The road racing capital of the world at this year’s world-famous TT races held in the Isle of Man saw a practice week disappear with just one of the seven sessions vanishing because of inclement weather conditions.
The resulting weeks’ racing was thus the subject of further cancellations as the weather pelted down with rain and mist. Finally, the re-organised race schedule came into play with as many as five TT races being held in just one day as the conditions improved.
With all the constant delays big festival days out at Honda’s Peel day and the Drag racing festival at Ramsey was once again put out of business by the ACU. Race team organisers for the limits of around 2 laps on tyre wear and marginal sized petrol race bike tank capacities have changed the TT from its former glory days to a weather watchers wonderland. Not to say that the racing was not once again spectacular, with just seconds deciding the close-run events, that combined to show scintillating race speeds and record-breaking rider winning laps of the 33-mile mountain course.
Peter Hickman was out of the blocks quickly in the RL360 Superstock TT Race. It was shortened to three laps to fit into the packed five-race schedule. Hickman’s fast start saw him at Glen Helen 1.68 seconds faster than second placed Dean Harrison who had an advantage of 1.582 seconds.
Hickman consolidated his position on the run out to Ramsey once more showing his total mastery of the Mountain section of the Course with a 9.026 second lead over Dean Harrison as they entered the pits.
Peter Hickman took a comfortable win with a cushion of 26.045 seconds over Harrison.
Side Car Race
There was drama even before the Sidecar TT Race 2 got underway on Thursday’s packed schedule as newcomer sensations Ryan and Callum Crowe were forced to withdraw due to a fire on their machine minutes before the start.
The Birchell brothers, Ben (driver) and Tom, got the tap on the shoulder at 14:00 to take the plunge down Bray Hill for the first time in the shortened two lap race.
The win puts the Birchalls level on sidecar wins with Rob Fisher, with only David Molyneux having more sidecar wins to his name.
With Derek McGee out of contention following a spill at Greeba in qualifying, there was no number one on the startline for the postponed Bennetts Lightweight TT Race. Lap record holder Michael Dunlop on a second Paton started in his customary #6 position.
As the clock ticked over and eyes were turned up Glencrutchery Road to see whether Coward could overhaul the 18-time TT winner. In the end it wasn’t to be.
Michael Dunlop took the chequered flag as the first bike on the road and then commenced a tense wait for Coward to cross the line. At Cronk-ny-Mona the gap was only 0.767 seconds.
Out to Glen Helen on lap one of the two lap race (shortened due to the postponements and delays of multiple races earlier in the week) the leader was Michael Dunlop, looking to repeat his 2018 race victory.
Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) claimed his first victory at the Isle of Man TT Races, fuelled by Monster Energy, when he took a sensational RL360 Superstock race by 4.4s from Michael Dunlop (MD Racing BMW) with Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Kawasaki) in third.
Senior TT Race
Double Duke Road Race Rankings Champion, Dean Harrison secured the most coveted accolade in road racing by winning the blue-riband race of the 2019 Isle of Man TT Races, the Senior TT on the Silicone Engineering Racing Kawasaki Superbike.
The popular Bradford rider also took three second places an fourth during a very trying TT period.
Highest mover, Peter Hickman who amassed three victories, the Superbike, Supersport 2 and Superstock TT’s, plus a second in the Senior, third in Supersport 1 and eighth in the Lightweight, 2013 Duke Champion, Michael Dunlop took the Lightweight TT honours on the Paton.
GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK rider, Marco Melandri, has announced that he intends to retire from racing immediately after the final round of the 2019 FIM Superbike World Championship in Qatar. The 36-year-old Italian's decision to hang up his leathers will bring to a close a World Championship career that has spanned three decades.
15-year-old Melandri burst onto the world stage in 1998 and immediately made his mark, taking his first win at Assen to become the youngest ever Grand Prix winner, a record that stood for 10 years. He went on to win once more that year and ended his debut Grand Prix season third in the World Championship. The following season Melandri won five races but missed out on being crowned 125cc World Champion by just a single point.
