Yamaha Aiming for Record Fourth Straight Race Win and Second Consecutive EWC Title at 41st “Coca-Cola” Suzuka 8 Hours
Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. announced the team line-up for this year’s 41st “Coca-Cola” Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Road Race, set to take place from July 26th - 29th at the legendary Suzuka Circuit in Mie Prefecture, Japan. The Yamaha Factory Racing Team will return to challenge for a record-breaking fourth consecutive Suzuka victory. They will be contesting alongside the Endurance World Championship (EWC) regulars: the YART Yamaha Official EWC Team and the defending EWC Champions, the GMT94 Yamaha Official EWC Team.
Making a sensational debut in 1998, this year marks the 20th anniversary of the YZF-R1 production superbike, and to highlight the occasion the race bikes for all three teams will sport a special red-white livery. The colour scheme is adorned with the iconic “YZF” and “R1” logos of the first-generation R1, as well as a special commemorative 20th anniversary logo. As Yamaha seeks an unprecedented four consecutive wins as well as a second back-to-back EWC title, the slogan for this year’s Suzuka 8 Hours is “R1evolution: The “R” Evolution Sparking a Revolution”.The Yamaha Factory Racing Team that secured Yamaha’s first-ever hat trick of wins at the 8 Hours will once again feature Japanese racing legend Katsuyuki Nakasuga and World Superbike stars Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark. The team will again be led by Wataru Yoshikawa, the manager of Yamaha’s factory team in the All Japan Road Race Championship.Riding for the GMT94 Yamaha Official EWC Team, in their quest for a second straight title, are endurance racing specialist David Checa, former Moto2 and MotoGP rider Mike Di Meglio and 2017 EWC Riders Champion Niccolò Canepa. The French team is currently second in the standings, with just a 10-point margin to first thanks to a fantastic win at the Bol d’Or, a second place at the 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring, and a third at the 8 Hours of Oschersleben.The YART Yamaha Official EWC Team’s roster to handle pre-race tests and the gruelling eight-hour race features long-time veteran Broc Parkes, 2016 German IDM Superbike Champion Marvin Fritz, former World Superbike racer Max Neukirchner and young Japanese superbike racer Takuya Fujita. Despite some unlucky DNFs, their win at the 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring puts them 13th in the standings before the race in Suzuka.
The biggest race on the National Cross-Country calendar is fast approaching as riders prepare for 1000 km’s of dusty desert trails. The Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race is a double-header event that will take place from 22-24 June.
Looking to snatch up the title of Desert King for the seventh time in his cross-country career is Brother Leader Tread KTM’s Ross Branch. It is no secret that the man fondly known as the “Kalahari Ferrari” is the favourite heading into the iconic event – now more than ever as he prepares for the 2019 Dakar Rally.Racing legend Alfie Cox was quick to put his money on Branch as the man to beat, but with years of experience highlights the danger of placing too much pressure on the rising star:
“The thing I’ve learnt is that when you focus too much on the hype being created as a rider, you can easily lose focus on the job that’s at hand. Things can go wrong in an instant – so you need to keep your head about you,” said Cox.
“With that being said, there’s no denying that this guy is the man to beat next weekend - and for a number of valid reasons!” he added.Here’s why Cox put his money on Branch as the man to beat next weekend:
1. Ross is a local
“We’re talking about the “Kalahari Ferrari” here – Ross comes alive in this terrain. Many people don’t realise that Ross lives in Botswana, so he knows this area like the back of his hand.”
2. Sand skills like no other
“Few riders have the same set of skills as Ross in more than one discipline. He not only has an incredible offroad racing talent when it comes to speed and endurance, but also knows how to handle thick sand – and that's a big advantage.”
3. Good, dusty track record
“Ross has six Botswana 1000 Desert Race titles in the bag! There’s no reason for this year to be any different. With an intense Dakar training schedule, Ross is going to be in one of his best forms yet.”
4. Performs when the pressure’s on
“This race is the biggest sporting event of the year in Botswana. With Ross being a local hero, the pressure is definitely on! But time and time again, he’s proven that he thrives in this kind of environment.”
5. A wealth of desert racing experience
“I’ve watched Ross grow up, and seen the amount of work he’s put in to get to this point of his career. It takes a mature rider to sign up for the Dakar, so I don’t doubt what he’s capable of when it comes to any kind of desert racing.”
With new XSR's custom builds ready to ride the line between past and future, a huge new partnership on the horizon and so much more, this is the biggest wheels and waves for Yamaha yet.
Yamaha's Faster Sons
Inspired by some of the most memorable and iconic models from our past, Yamaha's Sport Heritage range is proving to be a major success with those riders who appreciate the unique formula that blends timeless style with a special character, sophisticated engine and chassis technology.
By harnessing the retro appeal of Yamaha models from a previous generation - and at the same time creating minimalist, contemporary high-tech motorcycles that deliver linear torque with agile handling for a connected and emotional riding experience - we're enabling today's Yamaha riders to discover the true essence of motorcycling.
