‘The electronics have made the racing kind of neat and tidy. Earlier, you could see the rider controlling the spinning rear tyre, scrubbing off speed with the bike sideways on the brakes… The 990cc MotoGP bikes did everything the old 500s did, but with a big, forgiving powerband that meant that the bikes were safer to ride.
These things don’t high-side and that’s not because this bunch of riders is better than the 500 riders. The bikes are just so good, so easy to ride and safe, that the bike’s smart electronics just don’t let a guy with a quick fist hurt himself. Now, it is easy to get into a rhythm and run a race with consistent lap times. Before, when you had a hair-trigger 500 engine with too much power to let you use the side grip, you had to stay on top of it all the time, making sure you had the thing picked up before you got on the power. We all had to figure how to keep those 500s under us instead of on top of us. Some guys rode the rear brake to keep the things from spinning too much. Me, I just used my right wrist. That has changed now.’