wishy thinky

Wish There Were Moto Majors

19 posts in this topic

I keep thinking it would be a blast to have mixed racing twice a year to determine the champion racer(s) of the year by requiring the TT and MotoGP racers to race each other. One race would be at the Isle and the other would be at a Moto GP track. It would be like the golf majors that make the players from the Euro tour, asian tour and PGA to play each other, or the Major league baseball world series where the NL and AL play each other... I wonder if the salary charts would get adjusted as the sponsors realign. That said, not sure how many races the TT racers do vs the ~20 motogp races. Some rules would have to be adjusted to equalize the bikes?

 

Haha. Maybe motocycle racing's popularity could go sky high.

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Closed Course Racing and Real Road Racing are really a Apples To Oranges comparison, You may as well toss in the Supercross or MX riders, Each is going to excel in their respective environments and struggle in the other. Back when the IOM was actually on the Grand Prix schedule most of the tracks weren't all that safe for motorcycles anyway. ARMCO barriers limited run off hazards etc. It was truly a different era across the board and comparison to the state of motorcycling today are not very relevant.

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I think that if mixing the races start right away, the respective riders would absolutely do well in their environments. Mixing MX and road racing would be silly. But TT and MotoGP are ~200 mph races. Mixed martial arts is more popular than single martial arts; I can't think of a single judo tournament that is done outside of the Olympics purely for entertainment. Not including such things as bumpy road surfaces, chance of going airborn at over 100 mph, shadows over the roads of the TT race, etc. the real difference between the TT and MotoGP are the riders. I think of the TT racers as more of self made street artists vs the MotoGP as hand picked and well groomed, well paid professionals.

Each of the two races seems to be able to claim as the fastest. I wouldn't mind seeing the question settled, realizing that chances are slim as there is no incentive for MotoGP to go to thr Isle. If the incentives and rewards are there, the differences would be reduced over time. I think that the TT racers would adapt easier to the safer track environment than vice versa. But the truth is, personalities and rivalries make for entertainment. I had no knowledge of times gone by, but the thought of Guy Martin mixing it up with Marc Marquez is something I'd stay up to watch.

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The racing is too different to really work. There's a fundamental difference in philosophy. For example. At the TT it's all about the lap time where in MotoGP it's all about ending up at the finish line first. If you listen to the TT guys talk about the course they actively talk about how they will go slower in a section to set them up better to arrive at another section. In circuit racing this would mean potentially loosing a position and finishing 2nd even with a better overall lap time.

 

Another thing to consider. The racers wishes. Racing is something that people have a passion for. You can't do well in something you have no interest in. What would happen if you required them to race in environment's they did not have a passion for would be quite predictable. The TT guys would hand the MotoGP guys their backsides on the TT course. It's just not worth the risk for a MotoGP guy to throw away a career on a single race where they could be killed or severely injured for a mistake. They would be slow and steady and finish alive every time. If you took the TT guys to a MotoGP course they would get worked by every single MotoGP rider. MotoGP riders have more experience battling it out with one another to fight for position. When you are passing at the TT it's only because it's going to improve your lap time. MotoGP passes can be psychological, strategic and get them in the right order for the all important "last lap".

 

In all reality there's no real way to measure human potential. As much as we try and want to make those comparisons there's just way too many variables. Rather than bother yourself with the "who's the best" questions and arguments just enjoy the racing. Taking it too seriously ruins the fun anyway. :)

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One other thing to consider is the bikes. MotoGP bikes are bespoke manufacturer supported things that only exist on MotoGP tracks. TT bikes start out life much like World Superbike's do. Delivered based off of what a customer would get from the manufacturers race department. Some of the smaller teams in the TT take delivery of bikes at dealerships.

 

The machinery is so different that the adjustment would be very difficult. It would be hardest for the MotoGP riders who are used to having all of their setup done by their factory people who can manufacture custom parts if needed. Being stuck within the limitations of the TT's rules would be quite the adjustment for them.

 

Fun fact. TC and ABS aren't allowed for the TT. That alone would be some MASSIVE adjusting for riders who are used to GPS enabled TC systems that might as well be a toggle switch rather than a twist grip. :)

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rchase, your posts are entertaining and informational.

 

Between the two big differences, i.e. racing format and bike, the racing format is just something to get used to (Agree that the riders will tend to do better in their native environments.)

 

Consider golf. There's team play, stroke play, match play. All are golf and all golfers can play everything. They don't specialize in just one thing although some might be better at one than the others... Cycling (tour de france): There's individual time trial, team time trial, mountain and flat, as well as normal racing all in the same race... Tennis: Individual and team (same gender and mixed gender). In motorcycle road/track racing, the biggest format change is rain--the great equalizer. Riders and teams will adapt when they have to. I happen to enjoy watching racing in rain more. Seems like each year, only about 3 motogp riders challenge for the race wins. But when the track gets wet, all hell breaks loose. That tension between speed and control! It's more entertaining, I think, than if one rider leads from start to finish or if one rider wins 7 straight races without serious challenge. Also passing is so difficult at the front of the motogp races when the tracks are dry that I can see value in the TT format, besides the consideration that the TT is probably safer due to less traffic.

