Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales Aims for the Title

Though it’s still the beginning of the season and the first race of 2019 MotoGP hasn’t even started. The Yamaha team seems to have something that makes rider Maverick Vinales believe that they have what it takes to win the title.

Testing throughout the winter has been going great according to the enthusiastic rider who has completed multiple laps at Valencia over the off-season. At Jerez, he managed to pull some dramatic shifts on the timesheet over both days, starting with the first day in fourth and bumping up to third on the second test day.

It was mostly the long-runs that got Maverick excited about the season to come as he and Rossi were both finding the perfect tune for the 2019 engines. While Maverick seems to be all for the new changes and confident that they have a great chance to claim another title for Yamaha. His teammate, Valentino Rossi has his doubts. The previous world champion says it’s not enough to win and that they need more, which was announced after the first day of testing.

By the second test day, Vinales remained stocked with the performance of the bike, quoting that he is “quite happy”. By the end of testing, he was more excited about the season ahead. Pointing out his impressive times with used tires and giving him even more reason to believe he can lead the grid in the 2019 races to come.

Maverick went on to explain that he is more than pleased with just one-tenth behind the leader with used tires. He used to get two or even three tenths after only 30 laps before. He also included that he feels perfect about the bike and that it’s good enough to grab the title for the year ahead.
Soon after the comments above, he added that Yamaha still has room for improvement, especially when it comes to traction, which is the biggest downfall for the team at the moment. However, with the impressive lap times, he is pleased with the bike’s performance as it shows progress and that it’s running well.

He suggested that they start with mechanical grip and then only move onto the electronics of the bike. He is pleased with how the electronics are working and how well they deliver traction control while still offering brilliant power.

He went on to say that the top speed of the bike is also a bit of a problem, which once again relates to the mechanical grip. Maverick says if he doesn’t get out of the corner fast enough, there’s no way he can overtake. Its why he recommends the team looks at mechanical grip first.

Even with the negative points, he is still looking forward to improvements over the weeks to come before the first race. Giving the team more than enough time to improve the grip and provide a bike that has what it takes to win!

MotoGP Predictions for 2019

Race season is just around the corner where we once again see the fastest and world’s best riders take to the track to claim the next MotoGP title.

Though it might seem a little early for accurate predictions, we can certainly look at the changes and see a few exciting possibilities on the rise. Firstly, the grid is decreased by two, presenting only 22 riders for 2019. The Yamaha Petronas team has been replaced by the Aspar team, which is a good thing as we see even more competition enter the field.

We even see some exciting changes to what some teams will be running, starting with Ducati who will only include the GP18 and GP19 class. Yet, we also see significant improvements to the GP18 bike, making it much better than the GP17. Furthermore, the Honda team introduces three of the new RC213Vs bikes and presents their 2018 model who will be raced by Takaaki Nakagami. Don’t be fooled into thinking he doesn’t stand a chance as he has already shown some of the fastest times. Giving us more than enough reason to believe the 2018 bike has what it takes to lead the grid.

Yamaha is also presenting three new machines to hit the track along with the rookie (Fabio Quartararo) using the 2018 engine, which as with Honda as proven to have what it takes to lead. Suzuki, on the other hand, is aiming for significant progress in 2019 as they provide three new machines, each offering significant improvements over what we saw in 2018.

Marc Marquez is the Most Likely to Claim the Title


It’s quite amazing what Marc has achieved so far. Especially when considering another title win would mean his 6th in MotoGP and 8th in all classes, which is brilliant, no matter how you look at it.

Viewers might be getting a little bored but we’re sure he is hoping for some new challenge in 2019, but there’s little doubt that he wouldn’t be the title holder once again. The only possible way we see a loss is if one of the new riders and bikes are merely better or if he gets injured. While the injured way wouldn’t be in his control, we don’t see it being likely, and if there is a better rider in 2019, he would have to be near perfect to keep up with Marc.

When we look at the Honda bike and how they’ve changed it from 2016 to 2017, we see significant improvements in both power and torque, thanks to the conversion of moving to a big bang from a screamer. In 2019, the engine has even more to give and Marc has already confirmed that he’s happy with the standard setup. Not only does this make it much easier for the team, but should some new rider come to challenge, there’s still a lot the Honda team can do to improve the bike even more.

KTM XC-W vs KTM XC – What’s the Difference?

