F1 News - Emilia Romagna GP: All you need to know about 'awesome' Imola
Valtteri Bottas beat Lewis Hamilton to pole position for only the fourth time in 13 attempts this year on Saturday on Formula 1's return to Italy's magnificent Imola circuit.
In theory, on a track on which most of the drivers expect overtaking to be particularly difficult, that should give the Finn a good chance of taking only his third victory of a season in which his team-mate has eight.
And yet… Of all the previous races on which Bottas has been on pole this year, he has won and beaten Hamilton in only one, so Sunday's result is far from a given.
Bottas came out on top after making the best of a truncated run up to qualifying at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as F1 experimented for the first time with a two-day schedule, with just one practice session on Saturday morning before qualifying.
Only two races ago at the Nurburgring, drivers had to go straight into Saturday morning practice cold. But that was because of problems with the weather. This was a deliberate move, a trial run as F1 looks at options through which it may cram more races on to the calendar into the future.
It meant less homework could be done by the teams before qualifying, and Bottas coped with the reduced element of honing better than Hamilton.
Neither Mercedes driver was perfectly happy with their qualifying laps, but Hamilton described his final attempt, although faster than his first lap in the last part of qualifying, as "pretty poor". That meant Bottas' - "not perfect but good enough and better than my first run" - was enough for pole by just under 0.1 seconds.
The last time he had pole - at the Nurburgring, coincidentally - Bottas led the first part of the race after muscling Hamilton aside around the first two corners. But then threw away his chances with a mistake that allowed Hamilton back in front. The race was already decided in Hamilton's favour before Bottas retired with an engine problem.
Last weekend in Portugal, Bottas again led, after passing Hamilton on the first lap. But after the race settled down Hamilton turned in a virtuoso performance to pass him back and then drive off into the distance, ultimately winning by more than 25 seconds.
Whoever is second after the first lap will probably find it harder to challenge for the lead just because of the nature of the track.
To a man, the drivers were revelling in the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, which last hosted a grand prix back in 2006. It is what they call an "old-school track", with a natural flow that follows the topography of the land, elevation changes, demanding high-speed corners, and gravel traps on their outside rather than asphalt run-offs, to punish mistakes.
"The speed we're doing from Turn Two onwards," Hamilton said, "it's really intense, non-stop medium- high-speed, the grip is very high and the faster you're going the harder it is to be inch-perfect."
Williams' George Russell simply said: "It's awesome; F1 needs more tracks like this."
If F1 has learnt one thing from the disruption caused by coronavirus this year, and the new and former tracks it has brought to the calendar, it must be that it needs to reassess its approach to race circuits.
Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff said: "I have always been very vocal about the fact I disagree with the direction we have taken by racing on oversized supermarket parking lots, because it takes the factor of the driver and his skill away.
"And so I really like racing in Mugello and Imola and Portimao, where you are penalised if you make mistake. We need to bring gravel beds back. So when you are flying off you can't rejoin without any damage. Probably you can adapt most of the circuits to that kind of standard, but these classic and historic track will always have soul."
The downside is that there are not really any passing places. There is a long run past the pits between the Rivazza corners and the first chicane at Tamburello. But Tamburello is taken in fifth gear at nearly 120mph, with braking lasting only 1.5 seconds and just over 100m, so passing into there will not be easy.
After that, not only are there few chances to try a move, but the high-speed nature of the track makes staying close behind another car difficult because of the disruption caused to the aerodynamics.
"It is not going to be a great race circuit, that's for sure," Hamilton said. "I'd be really surprised if it's a great race because once you get into Turn Two you can't follow. I hope I'm wrong."
Red Bull's Max Verstappen was a chunky 0.567secs off pole, so it is hard to look past a Mercedes driver for victory. And whichever one it is, the team will surely clinch the constructors' championship by the end of the race.
The only way that won't happen is if Red Bull out-score Mercedes by 34 points, an eventuality that is unlikely in the extreme.
Impressive Gasly ups the pressure on Albon
Behind the top three on the grid, Alpha Tauri's Pierre Gasly celebrated the contract extension he was given at Red Bull's second team earlier in the week with a superlative performance to take fourth on the grid.
Gasly has excelled since being demoted from Red Bull half way through last season, and has emerged as one of the most impressive drivers of this season. A win at the topsy-turvy Italian Grand Prix was the icing on the cake of a year in which he has gone from strength to strength.
