Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 43: Superprestigio Review And The Future Of American Flat Track

With most of the Paddock Pass Podcast crew gathered in Barcelona for the Superprestigio dirt track race, we used the opportunity to record a couple of shows. The first show covers the reason we were all in Barcelona in the first place: the fourth edition of the Barcelona Superprestigio, which featured another clash between MotoGP champion Marc Marquez and former AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National champion Brad Baker. This time, it was Marquez who came out on top, tying the series 2-2, and setting up a sequel for next year.

The race gaves us a lot to talk about, and the Paddock Pass Podcast regulars - Steve English, Neil Morrison, and David Emmett - were joined by Andrea Wilson, a freelance journalist and photographer with long experience in all forms of racing, and now very closely involved in AMA Pro Flat Track. Andrea offered a fantastic insight into both the level and quality of the Superprestigio, and of dirt track riding among the European racers, and also into what looks to be an exciting future for the AMA Flat Track series.

We kick off the podcast with a look at the Superprestigio, how the race panned out and how tire choice was ultimately decisive. We also talk a little about how bike set up turned out to be crucial, as well as how far track preparation has come, and how Brad Baker feels it could be improved. We look at the riders who impressed us, and who fell short of expectations.

In the second half of the podcast, Andrea Wilson takes a deeper dive into the plans for the future of AMA Flat Track. The CEO of AMA Pro Flat Track, Michael Lock, was at the Superprestigio, and had explained the reasoning behind the move to separate the GNC1 and GNC2 classes, moving the GNC1 classes to twins, and opening up a host of opportunities for manufacturers to enter the sport. Andrea explains some of the implications of those plans, and we discuss how we see the future of the sport.

If you don't want to miss out on these episodes as they are released, make sure you follow The Paddock Pass Podcast on Facebook and Twitter, or subscribe to it on iTunes or Soundcloud. If you do use iTunes, please remember to rate the show and leave a review, as this helps other MotoGP fans find it. Enjoy the show!

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can't imagine what you Euros would say if you saw a real flattrack in person.  TTs, shorttracks and half miles are one thing, the miles are where the real racing takes place.  as for European manufacturers racing flattrack, back when I raced we had BSA, Triumph and Norton in addition to Harley. still remember Englishman Mark Williams riding the Norton on the mile at Indianapolis, he was Mr. Smooth.  passed me up like I was going backwards yet looked like he was out for a Sunday morning ride.

One of the highlights of my motorcycling life is the year I saw the Indy Mile, in 2009. I was incredibly fortunate to be there when Kenny Roberts rode the TZ750 on a few demonstration laps. He was flying. Someone in the organization told me later that Roberts was faster than anyone else around the track that day. He was holding nothing back.

I have never been a fan of Harleys, but on that, it all fell into place. The sight and sound of those fierce twins bellowing round the mile track was awesome inspiring. Unforgettable.

I was humbled trying to ride flat track. I was surprised how tough it was. I was slow. Quick nod to the rural simpler roots of the dirt oval, these tracks are in small towns and populated by good old working class folks that get their hands...and bikes...dirty.

None of us should be McCoy sliding these days of course, but the "sideways principle" training brings acute sense of the sort of thing that Marquez has unparalleled mastery of now in antithesis to Lorenzo's glued down in-line rail -
The Limit is in a different place and has some holes in it.

He may have had a bike mapped for his home track etc, but he really is amazing. Congrats kid!

I'm gonna disagree a little here:

"Sideways prinicple training"?  Marc is no better or worse on the gas than any of the MotoGP front runners, they are all ultimately dependent on the software/hardware/fleshware interface of their electronics package and engineer.

But, where he has moved the goal posts, is under brakes, pinning the front to the tarmac and having the bike pivoting around the headstock in a way no-one else can consistently match.  But flat track bikes have no front brakes.

Yes, he's amazing, no argument there, but the thing that he does in MotoGP that no-one else really matches is not flat track related.    

Hey friend!

What happens when Marquez aggressively has a Motogp bike out of shape has tons to do with bike control gained via flat track. No disagreement with you that his braking is unusually strong and that he is sticking it on its nose. It is the dynamic balance and feel to work the front and rear to utilize the full range of the tool that I refer to. What happens when he lets go of the brakes? LOTS. And gets on the gas? The kid has bike control. And needn't a "polite era" gap, he will drive it in, around, and out bar banging, the bike moving around, and he and the bike are dynamic in front/rear/up/down/in/out attunement over reaching the limit. Casey had this and it was evident when he flat tracked as well as carved lines on sweepers others would not, repeatedly.

I see Marquez blasting the sideways principle not just in his preferred line in some corners. Not just the braking, all over the place eh? Even in his braking, if we just focus on that, he has the front felt out for limited traction and the rear light stepping sideways deeeply in, the ballet of it can be seen as shared dynamics.

Dave, please, Kenny was not any where near the fastest that day. I wish I could say he was. I idolize the guy. I followed his career since he was a novice at Ascot, battling Gary Scott. Those two were joined at the hip throughout their novice and junior seasons. A two time Grand Slam winner, once occuring in a single season, Kenny was one of the best dirt track racers ever. One can only imagine how many races he would have won had he ridden a Harley. Jay Springsteen once said he was the best dirttracker he ever saw. That's quite a complement. I have watched that clip of Kenny at Indy countless times. For a sixty year old guy, he was hauling ass, but he would have never made the main that day if he were really racing. I wish Kel Carruthers would write a book about Kenny. I'd love to read all the stories about him that never seem to make it to the press. 


I was merely repeating what I was told, by someone who was in a position to know what the lap times were. It should be fairly easy to confirm: there are plenty of videos of Kenny Roberts riding at Indy, and there are few videos of the heats and the main. It shouldn't be too difficult to get a rough timing of the laps there.