Nick’s Blog

Home sweet home

He may say Barcelona, but the race is too early in the season and so there can be no better place for Marc Marquez to clinch his seventh World title on Sunday than at the home of Honda, the Twin Ring Motegi circuit in Japan.

Motegi is an amazing place. A sprawling complex high in the wooded hills and virtually in the middle of nowhere some 100kms north east of Tokyo. A racing circuit surrounded by an Indy Style oval with a massive towering grandstand overlooking the proceedings from both. Two tunnels to let the road circuit wind beneath the oval are a unique feature but there is so much more to celebrate the success of Honda in all forms of world motorsport. A small speedway track, a trials course that has staged World Championship rounds and of course the Honda Hall of fame.

It was in 1954 a certain Soichiro Honda arrived at the TT races in the Isle of Man without so much as a sideways glance from anybody in the paddock. He announced that Honda would one day return because his dream was to take on and beat the finest motorcycles on the most famous venue in the world. Few took much notice at the time, but he returned five years later with the birth of that dream. Mr Honda was shocked at the speed and engineering prowess of the manufactures and especially the German NSU 125 and 250 cc superbly built bikes that were dominating the World Championships that year. He flew home knowing he had a mountain to climb and with a suitcase full of chains, carburettors and tyres.

A year later Honda started competing at the Mount Asama Volcano race located in a village at the foot of an active volcano. Like the TT riders started in pairs to race round the 19 km circuit track on a surface of compressed volcanic ash. Their main challenge, especially in the smaller classes, came from Yamaha and Suzuki. Nothing changed a decade later with the only difference it was now for a World title. In 1959 Honda returned to the TT but this time to compete in the 125 cc race. They went home to Japan with the Manufacturers trophy – the rest is history.

Over 750 Grands Prix wins in all five classes since their arrival in the 1959 125 cc World Championship says it all. Marquez has won five of his world titles on Honda powered machinery and with four rounds of the Championship remaining, he is 77 points in front of Andrea Dovizioso after that superb last couple of laps in Thailand. There is nothing more Ducati, Yamaha and Suzuki like more than beating Honda on their home ground. Last year Dovi brought Ducati success, Lorenzo and Rossi have won for Yamaha.

Who knows on Sunday and it’s that level of competition that inspired Soichiro Honda to embark on his dream nearly six decades ago. You can feel his very presence among those wooded hillsides every time you go to Motegi.

By | October 19th, 2018|News and Events, Nick's Blog|Comments Off on Home sweet home

Contrasting fortunes

After witnessing yet another stunning performance by Marc Marquez just days after reading of Scott Redding’s departure to the British Superbike Championship I thought back to that youngest ever podium in the history of Grand Prix racing. It was the 125cc race at the 2008 British Grand Prix staged at Donington Park. It’s a story of contrasting fortunes.

It was a historic podium in so many ways. Redding won the race to become the youngster ever Grand Prix winner at the tender age of 15 years 170 days. Frenchman Mike Di Meglio was second on route to the 125 cc World title while in third place and looking even younger than Redding was a certain Marquez. It was the first time the Spanish teenager had stood on a Grand Prix podium and little did we realise what lay ahead. The average age of the three riders was just 17 years 29 days and it would have been considerably lower with Di Meglio pushing it up. He was the old man at that considerable age of over 20 years old.

Marquez went on to do what Marquez does and there will be even more after the Japanese Grand Prix next weekend. Di Meglio stepped up to the 250cc and Moto2™ classes before a couple of years in MotoGP™ while Redding broke plenty of records but just missed out on a world title after an eventful 11 years in the Grand Prix paddock.

Redding and Marco Melandri are the only two 15-year-old riders to win a Grand Prix race. The Donington Park win was the first British 125 cc winner since Chas Mortimer in 1973 and the first British solo class winner at the British round of the World Championship for 22 years. Redding is the only British Grand Prix winner in any class at Donington Park. Moving up to the Moto2™ class he continued to break the record and came so close to clinching the title in 2013, eventually finishing runner-up after a battle royal with Pol Espargaro.

His first Moto2™ win came at Le Mans in that Championship chasing year, making him the first British intermediate class winner since Jeremy McWilliams 12 years earlier. That win meant that he pipped a certain Barry Sheene to become the youngest British rider to win in two classes of Grand Prix racing and the first in 40 long years. He also won the British Grand Prix to become the first British winner at Silverstone since the return of the Grand Prix from Donington.