More success came with a step up to the 250cc World Championship. Melandri dominated the class in 2002, taking nine race wins on his way to being crowned 250cc World Champion. A move to the premier class followed, with Melandri's most successful MotoGP season coming in 2005 when he won the final two races and finished second in the World Championship to Valentino Rossi. In 2011 Melandri made the switch from MotoGP to WorldSBK, winning four races in his first season aboard Yamaha's YZF-R1 to finish the year as vice-champion. Since making his debut in the premier production class, the Italian has secured 75 podium finishes, 22 of which were race wins, making him one of the most successful riders on the WorldSBK grid.
And while these results are already impressive, Melandri is determined to add to them before finally hanging up his leathers in Qatar and bringing to a close an incredible racing career.
After a long break, the highly-anticipated National Motocross Championship is about to make its return. The fourth round of the premier series will take place at Dirt Bronco in Krugersdorp this weekend.
After storming to his first victory in the MX2 Class, Joshua Mlimi used the time off to gain riding experience overseas. For the past few weeks he has been based in Temecula, California, perfecting his craft of motocross. He raced in the Swapmoto Amsoil West Coast Open Series and Mammoth Motocross.
We catch up with the rising star as he prepares to take on Dirt Bronco with a completely new perspective:What were you hoping to gain from your experience in the US?
To gain knowledge and refine my skills – especially those small technicalities that will make a big difference to my riding. I wanted to really just unfold myself as a rider and learn from the best in the US.
Having mixed with the best in this sport, what areas of your riding were highlighted that you’d like to work on going forward?
During my time over there I learnt that there is always someone better, but that was a good thing. It didn’t intimidate me or stop me from wanting to become better each and every day. I realised that I need to get out of my comfort zone to achieve the best possible results and maximum performance.
How has this trip inspired your long-term dreams as a motocross rider?
My ultimate dream is to still make it happen in the United States. My stay there was short, but I realised that it’s where I want to be ultimately to pursue my motocross career.
Are you going to approach the next national any differently having gained this experience?
Yes - I’m coming in with a lot of confidence! I really feel like I can win again. The knowledge that I’ve gained will definitely give me an edge over my competition this weekend. Some people may think this comes off as cocky, but it’s not. I’ve realised what I am capable of when I am not in my own space.
What are your thoughts ahead of the next round?
Dirt Bronco is always a cool race. I enjoy the terrain and the new layout should be fun and challenging.
Set to compete in round two of the 2019 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, Yamalube Yamaha Rally Team riders Adrien Van Beveren, Xavier de Soultrait and Franco Caimi will soon line up at the start of the Silk Way Rally – a 10-day event that will take competitors from Russia to Mongolia before finishing in China. Covering a vast array of challenging and contrasting terrain, the event offers further opportunity to continue the development of the team’s WR450F Rally machines ahead of the 2020 Dakar Rally.
With Adrien Van Beveren competing as the team's sole representative and winning the Merzouga Rally in Morocco in early April, the Silk Way Rally will bring together three members of the Yamalube Yamaha Rally Team as they take on an FIM Cross-Country rallies event for the first time in 2019.
Looking forward to returning to competition, Adrien Van Beveren heads into the Silk Way Rally having spent many weeks training and testing aboard his WR450F Rally with the Yamalube Yamaha Rally Team. With several months having passed since his winning ride at the Merzouga Rally, as well as being eager to return to racing, the Frenchman is keen to experience the challenges that the Russian, Mongolian and Chinese stages of the rally will present. With the competition expected to equal January's Dakar Rally in terms of difficulty and length, AVB is both confident of a positive result yet aware of the size of the challenge that lies ahead.One of two Yamalube Yamaha Rally Team riders to make their first post-Dakar outing of 2019, the Silk Way Rally is a race that Xavier de Soultrait has long been looking forward to. Following his sixth-place result at the Dakar Rally in January, Xavier returns to competition rested, fully fit and like all riders intrigued to discover what the multi-day event has in store.
For the Yamalube Yamaha Rally Team's third member, the start of the Silk Way Rally is a long-awaited and important moment for Franco Caimi. Agonisingly forced to abort his participation in the 2019 Dakar Rally having worked incredibly hard to return to competition following a fractured right Femur sustained in the Morocco Rally at the end of 2018, Franco is now ready to compete once again. Working tirelessly to make a full recovery from his injury, the Argentinian is hugely motivated to get back behind the bars of his WR450F Rally.
