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This has been touched on in other threads and is likely to receive a limited audience. However...

The art of riding a motorcycle fast, without ending up dead (RIP Marco Simoncelli, aka Sideshow Bob), is acknowledged by those of us who know as being truly rare.

Marc Marquez has had the last few years sewn up - and he deserves the plaudits, as he really doesn't give a shit and wants to win at any cost, even when he clearly has the best machinery available to him. Prior to this, Jorge Lorenzo had a machine built to his talents. Before him, Valentino Rossi seemed to convince everyone that he was the greatest.

In my lifetime, the most natural racer I have ever seen was Casey Stoner; he was a typical, whining Aussie cunt, but by fuck could he ride a bike.

Anyone else?

 

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There are lots of motorcycle disciplines.

Circuit racing I'm a real Rossi fan, I find Marques to be a bit hot headed and Lorenzo is fine when things are going his way, but gives up very easily.

I love road racing and rate Ian Hutchinson, but then again I love anyone that rides for Padgetts. Then there's the dunlop family.

For a different type of riding dougie lampkin takes some beating

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8 minutes ago, Option5 said:

My great uncle was apparently killed in the IOM TT.

He was my grandmother's brother.

They named a bend after him but it's been renamed the 11th milestone since then.

Ian luogher was a good mates brother in law he was working  for Scaina trucks in Cardiff at the time

A guy i work with also raced with him in the early days ,he still visits him in Ireland every year when he goes to watch the NW 200 and Skerries 

He always said it would end that way for Jeffery`s he has said the same about Michael Donlop ,his view is simple if you are beating everyone by large margins you are taking far bigger risks than the rest they both ride/rode like they are on a circuit 

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Not being interested in many things, as with most people not interested in many things, I'm VERY interested in the few things I find interesting.

That's probably why I make a point of watching every testing, practice, qualifying, warm-up, and race of any bike racing I can find on TV. Everything from Cookstown 100 to MotoGP.

Best motorcycle racer ?

Impossible to decide for me.

For a couple of reasons, chiefly, I don't claim to understand what they are doing or how they are doing it.

I think many people will pick Mark Marquez, for the reason he seems to defy the laws of physics by almost falling off but not falling off. Now to a casual observer like myself this looks really impressive. Yet if Marquez was even better he could perhaps reign it in a little, be smoother, and not need the acrobatic skills.

A-Ha.

What about judging the best as the most successful, or the most successful as the best ?

Not so easy because the most successful typically have the best team, the best bike, and the biggest testing budget, for engine, chassis, and tyres. Some argue the best riders will always find the best bikes but that isn't always the case.

Then you need to decide what criteria decides best ?

In my opinion all the best riders have one thing in common, that is smoothness. Beyond the best, the true greats go beyond the smoothness to find the extra tenths. That's where the magic happens. Finding the grip others can't find, or having the acrobatic skill to stay on when other will fall off. Some are superb at completing the perfect lap when unhindered, able to repeat with metronomic precision, to win from the front. Some can push through with a less than perfect set-up, or a problem, and race to a win through sheer cunning and determination.  

Which brings us back to choosing a best ?

No idea.    

Who would I pick as the best ?

On a track, maybe Mark Marquez, Simoncelli or Casey Stoner.

On the road maybe Peter Hickman.

On ‎05‎/‎07‎/‎2019 at 22:22, Bedrag Justesen said:

Right from his first year at road races Hickman has approached them differently to most riders I think.

Wasn't he fastest ever rookie his first time at TT ?

Watching over the years the general plan seems to be learn the course for the first two or three visits. Even the old hands tell you they are still learning after a decade. What tends to happen is they take a cautious route at first, avoiding kerbs, not clipping apexes, not using all the road. They get more adventurous once they are confident they know where they are going. At this point they aim to set a faster lap time by attacking the course more like they would ride a short circuit in BSB. Straightening corners, clipping apexes, and using the road as close to the kerbs as they dare. 

This is possibly the most dangerous period.

BSB riders like say, Josh Brookes, is as brave as anybody probably, but watch his on-boards, you'll notice he takes a cautious line. My guess is he has scared himself by using all the road, and reigned himself back in for safety.

Then there are typical Irish road racers, wet or dry, they are fast, and smooth, and very brave. Michael Dunlop this year didn't just clip the kerb at one point, he went up and along the footpath.

The mystery of Peter Hickman is how he is the fastest of all time around the TT, yet he stays close to the middle of the road, stays away from kerbs, and rides within himself. He's at nine-tenths rather than ten-tenths or beyond, for most of his laps.

Racers often say at high speed everything is mentally processed in slow motion.

Truly mind boggling.

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/motor-racing/isle-of-man-tt-2016-peter-hickman-wary-of-getting-ahead-of-himself-but-kawasaki-ace-targeting-race-a7052621.html

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, snaga said:

Barry Sheene, because....

.....when me mate was pulled over for speeding by an irate plod who yelled "who the feck do you think you are, Barry Sheene", calmly replied "no, he rides a Suzuki", and was promptly banned! 

