Motorcycle News - Harley-Davidson Claims Best Third Quarter Since 2015 Despite Lower Sales
Harley-Davidson‘s much analyzed “Rewire” plan may be starting to see some positive results, as the company reported its strongest third quarter since 2015 despite decreasing sales volume. It will take a while longer to see if the plan and its eventual follow-up, the Hardwire plan, will pay off in the long run, but for the short term, the Rewire has succeeded in reducing costs.
According to Harley-Davidson’s third quarter report, revenues declined by 8% to $1.166 billion, but net income increased 39% to $120 million from the $87 million reported in the same period of 2019. By this metric, this was Harley-Davidson’s best third quarter since it saw a net income of $140 million in 2015.
Worldwide retail sales declined by 8.1%, but that is a marked improvement over the first two quarters, as sales for the year to date are down 18.1%. The sales decline has slowed in most markets, with Harley-Davidson even seeing an increase in Europe, where retail sales rose by 6.7%.
Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic had a large impact on sales, as did the Rewire’s efforts to reduce production and clear out existing inventory. Harley-Davidson says worldwide inventory is down 19,300 motorcycles (-30%) compared to the third quarter of 2019. The reduced supply and the elimination of discounting and sales promotions resulted in more motorcycles selling at full MSRP in the U.S. At the same time, the average resale price of Harley-Davidsons increased, narrowing the price gap between new and used motorcycles.
As part of the Rewire plan, Harley-Davidson shifted the introduction of new model announcements from August to early in the new year. As a result, Harley didn’t get the same boost in attention and dealership traffic from an injection of new models that it would typically get in the third quarter. Going forward, Harley-Davidson is hoping that will happen early in the first quarter and closer to the start of the riding season.
The Rewire plan also called for a shift in Harley-Davidson’s global structure. The Motor Company will exit 39 markets that saw low sales volume and profitability. Chief Executive Officer Jochen Zeitz says most of those markets only had one or two dealerships, and withdrawing from them won’t have a large impact on business.
In 17 other markets, Harley-Davidson will switch to a distributor model, working with a local company to provide sales and service. India is the first of these markets identified, with Harley-Davidson announcing a licensing agreement with Hero MotoCorp to handle its operations in that market. Hero will sell motorcycles, parts and accessories as well as merchandise and apparel through a network of brand-exclusive Harley-Davidson dealers, as well as through its own existing dealership network.
Harley-Davidson will maintain control in the strongest 36 markets, including in North America, Europe and parts of Asia, which represents the majority of its sales volume and growth potential. But even theses markets will see some challenges. Harley-Davidson says it has closed about 61 full-line dealerships, or about 4% of its dealer network. Of the dealers that remain, Harley-Davidson claims an overall improvement in dealer profits despite lower sales.
Looking ahead to future product offerings, Harley-Davidson is still on track to begin sales of the Pan America in the first quarter. As we previously reported, Harley-Davidson plans to reduce its product lineup by 30%, and will phase out its Sportster lineup in Europe, as it wasn’t feasible to update it for Euro 5 requirements. Harley has also applied the brakes to its Bronx streetfighter.
“We did not hesitate to delay or cancel projects like Streetfighter that do not provide the right timing or return profile, or advance others that were slated for later market introduction,” says Zeitz.
Those “others” likely refer to new “high performance custom model” which will share the Pan America’s liquid-cooled Revolution Max platform, as well as a future Sportster replacement.
Harley-Davidson also announced a change to its plans to produce electric bicycles. Rather than sell them under the Harley-Davidson brand, the company will instead splinter them off into a new sub-brand called the Serial 1 Cycle Company. The e-bicycle idea began as a skunkworks project in Harley-Davidson’s Product Development Center, and the new company will be led by a team of former Harley staff.
“When Harley-Davidson first put power to two wheels in 1903, it changed how the world moved, forever,” says Aaron Frank, Brand Director for Serial 1 Cycle Company. “Inspired by the entrepreneurial vision of Harley-Davidson’s founders, we hope to once again change how cyclists and the cycling-curious move around their world with a Serial 1 eBicycle.”
Named after Harley-Davidson’s first motorcycle, “Serial Number One,” the new company will introduce its first line of products in the spring. The prototype showcased in the video above is based on the earlier e-bicycle concepts Harley-Davidson has shown the last couple of years, but dressed to resemble the original 1903 motorcycle. Production models will have a more modern appearance, as teased on Serial 1’s new website. More information will be announced on Nov. 16, with sales expected to begin in the spring.