Celebrating its 9th running this year, the 2019 Silk Way Rally features a motorcycle class for the first time. Starting in Irkutsk with a start ceremony on July 6 the event will get under way on July 7 with a short 50km special stage. With overall stage and special stage lengths increasing as the rally moves through Russia and Mongolia, special stage four - a circular stage starting and finishing in Ulaanbaatar - will be the longest at 470km. Competitors will enter China on July 13 (stage 7) with stage eight the longest of the event at 785km total distance. The final competitive and closing stage will see competitors arrive into Dunhuang on July 16.
It was a day of mixed emotions for the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team at the TT Circuit Assen today. Maverick Viñales delivered a strong race performance at the Motul TT Assen round, riding his YZR-M1 to a brilliant victory after a hard fight at the front. Valentino Rossi‘s luckless streak continued in the Netherlands. He suffered a crash on lap 5, ending his challenge prematurely.
Viñales had a good start from P2, but a wobble in Turn 1 left him a bit unsettled. He fell back to fourth, which he held crossing the finish line for the first time. There was a small scrap between him and Marc Marquez early on, until the number-12 rider noticed the three front men getting away, prompting him to make his move. As he chased the race leaders, frontrunner Álex Rins crashed. It didn‘t shake up the Yamaha rider though. He passed Joan Mir, and then the battle with Marquez and Fabio Quartararo really started.The 24-year-old was in third place for a while and was having a good look behind Marquez with 14 laps to go, deciding carefully where he would make his move. He first led the race on lap 16, but Marquez proved difficult to shake. With 9 laps to go, the Yamaha rider ran wide going into Turn 1 and fell back to second place, but it was only briefly. He retaliated that same lap by using the Yamaha‘s nimble character to perfection, reclaiming the P1 spot. It was the right moment to put his head down, and this time he broke free from his rival. He showed his incredible race pace, setting a personal best lap of 1‘33.720s on lap 21. The Spaniard kept his concentration until the very end and took the chequered flag with a 4.854s advantage.
Rossi did well to manoeuvre himself through the busy mid-pack in the early stages of the race. Setting off from P14, he held his position in the opening lap and gained a place on the next. He had found a set-up he liked in this morning's warm-up, and it clearly worked for him in the early stages of the race as he swiftly moved up to 11th place in lap 3.
However bad luck struck for the third time in a row. Eager to hit the front, the Italian attempted to overtake Takaaki Nakagami on lap 5 but suffered a fast crash in Turn 8, unfortunately taking his rival down with him. Thankfully the Doctor was quickly back on his feet and able to check on his fellow rider, but he could not resume his challenge.Today's NC result means Rossi stays in fifth position in the championship standings with an 88-point gap to first. Viñales on the other hand moves up from eleventh to seventh in the rankings, with a 95-point margin to the top. Yamaha remains third in the constructor standings, whilst Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP gains one position, to third, in the team classification.
The team will be back in action next week, when the riders take on the Sachsenring for the German GP.
From the beginning of the official Global Partnership between Yamaha and Deus in 2013, the already existing collaboration has been growing ever stronger. As a global technical partner Yamaha has been providing support for international events in Europe, USA and Australia. Of course what put the two brands together in the first place was their shared passion for motorcycle and customization that has originated a wide range of unique projects. Among some of their uber cool custom creations are the Deus SR400 'Lightning', the XJR1300 'Eau Rouge' and the stunning XV950 'D-Side', based on a wide range of original Yamaha models The latest offering, the Swank Rally 700, takes the cool essence of Deus and blends it perfectly with Yamaha's versatile and easily customizable XSR700. The result is a true Deus custom that delivers the engaging and emotional riding experience that the XSR is famous for.
