CRAZIEST RACE EVER? Watch Misano Race 1 2017 FREE, the race nobody wanted to win

As the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship prepares for the 2023 Pirelli Emilia-Romagna Round at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”, we’re taking a trip down memory lane to get ready for the next classic Misano race. This time, we head to 2017 and Race 1 – a race which, seemingly, no one wanted to win. Michael van der Mark, then at Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team, was leading but crashed out followed by Marco Melandri crashing from the podium places shortly after. Then, Ducati’s Chaz Davies and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) came together on the final lap, with Davies out of the race and Rea taking third, allowing Tom Sykes of the Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK to claim a dramatic victory. Watch the full race for FREE by clicking the video at the top of this article.

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“Unnoticed” – A. Fernandez’ under the radar first 5 rounds

“Clearly the performances were there… Of course, the rider needs his team and vice versa. Afterwards, whatever you say, once the lights go out, they are a bit on their own. And here, he clearly demonstrated what he was capable of. Hats off to him! Frankly, I’m glad to see it working so well. Augusto is such a likeable, discreet, hard-working guy… Like Dani (Pedrosa), he also brings a kind of serenity to the team. When you are in such an environment, it is so much more pleasant.”

Source: MotoGP.comRead Full Article Here

Goodwood Festival of Speed set for MotoGP™ celebration!

They’ll be joined by an incredible line-up of famous faces, with Giacomo Agostini, Mick Doohan, Jorge Lorenzo, Freddie Spencer, Casey Stoner, Kevin Schwantz, Wayne Gardner, Kenny Roberts Jr, Alex Crivillé and Randy Mamola already confirmed – between them holding an incredible 35 World Championships.

Source: MotoGP.comRead Full Article Here

Top 10: Toprak’s best moments with Yamaha

The 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is a fascinating season. However, the news that 2021 World Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) will leave Yamaha at the end of 2023 and get ready for a new challenge in the factory BMW team has sent shockwaves through the paddock. With this move now official, we look back at ten of the best moments of Toprak’s time at Yamaha, as a memorable four-season partnership will come to a close.

The first win: Phillip Island Race 1, 2020

Few riders win on their WorldSBK debut for a new manufacturer, with Jonathan Rea for Kawasaki in 2015, Leon Haslam for Suzuki in 2010 and John Kocinski for Honda in 1997 doing so. Toprak Razgatlioglu put his name on the list in his first race for Yamaha in 2020, taking the lead on the last lap and holding off a slipstream charge to the line for WorldSBK’s second-closest podium at 0.007s.

Domination at Estoril: Estoril Race 1 and Superpole Race, 2020

At the end of a first campaign with Yamaha, despite the initial high of winning, technical issues and a lack of podium consistency saw Razgatlioglu not feature prominently at the front or in rostrum battle. However, at Estoril, he stormed to a career-first pole position by over seven tenths of a second before checking out in Race 1 and the Superpole Race, whilst being beaten in Race 2, but ending his first year how he’d go on to start the second.

The Senna-like start: Donington Park Race 1, 2021

With just one victory to his name in what would go on to be his Championship year, Razgatlioglu qualified in 13th at Donington Park, the circuit where he took a first-ever podium at in 2018. Flying off the fifth row, Razgatlioglu was inside the top five by the time they got to Turn 1, with a narrow dry line all he had to work with. He was second by Turn 8 and leading halfway through Lap 2. He checked out for one of his greatest ever wins, with a start similar to Ayrton Senna in F1 at the same track in 1993.

Battle commences with Redding: Most Race 1, 2021 and 2022

Razgatlioglu was in form in 2021 and fighting his way to the front, whilst title rival Jonathan Rea crashed twice in Race 1. On the last lap, he took on Ducati’s Scott Redding, making a bold pass into Turn 15, but running wide, before launching an attack into Turn 20 and barging his way through. The pair had strong words and contrasting emotions over it; then, a year later, in the same race, the BMW-mounted Redding was passed by Razgatlioglu into the fast Turn 13, with Redding running off-track. Again, they clashed over the forcefulness of the move; could they be teammates in 2023?

Celebrating with the rub of the green: Portimao Race 1, 2021

After a late penalty for going onto the green at Magny-Cours in the Superpole Race cost him a heroic last lap battle win, Toprak Razgatlioglu was out to make amends at Portimao. He hit the front into the first turn with three to go and broke clear of Scott Redding, whilst Jonathan Rea had crashed out earlier at the final corner. Razgatlioglu took the win and celebrated by getting a broom and brushing the green on the exit of Turn 5, in reference to Magny-Cours. In Race 2, Toprak crashed at the same corner that Rea had in Race 1, with Rea winning. Rea’s celebration was a burnout on the same bit of green that Toprak had previously cleaned. Oh, the fun and games.

