The penultimate week of November saw Motorcycle Live return home to the Birmingham’s NEC, filling three of the biggest halls with all that’s great within motorcycling. All the major manufactures were there, with the notable exception of MV Augusta, who were present at last year’s show. This was a little strange as MV have several new models out for 2014 including the Turismo Veloce Lusso 800, a tall-rounder aiming to take sales away from the Ducati Multi Strada and Aprilia Caponord; and their new hyper naked set to do battle with the new Monster 1200, KTM Duke 1290; the Rivale 800.
Like last year, along with all the static displays, there was lots to see and do including the live Crank’d stunt show, electric kids bikes supplied by Kuberg, the Yamaha off-road experience and not forgetting the ACU Try Trails area and the Test Ride Zone. The Behind the Bars movie was shown at regular points throughout the day and the very popular Get On Zone which is aimed at getting more people interested in riding returned for another year.
Instead of queuing with the masses, this year I was able to utilise the press area and was able to sit down, relax and plan my day. I was trying not to get distracted by the star riders who started filtering past, but it’s still funny to see John McGuiness pulling his stuff along, or Sam Lowes the new BSB champion casually drinking his Starbucks. Just before the doors opened at 10:00, I sneaked through the press door and got my first look of the show. Some exhibitors were putting the final touches to their stands, making sure everything was neat at tidy. A few were giving some team talks and Kawasaki were having photos taken of their team. It was the going to be a busy day and the start of a busy week.
Thankfully, Ducati had a much bigger stand than last year. The number of bikes on display was about the same and in typical Ducati style, their flagship Sportsbike was taking centre stage. Two £60,000 invite only 1199 Sugerleggeras were sat on a revolving platform that displayed the bike in street trim and naked form. It really is a beautiful bike and the fact it puts the already stunning 1199R to shame, goes someway to explain its astronomical price tag. Making its UK debut was the new 1200 Monster with style cues that hark back to previous versions, the bike is clearly part of Monster family and comes fitted with an exciting exhaust system that snakes its way around the front of the bike. Possibly the most anticipated bike on the Ducati stand thou was the 899. Filling the successful shoes vacated by the 848, the 899 had already received its UK premier at the final BSB round at Brands Hatch and is already available through their dealers. Other bikes on display included the Hypermotard, Hyper Strada, Diavel Strada, 696 Monster, the 1199 Panigale R and a new stealth black version of the 1199S.
The Kawasaki stand was heaving, so they must be doing something right. With the usual display of race bikes, including Chris Walkers new 2014 GB Moto machine, this year the Kawasaki full range included the new Z1000, which although is possibly the ugliest bike of 2014, is by all accounts really rather good. There really is something about Kawasaki Orange thou which I can’t quite put my finger on. The updated Z800 was getting lots of attention and so were Kawasaki’s new range of Scooters and the retro W800. Although practically unchanged, the ZZR 1400 was getting its fair share of admirers as well, but then that’s to be expected given its performance qualifications.
Honda remain the world largest bike manufacturer and judging the amount of space they were using, it really shows. Bringing back the Honda My first licence for children and an impressive café area, Honda filled their stage with an impressive range that included their updated Fireblade, the CBR600RR and they also had a comprehensive number of smaller bikes and scooters that included the Integra and the updated CBR300R. The new bikes didn’t stop there with Honda unveiling the CB650F, the Goldwing based CTX1300 and for me, the most important bike at the show, the new VFR800F.
BMW arrived at the NEC celebrating their 90th anniversary. Part of their space was taken up solely with models from their past, which included classics, Dakar bikes and even a K1. The pride in the race success of the S1000RR was also clear to see, with a collection of this year’s race bikes.
BMW also had one of the most hotly anticipated bikes on their stand and that was the S1000R, the naked version of their Superbike. It was getting a lot of attention, but people seem to forget that BMW already have a ballistic naked bike in their range, the K1300R, which I’m still very much a firm favourite of. With a couple of revised bikes like the new GS being classed as new for 2014, apart from the S1000R the only other new bike was the Nine T. The idea with this bike is that the owner is able to have the bike they want with a variety of bolt ons to suit its requirements. As a result in basic form, it’s a fraction underwhelming, but when you look closer at the bike and notice a BMW logo smack bang in the middle of the headlights, you know a lot of thought has gone into the bike.
