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Old 03-04-2003, 06:07 AM   #1
KPaulCook
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Default The I(inline-4)mpire Strikes Back

For all you twin fans who were cheering the Valencia Ducati Cup (WSB) results. Now you are going to see what an inline 4 can do in the right hands and on a more level playing field.
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Old 03-04-2003, 06:49 AM   #2
layback
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Default Re: The I(inline-4)mpire Strikes Back

I hear ya Kpaul , I'd love to see the suzy 1000 beat all of the twins, I wanna get one myself.

Go Mat
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Old 03-04-2003, 08:05 AM   #3
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Default Re: The I(inline-4)mpire Strikes Back

I wonder what an inline four can do with YOU riding it? Probably less that if you were on a twin, which shows which one you should be on, and not Mladin.
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Old 03-04-2003, 08:22 AM   #4
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Default Tire Developments

Dunlop have just announced that they will not provide special qualifying tires for Daytona or the remainder of the AMA series CLICK HERE FOR STORY.



I wonder if this is a trend. Reportedly, Michelin has declined to provide qualifying tires for any of the MotoGP winter tests, including the IRTA tests in Jerez and Estoril. There is a possibility that Honda MAY have had a few, but Yamaha, Ducati and Aprilia teams have confirmed that all tests to date were on race tires only.



We may be seeing an informal agreement among the tire manufacturers to eliminate the cost of providing special qualifying tires -- team managers would likely also approve, provided that everyone was in the same boat, as qualifying tires typically require different settings.



Bob
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Old 03-04-2003, 08:42 AM   #5
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Default Re: The I(inline-4)mpire Strikes Back

If you believe all the press releases spewing out of Mladin's shop, you would think they already have the title, or at least the race, sewn up and may as well cancel the race and replace it with parade laps for the Harley guys who are in town for the festivities.



If the big gixxer is, in fact, that fast, I will be hoping that Yates is up to kicking his teammate's ass, because I really don't want to see Mat win again. Taleted rider, but a real jerk!



It will be interesting to watch and compare how the AMA rules compare to the WSB rules. WSB allows almost unlimited internal mods, then makes the big 4s breath through a straw, while AMA limits internal mods but leaves breathing pretty much open.



My impression is that the AMA gixxers are producing more power than Lavilla's WSB bike. On the other hand, the heavier rotating mass (no crank or rod lightening allowed by AMA) will make the motor rev up slower, as well as probably making it harder to turn.



From reports I have read elsewhere, this is a bigger limitation for the R1 and the 954 than for the gixxer, as the gixxer apparently comes from the factory with a very light crank.



Should be an interesting season.



Bob
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Old 03-04-2003, 08:58 AM   #6
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Default Re: The I(inline-4)mpire Strikes Back

I'll still be rooting for Gobert so we can have another season of bleating about "unfairness." I think Daytona will be a tough place for the Duc though since it is a high speed track.



Perhaps the Duc will be easier on the tires. Bob do you know why the 999 isn't being raced in AMA Superbike?
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Old 03-04-2003, 09:43 AM   #7
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Default Re: The I(inline-4)mpire Strikes Back

As I recall GoShow WAS pretty quick in Daytona testing earlier, so maybe it isn't totally out of the question.



It looks like Ducati are being really stingy with the 999s -- WSB only has the 2, for the factory team. The HMPlant team (Hodgson's old team) apparently got Troy, Ruben and Ben's 2002 bikes and many of the rest were on 2001 spec 996s.



My guess is that it comes down to money. They have megabuck already invested in bikes that are only marginally different from the latest factory bikes and to provide the newest stuff to private teams, they would likely have to subsidise the price (for example, reportedly US Honda and Erion here bought the RC51s outright for far less than the annual lease payment that HRC charged to the WSB Castrol team last year -- which I hear is also the reason there are no private RC51s in WSB this year -- or last year).



The 999s did look better than the 998s at Valencia, but the extent to which that is because they have the 2 best riders and the best teams, vs inherent superiority of the 999 is not clear.



Cheers

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Old 03-04-2003, 12:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: What about Gobert

Can anybody tell me if they think a Duc can last 200 miles? That might be what decides whether KPaul's in-lines do win or not if the Honda guys fall by the wayside too. I have no doubt Mladin's bike will go the distance unless he crashes.

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Old 03-04-2003, 02:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: What about Gobert

That is the question. Ducatis have usually been fast at Daytona, but 200 mi of racing, plus the extended time at full speed every lap are unique conditions in the world of superbike racing, and they have had more than their share of DNFs.



Durability of Ducati race motors has improved considerably, but at Daytona, it still could be an issue.



As much as I hate to admit it, Mladin is looking good for the fast time, and if he can manage tire wear and get any lucky breaks, for the win.



Bob
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Old 03-04-2003, 02:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: The I(inline-4)mpire Strikes Back

Interesting article from AMASuperbike.com by a former Vance & Hines crewchief discussing pros and cons of the different AMA configurations.



CLICK HERE FOR STORY



Be interesting to see if his predictions pan out.
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