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.
The truth behind Britain, MotoGP and World Superbike
Many Britons wonder why British riders do so well in WSB and not so well in MotoGP. It’s a long story, says Mat Oxley…
Congratulations are due to Jonathan Rea; heaps of congratulations: his MotoGP-beating lap time at Jerez last week, his history-making third consecutive World Superbike title, his record-breaking points haul, his MBE, his BBC Sports Personality of the Year nomination and much, much more. All richly deserved by a great talent riding at his peak.
But as for all the WSB versus MotoGP talk of recent days – following last week’s combined WSB/MotoGP tests at Jerez – it’s just hypothetical barroom banter. Sam Lowes knows this better than most, having competed in WSB, MotoGP, World Supersport and Moto2. On Saturday he tweeted, “Stupid all the talk about WSB and MotoGP at Jerez. Means nothing. Lots of awesome riders on awesome bikes. Different tyres. Impossible comparison.”
Just like last November, when Rea also topped the Jerez tests, social media has been buzzing with the Northern Irishman’s performance; with many wondering why he hasn’t been signed by a MotoGP team.
Rea has remained silent throughout. With good reason. He knows he made a choice to stay in WSB and no doubt he is happy with his choice and the great successes he has achieved. Cal Crutchlow took a different career path, quitting WSB after one season to risk it all in the premier class. No doubt he too is happy with his choice and his achievements.
Would Rea win races in MotoGP? Would Crutchlow win the WSB title? Maybe, maybe not. And maybe we will or maybe we won’t find out in the future. In other words, it’s all speculation and conjecture. Which is fine, if that’s your thing, but it’s ultimately a pointless ifs-and-buts argument: if a pig had wings, it could fly.
There are many other Britons who have contested both championships. James Toseland was a two-times WSB champ who didn’t quite make it in MotoGP. Chaz Davies spent five years on GP two-strokes but never got the top ride he deserved, so he switched to WSS and WSB where he has also achieved great things.
Racing isn’t fair, just like life isn’t fair. There are dozens and dozens of factors involved in every success and failure. And there are no easy rides, no golden tickets, no guaranteed factory MotoGP rides, even if you’ve won half a dozen WSB crowns.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.