Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Supercross: FIM Issues Release On James Stewart

By Kit Palmer | 12/17/2014 10:37 AM
Following Yoshimura Suzuki’s statement regarding the suspension levied on James Stewart for testing positive for an illegal substance earlier this year, the FIM issued its own release on the matter. In it, it states that Stewart has been suspended from racing for 16 months, beginning in April of 2014 when his urine sample was taken following the Seattle Supercross. This means that he will be eligible to race again after August 11, well into the Lucas Oil AMA Motocross Championship. He would miss all but the last two rounds in Utah and Indiana.
In addition, all points he earned while racing after the Seattle Supercross, will be stripped with the series standings in Supercross and motocross adjusted accordingly.
The FIM release is as follows:
On 12 April 2014, Mr James Stewart, Jr. underwent an anti-doping test conducted by the FIM at the round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, held at the Century Link Field, Seattle, Washington. The urine sample obtained from Mr Stewart revealed the presence of a prohibited substance (amphetamine) listed in the category S6. Stimulant under a) Non-specified Stimulants and prohibited in competition under the FIM Anti- doping Code (CAD) in force.
On 17 June, in accordance with Article 7.6.1 CAD, the FIM provisionally suspended Mr Stewart with effect from 20 June pending the CDI’s decision adjudicating on the merits of the case. Since then, Mr Stewart has been provisionally barred from participating in any competition. The case was referred to CDI and Mr Anand Sashidharan of India was appointed by the Director of the International Commission of Judges (CJI) as CDI Single Judge to hear the case.
In consideration of Article 8.1.1 CAD and Article 3.3.2 of the FIM Disciplinary and Arbitration Code, Mr Stewart was heard by the CDI during a Hearing at the Best Western Hotel at Chavannes-de-Bogis, Switzerland, on 23 October 2014.
The CDI has now issued its decision. On the merits, the CDI found that it was undisputable that Mr Stewart had committed an anti-doping rule violation under Article 2.1 CAD which states in particular that “[i]t is each Rider’s personal duty to ensure that no Prohibited substance enters his or her body(...)”. The CDI further found that this was the first anti-doping rule violation recognised against Mr Stewart.
Taking into consideration all the evidence adduced, the CDI considered that, on the balance of probabilities, Mr Stewart had established how the prohibited substance had entered his body. Accordingly, the Judge was able to apply Article 10.5.2 of the CAD. Considering all the circumstances and having regard to Mr Stewart’s degree of fault and negligence, the CDI Single Judge came to the conclusion that the appropriate sanction to be imposed on Mr Stewart was a period of ineligibility of 16 (sixteen) months. The CDI further ruled that the period of ineligibility would commence on 12 April 2014 (date of the collection of the sample). Consequently, the period of ineligibility imposed on Mr. James Stewart will end on 11 August 2015 at midnight.
In accordance with Article 10.8 of the CAD, the CDI ruled that Mr Stewart is disqualified from all competitions in which he participated (including the four rounds of the 2014 national Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Series) subsequent to the collection of the sample (12 April 2014) and all results he obtained in those competitions are cancelled with all the resulting consequences including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes. The FIM will therefore modify the rankings of the 2014 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, accordingly.
An appeal against the decision of the CDI may be lodged by the parties before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne (Switzerland) within 21 days of the date of receipt of the CDI decision pursuant to Article 13.6 of the 2014 FIM Anti-Doping Code.
The full reasoned decision was notified to Mr Stewart on 12 December 2014 and will be published on the FIM website in due course.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Bultaco rides again with all-electric motorcycles: The Rapitan and Rapitan Sport

It’s been 13 years since a bike came out with the famous Bultaco thumbs-up logo on its side. By 2001 the once-glorious road racing days of this Spanish motorcycle company had ground to a halt, and only retro off-road two stroke enthusiasts and trials riders really heard the name. But that’s set to change, as the brand is about to resurrect itself as an electric motorcycle manufacturer, starting in 2015. Bultaco today revealed two prototypes that point the way forward – the Rapitan and Rapitan Sport. Both feature 53 horsepower, 92 lb.ft electric motors, Hossack-style front end suspension and enough battery storage to get over 200 km (125 miles) in town.
Founded by MotoGP star Sete Gibernau’s grandfather back in 1958, Bultaco built a series of successful road and road race bikes through the 60s and 70s, peaking in the late 70s when Spanish rider Angel Nieto rode the brand to two 50cc world Grand Prix championships, and multiple wins in the 125cc Grand Prix class.
Between the 1970s and when the brand name was last used in 2001, Bultaco was best known for its two-stroke off road and trials bikes.
But Paco Bultó, Bultaco’s founder, wasn’t himself a fan of the peaky two-stroke powerband. His son Paco Bultó junior remembers that his father "always said that the ideal scenario would be a constant torque engine with the same response as any system for a motorcycle without gear shifts… And at the end he said: as if we had an electrical engine."
Bultó senior might not be around to see it, but it seems the brand is ready to go in just that direction. The electric motorcycle segment feels like it’s right on the edge of a tipping point, ready to relegate petrol-powered motorcycles to long-range touring duties, and the Bultaco brand is being resurrected with some very sexy looking new prototypes.
The Rapitan and Rapitan Sport are the first glimpses we’ll get of the 2015 launch, an extremely handsome roadster and a retro-electric flat tracker. At the heart of both bikes is a custom-developed powerplant, the Bultaco Powercore eMK1, which makes some 40 kW (53 hp) and 125 Nm (92 lb.ft) of torque.
Apart from the bikes’ unique and funky looks, they aim to differentiate themselves in two key ways. Firstly, with a Norm Hossack-style front end suspension similar to the Telelever system BMW uses on many of its road bikes. This kind of suspension system does an outstanding job of controlling brake dive, and separating braking from turning forces, keeping the bike’s geometry much more constant as you’re braking into corners than a traditional telescopic fork.
Secondly, Bultaco believes it has found a more efficient way to use regenerative braking to put energy back into the bikes’ batteries. "The Bultaco Drive Train System (DTS), unlike other electrical two-wheeled vehicles, enables the maximum energy performance to be yielded from regenerative braking. This is possible because the technology applied to the chassis maximizes the rear wheels’ adherence during braking, which enables a considerable electrical braking torque to be applied.”
Certainly, our recent test of the Zero SR found that even with regenerative braking turned up to maximum levels, motor braking was extremely weak, so it’ll be interesting to see how much difference the Bultaco system can make, both in terms of usable regen braking and battery range extension.
The bulk of the 189 kg (416 lb) weight is kept low, which should make these two very quick-steering bikes. It also opens up enough free space where the Rapitan's tank would normally be to store a full-face helmet. Anyone who ever owned a Suzuki Across will know exactly how handy that chunk of storage can be.
By the time the new Bultaco bikes launch in 2015, they’ll be well behind the curve if they don’t beef up the power and torque output, but they’ll sure have a heck of a presence on the roads. We look forward to riding the next chapter in the Bultaco story, and wish the new owners a big thumbs-up!