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Hurtling through the air at upward of 100 mph with the twisted wreckage of your 500-cc two-stroke racing motorcycle bouncing along directly beneath you, you don’t have a whole lot of time to think about how you could have avoided ending up there. “It will happen,” explains a paralyzed former racer in Faster. “You will fall off.” And oh, do they ever: Crashing vehicles and visits to the hospital account for almost half the footage in director Mark Neale’s unglamorizing 2003 documentary. Filmed during the 2001 and 2002 MotoGP Championships, Faster follows four of the sport’s most popular riders: Italian world champion Valentino Rossi; his hot-tempered rival, Max Biaggi; rising American star John Hopkins; and hapless Australian Garry McCoy, who, after developing the dangerous back-wheel-spinning technique that revolutionized the sport, can’t seem to keep himself out of the ER. Lucky for McCoy and his fellow racers, however, the MotoGP isn’t all bumps and bruises—and Neale manages to hold onto the adrenaline-pumping excitement of one of the world’s fastest sports for most of a 103-minute ride. There’s plenty of heart-stopping first-person footage from the bike cam, and interviews with riders and former riders, as well as with the mechanics and doctors who keep everything and everyone running smoothly, provide gearheady insight into what keeps these speed freaks running laps. But for all of Faster’s dizzying camera work and technical talk, the movie remains driven by its colorful cast of characters. Highlighted by the intense rivalry between Rossi and Biaggi—including the now-infamous “elbow incident,” in which the latter allegedly attempted to knock the former off his bike, and the subsequent backstage fistfight—Neale’s narrative focuses primarily on intrapersonal reflections and interpersonal relationships. If getting inside the head of a racer careening helmet-first into the sideboards doesn’t sound like something you’d like to do, then you should probably just rent Torque instead.—Matthew Borlik