It is the Faster Sons philosophy. This refreshing approach to motorcycle design has attracted riders of all ages and backgrounds to the Yamaha Sport Heritage line. Yamaha's Faster Sons design philosophy has struck a chord with many thousands of riders who appreciate not only the timeless design of our Sport Heritage models, but also their ability to put every rider in touch with their surroundings, and make every single ride more than enjoyable.
Yamaha Yard Built
In garages all over the world customers dream of creating their very own customised motorcycle and Yamaha seeks to enable this by asking talented bike Custom builders to provide inspirational ideas on how to transform modern Yamaha Sport Heritage models into what we have entitled "Yard Built specials".
Yamaha's Yard Built programme has gone from strength to strength over the last few years. Yard Built has quickly grown a global audience of enthusiastic custom bike fans as some of the world's best customizers have collaborated with Yamaha to create stunning builds based on the current Sport Heritage range. Yamaha's Yard Built programme heads to the 2018 Wheels & Waves event with amazing projects, all focused on the Sport Heritage range's Yamaha XSR machines. This new generation of Yard Built creations will each have a strong national flavour, having been built in collaboration with a national Yamaha distributor, their local custom builder and a national motorcycle magazine.
Yamaha at Wheels and Waves 2018
Biarritz is a world-renowned destination for those who enjoy a relaxed approach to life, but once a year things get loud. Wheels and Waves has been bringing the party to the south of France for six years now. From the Punk's Peak and El Rollo races to the surf competition and everything in between, Wheels and Waves is one of the coolest events on the calendar for those who want to indulge their love for all things two wheeled and fast.
This is the fourth year that Yamaha have been a part of Wheels and Waves and it's going to be the most extensive Yamaha experience yet. This year Yamaha is rocking a retro futuristic theme, so get ready to go Back to the Future. Leaning away from the traditionally retro focused Yard Built aesthetic, Yamaha wanted to add something new to the mix and include some futurism in the brief. This is futuristic design from an 80s perspective. With Yard Built projects being unveiled in the Wheels and Waves village, bikes entering the Punk's Peak and Swank Rally races, the Faster Sons apparel store getting you deep into the Faster Sons universe and a host of official partners doing their thing; this is one for the history books.
With Yard Built projects coming in from all over Europe, this is probably the most diverse year ever for Yamaha at Wheels and Waves. With the Back to the Future theme tying together six very distinct Yard Built Projects, things are going to get interesting. Yamaha are using the laboratory that is Yard Built to show how different people from different places and different cultures can create such unique builds on a singular theme. Each of these retro futuristic masterpieces will be unveiled in the Wheels and Waves village and will find their way into the Punk's Peak race. For the Back to the Future crew it is XSR700s all the way, but that's where the similarities end. The all-female, Italian biker collective, Miss Biker, are bringing the Yamato in collaboration with Rice Eaters Garage. The Netherland's Ironwood Motorcycles are adding their unmistakable style to the selection with the Chronos Joyride. Yamaha Klein from Germany join the pack with the Bantam Racer. Spanish custom build superstars Russell Motorcycles represent with their bike, Resilience. France's own Le French Atelier are showing off their style with the Bull Noir and rounding out the six is the Portuguese contingent, Ton-Up Garage with their appropriately named OutRun motorcycle.
These six bikes will be joined by a host of other custom builds representing everything that's wild and wonderful about Yard Built. Whether that's cruising to the beach on a custom SCR950 or showing its muscle with Workhorse Speedshop's fast and low XSR700, there's a bike here for every occasion. DAB Motors will also be joining and unveiling their ultra-futuristic creation, Alter, at the Wheels and Waves Art Ride. A truly cutting edge design and build that proves just how far a Yard Built Project can go.
Joining Yamaha at Wheels and Waves are a prime selection of Official Partners, there to add some spice to proceedings. Nexx Helmets will be supplying helmets to builders chosen from their cool Garage line up. REV'IT is bringing their Overshirt Tracer jackets for builders while Mama Custom offer their ample skills in helmet painting at the Yamaha tent.
Wheels and Waves isn't just about the bikes though and with water in its DNA, Yamaha are stepping up to the Waves this years as well as the Wheels. Diving in as an official partner of the surf competition, Yamaha are putting up a 9ft Yamaha branded long board as prize for whoever takes the top spot as well as for the winner of Punk's Peak. There's also going to be at the Yamaha tent a Faster Sons apparel store, giving you the chance to further immerse yourself in the Faster Sons Universe. So, come and join us at the Yamaha tent and make sure your following along with #BackToTheFuture and on the Yamaha Motor Europe Instagram @yamahamotoreu
Yamaha global partner of Deus Ex Machina
This year Yamaha is proud to announce a new, global partnership with Deus Ex Machina. The partnership comes off the back of a long-standing collaboration between the two brands, based on a mutual respect and a shared passion for customized lifestyle. With Deus Italy's Marketing and Communication Manager Filippo Bassoli becoming Global Marketing Director, this partnership took the next step and Yamaha joined Deus Ex Machina as their Global Technical Partner for the next two years. While both parties are businesses first and foremost, they both know that the world they live for is about fun, adventure, and living the lifestyle. The relationship between Yamaha and Deus Ex Machina will continue to be based on supporting unique communities, engaging with the wilder side of motorcycles and providing those who want it, the means for fun.
