Let’s admit it every time we see # 46 we automatically associate it to Valentino Rossi or # 21 to Troy Bayliss, so a rider’s racing number is not only a trademark or a merchandising gimmick, but it also becomes an emotional attachment that has accompanied a rider during his career and in some cases it’s just plain superstition.
Laverty’s #50, which has followed him in the last nine years of his career, is currently being used by Sylvain Guintoli, so the Irishman will be using #58, while Supersonic’s Maxime Berger will have to use #121, as number 21 was retired after Troy Bayliss retired from racing.
Talking about the change Laverty said, “I don’t have an emotional attachment to it, but I do feel it has been very significant in my career so far, and for that reason I am a bit sad to be parting with it. I don’t have a choice, but I did have a choice in choosing my new number, 58. I like it because it’s probably the nearest you can get to 50. I’m sure I’ll go back to it when I get the opportunity. This year Sylvain has it but I’d definitely like to get it back as soon as I can.”
Source | wsbk.com
Eugene Laverty who will be racing for World Superbike team Yamaha Sterilgarda in 2011, got the grand tour of Yamaha’s headquarters at Germo di Lesmo in Italy (minus 66 workers and the assembly line is now in Spain) and got a close hand look at the new 2011 YZF-R that he’ll be riding next season.
Laverty and crew chief Frankie Carchedi studied the data from the Magny Cours test and discussed changes to the bike’s settings ahead of their one day test in Valencia next week (including Marco Melandri and new team manager Andrea Dosoli,officially confirmed yesterday) and the test at Phillip Island at the end of the month.
The new rider also met the mechanics who work on the Yamaha Superbikes to give him a close hand look on how the team works behind the scenes.
“It was nice to spend the day at the workshop and meet the guys who don’t always come to the race track,” said Eugene Laverty. “We also studied some data with Frankie from the first test in Magny Cours and looked at where we can improve. It gave me some good information for me to understand what I need to do differently and work on at the next test. It has all been really positive and a great opportunity to do it away from the race track with no pressure. The workshops were really impressive and I got to see everything, you can it’s very well organised. I’m really looking to getting on the 2011 racebike for the first time next week at Valencia and then Phillip Island at the end of the month to get cracking again!”
With Yamaha Sterilgarda’s Mario Meregalli to head to MotoGP and run Ben Spies’ side of the garage and Davide Tardozzi denying that he’ll be running the Yamaha Superbike team, the spot was still open, but according to Mathew Birt of MCN via Twitter confirmed today, that Andrea Dosoli has been appointed as team manger.
Dosoli ran this year’s Moto2 team Forward Racing (Suter) with Jules Cluzel and Claudio Corti and in 2009 was Marco Melandri’s team manager and crewchief in Hayate, so Melandri will see a welcome face when he tests the Yamaha R1 for the first time at Valencia November 11th.
Eugene Laverty, this year’s World Supersport runner-up got his first chance on Sterilgarda Yamaha R1 during the Magny-Cours post race tests and impressed the hell out of paddock regulars by hitting the top of the timesheets during the two day test. despite difficult weather conditions on the first day.
Laverty will debut in Superbike racing in 2011 alongside another newbie, Marco Melandri who will be testing the YZF-R1 at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia, November 11th.
Here’s Laverty and his crewchief Frankie Carchedi, talking about the test.
Fausto Gresini, Team San Carlo Honda Gresini Racing team manager and owner is usually a very patient man and has been almost a father figure to Marco Melandri.
Gresini hired Melandri when the Italian rider was released by Poncharal’s Yamaha Tech3 team at the end of a very tough 2004 season and it looked like that no one was interested in him. It was to Gresini, who Melandri turned to for advice and comfort in his disastrous year with Ducati and it was once again the ‘fatherly’ Gresini who hired Melandri when the Kawasaki-Hayate team folded at the end of the 2009. So it is pretty surprising, for us at least, that Gresini in the usual blah, blah pre-event press release should end up criticizing his rider.
“Melandri is having yet another tough season and I am sorry for him. Our team has tried everything and we have the support of Honda to give him what we think he needs but he is not happy and I am disappointed with that because we think we have done a good job for him. It is always our objective to do well with both riders and to achieve that I think a certain level of positivity and confidence is required. I don’t want to cause controversy but maybe that is what Melandri is missing right now. In the four races that remain we will continue to help him achieve the best possible result in the hope that he can achieve it and then the only thing left will be to wish him luck in his next adventure, which I hope will be a success.”
With the debate is still on if Yamaha will allow Valentino Rossi to test the Ducati Desmosedici after the final race at Valencia, team Gresini Honda has already made their choice and have denied Marco Melandri’s request to test Yamaha Sterilgarda’s R1 before the end of the MotoGP season when he’ll officially be joining the World Superbike series in 2011.
