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
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So, this is kinda out of date.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Why isn’t it out of date?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