Last night I went round to a bike riding mate’s place and watched a GP race that totally restored my interest and faith in the vitality and health of the Grand Prix bike racing scene, much to my relief.
The season has been shaping up wickedly, the wins have been shared across a number of front runners, and now that we’re half way through its still a close thing between the top three bikes (Rossi, Stoner and Pedrosa)
So its not like we’ve got anything to complain about, the races have been entertaining, lots of thrills and spills, but it’s started to look suspiciously like team Ducati and their top rider Australian Casey Stoner might be getting their act together to the point where they would dominate the rest of the season just the way they did last year.
I’ve got nothing against Ducati winning, Honda and Yamaha have had their fair share of dominance, but noone wants to see a total walk-away season win, and Stoner being 20secs out the front just doesnt make for entertaining watching.
And to be honest I just can’t warm to Stoner, he doesnt have that crazy, cavalier, accessible persona other riders have, and he definately doesnt posses the charisma of the likes of Valentino Rossi.
Which brings me back to last nights race.
Stoner had qualified well and seemed a shoe-in to win if he got out in front early. Rossi was having none of that, he totally put it out there fully commiting to getting in front of the Ducati and staying there. He and Stoner duked it out for the first 10 laps, some awesome passing manouvers, we were roaring with vicariously adrenalised delight in Paul’s lounge as one crazy pass followed another.
Rossi the more aggressive passing and more defensive once he got in front, Stoner decided he’d sit in and watch from behind and bide his time, ran wide a few laps from the end and dumped the bike in the gravel, but remounted and amazingly still took 2nd place on the podium.
Rossi and Stoner were just in a different league out front, not to take anything away from the awesome performances from the likes of Vermuelen, Dovizioso and Spies, but the leading pair may as well have been in their own race. It was the greatest battle of this season, or last, and its been on my mind all day as a totally awesome racing hilight. Here’s hoping we get more of it.