Scott Jones, Ducati Corse
We have made no secret of our scepticism about MotoGP's season opening night race at Qatar. It delays the start of the season and is more about the spectacle of the lighting than the actual racing. But even we have to admit it produces some great side-effects. Here's our current favorite: Valentino Rossi during qualifying, trail-braking into a turn, his carbon-fiber disks lit up cherry red, as captured by MotoMatters.com's star photographer Scott Jones
The third day of Ducati's traditional MotoGP team launch saw several events of real note. The most prominent but probably least significant was the official unveiling of Ducati's 2010 Desmosedici GP10, the machine that Nicky Hayden and Casey Stoner will be campaigning in the upcoming season. The bike had been unofficially "unveiled" some three weeks ago, when Nicky Hayden put some photos he'd taken with his iPhone on his personal website without first obtaining permission from Ducati. "It probably got me in the doghouse a bit," Hayden admitted, but as the bike had already made its debut at the Valencia post-race tests, no real harm was done.
Though the gift-giving season may be past, the motorcycle racing season is still a long way off. To help ease the wait, and to aid you in planning your life around the MotoGP and World Superbike racing series, as befits a true race fan, you can still get your hands on one of our beautiful 2010 Motorcycle Racing Calendars. With January one quarter gone, you will have missed eight days of looking at Scott Jones' beautiful action shot of Colin Edwards, but February's stunning shot of Valentino Rossi, brakes lit up at Qatar, should more than compensate you for that, along with 10 other fantastic photos and a double-page spread of the 2009 World Champion Rossi.
Our trip through Scott Jones' MotoGP images comes to an end today, with a look back at the remarkable race at Indianapolis. The facilities are astonishing, the track layout is surprisingly good for what is known locally as a "Roval" (a road course inside an oval), the organization is amazing. Throughout the weekend, only two recurring complaints could be heard: the huge amount of chain link fencing used to protect the public from flying car parts when the four-wheelers race here saw photographers crowding around the few fence openings like seals at an arctic breathing hole; and there wasn't a decent cup of coffee to be had in a thousand miles or more, reducing European journalists (for this is the fuel upon which their work depends) to gibbering wrecks.
As the New Year begins, we approach the final instalments of our trip down memory lane, and what a memory it was! The first lot of photos from Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a truly remarkable facility, steeped in history unlike almost any other racetrack I have visited. Only Monza comes close, both places being haunted by racing's rich past. More to come tomorrow.
After two previous chapters, we come to an end of Scott Jones' beautiful photos from Donington Park. Despite the rain, it was a fantastic weekend, which threw up a fair number of surprises. Tragically, and as a result of gross incompetence, Donington Park has been vandalized in a desperate and ultimately failed attempt to attract Formula 1, and now the track is all but unusable. Next year, we go to Silverstone, and with your help, Scott and I will be there to try and capture the moment in words and pictures.
After yesterday's trip down the pit lane at Donington, today we turn our attention to the track. Scott Jones captured some of the crucial moments from July's British Grand Prix at Donington, including the protagonists from the race and the highlights from practice. The final set of photos go up on Sunday, and they are well worth the wait.
The fourth part of our trip down memory lane brings us to one of the most memorable parts of the season: The last ever trip MotoGP would make to Donington Park. Scott Jones' wonderful images bring a tear to the eye of anyone who loves the sweep of Craner Curves or the glory of Schwantz and McLeans. So rich is the bounty that we have had to split the photos over three sessions, all of them worth poring over and savoring. And remember, if you see anything that you like, you can contact Scott and get a poster-sized image for your wall.