Category Archives: Competition

Jerez victory grants Marquez MotoGP championship lead

Australia’s Miller crashes out while challenging in the top 10.

Image: Supplied.

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) has taken a home win at round four of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship in Jerez, putting in a flawless performance to make some amends for his crash out the lead in Texas, while also taking back the points lead.

Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), despite a difficult qualifying, sliced through to take second and second in the championship by just a single point, with Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) on the podium for the first time this season in third.

Marquez took the holeshot from third on the grid, with Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) just getting the jump on rookie, polesitter teammate Fabio Quartararo to slot into second.

But it was tight, with Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) initially threatening for P2 but then getting shuffled back to fifth behind Vinales. But suddenly, the Frenchman’s Petronas Yamaha SRT machine was moving off the racing line and Quartararo was left dejected on the way back to pitlane with a mechanical problem.

From a record-breaking and youngest ever pole position to a chance at his first MotoGP podium, the number 20 sadly left Jerez empty handed. Marquez crossed the line in clear air for an impressive answer to his critics after his COTA crash, and the 25 points for the win put him back at the top of the championship by a single point.

The fight for third became a duel between Vinales and Dovizioso, and the Italian was close throughout the final lap looking for a way through – but the Spaniard held firm. Under pressure throughout, he took his first podium of the season after some difficulties with the start in recent races. Petrucci followed his teammate home in sixth – a couple of seconds back – with Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) slicing through to sixth from P13 on the grid.

Rossi fought off the likes of Australian Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) – who later crashed out – Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol), teammate Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) and, eventually, Morbidelli too to make his progress through – the ‘Doctor’ inside the top ten for the first time in the weekend on Sunday.

Morbidelli was in P7 by the flag ahead of Crutchlow, Nakagami, and an impressive P10 from wildcard and Honda test rider Stefan Bradl (HRC Team). Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was 11th, ahead of a very difficult day for Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team) down in 12th. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was P13 ahead of teammate Johann Zarco, with Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) completing the points on home turf.

In Moto2, Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) has laid further serious groundwork for his assault on the 2019 Moto2 crown in Jerez, winning a shortened race ahead of COTA podium finisher and form man Jorge Navarro (HDR Heidrun Speed Up). Baldassarri’s teammate Augusto Fernandez put in a stunning ride to his first ever Grand Prix podium as he took third.

The race was cut to 15 laps after a first start saw a chaotic first two corners with multiple-rider incidents, and first faller Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) was unable to make the restart, as was Dimas Ekky Pratama (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia). In addition, Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), who couldn’t avoid contact with Gardner’s bike, was forced to restart from pitlane at his home Grand Prix – nevertheless a feat and some formidable work from the EG 0,0 Marc VDS mechanics to get the machine race ready.

Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) took an impressive Moto2 victory, getting back on the top step for the first time since Qatar 2016 and back on the podium for the first time since Motegi in 2017.

The win marks a milestone first ever victory for the SIC58 Squadra Corse team, and Antonelli’s teammate Tatsuki Suzuki took his first podium to made it double delight and a 1-2 for the team. Rookie Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) joined the two SIC58 Squadra Corse machines on the podium for his second ever rostrum finish. The MotoGP World Championship now heads to Le Mans in France on 19 May.

Detailed results

Source: CycleOnline.com.au

Miller eager to convert Jerez pace into result at Spanish GP

Podium result a significant boost for Pramac Racing rider entering Europe.

Image: Supplied.

Australian Jack Miller will look to secure his best-ever finish in the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez this Sunday, due to build upon his first-career dry weather podium in the MotoGP World Championship.

Pramac Racing’s Miller was sixth in the attrition-filled Jerez race one year ago, however with momentum on his side in 2019 he’s confident of a strong result regardless if any of the front-runners exit on Sunday.

“The other podium, or victory, was in the wet and it felt great but less like I’d achieved it,” Miller said of his 2016 Assen win. “To get a dry weather podium under our belt is always nice. The bike is working great, I feel super-comfortable at the moment we’ve been strong at all three rounds.

“The team are doing an amazing job and, like I said before, it’s a shame we had that result in Qatar because it would be interesting, especially after how things have shaped up, to see where we would be in the championship. We had a great test here in November, so I look forward to carrying some of that momentum hopefully into here.

“As you said, with the asphalt it will be a little bit of a question mark, we’ll have to go out there and see how the tyres work and having four options here it will be a little bit different to see what we’ll do in the race. Last year we had a decent result but that was due to everyone falling off in front of us – we’ll see what we can do this year.

“I’ve had good pace in the past, just never really been able to put it all together in the race. So I’m hoping this year we can put it all together and have a good weekend, if it goes like it has been at the last couple of GPs and we can keep working in the same way through the practices I think it will be good.”

