News 4 Feb 2009

Racing Insider #23

Moto2 has also been shunned into the limelight today with Blusens BQR Honda revealing its bike that will compete in Spain

Teams in the MotoGP World Championship may be getting ready to test at Sepang in Malaysia today and tomorrow, but reigning world champion will do so with a bit of pain after “a slight accident” at his home in Italy. The Fiat Yamaha rider received stitches in his left hand and foot after falling down while closing the curtains in his house. He tripped and fell onto a glass table, which broke, cutting the ring finger of his left hand and the sole of his left foot. He went straight to the hospital and received a few stitches to each injury.

The injuries are not serious but it is not yet clear whether or not they will make him uncomfortable when riding this week. Nevertheless Rossi flew out to Malaysia yesterday as planned, where he will try to give 100% at the first test of the season. Let’s hope that breaking the glass on a table doesn’t cast a spell of bad luck on The Doctor.

Kawasaki’s MotoGP team will not be in Malaysia in any form, signalling that they are struggling to gather the pieces of the puzzle needed to rejoin with a satellite team. At this stage in the game I’d personally prefer to see the likes of John Hopkins and Marco Melandri join new teams to refire their derailed careers.

BQR Honda's Moto2 bike was launched in Spain

BQR Honda's Moto2 bike was launched in Spain

With all eyes on Malaysia for the first test of the year, Moto2 has also been shunned into the limelight today with Blusens BQR Honda revealing its Moto2 bike that will compete in the Spanish CEV Championship with Danial Rivas. The Spanish series will act as a test platform for the new series that features production-based engines in prototype chassis, and even Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta was at the launch. The Blusens team also run an Aprilia outfit in the 125cc World Championship with Scott Redding.

BQR’s Moto2 bike uses a CBR600RR engine and makes 140 horsepower – which is around the figure that most World Supersport bikes produce. An aluminium double-beam chassis used and utilises Showa suspension front and rear. Galfer brakes are mounted on the bike, with a pair of 300mm brake discs used, as well as 17 inch wheels. The bike weighs in at 137kg. Now will be the major tests to see if more teams follow suit. Bimota is rumoured to be interested in running a Moto2 team also.

Australian Superbike
Speaking of opening test days, the Australian Superbike Championship officially kicked off under the guidance of IEG today with a two day test at Phillip Island well attended by a number of teams. Kawasaki and Suzuki were the only factory teams on hand, while Yamaha tested on Monday and Honda will test later this month with Honda world championship teams. We’ll have more info in the coming days.

American Superbike
The opening American Superbike test of the season has seen Tommy Hayden lead the timesheets on his all-new Rockstar Makita Suzuki, topping Brit Neil Hodgson on his Corona Honda and then six times series champion Mat Mladin, who only completed a number of laps today. Debuting for Suzuki was Blake Young, while Kawasaki was absent from the 1000cc Superbike class for the first time since their switch of focus to the Daytona Sportbike class.

Fastest in the 600s Jake Zemke, who has reportedly signed with Erion Honda once again, and Jamie Hacking in his first outing on the Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki. Yamaha’s Josh Herrin was third fastest.

Interesting notes were that Ben Bostrom has switched to number two, while Herrin is now number eight. Roger Lee Hayden has also joined his brothers Nicky and Tommy wearing Alpinestars leathers. Mladin only completed limited laps on the day.