“It looks so slow on the TV” is the exhausted cliche MotoGP riders and fans have likely grown tired of hearing.
But, in the same way cows appeared small when far away to Father Dougal McGuire in beloved sitcom Father Ted, it is easy to underestimate the speed riders like Marc Marquez, Fabio Quartararo, and newly crowned MotoGP champion Francesco Bagnaia can reach on the track.
This season’s campaign was brought to a close at the Valencian GP as Bagnaia became the first Italian since Valentino Rossi to win the MotoGP World Championship. And while ‘Pecco’ was cementing his place in motorsport history, Daily Star Sport were able to get up close and personal to the electrifying sport.
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Upon first glance from the balcony at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Cheste, Valencia, the sheer sound of the 1000cc bikes hits you like a punch to the face. Your ears ring, your body naturally tenses, and before you know it, people are offering you ear plugs, that you gratefully grab, while also pretending you do not really need them.
Photographers at these events certainly earn their wages as you need lightning reactions to get a good shot of the riders. Eventually, after being handed some snazzy purple vests, we were escorted down to the side of the tracks so we could almost get ourselves arms reach to the riders.
After crossing through the pit lanes and clambering up a small step, only thin metal railings stood between us and the adrenaline fuelled riders tearing their way down the long straight of the Spanish circuit. ‘Speed of sound’ and ‘fast as lightning’ are tired, overly-cliche shamelessly crowbarred into sports stories whenever something or someone is moving at a mildly fast speed.
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Yet, there truly are no other words that can appropriately convey the speeds and forces these riders put themselves through – as you can see yourself with the above video. At the time, the final race of the MotoGP season was in its infancy – they likely cranked the speed up even more in the more decisive stages of the race.
Ducati ace Jorge Martin, who finished in third place at the Valencian Grand Prix, achieved the fastest ever recorded speed in MotoGP history this season. At the Italian Grand Prix, the Spaniard reached a terrifying 222.9mph during the race – this means he was able to cover a distance of 337ft per second.
As excellent as motorsport coverage is, no camera on planet earth is capable of doing the riders justice at the MotoGP, in regard to demonstrating the pulsating speeds they can reach. Only the naked eye is capable of showing off their unbelievable talent, bravery and risk these drivers take every time they get onto the bike.
BT Sport is the home of MotoGP. Find out more at bt.com/sport/motogp
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