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Toby Price third as Brabec wins the Dakar Rally 2020

Stage 12 of the 2020 Dakar Rally marked the final day of racing, with riders covering a total of 447 kilometres, including a timed special of 374 kilometres from Haradh to the finish at Qiddiya. Ricky Brabec led the overall standings by a comfortable 13min-56s from Pablo Quintanilla into the day, while Toby Price was 22min-34s off leading pace.

Dakar Rally Stage Ricky Brabec ABI

Dakar Rally Stage Ricky Brabec ABI

Ricky Brabec

Monster Energy Honda Team ace Brabec had snatched the leader’s spot on day three and refused to relinquish the top spot until the race wrapped up, two stage victories and 5000 kilometres later.

It was Pablo Quintanilla opening the track from Toby Price, with just 8min-30s separating the two, while Ricky Brabec seemed to be playing it safe with his lead, with teammate Kevin Benavides reportedly stopping and waiting for him.

Jose Cornejo set the pace in the first 69 km, with Brabec not far off, before Brabec upping the pace and taking the lead by km 119.

The final timesheet of the stage would see Jose Cornejo take the win from Brabec, who trailed him by 53-seconds, while Toby Price was 2min-53s off Stage winning pace.

Dakar Rally Stage Toby Price RallyZone

Dakar Rally Stage Toby Price RallyZone

Toby Price – Image by Rally Zone

Luciano Benavides was fourth, and Pablo Quintanilla fifth, Kevin Benavides sixth and top Sherco Adrien Metge in seventh, followed by top Yamaha in eigth. Macieg Giemza and Andrew Short completed the top 10.

Aussie Rodney Faggotter completed the final stage just outside the top-10 in 22nd, 9min-33s off leading pace.

The final standings would see Ricky Brabec retain most of the lead he held into the final stage, taking the overall win by 40h-2min-36s, with Pablo Quintanilla runner up, 16min-26s in arrears.

Dakar Rally Stage Ricky Brabec rallyzone

Dakar Rally Stage Ricky Brabec rallyzone

Ricky Brabec – Image by Rally Zone

Ricky Brabec – P1

“It’s a dream come true. Hopefully we can come back next year and repeat it. I know that it’s not going to be easy as the Husky and KTM boys will be breathing down our necks. I’m really excited to be here for Honda and for America as well. To be the only American to accomplish this goal is amazing. I think it’s really a dream come true. Now we’ve got to set our goals higher and accomplish more. We are going to come back next year and try and repeat this but, as I said, it’s not easy. We are happy. It was a big, tough race. A lot of kilometres. The team worked great together. The riders were good and the whole team worked well together so I’m really happy. The bikes were really good. We are all here. We are all happy and safe. That was the first goal. I can’t thank everyone enough – Honda, Monster and every one of the sponsors behind us. Thank you all so much. It’s the first time in Saudi Arabia. The scenery was insane! I love it. Hopefully I’ll be back next year. I’ve got a five-year contract so I think we’ll be back.”

Dakar Rally Stage Ricky Brabec rallyzone

Dakar Rally Stage Ricky Brabec rallyzone

Ricky Brabec – Image by Rally Zone

Pablo Quintanilla – P2

“I feel amazing. To spend most of 2019 in recovery and now to be here with my best ever result makes me extremely grateful. I never thought that I would be in this position at the beginning of the race. I would like to thank the team for their hard work over these two weeks – they have done an amazing job. Overall, my race has gone really well, it’s been a tough event for everybody, and the main goal was always to reach the finish. A podium at the Dakar is like a dream come true, especially after such a hard one this year. I still want that win so I’ll work hard and be back next year.”

Dakar Rally Stage Pablo Quintanilla Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

Dakar Rally Stage Pablo Quintanilla Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

Pablo Quintanilla

Australian Toby Price was third overall, 24min-06s off winning pace, with Jose Cornejo in fourth and KTM’s Matthias Walkner completing the top five.

Toby Price – P3

“I’m really happy with another podium at the Dakar – every time I’ve made it to the finish at this event I’ve got onto the podium. So far, I’m either a number one or a number three guy. The most important thing is to be here safely at the finish. Obviously, we came here to win, but it just wasn’t our year. Yeah, after 18 wins in a row it would have been nice to get a 19th, but I think KTM’s winning streak won’t be topped for a very long time. We’ll go away now, regroup and come back stronger for 2021 and take that number one plate back.”

Dakar Rally Stage Toby Price RallyZone

Dakar Rally Stage Toby Price RallyZone

Toby Price – Image by Rally Zone

José Ignacio Cornejo – P4

Today’s stage was short but intense. I battled it out with Walkner and Luciano Benavides. They started out in front of me, so I started the special very focused, trying to reduce the time. In the end I didn’t make any mistakes and was able to win the final stage of the Dakar, and thus finish fourth in the general standings. I’m very happy with the way the entire rally went. The team has finally achieved the victory we were looking for after so many years. I’m very happy with the whole team, they have worked so hard.