Harley-Davidson is still developing its five-year “Hardwire” plan but the company did provide a preview of what to expect. Harley says basis for the Hardwire plan is to make the company the “most desirable motorcycle brand in the world.” The plan will be organized around five key points:
More details about the Hardwire plan will be announced at Harley-Davidson’s fourth quarter report in three months time.
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October 27, 2020 at 06:29PM
Motorcycle News - 2021 Yamaha MT-09 First Look
Details for the 2021 Yamaha MT-09 have just been released. Notable takeaways for the 2021 model year are an all-new larger capacity engine at 890cc, updated chassis to match, and advanced electronics. While those are certainly the major changes for this new iteration of MT-09, styling has also been tweaked slightly throughout, with the cyclops-esque headlight undoubtedly being the most polarizing change.
As we previously reported in September, the MT-09 has received a displacement boost from 847cc to 890cc. This was achieved by increasing the stroke to 62.1mm from 59.1. The Triple’s bore remains the same at 78mm. Keeping in line with trends recently, the additional displacement will help Yamaha pass ever-tightening emissions standards while also providing a four horsepower boost, bringing it to 118 hp, according to emissions test data.
The larger displacement isn’t the entire story with the new engine though. Yamaha claims, “virtually every major component is new, including the pistons, connecting rods, camshafts and crankcases.” The new 890cc engine also uses a completely new fuel delivery system. For 2021, the fuel injectors are mounted to the throttle valve side – versus attached directly to the cylinder head – for better fuel atomization that also reduces the fuel adhesion to the intake port walls, delivering an 11% increase in fuel efficiency. The MT-09 also receives the Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T) featuring a new Accelerator Position Sensor Grip (APSG) said to give excellent feel and reliability.
The intake system gets other changes as well: “As the engine speed increases, the intake sound becomes more dominant and heightens the feeling of acceleration felt by the rider. This is accomplished via a new intake system with an air cleaner box featuring an all-new three duct layout, with each duct having a different cross-section and length, further enhancing the MT-09’s torque-rich riding sensation.” We’re told a new exhaust complements the intake changes as well.
Moving on to the chassis, the 2021 MT-09 boasts a new CF die-cast aluminum Deltabox frame designed to match the increased engine performance. The new frame features larger twin beams that run directly from the steering head assembly through to the swingarm pivot to give optimal strength. For enhanced handling characteristics, the frame’s longitudinal, lateral and torsional rigidity balance have been refined, with a 50% increase in lateral rigidity for high levels of straight-line stability.
The lighter aluminum swingarm has a straighter right side for a more symmetrical appearance. “To achieve better stability,” Yamaha says, “the 2021 swingarm pivot is mounted between the frame structure to reduce unsprung weight and enhance the rigidity balance of the new frame. To match the more compact frame and shorter front forks, the head pipe position is lowered by 30mm, giving an increased feeling of front-end grip when cornering.”
KYB suspension components remain relatively unchanged. A fully adjustable 41mm fork is lighter and gets revised damping characteristics to suit the 2021 frame and engine updates as does the preload/rebound-adjustable shock.
The MT-09 is only the second Yamaha model to be equipped with the YZF-R1-type front braking system. Featuring a Nissin radial master cylinder in which the piston moves in a direction that’s parallel to the brake lever travel, this technology gives a more linear supply of hydraulic pressure to the dual front disc brakes for better controllability.
A six-axis IMU is now incorporated into the MT-09’s electronics. Yamaha says it has been developed from the system used on the YZF-R1 since 2015, yet the MT-09’s IMU is 50% smaller and 40% lighter. This new tech brings with it an array of rider aids such as:
“The TCS has three switchable modes, and each mode integrates three of the rider support systems so that the intervention levels are changed all at once in Modes 1 and 2. Mode 1 delivers moderate intervention while Mode 2 gives strong intervention and Mode M enables the rider to select manual settings. These electronic aids reduce the workload of the rider for more concentration on the road ahead.”
Furthermore, the 2021 Yamaha MT-09 receives a 3.5-inch TFT display to relay all of this new information to the rider along with a bevy of other pertinent info. The new LED projector-style headlight is flanked by two LED position lights and the LED taillight showcases the Y-shape design synonymous with the MT or Master of Torque line-up.
