F1 News - Silverstone: F1 races given go-ahead by UK government
Formula 1 has been given the go-ahead by the UK government to hold two races at Silverstone this summer, BBC Sport has been told.
F1 sources say people involved in elite sports events will be exempt from a requirement on international travellers to self-isolate for 14 days.
Sports will be required to submit and win approval for a detailed plan of their movements and activities.
The government is expected to confirm the move later this month.
The exemption should also allow the Champions League to resume and this summer's cricket Test series in England to go ahead.
An F1 spokesperson said: "We welcome the government's efforts to ensure elite sport can continue to operate and their support for our return to racing.
"We will maintain a close dialogue with them in the coming weeks as we prepare to start our season in the first week of July."
On Saturday, the culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, announced that sport can resume behind closed doors subject to strict conditions, with social distancing maintained where possible.
He said: "Football, tennis, horse racing, Formula 1, cricket, golf, rugby, snooker and others - all are set to return to our screens shortly."
F1 bosses have been working on extensive plans to ensure their races are as safe as possible in the context of the coronavirus crisis that has laid waste the start of the season, which has seen the first 10 races called off.
The races will be held behind closed doors, with no spectators allowed, and teams will take the minimum number of operational staff.
Personnel will be tested before travelling to ensure they are virus-free, flown on charter jets and tested every couple of days while at the events.
Teams will be kept apart from each other and stay in different hotels, to which they will travel by bus to minimise contact with the public.
F1 is poised to confirm the European part of a rescheduled 2020 season early this week, with plans to start the campaign with two races in Austria on 5 and 12 July, followed by a third in Hungary on 19 July.
The Silverstone events would follow in early August, before - it is believed - further races in Spain, Belgium and Italy.
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May 31, 2020 at 03:51PM
Motorcycle News - Custom Bikes Of The Week: 31 May, 2020
The Dutch designer started by sketching out the pint-sized two-wheeler in SolidWorks, then bought a pile of stainless steel tubing to build it up. The frame and forks were bent, cut, welded and hand-brushed at home. The fork ‘boots’ are 3D printed plastic items, but they’re just for show, since the forks are rigid.
The owner of this mini-Beemer is going to be one stoked little tyke—as soon as he’s big enough to ride it. Who else thinks Roel should put this into production?
Nova designed a new tank and tail unit, which was then executed in Kevlar-reinforced fiberglass by nearby specialist Tannermatic. Tannermatic also built the carbon fiber front fender, while Counterbalance Cycles made the seat. The green paint code’s straight out of Aston Martin’s book, complete with a subtle yellow highlight.
They also threw a full catalog of Motogadget parts at the build, including a speedo that sits behind a laser-cut acrylic screen in the top yoke.
The Interceptor was first released in 1960 with a 692 cc parallel twin motor, and was Royal Enfield’s fastest production bike at the time. By 1962, capacity had been bumped up to 736 cc, with a bunch of internal upgrades including a dynamically balanced crankshaft.
Designed to go head-to-head with brands like Triumph and Norton in the US desert racing market, the Interceptor reportedly didn’t sell in big numbers—making good condition examples particularly rare. If this one floats your boat, why not put in a bid? [Via]
The Welbike, which came out in 1942, was built by Excelsior—Britain’s first motorcycle company. It was powered by a single cylinder, two-stroke 98 cc engine, mounted horizontally in the frame. It had no gear box, no headlight and just a rear brake, with a top speed of 30 mph on flat terrain.
The only problem was, it wasn’t particularly effective. Due to the massive weight difference between the Welbike and the average paratrooper, they would often land far apart from each other. And with tiny wheels and not much power, it was often abandoned in rougher terrain, where going on foot was actually quicker.
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May 31, 2020 at 12:28PM
Motorcycle News - Church of MO: 2010 BMW K1300S Vs Honda VFR1200F Shootout
Whatteth the heck was going on in 2010 anyway? Not much, really, relatively speaking. The World Health Organization was in trouble for overestimating the swine flu pandemic, the Deepwater Horizon had a small leak in the Gulf of Mexico, and the US was busy finishing up Operation Iraqi Freedom. Small things. Of much greater import, Honda launched its first big VFR. It really wasn’t what anybody was expecting, but you don’t go riding the motorcycle you want, you go riding on the motorcycle you have. Let that be a lesson, and always strive to know the unknowns as well as the known. Amen. Over and out. Good luck.
2010 BMW K1300S Vs Honda VFR1200F Shootout
The sportbikes of sport-tourers!
