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Quote Eddy "From the inception of the (then)500cc World Champion class the event had a two tier structure with exotic works machinery and privateer machines that occasionally gave the works machines a run for their money."
True but about as occasionally as they did last year, pre mid 80's there were less factory bikes, in those days we had the joy of production 500cc race bikes.
The last time one did was 1993, August 1st. Before that it was May 14 1989, but wait there was only 2 factory bikes on the grid that day and 1 retired.
Donington 1997 kind of but Barros had factory backing. The truth is the CRT bikes with no developement, engine or chassis are around the same distance back as the 1992 the year of ROC/Harris and they were copies of the real thing, but they mostly went backwards. Honda NSRV was worse. The Modenas in its first year the closest it got was 40 seconds, that had a lot of money behind it.