Edited by Harley
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22 minutes ago, MrPin said:

I think members of the public would struggle to name some of  the current riders.

DORNA have chased subscription model.

Not that long ago MotoGP was on free-to-air TV, Channel 5 and BBC, people would watch, and know the riders. Now you need a subscription to BT Sport or MotoGP online.

Result being viewer numbers have gone through the floor. Hardly anybody can name a MotoGP grid.

British Superbikes, World Superbikes, and TT are on ITV(4) which allows many people to watch, and they do a great job with coverage.

BBC cover the other Isle of Man races, and the Irish road racing, again with excellent coverage.

If Liberty abandon Channel 4 with F1 the same will happen to them.  Formula one drivers will no longer be household names.  

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8 hours ago, MrPin said:

Barry Sheen was famous back in the 70s. I think members of the public would struggle to name some of  the current riders.

Current motorbike racing isn't glamorous, much the same as F1. It's boringly structured, over-regulated, and without wanting to sound morbid, they rarely die so it isn't as on edge.

Their private lives are also equally boring. At the height of his career, did Casey Stoner shag 20 women a week? Nah, he got married when he was (too?) young and had a family. Yawn...

The IoM TT being the only exception, I am amazed it's still going.

I've always wondered how different motorbike (or any vehicle racing) would be if ALL parents didn't give a shit about their kids. Most of these professionals started racing when they were 5 years old, can you imagine letting your 5 year old out on the track?

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When I was about 15, we had a holiday in Wales during TT week. I was glued to Manx Radio during the races. 

Come the 500cc race, it was Rod Goulds debut. He liked to take Ballaugh Bridge at speed and do a front wheel landing. Unheard of at the time.

The commentator there would be almost monotone...'Here comes Agonstini in the lead...(then name the next ten or so riders as they passed) ...AND HERE COMES ROD GOULD!

 

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26 minutes ago, spunko said:

Current motorbike racing isn't glamorous, much the same as F1. It's boringly structured, over-regulated, and without wanting to sound morbid, they rarely die so it isn't as on edge.

At the height of his career, did Casey Stoner shag 20 women a week? 

We have lost surprisingly more than we might think. I'm not making a list.  :(

Some watch racing and find crashes 'entertaining', maybe I'm in a minority but I don't want  to see crashes. I'm not saying anybody hopes to see injuries or gulp deaths, but spectacular carnage can add interest, it's always been a part of racing.

Mrs Stoner is (was?) an excellent choice, I can't fault Casey there.  :)

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, spunko said:

I've always wondered how different motorbike (or any vehicle racing) would be if ALL parents didn't give a shit about their kids. Most of these professionals started racing when they were 5 years old, can you imagine letting your 5 year old out on the track?

Those that start out very young normally begin with trials or schoolboy motocross. Trials is pretty safe and parents normally follow their kids around the sections and can give advice and encouragement and pick them up when they fall off. Schoolboy motocross being actual racing is riskier but kids are normally fearless and bounce well enough, although the bikes are quite fierce for such young riders. Obviously motocross nurtures those with that killer instinct for racing, but a surprising number of world champions started in trials. The clubs this level of racing is based around also provide an additional social circle for families and must be good for improving childrens' confidence. 

Not sure who my favourite racer is, but I like it that many of the greats are British.

Edited by Caravan Monster
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11 hours ago, MrPin said:

Barry Sheen must have had magic tyres, as they certainly weren't fitted to the Suzuki's a normal person could buy. Fucking dangerous hard plastic.

It is alleged that Bazza had a hole drilled in the front of his crash helmet so he could smoke a crafty Woodbine just before the race started.

I love the man just for that story alone...

 

XYY

 

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Posted (edited)

I always liked Max Biaggi. The only man (and probably will only ever be) to win his first ever MotoGP (Premier GP race as it was 500cc in those days) and his first ever World Super Bike Race. Four time 250cc GP World Champion where the machinery is all fairly similar and twice World Super Bike Champion. In my opinion Biaggi stayed too long in 250 and missed out winning the Premier title. A very smooth rider, unbeatable on his day but seemed to hate everyone.

However he was always a ladies man, Biaggi dated lots of top totty including a Miss Italy and apparently Naomi Campbell, when Rossi heard that he road round the circuit with a blow-up doll as a passenger on his bike, just part of their long-standing feud. Rossi hated Biaggi and would not use Biaggi’s name but instead write ******. Biaggi even had a proper fight with Rossi after one race, not F1 handbags but full blooded, fists flying. From the Independent ‘The blood on Biaggi's chin during the post-race press conference was attributed to a "mosquito bite", while Rossi struggled to invent an insect big enough to have inflicted the swelling under his eye after blows had been exchanged in the corridor.’

Biaggi won his final World Super Bike Championship by one half a point (points were halved at a shortened race earlier in the season) by finishing fifth in the final race … it was a wet race and Biaggi hated the wet but managed to stay upright and win the title by the narrowest of margins (the half point) again a feat unlikely to be repeated.

Edited by satch
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