The ‘Marc Marquez style’ save: Estoril Superpole Race, 2022

Round three of his title defence season with the #1 and Razgatlioglu still hadn’t won, but that looked like it was going to change at Estoril in the Superpole Race. After being beaten on a final lap run to the line in Race 1 by Bautista, Razgatlioglu was leading on the last lap ahead of Jonathan Rea. However, into the final chicane at Turn 9, Toprak tucked the front in a massive way, with his elbow on the ground. Somehow, he kept it upright but Rea zipped on through and took victory, although Razgatlioglu was happy enough just to make it to the finish in P2.

Old enemies clash again: Most Superpole Race, 2022

In another final lap showdown, Razgatlioglu and Rea went toe-to-toe. Just a few rounds after their battle at Estoril and their clash and crash at Assen in Race 2, both were embroiled in more drama. On the last lap into Turn 15, Razgatlioglu put his leg out as he got ready for track position, whilst Rea was on the inside and going for a race winning pass. However, both nearly collided and Rea had to let the brakes off as he went into the gravel, but kept it upright. Razgatlioglu scampered clear for victory.

Keeping the title alive: San Juan Superpole Race, 2022

After crashing in the first race, Razgatlioglu’s title defence was now looking like it wasn’t going to happen, but the 54 never knows when he’s beaten. A titanic final three laps with Alvaro Bautista saw the two battle hard, tripping each other up and bringing long-time race leader Jonathan Rea back into play. Bautista lead onto the front on the final lap, only for Razgatlioglu to outbrake him into Turn 1. Bautista tried again on the back straight, but Razgatlioglu responded into Turn 8, holding on until the chequered flag. An instant classic in Argentina.

The first triple, “dream” achieved: Donington Park Race 2, 2022

If Toprak hadn’t been penalised at Magny-Cours in 2021, then he’d have achieved a first triple of his career. It was the only thing missing from his Championship year. However, in his quest to defend the title, he finally achieved his dream. Razgatlioglu was invincible at his “second home” of Donington Park, as he took Paul Denning’s team to victory in all three races, the team’s first triple too. It would be the first of two triples of 2022, with the other coming at Mandalika where in Race 2, despite making it a hat-trick, Razgatlioglu relinquished the crown to Alvaro Bautista and Ducati.

The title-clinching race: Mandalika Race 1, 2021

A thrilling 13-round WorldSBK season was coming to an end but not without drama. The first-ever race at Mandalika was delayed until Sunday due to heavy rain on Saturday. Then, it was delayed one more time on Sunday but eventually, the race got underway. Razgatlioglu almost crashed on the warm-up lap at Turn 1 after a near-miss with Axel Bassani, but then when the race got going, he and Rea did battle once again, the two titans of the title race. But with nine laps to go, Razgatlioglu made a big mistake and went from the lead back to P3. However, he’d fight bike to second, enough to give him the Championship in an incredible first-ever race at Mandalika. Check out The Final Stunt documentary, here!

A breath-taking season is well underway, watch it all unfold in style with the WorldSBK VideoPass!


FREE: Rea’s first WorldSBK victory from Misano 2009 after fierce Fabrizio fight!

It’ll be just a few weeks short of 14 years since Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) claimed his first MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship win Round 5, the Pirelli Emilia-Romagna Round, takes place in early June and, to get you warmed up for the round, we are taking a trip down memory lane. This time it is to Rea’s maiden WorldSBK victory, in Race 2 in 2009, when he battled with Michel Fabrizio. The pair were separated by just 0.063s across the line as Rea denied Italy a famous home win but Rea was able to take the first of his 118 WorldSBK wins so far. Watch the full, incredible race by clicking the video at the top of this article.

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Checa interview part 2: “The performance of all the riders is quite high… everyone is working for themselves”

With a third of the 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship campaign in the history books already, the gap between the Catalunya and Emilia-Romagna Rounds is the perfect time to take stock of the season so far. That’s exactly what 2011 WorldSBK Champion did in an interview at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya during the Prosecco DOC Catalunya Round and you can check out the first part of the interview HERE. In part two, Checa discusses Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) and Jonathan Rea’s (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) seasons so far as well as the 2023 rider line-up.

REA AND RAZGATLI0GLI’S POTENTIAL TEAMWORK: “everyone is working for themselves…”

During a parc ferme conversation at the Dutch Round, Rea and Razgatlioglu were in conversation with the 2021 Champion asking his rival why he didn’t attack Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) to be in a position to disrupt his rhythm and potentially fight for victory. Checa was asked about the pair potentially working together throughout 2023 to give his point of view on their fightback but believes the pair will work separately this season.

