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Lone Wolf and the Motegi storm in a teacup


Those riders, and some others, who professed reluctance at being forced to compete at Motegi this weekend perhaps had a point. They were eventually brought into line of course but not before being roundly condemned as being disrespectful to their Japanese hosts and paymasters of many years - in others words, ungrateful brats!

You may recall it was all about the threat of contamination from the nuclear power stations damaged in the Japanese earthquakes of some months ago. Riders including Stoner and Lorenzo presumably thought that racing bikes is dangerous enough without adding to it.


A piece of research was commissioned by promoters Dorna which, predictably, showed that everything was fine and the show must go on - although it was rumoured that a number of Dorna employees weren't convinced by their own research and didn't turn up!

But watching the pictures on television it appeared that most of the expected crowd didn't turn up either! The few who were there all seemed to be waving Honda flags - no surprise as the circuit is owned by Honda and the factory is nearby.

And it has to be said that what was exciting about the racing was mostly off-track activity, Rossi crashing, Stoner running out of road and three riders penalised. But at least it kept what has been a dull series alive.

World Superbikes has also turned out to be less than exciting with Checa being the obvious winner some time ago. It makes the Showdown idea of BSB even more compelling and anyone who saw the second Superbike race from Silverstone last week was witness to one of the best BSB races ever.


This time of year is often described as the silly season. This venerable scribe has never quite understood the meaning of the term, other than it is a time of gossip and rumours most of which are silly.

But we all love it and at race circuits the hospitality units are where most stories are started - other than the media centre that is! And Silverstone was no exception. Did you hear the story, started in Ducati hospitality, that Rossi is to leave the Bologna factory to start his own team. Well, he must certainly be fed up but think of the money!

And then there was the story that Dorna had sacked a number of their employees who refused to go to Motegi. But the most interesting one was that Jonathan Palmer, boss of MSVR which owns Brands Hatch and three other circuits, has been spending more time than usual at the Northamptonship circuit in recent weeks.

Well, if true, there could be all sorts of reasons for that. One intriguing theory, however, was that if Silverstone is to transfer to Middle East ownership then they would certainly want to talk to the most successful circuit owner in the UK and, indeed, Europe. Could we see Palmer taking over the management of Silverstone when it changes hands?


There are some things which hang together. Silverstone hosts the F1 Grand Prix and Palmer is an ex-F1 driver whose son drives in GP2 . He is steeped in motor racing. But business is business and Palmers performance driving centre is not that far from Silverstone. What a neat fit.

As we say, most of these rumours are silly, and some untrue, but it makes life interesting.


One of the great attractions of the British Superbike series is the spread and variety of circuits from Brands Hatch in the south to Knockhill in Scotland; Snetterton in East Anglia to Thruxton heading West. A number of the riders and some teams aren't quite so enthusiastic about the more far-flung and perhaps more primitive tracks but heigh-ho!


Next year is shaping up to be one of the best ever for the series with innovative rule changes and one or two new teams. The promoters have done their best to reduce the costs to teams and, it has to be said, to spectators while improving the facilities.

But some circuits are struggling. The fee just to bring the circus to town is considerable - something between £80/100k - and while some meetings have had good crowds this year, others have struggled to break even and one or two have lost money.

So it is likely that at least one favourite will disappear but race director Stuart Higgs has promised some surprises when the calendar is announced. Could it be a circuit bordering on the Irish sea?


Not many riders, if any, are regarded with more affection than Loris Capirossi. This marvellous little Italian is retiring at the end of this season after twenty one years riding in Grands Prix, winning world titles in the 125 and 250cc classes plus a number of MotoGPs.

He is surely a great example to his fellow professionals, not all of whom behave in his uncomplaining way, and to young riders who should not only aspire to his level of success but the manner in which he conducts himself.

Happy retirement Loris - and thanks.

PS - could you retire now, you've been falling off a lot lately!


Dear Editor,

Please tell Lone Wolf who writes thoughtful and sensitive articles (really? Ed) that "it's" is not possessive, so "... profit for it's investors ...." should have been written ... "profit for its investors."


Bob Brock,



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