Dakar Rally Stage José Ignacio Cornejo ABI

Dakar Rally Stage José Ignacio Cornejo ABI

José Ignacio Cornejo

Matthias Walkner – P5

“Firstly, it feels really good to cross the finish line, especially after such a fast Dakar in a new country. For sure, I’m not so happy with my result as my goal was to reach the podium. I know I made some mistakes in the first week where I lost some time, and it was very difficult to make that back up – especially as so many riders were competitive this year. The good thing is, I felt good with my speed and my navigation for most of the rally. Unfortunately, even with 11 good days, one bad day can spoil your race in rallying. Overall, I’m happy because I know I did my best and the team and the bike have been perfect.”

Dakar Rally Stage Matthias Walkner KTM RALLY Dakar Rally

Dakar Rally Stage Matthias Walkner KTM RALLY Dakar Rally

Matthias Walkner

In sixth was Luciano Benavides, followed by Joan Barreda in seventh, with Franco Caimi the top Yamaha in eighth. Skyler Howes took ninth and Andrew Short 10th.

Luciano Benavides – P6

“It’s been a really tough Dakar and a very crazy race with lots of ups and downs. Overall, I have really enjoyed it and I’m happy to be here at the finish line. I knew this year would be a big challenge and would be a new experience for everyone, so my plan was to take it day by day and the main goal was always just to finish safely. I’m very happy with my pace, I have learnt so much and was able to really use that knowledge at this year’s event. So many riders were competitive, with times very close on a lot of the stages, so to come away with sixth overall is great. I’m really looking forward to the coming season now.”

Dakar Rally Stage Luciano Benavides KTM RALLY Dakar Rally

Dakar Rally Stage Luciano Benavides KTM RALLY Dakar Rally

Luciano Benavides

Joan Barreda – P7

“This was a Dakar that from the beginning was really tough for me. I spent a few days with some great difficulties, but little by little I began pulling back and picking up pace. I had a bit of bad luck with the cancellation of the two stages and the change of engine also penalized me. But in the end the good feelings came back. We have to stay positive but despite all the difficulties, I have finished another Dakar.”

Dakar Rally Stage Joan Barreda ABI

Dakar Rally Stage Joan Barreda ABI

Joan Barreda

Franco Caimi – P8

“It’s a huge relief to finally arrive at the finish of this year’s Dakar Rally. It’s been a really rough two weeks that we have passed through with many different challenges to overcome. Thankfully, we did overcome everything and today we arrived at the finish. The whole team has worked so, so hard, not just during this Dakar but during the whole year. Obviously, I wish Adrien and Xavier all the best for a fast recovery and will now take some time to enjoy this moment and reflect on the event. I’m pleased to have finished, especially after two years of not finishing. It’s been a real adventure and I’m also pleased with some strong stage results. Now it’s time for some rest and then to make plans for the season ahead.”

Dakar Rally Stage Franco Caimi

Dakar Rally Stage Franco Caimi

Franco Caimi

Andrew Short – P10

“I’m really happy to get to the end of this year’s Dakar – it’s been a long race, good fun, but very tough for me, I had a lot of challenges. The first week in the north was beautiful – I’ve never raced anywhere like it. I had some issues in those first few days that really put me on the back foot for the rest of the event. It took a lot out of me as you prepare all year for this race and to have such a big knock so early on was tough. This is only my third Dakar and I’m still learning. A two-week event like this is certainly different to a one-week world championship event and you have to be able to gauge your speed the whole way through. I definitely want to be back here next year for Dakar 2021.”

Dakar Rally Stage Andrew Short Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

Dakar Rally Stage Andrew Short Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

Andrew Short

Top overall Sherco rider was Adrien Metge in 12th, while Australian Rodney Faggotter (Yamaha Motor Australia) came home in 13th.

Rodney Faggotter – P13

“Wow its done! Top 20’s most stages, with a career best of sixth in stage 10 for a career best of 13th overall. I had a solid two weeks and rode the most “in control” but also the best I have ever done. The riders in front of me are the best rally riders in the world and most of them full time athletes – I’m pumped to be near and amongst these guys! Two weeks flat out and it comes to a instant stop and now I try get to reflect and appreciate everyone’s support and messages. Instead of going through and saying last but not least – I want to call out to my awesome hot beautiful supportive wife and best friend. Love ya babe!!! Thank you. And my boys Matt and Nate for their support! It’s so hard on family back home following the race especially when you disappear off the charts due to helping at a accident/or a mechanical failure or even just technical timing glitches. Massive shout out to the Dragon Yamaha team and my awesome mechanic Quentin Brossier. He says only a few English words and I say none French – so we get along great! He worked overtime all through the night sometime triple checking and sorting everything and I never had a issue. Thanks bud! Big thank you to Yamaha Motor Australia and Yamaha Motor Finance, Yamaha Motor Insurance Australia without their commitment to assist me this year – I would not have been here full stop. And also a big thanks to fellow competitor Ben Young for helping me get to the start line. So many others that helped or have helped previously – that got me to this point that I so much appreciate. Thanks guys.”

GasGas Factory Racing’s Laia Sanz was the highest placing female competitor, finishing stage 12 in 25th and completing the 2020 Dakar Rally in 18th overall.

