• Welcome to the new B.I.R.D. Forum. Please be sure to read the "New Member / New Registered ? Please Read" thread in the Coffee Shop. This contains some important information. To become a full member ( £5.50 a year ) simply click on your user name near the top on the right I hope you enjoy the new site ................ Jaws ( John )

WSBK news


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Eugene Laverty replaces Fabien Foret for Donington

Eugene Laverty, the young 22 yr old Northern Irish 250 GP rider has been picked by the Yamaha World Supersport Team to replace injured rider Fabien Foret for the next two rounds of the World Supersport Championship at Donington and Vallelunga.

Laverty is no stranger to the Supersport class, having raced successfully in British Supersport previously. He gave a strong performance in the 2006 championship, battling throughout the year to take third in the overall standings. The talented rider was fighting for the title however a hand injury left him side lined with four race wins at the end of the season.Prior to this he successfully competed in the 2004 British 125cc Championship, finishing 2nd in the season.Eugene moved on to take a ride in the 250 GP series for 2007 and 2008 however a lack of competitive machinery has hampered any significant racing success.

Fabien Foret continues to recover well from his injuries sustained after crashing in the Brno round of the World Supersport Championship and is hoped to return to the Yamaha World Supersport Team before the end of the season.

Wilco Zeelenberg (Team Manager, Yamaha World Supersport Team)

?We were impressed with Karl Harris? performance on the bike at Brands, it confirms for us that our bike is competitive even when we have someone not familiar with it. Karl rode well, however whilst Fabien is recovering this is a good opportunity for us to trial different riders. Donington is also more of a top power track compared to Brands which meansKarl?s physical size and weight may have been more of an issue whilst Eugene is a very lightweight rider so should have an edge ?

?Looking back to Eugene?s British Supersport rides he was keenly in competition with top riders like Crutchlow and Sykes, proving he?s a talented 4 stroke rider with strong Supersport credentials. With Donington coming up we wanted to keep using an English rider with excellent local track knowledge, which he has.?
Eugene Laverty
?I?m really excited at the chance to ride a competitive Supersport machine. Two years of riding underpowered bikes has led to two difficult seasons for me. For Yamaha to pick me up and offer this opportunity is fantastic, I?m over the moon! I can?t wait to get to Donington and start working with the team to set up and get out on track?


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Ten Kate and WP Suspension
Following its recent, well-publicised tests and performance during the recent race weekend at Misano in Italy, the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team has decided that it will retain its future development plans with the Ohlins suspension provided by the Andreani Group.

This development follows recent technical advances such as electronics and engine power that have been introduced in the team?s Honda CBR1000RR Superbikes and CBR600RR Supersport machines.

The decision has consequently resulted in the termination of a long and very successful racing collaboration with the team?s suspension partner, WP.

Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team manager, Ronald ten Kate, commented: ?This has been an extremely difficult decision because WP has been our partner in racing since we started. Together, we have won seven World Supersport titles and one World Superbike championship.

?I would like to thank everyone in the racing department at WP,? he added. ?The guys there have worked extremely hard for us through the years and we have a very high regard for their technical knowledge and skill.?

Ten Kate concluded: ?Unfortunately, recent organisational changes within WP have restricted the really precise development that we have needed. We would like thank the WP race department guys for everything that they have done for us and we wish them all the very best for the future.?


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Ben Spies to stay with Yamaha in 2010 and 2011

Yamaha Motor Company., Ltd and Yamaha Motor Europe N.V. are delighted to announce that an Agreement has been concluded with Ben Spies for his participation with Yamaha for 2010 and 2011. The program foresees a season in 2010 with the Yamaha World Superbike Team based in Gerno di Lesmo, Italy and a switch to Yamaha?s satellite MotoGP team for 2011.

Laurens Klein Koerkamp, Racing Manager Yamaha Motor Europe said ? ?We got to know Ben this season in our Yamaha World Superbike Team as a very talented, professional and dedicated person whom we are thrilled to continue working with. Not only is the relationship between Ben, the team and Yamaha in general very successful but also it?s a pleasure to work with him. This early agreement permits Yamaha and Ben Spies to now fully focus on their 2009 World Superbike campaign in their challenge to achieve their first World Superbike Championship titles together.?

Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing said ? ?We are truly excited about the prospect of Ben?s arrival into our future MotoGP program. Ben is doing a great job for Yamaha in his first season in the World Superbike Championship. He is in great shape to challenge for the title this year and we will be rooting for him at the remaining four events this season. Ben?s primary mission is to win both his and Yamaha?s first World Superbike title. After that when Ben eventually makes the move to the MotoGP championship we will be ready for him and, in line with the new MotoGP regulations, we will create a place for him within the Yamaha satellite team and give him the support he needs for his next challenge.

Ben Spies:
"I am very happy to say that I will remain a part of the Yamaha family and will continue in the WSB series for 2010. This is an exciting period of my racing career and I look forward to even more. Yamaha has been great in the warm welcome that I have received entering the world level and I want to thank them for all they have done, and giving me their trust for a next career step into MotoGP in 2011."


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Sterilgarda confirms title sponsorship with Yamaha World Superbike Team

Sterilgarda confirm title sponsorship

Resulting from a successful partnership this season with the Yamaha World Superbike Team , Italian food brand Sterilgarda has confirmed title sponsorship for the 2010 race season. Sterilgarda came on board with Yamaha early in the 2009 race season and shared in the success of the team as rookie rider Ben Spies made his debut in the championship. As of 2010 the team will be known as the Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team.

Sterilgarda is a food production company based in Italy, providing products for over 40 years and today producing over 1200 tons of foodstuffs daily. Core product lines include cheese, milk, yoghurt and fruit juices.

?We?re delighted that Sterilgarda has decided to stay with us for the 2010 season,? said Laurens Klein Koerkamp, Racing Manager, Yamaha Motor Europe. ?2009 has been and continues to be a very successful year for us in racing. From the time Sterilgarda came on board we have enjoyed working closely together and developing a relationship that goes beyond simple sponsorship. They have become part of our team. It was always our intention to continue developing the partnership through to 2010, we look forward to enjoying further success together next year.?

?It is fantastic that we will continue together for another year,? said Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager. ?Sterilgarda is a very familiar face in our paddock and has supported Superbike racing for some time. I am very happy that they will continue to race with us next season.?

?This agreement is the fruit of a collaboration that from the Monza race this year gave us an insight into the professionalism of the Yamaha team,? said Fernando Sarzi, CEO Sterilgarda. ?We recognised the team as a group who work with a passion to reach clear goals. It is the same passion that has led Sterilgarda to strive for perfection and quality for many years. The agreement that from today transforms the Yamaha World Superbike Team to the Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike team is the natural conclusion of a winning partnership.?


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Rea and Ten Kate refine two-year agreement
Jonathan Rea and his Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team have agreed renewed terms to keep the 22-year-old on a Honda CBR1000RR in the World Superbike championship for the next two years.

The partnership was confirmed a year ago at Vallelunga in Italy when Rea moved up from the Ten Kate team?s World Supersport effort to a fully-fledged debut World Superbike challenge. However, this new agreement, which runs until the end of the 2011 season, is seen as a fine-tuning of that earlier arrangement.

With three rounds to complete in the 2009 championship, Rea sits in fourth place in the points table, with two wins and a further three podium finishes to his name. In his rookie year and as the youngest World Superbike competitor, the Northern Irishman is also the highest-placed Honda rider.

Jonathan Rea

As everyone knows, we started this season pretty slowly and I take my share of the blame for that. But I think we?ve shown that we have been able to turn the Honda CBR1000RR into a race-winning package in the face of some stiff competition. Now the challenge for me is to help to turn it into a championship-winning package. I?ll admit that I?ve had some flattering distractions to think about recently but, with this revised agreement, I can now just concentrate on the job and the future. The changes to the contract have simply made some things clear that weren?t clear before. We had a three-year plan, including the first year in Supersport, but not really a fixed deal. Now we?ve come to a good decision together and I?m looking forward to the rest of this season and the next two years with this strong and professional team.

Ronald ten Kate ? team manager

We already had an ongoing two-year agreement with Jonathan from last year, but it was just at a basic level. It needed an upgrade, so we now have a fine-tuned version after his impressive results this season. We are delighted to continue with the plan which brought Jonathan from British Superbike, through our own World Supersport squad and on to his World Superbike challenge. He has grown up a lot this season, both as a rider and as a person, and he is an absolute joy to work with. I believe we are just beginning to see the great potential that Jonathan has.


