All that folderol came to a screeching halt yesterday when Lorenzo decided
Back to the matter at hand, which, in case you've forgotten, is racing. Valentino Rossi leads the title chase by 50 points, not an insurmountable amount to be sure, but you'd be a brave man indeed to risk much in the way of a bet against him. Last year at Indy in a monsoon the Doctor made it look easy and this year, if the good lord's willing and the creek don't rise (or even if it does), it looks to be more of the same.
Of course, if the weather cooperates, the competition should have more for the doctor. By competition, I mean Jorge "I never really meant to leave Yamaha" And Dani Pedrosa. The Honda was very strong here last year and Pedrosa is reasonably healthy. Expect Mini-P's teammate Andrea Dovizioso to be near the front as well.
Homeboy Nicky Hayden will look to do his best and this year that translates to 5-6th place. Now that Lorenzo isn't being fitted for red leathers, Hayden will probably be confirmed at Ducati for 2010, maybe this weekend or shortly thereafter.
This is America, and a circus would be woefully incomplete without a sideshow or two. Kevin Schwantz will take a parade lap on his 1993 title winning Suzuki and Kenny Roberts will reportedly take the bike they couldn't pay him enough to ride, the truly evil TZ-750 based dirt tracker, for a spin around the Indy Mile. Rumor has it that Valentino Rossi will give the TZ a shot, but this commentator is somewhat dubious.
Speaking of this commentator, I'll be at Indy (I rode halfway there today) and will hopefully post some pitiful pix and commentary when I can.