I’m not going to be able to give you detailed qualifying analysis or behind-the-scenes photography, but the least I can do is share some highlights from the perspective of a passionate motorcycling fan. With that said, here are some of my favorite moments from Day 2 in Austin!
Note: If you really do want some race analysis, check out Road Racing World. If you just want to tag along with your favorite fool for the day, read on…
I’m pretty sure if you’re in Austin, you’re legally obligated to eat as much barbecue as possible. We started today at Mickelthwait Craft Meats, and this was the damn line when it opened!
The Aprilia RS-GP isn’t particularly competitive yet, but I think it sounds much cooler than anything else on the grid thanks to the V-4 engine.
Saw my first Skully helmet in the wild (I also saw my first Honda NS50F in the wild later in the day, but I don’t have a photo of that). I desperately want to try one just to see what the fuss is all about – the only problem is the expected retail price of $1,499 is exactly $1 short of what I spent on the last three motorcycles I bought…combined. Actually, make that two problems: Skully just announced that they’re delaying shipments yet again.
During the last free practice session, I accidentally stumbled into a section of the track that was supposed to be for photographers only. Oops. It was short lived but I got a few shots that I wasn’t expecting to be able to – here’s Lorenzo and Pol Espargaro coming around the final turn:
serious business time
After the second qualifying session had ended, Marquez had earned himself pole position with a lap of 2’03.188, during which he hit 210.19 mph and averaged 100.69 mph.
Rounding out the first row are Lorenzo and Rossi, who are .069 and .0456 seconds back respectively. Confirming what you probably already knew, the factory Ducatis had the highest top speeds in qualifying – Dovi hit 214.25 on the main straight.
end of serious business time
Following up on yesterday’s post, I found someone else who’s more into bikes than I am:
I’ll share an album of my favorite bikes once I’m back home and have a chance to go through all the pictures. But an unexpected joy was this mural from DownShift Studio. The artist (Jeremy Lacy) was there and he was a very nice guy, so check out his site!
Here’s a detail from the piece which shows one of the bikes at the Handbuilt Show: the Hyper Scrambler from Untitled Motorcycles. Just noticed that the “DUCATI” is missing an “I”, though.
That wrapped up our bike activities for the day, which meant it was time for dinner. Another meal means there’s another opportunity for BBQ. We decided to try The Salt Lick, which had a two hour wait at 8:30pm. Doesn’t matter, it was worth it:
When we finally sat down for dinner I was given another reminder of why I love this weekend so much. We were 30 miles west of the track in a restaurant (albeit a well-known one) in a suburb, and the tables on either side of us were both filled with MotoGP fans discussing the race. It was a surreal moment that brought a smile to my face – any place feels like home when you’re surrounded by motorcyclists. I can’t wait to experience the race tomorrow with thousands of other crazy people.
Some miscellaneous thoughts:
1. Not having an American rider to root for in MotoGP is a serious bummer. I hope MotoAmerica is able to graduate a few competitors soon.
2. I’m no expert, but I see Marquez winning this race without much of a problem. For the purposes of entertainment, I sure hope I’m wrong and that Rossi, Iannone, and Marquez spend the 21 laps duking it out and trading passes. Yeah, I didn’t mention Lorenzo. Sue me.
3. A red flag came out during Moto2 qualifying as Efren Vazquez went down in a bad crash that left him temporarily unconscious. Thankfully, it seems that he later came to and was apparently talking in the medical center, but I haven’t been able find out more on his status. I hope he’s OK.