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No. 46, Tuesday June 6, 2000
Troy Bayliss - Ducati

  Australian Troy Bayliss - riding as a replacement for injured world champion Carl Fogarty, took his first world supers race win last weekend.

Race 1 report: Hockenheim, celebrating World Superbike’s 150th race weekend and 299th race birthday, saw the final few laps turn into a five way battle for supremacy, with Australian Troy Bayliss, the recent draftee into the Ducati Infostrada team, taking his first WSB win.

Holding off the close attentions of Akira Yanagawa for the last few corners of the race he was on incredible form, moving up from a distant fourth to overhaul the early leaders, Colin Edwards, Pierfrancesco Chili and Noriyuki Haga. Yanagawa was another relatively slow starter, and had to use all of his Kawasaki's 319kmh top speed to full effect to make good his podium finish. Haga got the better of Edwards for the last podium step, with Frankie Chili out on lap 13 with severe tyre problems.

Aaron Slight was fifth, unable to make up the gap to the leaders Top privateer was Andy Meklau on his Red Bull Gerin Ducati in sixth, ahead of Troy Corser on his factory Aprilia. Bostrom’s win takes him to seventh in the championship, with Colin Edwards still well in the lead.

Race 2: The second race of the day at Hockenheim was a very different affair from the first, delivering excitement of a different kind as Noriyuki Haga won a personal duel with Colin Edwards which went all the way to the second last corner of the Motodrom. Diving inside Haga at the Sachs Kurve, Edwards appeared to have made the decisive move, until Haga saw the American run slightly wide, spectacularly diving up the inside to take the lead and hold on for the win.

Akira Yanagawa blew an engine on lap ten. Pierfrancesco Chili made up for the disappointment of retiring in the first race by taking the last podium spot, with Troy Bayliss a narrow fourth.

Aaron Slight took a consistent fifth ahead of Troy Corser, with Courser's WSB rookie team mate, Alessandro Antonello riding strongly to a personal best finish of seventh. Austrian privateers Andreas Meklau and Robert Ulm were once more the most successful privateers at the ultra-fast Hockenheimring, taking eighth and ninth respectively.

The championship table now has Edwards on 202, with his closest challenger now Pierfrancesco Chili, on 162.

In the Supersport World Championship, local hero Jörg Teuchert was a popular winner, coming from 12th place on the grid to overhaul a whole gaggle of riders who had taken turns in the lead. Ruben Xaus was a strong second, with reigning champion Stephane Chambon in third place.

World Championship leader James Whitham retained his narrow lead at the top of the table with a sixth place finish, while Teuchert joined Chambon on the 80 point mark, only eight behind the Englishman.

Superbike standings: Edwards 202, Chili 162, Haga 137, Corser (Aust) 120, Yanagawa 99, Lavilla 71, Bayliss (Aust) 64, Slight (NZ) 58, Bostrom 58, Meklau 54, (Fogarty 40 position 15, Gobert 37 position 17).

Supersport standings: Whitham 88, Teuchert 80, Chambon 80, Casoli 64, Kellner 49, Macpherson 43, Meregalli 37, Muggeridge (Aust) 32, Xaus 30, Cogan 25, Pitt (Aust) 24.

BMW is said to be working on a liquid-cooled boxer four to complement its range of twins and perhaps replace the K-series in-line powerplants. The company has had a boxer four in the works for a long time, but is said to have shelved the idea when Honda introduced its GoldWing. However the Wing is now a six and it's suspected that BMW is reviving the idea. This September's Munich show would be an ideal launch platform...

Harley-Davidson has opened a rider training centre in Wales, called Riders Edge. According to the BBC's Top Gear program, it has "private roads with all the hazards you'd expect from daily riding. Organisers are still thinking about employing van drivers to run you down and then jump out and say: 'Sorry mate, didn't see ya.'”
After problems reported in last week's letter, plans for a USA road race GP in 2001 have been scrapped. The USA has not had a GP since 1994.

Westfield, the specialist UK-based sports car maker, is building a couple of models based on bike engines. One uses a Fireblade powerplant and the most recent addition to the range employs a Hayabusa engine. The company claims that the latter car, costing 21,000 quid, will accelerate as fast as a Lamborghini Diablo.

Speaking of Hayabusa-powered vehicles, Bimota is said to be using the same powerplant in a replacement for its SB6R, possibly called the SB9R.

In case you thought we were a bit light-on for Hayabusa news this edition ... the Canadian market is being offered an all-silver version of the Hirebus. It may get to other markets if the colour scheme proves to be a success. Evidently colour can make or break sales - we've recently spotted Peter Stevens advertising the brown/bronze versions for just $15,000.

UK MCN reports that 67-year-old Gordon Wilson, who is blind, will be attempting to set a 160kmh speed record on Triumph T595 at an upcoming speed weekend in Yorkshire ... presumably with a specially-modified pillion seat for the guide dog. MCN points out this would be a world first speed record for a blind person - now why would that be?

UK classic restorer George Beale is to build three replicas of his recently-acquired AJS Porcupine racer, which cost him a hefty 160,000 quid. He says he will sell two of the replicas, which are unlikely to leave much change out of 100,000 pounds. The bike won a world championship in 1949, but was notoriously unreliable.

250 MX GP standings: 1 Pichon, 2 Bolley, 3 Beirer, 4 Coppins, 5 Federici, 6 Cooper, 7 Crockard, 8 Demaria, 9 Maschio, 10 Iven.

Australian Matt Mladin won both heats of the last weekend's USA Superbike championship round at Atlanta.

Dubai-based Briton Steve Blackney today joined former 500cc world champion Kevin Schwantz among the high-profile overseas motorcycle riders confirmed to race in this year's 5,000km Australian Safari international cross-country rally. Blackney is a seven-times Middle East Open Motocross Championship winner and has raced in the prestigious United Arab Emirates (UAE) Desert Challenge in the past three years, with a best result of 10th in 1997.

The 29-year-old from Cornwall, who has been based in Dubai since 1981, will ride a KTM 660 in the Moto Division of the Safari from August 20-27 through the Northern Territory. Blackney said that despite his international record in endurance racing he would face a difficult challenge in the Safari mastering unfamiliar terrain on the course from Alice Springs to Darwin. "I'm told the (Safari) course is a mixture of bush, scrub, mountains, and even crossing water, which I can't ever remember doing before in a race."

The latest in reader-recommended web pages...
Michael recommends <http://www.748r.com>, and suggests, "Follow the links to testosterone Tuesday and all will be revealed..." Don't say you weren't warned.

Malcolm Beare of Beare Technology slipped us a mention of his site at <http://www.sixstroke.com>.


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Article by Guy Allen

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