To celebrate this new global partnership, Yamaha is bringing the XSR900 Swank Rally Deus Ex Machina custom. It's going to be out for fun and victory at the Wheels and Waves Swank Rally race, with Alexandre Kowalski riding in Biarritz on June 14th. As Yamaha Europe Racing Manager for the Official Rally and Enduro teams, he is one of Yamaha's finest to be hitting the hills in Biarritz and taking on this challenge.
Make sure you stay tuned and keep an eye out for everything this partnership has coming up down the road.
Yamaha has been building the most competitive cutting-edge motocross bikes for nearly half a century - and since the company's first MX world championship win back in 1973, Yamaha has entered and won in every category that matters. Racing is an integral part of the company's DNA, and the will to win is at the very heart of the company's operations.
Full line up from 65cc to 450cc
From young racers starting out on the YZ65 and then progressing onto the new MY19 YZ85 and YZ125, riders can stick with Yamaha right from the start of their professional racing careers - and with the company's bLU cRU programme, more than 80 YZ125 riders from 17 European nations are benefitting from professional Yamaha support by participating in the YZ125 bLU cRU Cup. When it's time to move on up to the adult categories, machine continuity can be maintained with the YZ250, new MY19 YZ250F or YZ450F, giving aspiring champions the chance to experience Yamaha's winning performance at every step of their career.
Yamaha YZ motocross bikes offer the very latest technology and performance features designed to make enthusiasts and professional racers alike the best riders possible, win races and become one with their machine - putting them in the victorYZone and atop the podium.
For 2019 season Yamaha introduce the all-new YZ250F, the most sophisticated model in its class. Featuring a newly designed high-performance electric start engine and an agile new chassis, this state of the art 250cc 4-stroke opens up a new era in wireless connectivity and trackside tuneability with its Yamaha Power Tuner smartphone app.
Yamaha's total commitment to all sectors of the motocross market is reinforced with the launch of the all-new YZ85, the most advanced youth MX bike in its class. Powered by a liquid-cooled 2-stroke engine that features Yamaha's torque boosting Yamaha Power Valve System (YPVS) technology - and equipped with newly developed suspension systems - this sharp looking race bike delivers more performance and more control for young riders.
Other models in the 2019 YZ Range
For 2019 the YZ450F receives technical upgrades, while YZ250 and YZ125 models get all-new graphics. With the launch of the new YZ250F and YZ85 ¬- not forgetting the recently launched YZ65 - Yamaha offers the most complete range of winning models that give racers of all ages the opportunity to be a part of one of the most successful brands in the history of motocross.
2018 season so far
With factory supported racers in every major class, Yamaha's 2018 season is looking strong, with Courtney Duncan dominating the WMX Championship and Yamaha leading the prestigious WMX Manufacturers Championship. In MX2, Kemea Yamaha Official MX2 team riders are challenging hard for the podium at every race on their factory YZ250F machine, and in MXGP Yamaha are holding a strong 2nd overall in the Manufacturers Championship, with Romain Febvre holding 3rd overall on his factory YZ450FM.
2019 Yamaha YZ250F
The 2019 YZ250F boasts an all-new engine design that features an electric starter, a new cylinder head, piston, cam shaft profile, cylinder geometry, larger diameter clutch and more - all working together to deliver top notch power, with even more mid-top power.
Its bilateral beam frame is completely revamped with an optimized engine mounting position to improve the machine's rigidity balance, which benefits cornering ability, and traction. Redesigned bodywork and ergonomics provide a lighter and more compact feel that bind rider and machine as one. The class leading KYB® suspension with updated internals provides the optimal balance between comfort and race-winning performance.
Along with all the above, the all-new 2019 YZ250F also comes standard with a Communication Control Unit (CCU) allowing riders to connect wirelessly to their bike, and tune it according to their preferences - all they need is a phone and the Yamaha Power Tuner app.
For 2019, Yamaha has refined its distinct rearward-slanted cylinder design for the YZ250F engine. The liquid-cooled, DOHC 4-valve, fuel-injected engine features a forward-positioned straight downdraft intake with symmetrical intake and exhaust ports. Fuel is delivered by a lighter 44mm throttle body, through a new 12-hole Denso® injector.
A new, higher-compression flat-top forged piston features a bridge-box design for additional strength with minimal weight. The piston, rings and DLC-coated piston pin, along with the offset cylinder configuration, all reduce friction loss and contribute to quick response. The YZ250F's lighter and more upright cylinder, newly designed intake ports, cam profiles, high-strength connecting rod and optimized crank and counterbalancer all work together to produce more potent mid-high-rpm power with user-friendly delivery and exceptional reliability. The transmission and clutch have been overhauled for a more direct connection as well as enhanced durability. The transmission retains the same proven gear ratios as in the previous model, but the gears are now made of a new alloy which provides stronger shock resistance. Due to the increased strength, the gear teeth could be made thinner, reducing weight and allowing a more compact design. The clutch assembly in the YZ250F features friction plates which are now 1.6mm thicker. The increase in thickness has allowed our engineers to reduce the number of plates to by one to 8.
