Friday, April 21, 2017

British Formula 4 Driver Severely Injured

British Teenager Billy Monger, who was competing in a Formula 4 "Junior Series" event at Donington Park last Sunday, has had both of his legs amputated after crashing into the back of another racecar.

The venerable British racing circuit in North West Leicestershire is owned by Jonathan Palmer's Motorsport Vision company, father of current Renault Sport F1 driver Jolyon Palmer and a former Formula 1 driver himself.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

MotoGP invades Austin, but will Anybody See the Race?

"The Doctor," aka Valentino Rossi and Maverick "top Gun" Vinales unveil their Movistar Yamaha 2017 MotoGP challenger. (Image source:
Didn't Y'all Stateside see them ultimate Kneedraggerz' on the Telie' Stateside last year? Or how 'bout this year? C'mon Bein' Special, Bein' Proud, Patty-Cake, Patty-Cake, bake me Uh;Chirp-Chirp, Bueller?

Yeah, I'm sure some really, really infinitesimal part 'O Mwah will miss not being trackside this weekend at Circuit Of The Americas, nee COTA, where I witnessed "the Aliens" lighting up the track two consecutive years, 2014-15, viewing half of Marc Pinball Wizard Marquez's wins to date, which I regaled Y'all 'bout previously.

Although I elected to not attend last year's event, nor will I bother attending this year's either, I was happy that the FIM had rightly decided to merge the two somewhat Cornfuzing categories of Factory vs. Open Bikes into one single class, which I attempted scribbling 'bout over a year's time ago before learning we here in Americre' wouldn't be privy to the races on our local Cable TV providers; notably my BOMBASTICALLY OVERPRICED comca$t affiliate!

Marquez Streak to End?
To date, since entering the premiere motorcycle category MotoGP in 2013, Marc Marquez has gone undefeated in Americre'; Aye Karumba! As the Spaniard carries an astounding 8-for-8 win streak into COTA, nee Circuit Of The Americas this weekend.

Even more impressive about this feat is that he's won races at three different venues, including an unprecedented Hat Trick in 2013! Having begun this momentous streak at Laguna Seca, which would disappear from the MotoGP calendar the following year.

Marquez also won the final three events at Indianapolis; 2013-2015, before Austin's excellent permanent road course circuit became Americres' only MotoGP venue, where Senor Marquez has won four consecutive times, (2013-2016) before this year's race.

Changes Abound...
At the moment, the Hottest rider in MotoGP's clearly got to be Maverick "Top Gun" Vinales, who just so happens to be my Numero Uno Kneedragger! As the 22yr old Spanish Speedster is clearly living the dream as The Doctor's team-mate at Movistar  Yamaha, having replaced the departed Jorge Lorenzo, who's off to a dismal start aboard his new Ducati Corse Factory mount.

As the ageless Valentino Rossi, who' at age 38 just set another record last time out in Argentina, became the first rider to contest a staggering 350 events and his third year team-mate Vinales arguably are the mercurial Marc Marquez biggest threats to keeping his American victory streak intact, not to mention his winning another title.

As Dani Pedrosa, Marquez's Repsol Honda Factory team-mate, who's a proven winner, seems to momentarily be a step below this triumberant, Ci?

While hopefully it's just early days yet for Mr. Roboto', aka two-times MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo, who got tired of being cut up by The Doctor at Movistar, and decided to move to Ducati, with Andrea Dovizioso as his Wingman.

And I'm not gonna try covering every team and every bloody rider, as A-L-L six manufacturers squads and corresponding Satellite teams look Uber promising, as the aforementioned B-I-G' 3, nee Ducati, Honda and Yamaha will be joined by Works efforts from Aprilia, KTM and Suzuki.

As the Austrian Motorcycle manufacturer KTM, who also competes Stateside in our premiere AMA Supercross series, makes its debut in MotoGP this year with both of rival Monster Tech-Twah's (Tech 3) previous Yamahopper Satellite riders graduating to Works status.

Whilst I'll let somebody else far more proficient in Wordsmithing, along with the world of two wheels do the heavy lifting...

#5) Monster Yamaha Tech 3: Johann Zarco; France
#22) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini: Sam Lowes; United Kingdom
#42) Team Suzuki X Star: Alex Rins; Spain
#94) Monster Yamaha Tech 3: Jonas Folger; Germany

This year's rookie MotoGP class looks Uber Stout! With the reining Moto2 world champion leading the chosen to the Big Dance, while all four riders are proven winners.

Johann Zarco's the most decorated of this quartet, having won the Moto2 championship the past two consecutive years, along with notching the most wins in the series with 16, and looks to be a force to be reckoned with. As can Zarco become France's debutant MotoGP champion one day, possibly as Rossi's FUTURE replacement?