A new Yamaha Yard Built: The pure off-road Swank Rally 700
Deus' choice of the heritage infused Yamaha XSR700 was a perfect one. The 689cc motor's strong linear torque and agile lightweight chassis form the ideal base for the new project. With off-road entertainment and action in mind, Deus mounted a Yamaha Super Ténéré 1200 front end, including forks, to the XSR along with a 19" front wheel. Softer springs were used to account for the lower weight of the XSR700 and an Öhlins mono-shock rear was used to balance the suspension. Kineo tubeless spoke wheels were fitted front and rear and Metzeler Karoo rubber ensures maximum grip in the dirt. Custom work includes a hand-beaten aluminium tank and a handmade saddle as well as a hand crafted aluminium skid plate. Keeping in true vintage off-road style, Acerbis front and rear fenders are mounted and Acerbis aluminium supports hold vintage plastic hand guards. A proper throaty growl signs off the Swank Rally 700 with a custom 2-in-1 SC exhaust.
The Reunion 2019, The Sardinia Swank Rally and Wheels & Waves
The Swank Rally 700 broke cover and was on display as one of the star Yard Built at this year's The Reunion bike event at the historic Monza circuit, Italy in May before moving on to a big adventure, The Sardinia Swank Rally.
Celebrating the legendary Rally of Sardinia, first created by Renato Zocchi in 1984 after his return from the Dakar, the Swank Rally has two classes, one for vintage and one for modern machines. The Swank Rally 700 was the perfect bike to tackle the epic competition, bringing a mix of Yamaha's Faster Sons vibe, Deus custom magic and XSR rideability to the event. Having successfully contested in Sardinia, it was of course on to Biarritz for the next stage of the summer, and the sun-kissed Wheels & Waves event. Adding extra flavour to the show, Deus arrived with a stunning 1958 Series 2 Land Rover, Landy, perfectly partnered with a vintage icon, Yamaha's XT500, a machine that wrote the legendary opening chapters in the early days of the Dakar Rally in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Both vintage wonders rivalled the sunshine in glorious yellow liveries.
Fashion & Pitti 2019
Deus is of course a driving force in fashion so it was no surprise that the Yamaha and Deus collaboration also touched down in Italy for the Pitti 2019 event. Taking pride of place amongst the apparel and clothing were two superstars of Yamaha's rally racing past - firstly a very special Yamaha DT 400 that took part in the 1976 Abidjan/Nice Rally, still wearing its original race livery. Demanding equal respect was a very rare Yamaha HL600 that saw action in the 1977 FIM Motocross World Championship.
The Yamaha Sport Heritage range is a major success with those riders who appreciate the unique formula that blends timeless style with a special character, sophisticated engine and chassis technology. This retro appeal mixed with contemporary high-tech motorcycles are enabling today's riders to discover the true essence of motorcycling. It is the Faster Sons philosophy, a refreshing approach to motorcycle design attracting riders of all ages and backgrounds to the Yamaha Sport Heritage line.
From the first collaborative builds together and continuing with the official global technical partnership, the relationship with Deus and Yamaha grows stronger, bringing a shared passion for fun and emotional riding experiences and the custom lifestyle to a happy and engaged fanbase of motivated two-wheel enthusiasts around the world.
Yamaha Motor and the Iwata City Council, Japan, announces today the beginning of an evaluation trial on public roads of low-speed autonomous driving vehicles.
This trial is based on the "Partnership Agreement for Low-Speed Autonomous Driving Technology Evaluation Trials within Iwata City" concluded in October last year, and has two objectives:
firstly, functional evaluation of and ascertaining issues with autonomous driving systems, and
secondly, consideration of the driving environment working toward rollout of low-speed autonomous driving vehicles.
Comment from Mr. Osamu Watanabe, Mayor of Iwata City
"With the onset of the decreasing birthrate, aging population, and declining population overall, it is predicted that the operational environment for public transportation - a key part of community mobility - will become even more adverse. Given these trends, we are very pleased that this evaluation trial of low-speed autonomous driving vehicles is beginning in Iwata City, as this technology is anticipated to create a new form of public transportation. We hope that this trial will establish the feasibility of low-speed autonomous driving technology, and thus play a role in resolving community public transportation issues and increasing resident convenience in daily life."
Comment from Mr. Yoshihiro Hidaka, President and Representative Director of Yamaha Motor
""I would like to take the opportunity with the commencement of this evaluation trial to thank the local residents of Iwata City and everyone concerned with this initiative, who have given us invaluable support. This initiative forms part of "ART for Human Possibilities, Rethinking Solutions," one of the Company's medium- to long-term growth strategies. By offering land cars which move at a gentle pace - and which are capable of autonomous driving - as a last-mile mobility solution, we aim to expand the possibilities of low-speed mobility, and also contribute to addressing a variety of transport-related issues which are becoming apparent, such as maintaining public transportation in mountainous and depopulated regions and the advancing aging of drivers.""
