News 7 Apr 2009

Racing Insider #67

Nakano and Simoncelli undergo surgery, plus Edwards and Toseland friends again? Also, ASBK, BSB and off-road news.

World Superbike

Nakano suffered a broken collarbone in Valencia

Nakano suffered a broken collarbone in Valencia

Aprilia factory Superbike World Championship contender Shinya Nakano has undergone surgery to his left collarbone that he broke in Valencia after crashing his RSV4 during practice. The Japanese favourite had a plate and eight screws inserted into the clavicle and will be certain for the next round of the series at Assen in the Netherlands on 24-26 April.

Current 250cc World Champion Marco Simoncelli will undergo surgery to repair a fractured scaphoid today in a bid to be ready for this weekend’s opening round of the series at the Losail Circuit in Qatar.

The Italian fractured it in a motocross incident over the weekend and it has cast major doubt over his participation this weekend, which is a massive blow to his title defence as he gets set to trade blows with Spaniard Alvaro Bautista throughout 2009.

“I have a strong desire to ride at the first race of the season in Qatar. I will try all that I can to be able to ride my Gilera bike in the first free practice session on Friday,” Simoncelli told MotoGP’s official website. “Of course, I will have to wait on the approval of the medical officers to be able to ride, but I hope to be able to do so.”

MotoGP previews are beginning to filter through, so keep an eye out on the Press Releases page over the next few days. The excitement for the war that is about to be waged is massive worldwide.

Can Casey win back the title or will Rossi hail yet again? Plus, don’t forget Queenslander Chris Vermeulen finally has competitive equipment with Rizla Suzuki this season.

One battle that might calm in the lead up to the season is that of Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rivals James Toseland and Colin Edwards. It seems that Toseland is ready to become friends again following their feud over crew chiefs, although CE’s reaction isn’t quite clear at this stage.

Australian Superbike
As the Australian road racing paddock remains in mourning over the death of Supersport racer Judd Greedy, tributes have begun to flow long and meaningful in various places on the worldwide web from personal profile websites like MySpace and Facebook all the way to the ASBK website with a touching tribute from new series promoter Yarrive Konsky. It’s not an easy time for anybody at this point, but the tributes that have been posted are very much yet another indication of Judd’s positive stamp that he left on the world – and not only in racing circles.

It looks as though the Australian Superbike Championship will feature Barbagallo Raceway in Western Australia on the calendar instead of the scheduled Calder Park round, which many of the older riders are very pleased with simply because it’s a circuit that many of them enjoy. IEG is working on some deals that will help every rider to make their way over there, although it’s uncertain at the moment which classes will make the long haul.

British Superbike
The British Superbike Championship makes its first stop on the calendar this Easter long weekend at Brands Hatch Indy, and we are pleased to report that HM Plant Honda’s Josh Brookes will in fact be competing following concerns that he wouldn’t get his sporting visa permitted in time.

Brookes flew out of Sydney to the UK on Sunday afternoon, and while his preparation on the bike hasn’t been perfect, he will be sure to shine come the race weekend.

His teammate Glen Richards and SMT Honda’s Jason O’Halloran will be two more guys to keep an eye out for, and with the majority of last year’s BSB stars now in WSBK we could see an Aussie take out the championship if all goes to plan.

Australian Josh Strang has scored his second victory in the American Grand National Cross Country off-road series for Team Suzuki, winning the Big Buck GNCC over the weekend. Strang is the first two-time winner in season 2009 and is in great form against some of the best off-roaders in the world, while Husqvarna’s Glen Kearney continues to recover from a broken leg with a ninth place result.