Interviewed on the starting grid just before race 2, Neil Hodgson was asked if they did anything different to the bike’s setup for Sunday’s race. He replied, “Yeah, we bored it out to 1200cc.” I like that guy. Great sense of humor in the face of a rather difficult situation and an indication that the factories are well aware of what they are up against from the Suzuki’s.
Will the rules have to be changed to even things out next year? If one type of engine dominates you change the displacement or weight requirements, but how do you rule to adjust for one brand of motorcycle?
Unfortunate side effect: How many buyers will walk into a showroom and buy a GSX-R1000 because of this domination at the track? Is there a bike less well suited to daily commutes or casual weekend rides? Of course the same thing could be said about many of today’s bikes but because the factories are so competitive on the track, the liter bikes that appear in the showrooms are extremely close to the edge of what is even remotely practical. Some of you will defend the big Gixxers because you are an aggressive rider that can make use of the performance. Really? There aren’t many who can do that on the track. I’m not saying people shouldn’t buy them, just that they would be far better suited by something less tuned for racing. Next time you’re out riding, look at the rear tires of the liter bikes you see, how many are squared off to the point where they would be dangerous if someone actually tried to push it hard? Again, it’s a great sales tool for Suzuki to see Mat Mladin cleaning up but most riders would do far better with something else.
This isn’t confined to Suzuki. More riders could have a great ride on a Monster than a 999, or a ZRX1200 than a ZX10R and the performance of those on the street is still enough that you’ll probably not get close to their limits. But, maybe it’s just me.