Archive for July, 2007
Well, after much deliberation we have now purchased our little piece of paradise. Without giving away the exact location, the family and I have bought 10 acres just over an hour north west of Melbourne.
We have wanted to do it for a while now and excitedly our dream became a reality last Wednesday. With Australia in the grip of a drought, the recent rains have done wonders for the area.
We traveled out last Sunday to soak up some serenity. We have big plans for the site and will start with a simple dwelling so we can begin to enjoy weekends out there in relative comfort.
For those who are interested I will post here updates from time to time.
Australia‘s Casey Stoner was able to shake the 2007 hoodoo of not winning from pole to claim the Laguna Seca MotoGP. He dominated the race to further extend his lead over Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi.
Rewardingly fellow Aussie and Suzuki pilot Chris Vermeulen scored a dry race podium to finish over 9 seconds behind a blistering Stoner, riding his Ducati.
Marco Melandri, on a Honda, was a distant third, 25.641 seconds behind the Kurri Kurri Kid (Stoner).
In post race interviews Stoner said “I felt really comfortable sitting on the grid, I felt good about the tyres and bike. I just had to go and do the job.”
Surprisingly for most of the race the Ducati was faster than the 990cc lap record for the US track, set last year by Pedrosa on a Honda. Obviously engineering has won over the rule makers, with the introduction to 800cc an attempt to slow them day.
Nicky Hayden’s recent run of good luck ended on the first lap when he was involved in a collision with Suzuki rider John Hopkins. He was able to rejoin the race but had to retire with 10 laps to go. The result will surely hit the Kentucky Kid hard as he (and the parochial crowd) was expecting a good weekend after his solid run of podiums in the last few races.
Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi finished fourth, five seconds behind Melandri and 30 seconds behind Stoner, who now tops the standings at 221 points to Rossi’s 177. The pressure is well and truly on the Italian to recapture the consistency that has seen him dominate the championship in previous years.
Ant West, riding for Kawasaki put in another solid result after qualifying 12, he climbed to finish 7th. Surely the formal offer for 2008 from Kawasaki is forth coming for the plucky Australian, who has again proven his undeniable talent.
Once again the MotoGP pole position hoodoo claimed its latest victim, with Casey Stoner (Ducati) finishing 5th in the German MotoGP race, after qualifying on pole for the race start.
Dani Pedrosa (Honda) pounced on Stoner early on in the race and went on to finish almost 10 seconds ahead of second place getter, and Stoner’s team mate Loris Capirossi.
Pedrosa’s team mate Nicky Hayden claimed another podium in what looks to be a better second half of the season for the plucky kid from Kentucky. Pedrosa’s victory was his first victory since the British GP in 2006. in 2007 he has been outshone by the super quick Stoner, his arch enemy from the 250cc category.
Colin Edwards once again showed his consistency to claim the points for 4th position. The big news was the heat for this race, with track temperatures of up to 47 degrees, playing havoc with tyres. Stoner’s rear tyre was at melting point but was able to hang on for his 5th to extend his lead to 32 points over Valentino Rossi for the championship.
Once again Rossi made a mistake whilst overtaking Randy De Puniet (Kawasaki) to record his first, and hopefully last, DNF for the 2007 season.
Aussies Anthony West and Chris Vermeulen finished 8th and 11th respectively. This solid result for West should surely cement his ride in MotoGP for 2008. He has shown that he can mix it with the best.
The season now moves to the US of A where Hayden should be able to continue his recent form and with the right set up, he will be hard to beat.
Top 10 finishers for the race: 1st: Dani Pedrosa – Repsol Honda2nd: Loris Capirossi – Ducat Marlboro3rd: Nicky Hayden – Repsol Honda4th: Colin Edwards – Fiat Yamaha5th: Casey Stoner – Ducati Marlboro6th: Marco Melandri – Gresini Honda7th: John Hopkins – Rizla Suzuki8th: Anthony West – Kawasaki Racing9th: Alex Hoffman – Pramac D’Antin10th: Michel Fabrizio – Gresini Honda
In the 2007 Dutch TT, the race started as a lot of them had this year. Casey Stoner (Ducati) blasted off to create a large lead which looked to be unsurmountable by the other racers. Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) however forgot to read the script and was out to reassert his dominance in the MotoGP paddock.
Stoner, who qualified next to compatriot Chris Vermeulen in second place, rocketed to the lead from the start and quickly established a lead over the rest of the pack. Rossi who started well down the grid on 11th was the predator to Stoner the prey.
The Ducati had obviously made a softer choice of front tyres, with the Yamaha set up going for a medium compound, and this was a telling fact at the end of the race. It took Rossi quite a number of laps to get comfortable on the bike and that was when he began to shine.
Stoner lead for 22 of the 26 lap race, but he freely admitted after the race that he was able to see the Italians run through the pack on the large TV screens around the track. Rossi was on a mission and deserved the victory. After the race he himself admitted to a confidence problem, in an admission I would have never expected Rossi to make, he stated that he had to convince himself that he could beat the young Australian. I
n other results, once again the pole sitter did not win the race, creating somewhat of a hoodoo for superstitious racers in the field. Unfortunately for Vermeulen he was collected by Kawasaki’s De Puniet whilst in 7th place. He recovered to claim 16th.
Good news however for Kawasaki’s other rider, Ant West, who claimed a top 10 finish. This result hopefully bodes well for his dream of getting a full time MotoGP ride in 2008.
Good news also for Honda’s Nicky Hayden. The 2007 champion recovered from a poor final qualifying to claim a podium place, in 3rd position. It was a great result for the American and I for one was glad to see him get a result he thoroughly deserved. Unbelievably it was his first podium for 2008. All weekend he hadn’t been lower than 3rd in the results and was bitterly disappointed to qualify in 13th.
Stoner now leads the championship on 185 points, with Rossi on 164. With the series now in its second half, I look forward to more exciting racing.
The top ten race results were:
1st – Valentino Rossi (Yamaha)
2nd – Casey Stoner (Ducati)
3rd – Hayden (Honda)
4th – Pedrosa (Honda)
5th– Hopkins (Suzuki)
6th – Edwards (Yamaha)
7th – Barros (Ducati)
8th – Hofmann (Ducati)
9th – West (Kawasaki)
10th – Melandri (Honda)