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Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team reveal 2010 livery

The Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team today unveiled their new livery for the 2010 racing season. The team launched the new design on location at the Sterilgarda headquarters in Castiglione delle Stiviere to an audience of international journalists and sponsors.

Riders James Toseland and Cal Crutchlow revealed their 2010 YZF-R1 racebikes then took time to answer questions about their upcoming season. Both two-time World Superbike champion Toseland and reigning World Supersport champion Crutchlow have the potential to fight for the championship title this year.

New racing developments to the 2010 bike based upon the production crossplane crankshaft R1 include:

? Increased engine power ? Maximum engine power increased by 8hp, considerable power benefits over the full rev range.
? Weight reduction ? Overall bike weight reduced by 3kg without losing the electric starter.
? Different radiator shape ? For increased cooling capacity and also to reduce drag.
? Different fuel tank ? Now made entirely from carbon fibre with greater capability and lighter.
? Re-designed bottom fairing ? Narrower design for less drag, design allows for easier heat dispersal
? New exhaust system ? For increased power in the middle of the rev range.

James Toseland, Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team
?The first race is coming up in two weeks and testing has been really promising after riding a GP bike for two years. After the test in Phillip island personally and machinery wise everything should be set to compete at the front from the first race.?

Cal Crutchlow, Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team
?I?m looking forward to the year ahead, it?s going to be a good challenge, but tough! Testing has gone well, hopefully we can turn that into good results from the first few races and build from there. I know we can do a good job.?

Laurens Klein Koerkamp, Yamaha Motor Europe Racing Manager
?After an incredibly successful season last year it?s back to business. We have two new riders and we?ve taken the bike to the next level over the winter, we want to keep the world title at Yamaha. The grid is looking really tough this year but we have two of the toughest guys at the front.?

Nando Sarzi, Sterilgarda Alimenti Spa CEO
?We were delighted to be able to join up with Yamaha in Monza in 2009, it was amazing to be able to share the year of successful racing together. We are very excited about 2010 and are looking forward to more success and our relationship continuing to develop.?

Sterilgarda joined up with Yamaha as a key Sponsor midway through the 2009 race season at the Monza round in Italy. The relationship has continued to grow successfully with Sterilgarda sharing in the championship success of 2009. For 2010 Yamaha and Sterilgarda have remained committed to strengthening their partnership further and continuing to work closely together, sharing a common passion for racing and the desire to be the best.

Sterilgarda Alimenti Spa is the second largest UHT dairy manufacturer in Italy, operating from their headquarters in Castiglione delle Stiviere (Mantova, Italy) with a turnover of 258 million ? (2009), main products include UHT milk and cream, b?chamel sauce, pudding, yogurt, mascarpone, fruit juices and soft drinks.

Photography of the 2010 livery launch along with riders Toseland and Crutchlow is available for download from Yamaha-racing.com.


Sterilgarda company facts:

- Sterilgarda Alimenti Spa founded in1969.
- Based in Castiglione delle Stiviere (Mantova, Italy).
- Second largest UHT dairy manufacturer in Italy.
- Main products include UHT milk and cream and mascarpone etc.
fruit juices and nectars, iced tea and soft drinks.
-Turnover: 258 million ? (2009).
- Aprox. 90 % of turnover in Italy, 10 % outside Italy (mainly mascarpone ? famous soft cheese).
- 500 employees.
- Production capacity exceeding 2.5 million products per day (aprox. 1.400 tons).
- Most modern production and filling UHT/ Tetrabrik machinery in Italy.


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Re-live 2009 championship success!

Yamaha were able to celebrate titles across the board of major FIM world championships in 2009 thanks to success in MotoGP, World Superbike, World Supersport, MX1-GP Motocross and Supercross (also AMA). Fans of riders like Ben Spies, Cal Crutchlow, Tony Cairoli and James Stewart, not to mention motorcycles like the YZF-R1, R6 and YZ450F, can now watch exciting and action-packed highlight-videos of the victorious campaigns on www.yamaha-racing.com

What about Spies? impressive World Superbike debut win at Phillip Island and Crutchlow?s dramatic last corner charge at Assen? Stewart?s celebrations in front of a massive crowd at Las Vegas for the final round of the championship and Cairoli taking the title in his maiden MX1-GP season; all-in-all some priceless memories in what was a historic year.

