Saturday, October 31, 2009

AGV Dainese Sammy Halbert 2009 Grand National Champion!

Congrats to Sammy for some gnarly racing and a lot of determination (despite a crash in the last Main event) to bring the Grand National home.

Here's a quick report from Pomona from Road Racer X dirt track insider Miriam Deitcher:

"In 1999, Carr ran away with the championship, finishing 65 points ahead of Rich King. The story was quite different this year as, heading into Pomona, six riders were in mathematical contention for the Grand National Championship: Sammy Halbert, Jared Mees (-1), Kopp (-4), JR Schnabel (-19), defending champ Kenny Coolbeth, (-24) and Jake Johnson (-24).
Although I consider Mees and others to be my good friends, I found myself secretly rooting for Halbert all season long. He’s just the kind of kid you want to see do well. His dad tunes his bikes, and he’s sponsored by his family. Off the track, he’s quiet, humble, and gracious. On the track, however, he’s ferocious and exciting as hell to watch. I often hear him described as a “racer’s racer” with a “win or die trying” attitude.

Halbert elevating his foot, moment after winning the Grand National Championship. - Miriam Deitcher photo
Halbert elevating his foot, moment after winning the Grand National Championship. - Miriam Deitcher photo

Halbert’s championship hopes almost came to an end during the Pomona main event, when he pummeled into Stevie Bonsey’s bike after the former MotoGP 125cc rider crashed. “His bike slid right in front of me, and I went up and over at high speed,” Halbert wrote in his post-race report. The crash, which catapulted Sammy ten or more feet into the air upon impact, was so scary it would’ve sent most riders packing. But not Sammy. “It looked like it was all over,” he said. “I felt like my leg might have been broken. After a few minutes, I stood up and luckily the bike wasn’t too damaged to continue.” Not only did Halbert join the single-file restart in dead last, he then proceeded to finish on the podium. All that, with a leg so messed up he could hardly walk the next day.
Halbert’s third-place finish at Pomona was just enough to edge out Kopp by one point and Mees by three to win the Grand National Championship, making 2009 the closest top-three Grand National Champion finish in AMA Flat Track history. You have to go all the way back to 1963 for the next closest, when Dick Mann, George Roeder, and Ralph White ended the season ten points apart.

The feat puts Sammy in the elite Grand National Champion club with legendary riders like Parker, Carr, Ricky Graham, and Bubba Shobert. Or does it? In 2006, AMA Pro Racing stopped recognizing the Grand National Champion. Instead, they honor the winners of the Twins and Singles series individually, but not the all-around champ. At the AMA Flat Track end-of-the-year banquet the night after Pomona, Sammy’s Grand National Championship went unmentioned."

Here's Sammy's Race Pomona report:

"Going into Pomona I was thinking I needed to just go in and get 28 points, by winning the Dash for Cash, and the GNC Main event. I then would have guaranteed myself at least second place in the AMA GNC Twins Championship, and a shot at winning if Jared Mees finished 10th or worse. I felt like all the training I have done all year has built up to this event, and I was ready to put it to good use.

The track turned out to be very challenging as they tried to make it hard packed, but the soil was too soft, and it was obvious right away that it was going to be a rough track all night. I qualified 9th but was confident I would be upfront when it came down to race time.

There was a few restarts in my heat race and I was getting shuffled backwards in most of them, I was worried as I fell back out of the top five before the restart. On the last re-start I didn't come off the line well, but I just charged into the lead through the first turn, but was soon passed by Henry Wiles. I tried my best to hang with him, but he was just a little faster. Then I had to give it everything I had to hold off challenges from Matt Weidman and JR Schnabel. Top two in this heat was crucial as it meant front row starts for the GNC Main event and Dash for Cash. I knew I had just barely kept my title hopes alive by finishing second.

The Dash for Cash just didn't go my way, I tried to find some good lines to pass, but found some bumps instead and dropped back to 6th place. Joe Kopp finished second which meant that we would be tied in the Overall Grand National Championship going into the Main event with Mees just one point behind.

In the main event I had kind of a rough time, and went backwards a little. I was running right behind Mees when all of a sudden Steve Bonsey crashed running the low line in turns three. His bike slid right in front of me,and I went up and over at high speed. I was layed out hard on the track, and it looked like it was all over, I felt like my leg might have been broken. After a few minutes I stood up, and luckily the bike wasn't to damaged to continue. I started in last place on the single file restart and worked my way around riders and continued to search for a fast line. Halfway through the race I had developed enough courage to try running the low line Thur the bumps in turn one, that turned out to be the key to my success as my Harley-Davidson XR750 was set up to handle the bumps well. I was then able to go just a little faster in each corner than everyone around me so I worked my way past Kopp, Johnson, and Carr. then I caught and passed Weidman and Mees for third, and it seemed I was catching the leaders, but it was too little to late. I finished in third place and was happy to limp onto the podium. I finished the season in third place for the AMA GNC Twins Championship, and won the "Overall Grand National Championship" by 1 point marking the closest ever top three riders in the Grand National Championship Series! I am also the first rider under 23 years old to win the Grand National Championship (combined points) since 1978.

