Archive

January 27th

Kawasaki Decision Due "After Phillip Island"

Rumors continue to surround Kawasaki's MotoGP program, and the latest rumor would seem to tip the balance in favor of the program's demise. The often well-informed British website Visordown is reporting that the 2009 MotoGP bike showed a distinct lack of reliability at the private tests they ran last week at the Australian Eastern Creek circuit.

So worried are Kawasaki's MotoGP bosses by the reliability that they are giving the project one last chance, according to Visordown. The bike will run at the private test to be held by Suzuki and Kawasaki at Phillip Island next week, where reliability issues will be examined. If the bike is not reliable enough, the project will be killed - and with it, any hope of a privateer team running the machines - so say Visordown's sources.

January 26th

2009 Jerez 125 And 250 Test - Day 1 - Bautista And Simon Lead A Thin Field

As if to emphasize the point that motorcycle racing is approaching once again, after the past three days of testing by the World Superbike and World Supersport field at Portugal's spectacular Portimao circuit, a reduced field of 250 and 125 riders took to the track a couple of hundred miles further east at Jerez.

But unlike the overflowing World Superbike paddock, the 250 and 125 tests were significant more for who was absent than for those present. The biggest name missing is of course reigning 250 champion Marco Simoncelli, but there's no doubt that the Italian Gilera man will be on the grid next year. For others, though participation is less certain, as sponsorship deals are still being haggled over in an attempt to finalize budgets.

And so none of the Pons team riders are present, which includes Hector Barbera and Simone Corsi, and neither of the Espargaro brothers will be testing either; Alex Debon is absent, his future still unclear; and Hector Faubel turned up at the track, but will not be riding until tomorrow.

Of the riders that did test today, Alvaro Bautista was the fastest, as might be expected of a serious title contender. The Spaniard finshed ahead of Swiss rider Thomas Luthi, and the Scot Honda rider Ratthapark Wilairot. Reigning 125cc champion Mike Di Meglio managed only the 6th fastest time, after a tumble in the morning which left him relatively unharmed.

As for the 125 riders, it was the Aspar Aprilia pairing of Julian Simon and Bradley Smith who topped the timesheets, ahead of the tiny Marc Marquez on the factory KTM. Britain's Scott Redding was fifth fastest, while American Cameron Beaubier, who stepped from the Red Bull Rookies Cup last year managed the 11th fastest time. The 125s shared the track with leading riders from both the Spanish CEV championship, as well as the Italian CIV championship.

Testing continues tomorrow, and concludes on Wednesday.

250 cc

January 25th

2008 In Review, By Andrew Wheeler

Andrew Wheeler is a name many readers may already know. The British-born photographer is a stalwart of the motorcycle racing world, and is the AMA photographer for the excellent American magazine Road Racer X and the UK magazine Motorcycle Racer. His work has appeared in a range of well-respected motorcycle publications around the world.

At the end of every season, Andrew puts together a slideshow of his highlights of the year, and this year, Andrew has kindly agreed to share that slideshow with us. The photos range from the AMA season opener at Daytona all the way through the 2008 motorcycle racing season to the post-race MotoGP test at Valencia. We hope you enjoy the show.

 

 

Portimao World Superbike Times - Day 3 - Byrne Blitzes Superpole And Overall Times

Shane Byrne was once again the fastest rider in the first running of the new Superpole format for World Superbikes, which takes the form of Formula 1-style "knock out" qualifying: Three sessions of 12 minutes, with a cut down to the 16 fastest to start the second session, and down to 8 to start the final session. Rain disrupted the second session, upsetting proceedings a little and showing that the new procedure can catch people out in qualifying, just as the old procedure did.  

1. Byrne S. GBR Ducati 1098R 1'43.874
2. Neukirchner M. GER Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1'43.965
3. Rea J. GBR Honda CBR1000RR 1'44.144
4. Haga N. JPN Ducati 1098R 1'44.157
5. Haslam L. GBR Honda CBR1000RR 1'44.217
6. Corser T. AUS BMW S1000 RR 1'44.261
7. Kagayama Y. JPN Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1'44.586
8. Laconi R. FRA Ducati 1098R 1'47.057
9. Checa C. ESP Honda CBR1000RR 1'49.387
10. Fabrizio M. ITA Ducati 1098R 1'52.340
11. Nakano S. JPN Aprilia RSV4 1'56.553
12. Biaggi M. ITA Aprilia RSV4 1'56.643
13. Spies B. USA Yamaha YZF R1 1'44.119
14. Smrz J. CZE Ducati 1098R 1'45.182
15. Sykes T. GBR Yamaha YZF R1 1'45.624
16. Kiyonari R. JPN Honda CBR1000RR 1'45.931
17. Parkes B. AUS Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'46.181
18. Salom D. ESP Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'46.260
19. Polita A. ITA Ducati 1098R 1'46.849
20. Roberts B. AUS Ducati 1098R 1'46.897

