As we reported yesterday Chris Vermeulen cut short his debut test on the 2011 Kawasaki due to pain and swelling in his knee and has also decided to skip the official Portimao test that takes place later this month to continue his rehabilitation, and try to get back in shape for the Phillip Island test on February 21 and 22, before the WSBK season opener on February 27th.
“Chris rode on day one of the Sepang tests and was very impressed with the performance of the new bike,” said team manager Paul Risbridger. “He has made great progress with his knee recently, and his recovery is well on schedule. After day one we all decided that he did not need to run on track any more at this stage and it was better for him to go home and carry on with his rehabilitation. We also came to a consensus that there was no point in him coming all the way back to Europe for the Portimao tests, as it would just interrupt his overall recovery. Riding the bike is not assisting his recuperation at this stage, so Chris will carry on with his very effective programme of physiotherapy and exercise so that he is ready when it matters most, at the start of the new season.”
The World Superbike championship is becoming more Europecentric, with only two fly away races scheduled on the 2011 calendar, Phillip Island and Miller Motorsports Parks, so the rumors that WSBK organizer Infront, is looking for new racing venues is pretty interesting news.
Infront’s CEO Maurizio Flammini, who is also trying to organize a F1 race in Rome, is looking to Russia to host one of the superbike rounds and open up that vast motorcyle market.
At the present the only track that potentially show ups on the racing radar would be the new Sochi circuit that should be completed by 2014, but it doesn’t hurt to get negotiations going and try to pick up a plum racing date to avoid bad weather.
Source | crash.net
It looks like Yoshimura Suzuki has had a small change of heart or their economic situation is getting slightly rosier, because the team will be making another wildcard appearance in the 2011 WSBK season opener at Phillip Island.
The Yoshi team was to compete in three wild card races in 2010, while planning to race on full time basis in the 2011 championship, but after their debut at Monza had to pull out of the Imola and Magny-Cours rounds and put all their international racing plans on hold due to the hard hitting economic crisis.
This time the bike will not have Daisaku Sakai or Yukio Kagayama as riders, but by Josh Waters, the 2009 Australian Superbike champion.
Source | motosprint.it
Last Thursday, Termignoni inaugurated their new new factory building and to make the day more special, held Termignoni Day. The event included a stunt show with Craig Jones and his Kawasaki’s, the DABOOT Motorcross Freestyle Team, Italian trial champion Fabio Lenzi and a hopped up motorcycle exhibition that included MotoGP bikes like the Ducati Desmosedici, Marco Simoncelli’s Honda RC212V, a range of Ducati Superbikes, Toni Elias’s Moriwaki and series of special edition Yamaha M1’s, including Jorge Lorenzo’s 2010 winning bike.
Also present was the Althea Racing Team who took the opportunity to unveil their new 2011 livery of the 1198F bike. The bike’s livery has a lot more red and less white and blue from this year’s version, which supposedly shows that Ducati, despite pulling out their factory team, is still supporting WSBK championship through the privateer teams.
Althea Racing will be fielding Carlos Checa as their sole rider next season.
Source | wsbk.com
Getting into motorcycle racing isn’t easy for hopeful and ambitious youngsters, it’s expensive and can take a big bite out of a family’s budget, (when Loris Capirossi started, his parents mortgaged the family house) unless you a have a big named mentor to put in good word for you and you’ve already picked up some sponsorship backing by helmet or gear companies.
The Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup has been in action for five years and helps kids from all over the world ease into the world of Grand Prix motorcycle racing (while Spain is way ahead of anyone in the world, on forming upcoming riders) and now Infront , who runs the World Superbike Championship, realizing how important it is to find new talent internationally, is doing the same thing.
They’ll be launching the European Junior Cup for 14 to 17-year-olds (who have held a competition license for at least one year in either road racing, motocross, enduro, supermoto, trials or minimoto) and the complete package will cost 18.950 euro and includes:
If we were to place a rider in a top ten 2010 horrid season list, it would have to be Andrew Pitt. The two times world supersport champion and veteran world superbike and MotoGP rider started this season with Reitwagen Motosport BMW world superbike team that folded after just three rounds due to funding problems leaving him high and dry.
