Wheelies 30 – 28. Valentino Rossi (-20)

Our annual Wheelies 30 continues with a legendary figure.

If anyone said that Valentino Rossi will finish fifth this season, they would have been called mad. The sad reality of Rossi’s underperformance is far more complex than what we saw on our TV screens.

Though he had a reasonable first part of the season, with a gigantic win at Assen, he never was in a real position to fight for the world championship. Much more than that, Maverick Vinales dominated him throughout the whole year.

Definitely his bad performances were also technically related, as the Yamaha bike was underperforming, but he cannot blame entirely the team. Without his training crash prior to Misano, he would have had theoretical chances to win the championship.

Most likely, 2018 will be his last season. If the bike doesn’t deliver and if he doesn’t step up his game to fight against the young guns, Valentino Rossi will have no chance to win his desired tenth world championship. If he does, he will be once again a title contender as he was in 2015 when he deserved the big trophy.

 

Photo – Yamaha Racing

Taddy Blazusiak returns with a win

With a large audience of 12.000, Tauron Arena from Krakow expected the return to racing of Tadeusz Blazusiak, the local hero and multiple times world champion.

Everything went for the Poles and in the end Taddy won the first round of the season. Three second places in the three finals were more than enough for Blasuziak to take the win in the end.

Alongside him on the podium, Cody Webb and Billy Bolt completed the podium, while Jonny Walker finished the polish event only eight, far behind his team mate from KTM.

As this was the first round of the 2018 Super Enduro championship, the general classification is identifical with the race standings. Therefore, Blazusiak leads the championship, while Webb and Bolt are second and third.

The next round will take in Riesa, Germany at the beginning of 2018.

 

Photo – superenduro.org

Wheelies 30 – 29. Michael van der Mark (-7)

We continue our second edition of Wheelies 30 with a young and promising rider. Michael van der Mark had the courage to risk everything and moved from Honda to Yamaha.

Given how bad Yamaha performed in 2016, this move could have been a career ending for Michael. Not only that is wasn’t the case, but the Flying Dutchman of the Superbikes has done a tremendous job throughout the whole outpacing Alex Lowes, his more experienced team mate.

While he performed extremely well in the Superbikes, his two appearances in the GPs with Monster Energy Tech3 Yamaha were lacklustre, but given the short time to accomodate with the M1, it is quite understandable.

If Yamaha raises the challenge next year in World SBK, Michael can be a good challenger for the unrivalled crown of Jonathan Rea. Who knows, maybe it’s about time to have another king in SBK.

 

Photo – Yamaha Racing

Toni Bou in the center of attention in Budapest

The 21 times Trial world champion has been recently in the Hungarian capital.

Toni introduced the X-Trial Budapest yesterday in front of jurnalists from up to 15 media sites. Later, he spent the day in various media meetings, the most important being in the Magyar TV studios, along with the Hungarian Motorcycling Federation: Henrik Hermann.

“It was a very pleasant day and I was surprised by the interest that the media of the city have for the test that will be held here at the end of March. Budapest is one of the great European capitals and being here is very good news for all of us.”, said Bou about this experience.

Budapest will host the final round of this season of X-Trial and it will take place at Budapest Sports Arena, on 29th of march next year.

 

 

Photo – Honda Racing Corporation

Jake Gagne to race for Red Bull Honda in 2018

After a disappointing 2017, marred by the tragic death of Nicky Hayden, Ronald Ten Kate, announced today the line-up for 2018. Therefore, Leon Camier and Jake Gagne will race for Red Bull Honda next year.

With Camier already announced from November, Jake Gagne is the big surprise. While everyone else expected Stefan Bradl to be named as the second rider, the young american won the contest and will make his first full season in the World Superbike series.

Gagne made the official debut at Laguna Seca having the unfortunate role to replace the late Nicky Hayden, who died in a tragic road accident in May.

Jake Gagne raced in three Superbike round. His best finish was a 11th place at Lausitzring in August. His overall consistency played an important in the decision making of Red Bull Honda.

