Posts tagged motogp

One night in Monterey…

After years of fruitless stalking, my dream finally came true. Saturday Night. A hotel in Monterey. Valentino Rossi. and Me…. It was awesome.

The only regret I have is that I was too starstruck to shamelessly throw myself at him and say “Where ya goin’?…Can I come?” I gotta let him come down off that Deity pedestal so I can relate to him like any other man. But it’s hard. I’ve been worshipping him for so long, and he’s been so out of reach, it’s like the minute I’m face to face all I can do is rush to get my picture taken with him. I had no problem chatting with his team like we were old friends, but around Vale I turn into a starstruck little kid.

And just because I want to flunk Statistics…

I’d rather post to my blog than study. I hate statistics.

So here’s the Pedrosa fan club meet-up at Laguna Seca. Pretty lonely, eh? Loser. To her benefit, perhaps she doesn’t know anything about MotoGP and just figured it was the right one since it’s the same colors as Hayden’s.

In other news…camping was kinda fun, although Rossi was at the hotel I was at last year, and I got to see him again, cuz my buddy George saw him and called me, so I ran out of the restaurant. I swear, he smiled big and bright as I approached, seemed really happy to see me. There’s a pic of us somewhere, gotta e-mail the guy who took it. Woohoo. Now if I’d only taken it a step further, (see previous entry) it would have made the epic and brutal airline journey all worthwhile. It was such a bummer to fly there after having the joy of riding up from LA for the past 5 years.

OMFG. No time to breathe!!!!!

Just got back from Laguna! Sunburnt beyond recognition because after all these years I somehow forgot that I’m not someone who can go without sunblock. Legs burnt so bad I can barely walk. But other than that, it was awesome!!! Here’s me telling Jeremy Burgess (Rossi’s Crew Chief, and a major major factor in Rossi’s success) about my R1 (he asked! after I jokingly asked him to work on it.) and why I don’t ride Michelins. He was very amused. Or very diplomatic. We got the VIP tour of the garage!!! Chatted with a couple of Rossi’s mechanics too. Rossi wasn’t there, but I’d met him the night before in the lobby of his hotel. It was great, but once again, I held back. Dammit. If only I’d said…. “Where you goin’?…..Can I come?” He got this big smile as I approached, seemed really happy to see me, and I blew it by not being enough of a cheap slut groupie. damn.

The Doctor, The Tornado, and The Kentucky Kid…

OOoooohh! I got to meet the director of this illustrious documentary! Because I’m a true aficionado, I’m on their mailing list, so when they were having a screening at Cinespace, I was one of the few to find out about it. No mention on the website or even on Cinespace’s website. But I rounded up the troops, Nathaniel and Frank, and we had a grand time! Cinespace serves decent grub too, and it was nice doing the whole restaurant/movie thing. They answered questions after, and my burning question (although Frank beat me to it!) was why is there so little “Doctor” in this movie? Well, it turns out that even if you’re some big mucky-muck documentarian who’s already made a kick-ass doc. about MotoGP racers, Dorna or Rossi’s management, or both, were terrified of spies and misrepresentation, so they kept Rossi under wraps. Kinda how G-Dubya stays off the interwebs and apparently doesn’t even have an e-mail address. God forbid someone accuse him of actually reading that penile enlargement ad. Our country’s street cred would go right out the window. OK, back to DTK, it’s a great movie. Rent it. Buy it. Better yet, buy “Faster” as well. It’s also great.

Nice! Honda race bikes are acting like Ducati street bikes!

Hahahahaha! Man, it seems Honda’s reign as the world’s most reliable bikes is coming to a crashing end. Ha! That’s what they get for favoring that little turd over Nicky. For giving Poodrosa better equipment. For making the new GP bike fit an elf better than a real man. Ha! Somehow all that engineering genius seems to have disappeared from their WSB and AMA race bikes! So many mechanical DNF’s, you’d think they were British bikes or something. It’s payback time, Honda! Now if only Poodrosa’s bike would develop some mysterious mechanical problem…like maybe a much needed overall minimum weight requirement.

Sweet 69

So I had some more entertaining dreams last night, but they were eclipsed by the glory of the day’s events. It was like that soothing, pervasive sense of peace that comes shortly after one’s very first taste of liquor. I feel like all is right with the world, the planets are in alignment, and we can all rest peacefully tonight. Nicky Hayden won the MotoGP championship today. OK, so Rossi crashing made it easier. But thank f-in god he got back in it. Nothing would have been more boring and disappointing than for Rossi to DNF. Yes, I love Rossi and always will, but really, with 3 DNF’s and all kinds of other horrendously bad luck this season, someone else had to win the championship, and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Obviously he was the better rider over Melandri and Capirossi, and of course that turd who thought he had a chance. It may have dampened the excitement of Rossi’s comeback, but it is still the season which proves just how much greater than the rest Rossi really is. I wonder what Rossi will do with all the championship commemoration tees he had made up this year. Save ’em for next year, I guess.