Best of the rest
Say one thing about the big HD, they know how to put on a show. Celebrating 110 years HD displayed a small range of bikes charting their history. Although not a cruiser rider, some of these bikes were amazing. I may struggle to ride one, but I certainly wouldn’t mind having one in the house just to look at.
All the attention at the Yamaha stand was directed towards the XV950R, their take on the custom cruiser and the all new MT-09 and 07s. Despite not changing either the R6 or the R1, people was still queuing to get on board and squeeze the levers and the Yamaha stand was filled out with their range of scooters and other bikes including the V Max.
Where to start with Suzuki? Well, as far as I could tell the only new bike for 2014 was the V Strom 1000, which is a brand new model that is re-launching an old name. Their stand will filled with several bikes that are continually being revised such as the Hayabusa, the SV650 (you remember this, used to be called the Gladius), the Inazuma 250, the Intruder cruiser, which has the worse name of any bike on the market as well as the now obligatory collection of scooters. Their hospitality area did have some really nice race bikes on display but I left their stage feeling like I had already seen this range of bikes three years ago, which is sad, because they do make some great bikes. The only area of note was an area dedicated to their GP motorcycles which included the new MotoGP machine and a Kevin Schwantz racer.
KTM were again at the show. This year they brought the balls out crazy Duke 1290; a bike so mad that the prototype was named The Beast. The newish KTM Adventure was very popular with riders looking for a viable alternative to the GS, but for me, the most exciting bikes on their stage were the new RC125, 200 and 390s with sit in their Sportsbike family underneath the RC8R. Despite being clearly great bikes that look like a lot of fun and that I actually really liked them, I have to question the reasoning behind these. I can understand the 125 which will go head to head with the likes of the Yamaha R125 and the Honda CBR125R and will make a great first bike, but why produce two bikes in the 200 and the 390 to go head to head with the new Honda CBR300R and Kawasaki’s Ninja 300. The rest of the stand as expected, paid homage to their off road machinery.
Other bikes on show were supplied by the likes of CCM, Royal Enfield, Husqvarna, Norton, WK, Lifan, Aprilia, Triumph, Gas Gas, AJP, Victory and most importantly Motorcycle Live announced the return of Indian. The Indian stand was absolutely buzzing with interest and with only a very limited range of bikes available, they are taking HD on at their own game and have produced some absolutely stunning bikes. Even as a devout Sportsbike rider, I could picture myself riding one across American. That is the power of a well designed motorbike.
Ducati ECU Mapping what ECU remapping and modification is all about by Moto Rapido.
Ducati ECU Mapping: There seems to be a bit of confusion about what ECU remapping and modification is all about.. So we’ve written a little bit about it.
Systems we work with:
Magneti Marelli – Ducati OEM system and racing ECU
Mistubishi – As used on many later model Ducati motorcycles (1199 / 899 / MTS1200 etc)
MoTeC – MoTeC datalogging, ECU and Dash systems – as used on BSB Superbike and Supersport machines.
Through our workshop, we now have the ability to read and reprogramme the ECU software on the majority of modern Ducati motorcycles:
Why? well we have noticed a number of Ducati’s that are fitted with aftermarket exhaust systems but still have the original ECU (hardly surprising as they are over £900 for most of the Ducati performance ECU’s).
When fitting either a full race system or changing the end exhaust cans the fuel map needs to be adjusted to suit in order to prevent damage to the motor from lean running and to ensure your bike performs correctly (the point of upgrading the exhaust!), as this is not adjustable on the Ducati/Marelli ECU you have to replace the whole unit. But now we can just replace the software.
So we can now ‘remap’ the standard ECU with all the parameters (not just fuel maps) of the Ducati performance ECU therefore upgrading to the full Ducati Performance version: This is ideal if you have an Akrapovic or Remus system for example.