 

Overall best times from the three day session, all of which were set on Saturday:

Portimao World Supersport Times - Day 3 Session 2 - Sofuoglu Serves Notice

After the morning session was lashed by rain, the afternoon session for the World Supersport riders was at least dry, if also very windy. At the end of day it was 2007 champion Kenan Sofuoglu who put his name at the top of the timesheets, and a strong showing throughout the three-day test showed he means business on his return to the class. Sofuoglu finished ahead of Triumph's Gianluca Nannelli, the Italian putting on a strong showing to finish with the second fastest time of the day, ahead of Joan Lascorz on the Kawasaki, the other rider who has dominated the proceedings in Portugal.

1 54 Sofuoglu K. TUR Honda CBR600RR 1'47.314
2 69 Nannelli G. ITA Triumph Daytona 675 1'47.965
3 26 Lascorz J. ESP Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'47.983
4 51 Pirro M. ITA Yamaha YZF R6 1'48.248
5 35 Crutchlow C. GBR Yamaha YZF R6 1'48.458
6 1 Pitt A. AUS Honda CBR600RR 1'48.467
7 50 Laverty E. IRL Honda CBR600RR 1'48.614
8 55 Roccoli M. ITA Honda CBR600RR 1'48.874
9 99 Foret F. FRA Yamaha YZF R6 1'48.973
10 127 Harms R. DEN Honda CBR600RR 1'49.372
11 14 Lagrive M. FRA Honda CBR600RR 1'49.457
12 24 McCoy G. AUS Triumph Daytona 675 1'49.650
13 8 Aitchison M. AUS Honda CBR600RR 1'49.657
14 21 Fujiwara K. JPN Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'49.998
15 19 Szkopek P. POL Triumph Daytona 675 1'50.122
16 117 Praia M. POR Honda CBR600RR 1'50.232
17 83 Holland R. AUS Honda CBR600RR 1'50.446
18 96 Smrz M. CZE Triumph Daytona 675 1'51.282
19 13 West A. AUS Honda CBR600RR 1'51.341
20 77 Veneman B. NED Suzuki GSX-R600 1'51.347
21 7 Vostárek P. CZE Honda CBR600RR 1'51.554
22 28 Vos A. NED Honda CBR600RR 1'52.123
23 32 Lai F. ITA Honda CBR600RR 1'52.404
24 30 Günther J. GER Honda CBR600RR 1'52.845
25 9 Dell'Omo D. ITA Honda CBR600RR 1'53.537
26 88 Guerra Y. ESP Yamaha YZF R6 1'54.920
27 71 Morillas J. ESP Yamaha YZF R6 1'55.103
28 5 Pradita Doni T. INA Yamaha YZF R6 1'56.258

Fastest lap during the race at the final World Supersport round in November 2008: Kenan Sofuoglu, 1'46.082

Portimao World Superbike Times - Day 3 Session 1 - Rain And Red Flags

The first session for the Superbike riders was stopped after just a few minutes. The red flag was shown after Yukio Kagayama's Suzuki left oil on the track, and the session was canceled after the heavy rain made clearing it up too difficult. At the time, Michel Fabrizio was quickest, ahead of Ben Spies.

Testing concludes this afternoon. If the weather hasn't scared everyone off, as according to Dutch site Racesport.nl, this afternoon's World Supersport session could be canceled.

