Sunday, August 19, 2007

Superbike Planet interviews Kevin Schwantz

Kevin Schwantz, one of the most talented motorcycle GP racers ever
Superbike Planet recently did an interesting interview with 1993 500cc GP racing world champ, Kevin Schwantz. Here are some excerpts:

Schwantz on whether Max Biaggi deserves a second chance in MotoGP:

“Max has a great style, but I don't think a good enough head on his shoulders. He's not smart enough. I don't think he could play with those guys at a MotoGP level. Yeah, he does good on a World Superbike on occasions, but he's still very up and down. And the older that he gets, it seems like there's more downs than there are ups. I wouldn't give him a chance, if I ran a team!”

Max Biaggi. Okay for WSBK, but not good enough for MotoGP?

Schwantz on whether Colin Edwards should stay on in MotoGP or move to WSBK:

Colin Edwards needs to go where he can win. Wherever that is. It's obviously not at a MotoGP level, and I hate that for him. But if it's an AMA Superbike, back riding the factory Yamaha, then that's where he needs to come. If it's a factory Honda, then whatever. If it's World Superbike, go back to where you've had some success. And to say that he hasn't had success in MotoGP isn't fact, it's merely a statement from a person who sees success as winning races. Colin's been close a few times, but I think it's also an example of just how difficult it is at that level.”

The 2007 Suzuki GSV-R 800cc MotoGP bike. Packed with electronics. Very different from Schwantz's RGV500. Would Hopkins / Vermeulen be able to handle the RGV? Would the GSV-R have meant more world championships for Schwantz? Would the YZR-M1 have meant that Wayne Rainey would still be able to walk today?

Schwantz on the impact of electronics in motorcycle racing:

“I think it's a pretty general consensus across the board amongst the riders that electronics are making it very difficult to find the opportunity, to create the ability or the opportunity to pass somebody. Everybody gets on the gas at about the same time, the electronics all work just about the same, and going off into the corner it's now just a push come to shove on the brakes.

I think the racing would be better without electronics. My opinion is, electronics have really made the average guy be able to go out and go fast, and everybody qualifies really, really well, and I think that we're paying too much attention to that.

Seeing everybody, all 20 bikes, within less than a second or a second and a half in qualifying, hasn't made the racing any better. We need to go back to letting these guys really ride these things, and wrestle these things around. The one thing it's going to do is, it's going to make it a whole lot less forgiving of a sport. You're going to start seeing more banged-up riders walking around.

Taking all the electronics away, you're not going to have all that saving grace helping you getting out. You're going to have to get in, you're going to have to pick that throttle up as soon as you can, you're going to have to start trying to finesse the thing out. Whereas now it's just kind of grab it and do what you want, hang on.”

Get the full interview on the Superbike Planet website here.

Also see:
Kevin Schwantz interviews Valentino Rossi!
Cycle World interviews Mick Doohan...
Suzuki: The evolution of MotoGP bikes
Which 2007 MotoGP bike is the best?
Colin Edwards talks about Valentino Rossi...
Fast past: Gary Nixon rides the 990cc Kawasaki ZX-RR MotoGP bike

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