While it was very nice of MotoGP to put out droves of content for free, nothing quite compares to the thrills of live, high-speed motorbikes. After a long wait, MotoGP has returned with a new schedule, with a sleek stack of races across Europe and a few more earmarked to take place in North America, South America, and Asia, pending confirmation. As of 19 July, MotoGP is back, with the Circuito de Jerez hosting the first of a confirmed 13 races that’ll give the super-powered bikes a place to burn some rubber and compete for the championship. Alongside MotoGP, another high-velocity sport has made its return, Formula One, so we thought it prudent to check out the two racing tournaments side-by-side to see if two wheels are faster than four.
The insane speeds of MotoGP bikes
The Qatar tests from February 2020 laid down some incredible speeds. Top of the pile was Jack Miller on a Ducati, clocking in at 355.2 kph (220.7 mph). Close behind was Danilo Petrucci at 352.9 kph, Francesco Bagnaia at 351.7 kph, and Johann Zarco at 350.6 kph; all of whom were also riding a Ducati bike. It may be surprising that, despite his dominance, Marc Marquez doesn’t have the fastest bike in MotoGP, with his Honda reaching a top speed of 346.1 kph. The top speed of these Qatar tests wasn’t too far off of the record, with the Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso hitting 356.5 kph (221.5 mph) at the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley.
Away from the track, manufacturers are pushing the limits of what we thought was possible on two wheels with absurdly fast models. In the electric motorcycle space, Venturi’s BB2.5 prototype hit a staggering 495 kph (307.6 mph) in testing, while they say their BB3 model can hit unheralded heights of 700 kph (434.96 mph). As for what can be purchased on the market, the 2019 MTT 420RR is claimed to be the fastest motorcycle, with a top speed of 273.4 mph (440 kph). The speeds put up by the stars of MotoGP and commercial companies have set the bar very high for four-wheeled vehicles.
Four wheels competing at the highest level
Formula One is regarded as one of the most intense sports in the world, with the top speeds of F1 cars during races hitting absurd heights. In 2005, the bar was set at the Italian Grand Prix, with the McLaren-Mercedes driven by Juan Pablo Montoya getting to 372.6 kph (231.5 mph). It took 11 years, but during practice for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, one Valtteri Bottas crept over the bar by hitting a top speed of 378 kph (234.9 mph) in 2016. Much like in MotoGP, having the fastest car doesn’t necessarily lead to victory, with the Ferrari hitting the fastest speed of 336.7 kph (209.1 mph) in 2020, and yet they don’t lead the way.
He may be the clear back-up driver to Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, but Bottas is still laying down some incredible speeds to take points, finishing the race headlining F1’s return, the Austrian Grand Prix, in first place. Bottas claimed the top spot, Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari came in second, and Lando Norris in the McLaren-Renault came in third after Hamilton was deducted points. Such a display from Bottas and his historic speeds have earned the Finn a lot of favour and, as of 6 July, he’s the second-favourite at 2/1 to win the Drivers’ Championship while topping the standings. Of course, not everyone can drive an F1 car, with the fastest four-wheeler on the market being the almighty Bugatti Chiron Sport, which hits 261 mph (420 kph) with the pedal down.
Two vs Four: split decision
When comparing motorbikes and cars at the highest levels of competition, the vehicles of MotoGP come up just a little bit short on those of Formula One. At 221.5 mph on a bike to 234.9 mph in an F1 car, Moto GP is slower, but both are incredible speeds to hit in the heat of competition and while utilising the skill required to navigate tracks and other drivers. As reaffirmed by Red Bull, F1 cars can go faster around a track than MotoGP motorbikes. On the commercial side, however, those seeking the fastest speeds should opt for a top-of-the-range motorbike, with the 2019 MTT 420RR’s top speed of 273.4 mph eclipsing that of the Bugatti Chiron Sport’s 261 mph.
So, in the world of motorsport, the conditions are in place to allow the four-wheeled Formula One cars to go faster than MotoGP’s two-wheelers. However, if you want to own the fastest bike or car, you’ll find the top speeds in a motorbike.
Have you ever dreamed about riding on a beautiful motorcycle like a pro? And would you ever like to take part in international competitions for motorcycle races? We already know your answer to both questions is “yes”. So, let’s see how you can get closer to the world of the two-wheels seriously and effectively.