The MT-09 now receives a quickshifter standard for clutchless up and downshifts. Yamaha’s new 10-spoke Spin Forged wheels are lighter (11% at the rear wheel) to reduce unsprung weight. Overall, Yamaha claims, despite the larger engine and beefed-up chassis, the 2021 MT-09 is eight pounds lighter than its predecessor. While weight has gone down, the MSRP has gone up to $9,399, a $400 increase from 2020.
The Yamaha MT-09 wasn’t without disappointments when it first hit U.S. shores, but over time, Yamaha has taken note and delivered a better iteration with each update. We expect nothing less from the 2021 model and look forward to the chance when we get to swing a leg over ‘er.
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October 27, 2020 at 02:56PM
F1 News - Jolyon Palmer column: Lewis Hamilton's record - and plenty more to come
Former F1 driver Jolyon Palmer, who left Renault during the 2017 season, is part of the BBC team and offers insight and analysis from the point of view of the competitors.
Lewis Hamilton broke Michael Schumacher's all-time Formula 1 win record in emphatic style at the Portuguese Grand Prix, with the biggest winning margin seen this season.
It was a fitting way to do it - Hamilton caught and passed team-mate Valtteri Bottas as if the Finn was a midfielder rather than in the same car, and pulled out more than 25 seconds by the flag.
This was no tactical play like we've seen in other races, when Hamilton has been managing gaps behind and nursing tyres. It was a flat-out demonstration of strength in which Hamilton breezed to a Portimao hat trick - pole, win and fastest lap.
Hamilton was in a different league from Bottas in Portugal - as he has been so often over most of his rivals in his career. It's this innate talent that has led to his success, and the question everybody inevitably has is 'what makes Hamilton so good?'.
A blinding natural talent
The first thing is clearly a natural talent that is relatively unrivalled through history.
The skill in driving an F1 car to the brink of its limit is all in the feel for grip, and this is what Hamilton has demonstrated in abundance through the years.
Some of Hamilton's early wins were extraordinary in this way, and he has shown his ability to beat the best in difficult circumstances right from his rookie year in 2007.
As the title battle was coming to a head that year, Hamilton and McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso went to the Japanese GP at Fuji closely matched at the top of the championship.
Alonso is someone who I - and pretty much everybody in the F1 paddock - would rate as one of the sport's great drivers. But in the same car, on the same day, in treacherous conditions, rookie Hamilton drove away from the Spaniard, strolling to a brilliant win, while Alonso crashed out of second place trying to keep pace.
It was the first of many mesmerising drives from Hamilton in the wet, where he outclassed all his rivals to win, when grip level is low and the stakes are high.
At Silverstone in 2008, there was another, as he took his first British GP win by well over a minute in the pouring rain. In Brazil in 2016, the wettest, most treacherous race I've ever driven in, Hamilton breezed away from his title challenger Nico Rosberg to win.
It has carried on throughout his career. Think of Singapore in 2017 when fighting with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel for the title. And even more impressively Germany in 2018, winning in the damp, mixed conditions from 14th on the grid.
These races have shown how good Hamilton is at feeling out grip, driving the car absolutely on the limit of it, while dealing with the extremities of title-challenging pressure.
This is the basis for pace in general in a racing car.
In dry conditions, there is less of a spread between the best and the rest, as the variance in grip is so low.
But the innate feeling a driver has through his body to pick the optimum brake point and pressure, turn in at the perfect amount to keep the car balanced, and pick up the throttle to the limit of grip while avoiding wheel spinning on exits remain the same.
Ayrton Senna showed this level of skill to mark himself out as a great in times gone by, and Max Verstappen is showing it now, too, albeit without the pressures of being in a title battle. But the consistency with which Hamilton delivers is what is just so impressive. He barely ever gets it wrong, when everybody around falters.
And there could have been more
Hamilton should have won the title in 2007, but for getting stuck in the Shanghai gravel in the penultimate race after McLaren left him out too long on worn tyres.
The following year could have been simpler, too, had Hamilton not crashed into Kimi Raikkonen in the pit lane in Canada.
If he hadn't crashed into Felipe Massa in Monza or Mark Webber in Singapore in 2010, he could have been world champion then, too.
In reality, Hamilton already could have the eight titles that would break the other all-time record he is sure to beat this season.
