And A Deathly Roar Filled The Skies Once More…

And A Deathly Roar Filled The Skies Once More…

The motor racing season has finally started off again!  This makes me happy, after the long, dark, bleak Winter of nothing but diving soccer pansies and the odd re-run of some of last years racing!

I went to Silverstone a few weeks ago to watch the 750MC club races, and especially the first round of the Formula Vee championship – where the racing was awesome as it is every time the single-seaters are out.  I even remembered my sun screen so didn’t get burnt for once!

And of course the Moto GP season kicked off last weekend with the new regulations.

I’m a bit gutted to see that Valentino Rossi isn’t living up to his God status yet again, even finishing behind one of the satelite Ducati teams, and well below Hayden.  Personally, as much as it pains me to say it, I don’t think Rossi has ever recovered from the crash that broke his leg.  I hope he gets back to the top again, but I have to say I doubt it.

I think you’d be mad to bet against Stoner taking it again this year.  Lorenzo looks strong but he’s a horrible little cock-end, so he can pig off.

Moto 2 is as frantic as ever, with at least 6 bikes fighting for the lead, and the new Moto 3 shows the same promise – although it is sad that the two-strokes are no more…

Formula 1 is all a bit ‘meh’ just like it has been since around 1993.  They should scrap it and televise Formula Vee in its place so we can actually see some racing!

My usual problem is that only having Freeview TV, I barely get to see any racing other than the above.  Everything else is on Sky TV and other stuff that costs money.

Someone from a bike forum has recently either saved my life or ruined it.  They’ve given me a link to a website that streams all the sports channels (and more) from around the world – all for free!

It all seems to work perfectly (providing you at least have Adblocker Plus running through Firefox – it was a nightmare before!), and I now have access to, in technical terms, shitloads of racing from NASCAR to, umm… whatever obscure racing is televised.

Here’s the link for anyone that may find it of use: http://nowwatchtvlive.com/2011/07/online-british-eurosport-2-hd-channel-watch-eurosport-2-stream

The other night I watched the Bathurst 12 Hour GT race which was great, and cock full of action for an endurance event.  I shall look forward to many more such things on there!

Next I just need to get myself back out on track again…

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Simoncelli Fatal Moto GP Crash – RIP Sideshow Bob

Simoncelli Fatal Moto GP Crash – RIP Sideshow Bob

I woke up late today, having missed the Moto GP race from Malaysia which was screened in the early hours of this morning, and logging onto Facebook was shocked to the core to see a lot of statuses saying that 24 year old Italian racer Marco Simoncelli was dead.

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Not fully wanting to believe it, I clicked on a link to the video.  If you haven’t seen the one doing the rounds, it shows Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi battling it out.  They come around a right-hander, and just before the exit you see Simoncelli come into shot, hanging off to the right of his bike, obviously in big trouble, and he comes straight across from the left in front of Rossi and Edwards.

You see Edwards brake and try his best to tighten his line, but there’s no chance.  He hits Simoncelli directly in the back just before Rossi, alongside him, also hits him in the head…

It was quite similar to the crash which claimed the life of Shoya Tomizawa in Moto 2 last year.

I’m gutted.

This year I’ve grown to really like Simoncelli, aka Sideshow Bob.  He’s exactly the sort of character that Moto GP needed in an otherwise fairly crap year.  I was fully behind him when he had what was blatantly a ‘racing incident’ with Pedrosa, after which a few of the top riders condemned Simoncelli’s riding style.  For what?  Overtaking?  Racing?  Making the sport exciting again???

I think with him becoming the underdog after this it really sealed it for me – he was a new favourite!

And he was really funny in interviews (not just because of his ridiculously huge hair) – telling Lorenzo after he’d had a whinge that he might have to be arrested.

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He also had one of those distinctive riding styles that was instantly recognisable.  He was a big lad, so against all the other jockey-sized riders it was knees and elbows all over the place – and of course he was FAST!

Without a doubt he’d have been a championship winner.

It’s a very sad day for the sport.  It’s strange how much it’s hit me, considering I don’t really know him.

