math behind the
morecambe missile

Each year EMC sponsors high profile events to showcase their products and services. In the summer of 2015, EMC’s Big Data team partnered with John McGuinness, 23 time Isle of Man TT winner, to analyze every aspect of his motorcycle riding to answer the question, “What makes John so fast?”

They turned the idea into a data modeling contest where several points of data such as heart rate, RPM, gear speed, yaw, and banking angle, were captured at a test track in Spain and made public so contestants could run all kinds of analytics on it to try to determine the answer.


Visual Design
User Experience Design
Front-end Development

See it Live

April, 2015

Making Data Compelling

Rebellion was tapped to concept, design, and code the microsite to tell the story of John, the test ride, the data, and ultimately the contest winners. The final design is fully responsive, media rich, and approachable. Even the data visualization component is easy to understand and use.

We took a pretty low-tech approach to the storytelling, opting for long scrolling page making good use of photos from the event and produced videos that slowly unfolds the story and introduces a robust but easy to use data visualization tool so even non-data-scientists can explore the data.

For 25 years I’ve known I was fast. Fast in the corners; even faster on the straights. 200 miles an hour. What happens to my body at that speed? My brain? My reactions? Where any mistake could be my last. Yeah, I’ve always known I was fast—but I’ve never known why—until now.”

– John McGuinness

This is the first time in motorcycle history anyone has gathered data from man, machine and the environment—and in the harshest of conditions—to uncover the secret behind what makes one unique rider the fastest man on two wheels. It’s proven to be a monumental big data challenge and the insights we’ve uncovered thus far are fascinating.”