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British 250cc bike racing; its demise and the consequence


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#1 picblanc

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 15:21

Having just watched the MotoGP from Jerez, it got me thinking why no young British riders in it!!
All of the top riders came through the 125 and 250cc school of racing (except Colin Edwards and Hayden, who apparently is now stuggling to adapt to the new higher more like 250cc corner speeds required by the 800cc motors) there is no top level 250cc racing anymore in this country and a British MotoGP champion has never been so far away as now!!
Bradley Smith on the 125 still has to prove he can do it at this level (I hope he will) Chaz Davies has gone to USA to race "road bikes" Supersport 600!!
Why dont the powers that be, ACU and whoever runs BSB now re instate the 250cc class, and get these youngsters learning the art of corner speed, instead of point and squirt as in Superbike racing, what do you guys think.
A couple of photos of two top 250 UK riders one a GP winner!
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250cc start Snetterton 1995, oh those were the days!! :(
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Pictures copyright Graham Etheridge, racebikepics.

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#2 picblanc

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 16:26

Have you been playing with the threads title again Stuart!!! :D :p

PS I couldn't spell conseqwence....see!! :drunk:

#3 bigrog

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 16:30

Originally posted by picblanc
Having just watched the MotoGP from Jerez, it got me thinking why no young British riders in it!!
All of the top riders came through the 125 and 250cc school of racing (except Colin Edwards and Hayden, who apparently is now stuggling to adapt to the new higher more like 250cc corner speeds required by the 800cc motors) there is no top level 250cc racing anymore in this country and a British MotoGP champion has never been so far away as now!!
Bradley Smith on the 125 still has to prove he can do it at this level (I hope he will) Chaz Davies has gone to USA to race "road bikes" Supersport 600!!
Why dont the powers that be, ACU and whoever runs BSB now re instate the 250cc class, and get these youngsters learning the art of corner speed, instead of point and squirt as in Superbike racing, what do you guys think.


Graham, we're probably on the wrong forum to discuss this but I'll get on my soapbox anywhere! Just to be pedantic, Eugene Laverty is British and he finished a creditable 14th in that 250 GP today so we do have somebody.
The problem is very difficult to debate. It starts with Brits having such a cock-eyed view of current world racing. I'll say something controversial here. I think the major problem in Britain is the attitude of most people to World Superbikes. Despite the fact that it's given us great racing, WSB has diluted talent at GP level, generally created a cul-de-sac for many talented Brits (Carl Fogarty is the best example) and has confused many less knowledgeable motorcycle race fans into believing it is "the" world championship. I love racing of all sorts. Two and four wheels, old and new (I'll be at Donington this weekend for World Supers) but WSB has been the cause of the huge change in British national racing which resulted in all the classes being road bike related and now the only 'real' racing class we have left is the 125's. I really hope this new 250 'ACU Cup' thing works but I don't think it'll make any difference whatsoever to Brits coming through to perform at World level at GP's. Us old timers will love hearing the buzz of 250 two strokes but it won't be a breeding ground for new young British talent as we would like. It'll be the refuge of the same 'past it' riders who were riding 5-10 years ago in the 250. Britain is more obsessed than any other country in the world with racing road bikes. The organisers believe that spectators want to see bikes that look like those we buy for the road. Absolute naive boll**ks. Race crowds want to see great racing on bikes that are as exotic as possible. TV viewers are even more keen on watching exciting sport and couldn't care less whether those bikes relate to something we can buy to ride on the road or not. In fact racing audiences are generally more excited by bikes as different to road bikes as possible. They are excited by glamour, personalities and close racing. In other words. entertainment. Sorry to go on but this is where our dearth of GP talent starts. Brits persist in racing diesels and develop their riders on them and then find they have nowhere to go but WSB not GP's. I am a huge Bradley Smith fan. Yes, he might not have proved himself yet but he's got the makings. Eugene Laverty, at least, has taken the chance and forsaken BSB for the GP's. I wish him all the luck in the world. His current poor results thus far show firstly how slow the Honda is these days in the 250 class but also that British racing may be a good national level but it's way short of GP level. He's going to find it an uphill battle.

Don't misunderstand me. Racing road bikes tends to be a cheap alternative. Nothing wrong with that. We have to remember that Spain is now the most successful country in the world at developing young motorcycle racers. Yet their national championship doesn't have a 250 class either. They have Supersport and Formula Extreme as the other two classes to their national 125 class. But they don't live in any illusion that the 'real' world championship and therefore their ultimate goal is GP racing, not WSB. They race the diesels only because they're cheap. They pay remarkably little attention to WSB or WSS. The Italians and Japanese are the same. The Brits need to follow their example. Let's try and get the right attitude into our sport. That attitude is to get more home grown talent into GP's NOT WSB. That may mean resurrecting the 250 class, it may not.