 

The bike difference is big. Seems BMW has bigger presence at the TT and none at all at motogp. But maybe the equalization can be done at the computer level, like a handicap system? I didn't know TC & ABS aren't allowed at the TT. But in my dream world, I mean wishy world where the two race each other, obviously changes has to be made. The parties want to race each other SO much that they would do whatever it takes to make it happen. They don't have to make the bikes exactly the same (as you mention the differences are severe) nor do they have to arrive at the final rules in the first year. They can take the NFL approach and keep adjusting the rules year after year to their hearts content.

 

At least a few motogp racers also ride dirt bikes on spare time. Between the rain, dirt, racing and occasional street commuting, they make adjustments all the time to different bikes and conditions, although not all at peak performance. In one of the TotW books, I recall reading Keith making a statement to the effect that he guesses that the top racers can estimate very accurately the speed to within 0.5 mph or something like that. One of the biggest TC computer they have is apparently in the head?

 

Racer's desires: So I imagine I am the #93 motogp racer. I ask myself, do I want to race Guy Martin even if just for fun. Heck yeah! What does the contract with Honda say? Heck no. What about for charity? Come on.

 

MotoGP is about selling tickets, filling up the grandstands, and moving merchandise. So MotoGP going to the Isle has as much chance of happening as MotoGP allowing outsiders to enter their race where their success formulas depends on a handful of their dominant racing personalities. Right? No?

 

All for fun and fun for all.

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I think your missing the point myself and RChase are making here,

 

Your analogy to golf/ tennis is not relevant to what your proposing, all forms of golf and tennis are played on the same course with the same equipment, what your suggesting is more akin to saying we should have a competition between Figure Skaters and Hockey players since they both wear ice skates and compete in a rink.

 

The TT and "Real Road Racing" looks very similar to Closed course racing, but it is very much different. There are no hedges and stone walls, cliffs and storefronts on race tracks. The rider walks away from nearly every incident at the race track thanks to improvements in track design and safety equipment. The fatality rate of the two forms of racing are not even in the same category. This is the fundamental difference that makes this comparison invalid. To truly compete in the TT you must be willing to flirt with death at a level that is VASTLY different from the race track. Michael Dunlop doesn't ride hard enough to drag his elbow at the TT, and MM isn't risking his life at every corner in MotoGP, there is no middle ground to equalize the differences.

 

You can sometime see the top riders from the TT in BSB and occasionally in WSBK, but they are normally not very high in the standings,

 

For example,

 

Guy Martin contested the 2008 BSB chamionship with a single top 10 finish, mostly finishing in the 12 - 15 th place

 

John McGuinness has contested 3 MotoGP races with a best finish of 12th

 

Michael Dunlop Contested 3 rounds of BSB this year, all were DN'sF , Qualified 26th and 17th

 

 

There is no comparison

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T-McKeen, I think one thing you are saying is that the danger of the Isle racing makes it not comparable with motoGP. I see the same as you as far as the danger goes. But whereas figure skating and hockey require totally different skills, TT and track racing require same skills, just different levels of control (kind of like no elbow dipping when racing in the rain). Guy Martin and Michael Dunlop having raced in both formats prove that it's just paved surface bike racing, not that different. Elbow dragging is just a sign of more aggressive riding because the conditions allow and not a totally different skill set because a figure skater doesn't have to hit a tiny puck with a stick while wearing thick gloves and helmet or a hockey player have to do a triple lutz in tights. Tennis has clay, paved and grass surfaces, which players tend to show preference for one or two but usually not all three, hence grandslams are rare. Same can be said of golf that some golfers do better in certain formats/courses than others. Golf has links and non-link style courses, types of grass, types of bunkers, etc. and requires same skills (ability to control the club, read the lie, wind, terrain, etc.) and restraint, i.e. sometimes they just have to hit the ball short or get punished if they go for the flag.

 

So does TT vs finish-line racing require the exercise of the same skills with risk/reward balance: line selection, vision, hanging off, brake and throttle control, etc. It's just the ability to dish out the skills in appropriate doses at the right moments that separate one rider from the another and allow them to survive the different tracks (bike discussion already covered). Punishment is served if too much risk is taken, but the fact that harsher punishment could be served at the Isle does not make it apple vs a motogp track's orange. It just means that he took too much risk. There are format variations in many sports, bicycle racing discussed, maybe paved surface racing could use some more. Or not. The suzuka 8 hr could be counted as a different format, and there's nothing wrong with that, except for maybe that it's mostly a localized event... That's all.

 

Although results might very well be related to amount of practice and long term commitment, I think the passed results you pointed out are interesting and relevant.

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I think this is a great discussion.

 

IIRC, there was a time that the AMA (American Motorcycle Association) Race Championship series included TT races, Flat Track ovals and Road Courses so this concept is not without precedent.