The Italian rider who will be teamed up with Eugene Laverty, however will get a chance to test the YZF-R1 in a private one day test session organized at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia on November 11th, before the second official WSBK tests (the first will be on Monday after the Magny-Cours round) that takes place at Phillip Island, Australia in November.
Source | Motosprint magazine issue no. 39
World Superbike factory team Yamaha Sterilgarda has finalized their 2011 line-up after signing up World Supersport rider Eugene Laverty.
The 24 year old Irishman who was last year’s WSS runner-up, will be joining Marco Melandri in the completely renewed team. Yamaha Sterilgarda lost Cal Crutchlow to MotoGP’s Yamaha Tech3 team and dropped a disappointing James Toseland, who rumors have going to his former Ten Kate Honda team or in BMW to replace Ruben Xaus.
Laverty is just 12 points from standings leader Kenan Sofuoglu in the WSS championship, with two rounds to go.
It’s great to have a contract signed at this stage while still fighting for the title in the Supersport class. I desperately want to win this year before moving on,” said Eugene Laverty. “When I rode the Yamaha YZF-R6 in World Supersport in 2008 I was having a tough time in 250s, it’s nice that Yamaha brought me to the fore and are now giving me the opportunity within superbike. Ben Spies winning the championship in 2009 and Cal Crutchlow now stepping up and winning races shows the bike and team are more than capable so the rest is up to me. I think with the team support and a good testing schedule we can start the 2011 championship ready to be competitive from the first race and be on the podium as early as possible. Having a teammate like Marco Melandri is great, he has a wealth of experience to learn from so I’m going to enjoy riding with him.”
As we reported yesterday, Marco Melandri has joined the World Superbike championship and will be riding for the Yamaha Sterilgarda team next season.
The announcement came after Team Honda Gresini’s press release announcing that Melandri and the team were parting ways and right after Yamaha Monster Tech3 team confirmed that Cal Crutchlow will be riding for their MotoGP team for the next two years and that Melandri will be replacing Crutchlow in the Superbike squad.
Melandri is a former 250cc GP World Champion and has finished as highly as 2nd in the MotoGP Championship with five MotoGP race victories to date in his career and a further 10 250ccGP victories, but in the last two years has had a torrid relationship with MotoGP and is currently ninth in the standings.
“I’m very happy with this new challenge, it’s a big change and I want to fight for world superbike wins,” said Marco Melandri. “It’s nice to be back with Yamaha; I know many people there; I was very young when I rode with them before, now I’m much more mature. As the reigning 2009 champions The Yamaha Sterilgarda Team have proved to have a very competitive package and are one of the top teams in World Superbike. I realise Superbike is not easy and I know I have to work hard. I’m looking forward to feeling the adrenalin again and fighting for the championship.” also adding “But I felt that I needed a new challenge and the genuine opportunity to be back fighting for wins and podiums led me to make this choice.”
The soon to be announced Marco Melandri in Yamaha Sterilgarda has surprised most of racing fans because it was generally expected that the Italian would be riding for BMW’s World Superbike squad in 2011, but the real reason may be that Davide Tardozzi could be leaving his role as team manager in BMW to take over Mario Meregalli’s place in Yamaha Sterilgarda.
Meregalli is widely tipped to be going to MotoGP to run Ben Spies side of the factory Yamaha team garage, and rejoining his former rider who took the 2009 World Superbike Championship with the Yamaha Sterilgarda squad.
BMW has heavily invested in it’s WSBK team and Davide Tardozzi was signed up by the German team last year to bring the important changes needed to improve the team who had no past racing history and the manager starting with a re-organization in the garage hiring new engineers and mechanics (mostly Italian), but in the last weeks there has been have been complaints by BMW’s head honchos questioning the lack of results by Troy Corser and Ruben Xaus.
Apparently Tardozzi wasn’t happy about his work ethics being put into discussion and instead of re-negotiating his contract with the German manufacturer it seems that he has signed up with Yamaha to run the Italian team.
Take this all with a grain a salt, because there will certainly denials, but in the land of Machiavelli, this could explain Melandri’s sudden change of heart.
Source | newnotizie.it
James Toseland lost his third his third place in Superpole qualifying session at Nurburgring after leaving the pitlane for Superpole 3 before the session had been officially started. The Yamaha Sterilgarda rider left the pitlane ten seconds before the green light and has been penalized five grid positions and will take off in both races from the second row in eighth.
“I’ve really enjoyed riding around the Nurburgring, it’s pretty new to me as I’ve not been here for eleven years. Unfortunately I exited the pit lane apparently on a red light, I didn’t do that intentionally but I’ve been penalised so my third position grid start has been taken away and I’ve been put back to eighth on the second row of the grid” said Toseland. “The first two rows are really important here because the first corner is very tight. I’m obviously disappointed about that but the officials have taken that stance, I can’t really argue with it I just have to comply, that’s the rules. I’m still looking forward to two good races tomorrow.”