Redding’s much anticipated MotoGP™ career never quite took off despite two podium finishes in difficult conditions at Misano and Assen. In the end, it was inevitable he would move on.

MotoGP™ will miss so much about Scott Redding both on and off the track. He gave us success-starved British fans some real hope and great fun after such a barren time in the Grand Prix wilderness. He should be proud of that achievement as the youngest ever Grand Prix winner. A record that will surely remain with him forever.

By | October 11th, 2018|News and Events, Nick's Blog|Comments Off on Contrasting fortunes

Fresh pastures

Don’t get me wrong. I still loved going to the likes of Mugello, Jerez and Phillip Island but I’d been there so many times that when a new circuit, and especially new country, appeared on the schedule it made life more interesting and in many case, a little bit more exciting.

I’m sure that’s just how everybody feels as they make their way to Thailand this week. Not only a new venue at the Chang International Circuit, but a new country in Thailand to stage a MotoGP™ race. ™

Thailand is the first new country to stage a MotoGP™ race since Turkey in 2005. Remember the week before we were in Australia and flew back over the Istanbul circuit from Melbourne, then flew back to Istanbul from London followed by a three hour drive to find first the circuit and then the hotel (that was a polite word for where we were staying).The Istanbul circuit was magnificent, especially watching the race winner Marco Melandri slide the Honda round the fast fifth gear right hander. The rest of the trip was more than a little scary but we survived.

Thailand is the 30th country to stage a World Championship event since the Championship started in 1949. We went to Malaysia for the first time in 1991 at the Sham Alam circuit which was close to the old Kuala Lumpur airport. I really did not know what to expect. Immediately we all loved KL. The food, the nightlife and the friendly people but Shah Alam offered a few worries for us westerners. They told me; although I assure you I never went in and checked that a python was asleep in the rafters when they opened the press office. Our office was an old shipping container, the lack of flushing loos was a major problem for anybody who’d overloaded on that spicy food while it was rumoured that the marshals would not help riders at a certain corner because the undergrowth was full of poisonous snakes. We survived but only just, especially with the spicy food problem.

Sometimes the problems going to a new country are a lot more serious and played on my conscious before our first trip to South Africa in 1983. I remember coming through the arrival gate at Jan Smits airport in Johannesburg recalling the television pictures of the rebel England cricket team arriving amid so much controversy the previous year and wondering if I’d done the right thing. I left five days later knowing we had all done the right thing by totally ignoring all the restrictions that had been imposed on the black population. I received some pretty scary letters after pictures appeared of me sitting on a motorbike surrounded by the black workers at the Kylami circuit.

The Chang International Circuit is the 28th different venue to stage a Grand Prix event since the four-stroke MotoGP™ era started in 2002. With the addition of Thailand to the schedule, the 19 event 2018 season is the longest in the 70 year history of the sport. I’m sure it will come as no great surprise it will be the 37th different circuit where Valentino Rossi has competed at a Grand Prix event – he’s never had time to be bored.

By | October 5th, 2018|News and Events, Nick's Blog|Comments Off on Fresh pastures

Backyard move

Watching Andrea Dovizioso lead the race on that red Ducati at Aragon on Sunday triggered a moment of real sadness. It was nothing to do with the Italian in with a chance of bringing Ducati their first win at the magnificent circuit since Casey Stoner in 2010, or even that he had the chance to break that Spanish Iron grip at the race. It was a flashback to an overtaking manoeuvre on the last lap of 28 lap MotoGP™ race that first year at Aragon in 2010.

Nicky Hayden was fighting for a rare podium finish on the Ducati with the Yamaha of the World Champion elect Jorge Lorenzo. Afterwards, at the press conference, Nicky described his overtaking move as they raced side by side under the shadow the big wall through turns 13 and 14 as something his Dad Earl had taught him in their backyard back home at Owensboro, Kentucky many years ago. Earl as with most things in life turned into the perfect tutor and Nicky took just his second podium in third place on that tough period with the Ducati. It was just so Nicky and Earl – a combination that brought them that world title in 2006 but so much more. Humility, respect and humour in surely the toughest and certainly most dangerous of World sporting arenas. They were like a breath of fresh air in a paddock of intrigue and rumour but they took no gip or nonsense.