The radiators and exhaust have also been modified for improved performance and weight distribution. The updated radiators are larger and angled more directly towards the incoming air stream for improved cooling under the most demanding race conditions. The innovative wraparound exhaust pipe design improves mass concentration and improves power development, with revised geometry for 2019. This layout moves the rear end of the exhaust pipe farther forward and enables a muffler position close to the center of mass.
World's first production 250cc class Power Tuner app
The 2019 YZ250F is the world's first production 250cc motocross bike with a wireless smartphone-based engine tuner. Using Yamaha's exclusive Power Tuner app, it's easy to choose the exact power profile for optimum race results at every track.
By connecting wirelessly with the YZ250F's inbuilt Communication Control Unit (CCU), riders and technicians can instantly and easily adjust air/fuel mixture and ignition timing maps to tune engine performance for various track conditions, record race log information, and monitor a range of data such as coolant temperature, intake air temperature, air pressure, battery stats and also maintenance related data such total run time and more.
The Yamaha Power Tuner App - first released with the 2018 YZ450F - makes it possible to modify engine mapping in even greater detail than before. It also allows users to share settings among their team or with friends (along with other information) thus evolving the system into a tool that helps facilitate communication.
Dual-mode switchable engine mapping
Two-mode adjustable engine mapping allows the rider to adjust engine character with the push of a button, making it easy to tune the YZ250F for changing track or weather conditions.
All-new lightweight electric start
Utilizing a compact starter motor and ultra-lightweight lithium-ion battery, the 2019 YZ250F brings the convenience of push-button starting for quick and effortless restarts under pressure and relaxed riding when the clock isn't ticking. Powered by a high-capacity and ultra-lightweight lithium-ion battery, the system adds minimal weight.
New frame and optimized ergonomics
The 2019 YZ250F's compact frame is completely new to further refine the instinctive handling that makes this Yamaha one of the best handling machines in the class. The all-new compact bilateral beam frame features redesigned upper frame bracing, rear frame spars, swingarm pivot area and all new engine mounts that centralize mass and increase rigidity on lateral, horizontal and vertical axis to provide an ideal balance between cornering feel and straight-line rigidity.
Simply, the new frame was designed to improve contact to the ground and provide the best possible balance of stiffness for bump absorption, and effortless cornering.
New compact body and seat design
Surrounding this fully redesigned chassis, the 2019 YZ250F features a new lighter, compact body from tip to tail. The radiator shrouds incorporate a new air duct with a concave shape that not only improves styling, but is also narrower for better knee grip and overall rider movement. The seat height has been reduced by 8mm towards the front and almost 20mm lower at the tail end, giving the rider better maneuverability on the bike.
Easily tuned KYB® coil spring suspension
The industry-leading, fully adjustable KYB® coil spring-type forks with speed sensitive damping receive updated settings, larger pistons and newly designed fork lugs / axle brackets to provide exceptional balance between handling and bump absorption for race-winning performance. The KYB® shock boasts new damping characteristics to match the new chassis as well as a new, lighter weight spring. The reservoir has been increased 30cc to increase damping control during long motos.
Careful computer-aided refinement of the EXCEL rim's cross-sectional profile shaves valuable unsprung weight without sacrificing durability, while more rigid wheel collars provide an improved feeling of contact to the ground when braking and a clear feeling of traction.
YZ250F Technical Highlights
• All-new DOHC 250cc liquid cooled 4-stroke engine
• Power Tuner smartphone app for trackside tuning
• 'On the fly' 2-position engine mapping switch
• Lightweight electric starter with lithium-ion battery
• Slim and compact new bodywork and seat
• New stronger bilateral aluminium beam frame
• New larger diameter Air-Oil-Separate front forks
• Lighter rear shock with improved damping performance
• New heavy-duty clutch with lighter feel at lever
• New high-efficiency angled radiator design
• Redesigned air filter box
• Stiffer front axle mounting bracket for better feel
• New high specification cam chain assembly
2019 Yamaha YZ85
The new Yamaha YZ85 youth motocross bike features a large number of major redesigns that are focused performance and ergonomics. Featuring an all-new engine, suspension, and more, the YZ85 is designed to assist bLU cRU riders to earn their entry into the victorYZone with race winning performance and unrivaled reliability.
The 2019 YZ85 utilizes a newly designed 85cc liquid-cooled, 2-stroke engine featuring a case reed-valve intake and a mechanical Yamaha Power Valve System (YPVS). Combined with redesigned cylinder and head, crankcase, crankshaft, connecting rod, transmission, exhaust and CDI unit, this new YZ engine provides broad tractable power across the rev range without losing peak power at high RPM.
Updated chassis and optimized ergonomics
The 2019 YZ85's semi-double-cradle steel frame, removable subframe and redesigned aluminum swing-arm provide a nimble feel, confident handling and ease of maintenance. The ergonomics feature a flat, comfortable seat, four-position adjustable aluminum tapered handlebars and adjustable reach levers to provide comfort and ease of movement for a wide range of young rider sizes.
Uprated brake system
For 2019, a new, stiffer front brake line with new routing improves braking feel, while wave-style brake discs offer improved self-cleaning and cooler-running performance. The 220mm front disc and 190mm rear disc deliver strong, precise stopping power.
