Following the 2011 World Superbike Championship, Yamaha departed from the series, attributing financial difficulties. Two years earlier in 2009, the rookie Ben Spies proved Yamaha its first and only WSBK title, the Texan piloting the YZF-R1 to 14 wins in 28 races.But Yamaha returns to the World SBK grid in 2016 with two pilots that will surely be title contenders – the 2013 British Superbike Champion Alex Lowes, and the 2014 World Superbike Champion Sylvain Guintoli.
Yamaha’s official return to SBK began this week with a two-day test at the Jerez Circuit in Spain. During the test, Lowes, 25, and Guintoli, 33, got their first shakedown aboard the Pata Yamaha R1.Lowes completed 121 laps, and Guintolo 100 as they successfully completed some setup work on the new Yamaha R1. The next test for the Pata Yamaha Team will be at Aragon in two weeks time.Alex Lowes says: ”My first go on the YZF-R1 and I absolutely loved it! We’ve got a lot of work to do but the potential of the bike is really good. There is a lot that I need to learn and change with my style, so I have a lot I need to improve myself, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.“The bike has a lot of potential already as I’ve said so I’m looking forward to getting out in Aragon already – if there wasn’t so much work for the boys to do I’d want to go there tomorrow! I really enjoyed riding the YZF-R1, it’s been lots of fun and it’s nice to get the project started so successfully.”Sylvain Guintoli says: “Well, a very positive first contact with the YZF-R1! We’ve managed to do quite a lot of work but most importantly the base of the bike – the chassis and power delivery – feels really good. It was a positive test overall and I’m looking forward to carrying on the progress in the next practice in Aragon and Jerez. I really enjoyed riding it – it reminds me a lot of the M1 from 2007, I can see and feel the same philosophy behind the bike – so yes, a very positive first impression and it’s nice to feel such a good atmosphere with Yamaha.”
Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory + Steve ’Stavros’ Parrish
byMotos and Friends by Ultimate Motorcycle
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Ultimate Motorcycling’s weekly podcast—Motos and Friends. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Our first segment features the new Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory. Senior Editor Nic de Sena brings us his report on the flagship version of Aprilia’s upright middleweight machine. He gives us insight into whether it’s worth spending the extra money on the Factory version, and also of course, whether this sporting Aprilia is really the motorcycle for you.
The next guest segment of Motos and Friends is brought to you by the faster and most technologically advanced, 2023 Suzuki Hayabusa—one of the most iconic sportbikes ever. Check it out in person at your local Suzuki dealer now, or visit suzukicycles.com to learn more.
In this segment, Associate Editor Teejay Adams chats with (arguably) one of the most interesting Suzuki race riders of all time. the iconic RG500 alongside teammate double World Champion Barry Sheene. The two were almost as famous for their exploits off-track, as for their success on it. Those were the days! Steve also raced the Isle of Man TT for about ten years where he won 13 Silver Replicas, and got a podium finish. His insight into that particular brand of mayhem are fascinating.
But there’s waaay more to Steve Parrish than his motorcycle racing. He is also the most successful Semi-Truck racer ever, and, little known piece of useless trivia—he’s my birthday twin: 24th February. He is a natural entertainer and you can’t miss his recounting of the world’s most entertaining—and arguably terrifying—double-decker bus ride ever. If any of you were actually on that hell-ride then we’d love to hear from you!