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Category: Superbikes

  1. Suzuki set to bring Barry Sheene Classic to life with huge display and demo rides

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    Suzuki is bringing a number of Barry Sheene’s race bikes to this year’s Barry Sheene Classic at Oliver’s Mount – which takes place on 25-26 July – in what is set to be the largest collection of Sheene bikes ever assembled.

    Returning as title sponsor of the event, Suzuki will bring along the 1976 and 1977 world championship-winning XR14s, the 1984 XR45 – the last GP bike Sheene raced in anger – and a 652cc XR23A which was raced in the Trans Atlantic series. All four bikes were recently restored to their former glory thanks to Suzuki’s Vintage Parts Programme and former Grand Prix technicians Nigel Everett and Martyn Ogborne.

    Suzuki will also display a 1978 XR22 and a rare RT67: the 125cc machine Sheene raced to second place in the 125 World Championship in 1971, after buying it from Stuart Graham the year before, while Team Classic Suzuki will show off a number of other bikes raced by the twice world champion, many of which will be ridden on parade laps.

    The Team Classic Suzuki RG500 raced at the Classic TT will also be featured, as well as the F1 Classic TT-winner and Katana endurance racer.

    Away from race bikes, Suzuki’s classic fleet will be on display to promote the firm’s Vintage Parts Programme, which includes a 1985 GSX-R750F, 1990 GSX-R1100L, a 2001 TL1000S built from brand new parts in 2014, a 1992 RGV250, a 2000 GSF600 Bandit, and a DR Big from 1990.

    At the modern end of the spectrum the Japanese marque will have its demo fleet on hand for visitors to take for test rides, including the GSX-R1000R superbike – which features a comprehensive suite of electronics including a 10-mode traction control system, a quickshifter and auto-blipper, and launch control – and the new V-Strom 1050XT, the DR Big-inspired adventure machine designed to cross continents that features cruise control, hill hold, and lean-angle sensitive ABS plus a 7% power hike over the previous generation.

    Suzuki GB aftersales marketing coordinator, Tim Davies, commented, “The annual Sheene festival at Oliver’s Mount is always a good event, but this year it feels like it’s going to be a real celebration of arguably this nation’s greatest ever racer. I don’t think there’s ever been a greater assembly of bikes raced by Barry in one place, and it’s going to be great to not only see so many on display, but so many paraded around a circuit that he enjoyed racing at. I, personally, am really looking forward to it.”

    Mick Grant, Oliver’s Mount racing director and multiple TT winner, said, “To see the greatest gathering of Sheene bikes ever assembled will be spectacular. I’ve got so many great memories racing with Barry around the ‘Mount’, it will feel like stepping back in time again. I’m looking forward to getting back in my leathers and riding some of Barry’s bikes.”

    The 2020 Barry Sheene Classic takes place at Oliver’s Mount on 25-26 July. For more event information click here.


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    After the positive début at the Malaysia tests, anticipation was high for the RS-GP at this test on a new circuit, and the fledgling Italian V4 did not disappoint, confirming for riders and team the good performance demonstrated during the first outing. The three days of testing in Qatar were the final act before the world championship season opener scheduled for March eighth, on this same track.

    For Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, the testing schedule was extremely intense. Aleix Espargaró and Bradley Smith, besides increasing their own confidence on the bike, worked a lot both to consolidate the technical base and to begin developing the RS-GP in race configuration, completely virgin terrain for a project that is less than four weeks old.

    On the last day of tests, Aleix did a long run that left him very satisfied, having lapped with a nice pace in the mid and low 1'55s. His best time of the three days was 1'54.432.

    Bradley tested a lot of different setups and electronics solutions, but since everything is new on the RS-GP 20, there are really no comparisons to be done, so it is just a matter of feeling out its reactions on the track. The Brit finished up with a best time of 1'55.916.

    "These were three intense days. We did not turn a lot of laps, but we did a lot of work, also taking into account the inevitable hiccoughs that come with the youth of the RS-GP. Overall, we confirmed the potential that had already been seen in Malaysia on this track as well. Especially today in the race simulation: I was able to maintain a good pace. In fact, the feeling improved lap after lap. Now we’ll need to do a good job analysing the data over the next ten days and make the right choices, putting together a package that will allow us to be competitive already in the first race weekend. Aprilia wants it, I want it and I am confident that we will succeed."

    "We did a good job. We concentrated first on testing functionality and then on a few development ideas, not only short-term, but also to give the engineers a direction for the evolutions in the coming months. On a completely new bike, every lap is as precious as gold. The first race on the calendar is just around the corner, and we need to speed up the growth process to have a good base to start from. In terms of the ride, I am pleased with the progress made concerning the pace, whereas I am still lacking a bit of confidence when it comes to doing a flying lap. That is not the most important thing right now, though."

  3. Dainese gets you on track with Vale and the MotoGP Riders: Riding Master is back in Misano

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    Vicenza, February 20. Dainese opens the 2020 season with a new chapter in the Experience project: get out on the track with Vale and the professional riders from MotoGP with Riding Master, back in Misano Adriatico on April 22. A day for riding aficionados, be they beginner, amateur or aspiring riders.

