MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.
Will MotoGP go radio gaga?
Some people want pit-to-rider radios introduced to MotoGP. Please, no… please, no…
So, Valentino Rossi wants to discuss the introduction of pit-to-rider radios in MotoGP’s Safety Commission.
This is weird, because radios are currently banned from MotoGP, partly for safety reasons, after various riders and teams tested the technology some years ago. Radios certainly won’t improve safety in any great way; they will merely be a tool that might have saved Rossi the woeful embarrassment of disregarding his pit-board in Germany a few weeks ago.
Radios won’t stop riders and teams making mistakes in wet/dry races. There will still be confusion and errors. Some will make the right call; others will make the wrong call. Racing is like war in many respects: most wars are won by the side that makes the fewest mistakes. It’s the same in racing – radios will not prevent cock-ups, they will merely create different types of cock-ups.
I am against radios in MotoGP for various reasons. Riders spend hours and hours throughout each weekend conferring with armies of engineers, technicians and advisors; so what makes the race so compelling is that the moment the lights go out the riders are totally alone and 100 per cent masters of their own destinies. This is the moment of release to which they’ve all been looking forward: finally, it’s all down to them. The endless debriefs and discussions about strategies, tyre choice and settings are done, the rider is at last where he really wants to be: alone on his motorcycle, just him against the world.
For what it’s worth (because this bit has nothing to do with racing) I get the same feeling when I’m out on an everyday ride. The moment I flip down the visor, I am alone. It’s just me, the bike and the road, so I am entirely responsible for what happens next. I never feel more relaxed than at this moment: no phone, no internet, no nothing; just 100 per cent focus. To me, it’s the best meditation.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.