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: