Race Features

Miller Time - When 207mph is much too fast enough



Biaggi and Camier are very much the fastest men in WSB
Biaggi and Camier are very much the fastest men in WSB

Image by Paul Sturman

Alitalia Aprilia's Max Biaggi was six miles an hour, or 'a brisk jog', according to a running type I know, slower at Monza today than Nicky Hayden managed on his MotoGP Ducati at Mugello last year when he set the quickest top speed of 343kph, or 213mph in proper money.

Six miles an hour. On what is supposed to be a production motorcycle.

The straight at Mugello is 1141m long and to get onto it, you come off a 180-degree left-hander. At Monza, the straight is fractionally longer at 1195m and you come off a long right-hander, so the approach is very much the same, give or take.

Hayden's Desmosedici is a million dollar prototype with all the bells and whistles known to man, and some that aren't known to man. Biaggi's RSV4 is meant, to all intents and purposes, to be available to buy at Tescos for £14,000 should they so wish to stock it.

WSB is meant to be about motorcycles you can buy and the rules are made so they don't clash with MotoGP as that is a scrap Paolo Flammini is never going to win. We know the Aprilia is fast and it has lots of expensiveness bolted on. But we didn't know it was that fast.

The Yamaha is nearly the same. It has rillion-pound electronics attached to it. It is, as near as dammit, an M1. BMW doesn't have a MotoGP bike but, I suspect that when it does have one courtesy of the MarcVDS team, it won't be a million miles away from the thing on which Leon Haslam sits every other weekend.

Kawasaki also don't have a MotoGP bike. Honda do, but it's a V4 so really not that similar to the Fireblade even though there is a lot of stuff close to JOnathan Rea's undercrackers with HRC stickers on it. And you can discount Suzuki because Haslam has already proved he is faster on the Alstare bike than Bautista is on the GSV-R at Silverstone.

As WSB boss, Flammini has got to get a grip on what is racing around at his behest otherwise the FIM will be forced to take action and bust him down to Superstock rules. Or force him to become a European Championship, as he only has two flyaways anyway.

Maybe he, and oppo Ciabatti, should pay more attention to what is happening at British level. Odds on, Evo rules will be in next year after positive discussions Oulton Park and let's face it, not having a massively fast engine and top-shelf Marelli wires didn't do Alex Lowes any harm…