To re-live these special moments and more click on the following links:

2009 Yamaha World Superbike video

2009 Yamaha World Supersport video


2009 Yamaha World Motocross and Supercross video


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Watch the 2010 Yamaha Sterilgarda WSB Team Launch online
On Friday 12th February The Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team launched their 2010 livery with riders James Tosland and Cal Crutchlow.

Log on to www.yamaha-racing.com and click 'videos'in the WSB section to watch the launch. You will also find interviews with riders James Toseland and Cal Crutchlow plus interviews with team manager Massimo Meregalli and Yamaha Motor Europe Racing Manager Laurens Klein Koerkamp.


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Jonathan Rea goes back to school with Honda Hannspree
Ten Kate Honda?s Jonathan Rea visited Holy Trinity College in Cookstown, Northern Ireland last week with Honda?s School of Dreams, which provided a two-day ?thinking skills? workshop for 9-13 year old pupils and educators.

The workshop at Holy Trinity College was the first School of Dreams event to be held in Northern Ireland. Pupils from Holy Trinity Primary School also attended the workshop, giving younger children the chance to get to know their peers and meet their future teachers.

The programme helped the pupils to understand the importance of pursuing their dreams, and taught skills and strategies to help turn their dreams into reality. Jonathan Rea attended the workshop as a real life example of a young local who has worked hard to achieve his dream of motorcycle racing on the world stage.

School of Dreams was developed by Honda UK and a team of independent education experts as part of Honda?s commitment to giving back to the local communities in which it operates. School of Dreams helps students and educators discover different, creative and fun ways to learn.

Chris Callan, Science Technician from Holy Trinity College said: ?The pupils really loved the two days, and it was great to see the pupils from different schools working together in their teams. It will have helped them realise that as individuals they are unique, but that school life and life in general requires teamwork.?

Jonathan Rea was enthusiastic about his visit, saying: ?Honda is really good at this kind of thing, and I love getting involved and putting something back. It was a great day and a brilliant opportunity to tell the kids how I went about pursuing my own dreams. I?d also forgotten how good school desserts are!?

For further information on Honda?s School of Dreams, which has been enjoyed by more than 5,000 pupils, visit www.schoolofdreams.co.uk.


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Ten Kate squad continues work at Portimao

Following a weekend of highs and lows for the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team at round two of the World Superbike and Supersport championships at Portimao in Portugal, the team?s riders were back at work yesterday at the circuit.

Despite morning rain restricting testing time to just half an hour before lunch, the Superbike and Supersport teams were able to undertake some worthwhile testing as the 4.592km track dried in the afternoon.

Jonathan Rea worked exclusively on a new electronics package, while his Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team-mate, Max Neukirchner, concentrated on efforts to find an optimum balance for his CBR1000RR Fireblade.

Meanwhile, Ten Kate?s Supersport duo of Kenan Sofuoglu and Michele Pirro, tested electronics and a different specification front fork on the CBR600RRs that took Sofuoglu to victory and Pirro to his first World Supersport podium during Sunday?s race.

Jonathan Rea

With the rain in the morning we couldn?t do much because the track was so wet. Even so, I went out and did a few laps, but testing a new electronics package in those conditions is pretty scary! After lunch the track dried, although there were still some streams running across parts, and I got to do about 25 laps. The electronics were really good, and I was easily able to match the lap times that I did in the race. I think we?ll roll out the new package at Valencia, so I?m looking forward to that.

Max Neukirchner

I was happy that we got a chance to make some improvements to the bike?s chassis. It?s still not perfect for me, but it?s now more stable on corner entry, which is where I was having some big problems during the weekend at Portimao. The balance is better now ? I don?t have to brake so early and it is a little easier to hold the line. I was able to improve on my best lap in the race and I hope that we can continue this progress when we get to Valencia next week.

Ronald ten Kate ? team manager

We managed to get about three hours of testing in yesterday ? half an hour in the morning and then two-and-a-half after lunch. We made some progress on both sides of the garage, with Max going faster than his race times and feeling more comfortable with the bike. Jonathan?s times were about the same, but he achieved them without pushing as hard and there were still some streams running across the track. The new electronics allowed him more easily to ride the bike fast and even to recover from some mistakes. The Supersport riders were not able to match their race pace but track conditions were not like Sunday and we know that a small change can make a big difference in lap times.


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Ask your questions to Cal Crutchlow

Ever wanted to ask Cal Crutchlow what it?s like to change from the World Supersport Championship winning R6 to the World Superbike Championship winning R1? How did it feel to get his first World Superbike podium for Yamaha in Portimao for round two?

