Tuesday, August 29, 2006

What a ...lucky rider!

A Bike Accident - video powered by Metacafe

Normally I don’t like to post videos of motorbike accidents for obvious reasons and then for this kind of reports we have FOX News. In any case for the above one I had to bend my rules. The guy is riding with NO helmet (just tons of hair), NO jacket, NO gloves, NO long pants, and … YES nothing happened to him. After being hit on the side, somehow he fell back on his own legs! Unbelievable! No foggy idea on his language too: is he coursing, thanking God or threatening the woman?

Also as you can note, with the exception the other rider, nobody stopped on the scene of the accident .... this is just crazy.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Slow speed turns ...

My friend Antonio from Techline LLC has signaled this video. It’s a gymkhana, a contest where the competitors test their balance skills: the winner is the rider who completes the course in the shortest time without touching the ground with his feet. This type of competition seems to be very common in Asia. What’s interesting to notice is the technique: to make a tight turn at slow speed the rider has to shift his body position far outside the bike with his weight on the outside peg. The farther away the rider moves from his bike the more will lean the bike and the tighter will be his turn. Just the opposite technique used in high speed turns (see Antonio’s picture).

I have never raced in a gymkhana but I grew up in Rome with tight roads and bumper to bumper traffic, a perfect field to challenge your balance and reflex.

Video Source
Picture source: Traffic in Rome

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Round 12: Gauloises GP Ceske Republiky

Welcome back MotoGp! We missed you …. Almost a month went by since the last race in Laguna Seca. Time that riders have used to recharge their “batteries”and in some cases to recover from the consequences of injuries. In the meantime the team have been busier than ever fine tuning the present bikes for last leg of the championship and developing the new 800cc for next season. Team and riders managers have probably started meeting each others in restaurants, bar, behind dark sunglasses to re-build new business relationships or consolidate old ones. August went fast for everybody, even for us: vacation trips and outdoor activities replaced the time spent in front the TVs or our computers. Personally I have not taken care of my beloved Pure Motorbike Passion for almost 2 months, but I am back with the intent to post one or two pieces on a weekly basis.
The first surprise of the weekend happened on Friday: Valentino shocked everybody by setting up the bike with qualifiyng tires. Unheard strategy with unquestionable results given his pole position on Saturday. The obvious goal was to put an end to the terrible string of qualifying results accumulated so far. With the exception of the GP in Italy and in Catalunya, Valentino this year started almost every race in the 3rd or 4th row. Sunday was Showtime: DESMOCapirossi was untouchable taking the lead of the race since the first lap and winning the race at a pace that could not be matched by anybody else. Before easing off on the last lap he had 8 seconds on Valentino. I call him DESMOCapirossi because it’s with the Ducati DESMO16 that last Sunday he was able to mark a new record: he is the only winning rider still active after 16 years from his first GP victory.
Behind Capirex, Valentino had his own challenge with an aggressive Pedrosa that after starting in 9th position, in only 8 laps was able to reach the third position and for a while to aim at getting the second place. The battle between two champions was breathtaking, with several attacks of the Spaniard blocked going to the apex of the turn. For two times the young talent was able to pass Rossi who retook the position immediately after on both occasions.

Behind them Kenny Roberts Jr. lead a dynamic group followed by Melandri, Stoner, Hopkins, Nakano and Hayden. For the Kentucky Kid was the worst result of the year. He blamed a poor grip on the rear tire and a malfunctioning slipper clutch. Something must have happened because he lost positions after positions without any particular resistance.
The Cech Gp has once again revealed the potential skills of ex 250cc riders Pedrosa, Stoner and Elias. They look totally confortable with the big 4 stroke bikes, but how much credit they do deserve? As my brother Roberto keenly points out, the evolution of the electronic in the traction control and in the slipper clutches along with the use of the fat rear rubbers make the bikes less prone to spin the tires. Clean and smooth styles are rewarded with faster laps and competitive results. We have the Michelin technicians claiming that Pedrosa’s riding style is very similar to Biaggi’s one. But he stopped racing last year … someone could argue. Well, with the MotoGp bikes reduced to 800cc for 2007 is just a coincidence that Ducati is looking at him as rider in a satellite team?

Picture source
Video source

Monday, August 21, 2006

NESBA: Pocono Raceway FUSA course Aug 12th

What a blast! The FUSA course at the Pocono Raceway marks the middle of the summer. As usual NESBA had it on Saturday and it was typically overcrowded. The track is organized by two straights and a banking borrowed from the oval and the rest from the infield. Everybody has a love/hate relationship for the layout of the circuit (marked in red in the picture).

In my opinion the biggest issue is that it doesn’t flow well, especially for the bumps and patches that characterize the infields. This summer I was there on Thursday with the school and on Saturday with NESBA, so I had plenty time to get used to the rough surface.
The weather was stunning and the riders upbeat. Whoever has been there knows the magic atmosphere that hundreds of bikes and their owners can create under the long opened garage: loud music, comments, bikes that come and go, some of them with the scars of an unfortunate crash. Beginners are the most thrilled: they can enjoy the high speeds of the straights without being to concerned with the following turns, because they are shaped like funnels so lines, brake markers and turn points are less critical than in more typical situations. Saturday I was assigned as Control Rider to the Beginners but I ended up riding with the Intermediates as well, and of course with the Advanced group; just a couple of breaks for gasoline, water and some chitchat with my numerous friends.

I attached a few pictures of us: Naim Behdzet (from the back … my former student!),Frank Aluzzo # 326, Steven Lombardi # 324, and myself.

- for more pics covering the event visit Racedayphoto
- Pocono Raceway Track