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Letter sent to Newspaper

I was dismayed at the lack of media interest of the first signs of a resurgence of riders from this country being competitive at the highest world championship level in MotoGP. It is fair to say that British riders at one time dominated the world championships but sadly that became a thing of the past. If you look at the development of riders who are at the very forefront of world championships, you will see that the majority of them have all developed through the 125cc and 250cc classes. In Qatar we had 3 young British riders who were competitive, one placing their machine on pole. So it didn’t go totally according to plan in the actual race, but we did get a 15 year old finishing in 5th place. If you look at first qualifying for the 125cc you had Bradley Smith on pole and Danny Webb 2nd with Scott Reading 11th. In the race, Bradley Smith had problems but Scott Redding came 5th with Danny Webb 6th and Scott Redding made fastest lap in the race which was a new record. Overall this was quite an exceptional performance by 3 British youngsters.
A not quite so young World Superbike Champion, who unlike certain other riders who had won a similar championship, has taken on the challenge of competing at the highest level in MotoGP showed what he could do by putting it 2nd on the grid and narrowly missing pole. He then had a very competitive race narrowly missing out on beating Rossi and riding a bike that was powered by one of last year’s engines. James Toseland did a superb job and demonstrated that with ability and the right frame of mind he could overcome the disadvantage of not having served his apprenticeship in the 125cc and 250cc classes. I franklly believe that British motorcycling, motorcycling enthusiasts and competitors deserve better support.

John Surtees Weblog -12 March 2008