Checa said: “This is an individual sport, and everyone is working for themselves. Clearly, now, Alvaro is one step in front as Jonny and Kawasaki did in the past, as Toprak did in some moments, catching Jonny and beating him. Now Alvaro has arrived and beat them. Maybe with more room or space than they expected. He’s the reference. Now they need to catch Alvaro and the distance is quite big. I don’t know if they will be able to. It seems so difficult because Alvaro is controlling and riding over them, and he increased the lead quite a lot. I don’t think they will do any teamwork. It’s more a resignation, it seems they cannot fight to win so they will fight for second place. So far, if there’s no problem for Alvaro and Ducati, they need to fight for other positions. It’s clear that in some circuits they’ll be closer, I don’t know if they’ll be able to beat him, although it would be nice for the spectacle, because these three battling is what the fans like. But they have to do a great job, with their teams, with Yamaha and Kawasaki, because Ducati has done a big step forward and have found a rider who can take profit of the bike, which is Alvaro.”

THE CURRENT GRID: one of the strongest ever?

Six rookies joined the WorldSBK grid in 2023 with all having at least a domestic title to their name to make it one of the strongest rookie line-ups, and adding those riders to an already-strong grid added more depth. With so many World Champions on the grid, coming from WorldSBK, WorldSSP and Moto2™, as well as European and domestic titles to the majority of the grid, Checa was asked whether the 2023 grid could be considered the strongest in WorldSBK.

Discussing this, the 2011 Champion said: “I think WorldSBK always had a strong grid and the performance of all the riders is quite high. We can see the evidence. We see first, second, third and it seems like the others are not good enough but Petrucci won in MotoGP™, Remy did really good in Moto2™ but it’s not a Championship where you arrive and because you were in front in a different championship or MotoGP™, you can automatically be in front. There’s a lot of work, it depends on the bike and the team. You can adapt better or not. It seems like Bautista adapted perfectly and other riders, like Petrucci and probably Remy, are struggling as well. I think these riders have the capacity and ability and the performance to potentially be in front. Sooner or later, if they have an opportunity, we can see them at the front.”

Watch more WorldSBK action throughout 2023 using the WorldSBK VideoPass!


2023 CFMOTO 300SS | First Ride Review 

The 2023 CFMOTO 300SS exceeds expectations with thoughtful features and a good fit and finish. (Photos by Yve Assad)

Last year, CFMOTO returned to the U.S. market with a seven-model lineup. The company’s list of models has since grown to 10, ranging from the 126cc Papio minibike to the Ibex 800 T adventure bike. CFMOTO’s best seller worldwide is the 300SS, a lightweight sportbike with full bodywork. 

Related: 2022 CFMOTO Motorcycle Lineup | First Ride Review 

One of CFMOTO’s value propositions is affordability. The 300SS has an MSRP of $4,499, which is $400 less than the Honda CBR300R and $1,000 less than the more powerful Yamaha YZF-R3. But CFMOTO is going to have to do more than offer a better price to compete with brands that have already earned the trust of many American riders. 

The semi-circle of color around the wheels adds personality to CFMOTO’s top-seller.

However, curious to see what makes the 300SS so popular, I spent a month riding it on a variety of city streets, highways, and winding country roads. 

Swing a Leg Over 

The 300SS is powered by a 292cc Single that makes a claimed 29 hp at 8,750 rpm and 18.7 ft-lb of torque at 7,250 rpm, numbers nearly on par with Honda’s CB300 range of bikes. It’s fairly lightweight at 364 lb, and it sports a narrow seat with a 30.7-inch height and has a 3.2-gallon fuel tank. Riding on a steel trellis frame, the 300SS has an inverted fork and a single rear shock with five-position preload adjustability. For 2023, color options are Nebula Black with red accents (as tested) and Ghost Gray with blue accents. 

The 292cc engine is eager to please and easy to handle.

When I picked up our test bike and first swung a leg over it, I was immediately impressed by its appearance alone. The lines on the bodywork are well-done, the colored stripe on the wheels adds personality, and the air vents under the passenger seat make the 300SS look like it means business. Aside from looking cool, it also has good fit and finish. 

The clip-on handlebars provide a sporty seating position for zipping around corners, and the carbon-fiber-styled accent on the fuel tank adds character.

The only thing about it that seemed odd was the reach to the mirrors. It’s not something I think about with a new bike often, but when I reached up to adjust the mirrors, they were so far away that I could barely touch them. However, I was able to set the mirrors where I wanted them without having to adjust them throughout the ride, so it wasn’t much of an issue. 

Related: 2023 CFMOTO 450SS | First Look Review

Twist Off 

Since I picked the bike up in a suburb of Nashville, I had to putter along for a few miles before I could really open it up and see what it could do. Right away, the bike felt easy to ride, and that held true when I was able to get up to speed. Its small size and easy-to-control clutch make it nimble and responsive. The gearing felt dialed in just right. The 292cc engine had plenty of power to zip off from a red light and get me down the interstate, but it never felt like it was trying to run away without me. The 300SS’s smaller size, flickability, and affordability make this bike a smart choice for new riders. 

