A revolutionary new motorcycle is being tested on the Paul Ricard circuit in the South of France.
SV ZOOM INTO CU cowling removed from Elf X motorcycle to reveal engine and exhaust.
CU suspension demonstrated (TWO SHOTS)
TS rider gets push start
SV PAN rider takes bike onto the Paul Ricard circuit
TS from behind rider around circuit
LV PAN rider on machine going round bends
TS from front of rider taking bends
LV PAN AND TS from rear of bike rider rounding bends and pulling into pits (TWO SHOTS)
SPORT: MOTOR CYCLING
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: A revolutionary new motorcycle is being tested on the Paul Ricard circuit in the South of France. The new machine has been developed using principles previously applied to Formula One racing cars, and its manufacturers hope it will be ready in time to compete in this year's Grand Prix season.
SYNOPSIS: The Elf X is the brainchild of Frenchman Andre de Cortanze a mechanical engineer whose career in motor racing was cut short by a serious accident. The Elf X looks quite different from conventional racing bikes because of the new ideas used in designing features such as the suspension.
The mechanics made some final adjustments and the Elf X took to the circuit. monsieur de Cortanze believes the design of most racing bikes is ten years behind that of Formula One cars.
M. de Cortanze has focused his attention on the engine of the bike, rather than the frame, but the machine's centre of gravity has been lowered and the traditional motorcycle frame has disappeared. This is intended to promote greater stability especially around bends, and more efficient use of the 750cc four-stroke Yamaha engine.
The bike will be ridden by the experienced Frenchman Michel Rougerie, a former Suzuki works rider. This combination is expected to help attract the crowds next season, in a sport which is growing in popularity.
Japanese manufacturers dominate the sport throughout the world, and with Honda returning to Grand Prix racing after an absence of 12 years, competition this season could be the keenest since the Championship began in 1948. The Elf X will need to be reliable as well as swift, if it is to figure prominently against the major Japanese teams.