Cycle News

Cycle News 2020 Issue 32 August 11

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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Page 134 of 137

P134 CN III IN THE PADDOCK BY MICHAEL SCOTT D orna's quest, through years of increasingly restrictive cost-cutting tech regs, was two-fold: to make the racing closer by hobbling the free-spending factory teams (succeeded) and as a corollary to attract more factories (suc- ceeded). Put the two together, though, and they don't necessarily add up. Which is to say, just because you are a newly arrived factory in a more easily competitive pre- mier class doesn't necessarily open the door to success. Just ask Aprilia. What does succeed in racing? Wise former champion and later renowned Yamaha crew chief Kel Carruthers explained this to me many years ago in typical matter-of-fact way: "It's what suc- ceeded last year, plus a couple of percent." One MotoGP factory has been trashing this rule. KTM's rate of improvement, since the orange Austrian bikes' 2014 MotoGP arrival has been a great deal more than "a couple of percent" each year. Now their fourth season has begun with the RC16 showing strong signs of being properly competitive, a genuine threat. It makes a stern Germanic con- trast to Aprilia's Italian comic opera, struggling since 2014. One doesn't want to overplay national stereotypes, and Aprilia has long been hugely successful in racing. Their total domination in 125 and 250 was a factor in MONEY, METHOD, MOTIVATION— AND MORE MONEY NOW THEIR FOURTH SEASON HAS BEGUN WITH THE RC16 SHOWING STRONG SIGNS OF BEING PROPERLY COMPETITIVE, A GENUINE THREAT. IT MAKES A STERN GERMANIC CONTRAST TO APRILIA'S ITALIAN COMIC OPERA, STRUGGLING SINCE 2014.

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