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Feb 4, 2003

Honda Canada-sponsored Orion Team Picks Pirellis

From a press release: <BR><BR>Honda Canada Inc./Orion Motorsports announce Pirelli Tire deal for 2003:<BR><BR>Honda Canada and Orion Motorsports are very pleased to announce a new partnership with Pirelli Motorcycle tires for the upcoming 2003 racing season. The team recently completed an early season shakedown at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on both the new-spec RC-51 and the new CBR600RR.<BR><BR>Riders Kevin Lacombe and Robbie Baird were right on the pace within only a few laps on the Vegas circuit. The question at hand was how would the Pirelli 17-inch slicks stack up compared to the previous set-up on 16.5-inch rubber. The answer was simple. Both riders barely noticed a difference in wheel size and commented on how much grip was available and how well even the softest compounds seemed to last.<BR><BR>"The tire portion of our test was extremely encouraging with both riders having only positive comments about the new tires. We were quite confident that the DOT tires were right on the money and now we are sure the slicks will also do the job," commented team manager Kevin Graham.<BR><BR>This was Australian Robbie Baird's first ride on Pirellis and he was very pleased. "The tires just stuck everywhere. Completely consistent and right on the money for traction," he said.<BR><BR>The team also tested new suspension components for the new-spec RC-51 Superbikes. Traxxion Dynamics provided some modified OEM forks that performed above expectations for a stock OEM unit. Spring and damping characteristics were set up close to last years spec works forks providing excellent handling and feed-back. A variety of rear shocks were also tested with the new swingarm.<BR><BR>Baird and Lacombe logged some seat time as well on the new CBR600RR. While the machines were in stock form except for the addition of race compound rubber. Both riders came away from the ride very excited about the new machines and amazed how fast the bikes were with no modifications to engine or chassis.<BR><BR>Please click on to www.orionmotorsports.ca and www.cdnsuperbike.ca for regular updates, photos and progress with the team. <BR><BR><BR><BR>