After this rant, I think re-instaing the 250 class as a national championship AT BSB ROUNDS probably is the only way to focus everybody on the ultimate goal. MotoGP racing. My concern is only that we've got to find a way of getting our youngsters into that class. It cannot be the old timers. Britain has masses of talent in the 125 class. At World level we have Bradley Smith and Danny Webb. Here we've got to find a way of progressing people like Dan Linfoot, Dan Cooper, Kev Coghlan etc. without seeing themgo to Supersport. Once there, it's a cul-de-sac. They'll tread the traditional British route of BSB, WSB and the predictable slide back to BSB. Just like Fogarty, Whitham, Retnolds, Walker, Hodgson etc. they never got seriously considered at GP level despite the fact that all of them impressed at GP level. Why because the vast majority of British promoters, sponsors, teams and the British media are too busy diluting our talent by overplaying the importance of WSB. It's not!! MotoGP is the greatest version of our sport in the world and that's what matters. WSB is merely a diversion!

(By the way, as he's in your picture, I believe Ian McConnachie's son Ben is making the first steps on the path to motorcycle glory so lets wish him the utmost success.)

#4 Wolf

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 16:38

Bigrog, but aren't 250s as much road bikes as four strokes? IMHO, spec racing has a bad rep, but bike association could buy two dozen Aprillia RS250s, loan few to promising youngsters and rent others (to pay off the expenses and make up the field), and make things happen. I think FIM is doing something similar on European level, as a feeder series.

#5 picblanc

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 16:54

Rant away Roger always entertaining and to the point!!
Lets hope Eugene hasn't gone up the poor bike= 1 year at this level only, then back to Superstock or something, as regards the British obsession with WSB I agree it is/was pushed on us by the media SKY sports in the early years, (great job they did notwithstanding!!) and Muck Crap and Nonsense, great racing over the years yes, but still most of the bikes started out in a "show room" (Ducati and BSB Honda excepted!!) I am in no way decrying the riders of these bikes either, I love BSB WSB Superstock etc, but it is no coincidence that most of the MotoGP grid are from 125/250 backgrounds.
The young riders you mentioned most will probably go to British Supersport.
In the end of the day the promotors of UK racing are taking the money i:e KTM thingys and Yamaha R6 one make series, rather than getting behind real racing!
yes I know that the R6 cup is entertaining but it is not the way into GP racing, if it produces a GP champion in the next 5 years I will be most suprised "more suprised than it is possible to be"!!
Yes and all the best to young Ben McConachie too, dont race roadbikes Ben!!;) :)

#6 bigrog

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 16:56

Originally posted by Wolf
Bigrog, but aren't 250s as much road bikes as four strokes? IMHO, spec racing has a bad rep, but bike association could buy two dozen Aprillia RS250s, loan few to promising youngsters and rent others (to pay off the expenses and make up the field), and make things happen. I think FIM is doing something similar on European level, as a feeder series.


Sorry, to clarify my point, I don't care whether 2 stroke or 4 stroke. I do think that racing is better when bikes are purpose built built racing machines but it's the dilution of racing by providing a diversion that is the problem. The UK would have groomed much more talent over the years if there was ONE clear cut path to ONE ultimate goal. GP racing.


(Actually I do prefer 2 strokes but I'll live with the 4 strokes);)

#7 Henry Snee

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 19:27

I’m not sure that it’s the type of racing that matters at all. A good rider will adapt and ride well on anything. The fact of the matter is that the riders coming in from Superbikes have not been as good (in most cases) as the ones coming in from the 250 class, It’s more a matter of talent than anything else.
Also, let’s face the hard facts. The premier British championship has recently been won by a WSBK reject from Spain and a MotoGP reject from Japan. The best British currently is James Toseland - by some margin. The second best rider (Hodgson) went to hide in America after a dismal time in MotoGP and then spent so long looking for a decent ride that they were all gone. Now, he’s sitting out the year - this normally only happens to Italians who bad mouth their teams! So, really speaking, there’s only one really top class rider available right now. I’m, not saying there won’t be others in the future.
If given a chance, I’m sure James Toseland could be at the very top in MotoGP. But - will he get the chance. This brings me to the other point, sponsorship.
Look at his present setup at Ten Kate. Although, James is one of the very best in that series, his team have had to accept an OK level teammate because he’s brought along with him a good sponsor (Hannspree). James is undoubtedly the star of the team, yet he can’t even attract a decent sponsor. Look at Foggy despite his profile in Superbikes, he can’t get a decent sponsor together to run a team.
Look across to other European countries though. If you’re an Italian skittle player or a Spanish flag planter there are plenty of sponsorship chances. They can attract the megabuck deals and that’s what keeps it all going for them.
Like it or not Britain has a soccer based sports economy. So, to get the sponsors to put proper money into GP racing, you don’t just need to be good, you need to be great. In fact you need to be at the level of a Hailwood, Read, Sheene or Duke. Toseland could very well be that good. But, he may not get the chance, and we may never know, because like it or not, Britain and it’s sponsors are just not interested enough in MotoGP.

