Skip to main content
Tag

World Championship

New FIM Supercross World Championship planned

By General Posts

MUBADALA CAPITAL BACKS SX GLOBAL
TO LAUNCH NEW FIM SUPERCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

Queensland, Australia (March 1st, 2022) — Mubadala Capital, the asset management subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company, one of the world’s leading sovereign investors with US$243 billion of assets under management, today announced its investment in SX Global, an Australian company established to develop, promote, and commercialize the FIM Supercross World Championship.

Mubadala Capital has established a track record of successfully investing in category leaders across sports, media, and entertainment—including EMI Music Publishing, Endeavor Group Holdings, Reigning Champs, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network (YES Network), among others—and this investment continues its history of backing world-class management teams in building differentiated global sports, media and entertainment businesses.

Mubadala Capital’s investment will support SX Global’s expansion plans for supercross and its efforts to capitalize on the exclusive rights it has secured from the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) to manage and promote the new FIM Supercross World Championship, bringing the exciting sport of off-road motorbike racing to fans across the globe in a new competitive format.

“Our commitment to SX Global and the FIM Supercross World Championship builds on our strategy and track record of selectively investing in premier content properties with strong global appeal,” said Adib Martin Mattar, Head of Private Equity at Mubadala Capital. “We expect that our investment in SX Global will introduce the exciting sport of professional supercross to a global audience and build lasting value by delivering an authentic, exciting and fan-centric experience.”

SX Global’s President, Tony Cochrane, added, “We’re proud to partner with Mubadala Capital, a company that shares our vision and global aspirations for the FIM Supercross World Championship. With the international reach, resources, and business building experience of Mubadala Capital alongside us, we’re looking forward to establishing FIM Supercross World Championship as a leading global motorsport and entertainment property.”

Representing Mubadala Capital on the SX Global Board of Directors will be Matt Kim and Russ Pillar, who collectively bring decades of experience backing and leading global sports, media, and entertainment companies. They will be joining Tony Cochrane, SX Global’s President; Adam Bailey, SX Global’s Managing Director (Motorsport); Ryan Sanderson, SX Global’s Managing Director (Commercial); Tom Potter, Rush Sport & Entertainment; and Tavo Hellmund, Founder, Event Partners Marketing, on SX Global’s Board of Directors.

In December 2021, the FIM awarded SX Global the exclusive organisational and commercial rights to stage, manage and promote the FIM Supercross World Championship. Under the leadership of the SX Global Team, and with the financial backing and support of Mubadala Capital, Supercross will become a true global sports property, competing on a legitimate international platform for the first time in history. The FIM Supercross World Championship will commence in late 2022.

For more information on the FIM Supercross World Championship visit https://fimworldsx.com/
For more information on SX Global visit https://sxglobal.com/
[ For Mubadala Capital interview requests, please contact Salam Kitmitto (sakitmitto@mubadala.ae) ] [ For SX Global interview requests, please contact Gus Burrows (gus@amemanagement.com.au) ]

Mubadala Capital

Mubadala Capital is a wholly owned asset management subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company, a leading global sovereign investor headquartered in Abu Dhabi. In addition to managing its own balance sheet investments, Mubadala Capital manages over $10 billion of third-party capital on behalf of institutional investors in all its businesses, including three private equity funds, two early-stage venture funds, a public fund, and two funds in Brazil focused on special situations.

Mubadala Capital and its affiliated entities have a long track record of owning and/or operating globally recognized sports, media, entertainment and premium content and services properties including EMI Music Publishing, Endeavor Group Holdings, Reigning Champs, Ultimate Fighting Championship, and the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network.

SX GLOBAL – BOARD

Matt Kim – Non-Executive Board Member
• Matt Kim is a Senior Principal at Mubadala Capital and leads the team’s sports, media and entertainment investment activities. He possesses over a decade of investment experience, and prior to joining Mubadala Capital, Mr. Kim was an investment professional at Bank of America Capital Advisors, where he focused on evaluating private equity investment opportunities globally.
Mr. Kim graduated from Boston University with a B.S. in Business Administration with concentrations in Finance and Entrepreneurship and is a CFA charter holder.

Russ Pillar – Chairperson
• Russ Pillar is a Senior Advisor and Operating Partner of Mubadala Capital where he initiates, evaluates, and manages investment opportunities globally. He is a tenured sports/media/consumer CEO, with executive roles across the Virgin Entertainment Group, Prodigy Internet, the CBS Internet Group, the Viacom Media Group, the Los Angeles Marathon, and Reigning Champs, among others.
Mr. Pillar previously held directorship roles for more than three dozen private and publicly traded sports, media, retail, entertainment, and technology/tech services companies. A Phi Beta Kappa cum laude graduate of Brown University with an A.B. in East Asian Studies, he also is a Henry Crown Fellow at The Aspen Institute and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Tony Cochrane AM – President
• Tony Cochrane’s passion and experience forge a formidable combination and have ultimately resulted in some unforgettable milestones in entertainment and sport generally over the past 45 years both in Australia and on the global stage.