Nathaniel and I rounded up a nice sized group, and we rode the fun way to Newcomb’s to check out their new plasma screen. It was like 70″ or something! Now if only Speed channel would stop being such cheap bastards and buy the high-quality feed from MotoGP so we could actually be able to tell the damn bikes apart, that would be something! I swear, the MotoGP coverage was better in East Africa than here. So, the minute I pull out of the parking lot, to ride home alone, a cop happens to round the bend and be on my ass immediately. It’s like they all have some R1 magnet built into the cars. So I pulled off into some camping road and he kept going. He was waiting for me further down the road, but I knew he would, even though the cruiser riders ahead of me were probably drunk. Grrr. So he didn’t try to follow me, as there were a couple bikes with me at the time. Then we caught up to a slow line of bikes. It was OK, but when they all went straight at 90 mile road, I simply had to turn and go my own way. It was a lovely ride home, no stupid cops trying to mess with me, no traffic, just the gorgeous mountains, awesome roads and the greatest bike a girl could want.

Monterey Hotels and Pastel Pink Mohawks

I had this scary dream that woke me up at the ungodly hour of 7:30 this morning. In the dream, it was Friday, Monterey, MotoGP ’07. We went to our hotel after a long day at the track, only to find they’d given our room to someone else!!! And of course there were no hotel rooms left in Monterey. I was sooo pissed, and couldn’t stop thinking about it. It got me so mad I was wide awake, and could have started my day early. But no, instead, I went back to sleep and had a wonderful dream. In it, I realized I had a camper so I didn’t need no damn hotel room! The hotel we’d had was a funky old hippie B&B, and I walked out the door into my camper, parked out front. I also had something else really cool, but forget what it was. I wondered where I’d park for the night, and kinda drove around Monterey checking out different spots. Being a dream, of course one could park and sleep in their camper anywhere they damn well pleased. It was a small and kinda ratty camper, but it was a free place to crash in a town notorious for hotels doing their best to scare off tourists by completely gouging us.

Continue reading Monterey Hotels and Pastel Pink Mohawks

On emulating our favorite racers…

We sportbikers occasionally wonder if watching professional races right before a ride drastically affects our riding style or not. On monday I discovered that, at least for my best friend George, it does. It all started when Dani Pedrosa, this snot-nosed anorexic dwarf, also known as “Asimo”, made the absolute most boneheaded mistake EVER made in GP history. Never before in a world championship series has anyone done something so stupid (don’t ask me, ask the pros at On the penultimate race of the series, with only a 12 point advantage over his rival, Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden was doing his best to win that race. As were Rossi and Edwards, too. Pedrosa had a chance at the championship, if say, Rossi and Hayden and Melandri and Capirossi all DNF’ed a race or two, so yeah, he had a shot. Not. But something else he lacked was team orders. Normally, if one rider on the team has a REAL shot (as in leading almost the whole season) for the championship, the other team riders are instructed to do whatever they can to make sure their teammate wins. Not them, their teammate. Colin Edwards had team orders, and did a great job trying his damndest to keep the wolves off Rossi. Go Colin!!! Pedrosa, lacking official instruction, decided the championship would be his. Perhaps he thought he could make Hayden crash without crashing himself. Or something. Anyway, the damn fool did this, and I want to send a shout out to youtube, and an f-u to all the corporate vultures who want to sue them over stupid little clips like this. fer chrissake, we still watched it on TV or at, so don’t even start.

I wasn’t even rooting for Hayden, you all know how much I love and adore Rossi, and have been gunning for him to win this championship. But not like this. This was the worst possible way for Hayden to DNF, being taken out by his very own teammate. I swear if it was me, there’d be little Pedrosa bits all over that gravel trap. Hayden earned even more respect by not reacting the way so many of us (especially Yates, eh?) would have. He took his anger out on the ground, then kept his abuse to a mere verbal barrage. Amazing show of restraint considering his chances of winning his first MotoGP title were damn near completely annihalated. By his teammate. That’s almost as bad as getting a nasty STD from your best friend via your spouse. And what was up with all those sattelite Hondas suddenly getting so fast? Roberts even boasted of how much faster his bike was with the new Honda motor. Wouldn’t it be nice if all the bikes were truly equal, and we could see just how good each rider is?

I’m never buying a Honda and will take this opportunity to encourage everyone (the handful of friends and family) reading this to do the same. They are a horrible company, and will most likely be the one responsible for inventing the robots that take over the world a la “Matrix”.

