CycleOnline.com.au's weekly favourite is back again with whispers from around the world.
- The announcement by Ducati Australia today that the Italian manufacturer is developing a special LAMs-approved Monster was a surprising one when it made its way into our email inbox. Priced pretty well and based off the Monster 696, the 659cc Ducati should arrive on Aussie soil in early June. Or, there’s an ABS version slated for July/August.
- While on the subject of Ducati, British website Visor Down is reporting that its next generation sportsbike has been previewed to selected importers from around the world. With the benefit of Vale Rossi’s input, it’s expected that the bike will have an all-new higher-revving engine and even more sophisticated electronics. We can’t wait to see what they come up with!
- Want more news from Europe? The word is that Kawasaki won’t be releasing a new ZX-6R in 2012 as previously expected. Unchanged since 2009, the ZX-6R has proven quite a good package, although it’s very much taken a back seat to the ZX-10R over the past 12 months.
- Results of the first quarter in American motorcycle sales have seen a positive seven percent rise in 2011. An important region in the world of motorcycling, and great improvements in the U.S. will be a boost worldwide.
- The great rematch in the war of words between Aussie Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi never eventuated at Estoril’s press conference on Thursday, instead with both parties focusing on the weekend ahead. Let the games begin!
- One of the great problems Stoner experienced at Jerez in the crash with Rossi was that he couldn’t get the Repsol Honda RC212V refired after shutting it down to conserve the engine. MCN is reporting that a new clutch has been fitted by HRC and it should be much easier to get started from this point onwards. Hopefully he doesn’t need to test it out mid-race…
- Rossi has confirmed that despite previous rumours, his Desmosedici GP12 won’t have too many changes this weekend – until Monday that is! With the official post-race test scheduled, expect a heavily revised GP12 to debut with a rather large ‘Rossi flavour’.
- We are hearing that Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa will test Honda’s all-new 1000cc 2012 model MotoGP bike at Jerez directly following the Le Mans Grand Prix in France. We’ll let you know when we hear more!
- Marc VDS Racing team manager Marc Bartholemy – former Kawasaki MotoGP team manager – has denied claims that factory BMW Motorrad WSBK rider Leon Haslam will test its 2012 MotoGP-spec bike at Estoril on Monday. The Marc VDS Racing team is expected to step up from Moto2 to MotoGP next season utilizing a Suter chassis and BMW production-based engine, however Bartholemy says there’s no factory involvement from BMW. Aussie Damian Cudlin has also been involved in testing the bike, but we have no confirmation whether or not he’ll be there on Monday.
- The infield section of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course will be repaved ahead of the Red Bull Indy MotoGP race on 26-28 August. Criticized by MotoGP riders last year, it’s the first time the Indy road course has been repaved since its construction in 2000.
- Friday practice is in the books in Western Australia ahead of this weekend’s Australian Superbike round, and it was once again Glenn Allerton setting the early base aboard his BMW S 1000 RR. While BMW has enjoyed the benefits of a great ASBK campaign to date by Allerton and the Procon Maxima BMW Racing team, a big win in front of the V8 Supercars paddock on live free-to-air television would be a massive feather in the cap for the German manufacturer.
- Speaking of the TV, make sure you tune in to watch the Australian Superbike races this weekend at Barbagallo both on Saturday and Sunday on Channel Seven’s V8 Xtra program. It will at 2:00pm tomorrow for race one and then Sunday’s second leg will be on at 1:00pm (all times AEST).
- We’re hearing whispers that recently retired triple ASBK champion Shawn Giles will be joining Aaron Noonan in the commentary box this weekend for the live coverage. With Noonan’s usual sidekick Kevin Magee contracted to FOX, sources suggest Suzuki veteran Giles has been given the green light.
- By the way, title leader Glenn Allerton will use the #111 this weekend in memory of young Western Australian racer Levi Di Candilo, who was tragically killed in 2007 at Barbagallo. Allerton also used the number last year at Phillip Island when Di Candilo’s parents made the trip over to watch the event.
- This weekend sees the biggest grid of the season in the Aussie Supers, largely thanks to the healthy state of WA’s local road racing series. There are 16 Superbikes circulating along with an additional nine Prostock bikes.
- Interestingly, this weekend’s Prostock round isn’t an official championship round so regular front man Cru Halliday has opted to stay home due to funds – or a lack of them. It’s a shame though, since Team Suzuki has entered Supersport regular Brodie Waters for the remaining two-plus-four rounds.
- Also in action this weekend is the second round of Formula Xtreme at Wakefield Park, where Yamaha Racing Team will again be the favourites for victory on the weekend. Following a controversial season opener and with various riders’ bikes delayed in the delivery from Viking Group after the Darwin ASBK round, hopefully all runs smoothly in Goulburn come race day. We’ll try to keep you posted with what little news we receive!
- Word is spreading that Mike Jones is currently in Malaysia (or somewhere in the region!) testing ahead of a few scheduled appearances in the Asian Road Race Championships. It’s the same series that Glenn Allerton raced in selected rounds of during 2010 and should be a positive experience for the talented rising star.
- Bryan Staring is currently at Monza in Italy contesting this weekend’s second round of Italian Superstock. It’s a good step for his experience in Europe and judging by his Twitter page, it’s certainly an experience he’s enjoying upon arrival at the historic Italian circuit.
- Josh Waters left Australia this week ahead of his second World Superbike wild card appearance, testing with the Rockstar Makita Suzuki team alongside the American Superbike regulars ahead of next month’s WSBK race at the end of the month. It’s a great chance for Waters to impress on U.S. soil alongside the AMA regulars, and I wouldn’t rule out at 11th hour entry into the Infineon Raceway round of AMA Superbike if he does well at next week’s test…
- By the way, in case you’ve missed the announcement prior, CycleOnline.com.au will be at the Miller round of WSBK and we’ll be bringing a variety of unique Aussie-focused stories for the round.
Anyhow, that’s it for this week. Thanks for stopping by!