Easily tuned KYB® coil spring suspension
The new YZ85 features KYB®'s race-proven, fully adjustable 36mm coil spring fork with one-piece outer tubes and tapered shape to provide optimal rigidity balance. This provides exceptional handling, bump absorption and ease of set-up for race-winning performance. The KYB® fully adjustable link-type shock utilizes specially designed damping characteristics to match the new chassis.
YZ85 Technical Highlights
• New 85cc liquid cooled 2-stroke engine with YPVS
• Plastic resin reed valve and new expansion chamber
• Increased compression ratio of 8.2-9.6:1
• New close ratio 6-speed transmission
• Light and efficient large core radiator
• Fully adjustable 36mm KYB® upside down front forks
• New impact resistant fork guards
• New wave discs and brake hoses
• 4-position adjustable tapered aluminium handlebars
• New aluminium swingarm for easy chain adjustment
• Link-type Monocross rear suspension
• Sharp styling and factory inspired graphics
Following its major redesign for 2018, the flagship YZ450F receives a number of detail technical improvements for 2019. The most significant change has been made to the front end, where the forks are equipped with larger front axle brackets featuring new shape wheel collars that ensure a higher level of front end rigidity.
This increased front end rigidity improves the YZ450F's overall handling performance by giving more accurate surface feedback and enabling the rider to better assess the level of front wheel traction, giving greater feel and improved control.
KTM introduces Adaptive Cruise Control and Blind Spot Detection systems on future models
KTM has demonstrated its commitment to improving safety for motorcyclists and reducing accidents as the first motorcycle manufacturer to demonstrate Adaptive Cruise Control and Blind Spot Detection systems.
Still in the development process, both of these features use sensor-based technology to help detect and prevent a collision from the front or rear. The prototype systems were unveiled on a modified KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S to a select group of media before being live demonstrated at the ÖAMTC driving technique center in Marchtrenk, Austria, on May 2. You can see the video here.
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is not designed as an emergency brake system but works when the machine is in cruise control above a designated speed. The system can detect a vehicle in front, ranging from the size of a motorcycle and above, and then locks on to maintain a distance of two seconds by automatic throttle control and – if needed – gentle application of the front brake.
The finalized packaging of the system is still in development along with adding the ability for the rider to customize the operational distance and speed. When fully developed, it is expected that ACC will be able to respond faster than any rider in such a given situation. The ‘blindspot’ on a bike is usually checked by a long, rearward look which can be dangerous in heavy traffic situations. Blind Spot Detection (BSD) adds another set of eyes in such demanding riding conditions or during a particularly long ride. BSD uses a short distance radar to ACC to alert the rider to the potential of an undetected rear collision – such as when changing lanes – by way of a visual warning on the TFT display as well as with illuminating superbright LEDs integrated within the rearview mirror glass, also boosted by audible signal.
These game-changing features will be part of new electronics packages offered on certain KTM models, beginning from Model Year 2021. This technology will also create provision for other sensor-based systems further in the future, already in development.
After personally demonstrating the effectiveness of these systems to the journalists by riding the KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE S without his right arm and leg on the machine’s controls,Gerald Matschl, Vice President for KTM Research & Development, said: “As a company, KTM is committed to improving rider safety and also to reduce accidents. We have a lot more development and many thousands of kilometers to test these systems in the real world before we can implement them on series production bikes, but they are coming in the near future and we are sure they will make a difference.”
As a motorcycle technology leader, KTM currently offers a wide range of leading electronic rider aids across most of its 2018 Street range. The goal of such systems is to either help improve rider safety or add to the enjoyment of riding. Lean angle-sensitive systems can be found on the new KTM 790 DUKE and all of the 1290-powered machines, which includes Motorcycle Stability Control (MSC) with the revolutionary cornering ABS function, along with Motor Slip Regulation (MSR) and multi-stage traction control. On some models, semi-active suspension is offered along with Hill Hold Control (HHC), Automatic Turn Indicator Reset (ATIR), Quickshifter+ and cornering LED headlights.
Full details of the entire range of technical features on the current KTM Street models can be found in the digital KTM Tech Guide: www.ktm.com/techguide2018
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi made the crowds go wild as he grabbed pole position at the Autodromo del Mugello, setting a new circuit best lap. Teammate Maverick Viñales also gave a heroic performance at the second day of the Gran Premio d'Italia Oakley. He went through a hard-fought Q1 to secure a third place front row start in the Q2 session.
Rossi waited for most of his rivals to leave pit lane before he made his way onto the track. His initial lap moved him into fourth place. He then improved his time but not his position on his second attempt, but was pushed back to fifth as his rivals upped their speed.
With seven and a half minutes of the session remaining, the Italian headed back to the pit box and was out one and a half minutes later. With 0.399s to the benchmark pole position, he knew what he had to do. Cheered on by the passionate Italian fans, the local hero completely went for it and pushed out four red sectors to clock a 1'46.208s. The lap was unbeatable for the rest of the MotoGP rider field, giving the fans' favourite his 65th career pole position, with a 0.035s margin. It's his first pole since the Japanese Grand Prix in 2016.