Overview of Trial
Trial period:Two years from July 2019
Trial location:Around Mikuriya Station (planned for opening) Iwata city, Shizuoka, Japan
Distance to be traveled:Maximum of 4.2 km
Trial vehicles:Electric small and low speed PPMs (Public Personal Mobility) - public road specification land cars
1. Functional evaluation of and ascertaining issues with autonomous driving systems
2. Study of the driving environment working toward rollout of low-speed autonomous driving vehicles
Historic victory for the tyre brand and for the British rider from Bradford who,Historic victory for the tyre brand and for the British rider from Bradford who,riding the RACETEC™ RR Slick fitted Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR of the SiliconeEngineering Racing Kawasaki team, crossed the finish line in first position withan impressive 53-second advantage over the next pursuer.
The METZELER brand also achieved victory in the Lightweight TT with MichaelDunlop realising a total of eight podiums thanks to James Hillier and JamieCoward performances, in addition to those of Dean Harrison.
Douglas (Isle of Man), 7 June 2019 – The METZELER brand and Dean Harrison have todaywon the Dunlop Senior TT, the most prestigious race of the Isle of Man TT, a historic andfascinating motorcycle competition which has been held since 1907 on the 60.720-kilometre(37.733 miles) road circuit of the Snaefell Mountain Course.
Victory in the Dunlop Senior TT is the perfect crowning moment of a week in which theMETZELER brand flew high winning the Lightweight TT with Michael Dunlop and climbingthe podium a total of eight times thanks to performances by James Hillier and JamieCoward., in addition to those of Harrison and Dunlop.
The success at the Dunlop Senior TT represents an historic victory for both METZELER and therider from Bradford who, after seven years of collaboration full of successes and victories in allthe other classes of the Isle of Man TT, a first time win in the Dunlop Senior TT. Furthermore, at30, Dean Harrison is one of the youngest riders ever to win this race.
After getting three second places in the Superbike and Supersport races on Monday 3rd Juneand in the Superstock race on Thursday 6th June, today Dean Harrison, on the Kawasaki NinjaZX-10RR of the Silicone Engineering Racing Kawasaki team fitted with METZELERRACETEC™ RR Slick tyres, has achieved a fantastic victory. He crossed the finish line, with anadvantage of over 53 seconds over Peter Hickman, second, and Conor Cummins, third.
To complete the podiums obtained by METZELER were James Hillier, third in the secondSupersport race, and Jamie Coward, who gave the tyre brand a splendid double in theLightweight TT classifying second behind Michael Dunlop, thanks also to the performance of theRACETEC™ RR treaded tyres.
The success in the Dunlop Senior TT and the excellent results obtained also in the other classesof the Isle of Man TT, as well as in the many road racing competitions such as the North West200 and the Ulster Grand Prix, demonstrate the high technological and performance standardsreached by METZELER in the development of its range of slick and treaded racing tyres. Theseproducts are tested in the toughest and most demanding road racing conditions and races, suchas the Isle of Man TT, and are made available to all riders through their dealer network
Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. has finalised its entry in the 2019 FIM Trial-E Cup with the TY-E electric trials bike for the second successive year. Kenichi Kuroyama will once again ride for the Yamaha Factory Racing Team as he aims to clinch the title win that he narrowly missed last year, finishing 2nd overall by just three points.
The Trial-E Cup began in 2017 with just a single round, but that number was increased to two last season. This third season of the competition will again consist of two rounds, held alongside Round 3 of the FIM Trial World Championship in Zelhem in the Netherlands (June 22–23) and Round 4 in Comblain-au-Pont in Belgium (June 29–30).
Kuroyama is a top-class trials rider with a record 11 All Japan Trial Championship titles and has finished a career-best 3rd in the FIM Trial World Championship. He is riding for the Yamaha Factory Racing Team in the All Japan Trial Championship’s premier IA Super class and currently sits atop the point standings with a 2nd at Round 1 in Wakayama and a win at Round 2 in Miyazaki.
