Master Bike ?? 99

Master Bike ?? 99

Dinner is served

For the second time, the entire sports elite is ready for a competition without mercy. The tension is huge among all those involved, because this mega-comparison is taking place under different circumstances. On a fast Grand Prix track, the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona.

Barcelona in spring. This means enjoying the warm spring sun, for example, on long walks on the lively Rambla or in the cafe at the Olympic port. But unfortunately not for everyone. For the men at MOTORRAD it means planning, organizing, arranging, improvising. In short, everything that is needed to get a mammoth test like this up and running smoothly. Whereby the lion’s share in terms of preparation and organization has already been done by our Spanish colleagues from our sister magazine MOTOCICLISMO. Just to get hold of the appointment on the always fully booked Formula One track cost our Spanish friends, believe it or not, over half a year of constant telephone terror at the operating company, which is used to automobiles.
Barcelona in spring sometimes also means a week of continuous rain, which has brought the mood of the core team, who arrived early, almost to zero. But on day X not only the Circuit de Catalunya and its security staff are available, but also Petrus has an understanding. After all, it is not for nothing that luck is on the side of the able. It’s Monday morning, the sun is shining, and everything will be fine.
Think. At nine o’clock, according to the huge schedule hung in box number 17, the dance begins. But unfortunately until now – it is exactly 7 minutes 53 seconds past nine – not all dancers have appeared on the floor. More precisely, the French envoy Eric Maurice is missing. The reason, which those present will only find out in just under half an hour: his plane coming from Paris has been massively delayed. However, since no individual fates can be taken into account in this rock-hard Master Bike comparison, the French will start without them. The author himself will be appointed in his place, who unfortunately suffered from the aftermath of a minor fall injury at the time of this event. Didn’t happen while riding a motorcycle, of course, goal during winter sports. And that no one now comes up with the idea of ​​quoting again that of happiness and ability.
Before things get really serious, "the bob" Augusto Moreno from MOTOCICLISMO explains the rules again to be on the safe side:
– 14 machines
– divided into three groups
– with six drivers
– each do three flying laps
– everyone drives as fast as he can
– and the fastest motorcycle in each group makes it to the finals.
Something else? Oh yes: no scrap! Clear announcements that no longer require How? ‘Or’ What.
The first six machines leave the pit lane every ten seconds in order to get used to their new pilots within two warm-up laps (or the other way around) and to warm up the sometimes quite sensitive rubber compounds of the sports tires. After a short control stop in the pit lane, where final corrections such as the individual adjustment of the levers are possible, it is usually at full speed and with the front wheel raised from the wide pit lane out onto the course for the three timed laps.
Less than twelve minutes later, everything is quiet again. The next turn is started every 25 minutes. There is still time for the six pilots to deal with a questionnaire. A questionnaire with exactly 36 evaluation points on the engine, chassis, brakes, driving stability or seat position. Awarded a score between 1 and 10 36 times. Think 36 times about whether the rating is not too high or too low compared to the previously driven machine. The more machines have already been driven, the more often one catches the drivers sitting scattered across several boxes correcting already completed test sheets.
But after 25 minutes it’s over. Pepe Bugaleta, a Spanish colleague who is responsible for adhering to the schedule he has drawn up – not an enviable task – drives the multitude of drivers back onto the machines with military severity. No mercy for those who forgot to quickly take another sip of water or clean their visor. Something like this falls under the heading of individual fate and, see above, these cannot be taken into account.
Suddenly he is there, Eric, tells the story of his delayed flight and releases me from his deputy role – at least my swollen foot thanks him. In seconds he throws himself into the leather suit and less than half an hour later the Kawasaki ZX-6R into the dirt. Gone stupid. Unfortunately, nobody thought of explaining the process of this master bike to the savvy French again in detail. Otherwise he would have known that all machines would be soled with new rubber after three turns. And Eric’s turn was just fourth. The colleague now also knows the rule, but unfortunately the ZX-6R is flat.