This term is often used but simply means we read the ECU software from your bike, then with the software we have and some years of experience, we can identify the maps in the program file and adjust then to make the changes needed. There are many maps and parameters in a modern ECU, they control all the options for fuel, ignition, fly by wire, engine brake control, traction control.
Typical RBW map
Full custom work is available for special projects, but here are the typical changes we do:
To correct fuelling inaccuracies that you have with a generic ‘one map for all bikes’ ECU as fitted to the standard bike. We measure each cylinder and injector and correct the fuelling on the dyno.
Modern bikes like the 1199 , 899 and Multistrada have fuel tables per cylinder, per gear and per riding mode! So many complex tables.
Modern bikes also manage to comply with the strict emission rules by running a little lean at constant throttle, because this isn’t ideal for the motor or rider comfort, the fuelling is measured with a lambda sensor and the ECU reacts to fuelling changes.. unfortunately this can result in a surging or unsteady feeling at low rpm and low throttle positions.. where small automated changes are felt by the rider. We often disable the lambda control and remap the fuelling based on engine speed and throttle position, then add a trim per gear and trim based on wheel speed.. it may not pass emission regulations but is far more pleasant to ride.
Custom mapping is the only perfect solution for getting the fuelling correct for your bike/motor spec/exhaust.
Spark advance – Ignition tables
Much the same as fuelling changes, these are the key two components to making the motor run perfectly. Often road bike have ignition tables designed for meeting emissions guidelines and have trim tables for each gear. This is not ideal for perfect running, but makes the bike pass the regs. We often simplify and re-trim these purely for smooth running and performance.
This gets a little complex, “RBW” or Ride by wire maps are the translation electronically which the ECU uses for the control of the throttle bodies based on the rider twistgrip input. Typically these maps are based on Engine Speed vs. Twistgrip input then per riding mode and per gear (this is how Ducati specify the power output in Riding modes like ‘Urban’ the twistgrip is still moved over its whole range by the throttle bodies may only open 75%.) These can be modified per gear and per riding mode to suite the rider. Some riders like a linear throttle, others prefer a slow action for the first 30% then fully open the throttle quickly (popular for wet race conditions) this can also be used to cap the power output in lower gears.
EBC (Engine Brake Control)
in models with RBW control the throttle bodies can be set to not fully close when the rider closes the twistgrip. This system, along with ignition and fuelling strategies, is used to prevent the large reverse torque sensation (engine braking) that causes the rear wheel to slow faster than the front and slide on corner entry. By trimming these levels based on engine speed and gear we can control how much the rear slides. Usually done at the track, this trimming can be a big part of comfortable corner entry and lap time.
Exhaust valve motors:
Motorcycles retaining the stock ECU means the bike is also continually trying to adjust the exhaust control valve which is removed when fitting the full race systems so often displays an engine fault. This is a simple fix where we can re-programme the ECU not to attempt to control the exhaust valve motor – therefor no more warning lights on the dashboard.
Limits and Functions:
There are many features in the modern Ducati’s that can be modified. From dash displays to switches for example:
- Side stand switch (for track use)
- Exhaust valve motor
- Lambda controls
- Clutch switches (track use)
- Max RPM limits per gear
- Shift light limits
- Dash display
Ducati Engine brake control map
What some of our customers have said:
Multistrada 1200 2011 model
Stock exhaust Mitsubishi ECU, Fuelling and ignition, removed emission trim and remade base fuel tables.
“I loved my Multistrada but I hated the way it surged like I was moving the throttle whilst I was riding along at about 40mph. After you guys worked on the ECU it feels like a different bike. now its constantly smooth and pulls from low rpm in all gears. It starts and idles perfectly. I love it.”
848 Evo Corse (2012)
Custom map with Full system –Marelli 5AM ECU – we gained 8 hp with ignition and fuelling custom set up
“Thanks for the upgrade on my EVO, I fitted the Akrapovic race system but it annoyed me that I had an engine light on all the time. I was happy with how it went before but after its amazing! It revs harder and pulls faster than before without doubt! No more warning lights, everything runs perfectly. Defiantly faster!! Thanks.”
