If not as instantly recognizable as most famous sport stars, Australia's Casey Stoner was every bit the child genius as those champions were from the moment he could walk.
Stoner competed in his first motorbike race at just four years old. On Sunday, the 21-year-old sensationally wrapped up the MotoGP world title with three races of the season left. He became Australians first world champion since Mick Doohan won the last of his five 500cc crowns in 1998 and also the second youngest premier-class champion in the sport's history.
Stoner's sixth-place finish at the Japanese Grand Prix completed an meteoric rise to stardom for the baby-faced rider. Even at 18 months old, when most infants are tottering on their feet, Stoner was getting blisters from riding a motorbike on the family farm at Niangala in New South Wales.
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced the line-up of motorcycles that will be premiered at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show 2007 (organized by Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association), to be held at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan from Saturday, October 27 to Sunday, November 11, 2007. Honda's motorcycle exhibition will feature World Premiere concept models (prototype), pre-launch models, and a comprehensive line-up of other motorcycles and advanced environmental and safety technologies. Exhibition Models for the first time on display at the Tokyo Motor Show are the Honda EVO6, CB1100F and CB1100R.
The next generation of MotoGP machine is here in the shape of the Honda RC212V racing prototype. Built to conform to the new-for-2007 Grand Prix rules, the bike features an 800cc, V4 engine and a stunning all-new chassis built with mass centralization and ultimate handling in mind. Welcome to the future...
As expected, the strong home team emerged winners of the Red Bull FIM Motocross of Nations competition at Budds Creek, Maryland, on Sunday after the competition returned to the USA for the first time in two decades.
USA has won the competition more often in its 61 years of history than any other country and was also the defending champion. France was second in the three race event that matched the world's best riders across disciplines and Belgium took the minor podium place, with contributions from Jeremy van Horebeek on board a KTM machine.
KTM Red Bull Motocross factory riders were on the track for their individual countries in this competition that awards nations the prizes and not individual riders.
Rizla Suzuki's Chris 'Stalker' Walker put on a determined display of riding in today's 12th round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Donington Park, finishing with superb fourth and sixth places results.
Stalker, starting from second on the grid, got the holeshot and led both races from the off. In the first event he struggled with front grip and dropped back to sixth; in the second race he spent 20-laps competing for the podium and was in contention right until the chequered flag, eventually finishing fourth.
Cal Crutchlow showed enormous promise during the practice sessions but his luck ran out in the races: In the opener he was less than a second from the lead and battling for his first podium when he found a false neutral and ran into Ryuichi Kiyonari with both falling off. In the second race he was comfortable in fifth when he was forced to retire.
Ducati's Leon Haslam won both races.
Weather and tyre issues brought about an end to Valentino Rossi's slim title chances today, as he finished 13th in Motegi despite a heroic ride which saw him lead the race at one point. His Fiat Yamaha team-mate Colin Edwards suffered similar problems in what was an extraordinary race, finishing one place behind Rossi in 14th.
With the asphalt still wet after a morning of light rain, the riders started with wet-weather tyres on a fast-drying track. Rossi got a poor start from second on the grid and crossed the line for the first time in seventh place, with Edwards behind him in eighth. An outstanding ride from the seven-time World Champion then saw him fight his way back to the front, making up five seconds on the leaders and taking the lead on lap 14. The racing line by now was almost completely dry however, and behind him most riders had already opted to pit and change onto their second bikes with slick tyres. When Rossi eventually came in to change one lap later he had built up such a lead that he was able to re-join the race in second place, behind eventual winner Loris Capirossi, but Yamaha's jubilation was short-lived as Rossi immediately ran into serious issues with his front tyre and was forced to pit again. He rejoined the race in 15th but was able to make up only two places to the finish as he struggled with grip. Edwards, who was in third place when Rossi came in for the first time, rejoined in eighth but had similar tyre problems and also dropped back through the field to cross the line two seconds behind his team-mate.