The 300SS comes equipped with full LED lighting, two ride modes, Bluetooth connectivity, ABS, and other thoughtful features.

For a bike with a price below its competition, the 300SS has a few features that were pleasantly surprising additions. For example, it comes equipped with two ride modes: Eco and Sport. I started out using Eco mode but switched to using Sport primarily. There’s not a big difference between the two modes, but Sport is a bit peppier and more fun. And this is a bike to have fun on. It gave me confidence in curves and had me grinning from ear to ear. Shifting gears is smooth, and the sporty seating position made me feel like I was riding faster than I was – in a good way. 

Air vents under the passenger seat add to the 300SS’s sporty look.

However, that sportier seating position is not ideal for longer trips. Maybe if I were more used to the sporty ergonomics, I wouldn’t feel fatigued so quickly. As it was, I could ride the 300SS for about 45 minutes to an hour before I started looking for a spot to pull over and shake out the aches. For bopping around town or going on quick sprints close to the house, the narrow profile and firm seat were perfect and put me in a controlling position. 

Rear suspension is provided by an Internal Floating Piston monoshock with five-position preload adjustability.

In the sweeping curves through the hills of rural Tennessee, the suspension was just right. The only time I regretted having firm suspension was on the potholed and bumpy Interstate 40 through Memphis, but that section of road is notoriously rough on all vehicles. Everywhere else, the suspension provided a nice balance of control and comfort. 

Gear Up

While riding around town, several people approached me to ask about the bike and told me they thought it looked really cool. They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but there’s something to be said for a bike that’s both fun to ride and fun to look at, and the 300SS is both. 

The 300SS is CFMOTO’s top-selling motorcycle, and I can understand why. Its quality build, sporty looks, and low price make it an attractive option.

Exceeding Expectations 

Another nice touch for a low-price bike is the 5-inch TFT display. The display shows everything you’d expect: odometer, tachometer, speed, fuel level, voltage, temp, time, and gear. When switching ride modes, the layout changes, making it easy to tell the mode has changed but maybe a little harder to find what you’re looking for if you’ve already gotten used to the other layout. 

The TFT display changes layout when switched to a different ride mode. I enjoyed both the performance and the display layout of Sport mode.

The display is easy to read as long as it’s not in direct sunlight. When the sun was behind me, I found myself having to move my head to shade the display to read it, which was a little annoying. The display also connects with the CFMOTO RIDE app for navigation and playing music. One feature I appreciated was the security alert. Once connected, the app will alert your phone if the bike is rolled without keys in it, a handy feature if someone tries to take it off your hands while you’re not around. 

The mirrors provide a nice view of what’s coming up on your rear. Just make sure you adjust them before you take off, as they’re a little hard to reach while riding.

My only other beef with the display is that, while using the navigation, once the distance to your next turn or destination is less than 0.1 mile, that distance is given in inches rather than feet or yards. Maybe you’re better at judging distances than I am, but if you asked me to walk 5,864 inches in one direction, I’d have to pull out a calculator to figure out approximately how far I needed to go. It wasn’t a problem on the sparsely populated country roads, but while riding in downtown Memphis, it was hard to know if I should turn at the next block or the one after that. Even though I’d prefer measurements in feet instead of inches, having navigation on a low-price model was welcome, and I appreciated all the other information and features available through the CFMOTO RIDE app. 

The seating position puts me in a controlling stance, but after about 45 minutes, I’m in need of a stretch break.

Stopping power comes from a 4-piston caliper and a 292mm disc up front and a 220mm disc and single-piston caliper in the rear, and ABS is standard. The rear brake performed its job well, but the front brake felt a little weak. Luckily, such a small bike is not hard to slow down, but if it were much heavier, I’d want more stopping power up front. 

More stopping power from the front break would be a welcome upgrade, but the current setup is adequate for this lightweight bike.

Along with the Bluetooth connectivity, ride modes, and the TFT display already mentioned, the 300SS comes equipped with LED headlights, taillights, and turnsignals. This isn’t a bare-bones and cheaply made bike; it’s a well-built machine with thoughtful additions that make the riding experience even better. All-in-all, the 300SS provides a lot for your money. 

The 300SS is an enjoyable and affordable ride that CFMOTO should be proud of.

CFMOTO’s 300SS gave me confidence that the brand is on track to earning its keep on American streets. It’s a fun ride with cool looks and an affordable price: the perfect recipe for attracting new riders, whether they’re new to riding in general or just new to CFMOTO. If you haven’t ridden a CFMOTO before, I’d encourage you to give it a try. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised, and with more than 200 CFMOTO motorcycle dealers in the U.S., there’s probably one near you. 

For 2023, color options are Nebula Black with red accents (shown a above) and Ghost Gray with blue accents.

2023 CFMOTO 300SS Specifications 

  • Base Price: $4,499 
  • Website: 
  • Warranty: 2 yr., unltd. miles 
  • Engine Type: Liquid-cooled Single, DOHC w/ 4 valves 
  • Displacement: 292cc 
  • Bore x Stroke: 78.0 x 61.2mm 
  • Horsepower: 29 hp @ 8,750 rpm (factory claim) 
  • Torque: 18.7 lb-ft @ 7,250 rpm (factory claim) 
  • Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated slip/assist wet clutch  
  • Final Drive: Chain 
  • Wheelbase: 53.5 in. 
  • Rake/Trail: 25 degrees/4.1 in. 
  • Seat Height: 30.7 in. 
  • Wet Weight: 364 lb 
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.2 gal. 

The post 2023 CFMOTO 300SS | First Ride Review  appeared first on Rider Magazine.


Florida Motorcycle Ride on Scenic State Road 13 | Favorite Ride

Florida Motorcycle Ride State Road 13
Florida SR 13 runs alongside the St. Johns River, which flows lazily from south to north for more than 300 miles and enters the Atlantic Ocean near Jacksonville. For this ride, my relaxed pace matched that of the river.

I should warn you: This Florida motorcycle ride doesn’t include challenging hairpin curves or drastic changes in elevation. The Sunshine State has a well-earned reputation for flat, straight roads, but there are little nuggets here and there that offer riding entertainment of a different sort.

Jacksonville is the second largest city by area in the contiguous U.S., so it’s spread out in clusters of population density. To get away from the hustle and bustle, I headed to a local favorite for motorcyclists, State Road 13, which runs for nearly 50 miles along the east bank of the north-flowing St. Johns River from Jacksonville south to Spuds, a rural community that grows exactly what its name would suggest.

Florida Motorcycle Ride State Road 13

Scan QR code above or click here to view the route on REVER

On the day of my ride, I hit the lottery in terms of traffic. I had the day off for Presidents’ Day. Schools were out, less fortunate souls were working, and my family was visiting the zoo, so I had a cool, sunny day all to myself.

After filling my body’s tank with high-octane coffee, I fired up my air-cooled Ducati Scrambler 1100, and its Italian rumble brought a smile to my face. I started off midmorning in no particular rush, enjoying the Duc’s torquey Twin while my fellow travelers sat locked in their steel cages.

Related: Ducati Scrambler 1100 First Ride Review

Florida Motorcycle Ride State Road 13 Riverdale Park
Riverdale Park, where I took an opportunity to enjoy the view and fantasize about setting sail on an abandoned sailboat.

See all of Rider‘s Florida touring stories here.

As I approached Greenbriar Road, my thoughts went to the history of this unremarkable stretch. Artist Amy Stump, who is a native to the area, once told me about the road’s history and its nickname, Ghost Light Road, which was summed up in Bill Delaney’s Jaxlore column in The Jaxson:

“[T]he ghost is a young motorcyclist from the area whose father had warned him about speeding on the dirt road. One fateful day, the young man’s brother strung a rope across Greenbriar. This prank merely would have unseated the cocky rider had he heeded his father’s admonition, but, unfortunately, he gunned the engine and lost his head. Thereafter, his ghost shined his headlamp down Greenbriar in a nightly vigil, either searching for his lost head or warning others against being so reckless.”

Florida Motorcycle Ride State Road 13
Trees draped in Spanish moss are a common sight in this part of Florida.

Like The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the tale is apocryphal, but why let the truth get in the way of a good story?

Greenbriar Road ends at SR 13 near Switzerland (which is nothing like the country), and I headed south toward the town of Orangedale, passing under a large canopy of oak trees casting shadows over the road. The 17-mile stretch of SR 13 between Julington Creek and Wades Creek is designated as the William Bartram Scenic and Historic Highway, named after the naturalist and botanist who documented plants, animals, and native peoples in the area during the late 1700s.

Florida Motorcycle Ride State Road 13 Bartram Scenic and Historic Highway
Part of SR 13 honors 18th-century botanist and naturalist William Bartram.

As I rolled along the well-kept two-lane road, I caught peeks of the St. Johns River through the trees, and a few curves and roundabouts provided an opportunity to lean the Ducati over. There are small parks aplenty for scenic stops, many with benches to take in the river views and get a taste of “Old Florida.” 