Because of the recent resurface at Jerez, organisers will allow for an expanded Michelin tyre allocation this weekend as MotoGP teams will have four front and four rear tyres available to them for the Spanish GP.

Source: CycleOnline.com.au

The Bend disaster hard to overcome indicates Maxima BMW boss

BMW squad suffers two significantly damaged S 1000 RRs.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Maxima BMW team manager Wayne Hepburn has indicated a disaster weekend at The Bend Motorsport Park will be difficult to overcome after two of its BMW S 1000 RRs were severely damaged during round three of the 2019 Motul Pirelli Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK).

Three-time ASBK champion Glenn Allerton was the first casualty for the privately funded squad when he was collected by Suzuki-mounted Alex Phillis in a two-rider crash on lap one of the opening encounter, sustaining a broken right wrist in the incident and calling for a premature end to his weekend.

The team’s woes didn’t stop there, with 2017 Supersport champion Ted Collins also falling victim to another rider’s error in race two, the youthful talent crashing heavily as a result.

“The Maxima BMW team hasn’t really had a great start to the season and we really wanted to make this weekend our turn around round,” Hepburn explained. “We were well and truly on the way to doing that. Everything which both Glenn and Ted did was exactly what we set out to do.”

“Unfortunately, as soon the lights went out for the races, it fell apart, through no fault of the riders. We are not pointing any fingers. However, how unlucky can one and two riders be? Especially for Glenn and Ted, as they have both had a run of bad luck. I understand we have to make our own luck, which we are trying to do.

“As we are a ‘privateer team’, these crashes will put a big dent in our 2019 season, which will make it very hard to proceed. Anyhow, we have a two-month break until the fourth round of the championship. So, Glenn will work on getting back to full fitness in regard to his wrist and of course, so will Ted. However, the team has a lot of work to do to get these bikes back into working order again.”

Collins’ 13th place finish in race one granted him 19th overall. Allerton and Collins are ranked 15th and 16th respectively in the championship standings.

Source: CycleOnline.com.au

Staring unstoppable for dominant win in ASBK race two

More victories this morning at The Bend for Toparis and Simpson.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Kawasaki BCperformance’s Bryan Staring marched to a second win in as many races at The Bend Motorsport Park this morning, easing to victory in the Motul Pirelli Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK).

Staring’s Ninja ZX-10RR on Dunlop tyres has proven to be the package of the Kawasaki Superbike class this weekend in South Australia, building a 7.908s advantage in 10 laps.

It was Wayne Maxwell (Team Suzuki Ecstar) who controlled the pace in the early laps, before Staring – after running as far down the order as fourth – made his way to the front on lap six. From there it was no stopping Staring, winning his third race in two days.

Behind Staring at the chequered flag was the ever-consistent Mike Jones (DesmoSport Ducati), who also worked his way through the pack and managed to fend of Maxwell in the closing laps. Championship leader Cru Halliday (Yamaha Racing Team) wound up fourth, in front of Josh Waters (Team Suzuki Ecstar).

It was a quiet race for Penrite Honda Racing’s reigning champion Troy Herfoss on his way to P6, while Daniel Falzon (Yamaha Racing Team), Arthur Sissis (Suzuki), Glenn Scott (GSR Kawasaki) and a fast-starting Alex Phillis (Team Suzuki Ecstar) were the top 10.

Image: Russell Colvin.

A pair of notable non-finishers were Ted Collins (Maxima BMW) and Lachlan Epis (Kawasaki BCperformance), the duo coming together on lap eight and going out of the race.

The second Australian Supersport race was taken out by runaway series leader Tom Toparis (Yamaha), 6.144s clear of Nic Liminton (Yamaha), with Reid Battye (Suzuki) third.

Positions four and five earlier this morning in the second of three national Supersport races belonged to Broc Pearson (Yamaha) and Dallas Skeer (Suzuki).

Image: Russell Colvin.

It was once again Olly Simpson (Yamaha) who took the honours in YMI Supersport race two, edging Hunter Ford (Yamaha) by only 0.009s.

Senna Agius (Kawasaki) came third and Harry Khouri (Yamaha) fourth – those riders split by seven-tenths across the line. KTM-mounted Seth Crump was fifth.

Detailed results

Source: CycleOnline.com.au

Kawasaki fill-in Staring the spoiler in Saturday ASB1000 affair

Australian championship front-runner soars to race one win at The Bend.

Image: Supplied.

Kawasaki Thailand Racing Team guest Bryan Staring delivered a phenomenal first race win at The Bend Motorsport Park’s second round of the 2019 Asia Road Racing Championship.

Staring, who also went on to win the first Australian Superbike race this afternoon, overcame countryman Broc Parkes to stand atop the podium in his ASB1000 debut.

