Du Bist Ein Berliner – Retro MotoGP, Part Last


Photo album – click HERE. Watch less TV. Refresh your 2010 MotoGP knowledge.

I’m sure you didn’t ask for it so there you have it – the last instalment of our Retro MotoGP Series. Would be a great title for, um, vintage racing series feat. early four-stroke bikes, no? 2002-2005? Sorry, I forgot: MotoGP is probably trademarked. Can’t touch that.

I told ya we still had some old pics in store, didn’t I? Ah yeasss, I did! Yes, I did. You can’t deny it.

We went through 2008 and 2009 already, therefore the next big step is logically… 2010! You know how we used to roll more than a decade ago: no mask, no sanitizer, peeps would lick jizzüm off dirty bus seats no problem whatsoe’er. Pure filth.

Here’s an interesting wrinkle: MotoGP bikes are small or small-ish once you see them on the track from the grandstand standpoint (you do get the point), thus you need all the right photo gubbins (should you wish to take decent pics). We is talkings a very powerful camera, big lens, expensive yo. Back in 2010 I didn’t have that kind of material pleasures. Anyways, we was invited by Bridgestone Motorsport hence our task was to wax lyrical about tyres and in truth tyre companies are being abused and insulted morning, noon, and night. We need to show some appreciation for what they’re doing. Power unit is nothing without control – a mask. I think I also did another Q&A with Bridgestone circa 2011, from the files of Iberian squad: Q&A With Bridgestone Motorsport on MotoGP | iberianmph.com

Estoril in late October – it’s a weather lottery, take your pick, but boy did it rain hard in 2010! Biblical proportions, bitterly cold, just not my type of weather by any means. I got soaking wet even before hitting the paddock. Bridgestone’s tent was nearly gone with the wind (the customary Estoril cyclone/typhoon/tornado), requiring some quick repair work from the crew, strengthening and reinforcing the ropes or whatever it’s called, tent tie down stakes? I’m the worst camper in the world, you know.

Eventually the rain stopped for an hour or so and I had to really prioritize what I wanted to shoot: the paddock atmosphere presented itself as the best bet. So I did.

As luck would have it, a selected group of riders, including Il Dottore and Lorenzo, chose the back straight (pretty close to Bridgestone HQ in the cramped Estoril paddock, right where I was moving and grooving) to carry out their practice starts – I’ll take it. However, however… When it came to Moto2, the first rider to stop in front of me was none other than… try to guess it! Ferruccio Lamborghini! Not the deceased Italian industrialist and founder of the eponymous car brand but rather his grandson. It’s a bit like with Pedro de la Rosa, I feel as though with Lamborghini as well we’ve developed, what I believe, is a sort of astral projection, if you will. Early Lambos, OMG, it’s a bliss. Stuff modern cars despite their reliability and funcionality.

Lambo Jr

Lambo Jr

And yeah, you’ll notice that photos are not remarkable in any shape, form or size. Just okay but that’s okay. If you were five at the time, you’ll look back on that period with, I hope, basic fondness. You 16-year-old nasty little bastards.

The Portuguese Grand Prix in 2010 just about bookended the season (17th and penultimate race), the vibe was virtually non-existent: the constant travel took its toll. Dem peeps were SOOOOO tired! The abundant tobacco sponsorship on display everywhere was the perfect fit in that sense: don’t get me wrong but most MotoGP boys and girls were chain-smokers in those days. Much like the fans, as a matter of fact. As a non-smoker my entire life, I hate the smell.

Here’s a good piece of advice: if you want to watch MotoGP then do it from the paddock. You’ll see where that extra cash went. It’s a lot more engaging and entertaining. Grandstands? Meh, not me.

This is it then, no more retro MotoGP.

I did attend the last race in Estoril in 2012. It didn’t manage to blow me away or rock my world, not one bit and after that I’ve lost all interest in this particular discipline of motor racing. No idea. I’m willing to give it another try, to quote the song. Maybe 2021 is the year I get close and personal with MotoGP once again and it’ll eff my brains out with mighty action=satisfaction?

Remains to be seen.

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