News and Events

Tripping over, visa worries… and the wife’s birthday

When as always I tripped over the bulging massive MotoGP bag at the top of the stairs, woke up in the night worried once again I was travelling to Japan without a visa, could still smell the wood preservative on my hands and double checked with my next door neighbour he would deliver my wife’s birthday present I knew my favourite trip of the year was about to start.

Three grands prix in the space of two hectic weeks on the other side of the world in Japan, Australia and Malaysia embracing so very different cultures, contrasting weather and food. Three totally different race tracks in Motegi, Phillip Island and Sepang which so often produced the new World Champion although not this time round.

Packing enough underpants and work shirts was always a problem to see you through the first two weeks before the welcome laundry service at the hotel in Kuala Lumpur.Hence the bulging MotoGP bag although the problem was if you flew in with all your colleagues picking out your bag on the carousel among 100 similar others was nightmare. In over 30 visits to Japan I never had a visa and every time I approached immigration I got that dreaded feeling that everybody was watching me and I would be refused entry and sent home but it never happened. When you are away from home for three weeks on the other side of the World important matters have to be attended to before you go and when you are away. I always had to spray the wooden garden furniture with preservative the week before I departed because I left in the autumn and returned at the start of winter with those horrible dark nights. My hands still smelt as I boarded that first flight to Tokyo. I was always away for my wife’s birthday at the end of October. Cards and presents had to be hidden and in one case a new bike delivered by my next door neighbour on the right day.

The unbelievable Motegi complex is in the middle of nowhere and until the last couple years we used to stay at one of the many golf courses in the area. At night we were the only people there in the middle of the pitch black Japanese countryside and it reminded so much of the film, The Shining .My so called ‘friends’ used to warn me as we went to bed that Jack Nicholson would be breaking down my bedroom door in the middle of the night to announce I’m home. That warning plus a couple earth tremors certainly didn’t help sleep despite the jet lag.

Straight onto Phillip Island which was such a contrast. We always stayed in the main town Cowes named after the town in the Isle of Wight where I spent many a childhood holiday. I loved the fish and chips and especially the local pub where we learnt so much about Australian beer, life on Phillip Island, cricket and a betting system called Pokies.

We would often fly out of Melbourne on the Sunday/early Monday morning to Kuala Lumpur after the race. After two weeks on the road that first swim at the hotel near the airport was pure heaven. It was a break of a couple of days to get the laundry done and sample the delights of the food and markets in sprawling KL while dodging those tropical storms. Negotiating over the price in the markets was a real art which I never quite mastered and so I took Casey Stoner along on one occasion to stand in for me. As expected he was brilliant.

I was ready to go home at the end of three incredible weeks that for me personally was the perfect illustration why I love MotoGP so much both on and off the track. Of course I’m envious of all those flying out this week but at least I’m home for my wife’s birthday and I will not be tripping over at the top of the stairs.

By | October 17th, 2019|News and Events, Nick's Blog|0 Comments

Nick Harris: after the Lord Mayor’s show

Barry Sheene would have not ridden in another Grand Prix this season. Giacomo Agostini would have picked his races. Freddie Spencer never graced another Grand Prix podium while Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi just carried on winning. I don’t think it takes much of an expert to work out which route Marc Marquez will follow after his eighth world title win following that breathtaking victory in Thailand on Sunday.

Sheene realised after winning his two 500cc titles in the seventies he could make more money by actually not competing in many of the last few Grands Prix with some very lucrative appearance deals at home. Ago would miss out riding at some of the dangerous road circuits on the all-conquering 350 and 500cc MV Agustas and who could blame him.  After Spencer clinched that historic 1985 250/500cc double by winning the penultimate round of the 500cc Championship at Anderstorp incredibly he never again stood on a Grand Prix podium. Doohan and Rossi just ploughed on and won more and more races after title victories.

The ride I will never forget came from Kenny Roberts Jr in 2000 at Motegi in Japan. Just eight days earlier Kenny had clinched the 500cc world title for Suzuki with a calculated sixth place in the race won by Rossi at Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to become the first son to win the same premier class title as his father. It was my first visit to Motegi and Roberts showed us all just why he was the World Champion. Both Roberts and Suzuki knew they had to win the title that year with the young cavalry led by Rossi and Biaggi funded by Honda and Yamaha on the charge. Rossi had won his first 500cc Grand Prix at Donington followed by the Rio win while Biaggi was victorious in Brno. Throw in the likes of sliding Australian Garry McCoy who’d already won three Grands Prix that season on the Yamaha and there were plenty of pretenders to Roberts’s crown wanting to put the World Champion in his place but it never happened. Roberts simply blew them all away round the 4.801 kms circuit to beat Rossi and Biaggi by over six seconds, just to let them know who was the Champion of the world. It turned out to be the last of Kenny’s eight 500cc wins and Rossi took over his mantle. The rest is history but the American had made his point in such a masterful way.

