The long awaited 2017 MotoGP™ season launches at the Losail International circuit in Qatar on Sunday. And now thanks to a new deal for 2017, the best bits of the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship, will be making their way onto Channel 5.
With the first Grand Prix just around the corner in Qatar, fans will now be able to catch up every Monday following the race - with a prime-time slot assured.
The deal comes after UK interest in the sport hit a new peak following Cal Crutchlow’s stunning victories in 2016. It marks the first time a Brit has been on the top step of a premier class podium since the legendary Barry Sheene in 1981.
Of course, that's not the only thing to be excited about; there's also the Dorna-backed British Talent Team lining up John McPhee in the Moto3™ category this year, as well as the debut of the British Talent Cup in 2018 to watch out for. It's sure to be exciting stuff.
Television schedules are as follows:
Thursday March 23 BT Sport 2 14.00 – 19.45
Friday March 24 BT Sport 2 14.45 – 18.45
Saturday March 25 BT Sport 2 14.30 – 18.30
Sunday March 26 BT Sport 2 13.45 -21.00
Radio – Sunday March 26 talkSport2
Monday March 27 Channel 5 19.00 Highlights.
Grand Tour presenter Richard Hammond has reportedly injured himself after falling off a motorbike while filming in Mozambique.
The crash is no doubt part of the shenanigans that normally goes on during the filming of Grand Tour, but Hammond has assured he is ok after posting on DriveTrive, the trio's new digital platform for motor enthusiasts:
"It's true, I did fall off a motorbike whilst filming recently for The Grand Tour in Mozambique. I banged my head, yes, along with pretty much everything else apart from my left thumb, which remains un-bruised. Can't tell you more yet about the how and why of it; that's all for later in the year on the show. As for injuries; well put it this way, I don't think I can get a book out of it."
Jeremy Clarkson had told the Sun newspaper: “He really did hurt himself quite badly.” After the crash, Hammond reportedly was knocked unconscious. Clarkson, when asked if they went to the hospital, however, said: “We don’t do hospitals.”
The former Top Gear presenters are no strangers to injury. Hammond sustained life-threatening head injuries and brain damage 11 years ago in a 288mph crash as part of a stunt on BBC’s Top Gear. He was in a coma for a fortnight, but left hospital after five weeks and eventually made a full recovery.
With the launch of the new Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled, comes the second edition of Ducati's popular Scrambler Experience, "Days of Joy"; now with an exclusive Off-Road School.
Days of Joy are trips for Scrambler fans and offer a range of activities, including off-road riding courses, flat tracking, maintenance lessons. This year's event will be held at Vairano Country House near Pavia in Northern Italy on 14 May, 18 June, 23 July and 10 September.
All of the courses are run by expert instructors and professional riders, including a riding school for novices, customised courses for new women riders and test rides on all the bikes in the Ducati Scrambler range.
The new off-road course uses none other than the new Desert Sled and covers approximately 53,000 sq.m. Riders will be accompanied in total safety by expert instructors to have a real Enduro Experience with jumps, sliding and drifting.
In addition to riding, there are activites ranging from cooking classes, barbecues, a chill area and more. The four dates of this year's Days of Joy also feature:
Flat Track School: learn drifting techniques on the off-road track in complete safety on board an organiser provided Scrambler Sixty2, or bring your own Scrambler. Expert instructors will run through skills needed on various track surfaces starting from basic off-road riding.
Flat Track Pro School: start on a Scrambler Sixty2 in the morning and then move on to the Scrambler Flat Track Pro, customised specifically for such dirt tracks, in the afternoon.
Scrambler Women's Riding School: a brand new course dedicated to women.
Novice Riding School: With the help of expert instructors and a Scrambler Sixty2, even friends without a riding license can learn to ride a motorcycle.
Scrambler Test Ride: try out all the bikes of the new Scrambler range assisted by local Ducati dealers.
Scrambler maintenance course: a professional team of mechanics will be teaching the art of motorcycle maintenance.
Cookery Lessons: Stefano Caffarri of The Silver Spoon, Italy’s most definitive and influential cookbook, first published in 1950, will be giving authentic cookery classes.
The Days of Joy will also be a chance to relax and have fun in a natural environment, with an open-air barbecue, a chill area with music, free WiFi, deckchairs and beach umbrellas, table-football and ice-cream.
For more info on costs and enrolment for the Days of Joy, just click on the link: http://scramblerducati.com/en/days-of-joy
Ducati continues to show strong growth and sales figures at the AUDI AG annual press conference. In 2016 Ducati sold 55,451 motorcycles with a € 731 million turnover, an increase of 4.1% compared to 2015 (€ 702 million). It marks the seventh consecutive year of increased sales (+1.2%; 642 more motorcycles than in 2015).
Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding: "Solid growth once again demonstrates the effectiveness of our strategy”
At the end of fiscal year 2016, Ducati also contributed an operating result of € 51 million (2015: € 54 million) and an operating margin of 7% to the Audi Group.
“The continuous evolution of our range, both in terms of quality and technology, the constant development of our dealer network and the effectiveness of a strategy based on investments aimed at the products, the quality and the customers, have enabled the company to continue on its growth curve,” declared Claudio Domenicali, Chief Executive Officer of Ducati Motor Holding. “This allows us to look to the future with optimism, knowing that we are heading in the right direction.”
“Ducati continues its profitable growth trend,” commented André Stoffels, Chief Financial Officer at Ducati Motor Holding. “During 2016 we further consolidated the positive results of the previous years. The company is continuing to invest in new technologies and in new products. For these reasons, we shall be able to continue to register constant growth both in terms of turnover and profits.”
Ducati's performance in European markets has been a large contributor to their success, many of them reporting double-digit growth. In Italy sales have risen by 20%, and 38% in Spain. Even the Germans are getting more on board with Ducati, reporting an increase of 8% compared with the previous year.
The US remains Ducati's number one market, reaching a quota of 8,787 motorcycles. More notably in China Ducati doubled the previous year’s result with an increase of 120%.Motorcycles sold in Brazil increased by 36% and by 215% in Argentina.
2017 has been a busy year with the launch of seven new models: the 1299 Superleggera, the Ducati SuperSport, the Multistrada 950, the Monster 797, Monster 1200 and two new versions of the Ducati Scrambler - Scrambler Café Racer and Scrambler Desert Sled. We've tested all, bar the Monster 797 and the Scrambler Café Racer, but of those bike we've ridden Ducati have continued to impress.
The new Ducati SuperSport and SuperSport S have been added to Ducati's TriOptions finance scheme.
With a minimum deposit of £1000 and a mileage limit of 5000 miles per year the standard SuperSport (£11,632) can be yours with 36 monthly repayments of £171.03 at 6.2% APR with an optional final repayment of £6,034.00. Put in another grand at £2002 and the monthly repayments drop to £140.54.
If you're after the higher spec SuperSport S (£12,932) that boasts Ohlins suspension, a quickshifter, autoblipper and seat cowl, then for the same £1000 deposit and 5000 mileage limit, you can get it for 36 monthly repayments of £186.51 and an optional final repayment of £6,987. Once again, throw in another grand to make the initial deposit £2001 and those monthly repayments drop to £156.04.
Our pilot Chris Pritchard tested the Supersport out in Seville. He reckons it's one of the best all-rounders of 2017. You can check out his ride report below: