Monday, 8 March 2010

Dear Minister - The Gladiatorial Alternative

Motorcycle Real Road Racing Blog by Barbiegirl Northern Ireland

It's true, alright perhaps only nearly always true, that talent has to eventually manifest itself, but only if you have it - genuine talent - 100% proof, as in our locally distilled firewater - poteen.

Freddie Spencer was one such talented individual, even at four, allegedly, but certainly when winning races as a fourteen year old, and at sixteen - having successfully taken on the AMA Pros - some guy called Irv Kannemoto took him under his wing, gave him a serious piece of kit to play with, and the rest is history - not that I was around to witness it you understand, but a good friend just happened to be.

Elena Myers, she wasn't around to see Freddie Spencer in his heyday either, but since beginning her motorcycle racing career at the age of eight, she's been doing her level best to emulate her fellow countryman by also winning races Stateside. Aged eleven, the talented Elena had her first outing on a 125cc GP bike, and won - and now aged sixteen, she's just taken on the 600 Supersport Pros at Daytona where she had two 7th place finishes.

How far she'll progress over the next few seasons will depend on whether or not her natural talent fully manifests itself, and not because she hasn't been given the tools to do the job, every assistance is allegedly being offered, and given. From here on in, the pressure will be heaped upon her young shoulders, not only by the team, but by the sponsors, the media, and the fans - she will be expected to deliver the desired results, the headlines.

Here in Northern Ireland we also have talent aplenty - Jonathan Rea and Eugene Laverty - both on the World stage, and both winning, and the talented Nicole McAleer, who this season will move up from competing in the British 125GP Championship to join the Metzler National Superstock 600 Championship, and I for one wish her every possible success in the new venture.

Sadly - unlike Freddie and Elena - our Omagh born talented eighteen year old Nicole, has to travel with her family, across the Irish Sea to the United Kingdom mainland to compete in her chosen sport, and nor does she receive a fraction of the recognition afforded to Elena, or anything remotely close to the same level of sponsorship either. Possibly though, it could well be her own fault, after all, who amongst us cares whether she wins or loses on the UK mainland - if she wanted recognition, she should've been competing at our real road race circuits here in Ireland - North and South.

Had she chosen to participate who knows what could have happened by now, she may quite possibly have been already famous amongst the die hard fans of our local gladiatorial sport, joined the list of worshipped gladiators, or God forbid, her name could very well have joined an even longer unmentionable list of local gladiators of our real road racing scene.

Tom Herron - another extraordinarily talented motorcycle road racer - he was another of the home grown heroes - tragically killed at one of our more famous real road races, the North West 200, and since it to was 'before my time' - I will resist making comment on the 'should he have been permitted to race or not' debate that allegedly raged at the time.

The point of it all is simple - from his tragic death - Northern Ireland was allegedly to acquire itself, a real Grand prix Standards race track - a purpose designed and built track with not a tree, wall, telegraph pole, house or hedge within sight of the circulating riders.

Sadly though, history shows what we all are already painfully aware off, the track never materialised, but we do still have our real road racing, and riders, and spectators are still being injured - and killed but fret not I say, for isn't each and every accident - allegedly, a freak accident and a risk competitors and fans alike, accept in the pursuit of their chosen sport.

Since then, as what's his name would have said - and there's more - we've had a proposal for a similar Grand Prix safety conscious car and motorcycle race track within the Sydenham area of Belfast - convenient to Ferries and Airport - and another within the Kilroot area - also convenient to Ferries and Airports - and presumably, there have been others - Nutts Corner for instance, so why is it that we still only have two former ancient airfields masquerading as race tracks in Northern Ireland?

Allegedly, there were objections, allegedly certain people objected merely on the grounds that the construction of such a track facility - would bring to an end to real road racing within Northern Ireland. Surely not!

Sportsmen and sportswoman throughout Northern Ireland are being discriminated against, as are their fans - to participate in their chosen sport, these sportsmen and sportswoman have to travel to another country - they, and their legions of fans, are being denied reasonable access to their sport of choice, and by whom I have to ask?

Here's a suggestion from Barbiegirl - a proposal to place before our Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure - Mr Nelson McCausland MLA - Since the defunct Maze prison is now not to be the site of any new National Sports Stadium, make good use of the available acreage of wasteland, and construct a state of the art race track facility on it.

And if money is the problem - for years now, the North West 200 promoters have allegedly been claiming attendance figures of 100000 people and beyond - £100.00 from each and every motorcycle racing fan in Northern Ireland, would go a long way towards the construction of a purpose built safe race track facility.

Most certainly, I would much prefer contributing £100.00 to an International Standards Multi Layout Race Track, as opposed to the construction of additional Memorial Gardens. But of course there would be imposed conditions - the MCUI-UC in any guise, would have to excluded, likewise 2&4 Wheels, any Club officials currently aligned with the aforementioned MCUI-UC, and please, please, please, no more QUANGOS!

And before the age old arguments fire up on all cylinders - how many more deaths must we have before the dinosaurs waken from their slumber, and we're all sick of hearing that we the fans will not pay to watch motorcycle races - tell that to the fans attending the NW200, the UGP, the fans who, if real road racing isn't banned, will allegedly have to pay to avail themselves of the 'Customer Viewing Areas' at any remaining real road races.

But first Mr McCausland, before you make any decision on the future of our sport - help us remove the dinosaurs - I beseech you.

Those who fail to seize this opportunity to right the wrongs - will have the blood from the next tragedy on their hands, and in my opinion those people would most certainly be guilty of gross negligence, if not manslaughter.

It's a simple choice we have - preserve the alleged lifestyles of the dinosaurs, or preserve the lives of not only the riders but also the vulnerable innocent motorcycle race fans from throughout Northern Ireland - whether they be man, woman or child.

Save Our Sport From Evil

©2010 Motorcycle RealRoadRacing Blog by Barbiegirl Northern Ireland

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