As I approached Orangedale, I was enveloped by the smokey smell wafting from Woodpeckers Backyard BBQ, a local favorite. Amy Stump’s mural of angel wings encircling regional landmarks greeted me as I placed an order for brisket and datil corn. Luckily, I got there before the brisket sold out, a gutting experience for those who arrive late in the day. I took my platter across the street to the Shands Pier and ate while watching boats gliding on the glint of the St. Johns.

Florida Motorcycle Ride State Road 13 Amy Stump Woodpeckers Backyard BBQ
A mural by Amy Stump at Woodpeckers Backyard BBQ, which is across from Shands Pier on SR 13.

Continuing south on SR 13, I took a brief detour on State Road 16 and crossed the Shands Bridge, passing fishermen, food trucks, and farm vendors. After riding by boatyards full of masts jutting into the sky, I stopped at The Military Museum of North Florida, located at the former site of Naval Air Station Lee Field. With its bunker-like main building, heavy machinery, and even a couple of military motorcycles from past theaters of war, it serves as a vivid reminder of the area’s deep military history.

Florida Motorcycle Ride State Road 13 St. Johns River Shands Pier
View of the St. Johns River at Shands Pier. Between Palatka and Jacksonville, the river ranges from 1 to 3 miles wide.

Back on SR 13, I stopped at Trout Creek Memorial Park and Marina, highlights of which include the Major Gen. William W. Loring Monument and swamp-boat rentals for sightseeing or fishing. While enjoying an inspiring view of the creek, I imagined William Bartram recording observations and gathering samples in the same location hundreds of years ago.

Florida Motorcycle Ride State Road 13 Military Museum of North Florida
The Military Museum of North Florida is on the west side of the river in Green Cove Springs.

Just down the road, I stopped at Buddy Boy’s Country Store, the best gas station on this route to fill up or enjoy the camaraderie of fellow riders. With its Adirondack chairs, general store provisions, and tasty country barbecue, it’s a must-stop if you’re in the area.

See all of Rider‘s Southeast U.S. touring stories here.

On the road again, the beauty of my ride really unfolded with curvy roads winding through tree canopies with peekaboo views of the river, piers, boat docks, and parks. Between the well-to-do town of Picolata (once the home of a Spanish fort) and Tocoi, SR 13 opened up, giving the Ducati a chance to stretch its legs.

Once past Tocoi, I recommend stopping at Riverdale Park. With picnic tables, benches, and a well-kept public restroom, it’s a nice place to relax and reflect. As the glassy calm waters of the St. Johns lapped gently against the shore, I closed my eyes and soaked in the ambience.

Florida Motorcycle Ride State Road 13 Trout Creek Memorial Park and Marina
A taste of Florida’s primitive beauty at Trout Creek Memorial Park and Marina.

SR 13 ends at the junction with State Road 207 near Spuds. I had a decision to make: head east toward the coast to towns like St. Augustine, Palm Coast, and Daytona Beach, or cross the river and ride up the west bank of the St. Johns. Eager to get home in time to enjoy dinner with my family and listen to the adventures my 6-year-old and his friends had at the zoo, I returned home the way I came, enjoying the open road and the scenery in the opposite direction. The beauty of this route is that it’s enjoyable on its own, or it can be combined with other scenic roads nearby. One thing’s for sure: It was the change of pace I was looking for.

See all of Rider‘s touring stories here.

The post Florida Motorcycle Ride on Scenic State Road 13 | Favorite Ride appeared first on Rider Magazine.


WorldSBK DIGEST: the biggest questions after Razgatlioglu’s switch to BMW confirmed

Usually, breaks are used for testing, some would say a bit of relaxing, perhaps some marketing. Occasionally, there’s a rider announcement about a renewal, but very few times do we see a major bit of ‘silly season’ news that has come to fruition. Well, if you’ve been under a rock during recent hours, 2021 WorldSBK Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) is leaving Yamaha and heading to the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team for 2024. As expected, there’s been a myriad of questions about the move, the reason and what’s next for the existing BMW and Yamaha riders. We’ve seen your questions and now, try our best to answer them.

Why has Toprak Razgatlioglu moved to BMW?

It’s a fair question; the BMW hasn’t won a race in the dry and it has struggled to challenge regularly for podiums, unlike the Yamaha which is a proven Championship winning package and one of the easier bikes for rookies and graduates to ride. However, it’s clear that Razgatlioglu has a top speed deficit in comparison to Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati), and the Bautista-Ducati package make a Championship challenge trickier to mount than in 2021’s title-winning season.  The BMW isn’t short on top speed, and perhaps Razgatlioglu’s search of a “new target, a new challenge” means to develop the bike into a winner, getting it to turn better in the middle of the corner and getting the power down on corner exit. There may also be a new project underway for BMW in WorldSBK; the manufacturer brought major updates in 2023, it may have more lined up.

Who will be Toprak’s teammate in 2024?

