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Max Biaggi’s Podium at Sepang Testament to Smooth Riding Style? (with video)

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I can’t forget Ben Spies reaction after following Max Biaggi during practice for the first time. He seemed astonished that Biaggi could be so fast, yet appear so relaxed. Biaggi is so smooth, he appears to exert very little effort while hauling ass.

Could this be why Biaggi still has world class speed at 44 years of age? His third place in race 1 at Sepang last weekend followed his 4th place during qualifying. Not bad for his age, particularly considering his 2 year retirement.

It may sound corny, but from Bruce Lee’s admonition to “be like water” to Wayne Rainey’s description of his out-of-body experience while racing, true mastery of a sport reaches far beyond physical skill. Perhaps six-time World champion Biaggi has that “Zen” that balances his deteriorating physical skills as a rider, just as his mastery of technique allows him to exert less effort than his average competitor.

Responding to Brinskee’s comment, we found the following video of Biaggi’s Superpole lap at Monza in 2010, which might give you an idea of what we are talking about (although there is no substitute for following a rider on a track).

 

7 Comments

  1. theguy says:

    Smoothness comes from Biaggie’s 125 and 250cc background.

    He may be getting more relaxed with age, but back in MotoGP days he was anything but: Dr. Costa measured his and Rossi’s heart rates on a lap, and IIRC from the Faster movie Biaggi’s went up to the 180 range while Rossi’s was mostly below 100 spiking to 120.

  2. Provologna says:

    Fantastic video! Thanks for posting. Like you say, the only thing better would be following him, but only a handful of riders in the world have the skill for that. I suppose an ultra-high powered camera drone might be the ticket.

    I have new respect and admiration for Biaggi after watching him this weekend and in this video. He has also mellowed with age, and not loosing to Rossi (as was the case in the GP series) of course helps!

    Last year at COTA I watched qualifying on the bridge, just above turns 3-5. The bike’s front suspension slightly compressed when they let off the throttle for turn 3, then the forks extend again as they get on the gas.

    There was less compression/extension of the forks for the fastest riders. You could still hear the motor pitch change, but there was less change in suspension length.

    I’ve ridden with fast street riders on bikes making over 150hp, and was shocked at the acceleration. MotoGP riders make those street bikes seem almost tame. The fact that mortals have so much control over them borders on miraculous.

    I presume the WSBK weigh at least 75 lbs more than MotoGP bikes. Kudos to Max!

  3. trip says:

    Like the insert of Zonker stroking his goatee. Kinda similar riding style to Pedrosa?

  4. Gary says:

    I also ride very smoothly. Sadly, very slowly, too.

  5. Pete Rasmussen says:

    Concentrate plus relax equals meditation. For those that have not practiced meditation concentration is continually bringing the mind back to the one thing say riding. Keeping ones mind “on the job”. Then a “flow ” thing happens which is really really great. And it is “Spirit”.

  6. bikerrandy says:

    Isn’t that the difference between top 250 GP racers and bigger bike racers? In the end the 250 guys have to adapt to the style of the big bike(power) guys if they want to win? When both style riders come into a corner their lines collide.

  7. Brinskee says:

    Be nice to watch some curated videos of his smooth, smooth style. Can’t get a lot from a still photo. ūüôā