Over the past 45 years with partners and solo, Tony has produced and promoted over 400 sporting and entertainment events throughout the world, sold in excess of 25,000,000 tickets with gross sales exceeding two billion dollars, and written nearly $250,000,000 in sponsorship sales.

In his time as Executive Chairman of V8 Supercars, Tony Cochrane was considered the founding father of the ‘modern’ era of motor racing in Australia, the touring car category that was arguably amongst the world’s best. During this period, V8 Supercars had an extraordinary rise to the top of sport within Australia and on the world motorsport scene. It became a multi-million dollar industry under his strong leadership. His credits and performance in world motorsport are uniquely recognised both in Australia and overseas. He holds an FIA acknowledgement and an Order of Australia for his contributions.

Adam Bailey – Managing Director – Motorsport
• Adam’s experience in Supercross began as a competitor in the early 90s. He established an athlete and event management agency in 2005 that represented some of the most respected athletes and brands in this space. These networks led to valuable and unique international industry relationships.

Launching AME Management with Ryan Sanderson in 2012, the duo combined their experience to establish a boutique sports marketing agency in Australia and launched AUS SX Holdings and the AUS-X Open event in 2015. The events went on to achieve sell-out crowds annually for five years including the successful creation and expansion of the FIM Oceania Supercross Championship into New Zealand in 2018 and 2019. Adam leads key aspects of brand creative strategy, content, industry partnerships, international talent and operations.

A creative marketer, many of Adam’s unique PR, marketing and content strategies have helped see the events become recognised and respected, globally.

Ryan Sanderson – Managing Director – Commercial
• Ryan spent five years at V8 Supercars Australia under Tony Cochrane’s reign. In Ryan’s tenure as Sponsorship Manager, he serviced some of Australia’s largest sponsorship properties, managing over 20 V8 Supercars Championship partners, with over $22M in annual spend.
Ryan and Adam launched AME, a sports marketing agency together in 2012 and then sold-out Supercross events in Australia & New Zealand from 2015 – 2019.

Ryan secured major commercial partnerships for both AUS-X Open & S-X Open Auckland Supercross events including Monster Energy, Australian Tourism & State Government funding, Boost Mobile, Michelin, Komatsu, Castrol & Repco/NAPA. Ryan developed leading entertainment, fan engagement and innovative commercial experiences, as well as international TV broadcast distribution including IMG, Seven Network, Fox Sports Australia, CBS, Eurosport & Fox Asia to over 382 million homes.

Ryan brings a unique skillset to SX Global and has extensive international broadcast, promoter and commercial partnership networks globally.

Tom Potter – Non-executive Director | Europe
• Tom is a former racing driver, and a commercial veteran of the McLaren and Williams F1 Teams. Tom founded Rush Sport & Entertainment in 2010 which has grown internationally to become one of the most successful businesses in motorsport sponsorship and marketing services whilst also delivering record-breaking deals for other major entertainment properties such as The Rolling Stones. Rush is responsible for placing over $700million sponsorship of F1, Formula E and IndyCar properties since 2016 alone. Rush has helped identify, structure, negotiate, activate and measure sponsorship investments for brands including Petrobras, Mercedes-Benz, Prudential, IHG, Marriott, Avis, Renesas, Adecco (Modis), Progressive and Saudi Aramco.

Few can boast the level of energy, insight and understanding of global motorsports’ commercial landscape and entertainment value. Tom is an expert at leveraging sports marketing and the sports business environment to create value and accelerate growth.

Tavo Hellmund – Non-executive Director | North America
• Tavo Hellmund was the founder of the FIA Formula-1 United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, the co-founder of the FIA Formula-1 Mexican Grand Prix and a co- founder of the Circuit of the Americas race track in Austin, Texas. Tavo Hellmund has been the founder and President/Managing Partner of Full Throttle Productions, LP, Event Partners Marketing, LLC, Grand Prix Partners, LLC and Tavo Hellmund Inc. since 1994.

These companies manage and provide event project management, day of event oversight, staffing/volunteer services, venue planning, consulting and logistics support, marketing, sales, sponsorship, public relations and consultation services for sporting and special events around the world. Tavo Hellmund’s global event production experience includes brokering, sanctioning, producing or promoting over 150 sporting and entertainment events, which have generated more than 1.5 billion dollars in sales.

STAY UPDATED with all things Motorcycle – click here to Subscribe to Bikernet Free Weekly Newsletter

Ducati to Make Electric Motorcycle for MotoE World Cup

By General Posts

From Ducati Racing Museum – Troy Bayliss

by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

Ducati to Make Electric Motorcycle for MotoE World Cup, Road Machines to Follow.

