Thursday, June 30, 2016

HYDROS: Time for the Roostertails to Fly...

The original U-99.9 Miss Rock's Hull, Circa 1995. (Source: images)
It's time once again to take the Unlimiteds Hulls off the trailers and G-O Racing!

Hopefully this year's season opening Unlimited Hydroplane regatta on the Madison will go more smoothly than last year's aborted race. As the sport seems to be in a holding pattern, with the same five races on the cards, i.e.; Madison, Tri Cities, Seattle, Detroit and San Diego, albeit last year Detroit was on shaky ground after originally having its storied Gold Cup event cancelled.

Although H1 Unlimited has confirmed scant weeks ago that the series would be returning to Lake Guntersville in 2018, where they last raced in 1969!

Meanwhile, there will be less Hulls in the water, at the very least for Round-1 with only eleven Hydros taking part, one less than last year's count, albeit most likely there will be more than last year's five competitors in the water overall when the 2016 season kicks off this weekend.

For Mwah, there appears to be four legitimate competitors vying for the National High Points crown, with Jimmy Shane as the defending champion aboard the newly minted U-1 Miss Home Street, the same Miss Madison outfit that for years successfully campaigned as the Oh Boy Oberto, which sadly ended its association as the team's sponsor last year.

Shane's fiercest rival most likely will be J. Michael Kelly aboard the potent U-5 Graham Trucking I, as the team has put its second Hull, the U-7 Graham Trucking II on hiatus, presumably to focus upon winning the elusive championship, along with the monetary savings it'll incur, which leaves Jesse Robertson currently without a ride in Thy B-I-G BOATZ', nee Unlimiteds this season.

And I'll put Eric Ellstrom's U-96 Elam-plus's Jean Theoret ahead of Cal Phipps for the simple reasons that Theoret's a proven winner, with Ellstrom's Hulls having won multiple championships before.

As the U-27 Dalton Industries is still relatively new to the scene, being the only team not based in Washington, residing in Alabama instead. While veteran driver Phipps is still in search of overall victory, having won multiple Heat Races to date, with Messer Phipps becoming my favourite Thunderboat Jockey last year.

A few more Hulls of interest, albeit not sure of whether they'll be successful this season or not? Include the likes of the U-3, U-18 and U-99.9.

The U-3 Unlimited Hydroplane piloted by Jimmy King is the only non-turbine powered Hull in the Unlimiteds fleet, being propelled by a World War II era Allison V-12 that's twin turbocharged, and most definitely is a Fan Favourite harkening back to the throaty roar 'O Yesteryear! And even better yet, the boat seems well suited for the lumpy waters of Detroit.

Meanwhile, Kelly Stockman, the owner/driver of the U-18 Bucket List Racing Hull, who suffered injury in a spectacular Blow over accident at San Diego last year has completely rebuilt the boat along with recovering, and is ready to go Full Throttle once again this season.

And although Diehard Pacific Northwest Hydroplane Aficionados have seen the demise of Miss Budweiser, Squire Shop, Atlas Van Lines and now Oh Boy Oberto disappear from the scene. Fans will rejoice with the return of another 'Ol Mainstay, as Miss Rock will once again race upon Lake Washington this summer.

While certainly the title sponsors of our yearly Seafair regatta known as the Albert Lee Appliance Cup will be hoping for Brian Perkins to at least skipper the U-21 into the final heat on Lake Washington later this year...

No.       Name               Driver

U-1         Miss Home Street        Jimmy Shane
U-3        GO 3 Racing     Jimmy King
U-5        Graham Trucking I      J. Michael Kelly
U-9        Les Schwab                    R-Andrew Tate
U-11       Miss Peters & May      Thom Thompson
U-14      Centurion Racing        Dave Warren
U-18      Bucket List Racing      Kelly Stockman
U-21      Miss Albert Lee             Brian Perkins
U-27      Dalton Industries         Cal Phipps
U-96     Ellstrom Elam Plus      Jean Theoret
U-99.9  Car Star Miss Rock  Kevin Eacret

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Aspiring Moto2 rider Dies at Catalunya

Multi-race winning but relatively unknown Spaniard rider perishes whilst chasing his Dream of reaching MotoGP's top category...