There are still four Grands Prix to go this year and Marquez’ next appearance at the home of Honda in Motegi does not exactly spell out good news for his rivals. Perhaps a certain 20-year-old Frenchman may have something to say about that in the next six weeks.

By | October 10th, 2019|News and Events, Nick's Blog|1 Comment

All prepared and you won’t need the scissors

Repsol Honda will be prepared to celebrate the distinct possibility that Marc Marquez will clinch the MotoGP™ world title on Sunday in Thailand, but I bet they have not mentioned their plans to their rider. It might seem like a miracle when a rider wins a World Championship that he magically appears on the podium proudly wearing a t-shirt proclaiming his amazing achievement.

Often a new helmet miraculously appears on his lap of honour, while, in more recent years, a little pantomime is often played out trackside to make a poignant point or celebrate the exact number of World titles achieved. While all the celebrations are going on at the circuit, the World Champion’s biography with pictures has already been beamed around the world to millions of media outlets.

If Marquez does not clinch his eighth world title at the Buriram circuit, Repsol Honda will have four more opportunities to press the button on their celebration plans but that has not always been the case. In 1992, I was media manager for the Rothmans Honda team and we were prepared for Mick Doohan to clinch the 500cc world title at the final round of an extraordinary Championship at Kyalami in South Africa.

Two hundred and fifty t-shirts were hidden away proclaiming Mick as the new Champion, while a similar number of press kits with his biography and photographs were ready to be distributed in the media centre at the chequered flag. Back home in England, around one thousand similar kits were poised to be posted first class throughout the world – no internet in those days, of course.

Mick arrived in South Africa with a precious two-point lead over current Champion Wayne Rainey after a truly remarkable comeback that had pushed even the Australian’s bravery and determination to a new level after fighting pain and injury. He’d been running away with the title until breaking his leg in a qualifying crash in Assen. An appalling, pain-filled three months followed when he even endured having his two legs sewn together to prevent the unthinkable prospect of having his right leg amputated. He returned to race at the penultimate round, after missing four Grands Prix, still holding a 22-point advantage over Rainey as a shadow of the rider who’d been dominating the Championship until Assen.

The 70-year history of Grand Prix racing has produced some extraordinary rides of pure courage and Mick’s 12th place around the dangerous and slippery Interlagos circuit, on the outskirts of San Paolo in Brazil, was certainly the bravest I’ve ever witnessed. Especially as it produced no World Championship points and Rainey won – only the top ten finishers scored points in those days.

Two weeks later and, so typically, Mick had worked day and night to improve his fitness and build his strength for the near 120-kilometre battle that would decide the outcome of the Championship. He fought like a tiger to finish in sixth place but Rainey did enough. The Yamaha rider rode the perfect race behind John Kocinski and Wayne Gardner to finish third and retain his title by four points.

Cutting up the t-shirts and press kits was an upsetting task after witnessing first hand just how much a rider was prepared to put his body through to win the title. A fitter and stronger Mick returned a year later and, in 1994, at last won his first world title. For five consecutive seasons, he sported that World Championship winning t-shirt that his sheer bravery and ability more than deserved.

However, I don’t think the Repsol Honda Team will be getting out those same cutting up scissors after the next five Grands Prix.

By | October 3rd, 2019|News and Events, Nick's Blog|Comments Off on All prepared and you won’t need the scissors

Nick Harris blog: car keys and what’s for dinner?

It all looks so easy but it’s not. Take the lead from the very start, pull away from the pursuing pack in the early stages or as Marc Marquez did on Sunday on the first lap and then cruise to victory without a care in the world. Ask any rider who has the talent to be able to perform such an act and they will all tell you it can be one of the toughest methods of securing 25 World Championship points.

