Posts Tagged ‘Rossi’

Summer 2013 – Photo Scrapbook

September 8, 2013

A selection of images from this summer’s motorsport based shenanigans.

Scrubbing a Vanquish at Oulton Park.

Scrubbing a Vanquish at Oulton Park.

After the tragic passing of Alan Simonsen, we tried to honour him as best we could at the AMR Le Mans hospitality unit.

After the tragic passing of Alan Simonsen, we tried to honour him as best we could at the AMR Le Mans hospitality unit.

Rally Ypres takes over the whole town, electric atmosphere.

Rally Ypres takes over the whole town, electric atmosphere.

Alan Simonsen tribute sticker designed by Lillynd Design.

Alan Simonsen tribute sticker designed by Lillynd Design.

More Aston Martin GTs than you can shake a stick at. The grid for the awesome Festival race at Brand Hatch.

More Aston Martin GTs than you can shake a stick at. The grid for the awesome Festival race at Brand Hatch.

MotoGP, it doesn't matter what you drive, the appeal of a certain gentleman is universal.

MotoGP, it doesn’t matter what you drive, the appeal of a certain gentleman is universal.

The GT4 Challenge cars line up with the Dutch GTs in one of the Spa 24hr support races.

The GT4 Challenge cars line up with the Dutch GTs in one of the Spa 24hr support races.

Our view from the truck of the Spa 24hr, what a mega place.

Our view from the truck of the Spa 24hr, what a mega place.

Rally Ypres, cuts plus sump guards equals sparks.

Rally Ypres, cuts plus sump guards equals sparks.

Rally Ypres, the locals were fully lit for the whole event.

Rally Ypres, the locals were fully lit for the whole event.

Freddie Liox using as little of the road as possible

Freddie Liox using as little of the road as possible

Silverstone, Moto 2, a field of utter, utter lunatics.

Silverstone, Moto 2, a field of utter, utter lunatics.

Scott Redding on his way to winning the Silverstone round of Moto 2

Scott Redding on his way to winning the Silverstone round of Moto 2

The Doctor at Silverstone, biggest cheers of the weekend.

The Doctor at Silverstone, biggest cheers of the weekend.

Local hero Cal Crutchlow flying through Becketts.

Local hero Cal Crutchlow flying through Becketts.

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Faster – DVD Review/Retrospective

August 1, 2010

I recently bought the MotoGP documentary ‘Faster’ from Play.com, for a fiver it would have been rude not to. I first saw this in University soon after it had been released (2004 ish). I remember being impressed but not bowled over. This feeling has changed in the intervening six years, considerably. This is a difficult film to look at objectively for me thanks to my love for the subject matter, and due to the fact that there aren’t many films like this, on this subject matter around. However I think it’s a great display of what MotoGP was and can be.

The DVD was filmed in 2001/2002, the two pivotal seasons in MotoGP of the last few decades;  the last hurrah and then death of the 500cc 2-stroke. The archive film included is particularly relevant to someone of my age (26). When I was very young I had posters on Kevin Schwantz on the bedroom wall, these then became Valentino Rossi as I grew in to me teens, this is ‘my era’.

The due to the timescale involved, this film focuses on Valentino Rossi and Max Biaggi, frankly it had to. At the time these two were the top dogs in motorcycle racing. The clips of these two knocking lumps out of each other are simply thrilling, especially given the incredible tension between them both on and off track. Bar the Rossi/Biaggi battles, the other main interest is the Red Bull Yamaha with star riders Gary McCoy and John Hopkins, showing the pain and elation of going from being a top 500cc team in 2001 to merely giving the odd 990cc 4-stroke a bloody nose in 2002.

The film is augmented with several smaller sections. Lots of little asides like features on, Dr Costa – the genius who fixes up mangled riders, the 500cc bike – a simply evil machine with a wafer thin powerband and bad temper, Rossi’s celebrations – displaying the sharp wit of the man, even at a tender age, the animosity fuelled rivalries – Rainey vs Schwantz (early 1990s), Rossi vs Biaggi, as well as many more delightful clips. It’s a very easy film to watch, as it doesn’t get bogged down in the technicalities; you don’t need to be a bike nut to enjoy this.

