rapido: Moto Rapido Preparing A Panigale For 2023 British Supersport
Well, Ducati encouraged us, which is quite wonderful. A tiny portion of the assistance Ducati has been providing to the TriOptions Cup, which naturally ends this year, has been made available for this project, which is wonderful.
- Moto Rapido Ducati will add a Panigale V2 to its collective arsenal to compete in the 2023 British Supersport series.
- Under the next-generation middleweight regulations, the 955cc V2 is allowed to compete alongside Triumph’s 765, MV Agusta’s 800, and the more regular four-cylinder 600s using balancing rules drawn up by the FIM’s resident Tefal Scott Smart.
- We had a sit down with team principal Steve Moore to find out what the hell he thinks is getting himself into…
- Wilf, you’ve spent quite enough money in BSB already. What is possessing you to spend even more money on Supersport?
A few of our sponsors now are very keen on the idea, too. It’s considerably cheaper than racing a Superbike, so it makes it possible for us to have a good range. It’s not possible to expand to a second Superbike so with the Ducati now being eligible for the Supersport class it seems to make sense.
There’s not much new in racing, and the next generation Supersport stuff is very interesting. Lots of manufacturers are getting involved now too. It’s like Supersport has been a bit R6 Cup, the occasional MV and the occasional Kawasaki are doing well if you’ve got the right pilot. So, with no new 600cc bikes now, it’s just been dull looking at the same bikes for 10 years. So, we have kept a close eye on what’s happing at the World Supersport level and it seems the balance looks good with very close and fun racing.
Will you be the Oxford Products Racing, Moto Rapido Ducati’s longest name in pit lane team, or something else?
Oxford Products continues to sponsor the Superbike project for next year, as a title partner, which is great. We may have a new title sponsor for the Supersport, but it will be one team. So, it will be somebody who is coming on board to help us out with the Supersport side, but Oxford will still be on the bikes, certainly. Same flavor and the same color bikes.
Have you got to expand the team to do this, or can you do it with your existing one?
No, we’re going to expand the team. We’re fairly staff-heavy as a one-rider team goes, but that’s because you need key staff like a data engineer, a chassis engineer, suspension man, whether you’ve got one bike or two. So, we’ve got one of each of those for one bike at the minute. So, some of the roles will swap over and they can handle both bikes, but we will have another couple of mechanics and a tire guy and tea boy and someone to polish your shoes and fly my helicopter.
Now we’re attracting sponsors that need hospitality we’ve already invested in that, so we can make use of the hospitality for the Supersport team sponsors and usual rider entourage. That’s why we can now bolt another racing class into the whole package really, without it being horrendously expensive. It doesn’t cost much more to feed a couple more riders and staff.
In terms of the bike, is there an awful lot of work to get that Panigale into the trim it needs to be? Or is it fairly easy?
We want to run it exactly the same way that we do the Superbike and build a bike to the extent of the rules, covering every detail, so there is a lot of work to prepare this bike for race trim. Also, at the minute, there are no Superbike teams running Supersport bikes, that I can think of. It used to be that Supersport was the premium support class if you like, and you’d have the teams running a Superbike and a Supersport. We want to run it in that same way.
I’ve had this conversation with a few people considering moving their bikes from the TriOptions Cup into Supersport. There are a couple of ways you can do it, as with anything. Superbike is not Superbike and Supersport is not Supersport. So, you can either put an exhaust and an electronics kit and go and race, or you can build it to the extent of the regulations.
We’ll run the bike out of the garage. It will be run by the same team. It will be built to the same sort of specifications. A lot of the technical partners like Termignoni, Rock Oil, Spider, and Braking brake discs and those sorts of guys will swap over onto the other bike as well. So, we’ll try and mimic the bike into a little Superbike, really. But there’s a fair bit of work.
Supersport bikes allow a fair bit of modification so it’s interesting to engineer, but nowhere near as much as a Superbike, so it’s a lot more cost-effective. The build of the bike is quite exciting. We’ve obviously been involved in what the factory is doing with Supersport at World Superbike. It’s quite a fun little project, really. We take on these little bikes and make them really good little track weapons with sophisticated suspension and electronics.
It’s not really a little bike though, is it?
Well, no. Physically they’re all the same size, I think. I think there’s a bit of a hang-up about the cubic capacity of these bikes. What I like about the next-generation stuff is we’re getting away from it being a capacity-based class and more of a performance-based class. So, it doesn’t really matter what the CC of the bike is, how many cylinders it has got, or whether it’s a 600 or a 400. The weight and performance will be similar, so it opens it up to many models of bikes, without manufacturers making expensive homologation specials.
It doesn’t make any difference what the actual engine size is, in terms of displacement or layout. It just means performance. It’s literally how fast the thing goes. The balance in regs is now taking a lot of advantage of the technology available now so the twin-cylinder bikes don’t have all the torque available. We can see in the world championship that there isn’t really a clear performance advantage of any of the bikes now, the best riders are winning races.
Are the balancing regs exactly the same as World Supersport?
Presumably, it’s a spec-ECU still?