To date, despite the advances electric mobility is making in the world of motorcycles, there is only one major bike maker that has embraced electric drivetrains: Harley-Davidson, with its LiveWire. But soon, there will be more, and Ducati seems to be keen on becoming the next one.

The Italian company announced this week it is officially entering the electric motorcycle segment, but it will not be doing so with a bike that can be sold to the general public. Instead, the Borgo Panigale manufacturer will become the sole official supplier of motorcycles for the electric class of the MotoGP World Championship, the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup.

The deal between Ducati and the organizers of the competition, Dorna Sports, will come into effect in 2023 and will run through 2026. That means we’ll probably have to wait some more before we get to see official details and images of the electric bike, but Ducati tried to give us a glimpse of that by releasing a teaser rendering of the two-wheeler (main pic of this piece).

What’s more important is that Ducati promises the MotoE bike will influence “the evolution of the product range,” hinting the electric drive is something now under consideration for the general public.

“The goal is to study how to produce, as soon as the technology allows, a Ducati electric vehicle that is sporty, light, thrilling and able to satisfy all enthusiasts,” the Italians promised.

MotoE came into existence in 2019 and is presently using Energica Ego Corsa motorcycles. Sadly, the series became famous not for the achievements of these electric machines, but on account of a fire back in 2019 that destroyed all the motorcycles before racing could get going at Jerez.

Ducati promises to share the story of this new bike’s development throughout 2022, through means that are yet to be announced.

PRESS RELEASE FROM DUCATI

21 OCTOBER 2021
Ducati is thrilled to announce the beginning of its electric era: starting from the 2023 season it will be the sole official supplier of motorcycles for the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup, the electric class of the MotoGP™ World Championship.

The agreement signed with Dorna Sports, organizer and promoter of the most important international two-wheel racing championships, lasts until 2026 and will therefore cover four editions of the MotoE World Cup.

This is a historic step for the Borgo Panigale motorcycle manufacturer which, following its custom of using racing competition as a laboratory for technologies and solutions that then become reality for all motorcyclists, enters the world of electric bikes starting from the sportiest sector, that of the electric class of the MotoGP World Championship.

The goal is to develop expertise and technologies in a constantly evolving world such as the electric one, through an experience familiar to the company like that of racing competition. This has been a consolidated tradition for the Borgo Panigale company starting from the Ducati 851, which inaugurated the trend of Ducati road sports bikes by revolutionizing the concept with its innovative two-cylinder water-cooled engine, electronic fuel injection and the new twin-shaft, four-valve heads, deriving from the Ducati 748 IE bike that made its debut in endurance races at Le Castellet in 1986.

Since then, this endless transfer of expertise has always taken place from the Superbike World Championships, in which Ducati has participated since the first edition in 1988, and from MotoGP, in which Ducati is the only non-Japanese motorcycle manufacturer to have won a World Championship.

The crossover is also evident in the most recent and prestigious products of the Borgo Panigale manufacturer: the V4 engine of the Panigale is in fact strictly derived in its entire construction philosophy – from the bore and stroke measurements to the counter-rotating crankshaft – from the engine that debuted on the Desmosedici GP in 2015. The V4 Granturismo that equips the new Multistrada V4 was then derived from the Panigale engine. All the vehicle control software is also directly derived from those developed in the racing world. Not to mention the field of aerodynamics.

The technological solutions developed in the world of racing, transferred to the products that make up the range, allow Ducati to offer its enthusiasts extremely high-performance and fun-to-ride motorcycles. The FIM Enel MotoE Championship will also be no exception in this regard and will allow the Company to develop the best technologies and test methodologies applied to sporty, light and powerful electric motorcycles.

At the same time, the fact that Ducati forms part of the Volkswagen Group, which has made electric mobility an essential element of its 2030 “New Auto” strategy, represents the best prerequisite for an extraordinary exchange of expertise in the field of electric powertrains.

The announcement of the agreement was made during a joint press conference in the press room of the Misano World Circuit ‘Marco Simoncelli’ on the eve of the Made in Italy and Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, the third to last round of the 2021 MotoGP World Championship. Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO Dorna Sports, and Claudio Domenicali, CEO Ducati Motor Holding, were both present.

Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding: “We are proud of this agreement because, like all the first times, it represents a historic moment for our company. Ducati is always projected towards the future and every time it enters a new world, it does so to create the best performing product possible. This agreement comes at the right time for Ducati, which has been studying the situation of electric powertrains for years, because it will allow us to experiment in a well-known and controlled field like that of racing competition. We will work to make available to all participants of the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup electric bikes that are high-performance and characterized by lightness. It is precisely on weight, a fundamental element of sports bikes, that the greatest challenge will be played out. Lightness has always been in Ducati’s DNA and thanks to the technology and chemistry of the batteries that are evolving rapidly we are convinced that we can obtain an excellent result. We test our innovations and our futuristic technological solutions on circuits all over the world and then make exciting and desirable products available to Ducatisti. I am convinced that once again we will build on the experiences we have had in the world of racing competition to transfer them and apply them also on production bikes.”

Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO Dorna Sports: “We are very proud to announce Ducati as the new, single manufacturer for the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup. With their incredible racing history, it is an honour to welcome this commitment from one of the best-known manufacturers in the paddock and to take on this new challenge together. We are eager to see what the future has in store and continue to watch this technology develop and grow, with the MotoGP paddock and MotoE continuing to drive innovation and evolution in the motorcycling industry – at the same time as creating an incredible on-track spectacle.”

This first step of Ducati in the world of electric bikes will also have an influence on the evolution of the product range. Now, the most important challenges in this field remain those of the size, weight, autonomy of the batteries and the availability of charging networks. Ducati’s experience in the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup will be a fundamental support for product R&D, together with the physiological evolution of technology and chemistry. The goal is to study how to produce, as soon as the technology allows, a Ducati electric vehicle that is sporty, light, thrilling and able to satisfy all enthusiasts.

A new chapter of the FIM Enel MotoE Word Cup is closer than ever. And that of Ducati too.

During 2022, various events and collective moments will allow all fans to discover the development of the project step by step.

Yoshimura Sert Wins FIM Endurance World Championship Title on Bridgestone Tires

By General Posts

Yoshimura Sert Motul Wins the FIM Endurance World Championship Title, the World’s Foremost Series of Endurance Motorcycle Races, on Bridgestone Tires

  • Bridgestone is proud to celebrate YOSHIMURA SERT MOTUL’s FIM Endurance World Championship title.
  • After a dominant season, YOSHIMURA SERT MOTUL became the second team to win the title on Bridgestone tires since 2018.
  • Since 2017, Bridgestone has supplied tires for teams competing in the FIM Endurance World Championship.

Tokyo (October 10, 2021) ― Bridgestone Corporation (Bridgestone) today announced that YOSHIMURA SERT MOTUL won the FIM*1 Endurance World Championship (EWC) title, the world’s foremost series of endurance motorcycle races, on Bridgestone tires. YOSHIMURA SERT MOTUL is the second team to win EWC title on Bridgestone tires since 2018.

Since 2017, Bridgestone has supplied tires for teams competing in the EWC. As one of three teams on Bridgestone tires, YOSHIMURA SERT MOTUL earned first place in two 24-hour races this season. Going into the year’s final race, 6 Hours of Most in the Czech Republic (October 9), the team held the overall points lead and maintained the lead with third-place finish – earning the 2021 EWC title outright.

“I am very pleased and honored to win the championship in the first year of participation as YOSHIMURA SERT MOTUL by using Bridgestone tires,” said Yohei Kato, Team Director of YOSHIMURA SERT MOTUL. “We vowed to fight in this Endurance World Championship on behalf of the Suzuki Factory Team, and this season has proved to be a dream come true by winning two of the world’s most famous 24-hour races, namely, the 24 Heures of Le Mans and the Bol d’Or.The whole team has been respecting each other in the spirit of “One for all, all for one”, and we will keep working together to improve the Suzuki GSX-R1000R into an even better package. Thank you to all the sponsors, partners and fans who warmly supported the YOSHIMURA SERT MOTUL this year. We pledge to attract everyone to an even better championship next year and YOSHIMURA SERT MOTUL will go all out to defend its title.”

“I would like to congratulate all of the members of YOSHIMURA SERT MOTUL on their EWC title,” said Masato Banno, Senior Vice President and Executive Officer, Global CTO (Global Chief Technology Officer), Bridgestone Corporation. “YOSHIMURA SERT MOTUL won both the Le Mans and Bol d’Or 24-hour endurance races, two of the toughest races in the series and showed why they deserved to be champion. Bridgestone is very proud to have contributed to their series championship in our first year as a team partner by supplying highly durable tires. I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to the many motorsports fans who supported us and to all the teams who worked so hard and cooperated in tire development. We will continue to refine our technology and support motorsports from the ground up through the development and supply of high-performance tires.”

The Bridgestone Group is implementing its Mid Term Business Plan (2021 – 2023)*2, which aims to realize its vision to provide social value and customer value as a sustainable solutions company toward 2050. To further enhance, the development of Dan-Totsu (the clear and absolute leader) products in the tire business, which is its core business, the group will continue to improve its technologies through motorsports, requiring maximum performances of tires. As an active member supporting the advancement of mobility society, the Bridgestone Group will continue to contribute to the automotive industry and motorsports culture by engaging in a wide range of motorsports with sustainability.