Pepe is a little pissed off because this slip shifted his schedule by another seven minutes – remember Eric’s absence in the morning. That’s how long it takes for the Kawasaki mechanics present to equip their »Muleto« with a set of fresh wheels and to push the new emergency equipment to the start. Go on.
Shortly afterwards, unidentifiable sounds croak from Pepe’s radio. What kind of language can that be? And – more importantly – what does that mean? Pepe is smarter, hears a clear message from the confused mix of Italian, Spanish and English: light barrier. Aha.
Up on the scooter and there. At the end of the long home straight, Andrea has made herself at home behind the Tag Heuer measuring device. Andrea is from Italy, he works for MOTO SPRINT magazine. The top speed measurements that the printer spits out from the light barrier cannot be correct. Ironically strong Hayabusa should be the slowest? No way.
The next turn it becomes clear why. Where everyone else still leaves the gas, the idiosyncratic Suzuki nose collapses abruptly. With the heavy bomber you just have to brake earlier. The light barrier moves a good 30 meters further forward, and the high-speed world is fine again. 268 km / h, buuoo eeh. What is really astonishing, however, is how close the small 600s are now getting on their big Superbike colleagues. Even the fastest FZR 600 or Honda PC25 could not have dreamed of that just a few years ago.
But back to the paddock. In the meantime, important visitors have arrived. Straight from Italy. Salvo Penisi, head of development at Metzeler and somehow still connected with Pirelli, did not want to miss the opportunity to personally observe this test. The reason. The tire generation he helped to develop was presented to the public for the first time at the mega test. Both the ME Z3 and the Dragon EVO Corsa are starting with a pen-tech carcass in the front wheel.
The second unexpected guest also comes from Italy. Francesco Cagliari, Ducati’s press officer, was also interested in seeing the Master Bike spectacle up close. Perhaps he just wanted to convince himself that the two test machines, which were delivered directly from the factory in transport boxes, survived the trip without any significant loss of performance. In the case of the 748 SPS, Signiore Cagliari certainly didn’t need to worry.
Meanwhile, the brave pilots on their daring boxes reel off lap after lap, fill out their evaluation sheets point by point, feel limp and limp. At the sight of the emaciated faces I first suspect that such a small injury can also have something positive.
The shadows are getting longer, the stacks of worn rubber pelts at the specially traveled tire services from Bridgestone, Dunlop and Metzeler / Pirelli are getting higher and higher. Finally the 14 rounds of the preliminary round elimination are over. Each driver completed around 100 laps. Anyone who has ever tried to drive only 20 laps at the limit of their machine with high concentration will know what physical exertion this requires. Everyone else may keep thinking it’s entertaining fun.
It seems to take hours for the timing team to compile a list of all the laps each pilot has driven. However, only one time per motorcycle is marked. The only one that counts in this comparison: the fastest. All other statistics that are relevant to the statistics will allow conclusions to be drawn about the specific strengths and weaknesses of the individual subjects after they have been evaluated. Finally Pepe announces the result of the class eliminations. Moving into the grand finale: Ducati, Ducati and R1. Thunderous applause from everyone present, including the Spanish importers, even those who had been defeated. A more than fair gesture, and not just from a sporting point of view.
One man’s joy, the other’s pain – my colleague Markus Barth, for example, suffers. He knows it’s not done yet. He is one of the three fastest pilots to play a leading role in the big showdown. Now it’s getting serious again. Now it’s time to concentrate again. Give everything but lose nothing. At least not the ground under the tires. Markus gives everything, creates three personal and two final best times. Claudio Corsetti also grows beyond himself once again. Personal bests with all three machines.
And friend Fernando? He makes the impossible possible, burns one record lap after the other into the Spanish asphalt with the R1 and gives the Yamaha the coveted overall victory in the Master Bike ?? 99. However, he himself doesn’t really know why Fernando whipped around the course so quickly with the R1. Before the final times were announced, he was of the same opinion with the Ducati 996 to have marked his best time. Coincidence? Not at all, because after a detailed evaluation of all the times driven during the day, it turns out that the R1 not only combines the fastest individual laps, but also by far the best average of all driven laps. Until the next Master Bike, the following applies with good reason: the queen is dead, long live the queen – or something like that.