Perhaps it was the fact the previous MotoGP™ race a couple of weeks ago was at Misano so close to where Nicky tragically lost his life in that cycling accident over a year ago that triggered all those memories. The pillion ride for Earl after Nicky had won at Laguna Seca. The World title at Valencia in 2006 with Earl knocking on the door of Valentino Rossi’s motorhome to shake his hand and offer his condolences. Earl’s stories on how he would knock on the front door and Nicky would go round the back and jump in the car that needed to be returned to their second car dealer business because the payments had stopped. The dignity that Nicky showed as his MotoGP™ career began to fade and the enthusiasm he put into his new horizon in the World Superbike Championship. Nicky’s brother Roger retired this weekend after such a successful career.

How Nicky would have admired the performance of both Dovizioso and especially Marc Marquez on Sunday riding for teams he knew so well. Casey Stoner is still the only non-Spanish rider to win the MotoGP™ race at Aragon, ironically on Ducati and Honda machinery. Thank goodness Brad Binder with that superb Moto2™ win prevented another Spanish whitewash in all three classes.

PS. Remember I told you about my favourite national newspaper showing the Fenati pictures a couple of weeks ago? Surprise Surprise three more pictures this week of Lorenzo’s spectacular crash at turn one but typically they did not mention that Marquez won the race. I should not moan because progress is being made.

By | September 27th, 2018|News and Events, Nick's Blog|Comments Off on Backyard move

All news is good news?

My old News Editor used to drum two facts into us raw recruits – all news is good news and never spoil a good story with the facts. I’m not sure about either of them now and certainly not the first one after the goings on at Misano last Sunday.

Suddenly MotoGP™ was on the radar of the national media and they certainly milked it. Romano Fenati’s disgraceful act at Misano was flashed round the world on video and photographs in seconds. My usual Sunday evening snooze was interrupted by video of the incident on the national television news that had ignored Cal Crutchlow’s Grand Prix victories a couple of years ago. In the morning my favourite daily newspaper that could not offer a column inch in its massive sports section when Marc Marquez clinched the title last November, gave half a page of photographs to show their readers just what had happened in the Moto2™ race. Even in my local pub where the main topic of conversation is usually football and Formula One, Fenati’s action were top of the list.

We have to accept and certainly in this part of the world, to get MotoGP™ in the evening news or in the sports sections of the Daily Newspapers there has to be more than just a racing angle. Of course, it makes me so angry but I’ve had to learn to accept it. It just does not matter if we had the closest finish and sensational race in the 69-year history of Grand Prix racing, its Rossi not shaking hands with Marquez or his problems with the Italian tax authorities that will excite the news desks.

It’s always been the same story. Back in the seventies it was the front page revelation about the romantic liaison between Barry Sheene and Stephanie at the Kobenzl hotel on the eve of the Austrian Grand Prix that made the headlines. Understandably the tragic deaths of TT legend Joey Dunlop and Marco Simoncelli have received massive and deserved coverage. The alleged coming together of Rossi and Max Biaggi on the steps of the Barcelona podium and years before those massive fall outs between Phil Read and his team-mates Bill Ivy and Giacomo Agostini that have excited the media.

I’m afraid we have to accept it because it’s all part of the game, but it’s a double-edged sword. If we want more coverage bringing more interest and investment into the sport, we have to accept and in some cases even encourage these outside of the box angles. But there has to be strict boundaries. Going into the Aragon race this Sunday I think I would go back to my Mum’s favourite piece of advice when I was setting out of my life’s travels. She told me that no news is good news and I think we’d all stick with that this weekend in Spain.

By | September 21st, 2018|News and Events, Nick's Blog, Uncategorised|Comments Off on All news is good news?

A forty one year wait still on hold

As Bradley Smith and Scott Redding manfully fought without success for some precious World Championship points on Sunday I could not help thinking back three years at the MotoGP race in Misano. A race in tricky conditions on the Adriatic coast in which the two British riders finished on the podium behind Marc Marquez. They gambled in the changing track conditions with Smith, riding the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha second and Redding third on the Marc VDS Honda. Roll on those three years and it looks certain we are going to lose both Smith and Redding as full time MotoGP™ riders. All the excitement and optimism generated by those 28 laps at Misano seems a long time ago.