If you would like your ECU upgraded to the Ducati Performance version or even back to original just call to get it booked in, it takes about 2 hours including the set up afterwards and costs a fraction of buying the one – we charge just £249 + vat for this service. You are welcome to send the ECU you have by post but please call first, we prefer to have the whole bike so we can reset the throttle position sensor and trims once fitted.
Custom ECU programming : If you have a special requirement from your ECU – custom fuel mapping, RPM limit, soft limiter change, Ignition timing change, Traction control enabling, lambda sensor deactivating etc. we can custom write the parameters onto your current ECU. Just call for details of what can be done.
Call or email with any questions or queries: 01962 877998 or CLICK HERE TO CONTACT WILF
EICMA 2013 visitors vote the new Ducati Monster 1200 “Most Beautiful Bike of Show,
Ducati’s brand new Monster 1200 has been voted “Most Beautiful Bike of Show” on the closing day of the EICMA 2013 International Motorcycle Show in Milan. The survey, organised by the Italian publication, Motociclismo, attracted over 10,000 participants and has become an annual tradition at the highly important show and a valuable and prestigious award.
The Ducati Monster 1200 was the clear winner of the award followed by the MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800. The result rewards Ducati for its continuous development of new models with latest technologies, an initiative that has helped the company (a member of the Audi Group) to repeat the positive sales trend enjoyed in recent years, with 2013 on course to maintain the Italian manufacturer’s record sales set in 2012.
The prestigious award was announced at the end of the show, when Corrado Capelli (President of ANCMA) Piero Bacchetti (President of Edisport Editoriale) and Massimo Bacchetti (Editor of Edisport Editoriale) presented the award to Ducati Motor Holding’s Director of Marketing, Diego Sgorbati.
The “Most Beautiful Bike of Show” award closed an incredibly busy event which saw over 500,000 vistors view the many halls of exhibitors at Fiera di Milano-Rho, a positive signal to the industry and to a motorcycling market particularly affected by the global economic crisis. The public’s appreciation of Ducati’s latest offering closed an equally busy week for Ducati, which started in style on Monday with the unveiling of the Monster 1200 at the spectacular “Leonardo da Vinci” Science and Technology Museum in the centre of Milan.
More than two decades and 275,000 sales after the Monster’s very first unveiling in Cologne, Ducati has introduced the iconic model’s third generation with the 2014 Monster 1200 and 1200 S. Powered by the formidable, Superbike-derived 1198 Testastretta 11° DS engine with an enhanced set-up for mid-range power delivery and rideability, the brand new flagship of the family presents an entirely new chassis and muscular design fully integrated with Ducati’s latest technologies.
High-spec brakes, suspension, single-sided swingarm and lightweight wheels combine with Ducati’s best-yet ergonomics to offer the Italian manufacturer’s most attractive Monster ever. Super comfortable and introducing an innovative adjustable seat height, the model also combines 8-level traction control, 3-level ABS and 3-level Ride-by-Wire into Ducati’s user-friendly, press-button Riding Modes.
Evoking the exciting memories of past models such as the powerhouse S4R and S4RS, the 2014 Monster 1200 also boasts an exclusive S model with 145hp and a ride-enhancing 92ft-lb of high-accelerating torque, wrapped beautifully in a spec-impressive chassis that tips the scales at 182kg (401lb) dry weight.
While the Monster 1200 is presented in Ducati red with red frame and black wheels, the Monster 1200 S offers Ducati red with red frame and glossy black wheels in addition to the striking scheme of white with bronze-coloured frame and glossy black wheels. The Monster 1200 and 1200 S will become available in Ducati Dealerships from early 2014.
Ducati present 2014 range at EICMA in Milan
The Monster 1200
New Ducati Monster 1200, This all-new version of the Monster, powered by the superbike-derived 1198 Testastretta 11° DS engine, has just been unveiled by Ducati at the Milan Show.
Developing 145bhp and tipping the scales at 182kg (dry) the new Monster also gets high-spec Brembo M50 monoblocs, riding modes, traction control, ABS, a TFT dash, and Panigale-like use of the engine as the main chassis component.
