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Nuggets from Estoril

Niall Mackenzie's picture
Submitted by Niall Mackenzie on Tue, 03/05/2011 - 21:01

 HRC Executive Vice President Shuhei Nakamoto and Ducati General Director Filippo Preziosi attracted some major media attention as they enjoyed a lengthy but very public chat in the Estoril paddock. Some speculated they were chewing the fat over Stoner’s brilliance now that even Rossi is struggling to get close to the podium on the D800cc Ducati. Others had no doubt it was the rule change for Moto GP machines moving to 1000cc in 2012 that was being debated. Given the exact time and the date of their meeting there could have been only one subject up for discussion; Kate Middleton’s wedding dress. You might laugh but nearly every pit garage, hospitality unit and team office had at least one monitor tuned into the Royal wedding. And why not, I’ll bet William and Harry were keeping a sneaky eye on live timing via their i pod aps.

Only a Spanish Team could have a major sponsor that exists but doesn’t really do anything. Alex Debon’s Moto 2 team is funded by Aeroport Castello except you can’t fly in there and you can’t fly out. That said, apparently you can still go there to enjoy the fully functioning shops and facilities, after which you can take a cycle tour around the plane less runway. Situated north of Valencia the airport is also involved in sponsoring other sports including Villarreal F.C. Unfortunately after a strong 8th place finish in Jerez Debon’s rider Kev Coghlan didn’t make the grid on his FTR machine as he aggravated training injuries after a fall in free practice.

If you ever needed proof that back protectors are worth their weight in gold then take look at Taylor Mackenzie’s back after landing upside down during 125 GP qualifying in Portugal. After stripping off his RST leathers in the medical centre he had the full imprint of his Alpinestars protector as a souvenir. I reckon a shattered back was the other option had he not been wearing one.

The Moto GP Red Bull Rookies Cup has always been a tough championship for young GP hopefuls but it moved up a level last weekend. During the first qualifying session Austrian Deni Cudic crashed and reportedly suffered heart failure after a lightning strike while two others were temporarily blinded. The fork lightning attack also removed chunks of tarmac from the circuit. Most of the riders (aged between 13 and 17) couldn’t understand what the fuss was about and were quite upset when practice was suspended.

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