finished the morning session in third place with a 1’49.603s and he was one of the busiest riders on track in the first four-hour session, completing 56 laps. Only compatriot Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) did more with 58. He was one of only four riders to lap in the 1’49s bracket in the morning and he was around half-a-second slower than pacesetter Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team), who used the SCQ tyre to set his fastest lap.

In the afternoon, the Championship leader added another 41 laps to bring his total to 97 and he set a best time of 1’49.168s. It was the exact same time Petrucci set in the morning session as the pair finished joint second in the combined classification. They were both under a tenth away from day two’s fastest rider, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) as the trio went under the existing race lap record.

Reviewing his test, Bautista said: “Today, the feeling with the bike was much better with a bit less wind. I was able to have a normal feeling, so we did normal work. We tried some setups on the front fork, to improve the feeling in the braking area. We found something that will be interesting because I had a good feeling. Other things were not as good as expected but, in the end, I think we worked really well. I’m happy after these two days, especially after the first day where the feeling with the bike was a bit difficult. Today, it became normal, so I enjoyed it a lot.”

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Source: WorldSBK.com

Petrucci rapid at Aragon test: has he found a breakthrough with the SCQ tyre?

Round nine of the 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season is edging ever closer and with the mid-season break’s annual test now done at MotorLand Aragon, there’s a lot to look forward to in the final four events of 2023. One of the shining lights of the test was Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team), who was third on day one but the fastest of the riders not to use a Superpole tyre, whilst on day two, he was the fastest rider in the morning session and the first rider across the two days to set a sub 1’50 lap time, with a 1’49.168 to beat. The two-time MotoGP™ winner and three-time WorldSBK podium finisher had plenty to test, including some things from the factory team like electronics and engine braking, as he revelled on his WorldSBK-Aragon debut.

Day one was a solid day for Petrucci, who hailed it as “the best testing day” of his time in WorldSBK so far, in what was something of a breakthrough for the Italian. However, on day two, ‘Petrux’ was in a class of his own as he stormed up the order, at one point being nearly a second clear of Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) in P2.

Speaking after the opening day, Petrucci said: “Maybe it’s the first day of the test this year that went straight. We didn’t make many modifications, but we got some new parts; new brake discs. We needed to compare some parts, like the triple clamp and small setup adjustments. In the end, it wasn’t bad. The lap times were harder to repeat in the afternoon as the wind was a bit stronger; in the morning, I had a better feeling. In the end, without using a Q tyre, we were fast until the end and with the pace, I can repeat the time and I can be satisfied.”

Day two took place in much better conditions, with Petrucci hailing the test overall as a big breakthrough, particularly with the Q tyre: “Day two was okay. We found the track was a bit faster than day one, and it was less windy. The feeling was good. We followed our programme to test some different triple clamps and something different on the brakes and engine brake. We also put on an SCQ tyre at the end of the morning session, and I felt okay. One of the areas I’m struggling in the most is Superpole, and the first laps of races, so we focused on this at the test. Since lap one this morning, I was able to be fast and the feeling with the bike was okay.

“With the WorldSBK format, if you have a bad Superpole or Superpole Race, your Race 1 and Race 2 are over. If you’re not fast, you start so far back. Superpole is really important and especially being with a new tyre to create a gap and follow the first riders. This is one of the things we worked with at this test.”

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Source: WorldSBK.com