The general consensus as to why WSB is suffering from dwindling spectator interest despite its close racing is a combination of no terrestrial TV coverage and a lack of personalities and character coming out in the riders.
While the riders themselves can do little about the TV situation – that’s down to series promoters Dorna, the riders are at least doing their bit ahead of this weekend’s Portimao race to spice things up.
Following comments from reigning World champion and 2014 series leader Tom Sykes about the Portimao circuit to Crash.net, two of his closest rivals Eugene Laverty and Jonathan Rea took to Twitter to let their feelings be known.
It all started when Sykes said that the undulations of the Portimao circuit were ‘a little bit extreme for a Superbike in this era’
The first person to react was Jonathan Rea’s Honda Superbike crew chief Chris Pike who simply posted ‘Really??’ in response to the article.
Jonathan Rea then added ‘mmmmmm at least he has stopped moaning about his team mate!’
Eugene Laverty then contributed with his trademark sharp wit saying ‘Subject of next safety meeting: HILLS. Do we really need ‘em? Get Laguna on the phone, tell them to level the place’
It was at this point that Sykes became involved with a simple retort aimed at Pike, Laverty and Rea saying ‘ ....Keep bitching ladies.!’
The last word went to Laverty who posted ‘In all seriousness, what are we gonna do about these hills? I had a look today. Still there’
Whether this is the start of genuine animosity between these men or a simple spat that is forgotten about before the opening free practice on Friday even kicks off remains to be seen.
Both Laverty and Rea are fans of Portimao, they clearly enjoy the challenging layout and have been very competitive there in the past.
Sykes has proved he can be fast anywhere over the past three years and Portimao is no exception. It also seems strange for him to be questioning the Portimao layout while there are tracks such as Laguna and especially Imola still on the calendar.