Cycle News

Cycle News 2013 Issue 05 Feb 5

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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P22 IN THE WIND YOUNG RIDES THE ATTACK CRT times. We were wo-time AMA Superbike about lap T Championship runner-up Blake Young had his first outing on the Attack Performance Racing CRT bike at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway in Desert Center, California, on Thursday in a shakedown run for the Wisconsinite who will race the bike in the three American rounds of the MotoGP World Championship this year. Young rode the new "screamer" version of the Kawasaki-powered bike in a one-day test to get acquainted with the nuances of riding a MotoGP bike – most notably the fact that you don't use the clutch to downshift. "We really kept it [the electronics] the way it was," Young said on Friday of the Motec system the team uses. "There were a lot of settings on it from Indianapolis when [Steve] Rapp raced it as far as engine braking, maps… not using the clutch to downshift was another thing I had to wrap my head around. No more downshifting, braking, blipping the throttle. You don't have to do that with this bike. It was pretty tough. I almost had to just tape my left hand on the handlebar to not use the clutch at all. Once I got the hang of it, that's what you need to do. The biggest goal yesterday was just to get comfortable on it. We weren't worried on Pirelli tires and getting comfortable was the main goal. I told him [Richard Stanboli – the team owner] right away when I got there that any habits that I've learned riding around in an AMA Superbike race, I need to break and learn them there. At the end of the day, I'd almost forgot about the Superbike stuff." Initially, Young also had to get used to riding the bike differently than what he's become accustomed to with the Suzuki GSX-Rs he's ridden for the majority of his career. "I thought the power delivery of it was a lot more crude than the Superbike," Young said. "It was kind of on and off, but once you got it up in the rpm where it needed to be ridden – almost like a 250cc GP bike or a 125 that I've ridden before when I was like 14 years old – it works really good. Right in the powerband – 11,000, 12,000 up to 14-15,000 range; everything was really smooth and it transitioned really well – throttle to the chassis and everything. It was definitely a different experience, riding on the 16.5s [inch wheels], with proper Superbike forks… you can definitely really lean the thing over and carry lots of momentum. And with that much power it was definitely different. "It's a different kind of riding style than what I'm used to riding at a Superbike race. I kept thinking to myself that it's really going to take you to be mentally sharp to ride the thing with how much of the racetrack you can use and how spot on with your apexes, corner entry and exits you will have to be, compared to running a Superbike race. It's important there as well, but with an AMA Superbike race it took fitness more than being mentally sharp." Young will test the bike again on February 12 at the Circuit Of The Americas in Austin, Texas. "I'm looking forward to getting on those tires and it will be nice to spin some laps around Austin for sure." Paul Carruthers

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