Friday, November 30, 2007

Who was the most spectacular rider in 2007

With Jerez the 2007 MotoGp season is officially ended. Now everybody will be able to relax, re-charge batteries, take care of shoulders and legs and gain a couple of pounds during the holidays. Before changing page, I would like to run a poll similar to the last one because I am looking to discover our emotional side.

Who was the most spectacular and fun-to-watch rider in 2007? It doesn’t matter how he ended up the Championship or if he has ever stepped on the podium because he is the man whom we still remember about.

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Tell your wife that this one could be tax-deductible …

The 27th of November is the last day to bid on Valentino Rossi’s helmet made for the 2007 Gran Premio d’Italia in Mugello. Dainese, owner of AGV, organizes the auction, and the proceeds from the sale will be devolved to a non-profit association involved in the restructure of the Giannini Gaslini Hospital, specializing in children, located in Genoa, Italy. Only 3 helmets were made for that race: one was thrown to the crowd right after the race, Rossi keeps another and the third one will be assigned to the winner of the auction.
By giving away his personal gears Rossi’s generosity surpassed his well known superstition. After donating, for the same cause, his leather suit in 2006, I wouldn’t be surprised if the seven time World Champion will become more and more inclined in using his influence and money to help other people.

News found by Almos.
Via| Ebay

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The good old times: on board, Cinzano Rio Gran Prix, 2003

Even the English poet George Byron (1788-1824) who said "the good old times ... all times when old are good", would feel some sort of bittersweet longing for those MotoGp years.
Almos has found, in some Hungarian web site, this great on-board video of Sete, Loris and Valentino dicing in the first few laps of the Cinzano Rio Gran Prix, 2003.
The final classification was Rossi, Gibernau, Tamada, Biaggi and ... Capirossi.

via | motorrevu

Monday, November 19, 2007

Who had the best looking MotoGp bike in 2007?

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Who had the best graphic in 2007? Unfortunately teams with several small sponsors can not afford to have a simpler and more elegant painting scheme, so I wouldn't be surprised to see, as usual, the big teams leading the contest.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The other Roman …

As far as I know besides me in the Tri-State area there is only another Roman regularly attending road racing club events: my friend Luciano.
The first time I noticed him it was several year ago at one of the Pocono events organized by Nesba while inspecting bikes right after the registration. I believe that he had an old H1 or H2, a 3 cylinder Kawasaki, in perfect conditions and as soon as I opened my mouth to compliment him for that beauty he ask me in perfect Roman dialect: “ ma sei de Roma?” (but are you from Rome?) . Since that time I cannot recall how many perfectly restored bikes he has been bringing to the track over the years. I believe that he has a nice collection of 4 strokes but I have recently discovered that he has a boundless enthusiasm for 2 strokes. At the last event that we had in Pocono I had the opportunity to ride his gorgeous yellow Yamaha TZ 250: I had so much fun in shifting up and down those gears thru the twisty turns of the East Course. The bike is light and nimble, very conducive in carrying extra speed at the entrance of the turn to remain in the power band for the exit of the corner. And what about that urge to tuck as much as you can behind the windshield with the elbows tight against the tank? Only that generation of racing bikes can give you this kind of feelings. Modern four stroke bikes have shrank over the years to dimensions that we would have never imagined ten years ago but as Luciano claims a TZ 250 … “with 240 pounds wet and more then 85 hp on the wheel it is a joy to race it. In the right hands a well running TZ can give hard times to a liter bike”.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Winter is coming: do not forget that coffee maker! (part 2)

Twelve months ago I wrote a reminder about draining the "plain" water from your race bike cooling system, today I post a "to do list" written by our friend Almos:

* pour fuel stabilizer in the tank, then fill it up all the way but don't leave empty space in the tank, where rust can start developing.
* run the bike for few minutes with the stabilizer, so the whole fuel system gets flushed and treated.
* take the battery out and move it to a not-too-cold(your room) place possibly over 40 degree and connect the Battery Tender to it. You can leave it on until next season starts.
* if you have front & rear stands store the bike on the stands, if you don't have them ... get them; otherwise inflate the tires a little bit above the normal pressure like 50 psi. This way the tire won't get a flat spot by the spring.
* put an oil soaked rag in the muffler opening and in the intake, prevent moisture get in.
* change the oil and filter before storage!! Used oil has lot of bad things in it. You don't want your engine components get soaked during the whole winter in that thing ...
* if you have exposed bare(unpainted) steel parts on the bike spray it with fogging oil to prevent rust.
* get a motorcycle cover for your baby.
* try to visit your bike every day, and talk to her. She will be lonely for a long time!!!

VIA Absolute Cycle forum
Photo by Dennis Cuevas,

Should I go for it?

For a while I have been flirting with the idea of buying a 250cc after having so much fun riding an Aprilia 250 and a Yamaha TZ 250 in Pocono Raceway, last year. As a kid I owened a Laverda LZ 125cc and as everybody else in Italy I grew up riding two stroke bikes but never in a circuit. The combination of the size and the power delivery with the total absence of engine brake makes riding a 250cc similar to blasting my road race bicycle down the twisty roads of a mountain: you have to let her go as much as you can …
Our friend Luciano, owner of a gorgeous yellow Yahama TZ 250, has sent me this video to keep tempting my fantasies.

Video source

Friday, November 16, 2007

Would you have flipped that coin?

