Posted: 12 Sep 2013
The talk at the recent British Grand Prix centred largely on three names. Two are modern day racers, the others a late, legendary figure in the sport. Barry Sheene was the last Brit to win the sport’s premier title. His memory, a decade on from his untimely death, was honoured by a moving parade of of the bikes raced by Sheene, during which the duel at the Northamptonshire circuit between Sheene and Kenny Roberts, represented by Niall Mackenzie, was re-enacted.
Sheene is remembered, rightly, with great affection across the sporting public but now is the time to move on and look to the future. The man of the moment in MotoGP without a question is the 20 year old Spaniard Marc Marquez who in his “rookie” term heads the title chase. He came close to a sixth win of the campaign at Silverstone, missing out by only a split second. And the other name on the tip of the lips of most people was Cal Crutchlow, currently a Tech3 Yamaha rider, but next season a factory Ducati rider.
Call it a Silverstone jinx if you like, but Crutchlow has no luck at Silverstone – tumbles in each of the three MotoGP events in as many years, and in fact two this time around left him on the back foot, but surely the tide will change for him with his four podium finishes so far this campaign underlining his quality.
But, and it is a big but, while the hype and publicity centred on those three big names, Sheene, Marquez and Crutchlow, we had on that very weekend two young British riders quietly getting on and doing the business to ease themselves nearer to deserved World titles.
Scott Redding and Sam Lowes were both winners on Grand Prix day - the former at Silverstone, the latter at the Nurburgring in Germany.
The spotlight must be switched on to them as they have enormous potential for the future. Take Redding. The 20 year old from Quedgely, Gloucestershire, made his mark in the 2008 British 125GP race at Donington Park when on blustery afternoon he took the victory, and has subsequently progress into World Moto2 where, with three victories to his credit so far this term he has a healthy lead in the title stakes. Redding has his immediate future sorted. He will be riding in MotoGP next season, aboard a Honda production racer run by the Fun&Go Gresini team but if anything is desire to win the Moto2 crown is heightened by that as a way of thanking his current team patron.
And Lincolnshire lad Lowes within hours of Redding’s success was replicating it at the Nurburgring where his fifth win of the season puts him in the driving seat for the World Supersport crown, which in fact he could clinch in the next round in Turkey, the home by the way of his only rival, the three times winner of the title Kenan Sofuoglu. Lowes, like Redding is showing a style and maturity that belies his 22 years of age, and is certainly one for the future. And, he has the family challenges of his twin brother Alex, currently at the heart of the chase for the British Superbike title to spur him on.
Redding and Lowes are for the future and are deserving of more recognition than they receive in the media at large as they succeed in their current title pursuits ahead of moving on to bigger sporting challenges.
Photo credit: Yamaha Racing