Insight In The World Of Motorcycle Races
It’s honest to tell you that starting a career in this field is not that easy. Besides that, consider that not all the new motorcycle riders that enter the world of competitions can reach large popularity among worldwide followers. Only the bravest can do it, but this doesn’ t mean that you aren’t the perfect guy to skyrocket in the motorcycle field! All you should do is to try it and see what it happens then.
There’s much to talk about motorcycles and the entire industry that rotates around the two-wheels. Probably, one of the best-known aspects of it is connected to gambling. Motorcycle races are indeed one of the most appealing sports betting options picked by thousands of fervent followers each week. You can place your bet on your favorite motorcycle rider or motorcycle brand by going to local sports betting venue or by picking a recommended and 100% safe online guide like https://www.casinosnavi.com/. If you prefer comfort and 24/7 availability, your best choice is the latter one. Take a minute and visit the guide to discover the best sports betting virtual venues selected by proven Japanese experts of all kinds of sports and racing.
Before You Start Thinking Big
Your dreams matter – that’s why you can’t think of a life without making your dreams come true. Especially if you are young, your dreams seem to weight even more on your life decisions. If you are intentioned to become the next great motorcycle rider of our times, make sure you are truly ready to that before you even start moving your first steps into this industry.
First and foremost, riding a motorcycle is different than becoming a pro rider. A pro rider has to take long practice sessions, he has to learn and master the skill. It’s not for the pleasure of riding a two-wheeled one, but for the goal of winning in the next competition. As you can see, it’s a completely different thing. So, make sure this is what you want for your life, your future career, and human relationships.
Basic Steps That Will Get You In
You want to try it. Great choice! Now, it’s time for you to take note of the basic steps that will allow you to get in the motorcycle industry as a pro:
Pick the right motorcycle The first requirement for a pro rider is to own a pro motorcycle model. You should first try different models to find out the best one for you, it’s a matter of personal feeling so you won’t find any benefit in asking people on this point. Just make sure the motorcycle you are riding gives you a sense of freedom, comfort, and it fits your body.
Appropriate training Like any other sport, training plays its part and you can’t become anyone without it. Training is precious to learn the skill, the tricks, and to get more familiar with the vehicle responsiveness to specific changes of directions or other maneuvers. Moreover, training can get you mentally and physically ready for any competition.
Practice tips Although you’ll have to ride your motorcycle on a track made of asphalt, it’s always recommended to take some practice on different kinds fo tracks, like gravel roads, off-road tracks, unsurfaced roads, and any kinds of terrains that expose you to new challenges to overcome. This tip will help you refine your riding techniques, as well.
Put on the right gear As to motorcycle gear, you have plenty of choices. However, not all pieces of gear in the market are the same value for professional use. Let your trainer advise you about the best models, brands, size, and kinds of gear that will keep you comfortable and safe when driving during practice sessions and competition.
Tires Finally, make sure to come always well equipped with the perfect tires for your motorcycle. During your practice and training sessions, make sure your motorcycle has the right tires on. Avoid changing tire brand unless you have enough time to try the new brand and see if it fits you well.
Ready to go? If you are even more enthusiastic about starting a career as a pro than you were a day ago, it’s a sign that you are ready to give it a try. Contact an expert trainer to get more information on how you can get started training.
The 2020 MotoGP Championship will finally go ahead with between 13 and 17 races from July 19 in Spain, at the Jerez – Ángel Nieto Circuit.
The official calendar has now been released by FIM and Dorna Sports.
The first event on March 8 in Qatar for the MotoGP class was cancelled and subsequently all other events were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
MotoGP events will be squeezed into a four-month period with several events run twice at the same circuit.
There are 13 events in Europe confirmed with four more events outside the continent still to be confirmed.
Australia is not included in the calendar.
The first MotoGP race of the 2020 season will be held on Sunday 19 July on the Circuito de Jerez- Ángel Nieto, which will also host a second GP on the following weekend, on 26 July. Subsequently, the calendar will become very demanding on riders and teams with races almost every weekend.
The championship could also see the Grand Prix of the United States (Austin), Argentina (Termas de Rio Hondo), Thailand (Buriram) and Malaysia (Sepang), which have not yet been confirmed and which could bring the season up to the deadline of December 13.
They had been making some races available for free while they sorted out the calendar which they say could now extend int January 2021.
Now they have made all their content free.
That means all their historic races, documentaries, interviews and more.
