Yeah Its kind of like F-Zero!
But it's like I said the boost ability is a great idea cause for me it eliminates the catch up assist in the background that I hate for some reason. Now players are the catch up assist but the only way to go fast and catch up is using it properly. The nice thing about it being optional is that if you don't feel comfortable with a high speed in a certain place you can avoid a crash!
But I still think that special speed pads for ppl behind forcing you to try new locations that you never try is pretty nice cause it's still difficult but there is no need to worry about cool downs and another button but that can be just me hating the cool down!
Of course the game could just play a "boooo" noise and all normal speed pads could give you more boost