Pit Shadow

Fast Bikes - - PIT PASS -

I must, of course, be­gin this month by wish­ing my best to Nicky Hay­den’s fam­ily fol­low­ing the heart-break­ing tragedy. I’m dev­as­tated, he re­ally was a favourite among many. How­ever the next thing I’m go­ing to do is to stick two fin­gers up to some of the cretins in the GP press of­fice, those same ones who for years slagged Nicky off, or more specif­i­cally, slagged his ti­tle win off. A lot. And of­ten…

The is­sue is many are un­abashed Rossi fan boys, who seem un­able to sep­a­rate work and pas­sion, and leave what­ever lit­tle ac­tual pro­fes­sion­al­ism they pos­sess on the me­dia room floor when­ever the Doc­tor is un­der dis­cus­sion. For years I lis­tened to them spout­ing about Nicky’s ‘gifted’ cham­pi­onship, and now I lis­ten again while they speak about him in ways they never did be­fore. I find it sad that it takes some­thing like this to make peo­ple re­alise they’re wrong about some­one, but I guess it’s the way of the world. Any­way, RIP, Nicky, you were a true gent and will be sorely missed.

Yet the cir­cus rolls on, and right now I’m still in ut­ter dis­be­lief at the state Honda have got­ten them­selves into. Only in BSB have they had any­thing to shout about re­cently, with the Fireblade some­how man­ag­ing to make it on a podium. Right now it barely fin­ishes a race in most other se­ries, on the track or the road. The de­fi­cien­cies in the bike, which ap­pears to cen­tre mostly around the throt­tle and gear­box, have caused no end of may­hem. A very fa­mous ex GP racer, one still very ac­tive, de­scribed the throt­tle re­sponse to me as ‘ut­terly ter­ri­fy­ing at times’, and this has been backed up by the FB boys in, I be­lieve, this very is­sue. Then there’s the gear­box, which ap­pears to have been pos­si­bly re­spon­si­ble for John McGuin­ness’ North West 200 crash (given what John him­self said on TV), and very clearly had a hand in Guy Martin’s scary crash in the first TT Su­per­bike race. Again, FB tell me their longterm bike was jump­ing out of gear a lot in their big test too, and find­ing false neu­trals, and I’ve also read this from other quar­ters, too. It’s some­thing Big H need to get on top of as quickly as pos­si­ble lest the new bike (which I think looks beau­ti­ful) be­comes tar­nished. Even in WSB it gets a kick­ing ev­ery sin­gle week­end, too. Not good…

Then in Mo­toGP, I’ve never seen Marc Mar­quez look so lost, like, ever. He cut a sad fig­ure at Mugello, with his bike not even fast enough to best Al­varo Bautista’s pri­va­teer Ducati on Mugello’s straight, on top of all the other is­sues he and the other Honda rid­ers suf­fered from. Yes, both Pe­drosa and Mar­quez have won a race this sea­son, but that’s just pa­per­ing over the cracks – they’re in real trou­ble. Last sea­son it was Mar­quez who made that bike win but it would seem Honda have rested on their lau­rels yet again, and Marc is still ap­par­ently us­ing a three-sea­son old chas­sis, which now just seems des­per­ate given it was de­vel­oped for com­pletely dif­fer­ent tyres. Honda need to pull their col­lec­tive fin­gers out I’d say, we all know they can do it, so hurry up al­ready…

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