FIM stands for Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme

About Bridgestone Corporation: Bridgestone is a global leader in tires and rubber building on its expertise to provide solutions for safe and sustainable mobility. Headquartered in Tokyo, the company employs approximately 140,000 people globally and conducts business in more than 150 countries and territories worldwide. Bridgestone offers a diverse product portfolio of premium tires and advanced solutions backed by innovative technologies, improving the way people around the world move, live, work and play.

Pirelli chosen by VR46 Riders Academy as Partner for their Motorcycle Fleet

By General Posts

VR46 Riders Academy Chooses Pirelli  as Partner for their Motorcycle and E-MTB Fleet.

Thanks to this collaboration with the VR46 Riders Academy, one of the most renowned schools in the world for professional racers, will equip its training fleet with Pirelli tires, from road bikes to motocross and E-MTB machines.

Milan, Italy September 14, 2021 – Pirelli has been chosen by the VR46 Riders Academy as technical partner and tire supplier for several of the team’s training activities. Thanks to this collaboration, the riders of the academy will be equipped with tires of the Italian manufacturer during their trainings on road bikes, motocross and E-MTBs.

The VR46 Riders Academy was founded with the aim of helping young Italian motorcyclists on their journey towards a racing career in the two-wheeled world. The staff that follows the riders of the VR46 Riders Academy are the same who support Valentino Rossi in the races so every advice and every decision is the result of years of experience.

The partnership involves the use of Pirelli tires for the training activities of the VR46 Riders Academy riders: from circuit sessions with road bikes, to off-road exercises using motocross bikes and training on E-MTBs.

The YZF-R1 and YZF-R6 motorcycles are used for training on circuit, which thanks to this partnership will be equipped with Pirelli DIABLO Superbike tires in the different compounds present in the range and in the same sizes used in the FIM Superbike World Championship. DIABLO Superbike is the tire used by all riders in the world championship of production-derived motorcycles and over the years it has undergone a constant improvement in performance thanks to the intense research and development carried out by Pirelli engineers.

For off-road training, the VR46 Riders Academy will rely on the performance of the SCORPION MX tire family, which boasts 74 world titles in motocross among its many successes, and the SCORPION E-MTB product range dedicated to electric mountain bikes.

Claudio Zanardo, Senior Vice President Pirelli Moto & Cycling, commented on the agreement: “I am pleased to announce the collaboration between VR46 Riders Academy and Pirelli, which has always supported and invested in the growth of young riders. The confirmation of Pirelli as tire supplier for the motorcycles and E-MTBs used in the training sessions of the VR46 Riders Academy further strengthens Pirelli’s position both in the sporting and in the marketing fields. This partnership is a clear recognition of the consolidated reputation enjoyed by Pirelli motorcycle tires, developed thanks to decades of participation in top international competitions, with the addition of our latest tires specially developed by the Cycling division for performing E-MTBs. We are pleased that the VR46 Riders Academy has chosen to rely on the performance and safety offered by Pirelli tires for its training activities.”

Ducati Panigale V2 Bayliss 1st Championship 20th Anniversary Honors a Legend

By General Posts

by Sebastian Toma from https://www.autoevolution.com

Ducati is celebrating 20 years since Troy Bayliss won his first World Superbike championship. A special edition of the Panigale V2 has been made, and it comes with several goodies on top of the regular model. It had to be painted red, and Bayliss’s race number is also on the special edition Panigale, which also features graphics inspired by the 2001 championship-winning bike.

The special edition of the Panigale V2 ditches the stock Showa and Sachs suspension system in favor of an Öhlins kit. The front is taken care of with the NX30 fork, while the rear is kept under control with the TTX36. Öhlins’ influence on this bike does not end here, as the Swedes also make the steering damper. Right next to that part, on the triple clamps, one can observe the production number of each bike.

For maximum weight reduction, the special-edition Ducati Panigale V2 1st Championship 20th Anniversary comes with a lithium-ion battery, as well as a single-seater configuration. The saddle is sewn with contrasting red stitching, and the craftspeople at Ducati also embroidered Bayliss’ race number, 21, along with the Italian flag.

Thanks to the lightweight components, the bike lost about three kilos (6,6 lbs.), adding up to 174.5 kilograms (385 lbs.) Seat height is 835 mm (32,9 inches), which may be tall for some, but being tall enough is just one of the things one must consider before buying a motorcycle in this segment.

Ducati fans will also remark a set of sport grips, a titanium and carbon fiber exhaust system, and Troy Bayliss’ autograph on the fuel tank. The latter also reminds us of each of the three years when Bayliss won the championship title.

The extras with the special edition of the Panigale V2 end here, but future owners will still have a great bike to ride. Ducati’s Panigale V2 comes with slide control, wheelie control, ABS, traction control, and various other systems to help keep the rider with both wheels on the road.

The red Italian super sport bike comes with a 995 cubic-centimeter V-twin engine called the Superquadro, with four valves per cylinder and the famous Desmodromic valves. The unit can provide 155 HP at 10.750 rpm and a maximum torque of 104 Nm (76.7 lb-ft) at 9.000 rpm. The famous Ducati V2 sound is standard.

