Coach Them Up! - A Closer Look At Rider Coaching

WorldSBK riders are embracing the role of track spotters and rider coaches, but what do they actually do?

The SAG Team Moto2 rider coach Alex Debon at the 2019 Sepang round of MotoGP

If Tiger Woods needs a swing coach, it stands to reason that even a world class motorcycle racer needs a coach too. Gone are the days where riders eschewed coaching; now they are embracing it. In paddocks, like in any walk of life, keeping up with the Joneses is a factor of life. When one rider makes a change, it forces others to do the same.

When world class racers got to the point of diminishing returns in terms of fitness training, their focus turned to having more bike time, with flat track training or supermoto training taking on extra significance. Now it’s coaching that is taking centre stage.

“It’s about marginal gains at this point,” said Chaz Davies when quizzed about having Michael Laverty working with him. “He passes on clear information to us about what he sees and [in 2019] this was very important, because we had such a new package that it was useful for all of the team. I think that having someone like him out on track is necessary in this day and age. Having an extra pair of eyes is worthwhile.

The right eyes

“If you can find the right person, and that’s not easy, it can make a massive difference. The level of every sport goes up and any edge is important and this is an edge worth having. I’ve had Michael work with me before and it’s good when he’s there. If I’m riding well it’s less work for Michael and he’ll bolster what way I feel, but on certain days I’ll need him to give more input to help find some improvement.”

Laverty, a former MotoGP racer, knows what to look for on track and he’s excited by his new role and the chance to unlock more of Davies’ potential.

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