Double 500cc World Champion Barry Sheene told me it needed more concentration and resolve to prevent the mind wandering as lap after lap all that was in front of you was empty tarmac with your pity board the only reality check to the real world. It was important to keep up your lap times at a constant fast pace, not only to prevent your pursuers to get a sniff of catching you but also to keep your mind focused. He told me it was so easy to let those lap times drop and his mind would start to wander towards the most bizarre thoughts that had absolutely nothing to do with Grand Prix motorcycle racing. Where have I left my car keys, what times the flight home tonight and what have we got for dinner were the most common. In those days such was the diversity of the field and the machinery they were riding, lapping backmarkers was a welcome exercise to sharpen the mind and bring you back to reality.

I’m sure it was vital for 15 times World Champion Giacomo Agostini to have a few riders to lap to keep fully focused as he dominated those 350 and 500cc Grands Prix in the late sixties and early seventies. In 1969 Ago, riding the MV Agusta, won the 183.300 kms 500cc race at the Belgium Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps by four minutes 19s from the Triumph of Percy Tait lapping everybody but the British rider who brought the current day Moto2™ engine supplier their one and only premier class podium. Just a week later he lapped the entire field in the East German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring. Ago did what he had to do but I’m sure those epic battle with the Honda of Mike Hailwood and then bringing Yamaha that first premier class two-stroke 500cc World Championship brought him more satisfaction on route to those record-breaking 122 Grands Prix wins.

We have been so spoilt in the last couple of decades watching such close racing at the very front. Fifty two overtaking manoeuvres in that epic Phillip Island battle four years ago. The three Grands Prix before Aragon this week produced last bend showdowns that have all involved Marquez. The Repsol Honda displayed with his masterful ride on Sunday that sometimes you just have to get out in front from the start and concentrate to the very end. World Champions can win in any circumstances and his last two wins have shown why he could clinch his eighth World title in Thailand in a couple of weeks’ time.

By | September 26th, 2019|News and Events, Nick's Blog|Comments Off on Nick Harris blog: car keys and what’s for dinner?

Marc and Mike

I should be upset with Marc Marquez but how could I be after that fantastic race with Fabio Quartararo on Sunday. This time he came out on top in a last-lap head-to-head confrontation to win his 77th Grand Prix and that’s one more than my boyhood hero Mike Hailwood.

How could Hailwood not be my boyhood hero? He lived just a couple of miles over the hill from my Village just outside Oxford. His father Stan was the boss of one the biggest motorcycle dealers in the country with Kings of Oxford’s headquarters filling most of Park End Street with British built motorcycles. My Sister even danced with him once at the Oxford Jazz club but, to my disappointment, it turned out to be just that one dance. One morning on the way to school I was transfixed to see the pride of place in the showroom window was Hailwood’s 250cc four-cylinder Honda on which he just won the 1961 TT in the Isle of Man en route to the World title. Any thought of school lessons went out of the window for the remainder of the day.

I just dreamed of getting to the TT to watch my hero in action.  Four years later I made it and travelled to the Isle of Man on the overnight ferry across the choppy Irish sea to watch my first World Championship race. After the 50cc race in the morning, the moment finally arrived: Hailwood versus Giacomo Agostini in the six-lap 364.326km 500cc race and they did not let me down. Ago the new pin-up boy in the MV Agusta team taking on team-mate and World Champion Hailwood around the most famous and demanding race track in the World, the TT Mountain circuit.

Incredibly both crashed on different laps at Sarah’s Cottage. Ago was sidelined but Hailwood’s hero status reached new levels as he remounted the MV, restarted the engine by pushing down the wrong direction of the circuit, not surprisingly nobody dared complain, and continued on his way to win the race on a very second-hand motorcycle and sporting a bloody nose. Hailwood went on to win nine World titles before retiring and racing on four wheels. He won the European Formula Two Championship but is best remembered for pulling Clay Regazzoni out of a burning Formula One car at the 1973 South African Grand Prix. Two wheels were always in his blood and at 38-years-old he returned in 1978 to the Isle of Man to win on the Ducati and a year later I travelled to the Island to witness his last win at the TT, 14 years after that first trip tragically both Mike and his nine-year-old daughter Michelle were killed in a road accident in 1981.