#8 bigrog

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 19:47

Originally posted by Henry Snee
I’m not sure that it’s the type of racing that matters at all. A good rider will adapt and ride well on anything. The fact of the matter is that the riders coming in from Superbikes have not been as good (in most cases) as the ones coming in from the 250 class, It’s more a matter of talent than anything else.
Also, let’s face the hard facts. The premier British championship has recently been won by a WSBK reject from Spain and a MotoGP reject from Japan. The best British currently is James Toseland - by some margin. The second best rider (Hodgson) went to hide in America after a dismal time in MotoGP and then spent so long looking for a decent ride that they were all gone. Now, he’s sitting out the year - this normally only happens to Italians who bad mouth their teams! So, really speaking, there’s only one really top class rider available right now. I’m, not saying there won’t be others in the future.
If given a chance, I’m sure James Toseland could be at the very top in MotoGP. But - will he get the chance. This brings me to the other point, sponsorship.
Look at his present setup at Ten Kate. Although, James is one of the very best in that series, his team have had to accept an OK level teammate because he’s brought along with him a good sponsor (Hannspree). James is undoubtedly the star of the team, yet he can’t even attract a decent sponsor. Look at Foggy despite his profile in Superbikes, he can’t get a decent sponsor together to run a team.
Look across to other European countries though. If you’re an Italian skittle player or a Spanish flag planter there are plenty of sponsorship chances. They can attract the megabuck deals and that’s what keeps it all going for them.
Like it or not Britain has a soccer based sports economy. So, to get the sponsors to put proper money into GP racing, you don’t just need to be good, you need to be great. In fact you need to be at the level of a Hailwood, Read, Sheene or Duke. Toseland could very well be that good. But, he may not get the chance, and we may never know, because like it or not, Britain and it’s sponsors are just not interested enough in MotoGP.


David, I think you're right but missing the point. Britain has a pathological fear of putting money into anything bar soccer, I grant you, (we call it football here) but Graham raised the point that there were next to no Brits in GP's and his point was that it was the consequences of not running a national 250 series. My point is that there is a huge lack of backing for British talent (of which there is an abundance) but that is due to the confusion that's created by Superbikes/Supersport. Whilst this confusion dilutes our talent, potential sponsors are warded off World Championship sponsorship because they don't understand what MotoGP is and what World Superbike is. This keeps our sport 'low profile' despite it's growing TV audience and, as much as many on this forum would shudder at the prospect, motorcycle racing needs a Bernie Ecclestone type to drag it out of it's dilemna. Particularly in Britain.

#9 MoMurray

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 19:57

Originally posted by picblanc
Having just watched the MotoGP from Jerez, it got me thinking why no young British riders in it!!
All of the top riders came through the 125 and 250cc school of racing (except Colin Edwards and Hayden, who apparently is now stuggling to adapt to the new higher more like 250cc corner speeds required by the 800cc motors)
Pictures copyright Graham Etheridge, racebikepics.


Actually, Colin was a 250 star in the US before he got on a big bike. However, your point is well taken. Same issue over here with no 250 class anymore. The bikes just dont relate to anything the manufacturers sell and so the money train dried up.

Chaz BTW, did his career no harm whatsoever with his recent Daytona performance. In fact I would say he is better off getting noticed by the US factories (see Edwards, Hayden, Hopper) first rather than getting no attention at the back of a MotoGP field. He is too tall for 250s anyway.

Mo.

#10 Doug Nye

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 20:01

Having been involved with four-wheeled racing all my adult life I know next to nothing about motor-cyle racing beyond thoroughly enjoying watching it on the telly, and poring over the exquisitely engineered bikes we see at Goodwood.

I do, however, very much sympathise personally with Bigrog's line: "The organisers believe that spectators want to see bikes that look like those we buy for the road. Absolute naive boll**ks. Race crowds want to see great racing on bikes that are as exotic as possible. TV viewers are even more keen on watching exciting sport and couldn't care less whether those bikes relate to something we can buy to ride on the road or not."

Ever since I was hub-high to a W196 I have been irresistibly attracted to exotic racing cars, frontier designs, pinnacles of racing achievement. I have never been able to understand why so many people seem interested in racing machines 'just like you can buy'. Why be interested in the humdrum, the ordinary? I cannot understand enthusiasm for something less than the fastest, the most daring, the most innovative, the best...

