Great video on the topic (adorama has so many great videos)
Rebel Rouser thank you so much for the kind words.
Ok I'll start by saying raw doesn't make photo's great per say, I mean the photo's were taken with my settings, I choose the focal lenght on the lens, the shutter speed, the aperture, the composition, the in camera settings i.e focus method, focus point, so really it was myself that took the photo, raw is JUST A TOOL (caps for BDW) for creative control of the photo. It just alows you to adjust for highlights (guys, we know we shoot motocross in the middle of the day often) because we have no other choice at times, I mean it's when the tracks are open, so, we have to shoot in the worst (harsh) light. You can bring up details in the shadows (often in the motor area of the bike) and the red channel clips just like the whites (you will see little detail in the reds often, and they can be screaming bright) so you can back off the reds a bit. It just alows us to take a very good photo, and make it a bit better. Raw has better uses, if you will, like indoors, where you would have to adjust for the white balance, and that can be a bit of a pain on the fly, and the lighting can be from different sources (color temps) So no, raw will not make you take better photo's, just adjust them afterwards.
As far as the photo of the girl on the bike BDW, the photo was taken in really good light, and I would be super happy with the photo as is. I'm not knocking anybody that doesn't shoot in raw. If I get the chance to shoot again this year, I will shoot JPG and I will show you guys that the photo's will still look good.
Rebel Rouser, I just just import the raw files straight to LR and edit there, then PS to resize and add some additional sharpening, and contrast ( I prefer the contrast look in PS over LR)