Ducati Desmosedici D16RR Review,
There’s no other way to describe the Ducati Desmosedici RR than as a MotoGP bike with lights; it really is that close to the real thing. The 200bhp motorcycle is a replica of Ducati’s Desmosedici GP6 MotoGP machine, which Loris Capirossi and Sete Gibernau rode in the 2006 World Championship and features the same chassis layout, bodywork and ‘long bang’ 989cc V4 engine architecture. There has never been a road motorcycle like the Ducati Desmosedici RR and it’s so stiff, fast and focussed that it makes R1s seem soft and cuddly by comparison.
Although devilishly powerful the Ducati Desmosedici’s V4 motor is far more docile and user-friendly than you’d imagine. It makes power smoothly from nothing all the way to 13,800rpm, although as the motor spins past 10,000rpm the power starts to get very intense. There’s bucketfuls of grunt on tap too, so much so that you can go a gear higher though corners and it’ll still pull hard. Like one of Ducati’s V-twin engines, the Desmosedici is deceptively fast, not like a screaming in-line-four superbike, which feels twice as fast as it’s really going.
Ride and Handling:
Unless you’re going to push the Ducati Desmosedici RR as hard as MotoGP rider can, you’re never going to get the best out of it. Such is the stiffness of the chassis that there’s very little feel from the Desmosedici RR even at fast racetrack speeds, although you get more feel as you start to push harder. On the road the Desmosedici is going to be a waste. Where a 1098 or R1 will flatter you with its user-friendly nature the Ducati is quick to tell you that you’re not good enough to ride it. It is the best handling road motorcycle ever built; you just need to be Casey Stoner to appreciate it.
The Ducati Desmosedici RR is built like a MotoGP bike so it’s dripping with exotic parts. The Desmodromic motor is packed with titanium, specially coated alloys and magnesium. The fairing, mudguard, heel guards, fairing bracket are all from carbon fibre and the exhaust heat shield is from a carbon/ceramic composite. The LCD display is the same as the GP7 MotoGP motorcycle and like the 1098 it comes with a datalogging facility. Marchesini wheels are forged magnesium and the rear is shod with a special 16-inch Bridgestone BT-01R tyre. The Brembo front brake set-up is the same as the wet set-up Ducati use in MotoGP and the front brake span adjuster is on the left handlebar for easy reach. The list goes on…
Quality and Reliability:
Like the MotoGP machine the Ducati Desmosedici RR is built to an exquisite level of quality; there’s simply nothing you can buy that comes close. Unlike the race bike the Desmosedici RR actually comes with a three-year warrantee and three-years free servicing, which is an astonishing feat from Ducati.
£40,000 is a lot of money for a motorcycle but the Ducati Desmosedici RR more than justifies its price tag; Ducati could sell it for a lot more and it would still be worth it. If you could imagine how much a car would cost that was this close to a racing machine? Probably millions, if it could ever happen, which it never would or could. Even if the Desmosedici didn’t run, the way it’s built alone would justify its price tag; the fact that it’s faster and better handling than any production sports bike ever built makes it the deal of the century. Find a Ducati Desmosedici RR for sale.
Insurance group: 17 of 17
Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano destined to race in Ducati colours for 2014 WSBK
Following the announcement of the mutual decision to conclude early the partnership with Team Alstare, Ducati today confirm its participation in the 2014 World Superbike Championship and its agreement with the riders who will compete aboard the Ducati 1199 Panigale motorcycles.
Welsh rider, Chaz Davies, and the Italian, Davide Giugliano, are both now officially confirmed to compete for the Italian manufacturer during the 2014 and 2015 World Superbike seasons. This is an important decision for Ducati, determined to bounce back after a year of disappointing results for the 1199 Panigale, which failed to deliver the results expected in World Superbike despite its considerable success in many national championships and the highly-competitive FIM Superstock Cup.
The new Ducati Superbike riders will immediately join technicians of the Ducati development team to start work 30-31 October at Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), carrying out the first of three test sessions planned for the winter break.