That's why I have never really understood how people can develop apparently intense interest and fascination in tin-top racing - those Australian V8s, for instance, leave me absolutely cold, apart from the racing itself which does seem pretty close...all they need is some proper drivers in there. :cool:

As for the BTCC - 'scuse me, time to watch the garden grow... :rolleyes:

DCN

#11 picblanc

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 20:10

Originally posted by Henry Snee
I’m not sure that it’s the type of racing that matters at all. A good rider will adapt and ride well on anything. The fact of the matter is that the riders coming in from Superbikes have not been as good (in most cases) as the ones coming in from the 250 class, It’s more a matter of talent than anything else.
Also, let’s face the hard facts. The premier British championship has recently been won by a WSBK reject from Spain and a MotoGP reject from Japan. The best British currently is James Toseland - by some margin. The second best rider (Hodgson) went to hide in America after a dismal time in MotoGP and then spent so long looking for a decent ride that they were all gone. Now, he’s sitting out the year - this normally only happens to Italians who bad mouth their teams! So, really speaking, there’s only one really top class rider available right now. I’m, not saying there won’t be others in the future.
If given a chance, I’m sure James Toseland could be at the very top in MotoGP. But - will he get the chance. This brings me to the other point, sponsorship.
Look at his present setup at Ten Kate. Although, James is one of the very best in that series, his team have had to accept an OK level teammate because he’s brought along with him a good sponsor (Hannspree). James is undoubtedly the star of the team, yet he can’t even attract a decent sponsor. Look at Foggy despite his profile in Superbikes, he can’t get a decent sponsor together to run a team.
Look across to other European countries though. If you’re an Italian skittle player or a Spanish flag planter there are plenty of sponsorship chances. They can attract the megabuck deals and that’s what keeps it all going for them.
Like it or not Britain has a soccer based sports economy. So, to get the sponsors to put proper money into GP racing, you don’t just need to be good, you need to be great. In fact you need to be at the level of a Hailwood, Read, Sheene or Duke. Toseland could very well be that good. But, he may not get the chance, and we may never know, because like it or not, Britain and it’s sponsors are just not interested enough in MotoGP.


Interesting!! My point exactly, the riders coming in from Superbike in the main are not from a 125/250 background, Hodgson was from 125's and did well on a non factory 500 even putting it on the front row in South America, then got out syched by Foggy in WSB and rode a long in the tooth ZX750, before reinventing his career with Ducati in BSB then WSB, the D'Antin Ducati was a year old 1st generation Ducati in a team so short of money it did so much harm to his career I bet he wishes he never went MotoGP racing.
The other riders from WSB Corser, Haga, never did really show much but again not 125/250 riders,
James Toseland is another who has never ridden 125/250, last year on the 990 MotoGP bike he may well of been up there, but now it is back to my original point of corner speed over sit it up and fire it out Superbike style, I hope if he gets on the right bike he will be a winner.
Sponsorship or lack of is another interesting point, if you look back at races over the last few years how often do you see teams towards the back of the grid featured on TV coverage if only for a few seconds, mostly never so how can they attract a sponsor if they wont get shown and how do they improve with no money? a Catch22 situation.
The amount of Spanish riders equates to the amount of TV coverage given to Spanish products and sponsors, the company running 500GP then MotoGP are/were Spanish. There are 3 MotoGP races in Spain!!
I am not knocking it buts thats the way it is.
Rizla Suzuki are British but wont take a chance on a British rider as there is no one capeable of giving them the results that the sponsors require at the moment.
Bring back 250cc I say then we will see!!! :p

#12 ex Rhodie racer

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 20:27

quote.
Brits persist in racing diesels and develop their riders on them and then find they have nowhere to go but WSB not GP's. End quote.

Bigrog I hope I don´t sound pendantic, but MGP´s are deisels, no?

#13 picblanc

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 20:39

Originally posted by MoMurray


Actually, Colin was a 250 star in the US before he got on a big bike. However, your point is well taken. Same issue over here with no 250 class anymore. The bikes just dont relate to anything the manufacturers sell and so the money train dried up.

Chaz BTW, did his career no harm whatsoever with his recent Daytona performance. In fact I would say he is better off getting noticed by the US factories (see Edwards, Hayden, Hopper) first rather than getting no attention at the back of a MotoGP field. He is too tall for 250s anyway.

Mo.


Not doubting Chaz's talent at all Mo, as he was the one bright star in recent GP's on the "kitted" bike,
but where is he going to go now, even if the USA factories show interest in him, they are as much road based as in the UK. mind you Rossi is a tall guy also and he was pretty good on the 125/250 bikes!
good point about Colin I had forgotten that!! :blush:

#14 bigrog

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 20:46

Originally posted by ex Rhodie racer
quote.
Brits persist in racing diesels and develop their riders on them and then find they have nowhere to go but WSB not GP's. End quote.

Bigrog I hope I don´t sound pendantic, but MGP´s are deisels, no?