I am so happy to end the season on such a high note by charging from last place to third in the Pomona GNC Main Event! They know I am coming for them! I also feel very honored to have won the overall Grand National Championship by having the most points in the singles and twins class for 2009.

I am looking forward to expanding my team for next year with the addition of my older brother, National #69 Jethro Halbert. I am really looking forward to working alongside him week in and week out, like we did as Amateurs. We will be stronger as a team together and will come to Daytona Bike Week prepared to gang up on the rest of the GNC Regulars.

Thanks to all my sponsors for helping to make the 2009 Racing Season a great success for me!"

Thursday, October 29, 2009

AGV helmets introduce the MT-X

This is AGV helmets return to the off-road and motocross scene. Quite a few years and development got by since Guennady Moisseev won 3 world titles with this below lid :-)

The new AGV project is the "entry level" MT-X which will retail in the USA at $199 and in Europe around Euro. 149

Some features:
Shell Painted HIR-TH (high resistant thermoplastic) resin
Number of shells 1 shell size
Ventilation System IVS (Integrated Ventilation System) with channels hollowed directly in the shell
Inside padding Removable and washable inside padding
Retention System Double D


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Aprilia RSV4 2010 Tested at Portimao

Dainese protects Aprilia's RSV4 test-riders :-)

Lorenzo's Dainese gloves: Mission Accomplished!

Mission accomplished for the technical protective wear used by Jorge Lorenzo during the Australian Grand Prix. Suit, gloves, boots, protections and D-air racing system have worked together to best protect the young Spanish rider who didn’t actually receive any significant injuries even though he was at the centre of a disastrous fall during the opening stages of the race.

The dynamics of the crash were quite remarkable: coming into contact with Nicky Hayden’s Ducati at over 240 km/h, breaking the front disk brake of Lorenzo’s M1 so he could not Jorge prepare for the first bend. At the start of the fall he was going at 200 km/h, which dropped slightly before his impact with the ground at an awesome acceleration of over 10g.
On this occasion the activation of D-air racing was essential, its deployment dampened the compression on Lorenzo’s shoulders and collar bone (this part of the body had already been injured), saving him from much more severe damage.
Notwithstanding the severity of the fall, the Full Metal Racer gloves were perfect in protecting the Majorcan champion’s hands thanks to their reinforced backs in Kevlar-Carbonium with Titanium inserts: after over 6 seconds of rolling and skidding he only received a slight scuffing on the little finger of this right hand.

Monday, October 26, 2009

AGV Dainese riders Top 10 in 250cc race at Sepang

Another podium finish for Supersic Simoncelli with a well deserved 3rd, ahead of his Dainese teammate Thomas Luthi in 4th.

Lukas Pesek brought his Aprilia to a 8th place finish.

The FIM 250cc Points standing after Sepang:

1st - H. Aoyama - 252 pts
2nd - M. Simoncelli - 2321 pts
3rd - H. Barbera - 214 pts
6th - Thomas Luthi - 107 pts
7th - Raffaele De Rosa - 106 pts
14th - Lukas Pesek - 70 pts

Max Biaggi Top 5 overall WSBK 2009

Aprilia is ready to move to the next stage after a very succesful first campaign for the new RSV4 and star rider, Dainese's WSBK man, Max "The Roman Emperor" Biaggi.

Congrats to Max for a 4th overall finish in the World Superbike 2009 Championship.

More from Vale at Sepang

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bellissimo Valentino!!

The legend continues! Valentino wins the 2009 MotoGP title and adds a 9th World Championship to his bio.

A few important facts about VR46:

1) Has 103 wins to his name, 77 in the premier class.
2) 163 podiums in all Grand Prix classes.
3) With Saturday’s pole position at Sepang, Rossi equaled Mick Doohan’s pole position record of 58.
4) Has never missed a race start since making his debut in 1996. He has started 226 successive GP races across all classes since; 167 of which have been in the top class.
5) Valentino Rossi and Giacomo Agostini are the only two riders to have won titles on both two stroke and four stroke bikes, and the only rider to have won championship titles on four different types of motorcycles: 500cc two-stroke Honda, 990cc four-stroke Honda, 990cc four-stroke Yamaha and 800cc four-stroke Yamaha.

