Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Crowds Roared - A Laguna Seca MotoGp USGP Update!

Apologies for the delay in updating this corner of the world. What with one thing or another I needed a little break. Finally AutoMotoPhoto has been updated. The race weekend was interesting. Fog played a major part in the events, causing delays to the AMA schedule. However, as MotoGP is tied very heavily to TV schedules worldwide, it runs when it's supposed to. Overall the weather during the weekend was pleasant and maneagable, the crowds were a little down on last year but it made moving around considerably easier and well, the GP race on Sunday certainly gave everyone their money's worth.For once in my crazy motorcycle racing photography career I was in the right place at the right time an was fortunate enough to capture the entire pass Valentino Rossi made on Casey Stoner by following the tried and tested Alex Zanardi route through the dirt. You had to be there, with a full house of racing fans behind me, each time riders appeared air horns blasted and cheers went up! This time, as Rossi passed Stoner on the dirt, it was like David Beckham scoring a goal for England (Eng-a-land) soon as the they had passed every photographer grappled with the rear of their cameras to check (or "chimp" )their review screens to see if they caught what would turn out to be the "shot of the day"....

To think, just a moment before I was going to walk a little further down the hill for another vantage point but thought to myself, "nah, I'll stay here for one more lap" and for the first time ever it paid off. After working my way down to the hill to hopefully catch a chequered flag shot I arrived at the first gate into the paddock and I was turned away, sadly by the time we had got to the second gate I missed Rossi triumphantly wheelie his Yamaha across the finish line. That's life I suppose, however, not to be too downhearted I was fortunate enough to get to the barriers in parc ferme right next to Rossi's team and was able to witness his jubilation and joy of winning the race. This is the second time I have been able to witness a Rossi win up close and personal, the first was at Phillip Island a couple of years ago and his (Rossi) exuberance and just plain excited boyishness is infectious. Smiles all round...a big well done to AMA Superbike riders Ben Spies and Jamie Hacking who put on a cracking performance as wild cards in the GP race and a big well done to Ben Bostrom and Mat Mladin as well. It gave me some folks to cheer for. With that in mind, I'll leave you with an aerial view of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with a big thanks to Michael for getting me up, up and awaaaay.
Off to Mid Ohio tomorrow. It looks like it won't rain....PHEW!


popmonkey said...

Wow, what a shot on "the pass" - i'm sure we'll be seeing that photo for DECADES to come!

i also love the rossi/stoner + helicopter wide angle - brilliant.

my own "greatest shot of the weekend" story is a sad one. i went to the corkscrew as the race was winding down knowing rossi would do SOMETHING there. he got off his bike and i got my rig up and he went down to kiss the tarmac and the damn camera would not power up. by the time i got it running he was coming down the hill on the bike again.

but what a race and what a weekend.


resmith1000 said...

Good decision to stay for that extra lap. Fantastic sequence you have of "the pass", Andrew. What an exciting race. Pity that Casey went down as the racing was nowhere near over.

Another beautiful set of images posted.