2015 Phillip Island MotoGP
“If you’re a MotoGP fan and these days feel lacking in action, don’t worry, we’ve got the answer,” the official announcement says.
“From today until the championship begins you can enjoy a taste of everything MotoGP VideoPass has to offer for free.
“From the whole archive of past races (from 1992 until Qatar 2020) to all the documentaries, exclusive interviews, historic highlights and more, it’ll be sure to satisfy your race hunger until the Covid-19 crisis is over and we can go racing again!
“It’s an opportunity to enjoy our enormous archive of content, available on motogp.com, and will no doubt please all of our motorcycle fans.”
So if you are self-isolating during the pandemic and have run out of things to watch on Netflix, or you just want to catch up on races you’ve missed, this is a great opportunity.
Of course you will have to register and MotoGP will be hoping you get hooked and continue with a subscription.
The second day of the Official Moto2 and Moto3 test at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto saw Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46) storm to the top in the intermediate class, with Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) claiming P1 in the lightweight class – as both had done last week at the private test at the venue. The conditions allowed plenty of running once again, with the day warmer still and the field making the most of the southern Spanish weather.
In Moto2, Bezzecchi set the timing screens alight in the second session of Day 2 to set a new lap record. The Italian’s 1:40.448 was enough to beat an incredible performance from rookie Aron Canet (Aspar Team) by 0.262 on Thursday, with the injured Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) claiming an equally impressive P3.
Both Bezzecchi and Canet beat Remy Gardner’s (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) new lap record time set on Day 1, the Australian finishing P13 on the second day of action. Fourth on Thursday was the experienced Tom Lüthi (Liqui Moly Intact GP) as both the Swiss rider and Spaniard Jorge Navarro (Speed Up Racing) dipped below the 1:41 barrier.
“This second day has gone very well: I am happy because I have improved my time and my pace, but what I liked most is that I begin to understand the category, the laps, the tyres… We still have a lot to do, tomorrow I will try to complete a race simulation to see how I feel physically.”
Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) ended the day sixth fastest to finish 0.666 off Bezzecchi’s benchmark, but it wasn’t the day his teammate Jake Dixon would have been looking for. The British rider suffered a crash at Turn 2 in the second session which damaged his right-hand ring finger, the Moto2 sophomore will now miss Day 3 as he flies back to the UK for further medical checks.
Seventh fastest went the way of Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo), with Italians Lorenzo Baldassarri (FlexBox HP 40) and Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) next up, also finishing seventh tenths off top spot. Completing the top 10 was American Racing’s Joe Roberts, the American setting his best lap in the final session of the day.
One thing spotted in the EG 0,0 Marc VDS box was two extra bikes under Kalex covers for Augusto Fernandez. One of the two is expected to be testing Kalex’s 2020 chassis, something that Edgar Pons (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) tried on Day 1 and impressed with.
Ahead of the 2020 season-opening Yamaha Finance round of the Motul FIM Superbike World Championship at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit next weekend (February 28-March 1), the paddock has united to stage a charity auction to help out the victims of the recent Australian bushfires.
Five-time world champion Jonathan Rea has donated gloves and boots for the auction, with all funds raised going to BlazeAid, a volunteer-based organisation which works alongside rural families and individuals impacted by fires and floods.
Jonathan Rea in Melbourne today
Rea spoke about the bushfires at a media conference in Melbourne today, after the disaster struck a very personal note for the Kawasaki factory rider.
The family of Rea and his Australian wife, Tatia, owns a house just out of Bright in the heart of north-east Victoria, and for three weeks they watched from afar as the fires threatened their home, evacuations took place, and they saw farms and communities surrounding Bright ravaged.
Rea and his Australian wife, Tatia
“During the height of the fire, it got to within 5km of the house and Tatia’s parents were told to leave,” said Rea. “We were at home and keeping a constant eye on the emergency apps, and in the end we were very fortunate.
“It’s great the WorldSBK paddock is doing something, as it’d be easy to come here and then move on. Everyone has been sensational with their support.”
Rea is now the most successful WorldSBK rider of all time, topping all the key metrics: titles won (five), number of race wins (88), podiums (168) and fastest laps (67).
His dominance over the last five years has been profound, and the hard-nosed 33-year-old will now strive for six titles in a row against a manufacturer, machinery and rider base (both factory and privateer) that’s the strongest it has been during his reign at the top.
