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Carlos Checa and Ducati 1199R Panigale lead Phillip Island World Superbike test 0

Posted on February 21, 2013 by acruhl

(Image courtesy www.crash.net)
Carlos Checa and his Ducati 1199 Panigale have done something unexpected by leading the final World Superbike test before the first race of the year this weekend at Phillip Island, Australia.

Checa and the 1199 had often been more than a second off of the leaders in previous tests, and the news from the team was not encouraging about finding a solution to this.

Perhaps it is unreasonable to expect that a completely new motorcycle and new team would have been closer to the front, but expectations have been high for the 1199 given Ducati’s and Checa’s past results.

A bit of a warning: Checa and Ducatis in general (or more generically, twin cylinder motorcycles) have been known to do well at Phillip Island, so this result might not be indicative of the future for the team. The other teams have not exactly stood still, with the possible exception of BMW, and Suzuki in particular are very optimistic about their chances. It should be a great season.

As an owner of an 1199 Panigale though, I’m thrilled as can be!

Here are some more links for you to read (thanks Mark!):

Test Results

Marco Simoncelli dies in Sepang MotoGP crash 10

Posted on October 24, 2011 by acruhl

I was going back and forth over writing something regarding the crash and subsequent death of Marco Simoncelli this past weekend. Those of you who watch the MotoGP races on TV with us know that I wasn’t his biggest fan. But I’m going to say something anyway.

I think an explanation of why I felt this way is in order before I talk about the crash.

Simoncelli was known for riding, how should we say, “at the limit of his talent or above” when he got on a MotoGP bike this year. He had some on track tangles with other riders who are more accomplished than he was, including Jorge Lorenzo and Daniel Pedrosa. In reaction, Lorenzo said something like “MotoGP is not a game”, which I translate loosely as “There are some risks which shouldn’t be taken”. And I completely agree with this. I’m a former racer, and I’ve ridden with people who didn’t take my safety, let alone their own, seriously. Motorcycle racing is dangerous. Adding a rider who is willing to put other riders at unnecessary risk for his own benefit can be a big problem, and this is why I wasn’t a fan of Simoncelli’s riding. I know there are plenty who don’t agree with me about this. What Simoncelli did to Hector Barbera a few years ago at Mugello in the 250 race was almost unthinkable.

These same riders who were victims of Simoncelli’s on track antics all had good words to say about Marco Simoncelli after his death, which speaks of him as a person more than a rider I think. He obviously was well liked off the track despite what happened on it. I never met him, but I wish I did so I could find out for myself.

How ironic is it that he was killed trying to save a crash? It’s an instinctive reaction for one’s own safety. In doing so he was hit by Valentino Rossi (probably his best friend in the paddock) and Colin Edwards. It’s something that could have happened to any rider on the track that day.

There is one situation that current technology can’t solve, and that’s when one rider is hit by another. Many other riders have been killed this way recently, including Peter Lenz, Shoya Tomizawa, and Craig Jones. It’s a risk that cannot be solved.

I really hope that there is not a knee jerk reaction to place blame for this, because there is none.

Marco Simoncelli wanted, like many other riders, too much too soon. And now he’ll never achieve what he wanted. Which is the whole point of wanting too much too soon isn’t it?

Sunday Oct 16th 2011: Ride up Kitt Peak, then MotoGP and WSBK at 5PM 0

Posted on October 13, 2011 by acruhl

Let’s ride up Kitt Peak this Sunday instead of the usual Mt. Lemmon ride.

Meet at 8:30AM on Sunday the 16th of October at the Circle K at Ajo and Kinney. From there, we’ll ride up Kitt Peak, and hang around up there for a while.

Then we’ll head down and have lunch at the same place we had it a few other times, I think it’s called Cindy Lou’s near Three Points. They do great burgers and they serve breakfast for lunch if you’d like.

MotoGP and World Superbike are on this weekend. MotoGP is at Philip Island, Australia. World Superbike is at Portimao, Portugal for the last round. Carlos Checa already won the championship on the Ducati 1098R (YES!) so there’s no pressure on him. Then again, he’s been riding all year looking like there’s no pressure on him so maybe he’ll just win both races as usual!

We’ll be meeting at O’Malley’s to watch the races, but this time it will be at 5PM instead of around lunch time. The races aren’t on TV until the middle of the afternoon on Sunday, so I figure we can watch them from the DVR at 5PM and finish all 3 races in between 2 and 2 1/2 hours. And grab something to eat while we’re at it.

As always, there’s more info at the Club Activities page.

See you this weekend!

MotoGP and Tucson Vintage Motorcyle Riders event this Sunday Aug 28th 0

Posted on August 23, 2011 by acruhl

We have a combined TVMR and DesmoSouthwest event this Sunday August 28th at O’Malley’s. We’ll be meeting at Noon. I know a lot of us in DesmoSouthwest are vintage bike fans, so this seems like a great excuse to get us all together.

MotoGP is on from Indianapolis as well. We can start the MotoGP race on the DVR whenever people think it’s a good time to start. I figure it will be somewhere between 12 and 12:30. If needed, we can show the race again to make sure everyone sees it. (*Update* – We will need to be out of the back room by 2PM for a private gathering – we can move to the patio or the front part if needed.)

