Friday, September 02, 2011

Indianapolis, Spies, Stoner, Rossi, AC and the flu

It was hot.
Casey Stoner
I thought the flu would be done and gone by the time the trip to Indy rolled around.  I guess I was wrong.  In fact the flu I contracted during the weekend at Brno, simply got worse.  The high temperatures and never ending air conditioning (AC) everywhere only served to cause me to think that I had actually spent my whole life working in a mine and had gone down with emphysema.  Every time I started to cough it never stopped, and never stopped, and never stopped and then only finally stopped when my lungs had completely expelled all the air contained within and I was dizzy from lack of oxygen. Fortunately for me Bob Starr at Yamaha had very kindly arranged for me to have a scooter.
Dani Pedrosa coming at me during the first lap
This was the first time in as long as I could remember that Emily would not be joining me for the race weekend due to school and work obligations.  So this would be the trip where I would not get to see her in over two weeks.  Something that does not fill me with joy.  However, I would spend the weekend with a good friend Nic Coury who is a journalist at the Monterey County Weekly.  So the company was more than welcome, and also it does help keep the costs down by being able to split the cost of food, accommodations and transportation.
Colin Edwards
I may have mentioned it somewhere else before, but Indy is a very challenging location to shoot racing.  The lack of service roads, having to negotiate crowds whilst on a scooter and lack of locations to shoot the track from can make for rather repetitive imagery. So there's a need to really test ones creative skills when working there.  
So the weekend was hot.  The surface of infield section of the track had been repaved and was subsequently rather greasy for the riders.  The weather being so hot made me almost wish for the rain we had the year before, only because it adds another dimension to the imagery, and it does make life a little more tolerable, even if one has to deal with wet weather gear, protective covers and the lack of convenience that dry weather allows.  
Once again all eyes were on Ben Spies, but also on Hayden and the other American Colin Edwards. This is the second home race of the season and as we remember, both Hayden and Spies have done well here in the past.  Did I mention it was hot over the weekend?  One thing you always forget about when you visit this huge concrete and steel structures is the residual heat that is reradiated back up from the concrete.
Tom, Greg and Ben, parc ferme
But it would turn out to be a weekend that neither Nicky Hayden or Valentino Rossi will want to remember...especially when it came to race day.....
Valentino Rossi
As I mentioned above, good friend Nic Coury was joining me for the weekend and was having a blast.  having never seen all three classes at one race (Laguna only has the GP class) it was a firs for him.  But boy howdy did that guy not need a scooter.  He walked everywhere and I was suitably impressed by the energy output!  Plus, he captured some really different images.Race day came, and even though it was dominated by Casey Stoner, with Dani Pedrosa coming in second, it was good to see Ben made it to the podium again for his home race.
The Pagoda and pitlane, race day morning
After getting up at 4am to run Nic to the airport for his trip back to California, I went back to the hotel, back to bed for a couple of hours and then packed up the car, headed to the airport and left for Italy and the next round from Misano on the Adriatic which is where I am writing this from now.
Italian country spicy sausage and vegetable soup, Indy style
However, even though I wasn't feeling too chipper, I still managed to crank out some fine dinners for us over the weekend in Indianapolis...however, I might just add, the blueberry bagels do not go too well with a country style sausage and vegetable soup, but they worked somewhat.  

Thanks for reading..

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