Friday, September 4, 2009

MotoGP: Misano

Two For The Show

Well, here we are, 5 days, half a world and a virtual universe away from the working-class neighborhoods of Speedway, Indiana. Misano, located on the Adriatic coast of Italy is a seaside resort town that just happens to have a world-class racetrack nearby. There must be something in the water around these parts (or vino, as the case may be) because fast motorcycle racers are born and raised here in abundance. Marco Melandri, Andrea Dovizioso, Alex DeAngelis and, oh yeah, some guy named Valentino Rossi all hail from nearby.

The MotoGP championship comes to The Doctor's "home" race a hammer and tongs battle between Rossi and his young Mallorcan teamate, Jorge Lorenzo. As we may remember, Rossi, in a rare display of poor judgment, threw away half his points lead at Indianapolis and made the title chase not as foregone a conclusion as the pundits had been saying.

With 5 races remaining on the calendar, every venture onto the track, be it practice, qualifying or the race itself has become a take-no-prisoners war between the Fiat Yamaha riders. The off-track battle has become equally heated with each side being sure to take maximum advantage of statements made to the press in an attempt to get inside the head of his rival.

Against that backdrop, we have a number of lesser dramas being played out, most notably riders without a gig for next season. Homeboy Alex DeAngelis, his Gresini bridges in smoking ruins behind him after this week's comments about a lack of team support, wants to show that his finish on the box at Indy wasn't a fluke and that he shouldn't be relegated to the murky world of Moto2. Over at Tech 3, Colin Edwards and James Toseland are auditioning, along with a cast of thousands, for the 2 most sought after rides remaining for 2010.

Over here across the pond, Americans are coming into the three-day Labor Day weekend with a veritable plethora of motorcycle racing to choose from. With the AMA, WSBK and MotoGP all being contested, we're going to need that extra day to recover from the excitement.

Bold Predictions

1. Rossi
2. Lorenzo
3. Pedrosa

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