Topping the Enduro 1 class standings on the opening day of competition in Lake Paijanne, Outsiders Yamaha Official Enduro Team rider Jamie McCanney has enjoyed a victorious start to his 2018 FIM Enduro World Championship season. With the championship opening GP taking place under extreme winter conditions, the WR250F powered rider wrapped up a highly positive weekend claiming fifth on the second day of racing in Finland.
With the season opening GP being an all-snow affair, Jamie McCanney and his Outsiders Yamaha team battled against sub-zero temperatures throughout the weekend in Finland. Making a steady start to the first day of racing, the Manxman increased his speed as the event progressed. Getting the 250cc class victory at the end of a long and demanding first day of competition, which included a number of night-time special stages, Jamie made the perfect start to the long 2018 season that lies ahead.
Feeling the effects of an exhausting 12-hour opening day, Jamie opted for a risk-free ride on the second day of racing in Finland. Avoiding costly mistakes, Yamaha's official representative in the Enduro 1 class secured a sold fifth place result to wrap up a tough weekend of racing on a high note.
Jamie McCanney and the Outsiders Yamaha Official Enduro Team return to action in Santiago de Compostela, Spain for round two of the 2018 Enduro World Championship on April 27/29.
Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. is delighted to announce that it will continue its strong relationship with nine-time World Champion and living MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi, having signed a new two-year agreement.
Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. and Valentino Rossi are delighted to have reached an agreement that will see the Italian rider remain with Yamaha's factory team for the 2019 and 2020 MotoGP seasons, aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1.
The contract extension comes just before the 39-year-old will embark on his 13th season with Yamaha, starting at the Grand Prix in Qatar, held from March 16th - 18th.
The combination of the Doctor and the YZR-M1 has led to many milestones in the past and together they secured four MotoGP World Championship titles. He is Yamaha's most successful Grand Prix rider in history, with 56 wins, 43 second places, and 35 third places secured in 206 races together. Moreover, out of the manufacturer's 500 Grand Prix victories, achieved in Le Mans 2017, exactly 11% of those victories were secured by him, making him the biggest contributing rider, having scored 55 victories on a Yamaha up to that point.
For an overview of some of Rossi's records and career highlights, visit Yamaha's special Valentino Rossi Webpage. Clicking on the statistics will reveal a hidden image.
With six strong podiums last year, including a brilliant GP victory in the Netherlands, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team is confident in their partnership with Rossi and look forward to being a serious title contender for 2018 and the following seasons.
This weekend Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales get to fire up their YZR-M1's engines again, signalling the start of the 2018 MotoGP season at the Grand Prix of Qatar.
It was only about a week and a half ago that the riders were at the Losail International Circuit to complete the final pre-season test. Rossi and Viñales finished in second and fifth place respectively in the combined Day 1-2-3 results and find themselves in good shape for this season's title challenge.
Nine-time World Champion Rossi is known for his love of close racing and he can't wait to get the show started in Qatar. He holds an impressive record at the Losail circuit of four wins (2005, 2006, 2010 and 2015), four second places (2007, 2009, 2013 and 2014), and one third place (2017), but he feels there is room for more trophies. This weekend he will go all out to start the 2018 season fighting at the front of the pack.
After the intensive winter testing season, Viñales also arrives in Doha eager to fight for victory at the opening race. The young Spaniard knows his way around the track, not only due to the many laps he completed during the winter test at the Losail circuit, but also because of his previous racing experience and successes in Qatar. He added a Moto3 victory to his resume in 2012, he secured second place in the same class one year later, and he took a brilliant MotoGP win on his debut race with Yamaha last year.
The 5.4km-long Losail International Circuit is located on the outskirts of Doha and was added to the MotoGP calendar in 2004. Four years later the track became the first and only circuit in MotoGP to host a night-time Grand Prix, held under the floodlights. Besides the special mood of an evening-race, the Losail circuit also offers a mix of medium and high-speed corners (six left, ten right turns) and an over a kilometre long main straight, that are guaranteed to make for an exciting race, with many overtakes.
The Qatar GP time schedule for the upcoming race weekend slightly differs from the usual. The Free Practice 1 session will take place on Friday afternoon from 14:45 - 15:30 local track time (GMT+3) followed by FP2 at 19:05 - 19:50. On Saturday FP3 starts at 14:35 - 15:20 and FP4 is held at 18:40 - 19:10, before the qualifying sessions from 19:20 - 20:00. On Sunday the warm-up is held at 14:40 - 15:00 and the race starts at 19:00.
