Well January is flying by isn’t it?! It’s apparently ‘Blue Monday’ but hopefully our round-up of all the latest biking news will make you smile!
It was certainly smiles for Ricky Brabec and Honda on Friday when Dakar 2020 came to an end and they took Honda’s first Dakar Rally title since 1989 in the bike category. It was Brabec’s fifth Dakar and just one year on since the American was forced to retire with engine failure. He put in a commanding performance, taking the overall lead in Stage 3 and maintaining it until the shortened Stage 12 – placing in the top five in all but one of the remaining stages. He’s also the first American Dakar winner in the motorcycle class – just in case you want an interesting fact to share with your mates…
We’re sure that Max Biaggi and Hugh Anderston were also smiling when they found out they were to become ‘MotoGP Legends’ this year – as if they weren’t already! – but they are to join three-time premier class champion Jorge Lorenzo and be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Biaggi, who still tests for Aprilia and will lead the Sterilgarda Max Racing Team in Moto3, will be inducted at Mugello in May, Lorenzo at Jerez in May and the date for Anderson is yet to be announced.
It’s also good news for bike registrations in 2019 – they’re up by 1.5%! Figures released by the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) show that a total of 107,408 motorcycles, scooters and PLV (Powered Light Vehicles) were registered last year, an increase of 1,592 from 2018. It’s the 0-50cc category which saw the biggest increase, 126-650cc the second largest and 51-125cc the third (and final) area of growth. The Honda PCX 125 was the biggest seller, Yamaha NMAX 125 second and the BMW R1250GS rounding out the top three.
In racing news, the first round of the Arenacross calendar kicked off in style in Belfast. A special guest joined them too – and when we say special, we mean VERY special – none other than five-time World Superbike Champion Jonathan Rea. After two nights of competition, SR75 Suzuki and French ace Charles Le Francois currently lead the Pro 450 Championship as the tour heads to Resorts World Arena Birmingham on 31 January and 1 February for rounds three and four.
Leaving the dirt and heading to the roads, it was announced that 23-time TT winner, John McGuinness will ride for Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki in both the Superbike and Superstock classes at the NW200 and the IOMTT. Dean Harrison has confirmed his place on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki for 2020 too. Exciting times! Plus BSB kicks off in just 81 days… not that we’re counting…
So there we have it, our happiness update!
Log On, Tune In, Ride Out….