Originally posted by philippe7
Well said, Roger
You're right, racing at the front is tighter today than it has ever been....I have fond memories of the days of Sheene and co but you have to admit that in terms of closeness of racing, it only rarely was as tight as today. What does bug me in MotoGP though is the small field/factory prototypes only......I really think that MotoGP should move to World SBK specs.....I never believed in "silhouette" style championships for cars, 'cos there is too wide a range ( pricewise) of cars for the public to identify itself with......but in bikes ? Would the racing be poorer today if the MotoGP field was competing on SBK spec bikes ? Certainly not, and the field would be stronger....
I haven't looked at a MotoGP site for ages, so do I get from your comments that Olivier Jacque has got a full-time ride for next season ? If so, I think he will be ahead of Randy de Puniet. I have nothing against Randy, mind you.....I'm even going to tell you a little personal memory . One of the very few times I dared to venture on to a circuit to pretend I was a racer, that was back in 1979 at the Carole circuit north of Paris on a track day, Randy's father Arnaud, who was at the time a reasonably good national rider, happened to be here mixing with the amateurs to try out his production RD400 Yamaha. As I was coming into the most technical curve of the circuit , a long right hander that started tight and then widened up onto the main straight , he passed me under braking, I clamped my teeth and somehow managed to stay right behind him as we were accelerating all along the curve, and I was following this guy with "De Puniet" written on his leathers and I was in heaven thinking man, I'm mixing up with the big boys.....
Sorry about that, I'm just sipping an excellent bottle of Yellow Wine from the Jura and I think I'd better stop writing nonsense and get my coat....
Good story, Philippe. I didn't know that Randy's Papa was a rider as well. I have to say that my judgement is being impaired by a very pleasant St. Emilion as well.
In answer to your Olivier Jacques bit. Ollie is now back in MotoGP as a 'proper' rider for Kawasaki. However, I get the feeling that Kawasaki's effort this year is not going to be huge. The new 800 has hardly seen the light of day so far.
Not sure I agree with you on the SBK spec bikes. But I do agree that the woefully small grids for MotoGP are pitiful. Thank God that the racing is as tight as it is because there are too few bikes. Rather like the best years of F1, I believe racing is at it's best when engines are available to all with chassis that can then be made for that motor. The Roberts example is a great one. I think F1 was at it's best when Cosworth was supplying the same spec engine (or almost) and chassis were being made by March, Lotus , McLaren, Tyrrell etc. (even Matra though that was short lived as they were keen to have their own V12.
To get to the point. As much as I hate Honda ruling the politics of MotoGP, they do supply six bikes and a engine. If Yamaha and Suzuki were asked to supply more engines, I think we would see the re-emergence of teams like WCM who were driven out by the lack of a competitive motor.
Let's hope the St. Emilion is not making this incomprehensible!! I'm moving on to a bottle of Vino Nobile in a minute!