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GP Week : Issue 126
MOTOGP UNITED STATES >> Valentino Rossi might be rethinking his comments earlier this season, when he described the new generation of MotoGP riders as “pussies” compared with his heroes from the golden age of the 500 class. Two out of three on the Laguna rostrum were only there because of impressive feats of precision racing, and even more impressive feats of physical courage. Both of them were Spanish, too, which might make you raise your assessment of the fortitude of the breed. Lorenzo is possibly the braver. He had a huge and obviously painful high-side crash the day before and was walking with difficulty. But he still qualified on pole a couple of hours later, and raced hard to second. Nor is it his first such feat. Most notable was at China in his first MotoGP year: a similar huge practice high-side put him in a wheelchair, but again he was ready to race. Pedrosa is a less likely candidate – he’s better known for being a bit physically flimsy. When he falls, something tends to snap somewhere. His mystery absence after his Le Mans injury, when he missed three races, reinforced the view. But victory in Germany last weekend – also after a thumping practice crash – and a determined ride to third in America, belied the fact that he is still weak and in pain, after no less than three collar-bone operations within the last three months. They are not the only super-tough racers: you don’t have to be Spanish. Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow both made heroic returns from broken collar-bones earlier this year: “You’re injured already – s o what’s the worst that can happen,” quipped Edwards. The MotoGP grid may be small, but there are some very tough customers aboard it. These are not ordinary motorcycle racers. Or, to put it another way – some pussies! Some puSSieS! 41