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YouTube Video Provides Good Look at MotoGP and WSB Bikes on Track Together at Jerez (with video)

The recently completed test at Jerez involving both WSB and MotoGP bikes on track at the same time provided some interesting stories. First and foremost, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki), once again, proved that he can test against MotoGP regulars and be more than competitive on his heavier, relatively underpowered WSB bike.

Rea ended the test with the fourth quickest lap time, quicker than 11 MotoGP riders. A single lap is a bit deceiving, however, and Jerez is a track where MotoGP bikes have a hard time “stretching their legs.”  You should take a look at the excellent analysis of the test done by David Emmett on his site.

One interesting aspect of the video below is the difference in the sounds coming from the MotoGP and WSB bikes.  In general, the MotoGP bikes are louder, and the V-4s (both MotoGP and WSB) have a lower, throatier tone than Rea’s screaming inline-four Kawasaki. Have a look:


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36 Comments

  1. bmidd says:

    Rea is better off being the big fish in a small pond of talent that is WSBK.

  2. Norm G. says:

    (Norm laments while rubbing chin)

    notice the interesting dichotomy happening between the 2 articles currently running on MD. over in the BMW thread we’re talking about BEV, but in this MGP/WSB thread we’re loving the “shock and awe” of ICE…

    the “ironing” is delicious.

  3. JPJ says:

    I believe both can exist under Dorna. MotoGP prototype bikes push the technology forward, whats possible with brakes, tires, engine development. WSBK is great racing with rules that all manufactures can compete. I enjoy both.

  4. ChrisRR says:

    It’s not that close. Rea can produce a flying lap within a half second, but in a race he’d be a backmarker. And I use the 2002 MotoGP season as my example. The lesser powered two strokes could turn individual qualifying laps as quick or sometimes quicker than the four strokes. But in an actual race going head-to-head they could podium but they couldn’t win. A WSB bike that can’t match lap times in qualifying would do far worse in a race.

    • mickey says:

      1/2 second isn’t that close in MotoGP speak…that’s a gap. Close is within hundredths or thousandths of a second. In a 30 lap race 1/2 second slower translates to 15 seconds down on the winner or back around 10th place, and not even shown finishing by the TV cameras, who are busy showing the top guys parade laps.

    • guu says:

      Even earlier on the late 90’s V2 Honda and Aprilia (Aprilia even ran as a 400 early in its development) bikes and V3 Kenny Roberts bikes could qualify even at pole position sometimes against the much more powerful V4s (about 135 hp for Honda NSR500 V2 vs. 200 hp for the V4 version) but never challenge them in the race as its almost impossible to pass on a less poweful bike even if the corner speed is higher.

  5. Vrooom says:

    Yes, Rea is old to start in MotoGP now, but it would be fun to watch him have a couple of seasons on a factory GP bike to see what he could do.

  6. Dave says:

    I’m wondering, if Superbikes can run within .5sec/lap of the MotoGp bikes, what’s even the point of the MotoGp class’s existence? They should just scrap it and race production stuff, like the MX guys have since the late 80’s.

    • Norm G. says:

      Q: what’s even the point of the MotoGp class’s existence?

      A: Carmelo’s had boat payments since ’91.

      do you know how much it costs to berth a yacht on the French Riviera…? (yeah me neither) but lets just say it ain’t cheap.

      • Dave says:

        Seems like much more revenue could be generated if the equipment were more accessible to teams that wanted to participate and the viewers could more easily identify with that equipment and the rider’s achievements with it.

        There are 17 more riders in the Moto2 points standings than in MotoGP standings (23 if you remove the “guest” riders from GP). People & teams want to race, but the barriers to entry are too high for sponsors to bear, so we’re left with a “World Championship” where only 4-5 people are in contention at the beginning of a given season.

        Nobody understands or cares that MotoGP bikes are exotic prototypes. They just want to see the best racing each other. When those of us who do watch see results like this, we can see that the sport just continues to eat it’s young.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          “Nobody understands or cares that MotoGP bikes are exotic prototypes. ”

          I think that is incorrect. I understand and care as do most of the people I know that watch racing.

          “There are 17 more riders in the Moto2 points standings than in MotoGP standings (23 if you remove the “guest” riders from GP). ”

          That is true, but is that really meaningful? It just means 17 more backmarkers than MotoGP. The top guys in Moto2 are pretty much always the same guys.

          ” Seems like much more revenue could be generated if the equipment were more accessible to teams that wanted to participate and the viewers could more easily identify with that equipment and the rider’s achievements with it.”

          I think if that were the case, everyone would be totally invested WSB. MotoGP represents the cream of the crop, bikes and riders. As far as consumers relating to equipment, the R1 looks like the GP bike and sports electronics born from MotoGP. Connection established.

