Jump to content

Is This V. Rossi's Secret?


Crash106
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've seen Valentino Rossi do some crazy stuff on the track. As I was reading "Speed Secrets: Professional Race Driving Techniques," I came across this bit that sounds like it might be one of Rossi's secret weapons.

 

"Remember, anytime you slow slightly while trying to pass another car,

you are not at the limit anymore. Therefore, you can probably alter your

line to almost anywhere on the track without being concerned about spinning."

 

What do you think?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So you are saying that, now that you are aware of this tip, you can compete with Rossi? :D

 

The other side of this tip though, is that once you actually go for the pass, you will be at the limit again AND off the ideal line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So you are saying that, now that you are aware of this tip, you can compete with Rossi? :D

 

The other side of this tip though, is that once you actually go for the pass, you will be at the limit again AND off the ideal line.

 

 

Not to mention the fact that it's usually the rider's survival reactions that cause errors, not actually being over the limits of the bike or tires! If you put too much attention on the other rider, while also trying a different line with a different turn point, later braking point, and possibly higher entry speed (if you try to outbrake the other rider or shoot forward to pass) things can get scary in a hurry. Probably Rossi has a good trick to keeping a cool head, maybe THAT'S his secret!

 

I rode in the intermediate group at track days for a long time, and I tended to have a low entry speed and relatively high exit speed. Therefore other riders would try to pass me on turn entries. Very often they would shoot past me, then either just go straight and run off without even attempting to turn (an obvious panic reaction), or turn in early and run wide, or hang on the brakes way too long, which also made them run wide AND slow down too much. All survival reactions kicking in and screwing up their judgement - I don't think they were really in much danger of overpowering their tires or their bike.

 

Then again, maybe they just forgot that part about "...slowing down slightly while trying to pass...". :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Rossi's racing pulse is always below 130 BPM whereas the typical being around 180 BPM (Biaggi being one example - Senna used to race with 190+ heart rate in F1!). Clearly, Rossi is under a lot less stress than the average rider, freeing up brain capacity he can use to control the bike and observe his surroundings, making him less likely to be influenced by SR.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, if Rossi's greatest secret is a Zenlike calmness (and it very well may be a big part of it), what does he do to get there? I certainly see that knowledge, training and experience can control SRs. So can looking well down the track. So can consciously noticing when you are tense, breathing steadily and making an effort to relax. What ELSE can we do to be calm, cool and collected at speed?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Rossi's racing pulse is always below 130 BPM whereas the typical being around 180 BPM (Biaggi being one example - Senna used to race with 190+ heart rate in F1!). Clearly, Rossi is under a lot less stress than the average rider, freeing up brain capacity he can use to control the bike and observe his surroundings, making him less likely to be influenced by SR.

 

 

I'm pretty sure pros don't have SRs. I'm extremely comfortable on the motocross track with my dirtbike. After having some very good competition along with many years of racing at the track every single weekend the SRs just went away for me completely. When I was focused the only thing that took any attention is the line I was choosing to run so if anything extra came up I had plenty of attention span left to use and deal with it calmly. The feel and 2nd nature reactions that I developed after so many years took care of the rest. That feel, confidence, and a clear head eliminated the SRs especially after you realize you can save pretty much every mistake that you make if you just relax and ride instead of freezing up. I'm sure Rossi is on a completely different level of focus that I've never experienced and has a perfectly clear head no matter whats going on. I still have no idea how he keeps his heart rate around 130bpm.

 

On the sportbike its a whole different experience for me. There are a lot more things to pay attention to and mistakes are much less forgiving. Once I get to a certain pace it takes up all of my attention span to get things done right and there are other things I know that I should be paying attention to as well. When your trying to do so many things at once its so easy to get overwhelmed and SRs start to occur. For me just the braking sequence was a lot to handle at first which includes in this order: slide off the seat to setup for corner, sit up (and not get blown off the bike), roll off the throttle, start squeezing the brake, down shifting smoothly, and keeping the rear end under control all before reaching my turn in point! It just seemed like a lot to do at a very high speed and it took up most of my attention span for a while. Especially when you compare it to what I do on my dirtbike which consists of: downshift once or twice (sometimes in the air), drive it into the berm/rut, whack open the throttle and ride out of the corner. It just seems so simple doesn't it? laugh.gif

 