But since his move to Mercedes Hamilton seems to have cut out mistakes almost entirely.
He will win that seventh title this year, meaning six of his seven have come with the German marque, in his most recent dominant years. While it speaks volumes of Mercedes' dominance as a team, it also shows how strong Hamilton has been.
When Hamilton embarked on his 2014 season, it was Vettel who was a four-time champion and was eyeing up most of Schumacher's records, having won his titles in a row and become the youngest race winner and champion in the process.
But since then Hamilton has turned the form book around, helped by a faster car for periods, but also far more chiselled performances.
Vettel could have won the title in 2017 and 2018 had it not been for mistakes, but Hamilton's pace and consistency meant he not only won them, but won them with races in hand, even when Ferrari had possibly a faster car and a multiple world champion at the wheel.
It's not just about his car
Of course, there will be doubters who say Hamilton's success is largely down to the car.
Undoubtedly Hamilton would not have broken Schumacher's record if he had been driving anything but a Mercedes since 2014, and he certainly would not be a six-going-on-seven-time champion in another car.
I do think, though, that he could have won titles for Ferrari where Vettel faltered, and, who knows, perhaps in a Red Bull this year he could be challenging as well. After all, Verstappen is only 17 points behind Bottas in the standings, despite having a few reliability woes this season.
But being in the best car is what F1 is all about. It's a team sport, which is focused almost entirely on the drivers, the lynchpins of the team.
For those saying Hamilton has only won in the best car, it is hard to deny, but think back to the other greats as well, because the same applies.
Senna's McLaren was a monster in the late 80s and early '90s, arguably more dominant than even Mercedes' 2020 masterpiece. Schumacher built up his enormous records, by driving in another of Formula 1's dominant eras - the Ferrari team of the early 2000s.
The best drivers find their way to the best cars and become dominant forces. It is what we have seen before and it is what we are seeing now.
Where will it end?
Hamilton will be 36 at the start of next season, but we are seeing drivers going longer and longer at the top of their game right now. Just look at Kimi Raikkonen still going strong at 41, and Alonso making a comeback next year, when he will turn 40.
Despite interests in music and fashion, as well as a growing interest in politics and world affairs, Hamilton is showing little sign of slowing down or stopping any time soon.
After Schumacher moved past the previous record holder Alain Prost in 2001, he added another 40 victories before he retired for the first time.
In the same way, Hamilton does not look even close to the end of his career.
Right now he is the most celebrated driver in history terms of Grand Prix wins on 92, but it's tough to imagine he won't breeze past 100 and beyond in the future.
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October 27, 2020 at 01:54PM
Motorcycle News - Good things take time: A Trackmaster from NYC Norton
This Trackmaster-framed beauty is the latest machine to roll out of his Jersey City workshop, and was commissioned by a Norton enthusiast from California—who also has a very specific interest in the 1970s flat track glory days.
Whenever Kenny got to a crossroads on this build, he emailed his client: “He’d answer with an old picture of Dave Aldana jumping his Norton, with the caption, ‘Like this.’ We were able to have latitude.”
This sits in the traditional spot behind the cylinders, and it’s an elaborate mod that requires a longer intermediate spindle, turning down the timing cover boss, and modifying the points cavity.
“Once the motor was done it became a static art display, sitting prominently on our bench, awaiting instructions on where to send it,” says Kenny. “The idea was for our customer to source a dirt track chassis so he could dabble with a build in his garage out west. But after a year or so the call came in: would we be interested in the full build of a dirt track-inspired street bike? Yes!”
A short time later, a Tri-C Trackmaster replica frame was delivered to the shop, and the fun really began. “The scope of the build was very basic,” says Kenny. “Put all foot controls on the RH side--à la flat track racers—and do just enough electronics to get it past inspection.
Armed with a couple of cocktail napkin sketches, Kenny and his crew went to work. “The first thing to do was to get the motor and gearbox in the frame, with the proper plates.” The gearbox was built from scratch using an H-D shell, but the increased wall thickness required some relieving of the plates beyond the usual.
The primary is driven by a Steve Maney Racing 40mm Belt drive, complete with anodized lightweight Commando clutch. The wide belt (and the aesthetic desire to run a Matchless G85 primary) meant cutting down the end of the Norton crankshaft, and tapping to add front pulley fastening.