Laia Sanz – P18

“I will remember a lot about this Dakar. Of course, I will remember Paulo, a true Dakar warrior. So, I have mixed emotions. I will also remember it because it is the race that I managed to start and finish my 10th consecutive Dakar, this is something I am very proud of. I think I’m the first Spanish rider to do that. Dakar is never easy, but when you have a crash it becomes so much harder. So, I’m pleased that I managed to overcome everything and finish the race, and also to have been the first rider to represent GasGas Motorcycles. It’s not been the best for me in terms of my overall result – after my crash on stage two I was riding in a lot of dust and the average speed was a little too high for me during the second week. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved and want to thank all the GasGas Factory Racing team for their support.”

Dakar Rally Stage laia sanz

Dakar Rally Stage laia sanz

Laia Sanz – Image by Rally Zone
Source: MCNews.com.au

Benavides wins Stage Seven | Stage 8 cancelled | Dakar 2020

Stage Seven of the 2020 Dakar Rally has proven a sad day in the event’s history with Paulo Goncalves passing away after a fall 276 kilometres into the special, with medical staff finding him unconscious on arrival, after being alerted to the incident and quickly attending. Following resuscitation efforts in situ, he was transported to Layla Hospital via helicopter where he was sadly pronounced dead.

As a mark of respect to such a beloved figure in the Dakar bivouac who had been a fixture at the Dakar Rally since 2006 and was competing in his 13th Dakar, Monday’s motorbike and quad stage has been cancelled in order to give riders time to mourn their friend.

Our condolences to his friends, family and fellow Dakar competitors and team members.

Stage Seven saw Joan Barreda finish the stage as the first rider, however Kevin Benavides was one of several riders, including Toby Price and Stefan Svitko, who stopped to provide assistance to downed rider Paulo Goncalves, with results later updated to take this into account.

Dakar Rally Stage Kevin Benavides rallyzone

Dakar Rally Stage Kevin Benavides rallyzone

Kevin Benavides – Image by Rally Zone

As a result Kevin Benavides claimed the top position for Stage Seven, finishing 1min-23s ahead of teammate Joan Barreda, while KTM’s Matthias Walkner was third, 4min-17s off the leading time.

Dakar leader Ricky Brabec made for the third Monster Energy Honda Team rider in the top five, with teammate Jose Cornejo sixth.

Toby Price was seventh fastest in the updated results – 7min-57s off the leading pace, with the Dakar noting he spent a considerable amount of time trying to assist Paulo Goncalves, with the organiser sharing earlier, “Toby Price has finished Stage Seven in a time 1 h and 23 minutes slower than Barreda’s. However, the Australian spent a long time trying to help Paulo Goncalves, so his actual position will be calculated later today as well Stefan Svitko’s.”

Toby Price KTM RALLY Dakar Rally

Toby Price KTM RALLY Dakar Rally

Toby Price was first rider to the scene of Paulo Goncalves’s fall

The RockStar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing duo of Pablo Quintanilla and Andrew short were eighth and ninth, while Franco Caimi was top Yamaha in tenth. Quintanilla is also reportedly struggling with tendinitis in his left hand.

Rodney Faggotter (Yamaha Motor Australia) finished the day in 19th place, 20min-02s off the leading pace.

The standings following Stage Seven now see Ricky Brabec leading with a time of 28h 25min-01s, with Pablo Quintanilla running second, 24min-48s off the leader’s pace. Third is Jose Cornejo, with Toby Price fourth – 28min-44s off leader Brabec. Joan Barreda completes the top five.

Ricky Brabec

“On arriving we heard the news about Paulo. We all know that motorcycling is a dangerous sport, but today is a really sad day for the people of Cross-Country Rallies. Our thoughts are with the family. The race standings don’t mean anything anymore. It’s secondary. Life goes way beyond sport.”

Dakar Rally Stage Ricky Brabec rallyzone

Dakar Rally Stage Ricky Brabec rallyzone

Ricky Brabec – Image by Rally Zone

KTM’s Matthias Walkner and Luciano Benavides now sit in sixth and seventh respectively, ahead of Skyler Jones, Franco Caimi and Stefan Svitko.

Jordi Viladoms – KTM Rally Team Manager

“It has been an extremely sad day for the rally family and of course we send our condolences to Paulo’s family and friends. He was very much loved in the paddock – not only a great rider but also an amazing person and a legend of our sport. Obviously, the news has shocked us deeply, but no one more so than Toby, who was the first to reach Paulo after his crash. We are thankful that in respect for Paulo’s loved ones, and to pay tribute to a great man, tomorrow’s stage will be cancelled for the motorcycles. A day without racing will give all riders the chance to remember Paulo and clear their heads before continuing on Tuesday. Of course, we all hope for a safe finish to the event.”

Rodney Faggotter sits just outside the top-10 in 13th position in the general rankings.

Stage Eight was set to take place in the south of Saudi Arabia, looping back to Wadi Al-Dawasir, however has now been cancelled for the bike and quads categories to give riders time to mourn.

Provisional Stage 7 Results – Dakar Rally 2020

Source: MCNews.com.au

Paulo Goncalves dies during Dakar after heavy fall

Dakar crash costs Paulo Goncalves his life

40-year-old Portuguese Dakar Rally legend Paulo Goncalves died during the seventh stage of competition today in Dakar 2020.