The mobile test bench – a pretty crucial role

With such a large comparison it is hardly possible to check all the motorcycles delivered by the importers for their standard condition. MOTOCICLISMO had a surprise in store for the participants in order to track down technical deficiencies, possible series variations or even all too well-intentioned preparation (also known as tuning in professional circles). Before starting the big "Master Bike", all competitors had to prove their fitness on a test bench. For this purpose, a transportable roller dynamometer of the TECNER brand was carted up from Barcelona and set up in the paddock. Unlike the compulsory Bosch test bench from MOTORRAD, the TECNER test bench works with just one roller weighing around 170 kilograms. As is usual with MOTORCYCLE measurements, sophisticated software calculates the power output at the clutch. However, the displayed power is generally slightly below the measurement results from MOTORRAD, but this does not matter. It is crucial that the performance of the machines of the "Master Bike" can be compared and the results can be better interpreted.

The right tire choice: Schwarzbrenner

The agony of choice for this master bike was left to the manufacturers themselves. Last year’s argument: "Our motorcycle was developed on completely different tires" no longer counts. This time the importers should choose a super sporty rubber of their choice. The only criterion: the tires must be street legal. To the astonishment of the testers, none of the represented manufacturers seem to have a close relationship with Michelin. Although the Race3, which was chosen as the standard tire for this test last year, received mostly the best reviews. Bridgestone BT 56 SSD The BT 56 SS is not the sportiest representative of the Japanese tire giant. Although it offers a little more grip in the softer SS compound than the standard BT 56 tire, the BT 58 is definitely the better choice for race track use. As with all racing tires, the construction of the BT 56 SS is based on a radial carcass with a sectional belt. A zero-degree belt is used at the rear, which ensures comfort and high-speed stability on the road, but clearly lacks grip and cornering stability in racing dominated in the super sports class. At the front with a similar radial and sectional belt structure as the Bridgestone, the decisive difference lies in the construction of the rear tire. The 90-degree radial carcass with several layers of cut belt gives the tire excellent grip and a wide, good-natured border area. The disadvantages of this construction are the costly production and significant losses in terms of high-speed stability. In addition to the limited service life, the temperature-sensitive rubber compound also ensures that it is very limited and can only be recommended to a limited extent on public roads. Metzeler ME Z3 Racing The classic among the super sports tires. Metzeler has been relying on the zero-degree steel belt construction both at the front and at the front for years. The latest variant of the Z3 front tire with modified carcass material in the soft racing compound was used for the first time. The result was quite impressive, all test drivers noticed a significantly better, since more precise and easier steering, as well as a lower tendency to pitch when braking in an inclined position. The main thing is that the result is okay. The brand new Dragon EVO in the grippy Corsa compound is considered a real racing tire and has the same design features as the Z3 from Metzeler. Tea forehead tire with the new Pen-Tec carcass is light and stable. The noticeable differences to the predecessor model are good steering behavior and low pitching tendency.

The Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona – new game, new luck

While the Master Bike was held in 1998 on the narrow and winding course in Calafat, this year the choice fell on one of the most modern racetracks in Europe: "el circuito de Catalunya", about 30 kilometers from the center of Barcelona. A fast GP slope, on which the high-performance but heavier participants in the Open Class were able to calculate significantly better chances. Unlike in Calafat, they should be able to use their performance advantage here. Wide, even curve radii, long straight acceleration lines and a home straight that is good for speeds of well over 250 km / h ?? that suits the characteristics of a big bike. But power alone is of no use even on this route. Due to the high speeds, this course places extreme demands on the braking systems. Quite a few stoppers were already a bit tired after three four hard laps.

The paddock

If you want to check out the best sports motorcycles of the moment, you shouldn’t have just got your driver’s license. That‘s why six of the best European testers are involved in this Master Bike competition. Markus Barth The fast MOTORRAD employee also drives a hot tire privately. In 1999, in addition to the German Supersport Championship, starts in the Supersport World Championship and the World Endurance Championship are planned. First Master Bike.Pere Casas The Spanish warrior from MOTOCICLISMO has recovered brilliantly from an injury on last year’s Master and is driving faster than ever. Second Master Bike: Fernando Cristóbal, the test rider from MOTOCICLISMO has been in the saddle of racing machines for twelve years and was able to score points every time in his four wild card appearances in the 500 World Championship in 1998. Second master bike. Eric MauriceTest editor for our French sister magazine MOTO JOURNAL. Maurice is one of the longest-serving and most experienced testers in Europe with tens thousands of kilometers of racetrack practice. His first Master Bike. Claudio Corsetti, test boss and cheerful nature of MOTO SPRINT from Italy. Started his racing career together with Max Biaggi, but soon decided to pursue a serious profession. (Who was laughing?) Second master bike. Peter Skold test rider for the Swedish magazine BIKE. The active racing driver was European champion in the 500cc class and is reigning runner-up in the Swedish stock bike class. His first master bike.