Taking corner carving confidence to another level
Launched to the world at the EICMA motorcycle show in late 2017, the all-new Yamaha NIKEN is about to open up a whole new dimension in riding control. With its revolutionary Leaning Multi Wheel (LMW) platform, the NIKEN introduces a totally new concept to the world of motorcycling, and takes corner carving confidence to another level.
The new NIKEN has many rider benefits coming from the unique new technology, and the new technical video released today by Yamaha gives a full explanation of the key features used in the new LMW design.
The LMW concept explained
In the latest video released by Yamaha, each aspect of the LMW Ackermann steering geometry is explained with detailed visuals that highlight how this unique new system benefits the NIKEN rider.
The video shows it all, from the LMW system's parallelogram link design through to the offset joints and dual tube inverted forks - showing how each component contributes towards the NIKEN's excellent cornering performance together with its unique and sporty riding experience. Viewers can also see how the unique hybrid frame combined with a long aluminium swingarm and model-specific chassis geometry work together to create one of today's most innovative and exciting new models.
Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) is pleased to announce the extension of its contract with 25-year-old Spanish rider Marc Márquez, currently competing in the FIM*1 MotoGP World Championship for the HRC's factory team *2 "Repsol Honda Team," that will see him continue to race for two more years beginning in 2019.
After winning the 125cc championship in 2010, Márquez moved on to Moto2 racing in 2011 to win the title in 2012. In his debut year in the premier class in 2013, he became the world's youngest champion after taking the title for the Repsol Honda Team. In 2017 he became the youngest rider in history to win four titles in the premier class.
"I'm excited to continue to race for Honda's factory team in the MotoGP class. I'm proud to race as a member of the Honda family, and I appreciate how Honda and the team always do their best to provide me with everything I need. I would also like to thank everyone who has given me such warm support over the years. The first two official tests went well, and with my contract renewed, I can concentrate on racing in the new season. I will continue to enjoy racing, share my joy with everybody, and do my best to reach our shared goals. Thank you!"
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team were back on track in Qatar for a very special third and final day of MotoGP testing. Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales had a full schedule today, completing both a dry and a wet session. They ended the 2018 MotoGP pre-season testing on a positive note, finishing in second and fifth place respectively in today's and the combined timesheets, and in third and seventh position in the wet session.
Unable to complete his time attack yesterday, Rossi was eager to make strides today. The Doctor entered the track at 15:30 local time and he wasn't to let a small set-back get in his way. Though he suffered a crash in turn 14 with still four hours of the dry session remaining, he was unharmed and quickly back out on track to make up for lost time.
The Italian spent the remainder of the available dry time preparing for the first race of the season, to be held at the Losail International Circuit in two weeks' time, and noticeably quickened his pace towards the end of the session. He ended the dry testing in second place with a 1'54.276s, set on lap 42 of 49 laps, 0.247s from first.
Viñales also showed that hard work pays off. He started the session half an hour after his teammate, but went the extra mile to find a good set-up, ahead of the first round of the MotoGP season.
He completed 40 laps in total and made a big step in the final 40 minutes of the dry testing time. He wrapped up the third day of testing in fifth place, posting a best time of 1'54.471s, set on lap 38, 0.442s off the front.
Following the dry session, the riders were given the opportunity to test the Losail circuit in (artificial) wet conditions during the final hour. Rossi completed the wet session in third place with a 2'15.542s. Viñales secured seventh place in the wet session results, clocking a 2'21.302s.
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back in Qatar on March 15th for the MotoGP 2018 Line-up Presentation and to commence the 2018 season, with the Grand Prix of Qatar being held from March 16th - 18th.
HARLEY-DAVIDSON INVESTS IN ALTA MOTORS; COMPANIES WILL COLLABORATE ON FUTURE ELECTRIC MOTORCYCLE PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
Collaboration Will Advance Application of EV Motorcycle Technology and Expand Electric Motorcycle Marketplace Combining Instant Torque and Quick Acceleration with Intuitive and Dynamic Motorcycle Design
MILWAUKEE (March 1, 2018) – Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE: HOG) announced today that it has made an equity investment in Alta Motors, a leader and innovator in lightweight electric vehicles, and that the two companies will collaborate on electric motorcycle technology and new product development.
