Jump to content
faffi

Is The Level Raising?

Recommended Posts

If we go back in time, riders weren't generally tremendously fit - most of them appear to have ridden motorcycles a lot, but paid less attention to workouts and food intake. Kenny Roberts Sr. was perhaps the first modern racer, both regarding his riding style as well as his strict lifestyle with plenty of workouts and eating healthy.

 

I still suspect that today's riders spend more time in the gym and on bicycles and focusing on what they eat.

 

But what about the level of riding skill and speed? Sure, Rossi anno 2011 is much more skilled than Rossi anno 1996. But is he faster now than he was in 2001? Would a backmarker today have beaten Rossi of 10 years ago? And what about riders like Doohan, Rainey, Lawson, Spencer and Roberts Sr - would they, at the shape they were in when racing, have been able to mix it with the winners today, or would they be left hopelessly behind?

 

Note that I don't question whether they would be up front or not if they lived today; if they raced now, they would still be among the very best because they would have done what's needed to be at the front. My question is simply if today's racers are faster and better than they were 10, 20 or 30 years ago, or if what we see in better lap times are basically down to better equipment?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

interesting question that cannot ever really be answered. you would have to line up all the riders concerned on the machines they are racing today - but they would all need the years of experience with those particular machines that the current riders have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know it cannot be answered in absolute terms, but Keith Code did train Rainey and do train Camier, for instance, and should be in a position to at least make a qualified guess. Of course, nobody can hold whatever answer there is against him, but he should still have an idea, I reckon - or?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think if Agostini came up the same as the other riders of today, received their training (physical training and technique on the bikes) that he would still be one of the greats. I think the same basic talent comes into play. And I think it would be hard to argue that physical training DIDN'T make a difference. It can't do anything but help. Unless you're a cannibal raising human stock and like high fat meat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I mentioned, the best would always be up there, regardless of the era - they would just have to adapt to the current material and demands.

 

But what I would like to know - or at least have a qualified guess at - is whether the speed is improving not only because the material gets better, but also because the riders become better (or not). Personally, I believe Doohan would still be good enough today, but perhaps one has to ride harder and be more able to get to the very limit today than what was neccesary 10-15 years ago?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not that the riders skill levels are getting better. The equipment, definitely. They're better trained to compete on todays machines. I would say that, if anything, you have riders who don't ride near as hard as the riders of yesterday. Goes in every sport. Look at the sprinter, Johnson. He pulled up and out of a lot of races because of some small injury here or there. Deion Sanders went from a hitting machine in college to a pansy in the pro's because he didn't want to get hurt and lose money.

 

The riders of today are some tough SOB's, one of the toughest group of athletes in the world, but I wouldn't place them in the same league as the men who raced back then in regards to fortitude.

 

If you put a group of average NFL players of yesterday on a level playing field with the toughest players currently in the NFL, the throwback players would wipe the floor with the current roster. I don't know if I'd say there would be the same huge disparity between older and newer riders, but I guarantee there would be one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Makes for great pub banter a topic like this - because we could never know.

 

I agree, Keith would have the best view of this, as he does with most things motorcycling :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eirik - I love your posts. Several friends and I have had this discussion about sports in general.

 

My personal opinion is that on average riders are getting better, if you define better by their riding ability (to Jason's point the riders of yesteryear had to ride damn hard in much worse conditions). I believe this is true of all major sports and that it is Darwinian in nature. As competition in an area matures we see competitors actively developing their natural abilities by starting at a younger age, taking a scientific approach to their training, and working with specialists and experts in all areas of improvement. Each generation finds the competition a bit tighter and must then find advantage wherever they can, most definitely that means equipment development but I think it means active rider development as well. CSS is a prime example, the owner of the shop I frequent is a former racer and he's who recommended CSS to me. He said "they will teach you all the things we had to learn by trial and error back in the day". If you don't have to learn the basics by trial and error you can spend that effort on fine tuning your skills. If most of the competitors in a field of endeavor are learning the basic's better and faster then the level of competition should rise.

 

Physical evolution in a field of competition is also a factor. Consider the 300 pound football player (the American version - like there would be a 300 lb footballer anywhere else in the world :P), in 1970 the NFL had one, in 2010 there were 532 (when training camps opened). Now arguments about the health of this aside, I believe that this is a example of the generational evolution of a competitor.

 

All that said, do modern riders have more "heart" than their forefathers? That I doubt very much.

 

Of course this is just my opinion and it is most definitely worth less than what I got paid to express it. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting interview with Stoner over at Soup http://www.superbikeplanet.com/2011/Jul/110707-stoner-hrc.htm

 

And this quote from Casey caught my eye:

I'll never even try and think that two riders are the same. Every rider I've ever been around has their own technique and their own way to gain speed. So, that's something that I disagree a lot with rider coaches and things like that that are trying to bring speed in a different direction. Each rider has their own potential and should be brought out by themselves and trying to nurture their own speed rather than trying to bring speed out by their way which isn't natural and it's something you got to think about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting interview with Stoner over at Soup http://www.superbike...-stoner-hrc.htm

 

And this quote from Casey caught my eye:

I'll never even try and think that two riders are the same. Every rider I've ever been around has their own technique and their own way to gain speed. So, that's something that I disagree a lot with rider coaches and things like that that are trying to bring speed in a different direction. Each rider has their own potential and should be brought out by themselves and trying to nurture their own speed rather than trying to bring speed out by their way which isn't natural and it's something you got to think about.

Eirik;

 

How do you interpret this quote? Having read the article I found this quote to be something very different that it reads all by itself; the context of the full interview is necessary (IMHO) to understand what Stoner is saying - at least it was to me anyway.

 

Rainman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting interview with Stoner over at Soup http://www.superbike...-stoner-hrc.htm

 

And this quote from Casey caught my eye:

I'll never even try and think that two riders are the same. Every rider I've ever been around has their own technique and their own way to gain speed. So, that's something that I disagree a lot with rider coaches and things like that that are trying to bring speed in a different direction. Each rider has their own potential and should be brought out by themselves and trying to nurture their own speed rather than trying to bring speed out by their way which isn't natural and it's something you got to think about.

Eirik;

 

How do you interpret this quote? Having read the article I found this quote to be something very different that it reads all by itself; the context of the full interview is necessary (IMHO) to understand what Stoner is saying - at least it was to me anyway.

 

Rainman

 

To me, it seems like he is saying that at this level, you cannot have a one coach teaching every rider the same thing and expect optimum results, but that a coach would have to be able to look at each individual and be able to help them develope and improve their own style. In other words, they cannot and should not be formed in the same mould and you shouldn't try to make them ride in the same way. As I see it, this doesn't conflict with the CSS principles, but that there are several ways to apply them and utilize them depending on your own strenghts and weaknesses. At a hobby level, individual adjustments are of less importance because one first have to learn the basics.

Share this post


Link to post
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...

×
×
  • Create New...