The KTM line up can be a little confusing at first as their model numbers all seem very close to each other and the smallest differences can make a considerable change in the bike type. Of course, there are many different KTM models out there, but today we’ll just be focusing on the enduro off-road models, keeping this a little simpler and not involving the SX models, which are the motocross track bikes.

Suspension

So, XC-W, EXC and XC, what’s the difference? Well, before we get into all the details, let’s look at the EXC and EX-W bikes first. These are just about the same, but the difference is whether it is street legal or not. The EXC is the legal bike, which comes with precisely the same features as the XC-W, but also include the headlight, taillight, mirrors and all the other things you need to ride it on the road.

In this article, we’ll only be looking at the XC and XC-W bikes as these are both entirely off-road. So, now we’ve already taken out one of the three and can get straight to the off-road motorcycles, which we’re most interested in.

Now, this is usually one of the most significant differences in free off-road bikes, especially when looking at the same brand, but different models. The KTM range is no exception as we see some significant changes with the XC and XC-W as well.

Firstly, the XC-W comes with the PDS suspension at the rear, which means the shock mounts directly to the swing arm and doesn’t go through it with linages as see with the MX bikes. The XC models come with the linkages, which already tells us it’s more for the super-cross off-road styles and even motocross.

With the PDS shock, you gain the advantage of having less under the bike to get stuck on rocks and logs as you go enduro whereas, on an MX track, you don’t worry about those things.

Even with the front forks, we see quite a significant change in the XC and XC-W range as the W model offers a softer front shock, which is once again perfect for enduro as it handles the bumps better. The XC model is once again more towards the MX track bike, providing a harder suspension that’s better and taking the punishment of big jumps and hard landings.

Gearbox

Now, when we look at what these names stand for, we see the XC means cross country while the W stands for full ratio gears. Therefore, to most the bikes are the same, but just different gearboxes, which isn’t entirely accurate as seen with the details above. MX bikes are close ratio gearboxes while the XC range is a semi-close ratio and the XC-W is a full ratio gearbox. Both the XC and XC-W offer 6-speed boxes, but in the case of the W, both the first and second gear is lower, making it easier to go slow and get a bit more technical.

MXGP News for February 2019

Even though the 2019 MXGP hasn’t started, we see some interesting developments that still includes last year’s results.

While most look forward to the racing season with new classes forming and professionals making shifts to other markets, looking at results from other races and the results of last year tells a tale that might just have you questioning the leaders of the upcoming season.

KTM Team Gains Excellent Results at Internazionali D’Italia

With podium finishes for the KTM team in three classes at the Internazionali D’Italia, we look for incredible results in the MXGP season ahead.

The racing included a title win for Tony Cairoli who manages to impress with his KTM 450 SX-F while Jorge Prado did the same in the 250 class with his KTMSX-F. Even the new rider, Tom Vialle who is doing his debut for the Red Bull KTM team managed to claim a podium finish.

Each of these riders now look forward to the 2019 MXGP, which is set to begin on the third of Mach, just a couple of weeks away. With such impressive results, the KTMs are well worth keeping an eye on for the year ahead as the team clearly has some type of advantage, which could just be the riders they’ve got!

When you look at the amazing record of Prado, it’s easily seen that this isn’t just another rider in the track as he managed to dominate the MX2 series, finishing at least 20 seconds ahead of the next racer. On top of that, he managed his third podium finish in Superchampione, putting this Spanish MX champ at the peak of the racing season ahead.

Cairoli certainly managed an impressive range of results as well, which dates back to 2010 when he claimed the first Lombardia title at Mantova, which goes perfectly with his eleventh senior title in the world of MX1. Last week, he managed to be among the stars again with his third position in the Superchampione, making him yet another force to consider with the season ahead.

Finally, we get to Vialle who is forming part of the MX2 class for the Red Bull KTM team for 2019. At Montova, he managed to get the team a third position in the 250 four stroke class. Furthermore, Vialle delivered an amazing top six with the Superchampione races, setting him up for success in the year to come.

Team Italy Gets Disqualified for 2018

The final results of the 2018 season are changing as Team Italy find themselves disqualified and stripped of the title.

Now, more than three months later, an announcement on the 29th of January revealed the results of random fuel samples taken from the racers. It shows that Michele Cervellin did now have a mixture within the regulations and will, therefore, be removed from the race results and disqualified from the MX2 for 2018.

What’s even worse is the entire team being disqualified, not just the rider. 

MotoGP 2019: Marquez and Lorenzo set for huge title battle

The 2019 MotoGP World Championship gets underway in Qatar at the start of March and fans could be in for one of the most exciting title battles in recent years.

Marc Marquez dominated the series for Repsol Honda last season, winning the title by a 76-point margin from Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso. That victory was the Spanish star’s fifth championship in the last six years, but there are reasons to believe he will be pushed much harder this time around.

Three-time champion Jorge Lorenzo has joined his compatriot at Honda and their fight for glory will undoubtedly make the bets more interesting at Sports interaction.

It may appear churlish to question Marquez’s talent after winning five titles in six seasons, but the 25-year-old is certainly not infallible. He crashed 23 times last season, more than any other rider, although most of those came during qualifying.

His first DNF in 2018 came in round 17 in Australia, the race after he’d won the title in Japan, but with Lorenzo operating on the same machinery he could be forced to take more risks during races this term.

Lorenzo has ditched Ducati after a stuttering season where he barely scored points in the opening rounds. He improved to win three races, including a thrilling victory over Marquez in Austria, but huge crashes in Aragon and Thailand meant he ended the season a broken man.

The 2019 campaign is Lorenzo’s biggest challenge yet and his battle with Marquez is sure to keep punters enthralled throughout the season.

Dovizioso is Ducati’s main hope of toppling the Honda duo. The Italian heads into 2019 on the back of successive runner-up finishes in the championship and 10 wins across the past two years. The 32-year-old has looked impressive during testing and could be a force to be reckoned with.

Yamaha had a tough 2018, with Maverick Vinales’ win in the Australian Grand Prix the only victory for the team all season. Valentino Rossi (third) and Vinales (fourth) featured prominently in the standings by the end of the season, but their finishing positions were earned through consistent rather than spectacular performances.

Rookies Francesco Bagnaia, Miguel Oliveira, Joan Mir and Fabio Quartararo all have the potential to make their mark in MotoGP, although it is unlikely that any of them will challenge on a consistent basis.

Marquez is understandably the favourite to win his sixth MotoGP title, but Lorenzo looks the value bet in what promises to be an epic season.

Why 250 2 Strokes is Great for 2019 MX Racing

Late in 2018, many changes occurred with MX racing, and we saw a few classes change with age limits and others fall away completely.

If there’s only one brilliant addition, it would be the 250 2 strokes that are meant for the riders who are ready to move on from the 250 4 strokes, but not quite up for the big races such as the MXGP. The 2 strokes are sure to provide some interesting racing action as we once again see their high-tuned beasts return to the track in competitive MX racing.

From what we can see, there are already loads of riders interested in the new class, including some of the best from both 125 and 250 4 strokes. This will be a class worth keeping an eye on as the smokers deliver so much more power and the competition is bound to be brilliant as these matching already performs at their absolute peak! Here’s why we think the new 2 stroke class will be better than the 4 strokes:

2 Strokes Have So Much More Power!

Those who know and ride MX bikes will know that the 250 2 strokes run just as quick as the 450 4 strokes and they have the advantage of being lighter and better balanced.

So, as you can imagine, this new class will be one that has us seeing bigger jumps, tighter cornering and riders who actually have way too much power to use on the short tracks. Not only will this cause some to fall under the pressure, but we’ll see the champs work hard to earn their titles.

For those who aren’t too clued up on bikes, the difference between 2 and 4 strokes night and day. The 2 strokes fire twice as much as the 4 strokes, allowing them to have a lot more power, which might not be as smooth as the 4 strokes, but for the riders who can get in the power band and stay there, it’s bound to be a huge advantage!

Less Break Downs

The 4 strokes have become reliable over the years in the world of MX racing, but they still don’t perform quite as well, which is understandable since there are so many more moving parts that could fail.

With the 2 strokes, we’re bound to see more racing and less breaking down, allowing the riders to focus on their abilities instead of falling behind due to a faulty bike. The 2 strokes will allow the true champions to shine through and all for the right reasons as the bikes are so closely tunes that power differences won’t be a huge decider anymore.

The bikes are also a lot lighter, which could have some teams changing the way to prep for the races and different track types, which is yet another section we’ll get to enjoy with the new 2 stroke 2019 MX series.

MotoGP 2019 What We Look Forward To

With MotoGP testing set to begin in less than a month, we see some interesting stories about the teams and what could possibly happen in the season to come. Not only do we see major changes to some of the teams, but we’re looking forward to seeing how everyone adapts to the new regulations as well.