The big revenge: Supersport

Less than two weeks have passed since the great eight-hour competition of the super athletes in Calafat (see MOTORRAD 8/1999), when the gang meets again for an open exchange of blows. This time, however, the conditions are slightly different due to the fast, wide and, above all, perfectly flat GP circuit, and there is actually a significant shift in the balance of power. The Yamaha R6, glorious winner of Calafat, has to bow to the Italian delegates. The Ducati 748 SPS simply irons everything flat on this fast route. A sensational time of 1.59.46 minutes, clears the top speed record of the class with 238 km / h and collects the second-best number of points in the entire field in the individual standings. It is certainly not enough to the disadvantage of the 748 that the measured 105.5 hp make the competition green with envy. This Ducati marches as if possessed by the devil and turns easily up to 12500 rpm before the limiter puts a stop. The racing pots and the matching e-prom make it possible. The rules allow you to take advantage of this, as these parts are supplied as standard for use on the racetrack when you buy a PLC version. And seriality is a prerequisite for the Master Bike comparison, but since performance is not the only thing that counts, the Ducati can also play to its other strengths. For example, their dreamlike chassis. The race-like coordination of the high-quality spring elements, which is designed for the highest loads, in conjunction with the torsion-resistant frame result in almost perfect conditions for fast lap times. The Duc glides around the many wide radiuses of the piste with precision, directional stability and incredibly safe. Suzuki and Yamaha are in a head-to-head race. Although the test bench outed the GSX-R 600 as an unusually weak specimen, it could beat the R6 by a hair’s breadth. The lap average achieved makes it clear, however, that the GSX-R is not for everyone. Only Barth and Cristóbal are able to squeeze the Suzuki with Dunlop tires to the max. The other four pilots feel much more comfortable on the Yamaha. The R6 chassis got the best marks, criticism for the brakes that were already falling after three laps, lack of grip when accelerating and the terribly harsh gear changes. The Suzuki benefited from the balance of its chassis. Above all, the very finely appealing and very easily tunable fork ensures generally appreciative words. In addition, the good and this time stable brakes as well as the enormous adhesion of their Dunlop tires. And despite its relatively meager output, the four-cylinder engine doesn’t let it spoil its revving. In terms of fitness, the Honda CBR 600 F is also not in the very best shape. Even if the measured 98 PS cannot be directly equated with the earlier performance measurements of the domestic MOTORRAD test bench, it loses a full 7.5 PS in direct comparison to the Ducati. Even for an all-rounder like the CBR, these are not so easy to make up for. Your engine seems less agile, lacks the usual thrust from mid-speed and shows slight weaknesses in the direct implementation of spontaneous gas commands. On the chassis side, there is a lack of the necessary adjustment options. The Honda driver only has the choice between a soft or super soft setting. Too soft springs and far too little damping prevent even faster lap times. The only luck of the Honda: the tires. Like the Suzuki, it benefits from the super sticky D 207 GP tires. So a sensational second place jumps out for the all-rounder. Unfortunately the Kawasaki failed to achieve this. With a disappointing 2.02.82 minutes, the ZX-6R lags behind its classmates. The decision to equip the Kawasaki with the BT 56 SS rubbers may have had a political background (OEM contracts?). But sport shouldn’t have anything to do with politics. The Bridgestone tires never come together with the ZX-6R. Too little grip, poor feedback and the resulting feeling of insecurity thwart the Kawa. In addition, a stubborn fork, a too soft, swaying rear end and unusually difficult to dose, slack biting brakes: Nothing works anymore. It doesn’t help that the green sportswoman gets top marks in the engine rating. A lot of power over a wide speed range and a great gearbox, the gradation of which seems tailored to this route, are unfortunately far too little for a serious attack.