“Earlier this year, as part of our 10-year strategy, we reiterated our commitment to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders, in part, by aggressively investing in electric vehicle (EV) technology,” said Harley-Davidson President and CEO Matt Levatich. “Alta has demonstrated innovation and expertise in EV and their objectives align closely with ours. We each have strengths and capabilities that will be mutually beneficial as we work together to develop cutting-edge electric motorcycles.”
Harley-Davidson has already announced the planned launch of its first electric motorcycle, informed by Project LiveWire™. That motorcycle is on track for release in 2019.
Since its inception, Alta Motors has designed and commercialized the world’s most advanced electric motorcycles, enabling everyone from pro riders to new riders to experience “the future of fast.”
“Riders are just beginning to understand the combined benefits of EV today, and our technology continues to progress, said Alta Motors Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder, Marc Fenigstein. “We believe electric motorcycles are the future, and that American companies have an opportunity to lead that future. It’s incredibly exciting that Harley-Davidson, synonymous with motorcycle leadership, shares that vision and we’re thrilled to collaborate with them.”
As electric-drive innovation brings new levels of ease, accessibility and control, Harley-Davidson and Alta Motors aim to attract new audiences who are inspired by motorcycles and drawn to the “twist-and-go” ease and exhilaration of an electric motorcycle with no gears or clutch.
“We believe that EV is where global mobility is headed and holds great appeal for existing riders as well as opportunity to bring new riders into the sport,” said Levatich. “We intend to be the world leader in the electrification of motorcycles and, at the same time, remain true to our gas and oil roots by continuing to produce a broad portfolio of motorcycles that appeal to all types of riders around the world.”
After blitzing past the world’s top hard enduro riders for a Roof of Africa podium, bringing home three National Enduro titles, and defending their overall National Cross Country crown for the second consecutive time – it’s safe to say that the Brother Leader Tread KTM team had an exceptional year of riding in 2017.
The start of a new season dawns this month, and the unrelenting hunt for championship titles is about to begin again. The rider line up has been confirmed, and fans are rallying up as the 2018 Brother Leader Tread KTM squad prepares to take on one of their biggest seasons yet.
Scott Bouverie will lead the way for his team in the National Enduro series. After fighting tooth and nail for the E1 championship last year, a new coveted title has caught his eye. The rider has made the move to the E2 class this year on a KTM 300 EXC TPI:
“I wanted to win the E1 last year and I did it, and now I plan to do the same in E2. I'm excited - I've raced this class before, and really enjoyed the bike!” he said.
Bouverie will also be doing selected races abroad this year. Having conquered Erzberg Rodeo in 2017, the rider will attempt to finish with a solid overall position this year. He will also be competing in Red Bull Romaniacs and Red Bull Sea To Sky.
Brother Leader Tread KTM teammate, Dwayne Kleynhans, narrowly fell short of E1 glory when Bouverie beat him to the top step of the podium in 2017. With a laser focus on taking the championship this time around, Kleynhans will once again compete in the E1 class on his KTM 250 EXC-F.
“My mindset is to do one thing, and one thing only – win the 2018 National E1 title. I really believe in my abilities and work ethic and don't see why it's not possible,” said Kleynhans.
He will also compete in Red Bull Romaniacs and Red Bull Sea to Sky, and comments on one international ambition in particular:“Another main focus this year is to finish Erzberg Rodeo. It would honestly mean the world to me to achieve that,” he said.
South Africa’s enduro queen Kirsten Landman has raised her hand for a daunting challenge in 2018. After blazing through the Silver Class with a whitewash last year, she has signed up for the E2 class in an attempt to up her pace and refine her technical skills.
As she takes on new territory with a KTM 250 EXC TPI as her weapon of choice, she said: “I need to keep raising the bar, so I’m aiming to gain more experience this year on a bigger and faster bike. There’s a lot to learn, and I want to get onto equal playing grounds with my competitors.”
To add to her ambitious pursuits, Landman has also decided to represent the Brother Leader Tread KTM family in the National Cross Country OR3 class.
After a high-speed accident that almost ended her career, she has openly expressed a fear of speed that has haunted her for years: “Going back to offroads is something I thought I would never do again. But here I am, preparing for a full National Cross Country season. It’s time to conquer my fears because I have my heart set on much bigger challenges in the future,” she said.
Landman will be part of a massive six rider line up committed to the National Cross Country season for Brother Leader Tread KTM.