With the schedule mirroring last year, we yet again see 19 races for the season ahead. The first interesting part would be the fact that one 2 of the 22 teams remain the same with the same riders. It’s bound to take some time to get used to all the changes and remembering where everyone is racing, but it also allows for some new excitement as we see what team and rider gets across the line first.

With all the stories going around, there’s sure to be a lot to keep an eye on, which is why we’re giving you the most interesting ones right here, making it a little easier to keep up with everything happening in MotoGP and staying updated on what’s to come in 2019.

Who Would be the Rookies Worth Watching?

In 2018, we saw an amazing battle for the best of the rookies, and it was actually close towards the end as Franco Morbidelli from the Honda team just managed to stay ahead of Hafizh Syahrin from Yamaha. In fact, it was only 4 points in total splitting them by the end of the 19th race of the year. Even though Morbidelli managed a best position of just 8th, he still managed to claim the rookie title with a total of 50 points.

With all the changes for 2019, we actually have four racers who might just have what it takes to battle it out for the rookie title this year. They’ve all upgraded from MotoGP 2 and show great promise as they head to the track with MotoGP in 2019.

First on the list and the most likely to take the title is Joan Mir who joined MotoGP after just one year with the intermediate class. He will be on the Factory Suzuki bike where he is replacing Andrea Iannone. We’re expecting the new rider for Pramac Ducati, Pecco Bagnaia, to make some impressive moves as well. He managed to claim the title in MotoGP in 2018 and will now be joining Jack Miller in MotoGP.

Could Miller have it in 2019?

One of the biggest stories to look forward to is with Jack Miller who is now joining his 5th year in MotoGP. Sure, he isn’t a new rider anymore, but he is only turning 24 this year, and from what we’ve seen, he has a lot more to provide.

Well, 2019 might just be the year where he can go all out and get the best results. Of course, he would firstly be taking care of the new addition being Bagnaia, but with the new 2019 Ducati, we can expect to see Miller crash a lot less and possibly even make a difference to the leaders.

2019 Livery Revealed for Petronas RST Yamaha

The Petronas RST team now becomes the new satellite team for Yamaha as it replaces the Tech3 team for the 2019 season. Earlier this week, the team revealed their new colours for the 2019 season at their Twin Towers located in Kuala Lumpur.

The team made their debut in 2018 on a bike that was mostly black, but now they strike with an attractive theme that represents the primary sponsor, Petronas right in the centre of the fairing. It’s accommodated by black and an interesting shade of turquoise, which fades from the darker colours and really allows the sponsors to stand out.

The racers are receiving new outfits, which are in line with the premier class of course. There represent a similar design and have been created by SIC Racing who have been involved with multiple forms of racing. Not only are they owned by the Sepang Circuit, but they also have programs in the Moto2 and 3 races where they’ll claim podiums with Jakub Kornfeil and Johann Zarco.

The team manager, Wilco Zeelenberg said they aim to become the most powerful and the very best in MotoGP. He joined the RST team from the Works Yamaha squad. The team also includes Valentino Rossi and officially the youngest MotoGP rider, Fabio Quartararo who is only 19 years old.

Maverick Vinales and Rossi will be performing as per usual on the fine-tuned A-spec bikes while the rookie will take on the B spec and show what he is made of for his promising career with the RST team.

Team Looking forward to What Lies Ahead

It seems as if everyone is looking forward to the adventures ahead as the new Yamaha team sets their sights on the track. The MotoGP action is bound to start soon, and all the fans are looking forward to seeing how it goes with the new merge. The fact that Valentino Rossi is part of the team already gives everyone a lot of hope, but we’ll have to see how it goes against the rest of the field, especially against the hot Ducati teams who’ve managed to make some major shifts in recent races.

It would also be interesting to see how the new team handles the changes for 2019, including the adjustments to make all UMI unique a standard among all teams. These units provide important data about what the leaning angles of the bike is, which is then used to apply changes to the bike as it feed info to the team and the bike’s computer box.

It would be quite impressive if the new rider, Rossi and Maverick manages to get out the gates with brilliant set ups and manage to bring the competition to a whole new level for the other teams. There’s no doubt that the racers have the talent, we’ll just have to wait and see if the new team has what it takes to back them up. 

Changes to MotoGP 2019

With the 2019 season just around the corner, it’s about time we take a look at the changes in bikes and teams. The first 2019 MotoGP test in less than a week away and we’re already excited about some of the new racing features to come for the year ahead.