So, with that in mind, George and I went to Buttonwillow to do a track day in celebration of our friend Mark’s birthday. It was a wonderful day, we all had loads of fun. At one point George was complaining about how slow people were going into turn 1, and I replied with a “Yeah, I always panic at that turn, and go in too slow…” So in a subsequent session, who comes charging up the inside like he’s Dani Pedrosa….none other than George! Lucky for me, he cared enough to straighten it up and go off track in order to avoid hitting me! It was a bit too deja-vu, though. I kept thinking of the time he did that on 58, right in front of me, but not after a pass. He just thought it was a faster turn than it really was. At least this time there was no water tank to ride into, and he kept it upright. Phew! I didn’t make the Dani connection, though, that was George who pointed out that it was pretty much the same move, just with a more concientious outcome. Which was, of course, also far less disastrous.

And here’s Nicky’s interview…

Pinky and Rossi, together at last!

Well, OK, so it’s not like we ran off to Vegas and got married or anything, but I did get to touch him. Last year, in spite of the fabulous Red Bull VIP access I had, I never actually SAW the man. I left thinking perhaps he doesn’t actually exist, and maybe it really is just the bike. So this year, I was determined to see him, face to face. Having a Pit Suite ticket meant I could stare down at him as he got on his bike, even though I was supposed to be in a suite at the opposite end of pit lane. Walking in behind George ensured the guard didn’t bother checking my pass, so I got to hang with my homies. Over the garage next to Rossi and Edwards’!!! We could stare down at the madding throngs vying for his autograph as he made his way to the trailer, or watch from above as he got on his bike. But that’s not how I got to meet him. I ran into Britt and Jean Marc just outside the GP paddock area, and we chatted for awhile. I saw someone walk by the window of the Clinica Mobile who looked like him, and figured the best thing to do would be to stay put until he came out. Which was easy, as there was a golf cart for us to sit in, and plenty of people watching to do. I offered Loris Capirossi a ride, but he just smiled and kept walking. Eventually, one of Rossi’s people arrived on a scooter to escort him to another place. So I grabbed Britt and we followed him to a nearby building. By the time we arrived, he’d finished signing some autographs and was being escorted into another building next door. I stood in his path and his escort tried to push me aside as I asked if I could get my picure with him. He cheerfully stopped and obliged, even though there were some technical difficulties with the camera.

This is a still from the short video Britt took, the video is at:

So even Jean Marc, who had not been listening to me blather on about him for the past few years, was surprised that I didn’t just start kissing him. All I can say to explain my enormous restraint, is that my momma raised me too well. I seriously thought that if I saw him this weekend I would do something along those lines, then be carted off to Monterey county jail. Or not, maybe he would have liked it. Anyway, it’s a good thing I didn’t do anything to scare him, because I got to see him the next morning. There I was, walking to Jamba Juice for my morning smoothie when this nasty yellow H3 assaults my eyes. Sitting at the red light in that C02-belching monstrosity is none other than Rossi himself!!! I despise Hummers, and well, seeing my hero in one certainly brought him down a notch. His sidekick Ullio (sp.) was in the passenger seat, as one would expect. I stopped dead in my tracks and stared, smiling at him as I put my hand on my heart. He smiled and waved back, looking kinda nervous. The light was red long enough, I could have bum-rushed the car, but that’s not my style. I just stood there and tried to look cute, smiling mutely like some kind of retarded mime. Knowing his car, it was easy to spot, as it was the only yellow H3 in the paddock, and the only one with an autograph on the driver’s window. I thought about breaking in and hiding in the back, but figured that had been done before. So I chose a more polite approach. On my fun “I didn’t realize you were cool until” post-its I wrote him a little note. I slipped it into a folded piece of paper and stuck it in his windshield wiper. I thought about removing the other girls’ phone number that were stuck in the window jamb, but figured it’d be bad karma. Even if he never calls or reads this, I can rest soundly with the knowledge that I did what I could and I did it without compromising myself.

Laguna….Oh, where do I begin???

