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Archive for March, 2016

Jorge Lorenzo Wins 2016 Qatar MotoGP, Dovizioso 2nd and Marquez 3rd

21 Mar

Photos courtesy of MotoGP.com

The 2016 MotoGP World Championship got off to a fiery start in Qatar as Movistar Factory Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo blitzed the field ahead of Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Marquez. With new Michelin tyres and new unified electronics, the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar was set to not only start a new season of the MotoGP World Championship, but also begin a new era. Testing had given fans a preview of who was fast and what bikes were working well, but few had any idea what would happen as the lights went out on the first race of the 2016 season.

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Qualifying saw incredibly tight times, all of the top 12 riders within a second and the front row divided by under a tenth of a second. All signs pointed to it being a stunning race, with Lorenzo lining up in pole position for the 62nd time in his Grand Prix career as he aims for back-to-back premier class titles for the first time.

Just behind Lorenzo on the grid was Marquez, the factory Honda rider having to push harder than ever to overcome several of Honda’s issues, adopting an even more wild riding style. Completing the front row was rising star Maverick Viñales, the young Spaniard aiming to return Suzuki to the podium for the first time since 2008. Meanwhile, Valentino Rossi started in fifth, he and Lorenzo having exchanged words in the press after an incident in FP4. The scene was set for an explosive start to the season.

As the lights went out it was Lorenzo who roared into the first corner ahead of Andrea Iannone and Dani Pedrosa. It was a poor start for Marquez who dropped back outside the top five. After the opening corners, Lorenzo led with Iannone and Dovizioso behind, the Desmosedici GP again starting well in Qatar. Meanwhile Rossi looked on in fourth.

The top end speed of the Ducati proved a force to be reckoned with as both Iannone and Dovizioso blasted past Lorenzo on the straight, dropping the World Champion to third as they ended the first lap. At the back of the leading trio, Rossi stayed just ahead of Marquez as all five began to settle into their rhythms.

It was Andrea Iannone who led across the line, both he and Dovizioso able to open up a lead of several tenths over the pursuing Yamaha pair. Meanwhile Pedrosa and Viñales, sixth and seventh, attempted to close the gap. At Turn 6 on lap three Marquez slid up the inside of Rossi to grab fourth, Rossi dropped back slightly after the pass, 0.3s from Marquez.

Fastest lap after fastest lap couldn’t split the top five, the Michelin tyres improving with each lap.  On the sixth lap ‘Desmo Dovi’ tried to take the lead but was quickly pushed back by an aggressive move from his teammate, living up his nickname of ‘The Maniac’ but Dovizioso wasn’t deterred and struck again later in the lap. Pushing harder and harder, Iannone suffered a fast fall at Turn 13 as he attempted to go up the inside of his teammate. Although he was unhurt, not finishing was a bitter pill to swallow. His fall was soon followed by Cal Crutchlow who crashed out of the race at Turn 4.

With Iannone gone, Lorenzo took up the challenge and pushed Dovizioso hard for the lead. Dovizioso was regularly at least 5km/h faster down the straight than Lorenzo, but on lap nine the Majorcan struck and went into the lead. A small gap emerged, allowing Lorenzo to maintain his lead even down the straight.

A string of fastest laps of the race followed as the Qatar GP entered the middle laps, both Lorenzo and Dovizioso exchanging fastest laps of the race. By mid race Lorenzo had an advantage of over 0.3s, working hard to stay ahead. Neither Marquez nor Rossi were able to make a serious impression on the leading pair, Rossi appeared to be fading away but then produced a 1’55.281 on the 14th lap of the race. The Michelin tyres went the distance as riders throughout the field were setting personal bests and fastest race laps till the end.

As the race entered its final five laps, Marquez closed in on Dovizioso for second as Lorenzo maintained and extended a half second lead to a second. With four laps to go Marquez effortlessly slid up the inside of Dovizioso to move into second. Marquez tried to close in on Lorenzo but soon found himself in the company of Dovizioso and Rossi once more. As the riders charged down the straight to begin the final lap Dovizioso passed Marquez into Turn 1.