Paulo Gonçalves died from a fall sustained 276 kilometres into today’s special.

We believe Toby Price might have been one of the first riders on the scene.

A medical helicopter was with Goncalves within eight-minutes of the alert being raised to find him unconscious after going into cardiac arrest.

Following resuscitation efforts in situ, the competitor was taken by helicopter to Layla Hospital, where he was sadly pronounced dead.

This was his 13th Dakar. He made his debut in 2006 and had finished four times in the top 10, including an impressive performance as runner-up to Marc Coma in 2015.

Paulo Gonçalves, the 2013 cross-country rallies world champion, was sitting in 46th place overall after stage 6 of the 2020 Dakar.

Our condolences to his friends, family and fellow Dakar competitors and team members.

Paulo Goncalves won the Cross Country Rally World Championship in 2013

Source: MCNews.com.au

Sunderland wins Stage 4 | Brabec retains lead | Dakar 2020

Images by Rally Zone

KTM’s Sam Sunderland has led home the Monster Energy Honda duo of Jose Ignacio and Kevin Benavides in Stage Four of the 2020 Dakar Rally, with Stage 2 winner Ross Branch fourth, and Paulo Goncalves completing the top five.

sam sunderland Dakar stage
Sam Sunderland – 2020 Dakar Rally Stage Four

Previous stage winner Ricky Brabec had to settle for seventh, 11-seconds faster than defending champion Toby Price, but it was enough for Brabec to retain his overall lead, while Price moved up the standings into fourth – 12min-9s off the combined lead.

Stage Four of the Dakar Rally offered a long day in the saddle for riders, who needed to complete a total of 672 kilomtres, including a 453-kilometre timed special, offering a mix of sandy pistes and travel tracks, traveling from Neom through to Al-Ula.

Following the GPS and waypoint issues of the previous stage, Stage Four also saw the the Top-10 separated by just five-minutes, however the combined leaderboard continues to stretch out.

Aussie Rodney Faggotter finished Stage Four in 18th position on his Yamaha Motor Australia mount, 13min-4s off the leader, moving into 17th in the standings.

toby price Dakar stage
Toby Price – 2020 Dakar Rally Stage Four

The overall standings now see Ricky Brabec leading Kevin Benavides by 2min-30s, while a more distant Jose Ignacio is third making a Monster Energy Honda Team 1-2-3. Toby Price and Sam Sunderland complete the top five, as the leading KTM riders, while Pablo Quintanilla is top Husqvarna pilot in sixth.

Provisional Stage 4 Results – Dakar Rally 2020

Source: MCNews.com.au

YART Yamaha win inaugural 8 Hours of Sepang

YART Yamaha took the win ahead of Honda Asia Dream Racing with Showa and BMW Motorrad World Endurance in Malaysia at the very first edition of the 8 Hours of Sepang, which proved to be a nerve-racking race due to very bad weather.

After a delayed start followed by track action being suspended due to heavy rain, the first edition of the 8 Hours of Sepang made good on its promise of being an action-packed new FIM Endurance World Championship race. Duels at the front, lead swaps, drama and crashes kept the tension high all through the race on the Malaysian circuit.

Sepang Hour YART
Niccolò Canepa – YART Yamaha

YART Yamaha won the day despite an electronics scare in the early stages of the race by steering clear of trouble with Niccolò Canepa as the only Yamaha #7 rider in the saddle throughout the race. The strategy of having a sole fast rider with experience of tricky track conditions in the saddle bore fruit. Broc Parkes and Karel Hanika were however co-credited with the win.

Niccolò Canepa – YART Yamaha

“I’m incredibly happy with win here in Sepang, as it started as a difficult week, especially with the injury to Marvin. Luckily Karel was able to step in as a replacement at the last minute. I was feeling good at the start of the race but, after only a couple of laps, the bike switched off and when it came back on it was with no traction control or any electronics. That made things very difficult, but I managed to come back from P20 to P1 at the end of my first stint, which I was supper happy about. When the safety car came out, I switched the bike off and on and everything started to work as it should once again. At both pit stops Mandy asked me if I wanted to continue and both times I said yes, although I did take a bit of persuading at the first stop. I pushed hard throughout the race and, at the end, we took the win. Yes, we were a bit fortunate with the crash, but that’s part of the game in endurance racing, as we’ve found out to our cost in other races. So, I’m super, super happy and I’d like to say a big thank you to my team and especially my team-mates, as we race and win together. The win means we’re back in the championship and now we need to focus on repeating this success at the next race, the 24 hours of Le Mans.”

Sepang Hour YART Trophy
Niccolò Canepa won the race for YART Yamaha

Mandy Kainz – YART Team Manager

“Obviously we are happy with our first win of the season, especially after what had initially been a difficult week for us here in Malaysia and one overshadowed by Marvin’s injury. The team and the riders didn’t let these difficulties defeat them, but instead worked hard to ensure we were well prepared for what turned out to be a very difficult race. It was shorter than expected because of the weather, but no less exhausting for that. We had a problem with the bike in the early stages of the race, but Niccolò did an incredible job to fight his way through to the front in difficult conditions and without any electronic rider aids. At the first pit stop it was tight at the front of the race, so we decided to keep Niccolò on the bike, rather than lose time while Karel got used to the conditions. We made the same decision at the final pit stop, opting to stick with Niccolò rather than putting Broc on the bike for the final 30 minutes on a damp but drying track. It was the correct decision and it paid dividends for us in the end. So, thanks to the team and the riders for a fantastic job; this win puts us back in the game as far as the championship is concerned. Finally, I wish Marvin a speedy recovery and I look forward to seeing him back on the bike, and hopefully on the podium, in Le Mans.”