It’s probably the biggest question right now in the paddock. Marc Bongers gave limited information when asked about the 2024 line-up in Barcelona, and with Michael van der Mark out injured for a third stint in just a year and a half, the Dutchman could be feeling the heat. However, after Razgatlioglu’s announcement to BMW was made, the #60 shared “welcome Abi” to his Instagram story, suggesting that he may well be staying with BMW.

As for Scott Redding, the British rider is behind Independent rider Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) and in races where both Redding and van der Mark have finished, it’s 3-2 in Mikey’s favour, even if the #45 scored more points. He’s questioned his BMW future, saying he’ll “consider options” and it’s “hard to wait.” Redding and Razgatlioglu have got previous fallout, clashing on numerous occasions – notably at Most in Race 1 both in 2021 and 2022. Until an official statement is made, we can only go on what we know: both current riders aren’t signed for 2024. We could in theory see a whole new line-up. Gerloff, like van der Mark, “welcomed” Toprak to BMW and stated he “thinks he’ll like” the bike, even if the #31 will be in the Independent team. Redding hasn’t commented.

If not Redding, what happens next for the #45?

30-year-old Scott Redding came to WorldSBK and was instantly a Championship contender, winning races and finishing as runner-up in his rookie season. Third in his second year before moving to BMW, race wins seem a long time ago as Redding has undoubtedly struggle with the switch to inline four machinery, away from the Panigale V4 R which he came to WorldSBK aboard. Redding has questioned his own future as we’ve stated above, but what would those “options” be?

A return to Ducati? Perhaps, emulating Bautista, who likewise had two years away on inline four machinery at Honda and upon returning, was a better rider for it. Redding’s also been vocal about the Ducati’s top speed advantage so if you can’t beat them, maybe (re)join them? Unlikely, as Ducati have plenty of riders already waiting, such as current rider Rinaldi, his arch-rival Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing), Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) and WorldSSP Championship leader, Nicolo Bulega ( Racing – Ducati). What about Yamaha or Honda? A straight swap with Toprak is always possible and Yamaha will want an established race winner, but does Redding fit with Yamaha’s ethos of developing young talent? As for Honda, they’re the one team that have been quiet, whilst Alex Lowes’ (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) contract expires at the end of 2023.

Will Phil Marron move with Razgatlioglu to BMW?

Phil Marron has been Razgatlioglu’s crew chief since 2019, when Toprak was at Puccetti Kawasaki. Marron moved to Yamaha with Toprak, as Les Pearson – previous crew chief to van der Mark within the team – moved over to the GRT outfit with Garrett Gerloff, and Andrew Pitt moved to van der Mark’s side. Marron came from working with Shaun Muir Racing in 2018, when he was crew chief to Eugene Laverty. It makes sense that Razgatlioglu brings Marron to BMW, with their close-knit relationship; after all, a rider’s crew chief is a vital personal link as much as technical and it’s about having understanding. Bautista and Giulio Nava are the same, as are Rea and Pere Riba. The current crew chiefs at BMW are Ian Lord for Redding and Marcus Eschenbacher for van der Mark.

What happens to Yamaha and who will replace Razgatlioglu?

It’s an obvious question with not an obvious answer. A day after it was publicised that Toprak will leave for 2024, Andrea Locatelli was announced as staying with the team until 2025, making him the longest-serving factory Yamaha rider in WorldSBK at five straight years. The only others currently with a 2024 deal are Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), Alvaro Bautista and Garrett Gerloff. Team HRC’s Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge, Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati), Alex Lowes and both 2023 factory BMWs Scott Redding and Michael van der Mark are all available. Lowes and van der Mark have been at Yamaha before as teammates, whilst the others haven’t.

Could Yamaha promote an Independent rider?

With Yamaha’s racing ethos, progression is key. Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) was promoted from WorldSSP after two dominant titles and has been a strong in 2023, with two front rows and amazing late race pace seeing him with a best of P4. Teammate Remy Gardner is improving all the time too, whilst for Lorenzo Baldassarri (GMT94 Yamaha) and Brad Ray (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team), it’s unlikely they move into the factory team. Of current Independent Yamaha riders, the best-placed in the Championship is Aegerter, 27 points clear of teammate Gardner, one ahead of Rinaldi and 18 from P5’s Axel Bassani.

What is BMW’s strategy to success and why hire Razgatlioglu?

A final thought on BMW’s unequivocal desire to win and challenge for titles from Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “Toprak is undoubtedly one of the best riders in the field at the moment, which he proved by winning the 2021 World Championship. He’s not just a fast motorcycle racer, he’s also a great personality off the track. We’re convinced that Toprak will settle into the BMW Motorrad Motorsport family very quickly.” Dr Markus Schramm, head of BMW Motorrad, added: “I’m very proud that Toprak has opted to join BMW Motorrad. This is a forward-looking step for our project and a strong commitment of BMW Motorrad Motorsport in WorldSBK.”