The new Superbike championship will start in the last weekend of February. The inaugural round will take place at Phillip Island, in Australia.

 

Photo – Honda Racing Corporation

Wheelies 30 – 30. Alex Rins (New Entry)

Today we start the second edition of Wheelies 30, an annual top 30 which comprises the best riders of 2017 from all the motorcycling competitions throughout the world.

A rookie starts Wheelies 30. As a new entry in this top, Alex Rins seems a very good prospect for the future in MotoGP. The spanish rider had a difficult rookie year in the premier class.

He started the year on a high with a ninth place finish in Qatar, but after an injury, he missed several races. At mid point in the championship, he only had those seven points obtained at Losail.

The second half of the championship was much, much better for Rins. Several top five finishes and the unreal chance to fight for the win in Australia raised several eye brows. His best finish came in the last round, in Valencia, where he ended fourth.

We should not be mistaken by his championship place, as he managed to finished only 16th. In some of the races, he was a main eventer and he’ll definitely be a top gun in the years to come.

 

Photo – www.suzuki-racing.com

 

Taddy Blasuziak returns to action alongside KTM

The 6-time SuperEnduro World Champion will make a surprising return to the competition he’s dominated for years.

After he announced his retirement last year, Taddy sticked close to the Red Bull KTM Factory Team, the one that made him a legend of the Indoor Enduro. He assisted with rider training, testing, development etc.

Now, Blazusiak signed a one-year agreement with the austrian manufacturer, announcing that he also has some interesting plans, after the SuperEnduro series.

For now, it’s unknown what this means exactly, but until then, we’ll see the Polish rider back in action right in the first round of the new season of the SuperEnduro World Championship, which will be held this weekend in Krakow, in his home country.

 

Photo – Marcin Kin/KTM Media Library

Ryan Dungey – The Minnesota Arrow

 

The former AMA and Supercross champion is celebrating his 28th birthday today.

Borned in a family of amateur racers, Dungey has turned pro at the age of 16, despite not having impressive resultrs in the mini classes. In the last year as an amateur, he won the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Championship.

From 2006, he raced at the 250 category, not having any exceptional results, but he attracted attention of Roger De Coster, the Suzuki team manager at that time. The first important results came one year later, when he got his first professional wins in Supercross, at the East Category.

He went on to finish 5th overall at that category, the same position in AMA, at the 250 class, despite not winning a single round, but finishing on podium 3 times. In 2008 he moved from East to West in Supercross, but he missed the title by just 2 points.

2009 will be an year to remember for the then Suzuki rider, winning both the 250 West and 250 titles in Supercross and AMA. He was also nominated as the team captain for the USA at the MXoN, also marking his first entrance on a 450cc bike. Despite this, he brought the 20th MXoN title for his country, concluding the season in style.

Following this experience, he climbed to he 450 categories in both AMA and Supercross next year. He also went to win these 2 titles, becoming the first ever rider to do so in his rookie year. He was once again chosen as a part of the US team for MXoN, bringin’ another title for them.

2011 was not the same anymore after Roger De Coster left Suzuki for KTM. He had great performances, but Dungey finished 3rd in Supercross and 2nd in AMA. The only good part for him is that he won the MXoN for the 3rd and last time in his career.

2012 saw Dungey back with De Coster, at the KTM Factory Racing. He won 4 Supercross events, but due to an injury, he finished 3rd overall. However, later in the season, he became KTM’s first champion in AMA at the 450 category.

After another 2 years when he didn’t win any of these major championships, Dungey exploded in 2015 winning both the competitions and he became KTM’s first world champion in Supercross and first to do the “double” with them.

2016 started with another Supercross title for Ryan, but an injury at the beginning of the AMA season forced him to end the year way early. Despite this huge break he took, he managed to win his 4th Supercross title and 3rd in a row with KTM.

But, this crown was the last of Ryan’s magnificant career, the Minnesota rider announcing his retirement a few days later. Yeah, a MXGP title would have completed a 5-star square, but still, he’ll be inducted in the Hall of Fame soon. Until then, happy birthday and thank you for everything, “Diesel”!

