CycleOnline has a massive edition of the Insider column for the latest in motorcycle racing this week.
- It’s the topic that everybody has been talking about, the moment where Valentino Rossi crashed and took Casey Stoner down with him in one of the most controversial moments in years. My take? It was a racing incident – one that was possibly a boost for the sport – and it’s time for us to move on to the next round. What we do know is that Jorge Lorenzo rode a flawless race to victory for Yamaha.
- Rossi could be testing Ducati’s 2012 model 1000cc bike at Jerez this week. We’re hearing that the new engine will be tested in a current chassis, however it’s likely that only Franco Battaini and Vittoriano Guareschi will complete laps aboard it over the weekend.
- The Jerez test is actually set for the test team to work on the latest evolution of engine that Rossi and teammate Nicky Hayden will debut after Estoril in the post-race test. An all-new chassis is in the works for that test, but we understand it’s not quite ready yet.
- What did you think of John Hopkins’ return to the premier class with Suzuki? I thought it was pretty good, a consistent performance that got the Rizla brand out there for all the right reasons – even nabbing a superb the 10 result in the race. Hopper seems like a reformed man following his admitted alcohol troubles of a year or two ago, so lets hope he does well in BSB this season.
- Who’s going to ride the Suzuki at Estoril? Well, there really isn’t anybody in the world without a contract that is capable of putting in a really strong result considering the lack of experience they’ll have before the race. While it’d be nice to see a young kid get the chance, my money’s on a Japanese test rider like Nobu Aoki to get the gig while Bautista recovers.
- We had a story in the news today that Chris Vermeulen is currently testing a Supersport bike in Spain in a bid to regain fitness before his race return at Assen this month. Kawasaki certainly is sticking behind our ex-WSBK bumber two and it’s refreshing to see.
- Bryan Staring will contest the first round of the Italian Superstock Championship this weekend before making his FIM Cup debut at Assen a week later. Something tells me the current ASBK champion is really going to make his mark this year, while we cannot forget the other Aussies including BMW-mounted Beau Beaton who are also set to do battle.
- We saw Symmons Plains’ second round of the ASBK series aired on SPEED over the weekend, the two-hour program highlighting the sport in a very positive manner thanks to Aaron Noonan, Kevin Magee and co. They could have made more of a deal about the Nick Waters/Kevin Curtain clash though!
- Speaking of the Waters brothers, Team Suzuki’s 2009 champion Josh Waters was on FOX Sports’ Long Lunch television show today live in studio before recording a piece with Jessica Yates for the SPEED News Australia program to be aired next week. We can’t wait to see that one in what is already a very cool show.
- There was a bit of talk on Twitter earlier this week from reigning Australian Supersport Champion Troy Herfoss regarding a lack of testing as he tackles his maiden Superbike season. There is a lot to be expected from these guys, and when there’s next to no time given in the saddle of the race bike you can imagine how hard it is to make up for a lack of experience.
- I noticed in Motorcycling Australia’s February board of directors minutes (that can be downloaded on their website) that MA has rejected a proposal from IEG’s Yarrive Konsky for additional ASBK funding. Upon calling Konsky yesterday, he said that the funding was intended for next year and the year after, stating that the budget is fine for 2011.
- It was also interesting to see a note in the minutes stating that ‘Y. Konsky is meeting with John Tetley to try and prevent Formula Xtreme going to Queensland Raceway’. When questioned yesterday, Konsky said that certainly wasn’t the case.
- One more interesting point in there was that it’s in talk to bring in two-day ASBK events, plus a single bike rule similar to BSB. I don’t mind the sound of a two-day event and I have experienced it before in the AMA, however I don’t agree with the one bike rule for a variety of reasons. A main reason is that factory teams will have the equipment to build extra bikes if required, plus the personnel to do so. Unfortunately, the ASBK is not BSB.
- Looking for an update on Eastern Creek and the ASBK? Apparently, according to the minutes, David White is (or already has by now?) writing to the minister for sport and recreation in NSW and the issues concerning the circuit were ‘discussed at length’.
- The build up to next weekend’s Hidden Valley round of the ASBK has already commenced, with the local papers showing a huge interest in the series on its second visit to the Top End. It is one of the best rounds on the calendar, so if you have the opportunity to make it up there then make sure you do!
- With just a few weeks remaining before the Brands Hatch BSB season opener, the series is set to launch in the UK on Wednesday (this evening, Australian EST). Josh Brookes will be there to show off his new Relentless Suzuki, so we’ll endevour to bring the action as it takes place.
That’s all for this week, thanks for tuning in!