The Hannspree FIM Superbike World Championship heads for the USA this weekend for the seventh round, which takes place close to Salt Lake City in the state of Utah. The venue is the Miller Motorsports Park, about half an hour away from the state capital, on the Interstate highway road that leads to the famous Bonneville Salt Flats.
Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike) powered to his sixth successive Superpole triumph at the Kyalami circuit in South Africa, equaling the long-standing record set by his fellow Texan Doug Polen (Ducati) in 1991. The session at Kyalami was one of the most exciting seen so far this season, with a two-way battle between the two Monza winners, Spies and Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox).
Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport rider Troy Corser will not be travelling with the team and racing in Kyalami this coming weekend. The Aussie took a severe battering in two hard crashes in Monza last weekend and it was felt that it would be better for him to give the South African round a miss and get fully fit for the USA round at the end of the month.
Berti Hauser Speaks… (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director)
700th Premier Class race milestone to be celebrated in Japan.
This weekend’s Polini Grand Prix of Japan marks the 700th premier class Grand Prix in the history of the World Championship. Since the first round, many changes in cylinder class, tyre regulations and even starting times have been used, some of which are documented in a milestone review of the 699 races to date.
June 1949, Race #1: Great Britain IOM TT – The first 500cc GP is won by Harold Daniell riding a factory Norton.
South Africa, Ducati, and Troy Bayliss. Great motorcycle expectations, indeed. The thing about expectations-they generally end up being either satisfied or disappointed, but rarely exceeded. But occasionally, if you are fortunate, expectations will be not only brilliantly surprised but also beautifully surpassed.
One of the surprises was South Africa. Ducati chose Kyalami Race Track located in the suburbs north of Johannesburg in the Gauteng province of South Africa for the official introduction of its new 1098 superbike.
Manufacturers generally select premium locations and luxury accommodations when it comes time to introduce their newest addition to their line. We may travel to Monza in Italy, the Baviaanskloof in South Africa, the rain forest of Costa Rica, which is all well and good. Imagine my surprise when Kawasaki took me to the mile marker 11.5 on desolate Arizona state highway 74 in the Sonora Desert, up against the foothills of the Hieroglyphic Mountains. There, circled well-worn travel trailers awaited, which would be home for the duration.
Canadian Thomas Bain was a prolific road builder. In the waning years of the 19th century he designed and constructed an extensive labyrinth of dirt roads opening South Africa’s vast interior to the primary mode of transport of the day—the ox wagon. Among the 24 significant routes he created, there is one that stands as his magnum opus. That road was destined to become one of his last, most assuredly the longest, and arguably the most famous.