Posts Tagged ‘World Superbike’

Yamaha announces withdrawal from World Superbikes

August 1st, 2011 No comments

From an official Yamaha press release:

Yamaha Motor Europe N.V. (YME) has decided to withdraw its official Yamaha World Superbike Team at the end of the current season from the FIM Superbike World Championship.

This announcement follows a full strategic review of the marketing operations within Europe including all motorsport activities and takes into account the continuing severe and rapidly changing powered two wheeler market conditions throughout the region.

Due to this decision, more resource and focus will now be used for direct customer activities to ultimately add more value to Yamaha ownership and increased customer satisfaction.

YME would like to express their sincere thanks and appreciation for the total commitment, support and passion shown by the extremely professional and dedicated riders and team members both past and present throughout the many years of participation in the FIM Superbike World Championship. YME would also like to thank all the highly valued business partners and suppliers who have in-turn supported the team and in addition would like to thank Infront Motorsports, the FIM Superbike World Championship promoters. YME has chosen this timing of announcement to ensure that all existing obligations are correctly met, and to not limit any opportunities or future planning for all personnel involved.

Riders Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty are currently respectively third and fourth in the overall 2011 FIM Superbike World Championship standings for riders with four rounds to go. YME and the team will continue to give its maximum efforts until the end of the existing season to try to regain the World Superbike title, which Yamaha also won in 2009.

Yamaha will continue the availability of road racing kit parts, known as YEC Racing kit parts, for its R1 and R6 production models for private teams entering at all racing levels.

After Misano success, Althea Ducati heads to Checa’s home track of Aragon

June 14th, 2011 No comments

Spaniard Carlos Checa heads to Spain’s Motorland Aragon with a 72-point lead in the World Superbike Championship having scored the double win at the Misano World Circuit last weekend.

Carlos Checa holds a 72-point lead in the chase for the World Superbike crown

The Althea Racing Team’s home track of Misano proved to be another successful hunting ground, and Checa snatched a full quota of 50 points, which helped boost his championship advantage over second-place rival Max Biaggi and third-place Marco Melandri. Checa has won eight of the 12 races run so far this season and has finished on the podium in two more. All eyes will be on Carlos, in the form of his life, as he races at his home track of Aragon this weekend.

Although this will be the first WSBK race event to be hosted by Motorland, several riders  have already tested  at the track, and during those tests, Checa demonstrated his strength and determination, setting the fastest times on that particular day. The Spanish rider, who comes from Sant Fruitos de Bages, will understandably be looking for a win at Motorland this Sunday. Althea’s Superstock 1000 riders, Davide Giugliano and Lorenzo Baroni, will also be racing at Aragon. Giugliano, having won two of the three races held so far in 2011, leads the standings with a 17-point advantage.

Carlos Checa:
“I really liked the track when we tested there last winter and we now travel there in the best possible circumstances. It is a left-handed track and as you know I prefer those, though I’m also getting to grips with right-handers too. I’m really enthusiastic and happy to race in my home country. It’s the first time that Superbikes come to Aragon and I would love to give the Spanish public two great races. Spanish interest in the SBK championship is on the rise and so I hope that this event can help promote the championship from a media point of view. I think the fans will really enjoy themselves this weekend. I thank everyone that has worked to make the Motorland Aragon event a reality.”

Country: Spain
Circuit: MotorLand Aragon
Length: 5.345 km
Pole Position: Right
Race distance: 20 laps = 106.880 km



Home race for Tom Sykes as Chris Vermeulen returns

March 25th, 2011 No comments

Tom Sykes

Tom Sykes and Joan Lascorz will be joined in the official Kawasaki Racing Team this weekend by Chris Vermeulen, as the regular KRT trio gets set to meet the challenge of Donington Park in England.

Sykes feels that Donington is an ideal circuit to make the next development steps at, as he and his former British Superbike team have an intimate knowledge of the circuit in a variety of weather and track conditions. That may well be an important part of race weekend, as this early in the English springtime weather conditions can be variable but almost certainly on the cool side compared to most other races through the season.

Chris Vermeulen undertook some track tests recently, in Spain on Monday and then yesterday at Cadwell Park in England, to determine whether or not he could ride at Donington. The intention now is that Chris will ride as much as he is able to this weekend, including race day if his knee injury allows. He will then take part in the full weekend of racing at the next round at Assen on April 17, and should be back to his competitive best at the Monza round, on 8 May.