Ago was at Misano keeping a watchful eye on the proceedings. I don’t think the Italian legend should start worrying just yet. His 122 Grand Prix victories are still 45 in front of Marc although if those first 11 years of his amazing career is an indication it could get very close. I forgive you Marc but you never forget your boyhood hero.
By | September 19th, 2019|News and Events, Nick's Blog|Comments Off on Marc and Mike

DANNY WE WILL NEVER FORGET

The reports to emerge last week about a former World Champion and the magnificent Go Pro British Grand Prix at Silverstone this weekend could not have been of a greater contrast but they are inexplicably linked. Life can change so much in four short years but who could forget the celebration of the success starved home crowd at Silverstone when Danny Kent became just the third British rider to win a solo race at his home grand prix. The Union Jack flags not only flew with pride in celebration of his sixth Moto3 win of the season on the Leopard Racing Honda but in the fact that he had established an almost uncatchable lead in the 2015 title chase with six rounds remaining. To the Spanish, Italian, Australia and American riders it may not have been such an unusual situation but for Danny it was a case of re-writing the history books. No British rider has won a solo grand prix World title for 38 barren years since the legendary Barry Sheene captured his second 500 cc title in 1977.The 21 year lad from the West Country did it, but only just after getting nervous in those six races . Ninth place in that final round in Valencia was enough to keep Miguel Oliveira at bay. Britain had a World Champion at last and the sky was the limit for the 21 year old.

Roll the clock forward four years and the news that emerged on the eve of the British Grand Prix. Kent had received a suspended prison sentence after an incident at Tetbury in March. Following the announcement he was sacked by his British Superbike team and the World Champion was in the wilderness. I’m sure like us he is wondering just how did it all go so so wrong.

Just look at what has happened to other Moto3 World Champions.  Maverick Vinales and Joan Mir pursuing successful careers in MotoGP and soon to be followed by Brad Binder. Alex Marques a likely Moto2 World Champion while Jorge Martin is making his mark in the same class. Danny never won another grand prix after that Silverstone success and the fragile confidence just ebbed out of him in a succession of unsuccessful Moto2 rides. It impossible to fathom out just went wrong for a rider who was being earmarked for a meteoric rise into MotoGP.

He had already made difficult to understand career moves before the World title year. Three years earlier Danny won a couple of Moto3 grands prix for the Ajo KTM team and looked poised to mount a serious Championship challenge the next season. Instead he switched to Moto2 on the uncompetitive Tech 3 machine. He soon returned to Moto3 the next season and took a year to recover both his confidence and form. Typically even his historic World title win in Valencia was overshadowed by the Marquez/Rossi war that came to a head later on in the afternoon.

As Danny contemplates his future may I assure him we will never forget that day at Silverstone four years ago and the World title that brought us all so much pride. I hope he shares the same memories.

By | August 30th, 2019|News and Events, Nick's Blog|Comments Off on DANNY WE WILL NEVER FORGET

Paranoid about the weather – surely not

Reluctantly I have to admit us British can be a little paranoid about the weather and Silverstone last year was proof we have every right to be. We used to get so fed up every time we arrived for the British Grand Prix, either at Silverstone or Donington, with the constant sarcastic enquiries from the remainder of the media centre about the ‘dreadful’ British weather and particularly the Spanish and Italians, who just could not understand why we lived on an Island where it has to be known to rain.

We used to point out that the weather at places such as Assen, the Sachsenring, Le Mans and even Qatar could be equally as variable. Our protests disappeared in the storm that deluged Silverstone and its new surface that proved unable to cope with the sheer amount of water falling out of the sky causing the cancellation of our beloved British Grand Prix. The first time in the 69-year history of Grand Prix racing that weather caused the complete and utter cancellation of a Grand Prix on the actual day of a race. There was no point trying to argue with those sodden and frustrated Italian and Spaniard’s as everybody packed up ready for the next round in Misano. This time the weather had won.

I’d had some close shaves before and have missed complete days of practice and qualifying. Race days have been postponed, race programmes and race distances cut short but always racing won albeit such as Qatar in 2009, a day late. Riders actually refusing to race on safety grounds have also produced severely depleted grids but the races have gone ahead. I remember being summoned to Barry Sheene’s motorhome at Nogaro in France in 1982 to draft a letter from all the top riders led by Kenny Roberts telling the organisers they refused to race on safety grounds. Who will forget the sight of Eddie Lawson raising one finger, not to celebrate a victory, while sitting on the pit lane wall in Misano every single lap to Pier Francesco Chili who won a re-started 1989 Nations Grand Prix when the leading riders refused to race after safety issue in the first race.

I never actually arrived at the Salzburgring in 1980 for that opening Grand Prix of the season after being warned you had to dig your way in and out of the paddock because of snowdrifts. We just got through the MotoGP™ race in on our very first visit to Indianapolis in 2008 before the hurricane arrived causing the cancellation of the 250cc race. I’ve talked and talked to less and less bored viewers from lonely commentary boxes with rain, mist and even the threat of lightning causing no chance of track action at venues such as Motegi, Sepang and Qatar but always somehow the races or in some cases, a race went ahead.