Would you like to find out how top riders stay fit or how they mentally prepare for a race?

Well here's your chance! You can submit your questions using the link below over the next few days until the end of Saturday, 10th of April. We'll then catch up with Cal after the second race at Valencia and put your questions to him. We'll post the answers to the best ones here on this page....



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Jonathan Rea to contest Suzuka 8 Hour
The Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team has announced that its World Superbike championship rider Jonathan Rea will compete in the 2010 Suzuka 8 Hour race in Japan on 25th July.

The iconic race forms part of the five-round World Endurance championship and during its 32-year history has featured some of the greatest ever riders in world championship motorcycle racing, from both GPs and the World Superbike championship.

Rea will also contest the 300km Suzuka race on 13th June ? a race he won with former team-mate Ryuichi Kiyonari in 2007 ? before competing in the 8 Hour in July, a week before round 10 of the World Superbike championship at Silverstone in the UK on 1st August.

His team and team-mate have yet to be announced but Honda has confirmed that Rea will ride for one of the satellite Honda teams on an HRC (Honda Racing Corporation) CBR1000RR Fireblade with support from the factory.

?I?m absolutely thrill ed to be given a chance to go back to Suzuka and compete in the 8 Hour race,? said Rea. ?I raced there in 2007 in the 300km and was hoping for a chance to do the 8 Hour that year, but it didn?t happen.

?The winners list reads like a ?who?s who? of racing,? he added, ?and I?d love to add my name to that list. But there are also some fantastic riders who have raced there and never won. It?ll be a big thrill for me and I can?t wait!?

Foggy back in ?race action?

Foggy tries his hand at the SBK X game
Carl stands on the podium again!
Foggy 'overtakes' Ben Bostrom at Valencia

Want to race like Carl Fogarty? Or even race as Carl Fogarty? Well, now is your chance.

Foggy heads up the innovative Legendary Roster on the new SBK X Superbike World Championship videogame, which will be launching in the UK in May 2010 on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC DVD.

Carl was in London to launch SBK X to the gaming community and was blown away by his first impressions.

He said: "I could not believe how realistic the game was, down to the actual bumps at specific corners of the track. They have even managed to capture my riding style. I have never been a big gamer but this is addictive and I will be back on it out at home, because I crashed a lot at the demonstration. The Legendary Roster is a great idea and I'm sure players will enjoy racing as me against the likes of Bayliss and Spies and Toseland."

The game from renowned Italian developer, Milestone Studios, and published by Black Bean Games is now in its fourth generation and SBK X harnesses the thrills and exhilaration of this international racing series in bullet-fast, high-definition glory.

UK distributors, Tradewest Games Ld, said: "The challenge for the developer has always been to digitally recreate what are essentially two purely analogue machines, working in perfect unison: the rider and the bike. For example, the rider's position affects cornering, acceleration and braking, whilst the bike's weight has to be shifted and power carefully applied at the rear wheel to deliver the blistering speeds these bikes are capable of on the tracks.

"Most importantly, Milestone have worked all this control into a simple and accessible arcade mode, making it possible for anyone to pick up and play, but with enough depth and detail to satisfy committed petrol heads and bike tuners thanks to the full simulation mode."

A spokesperson for Black Bean said: "Other than the regular edition of the game, scheduled for release in late, gamers will have the opportunity to grab an absolutely exclusive copy of the Special Edition, which will feature a unique Legendary Roster filled with the greatest World Superbike Series stars. Every bike enthusiast can ride as Carl Fogarty, also known as King Carl, on his powerful Ducati 996, or jump in the saddle of the last year Yamaha R1 of Ben Spies. Past versus present, ageless glories versus new heroes. Regardless of the rider you choose, you'll ride as a real Legend!"

Here is the complete list: Pierfrancesco Chili, Katsuaki Fujiwara, Max Biaggi, Yukio Kagayama, Aaron Slight, Colin Edwards, Ben Bostrom, James Toseland, Neil Hodgson, Carl Fogarty, Troy Corser, Troy Bayliss, Lorenzo Lanzi, Ben Spies, Tom Sykes, Akira Yanagawa, Gregorio Lavilla.


