Valentino Rossi – at 38-years-old, still one of the very best – finished fifth this weekend behind reigning champ Marc Marquez (his 99th career podium). It was in the extreme Spanish heat of the MotoGP world championship at Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon. With a busted leg. They’re effing mad. They’re effing crazy. They’re death-defying daredevils They race motorbikes. And they’re superb athletes.
With four rounds to go it should be a screamer at Australia’s Phillip Island October 22.
My mate Fergus Cameron, PI head honcho, must be rubbing his hands with glee.
The closest I ever got to racing bikes was many years ago, on a Honda 49cc minibike (to and from the pubs and clubs in Puerto Banus, below). Puerto Banus, my Spanish home for nearly four years, a few clicks south of Marbella. Image: MICHELLE CHAPLOW.
In those days, you didn’t need to register any bike in Spain under 50cc, hence the Honda, which was easy enough to lift off the boat.
And I’m just as sure that someone, somewhere, will wise me up. I’ve always had the greatest respect for the female mind. Because, they don’t race motorbikes. do they? I know they’re silly and brave enough to do that scary sidecar thing. But. women’s Moto racing.? They’re much smarter than that!
West Aussie MATT PRICE racing in Italy.
For the record, Wikipedia tells me the highest speed for a MotoGP motorcycle in the 125 cc category is 249.76 km/h (155.19 mph), by Valentino Rossi in 1996 for Aprilia. And the top speed in the history of MotoGP is 361 km/h (224 mph), set by Andrea Dovizioso, during the warmup at the 2016 Qatar Grand Prix.
I’m also told that during the 2016 Mexican F1GP, Sergio Pérez hit a top speed of 370km/h.
Actually, I would rather not think about it at all. But I know if I had my druthers, I would prefer to be encased in a monocoque!
Seriously, though. I would much rather be sitting on my balcony at Ocean Reef, overlooking the Indian Ocean!
And pondering just how crazy, and dedicated and brave these motorsports athletes are.