Motorcycle News - 1300 DRIFTER. Suzuki Hayabusa by Droog Moto
Written by Martin Hodgson
The sun no longer shines as darkness has come to span the day, rain rarely falls from the smoke covered sky and what food remains comes by force rather than finance. But away from the prying eyes of the overlords, in abandoned industrial areas lit by flame filled 44s, remain a few who still quench their thirst with gasoline. In this dystopian chaos, the two-wheeled terrors of Washington States Droog Moto rule the roads. The leader of the pack, a salvaged Suzuki Hayabusa slides between the rubble and outruns the regime’s rebels, it’s 1300 DRIFTER.
Husband and wife team Max and Eric run the operation as an online-only service with builds then shipped free of charge out to the clients on completion. What makes their business model a success is both their distinctive style and the customers willingness to take a step into the unrevealed. But with their back catalogue as a guide and their philosophy of “bikes that are built and equipped to take on a modern apocalypse and give the rider total control of the unknown” it’s fair to say you know what you’re getting in for.
Intrigued by their “burly and menacing” machines and heavily impressed with the Droog Moto DM-014 Z1000, a client reached out and asked if Max & Eric would be willing to build him a Hayabusa in their unique flavour. Dubbed the fastest standard production bike of the 20th century, the 300km/h capable machine was a game changer when released. Sharing a cubic capacity identical to the companies four-wheel favourite the Swift Gti and gracing the cover of magazines around the globe as riders pushed the Suzuki to the triple ton.
But to turn it into a proper Droog Moto meant stripping the big beast of a pile of parts, including its characteristic curved lines created by its fairings and a bunch of other unrequired pieces of plastic and metal. The stock subframe was removed and a new item fabricated that is significantly shorter and more compact. Inside the blacked out and sealed unit live the considerable wiring and electronics, now neatly tucked away and out of sight.
Above a new seat has been shaped to match the lines before being covered in perforated leather in a tuck and roll finish. “The gas tank was stripped down to its natural state then re-done in a satin black finish with a slight distressing to enhance the tanks contours,” Max tells us. The frame is covered in the same dark night black and the look begins to take shape. With a signature Droog Moto headlight/numberplate setup fitted and a dual cut LED shining through there is a sinister front on appearance.
“A custom swingarm was built to accept the new modified 8.5” rear rim and 240 rear tire. The swing arm also has a mild 2” stretch to it. We needed to beef up the front to flow with the massive 240 rear and went with a customised front rim and a larger front tyre that was squeezed in-between the forks.” A new rear shock is slotted into place while the front forks have all new internals. With the new rims then fitted with custom handmade aluminium wheel inserts, in black of course.
Powering the brooding beast is the legendary 1300cc four cylinder, twin cam, engine with tractor like torque. But to up the power to the 200hp mark, the performance work starts with re-shaped headers finished out in twin slash pipes. Helping the intake side the airbox has a high flow filter, with a set of larger injectors dropped into the rail to provide the extra fuel. Before the full package was zipped up and a new tune was mapped and flashed to the ECU.
Now with all the hardware to destroy the streets a set of CNC rearsets allows the rider to get themselves slotted in. Then “we fitted our DM fat bar to the bike which was partnered with chunky grips and a mini digital speedo to give the rider all the proper info along with an aggressive, fighter riding posture.” Finishing out the build is a sleek dual split LED tail/brake light setup and you’ll need a hell of a fast bike to be staring at anything else! The new owner couldn’t be happier and Droog Moto are already working on their next build to take on darker days.
via Pipeburn.com http://bit.ly/2LvgxJz
June 24, 2019 at 03:37AM
Motorcycle News - Winter Blues – CROIG Triumph Ice Racer
With over a million Instagram followers ‘Cafe Racers of Instagram’ (aka CROIG) have one of the world’s biggest social motorcycle followings. It’s a huge achievement and one that comes with a few rewards. Back in 2018, they teamed up with Triumph Motorcycles for the build of CROIG 003, a tightly customised Street Cup. Now through another special collaboration, 003 is back and it’s taken a rather unexpected new direction. While most local riders were getting their bikes prepped for winter storage CROIG had other ideas. Rather than letting a few measly feet of snow prevent them from doing what they love, they found a way to keep 003 in action.
via Return of the Cafe Racers http://bit.ly/2TaWClU
June 24, 2019 at 01:45AM
F1 News - French GP: The best images from France
Check out five of the best pictures from the French Grand Prix where Lewis Hamilton won his sixth race of the season. Dominated it, in fact.
