Sunday, August 23


James Hoogenbouzem, another product of the decade old Canterbury Junior racing scene, is stepping up to the Superbike class for 2016.

The 25-year-old duelled with younger brother Alastair for much of this year's 600 Supersport Championship only to end up third in the title chase when Auckland's Toby Summers turned in a blinding performance at the final round at Taupo.

Now he is stepping away from the GSX-R600 Suzuki he has been racing in favour of a BMW S1000 RR.

Hoogenbouzem will be racing for the Tauranga-based M1 Motorsport team on the Valvoline-backed BMW, and will also be on Bridgestone rubber.

“I'm very excited about this great opportunity," Hoogenbouzem says. 
"I can't wait to go and do some testing and get up to speed with the M1 Motorsport BMW.  I'm really looking forward to being a part of the team and stepping up to the challenge of riding a Superbike this year. Thanks to the M1 Motorsport team and Sponsors for giving me this fantastic opportunity.”
After racing with Pirelli tyres in the past, the M1 Motorsport team is switching to Bridgestone in association with Bridgestone Tyres New Zealand.  The team use Bridgestone Battlax V02 tyres.
The V02's are built on the latest MotoGP technology and were widely used in the prestigious Coca-Cola Suzuka 8-Hour and hold the lap record which was set this year.  
“I’m quite excited to look to the future, with the development of James and a change of tyre suppliers,” M1 Motorsport manager Robert Ramshaw says.
“ I love a challenge.  If we can accomplish our goals and see James pick up a podium or two, I’ll be a happy man and I have every confidence with our race package, our support and a strong team that our goals are achievable for this season.”



Will Andrew Stroud be giving the all-new GSX-R1000 its world racing debut in New Zealand next year?
At the age of 20 Jaden Hassan became New Zealand's youngest Superbike champion earlier this year - and promptly retired to give himself a break from racing.
So Suzuki would be deprived of having the number one plate holder in action in the short New Zealand Championship spanning just two months early next year.
But what's this?  A man old enough to be Hassan's father is pulling on his body armour ready for a return to the fray.  Yes, 47-year-old father of ten Andrew Stroud will be defending Suzuki's honour in the New Zealand Superbike Championship in 2016.
After an almost 30 year career in motorcycle racing, Stroud announced his retirement in August 2013.  But he has never been far from a race track with eldest son Jacob having taken up the sport. 
"I have continued to go to race meetings anyway, helping my eldest boy (16-year-old) Jacob with his riding and racing.  During this time I have been out for an occasional ride too, just for fun, and I loved it," said Stroud.
"Jacob has been showing some promise and Suzuki have offered him a 600cc bike too, so he will be able to step up a class and it will be great for the two of us to share our experiences together.

"I have always loved racing bikes. It brings me alive like nothing else. It's an exciting sport to be in.

"The motorcycling community is like a family to me too and it will be great to join the top riders again on the race track. There are a lot of fast riders in the Superbike class.  The starting grids have not had huge numbers but the depth of talent is huge.  I don't expect anything will be easy for me."

Stroud has nine New Zealand premier class (either Formula 1 or Superbike) Championships to his name - will 2016 see him make that an even ten?

Tuesday, August 18


Andrea Iannone was hampered by a fault in his Ducati at Brno.
An admission by Ducati Corse General Manager Luigi Dall'Igna that a fault with Andrea Iannone's machine at last weekend's MotoGP race at Brno slowed his pace shows that series points leader Valentino Rossi may still have luck on his side.

Rossi has lead the MotoGP title chase since the first round at Qatar but his Movistar Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo has been recovering lost ground and by winning the race in the Czech Republic, has drawn level with the Italian at the top of the table.

In the race, Iannone on the first of the factory Ducatis, was fourth, just 2.67 seconds behind Rossi.

But according to Dall'Igna, the fault with Iannone's machine was costing him around two tenths of a second each lap.  Over 22 laps that is 4.4 seconds.

Dall'Igna said the fault was with the variable intake system that was not opening fully and thus was knocking top-end off its performance.

"Iannone did a great race, fighting right until the very end, and I am really sorry about the final result because he had a problem with the engine of his GP15 that limited the performance somewhat," Dall'Igna revealed.

"Unfortunately there was a glitch with the variable trumpet intake system and this led to the loss of some power: we calculated that Iannone probably lost a couple of tenths a lap, and so we lost a great chance to be up front and try to get onto the podium.  In any case I believe that the positive outcome of this weekend is that here at Brno we finally found our competitiveness again.  Pity about Dovizioso, who unfortunately never found the right feeling with his bike, but next week we will do a test at Misano before leaving for Silverstone, which will help us prepare for our home GP in the best possible way, and in any case we remain optimistic for the next few races.”

Andrea Dovizioso led Valentino Rossi and his team-mate Iannone early in the race.
Both Ducati Team men had positive races in the Czech Republic Grand Prix, round 11 of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship at Brno.

Iannone as mentioned was fourth while Andrea Dovizioso was sixth after holding on to fifth place until the final lap when Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa finally got by.

In the Riders’ standings, Iannone remains fourth on 142 points, while Dovizioso is still in sixth position with 104. Ducati is third in the Constructors’ table, with 167 points.

“We have to be optimistic about the result because I believe I did the best I could do," Iannone said.   "It was a race in which I could have fought for the podium and so we really have to find out what happened, seeing as my engine didn’t have as much sprint as it did during the rest of the weekend.  I was losing a lot on the straights and so I had to make up time by pushing too hard with the braking.  In any case I am pleased to have obtained this result despite the problem, because it means that we have reached an excellent set-up on my GP15.  Together with the team we have been able to improve the bike in each session and we have done an incredible job.  Finally we are back to being competitive again and this gives us a lot of motivation for the next few races.”

Doviziosi was also happy with his performance admitting that before the race he "didn’t have a great feeling with my GP15."

He said he was bothered by the bike not turning the way he wants it to.

"This is a big handicap because I am not able to push hard, and that is what happened to me today in the race<" Dovizioso said.  "Next week we will be testing at Misano which will surely also be useful to try and solve these problems.”