Yeah. It’s a spec ECU, with spec firmware for each model. Every model of bike is allowed different tuning options, I know the triumph changes a massive amount of the motor to make it work and be reliable. In the case of the Ducati which is too powerful as a showroom bike that means that the bike is electronically-controlled to reduce the power. So, just simply, with ride-by-wire throttles, the rider has the throttle fully open on the grip, but he doesn’t get full power on the motor. That’s literally as simple as it is.
The application is simple but the numbers to which it opens to are much more complicated and based on gear, engine speed, and vehicle speed, and that’s a job for Scott, not for me. So, I’m glad I don’t have that job. But he’s obviously got the balancing exactly right because in World Supersport that’s exactly where it is. So, we’ll be on the same restrictions that they’re on and racing against Yamahas with the same regulations that the Yamahas are racing there. So, it should make for a good show.
For us, Supersport historically has been an expensive class to look at, because if you want to race a Ducati 748cc twin on old Supersport rules the bikes were getting a new engine every weekend because they’d last 300 miles. That just makes it obscenely expensive. I know some of the Japanese bikes don’t last more as they are tuned to within an inch of their lives. Some are lucky to get two weekends out of a BSB Supersport bike because they’re so highly tuned.
So, it just makes it an expensive option to go racing, which is why you saw the growth in series like Superstock 1000, and even Superstock 600. They can build the bike and then go race the thing and maybe change the engine once a year.
When I was club racing, I had a 748RS that I managed to get a hold of. They’re amazingly beautiful little bits of machinery and engineering, but you can’t turn your back on them for a second. It’s a mid- ‘90s Ducati. You start the bike, ride it, and then take it apart again and throw money at it… which is why nobody races them now. The Panigale V2 makes approximately 20hp more than the 748 RS did but with 800 percent of the engine lifespan.
We look after seven or eight of the bikes in the TriOptions Cup, and those bikes coming to us might have literally almost like you’d service a road bike. You check the valve clearances, change the oil, check the pressures on the bike, and change a couple of little pieces. But it’s not even taking the motor apart. It’s basic bits. Those bikes do a whole year on one engine and never think twice. To my knowledge, one has never blown up. I’ve never had an engine failure in the TriOptions Cup.
Is it one of yours or at all?
Any of them. I haven’t seen one, ever. So, these guys are off doing track guys and club racing and everything with them. They’re not sitting there being all precious about it like we are with our bikes. So, our plan for Supersport, will use two motors for the whole season, which means it’s much, much cheaper to run the bike. Much less work. We’re not swapping motors every weekend.
I think people don’t quite realize when they watch the racing that the Superbike which starts the season is never the bike that finishes the season. Everything has changed like Trigger’s Broom. That’s why people struggle with Supersport because it’s expensive to keep on top of. If they don’t, you see them parked up on the side of the track.
For comparison, how many engines do you get to run in the Superbike a year?
Not many because we are so limited for engine revs, our Superbike revs less than the street bike does, so we don’t hurt our motors at all… we use four engines. Including testing, in a season. In Superbike, we do about 450 kilometers a weekend. In Supersport, I think about 350, something like that. So, it’s a bit less. The V2 Supersport bike isn’t a tuned motor – these won’t be tuned in the slightest – they’re completely standard engines with an exhaust system.
And because they’re not tuned, because they’re not having the tits revved off of them, because they’re not at full throttle anywhere in a lap, they just don’t get stressed. They just don’t get abused. So, we’re hoping we won’t blow any up…
The logic is sound, bigger motors with a much lower state of tune, the same performance, and less cost. It’s hard to see a downside unless you have a business tuning bikes and selling parts. Oh, wait…
And who is going to ride yours?
My word, is that the time? My dog ate it, I left it on the bus…
The Fastest Bike In The World Was 3D Printed
The Fastest Bike in the World Was 3D PrintedPinarrello
Earlier this month, time trial specialist Filippo Ganna set a new hour world record, riding a massive 56.792 kilometers in 60 minutes. And the Ineos Grenadier racer did it on a 3D-printed bike, which has opened up conversations about if 3D printing will be the newest technology to revolutionize the cycling industry.
Pinarrello / eltoromediadotcom
“The 3D bike allowed us to achieve the best in aerodynamics, stiffness, rigidity, and also comfort,” says Federico Sibrissa, chief marketing officer at Pinarello.
The bike was made to prioritize aerodynamics, using technology from, strangely enough, aero expertise gleaned from marine biology. “By studying how humpback whales can do very tight maneuvers in the oceans, researchers have found that the tubercles—the protrusions in the front of their flippers—contribute significantly to this ability,” the brand explains. “Working on this shape applied to bicycles, they have also found that ridges can minimize and reduce drag by generating stream-wise vortices in the troughs between the bumps, causing the flow behind the peaks to stay attached.”
And because the small fin-like features that Pinarello wanted to use for the frame were too detailed to be made with a carbon fiber mold, 3D printing with a space-grade aluminum alloy was the best option.
In this new video from the company, Pinarello is sharing the creation of the bike, from the design process to test the initial frame, to the final record attempt where Ganna beat the previous record set by his teammate in August.
