WIN SUN­DAY – BUY MON­DAY?

FIM SU­PER­BIKE WORLD CHAM­PI­ONSHIP

Fast Bikes - - PIT PASS - WORDS: BEE J PI CS: K EL EDGE, DU CAT I @ FAST­BIKESMAG

Re­mem­ber ‘win Sun­day, sell Mon­day’? Way back in the mo­tor­cy­cling mists of time this was an ac­tual thing, es­pe­cially when it came to Grand Prix rac­ing. For the best part of two decades how­ever, bar one ex­cep­tion, this hasn’t been the case. In fact, it’s been pro­duc­tion rac­ing that’s driven sales in this sense for some time. Or, at least, that’s what you, our dear read­ers, have told us over the years. Bar how­ever, as we ear­lier men­tioned, the ex­cep­tion, which is Mr Valentino Rossi.

He re­mains the last GP racer who ‘sells’ bikes for a man­u­fac­turer in sig­nif­i­cant num­bers; even the mighty Mar­quez can’t re­ally sell zil­lions of Fire­blades for Honda off the back of his ram­pant suc­cess. It’s be­cause the rac­ing land­scape has changed so much, es­pe­cially so with Mo­toGP given that it is now es­sen­tially a ‘spec’ cham­pi­onship.

Man­u­fac­tur­ers can’t even de­velop elec­tron­ics in GP any more, which is why so many have thrown their hat back in the WSB ring. In mat­ter of fact, speak to many of them and they’ll tell you that most road bike de­vel­op­ment has come di­rect from WSB over the past decade. This is partly why many are so against the in­tro­duc­tion of a spec ECU in that se­ries, but we di­gress off topic slightly.

While top spec lu­di­crously priced sports­bikes seem to sell out in about five min­utes, and even the £20k ma­chines such as the R1M et al also sell out ev­ery year, it’s the lower order ver­sions they re­ally need to sell more of. Sports­bike sales have im­proved from a hor­ri­ble slump, but are nowhere near the fig­ures deal­ers used to en­joy. But, given that WSB, BSB and any other pro­duc­tion se­ries uses souped up ver­sions of the ma­chines we still buy (or would like to), and there­fore still has some sem­blance of rel­e­vance to­wards us and fans as con­sumers, per­haps there’s a way to re­vive that old adage again. Or at the very least, to try and give sales a wee boost via rac­ing.

While I was away with a man­u­fac­turer re­cently, I put this to one of their se­nior rep­re­sen­ta­tives. Why not, for ex­am­ple, when their bike wins aWSB race, for the week after­wards the rel­e­vant sports­bike gets 10% off at all deal­ers? Or if they get on the podium, it’s a dis­count on ac­ces­sories for a week? They sat there, thought about it for a sec­ond, then said ‘that’s a great idea’! Sur­prised, I launched into how all WSB man­u­fac­tur­ers could come to­gether and agree on an ini­tia­tive like this, the re­ply to which was, and I’m para­phras­ing slightly here – ‘ Sod that, yeah it could work on a global scale given time, but it’s a great idea we could start us­ing in the UK with BSB, so I’m go­ing to look into it’. Fair enough!

But think about it for a sec­ond, it may just work, at least par­tially. It could be a way of get­ting peo­ple more in­vested in WSB (or what­ever se­ries), a small dis­count could mean that should the racer/team/ man­u­fac­turer win a race a po­ten­tial buyer would be more likely to stump up the cash. It’s all roughly thought out of course, and there’s prob­a­bly a re­lated but far more ef­fec­tive way of ap­proach­ing it.

But I hon­estly think link­ing the two more thor­oughly again could be good for the goose and the gan­der. Both WSB and sports­bikes sales need a boost after all, don’t they?

Mo­toGP is our show­piece se­ries – WSB should be the sales force!

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