Clément Desalle renews his contract with KRT

The Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team is pleased to confirm that Clément Desalle will enter his fifth consecutive season with the team in the 2020 FIM MXGP Motocross World Championship. The Belgian GP is one of the ‘home GPs’ for the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team, and last weekend both Clément Desalle and Julien Lieber […]

The post Clément Desalle renews his contract with KRT appeared first on .

The Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team is pleased to confirm that Clément Desalle will enter his fifth consecutive season with the team in the 2020 FIM MXGP Motocross World Championship.

The Belgian GP is one of the ‘home GPs’ for the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team, and last weekend both Clément Desalle and Julien Lieber visited the team in Lommel. Both riders are currently recovering from their injuries, and had the opportunity to meet the team members and guests during two days alongside Tommy Searle; the British rider was forced to withdraw from racing after the first practice session as his right hand, injured one week earlier in the Czech Republic, was too painful.

This weekend was a good opportunity for Clément to meet with KRT team owner Thierry Chizat Suzzoni and Kawasaki Europe race manager Steve Guttridge to sign his contract for next season as all parties want to continue their successful partnership. “I never had any doubt about my future; I know where I want to go, I know what to expect and for me there was no reason to stop my career after my injury! I have a good feeling when I practice in different sports, and I still have a huge motivation. I know that even if the level of my rivals is very high I can battle for the win, and when I’m at the start gate my goal is always to win. And I have a great feeling with the team; you need a good team and a good bike to win, and I have all of this with KRT where they offer me great working conditions,” explained Clément, who already commenced a new stage in his recovery programme a few weeks ago. “I got the green light from my doctor to start riding my bicycle on asphalt, and in a few weeks I will be back on my mountain bike, then my enduro bike and finally my motocross bike. It’s great to be able to have some activities, and it’s a good mental stimulation; after my knee injury earlier this season the goal was to be back racing as soon as possible, but after this injury in Russia I knew that it would take a fairly long time as I couldn’t do any activities for several weeks. The goal has always been to take the necessary time to be back at 100%, so I have not set a specific date for my comeback,” added Clément, who was watching his first MXGP race for some time. “Of course it’s difficult to watch the races on television as you would like to be in action on your bikeWe’re used to a very intense life; at each race we produce a lot of adrenaline and I’m missing that so much!” he concluded at the end of a weekend in which he was happy to spend time with his second “family” – the Green one!

Thierry Chizat Suzzoni (KRT team owner): “It’s great news for us to sign with Clément for a fifth season in Green and we are really happy to continue working with him. He knows our staff and our bike perfectly and we appreciate both the man and the rider. This season was disrupted with injuries, including the last one in Russia, but his motivation remains the same and we’ll do our best to give him every chance to score many more wins together with KRT.”

Steve Guttridge (KME Race Manager): “Clement fits with the team, their work methods, goals and drive perfectly and so his evaluation and good comments on improving the performance of his race bike at MXGP level has contributed a lot to helping us to produce the excellent new KX450 models that our customers are enjoying so much! His performances this season when fit were World class again so we are very happy that he remains with Kawasaki continuously next season.”

The post Clément Desalle renews his contract with KRT appeared first on .

SYM ORBIT II – Set yourself on an Orbit, an Orbit to Freedom

Article by Bjorn Moriera / ZA BIkers For the past month, I have been riding the Orbit II as my daily commute and to some surprise, this little squirt has come to impress me. Gas and go is what these bikes are all about, they are very simple and easy to ride. Scooters are an […]

The post SYM ORBIT II – Set yourself on an Orbit, an Orbit to Freedom appeared first on SYM South Africa.

Article by Bjorn Moriera / ZA BIkers

For the past month, I have been riding the Orbit II as my daily commute and to some surprise, this little squirt has come to impress me. Gas and go is what these bikes are all about, they are very simple and easy to ride.

Scooters are an easy way to get into motorcycling, there are no “Egotistical” stereotypes attached to riding a scooter, unlike some other categories of biking.

For newcomers, that are wanting to swing there leg over a bike for the first time, these factors can be intimidating or even off-putting when considering where to start with their two-wheeled journey. With more and more online product videos showcasing stunt riders popping wheelies and sliding bikes in and out of twisty corners, I believe that these videos are only attracting the more experienced rider and not people wanting to get into riding for the first time.

This is not the case with Scooters. Scooters portray their own image which is a much friendlier and a more approachable entry into motorcycling. From the conversations that I’ve had, I found that women riders especially seem head over heels in love with scooters, or as they explain it, they are prettier, cuter and cuddlier than road bikes.