YART Yamaha finished ahead of Honda Asia Dream Racing with Showa, who ran a consistent race in the leading pack with Malaysian rider Zaqhwan Zaidi, Thai rider Somkiat Chantra and Indonesian Andi Farid Izdihar. The Japanese team’s cosmopolitan line-up had already done brilliantly in the Top 10 Trial, wresting second place on the starting grid and backing that up with second place in the race. 

Sepang Hour Honda Asia Dream Racing
Honda Asia Dream Racing with Showa

BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team claimed their second podium at the 8 Hours of Sepang with riders Ilya Mykhalchyk and Markus Reiterberger after their Bol d’Or podium finish. Kenny Foray sustained an injury in practice and was unable to compete in the race.

Sepang Hour BMW Endurance Pits
BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team

Marc Bongers – BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director

“The second podium in our second race in the FIM EWC – this is a fantastic result for our new BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team. We couldn’t have necessarily expected this as newcomers in this highly competitive World Championship. The team and our riders Ilya and Markus weren’t distracted by the adverse conditions. They did yet another fantastic, flawless job on the track and in the pit. On this occasion, I also want to send a get well soon message to Kenny, who surely will be back with us soon. Of course, we would have liked to get more riding in to gain more experience in race conditions with our RR, but it wasn’t possible in this weather. Now we will keep focussing on preparing for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Congratulations go to our BMW customer teams as well, who also got strong results with their RR.”

Sepang Hour BMW
BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team

The factory-backed BMW team moves up to second place in the FIM EWC provisional standings with a 15-point gap to Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, who maintain the lead obtained after their Bol d’Or win.

Damien Saulnier – SERT Team Manager

“When you are not on the top step of the podium you always wish you had a better place, but for this race with tricky conditions, our goal was a Top-5 and the job has been done. I am satisfied with the work we’ve done during the week while being aware that there is still some more work to do. The team keeps on growing up and everyone works hard. We are also very pleased with Yoshimura’s engineers support. I would also like to thank the organiser for this amazing event. Bringing 38 European teams to Malaysia was not an easy task! And last but not least, I would like to say a word for Vincent Philippe, who didn’t race today because of the circumstances. He is a very professional man and I had great confidence in him. I am filled with emotion, but also proud to have been able to work with this remarkable rider.”

Superstock winner just short of the podium

Moto Ain steamed steadily ahead throughout the action-packed race to a fourth-place overall finish and another win in the Superstock class. The French Yamaha-mounted team consolidated their lead in the Endurance World Cup with riders Roberto Rolfo, Robin Mulhauser and Hugo Clère, finishing ahead of both Suzuki Endurance Racing Team and Webike SRC Kawasaki France, who struggled in the challenging track conditions.

Sepang Hour Pit Entry
Two riders enter the pits while two continue on – Sepang 8 Hour

Moto Ain’s runner-up in the Superstock class was German team GERT56 by GS Yuasa (BMW). Lucy Glöckner, Stefan Kerschbaumer and Pepijn Bijsterbosch finished 14th overall after holding off Japanese team Tone RT Syncedge 4413 BMW until the end. After being delayed by a crash in the early stages, Tomoya Hoshino, Kokoro Atsumi and Takeshi Ishizuka climbed back up to finish their first race outside Japan on the third step of the podium.

Favourites have nerve-racking race

Yamaha Sepang Racing, who dominated qualifying and the early stages of the race, and their chief rival F.C.C. TSR Honda France broke away from the other front-runners to embark on a duel for the lead.

Sepang Hour Yamaha Sepang Racing FCC TSR
Sepang 8 Hour

A collision involving Mike di Meglio (F.C.C. TSR Honda France) and Michael van der Mark (Yamaha Sepang Racing) knocked both machines to the ground.

After a pit stop, Michael van der Mark returned to the track beyond 40th place. By dint of piling up fastest race laps (including a 2:17.817 by Franco Morbidelli), Yamaha Sepang Racing finished 7th ahead of BMW Sepang Racing, 3ART Moto Team 95 (Yamaha) and Team ERC Endurance, who got their Ducati Panigale into the Top 10.

Michael van der Mark – Yamaha Sepang Racing

“It was a weird 8 Hours of Sepang, but when we did finally get to race the conditions were good. I had a good feeling with the bike and a strong pace from the start, so when I got passed for the lead I decided to sit in behind and follow rather than take any risks. My plan was to retake the lead when we hit traffic. I’m not sure what Di Meglio’s plan was with the pass at the final corner, but it didn’t work, and it ended for me with a massive highside that let me badly winded. The team did an amazing job to get the bike back on track and I was quick to rediscover my rhythm so, apart from the position, I enjoyed the race. When Franco took over the bike for the last stint, we could see he had really good pace, but we were still surprised to finish as high as seventh. Massive thanks to the team, who worked so hard for us this weekend, and also to Franco and Hafizh, who I really enjoyed racing with.”

