With the World Superbike championship set to resume again this weekend in Jerez, after a long Coronavirus-induced break since the season opener at Philip Island in February, BMW felt it necessary to tell everyone how it was spending its time in lockdown – and it’s pretty fascinating.
The chance to ride a real-deal 250 Grand Prix World Championship bike is the stuff dreams are made of. I grew up obsessed by 250GP racing. In my teens, in the 1990s I knew every rider, every race number, had the posters on my bedroom wall and all of the races taped on videotape! As soon as I got my Learners, I was on the road on an old RZ250FN, followed by a few TZR250s before I started roadracing on RGV250s in 1995. Even my RGV racebike was painted the same colors as the Ralf Waldman HB 250. Riding the RGV proddie, I dreamed of one day being a 250 GP rider.
Eugene Laverty arrived on the world motorcycle racing scene in 2007 racing for the LCR Honda team in the 250cc class. He remained in Grand Prix the next year aboard an Aprilia machine, while also racing for the factory Yamaha team in World Supersport. For 2009 Laverty joined the Parkalgar Honda World Supersport team full-time, ending the season in second place behind series champion Cal Crutchlow. In 2010 he would again claim the runner-up position in World Supersport. For 2011 Laverty again joined the factory Yamaha team, although this time in the World Superbike series. He continued competing in WSBK for three more years aboard Aprilia bikes, finishing 2013 in 2nd place, his best WSBK championship finish.
The Repsol Honda duo of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa were so fast this weekend they seemed to exit the space-time continuum, re-entering in 2014 amidst a rewind of last year’s German Grand Prix. Marquez, loving himself the 2014 chassis he hauled out after Barcelona, comfortably led every practice session. As in 2014, he and Pedrosa qualified 1-2 and finished 1-2, relegating the factory Yamaha team of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo to also-ran status. Rossi, however, extended his championship lead over Lorenzo to 13 points, and left for summer vacation in a fist-pumping celebration of a near-perfect first half season.
For Repsol Honda super soph Marc Marquez, who flirted with perfection for much of the season, there remain but three goals for the 2014 MotoGP championship. First and foremost – win the title, which is pretty much a done deal. Second – stay out of the hospital, which is to say take no unnecessary risks in a sport which is, by its very nature, risky. Third and last – break Mick Doohan’s all-time record of 12 wins in a single season.