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Bruce Potter was our winner for issue 68-03

May I approach the bench?

Karel Abraham is a Grand Prix rider who needs saving from himself. He seems intent on breaking every bone in his body before ever mounting the top step of the podium.

The average GP rider has 13 victories to his name; championships, regional or world, are common. Karel has no championships and just one race win on his resume – Moto2 at Valencia in 2010.

Indeed, Abraham is destined to finish his GP career with his Wikipedia page awash with zeroes. His highest points total from 13 GP seasons across four classes is 94 – in 2010 with two podiums.

This season he has four points and is in 23rd place in the standings. But, remarkably, this may not be his worst Moto GP season; he scored just five points for 24th in 2013.

He doesn’t crash as often as you might think, despite missing many races through injury. His 13 crashes in 2017 placed him seventh overall, behind the likes of Marquez and Crutchlow, but that is the only chance he has of being mentioned in the same breath as riders of that calibre.

There is a long-held view that Abraham paid his way onto the grid. Karel Snr owns the Brno Circuit in the Czech Republic, and in 2005 he started AB Motoracing in the 125cc class with Junior on board. They then competed in 10 further GP seasons over three classes. So that view probably holds water.

This is not a new phenomenon – Niki Lauda bought his way onto the F1 grid, but his career turned out a little differently to Abraham’s. Yes, Abraham meets the 107 per cent speed criteria to stay on the grid. It’s just a shame Rea, Davies or Sykes don’t get offered the same opportunities.

In 2015 Abraham achieved something very few GP riders have or will – he earned his law degree. With those sorts of smarts, you would think Karel would see the writing on the wall. The theatre of law is calling, only Abraham is too busy in another theatre – having operations on his shoulder(twice), both hands, both legs and pelvis. And now comes the news that Abraham is tipped to replace Xavier Simeon on the Avintia Ducati for 2019.

Wait – what? After 23rd place with four points from this season so far? Of course! What an obvious choice! To that I say: objection!         

Bruce Potter

Wentworth Point, NSW

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