I came across a post on here entitled "Why go to a F1 event?" and came to the conclusion that bike racing is going the same way. Back in the day races were won mainly by the actions of the rider. The rider controlled the machine using his personal ability, choices, head, and right wrist! It is now controlled by far too many outside influences, mostly electronics. The riders that raced and won GPs on the bikes before all the gizzmos were real heroes and champions. How many of today's superstars could adapt to ride those machines? Very few I'd say. As I suggested bike racing at top level is moving into BIG business rather than sport, just has F1 has done. Please see the "Why go to a F1 event" to see what is in store for us bike racing fans.
Is Moto GP going the same way as F1?
Posted 29 September 2022 - 09:32
I am an engineer and as such prone to nerd-ism. I am fascinated by all the technical gizmos and spiffy aerodynamics, simply from the geek pov.
OTOH I don't like the current development in implementing everything that is possible, as it - in my very humble opinion of a non-bike rider - takes away the demand for the skill of the rider. Yes, I understand that (for example) a good traction control will reduce the risk of high-siders, but isn't the skill to open the throttle just enough for a good acceleration while avoiding the high sider something, that differentiates a good rider from a less good one?
Posted 29 September 2022 - 12:02
Can't see the point of an engine producing more power than a rider can control without the use of artificial control (electrics)
Back in the day (my day) a good 250 GP bike was nearly as fast round most circuits a a 190 bhp 500. Why, because it produced enough power for the chassis, tyres and rider to control to produce fast laps.
What have we got now - the controlling factor is 'will the tyre last the race'.
The races are already too short to be classified as a GP and they are introducing sprint races next year - it's already a sprint race.
Ban all the control electronics, silly aero, stupid ride height devices, allocation of tyres that would have lasted a whole season.
Get back to racing before its' too late
Engineering for the sake of engineering does have some merits, but it does incur costs, quite a lot of which will never be recoopered, in the 'race on Sunday, sell on Monday' sort of philosophy.
If the sport is looking forward it needs to recognise the path down which it wants to go.
I feel there is too much scattergun engineering, most of which never reaches the tracks which soaks up budget and prevents the vast MotoGP junket do what is does best - spend loadsa dosh on what is rapidly becoming an unsustainable circus.
I am not necessarily advocating a return to one man and his transit (which don't forget compared with one man and his pre-WW2 train journey was luxury) but the 'sport' (sorry) 'industry' has to get what it is doing in proportion.
We already have MotoGP team contracts with Dorna for a 5 year period which is very nice for Dornas' stability, but should it all be centered around the promoter?
Dorna, in my opinion, does a good job in the constraints it has selling a product to a less and less discerning market.
The product seems desirable and becomes accessible because of TV rights, but, again in my opinion, is suffering from 'Golden Goose' syndrome.
Too much F1 direction - a bunch of overpaid, undertalented journeymen being ferried around in computer controlled cars with seats being bought by Daddy. The only interesting feature is the 'handbag' fighting
If that's they way it goes then MotoGP is doomed.
Harping back (again sorry) we had rock bands that not only performed, but wrote their own songs and played their own instruments (and ferried themselves around in Transit vans). What have we got today a 'bunch' of manufactured products that 'sing' efforts that make Scott Aitkin and Waterman look like Shakespeare, or so called comedians who are about as funny as toothache.
If that's what sells then that's what you get. The lowest common denominator wins.
As a species we've reached our azimuth and are now in terminal decline - So is GP racing.
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard” – A.A. Milne
Edited by tonyed, 29 September 2022 - 12:51.
Posted 29 September 2022 - 12:50
In American Flat Track they control the development by controlling the tyre spec. The bikes are still close to what they were in the 70s, 80s and 90s. The greatest riders of earlier eras would, I bet, be able to get on a current bike and ride it just like they did before and the racing is still as great and spectacular as it has always been. The bikes still look great too. You can still make a privateer bike that is competitive with the works bikes. You can't make a bike that is too powerful as it won't work. Yamaha made one with a TZ700 engine, Kenny Roberts, Steve Baker, Gene Romero, Skip Aksland and Dave Aldana all rode them, but not for long. It did win once and was spectacular, but didn't last long (yeah ok the AMA outlawed it, probably to protect the Harleys position as the dominant bike of the time), but Roberts famously said after winning on it "they don't pay me enough to ride that thing" and never rode it again.
I am geeky too, I like looking at the bikes almost as much as I like watching the racing, but the current bikes, just like the current F1 cars just don't look good to me. Too much sticking out - way too many spoilers, wings etc.. I like that they are reliable now and that championships aren't majorly influenced by mechanical failures, but a lot of the other stuff I can't see how it has improved the racing.
I think the best riders are just as good as they were before. Marquez and Quatararo must be in the same bracket as the top riders of the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s. There is more strength in depth now and the next level riders are much closer and there are more of them in the field. I think with all of the aids now many people don't give the riders the credit they deserve because they think the bikes are easier to ride than they were before. That can't be so, it must take just as much skill to ride them, but the impression is that it isn't the case and so we do these riders an injustice.
Edited by brands77, 29 September 2022 - 12:58.