You can read Andrew Benson's full report here.
via BBC Sport - Formula 1 https://bbc.in/OHg7x6
June 23, 2019 at 03:57PM
Motorcycle News - Custom Bikes Of The Week: 23 June, 2019
Steve just dropped us a line about this new Sportster 883 build. It was commissioned by a customer who was very taken with S&C’s Dirt Quake-winning Mert Lawill replica flat tracker, and wanted something in a similar vein. The idea was to build a Sportster with a rugged, shed built vibe, rather than something clean and showy.
There’s about 70 hours of work in the exhaust alone. Jody 3D printed prototypes of the flanges, then built a pie-cut titanium system. He tweaked the bike further with an adjustable Ducabike shock linkage and AM rearsets. And between that exhaust, and a fresh engine tune, this Panigale now packs an extra 15 horses. [Thornton Hundred Motorcycles]
The biggest visual hit comes from the new bodywork. There’s a slimmer tank up top, and a new set of lower side fairings that give the Fat Boy an almost vintage racer feel. Mr Martini built two quick-release seat units too—one with a tail hump, and one with a bench seat to bring a friend along.
On the performance side, this Fat Boy’s packed with Edelbrock heads, an S&S carb and an open chain primary. The exhaust system is from Zard, but it’s no off-the-shelf part—the Italian company built it specifically for this bike. That alone should make this cruiser-cafe hybrid one helluva traffic light burner too. [Mr Martini]
The underlying motorcycle has gone largely unchanged, save for a new exhaust that should add an extra pony or two (and improve the soundtrack). So most of the changes are around cosmetics, protection and usability.
Wrench Kings also recovered the seat, built a neat little integrated taillight, and fitted Motogadget turn signals. There’s a set of side panels to visually beef up the fuel tank, and a shorter fender to abbreviate the tail. A repurposed jerry can on a custom mount adds some cargo carrying capability. Like the bike? You can also enter a lottery competition to win it.
Even though this scrambler’s still recognizable as a Sportster, Ueyama-san has made a ton of changes. He built the new fuel tank, rear fender, skid plate and seat pan himself, using carbon fiber reinforced polymer. But he kept the headlight, speedo, air cleaner cover, oil tank and rear struts, as a nod to the original.
via Bike EXIF http://www.bikeexif.com
June 23, 2019 at 12:30PM
Motorcycle News - Church of MO: 2006 Rocket Tour Worlds Fastest Imbeciles
Thirteen years ago, Gabe, Pete and Fonzie (hereafter known as the “Three Wise Men”) set forth upon this great continent dedicated to the proposition that speed is good, and that more speed is better – testing whether these motorcycles, or any motorcycles so conceived and dedicated, could long endure. Ah, turns out the answer is yes. Suzuki and Kawasaki are still turning these things out. We’d like to ride them to Mammoth again as soon as they add cruise control.
2006 Rocket Tour – World’s Fastest Imbeciles
2006 Kawasaki ZX-14 and the 2006 Suzuki Hayabusa
By MO Staff
Apr. 26, 2006
Photography by Fonzie
“Who the hell is this for, anyway?That’s the question a rational person would ask when confronted with the concept of a 160-plus horsepower motorcycle designed to cruise comfortably at triple-digit speeds. However, we at MO don’t take the moniker “MOron” lightly, so we decided last year to do a real-world test of the fastest sportbikes on Earth as soon as they were both available at once. Is it better to tour on a heavyweight hyperbike than on something less powerful and more sensible? Can a sane, law-abiding person get any benefit from a 500-pound vehicle that makes more power than most 3,000-pound cars? Do stick-on Mohawk wigs stay on at 160 mph?
