Wednesday, December 31, 2008

AMA Superbikes and MotoGP - A Year In Photos

That pretty much sums it up..

For your viewing pleasure a selection of images from my coverage of the AMA Superbike Series and a selected number of MotoGP races in the USA, Australia and Spain.On a personal note, I'd like to thank the nice folks at RoadracerX, Cycleworld, Motorcycle Racer Magazine, Bike and Performance Bike magazines and other media outlets for their support and interest in using my work through 2008.

Also I'd like to take a little moment to thank all the people I have met on my travels who have come up to me and offered support and have enjoyed meeting me and have taken joy at looking my pictures. I look at what I do as giving people a view into a world that is for me truly inspiring and having an opportunity to be able to be "their eyes" allows me to share what I see with others all around the globe.

Here's wishing everyone a safe New Years and let us hope that 2009 really picks up.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Lights! Cameras! Action! - Daytona Tire Test

Tire testing into the night and under the lights. A couple of firsts.I arrive Friday morning at the Daytona International Speedway knowing only a handful of teams would be testing. Due to a multitude of reasons Yoshimura Suzuki and Kawasaki would not be in attendance. Yamaha would be there along with American Honda as would Buell. For the first time this test is being run by AMA Pro Racing, not Dunlop and what amounts to be a really big surprise, there's a pit lane speed! All new.9am until noon, and evenings from 6pm until 9pm are scheduled for for the newly created "Daytona Sportbike" class. They will use a newly configured track running from the infield onto NASCAR turns 1 and 2, then down the back straight of the Speedway, through the infield chicane and back onto NASCAR turns 3 and 4. From 1-5pm the track was reconfigured and the "American Superbikes" would run the infield pretty much as they have done in recent years, and then take their turn after the last chicane onto NASCAR turns 3 and 4.With a sunset on the horizon, and darkness approaching, the lights are turned on.Massive MUSCO light trucks are scattered around the infield like mechanical giraffes and the main track lights are all on. The lights are so bright the Speedway had to drape light shielding tarps to avoid over lighting the neighboring airport! You cannot see the ugly backgrounds that surround the track and oddly enough it creates a rather intimate and somewhat cosy feeling. Watching the bodywork of the bikes glint and shine under the lamps as they pass is rather interesting, then as they leave you there's the glow of a small red LED tail light that streaks into the night.This should be visually interesting in March. Josh Herrin actually mentioned that he had gotten a headache first time out due to an increased level of concentration. As a photographer you have to pick and choose and use your judgement as to what you're going to capture as you have to adapt your methodology due to the darkness and lack of ambient light. Nonetheless, I can honestly say I really did enjoy the evening sessions which is saying something. Why the AMA is running the race in the evening I have no idea. As we know, the first Formula 1 race at night from Singapore and the MotoGP race from Qatar were both run in the evening for TV, allowing viewers in Europe to watch these races at a more normal time.The other first? Saturday afternoon I was down at the far end of the track, when I heard a squawking sound that I didn't recognize, I look up and see two bald eagles "dancing" with each other. How cool! I have never seen bald eagles outside before, let alone two of them flying together.The Daytona 200 takes place on Friday evening March 6. As this is the last Friday of "Bike Week" everyone is on Main Street in Downtown Daytona, so we'll have to see how many are going to want to watch racing, or leather clad biker babes. Both of which will be "under the lights".....

Have a Cool Yule everyone.