It seems fitting that Alex Rins essentially replaced departing Suzuki MotoGP countryman Maverick "Top Gun" Vinales, who he narrowly missed out upon the 2013 Moto3 title in the season finale to Vinales, finishing runner-up by a scant 12-points.

And the 21yr old Spaniard's also collected Rookie Of the Year (ROY) honours in both Moto3 and Moto2 feeder categories, as well as having scored eight wins in the Moto2 category, while finishing runner-up twice to fellow MotoGP rookie Johann Zarco.

The only rider of this quartet I'm familiar with is Sam Lowes, who I recall being the good natured brunt of Greg Kramer, the PA Announcer at COTA during the 2015 event marveling over how the British rider didn't want to come into the Pits and face the wrath of his team after falling!

Yet if memory serves correctly? Lowes not only went onto claim Pole for that weekend's Moto2 race, but score his maiden Moto2 class victory in Austin after passing Zarco for the lead!

Lowes, who's reportedly on a three year contract with Aprilia that begun in 2016, will probably be the hardest pressed to score major points since the Aprilia's bandied 'bout as one of the slower mounts.

Jonas Folger apparently has graduated to the B-I-G BOYZ' as Germany's lone MotoGP rider, presumably swapping Yamaha seats of the departed Stefan Bradl, who as the 2011 Moto2 champion had big expectations placed on him in MotoGP, where he raced between 2012-2016 and now races in World Superbikes for Red Bull Honda.

And while Folger's CV isn't glittering, he and fellow rookie Lowes, both have scored three victories in Moto2 apiece, along with winning various feeder series titles en route to Motorcycles premiere road racing category...


Monday, April 17, 2017

F1: Celebrating Rosberg by Backing Up into the Abu Dhabi finale...

Nico Rosberg poses with his Formula 1 world title in front of the Arc de Triomphe. (Image source:
Ah, wasn't that clever? As it's now such a long time ago when Lewis Hamilton was being a SHIT!

Yeah, I know, Y'all are salivating over some riveting Post-race analysis from the recently held 2017 F1 season opener Down Under; Chirp-Chirp...

Although  most of Yuhs know I missed watching this race since I was bobbing in the warm waters of Kona instead...

But guess what Mates? As typical, your humble No Fenders scribe is still running on Island Time! And hence the story keeps getting pushed away, akin to what the Pacific Ocean was doing to our "Disappearing Sands" beach...

Hence, before we get too far into the 2017 F1 season, when Nico will most likely become a distant memory, or relegated to simply being a footnote in history; as isn't it nice how Lewis, Sebastian and Formula 1 have already swept him underneath the carpet...

Alas, I'm probably in the minority, but I'm still marveling over his audacity to simply walk away as F1 world champion, specifically leaving his Bosom buddy Lewis Hamilton to stew...

As it'll have been 96 Days since I've watched; Err listened to a Grand Prix, having stayed U-P into thou Wee hours of Sunday morning here on the West Coast to hear the voices 'O Formula 1 on Peacock-lite' calling the action from Shanghai, for which I cannot really say I've missed Duh Booth Boyz' that much over the winter months. Having finally started winding-up my proverbial F1 Top whilst awaitin' Duh riveting Chinese GP (Free Practice) FP2 coverage near midnight Thursday...

Yet I'll remember for awhile further sitting inside our cozy 'lil Florence cabin hotel's room underneath the ceiling mounted flat screen TV ARSE backwards at ZERO DARK 30, aka 4:30AM Pacific staring at the room being awash in the green, florescent hues of the Telescreen for three Bloody Hours in order to hear Nico be crowned World Champion!

As I took this unconventional position due to needing to keep the volume turned down low enough in order to not wake the next door neighbor's thru the fairly thin walls of the hotel.

And whilst I might not be enamoured over Rosberg's playing Defense in order to win the title, i.e.; finishing runner-up four successive races in-a-row. Nonetheless, you cannot fault the wily German's tactics to ensure his lone F1 world championship. As I'll forever revel in the chants of NICO-NICO-NICO! On Yas Isle immediately following his  being crowned world champion!

Thus upon returning home from thou "Other Florence," nee Oregon's Sand Dunes, whilst listening to Thy Crappie 'lil Radio Station, their main "Jingle" announcer Lee Callahan teased Mwah 'bout Seattle "Grunge" Band Alice in Chains RUSh song remake; HUH?

As I'd thought they'd gone the way of the Front-engine Roadster after their lead singer Layne Staley had been found dead in his University Condo after overdosing 15yrs ago...

As the song in Questione was Tears, for which I recalled listening to multiple times on my vinyl copy of 2112's "B-Side," which the Kuhnaidiun Power Trio recorded Wayback forty years ago; YIKES!