Viñales was quick to head out in Q1 and went straight to the top of the timesheets with a 1'47.105s which he further improved upon with his second lap. He had to dig deep and bettered his time once more to a 1'46.806s, but was pushed back to second position as the Q2 session turned red hot in the final minutes. However, his lap was fast enough to keep him in second place and let him advance to the next session.
The Spaniard followed his teammate out of pit lane a couple of minutes later to continue his qualifying fight in Q2. He set the sixth fastest lap on his first try and held on to this position as he bettered his lap time on his second flyer, before heading back to the pits.
Viñales was quick to return, as he knew the long Mugello track wouldn't give him many more opportunities to set a hot lap. With a good six minutes left he started his second run. Multiple riders were in contention for pole position and the young Yamaha rider was keen to put his name into the mix. On his sixth attempt he set two red and two personal best sectors, to temporarily secure third place. As the pace quickened, the number 25 rider raised his game. He set a 1'46.304s, 0.096s behind his teammate, to keep his third position and make it a double front row for the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team.
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team's Michael van der Mark wrote history by taking his maiden victory on Saturday at Round 6 of the 2018 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship at Donington Park, and the flying Dutchman produced an encore performance on Sunday by pulling off a simply incredible ride from ninth on the grid in Race 2 to "do the double" and claim his second race win of the weekend. His teammate Alex Lowes rode an aggressive first lap from pole position and led for the majority of the race, before battling hard to secure his second fourth-placed finish of the weekend. Wildcard Niccolò Canepa has not had the easiest of weekends, as the team's official Test Rider struggled to find a good rhythm, but despite this, he charged from 24th on the grid to cross the line in 18th place.
Van der Mark's historic Race 1 victory saw him become the first Dutch rider to win a WorldSBK race and meant he recorded the first win for Yamaha since their return to WorldSBK in 2016, but it also meant he would start Sunday's Race 2 from ninth on the grid. A track temperature of 37°C, cloudy skies, and some drops of rain was the order of the day at Donington Park on Sunday and when the lights went out the 25-year-old remained calm and skilfully picked his way past a number of riders amidst a chaotic first few laps. Up to fifth at the end of the first lap, he was showing superb pace and consistency and had fought his way to third by lap 2. He kept on pushing on his Pata Yamaha R1 and by the fourth lap he was into second place and had set his sights on closing down the 1.5s gap to his teammate Lowes in the lead.
Staying patient, the 2014 WorldSSP Champion's pace continued to improve as the race went on and by lap 9 he was right on his teammate's back wheel. The fight for victory became a three-way battle as Jonathan Rea joined the two Pata Yamaha R1s and, in one of the most sensational races seen in WorldSBK for a while, an incredible game of cat and mouse ensued over the next few laps. Rea made his move on lap 12 for second place but van der Mark just took stock and bided his time, knowing that his pace was good enough to fight for victory in the latter stages. On lap 18, he blasted past Rea and Lowes to take the lead for the first time and with a clear track in front of him, he never looked back, setting his fastest lap of the race on lap 21 and opening up a gap over his rivals. Continuing to push right until the line, he went on to record his second WorldSBK victory by 2.328s, less than 24 hours after the first. In the process, he secured a historic Donington double and the 50 points he collected this weekend now sees van der Mark move up to third in the championship standings with 163 points, just 18 behind Chaz Davies in second.
Lowes was determined to fight for victory at his and the team's home round from pole position in Race 2 after his superb ride to fourth on Saturday. Not getting the best of starts, the 27-year-old Brit was forced wide at the first corner and dropped down to fifth. Mounting a sensational recovery, he was up to second by the end of the first lap and had taken the lead on lap 2. He rode superbly in the tricky conditions as drops of rain appeared in every sector, opening up a gap to the rest of the field and leading across the line for 15 laps. He pushed to the absolute limit, despite struggling with his grip levels on corner exit as the race progressed, only relinquishing his lead on Lap 17 after a stunning duel with Rea. Losing out to his teammate on the next lap, Lowes regrouped and continued to give it his all, battling hard with Razgatlioglu and Rea in the last few laps before crossing the line in fourth-place, just 2.894s behind his teammate to match his result from Race1. Having collected 26 points over the course of his home round, Lowes is seventh in the championship standings with 118 points and is confident that he can challenge for victory once again at Brno after a positive test at the circuit.
Wildcard Canepa did not have the easiest of weekends in the UK, as the Pata Yamaha official Test Rider evaluated some new components on his development R1, struggling to find his usual good feeling with the bike. After finishing Race 1 in 20th, he lined up in 24th on the grid on Sunday and despite some excellent work by his team, during the race, he did still not have the feeling he was expecting with his R1. Despite this, he fought valiantly and went on a charge towards the end of the race, overtaking a number of riders to secure 18th place at the chequered flag.
Fresh from a historic Donington double, the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team head to Brno for Round 7 of the 2018 WorldSBK Championship on the 8th-10th of June looking to repeat their success following an extremely positive two-day test at the circuit recently.
Using the CRF450R moto-crosser as a base, Honda's new road-legal dual-purpose motorcycle has a tough, lightweight chassis built to find all the available grip, powered by an engine that delivers strong, usable power right from the bottom. Durable, high quality parts and long service intervals aim for a worry-free riding and ownership experience.
