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ARMINAS JASIKONIS OUT OF QATAR | 24.02.2017

Early season sensation Arminas Jasikonis is out of the MGP opener in Qatar ! The Lithuanian was refused entry to the country at Doha airport because he did not hold a valid visa; after being stranded in the airport for more than 24 hours he was eventually escorted onto a plane by police at 2am Friday morning. He had expected to obtain his entry visa on arrival at the airport, a service available to citizens of most EU countries, but this service is only available to a handful of countries in North America, Europe, Australasia and friendly muslim states. The list has never been updated since the end of the Cold War nearly 30 years ago and natives of ex-Soviet countries like the Baltic states and Slovenia are NOT included. Already two years ago Tim Gajser was only admitted after a hectic chase all over Europe to find a Qatari consulate willing to issue the papers quickly, and Jasikonis, who should never have been allowed to board the plane from Europe on Wednesday, was stuck in Doha airport until his deportation. By dinnertimer his bike was bering crated up ready for Indonesia.

HERLINGS OUT OF QATAR ?
UPDATE FROM KTM 16.02.2017 | 14.02.2017

Jeffrey Herlings' 2017 season lasted just one and a half laps before he flew over the bars superman-style @ Ottobiano on Sunday. It appeared initially that the bike and his pride had suffered the most damage, but this dinnertime the Dutch Bullet posted a video of his right arm and hand in plaster to just below the elbow with the message "seriously fucked up" "getting ready for Qatar in two weeks time". The full extent of the injury is as yet unclear, but KTM rider manager Joel Smets confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that "Jeffrey stays in plaster until Monday for sure, then he will be examined again. His bikes will be in Qatar but a decision in whether he can race will not be made until the last minute." Practice in Losail gets underway in 10 days time ! See the crash @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsEIJLgz49Y

EQUALITY | 06.02.2017

The bullshit stops when the 2017 EMX250 series takes off at Pietramurata on April 15/16 ! Spurred into action by national federations, amongst them the ACU and the Danes, FIM Europe has opened up the third most important series on the world stage to four-strokes AND two-strokes ON EQUAL TERMS ! No more artificial capacity disadvantage for the strokers, both go to the gate with a 250cc limit. After years of development neglect by the factories, it remains to be seen just how many lads choose a two-stroke, let alone can prove competitive, but it is the start of a new era in which the customer puts up two fingers to certain manufacturers. See how long before they start to manufacture the cheaper-to-run two-strokes in order to maintain their market share. Any bets on Uncle Bob having somebody on the line ? ;-)

IT AIN'T HALF HOT, MOM | 26.01.2017

It went pretty quiet over the GP of Indonesia since the contract was announced last year, and many wondered if it would truly go ahead. Well, the downpayment has been made and the track layout has been carved out of the forest between the river and the airport of Pangkal Pinang, so it's all actions go for round two of the MXGP/MX2 world series and the WMX opener on March 4/5. Presumably someone will find unkind words about the track once we get there, but let's be quite clear about the challenge facing the contestants. Pangkal Pinang is about 100 miles from the Equator - it's gonna be hot and sticky. May the best man/girl win !

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