News 5 Mar 2009

Racing Insider #44

Ducati’s new swingarm used by Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden was well liked in Qatar, with Stoner a step well ahead of the rest.

American Superbike
The opening round of this year’s AMA Superbike Championship has begun at Daytona International Speedway in Florida overnight, with Mat Mladin (Rockstar Makita Suzuki) topping the timesheets on what is a 2008 model after a production delay with the yet to be released ’09 models.

Mladin set a 1:38.540 despite jarring his back in the opening practice session of the day, topping Brit Neil Hodgson’s (Corona Honda) 1:38.607 and Tommy Hayden’s (Rockstar Makita Suzuki) 1:38.927.

David Anthony (Suzuki) was the second quickest Aussie in 12th position with a 1:40.779, while my brother, Aaron Gobert (Trifoglio Honda), had his first ride on the CBR1000RR that the team only had delivered last week. He rounded out the session in 21st position.

The new Daytona SportBike category saw Danny Eslick top the first session of the day for Buell, heading a hoard of 600cc four-cylinders in hat was a surprising result in the class that allows large capacity twins compete. Eslick headed M4 Emgo Suzuki teammates Jason Disalvo and Martin Cardenas. Aussie Damian Cudlin (Yamaha) was sixth quickest in his AMA debut.

Session two was on the circuit at time of post.


Disalvo lead the way in the second Daytona SportBike session under lights, with the Daytona 200 set to run at night for the first time ever this year. Disalvo headed teammate Cardenas with a 1:49.508 (different track configuration to the Superbikes), while Yamaha’s Josh Herrin and Josh Hayes were third and fourth respectively.  Fifth fastest was Jamie Hacking on the new ZX-6R, while session one leader Eslick was sixth quick in session two, just ahead of Ben Bostrom (Yamaha) and Jake Zemke (Erion Honda). Cudlin dropped down the order to 14th to wrap up the day.


Does Ducati's new swingarm make the Desmosedici GP9 easier to ride?

Does Ducati's new swingarm make the Desmosedici GP9 easier to ride?

Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa has undergone surgery to his left wrist and knee for injuries suffered at the Qatar night test, with doctors expecting him to be rested up for around three to four weeks before he can even begin to bend his knee. It’s an unfortunate situation for the Spaniard after what was a slow speed crash in testing, although reports are that his knee was very badly damaged and required a skin graft on the knee. His wrist surgery was a little more straightforward, with a titanium screw inserted into his distal radius after it was repaired.

Ducati’s new swingarm used by Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden was well liked in Qatar, with Casey’s pace up front a massive step ahead the remaining riders, while Nicky was able to improve to the fifth fastest time for the test – a great step in the right direction for the American.

“We confirmed the good feeling I had yesterday with the new swingarm, although we still need more time to work on it and that’s what we’ll be doing at Jerez,” Stoner said of the new swingarm, of which details are scarce from Ducati of what is exactly different.

Hayden was also happy with the feeling, which we are expecting has gone some way toward fixing the pumping off the corners that had been affecting most riders who rode the Ducati.

“I got a good feel for the new swingarm straight away but we still have work to do and we need to make more comparisons with the previous version before drawing definite conclusions,” Hayden said.

Australian Superbike
The Woodstock Bourbon Australian Superbike Championship’s official website has updated its logo to represent new sponsors that have come onboard for the 2009 series, with Insure My Ride joining as the presenting sponsor and Motul oils signing on as a third title sponsor for the series. With those three major sponsors all signed up and a positive outlook from round one, the series’ future is looking bright in these early stages. Check it out at

Australian Motocross

Marmont is ready for outdoor title number two

Marmont is ready for outdoor title number two

The Australian Motocross Championship had its official launch on Monday with 36 riders on hand to help introduce the series at the Albury Wodonga Motorcycle Club, giving locals an early sneak peak at what to expect when the series begins in a month’s time on 5 April.

All the teams were on hand for the day, with reigning champion Jay Marmont (Rockstar CDR Yamaha) looking to be a favourite for the title once again, as will be Kawasaki Racing team’s new recruit Craig Anderson. One man who wasn’t at Albury but will be fast come race time will be Andrew McFarlane (MXRAD Yamaha).

Woodstock Honda had their new younger generation team of Dean Ferris, Todd Waters and Peter Boyle all circulating on the day, which was primarily a media day.

The Lites had new faces in the mix as well, with Ryan Marmont making his public appearance on the MXRAD Yamaha, as did Danny Anderson, while Kade Mosig was making laps on the Motorex KTM.

Also in new colours was Mitch Hoad for Serco Yamaha, while the likes of Matt Moss (Shift Motul Suzuki), Cameron Taylor (Shift Motul Suzuki), Cheyne Boyd (CDR Rockstar Yamaha), and Tye Simmonds (Motorex KTM) were all in their usual outfits.

“With such great talent rising through the ranks, the Championship this year looks set to go from strength to strength,” said promoter Kevin Williams. “It’s great to see the local politicians get behind the Championship – we had representation from both the Albury and Wodonga City Councils and local MP Bill Tilley and they are all very excited about the event coming to the region.

“The first round looks set to inject around $300 000 into the local economies as well as giving the community the chance to see the Nations best compete in their own backyard.”

Williams also confirmed that reigning Women’s Motocross Champion Kristy Gillespie will compete in the men’s class at the opening round, accepting a wildcard ride for the first round of the series.