Wednesday, September 29, 2010

MOTO GP: 2010 Indianapolis Race Outing – Part 2

Originally, I found it funny that I toted a Dunlop Tyres poster bag + Dunlop Motorcycle racing poster around Indy and all the way home via two Airports and Aeroplanes. Even managing to get it all the way back to Seattle uncrushed! (As I was carrying it sans poster tube & afraid to put in those Double STUFFED Overhead Stowage Bins!) Whilst thinking the whole time, Uh? Isn’t Bridgestone the Sole tyre supplier in MOTO GP? To which I’ve since discovered that both the Moto2 & 125cc classes run on Dunlop “Control” tyres, as there were so many details missed while navigating the Brickyard grounds, but I digress...


(MOTO GP: Sunday’s Flying start – Photo by CARPETS)
Dave “CARPETS” O’Brien:
“Here is pic of the big bikes at the start going by us. It's not your eyes. They are going by so fast it's a blu one to me too.”
Saturday, August 28th
We skipped the 125cc session, while I enjoyed listening to Ralph Sheheen and Greg White (both of SPEED Motorcycling programs) doing the morning Practice session on the IMS PA system, especially enjoying White’s insights, as I really enjoy hearing voices I recognize over the loudspeakers. While Saturday afternoon and Raceday featured Toby Moody and Kevin “Voice of the Supersonics,” Err Dave Calabro, with Toby getting the Lion’s share of announcing time...

And I still swear the ‘Duc’s (Ducati’s) have their own unique soundtrack, i.e.; exhaust note, as the Top lap times are being thrown around by the various competitors’... As I’m rootin’ for “Captain kOOL!” (Ben Spies) And I’m doin’ some fist pumpin’ whilst trying NOT to get too GEEKED! As Ben’s on Pole with 10mins remaining! Telling Danny that’s way too much time... But FUCKING EH – RAY! SPIES DOES IT! SWEET! As that’s so FREAKIN’ COOL to have been in attendance for Ben Spies’s maiden MOTO GP Pole Position... As I’ll be even more SHOCKED if he could actually pull off an unexpected ‘W” tomorrow... As I scribbled the following: Spies P1, Lorenzo 2nd, N. Hayden 3rd, Stoner P5(?) and Rossi 7th?

Saturday ‘Qualie Times
(Partial MOTO GP Qualifying results)
Pole: Ben Spies, USA; Tech 3 Yamaha: 1:40.105
2. George Lorenzo, Spain; Fiat-Yamaha (-0.220 seconds)
3. Nicky Hayden, USA; Ducati Corse
4. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy; Repsol Honda
5. Dani Pedrosa, Spain; Repsol Honda
6. Casey Stoner, Australia; Ducati Corse
7. Valentino Rossie, Italy; Fiat-Yamaha
8. Marco Simoncelli, Italy; San Carlo Honda
9. Colin Edwards, USA; Tech 3 Yamaha (1:41.232; -1.127 seconds)

Next we watched the first 15 minutes (approx.) of the Moto2 bikes before leaving; upon returning home (as previously noted) I’ve discovered that our ‘3-Yanks: Jason Di Salvo was 27th, Roger Lee Hayden 29th and Kenny Noyes 30th in Qualifying.

Later Dave drove me Downtown Saturday evening to see what was going on? As we cruised past LucasDome, which had some sorta High School Football game in progress while the Circle (Monument Circle/Circle Drive?) was completely blocked off for the ongoing Motorcycles on Meridian festivities... As there seemed to be lots of “Thumpers” ‘Out “N Aboot, nee Harleys.

Next we drove down Gasoline Alley, pulling into the Sarah Fisher Racing (SFR) building’s parking lot, but alas, they’re all in Chicago; DRAT!

Then we made a Pitstop at FaJolie’s(?) Pizzeria... Chicagoland requires pizza, right? As the manager was quite happy to shoot the breeze with us, being an ‘Ol Timer “Straightliner,” nee Drag Racer and was all excited ‘bout the upcoming MAC Tools National. He was from SoCal and originally worked for In ‘N Out Burgers; telling us the story of how they got into Drag Racing and now the daughter of the Owners was having a blast driving in B/G-GAS? And they’re here even though they’re a West coast only operation sponsoring Melanie Troxel’s “Flopper, (Top Fuel Funnycar) albeit W/O sponsor decals.

He continued by saying: I’d haveda liked to go check out the MOTO GP bikes, but I’m taking 6-days off for the ‘Nat’s which my wife likes to call the HumidNational’s; as we’ve gotta ton ‘O family coming in for it. I’ve been into Dragsters for 17yrs and my son’s been into it for nine. He drives and just did a 306 testing at ORP; said it really makes a difference testing at a good track and ran a high of 324mph!

And Speakin ‘bout Humidity... Little did I know just how DAMN HOT ‘N MUGGY it’d be at Indy on Raceday, as I swear I heard Ralph sheheen state it was 95f degrees with a track surface temperature of 133. Can you say H-O-T!