 

Photo – Simon Cudby/KTM Media Library

Valentino Rossi wins his sixth Monza Rally Show

Valentino Rossi won the Monza Rally Show for the sixth time in his career. The MotoGP legend drove a Ford Fiesta RS WRC 2016 spec. After a difficult first day, Rossi came back stronger and won the race.

Marco Bonanomi, a former Audi LMP1 driver, led before the last stage, but, after two off-track adventures, lost the rally by a very narrow margin, six seconds.

The podium was completed by the WRC duo, Andreas Mikkelsen and Thierry Neuville. They took a dominant lead in the first day, but after a slow puncture, they lost every chance win the rally.

Another notable presence was Tony Cairoli. The MXGP world champion finished fourth and secured his best ever finish at the Monza Rally Show.

Rossi’s win was put in doubts after his car was found to be underweight. He received a ten seconds penalty, but he managed to keep his win.

 

Photo – Autosport

Wheelies 2017 – Campionatul National Individual de Viteza al Romaniei – Top 10

Incepem acest articol prin a ura romanilor de pretutindeni un sincer “La multi ani!” cu ocazia Zilei Nationale a Romaniei, 1 Decembrie. Noi, membrii echipei Wheelies, ne-am gandit sa sarbatorim aceasta zi speciala prin alcatuirea unui top 10 al pilotilor romani ce au evoluat in sezonul 2017 in CNIRV. Iata care au fost, in viziunea editorului nostru, cei mai buni 10 piloti romani din 2017:

 

10. Birladeanu Florin

Desi intrat in lumea motociclismului de performanta relativ recent, Florin a impresionat in cadrul clasei Debutanti 600, unde s-a batut pentru titlul de campion national pana in ultima etapa. Din pacate, o accidentare l-a impiedicat sa ia startul in ultimele 2 curse de pe circuitul Serres, astfel ca a trebuit sa se multumeasca cu titlul de vicecampion national.

 

9. Mainescu Dan

Locul 9 in clasamentul nostru ii revine lui Mainescu Dan, pilot ce a obtinut titlul de vicecampion national al clasei Supersport. Mult inferior campionului Ionel Pascota, Mainescu a dat dovada de o constanta de invidiat si, strangand puncte cursa de cursa si profitand de unele absente si abandonuri ale celorlalti rivali, a reusit sa incheie sezonul in postura de vicecampion national.

 

8. Petrovici Liviu Adrian

Dupa ce a ratat 3 din primele 4 curse ale sezonului, pilotul clubului Constanta Moto Racing a revenit spectaculos, obtinand numeroase clasari pe locul 2 in cadrul campionatului national, clasa Supersport. Rezultatele bune i-au asigurat locul 3 la general, doar 5 puncte despartindu-l de titlul neoficial de vicecampion al lui Mainescu Dan.

Faptul ca Petrovici a terminat deasupra lui Mainescu in toate cursele in care ambii piloti au luat startul ne-a determinat sa ii oferim pilotului de la malul Marii Negre o pozitie superioara in topul nostru.

 

7. Versaci Giorgio

Urmatorul in clasamentul nostru este veteranul Giorgio Versaci. Lupta sa cu Florin Birladeanu pentru titlul clasei Debutanti 600 a fost unul din punctele fierbinti ale campionatului nostru pe toata durata anului. Experienta sa si-a spus cuvantul in a doua jumatate a anului, atunci cand a reusit, cursa de cursa, sa termine in fata rivalului sau.

La finalul sezonului, pe langa titlul de Campion National al Romaniei la clasa Debutanti 600, obtinut la 16 puncte distanta de Birladeanu, Versaci a mai avut de sarbatorit si implinirea impresionantei varste de 60 de ani!