In joining the Team Green, that in my broken English I often refer to as the green tea-m, has Hopper tossed a coin in the air or not? From the money perspective I am sure that it was a no brain, but on the track, do you think that Hopkins is going to have a brighter future with Kawasaki versus what he could have achieved with Suzuki? If we looked at the time sheet at the end of the second day of testing in Sepang, he was damn right: 2’02”200, very close to Pedrosa’s pole position of 2’01”877 and ahead of his ex-teammate Vermeulen with the best lap time of 2’02”344. Now my question is: has he left Suzuki because he thought that the bike had reached the full potential? Was he afraid of missing the possibility to fight for the World Title with the baby blue Rizla Suzuki? But if he was concerned with the Suzuki potential, at the time he signed up the contract did he know that next season Kawasaki would use the 2007 model? The bike has certainly improved in the last two years but the marginal improvements of an “old” project are going to guarantee the level of performance needed to win? I am confused and at the same time intrigued to discover what has guided the MotoGp riders during the “Silly Season” as our friend Jimmy calls it in his Armchairbikefan blog

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Picture source

Stoner and Ducati greeted by the Italian President

Stoner and DUCATI are still celebrating the magical experience of winning the World Title with a formal visit to Quirinale, the official residence of the Italian Head of State, Giorgio Napolitano. On November 15, Casey and his wife Adriana were received by the Italian President after “parking” two bikes in the precious gardens that surround the building. One the two was a red Desmosedici GP7 missile used by the Aussie to rule the 2007 season.

Photographs by our friend Aldo Fabrizi

Sunday, November 11, 2007

My strategy for Rossi in 2008: garlic and red chile peppers.

Do you believe in bad luck? Are you superstitious? A lot of people for religious reasons or just to prove, at least to themselves, that they can make their own destiny, will consider the concept as an ignorant or irrational mindset. On the other end, if I rephrase the question as “do you believe in luck?” the same people would probably admit that they have directly or indirectly experienced it. Beside the obvious luck in gambling we could list numerous type of situations or fields where a successful outcome is normally labeled as lucky: career, family, health, investing, business and many more. The common denominator of all the lucky stories it’s always the action or risk taken by the person, the chance to loose some or everything he or she has at stake. Anyhow we shouldn’t forget other situations where luck is synonymous of case, fate or being blessed: typical example is the survivor of an airplane crash! So if luck (or what else you want to call it) or no luck exist, everybody should agree on the existence of bad luck too, at least as other side of the coin. In Italy, where we were pagans before becoming Christians there is a clear sense of awareness about the topic but what differs it’s how we deal with that.
Rossi’s pre-race procedure of “praying” while kneeling on his bike, adjusting his underwear leaving the pit out lane and then again on the grid has become famous because he has won 7 World Championships. All the MotoGp riders have their own steps with which they reach their mental focus and physical prowess while keeping at bay the negative energy. Negative energy …? But where does it come from? Well if we want to keep talking about MotoGp racers, it could come from an objective issue like a mechanical problem as well as the mounting pressure received by whoever is around them. Have you ever experienced the situation where you suddenly perceive that within your circle of people, family, friends or co-workers the atmosphere has changed? Now you start feeling the criticism and the pressure deriving from any of your actions: some people would love them while others hate them! Some are supporting you, others hope in your endeavors failure. For a famous actor or sport star the phenomenon assumes giant dimension because of the number of people that make “his or her circle”. Jealousy and enviousness are dangerous forces capable of bending the strongest minds, fold the best careers and reversing the best stories. Until a couple of year ago Valentino seemed to be immune from this peril but in coincidence with the peak of his popularity, and by default enviousness, he started experiencing some unusual difficulties or issues that in his long career he had already encountered but successfully solved in a short time. In 2006 I can easily recall the long straggle with the chattering, the faulty Michelin tires and at least one engine failure while leading the race. And what about that second place behind Elias by a couple of inches? After mysteriously low-siding on the last race, those five vital points meant losing the World Championship! At that time, he was greatly criticized for driving the F1 Ferrari during the pre-season months hence held responsible for failing to win the World MotoGp Title. In the 2007 season Valentino was not distracted by any particular lure (if we discard the friendship with the gorgeous Elisabetta Canali), indeed he gave 110% to compensate the substantial lack of power/speed at the beginning of the season and then for the miserable performance of the Michelin tires. In the last race in Valencia, in perfect compliance with the Murphy’s Law according to which “whatever can go wrong will go wrong, at the worst possible time and the worst possible way” Rossi lost the second place in the World Championship because of the M1 engine. The ice on the cake it was that the mechanical failure happened while he was courageously riding and defending his position with a wrist fractured in the free practice! And what about that blow received during the summer when he was notified of a multimillion-pound tax evasion on undeclared revenues between 2000 and 2004? He is responsible from a legal point of view but we know who “put” the young and inexperienced Italian fellow in such a predicament whose outcome revealed itself only after three years went by …

On the other end we have Stoner that after crashing bikes for most of his career until 12 months ago, on Ducati from day one was able to keep upright the bike each and every race! Mechanically he has never suffered any problem but one race when his slipper clutch was not consistent in the feeling. Also, during the season the young Aussie time after time enjoyed an edge on the competitors before with a 20kmh faster bike and then with winning-proof Bridgestone tires. That’s the beauty of life: anything can change at any moment, and sometimes magically or, let me say … luckily for the better!

Now given the circumstances if I were a consultant for Rossi I would remind him the old saying “there is never two without three …”. We cannot lose another championship in this manner, so besides dropping Michelin for Bridgestone, blustering the Yamaha engineers for a better bike and fire is friend and manager Gibo Badioli, I would recommend the old wives’ tale to hang garlic and peppers on your 2008 M1 to keep away negative energy and bad luck!