A race preview: MotoGP heading to the United States

Photo MotoGP, the premier American bike championship, returns to the United States for the second week of racing this weekend at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Jeff Brooke. Is Grand Prix racing…

A race preview: MotoGP heading to the United States

Photo

MotoGP, the premier American bike championship, returns to the United States for the second week of racing this weekend at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Jeff Brooke. Is Grand Prix racing something the average young guy gets into?

One need only look at this top new racer: New Zealander Jonathan Rea is known as the MotoGP nearly-man. He’s won 20 races in his career, making him the most successful rider in all the closed-roof series. While he doesn’t put on the show as much as the boys do, that’s not because he lacks flash. He’s a one-handed guitarist, backing up riders when he’s not behind the wheel, a guy with two World Championship World Champions for blood (he races for the Pink Panther Racing team). Even if he’s not his country’s premier sport, it’s hard to stop Rea. He crushed the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year, and has already proved to be a tough competitor at home in New Zealand.

As the New Zealand racing legend Bruce McAvaney said after the race: “He’s the greatest racer in the world.”

Is he really? Can he keep up with the boys?

Despite his diminutive height, there are some very large men behind him. While he’s picked up a few wins this season, he’s never been the top podium finisher; that’s usually the mark of a champion. But he has been close at many other races, coming on strong to take second place in Miami. He’s just never gotten the final win.

One thing about Rea — his race performances are unspectacular. Yet they speak volumes about him and his staying power. When it comes to competing, he’s a man of his word. And that’s what he brings to the track.

Can Jeffrey Brooke predict if Rea will take the checkered flag on Sunday? Give us your thoughts in the comments below.

Are you a racing fan? Email [email protected] with your thoughts.

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