Friday brought typical Monterrey Peninsula weather to Laguna Seca: cool and overcast in the morning, with temperatures rising and the sun out in the afternoon, but surprisingly, the times did not really tumble during the second session of practice. The difference between the fastest time in each of the two sessions was just a quarter of a second, despite a much warmer track.
Latest MotoGP News
One of the things that has come up again and again when discussing whether or not the MotoGP race should go ahead at Motegi is the levels of radiation that riders, teams, journalists and fans might potentially be exposed to, and the related dangers such exposure might bring. As radiation is one of the most poorly understood - by the general public, at least - of risks that humans are exposed to, it is helpful to visualize such exposure in some other way than with raw numbers alone.
Reports and rumors that Ben Bostrom would make a wildcard appearance at Laguna Seca had emerged late Saturday night at the Sachsenring MotoGP race, with the peerless Italian website GPOne.com the first site to break the news. The rumors quickly gained traction, as it became clear there was a large PR push behind the American, and now, Bostrom's participation has been confirmed for the Laguna Seca MotoGP race as a wildcard.
After days of apparently talking about everything except motorcycle racing, the Sachsenring - nestled in the wooded valleys of Saxony, to borrow a phrase from elsewhere - served up a triple helping of thrilling, fairing-to-fairing racing. All talk of Japan and tires was temporarily forgotten, at least until the warm afterglow of a fantastic day's racing had diminished.
On a normal Saturday, we'd be talking about qualifying, who was on the front row, and who will do what in the race. But this was not a normal Saturday. It started going pear-shaped from MotoGP QP, and went downhill from there.
Bridgestone must be regretting getting that single tire contract around now, as once again, the only topic of conversation in the MotoGP paddock was the tires, and the tone of the conversation was a very long way from being universally positive. Four big crashes during the morning free practice session - two big enough that if circumstances had been otherwise, they could have resulted in serious injury - had everyone complaining of the cold temperature performance of the Bridgestones. But more of that later.
Loris Capirossi's attempt to make an early return from the injuries he sustained during qualifying at Assen have stranded at the first hurdle. The Italian veteran has decided to forgo participation in the German MotoGP round at the Sachsenring, after finding that he was in too much pain at the end of FP1. Capirossi ended the session in last place, just behind LCR Honda's Toni Elias, who crashed twice during the session, but over 1.7 seconds behind the 15th fastest man, Hiroshi Aoyama.
Another MotoGP event, another weekend full of speculation about the weather. The rain clouds that seem to follow the MotoGP circus around since it landed in Europe are hanging over Germany, though opinion among both local experts and the weather professionals is divided as to whether it will actually rain or not. The best guess at the moment is that Friday and Saturday should be dry - Saturday expected to be especially good weather - while several hours of rain are expected on race day. Or not, depending on who you believe.