Category Archives: Competition

Bautista ‘didn’t have anything left’ in Portimao victory

Spaniard fends off Rea in thrilling race two victory at the Portuguese round.

Image: Supplied.

Alvaro Bautista admits he ‘didn’t have anything left’ in his slender 0.111s victory over Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) in race two at Portimao’s 10th round of the 2019 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK), which saw the Racing – Ducati rider return to the winners circle for the first time since round seven in July.

The Spaniard, who recorded a 4-2 scorecard in the opening encounter and Superpole race, put on an incredible charge in race two despite still dealing with a shoulder injury, where he managed to fend off four-time champion Rea on the final lap to claim victory.

“It has been a very tough weekend for me, especially physically because my shoulder is still not at 100 percent,” said Bautista. “I felt worse this morning after yesterday’s race so I tried to start well in the Superpole Race. Unfortunately, I lost a lot of positions and used up most of my energy, but I finished second which meant that I could start from the front row in race two.

“In the afternoon I again made a bad start, lifting the front of the bike up and losing some positions but I was still in the leading group so was not too worried. Mid-race I felt my pace was stronger so I decided to go for the lead and push hard until the end.

“I could manage the advantage but in the last two laps I felt every drop of energy leave me, luckily it was the last lap because I didn’t have anything left. It was my first time here in Portimão and I’m happy to get a win again after more than two months.”

The WorldSBK rookie still maintains second in the standings, 91 points behind Rea as the series heads to Magny-Cours in France on 27-29 September.


Maxwell tops rain-affected Friday practice at Winton ASBK

Toparis and Shaw fastest in Supersport and Supersport 300 classes.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Team Suzuki Ecstar Australia’s Wayne Maxwell has ended a rain-affected Friday practice on top of the timesheets at Winton’s fifth round of the 2019 Motul Pirelli Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK), the premier class managing just one session under reasonable conditions.

Former champion Maxwell, who won last time out at Morgan Park, lodged the fastest time of 1m21.499s in session two, edging out Cru Halliday (Yamaha Racing Team) and defending champion Troy Herfoss (Penrite Honda Racing) in the top three, the duo recording times of 1m21.724s and 1m21.851s respectively.

Points leader Mike Jones (DesmoSport Ducati) was fourth with a 1m21.995s time, followed by Josh Waters (Team Suzuki Ecstar Australia), who recorded a best-lap of 1m22.649s.

Bryan Staring (Kawasaki BCpeformance) was sixth ahead of Alex Phillis (Team Suzuki Ecstar Australia), Glenn Allerton (Maxima BMW), Matt Walters (Kawasaki Connection) and Aaron Morris (Maxima BMW).

Image: Russell Colvin.

The Supersport category saw championship leader Tom Toparis (Landbridge Yamaha) set the fastest over Yamaha-mounted Ty Lynch, as Aiden Hayes (Yamaha) locked out the top three. Fourth and fifth were credited to Rhys Belling (Yamaha) and Chris Quinn (Yamaha).

Yannis Shaw (Kawasaki) was fastest in Supersport 300 ahead of Luke Jhonston (Kawasaki) and Luke Power (Kawasaki), as Max Stauffer (Yamaha) led Luke Jhonston (Yamaha) and Ben Baker (Yamaha) in the Yamaha R3 Cup.

Detailed results


Parkes satisfied with YART’s sixth at Suzuka 8 Hours

Image: Supplied.

Australian Broc Parkes has expressed satisfaction with Yamaha Austria Racing Team’s (YART) sixth place finish at the 2019 Coca-Cola Suzuka 8 Hours in Japan, despite setting a target of landing inside the top five.

The squad was initially classified inside the top five, however in a dramatic FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC) finale where leaders Suzuki Endurance Racing Team crashed and caused a red-flag in the closing moments, the results were amended and YART was credited P6.

The strong showing amongst the factory teams meant Parkes’ team was able to secure fourth in the EWC rankings, which comes after two DNFs, one victory and one podium.

“For me it’s not been so easy this week, but then in the race my lap times during my stints were really good and I could keep the pace,” said Parkes.

“From a team perspective, we did everything we possibly could to beat home one of the factory bikes and to be in the top six, which was great, even if our target was top five ahead of the race. I have amazing teammates and an amazing team, and I’m confident we’ll be even stronger next season.”

The 2019/2020 FIM Endurance World Championship commences on 21-22 September for the Bol d’Or 24 Hours in France.


Kawasaki Racing Team conquers drama-packed Suzuka 8 Hours

News 29 Jul 2019

EWC goes down to the wire as Team SRC Kawasaki France clinches the crown.

Image: Supplied.

Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam claimed the most dramatic of victories in the 2019 Coca-Cola Suzuka 8-Hours, as Team SRC Kawasaki France clinched its first Endurance World Championship (EWC) crown.

Having made their Le Mans-style start from second place on the grid, the early action in the race was incredibly tight, with KRT third after the first hour – at which point five different teams were covered by just 0.795 seconds.

