Also adding to its pick-up-and-play value is the short burst of racing it offers. With three laps to qualify for a two- or five-lap race, you can finish a whole season in just over an hour. Of course, you'll then want something to spice things up. You could ramp up the simulation until just staying on the bike is near-impossible, just as with the game's PS2 brothers.
However, PSP only has one analogue input (the nub) which is used for steering so avoiding wheelspin under acceleration is practically impossible on the X button. You're either fully on the throttle or you're not, so unless you're into sadomasochism, this isn't really a viable mode.
Above: Pull back on the nub and you can execute a wheelie. It feels great
Fortunately, there's also a separate difficulty setting that makes your opponents more cunning and proficient. This means you can still make things harder without your biggest obstacle being the bike itself. It's a very sensible inclusion and the game benefits immensely from accepting that PSP's controls aren't as precise as a DuelShock.
Even though control is user-friendly, this isn't a game for those who never use the brakes. Every corner offers a new problem to overcome. Racing lines and hundredths of a second are your enemies and rewards. The time attack mode cements this - racing against an image of yourself with the brilliant ghost mode offers infinite lifespan. But the game also sets you times to beat in this mode to unlock bronze, silver or gold achievements, which translates to various prizes to enjoy.