Both riders were products of the Dorna Academy and both came so close to bringing World Championship success to Britain in the smaller classes before joining MotoGP. Smith was runner-up to team-mate Julian Simon in the 2009 125 cc World Championship and won three grands prix in the class. Redding is still the youngest ever Grand Prix winner when he won the 125 cc British Grand Prix in 2008 and went onto finish second in the 2013 Moto2™ World Championship winning three Grands Prix in the class, including his home race at Silverstone.

In that same year of his second place in Misano Smith finished sixth in the MotoGP™ Championship and looked to have such a bright future in the premier class. Injuries and the switch to Michelin tyres slowed his progress and after two years at KTM he is moving on but still in the class as the test rider for Aprilia, which will include some Grand Prix wild card entries. Redding, who finished third at Assen in the rain a year after his Misano podium, could be lost to the class forever after 11 years in Grand Prix racing.

Incidentally I bumped into the other British star from that Dorna Academy a couple of weeks ago on the start line of the TT Classic races in the Isle of Man. As bubbly as ever Danny Webb, a 125 cc pole setter for Mahindra, was about to do battle on a glorious sounding Manx Norton with the 60.271 kms infamous TT Mountain circuit. His grand prix career and the Academy seemed a long way away.

It appears that the so capable Cal Crutchlow will take on the sole responsibility for the success–starved British fans. Those broad shoulders have already ended a 35 year nightmare when he brought the LCR Honda victory in the 2016 MotoGP™ race in the Czech Republic, which he followed up a couple of months later with a superb win at Phillip Island in Australia. The last British winner in the premier class had been Barry Sheene in 1981.

Good luck Bradley and Scott in the future. Cal’s third place at Misano on Sunday shows he still has a good few Grands Prix wins and podiums in him and we hope the new British Talent Cup will unearth somebody, but that will not happen overnight. Barry Sheene was the last British rider to win the premier class in Grand Prix racing 41 long painful years ago and that long wait for the new Sheene to emerge after four decades of disappointment still seems to have no end.

By | September 14th, 2018|News and Events, Nick's Blog|Comments Off on A forty one year wait still on hold

Moment of Truth

My moment of truth came in March 1976. After the first four months at Motor Cycle News reporting on the British Sidecar Trials Championship the News Editor told me that ‘the boy’ – his words not mine – was being dispatched to Misano to report on the 1976 pre-season international. When he added “bring back plenty of quotes back from Giacomo Agostini and Phil Read”, I was on the road dressed in my new blue and white Motor Cycle anorak with my signature proudly emblazoned on the breast pocket.

The pre-season international races had been held on the legendary streets and seafronts of the Adriatic towns for many years and the Reception at the Abners Hotel was adorned with photographs of Italian legends; Agostini, Bergamonti and Pagani to name but a few. Like so many of the road circuits they were a dangerous place to race and in 1971 a tragic accident involving Angelo Bergamonti ultimately led to the contruction of the Misano permanent circuit. The MV Agusta factory rider had won the last round of the 1970 Championship at Monjuich Park in Spain. His preparation for the new season included the international races on the Riccione seafront. The original meeting was called off because of heavy rain but a week later in early April the races went ahead despite the threat of more rain. It started to fall in the 350cc race while Bergamonti was chasing MV team-mate Agostini into a roundabout leading onto the sea front, and tragically the Italian crashed and was killed.

I was lucky to meet the legendary mechanic and later Honda media manager Iain Mackay in the Abners reception, who promptly invited me to dinner with his team on my first night. Sitting at the head of the table as I entered the restaurant was the leader of his team, a certain Giacomo Agostini – yes, Agostini the 15 times World Champion and all the rest of it. The Italian, who was then and still is now the most successful motorcycle racer in the 70-year history of the World Championship, standing up to shake hands with MCN’s latest raw recruit. I said little but nodded when spoken to and just ate what was put in front of me.

Practice day dawned with a rather weak and watery sun rising above a grey and uninviting Adriatic ocean. The Misano circuit is situated a couple of miles inland and the closed up camp sites, ice cream parlours and the rare sight of an Italian beach devoid of sun loungers, with only a few hardy dog walkers to be spotted, made the prospect of an international motorcycle race all rather surreal. It was a lot livelier and certainly noisier, with the scream and smoke from highly tuned two-stroke engines endorsing the fact that something was actually to happen on this March weekend.