In his debut WSBK season Joan Lascorz has had some highs and lows but his long recovery from injury to his arm continues and he expects to be even more competitive than he was at round one in Australia. He is a big fan of Donington, and like his fellow competitors he will find some changes to the circuit when he takes part in first practice on Friday. Increased runoff, a remodeled Foggy Esses and other detail changes will appear at a circuit that WSBK last visited in 2009.

The Kawasaki Racing Team effort in Europe is based at the premises of Paul Bird Motorsports (PBM) in Cumbria, England, meaning that most team members – including Sykes – arrive at Donington for the first of two home rounds in the 2011 season.

Tom Sykes: “I’m obviously looking forward to Donington, not just because it is my home round but it is a circuit I really enjoy. We still need to keep working on the development of the bike so going to Donington is probably a good thing. Both the team and myself know what we need to make the bike work well round this track, so that will help us in our development stage. I am more confident this year that we can put on a better show for the British fans. I am very lucky in that I have a good fan base and hopefully I can repay them with something good this weekend. Everybody on the grid is in the same boat and at this time of year it will be cold around Donington. The team and I also have good experience there in a variety of conditions so I am looking forward to it. It is a good track for us at this stage of the new Ninja ZX-10R’s race development.”

Chris Vermeulen: “I will ride to use this weekend but almost as a test at first. From my doctor’s point of view I am improving well, but I should just be increasing my riding step-by-step. I rode yesterday at Cadwell Park in England, did about 30 laps in total on the Ninja ZX-10R, and it felt really good. My speed was OK but I was not going to break any lap records. My knee started to swell up afterwards so we rested it up. We have decided to ride this weekend but to look at it as a test; not only for my knee but to get some information on the bike, to ride the new generation Pirellis and just get out there on track and see how it goes. If it goes well we will race, but at this stage races may be quite difficult.”

Joan Lascorz: “I like Donington and I have good memories of racing there last time when I finished second in the WSS race. It is quite a hard track in terms of the muscle power you have to use to move the bike around, particularly down Craner Curves, and there are also places where you have to use the brakes very hard from high speed. I have been working out a lot physically and my arm is improving every day. The bike is still quite new for me because it was only my third time on the new bike in Australia. So I am looking to Donington to improve settings and feelings on the bike. I have been working hard with my personal trainer and I’m more fit and strong than in Australia. I hope to make another step and be nearer the top riders for the second round. For sure Sykes will be a good reference on this track because is his home and he should go well.”

Yamaha World Superbike Team prepare for round one at Phillip Island

February 24th, 2011 No comments

Yamaha's Eugene Laverty

With all winter testing now completed the Yamaha World Superbike Team is all set to challenge for the opening round of the 2011 season at Phillip Island this weekend. The historic circuit has been a feature of the World Superbike Championship since 1990, featuring on the calendar more than any other track.

Word Superbike rookie riders Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty have now had time to adapt their 2011 R1 Yamaha race bikes to their riding styles and have successfully completed several tests at Phillip Island, Portimao, Valencia and Magny Cours. The Portimao test in particular proved challenging for the team as bad weather hampered any attempts to simulate full race distance runs. Their testing has been under the guidance of new team manager Andrea Dosoli, now fully bedded in and working effectively with his new team.

The updated R1 includes many developments implemented over the winter including a revised weight distribution for better handling, as well as increased engine performance, new electronic maps and uprated cooling systems. The bike has also been updated to include changes to the 2011 regulation changes, now having standard fuel injectors and a standard fuel pressure regulator

24yr old Laverty from Northern Ireland made a big impression when he climbed on board the R1 for the first time at the Magny Cours test at the end of the 2010 WSB season. Taking his first ever ride on a World Superbike, the two year World Supersport runner up was incredibly quick to get up to speed, wrapping up the test as the fastest rider against far more experienced competition. His progress over the subsequent tests has been extremely consistent, improving every time and continuing to impress his team and Crew Chief Frankie Carchedi with concise feedback and development.

Marco Melandri, Yamaha World Superbike Team
“I am very excited about starting this season. I’m enjoying being in the World Superbike paddock and I really have the feeling that I now have a competitive machine and the right conditions to challenge for race wins. My shoulder has taken some time to recover from my operation which has meant I have not been able to give 100% at times in testing, but progress continues to be very good to full fitness. This weekend’s two races are still quite soon for it, we will have to see how strong it is over race distance.”

Eugene Laverty, Yamaha World Superbike Team
“I’m happy to be familiar with the circuits we are going to race on having ridden them in World Supersport, however having two races on a Sunday will be a new challenge for me. Having said that I’ve been training very hard and my fitness level is high so I’m confident I’ll be good for the distance! Testing has been really positive and the bike feels incredibly powerful after my Supersport machine, I’m ready to start!”

Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager – Andrea Dosoli
“I’m very pleased with our completed testing schedule and feel we have achieved everything we set out to do to prepare for this weekend. Last year I understand the team had some issues here at Phillip Island but worked hard over the following races to improve, the results could be seen with Crutchlow’s double win at Silverstone. As a result of this we are confident that those issues won’t play a major role here this season and we believe we are ready with a package that is capable of winning races. There is still a question mark over Marco’s full fitness for race distance however he has been resting for the last couple of days so we will see what happens on Sunday.”

The Yamaha World Superbike team has found a new partner in RIZOMA, a company producing and marketing a variety of bike accessories and components. RIZOMA products are well known for their innovative design and developed with functionality and increasing safety in mind. RIZOMA Products are available through a global network of offices in Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland, Austria and in Scandinavian countries.

Fabrizio seventh at Phillip Island WSBK test

February 22nd, 2011 No comments

Team Suzuki Alstare rider Michel Fabrizio ended the two-day tests at Phillip Island in Australia, in the lead-up to this weekend’s opening round of the 2011 World Superbike Championship, with the seventh quickest overall time and felt he could’ve gone quicker. Throughout the two days, which took place in a variety of weather conditions, Fabrizio suffered from front-end chatter and was unable to push as hard as he would have liked.

Spaniard Carlos Checa (Ducati) topped the overall standings, with a lap of 1:30.578, more than a second quicker than the official lap record of 1:31.826 set by local hero Troy Corser in 2007. Second quickest was Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati) with Jonathan Rea (Honda) third.

Michel Fabrizio – 7th, 1:32.113:
“Although the two days were generally good, I am a little disappointed that I didn’t go any faster. I had a lot of front end chatter and that was mainly due to the fact that the front tire was too hard. I know if I had been able to use a softer front today I would’ve gone at least four-tenths-of a-second quicker. It was a bit frustrating because the rest was more or less ok. I had a little crash this afternoon and that was because the front end was too hard and I couldn’t feel exactly what it was doing and I couldn’t get enough feedback. Fortunately I only hurt two fingers of my right hand and even the bike wasn’t really damaged – just a broken footpeg and a few scrapes on the fairing.

“Every time I get on my GSX-R1000 and put in laps, I get used to the bike more and more. The team is working very hard and I am trying to get the utmost from the bike and be as competitive as possible. Now that we have seen how all the other bikes are performing, it gives a clearer picture of what we have to do. For sure the race this coming weekend is going to very hard but, if I can qualify well, there is no reason why I cannot get a good result and that’s what I’ll be chasing.

Overall test results: 1 Carlos Checa (ESP-Ducati) 116 laps, 1:30.578, 2 Sylvain Guintoli (FRA-Ducati) 110 laps, 1:31.196, 3 Jonathan Rea (GBR-Honda) 93 laps, 1:31.206, 4 Jakub Smrz (CZE-Ducati) 136 laps, 1:31.654, 5 Joan Lascorz (ESP-Kawasaki) 128 laps, 1:31.866, 6 Max Biaggi (ITA-Aprilia) 93 laps, 1:31.870, 7 Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Suzuki Alstare) 136 laps, 1:32.113.

Yamaha World Superbike Team unveil 2011 livery

February 16th, 2011 No comments

Yamaha World Superbike Team riders Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty

The 2011 Yamaha World Superbike Team has unveiled the livery they will run for the upcoming World Superbike season. The new design features a Yamaha blue corporate racing color scheme. The livery takes its inspiration from both the famous Yamaha speed block design and also one of the colors of the current production model YZF-R1, giving the bike a modern sleek appearance while emphasizing Yamaha’s racing image.

The team features an all-new rider lineup for the 2011 championship with 28-year-old Italian rider Marco Melandri, a previous 250cc World Champion, stepping across from MotoGP to partner 24 year old Eugene Laverty from Northern Ireland who steps up from the World Supersport Championship. The new livery will feature prominently on the leathers of both riders.

The team continues its winter testing schedule on the February 21-22 at the Phillip Island Circuit in advance of the opening round of the championship in Australia on February 27.