The KRT riders led after four hours, after five, then six and again at the seven hour point. As Haslam struggled with recent injuries in the final laps of his riding stints four-time World Superbike champion Rea re-took the lead in the final hour and looked destined to secure the win for KRT.

In an unbelievable turn of events, Rea arrived on the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team’s oil spill in the gloomy and damp conditions that arrived just as the daylight was exhausted. He fell, blamelessly, but was unable to restart. At that stage the dream of a famous race victory seemed gone and the official Yamaha team were initially declared winners after a red flag was thrown.

Despite missing out on the initial podium ceremony and, after a long period of time, the results were amended by the race organisers to put the number 10 Kawasaki back on top. In the final reckoning, KRT won the race by 18.720 seconds from Yamaha Factory Racing’s Katsuyuki Nakasuga, Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark and Red Bull Honda riders Takumi Takahashi and Stefan Bradl – all three teams finishing on the same lap total of 216.

Even before the final race classification was determined, the number 11 Team SRC Kawasaki France entry of Jeremy Guarnoni, Erwan Nigon and David Checa had already won the EWC title after the mechanical of Suzuki Endurance Racing Team in the closing laps. In the end, 12th was enough for SRC Kawasaki – following a mishap of their own – to capture the championship.

F.C.C TSR Honda France, led by Australia’s Josh Hook, scored fourth position in the race after Hook led his share in the opening hour. That result secured the outgoing world champions with third in the final EWC standings. Countryman Broc Parkes’ YART Yamaha squad was sixth on Sunday and fifth in points.

Reigning Australian champion Troy Herfoss was solid with the KYB Moriwaki Racing Honda outfit on their way to ninth place in Japan and Aaron Morris (Team R2CL Suzuki) was 22nd, while Josh Waters (Moto Map SWAT Suzuki) was 27th overall and fourth of the Superstock entries despite a costly fall in the first stint.

Detailed results


Moree Hospital overload causes early MX Nationals cancellation

Image: Foremost Media.

The penultimate stop of the 2019 Pirelli MX Nationals calendar at Moree has been called early following the opening motos due to the current lack of medical services available in the area.

The opening MX1, MX2 and MXD motos had been contested with a share of incidents throughout, however, local demands in the region have attributed to the overload.

Those circumstances have prompted championship organisers to make the decision of cancelling the remainder of the round in regional New South Wales.

“Unfortunately being out in regional New South Wales this weekend, it’s not a very big hospital and their demand around the community increased today so they have unfortunately run out of beds,” Williams Event Management’s Kevin Williams commented.

“We have an ambulance sitting here, but their ability at the hospital to provide further medical services in the need of an emergency is almost at zero – it could be up to a two or three-hour wait. We’re not prepared to put any competitor’s life at that risk.

“It was a no-brainer because all of the championship races have done one moto, so everybody is leaving here for the rest of the afternoon safe and we’re not got to put anybody’s well-being at risk by not being able to provide the level of services that we expect to have everywhere.”

It’s the second time this season that a round has been cut short, as Appin’s opening event was called following the first motos due to the torrential rain on that occasion.


‘Freak accident’ sidelines Lawrence indefinitely

Image: Supplied.

Australian fan-favourite Hunter Lawrence has revealed a ‘freak accident’ has sidelined him indefinitely in the 2019 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, the Geico Honda ace experiencing a rare engine failure on the face of an up-ramp while training this week.

The Queenslander, who captured a moto victory at Spring Creek last weekend, released a detailed statement of how the incident unfolded, where he ultimately suffered a broken collarbone that will likely require surgery.

“Hey guys, so a freak accident happened yesterday while I was out training and we had something break in the engine at the top of a jump up-ramp and [it] locked up,” Lawrence explained. “By the time I let go of the handlebars I was already lawn darting into the ground.

“My team pulled a part the engine ASAP and what we found was a freak accident and what part broke we normally run for 100 hours and this part only had three hrs on it! So it wasn’t my team’s fault – we are digging to the bottom of it to prevent this happening again.

“Thank you to my team for supporting me in times like this and everyone else who rides this rollercoaster of a sport with me, as of now we are unsure of the time frame I am out for, but [I’m] getting checked up today, most likely surgery is required. [I’m] so sorry guys – I’m speechless.”

Lawrence is currently ranked fourth in the 250MX championship standings as Washougal’s ninth round looms this weekend.


False neutral costly for first moto winner Lawrence at Spring Creek

Early error in second 250MX moto dashes Geico Honda rider’s overall challenge.

Image: Supplied.

Selecting a false neutral out of the gates in 250MX moto two in Millville’s eighth round of the 2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship denied Hunter Lawrence the opportunity to challenge for the overall on Saturday.

The Australian delivered a second-career US race victory in moto one, however, the mistake at the very beginning of moto two saw him forced to fight through the pack for sixth position. He was third overall.

