I am still digging into this world that us normal fans would probably find disheartening. I’ll spare you the details, but so far it makes me think a group of middle school girls hanging outside two competing candy stores while at the same time boys are tying to get their attention. You know, just like gas powered racing. Actually the more I think about it, the more that analogy fits. Mean while one store has a completely different marketing strategy and is focusing more on the parents. Anyway . . .
We get to 2011 and Munch has won the 2010 TTXGP World Championship, 2011 TTXGP European Championship, 2011 TTXGP World Championship, and the 2011 FIM e-Power Series. They flat-out, made a clean sweep of the whole thing this year. But, many of us shugged this off saying well look at Laguna Seca in 2010 and 2011. Munch is nowhere near at the level of the American bikes. Very true. An absolutely unflappable statement. However, they flew all of the way across the Atlantic and US to race at Laguna to see and compete. Why? Darned if I know. I know deals happen there. And the FIM flew all the teams there from what I understand for free, or close to it. But it doesn’t seem that Munch or CRP have benefited from the elbow rubbing that goes on there, other than Shelina Moreda of course. It seems they go there to race and see how they stack up. Why, well because the American teams won’t go to Europe, other than for the TT. This has a fair part to do with the fact the TTXGP has yet to actually pay for or properly organize transportation for teams across the pond. But I recently heard that one team said they don’t feel going to the TTXGP World Championship is worth it because it’s an all-for-nothing one race determines the World Championship. Now I am getting this 2nd or 3rd hand in the middle of a heated, but fun, debate. So the accuracy of the statement, wouldn’t really hold up, but it’s run my bell. The argument was what if I have a battery pack failure, or some other part breaks?
This is where former aviation electrician self wakes up and goes, “WHAT!?” You see I’m privileged. And this is where I’m gonna brag a little; but just a little, promise. My shop, in my squadron, had a 98% up rate, which meant that over 9 and a half months 98% of the time our stuff needed to be ready to fly on a mission in support of Operation Southern Watch or Iraqi Freedom, it was. You may not that’s that good, but compare us to the poor bastards working on the fighters. Really we had it easy, but at the end of the day our shit worked, worked right, and pilots that had just spend hours avoiding AAA and anti-air missile fire made a call into the dark and three bright lights popped on out of almost no where and he and his RIO could take on fuel so they could get home safe. The alternative was to “land” in a deserted air strip somewhere below. In this particular instance in the war the pilot was the CO of the squadron who stopped my squadron’s MO (Maintenance Officer) to tell hi this and to thank his squadron and my shop. The MO almost made a straight bee line to our shop to tell us. Not where near the most compelling story you’ll hear about the war, but I know what it is like to be part of a team who shit works 98% of the time over months on end with only one or two failures that whole time. So to hear someone say they wouldn’t go to a world championship not because they didn’t get the support they needed to get there, but are afraid they’re stuff might not work, doesn’t go over well with me. Try knowing your shit and making sure it works, is going to be my standard response.
Munch, on the other hand has traveled to Laguna twice, and I don’t think they tried to use the “but what if my stuff breaks” excuse to not go. Heck, their bike burned to the ground at Silverstone, and they still came back to Anglesey for the World Final on a weeks notice. Not a short trip from Germany. So, it had always been my impression that American teams didn’t go because they couldn’t afford it, not because they were afraid their bikes wouldn’t work and they would lose their investment. This completely changes things. When the reason goes from they can’t to they won’t, people no longer can say that the American bikes are the better bikes and if they had shown up it would have been a different story. Because, they didn’t show up because they couldn’t, but because they didn’t feel their own equipment and abilities were up to the task of securing their investment. To be fair, I am overlaying one teams off hand comment that I got a few hands later over all American teams. But, if the shoe fits . . . That’s why Munch deserves a heck of a lot more respect from everyone. At the end of the day Munch showed up (with a cool bike btw) and beat everyone who showed up and didn’t show up fair and square in every championship they entered.
Personally I really hope the World Final doesn’t come to the US. At this moment in time I don’t find the American participants particularly deserving. But I propose an interesting twist to the TTXGP World final. Since the World Final isn’t, most likely, going to be in a venue where elbows can be rubbed but actually just about elmoto racing I say we adopt something from our stick and ball folks here in the US. I say the World Final should be home court advantage for the previous year’s winner. So next year it should be in Germany somewhere. To heck with “oh the sport has progressed and a world event should look something close to a world event such as WSBK or MotoGP” sentiment. I think it would be fine if it looked like the old days of 2-stroke GP racing where the major teams showed up in ridiculous little vans. Actually I welcome that kind of feel. And if an American team like say oh, Brammo, wants the World Final here in the US (for them probably PIR [Portland International Raceway]), then they should show up and win the World Final with this hypothetical new rule thingy. I think that would be a cool twist that would send the gas powered guys screaming, “But that’s not the way daddy did it,” while pulling their hair out. 😀
Munch, this blogger sincerely apologizes for not fully appreciating what it is you folks did this year.