Well, it’s a long story, so I’ll start at the beginning. The ride up was hot and uneventful until George got bit by the schoolbus corner on 58. He wasn’t the first and surely won’t be the last to refuse to beleive that “15MPH” sign really means it… Luckily only his ego was bruised, but the new 999 didn’t fare as well. The pickup truck with an empty bike trailer that we had just passed was nice enough to pull over when we asked them to, and gave George a ride to the hotel. Good thing this happened on a weekend when thousands of other bikers and their support vehicles were making the same trip. The next day we suffered the injustice of having to ride to damn near san Jose and back to get into the track, someone’s cockamaney idea of “race traffic control”. More like “revenue control” considering the majority of the trip was through the deserted Army base where the speed limit is 30 MPH, and thoroughly patrolled. But just in case that wasn’t enough to keep your speed down, the occasional shuttle bus would come through in the oncoming “lane” at well over 30 mph. Yet another example of people being scared when I get mad…the ticket guy who got to hear my wrath invited me to stop and continue the discussion. I told him I was already late and didn’t want to waste any time talking to him. Later, George told me that he was scared the guy was gonna beat us up or not let us in or something. I ain’t skeered of no SCRAMP volunteer thug. Leaving that night, I saw every CHP officer in Monterey county lined up on Hwy. 1 handing out tickets like there was no tomorrow. I was glad I had taken the shortcut I’d seen on the map, so they didn’t catch me with their stealth overpass radar positioning. Ha!

Saturday, I rode alone to the track, and it was all good until about a mile before the entrance. Stop and go bike traffic made my bike heat up as much as 253 degrees, and stay over 240 (the absolute maximum, turn the engine off NOW! temperature) for a few minutes. It was either that or push it up a hill in 5″ heels and leather pants in 100 degree heat. God, I hate global warming. Luckily, the SCRAMP fools did one thing right. They positioned the ticket-checkers at the bottom of a ~1/4 mile hill. So the last bit I got to coast. But the bike was still very unhappy. The road toward the Paddock parking entrance was blocked, because of course these halfwits were too stupid to allow motorcycles with paddock parking to use the main gate that all the cars with paddock parking got to use. So I was directed down another road which is blocked, and then was supposed to turn around and go back the other way to the paddock. Because there were oncoming vehicles, I knew the road ahead went somewhere. So I took it. The last guy who tried to stop me may still be in that ditch, for all I know. Just kidding. These guys have nothing but their annoying voices, so are incapable of actually keeping anyone from getting by.

The road was EMPTY (because the fools have no way of communicating with each other, to re-direct traffic) so I made it to the paddock in easy time, and my poor, overheated baby was finally able to rest. I ran to the air-conditioned pit suite which would have paid for itself at twice the price this weekend and tore off the leather pants in exchange for short-shorts. Kept the heels on, of course. Not all the competition takes place on the track, you know. I knew I brought the right clothes when Ben Bostrom told me he liked my getup. He’s so gorgeous, but I never know quite what to do with him. Traditionally, women simply throw themselves at him, but I don’t really do that much, all I could do was tell him I’m glad he’s back racing in the USA. But when I saw him at the party on Sunday night, I had nothing left to say to him. I couldn’t remember his race result from the day before, and well, what am I gonna say? “Hey, Ben, you’re cute, wanna date?”

The party….OK, so I was bummed about not being a Red Bull vip this year, but not too much, since I did have a nice air-conditioned room and the company of two of my favorite people in the world (George and Greg) to make up for it. But on the way out of the track, I found a Red Bull pass on the trash can, and snatched it up, knowing it would be useful later that night. After heinously poor service at El Torito (never again!!!) and the extreme lack of taxis leading the fabulous parking attendant at the Monterey Plaza Hotel to give us a ride to our (nearby) hotel HIMSELF, I finally headed over to the Red Bull party. Different organizer, different venue. This year, instead of the glamour of an evening at the aquarium, it was the charm of an evening in a “barn” at the fairgrounds. Sawdust on the floor and everything! Here’s Melandri on his tippy-toes, I kid you not. the man grew a few inches the minute the camera came out!

This is where I met Melandri, came in with him and his people, as a matter of fact. The guy working the door heard him talking and said “Are you Italian or something?” I said “Of course he’s Italian, that’s Melandri, you fool!” They had just waved me in. I probably didn’t even need the pass after all, judging by the ratio of men to women. My kinda party. Met Fabio, which was kinda funny, since all these guys wanted pictures of him “for their moms” and I never even did the whole Harlequin thing. I went straight from Judy Blume to Jackie Collins. I just told him “I’ve heard you have a lot of bikes” Mini me was also there, and perhaps some other actors who are known by their own names and not the name of one character they played once. But you know, the freaky ones stand out. Someone said they saw Pam Anderson at the races on TV, and I don’t know about that. All I know is that I’m bummed that Adrien Brody didn’t make it this year. I saw Rossi’s manager and some other familiar faces, but my main man did not put in an appearance, even though I waited up waaaaay past my bedtime, knowing that he’s a real night owl. I guess that DNF really hit him hard. Man, if I had been Rossi, and my tires had f-ed up that badly, the tire technicians would be feeling about as damaged as the tires themselves. Grrrr. George had a close look at Colin’s tires when he came in and they looked like swiss cheese. Literally. Which means Rossi’s must’ve been even worse after all the work he’d done to get from 10th to 4th.