RIDING THE ROCKET SHIP
al Crutchlow is one of motorcycle
racing’s true elite – the couple of dozen
crazily-talented riders who make up the
FIM MotoGP World Championship grid.
In 2016, the 31-year-old Brit (BELOW)
was a two-time grand prix winner with LCR
Honda. This year, he’s focused on bettering a
career-high seventh in points and putting
his near-300hp, 215mph-plus RC213V
prototype racer back in victory lane.
The competition in MotoGP has never
been tougher, meaning every lap – from
hitting the track in first practice, to wringing
its neck in qualifying, to crossing the line
after 40 frenetic minutes of racing within
fairing-banging distance of the guys
around you – is riding at the ragged edge.
A MotoGP bike is a high-tech, 1,000cc
carbon and unobtainium marvel, but it’s
still the skill and finesse of the riders –
extraordinary talents such as Crutchlow,
Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi – that
makes the difference between winning or
losing, flying high or crashing earthward.
It’s down to a rider’s brain, two hands,
two feet and ever-shifting butt to keep him
connected to a rocket ship controlled by a
twist of the right wrist. So what’s it like to
ride one of these incredible machines?
Crutchlow thinks for a moment, grins at
the absurbity of explaining the impossible,
then starts at the beginning...
For those who’ve never put a leg over a near-300hp MotoGP bike –
most of us – how could you even start to explain what it’s like to
ride one? Over to LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow to give it a shot...