It will be tempting to try and drive every inch of the course at top speed. This is a bad idea-- it will lead to crashes more often than not. Instead, learn to use speed in the straightaways, and take the curves at a slower level. This will save you many places in the standings.
It's not hard to learn how to operate the bikes. There were one too many camera buttons, but other than that, not too many other issues with controls.
Also, players are well advised to stay out of the chicane on the side of the road. It doesn't gain you anything, because the game will count as a penalty any time you spend in there. The gravel and dirt out there will cause wrecks as well. You can fiddle with the very borders of the margins, where there are the red and white bumpers, but don't tempt fate if you want to stay close to the rest of the pack.
All in all, this is not a bad game. It's worth a rental for motorcycle fans.