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Successful test for Yamaha Sterilgarda in Misano

The Yamaha Sterilgarda world Superbike Team wrapped up a successful two day test in Misano this afternoon, fresh from James Toseland?s two podiums in Assen. Riders Cal Crutchlow and James Toseland spent the two days testing further changes to their 2010 R1 race-bikes as they prepare for the next round of the championship at the legendary Monza circuit next week. Toseland spent the first day focussing on the electronics, and ended the day second fastest on unofficial timing (no transponders) with a 1?36.0, only 0.1 behind the fastest time having completed 69 laps. Team mate Crutchlow was working on a general bike set-up, putting in 87 laps on the first day and ending it just behind Toseland, third fastest with an unofficial time of 1?36.3.

Day two saw Crutchlow working through a different set up to the previous day, finding advantages with each. He finished the second day of testing in third having put in a 1?35.7 lap on race tyres. Team mate Toseland spent the day working on race pace and durability, using a qualifier towards the end to put in a 1?35.6 and take the second fastest slot of the day yet again.

James Toseland, Yamaha Sterilgarda world Superbike Team
?We?ve achieved a lot, and ended up second today. Fabrizio did a really good low 35 second lap on a qualifier but I think on race tyres there were definitely consistent 35s to be had for us as well. The fastest race time last year was a 37 so it shows how much everyone has improved, we?re 1.3 seconds under the lap record. Misano is definitely suited to the Ducati, it?s their strongest track I think, however I did ten laps in the low 36s which is great for race pace and the important thing is we?ve moved forward on durability for race pace which is key.?

Cal Crutchlow, Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team

?It?s been quite a progressive two days, we?ve worked through two completely different set ups and found pros and cons to both. I think we?ve found a clear direction to work in which we now need to fine tune. I was pleased with the pace we had, we were consistently in the top three without using a qualifier tyre, so we?re good with race tyres which is important. I have to keep working and hopefully it has put us in a good set for Monza.?

Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha Sterilgarda world Superbike Team Manager?We?ve had a really good test here at Misano. We tried some different things in both electronics and bike set up with both riders and in the end we learnt some valuable information and we made improvements. We will use these steps to bring upgrades in both electronics and chassis set up. Misano has been invaluable in finally providing us with some structured testing time to really develop a solid base for the rest of the season. Whilst we have made steps at each round including the new linkage for James in Assen, this has been our first real opportunity to make the next step. We now head forward with a more competitive package for the season and are confident this will benefit us from the next race in Monza?


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Mugello (Italy), Wednesday 12th May: three-times World Champion Troy Bayliss was back on track at Mugello yesterday and today, riding the Ducati 1198 development bike for the Ducati Xerox team; his first Superbike ride since his last race (and double victory) at Portimao in October 2008, after which he announced his official retirement.

The two-day test session, scheduled some months ago as part of Ducati?s 2010 testing schedule, was conditioned by heavy rain yesterday. Bayliss, though riding in full wet conditions, immediately got back into the swing of things and registered a best time of 2m05 during the morning. Although the rain let up in the early afternoon, the track remained wet and slippery, so there was no opportunity for the Australian rider to improve his time.

This morning the track was still damp but the work continued regardless and by lunch time the asphalt had dried out. The team worked on the development of a new software for the gear shifter, with very positive results, meaning that it may be used in this Sunday?s race. The team also worked to refine the set-up of the 1198 and found an efficient solution that may also be implemented this weekend in Kyalami. By the end of the session, which concluded in the early afternoon, Troy had made more than 60 laps, registering a best time of 1?51.9, an extremely impressive time for a Superbike at Mugello. The test team, as well as Ernesto Marinelli who returned to the role of track engineer for the Australian during these tests, declared the sessions a success, having collated valuable data and feedback from Troy over the two days.

Troy will next test for the factory team during World Ducati Week, taking place at the Misano World Circuit from 10th to 13th June, alongside factory riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio.

Troy Bayliss
?The weather wasn?t on our side but we still got a lot of work done. Actually I think riding first in the rain was a good way to work up and get back into it. The track finally came good today and we got about two and a half hours in the dry which was good. I really enjoyed myself and hope the feedback I have been giving the guys is useful. Having Ernie and Alessandra there helped of course, it felt just like the old days. I was a little worried that I?d have forgotten how to ride after the year and a half break, but it was easy and to be honest it felt like I?d never been away!?


