Winter, you sonofabitch

Oh winter, you terrible time of the year where I am stuck indoors hibernating with no MotoGP to keep me warm and happy.

I am forced to dream of Qatar in March and lament the financial responsibilities that keep me here in freezing, snowy Bend, Oregon. I know in March it will still be freezing, cold and miserable in Bend and it will be hot and full of excitement in Qatar. Here in Central Oregon we don’t get a break from winter until at least May and some years closer to July. Yuck. My mind wanders into crazy places – maybe I can win the lottery and go to every race in 2018. I don’t even play the lottery! This will never happen. Not to mention, right now there are so few GP tidbits to keep me “grounded”. Hmmm, I see that Jorge Lorenzo has taken a vacation. That will keep my attention for a nanosecond or two. Well look at that, Marc Marquez is beating a drum with some people from Honda. Ummmm, that is not really that interesting. I want to see Marc Marquez beat track records and opponents, not drums. I need some real Moto GP action in my life. The wonder of being in Valencia for the championship is officially wearing off. The thrill of Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Marquez dueling it out to the finish is but a fleeting memory at this point. Remember when Jorge Lorenzo was holding his position despite the "mapping eight" message from his team. Those were good times. I miss those times. Well, since I know there is nothing really happening until the next testing round in January (JANUARY!) I will focus on other things. Look for random musings in my Hodge Podge section. I do have an article in the works so check back for news on that. It is imminent so don't wait too long to check in with me. Happy Winter GP people! Stay strong, my friends!

 Too much of this crap and not enough MotoGP. 

Too much of this crap and not enough MotoGP. 

 

Life of moto

Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana

Big news everyone... Wait for it...

Life of Moto will be representing at Valencia for the season championship closing!  Stay tuned for all the goods from Spain - maybe even a few Moto3 tidbits.  

Why No Moto3?!

Okay, I have been asked this a number of times.  I am not trying to hate on Moto3 as I know that it is an exciting, competitive, and aggressive category of motorcycle racing and worthy of coverage.  It is simply a matter of time.  This season I haven’t had the time to properly dedicate to Moto3 but just wait, next season is right around the corner and the plan is to watch ever free practice, qualifying and race in 2018.  And I will write about it, too.  So, brace yourself people – winter is coming!

Phillip Island Grand Prix - 2017

Phillip Island 2017-

Wow, these are action packed times for us lovers of MotoGP. It seems like we were just cheering at Motegi and one week later here we are once again at beautiful Phillip Island. I can’t get enough of these races, just feeding my addiction. Here’s we have a little something about qualifying and races. 

Moto2 qualifying-

Let me just start by saying what on Earth is happening to Tom Luthi? What happened to his fire? He did not look his usual fast, smooth and unstoppable self at Phillip Island. Mattia Pasini really was himself (his new and improved self, perhaps). He was so FAST. This speed and aggression landed him yet another pole position making this the year of Pasini. Miguel Olivera was on top of his game along with teammate Brad Binder. What a weekend for the KTM riders, they really were on fire! The German rider Marcel Schrötter looked better than ever, too. I always love to see an unexpected face on the grid and Schrötter was our man over the weekend. This superb qualifying gave us a front row start of Mattia Pasini, Marcel Schrötter in second and Miguel Olivera in third leaving me wondering what happened to Franco Morbidelli, Tom Luthi and Alex Marquez.

MotoGP qualifying-

Cal Crutchlow sure has been crashing a lot lately, he crashed again in qualifying. You know, I love me some Cal Crutchlow but man the crashing is painful to watch. I wrote in my notes “Dovi just puttering along”. Now, of course I know he isn’t puttering at all because he is in fact moving extremely quickly but in comparison there was some puttering happening. Is Phillip Island not a Ducati track? I didn’t see anything great happening for Jorge Lorenzo and Danilo Petrucci either. Johann Zarco was a man with a mission for speed and he was finding that speed in qualifying. The rookie was a wildly fast again. Also notably fast was Maverick Viñales. Does it kind of go without saying that Marc Marquez fast, aggressive and gave a solid performance.  Doesn’t he always? The grid ending up being Marc Marquez in pole, Maverick Viñales in second and wild Johann Zarco in third. As a side note, Valentino Rossi landed a 7th start and Andrea Dovizioso landed an 11th starting spot – ouch.

Moto2 race day-

Oh, race day how we love you. The day we all we all look forward to all week long. I simply must keep this brief because already Sepang has happened. Get a move on, Emily! Mattia Pasini got taken downtown by Marcel Schrötter in the first moments of the race which was a serious let down considering his pole position start. There was a collective scream of disappointment heard around the world, okay maybe just the moto world. This Moto 2 race was a serious KTM race with both Miguel Olivera and Brad Binder flying around the track. Alex Marquez had had a mistake that took him out into the grass and had him clawing his way out of 11th place this race.  Not where we were hoping to see our friend Alex this weekend especially since he and Miguel Olivera are so incredibly close in the championship spot. There were many moments of nail-biting excitement in this race including a touch between Brad Binder and Franco Morbidelli.  DON’T crash out! Speaking of crashing out, Takaaki Nakagami did that. It has been a tough end of season for him. In the end of it all, Franco Morbidelli wound up in third just after Brad Binder in second and Miguel Olivera in an astonishing and exciting first place finish. A KTM one and two is not such a bad thing for the KTM guys – maybe just a few celebrations happening there. A great, great race is all I can say to sum it up.

