It is conceivable that Honda might be considering such a move. If Honda wins the SBK championship this year, I think they might do this. If they don't I would expect them to be back the next year to attempt to go out on a winning note.
Hopefully they will actually get around to making and racing some of these. Too many bikes like this never go racing and fizzle out after only a few copies are made. Personally, I'm starting to worry about that Tornado Benelli. It looks like a screamer, and that RC51 motor is the best twin going.
First I read the article and then clicked the "Reader Feedback" link, and when it displayed the comments it did not show them with my default settings. Instead of a threshold of 1, and threaded, the threshold was -1 and nested. It did recognize me as the proper user, but does not load the defaults when you get the comments this way.
Second (and I'm really not complaining just curious), when I started reading this, I thought it sounded familiar. I went to a few other MC sites I follow, and sure enough virtually the same story is there at 2WF.com (posted Friday 3-16), written by the same author Glenn Le Santo. What gives, is this guy a free lancer in Europe that writes for all of the online magazines run out of the US? I read somewhere (in another story by him at MO) it said, From our European Correspondent. Evidently, MO is not the only one he's a correspondent from.
I'm not trying to accuse MO of anything, I'm just wondering how the readers are supposed to understand this. I rarely read a story in print, only to find the same story printed in a competing magazine, by the same author. It just makes it hard when you are reading news on different sites, to realize that you may be reading the same story.
Are these almost like wire reports, where many newspapers will print the same story?
Interesting looking bike... kind of a Ducati-Suzuki-Yamaha combo in the outside with a Honda inside. Sounds like they've tried to at least make the thing recognizable as something of a racer without making it a sore thumb. Does anyone know who's riding the thing in May at Misano???
I really doubt Honda will pull out considering they have a defending champion and probably the strongest team since Kocinski-Fogarty went 1 and 2 on the RC45. Even if they are going to leave eventually, I doubt the Big Red folks would let a defending champion or top 5 finsiher hang out to dry.
Sorry, the prilia got a power boost this year, along with the ducati. Guys in the know says the duck puts out a smidgen mo' power than the honda, but I don't think that will be for long. Aprilia has probably got things really going this year with their new engine.... Can it do as well at the other tracks?
The bike looks nice, but how much real testing have they done? Will it really be competitive when it finally hits the track? Sure it has a great engine in it, but there's a lot more to racing than that.
I think Honda could easily walk away from WSB. They admit that they are primarily an engine manufacturer who just happens to build the things to put their engines in. If they stopped racing WSB and just sold engines, it would fit perfectly for them. They can still develop 4 stroke technology, which is their strong suit, in GP's now, so what do they need WSB for? Championships? I doubt it - I'm sure they'd be happy only touting their GP victories, especially if the other big factories start pulling out in favor of GP's. WSB will turn into the series for small niche manufacturers to show off their design skills. Besides, whatever technology that shows up in the 4 stroke GP's would shortly make it's way to WSB, so any team just operating in WSB would (in theory, at least) be behind on the learning curve.
Maybe it's all a bunch of crap. It doesn't matter this year - the season's started an (mostly) everybody's racing again - Finally!!
I think it was a great loss when Yamaha and Haga pulled out of the WSBK championship. If Honda pulled out as well it would be another great loss to the championship.
Why don't they just get it over with. Combine the series. Woudln't you love to see Roberts, Rossi, Baylliss, Bostrom, Haga, Edwards, Corsor, Max B all going at it in the same race! You have to admit it would be exciting. Assuming the WSBK guys had 4-stroke machinery that could compete with the GP machinery which I don't believe they do at this time.
I actually found that when US print motorcycle magazines first started using British editors, (Roland Brown comes to mind), the articles were mearly re-writes of articles appearing in the British mags that they work for. Some times, even the pictures were the same. So there is precedent for this kind of behavior, not that I agree with it. I buy other periodicals to gain an independant analysis, not to re-read the same article about some bike.
Yeah, I waited forever for the season to start. MOre interest in the past few years has been in superbike, not GP, but many think that is about to change. Maybe that's why the manufacturers stay in. Half of the time the most money comes from the sponsors, so it's financially feasible for A name like Honda to cover more than one series. More people that I know never watch GP races, but they would tell you about that last AMA or WSB race.. I would rather have watched Haga and Bayliss go at it last year like they did in that one race than Kenny and Rossi, though I love the way kenny rides.
Glenn makes his living as a Freelance writer. He's contracted to MO to do X number of monthly features for Y dollars.
MO doesn't care what he sells to other magazines -- bully for him if he can string the same story to 27 magazines worldwide. Really, we don't even care what appears in other magazines, most of our readers don't read major print mags, and few read the small web sites too. A luxury of having the largest readership.
You've missed the main content feeder to magazines around the world: Alan Cathcart. He strings for at least 50 magazines worldwide. He does good stuff, but we've chosen to put our faith in Glenn, he's young and agressive.
Calvin hard-coded the reader feedback link with thresholds and preferences, he's correcting it now.
I don't think the series should be combined. To me, GP represents a kind of rare delicate balance of the finest talent with the greatest resources. We've all read various journos' test rides of real race bikes and basically the concensus is that GP machinery is on totally different level from even WSB bikes. That's not to say WSB riders are any less talented than the GP guys. I think the real distinction is in the flavor and the atmosphere around each series. Personally I think WSB is more entertaining to watch. There is more room for agression, whereas GP is all about achieving a perfect ride from yourself and the bike. That's why I think Chris Walker's move to GP instead of WSB was a bad decision. I don't think he'll fit in.
Honda dropping WSB? Doubtful. Honda is a full on vehicle building company. (Not just an engine manufacture that just happens to build something to put it in as some would suggest.) Motorcycle racing has always been a high priority, especialy with the win on Sunday sell on Monday attitude with most sport bikers. Honda knows this and knows it translate into real world sales and development. Honda bikes are some of the best handling in the world. Period. (Not knocking the Italians, I love my Cagiva, but I have to give credit where it is due here.) As far as the effect of the Mondial and the four-stroke GP bikes, the Mondial is a debt of honor from the 50 or 60's racing program when Honda asked for a Mondial motor. They complied and helped Honda with the development of their own motor. Now Mondial needs a motor. Honda, being honorable, is returning the favor. Actually it comes as a benifit to both companies. Mondial gets a world class engine, R&D, and tech support. For Honda it gives them another platform to develop from. Allowing both teams to benifit from different setup's in suspension, chassis, AND engines.
Hopefully we will see the awesome carbon fiber swingarm on the RC51, but wait, if the Mondial uses the pivotless system that Honda uses...maybe we can. Anybody got a extra Mondial swingarm and extra RC51 laying around anywhere?
Something I forgot. Honda might, put the big word might in there, pull back some resources from WSB. I don't believe they would completely remove themselves from the series though. To back this I give an example. Does anyone remember the 80's when Honda went flat tracking against Harley and beat the crap out of them at local tracks and then said they would no longer compete at a factory level? They left flat tracking for numourous reasons, (rules etc) but they didn't abandone they're faithful. Jim's M/C Sales in Johnson City TN got regular visits from the regional Honda guy. He always checked out the shops flat tracker... This bike has a very good track record with the Hayes riding it, they don't forget dealership's racing efforts.
Blip says, "most of our readers don't read major print mags, and few read the small web sites too"
Really, what makes you think that? I don't know of anybody that is interested in motorcycling that reads only one source for information. Most subscribe and read several magazines, plus a handful of web sites. How about a poll of your readers to see what other motorcycle stuff they read.
You really think MO is that great, that your readers don't read anything but MO? I hope you've gotten all the donations you need, because these type of comments will turn many people off.