We got back to Carpets Manor “Just-in-Time” for the big Indy Car race, returning at 7:54PM – which was perfect! Since we missed all of the Versus Preamble! Then somehow I managed to become hypnotized by all of ‘Dat round ‘N round action and fell asleep mid-race...

(MOTO GP Turn 1 – Sunday – Photo by CARPETS)

Sunday, August 29th
We arrive Just-in-Time for the Moto2 race, arriving at the tail-end of the 125cc race, totally unaware of the day’s earlier tragedy that struck 13yr old Peter Lenz in the preceding Support Event, see: Motorcycle Incidents strike Indianapolis, as apparently his Family requested that his fatality not be disclosed until after the MOTO GP race finished...

And the Spills ‘N Thrills continued as the Moto2’s 40-rider field saw six riders go down on lap-1, bringing out a Red flag, which lasted for nearly 40mins; CRIKEYS! But it was very cool seeing a massive 40 ‘Scooters roll-off for the formation lap and then take the start (twice) buzzing their way down into Turn 1... Although I had NO idea who was who or how our Yankee Wildcard riders prevailed; but did witness a super nice Slipstreaming pass for the lead into turn 1 by the eventual winner. While I’ve now looked up the race results and learned that Toni Elias took the victory over Julian Simon, with Scott Redding Taking his very first ever Moto2 Podium by finishing third. The win was Elias’s sixth of the season, while the ‘Yanks were a bit less fortunate. Making his Moto2 debut, Jason Di Salvo finished a very fine ninth place, making up the most positions of the three riders, 17-places. While Roger Lee Hayden was 17th and Moto2 regular Kenny Noyes finished 19th...

Then it was time for the BIG ‘BOYZ, (MOTO GP) as they’d been doing their somewhat annoying BurRack- BurRack- BurRack- BurRacking during the end of the Moto2 race and it almost seemed starkly quiet when they stopped their racket... But they’re so B-A-D sounding! As soon it was time for the Parade lap, and then OH-MY-GAWD! THEY’RE OFF! As I believe this was the very first time in his brief MOTO GP career that Captain kOOL led a race? As Messer Spies led the first 7-laps whilst being hounded by the pack, especially Dani Pedrosa, having quickly moved up from P5 to second before Slipstreaming Spies into Turn 1 on lap-8 and then disappearing off into the distance... As Pedrosa was simply untouchable and romped to his third win of the season, while Spies recorded his best finish to date as runner-up, holding off the likes of future World Champion George Lorenzo who had his worst finish of the season, coming home in third place...

But as I said, it was Pedrosa’s day, leaving Spies nearly six seconds adrift, while The Doctor, a.k.a. Valentino Rossi quietly worked his way forward, ultimately finishing fourth, while Spies pulled out a 14-second lead over Lorenzo, who uncharacteristically dropped way behind before slowly reeling Spies back in somewhat... As I didn’t know who it was, but noted that the fifth place bike had a distinctly unique sound-note all of its own; who was it? Hmm? That Repsol Honda had a really high shrieking exhaust...

Sunday Race Results
(MOTO GP Partial Race results)
Winner: Dani Pedrosa, Spain; Repsol Honda
2. Ben Spies, USA; Tech 3 Yamaha
3. George Lorenzo, Spain; Fiat-Yamaha
4. Valentino Rossie, Italy; Fiat-Yamaha
5. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy; Repsol Honda
6. Nicky Hayden, USA; Ducati Corse
DNF) Casey Stoner, Australia; Ducati Corse
DNF) Colin Edwards, USA; Tech 3 Yamaha

Ben Spies talks about his best MotoGP finish at Indianapolis

Then on our way back to the infield, I could catch a brief portion of the Post-race Podium interview as we walked towards the main Tunnel, where I heard somebody telling others: DON’T STOP! Apparently a Yellow Shirt? As we were passing nearby the Podium...

And speaking of the famous “Yellow Shirts,” the track’s gynormous (Volunteer) Work force... I must say that once again they were totally wonderful to Mwah! And yeah, I’ve heard ‘bout their supposed roughnecking, along with always being disappointed they first directed us to the wrong parking lot and then couldn’t direct us to the Handicap access during the ’06 USGP ‘Qualie session when the FIA had cordoned off the regular elevator – causing us to MISS the first 25+ minutes; as we’d been mis-directed twice due to NO fault of our own...

As I’m guessing it has something to do with my being the only(?) person on the premises utilizing a white cane, but! They really treated me well; from opening doors for me, saying Hello, even remembering us on Day 2, giving us rides in the buggy back to our parking to avoid crowds and stopping traffic for us to cross; as Y’all might say – Whale Bully! They’re just doing their jobs... Nevertheless I really appreciated the little extra attention they provided me... (As I’m guessing that it’s probably a Thankless job, eh?)

