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.
Why Crutchlow, Lowes and Dixon are doing something special
Jake Dixon’s exit from Sunday’s Moto2 race was gut-wrenching and proved there’s no tougher road than the road to MotoGP glory
I’ve always had special respect for British riders who break out of road-bike racing to have a crack at MotoGP.
Since the mid-1980s, most Britons start out racing road bikes and keep racing road bikes to the end of their careers, ending up in World Superbikes if they’re fast enough.
Some Brits have worked their way into MotoGP through the Spanish system but only a very few have broken out from road bikes to make it in MotoGP: Cal Crutchlow, Sam Lowes and, judging by his recent form, Jake Dixon.
By the way, just because I hold a special respect for these riders doesn’t mean I don’t have huge respect for Jonathan Rea. For various reasons Rea chose to stay in World Superbike to make his own history. This weekend he should win his 100th World Superbike race and sixth world title. Say no more.
Crutchlow, Lowes and Dixon were fast on road bikes and could’ve stayed where they were and had rewarding careers but decided to roll the dice and take aim at the pinnacle. (Yes, even Rea agrees it’s the pinnacle.)
This was a huge risk for all of them, when they could’ve stayed where British riders are much more likely to make a success of their careers – this year there are ten factory bikes in WSB and seven of them are ridden by Brits.
There was also a major financial cost to getting into MotoGP for Crutchlow and Lowes: Crutchlow’s first season in the premier class lost him half a million quid, Lowes’ move from WSB to Moto2 cost him almost quarter of a million.
Crutchlow did one year of World Supersport, one year of World Superbike and jumped straight into MotoGP, which is how you’ve got to do it. The longer you delay the move from road bikes to GP bikes the harder it is to make the change.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.