Lorenzo would eventually cross the line a dominant 2.019s ahead of the second, Dovizioso repeating his second place finish of 2015 after Marquez tried to pass in the last corner. The Spaniard settled for third with Valentino Rossi 0.1s behind in fourth.

Dani Pedrosa completed the top five but was over 13 seconds back on the race winner. Viñales, Pol Espargaro, Bradley Smith, Hector Barbera and Scott Redding the top ten. The fastest lap of the race went to Lorenzo who set a 1’54.927 on the 20th lap. There were further crashes for Loris Baz and Stefan Bradl. Both were unhurt.

Lorenzo leaves the opening race leading the championship with 25 points. The MotoGP World Championship are back on track on the first of April for Free Practice 1 of the Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina. The Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP races will be held on April 3rd.

 
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Posted in Motorcycling

 

Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S21 fitted on CBR1000RR SP & 2016 Ninja ZX-10R

18 Mar

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Prior to getting on the bikes at Yas Marina F1 Circuit in Abu Dhabi, I had studied the layout of the track via the various maps and photos available online. But those are merely 2-dimensional version of what the track actually is. The reality is, the circuit is built for Formula 1 and other 4-wheel action than it is for motorcycle – this is the reason why both MotoGP and WorldSBK are not being raced here but at the Losail circuit in Qatar.

The Yas Marina F1 Circuit has 14 turns that are L-shaped in design – great for cars to navigate thru successfully with the 4 wheels fully planted but for bikes, that’s pretty much intimidating, to say the least.

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I guess that’s the reason why Bridgestone Europe has chosen the Yas Marina for the introduction of the new Battlax Hypersport S21 tyre – the afore-mentioned Losail track was used by MotoGP teams for their final 2016 pre-season test sessions for the same dates the Japanese tyre company held its launch in Abu Dhabi. The other tracks throughout Europe were still in their winter period of the Northern Hemisphere – while it is not everyday you see these circuits covered in snow or ice forming in some parts, the risks are just too high for Bridgestone to have the introduction of the S1 on them.

With 35 motorcycles to choose from, I had settled on the CBR1000RR SP as the first machine to test the Hypersport S21 on. The Honda came factory fitted with OEM Pirelli Super Corsa tyres for the consumer market as opposed to the standard type which is fitted with Battlax S20 EVO so it is interesting to see how well the SP model would fare on the new Bridgestone S21 tyres.

The new Hypersport S21 replaces the four-year-old S20 EVO. The new S21 now sits a step below Bridgestone’s track tyres – the RS10 and RS10R, and aims to give similar levels of dry-weather grip and acceleration performance but with longer mileage, which the Japanese company claims to have increased by a whopping 36%!

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The Hypersport S21 is primarily a road tyre that can handle the odd wet-weather day so the Bridgestone engineers have created a tread pattern they claim offers greater stability over the outgoing S20 EVO type with a better seat-to-land ratio. The new tyre’s grooves have been repositioned on the carcass so as to give more tire on the ground at maximum lean angle, thus aiding stability on braking and acceleration.

However, you can ignore the finer thread pattern found in-between the standard ones as these are merely cosmetic, which has no bearing on the actual performance of the S21. According to Bridgestone, it would take a rider just a few laps on the track to get rid of them. That is indeed true – by the time I came into the pit at the end of my first 5 laps session onboard the CBR1000RR SP, the left sides of both front and rear tyres had already disappeared from view, leaving only the right sides intact.

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The Yas Marina F1 Circuit has more left-handers than right ones so it is not a surprise that every rider utilised the left side of the S21 tyres for more grip than the right sections. And the right-handers are mostly slow corners where the riders hardly shredded them in the process of negotiating the turns and bends.

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Bridgestone has attempted to maintain the wet-weather capabilities of the old S20EVO and doesn’t claim any major breakthrough in this area. The majority of concern regarding the tread design was based around improving the mileage and dry-weather performance. However, the entire duration of the 10-day test sessions (each day with different region of media riders), there was no rain at the circuit, so we will have to wait for the S21 to be available back home to gauge Bridgestone’s claims on the wet-weather ability.

