On the road with Eric Bostrom and JD Beach

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Personality. It’s what’s lacking from most of today’s racers. But when I had lunch with JD Beach and Eric Bostrom in January, I was surprised to sit across not just from two racers, but two human beings. Here, a video camera follows the pair as they prepare to race Kawasaki’s at Daytona later this month.

 

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  • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D

    Ha, the cooking scene, followed by the clandestine trip to Taco Bell, is classic.

  • Scott-jay

    JD was a stand-out @ ’10 Indy Mile dirt track.

  • http://greatjoballweek.blogspot.com/ Case

    Great video. Really enjoyed that. Way better than the Yamaha ‘funny’ videos from last year, and way better than the astars 5 minutes of wank with Lorenzo

    Money killed personality in racing. This is not news to anyone that follows any racing series. In NASCAR (which sucks, but this is a good example, so bear with me), Jeff Gordon was the first big breakout crossover star. He was described variously as “remarkably lifelike” and “the nicest robot you could ever want to meet”. This pattern is repeated in MotoGP, Formula 1, etc.

    There is no doubt that some racers are funny, interesting, opinionated people (see: Edwards, Colin). Many more are probably complete assholes (see: Edwards, Colin). The system is set up so that you cannot compete without the corporate dollar. Any time you put the sponsorship at risk you put your job at risk, so it’s rare you get to see them as actual people. Which is too bad, because I’d much rather have a personal rooting interest (positive or negative) than no interest at all.

    Unrelated, and maybe relevant only to me: Bostroms’ form on the bicycle was excellent, JDs not so much. EB puts in the miles for sure. Also, if JD wants to look like Bostrom at 34, he will stop eating at Taco Bell when he turns 20. You can’t get away with that shit in your 20s.

    • Myles

      I think a high level of competition and an even higher level of machine killed personality. It takes an almost boring person to be able to competitively race at the highest level – if a modern F1 car requires robot’s precision to set competitive lap times you’re going to get a robotic pilot.

      People with a high natural talent and a proclivity to fuck around make great characters, but at the end of the day don’t really make great racers. I know we appreciate the excitement of racing, but a “boring” racer is the most efficient. We’re dealing with stopwatches, micrometers, and sciency/engineery shit.

      It’s not like music where any dickhead who can hold a bass guitar can become semi-famous if he plays at the right hipster house shows where they have the best themed cuddle afterparties.

      • jp182

        Unfortunately, I have to agree. Being able to turn yourself and certain parts of your brain off seem to be the only way to be consistently good with the way that motorsports and the technology that supports them work today.

      • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D

        Reminds me of a great article by Hunter Thompson, “Those Daring Young Men in Their Flying Machines. . .
        Ain’t What They Used to Be!” Its basically about how modern (in 1969) test pilots were methodical, hyper-intelligent, but ultimately personality-less. For the work the Air Force needed them to do, the dashing and daring and drinking that used to be associated with barn stormers and test pilots would only get in the way.

        Relevant quote:
        At one point, while talking to two colonels, I lamely explained that I break my
        hand about once a year. “Last time,” I said, “it was a motorcycle wreck on a rainy night;
        I missed a shift between second and third, doing about seventy on a bad curve.”
        Zang! That did it. They were horrified. “Why would anybody do a thing like that?”
        asked Lieutenant Colonel Ted Sturmthal, who had just come back from flying the huge XB-70
        acoss the country at the speed of sound. Lieutenant Colonel Dean Godwin, who is rated,
        along with Sturmthal, as one of the top.

        Anybody else see the parallel irony of a pilot, who flies an experimental jet 3 times the speed of sound at 100,000 feet, horrified by riding a motorcycle, and the modern MotoGP racer who refused to ride on the street?

        PS – As a proud, bass-playing hipster dick head, I have to say; you’re totally right, it is real easy in music! And the cuddle parties are totally worth it :)

  • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

    Cool vid. I always like to see those type of ‘behind the scenes’ vids, interesting stuff.

    Even more interesting is how many motorcycle racers using cycling to train. Looks like I’ve gotta take that up… I guess I always knew deep down that bodybuilding and riding sportsbikes fast was at odds. Haha