1 84 Fabrizio M. ITA Ducati 1098R 2'01.679
2 19 Spies B. USA Yamaha YZF R1 2'01.715
3 53 Polita A. ITA Ducati 1098R 2'04.343
4 3 Biaggi M. ITA Aprilia RSV4 2'05.324
5 71 Kagayama Y. JPN Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 2'05.923
6 9 Kiyonari R. JPN Honda CBR1000RR 2'07.300
7 91 Haslam L. GBR Honda CBR1000RR 2'08.082
8 56 Nakano S. JPN Aprilia RSV4 2'13.128
9 7 Checa C. ESP Honda CBR1000RR 2'14.144

Portimao World Supersport Times - Day 3 Session 1 - West Rules In The Wet

The weather reappeared with a vengeance this morning, lashing the Algarve coast and keeping many of the Supersport riders off the track. To nobody's surprise, Ant West set the fastest time in the wet aboard the Stiggy Motorsports Honda, ahead of Katsuaki Fujiwara on the Kawasaki and Matej Smrz a surprising third on the Triumph. Practice is scheduled to continue this afternoon, but with the weather poor, more riders may choose to skip testing.

1 13 West A. AUS Honda CBR600RR 2'02.373
2 21 Fujiwara K. JPN Kawasaki ZX-6R 2'02.540
3 96 Smrz M. CZE Triumph Daytona 675 2'03.018
4 1 Pitt A. AUS Honda CBR600RR 2'03.546
5 26 Lascorz J. ESP Kawasaki ZX-6R 2'03.768
6 77 Veneman B. NED Suzuki GSX-R600 2'05.042
7 83 Holland R. AUS Honda CBR600RR 2'05.184
8 19 Szkopek P. POL Triumph Daytona 675 2'05.375
9 50 Laverty E. IRL Honda CBR600RR 2'05.550
10 35 Crutchlow C. GBR Yamaha YZF R6 2'06.760
11 32 Lai F. ITA Honda CBR600RR 2'07.662
12 28 Vos A. NED Honda CBR600RR 2'07.712
13 54 Sofuoglu K. TUR Honda CBR600RR 2'08.085
14 5 Pradita Doni T. INA Yamaha YZF R6 2'10.194
15 7 Vostárek P. CZE Honda CBR600RR 2'12.372
16 99 Foret F. FRA Yamaha YZF R6 2'17.158

January 24th

Portimao World Superbike Times - Day 2 Session 2 - The Shakey Show Continues

On a dry track, Sterilgarda Ducati's Shane Byrne continued to do what he's been doing all weekend: dominate the proceedings. But though the veteran Brit ended the day on top of the timesheets, and half a second faster than Troy Bayliss' race lap record, he didn't have it all his own way. It was Suzuki's Max Neukirchner who topped the timesheets for a large chunk of the session, before Xerox Ducati's Noriyuki Haga deposed the young German.

Shakey Byrne tried to stamp his authority on the proceedings with 40 minutes of the session left, but the impressive American rookie Ben Spies had followed Byrne round to take the fastest time. As the clock ticked down, Byrne put in a blistering lap to snatch back the top time, taking two tenths off the Yamaha Motor Italia rookie's time, and finishing the day with the fastest lap. Spies held on to second spot, ahead of Haga and Spies Yamaha team mate Tom Sykes.

Testing concludes on Sunday.

1 67 Byrne S. GBR Ducati 1098R 1'43.294
2 19 Spies B. USA Yamaha YZF R1 1'43.484
3 41 Haga N. JPN Ducati 1098R 1'43.487
4 66 Sykes T. GBR Yamaha YZF R1 1'43.546
5 7 Checa C. ESP Honda CBR1000RR 1'43.657
6 76 Neukirchner M. GER Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1'43.674
7 96 Smrz J. CZE Ducati 1098R 1'43.767
8 84 Fabrizio M. ITA Ducati 1098R 1'43.951
9 65 Rea J. GBR Honda CBR1000RR 1'44.115
10 91 Haslam L. GBR Honda CBR1000RR 1'44.170
11 71 Kagayama Y. JPN Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1'44.425
12 11 Corser T. AUS BMW S1000 RR 1'44.479
13 55 Laconi R. FRA Ducati 1098R 1'44.546
14 9 Kiyonari R. JPN Honda CBR1000RR 1'44.610
15 23 Parkes B. AUS Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'44.704
16 53 Polita A. ITA Ducati 1098R 1'45.108
17 56 Nakano S. JPN Aprilia RSV4 1'45.179
18 3 Biaggi M. ITA Aprilia RSV4 1'45.260
19 24 Roberts B. AUS Ducati 1098R 1'45.278
20 25 Salom D. ESP Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'45.393
21 100 Tamada M. JPN Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'45.446
22 36 Lavilla G. ESP Honda CBR1000RR 1'45.672
23 33 Hill T. GBR Honda CBR1000RR 1'45.679
24 99 Scassa L. ITA Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'45.820
25 111 Xaus R. ESP BMW S1000 RR 1'46.128
26 44 Rolfo R. ITA Honda CBR1000RR 1'46.916
27 77 Iannuzzo V. ITA Honda CBR1000RR 1'46.971

