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rsheidler 03-03-2003 08:43 AM

Ducati Wins @ Valencia ON LEVEL PLAYING FIELD!
I donÂ’t know anyone who defends the current WSB rules. Nobody outside of NASCAR really wants to see restrictors to "equalize" everyone, and they waited so late to finalize the rules for 2003 that there was almost no development time for anyone to produce a competitive 1-liter 4.

Meanwhile, at least for the European WSB rounds, there is a support class where 1000 cc fours compete head-to-head with the big twins on a level playing field. This is the European Superstock series. Unlike Superbikes, where, for example, Colin EdwardsÂ’ 2002 championship-winning Honda is estimated to have cost $500,000 and bears about as much resemblance to the RC-51 you might buy at your local Honda dealer as Dale Earnhardt JrÂ’s race car does to anything at your local Chevy dealer, Superstocks are actually are very similar to what you might buy.

This is not an FIM class, so I have been unable to locate the official rules; however, I have been informed by some of my European friends that it operates under rules essentially the same as the FIM Supersport rules, except for the 1000 cc limit in place of the 600cc limit.

If so, this essentially limits chassis modifications to shock replacement and fork revalving, and engine modifications to exhaust system, carb jetting/efi remapping, and milling of cylinder deck and head. Oh yeah, they also must run DOT tires.

This is much different from WSB where replacement swingarms and wheels are allowed, along with lightened cranks, replacement (Ti) rods and pistons, larger valves, porting, replacement camshafts etc – other than changing bore/stroke etc, internal modifications are given virtually free reign in WSB.

At the opening round, the fastest qualifier was Alfonsi Lorenzo on an R1. His time of 1Â’39.863 would have been good enough to qualify 23rd for the Superbike event. Suzuki GSX 1000Rs took the next 3 places, followed by a Ducati 999S. Quickest Honda was way back in 19th and there were no Kawasakis entered. For qualifying results CLICK HERE

In the race, the R1s and gixxers faded as their tires wore out, while Lanzi Lorenzo, on the 999S actually got faster, turning a 1Â’39.685 on the penultimate lap, for a new Superstock lap record, to take the win. For race results CLICK HERE

So much for V-Twins being obsolete.


rsheidler 03-03-2003 08:54 AM

Blown Links
Sorry, I messed up the hyperlinks -- try these:



seruzawa 03-03-2003 09:19 AM

Re: One word for you
What about Honda's innately superior own homegrown V-Twin?

Can't win without major factory support, that's what.

That a pipsqueek poorly managed company like Ducati can compete at all says all you need to know about Honda's innate superiority.

It's the Golden Rule: He who has the gold makes the rules.

rsheidler 03-03-2003 09:22 AM

600 Supersport
OK, we don't get to see them on SpeedTV (anybody out there have any pull with SpeedTV?) dut did anyone pay attention to the 600 Supersport race?

With Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki apparently pulling out all stops in producing race-ready production bikes, it seems that many had written off Suzuki's prospects for this year. If the opening round is any indication, that is a bit premature.

It looks like the contestants had also written off the little gixxer, as only one was entered. However, if one is the right one, one is all it takes. Fujiwara Katsuaki took his Alstare Suzuki to the front, after dominating qualifying.

As an aside, his qualifying time of 1'37.687 was only 1 second slower than Lavilla's Superbike qualifying time on the 1000 gixxer -- raising the question of why Suzuki, instead of whining about effin restrictor plates, didn't just throw some slicks and light wheels on the 600 for the Superbike event!

Meanwhile, the best Kawasaki was back in 11th -- guess it takes more than upsidedown forks and radial brake calipers to make a winner!


seruzawa 03-03-2003 11:53 AM

You know who you are. Gutless.

Buzglyd 03-03-2003 12:17 PM

Is it only me that is going to point this out?
One word for you?

Restrictor + plates = 2

Nice try mr engineer.


rsheidler 03-03-2003 12:53 PM

Re: Is it only me that is going to point this out?
You know about those superior engineering math skills -- gotta run this through a very complex computer model, where cummulative rounding effects came back with 1.49 words, rounded down to 1. Just counting the words is more like something a marketing guy would do.

I'm a financial guy, and former auditor, and I missed that one myself. Guess I better go back and recheck some of my work today!


rsheidler 03-03-2003 01:03 PM

Re: WSB Valencia Results
That Petronas looks like a really cool bike. Do you suppose that the street version blows flames on downshifts too?

I can't wait to see Johnny or Sean test the street version. I understand that the second batch of 75 are almost complete. The announcer quoted an estimated price of 25 grand -- unfortunately, I am sure he means Pounds Sterling not Dollars. Oh well, I can dream.

Corser looked really fast in the turns with that thing, so if they can find another 10 or so hp, it just might make a fight out of it by later this season.

I read somewhere that the reasons for the flames are:

1) the exhaust exits from the rear of the head, giving a short, straight shot to the tailpipe, and

2) the engine was overheating in certain conditions, and they deal with that by injecting excess fuel on closed throttle situations to cool it down, resulting in unburned gas igniting in the tailpipe.

Apparently in some early testing, the flames blew out 3-4 feet! Officials (and contestants) might have complained about that!


Buzglyd 03-03-2003 01:04 PM

Re: Is it only me that is going to point this out?
And me the stupid sales guy caught it.

cyclesteve 03-03-2003 01:29 PM

Re: WSB Valencia Results
This series is on the way to being as relevant as the AMA 750 class with all Suzuki.

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