KIWI RIDER 11 2018 VOL.2 - Page 99

S ometimes you take your eye off the ball. Sometimes wildly so. This is one of those times, and I apologise profusely for what you’ll come to understand to be my dilly- dallying. Anyway, while at the launch of the new Yamaha YZF-R6 in Australia last year, I was approached by a be-muscled, tattooed gent* who asked if I’d like to ride an ASBK machine. Ever read the ‘Dear George’ blog about Jorge Lorenzo? No? Even Lorenzo has and he doesn’t like it (apparently...). Anyway, the man behind this comedic genius wondered if I’d like to ride Daniel Falzon’s ASBK YZF-R1. Let’s call him ‘Boris’, and at this point I was wondering if the joke was on me. Well, it turned out that it was straight up, I was being offered a one-off ride on Daniel’s actual team race bike which he’d been punting around the track earlier in the day, making 95% of the journalists look like LAMS novices. The 5% who weren’t in that category go by the names of Steve Martin (multiple ASBK champ, endurance world champ and all-round nice guy) and Cameron Donald (another good bastard, who has also been known to turn a good lap or two). I’d like to call them racers, rather than journalists, but they both turn a pretty good phrase and I’d be doing them a disservice. So, you may be asking yourself, why was my eye off the ball? Well, I had the opportunity to ride a top-flight bike and then... didn’t write about it. So, this is kind of an apology to the Falzon family, and the tattooed enabler. You see, it wouldn’t have mattered being late, except for the fact that Daniel’s stellar performance in ASBK last season only went and got him a slot on the pukka Yamaha Australia team for this season. So, this is kinda out of date. Except... that I don’t think it is, hence why I’m still typing. Why isn’t it out of date? Well, exceedingly fast motorcycles never really go out of fashion, do they? I mean, hands up who doesn’t want to ride a decent racer’s bike just the one season after he’s moved on to the same bike in the manufacturer’s team? See my point? There’s something quite compelling about a 200hp+ superbike sporting top-drawer suspension with everything non-essential removed and All smiles because the journalist brought his bike back in one piece... KIWI RIDER 99