For those of you who do not know who Troy Bayliss is, you should know that he is one of the most loved motorcycle racers of our time. He managed to get the World SuperBike Championship title three times in his career, in 2001, 2006, and 2008. To this day, Troy Bayliss is the first rider to have won a Moto GP and WSBK race in the same season.

Round six of the 2021 Moto2 World Championship

By General Posts

Magnificent Mugello awaits Lowes and Fernandez.

Round six of the 2021 Moto2 World Championship takes Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders Sam Lowes and Augusto Fernandez to the technically challenging Mugello track in Italy’s picturesque Tuscany region.

Lowes and Fernandez may not have come away with the results their pace deserved in Le Mans, but both arrive in Mugello eager to showcase their full potential in Sunday’s 21-lap Italian Grand Prix.

The pair completed a very constructive one-day test at the Circuit Barcelona-de Catalunya last week and are confident of a successful start to a busy run of four races taking part over the next five weeks leading into the long summer break.

37 – Augusto Fernandez
Fernandez is determined to convert his recent strong practice and qualifying form into a top result when he makes just his third Mugello appearance this weekend.

Mugello was the venue for the Spaniard’s World Championship debut in 2017 and on his most recent appearance in 2019 he enjoyed a fantastic race and finished less than two seconds off the podium in fifth.

“It’s an amazing but tricky track”

“I’m really looking forward to going to Mugello. I had a very good race there in 2019 but I am still lacking experience of this track. It’s an amazing but tricky track and I’ll need to play video games again because I haven’t done many laps there! It was a big shame to finish the race in Le Mans so early when it was clear we had a chance of a strong result. But we performed very well and understood many things about the bike during the test in Barcelona last week. I’m feeling confident with the bike, but it is important to finish this weekend after crashes in the last two races. I’m sure we can be competitive but to finish is key to regain some confidence and recover some points in the World Championship.”

22 – Sam Lowes
Mugello’s fast and flowing 5.4km track is the ideal place for Lowes to fire momentum back into his World Championship challenge after a fall out of podium contention in France.

The 30-year-old took his first front row in Mugello in 2014 and since then he’s scored two pole positions and five years ago, he was only one second away from a famous win in third position behind Johann Zarco and Lorenzo Baldassarri.

“We usually get close and exciting races in Mugello”

“Mugello is a track I really love, and it was very unfortunate we couldn’t race there in 2020. It’s like a second home race for me with so many of my family living in Italy. It is fast and flowing and one that I enjoy and usually we get some very close and exciting races. I’m really looking forward to it and after the disappointment of Le Mans it’s vital that we come away from Mugello with some decent points on the board. I’ve been fast at every track so far this year and there’s no reason for me not to be confident going into Mugello. I bring some good feelings into this weekend after the test in Barcelona went very well and I can’t wait to get started.”

Rare unused CZ Motorcycle at Mecum auction

By General Posts

by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

This CZ Motorcycle Arrived in New York Decades Ago, Was Left Untouched

Say you read these two words: Ceska zbrojovka. For an English speaker, they are tongue-twisting, and they probably don’t mean that much either. Except, perhaps, if you’re into firearms. Or motocross machines. That’s because the Czech company by that name makes products for both these worlds.

As far as motorcycles go, people know the company best as CZ. Present mostly on the European market, the moniker reached American shores in the 1970s, forever changing how motocross racing was done. For instance, a racer by the name John DeSoto won the 1970 Elsinore GP on a CZ bike.

That is just one of CZ’s achievements; the nameplate holds six Motocross Grand Prix World Championship titles (consecutive ones, won between 1964 and 1969), but is also responsible for impressive wins in enduro.

Presently, finding a new CZ motorcycle is almost impossible, as they don’t make them anymore. One has to look long and hard just to come across such a two-wheeler with a few miles on it. But what if we told you the one you see before your eyes, although almost half a century old, is literally brand new?

Over the years, we’ve come across machines that could have easily been described as virtually new, but this one is literally so. As in, the thing has never ever been ridden, and it still comes in the original factory crate it was shipped to the U.S. in. It is the complete package, with all the packing plastic and oiled paper, and even an original spare parts list.

We stumbled upon this incredible piece of motoring history on the lot of motorcycles that are going under the hammer this week in Las Vegas. Sadly, we don’t know why this bike was never used for the purpose it was brought to the U.S.

Mecum is trying to sell the bike as is, saying it can be assembled and used for racing or kept as a museum piece. There’s no indication as to how much it is expected to fetch.

The weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix

By General Posts

Lowes and Fernandez chasing big gains in Spain

The Elf Marc VDS Racing Team remains on the Iberian Peninsula to make the short trip across the border from Portimao to Jerez for this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

The famous Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto hosted the Spanish and Andalusian rounds as part of a double-header that kicked off a heavily revamped European schedule last July.