My thoughts go out to his friends and family – and also to Edwards and Rossi.  I hope they can find peace with themselves through the tragedy.

I’ll miss watching you, Sideshow Bob – ride free, dude!

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EDIT RE FATAL CRASH VIDEO

As mentioned, the first I knew was a Facebook status and a link to the video of the accident.

The video is… a crash video.  Sure, it’s shocking because you know someone lost their life, and being the one to hit them you can bet that Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi are having a very tough time of it.

A lot of people are instantly getting the footage banned when it shows up (hence me not bothering to try and link to it here) saying it’s disrespectful etc… but why?  There’s no disrespect in watching a great riders final moments, and I’m glad I got to see it, because otherwise I wouldn’t believe it – I just wouldn’t know all the facts.  Watch the video and you can see how tragic it was, and how unavoidable.  It was Simoncellis skill at being able to save the lowside on his knee  that took him back across the track, whereas a less skilled rider would have just been in the gravel… and ironically, safe.

If you don’t want to watch it – don’t.  But don’t tell me what I should and shouldn’t be able to see.  Censorship is NEVER a good thing.  This happened in front of millions, and if you think your crusade to stop anyone seeing it will work you’re deluding yourself.  Just don’t watch it.  It’s that simple.

I will watch it again, and I’ll feel the loss just as much.  Right now I’m raising a glass to Marco Simoncelli and toasting a great racer.

Book Snobs

Book Snobs

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Firstly, I’m thankful that you buggers can read at all, and even more so that you’re willing to.  That seems to be rare these days.

I read my first full length adult novel when I was eight years old – it was “The Jonah” by James Herbert.  I was always encouraged to read by my Mom, and it horrifies me that most kids these days either can’t or won’t!  You should teach your kids to read by pointing them at my blog.  I’m totally kid-friendly in my blogs.

Kind-of.

But what pisses me off almost as much as the proud illiterates, are the Book Snobs.

Sure, they read.  They’ve probably read all the shitty, out-dated, irrelevant ‘classics’ and think they’re better than you because of that.  It’s a bit like Shakespearean actors who believe you can’t act if you haven’t done The Bards plays.

And it’s total bollocks.  Shakespeare is dead.  Nobody thinks like that, nobody talks like that, and nobody looks like that (err… am I quoting “She Watch Channel Zero” by Public Enemy there?) and I couldn’t give a kippers dick about Shakespeare or your ‘classic’ novels.

Let’s take this back all the way to the very basics: It’s about the story.

Book Snobs forget about this and insist it HAS to be perfectly written to be ay good, and they miss out because of this.

Velentino Rossi’s autobiography, for example, is shocking badly written.  There was so much repitition that even I nearly gave up on it.  An even better example is the immortal (immoral?) Mark Brandon ‘Chopper’ Read – an Australian criminal who spent more time in jail than out of it, and in his own words:

“Yeah, I know – and I can’t even bloody spell. What about those poor bloody academics, those college graduates, battling their guts out to write some airy-fairy piece of exaggerated artwork? And here’s a bloke, sitting in a cell, who can’t spell, and he’s written a best-seller. It’s sold two hundred and fifty thousand copies. And it’s still selling. And he’s writing another one. And I can’t even spell. I’m semi-bloody-illiterate.”

But he has awesome stories to tell!

We shouldn’t forget that this stuff started from people around campfires telling their story before anyone could read or write.  If they have a great story to tell then you have to bite it back and let them get on with it.

Not everyone is an academic, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a story to tell.

A recent example of this is a book called “The Driver” by Alex Roy which I’ve been reading.  I knew nothing at all about it and took a chance when I saw it in a charity shop, and I have to say it’s fantastic despite pretty poor writing!  It’s about Alex’s quest to beat the fastest time across the US from New York to L.A. in 32hrs 07mins, and his participation in other underground car rallies like the Gumball 3000.

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Again it’s no work of literary genius, but his passion comes through and it’s a Hell of a story!  As is a lot of Choppers own stuff, as mentioned earlier.

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So what else is out there like this?  What have you read that was terribly written but an awesome story?

And if you say my blog then I will track you down and make you eat your own heels.