The Superbike Championship has gained its popularity primarily because the motorcycles in it use serial ones, that is, the same ones we ride on. This, of course, is not entirely true, or rather even completely wrong - the devices have been altered so much that “Mom will not recognize”, but the names of the models and a certain amount of “native” parts that have remained in favor of the regulation allow them to be identified with the stock ones.
Let's start with the James Towsland motorcycle heading the standings. To test Ten Kate Honda, in the "girlhood" of the former Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade, I was given the opportunity on the Vallelunga track. I immodestly mention that I played on this track 10 years ago - and even won. Actually, it turns out funny: Honda leads the championship largely due to the compact private tuning company Ten Kate Racing (TKR), funded by Honda Europe, but factory Japanese HRC racing division is not involved in the project. The Ten Kate family, led by motor guru Gerrit, managed to “remove” 220 hp from the Fireblade motor. (on the rear wheel). (I hear how with these words the fans of the “razor” weep with envy.) Motor lives 2000 km. By racing standards - a huge resource. By the way, you can buy an absolute copy of the motorcycle - the Honda TKR costs 87, 500 euros.
After I wrapped a fair amount of laps along the track, I can assure you: the Dutch tuners managed to bring everything from knots to details - already good quality to perfect. The motorcycle is absolutely obedient, traction control allows you to open the gas at the exit from the turns to full, slipping clutch smooths out errors during engine braking, the geometry and suspension settings help to “stamp” the trajectory of the turns. And with all this, you feel that you are driving a motorcycle, not a computer. At the finish line in Monza, James showed a speed of 322 km / h - not bad for a fire! Conclusion: this is a perfectly balanced motorcycle, and the Toseland has no reason not to win the championship. Only one question remains: is the real Honda now produced in Holland? ..
Let's move on to Max Biaggi's debutant Superbike motorcycle (a strange characteristic for him, isn't it?), Who managed to rise to second place in the middle of the season. However, it turned out not for long. I was driving his Suzuki GSX-R1000 on the winding German Lauzitzring track, where maximum speed is not critical. The first impression of the combat Suzuki in the version of this year is as follows - it is wider than last year and its back is heavily bullied. Weight distribution 54/46% - typical for the technique of Max gadget. And another standard for road bikes is gear shifting: the first is down, the others are up, which creates known inconvenience in left turns. In the end, we get the recognizable characteristics of the Biaggi motorcycle. Another subtlety that is characteristic of the “alien” from MotoGP: the engine control system is programmed in such a way that engine braking is almost impossible - as if you are riding a 2-stroke device, and not a sport bike with a liter engine. You can imagine the sensations when you “open” the gas in a corner after braking - and the rear wheel sharply “grabs”. This, don’t go to the grandmother - the prerequisites for a highside!
Nevertheless, the motorcycle is very eager and quickly falls into turns, instantly shifted to S-shaped ligaments. The settings of the anti-aging system allow using the engine power more efficiently than last year. And 210 hp were “removed” from this “jixer” (at CP) - five “horses” less than last year! .. And yet, in 20 laps I still couldn’t get used to the motorcycle to the end. What I will not say about Honda and Ducati. There was a feeling of “misunderstanding” with the rear wheel - feedback was not sufficiently developed, or something: everything seems to be normal in the motorcycle, but something is missing. Or is it due to the originality of individual settings for Max?Xerox DUCATI 999 F07 (Troy Bayliss), racing Xerox DUCATI 999 F07 (Troy Bayliss), racing
As for the Ducati 999, the apparatus of the current WSBK champion Troy Bayliss, I tested it (on the Mugello track) rather for pleasure. Over the past four years, its mechanics have not changed a bit - the same 194 hp. on the crankshaft, as before. And note, for many years V-twins have been fighting on equal footing with Japanese “fours” and even surpass them. But the current racing season for 999 is the last. From the next for the "deuces" the ceiling of the working volume rises to 1200 cmz, which will slightly equalize the chances of all competitors in the world Superbike. At the moment, the resource of the racing "three nines" is about 750 km - to such an extent the life of the motor has been shortened by an outrageous boost. With an increase in cubic capacity, Ducati superbike engines will be able to exist longer, which means that it will become cheaper to race against them, which, incidentally, is important for the team’s budget.