Regular readers of MotoMatters.com will be aware of our admiration of and friendship with the leading Italian motorcycle website GPOne.com. The site is a goldmine of information for motorcycle racing fans, and the deep roots which the site's writers have in the paddock allow the site to provide both news and in-depth analysis of MotoGP and World Superbikes better than probably any other site in the world.
Latest World Superbike News
They guys over at OnTheThrottle have been holding a series of live pre-race shows with the World Superbike commentating team Jonathan Green and Steve Martin, in which they talk through the upcoming WSBK races and the issues likely to be a feature of the weekend. Fortunately, these videos are also available after the fact, for people who missed the live show and wanted to catch up.
If there's one experience that every red-blooded race fan craves, it's to actually a World Championship-spec machine. Tragically, fans can only sample these delights vicariously, through the experiences of the lucky few journalists who get to ride these things. Both teams and riders complain about these tests, rightly pointing out that the journos lucky enough to ride these bikes usually lack the skill to fully understand the bikes, and use them to their full potential.
Chris Vermeulen's crash at his home World Superbike round at Phillip Island is having more serious consequences than he at first thought. The PBM Kawasaki rider badly damaged his knee in the incident, and has faced a long road to recovery ever since. Vermeulen's plans to make a return at Portimao were thwarted after just one lap, after the Australian tried to ride, but found he couldn't put any weight on the pegs. He pulled back into the pits after one lap and pulled out.
Although the loss of the live video feed from the World Superbike website is greatly lamented, Infront Motor Sports has some small consolation. On the World Superbike Youtube channel, IMS have put up highlight reels from this weekend's racing, showing the best of the action from both World Superbike races and the World Supersport races at Portimao. What better way to start the week than with a quick recap of the races?
World Superbike Race 1 highlights:
World Superbike Race 2 highlights:
With four weeks between the Phillip Island and Portimao rounds of World Superbikes, Kawasaki's Chris Vermeulen had hoped to have sufficient time to recover from the horrific knee injury he suffered in a crash. Sadly for the Australian, that has not proved to be the case, and after taking a lap of the demanding Portuguese circuit, Vermeulen decided to pull out of the event. Here he is, explaining the decision in a video posted on his Youtube channel yesterday:
Ask most motorcycle racing fans to name a World Supersport team, and the names you are most likely to hear are the Ten Kate Honda team of Ronald and Gerrit ten Kate and Simon Buckmaster's Parkalgar Honda team. But Kenan Sofuoglu and Eugene Laverty have got had their hands full over the past season holding off the Spanish Motocard Kawasaki rider Joan Lascorz, and this year Lascorz looks even stronger than ever.
Despite it being nearly four weeks since the World Superbike paddock last convened at Phillip Island, the weekend - and the runup to that weekend - is having knock on effects on the rider lineup of the series. Before the weekend had even started, Australian rider Broc Parkes broke a tibia during training, and was replaced on the Echo CRS Honda by fellow Australian Josh Brookes. Parkes is still not fully fit to race, and so will be replaced by South African Sheridan Morais at Portimao.
Ruben Xaus' 2010 World Superbike campaign got off to a tumultuous start, with four crashes during practice for the first round at Phillip Island. After a final error during the morning warmup, which saw Xaus slam into Noriyuki Haga and end the session badly shaken up, the BMW Motorrad team elected to sit Xaus out for the opening two races, considering it too much of a risk to allow the Spaniard to race.
World Superbike's return to South Africa in 2009 after an absence of seven years was to be the first attempt to restore the long history which South Africa has with international motorcycle racing. The initial race at Kyalami was judged to be a success - with the exception of Regis Laconi's terrible injury on his first full lap out of the pits - and the paddock and fans were all eagerly anticipating further visits to the spectacular South African circuit.
The enormous success of MotoMatters.com has seen our traffic grow tenfold over the past three years, and we are starting to become the victims of our own success. We have completely outgrown our current hosting situation, and after DNS problems made MotoMatters.com unreachable for a small part of our readers earlier this year, it was clear we had to act.
Whenever fans talk of their dreams of being a world famous motorcycle racer, they have in their minds the image of travelling from circuit to circuit, and focusing on nothing but racing. Of course, life isn't like that, and one of the duties of a factory World Superbike rider is to turn up at motorcycle shows, corporate PR events and a host of other occasions to help market the brand helping to pay their wages. James Toseland understands this, and performs this task admirably, taking advantage of the situation to practice his second passion, playing the piano, at such affairs.
There was much disappointment around the world when it was announced, shortly before the first round at Phillip Island, that the 2010 World Superbike season would not be shown live online on the World Superbike website, as it has been done in previous years. The reason was simple: TV companies - who had paid sizable sums to Infront Motor Sports to screen the races live - were fed up of losing their audiences (and therefore their advertising income) to the website of the company they had handed their money over to.
In the runup to the first World Supersport race of the 2010 season, MotoMatters.com - like every other motorcycle racing news outlet - is swamped with press releases. Unlike most other news outlets, however, we do not bother our readers with them, for they are, for the most part, bland and uninteresting fare, and completely interchangeable.
The MotoMatters.com 2010 Motorcycle Racing Calendar has been a huge hit, and is now adorning the walls of homes and offices around the world, helping hardcore motorcycle racing fans plan their weekends around their favorite sport. With each race weekend clearly marked, keeping up with when the next race is now incredibly easy for the lucky souls who purchased the calendar. But those who have not yet done so are about to get even luckier: We have slashed a sizable chunk off the purchase price, to help sell the last few copies we have in our storerooms.
On top of the price cut, we will also be offering a free Riders for Health sticker (graciously provided by the US chapter of Riders) to the first 15 people to place an order. 10% of the purchase price already goes to Riders for Health, and the bonus sticker is our way of showing our support to this outstanding organization, and can be your way of joining the mass of people who have helped Riders become what it is today.