Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Saying Goodbye - Where Was Everyone? - Rd Atlanta

One could say, the Championship is/was (and now has been won by Ben Spies) and that's why the crowds just didn't materialise at Road Atlanta. Typically, Friday's are easy to move around, Saturday and Sunday are really difficult. This weekend was so different. Less people camped out, the vendor area was full of people trying to sell their goods and services but to whom?
I think that there were possibly more people at an early season test at Infineon than there were at Road Atlanta. Shame. Could it be the DMG vs the OEM's is finally coming to a head? Maybe folks are upset that perhaps they perceive DMG are going after Mladin, being that he has been extremely candid on their plans for the AMA Superbike series. I'm not gong to get into it here, but for whatever reason, people were not there in their masses. Which saddens me. Humidity and heat aside, I like Road Atlanta and i like going to the South. I couldn't live there, but for four days I enjoy the hospitality, the weird clay and even weirder bugs.

On the ground and in the paddock with the teams and riders there was an air of reflection. This was the first race weekend since Toriano Wilson had died at VIR. There was a feeling reverence around the Red Bull Rookies bivouac. Outside of the entrance to the "garage" there stood a portrait of the young man aboard his KTM125 and a above it a lovely portrait of Toriano (taken on the stairs to the media centre at Barber). You could say it was more of a shrine. But an interactive one, whereby people were encourage to say a few words, whatever around his image. A nice touch. The epitaphs were extremely moving written my riders, fellow rookies, whoever felt moved to say a few words in passing.

Moving on, this week you'll find me going back to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to follow up the the test I covered back in July. This time, it's the whole MotoGP circus. 125's, 250's and the GP bikes. I am thrilled to be able to cover this event, even though my knees are finally giving up the ghost. Hopefully they'll last until I'm done with the season, my last race being the MotoGP at Valencia. With that in mind, I'll sign off, and we'll see you there.

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