The film is above all a celebration of the sport but is also unflinching in its portrayal of the damage the riders can do to themselves. While this might be sobering in isolation, it underlines the skills and risks involved in racing these machines.

Nostalgia is an odd thing, I blown away when it first came out, as I said earlier.  I put this down to those memories being too fresh in the memory, they lacked context. Seeing this footage, 8 or 9 years later and when put side by side with the current MotoGP format, makes me feel like the wide-eyed teenager again, sitting there in awe of what these guys got up to. Regardless of whether you’re a ‘bike person’ or not, I would implore you too seek out this DVD. Racing is racing and this displays that in its absolute purest form.

Trailer:

Itunes: http://www.itunes.com/movies/Faster

Play.com: http://www.play.com/DVD/DVD/4-/267801/Faster/Product.html

On Leave: Il Dottore

June 29, 2010

When Valentino Rossi broke his leg at Mugello in early June, I was stuck by a strange emotion. When I picked via twitter the extent of Vale’s injuries, I was gutted and quite frankly upset by it. I hadn’t felt like this before, riders and drivers have crashes all the time, we’re used to seeing it, but not with Valentino. The guy doesn’t get hurt, he always seemed bulletproof. Up to this point in his career, 230 races, he had never missed one through injury. Not one.

I’m not one to normally invest emotionally in sporting personalities. I wouldn’t say I’m a particular fan of any certain driver or rider in a given series. I have favourites, of course, but it’s rare that I’ll really root for a particular person to do well (unless a certain winner will close up the title fight for instance). I like to maintain a bit of distance and watch all the characters duff each other up, just putting on a show.

I don’t feel this way with Valentino Rossi. Ever since seeing him at Donington Park in 2001 on the famous yellow Nastro Azurro Honda he has been my favourite. When he overtook Max Biaggi at the Old Hairpin, it could have been a Brit on that Honda, the place went absolutely spare.

The quickest guys are always popular (Valentino, Schumacher and Loeb all have legions of fans). This may be down partly to the age old attraction of glory hunting, if you’re going to back anyone, why not back a winner eh? However Valentino is the only one I’ve ever really wanted to do well, even though he already won at everything he did.  I’ve had conversations with people who lump Vale and Schumi in the same boat. I won’t bash Schumi, but people have said to me that Valentino winning in MotoGP is ‘dull, boring and tedious’, like Schumacher was at the height of his success in F1. I disagree with the comparison because of the way that Valentino won those races and titles; he made plenty of mistakes.

While undoubtedly a genius, these errors proved that he’s human time and time again. Such indiscretions included ballsing up his starts, putting in a truly horrid qualifying effort on the Saturday or simply falling off in the race. At one point in the mid -2000s a 14th place qualifying position wasn’t uncommon for the Doctor, yet he still managed to pull the results out of the bag.

I’ll admit, in the 990cc period while at Honda, Vale had the best bike and he was rampant on it. Rivals came and went, only Max Biaggi and Sete Gibernau ran him close in terms of ability. Unfortunately for them, Rossi was always two moves ahead in the mind games, which proved to be thier downfall.Valentino’s move to Yamaha mirrored Schumacher’s move to Ferrari and proved his class (and his crew’s class) beyond question. His charisma and the post race celebrations are also a key reason how he keeps the fans entertained, not many sportsmen, particularly successful ones have the sense of humour to pull such stunts off.

I think these two videos sum up Valentino well, the first one from early in his career and the second from about this time last year.

  • 2001,Yellow Honda 500, Suzuka. Rossi is dangerously wronged by arch rival and tosser, Max Biaggi. Valentino get’s his own back in supreme style.
  • 2009, Blue & White Yamaha 800cc, Catalunya. Rossi and Lorenzo fight in one of the greatest last laps of all time. (Foreign language vid to add to the excitement and, cos, well, I couldn’t find an English one).

So, get well soon Valentino, lets hope you are indeed back for Brno. The world seems a bit empty without you.