Competition for Rea will come from all quarters, including Spaniard Alvaro Bautista (Honda) who won the first 11 races in 2019 before Rea came home with a wet sail; Briton’s former MotoGP rider Scott Redding making his debut in the production series on a factory Ducati; his new teammate Alex Lowes; his old teammate Leon Haslam (Honda); Yamaha guns Toprak Razgatlioglu and Michael van der Mark; Chaz Davies (Ducati) and BMW duo Tom Sykes and Eugene Laverty.
Haslam, Bautista and Laverty are all past WorldSBK winners at Phillip Island (Bautista doing the double in 2019), so the anticipation ahead of round one is palpable.
“Phillip Island is the closest thing to a home round for me, so I always enjoy racing there,” said Rea. “There’s always expectation and nervous energy ahead of a new season, but I’m trying to take a more mature approach in 2020.
“Last year, I was super excited at the start of the season, but the wind was then knocked out of my sails a little bit in those first four races,” continued Rea, referring to Bautista’s early season dominance.
“Of course I’d love to leave Phillip Island with three race wins, but it’s a 39-race championship and it’s more important that I leave Australia healthy and with a platform for the rest of the year.
“More than ever, consistency is going to a vital asset in 2020. I’ll just continue to focus on myself, and after the first 4-5 rounds everyone will eventually find their place.
“I had to come from behind to win the 2019 championship, and that was a valuable lesson in just focussing on my own form and not worrying about everyone else.”
Rea showed them a clean pair of heels at the Jerez test in November
Final pre-season testing will be held at Phillip Island on February 24-25, and then the paddock reconvenes three days later for the real business of racing.
Rea heads into the test after strong testing form in Europe
“I’m going to focus on polishing the package during the test,” said Rea. “The last two years I haven’t nailed setup at Phillip Island, and the goal will be to finish up with a bike that turns naturally – which places less stress on the tyres.”
2020 Kawasaki Racing Team WSBK livery
There will be three WorldSBK races at Phillip Island: two 22-lappers at 3:00pm on Saturday and Sunday, and a 10-lap Sprint at midday on Sunday.
Add in World Supersport competition and round one of the 2020 mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship featuring four classes – Superbike, Supersport, Supersport 300 and the Oceania Junior Cup – and there will be a total of 15 races.
Buy your ticket and save
If you’re ready for fab adventure of the high-horsepower kind, book now for a weekend getaway at the World Superbikes next February 28-March 1 at Australia’s sensational Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit for the Yamaha Finance round. Book at https://tickets.worldsbk.com.au/
· Purchase a three-day General Admission ticket with Free Paddock Access just $125* Add on-circuit camping for $110* per adult for four-nights making a three day entry/four night camping ticket $235*
· Kids 15 and under, accompanied by a full-paying adult, are free for entry and to camp
· Want to upgrade to grandstand access and under-cover viewing? Opt for a Bar SBK ticket – three days for $265* giving access to three under-cover viewing areas at the circuit’s most thrilling corners – Doohan Corner, Siberia & Lukey Heights. Bar SBK ticket holders also get access to the exclusive grandstand at Doohan Corner, along with parking at Siberia & Lukey Heights and prime Superscreen viewing from each facility
*All ticket prices quoted are advance (more expensive at gate) and subject to Ticketek charges
** Kids 15 and under free to enter and camp, accompanied by a full-paying adult
Michael van der Mark and Toprak Razgatlioglu will spearhead Pata Yamaha’s WorldSBK challenge for season 2020.
Australian two-time World Supersport Champion Andrew Pitt has stayed with the team but with Alex Lowes’ moving to KRT, will crew chief for Dutchman Michael van der Mark.
Michael van der Mark
Toprak, after two seasons of real achievement as an independent rider in WorldSBK on Kawasaki ZX-10RR machinery has switched to Yamaha for season 2020. His previous crew chief Phil Marron has come with him to Pata Yamaha, keeping their connection strong as they move into the realms of official team racing on a machine which is all-new to both.
Winner of a race at Jerez last year, Michael van der Mark is back for his fourth year on the official R1, but this year there is a revamped cross-plane four-cylinder machine under his command. He has taken three career race wins in WorldSBK, part of a total of 29 podium finishes in all.
Michael van der Mark
A seasoned WorldSBK campaigner and very much in his prime at 27 years-of-age, Michael aims to be a more consistent winner and podium finisher in 2020, having already built up a good relationship with his new R1 in testing after three seasons racing the previous version. Here’s what van der Mark had to say when asked about season 2020.