Although this is belated news regarding the fallen Spaniard motorcycle rider
Luis Salom, nonetheless it seemed appropriate noting the death of another aspiring Knee-dragger, nee 24yr old Salom, whom unfortunately died after crashing during the FP-2 (Free Practice) session for this year's Catalunyan Grand Prix.

But Luis definitely had talent, being a multi-times winner, whilst having just learned that he scored his maiden Moto3 victory no less than at Indianapolis in 2012 on a last lap pass of two competitors, with one being named Maverick Viñales!

As Salom would actually lead much of the 2013 Moto3 season points-wise, only to crash out in the final round leaving the door open for eventual champion and fellow countryman Maverick "Top Gun" Vinales to steal the crown at the season finale.

Obviously NO racing fatality is wanted, nor palatable. Yet as Grizzled Journo' Joe Saward scribbled recently, it's most likely this element of risk and ultimate danger that makes racing fans of many of us in our mental psyche.

As we cringe over the death of a worshiped Open Wheel Racing driver - whilst the debate over head protection utilizing Halo and Wind Screen protection continues. Just think of how absolutely exposed motorcycle riders are!

Then factor in how fearless they all must be, especially when regarding that Italian MotoGP Star Andrea Iannone recently hit terminal velocity at Mugello aboard his Ducati with a recorded speed of 220.5mph! While the rest of the field was busily nipping at his heels.

As obviously tragedy can happen at any rate of speed, even at a somewhat "Sedate" pace of the lower rung category Moto2, Moto3 categories...

Monday, June 27, 2016

MOTO GP: Top Rides Secured, but Can Anybody See them Stateside?

Suzuki MotoGP Rider Maverick Vinales at this year's Spanish GP at Jerez, Spain. (Image source:
There's an O-L-D song comin' to mind called The Politics of Dancing, but instead in Thy case  of MotoGP, it would be titled The Politics of Kick Boxing, as Moto GP's definitely NOT Sweeping across Thy Airwaves in North America these Days!

As previously belabored here in Nofendersville, for which your humble No Fenders scribe Tomaso's been away from the past several weeks now. Fox Sports (FS1) has decided to go in a new direction, as it's a S-A-D day indeedy when Mixed Martial Arts outsells the worlds premiere road racing motorcycle series, nee MotoGP! Not to mention Golf; URGH!

And it appears that the sanctioning body DORNA doesn't give a SHIT either, eh? Like seriously? We're pleased to bring you the world's best riders on; Uhm, wait for I-T! Chirp-Chirp, Bueller? Tuh-Duh...

beIN Sports



As there's definitely something not being disclosed here behind closed doors? Although DORNA's already shown its hand a la FOM by not being able to Cough-Cough, come to an agreement to continue racing at the hallowed grounds of Indianapolis, along with previously discarding Laguna Seca. Presumably in Thy mold of Uncle Bernaughty's squeezing every Bloody Greenback out of countries willing to pay higher sanctioning fees!

As I don't know 'bout Y'all, but I'm tired of always being the Guinea pig who gets to help push an unheard of and sometimes unsolicited television channel from obscurity to the mainstream - which surely is beIN Sports intentions...

But SHIT Dudes! If my moistess; Err mostest wondrous Cable TV Service provider comca$t AIN'T willing to make MAV TV or Fox Sports 2 available, albeit I do get BBC America in Thy outer fringes, i.e.; channel 162; WTF! Then what makes beIN Sports think they'll ever succeed?

But enough dribble about that already, as I pity thy Fools at beIN Sports, since I for one do NOT miss getting up at thou KURR-RACK 'O DAWN to sit in the Darkness blurry eyed listening to those Bloody international Boothboyz' prattle on...

Then again, with the just concluded rounds of rider swaps effectively neutering the remainder of the 2016 Silly Season relatively meaningless, it's too bad we won't get to see Moto GP's version of Thy Octagon here Stateside.

