Dear Bike Week Radio Show Opinion Maker,
A hot button topic for frequent discussion and endless debate is how a "real" World Championship should be defined. Some of us think it has to include competitors from every country while others argue that a World Championship should only include the best athletes and equipment - the best of the best - regardless of nationality.
What's your opinion? How would you define "World Championship?"
Got something else to say? Add your comments below.
To me a proper World championship is one that visits many different countries on as many different continents as possible and is open to riders from any country to enter as long as they have a proper pro racing licence or the equivalent from their country/federation.
I think that a true World Championship doesn't have to necessarily consist of riders from each and every nation. It doesn't matter where you're from, if you're good enough to compete with the world's best, you're good enough. A guy from the Phillippines might have as much talent as any rider from Spain or Italy or America. If you're truly great, you should be included in the World Championship. And if you're truly great, the world will know enough about you to include you in a World Championship. The championship should not limit itself on riders or number of riders from a particular nation or nations in its selection process. A group of knowledgeable people from all different kinds of racing backgrounds would assemble the group to race.
Something that I'm always wishing for would be a World Championship where every rider had the same equipment. It wouldn't be a part of any particular season or group of races, but it would show who truly is the greatest rider in the world. Can you imagine seeing Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez duke it out if both were on spec machines? Then and only then would one be able to surmise who is the true champion because in MotoGP right now it's clear that the Honda is better than everything. How much of the success of the Honda is Marquez and how much is the bike itself? What would Lorenzo do on the exact same bike? I loved the International Race of Champions (IROC) series that used to run. I believe they used Pontiac Firebirds when I watched and they brought in the best drivers from many different areas of car racing to race one another in essentially the same cars with different paint schemes.
It depends on the sport in question. Not to sound un-American, but the Super Bowl is not a "real" world championship in the same sense that soccer's World Cup of UEFA League title are "world" championships, since the NFL is based entirely in the U.S. Ditto for Baseball's World Series. Hockey is a little closer since the NHL is comprised of athletes from around the world and has Canadian and U.S. based teams. However other than the olympics, even hockey's Stanley Cup could be argued that it is not a true "World Championship" on the scale of soccer's World Cup.
For motorcycle roadracing, the Daytona 200 used to be a world class event and we had the best of the best competing on diverse brands of motorcycles from all over the globe! Although Ago had 15 World GP titles, the Daytona 200 put him on the American radar. When Ago finally managed to win in Daytona, it made cemented the credibility and importance of that race:
Giacomo Agostini is considered perhaps the greatest Grand Prix rider of all time. Over the course of a remarkable career of 17 years, the peerless Agostini won 15 world Grand Prix titles (8 in 500cc and 7 in 350cc), 12 Isle of Man TT crowns, an astonishing 122 Grands Prix, and he rarely ever fell off his machine during all those years. He became motorcycling's first genuine world superstar and, whether riding a 350cc or 500cc, he was nearly always the man to beat whenever he took up his position on the starting grid. In America, Agostini won the Daytona 200 in 1974, bringing unprecedented recognition to the race.
Unfortunately the Daytona 200 is a very poor imitation of itself, and the shift from GP spec machines to 600 SuperSport bikes makes it a laughing stock.
Despite the name, FIM World Championship, Supercross is not really a "World Championship" when guys like Heath Voss can become the "World Champion of Supercross" simply by racing at a couple Canadian rounds (no disrespect to Heath intended, he made his mark and he was skilled enough to race Supercoss at a level higher that 99% of the rest of the MX riders in the "world").
However, you know first hand from competing in it that we do have a true World Championship with the Motocross des Nations (oops sorry, MX of Nations), and ISDT… um ISDE for the off-road guys. You personally experienced the pressure, national pride and having to beat the best on a world stage back in 1983. Sure, we will probably never see Latvia or Estonia win MXoN (no matter how many Loek brothers there are out there), but the reign of the British and the threat of the communist Russians back in the day and the more modern day emergence of Belgium and Germany make for great story lines. It really was a huge deal when Motocross des Nations, Trophee des Nations and Coupe des Nations were held. For the Americans to finally become contenders and then win was a huge deal. Chuck Sun, Danny LaPorte, Johnny O'Mara and Donnie Hansen fired the shot heard round the world in 1981 and truly define what a "World Championship" should mean.
To me a World Championship is earning a title where the venues are in fact in different parts of the Globe with hopefully the top talent from around the world globe competing.
I feel they should be just like the Olympics or motocross de nations where they are from all around the world representing their respective countries
The latter. The logistics of including all countries would be… olympian. Pun intended. If the best rider from Madagascar hopes to compete in the world championship, he'll find a way to get on the team of France, Belgium, etc.
A "World Champion" is just that.....
One that has been to the fare corners of the world and has taken on many different people of his talent/profession and has proved his ability.
I always laugh when I see things like.... "San Antonio Spurs....World champions!
World Championship events always have a priority on my calendar.
In motorcycling we have MX des Nations and Trials des Nations, etc. We need
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