 

That said, the skill sets of today's racing is so highly tuned to a single discipline that it would be harder (IMHO) for riders to jump between venues and succeed as Tyler's stats bear out.

 

Regardless, this is fun to read.

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There's a fundamental difference in philosophy. For example. At the TT it's all about the lap time where in MotoGP it's all about ending up at the finish line first. If you listen to the TT guys talk about the course they actively talk about how they will go slower in a section to set them up better to arrive at another section. In circuit racing this would mean potentially loosing a position and finishing 2nd even with a better overall lap time.

rchase;

I think you may have glossed over a couple of points in your detailed analysis; although I am wrong at least as much as I am not wrong when I post here. Anyway here is another way to look at this comparison (Isle of Mann TT racers v. Moto GP). You correctly say that "it's all about ending up at the finish line first" but lap times are very important in Moto GP as well.

 

It can be argued that lap times are paramount regardless of venue. Lap times in qualifying set the grid in all major venues (Moto GP, SBK, BSB, Moto America, etc.). Most premiere venues call it Superpole and now televise it because where riders are gridded is a BIG deal. The race winner also always has the shortest cumulative race time meaning their average lap times are the lowest (although the single fastest lap can be posted by another rider).

 

As for TT Racers going slower to set up at another section where they can go fast, that too is pretty universal in racing (or track riding). Linked corners require riders/racers to calculate their entry speed to minimize the time spent getting through that section of the track and then to maximize their drive out. If you've been to Laguna Seca you know that if you go into turn 8A too hot, you will overshoot 8B and shred your time on that lap. Maybe a racer has enough laps to make it for that mistake (think Rossi v. Stoner) or maybe they don't, but lap times count in Moto GP as well.

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Searching for "isle of man tt world championship status" brings up lots of history. Apparenly two things are true 1) Although the number of deaths on the Isle are greatly outnumbered by safe rides, politics of racing are big 2) many riders can't automatically be trusted to ride safely maybe because they become infallible and invincible the moment they throw their legs over the bike, or the hundreds of corners are too hard to learn.

 

KK: The TT format doesn't allow the racer to know for sure if he's leading the race or in last place. So although, it's still minimum lap time at the end of the day, their strategy is greatly affected by this lack of knowledge.

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Wishy;

Thanks for the correction. If the Isle of Mann racers don't know where they stand they really can't let up anywhere at any point it would seem. I appreciate the difference now so rchase ignore what I wrote.

 

Certainly not the same racing strategy one would use if they read their pit board approaching the white flag to see they had a 13 second gap back to P2.

 

Kevin

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The IOM TT uses the same cutting edge communication technology as MotoGP and every other form of Motorcycle racing that I'm familiar with, The Pit Board.

 

Position, and Lead time are easily communicated, It's also not like the TT is without passing or other riders, If you've caught up with the guy that left 10 seconds before you, you're ahead of him , and if someone behind you has caught up, he's ahead of you

 

There are of course some situations where the lead is very slim and the actual positions might change between the final pit board and the finish line and neither racer will be aware until the race is over, but its not like you imply that they have no knowledge whatsoever of where they are in the standings for the entirety of the race

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The Isle TT course is over 37 miles, that's like 10 motogp laps. If I were riding, I think the pitboard is like last week's news and with the staggered start, the news doesn't have accurate info on the riders behind me unless they pass me because I pass the time check before they do. I just don't think I can get up to date accurate news about anybody in fact. For instance, if a rider ahead goes off the TT course (maybe on purpose because of mechanical problems or he's out of gas ), I might not see or hear about it for a long time, where as I would most likely see on a motoGP track's wide open short course where the riders are more bunched up.

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You're assuming there is only 1 pit board at the start finish line then ?

 

I'm not a expert on the rules of the IOM , but I do believe they have several located around the course

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I don't get to watch it live but believe I've never seen a single board much less multiple. I stand corrected if they have it around the course :). I saw a footage of people not knowing where their racer was despite being in the lead at a check point as he all of suddened disappeared while others finished until he finally pushed his bike back. Turns out he just ran out of gas. However, I believe that at the finish, the racers still don't have a clue where they are relative to the front. In a normal race, you can tell exactly how far you are from the front and how many people are in front of you (if any) and maybe if they have weaknesses such as traction problems by just looking and can plan your sniping strategies accordingly where you can't in the TT race. So I agree with rchase that the TT is much more of a pure race.

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I saw that I have 13 posts after the last one. So naturally I have to do one more to get out of 13:)

 

I don't think knowing your placement somewhere along the TT track affects anything. If a you can ride faster you would have done so already. Tactics that you see in a normal race such as hard braking into a corner and blocking your opponent doesn't exist because the guy who leads you might be a mile behind you.

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I think it's safe to say what I believe has already been woven into this thread - the comparison between the IOM and Moto GP is apples to oranges. The definition of "racing" is also getting twisted here as "...pure race" is in the eyes of the beholder.

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Since the fruits keep coming up, I'd like to propose the consideration of granny smith and fuji apples. One is green, the other red. One is sour, the other is sweet. They are both apples.

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