By Kevin Duke Apr. 09, 2010
Photography by Alfonse Palaima Video by Fonzie
Marketing mavens created the word “tweens” when they realized kids aged 9 to 13 were spending more than $1 billion a year on stuff and needed to describe the demographic.And these two bikes – Honda’s new VFR1200F and BMW’s new-for-’09 K1300S – occupy a similar in-between niche. On one end are liter-sized sportbikes bred on the racetrack, like those in our recent 2010 Literbike Shootout. While the other end is occupied by big sport-tourers like the BMW K1300GT, Honda ST1300, Kawasaki Concours 14 and Yamaha FJR1300 we compared last summer.
When the VFR1200F was introduced to us last fall in Japan, Honda engineers described a hypothetical middle-aged rider who wanted a sportbike to ride on twisty roads but who has to travel 75 to 100 miles to get to them.
Full-on 1000cc sportbikes are too uncompromised for long-distance trips, becoming uncomfortable for aging wrists, and have maintenance-heavy chain drives. But the 1300cc class of sport-tourers scale in at or above a porky 650 lbs, compromising their agility in sport-riding situations.
Kawasaki and Yamaha have described their S-Ts as “supersport tourers.” If that’s the case, then the VFR and K1300S are super-duper supersport tourers!
The Perfect Match
The K13 and VFR stand apart in their tween-ness. Both boast four-cylinder motors with similar displacements – there is a discrepancy of only 56cc between the 1237cc Honda and 1293cc Beemer, with both posting nearly identical peak power numbers. Single-sided swingarms with shaft drive makes the pair distinct from the chain-drive Kawi ZX-14 and Suzuki Hayabusa, as does their ability to mount accessory saddlebags. Base prices are just $449 apart. Honda’s dual-clutch version of the VFR has yet to become available.
The VFR’s $15,999 MSRP is, somewhat surprisingly, above the K13’s. But judged by finish detail and build quality, the Honda clearly looks more expensive. Honda has a new paint process in which the parts are gently agitated to yield a glass-smooth surface, and the VFR is one of the first bikes to receive this high-end treatment.
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May 31, 2020 at 10:50AM
MotoGP News - MotoGP News: Aprilia an "empty void" in disastrous 2018 - Redding
Scott Redding says the Aprilia MotoGP team was like an "empty void" in 2018, two years on from his disastrous final premier-class campaign with the Italian manufacturer.
The 27-year-old Briton replaced fellow countryman Sam Lowes at the Team Gresini-run Aprilia squad in 2018, having previously raced both Honda and Ducati machinery in his first four years in the premier class.
But the 2013 Moto2 runner-up struggled with the RS-GP from the outset and while team-mate Aleix Espargaro managed four top-10 finishes, including a sixth at Aragon, Redding's best was an 11th in the final race of the year at Valencia and he was replaced by Andrea Iannone for 2019.
Redding has since re-built his reputation by winning the British Superbike Championship at his first attempt last year and secured a factory contract with Ducati for the World Superbike Championship for 2020, but speaking in a BT Sport podcast admitted that his Aprilia experience was "psychologically demoralising."
"I thought the intention from [Aprilia] was there," said Redding, who sits second in the WSBK standings after a trio of podium finishes in the opening round at Phillip Island prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
"I believe I'm a better rider than Aleix Espargaro. I do like the guy but I believe I'm a better rider than him. But he was beating me all the time and I just couldn't get my head around it.
"And they said 'we are gonna do this, we are gonna do that, it's a factory bike and we are gonna do this'. And it was just a f***ing empty, an empty void.
"And that's what kind of hurt me because I was working hard, I was the lightest I'd ever been in racing. But there was nothing coming."
Redding said his bike was not developed during the year and was the same specification at the penultimate race in Sepang as it had been in pre-season testing.
"[There was] no engine braking, didn't turn, spun its head off and then they expect me to race with that," he said. "It was psychologically demoralising. Like, what is the point?"
Redding said he was convinced that there was something inherently wrong with the 2018 iteration of the RS-GP after its first test and had requested Aprilia to conduct a side-by-side test with a previous version of the bike.
However, the British rider said he was rebuked by the team, although a subsequent test on the old machine for teammate Espargaro vindicated his opinion that the '18 bike was a step backwards in terms of performance.
"They just didn't believe in me," said Redding.
"The mildest thing I said to them was, 'Bring the old bike at a private test and we'll test it'. And they laughed at me, they laughed.
"They were like, 'Don't be so silly, the new bike is better and blah blah'. I said, 'Yeah but just try, just test. We don't know but we are in a bad situation, just try'.
"And they laughed at me."
