Dear Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta,
The mandatory mid race bike switch, as evidenced at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in Australia over the weekend, was incredible! Please make this a part of every MotoGP moving forward.
Apologies to the purists out there calling me an idiot, but I’m having a difficult time recalling a better pit stop sequence in all my years. Forget the contrived excitement of a crew of guys changing all four tires and dumping some fuel in a car. These MotoGP cats had to execute a perfect stop from 60km and then leap onto another waiting bike. It was part ballet in leather and part rodeo. And if the dismount into a pirouette and remount wasn’t exciting enough, the riders then had to venture back onto the track on cold tires smack in the middle of a 150mph right hand 4th gear bend. Watching Lorenzo closing at full tilt and Marquez accelerating for the same piece of track and making contact as Lorenzo rushed by traveling at least 50 mph quicker was the motorsports move of the year in my book. It was a beautiful display of commitment that left me gripping the couch and assuming the fetal position.
And pause for a moment to contemplate what the evolution of the bike switch would look like if it was a regular part of a GP? I’m envisioning a rider springing off his pegs, leaving his mechanics to catch the pitting bike and landing on to the waiting bike without ever hitting the ground. Or, in the name of technology, I could see the engineers installing an ejection button that the riders could trigger that would toss them a few feet in the air for a perfect 10 landing on the next bike directly in front. Call it The Leapfrog button. Can you imagine the state of delirium TV commentator Gavin Emmett would work himself into if a pint size Pedrosa missed his ejection marks and catapulted over his waiting bike onto the back of Rossi as The Doctor left the pits?
In all seriousness, for the sake of artistry, I’m lobbying now for a rule that states that one foot has to touch the tarmac before the rider can mount the waiting bike. I want to keep the pirouette in play.
Great stuff and with Honda and Marquez unable to calculate the basic math for the mandatory stops, Lorenzo now has some hope to deny the blazing rookie the title!
A buzzard wing clap to Scott Dixon for scooping title # 3 in the Indycar series. In a roller coaster season marked by inconsistency from most of the front runners, Dixon got hot late and deserved to take the crown with 4 wins in the second half of the year…And spare a thought for Penske Racing, losing their 6th drivers championship in the final race over the last 7 years has to sting. It’s hard to label the team choke artists because of their tradition of excellence, but if a team in a major pro sport loses The Big One 6 times in a row, they are called chokers, plain and simple. Somewhere, likely on a Target sponsored lear jet or yacht, wily Chip Ganassi is toasting Penske’s misfortune yet again. On the subject of next year, the fight for superiority between Ganassi and Penske should be fierce. They will both be using Chevy power and Ganassi is bringing in Kanaan to counter Penske’s hiring of Juan Pablo Montoya. Fasten the bolts on those rear tire guards just a little tighter boys!
Finally, It looks like McLaren backed driver Kevin Magnussen, son of Jan Magnussen, is officially the next great hope in F1 with his clinching of the Renault 3.5 crown over the weekend. His father Jan, once dubbed the next Senna by Jackie Stewart for smashing Ayrton’s win record in British F3, never really had any success in the big show, but hopefully Kevin has what it takes to be a Vettel beater. I just wonder if he enjoys a smoke and a tasty beverage as much as his father?