News 23 Apr 2009

Racing Insider #79

Geronimi out of Hoegee Suzuki in World Supersport. Plus news from MotoGP; WSBK; ASBK and AMA SX.

A meeting is set to take place at Motegi in Japan today, which is the site for this weekend’s second round of the 2009 MotoGP World Championship. The meeting will confirm the reverse back to one hour long practice sessions for the MotoGP class at the races instead of the 45 that had previously been adopted for this year, although it’s not certain if the change will be implemented immediately or if they’ll wait for the series to return to Europe for round three at Jerez.

Time will tell, but it’s a move that will likely make many of the teams happy and allow them that little bit more time to make changes to the bikes – even if they do adopt a lap limit for how many laps the riders can complete during the session.

World Superbike

Geronimi has been replaced at Hoegee Suzuki

Geronimi has been replaced at Hoegee Suzuki

Australia will have one less rider in the Supersport World Championship for the rest of the season as former Hoegee Suzuki rider Shaun Geronimi has been let go by the team and will be replaced by Allesandro Polita, the Italian who had originally signed with Sterilgarda Ducati until the global financial crisis took its toll on the SBK squad.

Geronimi had struggled in the opening four rounds of the series with limited time on the GSX-R600 after only confirming the ride in the days leading up to the opening round at Phillip Island, but his world championship aspirations are now all but over with Polita on the bike from this weekend onwards.

“Following insufficient and inadequate results by Shaun in the first three rounds we decided to strengthen the team with an appealing rider,” said team owner Marc Hoegee. “With Alessandro we have an absolute ace from FIM Superstock in house, who I believe will make his reputation in Supersport as well.”

And Geronimi isn’t the only rider out of a ride, because the PSG-1Corse Kawasaki SBK team has had to drop a rider due to funding issues, with Batteo Baiocco now the lone rider as Ayrton Badovini now looks for another seat. Don’t be surprised if there are more teams to go by the wayside in the coming months.

News filtered in overnight that Australian Broc Parkes will be forced to sit out this weekend’s Assen round of the Superbike World Championship in Holland after suffering a shoulder injury and undergoing surgery on it today.

The Paul Bird Motorsports Kawasaki rider has been consistently outpacing teammate Makoto Tamada this year, but will now be replaced by British Superbike regular Stuart Easton in the British-run team.

Parkes will sit out Valencia with a shoulder injury

Parkes will sit out Valencia with a shoulder injury

Parkes and the PBM Kawasaki squad were testing at Snetterton when the accident occurred, and a large number of World Superbike and Supersport teams have been testing over the break in a bid to do some revisions on their bikes now that they’re back in Europe following the Australia and Qatar fly-away races.

One team that is confident of success come Assen is the local favourites, Ten Kate Honda, which has completed a test since Valencia and they are much more confident heading into the remainder of the season following a few solid breakthroughs.

All of the teams have a long way to go if they’re going to catch the likes of Ducati Xerox or Yamaha, although Alstare Suzuki has shown glimpses of brilliance with the GSX-R1000K9.

Australian Superbike
Current Australian Superbike Champion Glenn Allerton will race the NSW Road Race Championship this weekend at Oran Park, hoping to capture the title as the final state champion at the historic circuit.

But an interesting thing about Allerton’s participation this weekend is that he’ll be riding the exact same Procon Racing Honda CBR1000RR that Shannon Johnson raced to victory at last weekend’s opening Victorian Road Race Titles round at Broadford.

Built by Allerton’s Superbike team, the Procon Superstock-spec bike will likely take victory for the second weekend in a row in the hands of a national level SUperbiek rider.

While Allerton is competing at the NSWRRC, factory Team Joe Rocket Suzuki Supersport rider and current American AMA Supermoto Champion Troy Herfoss will be racing at the second round of the AMCROSS Series in Cooma on his Suzuki RM-Z450 motocross bike.

J-Law has been suspended for the final AMA SX races

J-Law has been suspended for the final AMA SX races

American Supercross
With the suspension of talented American Supercross star Jason Lawrence this week, the current West Coast Lites Supercross Champion will be forced to sit out the remaining two rounds of the series after an altercation with factory Yamaha rider Broc Hepler.

J-Law’s latest incident is just one in a long list of mishaps that he’s had in his career, but it’s his raw talent an undeniable speed on the bike that always seems to allow him back on track with good results no matter how long the AMA suspends him for.

The guys at Cycle News in the USA put together this editorial on the 22-year-old’s rollercoaster career to date. Check it out here.