Monday, August 18, 2008

MotoGP: Valentino A-Go-Go at Brno

Valentino Rossi came to Brno with a healthy championship lead, but Casey Stoner was out for revenge after his defeat at Laguna Seca. The Australian crybaby had complained long and hard about some of Rossi's innocuous overtaking moves in California, but calmed down after a few weeks. He would start from pole position, with Rossi 2nd and the returning John Hopkins in an excellent 3rd on the grid after a wet qualifying session.

It was no surprise to see Stoner vault into a commanding lead when the lights went out, but John Hopkins managed to shoot off the line in front of Rossi. The Italian passed the Anglo-American quickly, but Stoner was already heading for the horizon, and for the first few laps The Doctor could barely hang on to the little Aussie's coat tails, more than a second behind.

Then it happened. For the second time in two races, and the second time in nearly two years, Casey Stoner lobbed it. Wait a minute, Casey Stoner did what??? He dropped his bike onto its right handlebar and footpeg and slid off into the scenery, that's what. Valentino Rossi had been around 1.3 seconds back, but the Italian genius suddenly banged in a fast lap, lopping a quarter of a second from Stoner's lead. The reigning champ saw his pit board, pushed too hard, and hopped off the low side. In other words, Rossi frightened him off the track. One can only presume that Stoner was incredibly determined that he would not let Rossi catch him up and start slapping him around like at Laguna. Casey fell off, pure and simple...

That's the taster, read my MotoGP Brno race report in its entirety at MotorbikeSport.

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