High-speed laps around COTA a ‘rush like no other’ for KXAN reporter

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Motorcycle racing returns to Circuit of the Americas next week with the Moto GP Red Bull Grand Prix of Americas.

On Monday, KXAN sports reporter Chris Tavarez safely came about as close as possible to simulating what those riders go through on the track.

In motorcycle road racing, the riders are going up 200 mph. Before hopping on the back of one to see just how fast that is, there was some suiting up to do.

“And this is hard protection for your spinal column,” a worker said while putting on the protective padding.

Then it was on with the 10-pound body suit, gloves, boots and helmet.

“We want that (helmet) to stay on your head if you need it.”

After that, it was time for two laps around Circuit of the Americas with AMA Superbike rider Chris Ulrich.

“On the lean, you’re gonna feel the G-forces when we get the bike leaned over,” Ulrich said. “I get on my knee and we load the bike into the corner…feel the suspension kinda moving around.”

In a race, those G-forces come from taking turns at a nearly 50-degree angle.

On the straightaways, Ulrich topped out around 160 mph, and even popped a few wheelies.

“That was absolutely incredible,” Tavarez said. “That was amazing. That is an adrenaline rush like no other. My body is shaking like crazy right now. That was insane.”

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