It’s March – although you wouldn’t have guessed it by the weather – we’ve had Storm Dennis and Storm Jorge at the back end of February so our waterproof riding gear has been well appreciated!
Hot off the press has been the cancellation of the MotoGP class sessions this weekend in Qatar due to ‘travel restrictions brought into force affecting passengers from Italy’ because of coronavirus. The season opener was scheduled to kick off at Losail International Circuit – the Moto2 and Moto3 class action will be going on as planned as they were already in Qatar for the three-day official test last week. Eyes open for a revised schedule coming soon…
Just this morning, organisers have also postponed the Thailand round of the GP Championship originally planned for the end of March…
Will this be a sign of things to come? We’re pretty sure with Italy playing such a vital role in the Championship (riders and team members!) and coronavirus not looking like it’s slowing down any time soon, that this won’t be the last round – or Championship – to be impacted?
However, there was some racing which happened this weekend…It was quite the start to the season with plenty of action and last minute moves in the WSBK over at Phillip Island. Reigning WorldSBK Champ, Jonathan Rea crashed out of race one and scored a DNF – not the start to the season the northern irish rider would like – but he came back to win the Superpole Race and bagged second place in race two, after being pipped to the post by his KRT teammate Alex Lowes. BSB Champ Scott Redding, also put in a commanding and consistent performance, staking his claim in the WSBK paddock by securing third place in all three races – he’s currently second place in the Championship. Among the Brits was Toprak Razgatlıoğlu who crossed the line in first place in race one aboard his Yamaha, second in the SP race and unfortunately crashed out in race two. The top-10 currently has six Brits in the mix… we think it’s going to be a good season!
On this side of the world – and off-road – it was the first round of the MXGP Championship at Matterley Basin, Winchester. KTM rider, Jeffery Herlings came first and second and takes first place in the Championship standings, followed by Tim Gajser and Antonio Cairoli in joint second on 38 points. The next round is this weekend in The Netherlands.
The PBM team launched their 2020 BSB livery at The Shard, London with their line-up of Christian Iddon and Josh Brookes – there’s just 38 days to go until the season opener at Silverstone! They also announced that 19-time TT winner Michael Dunlop will race one of the team’s VisionTrack Ducati’s at the 2020 IOM TT in the Superbike and Senior races.
Those into their ice racing will know that the Baikal Mile took place this weekend in Serbia and Indian Motorcycles took its ‘Appaloosa v2.0’ to the event – a seriously cool bit of kit which is the same machine as Randy Mamola competed in the 2019 Sultans of Sprint Championship – it started off it’s life as a Scout Bobber! Full timings are yet to be revealed.
After the flurry of new metal being unveiled, Harley-Davidson has come out with an addition to its Softail range, the Softail Standard – as the name suggests it’s been introduced into the range with the view of being a ‘standard’ machine so that owners can do their own thing to it. It’s also the most affordable way of H-D fans getting their hands on the Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine with prices starting at £11.495.
It was also revealed last week that Triumph will be moving even more manufacturing to its factory in Thailand with the news they will be moving ‘all volume production models’ there. However, they still plan to build 4500 motorcycles a year at their Hinkley factory – these will be the high-end Factory Custom models and other selected ‘special builds’.
There you go – your whistle stop tour throughout the two-wheeled world.
Log On, Tune In, Ride Out…