Alvin raced a homebuilt ‘Duocoque’ chassis’d Yamaha XS-1 in Ireland in the early 70s. His career ended in 1973, following an incident, involving a ‘wedgie’ and a Norton monocoque.
Banished to America, Alvin replaced the telescopic forks on his race bike with upside-down girder spoons. Sadly, the rabies shots after being bitten by a racoon affected his balance and he could never ride again.
Hope you don’t mind us mentioning this but we patrons of the Camchain and Crayfish in Taffulia are a little worried about that MotoGP’s current crop of riders are turning into stroppy, juvenile whingers. Every race weekend we hear them whining about how their bikes aren’t good enough, everyone else’s is better and the tyres are rubbish too. Really, these guys don’t know they are born. Anyone complaining about Honda/Yamaha/Suzuki’ etc’s latest handbuilt one-off missiles on Michelin’s finest, stickiest rubber should come down to the East Kilarney Motorcycle Club on a Wednesday evening and try riding Bazza Rabin’s café-racer’d Kawasaki GPZ1000RX, still wearing a set of period-late-80s Michelin A59/M59 radials. That’d shut them up.
That nice Mr Lorenzo seems to be the one struggling the most. It appears to us that, with the increasing complexity of MotoGP machinery, poor old Jorge is struggling to understand the switchgear and interfaces.
At the end of last season there was that silly misunderstanding when his team were asking him to switch his motorcycle to mapping 8 and, clearly, the poor guy had no idea how to do it. We can understand this. Eric from Taffulia Taxis and Taxidermic services suggested that the move from Yamaha-style switchgear which generally has fewer functions and is simple-to-use, to Ducati’s multi-menu system might have confused him. It certainly confused Eric when he swapped his MT-09 for Ducati’s ‘El-Diva’, as he calls his Diavel.
So, if Jorge is struggling with switching mapping settings that would certainly explain his performance in Argentina the other week where, on a drying track his bike seemed to be stuck on the wet setting that softens throttle response and suspension settings and probably restricts the power too.
Mrs Howe from the florist was convinced she saw a board hanging over the pit wall saying ‘Suggested mapping 1’ but it might well have been one of the Yamaha crew holding it out in an ironic fashion to take the piddle out of poor Jorge.
Anyhow, in among all this thinking we had an even better idea to solve Lorenzo and everybody else’s woes. Why not run MotoGP like the old Yamaha Pro-Am series of the early 1980s? Basically, all the manufacturers turn up with their bikes and the riders (who, under this system are no longer contracted to a particular team) pull the keys out of a helmet each weekend to determine which bike they will be riding. So, one week we might see Rossi on a Ducati, Marquez on a Yamaha and Jorge on a Suzuki and the next round it’d be Vale on the Suzuki, Marc on the Ducati and Jorge on the Honda.
All the manufacturers would have a chance of getting the best riders on their bike and the spectators would get a chance to see which riders were really the quickest whatever they were riding.
Everyone in the Taffulia tap room loved this idea, but by the time we’d had another round or two, someone – I can’t remember who – had an even better idea. We think Mr Jorge’s riding style, undoubted talent and ability to set his fastest laps on his own would make him perfect for the Isle of Man TT races. This year is the 40th anniversary of Mike Hailwood’s legendary comeback… on a Ducati and no bike from Bologna has won the big class since.
So the timing is perfect. And, this year Ducati also has a new V4 road bike to promote meaning Jorge should feel right at home.
As far as we can see there are eight good reasons for doing it
As part of the transfer deal between the TT and MotoGP you would need to take someone from the TT field to make up the numbers in MotoGP. Our suggestion would be Michael Dunlop. Mostly because he’s one of the lads and a long time supporter of our local chip shop and garden centre, but also because he won’t care which set of keys he draws from the hat and he’ll go as fast on mapping 25 as he does on mapping 1.
See you at Ginger hall for a pie and a pint Carmello?
Illustration: KarDesign Ltd.