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Lone Wolf and making international waves

With the start of the British Superbike season - 'Gentlemen start your Engines' - still two months away, is it beyond the bounds of possibility that those clever chaps at MSV have an as-yet-unannounced wheeze up their old wizard's sleeves.

After all, having turned their domestic series into something which, with their foray into Holland, begins to resemble something international without, apparently, a peep of protest from either World Superbikes or the FIM, the next step must surely be to give it some international content.

And at the moment the series for 2012 may be lacking some of that. This is not to take anything away from Tommy Hill, Shane Byrne, Michael Laverty, Josh Brookes (oh yes, an Australian) et al. But the task of topping last season's spectacular finale is going to take some doing.


Constant innovation is what ensures the longevity of any business and so far Motor Sport Vision, otherwise known as the Brands Hatch mob, have done a pretty good job. The Showdown, ensuring close racing right to the wire; the importing of John Hopkins, a brilliant problem child desperately seeking to restore his reputation; and now the incursion into enemy territory by invading Holland. Oh, it's only one event I can hear them saying - others recall the story of the Trojan horse!

But going to Assen may not be enough for Messrs Palmer and Higgs who are not only clever but ambitious. What other ingredient could be added to the mix to spice it up. A bit of far Eastern spice maybe?

There are one or two ex-WSB or MotoGP stars who still believe they can cut it and may be prepared to take a pay cut to stay in the game. But I can think of only one, thrice thwarted of a world championship, who has the star quality which would endear him to British audiences. But is the fire still there?


The silence from Silverstone is deafening. It is now several months since the owners, the British Racing Drivers Club, announced they were in exclusive negotiations with an un-named investor. It was rumoured to be the Qatar Investment Authority, a story not denied by Silverstone, and the deal was said to involve a long term lease for a very large sum of money. In effect, they were going to buy the Northamptonshire circuit, pay off the debt and handsomely reward the BRDC members.

Ambitious plans to establish Silverstone as a motor sport technology hub together with a business park and hotels were laid before the local planning authority. It is understood that progress had been made in this respect but have not yet been fully approved. It was also planned to make an approach to government which, although it claims to run a country which is virtually bankrupt, has money in its piggybank to develop industry, particularly where Britain is a world leader.

The President of the BRDC, former racing driver Derek Warwick, said recently that an announcement was in the offing. But according to a rumour reaching Wolf's ear, that announcement might be saying that the Qataris have withdrawn, the deal is off and other parties have been invited in.

Those BRDC chappies must be getting nervous!



As Editor Miller mentioned in his review of "I Superbiker 2" it was big of the producer to include footage of Shakey Byrne giving his opinion of The Showdown. It was not complimentary. It was big because the producer of the film which chronicles last year's British Superbike series, and pretty exciting it is too, is none other than BSB race director Stuart Higgs whose idea it was!

A bit more free speech with less control from PR men and team managers would be very welcome and having a rider of Shakey's calibre telling it how it is adds to the appeal. It also entitles Wolf to say that Shakey, like many other sportsmen, misunderstand the game they are in.

It is the entertainment business. And your wages, one way or another, are paid by the public. Rather like the playoffs in football, there are those who complain that it isn't fair because a team which finishes sixth can get promoting over a team which has finished third - so the efforts of an entire season can be blown away in a single game. But boy does it make for a great finish!

So Shakey I think you are wrong. But what is more important is your right to freely express your opinion and say what you think.

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