Yet as I listened to the Alice in Chains version, for which I enjoy the haunting melody, with the harmonizing chorus making I-T sound better than the original, I kept thinking of how Apropos it was in regards to Nico, his wife Vivian, with their daughter Ala├»a  saying Mommy, DON'T CRY!  With their tears 'O joy being over A-L-L the decades of endless sweat 'N toil performed to reach his ultimate motor racing goal!

VIDEO: Tears'

Nico Rosberg 2006 Williams F1 Hero card. (The Tomaso Collection)
 Whilst I knew that Nico was the maiden GP2 series champion in 2005 before graduating to Formula 1 with Team Willy', aka Williams Grand Prix Engineering, the same Bloody team his father Keke won the '82 world championship for. I've really never delved into Nico's racing pedigree.

Thus, for those Detractors out Thar', whilst you're busy claiming how Nico comes from an overly wealthy background, nevertheless, obviously he had racing talent in Spades, especially with a Formula 1 world champion as Poppa!

Rosberg Junior' not only presumably kicked ARSE in Go Karts, where one of his team-mates was some Hamilton Chap! But also won the Formula BMW Germany title in '02 before stepping up to the Euro F3 championship and ultimately GP2.

And although aware of the young German Whippersnapper' previously, I'm guessing that I first truly grasped Nico's talent when wishing for him to win his debutant Grands Prix at Singapore, in '08 where he finished runner-up after I believe, leading his first laps in Formula 1? Although his performance was overshadowed by what ultimately became known as Renault's Crash Gate!

As Fred Alonso was still firmly known here in Nofendersville as Ferdi-the-Putz' due to his rancorous stint at McLaren the season before! Not to mention his KNOWING NOTHING 'bout rookie team-mate Nelson Piquet, Jr' being order to crash...

As although I've been critical of Nico, especially his frequent petulance when being beaten, most notably by his arch rival Lewis, nonetheless as Y'all know, I became a fan of Rosberg's when he charmed Awntie' Harriet on her flight home from her solitary Formula 1 race at age 87; Ja Volt! Especially since Nico was just a precocious lad having just celebrated his 21st birthday between the Kuhnaidiun' and USgP rounds...

Yet I was unawares' that the younger Rosberg once turned down his chance to attend the Imperial College London's Aeronautical Engineering course in order to contest GP2, along with scoring the highest score ever for Williams F1 Newbes' on their aptitude test regarding engineering!

Still think Nico's not a great F1 driver worthy of being world champion? As guess who he just handed the dubious record of most Grands Prix victories without ever becoming champion back too...

Formula One world champion Nico Rosberg watches the Australian Grand Prix with his family. (Image source:
 Ha-Ha Lewis! You can NEVER Defeat Me Again!

A current mental image of Nico I most enjoy is his noting how his Mum' would be surrounded by two world champions at the dinner table for last year's Christmas.

And although they're vastly different eras, as Keke was the last normally aspirated Cossie' runner to win the title during the ubiquitous Ford/Cosworth DFV V-8's reign before the first Turbo era fully engulfed F1, albeit the Williams FW07, nearing the end of its competitive lifecycle was running a DFY, an evolution of the DFV.

Just for humour, Keke won five races, five Poles and three Fastest laps vs. Nico's 23 wins, 30 Poles and 20 Fastest laps.

Keke won his championship on the back of a single win! While Nico won nine times, with Poppa' standing on the podium 17 times in 114-starts vs. Nico podiuming 57 times in nearly double the amount of starts, finishing with 206, just an expanded "Baker's Dozen" shy of doubling his Poppa's start total.

As you could also argue that Keke spent much of his F1 career in inferior machinery, driving the likes of lowly Theodore, ATS, Wolf, and Fittipaldi's, before capping his career at Williams and McLaren...

And in the immortal words of Thy late Awntie' Harriet: Good For You, Nico! For deciding to call time on your racing career  and enjoy the little things in life, like being able to go skiing and enjoying "quality Time" with your wife and daughter. As I especially enjoy the picture of the Rosberg family watching the Australian GP together...

Whilst another of my Nico memories doesn't' speak favourably towards promoting Formula 1 Stateside. As I still vividly recall when casting about for a new F1 Driver to root for in 2012, Claudio took me thru the COTA (Circuit Of The Americas) merchandise alley, where I'd really wanted to purchase a Rosberg T-Shirt.

Yet I simply couldn't justify shilling out $70 for a fairly "Plain-Jane" vanilla Mercedes Tee, with graphics only adorning the shirt's front side, even though I really liked the bright yellow hue 'O Nico's crash bucket popping out at Mwah...