Here we have moved MO to the mountain.
What sort of bikes are we talking about here, anyway? At the Kawasaki ZX-14 intro we attended a few months ago, Kawasaki’s media relations people referred to the 190 hp device as a “flagship” sportbike. It’s an expression of the manufacturer’s corporate prowess, a symbol of engineering excellence. When it comes to such a vehicle, engineers are given almost free reign to build the fastest, best-handling, most comfortable and prestigious motorcycles.
The class is a small one. Both Honda and Yamaha have had such bikes in their inventory, but they’ve dropped them for various reasons. Those who remember the YZF1000R have fond memories of a big, stable bike that was comfortable enough to ride all day and had a wicked mid-range and top-end stomp. Alas, Yamaha sold it in the USA for just one year–1997–before replacing it with the razor-sharp and much lighter YZF-R1, which was too much of a focused racetrack tool to be considered a GT-type bike like the YZF1000R.
The Honda CBR1100XX Blackbird was Big Red’s last entry into this class, and that was a refined, smooth and comfortable Gentleman’s Express that was also plenty fast–136 hp at the back wheel was unbelievable in the mid-90’s–but it was too refined to get the bad boy reputation a flagship vehicle needs. Like the Viper, Ferrari Enzo or Porsche GT3, a superbike needs to have a whiff of danger to it, enough character and mystique to make it a desirable object.
We all know about the legendary Hayabusa, of course. Introduced in 1999 and reviewed by MO, the GSX-1300R was intended by Suzuki to replace the GSXR-1100 as that firm’s Gentleman’s express, a bike that would be both the most powerful production motorcycle on the planet as well as being light, compact, good-handling and easy to ride. They named it “Hayabusa” after the legendary Japanese falcon that primarily dines on blackbirds. Get it?
No matter how cheesy the joke, or how over-the-top the Salvador Dali melting-clock bodywork looked, nobody could deny the Hayabusa’s comfort, sharp handling and most importantly, smooth and tractable yet frightening power. The Hayabusa has a following from all sorts of riders, from suburban mid-life crises-ers to rap stars who bling out their `Busas in chrome and gold plate.
A big old bird ready to fly.
Kawasaki didn’t take this lying down and responded in 2000 with the all-new ZX-12R. With an all-new motor and monocoque chassis, the 12R had lots of technical credibility along with a touch more power than the Hayabusa. However, it failed to charm riders the same way the Suzuki did, even after a significant revamp in 2002. It had a reputation for being too big, heavy, long and uncomfortable and never really won the love it deserved. The Hayabusa ruled the roost for year after year, with no competition in sight.
All that changed in 2006 when Kawasaki announced a completely new bike, the ZX-14. We covered the technical details in our press intro story, revealing an all-new monocoque chassis and all-new 1352 cc motor that was more compact than the 1198 cc mill it replaced. Pop it on the dyno and 171 horsepower is speedy-deliver-ied to the back wheel, trouncing the anemic 159 hp of the `Busa.
Is it just about power? If you think so, you can stop reading now and turn to more productive time-wasting. But if you think a motorcycle is more than just numbers and want to know how these two bikes fared against each other on the open road, around town, and in the canyons, keep reading.
Ali v. Frazier Battle it Out for Heavyweight Championship of the World
How will they fare on the open road?
We at MO, a long time ago, would have put heavyweight sportbikes like these out on the racetrack to find out which was best. However, neither of these bikes are intended as racetrack weapons, so it would be unfair to put them there. They’re built for high-speed sport-touring, so we drew up a route going halfway across California, on all kinds of roads, from straight and boring to tight, twisty and bumpy. We went from the foggy gloom of the coastal marine layer to the roasting heat of the Mojave Desert, to the snow-bound mountains above 7,000 feet and back.