“We have a really unique piece of equipment here… It’s the fastest bike on the planet right now,” says Carsten Jeppesen, Ineos Grenadier’s head of technical partners.
The Pinarello Bolide F HR 3D is available to the public (a requirement for any bike tackling the UCI hour record) at the bargain price of… Roughly $59,220. (But that also includes handlebars!) The bikes will be printed on demand. What a time to be alive!
The Best Bike Trainers, According To Athletes And Trainers Who Use Them
As the weather turns, many cyclists begin putting away the summer road equipment and transition to an indoor bike trainer through the coldest and wettest parts of the year. Even hardy athletes and trainers have the best bike trainers on hand when conditions require training inside.
A woman practices indoor cycling at a fitness center in Paris on February 3, 2020. (Photo by … [+] Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP) (Photo by CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP via Getty Images)
We asked a number of currents and former professional athletes and trainers about the indoor bike trainers they use and why. While one was the clear favorite, opinions were widely split from there. Before you decide to invest in an indoor bike trainer, consider our preferred picks below.
Most Popular Bike Trainer The Definite Crowd Favorite
More than half of the athletes we spoke with use various versions of Wahoo’s flagship model, easily making it the most popular choice. “When bundled with the Headwind fan and Climb gradient simulator, it makes riding inside feel as close to outdoors as possible by adjusting bike position and wind speed as you climb and descend,” says ex-Tour de France rider and gravel biking pioneer Pete Stetina.
Ultramarathoner and SaltStick athlete Taggart VanEtten adds that the trainer can handle heavy watts, and sweat and has an extremely reliable Bluetooth connection. “I get really frustrated when (expensive) technology doesn’t work, but the KICKR has a great Bluetooth connection, and that’s its best feature,” he says.
Although it’s easily one of the most expensive options on the market, it’s clear that those who need to train reliably, regularly, and intensely turn to the KICKR.
Best Stationary Bike For Indoor Cycling And So Much More
Peloton changed exercise forever when it launched its original stationary bike. It turned what was once an in-studio-only experience into something you could obtain from the comfort of your home, on your terms. Although the company has been in the news for recent corporate struggles, it still remains the best stationary option on the market, with plenty of athletes turning to the platform. “It really helps with my workout routine and fitness as far as keeping my conditioning up, and preparing for training camp while I’m in my off-season,” says Cleveland Browns wide receiver Chester “Tre’” Rogers.
While demanding riders won’t get the most natural riding experience using a Peloton, it is a great option for those avoiding the hassle of setting up a bike with a more traditional indoor trainer.
Best Alternative Stationary Bike Replicating Outdoor Riding Without Installing A Bike
Professional cyclist and entrepreneur Alison Tetrick owns an array of expensive bikes and likes the Wattbike as a realistic training option because she doesn’t have to install any of her outdoor bikes into a cassette system. “Before, riding inside or outside also meant equipment changes with installing my bike on and off the trainer,” she says.
“Now, I have a bike that accurately tracks my power, rolls smoothly like the pavement roadways out my front door, and can change the seat height in a flash if my husband wants to hop on too.” While the Wattbike doesn’t have some of the flash and dash of a Peloton, it is likely the closest option to outdoor riding without physically installing a bike into a trainer.
Best KICKR Alternative Under $1,000, And Still Feature-Laden
This less expensive, yet still capable indoor bike trainer can handle up to 2,000 watts of power at 20mph while simulating up to a 20% climbing grade. It’s compatible with 8-11 speed Shimano cassettes and works with a range of quick-release and thru-axle wheel options. It’s also a good choice for small spaces with folding legs and an overall small footprint. Reviewers love the smooth ride quality, almost-silent operation, and easy setup.
Best High-Tech Bike Trainer Ideal For Garmin Users And Those Who Need Optimal Hill Training
Specialized research manager Jesse Frank uses both the KICKR and the Tacx NEO 2T. He likes the easy interface and the ability to use the systems without putting wear on his tires. There aren’t a ton of average rider differences between the Garmin and Wahoo options, but they do run on different platforms. Those already running Garmin software outdoors will probably want to do the same indoors. The KICKR includes an 11-speed cassette, whereas the Tacx NEO 2T does not. The Garmin option also has a 5% higher simulated incline setting compared to the KlCKR.
Best Basic Bike Trainer A Great Option For Beginners
Most riders won’t need the bells and whistles of top-line indoor bike trainer options. The Fluid2 has a very capable flywheel, a variety of axle fits, and an overall quiet ride. It does require the installation of both wheels and may produce more wear and tear on a bike over time. It’s a reliable choice for the everyday cyclist training in the off-season who doesn’t need precise, ongoing metrics or more high-tech features.
Best Bike Rollers When You Don’t Need Technology And Just Want To Ride
Perhaps the most basic of choices is using a set of bike rollers. There’s a bit of a learning curve that requires finesse and balance when getting onto the unit, but it’s a solid choice if you want to ride with no fuss and no installation. The Tacx Antares is also the most space-saving option as it retracts when not in use. Garmin integrated conical shapes into the rollers, so your bike won’t move from the middle while you’re riding. It’s the simplest choice, and an economical one under $200.
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