Archive for the MotoGP Category

OMG! The greatest day!!!

Valentino won at Laguna Seca!!! He finally did it, after miserable finishes every year, even a highly uncharacteristic DNF brought about by Michelin’s inability to build a tire that could handle Valentino AND 133 degree pavement. If you’re mad about the spoiler, well, TOUGH! You shoulda been there! Attendance was so low this year I was able to take my pick from $200/night hotel rooms anywhere in Monterey. On Orbitz on Thursday night!

It was an awesome race too, incredible how he kept Stoner at bay, and the pass in the corkscrew was the stuff legends are made of. Which he is, of course. Even more incredible was that they were so far ahead that when Stoner wiped out in 2nd place, he got back on and STILL had an 8 second gap on Vermeulen. Magnifique!!! I was still nervous the last few laps. Even though it’s Rossi and he knows what he’s doing, he’s had such bad luck at Laguna I was terrified something might happen. But everything is right with the world because Rossi won and Poodrosa didn’t even race. During his parade lap, Rossi got on his hands & knees and kissed the pavement in the corkscrew. So adorable.

Laguna was fun, but not as fun as last year, because most of my friends I went there to see had decided not to go. Then others who were there were hard to find. But I had fun with George, even though I was terrified that any minute his big mouth would get him into a heap of trouble, which never materialized. One guy even said it was an asset, that a mouth like that is what’ll get him into the (Ruff Ryders) party. Which was the best Saturday night I’ve had in Monterey, way more interesting than the now-defunct Blue Fin. I got the video to prove it, too.

This was the first time they had the Red Bull Rookie Cup races, too, and man, it was awesome. All these packs of identical 125cc 2-strokes buzzing by, the delicious smell of 2-smoke wafting in the breeze. It was magnificent. I will be extremely pissed if they do away with 2-stroke racing completely. It’s so much cooler! And really, everyone knows that 2-stroke motorcycles have NOTHING to do with global warming. Burning a little oil on race day can’t have nearly the impact of burning 12 mpg in an SUV on a daily basis for errands that should really be done on public transport anyway.

I also made some new friends, wore more clothing than I’ve worn there in ages (it was freezing, and I’m not feeling like I need the attention I used to need), and finally broke down and did a parade lap. I’ve been jonesing for the corkscrew so bad lately, and well, I can’t have it just yet. Kills me. The parade lap was slow, as expected, but I used it as an opportunity to do a little campaigning for Obama. I wore my Obama tee and tried to sit up enough so people could see it. Got to speed up AFTER the corkscrew, because all the fools in front of me had never been there before and slowed way down for the blind hill that precedes it. So frustrating. There’s track days there this coming Tues. and Wed. If I was working for myself, as I have been the better part of the past 8 years, I’d have just stayed a couple extra days and found the money somewhere. I may have to reconsider this “saving the world through big business” idea, to find a way to make sure it doesn’t get in the way of what’s really important:

Oh yeahhhh….

I’m so bad-ass. I need to ride 700 miles in a weekend to remind myself of this from time to time. There’s a certain sense of self-respect that comes from a long weekend in the saddle, that is quite different from the speed lust satisfaction that comes from a track day. At a track day, there’s always someone (or in my case, a few someones) faster. Out on the open road, that’s usually not the case, and when it is, I let them by so they can be the bait. But what really set this trip apart was not riding in a pack of R1’s obeying the $*#@&% speed limit on the Dragon. I know, WTF?? What is the world coming to when 50+ R1 riders let 8 cops in 11 miles make them nervous? These were not the R1 riders I know from LA. These are a different breed. More mature and sensible. Like me. Strange. How did so many of us infiltrate the ranks? I saw only one measly 2-second burnout. In any case, it was a fun group, and I made some new friends.

It wasn’t finally seeing the interior of the Biltmore Estate, either. That was a huge disappointment. I guess I’ve seen enough castles and really old mansions to not feel impressed when I have to share that little space behind the velvet rope with entirely too many people, none of whom could even fathom that someone behind them might want to move a little faster. Glad I did it, though, I’d been curious for so long.

One thing that made it a special weekend was discovering a small puddle of oil under my bike Sunday AM, noticing that my oil level had also fallen, all this when my oil light’s been acting up despite having had enough oil. So I called a friend who’s from Asheville, and he was able to hook me up with the only bike shop in the world (practically) open on Sunday. Chris at Acme Motorcycles in Fairview, NC topped it up, and we shot the breeze for a spell, while I found the perfect tank bag I’d been looking for. Then I went into Asheville and soaked up more of my absolute favorite place in NC.

But what really made it a special weekend was surviving this ridiculous downpour, and TWICE.

The first time, visibility was so low that even I had to pull off and get shelter. Plus I needed gas anyway. So when the rain stopped, I continued on my way, not thinking about which direction the storm would be going. So I caught up with it again, but at least this time everyone else slowed down too. So we crawled along I-40 in the rain, and I discovered the limits of my Aerostich’s waterproofness. It laughs at light rain, but it was the rain doing the laughing this time.

Close enough to home and already running late for Tom’s birthday, I was determined to not stop before pulling into my garage. I even had to lanesplit at one point as everyone had pretty much stopped just for the hell of it. The one time I almost stopped under an overpass to chill, 3 CARS were parked under there. Retards. Lots of cars pulled over to wait it out, I kept going. By the time I got into Durham, I had passed it, and the highway was dry. I made it home, peeled off the wet layers, changed into a party dress, and took the cage to Tom’s and had a fun party. AND we got to light fireworks in the street at 10 pm and piss off some grumpy old man with kids! AND we watched MotoGP and they cut off Dani’s podium speech because he’s an asshole to the press. He’s an asshole to everyone, anyway. Too bad Honda doesn’t seem to care.

Sunday…Church my way…

Instead of accompanying anyone to their church, or going on Safari, I simply stumbled out of bed and wandered to my local tourist hotel, L’Oasis. They have all the requisite sports channels from South Africa, and this time I checked the schedule first. So I got to see the 250GP and MotoGP…in damn near hi-def, LIVE and commercial-free!!! w/ more pre & post-race commentary than imaginable! That’s it, I’m moving here. Sorry mom, dad, but unless you can talk Speed Channel into airing MotoGP as beautifully as S2 does, and commercial free, I just may have to remain here. Well, I guess I could settle for a MotoGP subscription, so I can watch it on my computer. But I don’t think it’s as good. For the benefit of my friends who can’t watch the race until tomorrow, I’ll keep my trap shut. But damn, it’s not easy!