The TY-E made its debut in the Trial-E Cup with Kuroyama last year. The Japanese rider was in close contention for victory at the opening round in France and eventually triumphed by riding to 2 marks and 28 cleans for the win. The scene was similar at the next round in Belgium, but this time Kuroyama fell short of a second win, finishing 2nd. This tied him with his rival on total points with a 1st and 2nd place finish each, but the series rules place priority on the final round’s results, thus Kuroyama and the TY-E ended their first Trial E-Cup campaign as the runner-up.
Yamaha TY-E Electric Trials Bike
The TY-E is an advanced development vehicle created as part of Yamaha Motor’s Evolving R&D programme. This initiative allows employees in the Research and Development Section to use 5% of their working hours at their discretion for voluntary, independent research not bound by conventional frameworks in order to spur innovation.
To help overcome the development problems associated with electric vehicles, such as delivering high output from compact and lightweight components, and being easy to ride where the bike responds just as the rider intends, a group of engineers looked to creating a competition trials model and set to work on its development.
The TY-E’s features include 1) a compact, high-rotation, high-power motor that achieves outstanding off-road performance with both powerful low-speed torque and long-lasting acceleration, 2) motor control technology delivering excellent response and a feeling of power from the extremely low to high-speed range, 3) a power unit equipped with a mechanical clutch to ensure instantaneous power and control, and a flywheel optimised for the electric motor to provide excellent traction, 4) compact, lightweight components like the newly designed, compact high-output battery pack, 5) a CFRP monocoque frame made as light as possible while securing optimal rigidity and space for the battery pack, and 6) extremely slim styling that does not interfere with the dynamic rider actions characteristic of trials.
Cameron Beaubier scored a pair of seconds this weekend at Road America to help close the points gap on the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship leader to just nine points. His teammate Garrett Gerloff crossed the line behind him in both races, making it the fourth double podium this season for the Monster Energy Yamalube Yamaha Factory Racing Team.Saturday’s race one was met with varying conditions. Rain flags came out before the half-way mark, but it was not enough to come in to exchange slicks for rain tires. This closed the gap between the competition, making it both a challenge for position, as well as a challenge keeping it on two wheels. Ultimately the race came down to the wire with four riders left in the fight. After a competitor’s mistake, both Beaubier and Gerloff were able to advance to podium finishes. The reigning Superbike Champion wanted more though, and made one last push to draft up the hill for the lead, but unfortunately was .253 of a second short.
On Sunday, Mother Nature was more cooperative with sunny weather, which made for a hot pace. Both Beaubier and Gerloff were part of the four-rider lead group who were able to gap the field. The Texan made an attempt to move up towards the front, but ultimately was shuffled back to fourth. He then lost the draft and got dropped from the lead group.
Beaubier waited patiently, had a few attempts towards the front, but was unable to make it stick. In the heat of the battle on the final lap, his championship rival made an error that put him in the gravel, resulting in another double podium for Beaubier and Gerloff on their Monster Energy Yamalube Yamaha Factory Racing Team YZF-R1s.
Up next on the schedule for the team is round five of MotoAmerica at Utah Motorsports Campus, June 15-16.
2019 MotoAmerica Superbike VIR Race One Results
- Toni Elias
- Cameron Beaubier
- Garrett Gerloff
- Josh Herrin
- Mathew Scholtz
- Cameron Petersen
- JD Beach
- Jake Gagne
- David Anthony
- Jake Lewis
2019 MotoAmerica Superbike VIR Race Two Results
- Josh Herrin
- Cameron Beaubier
- Garrett Gerloff
- JD Beach
- Mathew Scholtz
- Kyle Wyman
- Jake Gagne
- Jake Lewis
- Cameron Petersen
- Sam Verderico
2019 MotoAmerica Superbike Standings
- Toni Elias 151
- Cameron Beaubier 142
- Garrett Gerloff 104
- JD Beach 100
- Josh Herrin 96
- Mathew Scholtz 80
- Jake Lewis 76
- Cameron Petersen 65
- David Anthony 59
- Kyle Wyman 48