Michael Scott - How To Cheat Without Even Trying
Bike SA|December 2020
If Yamaha was to write a navel-gazing book about their 2020 season, that would be the title. And the sub-head: “And without gaining anything either”.

The first race in Valencia brought the latest blows in a year of perfect storm for the MotoGP stalwarts. You have to wonder what they have done to deserve it. It’s flippant but at least superficially true to say that each racing factory has its own distinct character: Honda the austere face of arrogant pride;

Ducati noisy and temperamental Italian dramatists; KTM humourless, earnest and scarily efficient; Suzuki the blushing faux-virgins with a secret wicked streak, Aprilia … well, never mind.

Yamaha has always played the role of fundamentally decent bloke: competitive and sporting for sure, but with an open and honest face. You’d instinctively trust him.

It was therefore completely – radically – out of character that they should become the latest victims of the MotoGP police, accused and convicted for, of all things, cheating.

They had fallen badly foul of the strict rules limiting not only numbers of engines but also freezing development and sealing them throughout the season. The result was the loss of both Constructor and Team championship points.

Protestations of innocence were not that well received by their rivals, but it was clear that there had not been any real malevolence involved. Just some sneakiness. Possibly inadvertent.

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