Monday, September 29, 2008

Valentino Rossi, on learning to lose and then coming back to win…


Valentino 'The Doctor' Rossi, the greatest motorcycle racer of our times

No.46, The Doctor, made a historic comeback this year, winning his 6th premier class world championship with three races still to go. Including his wins in the 125cc and 250cc classes, this is Rossi’s 8th motorcycle racing world championship – no mean feat by any standards whatsoever. As 2006 MotoGP world champ Nicky Hayden says, ‘I know what it takes to win one, and it takes a bad dude to win eight of them. Much respect.’

Much respect, indeed. Rossi will be the only man ever to win world titles in the 125cc, 250cc, 500cc, 990cc and 800cc classes. The Doctor may or may not be able to match Giacomo Agostini’s record of eight premier class world titles, but he’s still, without a shadow of doubt, the greatest motorcycle racer of our times.

Speaking to Crash.net, after winning the Japanese grand prix at Motegi this Sunday, Rossi said, ‘The decision to change to Bridgestone tyres, which I took together with Jeremy, my team and all the Yamaha crew, was very important, as were the changes to the bike, because the first 800cc M1 last year was not competitive enough.’

‘I think it's difficult to say, but maybe this is even better than the first championship with Yamaha in 2004. In 2004, I arrived after three championships in a row. The change was very big and no one expected me to win then – not even us, to be honest! But this year is great too, because I didn't start as the number one favourite after losing for two years. The taste of this is something special.’

‘In 2006, I lost because of bad luck. I still won the most races and was the fastest on track for most of the time, but in 2007 Stoner was a lot faster than us and so we got to the end with a big disadvantage. Winning this championship was very difficult, but also very, very important.’

‘I grew up a lot in the last two years. At the end of 2005 I had a great career and I had won all the important targets so far – 125, 250 and then five titles in a row in MotoGP with two different bikes. I felt unbeatable. But in 2006 and 2007, I learnt to lose and this has been very important. I came out much stronger and my level of concentration and effort to win this championship has been higher than ever before.’

‘I think Stoner next year will be back stronger again. Maybe he is the hardest rival I have ever had, more than Gibernau and all the others I fought against in the past. Last year, I was sorry that after so many successful years, some people thought Valentino was finished and Casey was the new Valentino. As I said, until I stop riding a bike, my objective will always be to win. I like this life and I always try to do my best in it.’

‘I am so happy that I have now won three titles with Yamaha because this is how many I won with my last team, and I want Yamaha to have the same merit. Now I have to get used to being world champion again! As I said, there are many strong riders, but of course I hope that in the future nobody will win like Valentino Rossi…’

Also see:
HUGE collection of 2008 MotoGP wallpaper...
Specs and first official pics: 2009 Suzuki GSX-R1000
Face-off: Honda vs Zonda!
Specs and first official pics: 2009 Ducati Monster 1100 and 1100S
WSBK vs stock Honda Fireblade...
Specs and first official pics: 2009 Aprilia RSV4...
2009 Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja unveiled...
First pics: 2009 Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja...
Specs, pics and video: 2009 Yamaha R1

Elsewhere today:
Michelin bid goodbye to MotoGP...
Jeremy Burgess speaks about the proposed single tyre rule in MotoGP...
For MV Agusta F4 CC owners: Need to get a car for the wife...?

2009 Ducati Fighter 1098 to be unveiled at the EICMA


This is what the 2009 Ducati Fighter 1098 expected to look like...

Rumours of a Ducati 1098-powered naked streetfighter have been doing the rounds for quite some time and now, according to a report on Hell for Leather, it’s been ‘confirmed’ that Ducati will indeed unveil such a machine at the upcoming EICMA show in November this year.

This naked streetfighter – perhaps to be called the Ducati Fighter – will be powered by the current 1098 engine, which might be retuned for better low- and mid-range power. The gearing is also likely to be lower, for better acceleration rather than top speed. To be priced somewhere between the 2009 Ducati Monster 1100 and the 1198, the Fighter could cost around US$15,000.

The Fighter will use a steel-tube trellis frame like the 1098, and is likely to have a single-sided swingarm. The 1098’s underseat exhaust pipes will make way for dual exhaust pipes on one side on the Fighter, which is expected to be significantly more hard-core than the Monster 1100.

More details, and hopefully some pictures, coming soon…

Also see:
2009 Suzuki Gladius 650 unveiled...
Hannspree Ten Kate replica Honda Fireblade...
The biggest, fastest Kawasaki in the world...
Benelli TNT 899 riding impression...
The 2009 Moto Guzzi Stelvio...
KTM 690 Duke riding impression...
Aprilia SL1000 Falco based cafe-racer...
2009 Yamaha V-Max: Riding the beast...
First pics: 2009 Kawasaki Z1000 and Z750

Elsewhere today:
Indian bike manufacturer, Bajaj now owns 25.86 percent of KTM...
You think your Hayabusa is fast...?
Riding from the UK to India: 12,800km on a Royal Enfield Bullet!


