Watch! Free Racing – What’s Better Than Free?Armani Moffatt
If you’re more a fan of bike racing in general, rather than those who just follow the showcase series such as MotoGP or WSB, there’s a great deal of fresh racing action out there you may wish to see – and it’s free!
If you want to have all the racing goodness these days, that means multiple TV packages will be needed, and those buggars tend to add up. MotoGP on one, BSB and WSB on another, and so on. The same applies even if you go down the streaming route direct to source, rather than through a TV ancillary such as Sky. Yes, some terrestrial channels get highlights and the odd live event which is fine for many, but if it must be live all the time, then one must pay. Aside from those glorious times Quest gets entire BSB weekends of course,on the free – nice!
As an extra soothing salve to all those monthly financial piranha bites, some series not only post decent highlight packages of all their classes, they upload entire races, and some even post them live. Much of it is very worth watching, too, such as the Twins Cup in MotoAmerica. In the UK, SuperTwin racing has been dominated by Kawasakis with a few hardy souls running Suzuki’s SV. Over in the US of A, they saw the capacity limit of 650cc as an anchor around the neck of a fledgling class. They recognised opportunity, took it, and it was both well received and supported. The bikes until now have mostly been naked commuters, heavily and unrecognisably modified by those racing them. Then Aprilia brought out the RS660, a bike tailor made for the class. Quickly followed by Yamaha with the new R7, which made its debut just recently, like below in Race 2 from Brainerd.
Why is this class so interesting? Aside from some good action, with manufacturers now taking it seriously we could see an appropriate Kawasaki, Honda or Suzuki join the show. In America, the Aprilia entered this year and was immediately competitive. At the race above, the R7 also seems to be in the hunt from the go, and a modified Suzuki SV likewise shows it can still have a say. This could genuinely be a world wide Junior Supersport class in the making, a much needed middle-ground between Supersport 300 and full-blooded Supersport maniacs. Best of all, MotoAmerica broadcast it live at their Youtube page and across their social media platforms.
They also do the same for the excellently fun MotoAmerica Superstock 1000 series, too, ably demonstrated by this feisty encounter earlier in the year at VIR.
Over in Australia, their Superbike series (ASBK) has been on something of a renaissance in recent years, even Troy Bayliss stuck his hand in by coming out of retirement at half a century old. He won, too, and now his offspring is starting to prove a right chip off the old block, proven by his win at Hidden Valley. Oli Bayliss has been rising through the Aussie ranks with solid performances, but 2021 was assumed as too early for a transition to the big bikes. Well, that’ll be a nope! Bayliss, at just seventeen years old (17!!!), won the restarted second outing at Hidden Valley and damn was he riding that Panigale V4 hard!
The grid has a pretty decent top ten filled with riders many would recognise, from BSB race winners to ex GP and WSB pilots, so the competition for a developing rider is more than high enough. Could he even follow in his dad’s footsteps and come race in BSB?
Anything is possible, and if you want to see a young Bayliss take his first big boy win it’s at the link above. The race was stopped a couple of times, so if you want to go right to the endgame, it starts around 1h28m.
There are also some curiosities worth your time, like the Mission King Of The Baggers. It’s pretty hilarious, especially when you realise the top couple of guys really aren’t mucking about and are pushing these quarter-ton (plus) buckets pretty hard. In a weird way it makes fascinating viewing, buy why? Maybe it’s the panniers? Who knows, but it is a little bit of fun to while away a few minutes and be amazed that anybody is actually doing this kind of thing! So as a last treat, here are the Baggers at Road Atlanta.
So as you can see, if you don’t want to pay to watch everything, or just want more, there’s plenty out there – enjoy!
#StaySafe, #StayAlert, #StayPositive and keep washing those hands (yes, it’s still important!).