Thursday, April 14, 2011

Motocross vs Roadracing: The stars speak out

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Motocross has, in the past, helped shape the talents of many GP roadracing greats, though things seem to have changed in recent years... 

We love MotoGP. All right, we practically live, dream, eat, sleep and breathe MotoGP. Motocross, on the other hand, umm… we don’t know. Must admit we never really gave it much thought and hence you hardly, if ever, read about the sport here on Faster and Faster. It’s properly spectacular all right, but somehow motorcross has never been our thing. That said, we quite liked ‘Changing Treads,’ a story that Adam Wheeler has done for the April 2011 issue of Cycle News. The story takes a look at the role of motocross in shaping the riding talents of some of the best motorcycle roadracing stars in the past, and how that role has changed and evolved over the years. It’s all quite fascinating really, and we present a few excerpts here, from what that stars have to say about motocross vs roadracing:

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Former World Superbikes champ Colin Edwards has never won a race in MotoGP, but continues to be a mid-field contender in the sport. He knows his stuff alright

‘It is freedom, a release, an aggression. Motocross makes you smart on a bike. You are processing information all the time and making decisions. I think they [motocross and roadracing] tie-in together a lot. Something like dirt-track is about being over the rear end and finding traction. Roadracing right now is not so much about that. I have seen guys who are good road racers, but can’t hack it on a motocross bike. It is very foreign and they don’t understand it. You have to get used to the bike being a bit loose. It is very strange for me nowadays because I like the bike to be perfectly in line and smooth on a road race track.’

‘When a road racer takes his brain out then you don’t really see it that much. Maybe a little style change or he’s backing the bike into the turn a bit later than usual. With motocross it is much easier to tell when a rider has his nuts on the line because he has it pinned everywhere, feet flailing and just hanging on through the whoops. You understand that he is risking everything he has. I think we are all nuts to be honest with you, but motocross is a gnarly sport. If you crash and hit that dirt then you are gonna stop. Here we can slide, get up and dust ourselves off. People might think I am crazy to say that when you’re flying down the track at 150mph, but motocross hurts, every time.’ – Colin Edwards (Former World Superbikes Champion, currently riding in MotoGP)

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Jean-Michel Bayle remains the only man who could actually switch over from motocross to world championship roadracing, with a moderate amount of success

‘They are very different. Motocross is maybe 80-85 percent technique: your position, style, precision, good lines. The rest is about your determination to win a race. In roadracing it is the opposite. There is a lot of technique involved, but if you want to go faster you have to push yourself more every time and have to have a lot of motivation to take risks. It is about finding balance, especially with the 800s, but in motocross when you charge into a rut you’ve also got to be balanced. Roadracing is not as much fun as motocross, but the feeling of being able to ride so fast and slide the bike at 200km/h is very special. To do everything right and get a pole position lap is so good.’ – Jean-Michel Bayle (Former World Motocross, AMA Motocross and Supercross Champion, who also made a moderately successful foray into 250cc and 500cc motorcycle GP racing in the 1990s)

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MotoGP rider Ben Spies says you can do more in motocross

‘When you are going fast you have to concentrate just as much as on a road race bike. There is so much more you can do in motocross whereas in roadracing it basically comes down to the different riding styles that separate us because we are all doing similar things. I guess it means the action can be better in motocross, but the overtaking in roadracing can be pretty fun to watch too because the margins are so close.’ – Ben Spies (Currently riding in MotoGP)

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Former WSBK champ, James Toseland things motocross is more spectacular

‘It is a show, especially to a kid. Roadracing looks so smooth and controlled it almost appears as if anyone could do it, whereas watching the speed and the size of the jumps makes motocross that much more exciting. I think a motocross race is as good as if not better than a road race. It will always win as a spectacle.’ – James Toseland (Former World Superbikes Champion, ex-MotoGP rider, currently riding for the BMW Motorrad Italia Team in World Superbikes)

Source: Cycle News

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

the problem is none of the tv shows brought a good broadcast and view over moto-x! on the other hand motogp is best in tv and all.
However, supermoto gave solution for both!!

Anonymous said...

IMO - Current SM formats do not include nearly enough technical dirt sections.
MX, Enduro, GNCC, and Hare Scrambles seem to be much more physically demanding than road racing in general.

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