23 September 2011

Another brick in the wall

Yard, really.  As in, the Brickyard, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  At one time the entire 2.5-mile circuit length was paved with over 3 million bricks.  These days the expanse of smooth asphalt is interrupted only at the Start/Finish line with just a single yard of the incongruously textured things. 

Leading up to this year’s MotoGP round at Indy the photo or photos I most wanted to get would only be available before the motorcycles rolled in earnest.  I had an idea of what I wanted to do technically, and made my way to the Speedway on the Thursday afternoon to see if I could make it happen. 

Credentials sorted, media center desk space reserved, I walked down to Start/Finish and, sure enough, the racing surface was essentially open, with a gate in the front straight Armco opened to the yard of bricks.  Track workers were putting finishing touches to signage and communication gear, racers were cruising the track on scooters, cornerworkers were getting a walking tour, and assorted people were out for their afternoon jog or pedal.  A Dorna cameraman was recording some video of the famous bricks and various walkers-by would stop for keepsake photos, but basically I had the run of the front straight to set up my photos and absorb the history of the place in the pre-event calm.  If the roadcourse circuit used by MotoGP (and Formula 1 before that) at IMS isn’t exactly steeped in history or distinction, the legendary oval certainly is and it’s always a treat to soak it in before things get noisy. 

24 August 2011

22 August 2011

Countdown to Indy: The Undercard

Although the United States is fortunate to host two rounds of the MotoGP round championship, only one, the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, features the full program, including the 125 and Moto2 classes.  This is a treat, if a slightly bittersweet one this year, as it will be the last appearance of the two-stroke 125 machines, which are to be replaced next year with the new Moto3 category for 250cc four-stroke single-cylinder machines. 


20 July 2011

Rog's Resurgence

Roger Hayden was quick at Mid-Ohio, racing with the leaders and scoring his first Superbike podium on the National Guard Suzuki.  Click and make big.

04 July 2011

Two for One

I haven't kept the blog updated of late, so here's a quick recap of AMA Pro Racing rounds 4 and 5 from Road America and Barber Motorsports Park.

Jake Holden

Jason DiSalvo led all comers at Elkhart Lake but somehow ended the weekend with two DNF's.

After I noticed the possibility for this shot it took me three tries to get it.  But it was pure luck that the "Elkhart Lake Wisconsin" signage ended up so visible (I suspect a true racing fan wouldn't need the hint to locate the photo).

Josh Hayes.  Winner.


On to Barber then.  Go.

4th of July

28 April 2011

Hot and bothered at Road Atlanta with Jim Allen

A scene from Road Atlanta, 2007.  Tires were overheating that weekend.  One solution was to remove a measure of rubber from the surface of the tire--less rubber means fewer rubber molecules rubbing against each other and getting all hot and bothered and stuff.  Dunlop's Jim Allen, seen here demonstrating the tire shave technique on the rear tire of a Fast By Ferracci MV Augusta Superbike, would probably explain it differently.  Elraldo Ferracci stands by. 

Incidentally, the April 13 edition of SoupKast contains a charming Ferracci anecdote. 

16 March 2011


For motorcycle racing fans in the U.S. March means Daytona, and the beginning of the new racing season.   For the first time I experienced it first-hand rather than on the telly or page.  It was pretty much as I had expected it to be--for better and worse--but there still is no substitute for the smell of race fuel and howl of racing engines at full rip.  What follows are a few samples from my Bike Week.

Apparently for some Bike Week means something other than racing on the high banks.  The diversity of humankind never ceases to surprise.

The following three days brought familiar actors, even if the stage was new to this noob.

Until next year . . .

01 March 2011

Under the Paint

Daytona is fast approaching so the mind turns to high-bank fundamentals like the high-speed tuck.  Click and make big.  And learn.