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GP Week : Issue 167
24 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: Nothing could be truer than a good racing battle. Everything is exposed, open, public. You can clearly see the courage, the errors, the disasters and the triumphs. It’s all there in front of you. Well, that’s not actually completely true. You can’t see what’s happening inside an engine, or the operation of fuel-saving electronics that is slowing one bike down. Nor tyre degradation, or a dodgy suspension setting. Even more obscure is the ever-thicker layer of bull that is smeared on racing, the more commercial it becomes. Lies, half-truths and twisted reality are meat and drink to the marketing departments and the associated PR machine, there to exploit racing, riders and fans for commercial gain. There were a couple of fine examples at the grandiosely named 'Aperol Grand Prix of the Republic of San Marino and the Rimini Riviera.' Number one came from Yamaha, launching a new livery, Race-Blu. Quite classy and handsome, with blue (you’d guessed) two-toned with a sort of graphite grey. The colour combination shown on the MotoGP bikes echoes that for their latest sports bikes. Of course it makes perfect sense to link racing and super-street in this way. The market sector needs a boost, and not only for Yamaha, so good luck to them with it. No problem so far. Where it went wrong was in the assertion at the launch that it was reviving Yamaha racing colours from the early 1980s. Which sounds fine and dandy. Except it’s quite wrong. Perhaps they shouldn’t have said this to a room full of experienced racing hacks, several of whom were there at the time, and many others already in a state of such avid enthusiasm that they could certainly recognise every bike by its colour. There were blue Yamahas, a bit later on, but that was the colour of sponsor Gauloises. In the early 1980s, the Gauloises bikes were white, with blue side panels. It doesn’t matter. But it doesn’t taste as good as it looks. Then there was Bridgestone’s celebration of their 100th MotoGP win, due on Sunday. Perfectly true, but a bit hollow. More than 60 percent of those wins came after the introduction of control tyres in 2009. There simply wasn’t any opposition. Every race was won by Bridgestone. It seems curmudgeonly to carp. Bridgestone threw a very fair party to celebrate the milestone, and are to be congratulated not only for the 35 wins and two World Championships achieved in open competition against Michelin and Dunlop. The Japanese company also does a good job most of the time, with very few tyre failures and a willing response to changing circumstances and requirements. Their biggest fault, say some, is that their tyres are too good, compared with the Pirellis supplied to World Superbikes. These, like the same company’s F1 tyres, drop off rapidly if equally for all, so that tyre management becomes an important factor, and by the end of the race everyone is sliding around. There have been lots of lies told in racing over the years. It’s only nowadays that so many of them are true. OPINION MICHAEL SCOTT MotoGP Editor TRUE 'PORKIES' OPINION