Despite this, Gasly was never in the frame for a re-promotion back to Red Bull in 2021.
To an outsider, this might seem an inexplicable situation. But Red Bull's view is that Gasly is a perfect fit for a midfield team where he can drive to his best without the pressure experienced by a driver in a top team alongside a driver of Verstappen's calibre, under which they believed Gasly crumbled last year and probably would again. The more user-friendly nature of the Alpha Tauri's car is another factor in their minds.
At Red Bull, though, they have a problem, because Alexander Albon, the man who was swapped with Gasly, continues to struggle to deliver to the level they expect of him.
Albon qualified sixth at Imola - as he did in Portimao last weekend - but he was 0.567 seconds behind Verstappen. And being two places off Gasly, in a car Red Bull believe is slower even if it is easier to drive, is not what he needed as Red Bull ponder whether to keep him in his seat next year.
Team principal Christian Horner made it clear last weekend that Albon needed strong performances in Portugal and Italy as Red Bull consider their options.
Last Sunday, he didn't provide one, finishing out of the points. So he really needs to do so this time if he does not want to increase the already sizeable risk that either Nico Hulkenberg or Sergio Perez - experienced campaigners without drives next year - will be parachuted into his seat.
If Red Bull do go for Hulkenberg or Perez, where would that leave Albon? Would he be returned to Alpha Tauri for a comparison with Gasly? Or is Japanese Formula 2 driver Yuki Tsunoda, a protege of Red Bull and their engine partner Honda, going to get that seat?
Elsewhere in the driver market, Williams have finally put an end to speculation about their line-up - after their rather cack-handed attempts to dampen it down last weekend only heightened it - by reconfirming that George Russell and Nicholas Latifi are under contract and will remain.
Alfa Romeo have announced they are sticking with Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi - to the surprise of some - and that basically leaves only Haas with unconfirmed seats. Although it seems they will go to two novices - Michael Schumacher's son Mick, who is leading F2 with two races to go and comes with backing from Ferrari; and fellow F2 driver Nikita Mazepin, who comes with backing from his billionaire father.
After that, there is only one seat technically free - Hamilton's. He and Wolff have said they want to get the championships out of the way before sitting down for their talks, the complication being they don't want to take any risks with coronavirus.
But there is no doubt he will be in the Mercedes next year to go for an eighth title.
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October 31, 2020 at 03:12PM
F1 News - Valtteri Bottas beats Lewis Hamilton to Emilia Romagna GP pole
Valtteri Bottas beat Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to pole position with his last lap of qualifying at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
The Finn was 0.097 seconds quicker than Hamilton, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen third nearly 0.5secs behind.
Alpha Tauri's Pierre Gasly was a surprise fourth, ahead of Renault's Daniel Ricciardo and Red Bull's Alexander Albon.
On Sunday Mercedes could win a seventh consecutive constructors' title.
They will do so as long as Red Bull do not out-score them by 34 points.
On F1's first two-day weekend, returning to the Imola track that has not hosted a race since the 2006 San Marino Grand Prix, Hamilton was quickest in the single practice session on Saturday morning and was again on top after the first runs in final qualifying.
But a messy lap by Hamilton on the final runs gave Bottas a chance and he grabbed it with both hands.
"I really enjoyed it this track," Bottas said. "When you push flat out, it's beautiful. I knew I had to push in the last lap and it's a great feeling when you get those."
Hamilton said: "Valtteri did a great job and it was a poor lap from myself. These things happen. You can't get it right all the time.
"What a beautiful place we're in here in Italy and the speeds we're going around this track are unbelievable.
"I am pretty certain we're going to see a boring race tomorrow. You can overtake into turn one but it is pretty narrow and you can't overtake on the rest."
The stand-out performance of qualifying came from Gasly, who was confirmed as an Alpha Tauri driver for 2021 earlier in the week, as Alpha Tauri made a step forward and he lapped just 0.326secs slower than Verstappen in the Red Bull.
His result will pile further pressure on Albon, who is under threat of losing his drive at the end of the season.
Red Bull have made it clear Albon needs a good race this weekend as they assess whether to keep him on or replace him with an experienced hand such as Nico Hulkenberg or Sergio Perez.
Albon was 0.396secs slower than Verstappen.