          Concerning WSB vs GP times at Jerez, first of all, well, it is Jerez. Of all the circuits on the GP calendar, Jerez is analogous to a go-kart track for a premier class bike. Then think about the additional time that would be tacked on to the WSBK times if they weren’t out there on qualifying tires (unlike the GP teams) to give the media a good opportunity to put up some click bait worthy headlines. (Not taking away from Rea and Sykes who still would have been quite fast.

          • mickey says:

            I agree entirely with Jeremy.

            The thing that is special about MotoGP is it’s status as a prototype bike with the best riders in the world. And as being almost as fast as MotoGP, well that isn’t AS fast. Fastest is fastest, and runner up rarely get mentioned. Nobody remembers who came in second after a few years.

            No rider in MotoGP says, wow I hope I lose my ride here and get to go down to WSBK. Every rider aspires to run in MotoGP.

            Personally if there would be no MotoGP and I were forced to watch Moto 2 or Moto3 or WSBK or the American series or the British series, I’d just as soon turn off the TV and go riding.

            As far as Motocross goes in the 70’s there were tracks where the 125s were running close to the 500’s. Nobody cared. They went to see Roberts and Aberg and Weinert and Lackey and others on the Open class monsters. Not on the 125 tiddlers, even if they were running close lap times.

          • Dave says:

            “I think that is incorrect. I understand and care as do most of the people I know that watch racing.”

            I don’t think it is. You and I follow the small tech stories when we can find them, but do you think the 10’s of 1,000’s of people who fill the stands do? I think they have more in common with the NASCAR fans that fill those events then Norm thinks.

            “That is true, but is that really meaningful? It just means 17 more backmarkers than MotoGP.”

            It means almost everything. When MotoGP had 12 bikes on the grid, nobody cared that it was the same guys who were winning as now. They just didn’t care at all. Winning a race with 40 bikes in it is more meaningful than winning one with 12 bikes, all other things equal. Dorna could see everyone tuning into WSBK, which had much more competitive racing and compelling stories. Fans will gravitate to the best racing when there’s a choice.

            Re: ” Everyone is screaming for Japanese companies to bring back two strokes”

            Who? I know that club racers are because they’re cheaper to run but do the fans care? Nope, they just want to see good racing with huge air.

            Funny you should mention 500cc racing. It died because there were only 3-4 guys who could ride them and again, the fans didn’t really care. Very interesting that it was a smaller displacement class (250) that was the premier class of racing at the time. I chalk that up to the rise of Supercross.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            “I think they have more in common with the NASCAR fans that fill those events then Norm thinks”

            I would use that same point to support my argument. Yes, people like us are certainly much more engaged than your typical race fan, Spanish and Italian fans excluded. However, having attended all but one GP at Circuit of the Americas, two at Le Mans and one in Valencia, there is indeed a common theme between fans at these races and NASCAR fans. NASCAR attendees know that NASCAR represents the premier level of stock car racing (some think the premier level of all racing ever), and MotoGP attendees know that MotoGP represents the premier level of motorcycle racing. No, they may not know the difference or details between a prototype bike and production-based superbike, but they know they are watching the cream of the crop, riders and bikes, when they are watching MotoGP.

            Another observation is that, despite the excellent racing in Moto2 and Moto3, attending the races is similar to going to a concert. The stands are lonely until the main show starts, again the Valencia race (and probably all the Italian and Spanish races) excluded.

            So I don’t believe the notion that the typical fan just wants to see “good racing.” I’m sure that is important, but it isn’t enough. They also want the bling factor of knowing they are watching the “real deal.”

        • MotoMaster39 says:

          Production based racing, namely the homologation rule is slowly killing motocross IMO. Everyone is screaming for Japanese companies to bring back two strokes and lower cost bikes in general. The difference in lap-time between a 2018 450 and an early 2000s 250 smoker doesnt mean squat to the average joe. It means everything to factory riders, even though race teams mod the heck out of the bikes anyways. The cost of sportbikes and MXers are rising way too fast, just so that their brand can market their product. AMA Superbike racing was the first victim of homologation rules, and AMA moto X may be the next. IMHO

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “Nobody understands or cares that MotoGP bikes are exotic prototypes.”

          well let’s just say nobody in the States. in Europe it really IS a different culture, a different attitude towards these things. when you hear me speak of MotoIQ this is what i’m referring to. lest we forget ENGLAND is actually home base for F1 (compare/contrast this to North Carolina for Nascar). then of course you’ve got other various and sundry high tech concerns spread throughout Europe, each with it’s own claim to fame ie. France, Germany, Italy, Spain, etc.

          understandably with the US being a large land mass – but essentially “homogeneous” – there’s no analog to this here whatsoever. thus, this influence (or lack thereof) ultimately spreads DOWNWARD and manifests itself in the people. in the end, Americans end up thinking like consumers while Europeans think like producers. this is what you’re feeling.

