When I started this blog, I realized that the biggest challenge I would face would be the images. So, as I scoured the world of the Creative Commons, I met Migue who takes amazing MotoGP pictures. I have troubled him a lot since then, especially during Qualifying and the Races, and each time, Migue so graciously sends me brilliant pictures that I can use here.
Estoril was no different, despite a troublesome wireless connection at his hotel. This morning too, my inbox had another brilliant collection of pictures from him. I owe Migue Moreno a big thank you. He is such a rock star and I know how mad and exhausting it can get post-race. (If you would like to use the images in any way, please do get in touch with Migue for his permission.)
So, yes, this post does come late. But that’s only because I have spent the better part of today admiring the images, ooh-ing and aah-ing over them (I have created a gallery so you can do the same).
Sadly though, there wasn’t much of an ooh-ing and aah-ing this race. And we were expecting such fireworks, weren’t we, oh Vale fans? But, faith everyone, faith.
Casey Stoner hit the grid running, and worked up such a large gap that no one, not even Lorenzo could catch him. It has become such a common sight though hasn’t it? But therein, I believe lies our mistake. We are three races down and the rival teams are hard at work collecting data and fine-tuning these machines. Look at how things have changed already.
Dani Pedrosa has managed consistent podium finishes in all the races. But the star is definitely Cal Crutchlow from the satellite Yamaha team. He has challenged the front-runners every single time, pushing hard and giving us spectacular races, especially those face-offs with his teammate Andrea Dovizioso.
But it is Ducati that has actually made progress. We never thought it was possible. But we saw a different Rossi this race. He started 9th on the grid and increased his pace to finish at 7th, 26.797 behind Stoner. We saw Rossi actually pushing his bike, something he has been hesitant to do, right from the start of this season. Post-race, he said in a Ducati press release, “I was able to approach the race knowing what to expect from the bike, and I therefore managed to push harder and get a little closer to the limit. The first laps were decent…Anyway, today I even managed to have some fun.” Read the entire press release here.
But everyone did not have a great race. Nicky Hayden ended up at the 11th position as he struggled with an electronics issue on his. Meanwhile, Avintia Blusens’ Ivan Silva and Paul Bird Motorsport’s James Ellison retired from the race. Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham, Avintia Blusens’ Yonny Hernandez and Speed Master’s Mattia Pasini suffered crashes.
I missed Colin Edwards. He was involved in a crash during the Qualifying and suffered a broken collarbone. He will be fine though, as he was flown to Barcelona for a surgery.
Meanwhile, the test sessions at Estoril were cancelled on Monday because of dangerous conditions – it was raining cats and dogs. Meanwhile, at a press conference, Filippo Preziosi, general and technical director at Ducati Corse said Hayden and Rossi would get a new engine set for the Laguna Seca race. He also reiterated the faith he had in Rossi and Jeremy Burgess. You can read all about it here.
So, Stoner may be in the lead for the championship, but it is still too early to crown him king. There are many others who are there to give him a run for his money.
P.S. I think this is perhaps the right time to confess. I am a Rossi girl and my ideal podium is one that consists of Vale, good ole Nicky, and darling Cal. So, my posts may be a tad biased 😉
P.P.S The gallery begins with the Qualifying before moving on to the Race. All images copyright Migue Moreno