Thursday, December 13, 2007

World Superbike Armchair Awards 2007

Hiroshima Award
for insensitivity to Japanese culture
Winner: Max Biaggi
There are only 3 things you really need to know about Japanese motorcycle racers: firstly that they are barking mad, secondly that they are always going extremely quickly when they fall off, and thirdly that an apology will always make everything OK. Now, Max Biaggi didn't seem to know the latter after he crashed into Nori Haga in Italy. If you smack into a Japanese motorcycling hero then immediately apologize, everything's fine. It's forgotten. He's done it loads of times himself. However, Max claimed he was only partly responsible, causing a simmering feud with Nitro Nori that was totally avoidable. Next time Max, just bow deep and apologize for dishonouring your ancestors, and Nori will forgive you in an instant, and probably apologize for dishonouring his own ancestors by getting in your way.

Dingoes Ate Me Bloody Finger Award
for having a finger disappear in mysterious circumstances
Winner: Troy Bayliss
There can be no argument that Troy Bayliss is an utter genius on a Superbike, right up there with Carl Fogarty. However, he is still an Australian, so we have to assume that his missing finger was eaten by a pack of rabid dingoes at Donington Park. The Aussie was giving it 110% (for a change) when he beat the traction control and fired himself off the bike. When he came to rest, he was missing a chunk of pinkie and had crotch injuries that don't bear thinking about. The fact that he raced at the next round qualifies him as a bloody hero (again).

Greasy Fried Breakfast Award
for giving everybody a heart attack
Winner: Lap 1 at Vallelunga
This little circuit outside Rome was a homecoming for Max Biaggi, but the first lap of race one showed why we watch the World Supers. It was hair-raising stuff that would stop your heart sooner than a huge fried breakfast. First of all, some of the top riders went 4 abreast into a corner. Then Troy Corser forgot to switch on his traction control and suffered a massive highside, forcing Haga and Toseland to swerve crazily around him. Max Neukirchner slammed into the downed Yamaha and flew into a gravel trap. To top it off, James Toseland removed himself from Nori Haga's Christmas card list by slamming into the side of the Samurai of Slide at the last corner. Amazing stuff, if you survived it without a fatal coronary.

Knight In Shining Armour Award
for rescuing a damsel in distress
Winner: Karl Muggeridge
Muggas managed to rescue a fellow Australian from a miserable situation when he took out Troy Bayliss at Brno. It wasn't really Muggeridges fault, as he had been knocked off in an incident with Frog has-been Regis Laconi. However, Karl ended up sliding along the road a long way behind his bike when it skittled Troy Bayliss. Luckily, Bayliss was having a horrible time on the Ducati, which just didn't suit the Brno track. Troy walked over to his countryman in the gravel trap to thank him for ending such a painful race!

Soap Opera Award
for ridiculous, unbelievable storylines
Winner: Sergio Bertocchi
The Italian team boss was eased out of his post with Alto Evolution Honda, but just couldn't let go. He kept showing up in team uniform, prompting Alto Evolution to issue a press release claiming that they'd never seen him before in their lives. Then things took a bizarre twist when the team's truck was hijacked, with the driver escaping and alerting police in Belgium. Or Holland. Somewhere like that, anyway. With the bikes confiscated as evidence, the team missed races and parted company with one of their riders. The trail led straight back to Bertocchi. As it is still under investigation, all I can do is heap praise on Sergio for livening things up and making the F1 spying scandal look even more pathetic than it already did.

Tonka Truck Award
for building an indestructible motorcycle
Winner: Ten Kate Honda
When James Toseland fell off at a wet Silverstone, things looked bad. When he picked the bike up and there was coolant visibly pouring out of it, things looked like they were all over. Toseland jumped back on the bike and rode off. Although he was lapped, the machine incredibly finished the race well into the points, managing most of the distance with no coolant circulating. A truly staggering bit of engineering from Honda and the lads at Ten Kate.

1 comment:

Pee Wee said...

A great post. Good read.....