Motorcycle Racing News
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May 31, 2020 at 04:42AM
Motorcycle News - Moto Motivo Calabrone Ducati ST4S
After immigrating to the US with his family 12 years ago, Johann Keyser turned his passion into a career. The South African ex-pat has ridden motorcycles for the majority of his life, including a stint in professional foot up trials. As a sponsored rider for Italian Endurance bike manufacturer Fanatic Motors, Johann learned a thing or two about the benefits of adding lightness to a bike. He now applies this principle to his Moto Motivo builds along with an educated selection of performance upgrades. His latest build dubbed ‘Calabrone’ demonstrates this approach by transforming a hefty Ducati ST4S Sport Tourer into this lean, mean Italian cafe racer.
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May 30, 2020 at 09:04AM
F1 News - Austria set to host Formula 1 season openers in July
The Forumla 1 season-openers in Austria have been approved by the country's government, according to reports.
The races, scheduled for 5 and 12 July, will take place behind closed doors at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg.
The 2020 season was due to start in Australia in March, but the coronavirus pandemic forced the postponement of that race and a further nine more.
If the Austria races run successfully, the F1 season could continue on 19 July in Budapest, Hungary.
Silverstone agreed a deal for two grands prix to be held at the British track in August.
F1 bosses are still putting together a revised calendar for this season.
More to follow.
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May 30, 2020 at 08:39AM
MotoGP News - MotoGP News: Espargaro close to new Aprilia deal, likely to be his last
Aleix Espargaro has revealed he is "really close" to finalising a new Aprilia MotoGP deal for 2021 and beyond, admitting that this will likely be his last contract before retirement.
Espargaro has often been critical of the Gresini-run Aprilia squad since coming on board in 2017, having achieved only a best finish of sixth in three seasons and a best championship placement of 14th.
His current contract was due to expire at the end of this year, but said that his positive experience of Aprilia's radically-revised 2020 bike in pre-season testing in February had convinced him to stay at the team.
The 30-year-old also hinted a new agreement with the Italian marque could be longer than two years, but suggested he would likely bow out of MotoGP upon its conclusion.
"The most important thing is that I finished the pre-season with a very good taste in my mouth," Espargaro told Autosport.
"The changes I've been waiting for for the last three years came in two tests and I ended up very happy.
"The talks had stalled until a couple of weeks ago, but we are really close to reaching an agreement.
"I am very happy with Aprilia, I don't have many years left in my career and I have always said that my biggest wish is that the bike works and that I can retire from this team.
"I am sure that if I renew for Aprilia, it will be my last contract.
"I don't know if it will be two years or more, but if the project convinces me and I like it, I will finish my career here.
"I trust and wish that the technical project will continue to grow from now on and in the future, and if that is the case I would like very much to continue to be the leader of this team."
Espargaro has been partnered by three different team-mates in his Aprilia tenure so far, and could end up with a fourth different partner next year depending on whether Andrea Iannone is able to get his 18-month doping ban overturned.
Although Aprilia is known to be keen on retaining Iannone if possible, Danilo Petrucci has also been linked to a potential switch to Aprilia if he is not retained by Ducati, as seems likely.
Espargaro admitted he felt sorry that Ducati had elected to promote Jack Miller to a factory seat at Petrucci's potential expense based on the pair's results last year.
"I know that Aprilia want me and Andrea to continue and keep both riders, but I know there is a bit of a mess with all this," said the Spaniard.
"What I feel bad about is how Danilo has been treated.
"Not only did he win a race, but he made the same points as Miller in 2019 (Petrucci outscored him by 11), and now it seems that Jack Miller is the new Casey Stoner and that Danilo is no good, when last year with the same bike they made the same points.
"In the end time puts everyone in their place, maybe Jack will get on the official bike and do very well, he is young and talented.
"We will see if Ducati will do well."
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May 30, 2020 at 07:11AM
F1 News - Formula 1: Is Daniil Kvyat joining Biffy Clyro?
How, exactly, did Biffy Clyro's lead singer Simon Neil end up teaching Formula 1's Alpha Tauri driver Daniil Kvyat to play the guitar?
Because the Russian offered to help get Scottish rocker Neil good enough to compete in one of Formula 1's virtual grands prix.
The pair met up thanks to 5 Live's Guestlist programme to teach each other a few moves from their respective professions - which could lead to a racing debut for Neil. And, who knows? A spot on stage for Kvyat?
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May 30, 2020 at 04:15AM
Motorcycle News - 2020 Ducati Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tour Review
2020 Ducati Multistrada 1260 S Grand TourEditor Score: 91.25%
I’ve ridden touring bikes all across the American continent. From a transcontinental dash on a touring cruiser to multi-day jaunts on Gold Wings to a gravel road to the Arctic Ocean in Prudhoe Bay, AK, I’ve done my time and racked up the miles, but none of the touring motorcycles I’ve ridden appeal to me as much as the sport adventure touring class of motorcycles. They appeal to me and the type of riding that I like to do. With that said, the 2020 Ducati Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tour is a great example of the species.