In Britain we have a popular expression about the weather called the Michael Fish moment. In 1987 a very well-known BBC weather presenter Michael Fish told millions of viewers not to worry about the weather approaching the South of England. That night the area was hit by the biggest storm and hurricane ever experienced in that part of the world and us paranoid Brits have never forgotten.

Excuse the expression but I’m sure lightning will not strike twice this weekend and even if it did, the resurfaced Silverstone circuit would cope with whatever the elements choose to throw at it.

Bring on the sunshine.

By | August 23rd, 2019|News and Events, Nick's Blog|1 Comment

Can Dovi play cricket?

The likes of Marc Marquez, Steve Smith, Lionel Messi, Lewis Hamilton and Roger Federer are not quite untouchable. Although, as Dovi showed in the amazing race in Austria on Sunday, you have to produce something so very special to halt the juggernaut.

Marquez arrived at the Red Bull Ring in the form of his life, which is some form if you check out what he had already achieved. Ducati had won on the three previous clashes at the magnificently situated circuit which is the only battleground in the calendar that the Repsol Honda rider has not stood on the top step of the podium. Typically it was something he wanted to rectify and complete the full house.

Qualifying had that familiar feel. Marquez on pole as he chased his seventh win of the season to increase that seemingly uncatchable lead in the Championship. It was his 59th pole position in the premier class making him the most successful of all time, overtaking five times 500cc World Champion Mick Doohan. He made a great start from pole in the race but from the very first corner it was apparent this was going to be a different story as Dovi shoved the Ducati up the inside and did it again at the top of the hill. He was not going to let Marquez get away at the front and it was pretty obvious it was going to come down to the last couple of laps and probably the last corner where Dovi had come out on top against Marc a couple of years ago in a memorable finale. This was even better, Dovi coming from behind to do a Marquez on Marquez for a crucial win for him, Ducati and the Championship.

MotoGP™ could never be accused of being stale but it needed a race like this to fire up the flame. It also gave heart to those defenders trying to stop Messi scoring more goals, Formula One drivers fighting to prevent Hamilton win another world title and tennis players trying to return the Federer serve.

The biggest question mark is can Dovi repeat the dose and do it again at Silverstone at the next round at the flat super-fast and re-surfaced Silverstone circuit. In the meantime, I wonder if Dovi can play cricket. England is gripped in Ashes fever at the moment. The second test match in the fiercely contested battle between old enemies England and Australia starts at Lords in London on Wednesday. Australia won the first match with their batsman Steve Smith scoring runs for fun and destroying England. The media headlines blasted out for the days that followed about how he was impossible to get out – what are you doing on Wednesday Dovi and any chance you becoming an honorary Englishman for the week?

By | August 15th, 2019|News and Events, Nick's Blog|Comments Off on Can Dovi play cricket?

Is it really 40 years ago?

Silverstone comes around once again and this is the 43rd successive year that I have attended the British Grand Prix – every year since it replaced the Isle of Man TT races as the British round of the world championship in 1977. Perhaps the most memorable of those 42 previous years was exactly 40 years ago and the great battle between Barry Sheene and Kenny Roberts n 1979. Before giving my memories of the race, just a few words about Barry Sheene to set the scene.

My first race meeting at Oulton Park at Easter of 1972 when I saw this young guy with flowing hair and white leathers trounce everyone in the 250cc and 500cc race on his Yamahas.  At the time it was the performance of Cal Rayborn and Ray Pickrell that everyone was raving about,  but for a young lad of 16 it was the style and riding of Barry Sheene that caught the eye.

So you could say that he became my racing “hero” a few years before becoming a household name after his Daytona crash in 1975.  In fact the crash certainly increased his standing in my view as it illustrated that here was a guy worth the hero status – as not only was he a fantastic rider but also incredibly tough and determined.  Of course over the next few years he went on to win his world titles and this was a great time to follow racing as Barry Sheene appeared at many British meetings as well as the Grand Prix, where there would be 40,000 or more spectators turn up to watch.  I can recall one International meeting at Mallory where there was Barry Sheene racing against Giacomo Agostini, Phil Read and Kenny Roberts!!  Can you imagine that now?  I think the only way to compare the effect Sheene had on racing and the way he brought it to the notice of the ordinary guy in the street was, just imagine if Valentino Rossi was English…..someone who is not only the best rider in the world but also has style and charisma.

