Monday, February 27, 2012

2011 MotoGP Highlights

If I was to say that a "Stoner" was the best in the world at something, you would likely think I was talking snowboarding, poker, or some X-Game sport. However, this past season, fans of MotoGP heard the phrase "Stoner dominates" all too often as Casey Stoner took the Bwin poker sponsored 2011 MotoGP title in dominating fashion. I'm surprised they didn't rename the tour the StonerGP.

Just how dominating was Stoner this season you ask? If you have to ask, you clearly don't follow the Bwin backed MotoGP season, which sucks for you. Anyway, Stoner won 10 races this season. There are only 18 races total. He took the first race at Qatar and then let Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa take the Spanish and Protuguese races respectively. Stoner then took the next three races to jump out to a huge lead.

Stoner had another three match racing streak after winning the US Grand Prix, the Czech Republic GP, and the Indianapolis GP. Tack on Aragon, Iveco, and the Valencian GP to finish the season and you have a dominating performance that resulted in him having a 90 point lead over Lorenzo to finish the season. With his dominating performance this season, one has to wonder if he can follow it up in 2012.

Unfortunately, the dominating season of Stoner was overshadowed by the passing of Marco Simoncelli. Everyone that is associated with or a fan of MotoGP remembers that dreadful day in October at the Malaysian Grand Prix. Simoncelli lost the front end of his Honda on Turn 11. Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi were right behind him and unfortunately could not avoid a collision with Simoncelli.

The impact knocked Simoncelli's helmet off and he sustained serious trauma to the head, neck, and chest. Within an hour of the injuries, Simoncelli passed away at 16:56 local time. The 12 time 250cc winner will always be remembered for his flamboyant style. Sadly, his passing reminds us that what we take for granted can end in an instant.
The final race of the season began with an emotional tribute to Simoncelli as every rider took a memorial lap to remember him. Many thought the final race would be canceled, but many felt that it would be a better tribute for riders to honor his memory and do what Simoncelli enjoyed most, racing.
The 2011 season will be remembers as much for the dominance of Casey Stoner as for the tragedy in Simoncelli's death. Fortunately, a new season is on the horizon and fans and fans can look forward to happier times. The next season starts on April 8th and and online poker room Bwin will be back to sponsor. Will Stoner continue to dominate or will someone step up to challenge him? We will find out soon enough...