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Bryan
Hagerty Employee

Smithology: Are you not amused? You could be

You are probably watching the wrong sport.

 

This has nothing to do with stick-and-ball games or basket-net games. And really, it’s not that the sports you like are bad, per se.

 

It’s just that they’re not MotoGP ... Read the full column on Hagerty.com:

 

https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/smithology/smithology-are-you-not-amused-you-could-be/

 

26 REPLIES 26
charliemarkham
Passenger

This is very interesting Sam, where can I watch a MotoGP race? And is there anything I can read up on beforehand?

Swamibob
Instructor

Agreed Sam:

 

MotoGP is a blast!  For me, though, I really love British Superbike for even closer racing and what I think are more interesting tracks, in some cases.  In Superbike it seems like it's even more competitive than the MotpGP.  Maybe it's because the bikes are closer to stock?

I've also developed a thing for sedan racing.  British, Australian, American, all are fun to watch!  Seeing four door and hatchback sedans rolling over on their rocker panels and trading paint over and over is just too much fun to watch.  

danhise
Detailer

Dazzled as always by the honeyed words of Samuel Smith, I looked further at MotoGP and found it to be European, with one side trip on the 2021 schedule to Qatar.  For me, posted in Central Time, that's a six to nine hour time difference.  I assume that the channels or services that air the races are offering recorded versions in the States, which is a small disappointment.  Still, in any form it would be an improvement over what we have now, which is hokey dirt-track stuff.  I'm going to ride with Sam, and give it a look.  I think there's a major race coming up.  I hope there are frequent lead changes.

audiocage
Detailer

A former colleague in the UK put me on to MotoGP a few years ago, and yeah, it's mighty compelling.  You can literally see what it takes to challenge the limits of physics.  And if MotoGP ever starts to seem a bit pedestrian to you, then go check out the Isle of Man TT and see if that doesn't give you a clench...

topside
Detailer

Thank God Smith wrote this, as I have no words for anyone who can use his freakin' shoulder to corner a 'bike ! Hell, I've never had the sack to use a knee...

cwpm
Pit Crew

Great article. I'll be taking a hard look at MotoGP. 

hearsedriver
Intermediate Driver

always well written Sam! another fun event on motorcycles is not broadcast anywhere i believe. go to you tube and watch "sons of speed". old riders, really old bikes, usually without brakes. motogp and other modern motorcycle racing all had their roots in dirt tracks and board track racers from the teens and 20's. yup, a bunch of old codgers on old bikes, no brakes, pushing 100 mph, grinning and giggling......

MaxFN
Passenger

I really enjoy watching Moto GP and their attempts to scrape their axle bolts.  I agree it takes real courage to compete in this racing.  Did you forget NHRA in your list or are you saying something by omitting it entirely?  

ppointer
Intermediate Driver

I have been a MotoGP and WorldSBK fan for two decades.  Last couple of years could only watch their races on my laptop for a small subscription.  I was a motorcycle track day hack for 14 years, giving me a taste of the athleticism required for peak motorcycle racing.  Each race may last less than an hour, but easily pack 10x the amount of excitement of a typical Nascar race.  Thank you for remembering #69 and thank you for this article.

paulhaney
New Driver

It's been almost 70 years now since I first saw a motorsports magazine like Hot Rod or Road & Track and I've been a fan, participant and writer on that topic ever since. I still watch all the racing mentioned by Mr. Smith but I agree with him that Moto GP is by far the most exciting. The only thing better is flogging my own car on local road courses during track day events. The big advantage Moto GP has is that you can SEE the riders dazzling work.

tedwhite
New Driver

RIP Nicky!

Gene_M
Intermediate Driver

Quite the compelling article, I watch MotoGP whenever I find in on my Cable provider's lineup. Thanks for the great style of the Author and the stills. Kudos!

drhino
Instructor

MotoGP is the best Motorsport has to offer.  (And they normally race at COTA in Austin every year. The virus screwed that up. Go watch live. Trust me!)  NBCSN is carrying it this year, fire up the DVR!  I watch via subscription to the MotoGP feed.  

PS, I never look at Revzilla. 

RobertLLR
Intermediate Driver

Sam, you verb nouns like there's no tomorrow:  "arted?"; "lightweighted?"  But it's OK.  Shakespeare did it, too.  Besides, it helps convey some of the astonishment a spectator feels watching these other-worldly operators drive their other-worldly mounts in such other-worldly fashion.   I'm both a biker and a sports-car guy, and I often think, watching a car race:  I could do that.  Watching a bike race, though, I think:  No way could I ever do that!