Unfortunately, the swingarm bushings that came with the chassis we not up to spec, so the shop has made a custom set of bronze bushings in the same style used on their championship-winning Titchmarsh Seeleys.
The wiring is tidy: a simple harness runs from a key switch to a small battery under the solo seat, which powers the 5-inch Bates-style headlight, a tail light from Analog Motorcycles, brake lights activated by hydraulic brake switches, and the horn—“enough to keep the coppers at bay!” The tachometer is a Veglia, adapted to receive the proper ratio from a Norton Commando tachometer drive.
Jen’s brief was to do create a handmade logo in gold leaf, with clear-coat over the top. “When she brought the tank to our shop for the reveal, it was like our baby was born!”
Kenny’s latest is almost too beautiful to get dirty or damaged on a track. But if it’s called into action, you just know it’ll hold its own.
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October 27, 2020 at 12:21PM
F1 News - Lando Norris apologises after comments about Lewis Hamilton and Lance Stroll
McLaren's Lando Norris has issued a public apology after he played down Lewis Hamilton's record 92nd win at the Portuguese Grand Prix.
Norris also used an expletive to describe Racing Point's Lance Stroll after they crashed in the race.
He said he was "stupid and careless" and "haven't shown the respect I should have to certain people".
"I'm not that kind of person, so know I should apologise to them but also everyone reading/listening," he said.
The 20-year-old did not indicate who he was apologising to with his remarks on social media.
After the race on Sunday, Norris was asked what he made of Hamilton breaking Michael Schumacher's all-time record of wins.
"I'm just happy for him, nothing more," the Briton replied. "It doesn't mean anything to me, really. He's in a car which should win every race, basically.
"He has to beat one or two other drivers, that's it. Fair play to him, he's still doing the job he has to do."
Norris finished 13th in the race, while Stroll retired his car after his penalty for hitting Norris left him at the tail of the field.
The Briton used a four-letter word under his breath over the radio immediately after the crash. It was not meant for public consumption - Norris had not realised he had left the radio channel open.
After the race he said Stroll had not learned the lessons of a similar incident he had with Red Bull's Max Verstappen in Friday practice.
In both incidents, Stroll turned in on his rival who was on the inside heading into Turn One at the Portimao track.
The difference was that Verstappen was trying to overtake Stroll, while with Norris it was Stroll trying to pass.
Norris said: "He went to the left, which I was quite surprised by when he easily could have gone to the inside. I was easily halfway alongside, and he just turns in.
"He obviously didn't learn from Friday, but he doesn't seem to learn with anything he does. It happens a lot, so I just need to make sure I stay away."
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October 27, 2020 at 12:18PM
F1 News - Lewis Hamilton says Extreme E can be 'alternative' to traditional motorsport
Lewis Hamilton says Extreme E can be an "alternative" to traditional motorsport and lets him "merge a love for motor racing with a love for the planet".
The series will see all-electric SUVs racing across five remote territories to raise awareness of climate issues.
"In life we all need to take responsibility for the planet," the Briton, 35, said.
"I think that's why Extreme E is so important because it's going to keep people talking about the climate issue and inspiring us to take action."
Hamilton said he is looking forward to "a championship series that will address traditional ways of racing and the negative impact motorsport does have on the planet and offer an alternative".
Extreme E was scheduled to begin in January but that has been delayed until 21 March because of the coronavirus pandemic, organisers announced at a launch event.
The off-road series will take place in Greenland, Senegal, Saudi Arabia, the Brazilian Amazon and Patagonia in Argentina.
Former F1 world champion Nico Rosberg is also entering a team while Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas took part in testing earlier this month.
Hamilton, who broke Michael Schumacher's all-time record for F1 race wins on Sunday, has spoken out on environmental issues in the past.
Speaking at the launch event, he added: "I was so excited to hear about Extreme E largely due to the focus on the environments and the mission to raise awareness about climate change.
"That is something that is really close to my heart and something that I am really passionate about so it gives an opportunity for me to merge my love for motor racing together with my love for the planet.
"Bringing those two together, we can have a really positive impact."
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October 27, 2020 at 11:42AM
MotoGP News - Aleix Espargaro "hates" how he had to overtake in Teruel MotoGP
Aleix Espargaro says he "hates" how he had to make "on the limit" overtakes in the MotoGP Teruel Grand Prix because of the Aprilia's poor acceleration.