Watch the rest of an incredible 2023 season in style with the WorldSBK VideoPass!


STAYING IN BLUE: Locatelli remains with Yamaha until 2025

With the 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship up and running and warming up for the remainder of the season, a flurry of transfer market action has happened. Just a day after it was announced that his current teammate Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) was departing for BMW in 2024, Andrea Locatelli has confirmed that he will remain in blue for the forthcoming two seasons.

STUNNING ARRIVAL: fast from the off in the WorldSBK paddock

Locatelli made the switch to the WorldSBK paddock in 2020 when he dominated in World Supersport, storming to the Championship title with two rounds to spare. He then graduated to the factory Yamaha outfit alongside Toprak Razgatlioglu, taking a podium in his maiden season at Assen. He went on to finish fourth overall, with three more podiums coming throughout the season. For 2022, Locatelli was back aboard the R1 and the Italian found his feet once more, and despite starting strongly, a mid-season dip in form meant he finished fifth by the end of the season, although he did pick up his career-best finish of second at Assen and was strong towards the end of the season with a podium at Mandalika.

BIG STEP MADE: 2023 has already been a year to remember for the #55

Coming into the current 2023 season, Locatelli is one of the riders who has made a clear step in performance, as has the Yamaha package. The only rider to score points in every race and with at least one podium from the opening four rounds – with five in total after 12 races – Locatelli sits pretty in third overall, behind teammate Razgatlioglu and reigning World Champion Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati). Until Race 2 in Barcelona, ‘Loka’ had been inside the top five in every race, with stunning consistency. He’s currently 33 points ahead of WorldSBK’s most successful rider of all-time, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK).

IN HIS OWN WORDS: “We’ve laid the groundwork for a bright future”

Speaking about the renewal, Locatelli was elated to confirm his future with the brand that gave him the opportunity to graduate, whilst speaking highly of the entire team in fuelling belief into the 26-year-old: “My objective was to continue with Yamaha, so I’m very happy to have signed for another two years. One of the best things about Yamaha is the people who believe in me, starting with Eric de Seynes, Paolo Pavesio and Andrea Dosoli, but also Riccardo Tisci and all the engineers and technicians who work so hard to give me the best bike possible. The same is true of the team. Since I arrived in WorldSBK I have enjoyed incredible support from Paul Denning and Andrew Pitt, and everyone involved in the project.

“All together we have achieved some good results but, more importantly, we have walked side-by-side on a path that has allowed me to feel more and more confident,” continued a philosophical Locatelli. We still have room for improvement in many areas, but I truly believe that with such a good relationship we will grow stronger together. If consistency is key as they say, then I think that with this extension, we’ve laid the groundwork for a bright future.”

DETERMINATION AND INTELLIGENCE: Dosoli hails ‘matured’ Locatelli

Yamaha Motor Europe’s Road Racing Manager Andrea Dosoli was also jubilant in confirming Locatelli: “It gives me great pleasure to announce that we will continue for two more years with Andrea Locatelli, in line with Yamaha’s vision of nurturing talent and forging a long-term relationship with our riders. Our journey with Andrea started in 2020 when he dominated WorldSSP aboard our R6, but his performance in 2021 when we moved him up to WorldSBK was equally impressive, finishing the season fourth and as rookie of the year.

“We have seen Andrea mature as a rider, continually progressing to the point where he is now one of the strongest in the Championship. He has shown himself to be capable of making informed technical decisions during testing, whilst his determination in the short races is matched by his intelligent management of the longer feature races. These are all good signs, and this is what convinced us that, together, we can make further steps and secure even better results in the future. On behalf of Yamaha, but also from me personally, I would like to thank Andrea for the trust he has shown in us.”

WHAT NEXT FOR YAMAHA: one rider penned, one rider leaving

Summing up the transfer market so far, Locatelli becomes the fourth factory rider confirmed on the grid for 2024 and the first for Yamaha. Whilst teammate Toprak departs for BMW at the end of the year, Locatelli’s two-year deal, taking him to 2025, means he will be the longest-serving factory Yamaha rider in consecutive seasons, with Noriyuki Haga (2005 – 2008), Alex Lowes (2016 – 2019), Michael van der Mark (2017 – 2020) and current rider Toprak Razgatlioglu (2020 – 2023) holding the record of four seasons, whereas ‘Loka’ is set for five. Jonathan Rea, Alvaro Bautista, Toprak Razgatlioglu and Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) are the only other riders confirmed on the grid in 2024, but Locatelli is the first signed for 2025. The big question now is who will be his teammate?

Watch the rest of an incredible 2023 season in style with the WorldSBK VideoPass!


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