I am a MotoGP nut. Short races, not pit stops, nonstop start to finish action. Over the past several years, it has been dominated by the Tiger Woods of MotoGP, Valentino Rossi. This season, he started slowly with Nicky Hayden taking the early championship lead and one point leading by over 50 points. Over the past several races however, Rossi has been chipping away at the lead through both his own strong results, and Hayden’s series of troubles. At Estoril on Sunday, in one of the most exciting races I have ever seen a remarkable series of events occurred to setup an absolutely riveting finale.
Entering the race Hayden had a 12 point lead, however in one of the worst mistakes in the history of MotoGP, his teammate Danny Pedrosa crashed both of them out after losing his front end attempting an agressive pass. Rossi looked to be a lock to win the race. Tony Elias, however, riding like a man possessed, caught and passed Rossi, and the two battled back and forth over the last few thrilling laps. Rossi had the lead coming out of the final corner but Elias, riding perfectly, had higher exit speed and using Rossi’s slipstream passed him to win by .002 seconds.
This means that going into the final race at Valencia, Rossi now has an 8 point lead (it would have been 13 had he won the race) and the pressure is entirely on Hayden.
I can’t wait.