After hundreds of miles of evaluation and saddle time, we think we have a handle on what bike is good for what and which bike we’d buy for our money. We’ll examine each bike a little closer, discuss its strengths and weaknesses, and pick a winner, based solely on the all-important MO criteria of what we’d buy with our money.
2006 Kawasaki ZX-14:
“Warp Factor 14!”
All-new for 2006, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14 delivers a knockout punch with comfort, smoothness, ease-of-use and the most powerful engine ever fitted to a production street motorcycle.
We attended the launch of this significant new model not too long ago, and you can read about its more distinctive technical aspects there. We’ll quickly highlight some of its more important differences from its rival.
While the Hayabusa relies on a more traditional frame, the Ninja uses a second-generation “monocoque” chassis made from aluminum sheets welded together to form a rigid structure. Kawasaki claims this is more rigid than twin-spar designs; we think it’s to keep bulk, weight and cost down ourselves. The chassis locates the 190-section rear wheel and tire in an extra-long swingarm. Wheelbase is a compact 57.5″, compared to the Hayabusa’s 58.5″ stretch, and the entire package weighs in at a claimed dry weight of 474 pounds, four pounds less than the Suzuki’s claimed dry weight.
Hanging under that frame is a compact 1352 cc four-cylinder with a shorter stroke and bigger bore than the `Busa’s. It also sports dual gear-driven counterbalancers for extra smoothness at high rpms. Compression is a point higher than the Suzuki, at 12.0:1. It’s all good for 171 hp and 105 foot-pounds of torque at the back wheel on MO’s Dynojet Dyno.
Brakes and suspension are special, too. A 43 mm inverted cartridge fork adjustable for preload, rebound and compression damping sits up front, with a three-way adjustable shock working with a linkage in the back. Rake is 23 degrees, and trail is 3.7 inches, compared to the Busa’s 24 degrees of rake and 3.8 inches of trail. The front Bridgestone BT-014 is mounted on an aluminum three-spoke rim with 310 mm “petal” rotors grabbed by radial-mount four-piston calipers with one pad on each caliper. The brake and clutch master cylinders are also radial jobs.
It’s encased by a sleek fairing festooned with thematic styling touches like the heel guards and engine louvers. The double headlamp cluster is aggressive looking, while the high windscreen promises good wind protection. Dual analog clocks display speed and RPM below a huge rider information display. A programmable shift and launch light aid beginnner dragracers.
This engine could easily be used as a time travel device with its ability to seemingly warp time…
Our test unit was finished in Kawasaki’s Passion Red paint scheme, a color metrosexual Senior Editor Gabe Ets-Hokin found “very sexy.” We enjoyed the aggressive, integrated design of the bike: “the bike seems to be one piece from front to back”, according to Editor Pete Brissette. It looks low, sleek and menacing, with a shape that says “I go fast” even when standing still.
Once aboard, the rider is greeted by a very humane riding position and soft seat. Pete declared the “Ninja makes eating the miles a pleasure”, with a well-proportioned saddle, clip-on and foot peg relation. Pete “never felt cramped, and any discomfort from holding the throttle or sitting came on far later in the trip than it would have on most other bikes, short of touring-oriented machines I’ve ridden.” Gabe agreed, although he thought the seat was too soft and could use firmer foam. The wind-tunnel designed fairing and windscreen gives great wind protection, for the taller frame of photographer and web guru Alfonse “Fonzie” Palaima as well as our editorial stunt-dwarf team.
The motor fires up easily and cleanly, with no hint of stumble or slow warm-up, regardless of altitude or atmospheric conditions. It’s also incredibly smooth and powerful: Gabe called it a “bottomless, all-you-can-eat shrimp and lobster buffet of power”, and Pete speculated that “this engine could easily be used as a time travel device with its ability to seemingly warp time”. Pete pointed out that this bike is “approaching 120 mph in second gear”, before redline. We at MO think this is both absurd and sublime.
