After finishing a disappointing 10th in the year’s 500cc GP title chase, Giacomo Agostini’s works Yamaha team released McElnea who immediately entered into talks with Suzuki, Cagiva and Elf.
Despite finishing second with 158 points, just 20 adrift of Wayne Gardner’s Honda, Kenny Roberts’ Lucky Strike Yamaha team dumped Mamola, who later signed for Cagiva.
At the Sealink British experts trail at Hawkstone Park, Steve Saunders (250cc Fantic) won by a massive 49 marks. The sidecar section was a much closer run event with Robin/Karen Luscombe (250cc Fantic) winning by one mark.
Suzuki threw their hat in the 600cc sportbike arena by launching the 149mph GSX-R600F. With its 86bhp@11,000rpm engine based on the proven 16-valve GSX-R750 four cylinder unit, the small sportster hit its claimed 149mph at the Ryuyo test track near Hamamatsu, Japan in front of the press.