The sound of the south: superbike

In the early days of this attractive racing class, it was without exception Japanese four-cylinder engines that dominated the hustle and bustle, but over the years there has been a massive shift in power from east to south. The Italians have been setting the tone for a long time, and recently in stereo. At least in public life, Aprilia RSV mille passed its school-leaving exam with flying colors. With the praise of the entire world press and numerous victories in various comparison tests, she appears with healthy self-confidence in the big Master Bike. But be careful, pride comes before the fall, and that’s how it should actually happen. Even if a defeat of 17 hundredths of a second is not a painful defeat, the Mille missed out on the finals. The Italian newcomer consistently received top marks in the individual evaluation of the critical test pilots. Whether engine power, suspension, driving stability or braking system, the test team is enthusiastic. The great handling is mentioned positively as well as the relaxed, stress-free seating position and the wind protection that is quite good for athletes. Surprisingly, none of the drivers noted anything in their evaluation sheet about the noticeable, annoying vibrations in earlier tests. The only four-cylinder in the field was surprisingly beaten. The Suzuki GSX-R 750 suits the fast route very well. Finally, the speed range of the injector can be used over the entire range. When accelerating out of the long, even radii, the gas can be gently applied at just under 8000 rpm. Then gently but firmly pull the rear wheel up with a moderate pull in order to fire on the next straight at the corner exit with optimal speed and full power. And only when this act, operated at the limit of tire grip, has been completed, you have to concentrate on the next gear change thanks to the incredibly easy-turning GSX-R heart. The chassis, on the other hand, is a slight criticism. The 750 lacks a little tighter tuning of the suspension elements. Above all, it lacks the stability at the back, with which the 600er knew how to convince. In addition, towards the end of each five-lap turn, the six-piston braking system clearly bland. The Suzuki TL 1000 R has received little support. Although its engine received the same number of points as the Aprilia engine, it remained unloved child. As is so often the case, it is the chassis that messes up the TL 1000 R on tour. There is hardly an ugly attribute that does not come off the lips of the testers in this context: cumbersome, imprecise, unstable, insecure. The spongy fork prevents an accurate steering, the poor feedback to the driver a courageous cornering, and the strong pumping hindquarters when accelerating ensures stirring movements far into the next straight. When braking, the overweight of the sportswoman also has a negative impact. Once on a lean angle, it is difficult to make steering corrections. Keeping a tight line is tedious, the TL constantly strives towards the outer edge of the curve. It’s a shame, especially for this two-cylinder muscle man measured at 132 hp. Even the Italians could learn a lot from this, because with its 118 horses, the Ducati 996 brings up the rear in this class. Nevertheless, the reigning world champion (again in a class of her own this year with Carl Fogarty in the saddle) is in the best of spirits. The course seems to be tailored to her. The almost endless right turn after the first chicane is a real pleasure with the Ducati. The few, but at this point very unpleasant bumps in the ground seem to have disappeared from the ground. The Italian masters this hairy place like a dream stroller safely and without the slightest wobble. As if drawn with a compass, she leaves her black etchings at the exit of the narrow downhill-left curve. It cuts through the subsequent uphill chicane as sharp as a knife. As with the 748, the snappy and, above all, easy-to-dose braking system of the machine delivered directly from Italy is surprising. Did someone finally help the Ducatis with proper brake pads? In any case, the fact is that the 996 makes it into the finals very confidently despite the lack of performance.