This is both absurd and sublime.
Fueling was flawless, with the exception of what we speculate must be a built-in flat spot in the power curve around 3,500 to 5,000 RPM (doubtlessly to help prevent the ZX-14 from being worn as a hat by nascent drag-racers). It’s most noticeable when trying to pull a clutch-less wheelie from low speeds. Some of the more with-it drag-racing types at the Ninja’s press intro said this was programmed into the ECU and that it could be fixed with wire-cutters.
A minimal amount of vibration found its way up through the foot pegs and clip-ons, but the motor was so smooth we often rode for dozens of miles before realizing the transmission was in fifth or even fourth gear at 80-plus MPH. The gear-position indicator is very handy for just this reason; Gabe said the motor “felt almost the same in any gear, regardless of speed or RPM.” That transmission worked flawlessly, too; Pete complained of a “minimal amount of lash” that Gabe attributed more to the “wheelie wire” issue, but was impressed with how perfectly the cogs snicked from gear to gear. The clutch is also a thing of wonder, with sensitivity and feel usually not found in hydraulic clutches.
Pete carrying some corner speed…
The ZX-14 offered a very plush ride while droning down the freeway. It did an excellent job of isolating most road imperfections from the rider, although some high-speed bumps could produce a sharp jolt through the front end, possibly from too much compression damping. Potholes, bumps, expansion joints or whatever, on the whole the big Ninja provided a great ride on all kinds of road surfaces and would be flawless with a bit of fine-tuning.
Once off the interstate and on the two-lane roads, the ZX-14 shows a measure of handling prowess unexpected in a machine this heavy. Gabe and Pete agreed that initial turn-in was surprisingly quick, but Pete noticed that “large changes in direction require more energy from the rider, and the ZX doesn’t snap from left to right nearly as quick as the ‘Busa.” Gabe just thought the 14 felt larger, heavier, and not as responsive as the Suzuki did, despite its sportier rake, trail and wheelbase numbers. The bike responds without complaint to things like mid-corner line changes or braking, but it lacks the knife-edge precision feel that the Hayabusa has.
At higher speeds, the Ninja has the lead. Gabe said “the bike is stable in turns at triple-digit speeds, making riders feel confident, where on a lesser bike they’d be assuming crash positions.” Al discovered that “never before have I taken a turn as fast as I had on this bike.” The stout chassis, sorted suspension and general gravitas of the big bike convert high-speed sweepers into amusement park rides.
Luckily, the brakes are fully up to this kind of challenge. It’s a similar setup to the ZX-10R, with radial-mounted calipers (sporting one pad per caliper) and a radial-pumping master cylinder and 310 mm petal rotors, but for some reason these brakes are more memorable. That’s probably because we’re comparing them to a seven year-old system on the Suzuki, but these are really great brakes, and we at MO love good brakes almost as much as we love big power. On a twisty road, loaded with luggage and maybe even a passenger, you will appreciate these stoppers, which help you feel confident and in control at all times.
…and there he goes the other way.
Pete summed it up for all of us: “Short of expensive after-market systems, I haven’t used a better set of binders. They offer incredible power and sensitivity; one finger at almost any speed would haul the bike in. If only the other OEMs would install such perfect brakes.” Gabe compared their effect to “running into a vat of tapioca pudding”. We have no doubt that an updated Hayabusa would include the wondrous brakes installed on the GSXR 1000, but for now the ZX-14 clearly has the superior binders.
Put it all together and you have an outstanding package from Kawasaki. The ZX-14 is smooth, comfortable for long trips, handles well enough to be fun, and looks really cool. The only real complaints–when compared to the Hayabusa–are its slightly heavy-feeling low-speed handling manners and the flat spot in the power curve we noticed. These issues can either be fixed or ridden around, leaving a very satisfied owner to enjoy what is the most powerful production motorcycle and at the same time a refined, comfortable, all-day sporting machine.
