Humans have all possible variants. Athletes, especially those involved in dangerous activities such as motorcycle racing, may have an excuse to be more superstitious than most. But what are they? Let’s talk about the pre-race customs, habits, superstitions and sports psychology of most riders at the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championships.

Six-time world champion Jonathan Rhea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) said: “I do not have much superstition, now it’s about habits. I always put on the right and left, then boots and gloves, but this is the most superstitious thing that can happen to me. Things change from year to year. There was a year – more or less 2015 – in which I had to go to McDonald’s every Wednesday before a round, because he did well two games before the start of the season. But in the end today it is just a question of putting first on the left and then on the right; It’s not that complicated. “

Chas DaviesAs the standard bearer of the GoEleven team in 2021, he had many superstitions, but later he put many of them behind him. He comes from Wales, the ancient land of boards and druids, and has a fire dragon on its national flag. Even if it means making him happy and giving him sweet memories, he still has some luck and talent.

“I had different superstitions, but I got rid of them one by one; Some were ridiculous, ”Davis said. However, no one is asking a fan to take a flight to run away without taking the silver dollar he handed over to him years ago in the US before he doubled in the Laguna Sec. He also has a bag full of valuable toys and other possibilities that fans have been sending him for years. When Davies was a factory driver, the bag usually traveled in a small fridge in the driver’s cabin of the Aruba Ducati truck. “I’m lucky enough,” Chas confirmed. “I have been fortunate that people have given me these little gifts over the years. I have this little Buddha, chilli pepper keychain when the Australians gave me a little cola beer. Things like this … I don’t throw them away! But I do not think they bring luck or anything, but they are pleasant little memories. I have a lot “.

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Many of the superstitions he avoided in connection with the number describing the first part of his career (57) were: “I used to fasten my helmet in the 57th second, regardless of how long it took. But I deleted them all. I now have the simple habit of first putting on the left glove and the left boot and then always moving forward on the left side of the bike. It was started for convenience but is now part of the process. In a subconscious mind they are quite powerful and I know it sounds weird because they make no sense, but if you think you have a marked routine and it is consistent, there is a lot to say about it. When you get on the saddle, it’s like you put everything in the right place, ”Davis said. “If you do not have anything, you will not even have the satisfaction of saying ‘I did my routine’, that’s all.”

Tom Sykes On the grid, he uses his MP3s and sunglasses to mute the heat generators of the tires and to isolate himself from the confusion of the starting grid. He has different musical preferences – two tracks from Eminem, one from Rihanna, Mumford & Sons, Guns n ‘Roses and Metallica: “It’s a way of not paying too much attention to what’s going on around me,” Sykes said. As for true superstitions, Sykes has very clear feelings: “For me, this is not a case of superstition. If you do not do something right, if you get off the bike, if you’re blind, it’s a retaliation, and I’m always promised myself that I will not be in motorsports with that in mind, ”said the very experienced Sykes. Rider. More than 300 World SBK races and 2013 World Champion. Sykes does not enter ‘Race Tom’ mode until the warm-up lap. “The other riders were already there before we left the garage.”

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Eugene Laverti (Bonovo Action BMW), is said to have ‘Irish luck’ because of his nationality. In the UK, a four-leaf clover and an Irish clover are considered symbols of good fortune, but at a young age Laverty saw the exact opposite: “Today I was not blind, but I was young. I’m convinced Irish Lucky Chams actually made me unlucky, so I did not want to do anything with them! Anyway when all this started to get in the way of my run I pulled it out of my head. Routine is the key to preventing the nerves from silently entering. I get to the garage ten minutes before I get on the bike, take a few minutes to talk to my chief technician and my electronics engineer about the program, and then when I have five minutes to go I start putting on headphones. First I put on the left glove and then the right glove, but again it was a simple routine, not a superstition. I get up from my chair and ride my bike in almost autopilot mode, ready to go to work without the slightest panic ”.

Article published with the approval of the official WorldSBK program.

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