Yes, you're right. I sometimes can't think straight when I'm on my soapbox! My point is very similar to Graham's point. That is that no national 250 racing has reduced, yet again, the path to GP success. I am frustrated by the lack of Brits in GP racing at the moment and the reasons are many fold. I am probably more frustrated at the lack of South Africans. The reasons for that are even more complicated. Political, economic, cultural, racial etc. The conclusion is the same. I want to see as many Brits as Spaniards or Italians and as many South Africans as Australians. The SA thing will never happen but the Brit thing might if there was a bit more commonsense brought to the table. I was quite encouraged last year when I met Gary Ekerold at the Mallory BSB round as he struck me as exactly the sort of guy that motorcycle racing needs. I know I'm biased because he's South African but he is intelligent, eloquent and very persuasive. He sees racing as I do and could certainly be the force behind changing bike racing in Britain.

#15 bigrog

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 20:52

Originally posted by picblanc


Not doubting Chaz's talent at all Mo, as he was the one bright star in recent GP's on the "kitted" bike,
but where is he going to go now, even if the USA factories show interest in him, they are as much road based as in the UK. mind you Rossi is a tall guy also and he was pretty good on the 125/250 bikes!
good point about Colin I had forgotten that!! :blush:


Colin's problem is not the 250 style as he demostrated today but being consistent.

It worries me that the likes of James Ellison and Chaz Davies disappear to America. It's a bigger cul-de-sac than WSB. Look at Mat Mladin. What a talent and yet he's wasted it in the US. But I suppose he'd argue that he's made a lot of money at it. I would say what could you have done in MotoGP because he was a real talent. Unfortunately, he had a rough year in MotoGP with Cagiva and that was it. I don't think Chas was going anywhere here and the same goes for James so I suppose it's a semsible move for them. Ben Spies worries me more. He should have done a Hayden and come to MotoGP this year. Lets hope he does it next year.

#16 bigrog

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 20:59

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Having been involved with four-wheeled racing all my adult life I know next to nothing about motor-cyle racing beyond thoroughly enjoying watching it on the telly, and poring over the exquisitely engineered bikes we see at Goodwood.

I do, however, very much sympathise personally with Bigrog's line: "The organisers believe that spectators want to see bikes that look like those we buy for the road. Absolute naive boll**ks. Race crowds want to see great racing on bikes that are as exotic as possible. TV viewers are even more keen on watching exciting sport and couldn't care less whether those bikes relate to something we can buy to ride on the road or not."

Ever since I was hub-high to a W196 I have been irresistibly attracted to exotic racing cars, frontier designs, pinnacles of racing achievement. I have never been able to understand why so many people seem interested in racing machines 'just like you can buy'. Why be interested in the humdrum, the ordinary? I cannot understand enthusiasm for something less than the fastest, the most daring, the most innovative, the best...

That's why I have never really understood how people can develop apparently intense interest and fascination in tin-top racing - those Australian V8s, for instance, leave me absolutely cold, apart from the racing itself which does seem pretty close...all they need is some proper drivers in there. :cool:

As for the BTCC - 'scuse me, time to watch the garden grow... :rolleyes:

DCN


The only time BTCC got interesting was when they starting making it as far removed from road cars as possible. Change the rules to more standard and the glamour disappears. I don't believe many people atre interested in racing machines 'just like you can buy'. They want glamour and excitement and that comes with exotica. What could be more exciting than pre-war Mercedes or Auto Union V16. As for the W196. As a man devoted to two wheels but with a healthy interest in four, I wonder how many Ducati fans realise that Mercedes had desmodromic valve gear in 1954?

#17 picblanc

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 21:07

Originally posted by MoMurray


Actually, Colin was a 250 star in the US before he got on a big bike. However, your point is well taken. Same issue over here with no 250 class anymore. The bikes just dont relate to anything the manufacturers sell and so the money train dried up.

Chaz BTW, did his career no harm whatsoever with his recent Daytona performance. In fact I would say he is better off getting noticed by the US factories (see Edwards, Hayden, Hopper) first rather than getting no attention at the back of a MotoGP field. He is too tall for 250s anyway.

Mo.


Forgot to add this relating to Colins 250 history, it appears its no coincidence that he looks much more at home, confident, and up the front on the new MotoGP 250 style bike, this could be his best year!! I hope so nice guys deserve success.

#18 Twin Window

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 22:12

Originally posted by Henry Snee

Like it or not Britain has a soccer based sports economy.

And look how well we're doing internationally in that sphere... :rolleyes:

Originally posted by MoMurray

Chaz [...] is too tall for 250s anyway.

He grew an inch and a half or so during the '05/'06 break which didn't exactly help, but the real killer was beyond his control (fraudulent sponsors, followed by a lily-livered attitude from both his *team* and the governing body/promoters who reneged on their promises).

#19 MoMurray

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 01:35

I am proud to be able to say that I am on Chaz's sponsor list (I run marketing for the accessories side of Yamaha and our GYTR brand in the US) and we will take good care of him. I think it's a little parochial to say he and Ellison have "disappeared" to the US. While they may not make the evening news in the UK, the sport gets plenty of attention from decision makers over here and they will get to race in front of the MotoGP crowd once, at Laguna.