Red Bull KTM 250 star Mika Kallio rode to his maiden 250 cc victory in Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix to score a hat-trick on the Motegi circuit, an appropriate way to also mark the birth of his first child, a baby girl born last Sunday Kallio won the 125 cc races on this circuit in 2005 and 2006. "It looks like Motegi is a very good track for us," he said. The 24-year-old Finn had a great start from the second row of the grid, but calculated his moves very carefully in tricky and damp conditions, before opening a lead of almost five seconds by the end of the race.
"By mid-race, I overtook Dovizioso and continued to push, but I was always followed very closely. There didn't seem to be any change to get away so I decided to just ride at my own rhythm. Then it started to drizzle again, which was disturbing, but I was able to keep my speed. I only noticed in the last lap that Dovizioso was the only one left behind me and the fact that he slowed made it easier in the end."
Kallio's performance also drew praise from Technical Director Harald Bartol. 'His race was a tactical masterpiece. In the beginning, he was looking carefully how the grip level was and how the tyres were doing, and in the end, he had an ace up his sleeve that he pulled out in the right moment.'
An elated Kawasaki Racing Team are today celebrating Randy de Puniet's superb second place at the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi, after one of the most thrilling races in recent MotoGP history.
The 26-year-old Frenchman, starting from fourth on the grid, got off to a patchy start when he dropped back to 10th place as the pack launched itself off the line. He then had to contend with a couple of trips into the gravel, and a pit stop to change bikes, but it all failed to stop him from scoring his first ever premier class podium position.
What started as a wet race soon turned out to be a dry one and pit lane was a hive of frenzied activity as, one by one, riders came in to change bikes and slick tyres became the order of the day. De Puniet swapped machines at the end of lap seven and went from eighth position to 13th when he rejoined the track. From there, he made steady progress until finding himself behind eventual winner, Loris Capirossi, on lap 16, where he stayed until the end. It is a longed-for and hard-earned reward for him, his crew, the team and Bridgestone who are also celebrating: all today's top three riders, plus new world champion, Casey Stoner, are in partnership with the Japanese tyre manufacturer.
Coming from a racing family, Ratthapark Wilairot is the Thai rising star in the world of motorcycle racing. Being the eldest son of motorcycle Champion Christmas Wilairot, Ratthapark (Film), who has been officially named to represent Thailand by the Thai Ministry of Tourism and Sports.
Christmas Wilairot has two sons Fort and Film who both race for their father's racing team, with Film (Ratthapark Wilairot) now racing for AP Honda in the All Japan championships and GP250. Ratthapong Wilairot (the youngest son) doing some Thai domestic 125cc road champion racing.
Ratthapark Wilairot, 19, from Chonburi started to ride motorcycle when he was between 5 or 8 years old and quickly became under the guidance of his father as a skilled rider.
The Honda Air Blade is the latest addition to the fleet of Honda motor bikes available in Thailand at the moment. The Honda Air Blade designed by Kaoru Hayashi and his team is one of the sleekest of the scooter style motor bikes available on the market.
The Honda Air Blade with its sharp wide beam twin headlights has numerous features that make it one of the best value and most reliable motor bike, the Honda Air Blade is a strong competitor on a highly competitive motorcycle market.
The Honda Air Blade's 110cc four-stroke engine with built-in liquid cooling is compact but packs more horsepower than a standard 125cc air-cooled automatic motorcycle engine. Ride comfortably, confidently and smoothly at all speeds with the efficient new V-Matic belt-drive transmission that uses a long-lasting reinforced steel belt.
Rizla Suzuki's Chris 'Stalker' Walker took his best qualifying position of the season securing second place on the grid at the 12th round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Donington Park today.
Stalker spent three practice sessions building up his effort, slashing his lap times every outing on circuit. He started strong in qualification but left his best effort to the final minutes, setting a blistering pace at the 2.5-mile long twisting and challenging circuit.
Cal Crutchlow was vying for the top spot on the time-sheets during every session and was challenging again in qualification but was held up by traffic on his quick laps, eventually ending up fifth fastest and heading up the second row.