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You'll get a dunch of different answers to this. Most believe that the riders are sticking their lag out to "set" the bike and themselves up for the entry to the turn. It's a combination of physical weight transfer and a mental note to get things in the proper space and time. Other opinions?


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You have to understand that most of these riders at this level have been riding since they were kids, and have done different types of riding as they grew up. In some types of racing (like flat track and motocross) they riders put their inside leg out to get through the corner and sometimes these habits stick with them. In MotoGP it doesn't have any advantage, just a habit some riders have.
 

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You have to understand that most of these riders at this level have been riding since they were kids, and have done different types of riding as they grew up. In some types of racing (like flat track and motocross) they riders put their inside leg out to get through the corner and sometimes these habits stick with them. In MotoGP it doesn't have any advantage, just a habit some riders have.
It's not a habit since everyone everyone does it without thinking, just a survivalreaction which everyone experience. Happens for me when I'm coming into a corner pretty hot and pretty much everyone on motogp grid. It takes thought and concentration on counteract survivalreactions and leg out is just one of them that doesn't matter.

Your brain wants to be in control and it does whatever feels most natural during high stress and leg out is just one of them. You will automaticly put a leg out under low traction scenarios. I don't need to tell anyone riding motocross to put their leg out, it just happens. Heavy braking before cornering gives you little available traction and your brain responds by putting your leg out and being ready to take the fall if you loose traction.

I can even make you wanting to put your leg out. Take your bicycle and find a path made of gravel, get up to speed and then brake, doesn't it feel much better having a leg out?
 

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Couple years back when a reporter asked Rossi about it at the pre-race press conference - Rossi gave his standard answer, that he didn't know, but that it felt a natural thing to do, and it felt like it helped him brake.
But he also revealed a fascinating detail: When he and Jeremy Burgess look at the data, and compare the corners where he does his signature leg wave with the same corner when he leaves his foot on the peg, there is no difference at all. The data shows exactly the same braking time and force, the same weight distribution, no difference whatsoever.

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It's not a habit since everyone everyone does it without thinking, just a survivalreaction which everyone experience. Happens for me when I'm coming into a corner pretty hot and pretty much everyone on motogp grid. It takes thought and concentration on counteract survivalreactions and leg out is just one of them that doesn't matter.

Your brain wants to be in control and it does whatever feels most natural during high stress and leg out is just one of them. You will automaticly put a leg out under low traction scenarios. I don't need to tell anyone riding motocross to put their leg out, it just happens. Heavy braking before cornering gives you little available traction and your brain responds by putting your leg out and being ready to take the fall if you loose traction.

I can even make you wanting to put your leg out. Take your bicycle and find a path made of gravel, get up to speed and then brake, doesn't it feel much better having a leg out?
I second this, although it could be from riding motocross as a teen. Just an example:

There is a little route that I take when I go for a ride. This time, I cut out the long section of the route where I go over a causeway from the highway, and just doubled back downtown.

There is a turn at the end of the run where I am usually feeling pretty comfy and take it at a nice speed but this time my front wheel started jittering like I was going to lose it and slide out from under me! SOMETHING made me put my leg out before my front wheel decided to get testy and I regained control. I think if something like that happens and it saves you it only re-enforces that behavior and can make it a habit. Well that is my theory anyway.

Was thinking what may have caused me to almost wipe... I think since the ambient temp is cooler at night coupled with the fact my tires didnt fully heat up by not going on the highway they just werent as sticky.

Needless to say I am ditching the roadwinners at my 600 mile service, not even worth risking a drop/injury.
 

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It's not a habit since everyone everyone does it without thinking, just a survivalreaction which everyone experience.
I've watched every MotoGP race for the last few years, and I'd say half of the riders do it, but a lot don't :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I can see it both ways now. It's habit forming since in the off-season they do moto-cross to stay fit, but also as psychological preparedness just in case they crash. You can liken it to sticking an arm out to brace yourself if you fall.

I thought it helped with braking but it appears it probably doesn't
 

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It's just a personal preference. If it feels more comfortable, then you can focus more attention to other tasks. Also a lot of riders ride dirt track or motocross in the offseason for training, might be where they picked up the leg out habit to start.
 
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