2020 marks your fourth season as an Official Yamaha rider on the YZF-R1 – are you feeling ready for the new season?
Michael van der Mark: “Of course I’m ready! I’m looking forward to the new season with the 2020 R1 – which is not a completely different bike – but there are a lot of new parts and improvements that will help us. We need to keep making progress, and with this new bike, that for sure will enable us to make another step.”
So, what changes have been made to the new R1?
MVDM: “One of the improvements is the aerodynamics; it works much better for tall riders like Toprak and me. It is a lot more protective and I think we can get a little bit better top speed. Also, I think the fairing design has brought some other benefits, so again it’s a positive feeling. Together with Öhlins and our performance engineers we’ve made a good step forward to find grip – as it’s always been our main issue. Already last year we made a step and it was really important, I felt like we have found a really good direction and exactly what we are looking for. I don’t know any numbers, but this new bike feels a bit faster as well – that’s always nice!”
Michael van der Mark
You have a new crew chief this year in Andrew Pitt – a two-time World Champion in his own right. How is that relationship developing?
MVDM: “I knew Andrew a bit already because he was working with Alex [Lowes] and we always got along well. It honestly feels good, the communication is great and there’s a bit of a mix in the team now; I have some different guys on my side of the garage. I think it’s good to have some new ideas and styles of working, some new motivation and changes; also with Toprak joining the team. So at the moment things are good! From the first moment I worked with Andrew I really enjoyed it and we did some other stuff together as well. I like the way he works as an ex-top rider. He really understands the problems I have and what I am facing when riding the bike, but also the deep technical side he understands really well, so I’m really happy.”
What about your new teammate, Toprak?
MVDM: “I like him! With Alex the relationship was always great, but it’s also good to have Toprak in the team as a young up-and coming-kid. He’s fast right from the start and we’ve had some really nice battles in the past. I’m really looking forward to the season, I think we can have some good battles again and I’ll be working hard to make sure I’m on top! He’ll keep me on my toes, but that’s what everybody wants. His style is so different to mine, but that’s interesting to learn from as well.”
What is your target in 2020?
MVDM: “Win races. If we can win races then we can build a challenge to fight for the championship. Boom!”
At only 23 years-of-age, Toprak is a rider who can already beat the best in a fair fight and who is now looking to the new R1 to allow him to do that on a more consistent basis.
Already a star in his native Turkey and a protégé of compatriot and WorldSSP legend Kenan Sofuoglu, Toprak has made a swift transition to the latest Yamaha R1 after a five-year career spent with a rival manufacturer. Like Michael, Toprak was a Superstock 600 European champion before moving up inside the WorldSBK paddock.
He shared his thoughts about this coming season, the new bikes and possibilities ahead:
Welcome to the Yamaha family and Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team with Rizla. How is the experience so far?
Toprak Razgatlioglu: “It’s a different team and for me, the first time with an official team. I was used to being in a small team, and now coming into an official manufacturer team. I don’t know all the people in the team yet and always I say, for me it is not easy because everyone is different to work with. But already it’s feeling very good and I like it a lot. In the beginning, I was a little… scared! Because I don’t know the team and everything is new. But now I’m very happy and enjoying it. Like with the stoppies at the end of the test, I thought at the start, ‘ah maybe I won’t try because I don’t know if it will be allowed!’ But after one time, somebody asked me ‘can you do another stoppie?’ So then I say ‘OK!’ I didn’t know in the beginning if it would be OK because it was all-new but these are racing people – serious about their jobs – and they also want to enjoy it.”
What is your impression of the new 2020 Yamaha R1 – what are the strong points?
TR: “Again, the Yamaha a new bike for me but now I have the 2020 R1 – between the two I would say there is not a really big difference, just nice improvements. I feel like it is very easy to turn, really good at turning and with the power I am feeling much better. I’m learning that my new bike with Yamaha has a different character from what I rode in the past. After more laps, I feel much better. I’ve always liked Yamaha; my first bike was a PW50! I have ridden Yamaha bikes over many years – I ride a Niken on the streets at home – and now after five years on a different bike, I have come here and I’m very happy.”
You are working with Phil Marron again as your crew chief, is this important when you are inside a new team and with a new bike?