Ferrari will be disappointed with seventh place on the grid for Charles Leclerc, but the 23-year-old was again superior to team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who continues to struggle with the car and could manage only 14th on the grid.
Alpha Tauri's Daniil Kvyat and the McLarens of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz completed the top 10.
And George Russell was again outstanding in the Williams, taking 13th place.
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October 31, 2020 at 09:24AM
MotoGP News - Developing bike with 2021 MotoGP rider line-up will be a "challenge" - KTM
KTM admits developing its RC16 MotoGP bike in 2021 with a relatively inexperienced line-up will be a "challenge", as it prepares to "manage the situation".
The Austrian marque will lose Pol Espargaro to Honda next year, with the Spaniard having been with KTM since its debut season in 2017 and spearheading its development.
KTM's works team will be headed up by Miguel Oliveira - who will enter his third season in MotoGP - and Brad Binder, who will be in his second, while fellow rookie Iker Lecuona will continue at Tech3 alongside incoming Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci.
Assuming 2021 will be a normal calendar season, both Binder and Lecuona will have to learn more circuits, while Petrucci has no prior experience of the unconventional RC16.
KTM also loses its concessions next year, meaning it won't be able to do any private testing with its race riders.
However, when asked by Autosport if the inexperience in its line-up is a concern for the development of the RC16, KTM technical coordinator Sebastian Risse is confident this won't be a major issue.
"Of course, it is a challenge, that's clear," Risse said at Aragon last weekend. "But we'll also have Danilo, who has experience but not on this bike. And it's the situation we will have to manage.
"I think our riders are all developing in a really great way. It's true on some tracks they can't get experience because we don't go there [this season], but we can't change that and we will make the best out of it.
"I think overall in the setting development, the thing that you really do in the usual race weekend, they have already a lot of experience.
"It's not the first time they've ridden motorcycles, even it was on others, and we will manage the situation.
"Sure, we won't manage in exactly the same way as now, because now we have one rider who has more experience than the others.
"But, we have many riders and many good riders and we will distribute the work in a way in the end I think we can do well next year."
The loss of KTM's concessions - a result of Binder and Oliveira's wins this year - means it has to change its approach to development, Risse explains, with an "extra push" having to be made over the winter.
"Sure, we are in an interesting point now because we lost our concessions," he added.
"It's not only technically the rules are changing, it's also the approach, working together with the test team and the factory and the race team to put the best bike on track.
"Before, we were able to test a lot of things with the race riders. In [the] future we are not, so if we want to test it before we go racing it means already [doing so] this winter and that's something where we put a lot of emphasis on."
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October 31, 2020 at 06:43AM
MotoGP News - Lorenzo admits Aprilia MotoGP test ride an option for 2021
Retired three-time MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo admits an Aprilia test rider role is an option for 2021, but insists his priority is to remain with Yamaha.
Lorenzo returned to Yamaha - with whom he won his three MotoGP titles with - in the winter as its official test rider following his retirement from racing at the end of last year.
However, due to COVID-19 Lorenzo has had just three and a half days of testing since February on the 2019 M1 - with the recent outing in Portugal shortened owing to Yamaha staff being needed at Le Mans when six members of the race team were forced into isolation when one tested positive for the virus.
Autosport reported earlier this week outgoing Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso was negotiating with Yamaha for a test rider role, with rumours emerging Lorenzo could be off to Aprilia.
In an interview with Spain's AS, Lorenzo confirmed Aprilia is an option, but wants to stay with Yamaha if he can.
"As I said a few weeks ago, I want to continue as a tester and my first option is still Yamaha," he said.
"So, I have won with them and because I feel very good with the bike, but there are options as well.
"The other option is Aprilia, yes. I spoke with [Yamaha boss] Lin Jarvis and he told me he would soon have news from Japan about the plan they would like to implement for next year, and I am waiting to hear from him."
He added: "It [Yamaha] has priority because the present team always have priority in all cases, and because of the comfort of knowing people already and because of what I have achieved with them in the past because Yamaha is the only factory in which I have been MotoGP champion and because the M1 for me has always been a natural bike."
Lorenzo's last test on the M1 in Portugal ended with him being four seconds off the pace of Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro.
But he feels basing his form on that would be a "big mistake" as the Portugal test wasn't planned, and so Lorenzo had eased off his training having been told - due to COVID-19 - in June he wouldn't riding again in 2020.