Beginner riders that I have spoken to tell me that they feel much more confident starting to ride on a scooter as they are generally much lighter and lower to the ground versus a standard road bike.

A Scooter. It’s the motorcycle that you can bring home to your parents or partner without fear. I only started realising all of this once I began to ride and mix with the Scooteristi, and I now agree with them completely.

The SYM Orbit II has been around now for a few years and for a good reason too.

My daily commute to the office and back is approximately 40km and on this journey, the Orbit II is faced with main road speeds, tight back road bends, and a gnarly Solomon Mahlangu uphill. Although little, the single-cylinder, 125cc, Carburetored power plant, pulls me along with all my luggage just fine.

The Orbit II is in no way, shape, or form a highway missile, it’s happy at 60km/h and it will do 80km/h on a decent stretch of tarmac. If you ride like a Kamikaze pilot then you can max out at around the 90km/h mark. But I do not suggest that you try this.

SYM’s Orbit II is undoubtedly designed for daily use, especially for those seeking agility and ease when commuting in the city. Its 12-inch mags and light body give you the easiest rideability within the traffic. With 5.2L of fuel capacity at my disposal, the little Orbit managed to get 166km (31.9km/L) of range before having its last cough.

One thing to keep in mind, I only weigh 70kg’s and when I popped a friendly pillion on the back my fuel economy went from 166km (31.9km/L) to a still very impressive 118km (22.6km/L), with myself and pillion weighing in at a high 120kg’s.

The one event I enjoy attending, is the monthly “ICE CREAM, COFFEE & RIDES”, which takes place at the Corner Shop in Waterkloof Heights, Pretoria. This event attracts classic cars, motorcycles and an array of personalities that just want to eat good food and talk about their rides. I decided to hop on the Orbit with my sidekick Meredith and I headed out to the “Corner Shop”, for a fantastic social evening. Parking the Orbit alongside a vast array of classic Vespa’s and Lambretta’s, the crowd on that evening kindly nodded and embraced this newcomer into the local Pretoria scoot scene.

One thing that pleases me, is that although the Orbit II was designed for daily use, the designers at SYM did not compromise on the Orbit’s visually pleasing aesthetics.

Whilst chomping down my pizza, I couldn’t help but notice the crystal or rather diamond-shaped headlights on the Orbit II, which just brings forth such a sophisticated and classy look to this urban commute.

This may be a personal opinion, but when I am approached by random civilians and Scooteristi whilst on my Orbit around town, thumbs are always a-blazing, left, right and centre. So it seems that others do share the same opinions as me.

Like I said in the beginning; the Orbit II has impressed me a lot, and I didn’t expect it to, because I have heart-shaped eyes for the stylish SYM Jet14. I’m happy to tell you that the Orbit II is just as capable and at least to me aesthetically too. The Orbit II has plenty of luggage carrying capacity which for myself was great to store my personal things such as; groceries, work bag, gym-wear, etc…

The seat is ejected by a cleverly positioned switch on the left-hand side switchgear and right in front of you, you will see a retro-styled speedometer. Fuel calculations need a friendly calculator’s assistance. Smartphone to the rescue. Even better, use the grey matter between your ears for a change!

Practicality is key to us commuters, and SYM has gone the extra mile by adding an attractive tinted screen, luggage rack, and a centre stand. I do have a bit of negative feedback to give, the Orbit II doesn’t have a brake lock, so what that means is that you are forced to park it on its centre stand for most situations.

SYM’s Orbit II is the scooter that responds to the needs of those who are on the move. Agile, aesthetically captivating, and able to be a friendly companion during the most challenging days. I found that the Orbit is always ready to tackle city roads, and with that being said, the Orbit II can be your friendly companion for a mere R14 995.

But wait for a second, SYM understands that there are different strokes for different folks, so if you need more luggage space and you are afraid the suspension won’t cope, well that’s where the X-Pro 125 comes in. The X-Pro has the same looks as the Orbit II, it differs with two extra features. Firstly, it comes with a top box plate and secondly it comes fitted with twin shocker suspension, as opposed to the stylish single-sided swingarm you get on the Orbit II. There is however an extra R4 000 (RRP = R18 995) to pay for these extra features, which in the big scheme of things is really not too bad.

In closing, I can also report that the Orbit II has never let me down, as far as reliability goes, I personally think that for R14 995 it is really good value for money.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

The post SYM ORBIT II – Set yourself on an Orbit, an Orbit to Freedom appeared first on SYM South Africa.

