Big changes are coming to the MotoAmerica racing series for next year! They have announced there will be changes to its class structure for the 2018 season with the addition of three new classes and the rethinking of two others.
First, what is going away: The 2018 season will see the demise of Superstock 1000 and Superstock 600 with those two classes no longer incorporated into the Motul Superbike and Supersport classes. The Motul Superbike class will be just that beginning in 2018, Superbikes only. The official explanation given for this change is help fans avoid confusion with regard to what rider is racing in a given class. It is a valid point – with the Superstock bikes being run at the same time as the premier class, there often just isn’t a great degree of separation between them. Not having two classes on the track at the same time makes sense. The Stock 1000 class becomes the feeder to Superbike, giving riders a chance to gain experience on the liter class machines. Continue reading
During Sunday morning’s warm up for the 600cc machines we had another bike on fire incident, this time involving Michael Gilbert (55). Gilbert had a low-side get off that of course wasn’t great for him, but not anything that likely would have prevented him from taking the track later in the day. However shortly after the bike was moved a fuel tank leak resulted in the motorcycle catching on fire.
This was the third motorcycle to catch on fire during this weekend races here at Barber during the final round of MotoAmerica’s season. David Anthony and Josh Hayes also ended up with their own machines in flames the previous day. Needless to say it has been a rather dramatic weekend so far.
Michael appeared uninjured when I spoke with him a but later on after the crash but I know this was a big disappointment for him. It was for me too as I’ve been following his progress this year and was hoping to see him on the podium in person this weekend instead of reading about it later. With any luck I’ll get to see Michael on the podium next year as he told me he will be coming back. Looking forward to seeing you there again soon, Michael.
The sad aftermath of Gilbert’s (55) bike after catching fire.
Saturday’s 600 and 1000cc races resulted in some unfortunate crashes. In the 600 class Shane Richardson (26) and Max Fernandez (128) collided in turn 5 resulting in both riders going off the track. Max comes off his bike pretty early on while Shane seems somehow to come out of and then land (nearly) back in his seat during the slide off the track. Both riders escaped receiving major injuries. The somewhat blurry sequence of images below gives you an idea.
In the second lap of the 1000cc race for the afternoon, Sylvain Barrier (28) had highside going into turn 5. You can see below where his rear tire is heavily loaded up and the front looks very light. The next frame shows the bike tossing Barrier into the air to eventually land just ahead of his machine in the grass and gravel. Sylvain stayed down after coming to a stop in the gravel trap and was taken away on a backboard in the ambulance. We understand this morning that he is already back here at the track and he might have a fracture in the foot. Hopefully that is the extent of his injuries as from my angle it looked like it could have been a lot worse.
The above crash brought the race to a stop but the drama didn’t stop there. The second start of the race had David Anthony (25) and Josh Hayes (4) both having crashes with Anthony’s bike reaching the airwall after the first turn and promptly catching on fire. I understand that the fuel pump may have kept pumping and sprayed fuel spreading the fire in the space including onto the airwall catching it on fire as well. Bother riders escaped any serious injury but the stopped the race again and set us up for a third start.
From the third start the race proceeded to the end with Roger Hayden (95) taking the win followed by Matthew Scholtz (11) and Josh Herrin (2) in second and third respectively. Toni Elias (24) managed a fourth place finish despite an off in Turn 5. Looking at the sequence of images below you can see his left foot hanging off free from the peg. His foot can be seen nearly dragging the ground and then he goes into a low-side carrying him into the gravel trap. Elias is quickly back up on his bike and is soon back on the track to make his fourth place finish.
We’re off to a cloudy start this morning here at Barber for the final round of MotoAmerica road racing this weekend. Kevin and I are here to get some photos and capture some interviews (and watch some motorcycles go roundy roundy). This is always a fun weekend for us as we get to be right in the thick of motorsport and get the view from behind the scenes behind our favorite sport.
Here Kevin contemplates the object in front of him. Yes, it is a motorcycle Kevin! Good job 🙂
It is with a heavy heart that I pass on the news that Barry Boone, the voice of AMA Racing, host of Talking Motorcycles, and all around great guy has passed away. Barry was an incredible advocate of everything motorcycle and was one of the most down to earth people I ever had the pleasure of meeting. I had the good fortune to hang out with Barry and friends after a day of covering the racing at Barber Motorsports park and it was great to hear him share stories from his past.
Barry took the time to talk to us “small potato” media types and even was kind enough to give a shout out to our site during a race weekend at Barber. He even took the time to talk with us on camera for an interview (see below).
Heading to Barber this weekend will be bittersweet as even though Barry had stepped away from the mic since the start of MotoAmerica, I still hear his voice echoing throughout the facility when I’m there.
I often find that many people have a fear of riding in the rain. What would you do if you are caught out in the rain while riding or are forced to ride through rain for one reason or another? Are you ready? Can you handle it? How can you prepare for when that happens?
This may sound funny, but if you want to be ready for a given situation you need to practice. I find when teaching that riding in the rain is one of a rider’s biggest fears many of my students face. One of the reasons I don’t mind teaching the basic level or really any rider training in the rain is that it can be very beneficial. The students will end up learning so much more than when learning in clear and sunny weather. They learn right from the beginning that riding in the rain is possible and that they can control the bike.
Most motorcycle riders will tell you that riding is great experience. Words like “blast”, “exhilarating” and yes, “fun” are terms often used to describe the joy that is motorcycle riding. So why is it many new riders will confess that riding a motorcycle can be a scary and intense activity?
One reason that comes to mind is experience or, in the case of the new rider, lack thereof. Let’s look at why.
In my previous installment of Risky Business, I looked at being vigilant and acutely aware of the hazards when riding on the street. This time let’s take a look from the other perspective, making yourself visible to other vehicles on the streets with you.
How often have you heard someone involved in an crash say “I never saw the other driver, rider, etc”. More often that you would think, this is actually a true statement. The driver may have actually been looking right at motorcycle and their brain never registered the bike as an object to avoid or be concerned with.
Drivers can get used to just looking for cars and other hazards on the road. Let’s face it, motorcycles just aren’t as plentiful on the roads as cars and trucks. It’s hard for some motorcyclists to understand this but as riders, we often take note of other bikes. Being on a bike seems to make us “tuned in” to see other bikes where drivers of cars simply aren’t.
So what can one do as a rider to mitigate this phenomenon? Let’s learn how to be seen. The following are some ways to improve your visibility on the road.
A modest sized tailbag that can still manage to enclose a full-face helmet when expanded, the Ogio Moto Sport tail bag is a great way to add storage to your ride. The attachment system is very flexible making it easy to adapt to most any bike with a passenger seat.
The overall construction is very robust and an included rain cover rounds out the features that make this bag a good deal for its sub $100.00 price point. Check out the full review over at webBikeWorld.com.
Right after I finished this review it turns out that these bags are in short supply so if you’re interested in one of these I’d pick one up ASAP! from Amazon. If you miss it MotorcycleGear.com tells me that more will be coming in Early September (link below).
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