Posted 29 September 2022 - 13:01
It already has. It started when two-strokes were banned, setting off the race to the top for the budgets - both operating costs and marketing - and the race to the bottom for individuals and independents getting good results using what they had in hand to best ability. I stopped racing long ago, but when 4 strokes became The Law in the 500cc championship I stopped following the sport on a regular basis. The marketing aspect, which of course was what the manufacturers wanted to exploit, cheapened the racing aspect through the influx of money. Virtue had gone out of it, you see. Then, with Dorna etc's management of the "product" it was clear F1 was the model. The myth was that "only the best of the best are riding the best of the best machinery and it's the best because of all the tech..." etc. Are MotoGP bikes even 500cc these days? I don't know and I don't care. In the US, the packaging of a Superbike championship by Wayne Rainey, for whom I have the highest respect as a racer and as a human being, has had the same result. Another factor was when the Daytona 200, the most visible and most important single roadracing event in the US was downsized to an event for 600cc Supersports(!) simply a pandering move by the Daytona management for the manufacturers to spotlight their entry-level sportbikes. I won't even go there regarding the pay-to-play aspect required by Management of participants, in all top-level motorsports. Other than looking at headlines I no longer follow bike racing, the sport at which I enthusiastically participated, at all.
As an engineer, I can appreciate the technology involved but as a pilot, airplane homebuilder, and garage-based bike racer, I see much more practical wisdom in the quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry - “Perfection is not when there is no more to add, but no more to take away.” The purity of the bikes has been lost. Every once in a while some mfr or other will push for "budget caps" such as in F1 but those are band-aids.
The sore spot is that eventually when the sport is bleeding fans, nobody involved with the pro level product will be able to see the simple fact that many participants in the sport when at its peak were not engaged exclusively in the top-line series. They couldn't be - there were not enough top-level races each year to support a full year's worth of grocery bills, so the riders and teams were maintaining a connection with fans by racing in national and regional events. These days the MotoGP riders are marketed like comic book superheroes or WWE wrestlers, as people somehow separate from anyone you might meet in everyday life. And it's true, but not for the reasons pushed by the Marketing Dept. But there is no going back, Management will keep applying band-aids and hope like Hell one of them works to stop the bleeding. For them, the solution to bring more money into the hands of the organizers is - More Races. I highly doubt this is the wisest tactic. When the fans set their budget for attending races, do they have to forego national and regional events because the cost of a MotoGP ticket takes such a large bite? This is not good for long-term maintenance of the fan base.
One day somebody will write up a rule book that is only about a half-inch thick, for a series that allows ingenuity to take precedence over budget, perhaps a claiming rule for engines and/or entire bikes to discourage spendy tech, plus outlawing electronics and one-make one-model spec racing, and it will take off by providing an open door for winners who can get results without spending their way to the top. But who in today's Marketing Dept could figure out how to sell it?
Posted 29 September 2022 - 15:36
We all like a bit of innovation otherwise we would not have engaged the horse to pull our carts for before that fitted wheels to our sledge.
However there comes a time when the innovation is purely for innovations sake.
Are the wings on MotoGP bikes really worth the bother? Look at the 'sonic the hedgehog' fins on the arse end of the Ducati. Is it real or mind games?
Are lap times really that much better and if so does it really matter?
Racing appears closer because they are all on factory bikes with all the rider aids that NASA can develop.
Suzuki have already pulled the plug, Yamaha down to one two rider team.
Ducati and Aprilia awash with money probably really sponsored by the Mafia.
Presumably KTM have discovered the whereabouts of Hitlers' gold to fund their efforts which is why on the TVs 'expedition' programs in search of it they found didley squat.
Honda throw billions at the project which only one bust up rider can get a result on.
All looking hunker dory for the sport.
A four stroke engine has more parts in the cylinder head than a two stroke has in a whole engine, consumes umpteen billion watts to manufacture and produces the carbon footprint of a small nation to produce.
GREEN - the only green thing about four strokes are the people that believe it.
I was watching something (forget what) where the interviewee commented that the thing that mainly attracts people to motorsport is the noise. So electric vehicles whispering past ain't gonna cut the rug.
I agree that todays top notch are probably as good as their forefathers, but who can get near them?
In the MotoGP theme park the heroes are out of reach.
I blame it all on Barry Sheene and Brut, trying to make bike racers into celebrities and mainly on Honda the 'Evil Empire' and its' four stroke addiction.
The really sad thing is I'll be up early on Sunday morning to watch the procession, mainly, I must admit in the hope of seeing at 'ahole Fartez sling it up the road.
Edited by tonyed, 29 September 2022 - 15:38.
Posted 30 September 2022 - 13:11
I see the current 1st day at Kerchang (is that a cash register I hear?) it is the usual one lap 'bite the screen' with a soft qualifier in that brigade lead MotoGP practice on day one.
The usual clog the front two rows and crash on lap 2 mob, Zarco, Martin, Bagnaia, however Knackerd Takagami seems to have given up even qualifying well before crashing in the race although in this case his injury (well there' a surprise, although he did have some help this time) has meant that some other poor soul gets the ride so he's been replaced by the Honda test rider Knackerdshima.
Considering that riding racing motorcycles appears to be the only thing the MotoGP participants have done since before they were born you would have thought they'd be a bit more skilled at their chosen occupation than current their status warrants .
We have the unedifying experience of them dragging themselves out of the kitty litter with monotonous regularity.
Rather than seeing this lot as the cream of the crop I would consider that many of them would be better employed attempting to earn a living at something more suited to their obviously limited abilities.
Never has the saying 'Practice Makes Perfect' seem more inappropriate. Just keep crashing until you find the limit and then crash again.
Edited by tonyed, 30 September 2022 - 13:13.