Fastest lap during the race in November 2008: Troy Bayliss - 1'43.787

Portimao World Supersport Times - Day 2 Session 2 - Lascorz Under Lap Record

With the weather playing along, the afternoon session for the Supersport machinery turned out some impressive times. Kenan Sofuoglu's race lap record from November was bettered by no less than 10 riders, with the Spanish Kawasaki rider Joan Lascorz once again topping the timesheets. Britain's Cal Crutchlow continued his run of second fastest times, by finishing just 5/100ths behind Lascorz, but ahead of the man who won here back in November last year, Ten Kate Honda's Kenan Sofuoglu.

The surprise of the day went to the Parkalgar Hondas: Miguel Praia set a scorching time to finish fourth on the timesheets, while his team mate and Supersport rookie Eugene Laverty was sixth fastest, a vast improvement from his position on Friday.

Testing finishes tomorrow, though the rain which has been forecast may see some teams decide to pack up early.

1 26 Lascorz J. ESP Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'45.214
2 35 Crutchlow C. GBR Yamaha YZF R6 1'45.264
3 54 Sofuoglu K. TUR Honda CBR600RR 1'45.397
4 117 Praia M. POR Honda CBR600RR 1'45.757
5 1 Pitt A. AUS Honda CBR600RR 1'45.817
6 50 Laverty E. IRL Honda CBR600RR 1'45.960
7 77 Veneman B. NED Suzuki GSX-R600 1'45.971
8 51 Pirro M. ITA Yamaha YZF R6 1'46.018
9 69 Nannelli G. ITA Triumph Daytona 675 1'46.024
10 99 Foret F. FRA Yamaha YZF R6 1'46.036
11 24 McCoy G. AUS Triumph Daytona 675 1'46.220
12 14 Lagrive M. FRA Honda CBR600RR 1'46.561
13 105 Vizziello G. ITA Honda CBR600RR 1'46.633
14 55 Roccoli M. ITA Honda CBR600RR 1'46.712
15 8 Aitchison M. AUS Honda CBR600RR 1'46.911
16 127 Harms R. DEN Honda CBR600RR 1'47.041
17 21 Fujiwara K. JPN Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'47.095
18 13 West A. AUS Honda CBR600RR 1'47.270
19 30 Günther J. GER Honda CBR600RR 1'47.508
20 7 Vostárek P. CZE Honda CBR600RR 1'48.131
21 83 Holland R. AUS Honda CBR600RR 1'48.311
22 19 Szkopek P. POL Triumph Daytona 675 1'48.331
23 96 Smrz M. CZE Triumph Daytona 675 1'48.364
24 28 Vos A. NED Honda CBR600RR 1'48.459
25 9 Dell'Omo D. ITA Honda CBR600RR 1'48.849
26 32 Lai F. ITA Honda CBR600RR 1'49.149
27 5 Pradita Doni T. INA Yamaha YZF R6 1'51.338
28 88 Guerra Y. ESP Yamaha YZF R6 1'51.480
29 71 Morillas Cuenca J. ESP Yamaha YZF R6 1'53.407

Fastest lap during the race at the final World Supersport round in November 2008: Kenan Sofuoglu, 1'46.082

Portimao World Supersport Times - Day 2 Session 1 - Hundredths Separate Top Four

The track is starting to dry out at Portimao, and the World Supersport bikes are starting to fly. Reigning World Supersport Champion Andrew Pitt heads the timesheet in the first session, ahead of his Ten Kate Honda team mate and 2007 champion Kenan Sofuoglu. British rookie Cal Crutchlow is third fastest on the Yamaha, ahead of yesterday's fastest man Joan Lascorz on the Kawasaki. But there's nothing in it: less than 1/10th of a second separates the top four men, and Pitt is just 1/100ths of a second slower than the lap record Kenan Sofuoglu set here in November.