If Ducati are working the 1098 Fighter, can Aprilia be too far behind with an RSV4-based Tuono? Visit InfoMotori for the picture gallery. And while we don't have pictures of the 1098 Fighter yet, here are some pics of the 1098 itself...


2009 Brudeli 654L Leanster: Lean on this!


This picture of the Brudeli 654L Leanster says it all, doesn't it...

Pics: Rune Baashus, via Hell for Leather

We first wrote about the Brudeli 625L back in November 2006, and now, almost two years on, Brudeli are finally ready with the production version – the 645L Leanster. To be presented at the Intermot show in Germany next month, the 654L is based on a KTM 690 Supermoto, is TÜV approved, and will be street legal in Europe. This amazing trike will be priced at 21,000 euros (US$30,000).

The Brudeli 654L Leanster leans into corners like a regular motorcycle, but with two wheels at the front – and hence more traction than you’d get with just one wheel – the vehicle is capable of pulling off some amazing feats, especially on snow, gravel and other similar surfaces.

Designed by Atle Stubberud of Soon Design, the Brudeli Leanster is powered by KTM’s 655cc, single-cylinder LC4 engine, which makes 63bhp and 65Nm of torque. A six-speed gearbox, tubular steel chassis and fully adjustable WP suspension complete the package. The Leanster rides on 17-inch wheels, weighs 238 kilos and has a top speed of 170km/h.

More information on the Brudeli website here


...and here's a video of the 654L Leanster in action!

Also see:
More trikes on Faster and Faster...
First official pics: 2009 Ducati Monster 1100 and 1100S
Specs and first official pics: 2009 Suzuki GSX-R1000
Riding impression: Triumph Street Triple R
1992 Kawasaki ZX-7R based special...
AM Racing's Yamaha MT-01 Turbo...
Specs and first official pics: 2009 Aprilia RSV4
First pics: 2009 Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja...

Elsewhere today:
Building a KTM 640-based trackday special...
The GSX-R face-off: 1000 vs 750 vs 600!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

2008 Japanese MotoGP: Race results from Motegi


It's done. The Doctor won the 2008 Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi, and in the process, his sixth MotoGP world championship!



2008 Japanese Grand Prix: Race results from Motegi

1. Valentino Rossi ITA Fiat Yamaha Team (B) 43min 9.599 secs
2. Casey Stoner AUS Ducati Marlboro Team (B) 43min 11.542 secs
3. Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team (B) 43min 14.465 secs
4. Jorge Lorenzo SPA Fiat Yamaha Team (M) 43min 15.764 secs
5. Nicky Hayden USA Repsol Honda Team (M) 43min 34.192 secs
6. Loris Capirossi ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP (B) 43min 35.284 secs
7. Colin Edwards USA Tech 3 Yamaha (M) 43min 35.517 secs
8. Shinya Nakano JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini (B) 43min 35.602 secs
9. Andrea Dovizioso ITA JiR Team Scot MotoGP (M) 43min 35.818 secs
10. John Hopkins USA Kawasaki Racing Team (B) 43min 46.730 secs
11. James Toseland GBR Tech 3 Yamaha (M) 43min 47.173 secs
12. Randy de Puniet FRA LCR Honda MotoGP (M) 43min 47.619 secs
13. Marco Melandri ITA Ducati Marlboro Team (B) 43min 49.367 secs
14. Sylvain Guintoli FRA Alice Team (B) 43min 55.445 secs
15. Anthony West AUS Kawasaki Racing Team (B) 44min 5.347 secs
16. Toni Elias SPA Alice Team (B) 44min 8.919 secs
17. Alex de Angelis RSM San Carlo Honda Gresini (B) 44min 21.997 secs

DNF:

Chris Vermeulen AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP (B) 29min 15.247 secs
Kousuke Akiyoshi JPN Rizla Suzuki MotoGP (B) lap 1

Full race report here

More pics from the 2008 MotoGP season...







Also see:
Huge collection of 2008 MotoGP wallpaper...
Valentino Rossi: "The first time..."
Valentino Rossi: 30 years, a bunch of world titles and a bit of regret...
Kevin Schwantz interviews Valentino Rossi...
Motorcycle racing is stressful...
In conversation with Toni Elias...
James Toseland: "MotoGP is no harder than WSBK..."
In conversation with Alex Criville...

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