The post Church of MO: 2006 Rocket Tour – World’s Fastest Imbeciles appeared first on Motorcycle.com.
via Motorcycle.com http://bit.ly/2ComzZy
June 23, 2019 at 11:19AM
F1 News - Lewis Hamilton cruises to French GP victory
Lewis Hamilton put a stranglehold on the world title with a dominant victory in the French Grand Prix.
Hamilton was in a league of his own, even over his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, as the 34-year-old Briton took his sixth win in eight races.
The five-time champion leads Bottas in this year's title race by 36 points - a win and a fifth place - after just eight races.
Bottas finished a distant second, holding off an attack from Ferrari's Charles Leclerc on the final lap.
Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari took fourth and fifth and the only minor irritation for Hamilton was that Vettel managed to steal the point for fastest lap, by virtue of a late pit stop for fresh soft tyres.
A Sunday afternoon drive for Hamilton
Hamilton was in control from the start, after converting pole position into a lead at the first corner.
He set a steady pace in the opening laps as he looked after his tyres with a full fuel load, but as the pit stops approached Hamilton piled on the pressure.
He extended his lead over Bottas by nearly five seconds in eight laps before the Finn was called in first for his pit stop on lap 23 to ensure he covered Leclerc, who had stopped two laps before.
Hamilton followed Bottas in, and re-emerged with an even bigger lead of 11 seconds, and the race was effectively over.
It was a generally soporific race, with little in the way of competitive tension among the front-running cars, and the championship looks to be heading in the same direction.
Hamilton and Bottas were evenly matched in the first few races of the season, but the Briton has found another gear in the last three events and his team-mate currently looks a bit breathless as he tries to keep up.
What about behind the Mercs?
Leclerc had a lonely race behind the Mercedes in third, unable to keep pace with Hamilton and Bottas for much of the afternoon, but comfortably able to fend off Verstappen behind.
But he closed in on Bottas in the final laps as the Finn battled tyre blisters, which also affected Hamilton. But Bottas did just enough to hold off the Ferrari.
Ferrari had hoped that they might be able to get Vettel ahead of Verstappen by running him long, once the German had moved up to fifth place past the McLarens from his seventh-place start.
But a plan to run long and attack Verstappen on fresher tyres at the end of the race was scuppered when Vettel locked a front tyre into Turn One just three or four laps after agreeing the strategy with his engineers.
He immediately got on the radio to say they needed to pit because the tyre was too badly damaged to continue with the plan.
That meant Vettel had tyres that were only five laps fresher than Verstappen, who was easily able to hold the Ferrari off - in fact Vettel slowly dropped back, rather than gaining on the Red Bull.
More to follow
via BBC Sport - Formula 1 https://bbc.in/OHg7x6
June 23, 2019 at 09:51AM
Motorcycle News - Fuel Motorcycles – Scram Africa 2019
For the first time since its creation, Fuel Motorcycles ‘Scram Africa’ played out in two rounds. The first round took place on the 4th to the 11th of May. The second from the 11th to the 18th. For 2019 35 riders from Europe, Canada, USA, Costa Rica and around the world came together for the adventure of a lifetime. Riders came on their Triumph and Ducati Scramblers, Royal Enfields, BMWs and custom Harleys ready to tackle the dunes of the Sahara desert. All performed exceptionally thanks to Fuel’s mechanical and medical team with (almost) all the bikes and riders completing the arduous journey.
via Return of the Cafe Racers http://bit.ly/2TaWClU
June 23, 2019 at 12:34AM
F1 News - All you need to know from France: Bottas' pressure & McLaren's revival
As Lewis Hamilton began his television interview immediately after taking pole position for the French Grand Prix, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas crouched down by the side of the track. He was looking in Hamilton's general direction, but staring into the middle distance, his face set.
Bottas looked for all the world like a man who knew his championship hopes were slipping away before his eyes. And perhaps because that's the way it looks to everyone else as well.