1 1 Pitt A. AUS Honda CBR600RR 1'46.094
2 54 Sofuoglu K. TUR Honda CBR600RR 1'46.153
3 35 Crutchlow C. GBR Yamaha YZF R6 1'46.168
4 26 Lascorz J. ESP Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'46.178
5 51 Pirro M. ITA Yamaha YZF R6 1'47.080
6 8 Aitchison M. AUS Honda CBR600RR 1'47.372
7 105 Vizziello G. ITA Honda CBR600RR 1'47.384
8 69 Nannelli G. ITA Triumph Daytona 675 1'47.502
9 99 Foret F. FRA Yamaha YZF R6 1'47.520
10 117 Praia M. POR Honda CBR600RR 1'47.553
11 14 Lagrive M. FRA Honda CBR600RR 1'47.663
12 77 Veneman B. NED Suzuki GSX-R600 1'47.668
13 50 Laverty E. IRL Honda CBR600RR 1'47.811
14 24 McCoy G. AUS Triumph Daytona 675 1'47.968
15 13 West A. AUS Honda CBR600RR 1'47.982
16 127 Harms R. DEN Honda CBR600RR 1'48.650
17 83 Holland R. AUS Honda CBR600RR 1'48.746
18 30 Günther J. GER Honda CBR600RR 1'48.887
19 21 Fujiwara K. JPN Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'49.003
20 19 Szkopek P. POL Triumph Daytona 675 1'49.261
21 55 Roccoli M. ITA Honda CBR600RR 1'49.416
22 28 Vos A. NED Honda CBR600RR 1'49.687
23 32 Lai F. ITA Honda CBR600RR 1'50.388
24 96 Smrz M. CZE Triumph Daytona 675 1'50.518
25 7 Vostárek P. CZE Honda CBR600RR 1'50.650
26 9 Dell'Omo D. ITA Honda CBR600RR 1'50.901
27 88 Guerra Y. ESP Yamaha YZF R6 1'53.355
28 5 Pradita Doni T. INA Yamaha YZF R6 1'53.564
29 71 Morillas Cuenca J. ESP Yamaha YZF R6 1'54.739

Fastest lap during the race at the final World Supersport round in November 2008: Kenan Sofuoglu, 1'46.082

Portimao World Superbike Times - Day 2 Session 1 - BMWs Top The Charts

Another day, another drenched start to the World Superbike tests at Portimao, and another morning of riders sitting in their garages waiting for the weather to clear. Only fourteen riders braved the morning rain, and as the track started to dry out towards the end of the session, it was Troy Corser who set the fastest time ahead of Ruben Xaus, the factory BMWs finally making a strong impression on the timesheets. Talented Czech Jakub Smrz set the third fastest time, ahead of Shinya Nakano on the Aprilia. Testing continues this afternoon.

1 11 Corser T. AUS BMW S1000 RR 1'50.946
2 111 Xaus R. ESP BMW S1000 RR 1'51.269
3 96 Smrz J. CZE Ducati 1098R 1'51.649
4 56 Nakano S. JPN Aprilia RSV4 1'52.321
5 55 Laconi R. FRA Ducati 1098R 1'53.775
6 99 Scassa L. ITA Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'54.066
7 76 Neukirchner M. GER Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1'54.085
8 71 Kagayama Y. JPN Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1'54.882
9 24 Roberts B. AUS Ducati 1098R 1'58.056
10 36 Lavilla G. ESP Honda CBR1000RR 2'00.330
11 77 Iannuzzo V. ITA Honda CBR1000RR 2'01.498
12 53 Polita A. ITA Ducati 1098R 2'05.303
13 100 Tamada M. JPN Kawasaki ZX 10R 2'05.486
14 44 Rolfo R. ITA Honda CBR1000RR 2'08.162

January 23rd

Portimao World Superbike Times - Day 1 Session 2 - Byrne Leads Again

Shane 'Shakey' Byrne topped the timesheets once again during the second session of testing at the Portimao circuit. The British rider was fastest in both the wet and the dry conditions on the first day of official testing in 2009, putting his satellite Sterilgarda  Ducati ahead of the factory machine of Michel Fabrizio. After sitting out the wet morning session, newcomer Ben Spies hit the track to set the third fastest time, some 4/10ths slower than Byrne.

