She adores MotoGP, LOVES Valentino Rossi and is a complete SBK junkie. Oh, she would also like a direwolf, thank you very much. Gisele L. Varotti writes about the Phillip Island round of MotoGP, its ups, downs, the new World Champion, and good ole Dani.
By Gisele L. Varotti
I get so focused when I’m watching bike races that I hardly think of anything else. But I caught myself humming a Muse’s song during the Phillip Island round.
Moto3 and Moto2 had amazing, breathtaking races even though both World Championships have been already, or are on the verge of being, decided: Cortese was crowned Moto3 World Champion last week in Sepang due to an argument between Maverick Viñales and the Spaniard’s Team, Avintia Blusens. He said he would quit because the bike and team were not good enough for the competition. He had a 2-year contract already signed so he thought better, apologized, and came back; Marc Marquez was crowned Moto2 World Champion in Phillip Island in spite of Pol Espargaro’s brilliant efforts and lonely ride. Speaking of, I don’t like large gaps wins, but when I saw Anthony West, Marquez and Scott Redding fighting till the last corner for a podium spot, I really didn’t care about that! That’s how bike racing should be, how the “Queen” category should be…
…And I was really hopeful it would be a nice and rather exciting race. After all this was Phillip Island, a challenging and beautiful track.
It started well with a kiddo kangaroo running to the run-off area like crazy to get out of the way, some aviation show with one of the pilots sporting a “Go Casey” sticker on his helmet, the usual celebrities surrounding the grid (Mick Doohan was the only one who I knew) and a girl singing the Aussie national anthem (the organizers always make that part suck, don’t they?).
But the reason why I had high hopes for this race was due to the title decision. With Casey Stoner on pole and Dani Pedrosa 3rd, the Spaniard would have to fight his way to lead the race. There was absolutely no way, his teammate would hand him the win on a silver plate. So I thought, “Dude, this will be something wild.” And for the first two laps it really was. Dani overtook both Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo and was starting to get away, when suddenly, all my hopes were there sliding, getting dirty, raising a little cloud of dust, rolling and rolling and rolling in the kitty litter…just like Pedrosa was. It was over. A super-early crash. And all the expected fun was, once again, over.
Stoner won, it was his 6th win in a row at Phillip Island, and Lorenzo was crowned World Champion for the 2nd time without even having to sweat bullets. I have nothing against Pedrosa; apart from thinking that he should smile a bit more. I was cheering for him to be World Champion after 7 years in the class but he really does not have that special spark, does he? Either that or he is the unluckiest rider out there (don’t even get me started on Ben Spies. He’s a great rider and I like him heaps, but someone has put one hell of a bad mojo on him this season). Dani fought Lorenzo very well for 2-3 races and resurrected the World Championship but, unfortunately, that was not enough.
The fight for the 4th place among Andrea Dovizioso, Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl was hot, but a million miles away. Besides, it was 3:20 am and Dorna hardly showed Vale dueling with his shadow to finish the race in 7th place, so I decided it was time to hit the road and go to bed. The only down side to that decision was that I missed Cal on the podium, his cute accent, and his lovely comment about his “bronchitis fluids” being on the shade of the yellowish green of Monster’s claw. The Honeybadger doesn’t care. The Honeybadger doesn’t give a f***.
Later in the day came the riders’ post-race comments and an interview where Vale showed, for God knows how many times already, his frustrations with Ducati. He said that what frustrates him the most is knowing that on the penultimate race of the season, his Desmo16 is the same old piece of garbage (my words not his, although that was what he meant), of the kind he rode in Valencia test back in 2010. Ducati have improved nothing after all his and Team46’s efforts, which brings me back to the song I was humming:
“You could’ve been number one
You could’ve ruled the whole world
And we could’ve had so much fun
But you blew it away“.
Thanks goodness Valencia is the last race of the season, because I have never wanted the winter break to come as much as I have done these past 2 years! What a huge waste of time, especially Vale’s, these years were. Roll Valencia test (November 13th), because I can’t wait to see Vale back to where he should never have left.
Bring 2013 on! And all the overtaking, podiums and Fratelli d’Italia!
Follow Gisele L. Varotti on Twitter.