In the twentieth century, the English highway was surrounded by legend almost as much as the Americans in basketball and the Brazilians in football. Even the best PRL motorcyclists were sent behind the western curtain to learn the secrets of Great Britain’s black sport. Among others, Zenon Plech, Marek Cieślak and Edward Jancarz benefited from this training. The domestic league at that time was the best in the world, which was proved by the fact that for many years among the individual world champions there was only one player who had never participated in this competition – the exception to our Opole that proves the rule, Jerzy Szczakiel.
However, in recent years, the situation of the domestic highway has changed significantly. In the past three years, the title of best motorway racer in the world has been won by competitors who looked at Great Britain from the perspective of touring, not driving in the Premier League – Bartosz Smarzlik and Artyom Agota. Fewer and fewer motorway riders have decided to start in the UK – this season, even Ty Woffinden and Robert Lambert, who represented him in the Grand Prix series, did not compete with any club from their home country. Many centers in England went bankrupt and much of the track is now unprofitable and has to be maintained by dog racing there.
Due to the low level of league matches and the lack of big local stars except for Tai Woffinden, very few young fans appear in the stands there. The older generation of fans, in turn, is slowly becoming extinct. Brexit and restrictions on the start of Poland’s contracted players abroad have made English activists fear more and more that no one will be riding there soon!
Hope for an Island Highway renaissance was given by the latest MotoGP final – after pulling out due to injuries to Taya and Vinden – by Daniel Bewley – Robert Lambert duo, aged 22 and 23 respectively. Thanks to them, Great Britain heard about the highway again! And soon the information about the sensational success circulated in the most important media of the country.
Now, however, it is imperative that this victory be consumed in an appropriate marketing manner. Most experts agree that the English should follow the example of Poland, where the successes of Tomasz Golub, and later Bartosz Smárzlyk, provide an opportunity to become a global highway hub. Many patterns of behavior – such as those related to TV deals – can be transferred to the islands almost unchanged. Fortunately, there is no need to worry that pride will not allow the English to do so. Already before this season, they noticed that they should start following the example of the Poles and decided to introduce a policy similar to ours with regard to young players.
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