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GP Week : Issue 78
GPWEEK OPINION >> which matters most? spirit. Crisis can be a great leveler, and frustrations and inconvenience can easily subside with a few dozen beers back at the hotel bar. Well, I haven't been home in five weeks so perhaps a few more days won't matter. And for me it's a case of Round 2 against the Eyjafjallajoekull volcano as, on March 20, when the initial eruption occurred, I was on a record-breaking flight around the world and the eruption occurred when we were 400km off Iceland's west coast. We had to abort our landing, turn around, and fly to Canada. My sports editor at 'Metro' tells me I'm the only man he knows with a volcanic nemesis. I was down at Lotus this morning interviewing Mike Gascoyne. When we got up to leave we found ourselves surrounded by F1 VIPs: "I was wondering why we had so many guests, and then I remembered our team owner has his own airline," he said, pointing out that one of the perks of his job is that he's leaving for Kuala Lumpur tonight with AirAsia, in seat 1A. Mike likes his seat 1A, as all VIPs do, and so I pointed out that I'm flying AirAsia to KL tomorrow, and am booked in seat 1A. "Maybe I'll have to fight for it, though," I joked. Mike looked around at the F1 heavyweights, then back at me and laughed: "You've got no chance mate." ll in it together ... hard tryer, his best finish was 10th, and he finished 17th overall. His win reveals just how well the whole thinking behind Moto2 came together. It was meant to promote riding talent irrespective of the machinery. And it suggests that if Tomizawa had been on a factory-level bike instead of a privateer Honda last year, he might have been battling ... perhaps not for victory, as a rookie, but certainly a regular in the top six. Is this a fair reflection? We will never know. Because traditional motorsport has always been a combination of both pilot and machine. It was part of the job for a rider to choose the right bike, and to secure the right position. In the same way as you make your own luck, you also make your own career. Rossi is the perfect example. He has been both very lucky and very careful in his choices of motorcycle. Even the gamble of moving to Yamaha was blessed, by the factory's highly effective reworking of the also-ran M1 in time for his arrival. Moto2, and to a large extent the 125 class, rewrites the rules. The first is one step short of a one-make series, and the 125s effectively the same: Talent matters more than having a good manager. Does this improve the sport? Clearly yes, in some ways. But it also removes a dimension from GP racing, and makes it shallower. Shallower, and closer -- or deeper, and more spread out? You choose which you prefer. Personally, I don't find the choice that easy. Hay-Nicholls' new best friends: Fernandes, left (owns an airline) and Gascoyne -- seat 1A. We think he got on the flight out to KL, but not in THAT seat ... Stoner: costly slip ... 21