New Delhi : Excessive use of electronics has made MotoGP and Formula 1 boring and more forgiving than what it was during his time, feels 1993 two-wheel world champion Kevin Schwantz.
“It has gotten boring. That is for sure. It is not as entertaining as it used to be 20 years ago. You have to depend on factors like weather to make the races exciting. Racing has become so electronically controlled, making it much more forgiving for the riders,” the 51-year-old, who is on his maiden visit to India, told PTI on Friday.
Schwantz is here on the invitation of Suzuki, the factory team he raced for all his Grand Prix career from 1986-1995. The American further explains why racing, be it two-wheel or four-wheel, has become predictable and dull.
“I was watching a World Superbike race couple of months ago. Both riders were riding the same bike and at a double apex corner, one overtook another with the use of a button. Here it was at a corner, while in F1 you do it on the straights with the DRS advantage. The techniques, the skill that used to be in racing, it doesn’t work anymore,” he said.
“I think it was a lot more difficult bike to ride back in the day. A tyre that wasn’t really forgiving, a powerband that was on a really good day had 3000 rpm. Now we got 250 horse power and 6000 rpm of powerband besides the electronics to help with spin, slide and all that stuff.
“Physically the sport may be still the same but it has surely become a lot more forgiving,” said the Texan, who will be seeing some local talent at the Suzuki Gixxer Cup to take place at the Buddh International Circuit over the weekend.
One big way of making things interesting is by bringing back multiple tyre manufacturers, says the Houston-born. “I understand that global economy is still recovering from the slowdown, as it is the costs are outrageous in both F1 and MotoGP. But there are many ways to make the show better. One way is to bring the different tyre brands back, let there be some competition.”
There is not much happening in Indian motorsport and there is growing uncertainty over the return of F1 Indian Grand Prix, which was dropped after three editions. Schwantz goes on to compare the state of motorsport in India and back home in United States.
“I would say you guys are better off here. You have championships, both cars and bikes, going on in India. The American championship for bikes is in doldrums since the slowdown of 2008. No manufacturer is ready to come back to the sport.
“If cricket rules here, there is no time for any other sport other than football, basketball and baseball, not time for any other spot. So the challenge for us is to grab eyeballs with big ticket events through the year. That is something you too need here,” he said.
On the current MotoGP season, Schwantz says he is not surprised to see Valentino Rossi leading the championship standings ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and reigning champion Marc Marquez. “I think what you have seen is that can’t him have a crack at the door because he is going to jump into any opportunity he gets. He continues to be fast and consistent guy. He may not be the fastest guy at practice or qualifying but by the end of the race he is probably the fastest on the track. Tip of that hat to him for staying motivated. He is 36 and still pushing, preparing.” PTI
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