Real racing is all about good judgement, timing and control. Being gamers rather than racers, we're more used to ramming into opponents than trying to slip past them without causing a pile up – more smash maker than Schumacher.
Although in many respects it's a casual or arcade title, MotoGP 09 still bases its gameplay on these core principals of racing. You're not going to get anywhere simply by smashing into your opponents because you'll end up eating gravel as the other racers tear past you, probably laughing into their helmets.
It's simple to control though. The 4 and 6 keys move you left and right, while you can press 5 to maximise your speed on the straight sections and slow down with 8 where necessary on the turns. We found that success in MotoGP 09 was more about timing than any liberal use of the brake key.
You're given an on-screen prompt just before a turn pops up, along with how severe it is. The key to MotoGP 09 is learning exactly how early to turn into a curve. Once you've learnt to deal with the other racers flitting around you, it becomes quite zen-like.