Bike Racing

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Bike Racing

Post by Henrik on Fri Jul 27 2012, 14:55

This year’s “silly season” looks to becoming more exciting than the actual track action for MotoGP. Luckily we have Moto2 and Moto3 to turn to for on-track excitement, and if that wasn’t enough we could always switch to WSBK.

In fact, the WSBK mention is not entirely innocent as the “rival” to MotoGP stands to gain immensely if the cards are played right. Well that, and also if the bike manufacturers decide to move their budgets over as well… I know this is a big if, and as always the guys who decide where the money is spent are not usually the most race savvy!

We have witnessed in the past some top riders from WSBK moving over to MotoGP, but it is extremely rare that these guys have had much success. Colin Edwards never won a MotoGP race, and being now in his seventh season it is not from lack of trying! James Toseland didn’t manage to make much of a mark before retiring. Troy Bayliss did win a race, and I suppose he can also be forgiven as he did not get to spend a lot of time there and was riding the very young Ducati. Actually, it always makes me smile to think how good Bayliss actually was on that bike, and if the sponsors had not pushed to get Checa to replace him he could have won a championship for Ducati well ahead of Casey Stoner. But I digress; Ben Spies is now yet another shining example of an outstanding WSBK rider failing miserably in MotoGP.

On the other hand, top MotoGP riders moving to WSBK seem to have considerably more success. Carlos Checa looks to have really found his place in the way he dominated last year on an outdated bike. Max Biaggi, being rid of his nemesis Rossi, grabbed a title for Aprilia in 2010, and is looking to be on his way for a second one. Marco Melandri, although a bit rough around the edges, is shining on the BMW and looks set to really challenge Max for this year’s title. There are others that have perhaps had less success, but I think the balance is clearly in favour of the move MotoGP to WSBK rather than the other way around. As we know, the MotoGP class is extremely restricted regarding competitive bikes, so could this greater chance for success help convince more top riders to move over?

Well, yes and no. I think that for a bike racer there really is no substitute to winning a title on the ultimate prototype bike which is the MotoGP. As exotic as they may be compared to street bikes, the Superbikes just are not on par with MotoGP bikes. Still, those that have made the move to Superbikes, and are now successful race winning riders certainly seem to enjoy themselves and not regret their MotoGP days. Perhaps others will see this, and actually decide that as a racer it is more gratifying to race for a victory every other weekend than to just make up the numbers on the grid and then fight for a finish in the top ten (as points scoring is almost guaranteed with the thin grid!).

At the end of the day, it really does come down to the bike manufacturers. Looking at the teams over last couple of years, having proper factory teams in both categories is no longer financial possible. MotoGP costs way too much, and WSBK has also become expensive. Recently some of the historic top Superbike teams (Ducati, Honda, Yamaha) have pulled out their factory support to only focus on MotoGP. Luckily, at the same time Aprilia, Kawasaki and BMW have decided to focus on WSBK, even though BMW is now also pulling out.

In my opinion, WSBK should be allowed to flourish as a top racing category with all the top teams being involved. MotoGP could then become Moto1, basically in the same line as Moto2 but with more powerful engines. Chassis would be prototypes, but the engine would be one brand, or possibly controlled as the Moto3 regulations. This would even out the difference between the categories, reduce costs, and tighten up the racing all the while proposing bigger grids.

It would not please everybody, but I think ultimately it would please more people than what is the case today.

Now I still need to talk about this year’s silly season….

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Re: Bike Racing

Post by TopContender on Sat Jul 28 2012, 16:28

Why do riders do better or worse in the two series. Personally I would expect a WSBK champ to do better than a Moto2 champ in MotoGP, but that doesn' t seem so. Is the series that weak on competition or are the bikes that different?

Either way I going to be at Ducati Island in a few weeks for MotoGP Indy.
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Re: Bike Racing

Post by Henrik on Sat Jul 28 2012, 18:05

That is actually a really good question. I think it really comes down to the chassis more than anything else. All the Moto series are prototypes, with the chassis sporting some very exclusive designs, making them also a lot more difficult to setup and perhaps less forgiving. If you think about it, the engines in the Moto2 bikes are Honda 600cc engines that are less exotic than what is found in the Supersports bikes, but the chassis are a lot more exotic.

It stands to reason then that a Moto2 rider is better trained for the MotoGP chassis than a Superbike rider.

Then there is also the tires...

I wish I could join you there at Indy. I am sure you will have a great time, also now that Nicky has signed on for another year.

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Re: Bike Racing

Post by Gelert on Sun Jul 29 2012, 20:48

Henrik wrote:Then there is also the tires...
Have you relocated to the USofA...? scratch

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Re: Bike Racing

Post by Henrik on Sun Jul 29 2012, 21:38

huh? I get confused sometimes with my English spelling, as I grew up studying English switching between American and British I still sometimes switch my spelling....

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Re: Bike Racing

Post by TopContender on Sun Jul 29 2012, 22:53

Yeah you Euros speak and spell English funny. What a Face
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Re: Bike Racing

Post by H8R on Sat Aug 04 2012, 18:07

The Bridgestones and Pirellis are diametrically opposed.

IMO the Bridgestones are what destroys racing. Look at what Pirelli has done in F1. The tires degrade...miss the setup and your fucked....push too hard and your fucked again. The brigestones just wear and wear..and no one gets an advantage.

I believe that Bridgestone leaving MotoGP would be great for the racing.

I like great racing...tires wearing create great racing. MotoGP is like F1 in the midst of Schumi era. Reality is only 2 guys have a real shot.

Just my opinion.

As far as the chassis go. One bike is a custom built piece of unobtainium that you can change everything on, or redo it, the other is the same piece of cast and stamped aluminum you can buy.

What's amazing is how close WSBK is to MotoGP for a 1/10 of the budget.
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