Crash, the only way to get to that Zen like calmness that Rossi has is practice and being 100% confident in yourself and your machine. I'm sure he doesn't need to remind himself to keep his arms relaxed or to make sure hes using the correct visual techniques. All of that probably just happens for him automatically along with the other hundred things that hes doing on that bike down to the smallest detail. Once you get to that point your going to be calm and you'll have loads of attention to put on planning your next pass 5 turns or a lap before your actually going to make it. You can think about managing your pace, and your place on the racetrack along with where your competitors are. You can pay attention to your competitors strengths and weaknesses and plan your pass to exploit his weakness. This lets him adjust his lines to execute a pass at corner exit even though they haven't even made it to corner entry yet or vise versa.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think its just because he's been doing it so long for him its just like breathing or tying his shoe laces, he's constantly at high speeds, constantly riding, road or dirt, he is 100% confindent in his bikes technologies, thanks to an Australianbiggrin.gif Jeremy Burgess, and because he's helped developed most of it with yamaha, dont forget he tamed the 500cc beast as well lot more forgiving nowadays on the 800cc with the electronics to help like traction control etc. I wouldnt mind knowing what his heart rate was like riding the 500cc though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everybody will have SR given enough stress. You can see it when riders look at other riders crashing or suddenly deciding they want to go straight because they have lost faith in taking the corner, yet it is clear in retrospect that they had slowed enough to make the corner (on a much wider line, but still) etc. Top rank riders are amazing, but they are still making mistakes, like any other human being, and high levels of stress makes them more likely to happen.

 

Capirossi and Biaggi, to name two, don't have any less experience than Rossi, yet AFAIK nobody else has so much in reserve as Rossi. Must be Lorenzo, perhaps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everybody will have SR given enough stress. You can see it when riders look at other riders crashing or suddenly deciding they want to go straight because they have lost faith in taking the corner, yet it is clear in retrospect that they had slowed enough to make the corner (on a much wider line, but still) etc. Top rank riders are amazing, but they are still making mistakes, like any other human being, and high levels of stress makes them more likely to happen.

 

Capirossi and Biaggi, to name two, don't have any less experience than Rossi, yet AFAIK nobody else has so much in reserve as Rossi. Must be Lorenzo, perhaps.

 

 

 

I forgot about the stress levels they have to deal with sometimes. Especially when I was young there was no such thing as stress while I was on the track but when your trying to win a championship or keep your ride for next year that changes things.

 

Still for many of them I don't think SRs exist. Just because they changed their line causing them to run off the track could have been decided by their place on the track and at the time they didn't see any other ways out. It doesn't mean they panicked, it just means they thought that was their only option at the time. In MotoGP and WSBK I never see anyone alter their line because someone wrecked in front of them unless they are actually going to collide. I guess we'll never really know unless we talk to one of them tongue.gif.

 

Either way they wont have any survival reaction issues while pushing a little harder or changing their line to make a pass like the original topic is about. When most of us have to alter our lines in a way we aren't comfortable with usually SRs kick in but if you want to make passes you can't be afraid to alter your lines.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think its just because he's been doing it so long for him its just like breathing or tying his shoe laces, he's constantly at high speeds, constantly riding, road or dirt, he is 100% confindent in his bikes technologies, thanks to an Australianbiggrin.gif Jeremy Burgess, and because he's helped developed most of it with yamaha, dont forget he tamed the 500cc beast as well lot more forgiving nowadays on the 800cc with the electronics to help like traction control etc. I wouldnt mind knowing what his heart rate was like riding the 500cc though.

 

In the film "Faster" (highly recommended, BTW), Doctor Costa explains that he had fitted Biaggi and Rossi with heart rate monitors, and Rossi's heart rate never went above 130 bpm, whereas Biaggi would go up to 190bpm. And that was in the 500cc era.

 

 

Kai

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think its just because he's been doing it so long for him its just like breathing or tying his shoe laces, he's constantly at high speeds, constantly riding, road or dirt, he is 100% confindent in his bikes technologies, thanks to an Australianbiggrin.gif Jeremy Burgess, and because he's helped developed most of it with yamaha, dont forget he tamed the 500cc beast as well lot more forgiving nowadays on the 800cc with the electronics to help like traction control etc. I wouldnt mind knowing what his heart rate was like riding the 500cc though.

 

In the film "Faster" (highly recommended, BTW), Doctor Costa explains that he had fitted Biaggi and Rossi with heart rate monitors, and Rossi's heart rate never went above 130 bpm, whereas Biaggi would go up to 190bpm. And that was in the 500cc era.