Making our way back to the Turn 2 Suites to wait out the traffic a bit, as I said, a courteous Yellow Shirt stopped the apparent onslaught of 10,000 CRAZED Motorcyclists all exiting the track from the backside... In order for us to cross over to the Suites; as nearly all of these “YeyHoos!” were trying to be louder then the MOTO GP bikes; trying to hit their Rev limiters? Or BLOW UP their silly ‘Scooter lumps by doing a myriad of Smokey burnouts on the way into traffic; SHEISA! As I was gonna put my earplugs back in, but fortunately we got to duck inside the Suite and somebody thankfully closed the door!

Then later, back at Carpets Manor with the Telescreen turned on for any added information upon the day’s racing action, I found it pretty funny that the Reporter said that he’d tell us all ‘bout The Kentucky Kid’s “Wardrobe Malfunction” after the break... As Nicky Hayden apparently ripped his knee puck (slider) off of his riding garb, reputedly hitting a drain, as said slider dangled awhile before eventually dropping off; WTF? I’m still ‘Cornfused to what said drain was doing so close to the racing circuit? Albeit at least it wasn’t as bad as ‘Rubino’s (Barrichello) encounter with a Drain cover around the Principality (Monaco) earlier this year, eh?

Nicky Hayden knee slider damaged by drain at Indianapolis MotoGP

Our evening ended with the traditional After-race Steak dinner prepared by Mr. Carpets... Uhm-Uhm Good! Move over IMS Tenderloin Sandwiches...


Monday, August 30th
Dave graciously took me back to my favourite building on the Speedway’s grounds; the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame museum... which I thoroughly enjoy visiting every time at the Brickyard, as there’s always something new to see... And once again two Yellow shirts opened the doors for me and as I prepared to pay my three smackeroos... (Unaware that the price has increased to $5.00) The nice lady at the desk told me that mine was FREE! As I’ll scribble ‘bout the museum in a separate post later; while afterwards, Dave drove us over to Brownsburg to “Straightliner’s Row,” nee the multiple Drag Racing Operations housed there, pointing out Bill Simpson’s shop, Impact, Don Schumacher Racing, Kenny Bernstein, John force, Don “The Snake” Prudhomme and Pedregon Racing to name a few; which I’m told apparently could have originally been located in Speedway, which now hopes to prop-up its decaying infrastructure with the planned redevelopment featuring Anchor Tenant Dallara Automobili USA...

Tuesday, August 31st
Against much clamoring... I intentionally stayed a few extra days in order to attend Don Kay’s ‘lil Radio Show, a.k.a. the Autosport Radio Hour at McGilvery’s in Speedway, nearby the race track. Thus I was pleasantly surprised with the show’s line-up, as the first guest was Lone Star J.R. Followed by the comedic musing of E.J. Viso who fortunately left his pet Snake at home, along with his unicycle... And I was even more humbled by Don making great fanfare of my trekking to Indianapolis for the MOTO GP event and asking Mr. Rutherford my somewhat esoteric question; wondering if he was still on the Harold LeMay Museum’s Board of Directors? To which J.R. simply replied – Yes. But how enjoyable to be seated directly next to 3-time Indy 500 starter Eldon Rasmussen (1975, 1977, 1979) and listen to J.R. standing ‘bout 10-feet away afterwards signing Autographs...

Wednesday, September 1st
Sadly it was time to go back home, albeit I managed to leave Indy on the day it was expected to rain... As I’ve already scribbled much ‘O my thoughts upon the arduous task of flying these days in: The Dregs ‘O Traveling

As originally I’d thought what was all of the grumblin’ about on my way east when the people behind me took great glee in mumbling ‘bout how a Swizzle stick for your coffee would probably cost $10! As my stomach grumbled due to the lack of choices offered on my flight’s second leg...

But on the way home it all became crystal clear as the Flight Attendant noted the following prices:

$3.49 for a ‘Mondo chocolate chip cookie; mine was icy cool ‘N dripping small droplets of h2-Oh; Hmm?

$3.49 for a can of Pringles stacked potato-chips.

$4.49 for Cheese ‘N Crackers... Or some sorta assorted NUTS plate!

$10 for Turkey sandwich & Bag ‘O chips... As the sandwich seemed fairly dry and consisted more of Sub-style bun then meat... Err, Where’s duh Beef!

$8.00 for a “Blankie” ‘N Pillow set. WTF?

As I became fairly annoyed with the flight back home, as it seems somewhat BULL-SHEISA! That I paid $25 each way to check my bag and skip the frustration of trying to put it in an overhead bin... Which really seemed like a load ‘O Dung since the antiquated Aeroplanes “Uh-Mayr-Cun” (American) was flying only offered large enough Stowage Bins on the one side of the MD-80’s with 3-abreast seating... While the opposite 2-seat side had a smaller Stowage Bin NOT compatible with everyone’s FREAKIN’ roller bags... As shouldn’t I get a $50 refund for this NONSENSE? Not to mention having the wire backed seat pouch inhaling my knees for the entire 4hr flight; WHAHAAAAAAAA!!!

But the overall consensus is that it was definitely WORTH attending the MOTO GP event, which fortunately announced a 1-year contract extension over the racing weekend... And thanxs to Danny & Dave for another great visit to Indy!

Kudos to Jana for providing me with a 3-day Grandstand pass...

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