The TVMR people will be bringing some nice Vintage bikes for us to look at. If you were at their last show in April, you know what I’m talking about. There is an impromptu show as well with these categories:

AMERICAN – pre-1950
BRITISH- vintage
BRITISH- modern (for you RATs)
ITALIAN (for you DESMO guys)
JAPANESE – 250cc and under
JAPANESE – over 250cc
SMOKERS- any street-going 2 stroke
CAFE’ – any marque
BOBBER – any marque
VINTAGE (Used as maker intended) – any marque

If you’ve got a bike that you think will fit into one of these categories, bring it!

Keep in mind that the parking lot is a bit tight, so it’s best to ride your bike rather than trailer it or put it in a truck if possible. If not, plan on not parking your truck or trailer close to the event just in case it gets busy.

This sound be a great event, I hope to see you all there!

More info on the Club Activities page.

Ride up Mt. Lemmon, then WSBK on TV Sun July 10th 0

Posted on July 07, 2011 by acruhl

Images courtesy www.ducati.com
World Superbike is on this weekend, this time at Brno in the Czech Republic.

Maybe Jakub Smrz will finally win a WSBK race at his home track? Or will Biaggi win as he often does at Brno because it’s his favorite track?

Let’s ride up Mt. Lemmon on Sunday since at this point the chance of rain is slightly lower than on Saturday. Meet up at LeBuzz at 7:30 AM, and we’ll leave by about 8. If people want, we can eat breakfast at the Iron Door when they open around 9, or head back down the mountain to beat the heat.

If it is raining, or rain seems imminent, I will cancel the ride for safety reasons. I’m not a huge fan of riding in the rain unless it’s at the racetrack 🙂 You are all welcome to meet up and take the ride anyway, of course.

Then we’ll meet at O’Malley’s at Noon to watch the WSBK races. They actually start at 11, but by Noon we’ll have some time to catch up to the live feed with the DVR.

More info on the Club Activities page.

See you this weekend.

2011 World Superbike season opener at Phillip Island Feb 27th 0

Posted on February 20, 2011 by acruhl

Image courtesy www.crash.net. Click it for a larger version.
The 2011 World Superbike season is upon us. The first race is on TV on February 27th at 3PM. Let’s meet up at O’Malley’s on Fourth to watch both races.

The factory Ducati team is not present this year, but #7 Carlos Checa will be back on the Althea team. His results were as good as the factory team’s last year, so he might have another really good year. Other Ducati riders this year are Jakub Smrz, Sylvain Guintoli, and Maxime Berger.

Watch your email or the Club Activities page about a possible street ride before the race.

MotoGP on TV at O’Malley’s Sunday Nov 7th 3-5 PM 0

Posted on November 06, 2010 by acruhl

Image courtesy www.crash.net.
Let’s meet up at O’Malley’s on Fourth for the MotoGP races this Sunday Nov 7th. Moto2 starts at 3PM, MotoGP at 4. Both championships are already decided which usually means the racing is really good. The top guys aren’t thinking about the championship anymore.

More info on the Club Activities page.

Hope to see you there!

October 30-31 weekend activities: Kitt Peak and MotoGP 0

Posted on October 28, 2010 by acruhl

There are a few things going on this weekend:

On Saturday Morning, let’s ride up to Kitt Peak. Meet at Renaissance Motorcycles at 9AM, then we’ll leave shortly after. Maybe 9:15 or so. Just enough time to check out the new bikes in the showroom!

On Sunday from 2 to 4 PM is MotoGP racing. MotoGP is at 2, Moto2 is at 3. Let’s watch it at O’Malley’s on Fourth.

More info on the Club Activities page.

Club ride, then MotoGP on TV Sunday Oct 10th 0

Posted on October 09, 2010 by acruhl

Image courtesy www.crash.net.
There are 2 events this Sunday October 10th:

Let’s meet up for a street ride to Mt. Lemmon tomorrow morning. Meet at Renaissance at 8AM, then leave around 8:15. We should arrive at The Iron Door restaurant around 9:30 AM. It’s going to be cool, it might be in the 40s up there.

At 2PM let’s meet at O’Malley’s on Fourth to watch MotoGP at Sepang. Moto2 starts at 2PM, then MotoGP starts at 3PM. Nicky Hayden missed out on pole by a tenth of a second, he’s in second. It’s likely that the MotoGP championship will be decided tomorrow as well.

More info on the Club Activities page.

MotoGP and World SBK on TV at O’Malleys: Sun Oct 3rd 11AM 0

Posted on October 02, 2010 by acruhl

Let’s meet up at O’Malley’s on Fourth Sunday Oct 3rd at 11AM to watch MotoGP from 11 to 12, Moto2 from 12 to 1, then both WSBK races from 1 to 3.

Ducati has had good results in the last few weeks, including a win by Stoner at Aragon and Hayden in 3rd. Checa and Haga won races in Italy and Germany as well.

More info on the Club Activities page.

Hope to see you there!

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