 

 

Kai

 

Nice Kai!!! guess he's one of the few that naturally has a low heart rate you wouldnt happen to know his resting heart rate?biggrin.gif

 

Dylan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Nice Kai!!! guess he's one of the few that naturally has a low heart rate you wouldnt happen to know his resting heart rate?biggrin.gif

 

Dylan

 

Rest rate doesn't have much to say when it comes to max rate. A Norwegian cross-country skier (Harald Gronningen) from many, many decades ago had a rest pulse of 26, but his max was 180. A bloke at the gym rarely exceeds 115 bpm even going at it on the step machine and cannot bring himself over 125, yet his rest pulse is around 65.

 

But I agree - it could simply be that Rossi has a very low max heart rate, although it would be strange for a top rank athlete to max out in the 130-140 range.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice Kai!!! guess he's one of the few that naturally has a low heart rate you wouldnt happen to know his resting heart rate?biggrin.gif

 

Dylan

 

Rest rate doesn't have much to say when it comes to max rate. A Norwegian cross-country skier (Harald Gronningen) from many, many decades ago had a rest pulse of 26, but his max was 180. A bloke at the gym rarely exceeds 115 bpm even going at it on the step machine and cannot bring himself over 125, yet his rest pulse is around 65.

 

But I agree - it could simply be that Rossi has a very low max heart rate, although it would be strange for a top rank athlete to max out in the 130-140 range.

 

 

He can still max it out all the way up to and past 200bpm its just he doesnt have to cause his SRs dont fire and he has a better useage and economy of effort. I'd say your mate at the gym needs to go a bit harder get that HR nice and highwink.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

According to the amount he is sweating, he doesn't look like he's just having a break laugh.gif

 

It's interesting to listen to interviews with world class drivers and riders. Winning - or even making it alive - is for most a contstant fight against SR. They do not work hard enough to require 190 bpm - their hearts race that hard because they are fighting for survivial. When tested, F1 drivers - and probably also bike riders - only breathe on the straights, not during braking and turning. Also, they may only blink once per minute.

 

Hakkinnen (F1) said at Monza he had to fight his SR going into corner one every lap all weekend because they were braking from 350+ kph down to 80 kph - and they hit the brakes 130 metres before the chicane. Every single lap, his brain said "this is impossible" and urged him to brake earlier. He never got used to it, even when he knew from experience it was possible.

 

Axel Lund Svindal (alpine skier) had a very nasty fall during a downhill race in USA a couple of years back that almost ended his life and ruined his season completely. One year later, he was back - winning the same race! A team from Japan was present and did brain scans (stationary in scanner) as well as using electrodes to monitor brain waves/activity during test runs and a camera that monitored his eyes. During the 2-minute run, he only blinked once. Axel also claimed he had no fear of the hill, but they discovered - both in the scanner when he was watching a film of the run and from the electrodes during the runs - that he had massive brain activity in the fear/survival centre of his brain when approaching the accident site. But he also used enormous amount of brain power to overcome the fear, to supress it, so that he managed to ignore it and go flat out despite his SR wanting him to quit.

 

Naturally, if you can manage to perform these operations without constantly fighting fear, you are less likely to make mistakes because you have freed up more of your brain. And this is likely what Rossi was like - I am not sure he is as relaxed today as he used to be now that the competition is much harder and he must try harder to stay in contention?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think on the initial post, this could be one of Rossi's views. He takes some strange lines when he's behind people, and it usually ends up with him in front of them. It sounds about right.

 

On the heart rate (HR) thing, there have been plenty of experiments that have athletes of all kinds hooked up to machines. The findings are overwhelmingly consistent. They have much lower HR's during their sport of choice than your normal participant. I can guarantee that Biaggi's HR isn't consistently at 190 during a race, and that it's more normally in the Rossi range. I'm sure him having close calls or a close race with Haga gets his HR up, but an HR of 190 isn't consistent with proper perfusion of blood for a prolonged period. That's regardless of who you are. Trained athletes have lower resting HR's and it takes longer for those HR's to get up to max, but we all have the same ceiling basically. I'm sure being in second and stepping it up will get the heart pumping, but when they're pacing a rider or cruising up front, it's nowhere near 180-190.

 

It probably has something to do with the wiring of Rossi's brain. There are plenty of times I've been shaken by another rider, and I'm sure my HR rockets up. The more close passes I've experienced, and I get passed a lot, the less shaken (the macho word for scared and I'll keep using it) I become. Maybe it's just that Rossi doesn't have that on a track. I'd be willing to bet that you take him out of his comfort zone, which is in control of his bike, and you'll see a difference in his HR.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
I'm sure he doesn't need to remind himself to keep his arms relaxed or to make sure hes using the correct visual techniques. All of that probably just happens for him automatically along with the other hundred things that hes doing on that bike down to the smallest detail. Once you get to that point your going to be calm and you'll have loads of attention to put on planning your next pass 5 turns or a lap before your actually going to make it. You can think about managing your pace, and your place on the racetrack along with where your competitors are. You can pay attention to your competitors strengths and weaknesses and plan your pass to exploit his weakness. This lets him adjust his lines to execute a pass at corner exit even though they haven't even made it to corner entry yet or vise versa.

