Monday, May 26, 2008

Beer, Wine, Racing and Good Company

Sorry for the delay in the updating. I guess the price of fame has it's downside (there goes that British self deprecating humour again...) and I think it's my mind. There's nothing worse than getting to your hotel after an awkward 120 mile from the Central Coast, only to find that early onset of senility has set in and in fact you booked your hotel for the same weekend that you were at Fontana. "No really" I said to Sarah on the front desk, I have the confirmation here (after running out to the parking lot to get my laptop), only to be shot down in flames when my wife pointed out that indeed Mr Organised here had booked this hotel for the same weekend as Fontana. Oh well.

Anyways, this weekend was a lot of fun, in part because my wife comes with me on this trip and this time I even gave her a camera (a 1DMK2N and 70-200f2.8) and after some brief instruction just said take some pictures of what you see, have fun. She did and this was one of her shots. I think it's pretty impressive for a first time out, even with the hay bales!Infineon is always a good weekend. The vibe within the media centre is good. John Cardinale, Diana and Chuckie the Chief Track Photographer work hard to make sure everyone can do their job, so thank you. What no one was prepared for was the heat on Friday. Oh my, the week before all of us were being mildly roasted and blow dried in Fontana. Friday, in Sonoma, we were being broiled. On Saturday, following the Superbike race, Mat Mladin actually said what many folks had been thinking about the possible outcome of next year, to which many folks clapped and whooped, but so much has been said elsewhere I don't need to re-iterate. Sunday arrives, and everything, and everyone is a lot cooler (including Mat...).One thing I would like to say is a big congratulations to Danny Eslick,who came in third during Sunday's Supersport race. Nice work mate. We'll see everyone in Utah. World Superbike and the AMA Superbike series are coming together. It's going to be a very busy weekend.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Playing Catch Up #2 - The Jewel Of SoCal

This place never ceases to amaze me. It's ultimately the birthplace of the orange cone. Cones that are used in construction, in autocross, in dmv driving tests and ultimately to direct riders through mysterious corners on their individual quests to win motorcycle races.This race weekend was no different than any other when it comes to the weather though. It was hot, windy, yes, very windy, hot, hot and hot. This year, there was a marked improvement in the quality and helpfulness of the track security. In years gone by it hasn't been the friendliest of places to try and work, but it did appear to me that track security and the fire marshals were very amenable, as always the track workers are some of the friendliest you'll meet and the media hospitality is good. The only problem I have with Fontana is pounding on concrete all weekend. By Sunday, my feet are reduced to just throbbing, and the final boot removal in the media parking lot, prior to dropping off the rental car and heading up the coast by plane to home, is one of the most painful, pleasurable experiences that happens over the entire weekend. Fresh air between the toes. Bliss. My sandals feel like I'm having a foot massage. It was also a joy to have my wife Emily with me again.

On a separate note, a big huge pat on the back to Michael Beck who raced at Monza this past weekend and finished 15th in the second race on Sunday and grabbed his first point in World Superbike. Made more impressive by the fact that he was at a track he had never ridden at..Good stuff. See you all in a couple of days.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Meeting Your Childhood Hero - Giacomo Agostini

Giacomo AgostiniIt's funny when it happens.

I was on assignment for Cycleworld covering the Legends of the Motorcycle Concourse D'Elegance at the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay. This is my third trip to cover this event. An annual event I have been attending since it's launch three years ago. The first year was fogged in with a reasonable crowd. Last year was sunny with a bigger crowd. This year, was overcast, with a huge crowd. That said, it appeared to me to have less motorcycles. I could be wrong. What was a thrill for me was the fact that I got to meet a spritely looking 67 year old World Champion Italian motorcycle racer by the name of Giacomo Agostini. Watching him mill around the people at the event, some of whom had no idea who this person is (or was) was actually rather amusing. But for me, the chance to say hello, capture a few portraits was the highlight of the day. It was also rather good to meet up with Eraldo Ferracci who last year returned to the AMA Superbike series to run a pair of (might I add beautiful) MV Agusta F4's, ridden by Mat Lynn and Luca Scassa. Here is another portrait of Giacomo Agostini with his good friend Eraldo Ferracci taken at the Legends of the Motorcycle.Giacomo Agostini, Eraldo FerracciNext, a few words about Fontana....

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Ridiculous To The Sublime - Fontana to Monza

Michael BeckI'll be updating my site and this blog with some imagery from the AMA Superbike races at the California Speedway in Fontana in due course and if I have time I'll post an image or two from last weekends sojourn to the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay where I covered the Legends of the Motorcycle event. In the meantime, I'm kinda thrilled to have found out that the rider aboard #60, Michael Beck..Michael Beck..... will be substituting for injured rider David Checa (brother of former MotoGP and current WSBK rider Carlos Checa) and riding a Yamaha R1 in this weekends World Superbike race at Monza, Italy, for the French GMT94i Racing Team.

All I want to add is safe travels and good luck to you Michael!

Friday, May 02, 2008

It Never Get's Old, Yep, Another Cover - BBoz

Wow...two posts in a row. I'm cooking pan grilled steak with mushroom and sherry sauce this evening but hey, people need their AutoMotoPhoto fix right. I jest.

Anyways, check out the current edition of RoadRacerX and the super cool and groovy shot of Ben Bostrom aboard his superfast Graves Yamaha R6 taken by yours truly. Anyways, less of my yacking, here it is.Ben Bostrom, Andrew WheelerNext up...imagery from the "Jewel of SoCal", Fontana...

If you get the chance, check out my interview and my insight into motorcycle racing photography with Jules Cisek at

Night for now.

Playing Catch Up #1 - Broody Barber

Yes it was. I don't care what anyone says. For some reason it feels like when one works in an office and rumours start circulating that the "company" is downsizing...nothing concrete or written but it's there - it's unsettling. I have been laid off from 11 jobs since I left school at 16, I've become somewhat of a psychic in these matters (even if I do say so myself - hence why I'm working for myself these days). Let's just say, and this is my opinion of course, that there was (and is) nothing wrong with the bikes or the racing... What the AMA needed was something along the lines of what IRTA does for MotoGP , just as the AMA Superbike Series is garnering more visitors WORLDWIDE. I was personally hoping that the series would streamline, take on FIM rules and be an equivalent to say the British Superbike Series. This really isn't rocket science. I just feel somewhat odd because I'm a global person and had this quaint thought that the AMA series would fully become the American equivalent to the BSB. We'll see, I'm a "there's no such thing as a glass" person so I go with whatever.

On a brighter note. Emily, my wife, joined me this race weekend to spend her birthday amongst the paddock.
Barber Motorsports Park is a wonderful facility. The folks that manage the track, Zoom Motorsports, do a wonderful job, the track workers are exceptionally helpful, security is polite and super friendly, in all, making our jobs easier and joyfull. Thank you to all for the wonderful job you do.

Oh, and sorry for the time it took to update. With Barber on one weekend, followed by Fontana the next,(a post - and images to my site - will be added in due course) there just isn't enough hours in the day to do it all.

Thanks for listening.