Max Neukirchner was the top Suzuki rider in fourth, while Noriyuki Haga finished three places behind his young team mate in 5th. Leon Haslam was the fastest Honda man, just ahead of his compatriot Johnny Rea. Broc Parkes was fastest of the Kawasaki riders, finishing just ahead of the new bikes in the series, Troy Corser putting the BMW just ahead of Max Biaggi on the Aprilia, in 15th and 16th places respectively.

1 67 Byrne S. GBR Ducati 1098R 1'44.265
2 84 Fabrizio M. ITA Ducati 1098R 1'44.468
3 19 Spies B. USA Yamaha YZF R1 1'44.652
4 76 Neukirchner M. GER Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1'44.931
5 41 Haga N. JPN Ducati 1098R 1'44.976
6 96 Smrz J. CZE Ducati 1098R 1'45.266
7 91 Haslam L. GBR Honda CBR1000RR 1'45.323
8 65 Rea J. GBR Honda CBR1000RR 1'45.329
9 7 Checa C. ESP Honda CBR1000RR 1'45.373
10 71 Kagayama Y. JPN Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1'45.448
11 66 Sykes T. GBR Yamaha YZF R1 1'45.558
12 55 Laconi R. FRA Ducati 1098R 1'45.914
13 53 Polita A. ITA Ducati 1098R 1'46.110
14 23 Parkes B. AUS Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'46.121
15 11 Corser T. AUS BMW S1000 RR 1'46.261
16 3 Biaggi M. ITA Aprilia RSV4 1'46.440
17 9 Kiyonari R. JPN Honda CBR1000RR 1'46.586
18 36 Lavilla G. ESP Honda CBR1000RR 1'46.948
19 100 Tamada M. JPN Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'46.957
20 111 Xaus R. ESP BMW S1000 RR 1'47.340
21 33 Hill T. GBR Honda CBR1000RR 1'47.639
22 24 Roberts B. AUS Ducati 1098R 1'47.699
23 56 Nakano S. JPN Aprilia RSV4 1'48.269
24 25 Salom D. ESP Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'48.274
25 99 Scassa L. ITA Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'49.800
26 77 Iannuzzo V. ITA Honda CBR1000RR 1'50.187
27 44 Rolfo R. ITA Honda CBR1000RR 1'53.550

Fastest lap during the race in November 2008: Troy Bayliss - 1'43.787

Portimao World Supersport Times - Day 1 Session 2 - Better Weather, Faster Times

The weather is improving in Portugal, and times are dropping considerably. In the second session of Supersport testing, it was Joan Lascorz who started off quickest, edging Cal Crutchlow by 1/10th of a second, with former WSS champion Kenan Sofuoglu setting the third fastest time. Dutchman Barry Veneman's fourth quickest times means that four different brands set the four fastest times for this session, a promising start to the 2009 season. Testing continues tomorrow.

1 26 Lascorz J. ESP Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'49.046
2 35 Crutchlow C. GBR Yamaha YZF R6 1'49.166
3 54 Sofuoglu K. TUR Honda CBR600RR 1'49.366
4 77 Veneman B. NED Suzuki GSX-R600 1'49.407
5 1 Pitt A. AUS Honda CBR600RR 1'49.592
6 117 Praia M. POR Honda CBR600RR 1'49.941
7 105 Vizziello G. ITA Honda CBR600RR 1'50.276
8 51 Pirro M. ITA Yamaha YZF R6 1'50.496
9 69 Nannelli G. ITA Triumph 675 1'50.499
10 24 McCoy G. AUS Triumph 675 1'51.067
11 14 Lagrive M. FRA Honda CBR600RR 1'51.142
12 21 Fujiwara K. JPN Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'51.553
13 13 West A. AUS Honda CBR600RR 1'51.572
14 55 Roccoli M. ITA Honda CBR600RR 1'51.759
15 8 Aitchison M. AUS Honda CBR600RR 1'52.024
16 50 Laverty E. IRL Honda CBR600RR 1'53.098
17 19 Szkopek P. POL Triumph 675 1'53.207
18 83 Holland R. AUS Honda CBR600RR 1'54.395
19 30 Günther J. GER Honda CBR600RR 1'55.419
20 99 Foret F. FRA Yamaha YZF R6 1'56.155
21 127 Harms R. DEN Honda CBR600RR 1'56.706
22 28 Vos A. NED Honda CBR600RR 1'56.738
23 32 Lai F. ITA Honda CBR600RR 1'56.831
24 7 Vostárek P. CZE Honda CBR600RR 1'57.141
25 9 Dell'Omo D. ITA Honda CBR600RR 2'00.266
26 5 Pradita Doni T. INA Yamaha YZF R6 2'01.302
27 88 Guerra Y. ESP Yamaha YZF R6 2'06.423