Following Jonas Folger's declaration not to contest in 2018, the entire Monster Yamaha Tech3 was trying to find the best solution to replace the German, thereby evaluating available riders. Finally, the French-based squad is very happy and proud to announce, that Hafizh Syahrin will be their second MotoGP rider this season, alongside Johann Zarco.
After having impressed everyone with his rapid progress, his high motivation and his extraordinary learning curve during his first ever test aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 last week in Buriram, Thailand, Monster Yamaha Tech3 is eager to continue the great work together with the talented Malaysian youngster.
The PEPSON PLASTICS HUSQVARNA RACING team is rallying up for the start of the 2018 season. The six man squad has been announced and is preparing to blaze a path of glory in the National Enduro and Cross Country series.
With the action set to kick off in just under a month, devastating news hit the Husqvarna camp last weekend when leading rider Brett Swanepoel suffered from a serious crash at a Gauteng Xross Country Club race in Bronkhorstspruit.
Swanepoel had planned to use the local cross country event as preparation for the national season ahead, but had a fall in the first lap that resulted in severe injuries to his arm.Matt Green is determined to stand tall for his team as the only other PEPSON PLASTICS HUSQVARNA RACING rider in the National Enduro series.
If his name was not already on the cards, the youngster certainly made a grand entrance to the local enduro scene in 2017 with his debut attempt at the Roof of Africa, the ‘Mother of Hard Enduro.’
At just 16-years old, not only did Green jump straight into the daunting gold class, but managed to finish in the top 20. With a fearless approach to some of the most technical terrain in the world, international riders at the event went as far as to describe Green as a “mini version” of enduro legend Graham Jarvis.
After winning the High School Championship in the National Enduro series, the rider will make a step up to the E1 class this season on a Husqvarna TE150.
“I’m racing a big class this year, and I’m obviously hoping to achieve as many podiums as I can. My main focus is just to allow this year to grow me as a rider. I also plan to get some exposure overseas at Red Bull Romaniacs and Red Bull Sea to Sky,” said Green.
The rest of the PEPSON PLASTICS HUSQVARNA RACING team will take on the National Cross Country series.
The hunt for championship titles will be spearheaded by offroad legend, Kenny Gilbert.
Unusual for riders of his calibre, Gilbert did not grow up riding motorcycles. The first time he learned to ride a bike was at the age of 14, and he rapidly became a household name in the South African world of cross country.
By twenty-years old Gilbert had two national championships in the bag, and left to race in the Grand National Cross Country series in the USA for a few years.
He returned to South Africa to sweep up three consecutive Overall National Cross Country Championships.
Gilbert has finished second overall for the last two years, and is itching for the familiar glory of a cross country win: “I feel comfortable this year. What I’ve realised is that the championship isn’t won in the first few races, it’s how you finish the entire season. Last year I crashed out in the beginning, so this year I want to try build into it,” said Gilbert.
A podium hopeful in the OR2 class is Travis Gehlig.
The rider was first exposed to the world of cross country when his father put him on a motorcycle at the age of four. His relentless pursuit of this sport inevitably opened the door to the PEPSON PLASTICS HUSQVARNA RACING team in 2017.
Things seemed shaky for Gehlig at first when he crashed at the start of the national season last year, cracking two vertebrae in his lower back in the process.
Iain Pepper, owner of PEPSON PLASTICS, was a pillar of encouragement for Gehlig during his recovery and helped him pave a path to the PEPSON PLASTICS HUSQVARNA RACING team.
The opportunity ignited a new level of motivation for Gehlig, who upon his mid-season return to racing in 2017 managed to snatch up an OR2 podium position.
“Coming into 2018 I’ve really changed my approach to training, and have spent a lot of time riding with Iain and Kenny. I’m excited to battle it out for the OR2 championship with my Husqvarna FX350!” said Gehlig.
Iain Pepper will represent the PEPSON PLASTICS HUSQVARNA team as a Master rider this season with a Husqvarna FX350 as his weapon of choice.
Pepper has years of experience in this sport, and first started racing MX in the mid 70’s. He made the move to an offroad bike in 2016, initially just for the fun.
As the title sponsor for Husqvarna last year, he would enter the occasional cross country race when time permitted.
For the first time in 10 years, Pepper has decided to compete competitively again: “It feels so good to be training like this again! I would really like to step onto that podium a few times this season,” said Pepper.