What you get with the Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tour is all of the features of the S model (most notably the semi-active Ducati Skyhook Suspension (DSS) Evo, which allows easy adjustment of suspension baseline parameters) and adds a list of trim and comfort features. First, the Grand Tour gets an exclusive colorway of Sandstone Grey with a 1260 graphic on the fairing combined with a red frame and red highlights on the cast aluminum five-spoke wheels. The GT’s touring chops are augmented by standard hard bags and a centerstand. The rider and passenger seats feature Grand Tour logos. Premium electronic features include heated grips, tire pressure monitoring system, and keyless starting and fuel tank access. Dual LED spotlights increase conspicuity and nighttime visibility.
Other than all of the above listed items, the Grand Tour is all Multistrada 1260 S, and that’s a good thing. The Testastretta 1262cc DVT (Desmodromic Variable Timing) is an engine seemingly without weak points. First, the DVT massages the bottom end torque for more grunt down low, claiming 85% of the engine’s torque is available at 3,500 rpm – a fact that was confirmed by our trip to the MotoGP Werks dyno. With a peak of 89 lb-ft of torque hitting at 7,800 rpm, the 73 lb-ft we recorded makes for 83%. At higher rpm, the valve timing changes to benefit the increased volume of combustibles that need to be moved into and out of the twin cylinders. The 1260 engine hits its 143.5 hp peak at 9,800 rpm. That’s plenty to motivate a claimed 525-lb package.
The engine niceties don’t stop with the power output. The Grand Tour has a valve adjustment interval of 18,000 miles, which is a reasonable distance for a touring bike. The fueling is spot on with nary a hiccup during our test – and I tried to find some abruptness. Additionally, the Ducati Quick Shifter (DQS) handled every situation I tossed at it. From trolling around at low speeds to ripping off high-rpm shifts, I almost never used the clutch after getting the bike rolling.
As with all premium modern motorcycles, the Multistrada comes with a suite of electronic aids to help the rider keep the shiny side up. The IMU allows for fine-tuning of the Ducati Wheelie Control and Traction Control through eight levels plus off. Similarly, the Bosch IMU powers the Multistrada’s Cornering ABS and its Electronic Combined Braking System, which links the front and rear brakes in Urban and Touring ride modes and cedes most of its control to the rider in Sport mode. Designed to limit the rear wheel lift effect introduced by the high center-of-gravity and the long stroke of the suspension, the Electronic Combined Braking System can also be varied over a range of adjustments.
Braking is handled by a pair of 330mm discs squeezed by Brembo M50 calipers. I’ve loved these calipers for so long that I feel guilty for wishing they were Stylemas even though I know they aren’t necessary. Such are the fickle desires of a motojournalist. The master cylinder is a Brembo radial unit with an adjustable lever. Combined, they deliver formidable braking power that is more than capable of stopping the 1260 S with the immediacy that is desired from a sporty adventure tourer.
Riding the Grand Tour highlights how well Ducati balanced the needs of long-distance touring riders and sport touring riders. The rider triangle is just about perfect for an all-day horizon chase. Yet, although the seat does tend to lock you into one position, you can lean into a more attack-focused attitude when the road starts to squirm on the map. The handlebar width plays a major role in the bike’s flickability and its willingness to charge into a series of corners with an ease that belies its 525-lb. claimed weight. The Multi feels much shorter than its 62.4-inch wheelbase would imply. In my street-focused ride time with the Grand Tour, the Pirelli Scorpion Trail II tires performed a great impression of sport touring tires, but since my travels typically don’t take me onto any fire roads, I’d swap them for some more dedicated sport touring rubber when these tires were done.
The suspension, with its relation to the riding mode and therefore its ability to be adjusted on the fly, can play a vital role on traversing different kinds of pavement. I spent the bulk of my time in Sport and Touring modes since Urban mode limits the peak horsepower (and who wants that?). Basically, if I wasn’t attacking a winding road, I stuck to Touring. The throttle inputs are softened slightly, and the suspension is more supple for soaking up the broken pavement that you find in many urban centers these days. Interestingly, I also stuck with Touring on bumpy canyon roads. Yes, the softer settings allowed for more chassis pitch during braking and acceleration, but the softer settings do such a great job of soaking up the bumps, making for more pleasant work of those bumpy sections. When it’s over, a couple of clicks of my left thumb and a closing of the throttle has me back in Sport mode.
