Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 149: Peter Bom On All You Ever Wanted To Know About Data Recording And Motorcycle Racing

This week's episode of the Paddock Pass Podcast is something rather special. David Emmett talks to Peter Bom, former crew chief and data recording engineer in Moto2, Moto3, and WorldSBK, and analyst and commentator for Dutch Eurosport. Recorded in the paddock at a newly-reopened Assen circuit (opened following special COVID-19 protocols), and therefore subject to a bit of background noise.

The podcast is an absolute treasure trove of information on the role of data in motorcycle racing. From how things have changed when Bom first started to work for the Ten Kate team through to today, from going to a couple of channels recorded to hundreds of channels recording every possible thing that can be measured.

Peter Bom talks about how he got into working with data, how he manipulates data to look for the information which can help him improve the bike, and about talking to riders and interpreting their input. Bom has worked with some big names, including Cal Crutchlow, Chris Vermeulen, and Stefan Bradl, and he discusses how good their feedback was.

He also explains to me why building your own data recording set from cheap sensors and a Raspberry Pi is not the same as using a proper 2D sensor kit. And he gives advice on how to get into racing for anyone who fancies themselves as the next great data engineer in MotoGP.

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That was exceptional. Thanks, David and Peter! I was riveted the whole interview so it's hard to pick a favorite part, but for a guy like me with no track experience on a motorcycle, the conversation at 41:20 about braking ("Not many riders notice how much they lose on the brakes. You'll have to show me the first rider who says 'I'm not really good on braking.'") was funny and super insightful.

David.  You keep going from strength to strength.  This type of interview makes me happy to be a subscriber to you site.  Extremely insightful information.  I've been a motorcycle roadrace fan since the late '70's and I've never heard such clear descriptions of the process of setting up a racing motorcycle and interacting with a rider.  In your other excellent interview with Andrea Zugna, he mentioned that rider personalities/rivalries are important to make the sport relevant for younger fans.  Although that's probably true, I believe the technical side of MotoGP will always be an attractive and fascinating part of the sport.  If the COVID lockdown is giving you the time to produce this kind of content, at least that's one bright side of the crisis.  Keep up the great work!

I would just like to apologize for the sound quality. I had a nice setup with two separate mics, but I managed to plug them into the line out headphone jack. Because it appears that I am an idiot.

Shame, because I learned an absolutely massive amount from this conversation with Peter.

By far the most interesting podcast, at least so far with all the first hand insight from Peter!

Thank you very much!!  

For an old track day rider this interview is gold.  Between the two of you the different concepts were explained so clearly and the continually giving examples.  I learned so much.  I'm sure this was only a scratching of the surface of what Peter knows. If you could arrange it, I would love to hear more of Peter Bom.  For me, there is a durth of such technical detail that has the depth worthy of and capacity to complement MotoGP.