Sadly, here I am, in Toronto and my motorsport friends – racers, riders, and journalists are all enjoying the 9th MotoGP TT Circuit ASSEN.
The MotoGP is a different scene in Assen than World SuperBike. For some reason the MotoGP attracts the real “die hard” racing fans. Only once did I have to watch the MotoGP from outside the track parameters and wow was it wildness. The years that followed, never again. I was either assisting wild card rider friends or interviewing riders like Katja Poensgen. And glad not having to see the “other side” as I liked to call it. Now to be in North America after relocating my business to Toronto; missing my mere 90 minute drive which once put me in the Assen paddock.
Here where I can’t yet manage to catch a live sending of the race- maddening! Living in a country where most have no idea of what top level motor sport is all about-such a contrast to what I’ve been used to. But I have many fascinating memories and friends who send me personal reports–I manage to ignite the feelings of being there, from afar.
Here’s a pic of Valentino Rossi in the background during his HONDA days. My girlfriend got his attention and then snap! I had spoken with him earlier (*Note my Ducati Corsa jacket. I was part of the MCT Ducati team). The big screen in the background shows the many umbrellasas as it was raining, but it often did in Assen.
The ambiance, the noise, the cheering, the mud in the parking lot, the amazing sounds of the GP bikes when they passed the start finish line.OH–MY-GOD there was, there is nothing like it! Totally out of this world. Usually I had a race of mine own shortly after the GP had been to town. It was noticable that all the lines and curb stones on the track had been repainted. It gave me a vivid reminder of the talents that had been through the very same corners I was riding not so many days ago.
Rossi loves Assen it’s been quoted often. A track designed just for motorcycle racing. Then to see Chris Vermeulen on pole! I thought, this made sense, he knows Assen from his former years with Ten Kate. He spent much time and many laps on the circuit during non-racing events etc. I recall one, I was working at the time with Ten Kate/Honda, where they hosted a family fun weekend. Chris along with Karl Muggeridge took passengers on the new CBR-RR’s pillion for a lap or two round the track. Chris showed off the 1000RR where top speeds went to 300kms.
And yes that’s Loris Capirossi during a tour of Amsterdam’s diamond district (courtesy Press Assen/W.Lute). I’d say “I do” to his GP Ducati any day in place of that big diamond.
Rossi looked fantastic in his new colour scheme. (Photo courtesy Press Assen/W.Lute)
Did you notice the top of his helmet was an old 45 record and the back seems to have some kind of Elvis figure—rock and roll, yes he’s the king!