It was Staring who led the initial lap before Parkes took charge and looked to go on for victory, until rear tyre wear caused him to slow in the second-half of the 12-lap duration. That enabled Staring to counter, regaining the lead on lap eight and going on to win by 2.117s.

Parkes’ Yamaha Racing Team Asean teammate Yuki Ito completed the Saturday podium in South Australia, edging by Honda’s Zaqhwan Zaidi on the final lap for third place. Rounding out the top five was Azlan Shah aboard his BMW. Next best of the Australians, wildcard Yannis Shaw (DB Racing Services Kawasaki) was P13.

Today’s SuperSports 600cc outing was topped by Peerapong Boonlert (Yamaha Thailand Racing Team), while Andy Muhammad Fadly (Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki Racing) earned victory in race one of the Production 250 category.

Source: CycleOnline.com.au

Ongoing clutch troubles the cause of late Herfoss fade

Penrite Honda Racing’s defending champion salvages points on Saturday.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Reigning Australian Superbike champion Troy Herfoss endured clutch dramas in race one at The Bend this afternoon, limping his factory-backed Fireblade home to 12th position.

Herfoss was about exit the opening outing of the weekend in South Australia when a red-flag stoppage ultimately enabled him to go on and finish for points.

The restart was enough for Herfoss’ clutch to cool on his Penrite Honda Racing CBR1000RR SP and, despite constant troubles throughout the nine-lap duration, he brought it home with caution after running as high as fifth place.

“I hope the riders are okay, but for us the restart was a get out of jail free card,” Herfoss told CycleOnline.com.au. “My clutch was done and I was actually coming back to pit-lane on that lap. Then the red-flag came out, so I went back to the start-line.

“That allowed the clutch to cool down a bit, which is why I babied the bike off the start. The whole race, the clutch was slipping so I never got to get going. It didn’t really slip on the warm-up lap, but in the race, once I gave it full gas it was slipping. It just got worse and worse, but it was promising and my speed’s good.”

The nine points salvaged by Herfoss this afternoon resulted in him dropping from second to fourth in the point-standings, now 14 points in arrears of leader Cru Halliday (Yamaha Racing Team), who was third in today’s first encounter.

Source: CycleOnline.com.au

Record lap grants Jones The Bend ASBK pole

Falzon and Maxwell lock out the top three in intense Q2 session.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Mike Jones (DesmoSport Ducati) has set a best-lap of 1m51.220s time at The Bend Motorsport Park to claim pole position for round three of the 2019 Motul Pirelli Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) in South Australia.

Recently signed for the remainder of the season with the factory Ducati outfit, Jones lodged the quick-time in the final moments of the session, stealing P1 from home favourite Daniel Falzon (Yamaha Racing Team), who set a time of 1m51.592s.

Former lap record holder Wayne Maxwell (Team Suzuki Ecstar Australia) held on for P3 with a time of 1m51.675s, as points leader Cru Halliday (Yamaha Racing Team) was fourth ahead of Josh Waters (Team Suzuki Ecstar Australia).

Bryan Staring (BCperformance Kawasaki) was sixth followed by Mark Chiodo (Penrite Honda Racing), Glenn Allerton (Maxima BMW), reigning champion Troy Herfoss (Penrite Honda Racing) and Matt Walters (Kawasaki Connection).

Yamaha-mounted Olly Simpson took out pole in the Supersport 300 category, narrowly edging out Brandon Demmery (Yamaha) by 0.089s. Third was credited to Hunter Ford (Yamaha) ahead of Senna Agius (Kawasaki) and Seth Crump.

Supersport qualifying is scheduled at 2:35pm local time.

Detailed results

Source: CycleOnline.com.au

New-look Australian Motorcycle Festival announced

Three-day event to take place alongside Wollongong AUS Supercross.

Image: Foremost Media.

Troy Bayliss Events today announced its new-look Australian Motorcycle Festival will take place at Lang Park in Wollongong, New South Wales, on 8-10 November, which will run alongside round three of the 2019 Australian Supercross Championship at WIN Stadium, also operated by the three-time Superbike world champion.

The festival format, which takes over from the former Sydney Motorcycle Show, creates a unique visitor experience with over 20,000sqm of outdoor space hosting displays, entertainment and activations.

The new location also provides an opportunity for expansion with the all-new festival incorporating interactive elements such as test rides, live motorcycle demonstrations including safety and stunt riding. Test rides will also take place on the water with a range of PWC’s.

“Lang Park provides the perfect location to showcase the latest offerings from the motorcycle industry and WIN Stadium is the perfect size stadium to host Australia’s best supercross riders competing against International athletes,” Bayliss explained.

Image: Foremost Media.

