There’s no fooling a canny Scotsman when it comes to fiscal matters. Niall pays homage to the F1 millions that are transforming one of his favourite tracks into something spesh
For the past eight winters I have been living the dream. The two year cycle of new sportsbikes meant there was a constant flow of launch invitations which I always decided it would be rude to turn down. Business class flights, five star hotels and riding on MotoGP tracks was the usual format and visiting five continents in the off season wasn’t uncommon. On top of that you then get to ride the hottest bikes ahead of anyone else before being handed a nice launch gift for your trouble.
Luckily the council estate in me never once took it all for granted so when the economy cooled recently I suspected this year might be a little different. Had the recession not happened, for 2010, I would have expected to see an all-new Fireblade, ZX-10R, CBR600RR, GSX-R750, GSX-R600 and R6. That isn’t happening, so apart from a few detail changes they all remain the same. But I believe this is good. I may not be going on as many all inclusive holidays, but surely if your bike doesn’t become outdated every two years then maybe second hand values should be stronger.
I said out of date in two years but it’s really six months because a new model is no sooner in the dealers when the press get their hands on details of its replacement. And there is nothing worse than being told your bike is ‘so last year’. It must also take incredible planning and be costly for the manufacturers when they constantly reinvent, retool and relaunch. Someone has to pay and we know who that is. Life goes past far too quickly so I’m glad some things are slowing down to a more sensible pace.
Sometimes the most unexpected things make me feel good. Like at 9am on the 14th of September when I headed round Craner Curves at Donington Park on my R6 simply pondering the day ahead and what Jan might be making for tea. What I saw next was something I’ve been dreaming about for over a year and I swear it brought a tear to my eye.
To my right were around 20 earth-moving machines all billowing out blue smoke, transforming the Donington infield to accommodate the pits and paddock of the new circuit complex.
I was privileged to be one of the first to know that Formula 1 was coming to Donington but from the day it was announced I’ve heard nothing but negativity. People I respect told me Bernie Ecclestone was playing a game and it wouldn’t happen while others assured me even if the work started this time last year it would never be completed. Not everyone is a fan but if Formula 1 gives British bikers a world class circuit then we’re all winners.
There is still a mountain of work to do but I’m keeping the faith and looking forward to seeing something special taking shape over the winter. As for all you doubters, you’re forgiven this time but did you know MotoGP will be at Knockhill in 2012?
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