Getting inside the minds of Motorcycle Racers

About 15 years ago when I was racing motorbikes and working as a riding coach for the California Superbike School, I became increasingly fascinated by the performances of the world's top racers. I knew enough about riding technique to know that what sets the best apart are not the technicalities of riding or equipment but the mentality of the racer (and their team, because they never do it alone). I wanted to dig deeper and get into the minds of these racers to really understand their psychology. I then started what has become a continuous process of formal and informal research into the qualities of performance as experienced by elite motorcycle racers.

The data I gathered was primarily from world class racers competing in MotoGP (in both the old 2-stroke and new 4-stroke eras) and World Superbikes, including their various support and feeder classes. I have also gathered data from British Superbikes and road racers competing at the Isle of Man.

Through my research I have worked with numerous racers and teams, helping them to improve performance and resolve racing problems. I now offer performance coaching services in this area for all levels of motorcycle racing. During this period, not only has my work been measured in real world competition at various race circuits, but I have also used it as part of gaining a Master's Degree in Psychological Coaching.

This area of my site is about exploring the psychology and performance of elite motorcycle racers, writing about what I have found out and providing an open resource for racers to use to develop their riding, or resolve problems.

Motorcycle racing at any level is a complex business. Not only do teams have to deal with the complexities of the bikes and the compromises of setup, the racer then has to deal with their relationship not only with the bike, but with the circuit together with the bike. This connection between the rider, their bike and their environment, is like a beautiful dance when it works - things just move in a sort of harmony.

In all this complexity, this harmony that enables a rider to perform at their best is all down to what riders describe as rhythm.

(Image credit:Pedrosa, Rossi & Dovizioso by Nic Redhead is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)