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Crutchlow comes out on top at Imola test
The Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team headed straight off to Imola following last weekend?s race at Misano, and today completed a two day test in the sweltering Italian sunshine. The team spent the two days testing further areas of electronics, including traction control, wheelie control and launch control. They also worked to find improvements in the chassis, in particular the balance of the bike.

At the end of the test it was Cal Crutchlow who came out fastest of the World Superbike riders, recording a time nearly half a second faster than closest rivals.

Cal Crutchlow, Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team (1st, 1?47.478, 125laps)
?I?m happy with result of the test but we?ve got to win the races as well. We?ve tried a lot of different settings here, finally the best are close to how we started at the beginning. Hopefully over the summer break we?ll get some new parts and make more of a difference. We?re going to Brno with good confidence and we?ll take away from this test some good positives.?

James Toseland, Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team (11th, 1?49.031, 127laps)
?It?s been a bit of a frustrating test for me. We?ve been concentrating over the two days on trying various different settings to try and maximise the grip on the bike as opposed to focussing on getting the fastest lap time. At the end of it I don?t feel I?ve managed to get closer so I?ve been struggling a bit.?

Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team

?We tested quite a lot of different things here at Imola, including various areas of electronics, we?ve also looked at the chassis to see what we can do to improve the balance. Both riders also spent some time testing some new tyres that Pirelli bought to the test. Cal finished fastest at the end and put in an impressive performance. James was not as fast so we need to look at our data and see what we can do to improve this.?


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Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team confirms Marco Melandri for 2011

The Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team has signed an agreement with Italian MotoGP rider Marco Melandri to join the World Superbike Championship for the 2011 race season. 28yr old Melandri will replace current Yamaha Superbike rider Cal Crutchlow who stays within the Yamaha family, moving to MotoGP to replace Ben Spies on The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 M1 bike.

Melandri is a former 250cc GP World Champion and has finished as highly as 2nd in the MotoGP Championship with five MotoGP race victories to date in his career and a further 10 250ccGP victories.

?I?m very happy with this new challenge, it?s a big change and I want to fight for world superbike wins,? said Marco Melandri. ?It?s nice to be back with Yamaha; I know many people there; I was very young when I rode with them before, now I?m much more mature. As the reigning 2009 champions The Yamaha Sterilgarda Team have proved to have a very competitive package and are one of the top teams in World Superbike. I realise Superbike is not easy and I know I have to work hard. I?m looking forward to feeling the adrenalin again and fighting for the championship.?

?Marco is a great signing for the World Superbike Team. He has massive experience at the pinnacle of motorcycle racing and is extremely motivated to have the opportunity to challenge for race wins again. Whilst it is sad to see Cal leave us to move on up in the Yamaha family we are excited to have a serious title contender such as Marco joining us.? Said Yamaha Motor Europe Racing Manager Laurens Klein Koerkamp.


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Laverty enjoys first Superbike experience on the Yamaha Sterilgarda WSB YZF-R1

Having signed to the Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team for the 2011 season 24yr old rider Eugene Laverty got his first taste of the YZF-R1 Superbike today at the Magny Cours circuit in France. The first of the team tests in advance of next year was marred by bad weather; heavy rain in the morning preceded a slowly drying track in the afternoon. Laverty initially spent some time out on the track on full wet tyres before changing to a slick rear and intermediate front for the final couple of laps of the day as the track dried out. Despite the wet conditions he was at home on the bike immediately, impressing the team with his feedback and pace over the day?s sessions.

Laverty wrapped up his World Supersport season in style at the weekend taking his eighth win of the season, securing second in the championship, and adding to his tally of five pole position starts and a total of ten podium finishes.

Eugene Laverty

?I enjoyed the first experience,? said Eugene Laverty, ?but I have to admit I was a little unsure beforehand what the power delivery would be like! I was pleasantly surprised; it?s been very smooth so far, although it was a little wet. We got a little dry time at the end so I got an insight into what it?s going to be like tomorrow with the full power when we get cracking in the morning. I feel very welcome with the team and really at home on the bike so I?m really happy.?

Frankie Carchedi, Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team Crew Chief for Eugene Laverty
?Today was a good day as we were able to focus on getting Eugene physically comfortable on the bike, making some adjustments to fit his body size to the R1. The weather has definitely not been on our side so far but we made the most of the wet track to get him started with a softer setting. He exceeded our expectations in the short time we were on the track so we are looking forward to hopefully a dry day tomorrow to make further progress.?