TR: “Yes we work together well and I am very happy. Because we worked together in 2019, he knows me and I feel this is very important because he understands what I need to go fast. Before, my crew chiefs understood me a little and I would just ride the bike, but in 2019 working with Phil, he understands me more and the result is different! I’m very happy because we’re coming together to this new team. For Phil and me it is new: a new team and a new bike. But now already it is a better feeling, but I keep saying, I need more time, more laps and after, it will be a much better feeling!”
Are you enjoying having a teammate for the first time? What are the good and bad points compared to being the only rider?
TR: “In 2019, I raced in a team alone in WorldSBK and I think for me it was very easy, because with just one rider if I had a bad session I didn’t feel very bad. After a good session, I would be very happy. And now, coming to Yamaha and the first time having a teammate it is different [by having someone to compare to] – but I am very lucky because he is a very good guy! I know on the track we are fighting hard but outside we are already friends, feeling is like brothers. I say ‘abi’ to Michael and normally to say ‘abi’ in Turkish means ‘big brother’.”
In 2019 you won your first races and made big improvements. What are your goals in 2020?
TR: “I think last year I said the same – to get a podium at Phillip Island. I need this and last year I tried! It was not possible, but this year I will try again. First race, first podium and try to have a good feeling to start. After that, I try my best always, we will see…”
Continuity can be key in many areas of racing but in 2020 the long-time leader of the Pata Yamaha team’s efforts – Paul Denning – has many new elements to help distil into one potent WorldSBK racing mix, ready to score consistent success at a higher level than ever.
“2020 marks the fifth season since Yamaha’s return to WorldSBK competition in 2016 with the R1 and we are excited to see the next step in our evolution.”. “Yamaha’s Official Team, operated in close partnership with Crescent Racing, has improved every year both in potential and result, made evident by race wins and third and fourth overall in the 2019 Championship. As we get closer to the top level, further improvements are of course more difficult to deliver, but to take the next step forward and challenge for the title must be the target.”
Denning is very much aware that changes have been made with one goal in mind – higher levels of achievement for all.
“Yamaha has continued to improve their development capabilities, the team has improved its structure, and now we also have the new 2020 R1 to help us challenge for victories,” said Paul. “Alongside this, at Yamaha we now have one of the most exciting rider line-ups ever seen in WorldSBK, as Toprak joins Michael to create a talented, young and aggressive team that we hope will allow us to meet our targets and to deliver highly exciting on-track action throughout the new season.”
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu joins Michael van der Mark in the Pata Yamaha squad
Now that winter testing in Europe has concluded, all eyes turn to the official pre-season test in Australia, between 24 and 25 February, which will give the best possible indication of how the new season could start for Pata Yamaha.
The test and then the first weekend of a new era for Pata Yamaha will take place at the same Phillip Island circuit, one that has been host to so many spectacular moments in recent and more historic WorldSBK seasons.
WorldSBK Yamaha Finance Australian Round, Phillip Island
16-year-old Oli Bayliss, son of three-time World Superbike Champion Troy, will make his debut in the World Supersport Championship at the Phillip Island 2020 season opener after being granted a wildcard entry to the event.
“2019 was a fun year, racing hard and improving, but now I need to step it up again if I want to finish better than 5th in the championship, and racing world supersport against the fastest 600 riders in the world is a great way to kick off the year. I’m lucky to be in the position I’m in with this wild card opportunity, having Dad to motivate me, Ben to build great bikes and to have seen how it all works with Tom (Toparis) racing a wildcard as my team-mate in 2018. So I don’t really feel any pressure. I know I’m fit enough to ride the extra laps that comes with racing both championships, and I just need to go out there, race the track and see how many points I can get!”
Oli Bayliss – TBG Image
Ben Henry’s Cube Racing will prepare the Yamaha YZF-R6 in-house at their Gold Coast based performance shop.
The norm’ for most wildcard entries is to lease a ‘factory’ engine but Henry will build a World Supersport spec’ engine for Bayliss himself.
Team owner – Ben Henry
“We’ve worked really hard back in the shop to build Oli a bike for world supersport, while also preparing for the ASBK season. In Australia, we can’t race with the same level of sensors and data gathering equipment as they can in the world championship, so we do a lot of set-up based on rider feedback, our own feeling from touching the bike as well as watching the way the rider and bike work together on-track, and I’m confident that we have a competitive package for Oli to get his first experience in the world championship. We’ve been in this position before with Tom Toparis, and while we don’t expect to win the race, it’s an incredibly valuable experience for a young rider, and we’re confident with our ability as a team, and with Oli as a rider to get the most out of the opportunity”.
