Wednesday, October 27, 2004

I'm going to worship at the Cathedral Of Speed

... in about 9 months. The weekend of July 8th, 2005, the MotoGP motorcycle racing series is coming to Laguna Seca and, courtesy of my super-swell friend Brandon, we have kick-ass tickets to go watch this spectacle of speed and insanity on two wheels. Allow me to wax lyrical: the MotoGP class is the equivalent of Formula 1 in car racing -- insane motorcycles, ridden by insane men. The bikes are custom-manufactured, cost a million dollars or so a year to rent [you can't actually buy one from the factory, you can only rent them, and only about 20 teams get to do so], put out about 230-240 hp and regularly achieve speeds over 210 mph. That's just stupid fast, especially when you consider that they don't just get to slow down leisurely from those speeds but rather have to brake hard enough to almost get their rear wheels off the ground and then slam the bike on its side so they can make it through the next corner. From personal experience, I know how quickly things come at you at 150 mph [that's about as fast as I ever went on a racetrack], and how quickly they can go badly wrong [Turn 5 at Seattle International Raceway holds many bad memories for me ...] so I am in awe of anybody who can string together 20+ laps at such an insane pace without turning themselves into an ugly case of road kill.

Anyways, I'm very excited about this. The last time Brandon and I went to something like this was when we went to a round of the World Superbike Championship, Brandon almost ran over Mick Doohan [5-time 500cc class World Championship winner] in our rental car and we were so tongue-tied when we got a chance to take a picture with "King" Carl Fogarty [4-time World Superbike Championship winner] that all we could say was "wow", several times in a row [and we're not usually at a loss for words, especially Brandon]. Hopefully this time we'll be more suave.

[PS: Strictly speaking, Assen is considered the "Cathedral" of bike racing; Laguna Seca is more on the level of a parish church ...]


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmm... weekend of July 8th? Something tells me there's something much more important happening around that time.

6:51 AM  

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