Kawasaki ZX10R, Stewart Macleod, Pro Tour Series

Pro Tour Series: the face behind the visor

At any motorcycle racing event there are two faces to every rider—those with helmets and those without helmets. Face/Off—suddenly I see the resemblance between the John Travolta film and motorcycle racing riders. Without their distinctive head gear (helmets) these riders can infiltrate the normal bustle in the pit complex without being recognised by supporters. Let's face it, I know exactly what Sid Farinha's helmet and his eyes behind the rectangular visor looks like but I have no idea who he is without his helmet. The same goes for all the other riders I have not yet had the pleasure to meet without their headgear. Maybe I should walk around with my fingers in a rectangular shape in-front of my face, but that would make me look like an idiot and it would most certainly hamper my photographic attempts.

Talking about photography—will it be too much to ask of motorcycle racing riders not to change their helmets between heats or at the start of the new season? Most motorcycles also undergo metamorphoses at the start of the new season due to new sponsorships and or face-lifts, leaving the rider's helmet as his only true form of identity.

Whether riders realise it or not, the face behind the visor is who they are to most of their supporters. •

Words & Photos: Adriaan & Martine Venter (Pro Tour Series, Phakisa Freeway, 2012/02/18, 67 images) Main Image: Stewart Macleod #46, Kawasaki ZX10R.

Pro Tour Series - Inside the pits

Kawasaki ZX10R Starting Grid: Tony Klem, Ike Bodigelo, Simon Bezuidenhout, Chris Marais, Paul Jacobs, Stewart Macleod, Bertus Meyburgh, Wayne Thomas, Frans Bester, Appanna Ganapathy, Alan Ryan, Brain Bontekoning, Pieter de Vos, Johan Fourie, Johan Steyn, JB Schoeman, Raymond Keel, Kobus le Roux, Rodney McLachlan, Johan le Roux, Brain Moldenhauer, Sid Farinha, Stewart Christie, Joe Shearer and Stuart Russell.