Bridgestone has used their standard three-layer compound (3LC) with high-stiffness bead fillers in the front S21, with a harder center construction to aid that massive claim of an extra 36% gain in mileage. The front tyre’s crown is slightly smaller compared to the S20EVO with the shoulders also a touch lower. This is aimed at increased turn rate and side-to-side agility, while still remaining stable when cranked over. Again, more tyre on the ground equals more traction.

As for the rear tyre, it’s the opposite of the front in that it now features a larger crown for increased stability under acceleration. Bridgestone is claiming the rear S21 tyre has 30% less slip in the contact area than the older S20 EVO, enabling the former tyre to lap two seconds faster than the latter at the Sugo test facility in Japan.

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The rear tyre is made up of five separate compounds with the stiffer construction again in the center, but the softer compounds in the shoulders of both the front and rear tires are all-new, proving a larger micro-contact patch that aids turn-in speed and greater mid-corner stability.

The CBR1000RR SP is a very easy motorcycle to handle at the circuit, without all the electronics save for the ABS feature. As such, the moment I got on the bike, the first lap was spent following the group leader to understand the layout of the circuit before he let us all to our own to experience what the new S21 could do. I spent the next 3 laps circling the Yas Marina F1 Circuit as fast as I could with the CBR1000RR SP fitted with the Bridgestone Battlax S21. Where previously I could feel the tendency of both the S20 EVO and BT-016 to slip on entering the corners quite fast, on the Hypersport S21, there was none or very little feel of such tendency.

The final lap prior to pitting in to mark the end of the first session, I rode the Honda on its cruising mode to get a feel of public road riding with the S21 – the rest of the riders in Group B had by then quite far ahead of me by the time I shut the throttle to let them overtook me at the end of lap 4 so I had the track pretty much to myself and finished the session as the last few riders to enter the pits. And the performance is superb with the S21 as I was able to run a much tighter line on the corners.

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The second session was accomplished on the 2016 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R. The Ninja is fitted with the Battlax RS10 as its OEM tyres but as it is the newest model among the bikes offered by Bridgestone, I have yet to sample it with the stickier tyre. It is my first ride with the new Ninja and it is already fitted with the Hypersport S21 for the 2nd session.

The 2011-2015 editions of the Ninja ZX-10R has certain limitations where agility is concerned on twisty public roads but a force to be reckoned with when used on the race track. Still, the massive improvements Team Green has made on the 2016 model means the bike could corner and navigate all the bends and slow corners of the Yas Marina F1 Circuit as easy and fast as the superbly agile and nimble CBR1000RR SP.

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How much of that is due to the new Hypersport S21 fitted to the Ninja is open to debate as I have never rode this bike previously anywhere, not even in Malaysia yet. Before I rode the Ninja into the track, I had noticed its electronics aids have all been set to “Race” mode – which means the minimal intervention except for the cornering ABS. The acceleration of slow turns is much better with the Ninja than the CBR SP, which in turn allowed me to go for deeper cornering whenever a bend came up but I made sure not to overdo it at some of the L-shaped turns particularly the 4-in-a-row left-right combo handers from Turn 16 to 19. Turn 16 is quite fast but Turn 17 is hard braking zone while Turn 18 and 19, the Ninja/S21 combo allowed me to just open the throttle and take the both corners with ease.

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Just as the CBR SP, I had reserved the 5th lap of my 2nd session on the Ninja ZX-10R on cruising mode to gauge the performance of the Hypersport S21 on less brutal riding. Again, the feeling and handling of the S21 tyres are superb on the Ninja.

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So the question is: How does the new Battlax Hypersport S21 holds up as compared to its predecessor, Battlax S20 EVO? Stay tuned for the next article when the S21 undergoes further test rides on more bikes such as the CBR600RR, 1299 Panigale S and BMW S1000RR.