Now to the race in question.  To be honest when the Grand Prix series arrived at Silverstone in 1979 Barry Sheene was not having a great season and was being well beaten in the Championship by his great rival Kenny Roberts.  Of course for me, as a Sheene fan, Roberts was the arch-enemy. Even though Sheene had qualified fifth, more than 1.7 seconds down on Roberts, there was always belief that he could come good in the race.  Of course at the start of the race everyone’s attention was diverted by the embarrassing crash by Mick Grant on the NR500 at the first corner on his team-mate’s oil!!  Early in the race Wil Hartog was up front.  This was my first experience of the fanatical Dutch supporters, as I was in the Woodcote stands and there was about 50 of them in a group just behind us that went mad every time Hartog came around.  But once Sheene and Roberts got to the front it was just a great race and also great atmosphere there in the Woodcote stand.  I am sure both riders thought they had the other covered……but then it happened, right in front of where I was sitting, when a back-marker got in the way of Sheene going onto the last lap……and we though then that the race was run.  But Sheene broken the lap record on the last lap (amazingly more than one and half seconds faster than his qualifying time) to challenge Roberts right in front again of where I was sitting.  What a great finish to a fantastic race…..but of course a great disappointment to the home crowd.  I don’t think I have been more excited by a race since…..or more disappointed at the result.  

Many years later I was fortunate enough to be producing the official MotoGP statistics and now know that the record books show this as the fifth closest race finish of all time in 500cc class – but as always the record books do not give the full story. Lets hope we are in for another thriller on the 40th anniversary of that race, but this time with a British rider winning by a whisker to give the home crowd something to remember in 2059!

By | August 15th, 2019|Martin Raines Blog, News and Events|Comments Off on Is it really 40 years ago?

No Sheene break for Marc

A delayed start like Brno on Sunday is a nightmare for everybody. Riders have to readjust their brains, stay calm and wait usually for the weather to make up its mind and go one way or the other. Teams are constantly checking the clouds and their forecasting computer screens while preparing tyres for wet, dry and the likely prospect of a flag to flag race. Television and radio commentators keep talking while their people in pit lane scurry round interviewing anybody willing to speak and especially anybody who has inside knowledge of the weather and the rules. Millions of viewers throughout the world either open the fridge for another beer or put on the kettle to make yet another cup of tea.

It’s always been the same dilemma for the riders although some them employed their own special way of dealing with the nerve-jangling wait. Typically, double 500cc World Champion Barry Sheene produced the most attention. While others around scurried around he would simply pull out a cigarette, place into his mouth through a special hole drilled in his helmet for the purpose, light up and have a quiet smoke while the weather and the organisers made up their minds. It was so Barry, playing physiological games to undermine his rivals even before the race had started. It worked most times although a certain Kenny Roberts was neither impressed or intimidated.

There was no visible sign of any rider lighting up on Sunday even round the back of the pit lane garages and certainly not Marc Marquez who seemed so relaxed. Who was surprised after that truly unbelievable lap by the World Champion to qualifying by over two seconds on slick tyres the previous afternoon on a track that had plenty of damp or even wet patches.

Viewers witnessed plenty of replays of that amazing lap while they waited for the weather to make up its mind. We heard from Mick Doohan on the grid how he was still p……… off losing out to Alex Criville after leading all the way to the very last corner at Brno 23 years ago. John Hopkins told us during the nervous wait this was when he was glad he was no longer a MotoGP™ rider. Colin Edwards how he just wanted to get back into his garage and stay focused while relaxing and we heard many opinions on the rumours that Valentino Rossi is considering retirement.

When proceeding got underway Marquez was once again in a class of his own. His 50th MotoGP™ win to join that exclusive club alongside Valentino Rossi, Giacomo Agostini and Mick Doohan. Already we are working out not if but when he is going to retain that World title. Brother Alex is doing a similar destruction job in Moto2™ and that double World title for the family we saw back in 2014 when Alex captured the Moto3™ crown looks more than likely.

Ducati arrive at the Red Bull Ring this Sunday with their best chance of halting, perhaps only temporally, the Marquez freight train. Since MotoGP™ returned to the magnificent circuit the Italian factory have dominated with wins for Iannone, Dovizioso and Lorenzo. A repeat on Sunday would delay what already looks inevitable and might stop my Formula One car friends giving me some well-deserved stick after what I’ve given them over the last few years.

By | August 9th, 2019|News and Events, Nick's Blog|Comments Off on No Sheene break for Marc