          • Doc says:

            In the mid to late 70’s in to the early 80’s, I loved to look at the works motocross bikes(photos). Miss those days. And the Superbikes of the era were the same way. All the hand made bits, crazy hot stuff that you knew was lurking in there somewhere. Sure it might look like your bike but that was the extent of it. Being a Honda guy, the biggest thing that got me into GP racing, was Honda getting back into 500 class with an oval piston four stroke. It had its problems but it was exotic and cool. Miss those days. Lots of excitement. I miss the screaming V4 Honda used last year. Now it sounds flat like every one elses. The Ducati when Stoner won ’07 was another bike that screamed. Loved it. For me though, I love bike racing and watch both series. Each has its place. One last thing. I hope Norm never mentions NASCAR again.

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “I hope Norm never mentions NASCAR again.”

            D’OH…!!!

            https://tinyurl.com/y94pgfr7

    • HS1.... says:

      If anything gets scrapped, it will be the factory-afterthought, convalescing snoozer known as WSBK. I don’t wish to grinch up your Christmas, but relative to MotoGP, interest from manufacturers, fans, and riders in WSBK has sinked, sanked, and sunk. Maybe the entry of the Ducati V4 in 2019 will provoke a gasp for the series.

      • Randy D. says:

        That’s because Kawasaki has dominated WSBK for so many years recently, while they stay out of Moto GP. Take Jonathan Rea out of the picture and there would be real competition again. Since Yamaha dominated over here for so many recent years in SB I’m surprised they haven’t been more competitive in WSBK too.

        Seems to come down to the rider. Remember when Ben Spies went over there and kicked butt his 1st year?

  7. Michael Kavanagh Aust says:

    So good to see a bike video without stupid music downing out the sound of the exhausts.

    • Provologna says:

      +1. Starting 10-15 years ago, producers increasingly omitted sound and musical effects to increase quality, first in movies and then later non-theatrical video such as drama for streaming. One of the all time best modern streaming video series called Mind Hunter on Netflix is a good example (I have no commercial interest).

      Prior to the above, producers wrongly thought the more, the louder, and the more compressed was the music and sound effects, the better. Such low production quality quickly wears out the viewer’s aural response system and degrades the experience.

      Video producers for commercials and short productions generally lack artistic qualities of movie and streaming drama producers, hence the former are more likely to wrongly add music and sound effects where they should not. Over time, we hope they learn to avoid this error, but don’t hold your breath.

  8. Stuki Moi says:

    As the motomatters analyses indirectly hints at, MotoGP bikes are being hamstrung by tire standardization. Premier class prototype bike developers and riders, whether their factories want to or not, deserve to work with a tire team developing tires specifically for their bike. Not flog their multi million dollar prototype around on tires that can be, depending on the weather on any given day, no better for the conditions than a well chosen track day tire.

    • Random says:

      The way it is now, bikes are developed to extract maximum performance in exploring grip on tires. Given tire performance is fixed, maximum performance is somewhat equalized. I understand your opinion but watching MotoGP now is much more interesting than when tires were developed to specific team requests. And even second tier teams have some chance of winning now. As with standard ECUs, factories are not allowed to develop their machines their own way but I think some concessions should be done to help slower teams.

      • PatrickD says:

        With the close racing and sheer number opf race winners over the past 2 seasons, MotoGP is doing everything right at the moment. Why people here think it needs changes and shake-ups is baffling. We have probably the most talented rider the series has ever seem (MM) still being held from the title until the final race, largely due to the bike-tyre relationship matrix. And we will have 3 serious manufacturer possibilities for the title next year as well.

        Standardisation is what WSB needs to be interesting as a spectacle and relevant as a series. It’s a massive turn-off at the present time.

  9. HM says:

    Seems a bit stretched out to me,that is the rehash of no real news.JR already filled in on 26’s ride back when JR raced at Honda and he finished 8th iirc?Not bad but I think 93 won that race on essentially the same motorcycle.As to superbikes out running the MGP bikes,do we have to rehash the CRT bikes yet again?Not a single one beat a MGP or even came close!

    • Stuki Moi says:

      “Filling in” is very different from having your own ride you are 100% focused on…

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “do we have to rehash the CRT bikes yet again?”

      oh God no, “thunk”. (sound of Norm fainting and collapsing to the ground)

      • Dave says:

        CRT’s were closer to the front than back-markers had been the last time the grid was full enough to have back-markers. Prior to the mass exodus from the class, leaders lapping even into the top-10 was not all that uncommon.

    • Gutterslob says:

      RE: “JR already filled in on 26’s ride back when JR raced at Honda and he finished 8th iirc?Not bad but I think 93 won that race on essentially the same motorcycle.”

      The Repsol Honda might’ve been the strongest (or second strongest, at the very least) bike in the field that year, but you must realize that Rae hadn’t had any time on it prior. Considering the circumstances, finishing 8th as a “wild card” was pretty respectable, I reckon.

  10. Norm G. says:

    yeah i was watching this earlier at another site. catch the part at 1:27 where “Melandro” (on a lowly twin) is all over Marquez (no not that one, the other one) like a cheap suit.

    lol, good stuff.

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