Slight hijack but I often encounter superbikes on my Caterham runs- I struggle on the straights but my word they are VERY slow in the corners, especially tight ones. I went to watch a superbike race to find out more- yup- utterly pedestrian in the bends compared to any race prepared car but Bejesus they were just staggeringly fast out of the bends. At a guess they were pulling 160 plus where most cars would struggle to top 120 or less. I was impressed - big cojones much in evidence.
For the benefit of those who have not read Mat Oxley's piece this month, John is making similar observations. The risk difference between a road race and permanent circuit is difficult to overstate. On a modern permanent circuit, design of run off areas is a compromise of the needs of bike and car racers, and of different sorts. On a road circuit, there is no compromise because there are few run off areas.
For wealthy bikers racing on permanent circuits, there have been some incredible developments in race suit design (materials, air bags). Marco Simoncelli's sad death could not have been prevented by technology, but other racers have escaped with lighter injuries in horrible accidents.
Mat Oxley's contributions to Motor Sport are almost always good. Their presence reflects changing attitudes of Motor Sport readers who, thanks to the BBC's excellent MotoGP coverage and SuperBike broadcasting elsewhere, cannot help but notice that bikes provide great entertainment and that many riders are great characters. Keep the bikes in Motor Sport and dump the road car coverage as much as possible, acknowledging that Porsche, Alfa Romeo, BMW et al expect a bit of contemporary coverage if journalists are to get close to the museum stuff.