CycleOnline.com.au reflects on the week in our sport, also looking toward this weekend's action.
Hello and welcome to the 14th edition of Cycle Insider, and no, we aren’t running late! As part of our transitional period in moving road-based content from MotoOnline.com.au to right here on CycleOnline.com.au, we’ve opted to make Friday the day for the ever-popular Insider feature on this site.
Fridays are usually the first day of race events around the globe in road racing circles, meaning the final working day of the week for most is also the best suited for Cycle Insider.
This is really just a continuation of an overhaul that we are in the process of making here on CycleOnline.com.au, and by the time mid-May comes around we should be firing on all four cylinders (or two for Ducati fans!) with a few exciting announcements to be made. So, here we go once again! Read on…
- Speaking of helmets, Wayne Maxwell is now wearing a KBC lid instead of the AGV that he had previously been wearing. No doubt this is due to Monza Imports not distributing the Italian brand anymore.
- Team Suzuki finally received its factory-spec Arlen Ness leathers in time for this weekend after the team’s three riders – Josh Waters, Troy Herfoss and Brodie Waters – were forced to wear those plain grey suits in the opening rounds. They look the goods too, a fresh new change for the boys in blue. Unfortunately, Brodie and Troy have already scratched theirs during free practice in minor falls.
- Speaking of Josh Waters, he was an in-studio guest on SPEED News Australia on Wednesday night, the all-new motorsports news program hosted by WSBK host Jessica Yates. It’s refreshing to see mainstream coverage coming to Aussie bike racers, and Josh handled the pressure of prime time coverage exceptionally well.
- Supersport title leader Christan Casella’s debut on the all-new Triumph Daytona 675R didn’t go completely to plan yesterday when he suffered a highside during Thursday practice. The good news is that he’s okay and will be good to go come Sunday.
- Suzuki Australia is launching its new 2011 model GSX-R600 and GSX-R750 on Monday directly following the event, and they’ve flown the majority of Australia’s regular moto-journo line-up in town for the ASBK race weekend. Hopefully the move will spark a rejuvenated interest in the sport from a magazine standpoint in Australia and motorcycle road racing in general can grow from there in this country.
- By the way, with Brodie Waters and Suzuki don’t have the new GSX-R600 race bike on hand this weekend as originally expected, the team still awaiting delivery of parts from Yoshimura.
- Former ASBK media man Tom Reynolds has given his opinion on the Australian Superbike series and Australian road racing on his own blog site earlier this week. Some points are noteworthy, while others will never happen, but good on him for putting his thoughts out there and sharing his experiences. Check it out here: http://thomasr.org/blog/2011/04/fixing-motorcycle-racing-in-australia/
- Just a quick reminder, our ASBK Fantasy League is open for business ahead of this weekend’s third round, so make sure you enter our forum and get in on the act! It will close at midnight tomorrow.
- With WSBK continuing this weekend at Assen for round three, I’ll admit I’m possibly most excited to see Aussie Superbike Champion Bryan Staring in action for the Pedercini Kawasaki team in Superstock. He may take some adapting to the treaded Pirelli tyres and whatnot in the early stages, but fingers crossed he’s consistent to start the season so he’s right there when it counts at the tail-end of the season come October.
- While Staring has enjoyed much of the media’s attention from an Aussie standpoint, don’t forget that Beau Beaton will be joining him on the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup grid aboard a BMW. Then in Superstock 600 we’ll have both Jed Metcher – who won the final round last year at Magny-Cours – and young Victorian Adrian Nestorovic to keep a watch for. These classes are both actually quite big in Europe, so it’s great to see some Aussie rising stars climbing through the ranks.
- What will come of reigning WSBK champion Max Biaggi this weekend? Following a horror Donington round where he was involved in a number of controversial incidents, he needs to do all he can this weekend to regain confidence and all-important points. With the pressure of Italy on him, he has his work cut out for him that is for sure.
- Queenslander Chris Vermeulen will attempt to make his racing return this weekend at Assen for Kawasaki, a circuit he has enjoyed much success at in the past. While he’s still under an injury cloud, track time on a Supersport bike in Spain recently will prove vital in his rehab process.
- Dutchman Barry Veneman will replace the injured James Toseland at Assen this weekend for the BMW Motorrad Italia team in WSBK, and he could surprise on his home track come Sunday. Keep an eye out for him because he’s super experienced and track knowledge at Assen always counts.
- The announcement that the MotoGP series is going to head to the all-new circuit in Austin, Texas, next year was massive news this week in grand prix circles. Texans have a huge history in MotoGP with Kevin Schwantz, Colin Edwards and now Ben Spies, the Lone Star State iconic in American terms. There’s been no news on what GP (if any) the Austin round will replace. The U.S. already has two rounds, with one at Laguna Seca on the west coast and another at Indianapolis on the east coast. That being said, Texas is very much central America so maybe the country can sustain all three.
Anyhow, that’s all for this week, thanks again for stopping by and remember to spread the word about CycleOnline – the more support we have then the greater resources we’ll have to boost the genuine content we can provide! Each and every visitor counts.