Victorious Suzuka 8 Hours For KRT As SRC Kawasaki France Wins The Championship!

After a truly epic and finally dramatic contest the Kawasaki Racing Team Suzuka 8 Hours squad took the race victory on their Ninja ZX-10RR, securing Kawasaki’s first win at this highly prestigious event since 1993. There was double joy for Kawasaki as the FIM World Endurance Championship title went to the Team SRC Kawasaki France […]

The post Victorious Suzuka 8 Hours For KRT As SRC Kawasaki France Wins The Championship! appeared first on .

After a truly epic and finally dramatic contest the Kawasaki Racing Team Suzuka 8 Hours squad took the race victory on their Ninja ZX-10RR, securing Kawasaki’s first win at this highly prestigious event since 1993. There was double joy for Kawasaki as the FIM World Endurance Championship title went to the Team SRC Kawasaki France squad, after they posted a 12th place finish in the final race of the season.

Forming a two-rider team in the race the experienced Suzuka 8 Hours duo of Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam took turns to take on the serious competition that had been evident from the very first laps, as the first-time 8 Hours rider Toprak Razgatlioglu played his role as reserve rider.

Having made their Le Mans-style start from second place on the grid the early action in the race was incredibly tight for Jonathan and Leon, with KRT third after the first hour – at which point five different teams were covered by just 0.795 seconds.

The KRT riders led after four hours, after five, then six, and then again at the seven hour point.

With Haslam struggling with recent injuries in the final laps of his riding stints Rea, the four-time WorldSBK champion for Kawasaki, re-took the lead in the very last session and looked destined to secure the win for KRT.

In an unbelievable turn of bad luck Rea arrived on another machine’s oil spill in the gloomy and damp conditions that arrived just as the daylight was exhausted. He fell, blamelessly, but was unable to restart.

At that stage the dream of a famous race victory seemed gone and the official Yamaha team were initially declared winners after a red flag was thrown because of the oil.

Despite missing out on the initial podium ceremony, and after a long period of time, the results were amended by the race organisers to put the number 10 Kawasaki back on top. In the final reckoning KRT won the race by 18.720 seconds from Yamaha, with three teams in all on the same lap total of 216.

Even before the final race classification was determined the Number 11 Team SRC Kawasaki France entry of Jeremy Guarnoni, Erwan Nigon and David Checa had already won the FIM Endurance World Championship title outright for the Team SRC Kawasaki France outfit.

Although they lost one place from their immediate Suzuka classification of 11th, to finish an official 12th in the race, their closest rivals Suzuki Endurance Racing Team suffered a technical retirement.

The next-closest team to SRC entering the final round, F.C.C TSR Honda France, could not make up enough points today to deprive the French based Ninja ZX-10RR squad of a famous World Championship success.

After leading but then finishing a disappointed seventh at the Bol d’Or championship opener, the SRC 2018/2019 championship winning season included a race win at the iconic Le Mans 24 Hours race in April.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “I cannot believe what is happening really. From being dejected and feeling that everything was out of our hands, I had already gone back to the hotel, said goodbye to all the guys, with lots of tears. I was in the restaurant already, ordering dinner, when my mechanic Uri called me and said, ‘Hey, are you sitting down?’ I thought he was going to ask me to go to another restaurant – but he then told me we had won the 8 Hours. I think common sense prevailed in that one. I have no words because I am really emotional and happy. The strategy was to work on fuel consumption and race consistency and make no mistakes. I feel we executed that quite well although I got quite tired and cramped at the end. But we prepared the best way possible with the limited time we had. I am so proud to be part of the project and what an effort from KRT, KHI, KMJ who prepared for this race in two tests. During the race it is like hell, the hardest race you can ever imagine, but getting a result like this almost makes me want to come back for more. The emotional roller coaster is unreal.”

Leon Haslam, stated: “From everyone being in tears to getting the news sitting in a restaurant that we actually did win it, I have no words to describe how I feel. The Suzuka 8 Hours is always one of the hardest races of the year. The effort we put in to win, from us, the team and Kawasaki means it has been a big roller coaster of emotion. When the oil went down and the situation happened at the end; words cannot describe the lows we had. But when the good news came through, the highs were just as high. In the second half of each stint I really struggled physically but the bike was working well. I am so happy and I want to thank Kawasaki for this opportunity; also the whole team, Toprak and Johnny, and we pushed as hard as we could. It is a shame that we did not get to stand on the top of the podium but the result is in and we have won the Suzuka 8 Hours.”