Sam Lowes and Augusto Fernandez enjoyed a successful pre-season test in Jerez just a few weeks ago and both are confident they can play a prominent role in the 23-lap battle, which is scheduled to commence at 1220pm local time on Sunday.

Successive top six finishes, including a gritty ride to an outstanding fifth last time out in Portimao, have given Fernandez a huge injection of confidence heading into his home Grand Prix.

Fernandez finished 13th in both Jerez battles last season but the 4.4km track has special memories for the 23-year-old after he started on the front row and finished on the podium for the first time in his World Championship career in 2019.

“We are getting closer to where we need to be”

“I’m really excited to start the weekend in Jerez after the strong race in Portimao. I finished really close to the podium and I was in the front group for the whole race and that’s where I want to stay now. It seems like we are getting closer and closer to where we need to be, so hopefully we can continue to improve and fight for a top position again.”

Lowes is determined to reassert his authority on the 2021 title chase after a first corner crash meant the Briton left round three in Portugal empty-handed.

The Jerez track is the perfect place for Lowes to rediscover his winning touch after he took the chequered flag in first place back in 2016 and the 30-year-old was less than a second away from the podium in both races last summer.

“I’ve great memories of two strong races last season”

“Last year in Jerez, it was really nice for me because it felt like my first proper chance to work with the team after my shoulder injury meant I had to withdraw in Qatar. I’ve great memories of two strong races last season and I’m really looking forward to this weekend. We have tested in Jerez already this year and I felt strong. I’m disappointed with the mistake in Portugal but we are still in a very good situation in terms of the Championship. I’ve been very fast at the first three races and I feel relaxed coming into Jerez and I can’t wait to see what we can achieve this weekend.”

Monster Energy® Kawasaki Rider Eli Tomac Dominates the Competition in Oakland

By General Posts

Foothill Ranch, Calif. (February 2, 2020) – Round 5 of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship returned to Oakland, California where Team Green found success all day long. Monster Energy® Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac put on an impressive show as he returned to the top step of the 450SX class podium for his second win of the season, while Monster Energy®/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Austin Forkner battled hard, earning second overall in the 250SX class and placing his KX™250 on the podium once again.

Adam Cianciarulo and Tomac continued to show the way in qualifying/practice with the dynamic duo once again qualifying one-two respectively for the fifth straight week.

Tomac lined up for the first 450SX heat race of the night where he crossed the finish line in second place and was able to find fast lines that would pay dividends later in the Main Event. Teammate Cianciarulo lined up for 450SX heat race number two and found himself buried mid-pack off the start. As Cianciarulo began picking off his competitors one by one he ran into the back wheel of his former Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammate Martin Davalos. Cianciarulo got shuffled to the back and had to charge all the way back up to sixth place to qualify into the Main Event.

As the gate dropped on 450SX Main Event, it was Cianciarulo and Tomac getting off the line in great shape. Rounding the first turn side by side amongst the leaders, they ran second and third place respectively. After dicing it out in the first few turns the teammates settled into place. Near the halfway mark the No. 3 Kawasaki machine of Tomac saw an opportunity and began to charge towards the front. After passing his teammate, he was able to make quick work of the leader and began building a lead around two seconds, but a costly mistake at the end of the sand section sent Tomac over the berm. However, there was no denying Tomac on this night. He regrouped and with two minutes left, he was able to reclaim the lead and win the race with authority. Cianciarulo would ultimately end up crossing the finish line in fourth place on the night.

With the win in Oakland, Tomac ties former Monster Energy Kawasaki racers James Stewart and Ryan Villopoto with the most wins in Oakland. After capturing his second win of the season, Tomac now sits just three points behind the series points leader heading into Round 6.

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Forkner kicked off the day qualifying second, while teammate Cameron McAdoo returned to racing in Oakland after two weeks off, and able to qualify in ninth place heading into the night show.

Forkner lined up for the first 250SX heat race of the night and got off to a good start. After picking his way past a couple competitors, he began to run down the leader, and after a few turns of playing cat and mouse, Forkner was able to take control of the lead and never looked back. In the second 250SX heat race of the night, it was a wild ride for the No. 29 machine of McAdoo as the Top-5 running order shifted lap after lap. McAdoo capitalized on the opportunity and he went on to win his first ever 250SX heat race.

As the gate dropped on 250SX Main Event, Forkner shot into second place and by lap two had moved himself into the lead and began putting distance between the competition knowing that every point counts towards the championship points lead. As the race progressed. Forkner would be forced to battle lapped traffic allowing the competition to close the gap. Following a quick battle, Forkner would have to settle for second place overall.