Sepang Hour Yamaha Sepang Racing FCC TSR
Sepang 8 Hour

F.C.C. TSR Honda France returned to the lead after the collision, but lost their chance of a win after Mike di Meglio crashed out with one hour left in the race.

Sepang Hour FCC TSR
Sepang 8 Hour

Other teams also had a very tough time of it. Suzuki JEG Kagayama were well placed among the top three but lost a lot of ground due to a mechanical issue. A mechanical problem also led to the downfall of Tecmas BMW GMC, who had performed spectacularly in the early part of the race with rider Camille Hédelin clearly at ease on a wet track.

Next FIM EWC race: the 24 Heures Motos at Le Mans on 18 and 19 April 2020.

Source: MCNews.com.au

Triumph Speed Triple Recall Notice | MY 18-20

Motorcycle Recall Notice

An official recall notice has been issued for Triumph Speed Triple S and Speed Triple R motorcycles sold in Australia over the model years 2018 to 2020.

The recall is for a problem with the quickshifter which may contact the gear change linkage and compromise the assisted gear change, causing a missed gear or false neutral.

Owners of these models should contact their local Triumph dealer for the problem to be rectified.

Recall Notice

PRA No. 2019/17999

Date published 13 Dec 2019

Campaign number SRAN568

Triumph Speed Triple S and Speed Triple R – NN5 & NN6 variants
Speed Triple S -NN5 variant – From 867685 up to 957570
Speed Triple RS -NN6 variant – From 867601 up to 971378

161 affected motorcycles

What are the defects?

The Quickshifter Assembly, TSA body may come into contact with the gear change Clamp Linkage Assembly, potentially impeding a smooth “assisted” gear change, resulting in a missed gear or false neutral.

What are the hazards?

If a loss of acceleration without warning occurs, this may lead to an increased risk of an accident and injury to vehicle occupants and other road users.

What should consumers do?

Triumph Motorcycles Company dealers in Australia will replace the Clamp Linkage Assembly, free of charge (parts and labour) to vehicle owners. The new Clamp Linkage Assembly will provide a wider clearance from the Quickshifter Assembly, TSA.

Owners of affected vehicle will be contacted asking them to arrange recall repair by their authorised Triumph dealer.

For help finding a Triumph Dealer, consumers can go to http://www.triumphmotorcycles.com.au/dealers/find-a-dealer

Source: MCNews.com.au

O’Neal 3 Series Hybrid Fidlock Helmet Recall Notice

Product Recall Notice

An official recall notice has been issued for the O’Neal 3 Series Hybrid Fidlock Helmet sold in Australia.

The recall is due to the chin strap retention system which may fail in an accident, in which case the helmet may not provide adequate protection to the rider.

Owners of these models should contact their local dealer for the problem to be rectified.

Recall Notice

PRA No. 2019/18009

Date published 13 Dec 2019

O’Neal 3 Series Hybrid Fidlock Helmet

Serial Numbers: E1-05300751/P19070385 to E1-05300751/P19070672

What are the defects?

There is a possibility that the chin strap retention system may fail in the event of an accident.

What are the hazards?

If the chin strap retention system fails, the helmet may not provide adequate protection to the wearer in the event of an accident and may increase the risk of death or serious injury to the wearer.

What should consumers do?

Consumers should immediately stop using the helmet and return it to the place of purchase for a refund or replacement.

For more information, consumers can contact Cassons Pty Ltd on 02 8882 1900 or [email protected]

Source: MCNews.com.au

Grab your 2020 Phillip Island WSBK tickets for Christmas

Grab 2020 Australian WSBK tickets for Christmas

Phillip Island, Victoria – February 28 – March 1, 2020

With less than two weeks till Christmas there’s great deals to be had on 2020 Australian WorldSBK tickets at Phillip Island, starting at three-day passes for just $125, with a chance to win a spot on the World Superbike grid for Saturday’s race one with online purchases made before December 24. What better Christmas present could you think of, than seeing all the action at Phillip Island next February 28 to March 1.

WSBK Phillip Island Action Lowes GeeBee
World Superbike at Phillip Island runs February 28 through to March 1, 2020

Christmas shopping for World Superbike tickets is super-easy and the price is right. Just jump online to book at https://tickets.worldsbk.com.au (link) and make sure you buy before December 24 for the chance to win a spot on the World Superbike grid for race one.

You can purchase a three-day General Admission ticket with Free Paddock Access for just $125*. Want to spend a little more? Buy a 3-Day Bar SBK ticket for $265* giving access to three under-cover viewing areas at the circuit’s most thrilling corners – Doohan Corner, Siberia and Lukey Heights. Bar SBK ticket holders also get access to the exclusive grandstand at Doohan Corner, along with parking at Siberia and Lukey Heights and prime Superscreen viewing from each facility.

