February 2009 Archives
World Superbike Superpole, Phillip Island
NEW boy Ben Spies shot to pole in his first ever WSB event at a track he's never even seen before.
The 24-year-old Texan topped the timesheets with a time of 1.31:069min on board his new R1 machine in the new 'knock-out' style session, which saw some of the big names flounder and get caught out.
And Max Biaggi showed he was back on the map by taking second on the brand new Aprilia machine, while Jonathan Rea finished top Brit in third.
World Supersport Qualifying, Phillip Island.
Eugene Laverty heads the second row for Sunday's World Supersport race while Kenan Sofuoglu has taken pole in Australia.
The 2007 champ smashed the circuit record with a blistering lap of 1.34:320min, putting the 24-year-old at the top of the timesheets and giving him his seventh career pole.
Laverty meanwhile ended the session in an impressive fifth, just one place behind fellow Brit Cal Crutchlow.
World Supersport Qualifying 1, Phillip Island.
EUGENE Laverty finished Friday's first qualifying session 10the quickest and ahead of his team-mate Miguel Praia as the season kicked-off in Australia.
The Parkalgar pair ended 10th and 14th in the dry session at the famous track, while Honda's Andrew Pitt sits at the top of the timesheets.
"My lap time is good and I am one of the fastest riders who did not test here recently - Harms just edged me but everyone else in front of me had the benefit of a test," said a delighted Laverty.
"We haven't changed a lot on my Parkalgar Honda since the last test as it feels good but we will alter a few things for tomorrow on the chassis and with the gearing to suit the circuit better.
"I had a small spill at the Honda Hairpin carrying too much brake into the corner but I am not hurt as it was very slow.
"I am looking forward to the race and in the cool conditions we can run consistent lap times; the rest of the weekend is set to be cooler so that's good news."
Simon Buckmaster, Parkalgar Honda Team Manager added: "It's been a good opening day to the new season for Parkalgar Honda.
"The riders may not have tested here but they have already closed the gap on the field and that will reduce tomorrow and will not be a factor in the race.
"Eugene is still finding his feet and is less than half a second from the front row so I expect him to improve his grid position."
First Qualifying times:
1 Pitt A. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 1'34.833
2 Sofuoglu K. (TUR) Honda CBR600RR 1'34.895
3 Foret F. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R6 1'35.063
4 McCoy G. (AUS) Triumph Daytona 675 1'35.431
5 Crutchlow C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R6 1'35.469
6 Aitchison M. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 1'35.589
7 West A. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 1'35.641
8 Nannelli G. (ITA) Triumph Daytona 675 1'35.644
9 Harms R. (DEN) Honda CBR600RR 1'35.778
10 Laverty E. (IRL) PARKALGAR HONDA CBR600RR 1'35.833
World Superbikes, Phillip Island
JAKUB Smrz scorched to the top of the timesheets in Friday's first qualifying session at Phillip Island, Australia.
The 25-year-old Czech rider was the fastest man around the 4.445km track, with a hotlap of 1:32.312 onboard the Guandalini Ducati.
Smrz just inched out factory Ducati Xerox pilot Noriyuki Haga, while Brit favourite Leon Haslam announced his return to the international championship by finishing the day third on his Stiggy Racing Honda.
"For me, Phillip Island is almost the best circuit in the world.ÃÂ It is easy for me to make a good lap here," said Smrz.
"The bike is a good bike and 95% similar to last year's so I have been able to get on the pace very quickly. ÃÂ For sure, I have a lot of confidence with the tyre, even in these hot conditions."
The grid for Sunday's race will be determined tomorrow with a new Superpole formula, which will see the top 20 riders battle it out in a knock-out over three 12-minutes sessions.
The track claimed several fallers including reigning British champion Shakey Byrne, Ryuichi Kiyonari, Troy Corser, David Salon and Luca Scassa but there were no serious injuries.
1. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 1'32.312;
2. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 1'32.569;
3. Haslam L. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1'32.623;
4. Neukirchner M. (GER) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1'32.673;
5. Kagayama Y. (JPN) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1'32.704;
6. Nakano S. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 1'32.928;
7. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1'32.932; 8. Spies B. (USA) Yamaha YZF R1 1'32.939; 9. Sykes T. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1'32.971;
10. Kiyonari R. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 1'32.991;
11. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 1'32.995;
12. Laconi R. (FRA) Ducati 1098 RS 09 1'33.202;
13. Rolfo R. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 1'33.206;
14. Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 1'33.224;
15. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 1'33.317;
16. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 1'33.377;
LADIES and gentlemen, the waiting is over....we're just days away from the start of the season as the WSB circus rocks into Phillip Island, Australia.
And with MotoGP looking more than a little bit sorry for itself this year, this is going to be THE racing series of 2009.
Yes, World Superbikes is where it's going to be at in 2009, and if you're one of these race fans who has taken your eye off the ball in recent years, now is the time to come back - but expect some BIG line-up changes.
A Colliers Night Out, a celebration of the colliers of the Great Northern Coalfield in remembrance of the men, boys and ponies killed in the above is to be performed at the Black Bull Inn, Frosterley, Co Durham on Sunday February 15th 2009. Unfortunately by the time I read the leaflet I'd picked up I'd missed the performance...
ORGANISERS of MMA continually have to fight for the right to hold events in council-run sports centres.
This is because the perception is that MMA is a brutal form of combat competition devoid of skill and only done by knuckle-dragging Neanderthals.
Of course this utter rubbish and is a common false perception by those who have usually never even seen a competition, or do not understand what actually is happening.
For many of us Maggie Thatcher was the right-wing dictator who stole the milk from the mouths of babies, ate miners for breakfast, and once said that all prime ministers need a Willie.
(That's a Willie Whitelaw, by the way, not any other definition of Willie)
During a visit to Newcastle University's Waste Awareness Day on Premier Waste Management business I was approached by Kate Perry offering to recycle my bra.
After explaining to Kate that I was in fact a man who just happened to be carrying a bit of excess weight I asked for some more information.
Read on to learn how you can recycle your old bras.
Midweek Rubbers by Zoe....
IT'S probably fair to say that club racing rarely gets the credit it deserves. It's not our fault (by our, I mean me and motorsport hacks universally) because most publications just don't have the space to cover it.
OK, there are a couple of specialist publications which I won't/can't/am not allowed to give a name check to (clue, one is for cars and the other is for bikes) which have regular club coverage in their pages every week or two, but on the whole the media just doesn't pay the clubs enough attention.