Nicky Hayden, MotoGP Laguna Seca 2010
If you’re new to sportbikes, becoming a MotoGP fan is a great way to learn about bleeding edge motorcycle technology and give yourself something to talk about amongst fellow sportbike enthusiasts. MotoGP is the motorcycle equivalent of Formula 1: the bikes are 100% custom prototypes costing millions of dollars, there are factory (manufacturer-operated) and satellite (manufacturer-supported) teams, the races are held all over the world and the season runs from March through November. The top racers can’t walk down a street in Europe without being mobbed, and the sport’s most visible star, Valentino Rossi, is one of the world’s highest paid athletes.
So how do you become a MotoGP fan? Here’s the startriding.com 3 step plan:
- Watch the documentary Faster, which makes anyone who watches it an instant MotoGP fan. The 2-disc set covers the 2001-2004 seasons and is an amazing piece of work. It’s on Amazon here: http://goo.gl/II3pr
- Watch the races on Speed (check listings here: http://goo.gl/iGWpq)
- Look for news, bios, pictures and other goodies online:
If you missed Sunday’s season opener, Australian rider and 2007 champion Casey Stoner (Honda) won the race while last year’s champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) took second. The top American racer is Ben Spies (Yamaha), who got a bad start and finished 6th.
Anyone else heading out to Monterey this coming weekend to soak in some MotoGP action? In case you’re just getting familiar with motorcycle racing, MotoGP is the motorcycle equivalent of Formula 1 – motorcycle road racing at its highest level. The MotoGP circus stops in Laguna Seca this weekend and I’m heading out to watch the world’s best go all out, including one Valentino Rossi racing with a broken leg. It doesn’t hurt that it’s in one of the most beautiful areas in California. If you’re heading out there too, be on your best behavior – the local police will be in full force. And oh yeah, bring ear plugs because the bikes are deafening.
Streets of Willow Springs, 1.8 Miles of Twisty Fun
One of the best things you can do with your sportbike (or near-sportbike) is take it to the local racetrack for a track day and open that sucker up. Trust me - once you’re out there flying down the straights and carving corners without any SUVs or cops to worry about, you’ll be hooked.
I know for some people it sounds like a hassle and somewhat far-fetched to actually make it out to the track, but it’s really not and I’m gonna break it all down for you today. That’s not to say it’s not without effort, but it’s such a rush you won’t care what it takes to get back out there. Let’s take a look at how it’s all done.
Post updated 10/25/09
One of the best by-products of my motorcycle hobby was becoming a huge motorcycle road racing fan – it gave me a whole new sport to follow and obsess over. I didn’t have much interest in it until I started riding because I couldn’t relate to how difficult it really is.
It took me a little while to figure out what was what in road racing though, especially since it’s somewhat obscure here in the U.S. It’s for this reason I decided to post a brief summary of the different road racing series for those of you just getting into it. Have fun!
Wow, has it really been that long since I posted? Yikes. In any case I wanted to write about my experience with Keith Code’s California Superbike School, which I attended last weekend as a level 1 student. I’ve been riding now for 4 1/2 years and prior to the class had done nine track days (I think). Keith has an impressive list of motorcycle racers that he and his staff have coached, so when some members of my riding club signed up I figured it was a good time to go.