The MotoGP today was very,
very cool. Toys, toys and more toys.
Rohan and I rode down to Phillip Island late
in the morning, and arrived about half-way through the 125cc class race.
We decided we'd stay where we were and get some food, then move around a
bit for the 250cc and MotoGP classes.
Since I'd never been to the circuit before, Rohan gave me a guided tour.
I have to admit, it was much better than it would have been if I'd gone
by myself - having things explained by someone who has raced on the
circuit made it much easier to work out what was going on. Many thanks to
Rohan for taking the time to show me around
We took up a spot at the exit of the southern loop for the start of the
250cc class, then moved progressively backwards around the circuit to
see the riders at different stages of the corners. The speed they travel
at has to be seen to be believed - it's so much faster than it looks on
television - and the acceleration is incredible. From 100km/h out of a
corner to 220km/h before the next one, in the space of just over 100m.
Those things are rockets - and that's just the 250s. I couldn't wait for
the MotoGP class
After the 250cc race, we moved further along the track to Siberia, one
of the more remote corners. The MotoGP bikes were starting up just as we
arrived at our chosen vantage point, and damn, they were quick. How
quick? About 340km/h or so down the main straight and accelerating like
rockets out of the corners. The two Aussies in the race, Garry McCoy
(Red Bull/Yamaha) and Andrew Pitt (Team Green/Kawasaki), got a rousing
cheer every time they passed the crowd - even though Andrew on his Green
Machine was coming an increasingly distant last after the first couple
of laps It's fair enough, though - Kawasaki weren't going to enter at
all this year, and are only using the last couple of rounds for
race-testing. Garry qualified on the front row of the grid (2nd) but had
some tyre problems that saw him enter the pits to get them changed
half-way through the race. After that he didn't have a snowball's chance
in the Simpson of winning, so when he was lapped by Valentino Rossi and
Alex Barros (race leaders) he just stuck with them and showed off his
sponsor's logos. He did a good job of sticking with them too,
considering how fast they were going.
At the tail end of the race, Barros made a mistake under brakes and
Rossi slipped through. On the last lap, desperately trying to get the
lead back, he stuffed his braking into the hairpin just before Siberia
and handed Rossi a relatively easy finish in first place. It's very
different when you're actually seeing this for real, too - everything
happens so much faster, and I started to realise how spoiled we are at
home by the multiple instant replays. Out there, if you miss it, it's
After the race we took a quick walk around (and on) the track before
heading off to the GP showcase pavillion and then home.
There was so much traffic on the way back - bikes and cars - and it was
so very cool to be cruising along at the side of the road at 70km/h
beside all those stationary cars. Ha ha, hee hee, ho ho and all that...
all in all, it was a very good day. I'm buggered.