Espargaro was fighting his way through from 13th on the grid in Sunday's Aragon race, passing the likes of Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso, Tech3's Iker Lecuona and LCR's Cal Crutchlow, and was putting Petronas SRT's Fabio Quartararo under pressure for eighth late on.
The Aprilia rider's overtake on Dovizioso at Turn 1 on lap 17 forced the Ducati rider off track.
Espargaro feels his moves were "clean", but concedes the deficiencies of the Aprilia means he is "forced to be on the limit" when racing.
"I hate to overtake like I did to Dovi, also with Lecuona I was very close to the limit, also to Crutchlow," he said.
"The Aprilia doesn't accelerate like other bikes, so when I arrive on the brakes I am not close to them.
"So, I have to recover the space, try not to lose in acceleration plus try to overtake. This is why in last week's race I didn't make any overtakes at all, but [on Sunday] I had more commitment, I was focused to do a better race, I felt better.
"I risked more and I think I was clean - on the limit, but clean. But again, I'm forced to be on the limit.
"I feel very sorry for Dovi because I know he's fighting for the title, I tried to be very clean but the Ducati is very fast. So, with the Aprilia I have to risk more."
Espargaro's race came to an end with three laps to go when his Aprilia's engine "exploded" on the back straight while he was chasing down Quartararo.
"I'm very disappointed because starting 13th, I knew it would be difficult, but starting the race I talked with Massimo Rivola [Aprilia CEO] and I said I don't care if I crash, I want to risk," he added.
"I felt better than last weekend, I had a good start and I had a big fight with Lecuona and then I overtook Crutchlow, I overtook Dovizioso as well.
"And then I was gaining time on Quartararo and [Maverick] Vinales, and then three laps from the end when I caught Quartararo, I was trying to overtake him and in sixth gear the engine exploded.
"So, it's a shame. We were doing a very, very good race. I think we were just three seconds back from the fourth place of Pol [Espargaro].
"I did everything I had, I think I was very competitive, fighting on the brakes like hell trying to overtake many riders because I lose in acceleration. But the engine blew, so it's very frustrating."
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October 27, 2020 at 11:38AM
MotoGP News - Pol Espargaro 'part owes' Teruel GP fourth to MotoGP rookie Lecuona
KTM's Pol Espargaro says "in part I owe" his fourth place in the MotoGP Teruel Grand Prix to Tech3's Iker Lecuona after using his set-up for the second Aragon race.
Espargaro branded KTM's Aragon GP weekend as "painful" as all four factory RC16 riders struggled in the cooler conditions.
KTM started the Teruel GP weekend with Espargaro, Brad Binder plus Tech3 duo Lecuona and Miguel Oliveira using different set-ups to try and find a better direction to follow.
Espargaro, Oliveira and Lecuona made it straight into Q2 from FP3, with Espargaro going on to secure his best result since the Emilia Romagna GP in fourth in race.
The Spaniard says "Tech3 helped us a lot" during the Teruel weekend and was swayed into using Lecuona's settings after the rookie finished sixth in FP3 on Saturday.
"This weekend we have tested many things, moving away from our set-up," Espargaro explained. "Tech3 helped us a lot. Both Miguel and Lecuona were very solid during the weekend.
"Iker worked very well and we actually used his set-up.
"In the third free practice he finished very high and that's why I asked that they give it to me as much as possible. This fourth place, in part I owe it to him."
Lecuona equalled his best result of the year from the Austrian GP in ninth, but felt he could have finished closer to the front than the 17.7 seconds from the lead that he did.
"I'm really happy. It's the first time I fight with the top guys, with [Andrea] Dovizioso, [Danilo] Petrucci, also with Aleix [Espargaro], we fight a lot," Lecuona said.
"I had some mistakes, when I overtook Aleix for the last time I had a big mistake in Turn 12 and I go off of the track.
"So, I lose close to two seconds and I needed to recover again this gap. Lap by lap I felt quite strong and I can recover a lot of time.
"After the fight with Dovi and Petrucci, I felt it was possible to finish more in front.
"But finally, I'm happy about my race because I learned a lot this week compared to last week, also this week with the electronic plans I learned a lot. So, in general I'm very happy."
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October 27, 2020 at 10:06AM
MotoGP News - Savadori replaces Smith in Aprilia MotoGP line-up for final three rounds
The Aprilia MotoGP squad has announced it will replace Bradley Smith with Lorenzo Savadori for the final three rounds of the 2020 season.