"In June, when we were full COVID I was informed from Yamaha that there would surely be no more tests," he explained.
"So, I lowered my training pace because I didn't know what I would do next year and, if I continue, I would not have more tests until February.
"[Massimo Meregalli] told me there was this test at Portimao to prepare for the race and I started training as best I could.
"There was little time left and I did not arrive in the best shape, and in addition I had not been on a MotoGP bike for eight months, which is a super-extreme motorcycle.
"So, you lose everything, you lose your rhythm, your reflexes, your reaction time slows down and until you get back all that you need a few days of acclimatisation to MotoGP [even if] your name is Lorenzo, [Valentino] Rossi or [Marc] Marquez."
Lorenzo also feels it will be "impossible" for Yamaha to find a test rider who can ride the Yamaha as naturally as him.
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October 30, 2020 at 02:52PM
Motorcycle News - XR338: The compact street tracker that Harley needs
Meanwhile, an Italian industrial design house has seen potential in the idea of a small, single-cylinder street tracker—so they’ve built their own, fully functioning prototype. And just like the bike that H-D have teased, it uses the Benelli 302S as a base.
Dubbed the XR338, this plucky little street tracker is aimed squarely at the US market, and with younger riders in mind.
“This year is the 50th anniversary of the legendary Harley-Davidson XR750, not only the most successful flat tracker in history, but also one of the most beautiful motorcycles ever made. It was past time that an accessible tracker was made that captures that, and makes it available to a new generation.”
The XR338 more than just a design exercise though. The custom and OEM worlds are littered with renderings and clay sculptures that never see the light of day—but this is an actual working prototype. What’s more, it’s a prototype that could go into production.
The Benelli 302S that it’s built on is an affordable 300 cc twin-cylinder naked, which makes around 29.6 hp and 25.6 Nm. But this donor’s not quite stock.
But the team was careful not to change the base machine to the point of being impractical. Chief engineer on the project, Daniele Alvisi, explains that the team “worked very hard to preserve the fundamental performance characteristics of the Benelli, to reduce cost and maximize reliability.”
Under the tank panels is a steel reservoir, which was also designed with mass production in mind. The yokes, handlebars and risers are all new, and the speedo is a KOSO unit in an aluminum housing, with a CAN-BUS interface that lets it run seamlessly with the Benelli. The design is finished off with neatly-integrated LED lighting at both ends.
Now let’s just hope the big OEMs are paying attention.
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October 30, 2020 at 12:33PM
F1 News - Max Verstappen: Red Bull driver apologises for offensive language over team radio
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has apologised for using offensive language over the team radio at the Portuguese Grand Prix.
The Dutchman directed words regarded as offensive about disabled people at Racing Point’s Lance Stroll after the two crashed.
Verstappen shrugged it off, but has now issued a public apology before this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
"It happened in the heat of the moment," Verstappen said.
"I know the words I used were not correct. I never meant to offend anyone.
"Of course I was swearing at Lance but then I saw him straight away after and that's what racing drivers are, we can be angry with each other but five minutes later and we look each other in the eyes, it can be forgotten.
"Things get heated up from the outside. I never meant to hurt anyone. I also know it was not correct but I cannot change it but of course you learn from it and we will do better."
Verstappen was spoken to by his team about the offensive language in Portugal last weekend, and team boss Christian Horner said Red Bull “don’t condone" the remarks.
Horner added: "They were made in the heat of the moment when emotions were running high. Max did not mean to cause offence."
Red Bull motorsport adviser Helmut Marko added on German television that the team had advised Verstappen the remarks he used were not acceptable.
Verstappen made the comments straight after he and Stroll collided at the first corner following a misunderstanding in second practice at the Autodromo do Algarve.
The 23-year-old had let Stroll past him at the end of the previous lap and then tried to pass the Canadian at the start of the next as the Red Bull driver was beginning a flying lap.
Verstappen dived for the inside of Stroll at Turn One but the Racing Point driver turned in and they hit each other.
Formula 1 stewards investigated the incident but decided to take no further action on the grounds it was a misunderstanding.
The seat alongside Verstappen is still open for 2021 and pressure has been building on Alex Albon to improve his performances and be closer to his team-mate to retain it.
