With the nature of the season so far, it is impossible to tell who will be in the ascendency each race but, if it is our new favorite and he is leading or be in with a shout of winning, then fingernails start shredding because, well, who knows what might happen?
Of course, if you are simply a fan of good racing then you are the real winner because if there has been one constant this season, it has been the quality of the racing; not only on race day but in the practice sessions and qualifying.
Aragon 1 threw a complete curveball at the riders because it was so damned cold. Noone could get any temperatures into their tyres, the Ducatis, in particular, struggling massively; when last did every single Ducati in the field have to go through Q1?
Despite the kilometer-long straight that usually favors the power of the Ducatis, they just couldn’t get a look-in this weekend. It was a Yamaha-fest, with Suzuki looking threatening not all that far behind and the Hondas of Nakagami and Crutchlow looking strong. Alex Marquez, in buoyant form after his wet-weather podium in Le Mans, was looking like a completely different racer. That didn’t stop the doubters claiming that he would be nowhere in a race on a dry track.
Definitely, nowhere all weekend were the KTMs. Espargaro P was the only rider automatically into Q2 but would start 12th and, in the race, all four KTMs would run in line astern with Binder leading, albeit way down the order. Eventually, Binder would bring it home 11th, the rest still behind him.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
WHAT NEXT FOR NORTON AND BSA?
Following on from the success of the Triumph revival, a lot of noise was made about the arrival of Norton back on the motorcycling scene in 2008. The new owner of the brand, Stuart Garner, got everyone excited when he announced that he would be making not only a new Norton Commando motorcycle but would be returning to the Isle of Man TT with a new superbike, powered by an Aprilia V4 motor.
In the world of motorcycling, it is rare, if not unique, for a manufacturer to have two bites of the cake - both with a cherry on top - with two iterations of one particular model, especially when separated by a couple of decades.
NORIYUKI HAGA SULTAN OF Slide
Rare in-depth interview with Nori-chan himself explains how the Sultan of Slide rode the bike - and the crucial differences between Superbike and 500 GP
THE GXCC’S PUSH THE SEASON TO THE LIMIT IN 2020
THE GREATEST Comeback?
The greatest British bike racer? Surtees? Sheene? Both have good claims to the title but, in reality, there can be only one king. This is the story of the race that only served to enhance an already glittering reputation.
Engineering DEAD-ENDS Part 2: Hub-Centre Steering
Motorcycle development never stands still, although maybe recently, it would be more accurate to say that motorcycle electronics development doesn’t stand still; it is very little in the physical architecture of a motorcycle that is likely to change. But it wasn’t always so and one innovation that was tried not only on road bikes but also 500cc Grand Prix bikes was hub-center steering.
Tales From The Hood
SA & Motorcycle Commuting
Great Bikes? The Ariel Square Four
Elsewhere you will have read about the Ariel motorcycle company and here I intend to talk more about their most famous design, the incredible Square Four.
So, What Really Happened To The British Motorcycle Industry?
It’s a story that no-one is unfamiliar with; how the British motorcycle industry withered and died through the 1960s and into the ‘70s. What was once a thriving industry that sold state-of-the-art motorcycles from world-famous manufacturers, by the hundreds of thousands, was reduced to first a handful and then just one manufacturer, producing an outdated design in the face of modern and reliable machines from Japan.
Gone But Part 5 Ariel Not Forgotten
Turner’s Square Four remained in production from 1931 to 1959
MotoGP 2015: From Stunning Performances To Scarring Controversies
In spite of the overwhelming pressure, Lorenzo went on to seal his remarkable victory. A victory which was so stunning that it will be remembered for quite some time to come...