Test rider Smith was drafted in to replace Andrea Iannone for the start of the season, as the one-time grand prix winner continued to serve an 18-month doping ban.
The Briton has scored 12 points across the season and managed a best result of 12th at the Andalusian Grand Prix.
But Aprilia has now announced Smith will not see out the season with the marque, though hasn't explained why.
In his place will come ex-World Superbike rider and current Aprilia test rider Savadori, who will make his MotoGP debut in next month's European Grand Prix.
Savadori became an Aprilia MotoGP test rider at the start of the year and dominated the CIV Superbike Championship in Italy this year on an RSV4.
"First and foremost, I wish to thank Bradley for his efforts this season," Aprilia CEO Massimo Rivola said.
"He took one the unexpected role of factory rider with great dignity and outstanding performance, and his contribution was extremely valuable.
"Now we are excitedly awaiting Lorenzo's debut. This promotion is certainly a reward for his great season as a CIV rider, dominating the Superbike category.
"But it is also a step of growth for a rider who will be a tester for our RS-GP in 2021 as well.
"Riding our fledgling project in the race as well will certainly be a step forward for Lorenzo and, therefore, for all of Aprilia Racing."
Savadori added: "To say I'm happy would be an understatement and I wish to thank Aprilia Racing straight away for this great opportunity.
"I will be arriving prepared for the event, thanks both to the work done during the tests on the RS-GP and to the CIV season that just ended.
"It was a challenging championship that demanded top form and maximum concentration from me.
"Now I need to re-organise my thoughts, glean from the kilometres I've ridden astride the RS-GP and make sure I'm ready and focused for the first practice session."
A decision on Iannone's doping ban being overturned is expected by mid-November, following a hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport a fortnight ago.
It is understood outgoing LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow has a pre-agreement in place with Aprilia to join Aleix Espargaro in 2021, though the marque has repeatedly publicly expressed a desire to retain Iannone if it can.
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October 27, 2020 at 09:38AM
MotoGP News - Binder was "too narrow-minded" in Miller Teruel GP MotoGP crash
KTM's Brad Binder says he was "too narrow-minded" at Turn 2 at the start of the MotoGP Teruel Grand Prix, which led to his collision with Pramac's Jack Miller.
Both Binder and Miller launched off the fifth row together in Sunday's race, but only made it to the second corner when the former ran into the back of the Ducati rider.
Binder was later handed a long lap penalty for next month's European Grand Prix and explained he went into the right-hander at Turn 2 not considering the would be as bunched as it was.
This was the second first-lap collision Binder has been involved in this season, after wiping out fellow KTM rider Miguel Oliveira at the start of the Andalusian GP in July.
"All I could say was 'sorry bud'," Binder said when asked what he told Miller in the gravel after the incident.
"There's not much you can say after an incident like that because it was clear as daylight, it was just my mistake and unfortunately it cost someone else their race as well.
"I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing, but both times this year I've wiped out friends.
"It makes it easier to say sorry because you are mates. But at the same time, it really, really sucks.
"It was nice of him to be super-chilled about it. I hope I never do that again.
"I think all I can say is I was just too over-eager at the beginning to make up spots, but too narrow-minded going into Turn 2."
KTM struggled throughout the Aragon GP weekend, but made a considerable step forward for the Teruel round at the same track after all four riders were equipped with different set-ups in practice.
Binder says KTM was able to improve the bike's turning, while the warmer temperatures meant KTM riders could use their preferred medium front tyre option.
Had it not been for his crash, he feels starting from 15th "wasn't going to be a problem", such was his feeling on the RC16.
"It's funny because in warm-up, even though the position wasn't good, my in-lap this morning after the flag I was coming four tenths quicker than my quickest time I did in warm-up," Binder said.
"I don't know why but I felt like we found something and I felt really good. I really believed starting in 15th wasn't going to be a problem today.
"We just made the bike a little bit better for the way it naturally turns.
"Once you put the bike on angle it would come to the apex much better and make it a lot easier to stand the bike up and get it out of the corners.
"In general that's the main thing I think we improved and in general it made it easier to go and do a race simulation or a race distance because it's hanging on the edge of the tyre so much and just smoking the rear tyre."
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October 27, 2020 at 08:48AM