Was born 10 February, 1987 in Knighton, Wales (UK) and first started racing in minimoto in 1995, winning the championship title in this rookie category the following year and retaining it until 1998. From 2002-2006 he competed at World Championship level in the 125GP category, moving up to 250GP soon after. After additional experience in the AMA championship he was selected to take part in the World Supersport Championship and in 2011 became World Supersport Champion. The following year he moved up to World Superbike, a category in which he scored his first victory in 2012 and three more in 2013.
Was born in Rome on 28 October, 1989 and started his racing career in 2005 by competing in the European Superstock 600 championship, finishing third in the championship the following year. After a year in the World Supersport Championship he switched to FIM Superstock 1000 Cup and in 2011 rode the Ducati 1098 R to championship victory competing for the Althea Racing team. Giugliano made his Superbike debut in 2011, riding as a wildcard at Portimão immediately after clinching the Superstock Cup title. In 2012 he became an official rider for the Genesio Bevilacqua team alongside Carlos Checa, taking two podiums and closing the season 10th overall. In 2013, he achieved one pole position and two more podiums in the World Superbike series, finishing the championship in 6th position.
Ducati 1199 Superleggera, Ducati has finally released full details of the 1199 Superleggera limited edition superbike. Magnesium and titanium abound, and the combined weight loss results in a bike weighing just 155kg dry – 177kg fully wet and ready to ride.
That’s not a lot of weight to push around, and with a claimed output of ‘in excess of 200bhp’, you’re unlikely to ever feel short of the necessary grunt to do it. With just 500 examples of this ultimate iteration of the Panigale being created at the Borgo Panigale factory, there’s little chance of them clogging up the window display at your local dealer any time soon. Each bike will sport an individually numbered engraved top yoke bearing its identity.
The foundations of the Superleggera are built on the already extreme 1199 Panigale R, with almost every item of common metal replaced by something lighter. The monocoque frame is magnesium, as are the forged Marchesini wheels and front subframe.
Continuing the weight-loss regime, the rear subframe and all the fairing panels are carbon fibre, while a lithium-ion battery (LIB) and full titanium exhaust system with stainless steel headers each contribute further.
A good proportion of the bolts and fasteners on both engine and chassis are also titanium. It all adds up. The fork is upgraded to a lightweight Öhlins FL916 item, with fully-machined fork bottoms supporting the Superleggera’s Brembo M50 Monobloc brakes.
Taking care of the rear end is an Öhlins TTX36 shock, complete with a titanium spring. Even the rear sprocket gets the treatment, fashioned from lightweight Ergal, and running a World Superbike-spec 520 drive chain.
The Superquadro engine, which already boasted titanium con-rods and inlet valves in R spec, now adds titanium exhaust valves, and, for the first time on a Ducati road bike, special two-ring pistons. Added to this is a super-lightened crankshaft, precision balanced using dense tungsten inserts. There’s also a track-only ‘Race Kit’. The kit, which increases power by a further 5bhp, and reduces weight by 2.5kg to an incredible 152.5kg (dry), comprises a titanium Akrapovič race exhaust system including silencers and 2-in-1 collector, high racing screen, machined mirror fill-caps, and removal kits for the registration plate holder, and sidestand.
You also get a dedicated dust cover, and front and rear paddock stands, so that you can tuck it away in the garage for winter. With so many changes to the hard parts, it’s no surprise that the Superleggera gets the full benefit of Ducati’s electronic department.
A new Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) system, based on an Inertial Platform, works in conjunction with the Ducati Traction Control (DTC) and Engine Brake Control (EBC), and now gets automatic calibration for the rear- tyre size and final drive ratio – allowing track-specific set-ups to be fully supported by the electronics.
The Ducati Data Analysis+ (DDA+) system gets an additional sensor and software channel too, so that it can record and display vehicle lean angles. You won’t be surprised to learn that it’s only available in Ducati Corse Red, with some areas of bare carbon allowed to show around the edges. The price? Well, if you have to ask… Ok then, it’s £54,000 sir.
