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    An informal chat with the Australian two-time SBK World Champion. Here’s what goes through a rider’s mind, and how you can prepare to become one.

    By DemoneRosso | 08 May 2024 | 1 min

    He has two World Superbike Championships to his name, and no end of stories to tell. He was born in 1971, originally from Wollongong, a city in New South Wales, southeastern Australia. Riding for as long as he can remember, Troy Corser is a really easygoing guy, an old-school professional racer with extensive experience ranging from dirt track to motocross racing.  

    His international career began in 1992, with two appearances in the SBK world championship, in the final rounds of the season raced in his native Australia, at Phillip Island, and in New Zealand, at Manfeild. In 1993 he raced only at home, where he became national champion. In 1994 he divided his time between the U.S. championship, which he won, and a few wild card appearances on European tracks, where his first major results started coming – a podium placing at Mugello, others at Donington and then again at Phillip Island in the last round of the championship. Troy was 11th overall, with only three rounds contested. 

    Ducati called him to full-time SBK World Championship racing in 1995, finishing the season with an excellent second place overall and three wins to his name. In 1996, still on the Ducati 916, he was crowned World Champion with three double wins, at Donington, Brno and Albacete, another single win and many podium placings. Between 1997 and 1999 there were many more wins and placings, and he came third at the end of the championship three times in a row.  

    In 2000 came the move to Aprilia with the brand-new RSV Mille, and in 2002 a one-year pause after signing a contract with the Petronas team, which didn’t have a bike ready to race. In 2005 he moved to Suzuki, with which he won his second world championship, proving that class can survive a few subdued seasons. Then came Yamaha, BMW and finally retirement at the end of the 2011 championship. 

    Troy Corser still lives for motorcycling now, as he did in the past. His current project is Racing School Europe, a riding school with headquarters in the Netherlands that supports riders of all levels, from absolute beginners to aspiring professionals. Dainese and AGV are supporting his track activity in 2024 as they did in 1996, and as a long-time collaborator we had the opportunity to spend a half day together and chat about various subjects. 

    Let’s start with something that seems obvious, when you watch racing on TV. What goes through a professional rider’s mind when they’re racing at 300 km/h or faster? How do you make yourself feel at ease? 

    You don’t really think about anything; If you got there step by step, like any real professional rider, your body already knows what to do. I always say that your muscles have ‘memory’; when you’ve internalized an action, made it your own through years and years of practice, it all comes to you automatically. You just have to relate to the situation and what’s going on around you, like whether there are other riders. 

    It might seem absurd, but with the right preparation you can feel perfectly at ease, and feeling protected definitely helps. If you tried to ride a bike, just for the sake of argument, without a helmet, you wouldn’t feel safe and you wouldn’t manage to ride faster than walking pace. But the same applies to gloves, boots, and every other component. For example, I really can’t ride without a chest protector now. If I don’t have it I feel something’s missing. I’ve gotten used to it and I think of it as essential. 


    Do you think about the risks you’re taking, as you race? Are you ever afraid? 

    No, I never think about the risks of racing, or not when I’m doing it at least. In normal situations you have to focus on giving it your all, on doing what you can do well, not on “not falling down” – you won’t get results otherwise. 

    Sometimes people talk about fear, but I never feel fear when I race. I get on the track, concentrate and race. On the other hand, we do get scares at times, that’s true – we’re not reckless. But I see fear as something different. You get that when you go into the unknown, do something dangerous without knowing what it is you’re doing, or when you’re not properly prepared. In that respect, as I already said, the equipment is essential. Feeling protected gives you confidence, makes you feel almost invincible. 


    You introduced the topic of clothing. How has it evolved since the beginning of your career, more than 30 years ago? 

    There’s been remarkable evolution, in many ways, even ones you might not immediately think of. For example, there’s the thickness of the suit leather, and then the seams. It might seem something trivial, but today’s seams never open on a suit or glove when you fall. Years ago, on the other hand, it could happen. And all the materials have improved dramatically as well. It means that the protectors, including the traditional plastic protectors, are lighter, ergonomic and much more effective at the same time – back protectors first and foremost. 

    Helmets have also made huge strides; I’ve actually been pretty lucky in the past. I’ve mostly been okay, and I haven’t had many really hard blows on my head, but elbows, knees, ankles, hands – that's where impacts happen a lot. In most of my falls I always got up and away on my feet, which means the whole thing works. 

    One thing I always say is this – if your head’s worth $5, buy a $5 helmet, but that applies to all clothing of course. Buy modern, high-quality products; it’s stupid to save money on your own skin. 

    MicrosoftTeams-image (5)

    Dainese Mugello 3 D-air®

    State-of-the-art kangaroo leather motorcycle suit. Lightweight and high-performance, equipped with pentaxial elasticity system and the revolutionary triple-activation D-air® Racing airbag. 


    And what do you think about motorcycle airbags? 

    Luckily, I haven’t activated it many times. The first one I tried was actually a road jacket, for a demonstration. The static activation was a really strange feeling. When the suit activates on the track, however, you don’t even notice it at the time. You only perceive the inflation when it’s all over and you get back up. That’s an incredible step forward, too. 

    When I first heard about it, I admit I was skeptical. I was afraid it would restrict movement and that it would be impossible to get it to work properly. But then I tried it and I couldn’t help but change my mind. Development was quick and effective – today it’s an outstanding product. Every time I come onto the track, I check to make sure it’s on. I couldn’t do without it. The Dainese D-air® system is so fine-tuned that it’s hard for me to say where it could be improved. You could probably work on extending airbag protection to the lower body as well, the leg and knee areas. They’re currently not covered. 


    You get to work closely with young fans and riders. What impression do they make on you as they approach the sport and the world of protection in particular? 

    They look at the issue completely differently to my generation or, still more, older motorcycle riders. The new generation was born into a world with modern protectors. The idea of not having them is absurd to them. Young people today look for the best protectors automatically. They think protection and wearing the best that the market can offer is great. It’s definitely a positive situation.  

    In general, it’s all more professional. I think modernity has taken us away from the essence of motorcycle racing a bit, but like I said, it’s brought positive aspects with it, like sensitivity to safety. Then there’s much more dedication to preparation in general and physical training in particular. Today, everyone’s training and it couldn’t be otherwise, because if you don’t train you fall behind. To be honest, I never used to train when I was racing. I rode, and in my spare time I’d just try to keep myself busy and active, but I never even heard about physical training and the gym. 


    Tell us about your current project. 

    Racing School Europe isn’t just about track riding, it’s also safety education. We help people understand every aspect of motorbikes and the world of motorcycling in general. After a 25-year career, it was strange for me to step away from racing and start looking at this world from the outside, but you get used to it. Today, it’s my everyday life. We work with riders of all levels, from beginners to semi-professionals committed to racing, and also of all ages, from kids to some seniors who still aren’t tired of it. I like it. 


    To conclude the visit at Dainese headquarters, Troy Corser, two-time World Superbike champion, passes through the offices and asks all the employees for a photo together. He’s at ease, glad to be here. He has it pointed out to him that it’s usually the guys who ask for photos with the champions. He smiles and winks.



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