Final Entry List 2006 MotoGP
The FIM (the two wheeled version of the FIA) has announced
the official entries for the MotoGP championship for 2006.
Note that the riding number does not correspond with the
position in last year’s championship. Many riders being superstitious, do not
want to change their number, consequently you get the undisputed champion
Valentino Rossi riding under number 46. (Will he race a Ferrari under that
Number? Answer – No! The FIA insists that the number refers to the position in
last year’s championship.)
The entries are
5. Colin Edwards (USA) Camel Yamaha Team, Yamaha
6. Makoto Tamada (JPN) Konica Minolta Honda, Honda
7. Carlos Checa (SPA) Tech3 Yamaha, Yamaha
10. Kenny Roberts (USA) Team Roberts, KR211V
15. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Ducati Marlboro Team, Ducati
17. Randy de Puniet (FRA) Kawasaki Racing Team, Kawasaki
21. John Hopkins (USA) Team Suzuki MotoGP, Suzuki
24. Toni Elias (SPA) Fortuna Honda, Honda
26. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team, Honda
27. Casey Stoner (AUS) Honda LCR, Honda
30. Jose Luis Cardoso (SPA) Pramac D’Antin MotoGP, Ducati
33. Marco Melandri (ITA) Fortuna Honda, Honda
46. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Camel Yamaha Team, Yamaha
56. Shinya Nakano (JPN) Kawasaki Racing Team, Kawasaki
65. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Ducati Marlboro Team, Ducati
66. Alex Hofmann (GER) Pramac D’Antin MotoGP, Ducati
69. Nicky Hayden (USA) Repsol Honda Team, Honda
71. Chris Vermeulen (AUS) Team Suzuki MotoGP, Suzuki
77. James Ellison (GBR) Tech3 Yamaha, Yamaha.
The country with the greatest representation is Spain with
five entries, followed by the USA with four, Italy with three, Japan and
Australia two each and singleton entries from France, Germany and the UK.
Blue Oval unveiled the new Ranger ahead of its
Bangkok show debut
The Down-under media have become excited by Thailand’s Ford
Ranger pick-up series. Known as the ‘Courier’ in many countries, the
Thai-built vehicles are important as far as Thai exports are concerned, as well
as to the financial viability of Ford Motor Corp in this country. With FoMoCo in
trouble in the US, it is even more important that the company trades in the
GoAuto reported Ford had revealed a redesigned Courier
pick-up on the eve of its global debut at Bangkok’s International Motor Show
Bigger, more aggressive and featuring two new common-rail
four-cylinder turbo-diesel engines, the Blue Oval’s crucial new light
commercial contender goes on sale in Australia late this year.
The reveal of Ford’s all-new Ranger/Courier – revealed in
both single-cab and extra-cab 4x4 guises, the latter complete with
reverse-opening rear doors - completes the new-generation model cycle for all of
Australia’s Thailand-built pickups.
Holden (GM’s manufacturing and sales arm in Australia) was
the first to release its big, bold new RA Rodeo (in March 2003) and in January
launched an Alloytec V6-powered version, while Toyota followed with an even more
brazen seventh-generation HiLux in April 2005.
Nissan’s Spanish-built D40 dual-cab Navara is the sole
exception to Australia’s Thai-built LCVs and was launched in Australia in
November 2005 (and continues to be sold alongside its D22 predecessor), while
Mitsubishi’s all-new Triton dual-cab has also broken cover and will arrive
down-under mid-year with 3.2-litre diesel and 3.5-litre petrol power.
Ford-controlled Mazda also revealed its next-generation,
Ranger-based B-Series LCV.
Ford’s new Ranger, as it’s known in Thailand and the US,
closely follows the design theme laid down by the Blue Oval’s 4-Trac concept
revealed at December’s Thailand International Motor Expo. That vehicle was
styled in part by former Ford Australia designer Paul Gibson, who now heads up
Ford’s Asia-Pacific design centre.
Presenting strong visual links with Ford’s bigger F-Series
– America’s top-selling pickup for the past 29 years – the new
Ranger/Courier brings the sort of distinctive styling and imposing dimensions
Ford needs to compete with the likes of Rodeo, HiLux, Navara and Triton.
Courier’s popularity has been waning behind that of the new
HiLux, the three-year-old Rodeo, the evergreen Triton and even its Mazda Bravo
twin. Last year Courier claimed just 4.5 per cent of the two-wheel drive pick-up
market with 3551 sales.
Courier fared much better in 4x4 guise, however, attracting
4053 sales and 6.5 per cent of the Pickup Cab-chassis 4x4 segment, to rank
behind HiLux, Rodeo, Navara, LandCruiser and Triton.
“The light truck market is one of the hottest segments in
Australia and this new model will ensure Ford remains at the forefront of this
important market,” said Ford Australia president Tom Gorman in a release
issued last Wednesday.
According to Ford, two new 16-valve DOHC turbo-diesel fours
(a 2.5 litre and a more powerful 3.0 litre) will significantly improve
Courier’s towing capacity, which will be rated at up to 3000kg.
Both Duratorq TDCi engines feature new generation high
pressure Bosch common-rail fuel injection and a variable geometry turbocharger
to combine best-in-class torque outputs with low fuel consumption.
The 2.5 delivers around 107 kW and 330 Nm of torque from just
1800rpm – yet is claimed to consume 22 per cent less fuel than Courier’s
current 2.5 litre WLT diesel engine.
The all-new 3.0 litre version delivers around 116 kW and 380
Nm and is also mated to a five-speed manual transmission. There is no mention of
Of course, Ford makes much of the Ranger’s muscular new
look, which comes courtesy of a 60 mm higher waistline, bold wheel arch flares
and a distinctive three-bar grille design that’s integrated with a bulging
A stylish, sedan-like interior contrasts with the Ranger’s
“tough truck” exterior and features a three-cluster instrument panel, a
bright chrome centre console housing an AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system, ergonomically
designed seats and the usual array of storage locations - including an 8.1-litre
glovebox, five cupholders and an industry-first work tray that pulls out from
the instrument panel.
Ford says the new Ranger’s more rigid ladder frame chassis
improves handling, while tougher and more durable suspension is claimed to
improve ride quality.
Ground clearance gains have also been made and Ford says
Ranger’s steering has been “optimized for easy handling at low speeds and
firmer steering at highway cruising speeds”.
While Ford Australia was less bold, the FoMoCo press release
says Ranger aims to set new standards for a one-tonne pick-up in terms of engine
performance, fuel economy, passenger comfort, safety features, drivability,
towing capacity and affordability.
Standard anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brake-force
distribution (EBD), twin front airbags and outboard seatbelt pretensioners will
be complimented by optional side airbags – a segment first.
Last week I wrote that Porsche built a race car which made
its debut painted black. It did not do well. It was then painted white and won
every race the factory entered it in. I asked, what was this car? It was the
Group 6, 936 Porsche.
So to this week. Let’s stick with Porsche. Which Porsche
driver in the Targa Florio put a wheel off the road and damaged a radius rod. He
walked back to the pits to be asked, “Is that what broke, or is it all
that’s left?” Clue, He was English.
For the Automania FREE beer this week, be the first correct
answer to email [email protected]