Great to see James Stewart make the necessary program changes to prepare for the nationals. But what I am curious about is the technology Suzuki is using to gather data on the race bike.
Earlier I wrote about a possible “mule” bike Stewart was testing that had black frame and swingarm combo. And that the engine was not easily visible in the official photos that were released on the Stewart to Suzuki was announced. On the other #7 bike, that looked like a regular factor RM-Z, the front number plate had suspicious cut outs / drill holes on one side.
What are those holes for . . . not a big enough opening for engine cooling, unless it’s just cooling one piece of equipment directly behind the number plate on that side. Or is it a window for a remote sensor to read data during the live testing? The holes look to be adding some air flow behind the front plate. And with all those rivets poking through, it looks like they have more equipment attached to back of the plate. The bike is also equipped with a carbon fiber tank, which is not allowed in AMA competition. Is this bike a European version of the RM-Z so Stewart can get a feel for other factory riders’ settings or an ultra-lightweight bike not geared for competition.
There is also a GPS sensor attached on top of the front fender. This GPS sensor, made by GET, logs in live date so the race team can map the bike’s performance and record rider’s input at all parts of the track. The GET Power ECU system also includes a quick change dial that can be attached to the handle bar so the rider can switch the electronic engine settings for changing race conditions. The GET Data company is part of Athena, an Italian parts / technology company which also is a major sponsor of KTM Europe & KTM USA. Almost all the top motocross teams use the GET ECU system to map engine data.
Soon the SX/MX racers will be having more technical input during race conditions but let’s hope it doesn’t overboard like F1 steering wheels . . . .
Well the cat is out of the bag . . . James Stewart has left Yamaha for a new start on Suzuki for the 2012 AMA 450 Nationals.
In quick succession, JGR / Yamaha released JS7 and Stewart popped up on his new Suzuki. Amazing how a new ride heals broken bones . . .
JS7 Top Secret Snapshot
The first thing I noticed is the secrecy surrounding Stewart’s new RM-Z . . . why no engine photos!
And why is there a black frame / swingarm combo on the bike he’s testing vs the polished aluminum in the team bike photo. Is this a mule bike with base settings to compare to the works bike.
Is this the new generation of RM-Z or a new prototype to sway Stewart to jump ship.
JS7 New Ride & Hiding the Engine – Suzuki Photo
The Stewart riding photos provided by Suzuki are deliberately not showing their engine package . . . do they have a new engine design like KTM, revamped their 450 model ? Is this the way they convinced Stewart to break with Yamaha?
Stock RM 450 Photo – Old Design ? – Suzuki Photo
Time will tell if this is a new design for Suzuki and if Stewart can capture some of his old magic since the last time he raced the outdoor series.
JS7 on new RM – Suzuki Photo
JS7 Flying on RM – Suzuki Photo
2012 AMA 450 Nationals are about to become really interesting . . . just in time since Ryan Villopoto knocked himself out of competition with a knee injury.
Ryan Dungey vs James Stewart . . . KTM vs Suzuki.
Will 2012 AMA 450 Nationals be a grudge match for Suzuki to get back at KTM since Suzuki lost almost their entire race team staff to KTM ?
We will see . . .
Here are few awesome images I found that show the horrid conditions during this year’s Daytona Supercross.
250 Heat Race 1 - photo by Vitalmx.com
250 Heat Race 2 - Look at that water spray! - photo by Vitalmx.com
Brayton in the Spray & Slop - photo by Vitalmx.com
Ryan Smith on YZ250 2-stroke parting the Daytona waters - Is this Enduro-cross - photo by Vitalmx.com
Alex Martin "Cannonball!" - photo by Vitalmx.com
In your Face . . - photo by Vitalmx.com
Looks like Stewart's bike was pulled out of a muddy late - photo VitalMx.com
Durham making it through . . - photo by Transworld.net
Fast Rain . . - by Transworld.net
2012 Dallas SX – LCQ finish line tie between Weston Peick (54) vs Gavin Faith (617).
The scoring monitors had Weston beating Gavin by 0.002 sec but an AMA official overruled the electronic scoring saying Gavin crossed the actual finish line at the base of the finish line jump.
The official said the big sign that says FINISH, and the spot at the top of the jump with the guy waving a checkered flag is not actually the finish line . . . it’s way back here somewhere at the base of the jump.
Gavin was able to line up for the main, earn some money and points and Weston packed up for the night empty handed.
The AMA should paint a white line where the actual finish line is so everyone else in the sport knows where to look next time. They do it for the holeshot at the first turn, why not for the most important part of the track – the finish line!
Visual Finish Line with a guy waving a checkered flag below a big FINISH sign with flames.
99.99% of people at the race or TV viewers thought to look here for the finish – including the racers!
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
AMA’s actual finish line . . . an imaginary line before the visual finish line. At least put a white line or marker where the line is so there is no controversy. The racers deserve better planning and not kept in the dark about an official finish line that only the officials know about.
Hopefully something is brought up at the next riders meeting to where the actual finish line is located.
Finally the long wait is over. Let the racing begin . . .
2012 Supercross Season has begun with a predictable 450 winner, Ryan Villopoto, an odd track for the first round and a new 250 winner, Cole Seely.
450 – (1) Ryan Villopoto seems the most prepared early on since he is the only top guy that didn’t make major team changes from last year. He could rack up a lot of points early if the other guys don’t watch out. (2) Chad Reed was consistent for second and looking more confident with his factory Honda equipment. (3) Ryan Dungey looked like he was taking the first round easy on his maiden KTM voyage by not taking too many chances and making sure he was in the top 3 all night. (4) Justin Brayton worked hard all night and earned 4th in his first factory Honda race. (5) Jake Weimer raced unnoticed most of the night to work his way through the pack to a top 5 finish. (6) James Stewart rode fast and fell just as fast. He should settle in more towards the top 3 now that the first round is behind him.
250 – (1) Cole Seely was a man on a mission. He looked fast, working the bike with a lot of body english, and he blasted past the field early to earn the win. (2) Tyla Rattray must of been working on his starts because he didn’t make a single start lower than top 2. (3) Eli Tomac fought through the pack to earn third, but needs to get better starts if he wants to win the 2012 SX Lites West title. (4) Marvin Musquin had a successful 1st supercross race in 4th. (5) Ryan Sipes finished top 5, but needs to get better starts early in the season. (6) Dean Wilson looked nervous and off key with his late race crash – he could win once he shakes off the nerves.
Here’s a recap of the Anaheim 1 Round – Thanks GoPro Video
Track – The Anaheim 1 round featured a different track, some said was not a true supercross track. Chad Reed didn’t like it, but he seemed to cope. The middle section was more motocross/enduro than supercross but made the racers think out of the box to find new lines. The staggered mounds with offset heights made for a one line affair, but was really a good way to bring the riders together without resorting to t-bone moves that the typical supercross 180 bowl berms do. It was probably a good idea to run a different SX track at the first round to keep the field from killing each other so early in the season. It’s a long season and to mix up with different track designs is refreshing from the cookie cutter SX tracks.
This years racing should provide a lot of fireworks, maybe more than last year . . . .
2012 AMA Supercross - Round 1 Start (photo by VitalMX.com)
Race On . . .