Here's my addition to Rusty's analysis above: I have tried to avoid doubling up on Rusty's comments but some bits will inevitably overlap.
Rusty Bucket USA wrote:DTK:
For those who don’t yet know, and have not properly read this thread from the beginning, DTK: The Doctor, Tornado, and Kentucky Kid is the third installment in Mark Neale’s beautiful documentarian’s look at MotoGP. The focus of the story is the race weekend of the re-inaugural USGP at Laguna Seca in 2005. Because the prior two movies feature a lot of screen time for Valentino Rossi, this work extensively focuses on the three Americans who are celebrating the advantage of returning to a home track that they know. It is an in-depth look at the schedule of a race weekend, the lives of Nicky Hayden, Colin Edwards, and John Hopkins, and then the race itself.
(Whether you've seen the movie or not, watching the trailer always feels good!)
I have now watched DTK a couple of times and feel in a good enough position to reply to the topic in depth.
Right, first off I think that this movie was called DTK for marketing purposes. Rossi is obviously a big draw and stuff with his name on sells. There is not much footage or contribution from Rossi. I wondered if the movie would still have been called DTK if that had not been the 3-2-1 finishing order of the race? Was it a working title and it magically happened that they finished that way, or did they make the movie and name it based on the podium finishers?
One of the first things that struck me is how lean, mean and hungry Hopper and Edwards look. Literally, they both look hungry. Colin has always been slim but has filled out a bit in the last couple of years. In 2005, Hopper hardly filled his slim leathers but these days (admittedly following a couple of injury-forced training lay-offs) he has got relatively chunky for a pro motorcycle racer. Hopper’s vital stats are given as 5”10’ and 155lbs, I can’t believe he’s that these days! The analogy that popped in to my head was that they are both now like men who are comfortable in marriage and have let themselves go a bit. They are comfortable in MotoGP and maybe don’t feel they have as much to prove anymore. However, going in to the 2009 season I think this situation will change for both of them. Edwards wants to prove he is top dog in the Tech Trois team (by his own admission he knew that was never the case in the factory team) and Hopper wants to go and show the world what he can do against ‘lesser’ riders in WSBK. They should both now be as hungry to prove their worth as ever.
Melandri is referred to a ‘rising Italian star’. Due to a couple of unfortunate decisions and reasons largely beyond his control, he is now, 4 seasons later, a ‘falling Italian star’. Let’s hope he can at least level off that decline this year.
Nicky Hayden (in my opinion the provider of some of the greatest quotes from MotoGP) says the “great thing about motorcycles, at the end of the day it’s still the dude sitting in the seat who wants to twist the throttle the hardest”, referring to the pilotVs.bike debate. Casey Stoner is obviously the man who has been prepared to twist the throttle the hardest in the last couple of seasons, trusting the chassis, suspension and tyres to grip the track. Let’s hope Nicky gets back to being that man for his own sake.
Hopper is heard talking about Melandri’s crash at the corkscrew during practice and he sounds cocky, saying it was always going to happen to someone sooner or later. He then goes on to have a big moment himself – almost coming in to contact with a wall after he runs off track. This reminded me of how easy it is to criticise others. I myself have criticised others who I thought were being slow / poor riders at trackdays yet I have come off myself and know only too well how easy it is!
Edwards talks about how he’s “not a technogeek” but does enjoy playing around with suspension and electronics, etc and then analysing the data. This is obviously what makes him a great development rider. Conversely, Hopper freely admits he just says to the mechanics “this is happening there” and the techies attempt to sort it out for him by looking at the data.
Edwards talks about how prior to riding with / against Rossi, he thought he himself was at least as good as anyone, but now he can’t argue that Rossi is the G.O.A.T. He says he wishes he knew what it was that Vale has, as though it is a mystical quality. Effectively he says that Rossi operates on a different plane to the rest of the riders. Whether he would say the same about Stoner after the last couple of seasons? Who knows!
There is a part in the movie talking about the riders’ injuries / recovery etc and the subject of MotoGP riders being slightly superhuman in terms of recovery times comes up. Hayden is quoted as saying “you need to be able to take a good licking sometimes”. I’m always amazed at how riders crash and bounce and this line sums it up for me!
Edwards talks about how in 1999 he did lots of raining, 20 miles a day on the pushbike, gym etc and got his ass kicked on the track. In 2000 he did the opposite, just chilling and doing wakeboarding, motox, etc (still physically demanding activities but more fun) and he won the SBK WC. He concludes that winning on the bike is all in your head. He says he used to feel bad if he missed a day’s training but it’s all psychological and doesn’t really matter for much. I agree with this wholeheartedly.
Hopper is heard being slightly disparaging about Nicky Hayden, saying he should have been getting regular podiums with the factory ride he was on. People have since said the same about Hopper but it is widely reported that the factory Suzook has never been as good as the Honda was / is.
Prior to the actual race footage, several spectators are interviewed. One lady says “As much as I love Rossi I’d like to see the Hayden guy get a podium too”. I think someone should have prepped her before she was allowed to speak to a camera….
Split screen side-by-side footage of Rossi and Hayden going round the track is shown which I found very interesting. Hayden uses 1, 2 or sometimes 3 fingers for braking. Rossi almost invariably uses 4, or at the least 3. I have heard a quote from Troy Bayliss saying how “there is a lot of feel in that little finger” and I wonder if that’s what separates the very late brakers from the late brakers?! It would be interesting to know how many Barros and other notoriously late brakers use to see if there is any correlation.
Earl Hayden (all-round nice guy and model father IMO) is quoted before the race saying “These people Repsol, they expect you to win, not come 3rd, so [the race is] big for Nicky”. Earl knows how much pressure is put on his son by Repsol and it sounds like he tolerates it because he knows it is Nicky’s dream but he sounds suspicious of the organisation and slightly critical of their methods. (You can glean a lot from someone’s tone!) The Hayden family, all round, seem very nice, genuine people who appreciate what they have and I really hope things work well for Nicky at Ducati. The well-reported ‘family spirit’ at Ducati should suit them well.
At 1hr, 15 minutes and 16 seconds in to the film we are ‘treated’ to a shot of Brad Pitt’s arms. They are ridiculously ripped! He is one of the most genetically gifted individuals in the world and could have been a pro-athlete or body-builder but because he is a pretty boy got his break in the movies. I like his films a lot.
Brilliant quote from Rossi talking about Edwards’s pass during the race – “I don’t expect when he arrive he overtake me at the Corkscrew”. The exact same pass used by Rossi on Stoner in 2008, except Rossi arrived slightly later at the corner because of the speed required to get past Stoner at the top of the hill. Expect to see that move used again by a daredevil in 2009.
The last thing I notice in the race footage are the dark lines of rubber (we call them 'darkies' in the UK, don't know if that's used anywhere else?) left as the riders gun it up the hill. This is very cool
I very much enjoyed DTK as it gives a lot of insight in to the riders. I also really enjoy the DVD 2 which is race footage from all different angles. You really get a sense of speed and involvement. All in all, I'm very glad I got this for Christmas!