WSBK Phillip Island Action Laverty Lowes GeeBee
Phillip Island will play host to the 2020 World Superbike Round One

Add four nights on-circuit camping for an extra $110* per adult, while kids 15 and under are free to enter and camp, if accompanied by a full-paying adult.

2020 WorldSBK field shaping up to be a cracker

We’re looking at a cracker of a 2020 WorldSBK field with the Kawasaki king Jonathan Rea facing threats from every angle. Alvaro Bautista and Leon Haslam have headed to Honda and will campaign the all-new Honda CBR1000RR; Yamaha’s added young gun Toprak Razgatlioglu, Texan Garrett Gerloff and WorldSSP’s Federico Caricasulo to its stable; while Eugene Laverty has joined Tom Sykes at BMW.

WSBK Round Phillip Island SBK Sunday Rob Mott Jonathan Rea
Jonathan Rea – Image by Rob Mott

Ducati also looks red-hot, with British Superbike champ, Scott Redding joining Chaz Davies on the Panigale V4R; while Rea’s new garage mate, Alex Lowes, looks pretty happy on his 2020 Kawasaki.

New names on the grid include Japan’s superbike master, Takumi Takahashi with Honda and from Chili, Maximilian Scheib on a Kawasaki; while returning for another shot at world superbike stardom are the likes of Spain’s Jordi Torres and Xavi Fores, France’s Sylvain Barrier and Argentina’s Leandro Mercado.

A weekend at the World Superbike Championship is a pure action fest of back-to-back racing from World Superbike and World Supersport, plus the opening round of the Australian Superbike Championships for Australian Superbike, Supersport and Supersport 300.

WSBK Test PI Final Tom Sykes
Tom Sykes – 2019 Phillip Island WSBK

Plus an added bonus with World Supers, is that every three-day ticket includes free access to the paddock and Paddock Show, plus bring your bike and ride the service roads to your favourite viewing spot.

Phillip Island is just two hours south of Melbourne and to make it affordable and an awesome getaway gift, couple your ticket with on-circuit camping for four nights for just $110* extra per adult for four nights. Situated right above Southern Loop and close to the go-kart track, Visitor’s Centre, and the History of Motorsport Display, the campground has spectacular views over Bass Straight and the circuit.

ASBK TBG Round Phillip Island Troy Herfoss TBG Sunday
Phillip Island will also host Australian Superbike, Supersport and Supersport 300 support categories – Image by TBG

Plus kids 15 and under accompanied by a full-paying adult are free, so make it a family affair. Crafty shoppers, who are coming to world supers, can give their kids the Christmas gift of a weekend at the Supers and it won’t cost a cent – a great way to balance the Christmas budget.

For a taste of race-pace at the island, here’s 2019 Australian Superbike Champ, Mike Jones; Suzuki’s Josh Waters and Yamaha’s Dan Falzon to take you on a high-speed jaunt around the scintillating 4.445km Phillip Island circuit, world supers-style.

Ho ho ho…Get Christmas shopping today and sort your weekend getaway for the sizzling opening round of the 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, Yamaha Finance round, next February 28-March 1 at Australia’s motorcycling mecca, Phillip Island. Tickets at https://tickets.worldsbk.com.au/ (link)

WSBK Australia
Phillip Island World Superbike tickets on sale now

*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

Source: MCNews.com.au

KTM announce two 2020 Australia Adventure Rallye events

2020 KTM Australia Adventure Rallye

KTM Australia have announced two Adventure Rallye events in 2020, with a six-day format offering a chance to explore either South East Queensland and the Wide Bay Burnett regions, or alternatively the Southern Forests of Western Australia, in a first for both states.

KTM Australia Adventure Rallye QLD
2020 Australia Adventure Rallye

The 2020 KTM Australia Adventure Rallye events are open to Orange Adventure Riders with the following eligible KTM adventure bikes – the new 390 Adventure, 640, 690, 790, 790R, 950, 990, 1050, 1090, 1090R, 1190, 1190R, 1290 and 1290R models.

The Rallye is tailored to suit a wide range of rider abilities, from those in their first few years of adventure riding up to seasoned adventure pros, ensuring everyone is welcome.

KTM Australia Adventure Rallye QLD
2020 Australia Adventure Rallye

Kicking things off for 2020, the KTM Australia Adventure Rallye: QLD RANGES will start and finish at the beautiful Sunshine Coast hinterland town of Kenilworth. From there the Rallye will head north through the classic hinterland rainforest that the region is renowned for, before hitting the coastal towns of Rainbow Beach and Agnes Waters.

KTM Australia Adventure Rallye WA
2020 Australia Adventure Rallye

Riders will then leave the coastal regions for cattle country and the iconic ranges – travelling south down the Great Dividing Range to overnights in Cania Gorge, Gayndah and Bunya Mountains before returning to Kenilworth.

KTM Australia Adventure Rallye WA
2020 Australia Adventure Rallye

What better way to launch our first biannual KTM Australia Adventure Rallye than by going to extremes – from the East Coast to the West! Set to explore the iconic South West of Australia’s largest state, the KTM Australia Adventure Rallye: SOUTH WEST WA will kick off in the historic town of York, one hour east of Perth before diving straight into the heart of WA’s prime adventure riding territory.