When the road straightens out and the rider wants to focus on racking up miles, the touring amenities come into play. As with all Multistradas, there is cruise control. The weather protection provided by the windshield is a good compromise between cooling and still air, but in its lowest position, turbulent air flows straight across the base of my helmet, raising the noise level. On cool days, the heated grips will be appreciated, and if you’re the forgetful type who frequently puts on their gloves before putting the key in the ignition, the wireless key fob is a godsend. You’ll still need to take the key out every time you want to open the saddlebags, though.
Rider comfort, though very good overall, takes two big hits with the Grand Tour. First, the seat tends to lock the rider into one position. While the position is quite comfortable, being able to move around on the seat would allow for more leg stretching. If you’re the type of rider who likes to ride with the balls of your feet on the pegs, you might have some issues here. On the right side, as is common on far too many Ducatis, the rider’s heel hits the muffler’s heat shield. On the left, the tang for the centerstand hits the other heel. I commend Ducati for fitting the Grand Tour with a centerstand – and one that doesn’t touch down easily in a corner – having it crowd the rider’s foot is a bit of a bummer. Riders who place the arches of their feet on the pegs will not be bothered by these issues, but their toe sliders might protest a bit.
Our time, though short, with the 2020 Ducati Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tour reminded us of how much fun the biggest Multistrada is for travel and plotting the shortest distance through a series of corners. The additional features that the Grand Tour package gives over the 1260 S is worth the premium, given how it augments the Multistrada’s touring capabilities. The 2020 Ducati Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tour is available now for an MSRP of $23,295.
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May 29, 2020 at 07:53PM
Motorcycle News - Reader’s Rides: Jablonskis Buell 1125R
Jacob Jablonski tells us the story so many of us already know by heart. This is Jablonski’s personal account of his relationship with his first motorcycle, a Buell 1125R:
I bought it in 2015 as my first road bike (because we all know that dirt bikes only count a little bit) after learning how to ride for a year on my dad’s GL1500. That first test ride was both scary and exhilarating. I’d never ridden something like that before. It was fast, uncomfortable, and felt like it wanted to wheelie if I even thought about hammering on the gas. I loved it so much that my test ride ended up being 100 miles and three hours long. After buying the bike, I put about 15,000 miles on it in the span of two years, about double what it had when bought.
I decided to do a track day the next year and bought the orange fairings during EBR’s excess parts sale right after they reopened in 2016. I did a couple that year, one at Blackhawk Farms Raceway and the other at Road America. I crashed both times but made it out ok with nothing more than a scuffed fairing the first time and a sprained wrist the second time and was able to finish both days.
The next year, 2017, was a year of highs and lows. I put the fairings on, swapped out the OE master cylinder for one from a Kawasaki ZX-14, reversed the shifting pattern using a GSX-R1000 shifter linkage, and re-did the shocks. It wasn’t 100 percent where I wanted since I couldn’t mount the belly pan (Danny Eslick’s bike from 2009 has a distinctive bump on his right fairing and belly pan that mine lacks for clearing the clutch), but it ran cooler and looked way better than having the pods. I did two more track days at the same places and I finally got my knee down on the second-to-last session on turn 5 at Road America. Six weeks later I felt confident enough to sign up for the intermediate group at Blackhawk and ended up not being the slowest person. That day was the last time I was able to enjoy it the way I wanted to.
Two weeks later I had an accident and suffered second-degree road rash on my arms, back, palms, and knees. I did have my helmet and boots on (wear your gear when riding). I fixed the bike but had destroyed the left fiberglass fairing. I rode it around with mismatched fairings for a couple of months with the intent of putting the old fairings back on over the winter. Then, when leaving work one night in November, the last time I was planning to ride it for the year, I heard a knocking sound. I took it home, parked it, and since then I’ve taken the bike apart to check on the engine but haven’t actually gone into it yet. Life happens. I restored my ’99 Honda Valkyrie – which I bought while the Buell still ran – met my wife, bought a 2007 Yamaha R1 track bike – which didn’t help my motivation to fix the Buell at all – and got married.
And so it sits in pieces waiting for me to finally get the time and motivation to get it back on the road. As much as I like the Valkyrie, it’s not the same. I used to think I wanted a big, powerful cruiser like a Rocket 3 or a Vmax, but I realized that I like great handling and power more than being able to cruise for a long time and do burnouts on command. I just want to buy the used engine that I found on eBay for super cheap and slap it in the bike, but I have more responsibilities and with what’s going on now I don’t know if I can get one in the near future.
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May 29, 2020 at 04:27PM