Fabrizio and Suzuki make little progress in the rain

December 2nd, 2010 No comments

Team Suzuki Alstare World Superbike rider and former Xerox Ducati man Michel Fabrizio tested this week in Portimao, Portugal. The heavy rains that accompanied the test sessions provided less-than-perfect riding conditions, but the team was able to make some improvements and Fabrizio gained some valuable experience on the GSX-R1000

Michel Fabrizio:
“I am very happy with the bike and with the team. Although the conditions were bad, I could find out more about the bike and get used to the team. Of course we were disappointed that we could not try more things. It is important; however, that we learned lots, and so I have, overall, a positive story. I am looking forward to the next test, but will now look forward to spending a bit of time with my family.”

Successful Australia test for Yamaha World Superbike Team

December 2nd, 2010 No comments

Yamaha World Superbike Team riders Eugene Laverty and Marco Melandri completed their three day test at Phillip Island Circuit in Australia today. The two new signings for the 2011 season spent the three days testing out various parts including new Ohlins (TRVP25) front forks on both the 2010 and 2011 racebike. A large part of the test for both riders, particularly Melandri, included ongoing physical modifications to the YZF-R1 racebike to fit their riding style, adjusting foot pegs, handlebars and other geometry settings.

The team enjoyed good weather, sunshine and a dry track for the first two days of the test with rain only appearing in the last minutes of day two. The third and final day saw more sunshine with rain only at lunchtime and towards the end of the day’s sessions. The 2011 bike tested by the riders featured a revised weight balance, the new Ohlins forks, new engine performance parts and a different seat and fuel tank design. The bike also features standard fuel injectors and fuel pump in line with the 2011 racing regulations.

Eugene Laverty was clearly enjoying his third outing on the R1, having been impressively quick in the first two tests, he was again fast from the off, leaving Australia as the fastest rider of the test with a blistering 1’31.5 lap on soft race tires at the end of day three, over half a second faster than closest rider Max Biaggi. He also spent some time on race simulation, putting in consistently fast race pace laps.

Following his one day test in Valencia last month this was Marco Melandri’s first proper opportunity to work through some set up developments on his new R1 racebike. The Italian rider improved steadily over the test days, making steps each day as the team continued to modify the physical set up of the bike to suit him. Day three saw him record a 1’32.4 lap on race tires. Melandri also took the opportunity in the rain to experience his bike on Pirelli wet tires. The team now have valuable data to take away to work over the winter to make further changes to suit the new riders in advance of the first test of 2011 next year.

Eugene Laverty, Yamaha World Superbike Team
232 laps, Best Lap 1’31.5
“I’m pretty pleased with the test; it’s a nice way to go into the winter break. In the three days we got a lot of laps done, the second day especially was big breakthrough. So far we’ve had two one day tests so the second day here was where we really made the bike mine. The race times on the 2011 machine weren’t so far away from 2010 bike so we’re developing in the right direction. The new Ohlins front fork is definitely an improvement. I’m still learning this bike so we are fine tuning it as we go.”

Marco Melandri, Yamaha World Superbike Team
216 laps, Best Lap 1’32.4
“It was a good test in the end; the three days were very intensive. It was quite challenging at first working on the 2011 machine but during the second day we started to find a way and then third day we found a big improvement and found a good pace for the race. The rain meant we couldn’t find a good lap time with a soft tire but for me that wasn’t what was important here. The difference between a MotoGP bike and a superbike on this track are huge, the bike moves a lot more so the faster corners are very different but step by step it’s getting better and better. The feeling is very good, I’m very happy. The track is a difficult track so we have done well and I think we can be very strong for the first race here next year.”

Andrea Dosoli – Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager
“These were three very important days for us, after the shakedown of the new bike in Valencia here we had the chance to work on it in more detail. We have confirmed that the new bike is pretty good with high potential. We are pleased that it can keep consistent lap times during race simulation. For this we are quite happy as on this track in the past we have struggled. Eugene was very fast from the beginning in all three days and had a good feeling working on both bikes. Marco has been working hard, mainly on the 2011 bike. He has been working on rider position; there are still some areas we have to improve for him to be more comfortable on the bike. He was very consistent with race pace although he didn’t have time to try a flying lap. After the first two days he struggled a bit with setup then today he found a good one that worked for him and was comfortable so the lap times improved. Overall the test was very positive and we are confident we have a good base for the Philip Island race.”

Eugene Laverty        01’31.5
Max Biaggi        01’32.1
Leon Camier        01’32.4
Marco Melandri        01’32.4

Melandri and Laverty complete successful Valencia Superbike Test

November 11th, 2010 No comments

Eugene Laverty

Yamaha World Superbike 2011 teammates Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty took to the track together for the first time today, taking part in a one day test at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia. Despite strong winds both riders enjoyed a sunny dry track, enabling them to put both the 2010 and new 2011 race bike through its paces. The test was the first track outing for new Team Manager Andrea Dosoli, joining the team for 2011 in place of Massimo Meregalli who moves within the Yamaha family to work with the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team.