Oli Bayliss – Image by Rob Mott
The major differences are to be found in the cylinder head and a higher specification slipper clutch than the standard unit allowed under ASBK Supersport rules.
There will be some other technical changes on the bike like the allowance for data logging equipment and of course the mandatory red ‘rain’ light must be fitted to the back of the machine for the World Supersport event.
“I’m pretty excited that in just his fourth year racing a road bike, that Oli will get to race in a round of the world championship. It’s another step in his steep learning curve, but he’s really enjoying racing bikes. His first year on a 600 in 2019 taught him a lot, not just about racing a bike, but communicating with the team, also learning what changes in settings have on the bike on-track. He’s really improved a lot and I think the biggest challenge for the weekend will be for Kim and I as we have to watch him on track twice as much! Right now he really wants to do it, he’s enjoying his racing and it’s a difficult one for me as when I ride with him on the track we have the best time ever, but when he’s on the track I feel like a really normal dad, as I get really nervous and I find it really difficult to actually watch him race. It will be his first international race and he’s pretty nervous and excited; it will be an experience and if he can grab a couple of points that will be even better. He has so much more experience than I had at the same age, as I didn’t start road racing until I was 22, he’s just turned 16 and basically he can nearly beat me on the track at the moment.”
It is hard to believe Oli is still only just 16-years-old – Image Rob Mott
Cube Racing will join the official two-day World Superbike/Supersport test on February 24-25 ahead of the March 1 race weekend.
Yamaha has welcomed back three-time MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo to join the Yamaha Factory Racing Test Team programme with the aim to boost MotoGP development during the 2020 season.
“I‘m very happy to join the Yamaha Factory Test Team. I was always planning on staying involved in MotoGP and returning to the paddock, and I think this is a suitable role for me. I know the team and the M1 well. The Yamaha really suited my riding style, and it will be very interesting to ’meet up with my old bike again. Returning to Yamaha brings with it some good memories. We secured many podiums and victories, and three titles together, so we know where our strengths lie. I want to thank Yamaha for this opportunity, because this allows me to do what I love – riding motorbikes and pushing the limit – whilst enjoying a slightly calmer lifestyle than I did in previous years. I‘m very motivated to get to work and can‘t wait to start riding. I want to do my best for Yamaha‘s future, and I hope my riding experience will be helpful to Yamaha‘s engineers and riders to bring the title back to Yamaha.”
Jorge Lorenzo pictured here testing with Yamaha at Brno in 2014
Lorenzo made his debut in MotoGP with Yamaha in 2008 and spent nine years with the Factory MotoGP Team, winning all three of his premier class titles on the YZR-M1, in 2010, 2012, and 2015 respectively.
Starting from the MotoGP shakedown test to be held at Sepang next week, Lorenzo will ride the YZR-M1 and will also take part in other Official IRTA Tests and some private Yamaha tests this year, with the sole aim to help Yamaha‘s engineers with the 2020 MotoGP development.
Yamaha believe the Spaniard is the perfect man for the job as he is known for his smooth, precise riding and clear feedback. Lorenzo will be supported in his search for innovation by Silvano Galbusera who will Crew Chief for Lorenzo in the Yamaha Factory Racing Test Team.
So far, no wild card rides are planned for Lorenzo in 2020, but Yamaha is open to the possibility, should he decide to race again.
Lin Jarvis – MD Yamaha Motor Racing
“Of course, we are delighted to welcome Jorge back at Yamaha. When we knew that Jorge would stop his active racing career, we immediately started to consider making a proposal for him to join us. The statistics of his achievements with us in those nine years together speak for themselves. He is a vastly experienced MotoGP rider, who is closely familiar with the M1 and the people at Yamaha. We have come to know Jorge as a very precise and motivated rider, with flawless consistency and good technical insight: all the qualities you need in a test rider at this high level. Combining Jorge‘s experience, knowledge, and riding speed with experienced Crew Chief Silvano Galbusera is an important element in Yamaha‘s strategy to strengthen the Test Team, which aims to bridge the gap between the engineers and test riders in Japan and the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team.”
