Thursday, July 31, 2008 Updated: August 4, 12:11 AM ET
The Format, and Little Else, Changes By Brian Kamenetzky
I stopped by the pits this morning to pick the brains of some mechanics readying their team's bikes for the upcoming SuperMoto competition. In case you missed the memo, this year's format ditches the hour long, complete-with-pit-stop setup of last year's final, replacing it with a heat system that will result in a much shorter, ten-rider race for the medals.
I figured changes in the race could mean changes in the bikes; skillful engineering tweaks that would amaze and confuse all who don't regularly clean grease from under their fingernails. I asked Yamaha's Kyle Guglielmetti, the mechanic for Brandon Currie's #4, what they'll be doing differently this year:
Way to ruin a perfectly good blog post, Kyle.
Brandon Currie's mechanic, Kyle Guglielmetti
The only real differences on the bikes come from the elimination of the pit stop, meaning anything on the bike related to that can go. They'll run with a standard fuel tank and remove the real wheel quick change apparatusmeaning the bikes will be slightly lighter, but the speed won't be affected, since the weight shed is negligible. "If you're going 100 miles an hour on the freeway and you pick up a brick," says Guglielmetti, [Ed. Note: I have no idea how you'd do that...] "you're still going 100 miles an hour."
The bigger changes come in race prep, where at X 14 teams no longer have to practice the hundreds of pit stops over hours and hours. That means more time for speed testing, and anything else they can come up with. Specifically, says Guglielmetti, "we rest."