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Double Delight as Yamaha Dominate in Qatar | 12 comment(s)

Double Delight as Yamaha Dominate in Qatar

Reigning MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo kicked off the defence of his title tonight in the best possible way, delivering a flawless ride under the floodlights of the Losail International Circuit to take a perfect victory in the Grand Prix of Qatar.
Lorenzo put the hammer down from pole position, taking the hole-shot into turn one and never looking back. He remained untouchable throughout, dispatching the 22 laps in isolation with trademark efficiency to claim his first victory of the season and add 25 Championship points to his 2013 title bid.

Valentino Rossi proved he still hasn’t lost his magic in tonight’s race, thrilling fans with a sensational run to claim second on the podium, completing a Yamaha Factory Racing one-two finish with his teammate Lorenzo. Rossi made sure his first race back with Yamaha was one to be remembered, having started from seventh on the grid he quickly moved up to fourth only to mistime a pass on Andrea Dovizioso and drop back to seventh again. By lap eight he was charging back up the field, closing down a gap of over three seconds to catch the podium battle and join the fight for Qatar honours. The nine-time World Champion dispatched fellow Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow and Honda rival Dani Pedrosa before entering into a fantastic duel with MotoGP rookie Marc Marquez in the final laps for second place. Rossi emerged from the battle the victor, crossing the line in second position just under six seconds behind Lorenzo to take 20 Championship points.

Ilya Hait: Ural bikes yet to reach sales potential | 4 comment(s)

Ilya Hait: Ural bikes yet to reach sales potential

General Director of Irbit Motorcycle Works (IMZ) Ilya Hait filled Motonews.ru in on where the producer of Russian Ural motorcycles currently stands.

Irbit Motorcycle Works has reported strong sales of Ural motorcycles in the United States. So, for the record, just how many motorcycles did you sell in the United States in 2011? And how many did you produce in 2011 in total?
In 2011, we sold 496 bikes in the States. In total, the plant produced 900 motorcycles in 2011, the bulk of them being sidecar motorcycles.
I expect to hear comments about the numbers being fairly modest, so I’d like to point out a few things right from the outset.
First, very few producers, even well-known brands, have so far managed to sell such a number of bikes in the U.S. Ural, for one, has outsold such famous motorcycles as Moto Guzzi and Aprilia.
Second, not only is the U.S. motorcycle market very competitive, it is also going through some rough times. Compared with peak sales, the market almost halved, and it has been at its low for the past two years. Against this gloomy backdrop, Ural sales climbed back almost to their pre-crisis levels, which didn’t pan out for many other producers.
Third, it’s also very important to bear in mind that Ural operates in a very narrow niche of sidecar motorcycles. The culture of sidecar motorcycles has been virtually extinct in western countries for decades now, and what Ural is doing is essentially restoring a whole segment of the motorcycle market. The task is extremely difficult, but we are dealing with it gradually, one step at a time.

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