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Laverty impresses with Yamaha World Superbike test debut at Magny Cours

The second day of the two day test at Magny Cours today saw the Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team?s 2011 rider Eugene Laverty enjoying starkly contrasted weather to yesterday?s rain. Clear blue skies, sunshine and warm track temperatures allowed the new Yamaha rider the perfect opportunity to settle in to his YZF-R1 Superbike, completing 118 laps over the morning and afternoon sessions. The team were impressed to see his times drop progressively over the day, ending with a fastest lap time of 1?38.7 seconds, the fastest rider of the test.

?A great first test on the Yamaha,? said Eugene Laverty.
?I really surprised myself, it?s not often I exceed my own expectations as I?m very realistic normally. I really didn?t expect to go quite as quick or feel quite as comfortable so soon. I didn?t want to do anything silly and give the team the wrong impression so have just been taking it step by step learning the bike. I thought I would have to do more laps to get a good feeling but felt pretty good by lunchtime today. To have a good base leaving the first test and got over the nervousness is great. The team has made me feel very welcome; the working relationship is great so I?m looking forward to continuing into the race season next year.?

Frankie Carchedi, Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team Crew Chief for Eugene Laverty
?Once again Eugene has exceeded our expectations. We reached our targets very early in the day and were able to make various changes to the bike through the afternoon session to suit Eugene?s riding style. His feedback was very precise which helped us in tuning the set up quickly to adapt to his riding preferences. I?m very excited about getting to our next test where our target is to test the 2011 bike.?

Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team
?I think it has been an impressive test, especially his calm approach. I think as a first test his integration into the team was really good. It seems that he was riding his bike already and he was able to be very consistent with really good lap times straight away in both wet and dry conditions, this gives me a lot of confidence for next year. In the end I don?t feel we could have expected a better test result, it has been a very positive two days.?


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Rea undergoes successful surgery

Hannspree Ten Kate Honda World Superbike rider Jonathan Rea underwent surgery on his injured left wrist yesterday afternoon in Manchester, UK.

Specialist surgeon Mike Hayton declared that he was happy with the repairs to a ruptured ligament between the left scaphoid and lunar bones, injured when Rea crashed during the 12th WSBK round at Imola, Italy on 25 September. The injury also detached part of both bones.

Rea will return to his home on the Isle of Man today to begin his recuperation before returning to Manchester in a month?s time to have two supporting wires removed from the wrist.

?There was more damage than they first thought,? said Rea as he left hospital this afternoon, ?and the operation took about two hours instead of one. Basically, the ligament between the two bones was 100% ruptured and the two wires are designed to pull them together while the ligament meshes again.

?It certainly wasn?t how I wanted to finish my season,? he added, ?but I?m grateful to Mike Hayton for fitting in my operation before he went to host a seminar in the USA yesterday evening. I?ll get back into training as soon as I get home and focus on getting fit for testing for the 2011 World Superbike season.?


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Honda Motor Europe is delighted to announce that it has finalised a new three-year agreement to support Ten Kate Racing in the FIM Superbike World Championship.

The two companies have enjoyed a fruitful collaboration lasting more than a decade and resulting in nine world championship titles ? eight in World Supersport and one in World Superbike.

Honda Motor Europe has confirmed that Ten Kate Racing will continue to be its number one supported team in the World Superbike paddock and the new agreement is intended to give the team stability and continuity for its long-term development.

The company considers that production-derived motorcycle racing is an excellent platform for rider development and the partnership between Honda and Ten Kate Racing has delivered excellent results on the track. It has also provided a successful commercial platform for organisations such as Japan Tobacco International through its Winston brand and, more recently, electronics manufacturer Hannspree.

Carlo Fiorani, sporting manager of Honda Motor Europe, said: ?After ten years of collaboration in the World Superbike paddock, we are happy to say that the level of co-operation between ourselves and Ten Kate Racing is stronger than ever. We are therefore delighted to confirm that this partnership will continue into the future.?

Ten Kate Racing principal, Gerrit ten Kate, commented: ?We are very happy to remain loyal to Honda. We have enjoyed a really good relationship for the past decade and enjoyed multiple world championships and race wins together. This new three-year agreement will enable us to continue with our technical development, our rider programme and to maintain a strong team structure. In the next few weeks we will finalise those three ingredients to prepare for the future.?