The Unrepentant Individual

...just hanging around until Dec 21, 2012

June 19, 2006

Championship Blown Open

Heading into the opening corner of the Catalunya Grand Prix, Sete Gibernau collided with teammate Loris Capirossi. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem. But Gibernau’s front brake lever got caught up in the process, and below is the result.

About 5 or 6 riders crashed out. Including Loris Capirossi (tied in points with Nicky Hayden for the championship lead), Marco Melandri (3rd in Championship) and Dani Pedrosa (4th in Championship). The race was stopped and had to be re-started. Capirossi and Melandri went to the hospital, and information is still sketchy on when they’ll return. Pedrosa did continue, but was on his back-up bike, and ended up crashing out of the race later. Rossi won, with Hayden taking second place.

So now the championship has been blown open. Hayden— without having won a single race— now has a 20-point lead on Capirossi, although it’s unclear whether Capirossi will return quickly from his injuries to be a factor. Rossi has moved up into 3rd place, 29 points behind Hayden, and put in a dominant performance. He’s starting to look like the Rossi of old times again.

Mathematically, Rossi would overtake Hayden in points if he finishes first to Hayden’s second in 5 races. With 10 races remaining in the year, Rossi certainly can do it. But the championship rests in Nicky Hayden’s hands. If he starts winning, he’s got a large enough point lead to withstand a few 2nd or 3rd place finishes. But if he can’t find his way to the top of the podium (his only career MotoGP win being Laguna Seca last year), he’ll be caught by The Doctor.

You want to know how excited I am for the Laguna Seca race on July 23 this year? You want to start feeling the goosebumps?

Well, check out this trailer, for a documentary that’s going to be released about last year’s race at Laguna. The Doctor, The Tornado, and The Kentucky Kid. (Hopefully they’ll change the title).

(Yes, they did say “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Maximum Speed”…)

UPDATE: I replaced the photo of the Catalunya crash with video I was able to find…

The Unrepentant Individual linked with MotoGP Update
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