Mo.

edit: After submitting I noticed the reference to less than desirable sponsors in Twinny's post and while I know nothing of that, I did not mean to imply any support for or condoning of his former sponsors.

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#20 Senor

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 10:28

I do agree with the general thought that the demise of British 250cc racing has had an impact on Britain’s potential for future MotoGP riders. However, it’s not the only reason. In an environment where younger and younger riders are coming through to the top, the chance to race must be available from an early age. It’s here that I believe the circuits play a big part in the problem.

Riders like Bradley Smith, have excelled at an early age because they have been able to test their skills (on Spanish tracks) in a relatively safe environment. Bradley has been fortunate in this respect. I’m sure there are many other British parents who would like their kids to race from an early age. They do not do so, because they feel that the British circuits are simply not safe enough.

In Spain there are five GP level circuits and two others of a high standard. Britain however persists with many “old style” circuits. Improvements have been made, but even the BSB series goes to tracks that should not really be sanctioned for such an important championship. Even the better ones, like Donnington, Brands and Silverstone would require some modification to meet current demands, should they be entering the calendar, rather than maintaining their places on it. Yes, racing is dangerous, but parents are naturally reluctant to let their children race on circuits that are still claiming lives. I say let’s improve the circuits, and not just the racing, but the riders will improve along with it.

#21 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 10:43

Dorna is so keen on cracking the British market they'll make sure Toseland gets a good or good enough ride.

#22 subh

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 11:37

I was going to start by mentioning that Colin Edwards was AMA 250 champion, compared to Nicky Hayden’s Supersport/Superbike background. However, the Edwards point has already been made, so I will just add a sneaky link to my Edwards profile.

To add just a couple of points: There is still a European Championship class for the 250s, but I think most Euro countries have dropped them, not just the UK. Maybe British riders need the sponsorship push to get them into the Euro series.

I would have though that the Superbike route was an appropriate one into MotoGP - in the 990 years. It worked for Shane Byrne and James Ellison, not to mention Troy Bayliss and Chris Vermeulen - but I suppose you’re saying that they didn’t have the right background in racing? However, it is looking more than clear that 250 skills are best for the new 800s. I bet Max Biaggi wants to get back in there...

#23 ex Rhodie racer

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 11:42

Originally posted by Doug Nye
I cannot understand enthusiasm for something less than the fastest, the most daring, the most innovative, the best.DCN


Sorry to break this to you Doug, but I believe that´s known as small penis syndrome.  ;) :lol:

#24 Senor

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 16:13

Originally posted by bigrog
I wonder how many Ducati fans realise that Mercedes had desmodromic valve gear in 1954?


Or know that back in 1914, Indy 500 winner, Rene Thomas's Delage was equipped with desmodromic valve gear?

#25 ian senior

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 09:57

I've read this with interest. But I'd take issue with the statement that "Britain has a soccer-based sports economy". I can see the point that's being made, but it needs looking at a bit more closely. And no, I'm not trying to turn this into a football-related thread.

Yes, there's a lot of money floating around at the top echelon of British, or rather English, football. The Premier League is awash with money, thanks to Rupert Murdoch, we also see large corporations all to willing to part with cash to become sponsors/partners of Premier League clubs, and now we have a rash of foreign investment in the top clubs.

Lower down the football pyramid, you'll find clubs struggling to make ends meet, you'll find clubs in administration because they are skint, you'll find clubs having to sell their assets - aka players - to keep more or less afloat. In the same league, you'll find a few clubs with wealthy backers who are doing OK.

In other words, this is not at all unlike motor sport. The big boys - F1, Moto Gp, possibly WSB, are doing very nicely. Their "product" is attractive to investors, who want to see success. Blame it on corporations more than anything else - they want to be associated with instant success at the highest levels, not the philanthropic act of supporting anything lower down.

#26 subh

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 10:17

I don’t know too much about economic matters, but it must be the case the football is by far the most visible sport in the UK (and in many other places). Motorcycle racing, especially at national level, is way down the list. The skills needed to be a top racer do not generate the financial rewards when you compare to the sport of football.

#27 bigrog

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 12:49

Originally posted by Senor


Or know that back in 1914, Indy 500 winner, Rene Thomas's Delage was equipped with desmodromic valve gear?


Yes, Senor. I'm sure we all know the experiments with mechanical valve gear to open and close the valve that Delage, Peugeot etc. made in the early years. My point in comparing the Mercedes W196 was that the Desmodromic system on the Merc designed by Rudolf Uhlenhaut used rockers with a 'scissor' type action to open and close valves and was clearly the inspiration for Taglioni's Ducati system.