The good old MCN jacket once again came into its own when Phil Read spotted me in the paddock. “You must be the new man from Motor Cycle News,” he enquired, and promptly invited me to dinner that night. “I’m staying at the Abners if you know it,” he told me, “and the restaurant is on the first floor.” Know it? Oh my god, I’m a regular and was there with your great mate Mr Agostini just last night! At least I knew where to go and after the meal I lay on the bed in my room wanting to phone my mates back home and tell them this was a doddle. I’d had dinner with Ago and Phil, met Walter Villa and really didn’t understand what all the fuss was about this job.

A few flurries of sleet falling into the uninviting sea greeted the breakfast guests at the start of my big day. On arrival groups of officials, Carabinieri, riders, mechanics and journalists stood around – something was wrong. Ago, upon looking out of his Abners bedroom window, had decided the sleet was actually snow and told the Misano organisers he would not race. They made a quick calculation and decided no Ago, no meeting, and called it off.

That was that and not a doddle after all. It was back to the British Sidecar Trials Championship.

By | September 6th, 2018|News and Events, Nick's Blog|1 Comment

Boot on the other foot

I’ve been there so many times before. Stuck in the commentary box with nothing to talk about but having to talk about something to keep the producer and more important the dwindling numbers of the viewers happy. I’ve never been on the other side until this Sunday. Sitting in front of the television screen waiting for something to happen with my former colleagues doing an unbelievable job to keep the show on the road as the rain continued to pour down.

The boot was really on the other foot and how ironic was it that I was on the Isle of Man on Sunday morning. The same famous mountain course that staged that very first World Championship race on June 13th 1949. The very same mountain course that hosted the British round of the World Championship until Silverstone took over in 1977.

Jak’s Sports Bar on the very wet and windy Douglas Promenade as the Irish Sea pounded in up the beach was our venue. The savvy manager opened up early at 11.00 am with the MotoGP™ race at Silverstone due to start in 11.30. The place was jammed packed with race fans from all over the world on the Island to watch the TT Classic races. Some started with coffee while others were straight onto the ale – after all they were on holiday. Like everybody we sat, drank, waited and drank, waiting for something to happen. More and more people arrived but despite the disappointment at each announcement of more delays, nobody moaned about riders not risking their lives to go out there, it was those sodden spectators that everybody raised a glass to, toasting their dedication.

Around 2.30 pm the rain had stopped outside and we decided – myself and three ex TT riders – to relieve the boredom and it was time to make our own lap of the 37 miles TT circuit. They wanted to relive their memories which they did with some scary old stories. We stopped at a pub in Ramsey and to the annoyance of the customers, asked the landlord to switch over from Premier League football coverage to MotoGP™. The pictures from the studio with the rain pouring outside told their own story and the customers cheered as they switched back to the football.

Back at Jaks, plenty of alcohol was still being consumed because everybody knew what the news from Silverstone was going to be. The announcement came as no great surprise. We were the lucky ones in the warm and dry, and all the sympathy was for those spectators who’d braved it out.

My thoughts turned to the television presenters and commentators. An unnamed pit lane reporter would say they knew things were desperate when Nick Harris reached the Milk Cup Final moment. When I had really run out of things to say I would recount the 1986 Milk Cup Final success of my beloved Oxford United. It was time to switch off, not that there many viewers still switched on.

As I was about to leave Jak’s, I raised my glass to those spectators at Silverstone and everybody at BT Sport who did such an amazing job. PS, it’s Monday morning on the Isle of Man and the start of racing has been delayed because of the weather. Nothing changes.

By | August 30th, 2018|News and Events, Nick's Blog|Comments Off on Boot on the other foot

GAS IT W…..

A certain Barry Sheene hung over pit wall holding the signal board that was going to herald a new chapter in the history of British Motorcycle racing. The GAS IT W….. message brought a smile to the face of his great mate Steve Parrish as he raced towards Copse corner on the last lap leading the very first British Grand Prix.

It was an August afternoon in 1977 in these were incredible times and now the prospect of a British winner – it did not get any better than this, although perhaps a Sheene victory would have been the ultimate ending to the most perfect day. Since 1949 the British round of the World Championship had traditionally been held over the mountain circuit at the TT in the Isle of Man. The majority of the leading riders had stopped riding at the most famous motorcycle race in the world while even some of the National Federations had banned their riders from competing because they felt the 60.721 kms circuit was just too dangerous. We’d had our appetites whetted with many of the Grand Prix stars competing in lucrative international meetings at Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Mallory Park and even Cadwell Park but this was the real thing. At last after 28 years, the British round of the World Championship was on the mainland and the timing was perfect.

