After eight-straight years – including three MotoGP titles – aboard Yamaha YZR-M1 machinery, Jorge Lorenzo signed a contract with Ducati, the Spaniard set to ride the Desmosedici from 2016 through 2018.This left a vacancy, and the future teammate of nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi was unknown. Following Lorenzo’s Ducati deal ahead of Austin MotoGP at Circuit of the Americas, the paddock chatter began. Many rumored the young Maverick Vinales would claim the empty seat – and these rumors were confirmed Thursday.
Ahead of this weekend’s Mugello MotoGP, a home race for Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, the team confirmed that Vinales will pilot the factory Yamaha for the 2017/2018 season.The 21-year-old joined Grand Prix motorcycle racing in 2011, racing for Aprilia in the former 125cc class. He then competed in the Moto3 Championship, first for FTR Honda in 2012 and KTM in 2013 – the year he earned the Moto3 title.He spent one year in Moto2 racing for Kalex before joining the Team Ecstar Suzuki, which returned to the premier class after a three-year haitus. Vinales finished 12th overall in 2015 as he helped the team work the bugs out of the GSX-RR. Maverick has ridden a different bike every season – except for his repeat Suzuki ride this year – and has proven he can adapt quickly.So far in 2016, Vinales has performed well except for a DNF due to a crash in Argentina; his best finish was third at Le Mans MotoGP two weeks ago, the Spaniard claiming Suzuki’s first podium since the 2008 Czech Grand Prix (Alvaro Bautista).Speaking at the Mugello MotoGP press conference Thursday, MaverickVinales said: “Finally I decided to move, to go to Yamaha factory and I think it’s a really important part of my career because I will grow up a lot. Finally I am really grateful to Suzuki because they trust me a lot and try to give me the best bike they can. They’ve done a great job.”Photos by Luciano BianchettoSaveSave
Hello everyone and welcome once again to the Ultimate Motorcycling podcast—Motos and Friends. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Motos and Friends is brought to you by the Yamaha YZF-R7—Yamaha’s awesome supersport machine that is as capable on the racetrack as it is on the street. …and it’s comfortable too! Check it out at at your local Yamaha dealer, or of course at YamahaMotorsports.com.
In this week’s first segment, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the BMW K 1600 GT. This is the sporty bagger version of BMW’s K series of machines, those are the models with the awesome 6-cylinder engine. The GT has been given a little makeover for 2023, and Nic gives us his take.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my all time heroes—three-time World Champion racer ‘fast’ Freddie Spencer. I’ll do my best not to come off as too much of a fanboy here, but frankly it’ll be tough!
In my humble opinion, Spencer is a contender for the GOAT—greatest of all time. Sure, his career was a little shorter than some, and his number of championships falls behind the likes of Lawson, Doohan, Rossi, and of course Marquez. But at the time, Freddie literally changed the way motorcycles were ridden. 30 years before Marc Marquez, Freddie was able to push the front wheel into a slide, corner after corner, lap after lap in order to get the bike turned faster than anyone else. Freddie took completely different lines and was able to get on the throttle so early he could out accelerate anyone off a corner.
In the modern era, of course Freddie is the chairman of the FIM MotoGP Stewards panel. This is the panel of referees for all three classes of Grand prix racing. I talked to Freddie about his task there, and although for contractual reasons with Dorna and the FIM he cannot talk about specific riders, teams, or events, nevertheless his explanation of the job makes for interesting listening. It’s a tough job, and frankly I wouldn’t want to do it!
Actually—Ultimate Motorcycling is giving away five copies of the book—signed by Freddie himself—to the first five listeners who contact us with the correct answer to the question: How many national AMA championships did Freddie win, and which years were they?
Please email your answers to email@example.com and we will contact the winners and send you a signed copy of Feel. Those five winners will be announced on a future episode. Unfortunately for legal reasons this offer is ONLY open to US residents.
So, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!