The 172 MPH
Yamaha R6

The early magazine tests sounded good, but the 
way everyone found out that the new Yamaha R6 was

really, really  fast 
...was through the efforts of 
Thorvald Saeby & Team Yamaha Motor Norway and Mototune !!

Click the pix to enlarge...

'99 Team Yamaha Motor Norway

Thorvald Saeby Enters Victory Lane At Daytona !!

Josh, Thorvald and 3rd place David Rose celebrate, while Josh Hayes' mechanic, Barry McMahon compliments us on the speed of our bike.

The '99 Daytona NASB 106 hp. Race...
The Best Roadrace I've Ever Seen.

If you were there, you saw mechanics and racers drop their tools and rush to the fence to watch one of the most exciting races ever! Josh Hayes and Thorvald Saeby instantly separated themselves from the rest of the field, and an epic battle began. Josh had Thorvald covered on the brakes, but the R6 was much faster than Josh's Suzuki.....

Since Josh was so good on the brakes, Thorvald decided to sit back and avoid passing on the banking. It was a smart idea, and except for a couple of "test passes" at the start finish line, he stayed in second for most of the race. On the last lap a lapped rider almost crashed in front of Thorvald and he had to hit the brakes exiting the chicane. Josh Hayes won, and Thorvald came in second.

The rules for this class require that the bikes weigh over 385 lbs. and can't have more than 106 horsepower. After the race the bikes have to be weighed and dyno tested for peak horsepower.
Although the bikes weighed nearly the same, Thorvald is taller and weighed at least 20 lb more than Josh. Josh's Suzuki dynoed at
104 hp. EVERYONE there thought for sure we'd go waaaay over the limit !! 

What did we have: 101.8 hp.

The dyno guys' jaws dropped so fast , they almost hit the floor !!

How did we make the R6 go so much faster ... with 2.2 less horsepower ??

The Secret is Being Revealed in Power News Magazine.

After practice, a Yamaha R1 (1000 cc) racer came into our garage and asked

" Is That A European R1 ??? "

He told us that the Yamaha Motor Norway / Mototune R6 was so fast that he couldn't stay in the slipstream (draft), and lost a distance of 20 yards on the top speed section of the Daytona banking !!  

172 MPH !!!! 
That's the speed Thorvald was clocked at on his R6 racing at Daytona... top 600 
That's 7 MPH Faster Than The Yamaha Factory Teams Best !!

Thorvald Saeby leads Factory Yamaha rider Tommy Hayden Through The East Horseshoe.
Tommy later visited our garage to compliment us on the speed of our bike !!

A local Florida newspaper reporter named Godwin Kelly sought us out and wrote this article about the amazing new Mototune R6 and Thorvald's world - first R6 roadrace wins.

  Click here to read the actual Daytona News Journal Story:

   If the actual link doesn't work click here

The only complaint Thorvald had about the new R6: 

" The Speedometer Reads Too Low !!! "

On the steep banking, the speedo stopped reading 299 KPH ... 
way before the rpm peak of the motor !!

How did Team Yamaha Motor Norway do the next weekend in AMA racing 
against some of the toughest competition in the world ??

MARCH 3-7, 1999

Pos. No. Best Time Rider Name Machine Laps Speed (MPH)
1 97 1:54.660 RICHARD H OLIVER YAM 600 1 111.774
2 17 1:55.194 MIGUEL DUHAMEL HON 600 2 111.256
3 131 1:55.394 JOSHUA KURT HAYES SUZ 600 1 111.063
4 2 1:55.436 JAMIE A HACKING YAM 600 2 111.023
5 69 1:55.491 NICKY HAYDEN HON 600 1 110.970
6 20 1:55.829 AARON W YATES KAW 600 2 110.646
7 80 1:55.867 KURTIS L ROBERTS HON 600 2 110.610
8 32 1:55.927 ERIC BOSTROM HON 600 2 110.552
9 120 1:56.087 THORVALD SAEBY YAM 600 1 110.400
10 22 1:56.338 TOMMY HAYDEN YAM 600 2 110.162
11 47 1:56.443 TAKAHITO MORI YAM 600 1 110.062
12 90 1:56.772 TODD M HARRINGTON KAW 600 2 109.752
13 125 1:56.918 JONATHAN G CORNWELL HON 600 1 109.615
14 1 1:57.196 STEVE CREVIER SUZ 600 2 109.355
15 10 1:57.511 ROLAND W SANDS YAM 600 2 109.062
16 66 1:57.546 MATHEW MLADIN SUZ 600 2 109.030
17 82 1:57.555 STEVE RAPP SUZ 600 2 109.021
18 16 1:57.760 TOM H KIPP SUZ 600 2 108.832
19 43 1:57.790 JASON R PRIDMORE SUZ 600 1 108.804
20 5 1:58.030 RICHARD J ALEXANDER JR SUZ 600 2 108.583

750 Supersport

Thorvald crashed after 4 laps while in 8th place, (Top 600).


600 Supersport
We fixed the bike as best we could, just barely in time to make the grid. In fact we were still working on the bike as the sign went up for the warm up lap. The front end was so tweaked that the front wheel wouldn't turn more than 1/4 way when it was spun by hand.

Everyone's nerves were on the ragged edge, especially the Thorvald's! 
When the race started Thorvald lurched the bike forward a couple of feet ....and realizing what he did he hit the brakes. Rules are rules and  the officials ruled that he jumped the start ...Ooops !

He had to take a STOP and GO penalty.

The penalty requires the rider to pull off the track into the pits and make a complete stop, then accelerate back onto the racetrack.... meanwhile the other riders are passing by at over 160 mph. It's a loss of more than 20 seconds !!

As you can imagine, getting a stop 'n go penalty in an AMA Supersport race at Daytona usually means:  
"Game Over"

Despite the penalty Thorvald never gave up, and made up an incredible 12 places to finish 18th place, beating the #1 plate holder Steve Crevier in the process. Even though the front wheel was binding, the R6 was so fast that Crevier was grabbing onto the bodywork down the back straightaway to get a tow !!

It was one of the most awesome displays of heroics on the part of 
Thorvald and his mechanics this sport has ever seen.

Teamwork !!

Mototune carefully built the motor following the AMA supersport rules to the letter.

Fast Bikes' Jorgen Johnsen & Mototune invented a jet kit for it and kept it jetted right every time the weather changed. 

The other Norwegian mechanics, Espen and Cato stayed on top of the chassis tuning all week long. 

Rode the wheels off the bike !

Make your own R6 run like a CHAMP !!

Read about the many Yamaha R6 speed secrets 
we learned at Daytona '99 :

Sign Up !!
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