Interview with Scott Jones, the photographer who showed the soul of MotoGP (II)
Interview with Scott Jones, the photographer who showed the soul of MotoGP (II)

When I divided this interview with Scott Jones I was very clear that I had to end that phrase that says that second parts were never good. If yesterday we focused entirely on the aspects more related to photography and the personal life of a professional in the highest category of motorcycling, today we get fully into his experience in MotoGP. Scott openly tells us the best memories you have, which pilots are the best for the camera and who has the same facial expression as a stone, your honest opinion about the current state of the championship etc … A second part I hope it serves as a climax to get to know a little better one of those people without whose work, we could not enjoy our passion. Thanks Scott for your time and dedicating yourself to teaching us the world of two wheels like no one else.

You have been to many places at the perfect time. What is your best memory?

SJ: It is difficult to choose my best memory. Certainly going to Qatar for the first time was an incredible experience, finding myself in Losail with the sunset and Dorna's credential around my neck for the second time … It was impressive to be there, on a circuit that I have only seen on TV, further from home than I have ever been, and for the purpose of photographing MotoGP. That memory is so strong that it still comes to mind every time I go to Qatar (four times already) and I feel incredibly lucky to be there again. Also having Nicky Hayden and Casey Stoner sign posters for me was fantastic, because I never thought I could go so far in my work that I could have pilots sign my photos. Those two moments stand out among many, many others here and there. In America we say that when something incredible happens to you you need someone to pinch you to know that it is real, perhaps you also have that expression in Spain. Many times I have had to pinch myself because I have seen amazing things through my glasses, whether on the track, the pit lane, or the podium. It is a privilege to be able to take pictures in MotoGP with the fantastic people around it, especially the riders.

Every time you capture a portrait, you show us the soul of the character. Who is the most interesting pilot to portray?

SJ: I love taking portraits of pilots because, although all human beings can be, I find them particularly interesting. I suppose it is partly because they are competing at the highest level of their specialty, but this sport is also very dangerous. Not only do they have to have a strategy with which to win, but at the same time they have to overcome the fears and doubts that danger brings. Some have very expressive faces that show emotions, which is the key to a portrait. Rossi is great at portraits, like Lorenzo. Many others in the paddock are very good too, perhaps because they are ex-riders or because almost all of them are also interesting people. Pedrosa is the biggest challenge, his face is like a stone when he's in the box or on the grid …

Link to the Scott Jones Portrait Gallery

Who is the best pilot to take photos of?

SJ: For me the most talented pilot I have ever seen is Casey Stoner. I said before that I have seen incredible things through the lens, and nobody has taught me as many things as him. Every MotoGp rider is amazing - you don't get to this level by being ordinary. For me those of the CRT are in the same way fantastic, as well as many of Moto2 that will be future stars of MotoGP. But Casey is like a magician on a motorcycle, and I always take pictures of him every time he gets close. During each session, for example, I keep a list in my head of the pilots I have photographed since I try to have at least a few images of all of them. Sometimes I miss a pilot because I remember that right behind him there is another that I have not yet caught. But I always take pictures of Stoner, no matter who's behind you, you never know what he's going to teach you. This means that sometimes a session breaks and I don't have photos of a driver because he was behind Casey. Sorry, but if you want me to take pictures of you, you have to be away from Casey to get her attention. If you're around Casey, I won't even see you.

Would you like to change something in MotoGP?

SJ: If I could change something, the first thing I think would be to give the queen class more time on the track. In Formula One, there are four hours before qualifying, and fans can see more for their money. I know it would be more expensive due to the mileage of the engines, wheels, etc … but MotoGP is entertainment, and the fans would be more entertained with more time for the riders and motorcycles who come to see.

Dani pedrosa

I also think it would improve the competition because the riders would have more time with the bikes they race with. Let's look at golf, tennis, cycling, or any other sport that does not have any kind of test limit. Athletes can practice as much as they want and develop their skills as much as they can. If you are a MotoGP rider, how much time do you have to train with your motorcycle? Very little. If you are a novice, trying to get used to a new tire, learning a new circuit, a new bike… you have so little time to do it that it is a serious disadvantage against the more expert riders. Even for them it is difficult to reappear after a two or three week break and be fast without practice. I wonder how far Casey Stoner could have gotten if she could have trained. Considering how much Tiger Woods practices to fully exploit his ability… maybe Rossi, Pedrosa, Lorenzo or Casey would be even better with training.

The only thing I don't like is knowing that one of the three great drivers is going to win the premier class race. I love Moto2 and Moto3 because it is a show and there is no telling who will win. Although I am not convinced by how the CRT project has performed this season, I support the idea that somehow more bikes are brought in that are close to being competitive to see more MotoGP riders with the possibility of a good result. I think it is very difficult for talented drivers like Crutchlow, Dovi or Bradl and others to get to a race knowing that there is no hope of winning. They are pilots and the pilots want to WIN. I don't have the solution, but I hope someone finds a way to do it.

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