 

Actually, reading Andy Abbott's book, Rossi says he's constantly talking to himself on the track...telling himself to brake earlier, get on the throttle sooner, etc. I think the difference is that he's really not THAT far off to begin with...but he still has the awareness to know what could be better.

 

I am most certainly a Johnny-come-lately Rossi fan, as I only got into this sport two years ago...but I'm just in awe every time I watch him race :o...even when he's not having the best of days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sure he doesn't need to remind himself to keep his arms relaxed or to make sure hes using the correct visual techniques. All of that probably just happens for him automatically along with the other hundred things that hes doing on that bike down to the smallest detail. Once you get to that point your going to be calm and you'll have loads of attention to put on planning your next pass 5 turns or a lap before your actually going to make it. You can think about managing your pace, and your place on the racetrack along with where your competitors are. You can pay attention to your competitors strengths and weaknesses and plan your pass to exploit his weakness. This lets him adjust his lines to execute a pass at corner exit even though they haven't even made it to corner entry yet or vise versa.

 

Actually, reading Andy Abbott's book, Rossi says he's constantly talking to himself on the track...telling himself to brake earlier, get on the throttle sooner, etc. I think the difference is that he's really not THAT far off to begin with...but he still has the awareness to know what could be better.

 

I am most certainly a Johnny-come-lately Rossi fan, as I only got into this sport two years ago...but I'm just in awe every time I watch him race :o...even when he's not having the best of days.

 

 

Thinking about how to change your reference points/racing line is different than paying attention to how to ride the motorcycle itself. I think SRs are usually caused by there being an overwhelming number of things (could only 2 different things before it becomes overwhelming) that a rider might need to deal with which causes them to freeze up or make mistakes. This isn't something Rossi needs to worry about which lets him be much more aggressive and comfortable with changing up racing lines to get faster or to make a pass.

 

If your going to change your line its going to require some thought. The less you need to think about how to change your line (control the bike to get there) the more you can focus on simply which line you want to ride. Most riders need to think about how to put the bike where they want it, professional riders only need to think about where they want it and not how to get it there.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sure he doesn't need to remind himself to keep his arms relaxed or to make sure hes using the correct visual techniques. All of that probably just happens for him automatically along with the other hundred things that hes doing on that bike down to the smallest detail. Once you get to that point your going to be calm and you'll have loads of attention to put on planning your next pass 5 turns or a lap before your actually going to make it. You can think about managing your pace, and your place on the racetrack along with where your competitors are. You can pay attention to your competitors strengths and weaknesses and plan your pass to exploit his weakness. This lets him adjust his lines to execute a pass at corner exit even though they haven't even made it to corner entry yet or vise versa.

 

Actually, reading Andy Abbott's book, Rossi says he's constantly talking to himself on the track...telling himself to brake earlier, get on the throttle sooner, etc. I think the difference is that he's really not THAT far off to begin with...but he still has the awareness to know what could be better.

 

I am most certainly a Johnny-come-lately Rossi fan, as I only got into this sport two years ago...but I'm just in awe every time I watch him race :o...even when he's not having the best of days.

 

 

Thinking about how to change your reference points/racing line is different than paying attention to how to ride the motorcycle itself. I think SRs are usually caused by there being an overwhelming number of things (could only 2 different things before it becomes overwhelming) that a rider might need to deal with which causes them to freeze up or make mistakes. This isn't something Rossi needs to worry about which lets him be much more aggressive and comfortable with changing up racing lines to get faster or to make a pass.

 

If your going to change your line its going to require some thought. The less you need to think about how to change your line (control the bike to get there) the more you can focus on simply which line you want to ride. Most riders need to think about how to put the bike where they want it, professional riders only need to think about where they want it and not how to get it there.

 

 

 

I would think braking too early is a result of SR's (which, now that I have the book in front of me, I can confirm is what he was talking about). Personally, I don't believe SR's ever go away...simply because its not a controlled reaction. Sure, these guys have pushed them well beyond anything most people could ever dream of, but they are still human...and when pushed beyond their comfort zone they will ignite those SRs. Now, don't get me wrong...in many cases their SR's aren't triggered until the bike itself actually can't handle the situation...but not all...particularly during a race. Just an opinion though...only those gods of motorcycle riding truly know whats going on in their heads.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...