 
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Posted in Motorcycling, Reviews

 

FIRST RIDE: Kawasaki J300 Scooter

15 Mar

The Kawasaki J300 Scooter isn’t exactly new, having been announced by the Japanese manufacturer during EICMA Show 2014, held annually in Milan, and available in most markets from the 2nd-quarter of 2015. But for Malaysia, this 299cc scooter was just launched in late November 2015, a year after its global announcement. But as the saying goes, it is better late than never.

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And today, the motorcycling media had their first ride impression on the J300 scooter over 4 separate sessions – there’s only 10 units of the bike, and there’s approximately 35 members of the media so we took turns in doing our first ride impression. I was selected to be in the first session, held in the morning.

After breakfast we treated to a short introduction of the J300 scooter and safety briefing on the routes to be taken by the traffic police and marshals. The first group of motorcycling media were on their way soon after, which took them to several attractions in Putrajaya such as PICC and the landmark bridge.

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The above is the planned routes for the media to ride the J300 but some aspects were changed last minute so the actual ride wasn’t a representation of what’s shown above. The particularly twisty section of the first half of Route B48 wasn’t included in the actual ride as it was deemed to be too far away from the spot the convoy was in after exiting Putrajaya, which was at the junction of Route 29/Route 31, approximately some 4.5km away from the entrance to Route B48.

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Route B48 would have been great section to gauge the J300’s performance on twisty roads but that was not to be. The convoy had to make do with the 3rd-quarter of Route B48 which is less twisty with longer straights and a couple of traffic light junctions in-between. This route took the convoy all the way to Sepang town (not the track), which is approximately 11km away from the point we first entered Route B48 from Route 32 after Putrajaya.

From Sepang town, we rode towards Sungai Pelek town, which is 6.2km away via Route 5. Except for the mini tour around Putrajaya, the rest of the routes are familiar places to me as I did some of my solo rides on various bikes previously so it was quite apparent that the convoy’s speed was quite fast – we did between 80-90 km/h on most of the segments.

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After Sg Pelek town, the distance to Tanjung Sepat is another 18 km away, with the route comprising mostly of long straights (photo below) with a few sharp turns, and double lines. with the marshals ensuring the convoy stayed at speeds of not more than 100 km/h throughout, this segment was somewhat exciting due to the fact of the convoy having encountering slow traffic along the way, which were directed to move aside by the accompanying traffic police.

With the J300 being an automatic transmission bike, the challenge was how to negotiate the those sharp bends without applying the brakes. Hard braking allows the J300 to reverse to low gears so it won’t be too light to take on the corners fast. On bikes with manual transmission, riders could just shut the throttle, drops 1 or 2 gears, and did the corners without resorting to braking at all. With the J300, it’s much more challenging to do that.

The scooter felt wobbly when negotiating those sharp bends, with its sticky rear tyre giving the feeling that it could skid anytime while performing the task. Rest assured, the J300 won’t skid despite it swaying a bit as the bike randomly selects the “wrong” gear when I attempted to go faster at the bends. However, the swaying feeling may give the feedback to newbie riders as though the J300 may not accomplish the task without hard braking when entering those bends.

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From Tg Sepat, we rode to Pantai Morib for the compulsory group photo. We parked the J300s in a row, had the photos snapped, and a further 15 minutes break before resuming the ride towards Banting and Jenjarom towns (photos, below), which marked the end of the non-tolled routes for the convoy. After passing by Jenjarom town, the convoy headed towards SKVE Highway for the ride back to Palm Garden Hotel in Putrajaya.

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Me being in front of the convoy (photo, above) and behind the marshals is a common sight in almost every media ride I took part in, even if I had started off from the back of the pack. Within minutes, I would find myself in the middle group, and a few minutes later, upfront. But for this J300 ride, I had started off as the leading rider, based on the J300 unit I was given prior to the flag-off at Palm Garden Hotel in Putrajaya. As I seldom brake approaching the bends, I would be faster existing out of the corners and therefore find myself to be ahead of everyone, and the same method applies for me while riding the J300, with the difference I had to make sure I do not torpedo any  of the marshals in front of me after powering out.

