CycleOnline.com.au has a new-look Cycle Insider column for week 12 of the 2011 season.
Hello and welcome to a brand new edition of Cycle Insider, this week marking a vast change in the way that we piece this column together in a bid to improve upon the previous method. With MotoGP and various Superbike series up and running around the world for 2011, we have news aplenty, and the best way to provide that to you is in point form… so, hear goes!
- MotoGP’s back again this weekend in Spain, with Aussie Casey Stoner leading the fray as pre-race favourite. Take my word that Stoner will have his hands full with Jorge Lorenzo come Sunday as he takes advantage of the pin-point handling of the Yamaha.
- Dani Pedrosa has revealed that a stretch in his plexus is what caused his left hand to go numb during the season-opening Grand Prix of Qatar. Pedrosa had several tests, including a 3D CAT scan with contrast and MRI. The results showed that there is no vascular or nerve compression in the canal of the collarbone, but he will require a lengthy recovery period. Despite his injury, never rule him out of contention at Jerez.
- Is Valentino Rossi making out that his shoulder injury is worse than it really is? That’s what some European sources are claiming, but we’ll soon see one we reach the mid-season. If anything, it’s certainly taken the heat off Ducati… for now!
- If you caught RPM last night on ONE HD, you would have noticed ex-500GP runner-up Darryl Beattie slam Suzuki for signing John Hopkins to race at Jerez in place of Alvaro Bautista. Beattie asked why Suzuki would put “a fool” on its bike after he left on bad terms last time, but in reality the last time Hopkins raced for Suzuki he finished on the podium. In case you missed it, you can watch RPM online here.
- Mick Doohan’s going to the Isle of Man TT. No, he’s not racing but the five-time world champion will take part in a series of parade laps while attending the great race.
- Has Max Biaggi lost the plot? That’s certainly what it seemed like last weekend at Donington Park at round two of WSBK. Max Biaggi endured a disastrous mental breakdown of sorts, a host of off-track excursions impacted by a pair of controversial penalties. Biaggi crashed twice during Saturday’s qualifying session before receiving a 3000 Euro ($4100) fine after slapping fellow Italian Marco Melandri twice in the face during Superpole 2. Come race time, Biaggi made mistake after mistake in race one while Melandri won, and then the Roman was disqualified in race two for ignoring a ride through penalty after jumping the start.
- Dual world champion Troy Corser needs to find form fast if he’s to remain a favoured son of BMW in WSBK. I have great respect for Troy and his achievements, however Leon Haslam (who is the current world number two) has been shading him in the early parts of 2011. I have no doubt that TC can still contend for wins when the bike is right, but the early form of Haslam does concern me from an Aussie perspective right now. Nevertheless, his development skills and sheer popularity obviously don’t go unnoticed at BMW.
- Onboard cameras were finally debuted during the Donington Park round of WSBK, another step ahead in the right direction for the series. I’m really proud of the coverage that SPEED puts forward for each WSBK round, and I believe that having SPEED and Network Ten/ONE HD (MotoGP’s Aussie broadcaster) competing against eachother has proven a real positive in the quality that we as viewers are receiving.
- Team Suzuki’s 2009 champion Josh Waters will be featured live in the studio on SPEED News next Wednesday night, the new show hosted by Jessica Yates at 7.00pm. Tonight marks the show’s debut, and J-Dub will be one of their first special guests in episode two in a week’s time.
- This season has marked a great one to date for Glenn Allerton aboard the Procon Maxima BMW Racing S 1000 RR as he leads the Australian Superbike Championship, and he’s recently started his own suspension tuning business in New South Wales. If you want one of our best national racers to tune your ride, be sure to contact us and we’ll put you in touch.
- With Darwin’s third round of the ASBK series just around the corner, teams are finalizing their transportation up north for what promises to be one of the better rounds of season 2011. The word is that none of the major teams will be testing in the Top End this year, however many have used Winton as a test bed for Darwin in recent weeks.
- The Supersport class will see two new additions in Darwin, and I’m not talking about riders. Suzuki will have its brand new 2011 model GSX-R600 on hand for Brodie Waters, while AARK Racing has taken delivery of Triumph’s new Daytona 675R model – featuring Ohlins forks and Brembo Monobloc brakes, plus a quick-shifter. The Supersport field could be in trouble if title leader Christan Casella can get the bike set-up quickly, as his bike was already particularly strong in certain areas.
- Speaking of quick-shifters, it’s about time Motorcycling Australia legalized these once and for all. While some bikes come standard with them now – mostly European brands – it’s really not an expensive aftermarket part for the other teams to fit and they already do so in FX. It may not make a huge difference to outright results, but it will offer piece of mind.
- Speaking of Formula Xtreme, we noticed that the DGS Ducati team has officially been disqualified from the Eastern Creek round that was run earlier this month. It was originally announced that the team had simply withdrawn its entry after a number of rule misinterpretations were found on Dan Stauffer’s 1198, but since then ARTRP has decided to disqualify them from the round. We never received the official announcement, I just spotted it on the web.
- Just a quick reminder here folks, the 2nd annual Judd Greedy Memorial Day will be held at the Telarah Bowling Club on Saturday from 4.00pm-11.30pm. It’s a great cause to remember one of the popular personalities in Aussie road racing, so do anything can to support the event.
- Finally, did anybody see that article in this week’s AMCN that Jeremy Burgess is fielding a team in The 6 Hour at Phillip Island at the end of the year? Details are scarce at the moment, however having one of our great men of motorcycling involved in the event will be interesting to watch. I wonder if he’ll have a sweet fleet of Ducatis for the race? Watch this space.
That’s all we have for this week, thanks for stopping by and be sure to add your two cents or any news you may personally have throughout the website whenever you feel the need!