Horner has made it clear that Red Bull will look outside their driver programme for a replacement if they decide Albon should be dropped.
Horner said: "Its Alex’s seat and he’s got his bum in the car and everyone wants him to retain that seat. He needs to lock out the outside noise, keep his head down and have a good weekend."
Horner said Red Bull had been working to address the rear instability problem that has affected Albon's attempts to close the gap on Verstappen.
"A fast car is sometimes a difficult car and the way we try to generate lap time is on corner entry and the car has had its complexities this year," Horner said.
"That has made life difficult but we are bringing in some developments that are starting to address that and produce a more rounded package that doesn't have these peculiarities."
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October 30, 2020 at 12:06PM
F1 News - Covid-19: Racing Point have had seven cases during Formula 1 season
Racing Point have had seven people test positive for Covid-19 during the 2020 Formula 1 season, team principal Otmar Szafnauer has confirmed.
Sergio Perez missed two races at Silverstone and team-mate Lance Stroll was absent through illness in Germany, with him later testing positive for coronavirus, while co-owner Lawrence Stroll has done likewise.
Perez said two of the other people to test positive had worked on his car including a "front-end mechanic", but Szafnauer said they were not engineers.
In a news conference on Friday for this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola in Italy, Perez said the incidents came after the Russian Grand Prix and meant "two members in my car" were not present at October's Eifel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring in Germany.
"It was an unfortunate situation," said Perez. “The best thing to do is to wish them a quick recovery, the racing side is less relevant.
"Let's not forget, this virus can get very serious, so for me the most important thing was to have them back fully recovered which they are back, both of my guys, and that's the most important thing."
The only two Formula 1 drivers to test positive for Covid-19 this season have both been from Racing Point and last week Szafnauer defended the team's procedures, insisting they "test more than any other business on the planet".
In Friday's news conference, Szafnauer insisted the team had not done anything wrong.
Asked how many Covid-19 cases the team have had, he said: "We had no engineers, I said that last week and will say it again - I don't know where, why and how people think we had a positive test with an engineer - no engineer has tested positive.
"Two drivers and a team owner and a handful of other people that were tested at the factory and that's it - in total seven.
"We don’t name people for obvious reasons as to who tested positive and we don’t name their roles as you can pick out who it is and we have to respect their confidentiality.
"They don’t want everybody to know, the FIA doesn’t say either and we report to the FIA. To be clear, no engineers, two drivers, who we have told everybody about, and a team owner.
"In total there are seven so there are four other ones and they range from people in our marketing department, riggers, laminators - only seven but we are not going to say who it is."
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October 30, 2020 at 11:24AM
Motorcycle News - Everything You Want To Know About 2021 Triumph Trident (Except What Its Like To Ride)
“There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.” – Mark Twain
Heritage and history are excellent attributes to replicate in motorcycling – assuming you have either in the first place. The 2021 Triumph Trident may be a new model, but it’s taking a page straight out of the Triumph history book. Let’s rewind to the 1960s and look at the motorcycle landscape of the time. The market was filled with single-cylinders and Twins from a variety of manufacturers, many of whom, unfortunately, aren’t around anymore.
Looking to shake up the market, in 1968 Triumph introduced a new model: The Trident (also sold from BSA as a Rocket 3). Powered by a three-cylinder engine, it provided an intriguing alternative to the Singles and Twins of the era with performance that later went on to win at the Isle of Man from 1970-1975. Fifteen years later Triumph brought the Trident name back in 1990 with a naked bike, again sporting three cylinders.
Twenty years on from the re-introduction of the Trident, Triumph’s at it again with a re-re-introduction. It’s starting to sound like a broken record whenever someone, myself included, goes on and on about the joys of the middleweight twins class, especially when it comes to bang for your buck. Hitting that Goldilocks zone of power, performance, and price, any rider over the past two decades who has come up on the likes of the Suzuki SV650, Yamaha, FZ/MT-07, or Kawasaki Ninja/Z650 will tell you just how fun and affordable these bikes are.
Recognizing an opportunity to enter a market, disrupt the twin-cylinder status quo (sorry Honda CBR650R), and repeat a piece of its own history, Triumph’s here to shake up the middleweight twins market – with a three-cylinder. Say hello to the 2021 Triumph Trident, coming in at $7,995 to start, slotting it in nicely with the bikes mentioned above.
As Triumph takes another turn at the Mark Twain kaleidoscope, this time around the combination of glass pieces comes together to make a roadster aimed squarely at riders looking to graduate to their first “big bike” after getting their feet wet with their first motorcycle. Triumph’s mission was to create a motorcycle for this class that could deliver on looks, performance, and maybe most importantly – value.
From a design standpoint, the Trident embodies the roadster look, with its minimalist bodywork, neutral seating position, and handlebars. Then again, to meet the price point and group itself within the establishment, it also uses basic suspension and brake components (more on those later). Nonetheless, it still looks attractive, with a modern take on classic roadster styling that seems unmistakably Triumph.
Now, there’s an obvious area where the Trident is distinctly different from the competition: its engine. With three cylinders displacing a total of 660cc, the Trident’s engine is derived from the 675cc three-cylinder of yesteryear, just like the myriad of other bikes within Triumph’s triple-cylinder lineup.
However, this new engine features a smaller bore and longer stroke compared to the Street Triple. Among the 67 new components compared to the Street Triple, the Trident also gets a different crankshaft, alternator, camshaft, cylinder head, cylinder liners, a change in transmission input shaft, new throttle bodies and airbox, along with an exhaust, header, and silencer – and that’s clearly just a sampling of the 67 new parts.
Nonetheless, modern Triumph triples are known for their cool character and sweet sounds, providing more punch off the bottom than a four-cylinder and more top-end than a Twin. In this form the Trident’s 660 engine is rated at 80 horsepower at 10,250 rpm and 47 lb-ft of torque at 6,250 rpm. Triumph says this Triple has more bottom-end torque than the Street Triple S, with 90% of its torque available as low as 3,600 rpm.
To help keep costs down and meet that sub-$8,000 target, the new engine sits in a new steel frame (it’s aluminum on the Street Triple) mated to a steel swingarm. Like others in this class, suspension is pretty basic, with a non-adjustable 41mm inverted Separate Function fork and preload-adjustable shock, provided by Showa. Braking is handled by a pair of 310mm discs clamped by axial-mounted Nissin twin-piston pin-slide calipers. A 255mm disc and single-piston Nissin caliper sits out back. ABS is standard on the Trident, as is now the norm to meet homologation standards, and can’t be turned off.
Interestingly, the Trident does not use an IMU, and therefore does not come with cornering-ABS. However, Steve Sargent, Chief Product Officer for Triumph, explained that the ABS and traction control parameters are set with the bike at full lean during testing. In essence, providing a poor-man’s version of cornering-ABS. All I know is I don’t want to be the test rider tasked with that job!
Attracting newer riders to the brand means, apart from appealing looks and a capable yet friendly engine, the Trident has to be inviting. That starts when the rider throws a leg over it and discovers the 31.7-inch seat height – nearly a full inch taller than the Suzuki SV650. The seat/fuel tank junction appears to be relatively narrow, which should help get the rider’s feet on the ground comfortably. At 417 pounds wet, the Trident slots right in amongst its competitors from a weight standpoint. Judging by the pictures, and considering the competition, the rider triangle looks to skew toward the comfortable side with a little bit of sport thrown in for good measure. The bars raise the rider up so they’re not hunched over and appear to be fairly broad for good leverage while riding.
What sets the Trident apart from the competition are the electronic settings available. The ride-by-wire throttle allows for two different ride modes, Road and Rain. Both modes provide full power, Rain just gets there a little more gently. Each mode is also pre-programmed with specific traction control settings that can be turned off entirely. Unfortunately, TC settings cannot be adjusted separately from the ride modes which, honestly, probably won’t matter to a prospective buyer in this class.
From the cockpit, you’re greeted by a single round instrument bezel that reveals a TFT display once the bike is keyed on. All of the bike’s controls are manipulated and viewed from this single screen, which is pre-programmed to accept the My Triumph accessory that allows for Bluetooth connection to communicators, phones, or even GoPro cameras – a clever feature considering the youth market the Trident is aiming for.
While connecting to electronics is a nice feature for the youth crowd, Triumph wants to appeal to the budget-conscious rider beyond the initial sale with its claim that the Trident comes with incredibly low cost of ownership. For example, Triumph claims the lowest workshop time in the category as, over a three-year service timeframe which includes a 600-mile service, three annual services, a set of brake pads, a new chain and sprocket, and one full brake fluid change, the Trident will require 8.3 total shop hours compared to a range of 11 hrs to 15.8 hrs total required by its closest competitors.
