Let’s take a quick spin around the world of racing, shall we?
In case you’ve been living under a rock, MotoGP opens this weekend, with races running Sunday under the lights at Qatar (race times posted here). Finally, after a couple of years of COVID disruption, it seems like maybe, just maybe, things will get back to normal this year.
Of course, “normal” in MotoGP still includes a lot of chaos, so it should be no surprise that there’s still questions about the schedule. However, going into this season, we could see a similar story to the past couple of years, in that the win is anyone’s to claim; no longer is the Marc Marquez/Honda team-up a guaranteed title. Some of the keener onlookers think Alex Rins and Suzuki are looking awfully good (Rins won the 2020 title). There’s also some suggesting Yamaha’s not improved its bike enough (and that’s a familiar old story, too). It does seem that Rins has done well so far, but the racing hasn’t started, and Marc Marquez appears to be much closer to his old form than he was in 2020 and 2021.
There’s also some great news for Canadian MotoGP fans. REV TV and MotoGP commercial rights holder Dorna Sports have come to terms on a new one-year deal that will not only bring every round of the championship live to Canadians, but also includes a highlight program that features the premier class, MotoGP, as well as Moto2, Moto3 and coverage of the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup, along with unique MotoGP-focused programming such as the documentary Tales of Valentino Rossi, which celebrates the recently retired legend and pulls the curtain back on The Doctor’s storied career.
We’re still months away from the start of CSBK, but with COVID restrictions dropping all over Canada, we’d expect a semi-normal season this summer. Mostly, the series has been quiet this winter, but it’s worth noting that Alex Dumas, the hotshot who tore up American tracks before returning to Canada and winning the 2021 title, is confirmed for a 2022 return—he’s lined up sponsors, so expect to see him at Canadian tracks this summer!
Over to the world of MotoAmerica, our cousins to the south, where bagger racing has come a long way from a one-off joke to now an established part of the MotoAmerica schedule. Turns out the money is so good that the S&S Indian Challengers factory team has managed to wrangle ex-GP racer Jeremy McWilliams over to the States, to team up with Tyler O’Hara.
Along with those two factory riders, Roland Sands Design is also fielding a squad of Indians, with respected racers Bobby Fong and Frankie Garcia on-board. There’s a third two-man team that’s also running Indians, and Indian is posting contingency money to help out its supporters.
Indian wants that King of the Baggers title back, you see. Harley-Davidson’s Kyle Wyman won the championship last year. He’s back for 2022, along with younger brother Travis Wyman. Harley-Davidson isn’t sponsoring any privateer squads, but it has posted a bunch of contingency cash ($110k!) to tempt riders.
Our question is: How long until Steve Crevier or Darren James or some other Canadian talent with a history of V-twins tries out this series?
Mir won the title in 2020, not Rins, but I’m hoping for Rins this year