A true dual-purpose motorcycle should be many things; off-road it needs to be light weight, with quality suspension and handling ability that keeps life easy as the going gets harder. Its engine has to make good power and torque from the bottom up - the sort that is supremely usable, allowing the rider to find all the rear wheel grip possible, whatever the terrain.
All the attributes that make it great fun off-road also enable it to be really useful around town; narrow and nimble, a dual-purpose machine slips through gaps, soaks up the hits from rough roads and stays well ahead of traffic thanks to smart, low-gear acceleration. It also needs to be turn-key reliable, with sensible intervals between major service work.
Competition machines can make a solid base for dual-purpose adaptation. But there is much to consider. Race-level performance brings with it an intensive maintenance schedule, which is simply too much for many 'hobby' trail riders, who just want to push a button and go - and keep on going, Furthermore, a barely-disguised race bike can mean crucial road-going elements - lights, indicators, ignition switch - are not as user-friendly and durable as they should be.
Honda understands this, and with a desire to produce a dual-purpose bike that draws strongly on the fundamental performance of a race machine, yet with much more 'normal' service intervals and high-quality road ancillaries, has taken its CRF450R moto-crosser as the base to start from, and created the new CRF450L.
It is unmistakably a race-bred CRF - and looks it - but with the additions and modifications needed to make it both road legal and supremely useable in a trail environment. As such, the CRF450L is a complete package, as happy roosting trails as it is linking them up on-road. And with Honda engineering and build quality at its core, is sure to do so for years to come.
Mr M. Uchiyama, Large Project Leader (LPL) 19YM CRF450L:
"The CRF450L is about having maximum fun out on the dirt. It looks like a CRF450R because, really, it is - just a trail-friendly, road-legal version. That's what the 'L' stands for - 'legal'. It's been engineered to deliver excellent handling feel, with linear engine torque that helps the rider make the most of the available grip in all conditions. AND, it contains its HRC-derived CRF technology within a real-world service schedule."
The journey from full race to road legal trail was a detailed one for the CRF450L. Road legality required the engine to gain EURO4 compliance, while from a longevity and usability viewpoint, the power output and character, needed careful attention.
It's still a CRF450R; just one that's quieter, both mechanically from the chassis and engine, as well as its new exhaust. Both fuelling and ignition maps are now managed by 02 lambda sensor; compression ratio has been lowered and crank mass increased for improved drivability. The gearbox is a 6-speed - for longer legs on the road - and a cush drive has been added to the 18-inch rear wheel.
The plastics are lifted directly from the CRF450R and all lighting is LED, with the front headlight in particular throwing out a penetrating beam. Increased volume for the titanium fuel tank adds range and all the items that make the CRF450L ready to purchase as a licensed, road going machine - such as speedometer and horn - are present as standard.
- Based on the CRF450R, with first major service at 32,000km
- EURO4 compliant, with electric start
- Greater crank inertia improves drivability and feel for traction
- 6-speed gearbox
While the chassis was more straightforward to convert from its CRF450R moto-crosser specification to a dual-purpose performance level, the 449cc engine needed more consideration from Honda's engineers. Requirements were several: the need for it to pass EURO4 emissions and noise regulations, and to be usable for a wide variety of riders in many differing situations both on and off-road.
While the fundamental architecture of the four-valve Unicam powerplant remains the same, many details have been changed to support the broader role: the crank's mass has been increased, resulting in 13% more inertia which, for a trail rider, equals improved torque feel and response; valve timing has been revised to give the broader, smoother spread of power and torque; the gearbox is now 6-speed, rather than 5 for longer range use on tarmac; left and right engine covers wear outer covers to reduce noise;
Elsewhere, the ACG has been uprated, to provide the required electrical power for the LED lights and to maintain battery charge during lower-speed running. The battery itself is a high-volume unit.
Bore and stroke are unchanged from the CRF450R, at 96mm x 62.1mm, but the piston uses 3 rings instead of 2 for greater durability. Compression ratio is 12.0:1 (compared 13.5:1). The redesigned airbox feeds the PGM-FI, managed by a lambda sensor in the large-volume single exhaust (which replaces the 'stubby' dual-pipe design of the CRF450R). An Air Injection (AI) system and catalyser clean up the spent gases.
The four-valve Unicam cylinder head features a finger rocker arm on the inlet valves; valve lift is 7.7mm with 6.7mm exhaust valve lift. Inlet valve diameter is 38mm. The valve springs are oval in cross section and valve angle is 9° intake/10.5° exhaust.
The clutch spins 7 friction discs with a 2mm clutch plate efficiently dissipating heat; the springs generate a good, consistent connection. The front sprocket is a 13T, the rear 51T.
Peak power is 18.4kW, with peak torque of 32Nm. Important from the hobby trail-rider's perspective is the engine's reliability and gap between service intervals. And this is where the CRF450L's build quality and design really stands out; it will go 32,000km between major strip downs, with an air filter oil and oil filter change every 1000km.