Beyond that, the Trident leads the class with its 10,000-mile service intervals which Triumph claim is 25%-65% better than its rivals. Lastly, the Trident, like all Triumph motorcycles, comes with a two-year, unlimited mileage warranty with an extra year or two available as an option if you want additional peace of mind.
The New Class Leader?
On paper anyway, the new Trident looks like it has what it takes to shake up the establishment in the middleweight category and attract new riders to the Triumph brand, as it offers an attractive alternative to the twins that have made up this class for years. It looks sharp, appears to be inexpensive to own, and, best of all, comes with an engine configuration we absolutely adore.
To start, the Trident will offer four color options: Crystal White, Matt Jet Black & Matt Silver Ice, Sapphire Black, and Silver Ice & Diablo Red, with loads of accessories that were designed alongside the bike to ensure proper fit and finish. Bikes will start to roll into dealerships in late January 2021. Time will tell if it ends up being a success for Triumph, but one thing’s for sure – we can’t wait to throw a leg over one and measure it against its rivals.
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October 30, 2020 at 07:15AM
MotoGP News - Yamaha "not giving up" on top speed deficit despite 2021 MotoGP engine freeze
Yamaha MotoGP project leader Takahiro Sumi insists the Japanese marque is "not giving up" on finding top speed gains with the M1 for 2021 despite a freeze on engine development.
As part of COVID-19 cost-saving measures, all manufacturers (except KTM, which has been granted special dispensation to develop its engine after losing its concessions for next season) will have to start the 2021 campaign on their current engines, with all but Aprilia unable to develop their motors for the rest of the year.
All Yamaha riders have also been forced to run slightly reduced revs following early-season issues with its engines at Jerez - later found to be the result of a faulty batch of valves from a secondary supplier.
The engine development freeze looks likely to impact Yamaha the hardest in 2021, but Sumi says the marque "can find another way" to gain speed, while admitting it will have to develop the M1's strong points "even more than before".
"We have to develop even more than before to improve our strong points," Sumi said when asked how the engine freeze will affect Yamaha.
"Unfortunately now, the corner speed and handling is not only [the strong point] of the Yamaha.
"We are aware the competitors improved a lot in this area, especially Suzuki. So, we have to make more effort for that.
"Also, we are not giving up on improving the top speed for next year.
"Of course, the engine is frozen for next year, but the engine is one element, but we can find another way to improve for next year."
Yamaha trialled a new exhaust at the post-San Marino Grand Prix test in a bid to find speed, though this was abandoned after the Emilia Romagna GP.
It has also been working on its own version of the ride height adjuster Ducati has been using for some time, though it still needs refining.
Despite its issues this year, Yamaha has won six races courtesy of Fabio Quartararo, Franco Morbidelli and Maverick Vinales - with all three in the title fight - and Sumi has "confidence" the M1 is developing in the right direction.
"Honestly, not super [satisfied about the M1's performance], but I'm happy about our performance in general," he added.
"Last year, we were fast in free practice and qualifying, but not so in the race.
"This is a point we wanted to improve for this year. Top speed was one of the main topics to improve, and we got some more compared to last year.
"But unfortunately, the competitors did well also, so the situation is not so much different than we expected.
"Now we have three races winners in Yamaha, and Valentino [Rossi] also got back his feeling and speed.
"So, now all four Yamahas are ready to fight for the win. So, as a total package we have confidence we are in the right direction, but still a lot of work to do to be on the target point."
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Motorcycle News - 10 DIY Motorcycle Maintenance & Modification Tasks
If you’re up in the southern hemisphere old man winter will soon be knocking on your door. For some of you, that means your beloved motorcycle is going to be going into hibernation. As depressing as that sounds this is a great opportunity to pamper your beloved bike. With your motorcycle off the road, it’s the perfect time to perform some motorcycle maintenance or do some basic modifications. Here’s our list of 10 motorcycle maintenance and modification tasks you can do yourself with basic skills and tools.
First things first, go buy yourself a good workshop manual for your bike. For older bikes try Clymer or Haynes, for newer models check out Service Manual Warehouse online. Once you’ve got a decent manual you’re ready to tackle these tasks and many more.
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