Niall explains how modern technology is ruining post-race payback, inflicts maximum damage at minimum velocity and rues Honda’s current love of Australian riders...
In my world, you don’t get much more impressed than you do by watching Grand Prix motocrossers in action. I have always been in awe of their skill, fitness and bravery, not least because I am as rubbish off road now as I was when I looped my first crosser (a ratty RM 400) way back in 1980.
I like to keep my eye on how the Brits are doing (lots of injuries at the moment) but I was also interested to find out lately how some of the internationals sort out their on track feuds.
I noticed recently that one rider read on a forum how another was upset after being wiped out so he Facebooked him to say it wasn’t his fault. He then got Facebooked back saying it was his fault and he better watch out. They then moved on to slagging each other on their blogs, or (was that bogs?) and, as far as I know, the dispute is still running.
Pre-cyberspace if someone pulled a dirty move on track some of us road racers used a different system. We would wait until the time was right then move in on the culprit’s girlfriend. This method was pain free (I never got caught), everyone had a good time in the process, and justice was done. Some may think this was a bit devious but I found it very therapeutic and ten times more interesting than sitting in front of a laptop.
On the Monday after the Knockhill BSB round I had to do some riding for some people that wanted to test some new Ultra High Definition Sony camera. I’m no Chris Pfeiffer (the best stunt monkey to date?) but my wheelies, skids and sparky knee down stuff on the immaculate Alan Duffus MC/S demonstrator seemed to be satisfying the camera crew’s needs.
When it came to the stoppies, once again I was getting the thumbs up from the man with the big furry mike so I continued to try my very best every time. Around the twentieth attempt I mentioned that I was beginning to get a bit too vertical for my liking and would they need many more? ‘Keep going’ they said ‘and we will do some different angles, so I obeyed. After a few more my brain must have stopped working properly as I completely missed the Sea Gulls poo I was using as a marker, yanked way too hard on the brake and flicked 200kg of R1 onto my head. My back protector and helmet may have saved me but I couldn’t believe the damage I inflicted on this bike at virtually zero mph. Straight away I could see it needed an engine cover, fairing, screen, handlebar, footpeg, clutch lever, mirror, indicator and headlight. I should get hold of the footage soon, so as self inflicted punishment I’ll be joining the ‘when stunts go wrong muppets’ on visordown.com and YouTube. Try not to laugh too hard.
It was quite clear Josh Brookes was to blame for the huge pile up during the first BSB race at Mallory Park. The bump he hit during his off line pass on Chris Walker flicked his rear wheel up meaning he couldn’t stop and that was that. These nasty little quirks of our UK tracks tend to appear in the heat of the moment at race pace so new riders expected to win in their first season will always be at risk. His super hard riding is an asset to the BSB championship so I hope his nightmare season turns around soon. While he sits out his ban I hear he will be replaced by yet another Australian. Why can’t Honda give a hungry young Brit an opportunity to impress?
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