Monday, January 12, 2009

MotoGP Slinks Off To Silverstone In 2010

As if MotoGP couldn't suck any harder, it has been announced that the series will dump Donington for 2010 and replace it with Silverstone. (Incidentally, that's not the first time the words Donington and dump have appeared in the same sentence).

Silverstone is a god-awful racetrack. Wide, flat, and featureless, it's generally hated by fans and photographers who would rather see something more dramatic. The last time the British Superbikes visited the F1-losing track, most of the excitement was generated by crashes at the moronically slow final chicane. Last time the World Supers were there, the excitement came from.... Uh.... Well, to be honest I can't even remember. Silverstone sucks that much. Luckily, both BSB and WSBK still go to the excellent Donington track. (I nearly said excellent Donington facility, but nobody has ever used those words in the same sentence so I'd better not.)

It's a major coup for Silverstone, whose blazer-clad board of directors have been sitting in their brand new trackside building, sipping G&T and quietly fuming about the loss of Boremula One. They allegedly lost F1 because the place was a tip but really because they couldn't pony up as much cash as the evil regimes of the Middle and Far East (OK, Singapore isn't evil, but it is pretty rich.)

Now, who is currently head honcho of the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC) which runs Silverstone? None other than ex-F1 champ Damon Hill, a bike racer who switched to cars but still adores 2-wheeled machinery. He will have been fighting hard to steal MotoGP from Donny, pointing out to Dorna that they'll receive 5-star treatment and won't play second fiddle to the wonderful Max Mosely and the little one, whassisname. As a genuine bike enthusiast, Damon scores a lot of points over most circuit owners. He also merits respect for the way that he is far less of a tit than the average F1 champion.

Silverstone held the British 500cc motorcycle Grand Prix a fair few times in the past, including the legendary battle between Barry Sheene and Kenny Roberts. (I think Valentino Rossi's old boy Graziano was in that race, but I can't be bothered looking it up.) So there is plenty of bike racing history at Silverstone. Hopefully Damon can slap the circuit designers round for a while until they come up with a better final chicane. God knows how high Jorge Lorenzo would highside out of the current 5mph one!

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