The session was Melandri’s first opportunity to ride the Yamaha YZF-R1 and also his first day working with his new team. Riding on the Pirelli tires for the first time, the Italian adapted quickly, spending the majority of the day on the 2010 bike to get acquainted with the R1 and give the team time to make basic set up changes to fit his physical shape on the bike. He impressed the team, settling in quickly to set an impressive fastest lap time on a qualifier tire, only two tenths of a second off times from the previous day’s MotoGP test.

Melandri’s new teammate Eugene Laverty got straight down to business today. Having already experienced the powerful 2010 R1 at the Mangy Cours Official World Superbike Test three weeks ago he took the opportunity to spend some time not just on the 2010 bike but also on the new 2011 YZF-R1 race bike, providing valuable data for the team in preparation of the upcoming test at Phillip Island in Australia at the beginning of December.

The new YZF-R1 follows a design philosophy of reduced weight and optimal weight balance for greater traction. The bike tested today also featured the new for 2011 Ohlins front forks, tested by both riders. The bike adheres to the 2011 FIM regulations for the championship, featuring standard fuel injectors, fuel pump and fuel regulators.

Marco Melandri, Yamaha World Superbike Team (1’33.9, 79laps)
“It was a very good first day. In the beginning it was a completely different feeling to a MotoGP bike, much bigger! Lap by lap the feeling got better and better and I really enjoyed it. I was riding smoothly and I was especially happy with the Pirelli tires, I got a really good feeling for the bike with them. I love the engine, it was impressive so I am very excited to go to Australia and carry on.”
Eugene Laverty

Eugene Laverty, Yamaha World Superbike Team (1’34.9, 76laps)
“I’m feeling really comfortable with the bike. At Magny Cours I didn’t want to judge too much by one track, Valencia is very different so to feel good here as well is very positive. I rode the 2011 bike and we managed to gather a lot of really useful data to help prepare for the next test at Phillip Island. I’m feeling really positive; I think we’re heading in the right direction to have a very competitive bike for the new season.”

Andrea Dosoli, Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager
“Today was good, it feels nice to be involved in such a professional environment, the team is working really well. I believe there is a good base here to achieve great results and have a good feeling with both the riders. I was a little worried about Marco’s first experience on a heavier bike with different tires but I’m really happy that he had a good feeling and adapted quickly to the new tires and bike, the lap time for him was not so bad either. Eugene has a lot of potential and is very motivated; he was working on different settings between the 2010 and 2011 bikes and was providing very clear feedback for the team to work with. We will go away now and use this information to prepare for the test in Australia in three weeks time.”

2011 WSB Rider Eugene Laverty Visits The Yamaha World Superbike Team Workshop

November 4th, 2010 No comments

2011 Yamaha World Superbike Team rider Eugene Laverty visited the team’s workshops at Germo di Lesmo in Italy this week. Having completed his first test on the bike following the final round of the 2010 championship at Magny Cours, Laverty had the opportunity to see firsthand the mechanics in the workshops making the adjustments of the bike from the data gained at his first test and get a first impression of the 2011 YZF-R1 racebike he will ride to challenge for the title next year. There was also a chance to meet some of the team members not usually present at the race weekends and get a deeper insight into the team’s base.

The team’s workshops are just a stone’s throw from the Monza Circuit and sit next to the Yamaha Factory MotoGP Team’s workshop. Frankie Carchedi, Laverty’s crew chief for the 2011 season was also present, both enjoying the chance to discuss changes to the bike’s settings in advance of their one day test in Valencia next week and following test at the Phillip Island Circuit in Australia at the end of the month. Laverty joins the team for the next year having completed two successful years in World Supersport, taking second in the championship after taking the fight to the last race in both seasons.

Eugene Laverty
“It was nice to spend the day at the workshop and meet the guys who don’t always come to the race track,” said Eugene Laverty. “We also studied some data with Frankie from the first test in Magny Cours and looked at where we can improve. It gave me some good information for me to understand what I need to do differently and work on at the next test. It has all been really positive and a great opportunity to do it away from the race track with no pressure. The workshops were really impressive and I got to see everything, you can it’s very well organised. I’m really looking to getting on the 2011 racebike for the first time next week at Valencia and then Phillip Island at the end of the month to get cracking again.”