Toprak Razgatlioglu, stated; “Today I am very tired after watching the race for eight hours! But I am very happy for Johnny and Leon because that was an incredible job today. We are all happy and thank you to everyone. For me this was my first time here – and our team won.”

Guim Roda, KRT Team manager, stated: “This race has been outstanding and I think for the public, the fans and everyone it has been the most incredible Suzuka 8 Hours. Yamaha, Honda and Kawasaki – the riders and the factories – have been amazing everybody and they all saw a great race. The best point is that we finally got the victory after Johnny made an incredible last riding stint. The strategy we planned was very good so at the end we got the victory.”

TEAM SRC KAWASAKI FRANCE QUOTES

Jeremy Guarnoni, stated: “It is unbelievable to win the championship and for me it has been the first time that I have done the full season – and we won it. We deserve it because after the Bol d’Or it was a really difficult moment for the team and me – for my head. Of course we are a bit lucky at the end but we deserve it because we made the job in Le Mans and I have two unbelievable team-mates. The team itself and the bike were – all season – really good. This weekend was a bit more difficult but Suzuka is always a strange race. We are really happy.”

Erwan Nigon, stated: “What a race and what a championship also. We had all weather conditions, 24-hour races are hard and early in the 2018/2019 season we had a victory at Le Mans which is always a good sign for the rest of the championship. We pushed a lot all through this year and in the end we won the championship. First time for me and I want to say thanks to the team because they worked a lot all winter to adjust the bike to make good race settings. Many thanks to my partners, my family and my incredible team-mates. We are friends also so it is a really good feeling to win it with them.”

David Checa, stated: “I do not know what to say. In my first year with Kawasaki and Gilles’s team I am world champion again. It is like a dream. When you change a team it is not easy, when you change a brand it is not easy, but my team and my team-mates did a really good job. The atmosphere in the team is incredible. We are friends and for me this is the main point. When we talk and share everything for sure you push more. I believed that we could win the championship all year. The Bol d’Or was frustrating because we had a problem two hours from the end but we continued to believe. When you dream, and believe, the dream can come true – and we are world champions. Now I want to win the next Bol d’Or for Kawasaki, my team-mates and my team. We are world champions today but we have to think of the future and that future now is the Bol D’Or.”

Gilles Staffler, SRC Team Manager, stated: “We are very happy, the riders made a really good job, my team too, and it is fantastic. To win the title was a dream for us and Kawasaki and all the sponsors. It is a great day.”

#NinjaSpirit

#KRTSuzuka8Hours2019

The post Victorious Suzuka 8 Hours For KRT As SRC Kawasaki France Wins The Championship! appeared first on .

Suzuki Riders Take To The Stage At The SUZUKA 8 Hours

Team Suzuki Press Office • Typhoon #6 causes Top-10 Trial cancellation. • Friday’s results stand for tomorrow’s start. • Suzuki Teams take to the stage and meet fans. Typhoon #6…

The post Suzuki Riders Take To The Stage At The SUZUKA 8 Hours appeared first on Suzuki Motorcycles.

Team Suzuki Press Office • Typhoon #6 causes Top-10 Trial cancellation. • Friday’s results stand for tomorrow’s start. • Suzuki Teams take to the stage and meet fans. Typhoon #6...

The post Suzuki Riders Take To The Stage At The SUZUKA 8 Hours appeared first on Suzuki Motorcycles.

Kawasaki’s Suzuka 8Hours Story – a new chapter approaches

The finale of the FIM World Endurance Championship – the Coca-Cola Suzuka 8-Hours – will shortly take place at the classic Japanese circuit, with the Kawasaki Racing Team Suzuka 8 Hours effort currently making its approach to race day itself on Sunday July 28. Under the relatively recent changes to the shape of the entire […]

The post Kawasaki’s Suzuka 8Hours Story – a new chapter approaches appeared first on .

The finale of the FIM World Endurance Championship – the Coca-Cola Suzuka 8-Hours – will shortly take place at the classic Japanese circuit, with the Kawasaki Racing Team Suzuka 8 Hours effort currently making its approach to race day itself on Sunday July 28.

Under the relatively recent changes to the shape of the entire EWC calendar the Suzuka 8 Hours will truly will be a finale. Unlike other FIM World Championship series the EWC is run from the middle of each calendar year to the middle of the next – making this year’s championship a fight for the 2018/2019 crown. Currently Team SRC Kawasaki France is leading the championship, with the intention of getting the ultimate job done in a few days’ time.