Valvefloat
New Driver

Smith is exactly right when he celebrates the joys of watching MotoGP. But he is exactly wrong when he says: "A motorcycle only turns if you move above and around and seemingly through it, using your form to nudge its steering geometry and center of mass." In fact, it’s impossible to turn a motorcycle with body English. You can only turn by using the handlebars to initiate a turn by counter-steering. The pre-eminent motorcycle coach, Keith Code, even built a bike with a pair of fixed handlebars to convince skeptics that it was impossible to turn a motorcycle by hanging off, differentially weighting the pegs, or any other monkey motion. The benefit of hanging off the bike is to increase the lean angle of the bike/rider combination while keeping the motorcycle more upright to maximize ground clearance and the size of the tire patch.

NightRanger
Intermediate Driver

Yes, you stole my comment on counter-steer! I drove motorcycles for many years in the 60's & 70's without knowing anything about counter-steering. One kinda does it naturally, but when you understand the technique, it gets you through those tight corners you might have approached a bit too fast to be comfortable with.
NightRanger
Intermediate Driver

Just to finish my comments: (when you hit return to start a new paragraph, your comment gets instantly posted instead). I'm willing to bet there are more motorcycle riders in this group than one would think! For the latest news on MotoGP, and motorcycle racing in general go to: www.asphaltandrubber.com
Stradakat
Pit Crew

Beautifully put, Sam.  While we love auto racing (Sports cars and FI are my favorites),  there is just no substitute for the visceral, harrowing and athletic drama of motorcycle road racing.  And unlike the higher levels of auto racing, in MotoGP or WSBK the most talented and heroic riders can win with a second-tier bike.  I recall watching Rossi carry his substandard machine to wins in his early days with Yamaha.  MotoGP is certainly the home of “Aliens” like Rossi, Marques and the like — riders whose talent and bravery often outshine the capabilities of their phenomenal machines.  Just nothing quite like it in auto racing.  As one other moto journalist named Sam said years ago, “Compared to road racing motorcycles, cars are for wankers.”  Sam Moses. (Autoweek, August 21, 1995)

911dan
New Driver

Come to Austin (Circuit of the Americas), scene of the only Moto GP Race in the US.  You will NOT be disappointed.  Over 200mph on the longest straight...considerably faster than the F1 cars that also race there (although they are not as fast as F1 cars through the corners due to the lack of aero) and an interesting international crowd of enthusiasts.  It is really something...

Historian
Detailer

I appreciated this article!  A second cousin of mine owns a MotoGP race team and dealership out of Oklahoma.  A year or two ago, their son who is a racer, took her dad (my first cousin) on a ride around the track on the back of his race bike.  My cousin Mark was in his 80's, and was a Vietnam vet who did three tours of duty in Vietnam as a combat medic and tunnel rat.  Needless to say, he's seen more than his share of excitement in his life, albeit not the good kind.  The look on his face afterward, when he pulled his helmet off, was priceless!  He was grinning ear to ear.  He may have been an old man, but you could see the little boy in his face.  Sadly, we lost Mark this year.  I am glad though, that he got that thrill before he died.  May he rest in peace.

Gene_M
Intermediate Driver

There's also the Isle of Man TT that is pretty extreme.

NightRanger
Intermediate Driver

Yes, there have been over 150 deaths in the history of the Isle of Mann TT, including 4 in 2016, 3 in 2017 and 2 in 2018. Probably the most dangerous race course in the world. Not sure why something isn't done about it??
Mr_Persnickety
New Driver

www.motogp.com

I have subscribed for a couple of decades now and while it is not cheap, I would easily pay double. watch what you want, when you want. Watch classic races from the 80's, or keep up with the current (limited by Covid) title race, binge a season to really see the ups and downs. So far this season, there have been 9 different winners, which is great, but unusual. Enjoy the action while Marc Marquez (an alien among aliens) is out.

knuck39
Pit Crew

I watch every moto GP practice,qualifying and race for a small fee through Dorna...definetly the most exciting form of racing on the planet,bar none....

Ramarren
Passenger

I'm a two wheeled boy. Even though I'm past retirement age, I cannot let go of my two wheeled world ... I cannot help but hop on a bicycle and ride a couple dozen miles in a day, or fire up my motorcycle even if it's just a ride to the coffee shop and back. There's nothing else like it. 

 

I've been in and around the motorcycle road racing world since I was just out of high school and cannot let a MotoGP weekend go by without being glued to the tube through all the practices and qualifying, into the races. I see the youngsters of Moto3 grow up over  the years, get their Moto2 chops, jump for joy with their successes, cry for joy with their wins, cry for real for their hurts and losses. It is life itself in microcosm. Oh to have such talent, such youth, and hang it out on the ragged edge again — to make it larger, to make Life more joyful! Nothing in automobile racing has ever been this intense, for me, this involving, this much of life and love and joy! 

 

Kick butt article, you see the world I have known for forty-fifty years. Welcome to it! 

brb
Instructor

MotoGP is very, very impressive, but I really think offroad racing is the ultimate motorized gladiator sport. Think of running the Baja 1000 or Dakar Rally flat out without a roll cage.