“Motorcycling is a lifestyle and that’s what this festival is all about. Visitors to the festival will get to test, try, learn and be entertained all in the once place. The trip from Sydney down the Grand Pacific Drive via the national park and cliff roads into Wollongong is easily one of the best in Australia for scenic rides.

“Once in Wollongong we encourage riders to enjoy the festivities and experience everything Illawarra and south coast has to offer. Short rides, long rides there is something for everyone.

“To have the third round of the supercross taking place right next door on Saturday evening is a great addition and creates the ultimate weekend for motorcycle enthusiasts and we would like to thanks Destination Wollongong, Wollongong City Council and Win Stadium for welcoming the event. We have so much more to be announced over the coming weeks.”

Destination Wollongong general manager Mark Sleigh added: “Wollongong makes for the perfect road trip with stunning coastline taking in Sea Cliff Bridge as well as the winding escarpment which will put all your motorcycle skills to the test.

“The combination of the championship round and the motorcycle festival make for the perfect weekend away, so we encourage everyone to stay a little longer and enjoy the attractions, natural assets and cafes and bars on offer in Wollongong.”

Over 40,000 visitors are expected to head to Wollongong, making it one of the largest motorcycle events in Australia.

Source: MotoOnline.com.au

WIN Stadium revealed as AUS Supercross round three venue

Wollongong stop backed by Yamaha Motor Australia.

Image: Foremost Media.

Troy Bayliss Events has confirmed the third round of the 2019 Australian Supercross Championship will be held at Wollongong’s WIN Stadium on Saturday, 9 November.

New South Wales’ supercross fans will experience a large outdoor stadium, giving fans the opportunity to see Australia’s best racers take on some international riders on a full-size track racing the exciting Triple Crown format in both SX1 and SX2 categories.

Three-time Superbike world champion and event organiser Troy Bayliss said the stadium layout will be unique with a section of the track heading up onto the iconic hill.

“In 2018, Troy Bayliss Events took the big step to put supercross back into a stadium in Australia with Geelong’s GMHBA Stadium round, now Troy Bayliss Events is thrilled to be taking the NSW event back to an outdoor stadium,” Bayliss commented.

“WIN Stadium is the perfect size with the crowd so close to the action and the location is second to none. I am really excited about the track layout. This event will be like no other with the track winding up onto the iconic hill.

“We would like to thank Destination Wollongong, Wollongong City Council, WIN Stadium and Yamaha for the support to allow Supercross to take place In Wollongong and within WIN Stadium. The Illawarra is rich with motorcycle champions and fans and we can’t wait until the gates drop on November 9.”

Yamaha Motor Australia back the round as a major sponsor, with Wollongong’s WIN Stadium being the perfect venue to showcase the brand’s race teams as they battle for supremacy in the VictorYZone. In addition, this round will host the YZ65 Cup – the grassroots race series designed to give young guns their first taste of the big time by racing in front of their supercross heroes and up to 20,000 fans.

Troy Bayliss Events also confirmed today the Australian Motorcycle Festival will take place at Lang Park next door to WIN Stadium on the same weekend. Formally known as the Sydney Motorcycle Show, Australia’s largest motorcycle show is also set to expand with massive trade displays featuring motorcycles, scooters, ATV’s, SxS’s, trikes and jet skis as well as related products and services.

It was confirmed earlier this month that the prestigious Monster Energy AUS-X Open will transfer to Marvel Stadium in Melbourne for 2019, previously being hosted at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney Olympic Park.

Rounds one, two, and four of the Australian Supercross Championship are still to be announced. Tickets for round three will go on sale Monday 29 April via Ticketmaster, with tickets starting from $30.00.

Source: MotoOnline.com.au

Brookes content with preparations ahead of BSB opener

Australian to make Be Wiser Ducati racing debut at Silverstone.

Image: Supplied.

Josh Brookes is satisfied with his pre-season preparations ahead of Silverstone’s Bennetts British Superbike Championship (BSB) opener this weekend, which will mark his racing debut with Be Wiser Ducati.

The former champion has performed strongly in pre-season testing aboard the all-new Panigale V4 R, injecting confidence into the Australian as he makes a bid for a second BSB crown.

“I’m very pleased as everything is looking very competitive at this early stage going into the season,” Brookes explained. “To be so close to where we need to be is very promising considering we’ve found an excellent set-up at all the tracks we’ve tested at, without doing massive changes.

“Both at Silverstone last week and previously in Europe, at totally different tracks and opposing weather conditions, we have been towards the top of the times, so we have a good working area and hopefully that transpires into a good result this weekend.”

Compatriot Jason O’Halloran has taken up Brookes’ former position at McAms Yamaha this year, topping the timesheets in majority of pre-season tests. Rookie Ben Currie (Bournemouth Kawasaki) will make up the trio of Australians in the premier class of the British championship in 2019.

Source: CycleOnline.com.au