Heavy rain all morning at the Spring Creek Motocross Park led to tough track conditions in the first moto, but Lawrence scored a key holeshot and sprinted to the victory. Unfortunately, a mistake off the start prevented him from backing it up in the second moto.

“Yeah, it was pretty sick,” Lawrence exclaimed. “We got a good start, a holeshot and – in a mud race your race can go two ways – obviously you want it to start with a holeshot. I’m pretty stoked on that, the team has been working really hard and continues to work to get an engine package better. I just tried to stay cool when I was up front.

“Second moto, jump out of the gate was pretty good, I just hit a false neutral between second and third off the start so I was way back. It was just stupid, to throw away a chance at the overall just a few feet out of the gate was just a punch in the gut.

“I tried to come back through the pack, but the other boys were on it. We put ourselves in a great position to win, but to watch it go away, it sucks so we’ll come back next weekend with no false neutrals.”

Geico Honda rider Lawrence now sits fourth in the 250MX championship standings following eight of the 12 rounds scheduled, continuing to gain momentum in the latter stages of his rookie campaign in American motocross.


Penrite Honda Racing signs American Blose for AUS Supercross

AMA Supercross regular to contest SX2 category in 2019.

Image: Supplied.

Penrite Honda Racing has signed American Chris Blose to contest the SX2 category in this year’s Australian Supercross Championship, which is set to kick off on 12 October at Brisbane Entertainment Centre.

Blose, who raced for the Victorian-based squad in the closing rounds of the 2017 series, will join three-time defending champion and fellow AMA Supercross contender Justin Brayton, as well as team regular Brett Metcalfe – both who will challenge the premier class.

“2019 was mostly positive for me, I achieved seven top 10 finishes and finished as high as fifth,” said Blose, speaking of his AMA Supercross 250SX West campaign. “I felt strong at most rounds and as the championship went on I got more confident.

“The Honda Australia factory program is a professional and successful team and I am sure we will be competitive. I have raced the current CRF250R and am confident we have a strong package, there are going to be several contenders and I can’t wait for the championship to start.”

Blose is the second American to sign on for the full Australian Supercross Championship after Serco Yamaha announced last week that it would expand to a three-rider line-up with Jacob Hayes.


Razgatlioglu ‘ruined both of my races’ declares injured Bautista

Spaniard to undergo further medical examinations this week.

Image: Supplied.

Former points leader Alvaro Bautista has placed the blame on Toprak Razgatlioglu for a Superpole race clash that resulted in the Spaniard injuring his left shoulder, forcing him to retire from both outings on Sunday at Laguna Seca’s ninth round of the 2019 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship.

Bautista, who finished 17th in race one after recovering from a crash, tagged the rear wheel of the Turkish Puccetti Racing rider into turn one, subsequently ruling him out of the race while prompting a visit to the medical centre. He attempted to complete race two, although pulled in due to severe pain,

The Racing – Ducati ace will undergo further medical examinations on his shoulder upon return to Spain this week, where the extent of the injury and the appropriate recovery will be determined.

“I really feel bad about what happened today,” Bautista explained. “At turn one in the Superpole race, Razgatlioglu completely closed my line and I couldn’t do anything to prevent his rear wheel from hitting my front. His move ruined both of my races today because I injured my left shoulder in the crash.

“I was taken to the medical centre and after checks, I was given the okay by the doctors to try and take part in race two, seeing as the X-ray showed that nothing was broken. Unfortunately, after just one lap I realised that the pain was too much for me to ride because as I didn’t have any strength in my left arm I wasn’t able to brake in the left-handers, and for this reason I came into the pits.

“I’m very sorry because we are working really well and always find the way to go fast, but in any case we’re going through a really difficult time at the moment. I’m sure that if we continue to work in this way, we’ll come back stronger than ever and with even more desire to win.

“As soon as I get back home, I’ll have more detailed checks done on my shoulder ligaments, but luckily two months’ break before the next race will surely allow me to fully recover.”

The 34-year-old dominated the opening rounds of the championship, building a points lead of 60 at one stage, although following a series of recent crashes, he’s now ranked second in the standings, 81 points behind four-time defending champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team).


Suzuki’s 2020 Katana set for Australian delivery in August

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Suzuki Motorcycles Australia has revealed the 2020 Katana will arrive in dealerships across Australia on 8 August, one month ahead of what was initially anticipated.

The new Katana is set to forge a new street legend expressing, the upmost attention to detail with countless hours of testing and uncompromising quality control.

With high demand and limited supply available, Suzuki Motorcycles Australia introduced a premium buying experience for customers, by taking pre-orders exclusively online.

The 8 August will mark the official launch date for Australian customers, and as an added bonus and gesture of Suzuki’s appreciation for customer commitment and patience, all customers who pre-order their new Katana online from the first shipment will also receive a bonus exclusive Katana themed Arai QV-Pro helmet, valued at $995 with their bike delivery.

With limited units available from the first shipment, interested customers are encouraged to place their order now via