With practise, I soon realised I could ride the J300 fast without braking for the corners, and exiting out of them much faster than everyone else in the convoy. The swaying tendency of the J300 in this manner had no effect on my riding style either. Brakes were only applied when the frontal objects were too close for comfort upon powering out of those bends.

Fuel consumption during the convoy was superb, by the end of the ride, the J300’s fuel gauge had only dropped one level but this could be due to the speeds we were doing, averaging 80-100 km/h most of the time, and only did 140 km/h on SKVE enrouted to Putrajaya as the marshals and traffic police upped the pace.

But the seat is extremely comfortable, to the point of toying of how nice it would be if someone else is doing the riding and the pillion could afford to take a short nap onboard.

That’s it for now on the FIRST RIDE of the Kawasaki J300. We will do an indepth of the scooter’s performance once it is available to the media for an individual review.

 
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Tom Sykes Beats Jonathan Rea for Race 2 @ Buriram

13 Mar

Photo: WorldSBK.com

Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes has taken an incredible victory in a three-way fight for the win at Chang International Circuit in Thailand. The Yorkshireman was locked in a battle with teammate and reigning Champion Jonathan Rea and Aruba.it Racing – Ducati’s Chaz Davies for most of the race, with some of the most electrifying maneuvers of the last few seasons exchanged between the three.

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After an incredible start from both Kawasaki riders from P2 and P3, the first drama came when Honda rider Michael van der Mark and Ducati’s Chaz Davies made contact on the first lap as they tousled for position, before van der Mark led them off to chase the Kawasaki Racing Team pair of Sykes and Rea. Davies then pounced on van der Mark, with the Honda rider struggling in some corners, and the Welsh Ducati rider was able to close the gap to Sykes and Rea, joining the three-way battle that rolled all the way to the line, with some incredibly close racing seeing the three riders leave nothing on the track. It was Sykes who came out on top, crossing the line just ahead of his teammate Rea, with Davies slotting into third after an incredibly tense last lap.

Van der Mark crossed the line in fourth to see himself off the podium for the first time in 2016, with the Dutchman going on an incredible run at the start of the year. After a mechanical problem in Race 1 saw his Honda teammate Nicky Hayden retire, the number 69 Honda crossed the line in Race 2 in 5th to keep both the Fireblades in the top 5.

Sylvain Guintoli brought the new YZF R1 home in seventh for another good result on the Japanese manufacturer’s return to WorldSBK, ahead of the Althea BMW pair of Markus Reiterberger and Jordi Torres. Rookie Lorenzo Savadori brought Aprilia home in the top ten once again in P9, with that top ten completed by Ducati rider Davide Giugliano, who missed the Round through injury in 2015 and had a difficult second race at Chang International Circuit.

After seeing his teammate Rea dominate much of the 2015 season, the first strike in the fight back for Tom Sykes has landed in Thailand in Race 2, with the next chance for the reigning Champion to take back the win coming at MotorLand Aragon, the scene of the Davies’ first Ducati win last season.

 
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Jonathan Rea Wins Race 1 @ Buriram over Tom Sykes

12 Mar

Photos: WorldSBK.com

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Reigning Champion Jonathan Rea has defeated 2013 Champion Tom Sykes in an inter-team showdown at Chang International Circuit in Thailand. The defending Champion recovered from some big on track moments earlier in the race to hunt down his teammate and eventually pass him with a few laps to go. Sykes kept the pace with the Number 1 plated machine and after having led a majority of the laps, had plenty in reserve for the final lap: the Yorkshireman closed in on his teammate with only corners to go and eventually crossed the line right behind him.

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The Kawasaki Racing Team pair got a better start off the line from P2 and P3 and pole sitter Michael Van Der Mark initially dropped back before fighting his way up to back behind Rea. After the Honda rider saved a big wobble, he was left to a lonely ride to P3 to pick up his third podium of the season and maintain his 100% record in 2016. His teammate, 2006 MotoGP Champion Nicky Hayden, suffered a technical problem on lap 11 and was unfortunately forced to retire.

