Miniatures of Juan Manuel Fangio and a flying Tommi Makinen


Qatar 2009


ANOTHER NIGHT RACE FROM THE LOSAIL CIRCUIT. PERSONALLY, I AM FED-UP WITH THE GOVERNING BODIES IN MOTOGP AND FORMULA ONE PLAYING ABOUT WITH THE START TIME IN COUNTRIES THAT, FOR GEOLOGICAL REASONS STRETCHING BACK 4 BILLION YEARS, ARE LOCATED IN INCONVENIENT TIME ZONES RELATIVE TO EUROPE.

THESE ARE 'WORLD' CHAMPIONSHIPS AND THE RACES SHOULD BE, AS THEY ALWAYS HAVE BEEN, RUN AT THE SAME LOCAL TIME IN EACH COUNTRY. TO DO OTHERWISE INTRODUCES ADDITIONAL FACTORS AND RISKS THAT MEAN THE CHAMPIONSHIP IS INCONSISTENT - NOT A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD. THE TRACKS THEMSELVES AND THE LOCAL CLIMATIC CONDITIONS ADD SUFFICIENT VARIABILITY WITHOUT DELAYING THE START TO SOME POTENTIALLY MORE DANGEROUS TIME JUST TO SUIT THE EUROPEAN AUDIENCE. YOU WOULD THINK THAT VIDEO/DVD/HARD DRIVE RECORDERS HAD NEVER BEEN INVENTED!

THESE ARE JUST THE SITUATIONS THAT MAKE THEM WORTH THEIR WEIGHT IN GOLD AND IT IS PERFECTLY POSSIBLE TO AVOID KNOWING THE RESULT BEFORE VIEWING THE RECORDING - IT ONLY TAKES A LITTLE THOUGHT AND DISCIPLINE.

QATAR PAID THE PRICE THIS YEAR - THE 125 RACE WAS ABANDONED AFTER ONLY 4 LAPS BUT HALF-POINTS WERE AWARDED AS MORE THAN 3 LAPS HAD BEEN RACED, THE 250 RACE WAS DELAYED BY 35 MINUTES AND SHORTENED WHILST THE MOTOGP RACE WAS POSTPONED UNTIL THE FOLLOWING DAY: MONDAY, 13TH APRIL 2009. THE REASON? RAIN - IN A COUNTRY THAT ONLY HAS 8 DAYS OF RAIN PER YEAR, 3 OF THE 2009 QUOTA OCCURRED OVER THIS RACE WEEKEND!

EVEN IF THE RAIN HAD NOT BEEN AS HEAVY AS IT WAS, THE RACING COULD NOT HAVE GONE AHEAD BECAUSE OF THE GLARE FROM A WET TRACK UNDER THE MASSIVE FLOODLIGHTS. IT WOULD MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR RIDERS TO SAFELY NEGOTIATE THE TRACK. THE LOGISTICS OF THE POSTPONEMENT FOR THE EQUIPMENT AND PEOPLE - FREIGHT PLANES RE-SCHEDULED, HOTEL ACCOMMODATION FOUND ETC - DO NOT BEAR THINKING ABOUT.

ANYWAY, THE RACE WENT AHEAD ON A GREEN TRACK AFTER ALL THE RAIN AND CASEY STONER MADE HIS USUAL ELECTRIC START, BLITZED THE FIRST LAP IN THE LEAD, IMMEDIATELY OPENED UP A GAP TO, INITIALLY, LORIS CAPIROSSI, THEN JORGE LORENZO AND THEN VALENTINO ROSSI AS SECOND PLACE CONTINUED TO CHANGE. UNFORTUNATELY, LORIS 'LOST' THE FRONT AND SLID OUT AT VERY HIGH SPEED IN A SHOWER OF SPARKS AS HE WAS FIGHTING TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH THE LEADERS BUT, FORTUNATELY, HE WAS UNINJURED.

CASEY THEN PROCEEDED TO PULL AWAY AND OPENED UP A 3+ SECOND GAP OVER VALENTINO THAT WAS FIRST HELD AT THAT AND THEN VALENTINO STARTED TO EAT SLOWLY INTO THE LEAD. WAS VALENTINO STARTING TO CHARGE? IT SEEMED SO BUT AFTER MID-RACE CASEY TURNED THE WICK UP AND THE GAP GREW AND GREW UNTIL, AT THE FINISH HE LED VALENTINO BY NEARLY 8 SECONDS AS HE CROSSED THE LINE WITH WHAT MAY BE THE LONGEST WHEELIE ON RECORD! IT IS CERTAINLY THE LONGEST STRAIGHT CURRENTLY IN MOTOGP AND HE WHEELIED ALL OF IT.

SO THE FIRST VICTORY FOR A CARBON-FIBRE CHASSIS AND SWING-ARM. THE DUCATI IN THE HANDS OF CASEY WAS JUST UNBEATABLE AS HE TOOK HIS 3RD SUCCESSIVE VICTORY HERE AND EVEN NICKY HAYDEN, BATTERED AND BRUISED AFTER A VERY STRANGE HIGH SIDE IN QUALIFYING, MANAGED A WELL-DESERVED 12TH PLACE WITH HIS LAST LAP BEING HIS FASTEST OF THE RACE. PERHAPS HE IS BECOMING A LITTLE MORE COMFORTABLE ON THE BIKE THAN HE HAS DONE UP TO NOW - WE SHALL SEE.





STARTING GRID

1. Casey Stoner
2. Valentino Rossi
3. Jorge Lorenzo
4. Andrea Dovizioso
5. Loris Capirossi
6. Colin Edwards
7. Randy de Puniet
8. Chris Vermeulen
9. Alex de Angelis
10. Mika Kallio
11. Marco Melandri
12. Tony Elias
13. James Toseland
14. Dani Pedrosa
15. Sete Gibernau
16. Nicky Hayden
17. Yuki Takahashi
18. Niccolo Canepa




RESULT

1. Casey Stoner
2. Valentino Rossi
3. Jorge Lorenzo
4. Colin Edwards
5. Andrea Dovizioso
6. Alex de Angelis
7. Chris Vermeulen
8. Mika Kallio
9. Tony Elias

 

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders :

Casey Stoner 25
Valentino Rossi 20
Jorge Lorenzo 16
Colin Edwards 13
Andrea Dovizioso 11
Alex de Angelis 10
Chris Vermeulen 9
Mika Kallio 8
Tony Elias 7

Constructors :

Ducati 25
Yamaha 20
Honda 11
Suzuki 9
Kawasaki 2

Race Results posted by
David Little
14th April 2009

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