Pitt later found a ride with Rob McElnea’s BSB Motorpoint Yamaha team replacing the retiring Neil Hodgson and Ian Lowry, but two months later fractured his collarbone during Race 2 at Brands Hatch and then was dropped from the team, with no place to go after recovering from surgery.
The latest rumors however, have the Australian returning to World Superbike championship with Kawasaki privateer Pedercini Team. Apparently Kawasaki wants to make a big splash in 2011, because after announcing a three rider factory effort with Chris Vermeulen, Joan Lascorz and Tom Sykes, it seems they’ll also be supplying the 2011 ZX-10R to Pedercini.
Source | motor.nl
Marco Melandri is now officially an ex-MotoGP rider and couldn’t get away fast enough from the paddock that left him, can we say bitter?
The Italian is debuting at the Valencia race track (where his former team was yesterday with Simoncelli and Aoyama) testing the Yamaha YZF- R1 superbike for the first time in this one day test organized by the team.
Melandri has used Cal Crutchlow’s 2010 bike and the new 2011 updated version and has reported so far: “I immediately found a good feeling with the bike, which is very powerful but also easy to handle, it gives me the impression of being an easy bike to ‘interpret’, even though it’s still too early to give a definitive opinion. I’m here just to get an early contact with it.”
Melandri has brought one of his long standing mechanic’s with him and met up with fomer Hayate manager Andrea Dosoli, who has been nominated as Yamaha’s new team manager, and will help #33 through the teething pains.
Melandri and Laverty will get further testing time at Phillip Island at the end of the month.
Source | wsbk.com
Supersonic Racing Team has confirmed a two year deal with 21-year old French rider Maxime Berger for the 2011 and 2012 World Superbike championship.
Berger whose racing background includes the 2007 European Stock 600 championship title and three years in the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup with Honda Ten Kate Junior Racing team.
“Today is an important day for me and my career. I’m really happy to join the Supersonic Team and start my adventure in World Superbike. Since the beginning of my career, Superbike was for me the premier class and the main goal. I will give the best I can and I’m flattered by the attention from Danilo Soncini, he has always shown interest, and believes in me. This is a great stimulus for me,” said Berger. “The contract binds me to the Supersonic Team for two years and it is a very important aspect for me that will allow me to work without too much pressure to be able to adapt to the team and to this demanding category. I want to keep my number 21 also for SBK. A number certainly challenging and I intend to ask permission to Troy Bayliss before using it. It will be a further incentive to do well”.
Just last week at the EICMA show in Milan, Ruben Xaus who was attending the event, revealed that he was still searching for team to hook up with for the 2011 season, but MCN.com is now reporting a rumor regarding the aggressive, but amazingly crash prone Spaniard (HFL has decided that Xaus’s tendency towards weird crashes deserved a special dictionary meaning).
According to the British website, Xaus has reportedly signed with Ten Kate Honda’s WSBK team this week and will partner Jonathan Rea next season. The news of the deal should be released before the Portimao test at the end of the month.
For all you Tom Sykes fans out there, who were worried about his fate after a pretty good year with the PBM team and all the development and testing he’s done on the new Ninja, we can officially confirm that Skyes will be staying with the factory team.
Kawasaki will be running a three man squad in World Superbikes in 2011, which is pretty hot news in itself considering that several WSBK teams will be fielding only one rider next season, and besides confirming Sykes and Chris Vermeulen (who has a two year contract) they’ve also confirmed, as we believed they would, Joan Lascorz, who will be moving up from Supersport to their Superbike team.
“It’s great to be staying with Kawasaki as a manufacturer and ride for the Paul Bird team again for 2011. We have done some good work together this year and exceeded some of our expectations, so it is nice to stay with PBM Kawasaki team in what will be an important year for us all. The new bike is already showing massive potential in testing and we have a lot of sessions planned through the winter. Roll on 2011!” said Sykes.