- Drawn from the 18YM CRF450R, with minor adaptations for its dual purpose role
- Full LED lighting, increased fuel tank volume and sidestand
- Larger radiator volume, plus electric fan
- Styling closely mirrors that of CRF450R
Having received a ground-up redesign in 2016, the CRF450R's chassis was a perfect place for the CRF450L to start out from, with changes to match the machine's vastly broader usage range, and road legal mission.
Firstly, the tapered dual-spar aluminum beam frame was made slightly wider at the swingarm pivot points, to allow for the greater engine width resulting from the 6-speed gearbox. The headstock was modified to mount a steering lock and the aluminum swingarm injected with urethane to reduce noise. The rear subframe is the same, with mounting point adjusted to take the taillight and the right-exit single exhaust muffler.
Rake and trail are set at 28.5°/122mm with wheelbase increased 18mm from the CRF450R to 1500mm, for greater stability. Both the R and the L feature 22mm fork offset. Wet weight is 130.8kg; seat height is 940mm.
A 49mm Showa steel-sprung USD fork - adjustable for preload plus compression damping - is matched by a fully adjustable Showa rear shock, operated through Pro-Link. A 260mm wave-pattern disc delivers effective heat dissipation, power and feel from the two-piston brake caliper working it; a matching 240mm wave-pattern disc and single-piston caliper is at the rear.
Whereas the CRF450R machine uses a 19-inch rear wheel, the CRF450L's is an 18-inch (to fit enduro-spec tyres), with the addition of a cush drive to absorb chain shock; a sealed 520 chain is protected by a plastic chain guard. The front wheel is a 21-inch and both rims are finished in black. Tyres are sized 80/100-21 front and 120/80-18 rear.
The CRF450L's style draws fully on that of the CRF450R. Carried over are the rear mudguard, side panels and bash plate. Svelte side shrouds hide a larger radiator volume plus electric fan. All lighting (including the indicators and license-plate light) is LED; a speedometer, horn, brake-light switch and mirrors satisfy legal requirements while a sidestand adds convenience. The CRF450R employs a 6.3L titanium fuel tank; the CRF450L ups the volume 1.3L to 7.6L. The fuel cap also locks in place.
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team spent an extra day in Jerez today, after yesterday's Gran Premio de España, to take part in a one-day Official IRTA Test. Maverick Viñales was the 4th fastest rider, whilst Valentino Rossi wrapped up the testing session in 10th position.
After a difficult race weekend, the teammates returned to the track after 11AM to evaluate various settings and testing items.
Viñales briefly topped the rankings with his fastest time of the day - a 1'38.139s, set on lap 19 - before he took the opportunity to assess various settings. He ended a full day of testing in fourth place, 0.409s from the top of the timesheets, and completed 64 laps in total. He looks forward to putting the new data to use at the next Grand Prix of France, held in two weeks' time.
Teammate Rossi was also motivated to get back to work at the Jerez track, where he completed his 40,075th km of Grand Prix racing (the equivalent of a lap around the world) on lap 15 during yesterday's race. He put his vast experience to good use today when he compared solutions for his YZR-M1 and tried some new Michelin tyres. He rode 69 laps and took tenth place in the timesheets with a best lap time of 1'38.673s, 0.943s from the fastest rider.
Zarco Tops the Testing Time Sheets in Jerez - Syahrin Sits Out
Just one day after his fantastic second place finish at the Spanish Grand Prix, Johann Zarco was back on track today to go through some different settings aboard his Yamaha YZR-M1. Following some intense working hours and 63 laps at the Jerez Circuit, the French star concluded the official test superbly in first position and was even 0.226 seconds faster than during Qualifying last Saturday.
Meanwhile, Hafizh Syahrin decided, together with his experienced Monster Yamaha Tech3 crew, to skip the test in order to fully recover after struggling the entire weekend with pain from a bicycle accident. However, the Malaysian rookie used his time perfectly to gain more MotoGP experience.
Successfully battling through a dry and dusty GP of Portugal, Jamie McCanney has wrapped up round three of the 2018 FIM Enduro World Championship claiming a win and a runner-up Enduro 1 class result in Castelo Branco. With three out of eight rounds completed, the Outsiders Yamaha Official Enduro Team rider enjoys a four-point lead in the class' provisional championship standings.
Less than a week after his double victory at the GP of Spain, Jamie entered round three of the series in Castelo Branco looking for an equally solid performance. Starting the weekend by topping the Enduro 1 standings at the short opening SuperTest, Jamie retained his lead in the class throughout day one. Securing his fourth Enduro 1 class victory of the season on Saturday, Jamie also found himself finishing as a runner-up in the overall EnduroGP class.
Day two of the Portuguese GP saw the Manxman get involved in a tight battle for the Enduro 1 class victory from the first to the last special test. Winning four tests during the day, the WR250F powered rider suffered a few small mistakes that saw him place 15 seconds from a provisional day two victory.
Collecting some good points in Castelo Branco, Jamie now finds himself at the top of the Enduro 1 World Championship's points standings with five rounds remaining in 2018.
Jamie McCanney and the Outsiders Yamaha Official Enduro Team return to action in Talin, Estonia for round four of the 2018 Enduro World Championship on June 1/3.