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Old November 29th, 2021, 09:15 AM   #1
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[kropotkin thinks...] - Casey Stoner On Competing, And Why Qualifying Is Better Than

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After a prolonged absence, Casey Stoner returned to the paddock at Portimão, where he gave an extensive press conference to the media present on site and via zoom. Just as when he was still racing, his observations were well worth listening to, and without the pressure of race weekend and an endless string of media commitments, was even more thoughtful and insightful than usual.

One subject which he was particularly interesting on was the question of competition, why people race, and what drives them, and especially, what drove him. The pursuit of perfection, of wanting to do everything just right to extract the maximum performance from themselves and from the bike is one of the most important motivations for most motorcycle racers, and indeed, most elite athletes.

That pursuit of perfection explains their obsessive attention to detail. The many rituals you see riders go through before they get on the bike and leave the pits is part superstition, but also a way of eliminating errors. By doing everything the same way on each exit, it makes it easier to ensure they haven't forgotten anything: boots, leathers, gloves, helmet are all securely fastened, correctly fitted, and not causing discomfort, and therefore distraction.

The devil is in the detail

This attention to detail can become quite compulsive. Andrea Iannone's nickname "The Maniac" was not given to him for his wild riding, but for the obsessive way he would arrange everything, in his pit box, in his motorhome, in every aspect. At media debriefs on site, Valentino Rossi would carefully arrange the various voice and memo recorders placed in front of him to for a neat configuration, rather than the chaos created by journalists flinging their recorders onto the table at the last moment.

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