As well as being the championship decider in modern times the mystique and status of the Suzuka 8 Hours as a stand-alone event mean it is something of a living motorsports legend. It is such a landmark on the calendar that frequently one of the first questions star riders from other global and domestic championships are asked in winter testing is “Are you doing ‘The 8 Hours’?” Everybody knows what you mean – even when other EWC events on the calendar are also raced over an eight-hour duration.

This year, on the Number 10 ‘Kawasaki Racing Team Suzuki 8 Hours’ Ninja ZX-10RR, four-time WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea, reigning BSB Champion and serial WorldSBK podium rider Leon Haslam, and WorldSBK independent rider points leader Toprak Razgatlioglu will combine to form something of a dream team. This season the official Kawasaki effort has been reorganized with several KRT WorldSBK technical staff members joining the home-based KHI staff – all sharing the clear view of winning the race for Kawasaki for the first time since 1993.

The ambition to score the outright win is evident and understandable. It is the race that all the Japanese factories in particular want to take more than any other, combining as it does a short enough overall duration to make it almost a sprint race, but also providing a test of machinery over eight steamy and challenging hours at the height of the punishing Japanese summer.

Started in daylight but finishing in the dark, it is a huge racing challenge for manufacturers, riders and teams to undertake. The uniquely-designed 5.821km long circuit comprises a figure eight, with a tunnel and a bridge section, all of which contribute to the complexities that have to be overcome to win this iconic contest.

Kawasaki has been at the forefront of competition since the very first Suzuka 8 Hours race in 1978. In that first year Kawasaki finished on the podium first time out. New Zealander Graeme ‘Croz’ Crosby and Australia’s Tony Hatton took their Yoshimura Racing Group Kawasaki Z1 to third place.

In those early days teams arrived with all kinds of machinery, not all of it strictly production-derived. A Yamaha TZ750 finished second in 1978; a Kawasaki Z750 placed fifth for the Kobe Supersports Team and its two local riders, Masaki Tokuno and Hiroshi Iwamichi. The wonderfully named Hamamatsu Escargot (escargot is French for snail…) overcame their own kind of capacity disadvantage, not to mention their own name, to finish 12th on a CB400. Even small capacity two-strokes also made up many places in the high end of the midfield. At the other end of the scale a CBX1200 – from ‘Team CBX’ finished 11th. Kawasaki’s Sugiyama Cycle Shop, running a Z920, was a first year entry, finishing in 13th overall, and the Z650-equipped Kinomi Racing team was just one place behind.

The mix of full factory teams (with GP-level riders often drafted in) taking on some very privateer efforts (with keen locals and often some eclectic choices of machinery), would continue long into the next few years. At the same time, however, the Suzuka 8 Hours was already a very serious business for all the Japanese manufacturers, who would ring fence some very heavy racing investments for their own ‘race-within-a-championship’ weekend that continue to this day.

Often factory efforts would take on two or three guises, some introducing an international element, several enjoying a technical co-operation with tuning companies like Yoshimura or Moriwaki, plus ‘foreign’ teams from National or International competition would bring their own fresh outsiders’ view into the Suzuka fishbowl. Even with the strongest efforts, success is never guaranteed in endurance racing, but in 1980 the official Team Kawasaki squad took Gregg Hansford and Eddie Lawson (yes, that Eddie Lawson) to the runner-up spot – within a mere 40 seconds of the win.

The breakthrough Kawasaki Suzuka 8 Hours race victory came in 1993, when Kawasaki legends Scott Russell and Aaron Slight rode their ITOH HAM Racing Kawasaki ZXR-7 into history, heading up a quality field of rival machines. And not to forget some truly superstar names such as Eddie Lawson, Takuma Aoki, Michael Doohan, Daryl Beattie, Alex Barros, Peter Goddard, Kenny Roberts Jnr., Robbie Phillis… Nothing underlines the idea of how big the Suzuka 8 Hours had grown by that stage than the roll call of names drafted in to give each manufacturer the chance of winning. 120,000 people witnessed the success America’s Russell and New Zealand’s Slight enjoyed that year on their Kawasaki, in what was and is the most Japanese race meeting it is possible to imagine.

Now with SRC Kawasaki France riding high in the overall championship points, and the KRT Rea, Haslam and Razgatlioglu trio looking to take their Ninja ZX-10RR to the very top in a few days’ time, all eyes will be focused on the green pit boxes. The anticipation and expectation is growing with every second now, but at least we do not have long to wait. Just until July 28, 11.30 local time in Japan, to be precise.

ENDS…. for now

The post Kawasaki’s Suzuka 8Hours Story – a new chapter approaches appeared first on .