Of course AGV and Drudi had a special edition GP-Tech helmet for the occasion.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rispoli gears up for the season finale

AGV Dainese's James Rispoli is on target for his season goal. Good luck from all of us at AGV Dainese USA.

Big supports and good luck to Sammy Halbert who will be dicing it up in the AMA Pro Grand National Twins Championship where Sammy is currently 4th in points.

PR from the "Team Rispoli"

October 21, 2009 Pomona, Ca

James “the Rocket” Rispoli gears up for the season finale of the inaugural AMA Pro Singles Championship at the THE FAIRPLEX AT POMONA, CA. James has already solidified an outstanding second place finish overall out of 68 pro-riders in the championship riding while riding his Weirbach Racing team bikes. For this weekend’s final race of the season, James will be riding a bike provided by Sammy Sweet Racing as part of a one-off-race sponsorship package.
James, a multi-discipline rider came from a significant 19 point deficit after the second race of the season to catch and pass the point’s leader only to give way to a mediocre 5th place finish at the Indy Mile. With a 10 point deficit to make up and three races to go there was still a great chance with the Springfield Mile, Springfield short track and Pomona half mile races left. Then the odds started to pile up. With the Springfield mile called for darkness, and races winding down to only two, James laid it all on the line in the last-chance Springfield short track that was rescheduled for Monday after a rain out there during the Saturday evening program. Qualifying fourth, “the Rocket” got the hole shot, led all but the last lap and set fastest lap time in the race. In a brave last-ditch effort move to take the win James went for a small opening going into turn three only to have the door closed causing an unplanned high side exiting turn four falling short of the finish line. That 16th place race gave the championship away but solidified his place in the history books.
“I am really blessed to have such great people who believe in me as I move forward in my career as a professional motorcycle racer,” said James. “Everyone around me gave 110% and we charged back from some mistakes, miss-queues, injuries and set-up problems. It was a shame so many races were rained out or cancelled because I know what I can do both on and off the track and the championship was mine to win. Meanwhile, I learned a bunch from everyone and I can’t thank Dick Weirbach and his crew for a great season. I also wanted to say big thanks to Sammy Sweet and my friends Dave and Ryan Wells. Sammy came up with a frame, stout motor and the labor while the Wells family provided the suspension and wheels. Between them they came up with the parts needed to put a bike together for me to race at Pomona. And, a huge thanks to the team of Chris Carr and Kenny Tolbert for bringing the bike out to the west coast. I sincerely look forward to riding hard, smart and fast for my team and to put on a great season finale show for all the fans that will come out to watch the pro-singles race. I know it’s going to be a hec of an east vs.. west coast show down so stay tuned.”

You can follow the action on James' web site

Lorenzo Savadori gets wild-card for Valencia GP

Italian 125 champ 2008, Lorenzo Savadori, gets a wild-card for for the FIM 125cc World Championship round at the Valencia GP!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Supersic wins in Australia

After his Dainese teammate Raffaele De Rosa had picked up the pole in qualifying, Marco Simoncelli realized an amazing race at Phillip Island, scoring very important points when his direct competitors, Aoyama and Bautista lost valuable ones.
With his victory declared after a red flag on lap 18, Supersic is back 12 points from Aoyama and regains hopes of retaining his title.

Great race for Raffaele De Rosa who finished 3rd.


Vale finish 2nd at Phillip Island and gets closer to 2010 title

Valentino Rossi finished second of the Australia MotoGP behind an excellent Casey Stoner on the Ducati. 3rd going to Pedrosa, 19 seconds behind the 2 leaders.


With Dainese rider Jorge Lorenzo crashing in the first corner of the race, this is a very positive result for Vale who is inching closer to the 2010 title and his9h World championship.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Helmets: the Choice of Champions

Cool blog by Helmet

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Lorenzo, Rossi, fastest at Estoril Saturday

Pole position for Jorge "99" Lorenzo followed by VR46. Stoner is back and on the first row with a 3rd fastest.

MotoGP Estoril Qualifying Results:
* 1 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha 1′36.214
* 2 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 0.260
* 3 Casey STONER Ducati 0.314
* 4 Dani PEDROSA Honda 0.488
* 5 Colin EDWARDS Yamaha 0.928
* 6 Randy DE PUNIET Honda 1.234
* 7 Loris CAPIROSSI Suzuki 1.275
* 8 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Honda 1.327
* 9 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati 1.440
* 10 Mika KALLIO Ducati 1.599

Valentino's suit for Estoril

Dainese made a special livery for Vale and Jorge's suits at Estoril, in line with the special new Fiat Punto colors of the Fiat Yamaha bikes.