Way, way back (many — ago, I was a young girl listenin’ to how ya flow), I promised a companion piece to TB’s 2009 MotoGP Season Preview. I spent a bit of time getting all my stuff together, and then, in my ADD-ese, wanted one more thing that I never went and picked up so you haven’t seen this yet. Well, I have 2.2 seconds on my hands, and damn it, I wanted to finish what I started. Without further ado, THIS is what I love about MotoGP:
To our left, my very favorite MotoGP eye candy: Nicky Hayden, The Kentucky Kid. Yeah, I could give an interesting description here, tell you all about how he’s an American rider, a World Champion, and (finally) no longer with Honda and working hard to master the monster over at Ducati… but why? If you have 2 X chromosomes, you’re not paying the least bit of attention to me anyway.
Stayed tuned, more Nicky to follow.
John Hopkins actually isn’t riding MotoGP this year, after the economy kicked Kawasaki in the butt. Instead, he saddled up in a different racing series, only to suffer what looked to be a potentially career-ending injury in a crash, though recent reports say that he is mending well and will return. I’ve rooted for Hopper since he was just a whipper-snapper in the GP, and fate has just never gone his way. Whether in or out of racing, I wish him luck, safety, and happiness.
Someone who is riding a Kawaski in GP this year is Marco Melandri. He’s basically riding for what equates to a privateer team in GP (sorry if that plane just buzzed past your ear); suffice to say, he has a bike and a crew, but he won’t be getting any fancy new parts coming through development week in and week out: He’ll have to end the season on pretty much the exact same bike he started on. So far, he’s been doing pretty damn well with that. He never tamed the monster at Ducati, and if Ducati can’t help Nicky to do it, Marco will be vindicated. If Nicky does master the Duc, it will be a permanent stain on Marco’s career. I’m thrilled for him that he’s hanging in there this year though.
Which brings us to Casey Stoner (whose wife is gor-geous, but let’s ignore that for a moment) is, so far, the only man to harness the power of the Ducati to bring himself a World Championship. He seems a good guy (if a bit whiny, sorry kiddo, but at some point you went a bit too prima donna for a guy who grew up on the dirt track), and he’s can’t possibly be a worse teammate for Nicky than the midget at Honda whose name will go unmentioned in this write-up because I don’t want to use that kind of language. Casey’s nickname (around our house) is Opie — as cute as he can be, the boy does have some ears. But the profile shot is juuust fine. 😉
And now we ride with the World Champion… The 8-time World Champion, that is. Valentino Rossi is the only other rider to really share my heart with Nicky, and truth be told, he had it first (been around longer). He won my heart not only with his riding style, which is crafty, intellectual, and daring without being reckless, but also with his incredible sense of humor and love for what he is doing. He’s an artist, and I love nothing more than to see an artist displaying their craft. He’s said to love the U.S. because he can be anonymous here (not for much longer), but his fame has him up there with Wilt Chamberlain so take that ‘anonymous’ thing with a grain of salt. “The Doctor” is a Yamaha boy.
Ben Spies must have a million serious, studly-looking pictures on the innernets, but for me, it’s the smile that does me in. Mr. Texas didn’t make the jump to the GP this year, as many had predicted and hoped, but he did make A jump that still has him well on his way to his GP seat. We did see him in the blues on the Rizla Suzuki in Indianapolis, and it was great fun to see someone who was still learning the ways of the GP monsters (though Ben is The Man in his own right, don’t get me wrong). Ben’s nickname is Elbowz because he rides those babies with his elbows out like he’s doing the chicken dance.
Chris “just try to find a picture of me without my bucket hat on” Vermeulen is a savant when it comes to wet-weather riding. If they ran every race in the rain, the man would have a title to his name. It’s downright freakish, frankly. He has a boyish look and charm that just capture you, though heaven help me, I’d like to cut his hair and do wish he’d have some surgery on the hidden cheek here (not easy to find a pic from this angle). Chicks dig scars, babe – trust me!
James ‘Jimmy’ Toseland is a Brit who can not only ride the GP but is also a classically-trained pianist, hence the photo seen here. Again, it’s the smile that captures me, though the package it’s plastered on isn’t hard on the eyes either. We did hear him perform in Indy (we were wandering around), and he was great! He has a little prima donna to him as well, though he also isn’t afraid to go after it in a race and crash out doing it. He has an extra OOMPH of competition this year since he, um, “borrowed without the intent of giving back” his teammate’s crew chief. And the freckles are cute too.
… and did I mention Nicky Hayden?
You’re welcome. 🙂