News 28 Jan 2009

Racing Insider #18

Aspar Aprilia rider Alvaro Bautista was fastest on the second day of the 250cc and 125cc GP test at Jerez in Spain.

MotoGP

Bautista has been fast in testing

Bautista has been fast in testing

Aspar Aprilia rider Alvaro Bautista was fastest on the second day of the 250cc and 125cc GP test at Jerez in Spain, lapping six tenths of a second quicker than on day one with a 1:43.673 – almost quick enough to match Marco Simoncelli’s lap record at the circuit. Hiroshi Aoyama was next quick as he settles in on the Honda, while former 125 World Champion Gabor Talmacsi was third quickest. Fastest 125cc of the day was again Julian Simon, who topped Aspar teammate Bradley Smith to lead the timesheets for the second day in succession. It looks like it will be a solid year for Aspar, even without a MotoGP team at the moment.

World Superbike
Following the test in Portugal that was partly rained out, World Superbike newcomers Aprilia and BMW have scheduled a test at Valencia in Spain this week on Wednesday (tonight, Australian time) and Thursday. Troy Corser was pretty competitive on the BMW at Portimao, although it seems his teammate Ruben Xaus has quite a long way to go as he continues to familiarise himself with a four-cylinder again. The Aprilia boys weren’t up front on the time sheets in Portugal, but it’s certain that Shinya Nakano can set good times at the circuits he knows (ex-GP tracks).

Australian Motocross
Speaking of the Australian MX Nationals, there’ve been a few interesting announcements today regarding the direction that the series is heading. Firstly, an exciting new range of formats have been introduced to raise the interest for spectators (similar to what was tried with Super X last year), and they are as follows:

Sprint Format:
Under 19s 3 x 12 min; Pro Lites 3 x 15 min; Pro Open 3 x 20 min (to be used at round one).

Canberra Cup Format:
Under 19s 2 x 20 min; Pro Lites 2 x 30 min; Pro Open 4 x 15 min with five minutes between motos 1 & 2, 10 minutes between motos 2 & 3, and 5 Minutes between 3 & 4 (to be used at round two).

Traditional Format:
Under 19s 2 x 20 min; Pro Lites 2 x 30 min; Pro Open 2 x 30 min (to be used at rounds three, four, five, and seven).

WA Sand 150 Format:
Under 19s 3 x 15 min; Pro Lites 3 x 15 min; Pro Open 3 x 20 min (to be used at round six).

Final Round Format:
Under 19s 3 x 20 min; Pro Lites 3 x 20 min; Pro Open 3 x 20 min; Women 3 x 10 min.

2009 series calendar:
Round 1: 5 April, Albury, NSW
Round 2: 18-19 April, Canberra, ACT
Round 3: 17 May, Toowoomba, QLD
Round 4: 24 May, Mackay, QLD
Round 5: 14 June, Murray Bridge, SA
Round 6: 21 June, Wanneroo, WA
Round 7: 26 July, Lake Macquarie, NSW
Round 8: 1-2 August, Coolum, QLD

Another interesting new concept is the adoption of career numbers for both Motocross and Super X, which is similar to what they do in the USA where the likes of Chad Reed has number 22 for his career, while James Stewart has number seven, and so on. It will be interesting to see if riders opt for top 10 numbers over here, as they do in the USA, because over there you need to be at least a national champion to earn a number in the top 10.

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