The Finn came into this race 29 points behind Hamilton, and really needs to beat him on Sunday to pump some life back into his title challenge.
For much of the weekend, it had looked as if Bottas would start in the best possible way, with pole position. He had a small but decisive pace advantage, and Hamilton appeared to be struggling with his car, a big spin in second practice only the biggest piece of evidence for that.
But then in final qualifying, Hamilton brought his 'A game'. A small deficit became a significant advantage, and his 86th career pole position - ponder that for a moment, it's at least 18 clear of anyone else - was in the bag.
If Hamilton can convert that into a lead at the first corner, the win - a sixth in eight races - is surely in the bag, barring misfortune. For Bottas, even if he finishes second, it will be a long way back from there, against an adversary so formidable, in the same car, with no-one else threatening to regularly get in amongst the silver cars.
How Bottas' hopes have unravelled
Bottas has not done a lot wrong this year; far from it. For much of it, he has looked a different driver from the man who faded so badly in the second half of 2018, and in qualifying he has been very close to Hamilton. In fact, until this pole position for the Briton, Bottas was actually slightly ahead on average qualifying pace. Now, it's Hamilton who has the edge - by 0.06secs.
He has been toe-to-toe with Hamilton at most races. They have three poles each so far. After four races, Bottas was leading the championship by a point, the two men had two wins each, and a title challenge for Bottas looked very much on.
But since then, things have slowly slipped from his grasp. A second place in Spain behind Hamilton was followed by an unlucky third in Monaco, which would have been second but for a puncture caused by a collision in the pits with Red Bull's Max Verstappen.
Then, an off weekend in Canada really did the damage. Qualifying sixth after a spin, he lacked pace in the race and could finish only a lacklustre fourth. Hamilton, meanwhile, is on a run of three wins in a row, even if he owes one of them to Sebastian Vettel's error, off-track moment and subsequent controversial penalty in Montreal.
All the while, Hamilton, who has admitted to struggling to get the best out of the car in qualifying, is giving the impression of slowly getting on top of it.
As he has proved so often in the last few years, once he has worked out how to get the best out of his Mercedes, he is close to unstoppable, and he looks to be building up that sort of momentum now. Bottas needs to find a way to try to stop it at Paul Ricard on Sunday.
"It's a nice long run into Turn One," Bottas said, "so hopefully I can do something there."
For his sake, he needs to.
How Hamilton did it
After qualifying, Bottas said it was a change in wind direction for the final session that put him off his stride. Wind can seriously affect the sensitive aerodynamics of F1 cars, especially at an exposed track such as Ricard, and a number of drivers spoke of it making things difficult in Q3.
Hamilton, though, adapted better. He was ahead after the first runs, and while both drivers had moments in the penultimate corner on their second runs, Hamilton still improved. Bottas' lap was already a scrappy one, and it ended his chances altogether.
"The first lap was fantastic, really, really happy with it," Hamilton said. "However, I knew it was still relatively close and I needed to find some more areas in which I could improve. I went out for that second run.
"The second run, I was on for one of the best laps I have done for a long time. And it's crazy: it never gets old, it never gets easier, and it's always such a challenge, regardless of what position you are battling for.
"I was up four-and-a-half tenths coming into the second-to-last corner, but it's really gusty out there, and I think I just lost the back end, partly through that or maybe going too quick."
For Hamilton, the weekend started with him missing the media day on Thursday to attend Paris fashion week and, particularly, a memorial for the late fashion mogul Karl Lagerfeld, who died earlier this year.
As ever, there were those who criticised both Hamilton for doing it, and Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff for allowing it.
But after qualifying, Wolff expounded on his philosophy - which he says extends to everyone in the team - to give people the space they need to work in the best way they can.
For Hamilton, he says, this means, "not putting him in a straightjacket". Wolff gave the example of Singapore last year, which was preceded by Hamilton flying to Shanghai and New York to launch his fashion collection, then back to Asia for the race. There was criticism then, but Hamilton produced what Wolff described on Saturday as his "best ever" weekend.
