The Right Conversation
As a rider advances in skill and success, stepping up to the next level of competition means adding more resources and people to the effort. The team gets bigger. More minds, more voices, more opinions. Being competitive can be the result of creating and listening to the right conversations…
[photos taken at MotoAmerica championship rounds]
Conversations begin and end in a rider’s own head.
(Cameron Beaubier, multi-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion)
It’s a conversation that goes on all season long.
(Ryan Matter, Supersport competitor and former WERA West Champion)
A good crew chief is a good listener; with the responsibility to translate the rider’s experience on the bike into the physical and electronic adjustments to make bike and rider more competitive.
(Sheridan Morais (r) World Superbike, SuperStock and Supersport rider, discusses set-up with his crew chief)
Sometimes hands tell the story…
(Benny Solis, Jr,. a multiple Supersport race-winner, leans into a description of throttle behavior)
…or hands plus body english – definitely good tools to bring to the conversation.
(Jay Newton, MotoAmerica Superstock series competitor)
A talented crew chief can hear what you mean, even when when you might find it hard to explain it yourself…
(Melissa Paris (r), Supersport competitor and member of the winning team in the 24 Hours of Catalunya (Barcelona) Superstock 600 class)
… and translates that into a few turns of front suspension settings.
Practice time is short and precious. The rider starts the process of improvement by giving feedback as soon as they get off the bike…
(Ronnie Saner (l), owner of RSRacecraft and crew chief for Team Rabid Transit, with Brandon Cretu, who has raced extensively in the Isle of Man TT and the Macauu Gran Prix)
…and a well-organized team can get changes made without getting in each other’s way.
(Saner’s team adjusts the bike in pit lane – preserving practice time by not moving it in and out of the pit garage.)
Suppliers can provide the lessons learned from across the teams in a race series.
(A Dunlop tech works with the I.M. Racing Hayes BMW as rider, Steve Rapp, joins the discussion.)
Multi-generation racing families, of which there are many in the paddock, have yet another level of conversation with which to explore ways to be more competitive.
(John Ulrich (l), former racer, team owner, publisher of RoadRacing World print and web publications, and father – listens as son Chris, racer, team owner and ambassador to the racing media – sets out the day’s plan.)