News 16 Dec 2009

Racing Insider #128

Check out the final edition of Racing Insider for 2009, wrapping up with the latest from ASBK, WSBK and MotoGP during a very quiet off-season.

The final chequered flag has fallen for Racing Insider in 2009. Image: Andrew Gosling.

The final chequered flag has fallen for Racing Insider in 2009. Image: Andrew Gosling.

Welcome to our final Racing Insider of 2009 as we’ll be taking a few weeks off from’s popular gossip column, although rest assured that RI will be back in a few weeks time on 6 January. As for the rest of the site, it’ll be functioning as per usual, with a special end of year awards feature planned for Friday so stay tuned!

As the year comes to a close we still have many top riders working the phones in a bid to secure seats come 2010, and there have been some advancements so far this week that have indicated everything’s almost ready to fall into place.

While both KTM and Aprilia have confirmed that they’ll be running factory-supported efforts with Evolution Sports Group and Trinder Brothers Racing respectively, we’re all awaiting the confirmation of Ducati and Motologic.

There’s little doubt surrounding the fact that they’re going to team up if you ask many within the industry, although when it will be announced and who will be the riders on the team seems far from decided.

In regards to who will be the riders, this week we’ve heard everything from 2008 ASBK champ Glenn Allerton, the in-form Wayne Maxwell, double ASBK winner Jamie Stauffer and even new Supersport champion Bryan Staring.

Take your pick out of those four guys as to who will be riding an 1198 twin-cylinder next year, because your guess is as good as mine. One thing we do expect is that if Staring or Stauffer is to leave the Yamaha Racing Team to replace Maxwell at Motologic, we could see the Wayne Train (or the Wayne Plane according to the Bone) in blue on an R6 in what would be a very potent combination. It seems his plans to compete overseas are drying up as we speak.

News has surfaced of a new Honda Dealer Team with direct Honda support to be put in place for next year, run by GAS Honda’s Geoff Winzer – the man who has helped privateer riders such as Allerton, Russell Holland, Chris Trounson and Craig Coxhell achieve great success in recent years.

We understand that there’s a meeting to take place this week in order to make the plan a reality, and you can expect it to mould in with CJC Racing with Coxhell and one other rider onboard for the Superbike class. This would be an ideal way for Honda to keep Allerton or Maxwell on a CBR1000RR, but we will see.

The provisional 2010 series calendar was released over two weeks ago and we’re yet to see a finalised calendar from promoters International Entertainment Group despite a prior release stating that it’d be finalised within 14 days. Let’s hope competitors get to see the final version shortly if it is in fact set in stone.

Teams are slowly beginning to take shape in WSBK too, with all of the factory runners set in place, but this satellite BMW team run by Reitwagen Racing has caused quite a stir in recent weeks – first with the speculation that Mat Mladin was considering coming out of retirement to ride the S 1000 RR and then with the news that fellow Aussie Andrew Pitt is in with a shot at scoring the seat.

Ever since Mladin made that post on Twitter that he has a few offers to contest WSBK next year I’ve been a little cautious before actually believing he would do it, although there’s no doubt that he has the speed and determination to make it a success on the right equipment.

Landing a ride on the Beemer would be a blessing for Pitt after a horrid season in World Supersport during his title defence, although let’s hope that it’s a competitive bike from the outset.

The news that Johan Stigefelt’s Stiffy Racing effort is now defunct is a massive shame for the sport, but whoever is on the BMW will gain massive advantages since Stiggy and suspension guru/former racer Peter Goddard will be tuning the suspension on the bike.

A piece of useful information to note is that the Austrian-based Reitwagen team is actually owned by the same guy who was behind the former Powerhorse Ducati team that Troy Corser rode for in the 1990s.

We’ve all seen the news by now that MotoGP will be switching to 1000cc engines in 2012, so I don’t want to recycle the news too much, although the extent of the rule is far from released right now.

The question I have in mind is will the engines be completely prototype or production-based, and if they are from a production base then what’s a team like Ducati going to do with its 1198 twin-cylinder? To me it seems as though we’ll have an assortment of production 1000cc engines as well as the current prototype 800cc engines.

That’s just a wild guess because it was speculated earlier in the piece, otherwise what’s Ducati going to do? If the engines will all be prototype again then that will be a massive expense to develop them again, although Ducati could perhaps bring out its lethal 990! Highly doubtful though…

Either way, I’m absolutely pumped for the new season to begin next year.

That’s all for today, it’s a short one to wrap up the year, but we’ll be back and better than ever in 2010 as the testing and race seasons fire back into life. Check back through our news and other features sections on the site for updates until the new year!