As just think, in this corner in red, white and green leathers, weighing in at a svelte 64 kilos from Palma de Mallorca is Quadruple MotoGP champ-pee-on' Horr-rae' Lorenzo on his number 99 Duc! (Ducati)

Opposite Horr-rae's that Spicy Meatball, who like a  fine wine just keeps getting better with age! As the nine times world champion wearing banana yellow and steel tipped boots will once  again bring his Ninja Stars to thunderdome's cage -fight in hopes of once again carving up the field! As let's hear I-T for thee Doctor Valentino Rossi wheelin' the No. 69 Movistar Yamaha, thee Bologna in the Spanish Shish Kabob...

On the other side of the Steak is Marcus The Whiz Kid Marquez, as some like I-T HOT! As this El Spanol rider enjoys imploring his #43 Repsol Honda's Flamethrower  to torch his opponents trackside!

And then wait for I-T! As can Y'all hear 'Ol Kenny Loggins croonin' that song? Pushin' I-T to Overload, Highway to the Danger Zone!

As expected rising MotoGP Star Maveric "Top Gun" Viñales has just been confirmed as Valentino's team-mate, also on a two-year contract a la The Doctor, and will take up residence on Lorenzo's Yamaha mount beginning in 2017, as suppose it'll take a little time geting used to seeing the #25 number plate on Jorge's ride.

although it's too Bad that I won't be seeing my Numero Uno MotoGP rider on Thy Telie' anytime soon. But somehow I sense this is one Spaniard Valentino will be more than accommodating to help secure the world championship title if out of his reach!

And with George Lorenzo possibly taking another MotoGP No. 1 plate to la Rosso Scooters, (Ducati) upon Top Gun Viñales confirmation at Movistar Yamaha, along with Ducati having let Andrea Iannone go, Suzuki swiftly snapped up the services of the discarded Italian Knee-dragger. Although I'm not sure which bike's better right now, i.e.; Ducati v Suzuki...

Yet Karmically, in what could bode well for la Italianos' Scooters' outfit Ducati, eventual third place finisher Iannone  recorded the fastest time ever on a MotoGP motorcycle, clocking an astounding 354.9kph - Jus a Schosh below 220.5  BLOODY Miles-per-hour; BASTA!

While ironically Lorenzo snatched the victory away from Marquez on the final lap to leave Mugello with a narrow ten point lead in the championship fight - with the Doctor uncharacteristically having his Yamaha lump' DONE BLOWN up! After having secured his first Pole at home since '08.

As The Whiz Kid, or should I-T be Pinball Wizard? Marquez spewed his typical rhetoric afterwards by saying he's not worried at all over the 10-point deficit and is definitely in the title hunt...

As Valentino made amends by winning next time out in Catalunya ahead of arch rival Marquez, who's team-mate Pedrosa completed the Podium. While Lorenzo faded to fifth and then was crashed out! Giving Marquez the points lead at 125, followed by Lorenzo with 115 and Rossi at 103.

Originally, with Iannone moving to Suzuki, I ARSE-Sumed that All of the factory "Works" rides were effectively settled for the foreseeable future, albeit I've failed to mention that Dani Pedrosa has also inked a further two year extension to remain as Marquez's Wingman, whilst Marquez himself has also recently inked further seat-time aboard his Repsol Honda likewise.

And I've forgotten that KTM joins the MotoGP fracas next season, having already secured leading Monster Yamaha Satellite rider Bradley Smith with fellow Tec Twah' team-mate Pol Espargar joining the Austrian Works squad in 2017 - with both riders on the de riggour two year contract Dealio, all of which leads just the privateer "Satellite" operations seats to play for next year.

And now comes word as I try putting Thy story to bed, that Suzuki will go for an All New clean sweep next year by just having announced current Moto2 title leader Alex Rins as Iannone's team-mate for 2017, leaving Aleix Espargaro out in Thy Cold searching for a Satellite ride instead...