KTM Australia Adventure Rallye WA
2020 Australia Adventure Rallye

Overnight stops will include the charming country town of Collie before hitting the quaint seaside village of Augusta, the furthest southwest corner of Australia. The unique and stunning Karri Valley Resort will play host next, before two nights at the legendary motocross town of Manjimup. A final leg north to finish off in Bunbury caps off an outstanding six-days of adventure.

KTM Australia Adventure Rallye QLD
2020 Australia Adventure Rallye events

With assistance from local experts who are all Rallye riders themselves, both Rallye routes are set to showcase the stunning landscapes that our great diverse country has to offer. Designed with the larger capacity KTM adventure range in mind, as well as the variety of rider abilities, the route offers plenty of options for riders to choose their own adventure and difficulty of ride.

KTM Australia Adventure Rallye QLD
2020 Australia Adventure Rallye

The KTM Australia Adventure Rallye is designed to offer a great experience to Orange Adventure Riders – and what better way to do that than with six-days exploring either the East Coast or West Coast of Australia on your KTM adventure bike!

Registrations for both events open Wednesday January 15th 2020. Authorised KTM Dealerships in Australia will be receiving Dealer Priority Registration, therefore riders are encouraged to touch base with their local KTM Dealership to ensure they get this Dealer Priority Registration information.

For more information on the events, visit:

KTM Australia Adventure Rallye QLD
2020 Australia Adventure Rallye

Source: MCNews.com.au

Wayne Maxwell to race Ducati V4 R | ASBK 2020

Maxwell on McMartin prepared Ducati for ASBK 2020

After Steve Martin left for Europe at the turn of the century Ducati’s presence in the ranks of Australian Superbike all but disappeared entirely. 

Mike Jones put the Italian brand back on the box a few times in season 2016, before in 2018 Troy Bayliss then really pumped up the Ducati profile in the ranks of ASBK, coming out of retirement and lending his incredible personal brand strength to help boost the profile of the Australian Superbike Championship.

Ducati Panigale VR Troy Bayliss
DesmoSport Ducati Panigale V4R – Troy Bayliss exits pitlane at Morgan Park watched on by Team Manager Ben Henry

After the three-time World Superbike Champion was injured early in season 2019, DesmoSport Ducati, the Gold Coast based team formed by Bayliss and Western Australian Ben Henry, had Mike Jones perform a stand-in role from round two.

As Bayliss continued to struggle with damage to his fingers, Jones’ gig with the DesmoSport squad then turned in to a full-time role that saw the Queenslander take his second, and Ducati’s second, Australian Superbike Title. Jones won the 2019 ASBK title on the 1299 Panigale R Final Edition V-Twin, but will ride the Panigale V4 R in 2020. 

ASBK TBG Round SMP Mike Jones TBG FinalRnd
Mike Jones – 2019 ASBK Superbike Champion – TBG Image

The only previous #1 plate for Ducati had been won by Steve Martin back in 1999, on a 996 RS. 

Season 2020 of ASBK will now see the strongest ever presence for the Ducati brand in Australian Superbike with not only Mike Jones set to defend his title with DesmoSport Ducati, but yet another Ducati team stepping up their game to contest the full ASBK Superbike season. 

Long time Ducati aficionado and ex Ducati employee Craig McMartin, himself more than handy behind a set of handlebars, has joined forces with Wayne Maxwell to launch an assault on ASBK 2020 with the delectable Panigale V4 R. 

Wayne Maxwell won the 2013 ASBK Superbike Championship when he rode for Suzuki.
Wayne Maxwell won the 2013 ASBK Superbike Championship with Suzuki.

Maxwell has won top level Superbike Championships in Australia riding both Suzuki and Honda machinery, and went oh so close with Yamaha, but season 2020 will see the 37-year-old make a tilt for the title on a $60,000 Ducati Panigale V4 R. 

Maxwell is a fierce and wily competitor that is rarely off the podium. If he can get enough seat and set-up time under his belt before the start of season 2020, he is certain to be mixing it up at the front right from the Phillip Island season opener. 

Wayne Maxwell Craig McMartin Ducati ASBK
Wayne Maxwell to race a Ducati in ASBK

Maxwell threw a leg over the Ducati for the first time at Wakefield Park in November and recently rode the machine again at Phillip Island. 

Craig McMartin Racing will run the single rider team and Wayne will have two bikes at his disposal. They plan to run on Pirelli with K-Tech suspension and are currently tying up their sponsorship deals for the season ahead. 

Wayne Maxwell Craig McMartin Ducati ASBK
Wayne Maxwell to race a Ducati in ASBK

Motul Pirelli ASBK logo menu@x

2020 ASBK Championship Calendar
Rnd Date Track
Rnd 1  Feb 27 – March 1 Phillip Island, VIC
Rnd 2  27-29 March Wakefield Park, NSW
Rnd 3 7-10 May The Bend, SA
Rnd 4 15-17 May Barbagallo, WA (SBK only)
Rnd 5 7-9 August Morgan Park, QLD
Rnd 6 11-13 September Winton, VIC
Rnd 7 2-4 October Phillip Island, VIC

Source: MCNews.com.au