The Yamaha Racing Team competes at the highest level of motorcycle motorsport; Moto GP, with their riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, and their YZR-M1 motorcycle. With these riders and this bike, it is widely agreed that Yamaha will be hard to beat in the 2013 Moto GP season.
Jorge Lorenzo is the lead rider at the Yamaha Racing Team squad and won the riders’ Moto GP world championship last year on the M1. Yamaha, however, lost the manufacturers’ title to Honda, who had a better spread of experience across their riders, and a very strong bike. But, this year, with two top riders and the very solid M1 motorcycle, it is expected that Yamaha will be the team to beat. Right next to Honda!
Lorenzo is still only 25 years old, yet he is a four-time world champion motorcycle racer; two in the premiere class of Moto GP and twice in the 250cc class; the old feeder class into Moto GP. On a good day, on a good bike, Lorenzo’s super-smooth style, precision and absolute refusal to make mistakes, makes him a truly formidable foe. He has been the world champion of his class in 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2012, and holds many records within the sport, and is already on his way to being one of the legends of the modern motorcycle racing era. Alongside his teammate, Valentino Rossi…
Valentino Rossi is arguably the greatest motorcycle racer of all time. He doesn’t hold as many world titles as the overall most successful racer even – Agostini – but he has won a ton of titles, has an incredible talent to squeeze the last drop of grip from a battling motorcycle, and possesses the kind of affinity with the fans that makes marketers simply ecstatic. He left Yamaha – his spiritual home – for a while, but now he’s back for 2013 and reunited with the Yamaha YZR-M1, a bike that he won four world championships on.
The 34-year-old Italian is the most famous motorcycle racer on the tracks today, and while, of course, at 34 years of age, he’ll most likely round out his incredible career with Yamaha, many believe the ol’ dog’s still got a couple of red-hot seasons left in him. Sure, he’s not as young as the young guns, but what he looses in pure attack, he makes up for with a feeling and affinity for a motorcycle that’s almost magical.
The Yamaha YZR-M1 is a work of prototype motorcycle art, and both Jorge and Valentino will be riding one of these blue and grey apex-hunters for the 2013 season. And while it may not be the purely fastest bike out there – the Honda and Ducati both have a hell of a lot of straight line squirt – the big Yam handles the bends like a liquid dream. Predictable handling, apex readiness and a smooth power delivery all come together to make the M1 an all-round formidable Moto GP foe, especially with Lorenzo and Rossi on board.
She’s got 1,000ccs in 4-cylinders across the aluminium frame, pushing about 240bhp to the rear wheel, and that’s about four times what you mum’s Fiesta has under the hood. It weighs 157kg (dry) in accordance with the Moto GP rules, and is entirely handmade as a prototype, just like F1 cars. No other Yamaha motorcycle (away from the Moto GP class) would stay with the M1 on any racetrack.
Survey suggests half of all drivers would struggle to pass driving test again
I don’t know about anyone else, but I was gripped watching Channel 5’s Dangerous Drivers’ School, which took the meaning of car crash TV to a whole new level! I’ve just heard about an AA/Populus poll that coincided with the series and revealed that 50% of qualified drivers believe they might fail on at least one part of the current driving test.
To be honest I found this a bit worrying! Those with poor driving skills not only pose a potential threat to other road users but may also increase everyone else’s car insurance premiums.
According to the survey, the element that drivers were most likely to fail was parallel parking with 32% of women and 16% of men naming this manoeuvre as their most challenging. Speed, using mirrors, keeping a safe distance and reversing round a corner were other problem areas.
The survey showed some regional variation with only 16% of Londoners saying they might fail on parallel parking but a relatively high 4% believing they would struggle to keep a safe distance. A quarter of drivers from Eastern England, Yorkshire, Humberside and the East Midlands admitted that parking could be their downfall.
Drivers from Scotland and the West Midlands were more concerned about reversing round a corner with 9% citing this element. Welsh motorists were less worried at only 5%.
Age also seemed to affect the outcome of the poll. Only 1% of over-65s claimed that ‘use of mirrors’ might fail them at a retest, compared to 12% of 18-24 year olds.
Edmund King, director of the AA Charitable Trust, was alarmed by the results, insisting that “being able to manoeuvre correctly, making proper observations and keeping a safe distance and speed are all very important parts of driving safely.”
