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In more recent years I've held Jamie Whitham's riding style as the most efficient & brilliant overall — here pictured during the World Superbike of 1997.  To achieve most possible leverage thru the turns, Jamie rotates his body as he hangs off, with his head & shoulder pointed forward and stretched away from the bike.  Notice that his knee is actually pretty far off the ground.  Btw, it was recently pointed out that his style resembles Colin Edwards'.

Throughout his racing career, Jamie Whitham was unfortunately signed by mostly mediocre racing teams which got him the short-end machinery.  Naturally this generated a tricky catch-22 for him; with bad machinery he couldn't post any good results, and with no results to speak of, no world-class team would pick him up.  It didn't help that he also was plagued by injuries during crucial parts of his career. 

On or off the track, Jamie has always been popular among his fans and fellow racers — always friendly and his riding is described as very safe and cautious, (although he has crashed a few times).  This "niceness" might also explain why Jamie lacked that "killer instinct" to become a true champion, and now seems to have settled by age. 

Although Jamie and Carl Fogarty have been close friends over the years, Foggy has openly criticized Jamie for not "being good enough"... a criticism which I believe is unfair.  Since they apparently are still friends, I kind of hoped Jamie would become the rider for Foggy Petronas (or at least their test rider). 

Jamie Whitham — 1997