    Dainese Riding Master offers a unique opportunity to ride with Vale, in the exclusive MotoGP -Valentino Rossi class, on the international circuit dedicated to Marco Simoncelli. A privileged opportunity to learn and see first hand the secrets and techniques that have won Valentino nine world championship titles. The talent and experience of The Doctor will be at the lucky participants’ disposal for an entire day, so they can improve their style and lap times by tenths of a second. As in 2019, the four tickets available for the MotoGP – Valentino Rossi class will be auctioned and the proceeds will go to the Marco Simoncelli foundation.

    The MotoGP – Valentino Rossi class will not be the only occasion to meet a MotoGP professional rider. The MotoGP – Morbidelli, Champions – Marini and Champions – Bezzecchi classes will also be held in Misano. The instructors will be Franco Morbidelli, standard bearer for the Petronas Yamaha SRT team in MotoGP, and Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi, from the Sky Racing Team VR46 from the Moto2 course.

    Riding Master in Misano Adriatico is a unique opportunity for all riders. Dainese offers Racing Classes 1 and 2 for those who want to take on the track or improve their performance. Dainese has created the Safety 1 and 2 classes for recent and totally new beginners. These courses, which will take place inside the Paddock, will allow all enthusiasts to acquire the basic notions of riding and to improve their confidence on a motorbike in a safe environment.

    Within the teaching sessions, workshops will be held on the new Yamaha YZF-R1M and the new M9RR and Slick TD tires by Metzeler, technical sponsors of the event.

    On April 22 Dainese Riding Master returns to Misano Adriatico. The event will allow all fans to have fun safely, with federal instructors led by Luca Pedersoli, putting themselves to the test with courses for all levels, from beginners to expert riders.

  4. Gresini Racing: six stars chasing for glory in 2020

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    Imola, 15 February 2020. The World Championship project of Gresini Racing is an ever-growing process and this year is no exception: along with the confirmation of reigning MotoE World Cup champion Matteo Ferrari and Moto3 ace Gabriel Rodrigo, four more or less new faces are joining the #GresiniFamily.

    Alongside the aforementioned Matteo and Gabri, there will be Alessandro Zaccone for Team Trentino Gresini MotoE and Jeremy Alcoba for the Kömmerling Gresini Moto3 outfit: two raw diamonds that Fausto Gresini selected between the CIV and CEV championships – and strongly wanted on board. If the 21-year-old Italian will make his world championship debut this year, for the Catalan #52 this is true only partly: Alcoba earned his full-time spot last year after doing well as substitute rider for Rodrigo in Austria and doing even better in England.

    The most ambitious project becomes the middleweight class one, where everything has changed: first of all, the team will be back to a two-rider line-up with Edgar Pons and Nicolò Bulega forming a duo of young age but great potential. If the Spaniard already has two world championship seasons under his belt – and makes his return as reigning CEV Moto2 champion – Bulega has already shown last year to be ready for this category. The team will have Federal Oil as main sponsor – for one of the longest-running partnerships in the world championship.

    “The Gresini Family keeps growing and this year we will have six riders across three classes by adding one rider in Moto2 – which is something crucial to be competitive. We’re reigning champions in MotoE and we know it won’t be easy to repeat the same achievement, but there’s no better way to try it than by confirming Matteoto begin with. Alongside him there will be Zaccone, a young rider who followed on Matteo’s footsteps first in the CEV and now here: this is an innovative category in which I believe young riders are key. Regarding Moto3, we come from a year of great disappointment, but we know we have a very competitive team. We strongly wanted Rodrigo as our first-choice rider, and I must admit I saw him in great form in this preseason. Sharing the pit-box with him will be Alcoba, who will need to adapt to the Honda after racing with a different bike – but he’s already on the task. I’m fully convinced we can do very well in this category and race at the front. Finally, Moto2 is the category in which we invested the most and finally we’ll have an Italian rider to defend our colours. With Bulega and Pons I believe we have a strong and competitive line-up. I would like to end by thanking all of our sponsor – who believe in us. We would like to repay them with a high-level season.”

  5. Zaccone completes Team Trentino Gresini line-up for 2020

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    Team Trentino Gresini MotoE have now finalised their plans for 2020 with the arrival of Alessandro Zaccone, who will race alongside MotoE’s reigning and defending champion Matteo Ferrari.

    The 20-year-old Italian has a history in the Italian Championship of Speed (CIV) in which he became champion of the CBR600RR Cup in 2014 and a present in the CEV, where he was third this year in the Moto2 class (which was dominated by Edgard Pons). He is now joining Gresini in what is a new adventure for him in the all-electric class of MotoGP.

    Zaccone’s first shakedown will be on March 10-12 at Jerez de la Frontera – the same track hosting the season debut on the first weekend of May.

    “This is surely going to be an interesting challenge and a completely new one for me. I’m very happy with this opportunity and also to be joining such an institution like Team Gresini – which has been a dream since I was a young buy. I will give my 200% to repay Fausto’s trust in me and I expect a great season.”

    “Alessandro is a young Italian prospect and that’s exactly the type of rider we were looking for. I always said that the MotoE project must be one for the young riders so I’m happy to be giving this opportunity to a rider that we considered mature enough to step up on the world stage – after doing so well in the CEV Moto2 class this year. We would like to confirm ourselves at the top in 2020 and with thisline-up we will try to do even better than 2019.”