We will seek multiple factors play a role with the bikes itself and the teams that have been adjusted. Much like we see in Formula 1, it’s almost as if MotoGP is being cured towards better entertainment by forcing the racers to get closer to each other. Although, MotoGP is already a super-close sport, making us wonder what the new changes would introduce.

Changes to the Bikes

MotoGP is by far one of the most exciting forms of motorsport as we see teams from around the world make the finest tunings to their prototypes and get ahead in the races to come. It’s one of the sports where every tenth of a second counts and where only the very best will do.

To some, the changes applied might have an effect on the interesting tunings of each team as the IMU will now become a standard unit for all teams. The IMU is the sensor that communicates with the ECU to tell it at what angle the bike is leaned. Over the years, teams have set these to best suit the rider, and some actually gained and lost with specific tunings. The unit also captures important data, which would allow the teams to apply changes during the race.

Now, the director and FIM of MotoGP will be applying a unified IMU that’s used by all teams. This is one of the big changes that ensure to bring closer racing action to the track. It will also increase the competition for all racers, which is sure to make it interesting as everyone would be riding harder and trying to get a lead. Of course, this would mean the tyres won’t last as long, and it could have an effect on teams and when they go in for a pit stop.

Changes to Teams

While we are on the subject of competitive racing, we also see a number of interesting changes to completely alter the season coming up for 2019.

Firstly, we see for new rookies entering MotoGP, which most might just ignore for the first season, but these racers have already proven themselves worthy of a title, making them big news for MotoGP 2019. Keep an eye out for Francesco Bagnaia who joins the Alma Pramac Racing team, Miguel Oliveira who makes his way to the Tech 3 Racing KTM team, Fabio Quartararo who sets in with the Petronas Yamaha SIC team for the first year and finally, Joan Mir who sets in with the Team Suzuki Ecstar.

Finally, we also see the SIC (Sepang International Circuit team) taking over the Yamaha Independent Team for 2019, which is a great way to fill the gap that has been left by the Tech 3 team.

How Push Rob Engines Work

If you’re restoring an old motorbike, riding a Harley or even bought one of the cheap Chinese knock-offs, chances are, you’ve got a pushrod engine. While these engines are actually old technology, they still work very well and are extremely simple.


Before you can work on these engines and get them tuned properly, you’ll need to understand how they work. Compared to modern overhead cam engines, these are a little different as the cam doesn’t sit above the valves, which is where the pushrods come in.


Starting with the Crank


Other than the cam, the engine is similar to a cover head cam engine in most ways, including the crank, which is where it all begins. Unlike modern bike engines, there’s no chain around the crack to drive the cam, instead, the car runs off a gear directly attached to the crack, meaning the cam sits just above the crack.


To make it as simple as possible, we’ll look at a single cylinder engine, which would have a cam that has only 2 lobes (intake and exhaust). Bigger engines have the same setup, but some have multiple valves per cylinder and there are also engines with multiple cylinders.


So, the cam attached to the crank at a ratio of 2 to 1, meaning the crack turns double as fast as the camshaft, allowing the lubes on the cam to turn perfectly to over the exhaust and intake valves, which is exactly the same as a modern engine.


How the Valves Open and Close


Since the cam isn’t directly above the valves, it means it cannot control the valves directly. As mentioned, the cam sits just above the crank, meaning the cam is actually lower than the values.


To make it all work, the engine uses tappets that run on the cam lobes and are attached to a push rod, which connects to the valve rocker. Each time the engine turns, the push rod pushes the rocker, which then forces the value to go down and either let air in or out.


To ensure the tappet stays connected to the cam lobe at all times and doesn’t stay open or closed longer than it should, the valve has a spring attached to it, forcing it closed and creating pressure on the push rod that’s connected to the tappet and then the cam rocker.


Why Push Rod Engines Don’t Rev Well


Since these engines have more parts involved with the system compared to regular overhead cam motors, there are some disadvantages. You’ll commonly find push rod engines don’t rev nearly as high as overhead cam motors and most can’t understand why that is.


Well, it’s rather simple when you think about it. For the engine to run smoothly, the tappet has to remain attached to the cam lobe at all times, meaning the spring that closes the valve has to react fast enough. However, with 5,000 RPM and higher, the spring develops vibrations and simply cannot keep up with the lobes, causing pressure to escape in the engine when it shouldn’t, making you lose power.