MotoGP race day-

This Phillip island race was most definitely the most exciting race of the season and possibly the most exciting race in recent history. Holy cow, they were overtakes on top of overtakes on top of even more overtakes. There we close calls, bikes touching, fiery crashes, disappointments and surprises.  It was a heart-stopper to say the least. Valentino Rossi is back on his game, so very old school Rossi. He was in the fight and looking good. Such a great thing to see from him after such a tough time in Motegi. Jack Miller started hot but couldn’t hold it in the long-term. Still though, he did great work and had a very honorable race. There were just some seriously tough characters out front who were ready and able to fight. It was a full contact sport this race day.  My explanations will not do this race justice so just watch it if you haven’t. In the end of this thriller we had Marc Marquez in first, Valentino Rossi in second (SECOND!) and Maverick Vinales in third. Take a deep breath everyone, we can breathe again. And away we go to the last two races.

life of moto

Motegi 2017

Hooray for Motegi! Those long breaks are tough on a Moto GP fan. We waited three long weeks for this race and we were rewarded with some exciting material. Again and as always, for all you official facts and figures you know where to go. This is just one woman’s observations.

Rain, rain, rain and more rain in Motegi. It looked so miserable out there it was almost painful to watch but we couldn’t look away.  I really only have a few notes about free practice and qualifying for Moto 2.  I might have been too focused watching to write many notes. It was nice to see Alex Marquez back to his usual physical condition and giving it his all again. He did spend some time in the garage with a throttle problem in qualifying but he more than made up for it landing the second place spot on the grid. Only outpaced by the hometown favorite Takaaki Nakagami who landed pole position. Hafizh Syahrin is such a pleasure to watch in these conditions – each lap seems faster than the previous and it’s nice to have a different rider in the mix. He was smooth, focused and in control over the weekend. The championship front runners, Franco Morbidelliand Thomas Luthi, had a super tough time of it ending up starting WAY back on the grid. Luthi started at the 13th spot and Morbedelli at the 15th. Ouch. The top three were Nakagami in pole, Marquez in second, Xavi Vierge in third, which is really a great spot for him.

A few notes about Moto GP free and qualifying, too. I simply must mention the Cal Cruthlow crash that took down Jorge Lorenzo. An out of nowhere take-down for poor old Lorenzo. This season has been Lorenzo eating humble pie. I don’t know if he actually feels this way but I certainly feel this way for him.  He just can’t catch a break. Danilo Petrucci was beyond solid this weekend and it was a complete pleasure and joy to see. Additionally, let’s just give a big hats off to Johann Zarco for achieving a rookie year pole position – a job very well done for him. Oh, Rossi. That’s all I can say about that.  Not his best weekend but we all know better things are coming. He will surprise us yet.  Unfortunately though, his starting place was set at 12th on the grid. The grid ending up like this: Johann Zarco in pole, Danilo Petrucci second and Marc Marquez rounded out the front row in third. It’s worth noting that Andrea Dovizioso was only able to manage starting in 9th place which in no way dictated his race day performance.

Moto2 Race Day-

I actually only have a few things about Moto 2 race day in Motegi, too. First, Alex Marquez really rocked this race. A great win for him. Hafizh Syahrin again proves he is the master of rain. His anthem could be “I am the rain king” circa 1990’s Counting Crows. And Vierge had a superb race, too. Similar to the starting grid was the finishing grid (is that a thing?). I just have to put it out there – good luck in Moto GP, Takaaki Nakagami. This will be an interesting show to watch unfold next year. This short race ending in disappointment for our Championship leaders ending in 8th for Morbidelli and 11th for Luthi but this just keeps the races fun and the championship interesting. On to Moto GP which was a completely epic show!

MotoGP Race Day-

You couldn’t take your eyes off this race even for a nanosecond. It was an action packed, nail-biter for sure. Lorenzo started out hot but fizzled out a few laps in – humble pie again?! It was a remarkable race for the Suzuki team in Motegi - Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins were looking better, stronger and fasterthan ever in this race.  It must feel like a huge weight lifted off of Andrea Iannone shoulders after a season full of struggles. So, congratulations to him and to team Suzuki Ecstar.  My main Boss, Valentino Rossi crashed out. Boo! At least he didn’t re-injury his leg and will be ready to go for Phillip Island which will be upon us shortly. Fingers crossed for a good outcome for the Boss. Let’s just move right on to the most exciting, riveting part of this race - the final fight to the finish with our championship leaders Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Marquez. I think I didn’t breathe for the entirety of the last lap it so intense and so aggressive. In my notes I summed it up with this statement “That was the craziest lap EVER”. In the end Marc just made one small mis-step leading to a wobble which opened the door for Dovi to take the top step on the podium and an epic celebration for the Ducati garage. I can honestly say I have never seen that type of energy from Luigi Dall’Igna, Ducati Manager. This race made the championship so close and extremely captivating. I literally cannot wait for Phillip Island. 

Hodge Podge observations-

Dovi and Marquez are the true definition of sportsmanship.  They are handling the pressure of this championship with such grace.  I am looking forward to the continuation of this battle. 

life of moto