Motorbike Racing vs. Car Racing – Superbike or Formula One?

No way is car racing (and in particular Formula One) better than bike racing! With Formula One allowing team-orders and with the majority of other car racing championships having pit lane radios to talk to the driver during the race. Surely this distracts the driver and takes away the enjoyment and hard fought racing from the sport? Cal Crutchlow, Shane Byrne and Billy McConnell manage to consistently bag fastest laps and eventually pole positions without talking to their pit crew.

Full of overtaking

However, bike racing may not be everyone’s cup of tea and with the way some people would say MotoGP is heading with a lot of electronical gizmos on their machines. Perhaps car racing is getting better? The excitement of ‘Multi 21’ and Lewis Hamilton checking in at ex-team Mclarens pit box in Malaysia the race was actually full of overtaking. Although perhaps it wouldn’t have been if Vettel would have played to the Red Bull rule book.

A standard motorcycle in a hard fought race

Surely there is no better feeling as a rider and sight as a fan of a standard motorcycle in a hard fought race. I guess we just have to take a look at the grid numbers in each of the ‘Challenge’ series’ on the British Superbike championship; Triumph Triple Challenge and the Ducati 848 Challenge. They are full of great riders with standard machines. Racing for the enjoyment. Which seems less possible in both MotoGP and Formula One. Perhaps its because of the amount of money they get paid?

Money

That would be another thing, money. Personally I think the amount these drivers and riders get paid shouldn’t affect the way they ride. In British Superbikes a team manager revealed at the weekend that his riders aren’t paid. Another team manager gave us an insight of how much it would cost you to run a top team in British Superbikes. He said £750,000 to around £850,000. That is a lot of money. But still doesn’t stop them from enjoying there racing.

Genuine people

Does the fame go to their head? Well, some would say so. But to me there are only really a few riders and drivers in the top level of their sport, Motogp and Formula One. That come across on camera as genuine people. Jenson Button, Mark Webber and Cal Crutchlow. The way in which Crutchlow dealt with his Silverstone incident was brilliant. He injured himself and went to hospital but still the next day. Race day. Jumped onboard his Yamaha and got on with the job. For the British fans.

Bike racers are a lot tougher

Some would say bike racers are a lot tougher physically than car racers. And I’d say this is probably true. Bike racers can fall off their machines wearing just leather and a few bits of equipment to save them from fatal injuries and broken bones week in week out. Surely not a good thing but makes the bike racing what it is?

Fans were able to walk pit lane

The examples I’ve bought up make me think. Are these things the ones that make the club and national level of racing much better? The racers are happy to sign autographs and speak to fans without being locked up in their pit garages for the majority of the day. Just another example. The British Superbike series got it just right this weekend at Thruxton. The qualifying session was rained off so needless to say, the fans were able to walk pit lane and speak to their favourite racer, and these racers are heroes to some.

The talent of riders is brilliant

So I will recap. Money, and lots of it. Fame, and racers being ‘big headed’, for me doesn’t make the racing exciting at all. So bike racing at a national level is better and what is even better is this. The fact their machines are standard factory bikes (for BSB just a few odd changes but no ABS)… They make for better racing! My favourite championship within the British Superbike paddock is the Triumph Triple Challenge. The talent of riders is brilliant and with their standard machinery, the youngsters and perhaps British Superbike champions in the years to come have a real hard battle for the lead and eventually race win.

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