Aspar Confirm They Won't Run Private Kawasaki Team

Since the official announcement that Kawasaki has decided to pull out of MotoGP, a number of people - most notably, Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta - have been working furiously on finding a way of keeping the bikes on the grid. The phone lines between Kawasaki's Akashi base, Dorna's Barcelona headquarters, the Kawasaki MotoGP team's base in Heerlen in the Netherlands, and Jorge Martinez in Spain have been positively humming.

For a long time, Jorge Martinez and the Aspar team looked like the most promising prospect for a continuation of Kawasaki's MotoGP efforts, but as negotiations dragged on, and disagreements started to emerge over the conditions under which Aspar would acquire the bikes, hopes began to fade. On Wednesday, Motorcycle News reported that Ezpeleta believed that Aspar would not take on the project, and today, confirmation comes from Jorge Martinez, boss of the Aspar team, himself.

Martinez confirmed to the Spanish magazine Motociclismo that he will not be running the Kawasakis in MotoGP this year. As expected, the deal fell through over the conditions imposed by Kawasaki: Martinez needed at least one Spanish rider if his sponsors were to be able to justify their investment in the project, a demand that Kawasaki could not agree to. In addition, Kawasaki would only provide the bikes for the 2009 season - a consequence of the deal offered to them by Dorna.

Kawasaki had committed themselves to compete in MotoGP through 2011, in a contract signed by the MSMA with Dorna. Dorna had offered to waive any fines or further litigation against Kawasaki if the Japanese factory was willing to provide bikes for the 2009 season. But Jorge Martinez and the Aspar team are keen to enter MotoGP on a long-term basis, and a one-year deal would be more likely to hinder their long-term plans than help them. Faced with these problems, Martinez decided to pull out of further attempts to negotiate a deal with Kawasaki.

Portimao World Superbike Times - Day 1 Session 1 - Brits Lead In The Rain

Rain continues along the Algarve coast, and as in the Supersport field, a number of riders have elected to stay dry and relatively warm in the Portimao circuit's capacious and comfortable garages. Of the brave souls who have ventured out, reigning British Superbike champion Shane Byrne is fastest, ahead of Ulsterman Johnny Rea, confirming every prejudice about the British weather. Michel Fabrizio is third fastest, on the factory Ducati.

Testing continues this afternoon.

1 67 Byrne S. GBR Ducati 1098R 1'59.151
2 65 Rea J. GBR Honda CBR1000RR 2'00.081
3 84 Fabrizio M. ITA Ducati 1098R 2'00.521
4 76 Neukirchner M. GER Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 2'01.437
5 96 Smrz J. CZE Ducati 1098R 2'01.487
6 24 Roberts B. AUS Ducati 1098R 2'01.499
7 41 Haga N. JPN Ducati 1098R 2'02.142
8 33 Hill T. GBR Honda CBR1000RR 2'02.190
9 71 Kagayama Y. JPN Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 2'02.206
10 7 Checa C. ESP Honda CBR1000RR 2'02.221
11 53 Polita A. ITA Ducati 1098R 2'02.255
12 11 Corser T. AUS BMW S1000 RR 2'02.291
13 66 Sykes T. GBR Yamaha YZF R1 2'03.913
14 99 Scassa L. ITA Kawasaki ZX 10R 2'04.519
15 36 Lavilla G. ESP Honda CBR1000RR 2'04.604
16 23 Parkes B. AUS Kawasaki ZX 10R 2'05.292
17 55 Laconi R. FRA Ducati 1098R 2'05.626
18 25 Salom D. ESP Kawasaki ZX 10R 2'05.880
19 3 Biaggi M. ITA Aprilia RSV4 2'05.904
20 77 Iannuzzo V. ITA Honda CBR1000RR 2'06.198
21 100 Tamada M. JPN Kawasaki ZX 10R 2'06.459
22 111 Xaus R. ESP BMW S1000 RR 2'07.094
23 56 Nakano S. JPN Aprilia RSV4 2'13.713

Fastest lap during the race in November 2008:  Troy Bayliss - 1'43.787

GTranslate