#28 bigrog

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 14:12

Originally posted by ian senior
I've read this with interest. But I'd take issue with the statement that "Britain has a soccer-based sports economy". I can see the point that's being made, but it needs looking at a bit more closely. And no, I'm not trying to turn this into a football-related thread.

Yes, there's a lot of money floating around at the top echelon of British, or rather English, football. The Premier League is awash with money, thanks to Rupert Murdoch, we also see large corporations all to willing to part with cash to become sponsors/partners of Premier League clubs, and now we have a rash of foreign investment in the top clubs.

Lower down the football pyramid, you'll find clubs struggling to make ends meet, you'll find clubs in administration because they are skint, you'll find clubs having to sell their assets - aka players - to keep more or less afloat. In the same league, you'll find a few clubs with wealthy backers who are doing OK.

In other words, this is not at all unlike motor sport. The big boys - F1, Moto Gp, possibly WSB, are doing very nicely. Their "product" is attractive to investors, who want to see success. Blame it on corporations more than anything else - they want to be associated with instant success at the highest levels, not the philanthropic act of supporting anything lower down.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by subh

I don’t know too much about economic matters, but it must be the case the football is by far the most visible sport in the UK (and in many other places). Motorcycle racing, especially at national level, is way down the list. The skills needed to be a top racer do not generate the financial rewards when you compare to the sport of football.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I think both of these views actually illustrate the point that Henry Snee was making. Britain does have a football based sports economy and motocycle racing comes a long way down the pecking order. He wasn't suggesting that all football clubs have unlimited funds but that there are huge sums of money tied up in football. It may well be that it's tied up in a handfull of clubs in the English Premiership and not those clubs further down the leagues is irrelevant. The fact is the sums are still huge. Whether we like it or not, it is all about corporate entertainment and, as Subh points out football is the most visible sport in Britain. The decision makers of those corporate empires want a box at Chelsea or Manchester United etc. They don't really want to support Bournemouth for example. That's the reality of a commercial world. Our point is that, even at the top level, we still don't have it. Let's look at MotoGP. Ilmor have pulled out through lack of funds. The KR effort nearly pulled out through a lack of funds. Both bikes are built in Britain. KR managed to get two major American backers and 'hurrah, hurrah' a British company 'Motorpoint' backed their effort as well. I think all you Brit enthusiasts should rush out and buy a car from Motorpoint to endirse their faith in backing our sport. The point is that bike racing is difficult to get backing for full stop but if you're in Britain, it's damn near impossible. Look sat Foggy's thwarted efforts or the ill fated Nigel Bosworth/Ben Atkins project to get young Brits into 125/250 GP's earlier this year.

The fact is that until we organise our sport so that non-motorcyclists understand it, we have no chance of pulling in the big buck sponsors. Motorcycle Racing continues to grow in popularity yet the average punter is confused by BSB and WSB and how it relates to GP's and that was the point made by this thread. 125's and 250's are straightforward 'feeder' classes to MotoGP that also produce great racing. Let's bring it back at proper National level.

#29 picblanc

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 15:12

[QUOTE]Originally posted by bigrog

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[QUOTE]Originally posted by subh

I don’t know too much about economic matters, but it must be the case the football is by far the most visible sport in the UK (and in many other places). Motorcycle racing, especially at national level, is way down the list. The skills needed to be a top racer do not generate the financial rewards when you compare to the sport of football.
[/QUOTE}

I think both of these views actually illustrate the point that Henry Snee was making. Britain does have a football based sports economy and motocycle racing comes a long way down the pecking order. He wasn't suggesting that all football clubs have unlimited funds but that there are huge sums of money tied up in football. It may well be that it's tied up in a handfull of clubs in the English Premiership and not those clubs further down the leagues is irrelevant. The fact is the sums are still huge. Whether we like it or not, it is all about corporate entertainment and, as Subh points out football is the most visible sport in Britain. The decision makers of those corporate empires want a box at Chelsea or Manchester United etc. They don't really want to support Bournemouth for example. That's the reality of a commercial world. Our point is that, even at the top level, we still don't have it. Let's look at MotoGP. Ilmor have pulled out through lack of funds. The KR effort nearly pulled out through a lack of funds. Both bikes are built in Britain. KR managed to get two major American backers and 'hurrah, hurrah' a British company 'Motorpoint' backed their effort as well. I think all you Brit enthusiasts should rush out and buy a car from Motorpoint to endirse their faith in backing our sport. The point is that bike racing is difficult to get backing for full stop but if you're in Britain, it's damn near impossible. Look sat Foggy's thwarted efforts or the ill fated Nigel Bosworth/Ben Atkins project to get young Brits into 125/250 GP's earlier this year.