Describing driving as a “skill for life” he added that “drivers should make sure their skills are kept polished.”
The Channel 5 series of Dangerous Drivers’ School began on Thursday 31st January at 8pm.In the programme, a driving instructor from the AA Driving School is filmed coaching each participant in order to improve their driving. A variety of serious problems are addressed including motorway phobia, towing issues, extreme nervousness and over-confidence.
Among the drivers taking part in the current series are comedian Rowland Rivron, the actor Melvyn Hayes, Kate Walsh from The Apprentice and former MP and author, Edwina Currie.
Many of us would be lost without a sat nav in today’s world but in many cases people actually get lost because of their ‘little helpers’ and often find themselves in quite unusual situations.
Sadly some sat nav accidents can have serious and in some cases, fatal consequences which highlight the dangers of putting their information ahead of your own natural driving senses. However, there are many examples which simply show how common it is for a sat nav to literally lead you down the wrong path.
Here is a round-up of some of the most unusual stories which have been blamed on sat navs in the UK:
A 47-year-old lorry driver thought that his sat nav knew best when it came to choosing between what it told him or taking notice of a road sign warning of dangers to heavy vehicles. Soon after his 17.5-tonne truck became jammed between two walls in a narrow country lane, proving that sometimes the old fashioned ways are the safest. Steven Ablett ended up spending the night in his truck’s cab and missing his son’s 18th birthday.
There was a major high level security alert after the Duchess Of York Sarah Ferguson’s car was sold with sensitive addresses still stored in the sat nav device onboard. Police had sold the Jaguar XJ6 at auction but had neglected to wipe the memory. The sat nav contained addresses of houses and common routes taken by the Duchess.
Lack of trust
The residents of a small village in Glamorgan are so unhappy with the way that sat navs are sending heavy duty vehicles through their narrow streets, that they have erected self-made signs, letting drivers know they are likely to become stuck if they trust their devices too much.
One cab driver placed so much trust in his sat nav that he followed its instructions to drive along a river. After travelling more than 200 yards he finally became stuck in mud and had to abandon his cab, which was later rescued by a man in a tractor, who pulled it out of the River Nar near Swaffham in Norfolk.
Mini roundabout madness
A sat nav got the blame from a Belgian lorry driver who left a trail of destruction estimated to cost around £20,000. After being led into a cul-de-sac, he ended up destroying a car which became trapped under his vehicle, severely damaging five other cars and totally destroying a mini roundabout.
If you are looking for a car with a difference then look no further than the Citroen DS3. Customisation is in abundance with the Citroen DS3, with the potential for a huge amount of personal touches to be made throughout the interior and exterior of the vehicle. The hatchback which is the company’s answer to the Mini and the Fiat 500 is guaranteed to give you a lot of style for your hard earned money, with obvious careful consideration given to every aspect of its head turning design.
The cars main features include its beautiful ‘3D’ LED rear light clusters, its elegant chrome side bumpers and its sporty looking black alloys.
Performance wise the Citroen DS3 won’t disappoint. The DS3’s delivery of power is one of its major strengths, thanks to a more than capable 1.6 petrol engine and an economically friendly 1.6 diesel engine option. For those who do a vast amount of motorway driving the 1.6 diesel Airdream DStyle model is ideal for the commuter with its impressive mpg consumption of up to 88mpg. If that wasn’t enough it also benefits from exemption from road tax due to its remarkably low Co2 outputs.
Such economic performance of the 1.6 diesel Airdream DStyle model makes this car the perfect option for an image concerned and environmentally charged business fleet. Tie this car in with a company fuel card such as those available via mffuelcards.co.uk and you are sure to please all parties involved.
Power wise the air-dream has a modest 113bhp and a useful 199lb ft of torque which makes it very effective for getting up to speed quickly. The 0-62mph in 9.7 seconds will be adequate for the majority of drivers.
To conclude, overall the car is a bit of a treat to drive and provides a top of the range economy. However, it has entered a very tough market in direct competition with the already well-established brands such as Mini and Fiat. In the grander scheme of things it is a desirable small car for the real world. For those looking for a head turning ride that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to run the Citroen DS3 1.6 diesel Airdream DStyle model (a bit of a mouthful) will not disappoint.
About the author: Chris Algar is a motoring enthusiast who is writing on behalf of mffuelcards.co.uk who offer business fuel cards that make business sense by streamlining your costs and admin requirements.