MotoGP Weekend - Lean Angle

Wild Weekends, Back-to-Back

It happens only once in a great while: two nearly perfect moto-weekends placed concurrently on one's schedule by the Big Flagman In The Sky--and the time and energy to enjoy them both.

It happened to me recently, just as I hoped it might when I wrote awhile back about getting out of the office and doing more interesting stuff.

First up was the Red Bull USGP at Laguna. Just watching Nicky Hayden claw his way to the front after several rough practice sessions to pull off his second win there in as many years would've been a treat by itself. But I somehow worked out an extra-special slot in the weekend's proceedings.

Just as I did back in '93 when I became part of Team Marlboro Yamaha for the British GP at Donington Park, I wrangled a spot on Team KR for Laguna. I did all sorts of important stuff: washing grimy wheels, pushing the wheel cart back and forth to the Michelin tent, cleaning coffee spills in the garage, etc. In fact, I'm sure that without my help, Kenny Jr. might not have had the superb weekend he did.

OK, so my role was actually pretty pitiful; it was almost funny watching the Roberts guys stretch to find harmless things for me to do. But what I got to see and experience--a world-class MotoGP team working together as it jumped into the thick of the battle--was extraordinary, and I'm sure it'll make for a hell of an interesting behind-the-scenes feature in the near future.

The following weekend I traveled to Mid-Ohio for the AMA's Vintage Motorcycle Days event. While there I took part in three days of AHRMA (American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association) racing as a member of Team MOMBA, a collection of crazies from the Milwaukee area led by Harley-Davidson engineer and roadracer Wes Orloff. Months before VMD, Orloff and his merry band of pranksters had come up with one of the most outlandish plans I'd ever heard: Buy a bike from VMD's world-class swap-meet, and then build, race-prep and get it to pass AHRMA tech-inspection-- and then race it!--using only items from Mid-Ohio's vast swap-meet. I'll save the glorious (and gory) details for the upcoming feature, but let's just say the finished bike--shown here with yours truly and Orloff--was quite a bit different than the motorcycle we started off with. Ahem.

One more Mid-Ohio tidbit: Motorcyclist and Sportbike Track Time (www.sportbiketracktime.com) have teamed up for a very special event this fall called the Mid-Ohio Fantasy Camp. Basically, we've convinced Team Yoshimura Suzuki to stick around after the weekend's final AMA Superbike round to ride, yak and hang with the Motorcyclist staff and Camp attendees on the following Monday (October 2) for an extra-special track day. Aside from a VIP pass for the weekend's races, the $495 package includes a full track day, various seminars, catered meals, a deluxe swag bag, a souvenir event CD with pix and much more. You can see where we're going with this, so get a hold of STT asap to secure your spot.

Now, if I can find something exciting to do the weekend following the Fantasy Camp, I'll have put together another pair of Wild Weekends. You can't have too many, ya know.

See ya out there.