‘It’s bet­ter than my era’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - News - KEVIN SCHWANTZ FOR­MER CHAM­PION

It’s so close at the top, ev­ery­one has made a mis­take or two and I can’t wait to see what the sec­ond half of the sea­son will bring.

But to see some­where like Sach­sen­ring where the lap time is 1m 22s or so and there’s only two sec­onds cov­er­ing the whole field – it means that you just need to have a lit­tle bit of a bad day and you’re in 15th pretty easy! That’s why you see the guys at the front mak­ing mis­takes – be­cause they’re push­ing ev­ery sin­gle lap. There’s no ‘my bike isn’t great this week­end, I’ll take it easy and fin­ish fourth’ be­cause you could be 14th in the blink of an eye.

It would have suited me to be in a cham­pi­onship like this back in my day, but it wouldn’t have suited the Suzuki, be­cause un­til we got it right in 1993 it was a very in­con­sis­tent mo­tor­cy­cle. One week­end we’d win and the next we’d strug­gle to be top five – and in a field like this we’d have been lucky to be top 15.

The cur­rent era is bet­ter than mine was, from a fan’s per­spec­tive. Ev­ery bike – well, maybe not the KTM yet – has the op­por­tu­nity to be at the front. The Aprilia is mak­ing good progress this year, all the Du­catis right back to Baz and Bar­bera are stick­ing them in there, and ev­ery­one gets a run at the front at some point.

To me, that makes the whole thing so much more ex­cit­ing, and as a rider, well… when you get here on a Thurs­day you bet­ter make sure that you’re ready to go, to get as many laps in, be it wet, dry or damp. You’ve got to be ready for what­ever’s thrown at you, be­cause you don’t know what’s com­ing at you on Sun­day and you bet­ter be pre­pared.

‘You could be 14th in the blink of an eye’

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