 

6. Hosciuc Jacopo Adrian

Una din tinerele sperante ale tarii noastre o reprezinta tanarul Hosciuc Adrian. In varsta de doar 12 ani, pilotul clubului MRM Bucuresti a castigat toate cele 4 curse din cadrul clasei 85cc a Campionatului National al Romaniei, obtinand la pas titlul de campion.

Pe langa participarea in campionatul nostru, Hosciuc a luat parte si in mult mai popularul campionat italian (CIV), la clasa MiniGP, unde a fost o prezenta constanta in zona punctelor. Astfel, este foarte posibil si speram sa mai auzim acest nume in viitor.

 

5. Vrajitoru Bogdan

Primul pilot al clasei regine ce apare in topul nostru este Bogdan Vrajitoru. Pilot cu experiente precedente in clasele suport ale Campionatului Mondial de Superbike, Vrajitoru a urcat in numeroase randuri pe podiumul national al clasei Superbike si a obtinut, dupa o lupta intensa cu Mihai Iuliu, locul 3 in clasamenul general la finalul anului.

 

4. Guta Cristian

Clasa Debutanti 1000 a fost una fara istoric in 2017, aceasta fiind dominata de la un capat la altul de Cristian Guta. Pilotul de la Century Team Voluntari a terminat primul intre pilotii romani in majoritatea curselor, obtinand titlul de campion national la peste 50 de puncte in fata urmatorului clasat, in ciuda faptului ca nu a luat parte la primele 2 curse ale anului. Impresionant, putem spune.

 

3. Cazacu Catalin

Singurul pilot care i-a putut cauza, pe alocuri, emotii lui Robert Muresan in ceea ce privea titlul national al clasei Superbike a fost Catalin Cazacu, de la SCM Timisoara.

Banateanul a stat in apropierea lui Muresan pe toata durata sezonului, terminand fiecare cursa la una sau maxim doua pozitii in spatele eventualului campion. Neputincios in ceea ce il priveste pe Robi Muresan, Cazacu poate primi usor distinctia de “Best of the rest”, fiindu-i mult superior lui Bogdan Vrajitoru si obtinand titlul de vicecampion national.

 

2. Pascota Ionel

Timisoreanul Ionel Pascota a dominat clasa Supersport intr-o maniera chiar mai impresionanta decat cea a lui Cristian Guta la Debutanti 1000. La bordul unei Yamaha, Pascota s-a incoronat campion national la fix 100 de puncte peste Dan Mainescu.

De asemenea, Ionel Pascota a jucat un rol foarte important in batalia pentru titlul clasei Supersport in Campionatul Est-European BMU, competitie pe care a terminat-o in postura de vicecampion, obtinand 3 victorii de-a lungul sezonului si pierzand titlul pentru doar 3 puncte in favoarea bulgarului Alexander Georgiev.

 

1. Muresan Robert

Performer-ul sezonului in motociclismul romanesc ramane, fara indoiala, aradeanul Robert Muresan, fost pilot in Campionatul Mondial de Motociclism viteza la clasa 125cc.

Concurand la clasa Superbike a Campionatului National al Romaniei cat si a Campionatului Est-European BMU la bordul unui BMW, Muresan si-a asigurat titlul de campion in ambele competitii.

Daca in campionatul national rivalii sai nu au reusit sa ii dea prea mari batai de cap, campionatul est-european a reprezentat o cu totul alta poveste, Muresan avand parte de concurenta serioasa din partea bulgarilor Martin Choy si Dimitar Mitov.

Unicul pilot al tarii noastre cu experienta in MotoGP a stiut insa sa abordeze situatia si, dupa o a cincea victorie a sezonului, obtinuta la Serres, in Grecia, a cucerit matematic titlul.

 

Echipa Wheelies transmite inca o data felicitari tuturor romanilor ce au luat parte in Campionatul National in anul 2017, le doreste mult succes in sezoanele ce urmeaza si spera sa ii vada tinand steagul sus pentru Romania si pe plan international. La multi ani, romani! LA MULTI ANI, ROMANIA!

 

credit poze – Federatia Romana de Motociclism/ Andrei Gemes