The Ducati duo of Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano dueled with some incredibly close racing, before Giugliano lowsided out of the race when chasing his teammate down once again. Never having ridden in Buriram, Giugliano’s pace was close to that of teammate Davies. The Welshman was less fortunate in Thailand last season and will be encouraged by a P4 result and a good haul of points on a track traditionally not suited to the Panigale R.

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Markus Reiterberger had a great rookie ride in Thailand to P5 and was joined in the top ten by Althea BMW teammate Jordi Torres in P8. The Yamaha pairing of Lowes and Guintoli both recovered from some trickier moments earlier in the race to bring the new YZF R1 home in P6 and P7 respectively, with the Aprilia RSV4 completing the top ten with WorldSBK rookies Alex De Angelis and Lorenzo Savadori finishing P9 and P10.

Race 2 will prove another opportunity for the WorldSBK grid to chase more glory tomorrow, with the start set for 4pm local time (9am GMT) and Michael Van Der Mark once again on pole.

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Honda’s Michael Van Der Mark Takes First Ever Dutch Pole In Buriram

12 Mar

Photos: WorldSBK.com

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Michael Van Der Mark has set the first ever pole position for a Dutch rider in WorldSBK history, two tenths clear of the Kawasaki pairing at the top of the timesheets to record’s Honda’s first pole position since Imola 2014.

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After varying grip levels on Friday at Chang International Circuit, Saturday’s Tissot-Superpole 1 session left a lot to play for. With both Milwaukee riders in a 1-2 at the top, led by Czech rider Karel Abraham, the SMR team looked set to get both riders through to Superpole 2 until a late lap by Matteo Baiocco put the Italian rider into P2. Baiocco, who is standing in for injured Italian Fabio Menghi at VFT Racing, then progressed to Superpole 2 along with Karel Abraham.

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In Superpole 2, it was Honda and Yamaha who initially dueled over the top grid spots, with Michael Van Der Mark leading the session and the Pata Yamaha duo slotting in behind the Dutchman. Ducati’s Chaz Davies then put in a lap that kickstarted the rush of activity towards the end of the session, with the Welshman getting close to his teammate Davide Giugliano on track as he set the lap.

As the red sectors to appear for many riders, the Kawasaki duo of Rea and Sykes set identical lap times to move up the timesheets and lock out P2 (Rea) and P3 (Sykes) in the final classification, ahead of Davies on the Panigale R and Guintoli, who took the new YZF R1 into the top 5 once again.

The lights go out for Race 1 at 4pm local time (9am GMT) for Van Der Mark to take on the next challenge: to fight for his maiden win in WorldSBK.

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Honda Racing unveil 2016 British Superbike livery at Monteblanco

11 Mar

Still currently testing the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade in Spain, the Honda Racing team lifted the covers on its 2016 British Superbike livery today.

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The recognisable black, white and Honda’s signature red colours are now highlighted further with a stunning satin matt paint finish across the Superbikes that Dan Linfoot, Jenny Tinmouth and Jason O’Halloran will compete on this season.

Honda Racing is proud to expand its long-standing relationship with Castrol and its Power1 range, a product synonymous with Honda’s motorsport activities, as well as Close Brothers who supply team support vehicles and leading-tool supplier Snap-On. The team is also proud to continue its association with Performance Parts, Nissin, Repli-Cast UK, Clinton Enterprises, Impact Design, Spraybay, Edgecam, Autoglym and Öhlins.

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The Honda Racing squad will be testing at Monteblanco until Friday, before moving to Almeria on 14-15 March. The first round of the 2016 MCE British Superbike Championship kicks off at Silverstone on 8-10 April.

The team is pleased with how the 2016 Honda Racing livery has turned out this year, the CBR’s looked great last year on the TV and in photography, and this year’s subtle changes have really made the livery stand out. The team is also pleased to continue its strong relationships with all the sponsors that have come on-board for 2016 and is look forward to working with them this season.

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Honda’s Michael Van Der Mark Fastest For WorldSBK Thai FP2

11 Mar

Photo courtesy of WorldSBK.com

With Friday now defining entry to Superpole 2, Michael Van Der Mark put in a fastest time of 1’34.770 to be the first to graduate to the qualifying session to fight for the top grid positions on Saturday.