Wayne Maxwell has kicked off the 2020 ASBK season on a strong note, dominating the official two-day test at Phillip Island on board the Craig McMartin prepared Ducati V4R, after moving to the Italian marque for 2020 from Yamaha.
Maxwell and the new Ducati V4 proved a force to be reckoned with.
The Boost Mobile backed team worked through options with the K-Tech suspension over the two days and obviously made plenty of progress as Maxwell topped the test by almost seven-tenths of a second.
Wayne Maxwell – 2020 Phillip Island ASBK Test – Image by Rob Mott
Having been the only rider to dip into the 1:32s on Day 1, Maxwell topped off the two-day test as the only rider in the 1:31s on Day 2, with a 1:31.776, well clear of fellow Ducati rider Jones, who was next fastest with a 1:32.434.
Trevor Hedge caught up with Maxwell to pick his brain on the move to the Ducati, and his thoughts on how the season is shaping up.
Trevor Hedge: So Wayne, you put a lot of fast laps in and really set the pace over the duration of this test, you must be very happy.
Wayne Maxwell: “I’m super stoked, the Boost Mobile Ducati was excellent, Craig, Adrian, Dale, Greg and the team worked really well. We were also lucky to have James here from K-Tech HQ inEngland, with some updated K-Tech components. He was here with us, helping install and finding settings that worked on the bike, so I was really happy with that. Obviously again, this week exceeded my expectations, and has put us in a really good position to be in, right in the mix for the first race.”
Wayne Maxwell – 2020 Phillip Island ASBK Test – Image by TBG
Trevor: How does testing here relate to the other circuits we go to during the year? We know this is ‘your’ circuit, we could probably put you on a moped and you’d still go okay, but the pace you have set here is really, really fast, do you think it will translate to the other circuits?
Maxwell: “I first tried the bike at Wakefield, spent the whole day there and it exceeded my expectations immediately and didn’t really change anything that day. We’ve got some updates and have changed a few things, and I feel really confident. Wakefield has been a circuit which has maybe eluded me, and Troy is so strong there, while I haven’t been strong enough to get it over the line there as many times as I maybe should have.
“But I’m confident and we’ve got a fast bike, so we’ll get Phillip Island out of the way and see how we shape up. We have some updates on the way with the electronics, now that’ we’ve had the ECU homologated, so it’s just step by step. We’ve got this bike and it’s good now, so we need to then start work on the new package as bits and pieces come through.”
Wayne Maxwell – 2020 Phillip Island ASBK Test – Image by Rob Mott
Trevor: So you’ve come from the other most evocative bike in the field, the cross-plane crank Yamaha, sounds great, feels great, and now you’re on the V4 – another bike the really stirs the senses – what’s the comparison between the two? Looking at your bike, the riding position looks so stretched out and flat, is that apparent when on the bike?
Maxwell: “I still don’t feel 100 per cent comfortable, we’ve just sent some foot pegs back to the guys from KH Engineering to make some different ones. I don’t know how all the other Ducati riders ride the bike like that elsewhere around the world, they must do yoga 30 times a week.
“I’ll just to try and get a bit more comfortable, this circuit isn’t so bad, but other places where you’ve got to climb over the top of it a bit more with faster changes of direction, the old body will tighten up and be no good at the end of the race unless we can get the riding position a little more comfortable. So we’ll get my feet out in front a bit and be nice and relaxed. It won’t make us any faster, but perhaps more comfortable and consistent over the duration of a race.”
Trevor: Get some foot forward controls so they aren’t slowing you down perhaps…
Maxwell: “That’s it mate.”
Wayne Maxwell – 2020 Phillip Island ASBK Test – Image by Rob Mott
Trevor: The Yamaha has always got out of the corner quite well, how does the V4 compare, and how does it compare to what you’ve ridden in recent years? Picking up the throttle on the way out of the turn etc?
Maxwell: “Picking up the drive it seems okay for sure, but that’s definitely not the strongest part of my riding, out of the stop-go corners, I’m more of a fast flowing sort of guy, that’s why Phillip Island is good for me. I managed to get out of the stop-go corners okay though here this week. It has really good grip with the K-Tech on the side of the tyre, and the V4 provides quite a flat and linear power. When I was a kid, my dad had a VFR750 and I always remember it taking off from home and having that V-Four sound, so it reminds me of being a kid and I’m loving it.”
Wayne Maxwell – 2020 Phillip Island ASBK Test – Image by Rob Mott