Stavros stitches Matt Roberts up a treat!

Fast Bikes - - CONTENTS -

Isn’t it lovely to have rac­ing back again? It’s like a weight be­ing taken off your shoul­ders, and WSB cer­tainly didn’t dis­ap­point from Aus­tralia. Okay it does all seem a bit samey with Jonny Rea do­ing the win­ning with Chaz Davies not far off and Sykes in at­ten­dance, apart from Marco Me­landri be­ing in there I guess. I still loved it, and we shouldn’t com­plain, but I thought things might change this sea­son. Plus, so long as Chaz can keep Jonny in sight un­til the sec­ond part of the year, it could get quite tight.

I also thought the grid swap idea would change things, but the top boys were all nearly in the lead by the end of the first lap of race two! I think Chaz’s Du­cati has more speed this year where the Kawasaki would trounce them in a straight line be­fore. I also think Me­landri has been great, I didn’t ex­pect him to be so close even if he is clearly a bit ring rusty.

The Su­pers­port race in Oz was stun­ning, wasn’t it? I’ve not watched the one from Thai­land but I be­lieve it’s also a doozy. I was chuffed to see that the fac­tory bikes couldn’t get past Leon Camier’s MV Agusta on the straight in Thai­land ei­ther, that’s quite grat­i­fy­ing. I did hear a funny story about it, though, in re­la­tion to the fact that a cou­ple of MVs’ en­gines have gone pop after just two rounds. Last year they apparently had a mo­tor that just kept on go­ing, a re­ally good one they used to sling in the bike for each race for at least half the sea­son. The prob­lem is, no­body could fig­ure out who built it, or re­mem­ber what the ac­tual spec­i­fi­ca­tion even was!

How Ital­ian is that? Now they’re just like big hand grenades and they’re des­per­ate to find out how they made it so good last time! Bless its heart, though, he’s do­ing amaz­ing stuff on that bike con­sid­er­ing it’s ba­si­cally a 20-year-old de­sign. Leon must be get­ting paid de­cent money to stay there – he could do some proper dam­age on some­thing fac­tory, but he’s also clearly a de­cent de­vel­op­ment rider, too.

I’m quite dis­ap­pointed with Honda how­ever; it must be de­press­ing for the rid­ers, Ste­fan Bradl must be won­der­ing what’s go­ing on as he’s fin­ish­ing in the same places he did in Mo­toGP, in WSB. I’ll be in­ter­ested to see how it goes in BSB given the rules make all the bikes com­pet­i­tive with in­di­vid­ual tweaks al­lowed, and they’ll have more time to get the bike sorted than Ten Kate had. That be­ing said, I’d have my money down on Shane Byrne and his Du­cati again.

I’d love it to be Leon Haslam but it al­ways seems some­thing un­to­wards hap­pens to him, or a bout of bad luck, or what­ever, stops him win­ning it. Last year his team spread them­selves way too thin run­ning three rid­ers, the new team should run smoother and I’m also ex­cited to see how Luke Mossey gets on given his bril­liant test­ing times. It’s time he broke through to the top – or he never may.

As for Mo­toGP, isn’t Mav­er­ick Vi­nales im­pres­sive? He may be on what’s con­sid­ered the best bike, but it still needs rid­ing doesn’t it? I heard that he and Marc Mar­quez used to bash fair­ings when they were young, and came from op­po­site spec­trums in life, one be­ing looked after and the other a bit of a street kid.

I’m also chuffed to see all this aero de­vel­op­ment still go­ing in GPs, I love stuff that makes bikes go faster, I don’t care what it looks like. All this guff about sav­ing money to make things more com­pet­i­tive is a load of arse, it’s a pro­to­type series so should be cut­ting edge and those with the most money will al­ways be at the front, and those with less at the back. Only change­able con­di­tions or weird things hap­pen­ing changes the es­tab­lished run­ning or­der, just like last year.

On my side of things, I’ll hope­fully be test­ing my clas­sic Suzuki soon. It looks great doesn’t it? And I’m also writ­ing a book with Matt Roberts. He came round my house to talk about it, and I got him good! I re­placed his car’s num­ber-plates with ‘PENI5’! He didn’t no­tice and drove off home to Hud­der­s­field. He got in it the next day with the kids, drove around all day and only no­ticed later when the neigh­bours started com­plain­ing! All I got from him was a text say­ing “you wanker…” so I’ll be keep­ing an eye out for his re­venge move! Till next month!

Steve’s new steed!

Al­ways the joker...

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