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After FP1 saw a lack of grip at Chang International Circuit prove a challenge for some, FP2 saw times tumble at the top of the table and a rush of activity towards the end of the session. With Sykes topping the timesheets around a quarter of the way in with a lap down into the 1’35 bracket, the KRT riders set a 1-2 in the session ahead of Chaz Davies’ Ducati in P3.

Honda’s Van Der Mark then took over in the top three ahead of Reiterberger in P4, showing the first flash of pace that would later see the Dutchman set the fastest lap of the day. With 15 minutes to go, the top KRT pair then switched places, with Rea pipping his teammate to the quickest time.

Van Der Mark was then the first rider to lap under the 1’35 bracket and the lap proved good enough to stay at the top of the timesheets until the end of the session, with Yamaha’s Guintoli the only rider to come within two tenths of the Honda rider’s lap, 0.182 seconds off.

Spanish rider Jordi Torres then set a late charge for P3, the Althea BMW rider recovering from his elbow injury in testing to rejoin the fight at the front, just ahead of Yamaha’s Alex Lowes.

The top ten from Friday gain automatic entry to Superpole 2 on Saturday, with the session then deciding the final grid positions for both races.

 
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The Amazing Spider-Man finally made his debut in Trailer #2 of Captain America: Civil War

11 Mar

Photo courtesy of Marvel Cinematic Entertainment

The Amazing Spider-Man finally made his appearance at the end of Trailer #2 of Captain America: Civil War – the mask is based on Marvel Entertainment’s Art Director, John Romita Sr.’s illustration for the wall crawler, as well as the costume itself although it has been updated slightly for the 21st Century. Cool.

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Watch the new trailer below:

 
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KTM 1290 Super Duke GT: missile launched

09 Mar

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Since it was unveiled in its finished form in Milan in November at the EICMA show, motorcycling enthusiasts around the world has been waiting to see if the GT lives up to its promise and specification. During the end of February and beginning of March, members of the world’s motorcycle media were invited to make up their own minds and experience the machine on the demanding and varied roads that make up the Spanish island of Majorca.

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With its unrivalled amounts of performance and levels of sophisticated rider assistance, KTM looks set to rewrite the expectations of the Sports Touring motorcycle class when the new 1290 SUPER DUKE GT arrives in dealers later this month.

More than deserving of the SUPER DUKE moniker, the GT is the fastest V-twin Sports Touring bike in the world. By taking many of the attributes of the Naked Bike class-defining 1290 SUPER DUKE R, riders can go further and faster as the new machine goes to the next level in terms of refinement and comfort. Still a true KTM Sport motorcycle – the GT masters the seemingly impossible split between passionate fun riding, comfortable long distance travelling and breathtaking track day use.

An intense route through a multitude of weather conditions and asphalt grip levels meant that the journalists were able to trial the myriad of electronic settings offered by the GT, such as its WP semi-active suspension and multiple ride modes; even the lean angle-sensitive motorcycle traction control (MTC) and combined ABS were put to the test . Consequently, the positive reaction from the specialist press in reviews available to read and watch now has been as expected.

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The KTM 1290 Super Duke GT arrives at dealers with standard features that include electronic cruise control, a quickshifter for upshifting, a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), heated grips, LED cornering lights combined with LED indicators with automatic cancelling.

Helping to provide appropriate long distance capabilities is the 23-liter fuel tank, the extended rear subframe with integrated pannier mounts for the optional luggage system, comfortable seats and a height adjustable windshield. In addition, the optional Hill Hold Control (HHC) and Motor Slip Regulation (MSR) are available, the latter of which preventing the rear wheel from losing grip, should the rider chop the throttle or dump the clutch when downshifting.

No Sports Tourer can offer more in the way of rider satisfaction, thanks to its performance, comfort and safety systems than the KTM 1290 Super Duke GT. All options and the full program of high quality PowerParts and PowerWear products can be reviewed on dedicated KTM Configurator.

KTM 1290 Super Duke GT5

 
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