Barry Sheene had already retained the 500cc World Championship, Barry and girlfriend Stephanie were the Beckhams of the seventies and featured on front pages and in magazines that would never have dreamt of even mentioning motor cycle racing and to make it the perfect day, Sheene was starting the race in pole position. To say Silverstone was buzzing would be a vast understatement.

The so wanted Sheene victory did not materialise when the World Champion was forced to retire with mechanical problems but led by Sheene, the massive crowd switched their allegiance to his partner in crime Steve Parrish. Even after that there was a backup with John Williams, riding another RG 500 Suzuki in second place in front of Sheene’s team-mate and not great friend American Pat Hennen.

Everybody was on their feet as Parrish raced between those towering grandstands at Woodcote to start the last of the 28 laps to re-write the history books both for himself and British Motorcycle racing, but don’t forget this was England in August. A few spots of rain spattered on Parrish’s visor as he turned his head to read Sheene’s typical message. Just 4.711 kms of the flat Northamptonshire countryside to negotiate and Parrish would win his first Grand Prix and would be crowned the very first winner of the British Grand Prix.

The National Anthem and the Union Jack were being prepared at the podium, but it was the Stars and Stripes that would be required. Going into the first corner at Copse to commence the most important lap of his life, Parrish lost the front end of his Suzuki and went down. Before the crowd could hardly utter a moan, Williams crashed three bends later leaving the way clear for Hennen to win his second 500cc Grand Prix, little did we realise that Kenny Roberts was going to open the flood gates a year later.

That was that. No British rider has won the premier class race at the British Grand in the next 41 years, the unfortunate Steve Parrish never won a Grand Prix and American riders dominated the Championship for the next ten years.

It could have been all so different.

By | August 23rd, 2018|News and Events, Nick's Blog|Comments Off on GAS IT W…..

At the crunch, it’s the actual racing that counts

I wondered just what Ross Brawn thought at the Red Bull Ring on Sunday as he watched the epic duel between Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez exchanging paint schemes in their fight for victory. The very accomplished and highly experienced Brawn is widely acclaimed as the man to bring the fizz and excitement back to four wheels and Formula One.

Hopefully he enjoyed the racing and I’m sure did not need reminding that when it comes to the real crunch, it’s the actual racing out on the track that is the key to success. You can introduce brilliant technical innovations, clever rule changes to try and ensure closer racing and have every well-known celebrity in the world filmed on the starting grid but it’s the action on the tarmac that gets the adrenalin flowing through the veins of both the crowds and commercially probably more important, the television audiences.

Ninety-two thousand fans in the Austrian sunshine embraced just what MotoGP™ is all about. Flag waving, flare burning and vocal, they just loved everything that MotoGP™ had to offer in a day of noise, excitement with rivers of adrenalin flowing while the riders played their part as always. Superb Moto3™ and Moto2™ contests were the ideal dessert for the MotoGP™ race and Lorenzo and Marquez did not let us down with a head to head confrontation. You could not write the script with the two Spanish World Champion team-mates at Repsol Honda next year.

This season, or the last few seasons I have been lucky to witness, have made me a little bit selfish because I was disappointed there were no records broken in the MotoGP™ race on Sunday. The closest ever top ten premier class finish in the 70-year history of the sport at the previous round in Brno. Just 8.3 seconds separated that top ten while just a couple of rounds earlier the closest ever top 15 finish. In Assen it was 16.04s that elapsed between the winner Marc Marquez and 15th placed Dani Pedrosa, crossing the line after a breathless 25 laps of the Cathedral.

Of course, I was not disappointed on Sunday because you need not look further than those two at the front fighting for the lead to provide enough excitement and anticipation to keep you going until they reach Silverstone in two weeks’ time.

When Formula One visited the Red Bull Ring earlier in the season just the three leading cars finished on the same lap of the 71-lap race, but one thing they produced that MotoGP™ has not done for 28 barren years was a Dutch winner. Instead of the Rossi or KTM flags filling the hillsides it was Dutch orange of Max Verstappen. I waited 35 years for a British Premier class winner and hopefully those loyal Dutch fans will remain that patient.

In the meantime, enjoy that racing because when it comes to the crunch, that’s what really counts.

By | August 16th, 2018|News and Events, Nick's Blog|Comments Off on At the crunch, it’s the actual racing that counts