Saturday, October 18, 2008

From Here, Laguna - To Eternity, Phillip Island

Well, when you think the next piece of land is Tasmania then the South Pole.......I must apologise to those who wait with baited breath for words from me. (Yep, I hear 'em all lining up right now...) Life has been busy, then throw in a knee injury, visits to various people who want to twist your legs and say, "does this hurt?" seems to dissolve what time you "think" you have.

Anyways, here we go. The last round (maybe ever) of the 2008 AMA Superbike Series took place at Laguna during the last weekend in September. It felt like a wake, and many folks compared it to the last day at high school. What I think was most prevalent, was the fact that many of the people I spend half my life around are in essence in limbo. Because nothing is set in stone for 2009 people are simply taking the bull by the horns and making decisions based on what work they'll be able to get. Riders with some cache and a good resume are looking to Europe and the World Superbike Series for opportunities.. (GO JOSH HAYES!!). For me, I just felt some level of sadness. Every other weekend I leave my wife Emily, whom I love dearly, and join up with these folks who race, and those who officiate. These people are my family. (I'm not a fan of the word family as it's been over used but for me in this case, it's applicable). No-one has any idea of what is happening in 2009. I fear that people are just going to go where best they might make a living. To each person I know I wish you all the best of luck and love. Thank you all for being part of my world. Thank you Tim, Bree and the all Corona folks for all your help this year, having access to a scooter made all the difference.

With the last race (maybe ever) of the AMA Superbike Series in the bag, I then hop on a plane to Phillip Island for the Australian Grand Prix. One of my most favourite places in the world, and one of my favourite racetracks. If you've never been to Phillip Island then you should at least try to get there once in your life. I grew up in the UK during the 60's and 70's. A trip to the cornershop, Bassetts Sherbet dabs, Jelly Babies, Black Jacks and Flakes being part of anyone childhood are still part of life down here. People are polite, say good morning, hello and please and thank you. For a week I'm transported back into a world where common courtesy is more important than getting to the front of the line. Even if Coles the supermarket in Cowes looks like half the cast of Mad Max 1 have just rolled of the set, courtesy is still in existence. Nice. Plus Rossi rocked the crowds as he does...With that in mind. I'm off to Valencia tomorrow for the last round of MotoGP. I'm a little sad because Emily cannot join me.

I'd also like to add a that regardless of what you do, it's important to keep in touch.

Travelling so far, and not so far away, one is reminded of how one misses those who cannot chat online, like ones pets. Jack, my dog, died whilst I was at Mid Ohio covering the AMA races a couple of years ago. At Phillip Island Valentino Rossi, when asked during his post race press conference if he was planning on staying in Australia or going onto to Malaysia, replied, rather quickly, that no, he was going to go 'ome, to sleep in his bed, and play with his (my) dog Guido.

I hope he managed to get home in time, as Guido died over the weekend of 10/11, reminding us that there is a price for all of this and how important it is to keep in touch. Make sure to hug the ones you loves. Here's Thor on his first birthday last week (10/8)...With that, I'll bid you all goodnight and thank you for listening. Next up, Valencia and the final round of the 2008 MotoGP season. Wheeler is going global...and Emily, I love you dearly.