Happy Leap Day
Members with Birthdays Today
Leap Day Traditions
stayontheblack.com: Tough weekend for BMW Motorrad Itlalia Goldbet Superbike Team
crash.net: Fabrizio eyeing further progress at Imola
worldsbk.com: Biaggi conquers Phillip Island with win and incredible comeback
worldsbk.com: Podium for Sykes as Kawasaki shows good pace
Melandri achieves BMW Motorrad's best ever result
It was a fantastic start to the 2012 Superbike World Championship for the BMW Motorrad Motorsport team, as new recruit Marco Melandri posted the best result to date for the factory Superbike squad, with a second place finish in race one.
Having qualified only 13th on the grid, due to the cancelled superpole and the missed chance to challenge for a higher grid position, Melandri rode a near perfect race, moving his way confidently through the pack and passing rivals such as Jonathan Rea and Jakub Smrz in the early stages of the race. In front of him the circuit lap record was being smashed by Max Biaggi in pursuit of current champion Carlos Checa, who then crashed out of contention while leading the race.
By half race distance, the impressive Italian was up to fourth place and chasing down Sylvain Guintoli and Tom Sykes. An epic battle followed, with Marco passing Sykes and moving into a podium position with eight laps remaining. He then set off after Guintoli, who he passed on the brakes at the end of the Gardner Straight with just five laps still to run. Despite late challenges from the Frenchman, he held out to take second place, much to the delight of the Australian race fans and the BMW Motorrad Motorsport team.
There was also good news for the BMW Motorrad Italia Goldbet SBK team, as new signing Michel Fabrizio came out on top after a lengthy battle with factory Honda rider Jonathan Rea, eventually beating him by just 23 hundredths of a second to finish in sixth place. Leon Haslam took a pain-killing injection just before the race and was able to secure four championship points by finishing in 12th place, while Ayrton Badovini was forced to retire with just eight laps remaining, after struggling with rear grip issues.
Race two was just as entertaining. This time it was the injured Leon Haslam who made a lightning start from the third row of the grid all the way up to fourth place. With his RR superbike visibly sliding around Haslam was clearly pushing hard but ran wide on lap 3 and found himself down in sixth spot behind Sylvain Guintoli. However, he moved back past his French rival on lap 7, then managed to squeeze past Eugene Laverty on lap 10, and was then promoted back up to fourth place after Joan Lascorz crashed on lap 11.
With his own team-mate Melandri right behind him, Leon continued to push hard but ran wide on the Southern Loop on lap 12, letting Max Biaggi past. The remainder of the race saw the two RR riders successfully fighting off challenges from Frenchman Michel Berger to finish in fifth and sixth respectively.
Unfortunately, BMW Motorrad ItaliaÔÇÖs Michel Fabrizio and Ayrton Badovini both failed to finish race two. Fabrizio crashed on turn four on the fourth lap, while Badovini was forced to retire with a similar problem to race one.
TodayÔÇÖs results mean that Marco Melandri is second in the championship standings on 30 points, while Leon Haslam is in eighth ÔÇô a great result considering he underwent surgery just three days ago.
Marco Melandri: ÔÇ£I am really happy! Giving BMW their best ever result in only my first race on the RR is awesome. I still cannot believe that. The guys at the circuit and in the factory are working really hard and they have done a great job. We did not quite know how we would perform in the race as we had not done any long runs in pre-season testing. During the race I just tried to keep my rhythm and tried not to overpace as I knew I would have to look after the tyre. I had to wait for the right moment to pass Tom Sykes and Sylvain Guintoli. In the final two laps Sylvain was pushing a lot again, but I kept focused on myself and defended my position.
Race two was very difficult. It was warmer and I had to push harder to catch the guys in front of me, so it was not easy. But we finished the first weekend second in the championship, and that is better than expected. Now we have one month to analyse the data and to try to make even more improvements. We will go testing in Spain and all the guys are working hard. We all have the same goal and I very happy to see that motivation is high. Last, I want to send my sympathy to the family of Oscar McIntyre whom we lost yesterday.ÔÇØ
Leon Haslam: ÔÇ£IÔÇÖm really happy overall. We had a problem in race one which I couldnÔÇÖt ride around. Even though just scoring points was the objective, I knew I could have done better. The boys worked really hard between races: they changed engines, electronics and the balance of the bike and straightaway we were able to fight for a top five position. ItÔÇÖs a big credit to all the team and the medical staff who managed to get me out there in the first place! I also want to express condolences to the family and friends of Oscar McIntyre, who died in that tragic crash yesterday.