France, Wolff said, was "another example". For Bottas, it must be a dispiriting sight on occasion.
That's more like it from Leclerc
Bottas was not the only man who needed a good weekend in France. Ferrari's Charles Leclerc was another.
The 21-year-old has had a difficult few races and he came into this weekend 6-1 down to team-mate Sebastian Vettel in qualifying. No matter that the raw stats did not reflect the reality of the underlying performance, Leclerc realised he needed to sort out his qualifying form, and - refreshingly open and honest - he admitted it publicly.
His focus, he said, was on ensuring he got the car in the right place in final qualifying and - even more importantly - cut out the errors, small and big, that have blighted his season so far.
Leclerc was true to his word. Not for the first time, he looked to have the edge on Vettel leading up to qualifying, but this time he delivered on his potential, while the German had a weak session, complaining of losing momentum, and an inability to get a consistent feel for the car.
"I am pretty happy with the qually today and overall the weekend has been quite good," Leclerc said. "One thing I focused on and we did well today was the set-up for Q3. Finally I have a car I was happy with in Q3 and that was my focus for this weekend but we need to confirm it at the next race."
He is aware that challenging Mercedes in the race is unlikely to happen, but a solid run to third, with Vettel behind him, might be just what he needs as a springboard for the rest of the season.
McLaren edging back to form
No prizes for identifying the stars of qualifying - McLaren drivers Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz in fifth and sixth, Norris just 0.009secs behind the Red Bull of Max Verstappen.
Their performance not only underlined what has been an extremely impressive start to his grand prix career for Norris, but also the progress McLaren have made since the dark days of last year, when for the second half of the year they looked to have arguably the worst car on the grid.
Now, their car is on average the fourth fastest, and it is improving all the time. This was not the closest they have been to pole in percentage terms - Sainz's qualifying in Bahrain pipped it - but it was a mark of the steps forward they have been making with the car that it came at Ricard, a track where, according to new team boss Andreas Seidl, they expected to struggle, as it should have exposed what until now were weaknesses in the car's behaviour.
As befits their new modus operandi, the team are not getting carried away with it. For the race, Norris said it "doesn't look like we could fight with Red Bull, but you never know. If we can just get some good points, if we can race the Red Bulls and kind of be around them, I think we can be happy."
Seidl has been tasked with identifying McLaren's deficits in infrastructure, and he revealed on Saturday that a decision had been made recently to build a new wind tunnel at their Woking base.
It should come on stream in two years' time, and end their reliance on the Toyota tunnel in Cologne, which they have been using for nearly 10 years now, in what in old McLaren-speak might have been termed a "sub-optimal situation", regardless of the Toyota tunnel's quality.
McLaren might "still have a long way to go to catch the top cars", as Seidl puts it, but they are clearly very much back on the right track.
via BBC Sport - Formula 1 https://bbc.in/OHg7x6
June 22, 2019 at 02:33PM
F1 News - Formula E: Jean-Eric Vergne holds on to win chaotic Bern E-Prix
Watch highlights as championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne holds off the challenge of Mitch Evans to win the Bern E-Prix after a chaotic start and having to endure a downpour in the final laps.
WATCH MORE:Chaos at start of Bern E-Prix
via BBC Sport - Formula 1 https://bbc.in/OHg7x6
June 22, 2019 at 02:33PM
F1 News - Lewis Hamilton on French Grand Prix pole
Lewis Hamilton beat Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas to pole position at the French Grand Prix.
The world champion was 0.286 seconds quicker than the Finn, whose title challenge is in danger of fizzling out before half way through the season.
Bottas heads into the race 29 points behind Hamilton and needs to beat him to get his challenge back on track.
Behind them, Ferrari's Charles Leclerc was third while team-mate Sebastian Vettel could manage only seventh.
More to follow
via BBC Sport - Formula 1 https://bbc.in/OHg7x6
June 22, 2019 at 09:09AM