No limits, everything is allowed: Open Class

The team agrees: In the open class there are several contenders for the overall victory of this master bike. Even on the tight track in Calafat last year, this class won the Kawasaki ZX-9R. And on the Circuit de Catalunya, the performance advantage of big bikes should theoretically consistently be converted into fast lap times. Unfortunately, all theory and sporting fame are gray in most cases only for a short time. The reigning champion, of all people, is not at all happy with the new circumstances. In terms of performance, the ZX-9R’s snappy four-cylinder is only at an average level of the series spread. Although he does not play the first violin in the top speed measurements at the end of the long home straight, his spontaneous acceleration even from medium speeds and the steady pull up to the highest regions give him consistently good grades. On the other hand, the presentation of the green lady on the chassis side is less convincing. The fork in particular caused great displeasure among the six pilots. In the braking zones, the test motorcycle annoys with the fork flutter that was believed to have been resolved in the 1999 models. And when you accelerate, the rear wheel suddenly loses its grip as soon as the smallest wave is run over. The response is stubborn and the basic tuning of the suspension elements is poor, so that Bridgestone, who is already overwhelmed with performance, can only build up a little trusting grip. Characterized by completely opposing features, the Honda CBR 900 RR surprises with an unusually brisk appearance. With the second best lap time in the open class, she proves once again that performance is not everything. Due to its "only" 127 hp, it is forced to throw other values ​​into the balance. Such as the gently responsive, extremely powerful engine. Or an impeccable gearbox, smooth-running and ergonomically perfectly shaped levers and, last but not least, a great chassis that conveys the highest level of safety. Even the not always easy, purposeful turning into slow turns is easy with the CBR. Honda managers can thank their Japanese colleagues from Dunlop. The selected D 207 GP pairing is an excellent match for the aging pioneer of the 900 movement. Fresh and cheerful, a great stranger enters the ring. The epitome of power, speed and power is called Suzuki Hayabusa. Fast over 300 km / h and with 172 hp by far the most powerful weapon in this Master Bike event. Who is supposed to stop this cannonball? The answer is simple: Just yourself! There is no herb against this engine. The Hayabusa pushes forward so vehemently that even the Formula One proven track from Barcelona mutates into the Mickey Mouse track, using the entire engine speed repertoire. As soon as you surrender to the unbelievable power of this start, the approaching next bend and a braking system that is only blessed with a moderate bite cause eyes wide with fear. The heavy lead bomber can only be decelerated properly with a great deal of effort and then forced into an inclined position with the same effort. When accelerating in an inclined position, it is hardly surprising that the rear wheel does not want to run in the track of the front wheel despite the throttle grip being opened like a membrane. The BT 56 can hardly be chalked this time. After all, it is one of the few tires that can even cope with the enormous demands of this machine. The Suzuki is still doing bravely, even if the realization quickly makes the rounds that it is not much fun on the racetrack and that it should better seek salvation at a moderate pace on the country road. The participation of the English sportswoman, the triumph, is also brave Daytona 955i. Although the elegant British woman has nothing to order in terms of performance or points, she can still shine with small highlights. In addition to the unique three-cylinder sound, this includes a good braking system. Even if not all riders are equally enthusiastic about the extremely toxic and super meterable stoppers, there is agreement on the Yamaha R1. After the Hayabusa, it has by far the highest engine rating, properly coordinated spring elements and a chassis that combines stability and agility in a balanced relationship. The R1 doesn’t hunt around the course as precisely as the two Ducati, but it does so faster. With 1.58.78 minutes she marks the absolute best time in the preliminary round and thus secures the coveted place in the grand finale.

The grand finale gold: when all inhibitions fall

The surprise is perfect – Ducati versus the rest of the world. And that presents itself in the form of the Yamaha YZF-R1. That alone should be a late, but welcome, satisfaction for the model athlete, who was wasted last year. At last she can show what she’s really made of. In order to meet the high demands in the following showdown to the last, three pilots have to qualify for the final. It takes a while before the timekeeping team has evaluated the lap times, which have so far been kept strictly confidential. But then the three fastest drivers of the day have been determined: a GP-tested Fernando, a still happy but already quite exhausted Claudio and all-rounder Markus have to – or better be allowed – to go again. The tiredness that has meanwhile more than 100 Laps per driver, seems to be forgotten in one fell swoop. A bitter fight breaks out, not just against the clock. Machine against machine, man against machine and, last but not least, man against man. Even if nobody wants to openly admit it, it is also about the tester’s honor. But what could be better than this motivation to really squeeze everything out of the three motorcycles. So that the riders do not risk too much and endanger the entire "Master Bike" company at the last minute, the times driven remain secret until each rider has completed the last of his five timed laps per motorcycle Around 30 observers from industry and the press who were present rose to the unbearable level – until the award ceremony finally provided some relaxation. After a day of hard work, the Yamaha R1 is the winner of the Master Bike 1999 with a fabulous time of 1.57.80 minutes. Second place went to the Ducati 996 Biposto, which struggled to keep its smaller sister, the uncompromising 748 SPS, at bay.

Conclusion – one man’s joy, the other’s pain

Where there are winners, there must be losers. Nice for one, tough for the other. But what would the world be without winners or losers? It would be boring. And since one setback is fortunately not always the same, the sportsman bravely copes with a defeat. In the case of the Master Bike, the Kawasaki ZX-9R, which was inviolable last year, unfortunately only remains behind. The ZX-9R cannot use its plus points such as the good handling, the poisonous brakes and the snappy engine to its advantage on the very fast Circuit de Catalunya. The enormous power density allows no mistake. And so this time it is the Yamaha YZF-R1 that can finally use its brutal power profitably thanks to the many wide corners. There is no substitute for performance on such a route. Provided the environment is right. Good chassis, great handling and, last but not least, the good, new tires from Metzeler. Incidentally, tire giant Pirelli / Metzeler is another winner of this master bike alongside Ducati. The latest generation of tires celebrated a successful debut with three finalists at their first public appearance.

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