In the 250SX Main Event McAdoo found himself buried in the mid-pack off the start. After dodging mayhem in the early laps, McAdoo settled into seventh place and wanted to get valuable track time after returning from injury and ultimately crossed the finish line in 14th place.

After putting his KX™250 on the podium in Oakland, Forkner’s point deficit remains at 10 in the 250SX West Point Standings, however he was able to move up into third place in the championship point standings.

“Wow, what a crazy night. We got a good start tonight and were able to get going right away. Had a good battle with Ken (Roczen) tonight, then got a little excited and missed my rear brake and went over the berm there. Luckily, I was able to recover quickly and charge back to the front. My KX™450 was straight up ripping tonight and we closed the points gap up to three points. I am feeling really good right now, and we are just going to carry this momentum into San Diego next weekend.”  – Eli Tomac

“For me tonight we made great strides and for only riding one time this week to see if my tailbone was good to go, I am pretty pumped with the result. I can’t thank the whole Monster Energy Kawasaki team enough for giving me a setup tonight that allowed me to do what I did after being a little banged up. I am looking forward to some more recovery this week and to come out swinging next week in San Diego.” – Adam Cianciarulo

 

Rider Austin Forkner Captures First 250SX Win of the Season in Front of Hometown Crowd

By General Posts

Foothill Ranch, Calif. (January 12, 2020) – Round 2 of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship returned to The Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis, Missouri after a brief one-year hiatus, with a warm welcome of rowdy fans. Monster Energy®/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider and hometown hero, Austin Forkner, captured his first 250SX win of the season, while Monster Energy® Kawasaki riders Eli Tomac and Adam Cianciarulo pushed hard in the 450SX class to finish fourth and seventh respectively.

After starting the day off qualifying with the third fastest lap time, Forkner kicked it up a notch by the time the gate dropped on 250SX Heat 2, taking the win. When the 22-rider field lined up for the 250SX Main Event, Forkner grabbed his second holeshot of the season aboard his KX™250. Forkner would lead all 18 laps to take his first win of the season in front of nearly 100 family and friends who came to see him at his home race.

After crashing in the first 250SX qualifying session, Cameron McAdoo attempted to ride in the second timed session before having to pull off and withdraw from the night show. McAdoo will seek further evaluation regarding his status and look to return as soon as possible.

While rain and light snow fell outside, the St. Louis crowd kept the energy high inside the dome with the help of the Kawasaki riders pumping them up at the Monster Energy Rig Riot as the Party in the Pits were hosted inside.

“I’m really happy to get our first win of the season tonight, especially at my hometown race with a ton of family and friends in the stands. It’s just been a special night for me. I wasn’t feeling the best about how I was riding and where I was last weekend, but this weekend couldn’t have been more different. I felt good all day and comfortable on my KX250 and I hope we can keep that momentum going and continue clicking off wins.”
– Austin Forkner

“Man, what a tough day. It’s always a difficult pill to swallow when you end your day early, especially when you’re riding well and feeling good in the beginning. I made a small mistake in qualifying and just couldn’t really recover after that crash. I was hurting pretty badly, so the team and I all made the decision to call it a day and get checked out in hopes to recover quicker for the long season ahead.”
– Cameron McAdoo

The 450SX dynamic duo of Monster Energy Kawasaki kicked off the day qualifying with the two fastest times as Cianciarulo clocked the fastest lap time of 50.2 seconds and Tomac right behind him, in second. So far this season Cianciarulo has held the top spot in all six practice and qualifying sessions.

Tomac lined up for the first 450SX heat race and found himself buried mid-pack off of the start. Picking off contenders one by one, Tomac made an impressive charge from 10th to second before the clock ran out and crossing the finish line.

Carrying the confidence of qualifying into the night show, Cianciarulo shot out of the 450SX Heat 2 gate in third. By the halfway point, Cianciarulo made his way into the front to lead the remaining four laps and take his first career 450SX heat race win.

In the 450SX Main Event Tomac found himself wedged out and sitting mid-pack after the first turn. He began making quick work as he maneuvered his KX™450 around the field moving from 12th to fourth before running out of time just shy of a podium finish. 450SX class rookie Cianciarulo was able to hold a top-5 position for the majority of the race before making a minor mistake on the final lap of the race, recovering quickly to finish seventh.

“Well we didn’t finish the night where we wanted or should be, but the team and I will get back to work this week and get everything dialed before Anaheim next weekend. I know we’ll be focusing on my starts, which have really been hurting my chances at finishing on the podium, but we’ll get those dialed and make any other minor adjustments that need to be made so we can get back on top.”
– Eli Tomac

Today was a really encouraging day. In the 450SX Main Event, despite my start, I felt like I was riding well and making good progress. Unfortunately, I turned a fourth into a seventh with a last lap mistake. I’ve been grinding on my starts trying to get them where they should be, but I obviously didn’t execute tonight. We’ll lock those in and be ready for A2.”
– Adam Cianciarulo