The Facts: Ducati 1199 Superleggera
- Engine Type 1198cc Superquadro: L-twin cylinder, 4 titanium valves per cylinder, Desmodromic, liquid cooled, titanium con-rods
- Bore x Stroke 112 x 60.8mm
- Compression Ratio 13.2:1
- Power >200hp (149kw) @ 11,500rpm
- Torque 98.8lb-ft (134Nm) @ 10,200rpm
- Frame Magnesium monocoque
- Front suspension Öhlins FL916 43mm with TiN, fully adjustable usd fork. Electronic compression and rebound damping adjustment
- Rear suspension Fully adjustable Ohlins TTX36 unit with titanium spring. Electronic compression and rebound damping adjustment. Adjustable linkage: Progressive/flat. Aluminum single-sided swingarm. 4-point adjustable pivot.
- Front brake 2 x 330mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo Monobloc M50 4-piston calipers, Bosch 9ME ABS
- Rear brake 245mm disc, 2-piston caliper
- Fuel tank capacity 17litres
- Dry weight 155kg
- Wet weight 177kg
- Seat height 830mm
Marc Marquez unhurt in practice crash, Marc Marquez suffered a scare on the opening day of practice for the Phillip Island MotoGP clash in Australia earlier today when he walked away unhurt from a tumble at the famous Lukey Heights section.
The Spaniard, who could clinch an historic first premier class world title on Sunday, fell on only his third lap in this afternoon’s FP2, but was fortunate to escape any injury.
Marquez was second fastest behind title rival Jorge Lorenzo this morning but lost the rear of his factory RC213V machine at Lukey Heights, which is taken in third gear at close to 95mph.
Marquez, who will be crowned world champion if he scores eight points more than Lorenzo in Sunday’s 27-lap race, said: “I opened the gas in the same place but when I tried to open a little bit more the rear slid out so aggressive, which normally doesn’t happen. But maybe I opened the throttle a little too much and now I know I cannot open more gas in that corner.”
Marquez might have escaped injury but the spill forced him to complete the session on his second RC213V and an experimental geometry setting meant he was only sixth quickest at the end of FP2 and over a second behind Lorenzo.
His best morning pace of 1.29.255 though still put him second on the combined timesheets and he added: “I was happy this morning but in the afternoon I crashed the number one bike and then bike two we tried a big change in the geometry to see what difference it would make.
“But I didn’t like the second bike and then there was no time to change the set-up. For tomorrow we know the way. I just need a little more stability in the front on corner exit.”
Source: MCN By Matthew Birt -MotoGP
Davies on a Ducati in WSBK for 2014? Chaz Davies is rumoured to be closing on a deal that will see him join Ducati for the 2014 World Superbike Championship season, possibly alongside Ben Spies.
Embarking on his second season in the WSBK series, the Welshman is currently fifth in the standings with three wins to his name but is without a ride for 2014 following the announcement that BMW is withdrawing from the series at the end of the year.
With one less factory-assisted team on the grid, Davies’s hopes of landing a similar role with another manufacturer are slimming, particularly as Honda has now confirmed its riders, Kawasaki are expected to keep Loris Baz alongside Tom Sykes, and Aprilia are leaning towards Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli.
Leaving just Suzuki and Ducati as comparative options for 2014, notwithstanding a raft of privateer entrants, Davies is subsequently being targeted by the Italian manufacturer, five years after it approached him to join its MotoGP testing team.
Should a deal come to fruition, Davies could be joined in the team by Ben Spies. The 2009 WSBK champion is understood to be in negotiations to join the Superbike team as a compromise over his faltering two-year deal to race in MotoGP, the American having started just two races this season due to shoulder injuries.
Heading in the other direction, meanwhile, could be Eugene Laverty with the Irishman having revealed he is in talks with Pramac Ducati about joining MotoGP next season.
Despite some public disagreements between himself and Ducati manager Bernhard Gobmeier this year, Francis Batta’s Alstare team is still in line to continue running the ‘de facto’ factory Ducati effort next season, while leading Superstock team Barni Racing is expected to join the series with Niccolo Canepa.