by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 104
GPWEEK OPINION >> F1’s russian roulette riders with exceptional levels of talent. Something that might even be thought of as a new Golden Age. There have been many times since the last one, the Lawson/Schwantz/Rainey years of the late 1980s and early 1990s, when there were full starting grids, but considerably fewer top riders up at the front. The four so-called Aliens retain that position: Rossi, Stoner, Pedrosa, Lorenzo. But Dovizioso is starting to pound on the portal to aliendom ever more vigorously. And Ben Spies is most certainly waiting quietly and seriously alongside. Hayden’s also fast and very persistent. Simoncelli is getting ready to make his mark. Bautista has been exceeding the abilities of his Suzuki. It’s a bit of an oxymoron. Just when MotoGP is looking at its weakest, it’s perversely also at its strongest. And looks like it’s going to get even better next year. It’s also a major contrast with Moto2, where the brawl is never-ending. And, as a consequence, rather undignified. Right now, MotoGP is giving quality instead of quantity. it comes to pitching for Russian-orientated backers, having already added Flagman vodka to their portfolio a fortnight ago. It’s no surprise that Mr Putin has grabbed the reins and stepped into the photo frame on this venture. Besides positioning Russia as progressive, hi-tech and open for business, motorsport complements Putin’s ironman image. But shaking hands with Bernie isn’t enough. If he’s to take this announcement for all it’s worth he needs to be seen behind the wheel of an F1 car himself. Not a two seater either. Putin will want to be in control. Renault organize their brilliant ‘Feel It’ days for VIPs. I’m sure the Russian PM would be a welcome guest ahead of the inaugural race. By chance I was in Moscow last week, concerned with some non-F1 business. I joked to colleagues that I was headed for Mokpo, the closest city to the Korean GP track, but my travel agent screwed up. While there, I saw dozens of people clad in Ferrari F1 jackets, and many people I met were clued up on who was leading the world championship this year. Russia won’t struggle to engage with the locals like Turkey and Bahrain have. Instead, the Russian Grand Prix will be the biggest draw of the year. Especially if Vladimir Putin is on pole. And anyone who tries to overtake him will be given a drive-thru penalty to Siberia. There was little at stake, but Rossi and Hayden battled it out on Sunday as if the title was on the line! Quality,notquantity 21