Bernhard Gobmeier, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: ÔÇ£Overall the weekend was very positive ÔÇô MarcoÔÇÖs second place means the best result for BMW Motorrad in World Superbikes so far. The weekend was a bit of a rollercoaster, but in the end we proved that the work over winter paid off. Still, we are not where we want to be, and that we have some areas to work on. And this is what we will do over the next couple of weeks.
ÔÇ£I am very happy about the performance of our riders: Leon having finished the second race in the top five is very impressive and makes everyone at BMW Motorrad very proud. MarcoÔÇÖs second place in the first race has been the best result for BMW Motorrad in this championship so far. He did an outstanding job and proved his qualities, and is now lying second in the World Championship. On behalf of the entire team and BMW Motorrad, I wish to pass my condolences to the family and friends of Oscar McIntyre, who lost his life in yesterdayÔÇÖs crash at Phillip Island.ÔÇØ
1. M. Biaggi (ITA) ÔÇô Aprilia; 2. Marco Melandri (ITA) ÔÇô BMW Motorrad Motorsport; 3. S. Guintoli (FRA) Ducati; 6. Fabrizio (ITA) ÔÇô BMW Motorrad Italia Goldbet; 12. Leon Haslam (GBR) ÔÇô BMW Motorrad Motorsport; DNF ÔÇô Ayrton Badovini (ITA) ÔÇô BMW Motorrad Italia Goldbet
1. C. Checa (ESP) ÔÇô Ducati; 2. M. Biaggi (ITA) ÔÇô Aprilia; 3. T. Sykes (GBR) ÔÇô Kawasaki; 5. Leon Haslam (GBR) ÔÇô BMW Motorrad Motorsport; 6. Marco Melandri (ITA) ÔÇô BMW Motorrad Motorsport; DNF Fabrizio and Badovini ÔÇô BMW Motorrad Italia Goldbet
1. Biaggi (45); 2. Melandri (30); 3. Sykes (29); 8. Haslam (15); 11. Fabrizio (10)
WORLDSBK: 2012 Race Calendar | Championship Standings Rider / Manufacturer
bbc.co.uk: Champion Casey Stoner fastest in Sepang
Ducati.com: Rain affects day 1 at Sepang test
yamaha-racing.com: Mixed weather kicks off second Sepang test
motogp: 2012 race calendar | Results and Statistics
motorsport.com: Exhaust the key to tech success in 2012
jamesallenonf1.com: What to look out for in the final preseason F1 tests
Formula 1: 2012 Race Calendar | Results Season/Team/Driver
fia.com: 2012 FIA Formula One World Championship - Race Information & Event Starting Times for the 2012 FIA Formula One World Championship
On the Street
ashonbikes.com: David Robb interview
motorcycle-usa.com: 2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer ÔÇô First Ride
BMW MOA 2012 International Rally
2012 FIM Superbike Championship Calendar
Changes to the FIM Superbike, Supersport and Superstock regulations for 2012:
Some more details of changes to the championship regulations were delivered by the FIM in a press release.
FIM: Official Documents
Link to the current year official documents for all classes and search tool for other years.
FIA Regulations ÔÇô Formula 1 World Championship
http://www.weather.gov/ | NOAA's National Weather Service
Select to go to the NWS homepage. National Weather Service - or - Follow the National Weather Service on FaceBook
http://www.weather.com | Sedalia, MO 65301
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/trafficinfo/ : National Traffic and Road Closure Information
511 - America's Traveler Information Telephone Number; Construction Related; Local and State Transit Links; Traffic Conditions; Regional Links; Weather/Road ...
Canada Road Condition Information: Links to provincial highway condition websites across Canada..
Shameless Trolling For Touring Tips
NHTSA.dot.gov Vehicle Recalls RSS
SportRider.com: Motorcycle Riding Skills Series ÔÇô Street bike and motorcycle riding skills techniques articles at Sport Rider
Electronic Parts Catalogue
Before every journeyÔÇª
Before a log tripÔÇª
How to clean your motorcycle
ascycles.com: BMW Motorcycle Service and Maintenance Schedules
mic.org: Motorcycle Industry Council | Tire Guide 2011.pdf
Gasbuddy.com: Search for local gas prices along your trip route.
pure-gas.org: Ethanol-free gas stations in the U.S. And Canada
Cycle-ergo.com motorcycle ergonomic simulator.
Video: BMW Final Drive Disassembly
Woot of the Day
MSF Motorcycle Operators Manual