The fact is that until we organise our sport so that non-motorcyclists understand it, we have no chance of pulling in the big buck sponsors. Motorcycle Racing continues to grow in popularity yet the average punter is confused by BSB and WSB and how it relates to GP's and that was the point made by this thread. 125's and 250's are straightforward 'feeder' classes to MotoGP that also produce great racing. Let's bring it back at proper National level.
[/QUOTE]




My original point exactly Roger!! :)

#30 picblanc

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 17:18

Just another point/moan ;) The MRO that I went to on Saturday which is the last step up to BSB,! used to have the proper 250cc class, but now they dont and all that is left 250cc wise is the MZ250 class and Yamaha past masters, old LC's, TZR's etc, now I am not knocking the lads and Dad's that race in this class at all, but again real race bikes are sacraficed to more road based stuff(MZ and YPM have been there a while, so not blaming them.);)
Any way gives me a good excuse to post a couple of pics taken on Saturday with my new camera :D
Hope you like them.
Marcus Donkersley on TZR250.
Posted Image

Simon Snowden MZ250 ETZ, and they did smell good :eek:
Posted Image
Both pictures copyright Graham Etheridge, racebikepics.

#31 picblanc

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 16:53

More great 1992 BSB, Supercup 250 action.
Mark Linton and Darryl Higgins.
Posted Image

and a lovely shot of Steve Johnson sadly killed a few weeks later at Dundrod Ulster GP, after a collision with Philip McCallen.
Posted Image
Both pictures copyright Graham Etheridge, racebikepics.

#32 Back-Marcus

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 12:12

Originally posted by picblanc
Just another point/moan ;) The MRO that I went to on Saturday which is the last step up to BSB,! used to have the proper 250cc class, but now they dont and all that is left 250cc wise is the MZ250 class and Yamaha past masters, old LC's, TZR's etc, now I am not knocking the lads and Dad's that race in this class at all, but again real race bikes are sacraficed to more road based stuff(MZ and YPM have been there a while, so not blaming them.);)
Any way gives me a good excuse to post a couple of pics taken on Saturday with my new camera :D
Hope you like them.
Marcus Donkersley on TZR250.
Posted Image

Simon Snowden MZ250 ETZ, and they did smell good :eek:
Posted Image
Both pictures copyright Graham Etheridge, racebikepics.


Picblanc,

Not a bad photo that! do you mind if I use it? I'm the #79 rider, Marcus Donkersley. Stumbled accross it searching through Google.

To be fair here, the meeting was MRO and Bemsee. The MRO is a lot higher budget than the Bemsee club racing classes so the YPM's are not really a step below BSB being a club racing class.
Our class motto is "racing on a budget - competing on the limit" and being all 2 stroke nuts a lot of us would love to ride a GP250 but don't have the budget for it.

As far as I know, the MRO GP250 class dissappeared and reformed as it's own club, which I believe now races with other clubs outside of Bemsee/MRO under a Replicast/BSN Motostar British Championship. They are still going strong, all the info on the championship can be found here....

http://www.two-strok...hp?showforum=58

P.S. A well prepped old TZR with a decent tune and some decent pipes, TZ seat unit etc is still not a bad track tool even if it was originally designed for the road. If you compare the TZ of the mid 80's with a TZR 2MA/1KT model there are a lot of similarities :)

#33 picblanc

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 14:56

Originally posted by Back-Marcus


Picblanc,

Not a bad photo that! do you mind if I use it? I'm the #79 rider, Marcus Donkersley. Stumbled accross it searching through Google.

To be fair here, the meeting was MRO and Bemsee. The MRO is a lot higher budget than the Bemsee club racing classes so the YPM's are not really a step below BSB being a club racing class.
Our class motto is "racing on a budget - competing on the limit" and being all 2 stroke nuts a lot of us would love to ride a GP250 but don't have the budget for it.

As far as I know, the MRO GP250 class dissappeared and reformed as it's own club, which I believe now races with other clubs outside of Bemsee/MRO under a Replicast/BSN Motostar British Championship. They are still going strong, all the info on the championship can be found here....

http://www.two-strok...hp?showforum=58

P.S. A well prepped old TZR with a decent tune and some decent pipes, TZ seat unit etc is still not a bad track tool even if it was originally designed for the road. If you compare the TZ of the mid 80's with a TZR 2MA/1KT model there are a lot of similarities :)


Hi Marcus, yes please do, but can you credit it to Graham Etheridge racebikepics@ntlworld.com
I was not at all denegrating you guys racing in the YPM or the MZ class, I was just trying to say in my wafflly way that the GP250 class should never have been dropped from BSB/Supercup or from MRO, not that it should take your places, I remember MRO at Lydden 2 years ago all three 250 classes were on the race card, and cracking racing it was to!!
Hope you enjoyed your weekend at Lydden, shame the weather was "pants", are you at Snetterton next weekend? if you are I might seek you out and say hello,"you have been warned" ;) :)
Will my pic be on the website you mentioned in your post?
Anyway Marcus on behalf of the me and the other old codgers on here welcome to the forum. :wave: