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GP Week : Issue 140
GPWEEK OPINION >> The first two are understandable: they came from anguished fathers, the first from Simoncelli’s, the second from Lorenzo’s. But the talk doesn’t fit with the logic of the crash. Or the lack of logic. The way the tyres gripped was a freak, although not a one-off: Tomizawa crashed fatally in just the same way at Misano last year. But he was on Dunlops, Simoncelli on Bridgestones. Each had been using the same tyres in all their previous crashes, as had all the other riders, and this had never happened. It was a freak event. You can’t blame the tyres. Along with the lack of logic, a demonstration of randomness. Rossi and Edwards are two of the safest riders, yet there they were in the thick of it. Almost unnoticed, overshadowed by tragedy, there was a somewhat similar crash that brought out the red flags in Moto2. Forgotten victim Axel Pons fell under the wheels of American Kenny Noyes. He too was run over, left unconscious and stretchered away. Luckily for him, in this random way, he was merely hospitalised for a couple of nights, and Noyes not badly hurt. The point is this. It does not make it any more or less of a tragedy, but Simoncelli’s accident could happen at any time to any rider. And it should not surprise us. What is more surprising is that it happens so seldom. One thing that should be looked at is whether these random and ruinous impacts between motorcycle and rider can in any be ameliorated. The first thing to go should be those pencil-sharp Suter seats, before somebody gets speared by one. As for the rest, we’re in the hands of fate. “ This is the second miracle on the Hudson,” added mayor of West New York, Felix Roque, a nice bit of hyperbole referring to the emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 on the river in January 2009. The sun-drenched announcement ceremony took place at Weehawken’s Port Imperial where work on the foundations of the pit complex is already underway. Promoter Leo Hindery claims this will be the “greenest race ever, due to everyone using public transport”. Manhattan’s Pier 79 is just an eight minute ferry ride from the pitlane. New Jersey’s officials are hoping that the glamour of F1 is going to rub off on their state, its blue collar image at odds with F1’s luxury leanings, and that an influx of over 100,000 spectators will boost the kitty. However, I put it to Hindery that the main benefactor is New York City, for the majority of team personnel and race goers will stay across the water. “I think you underestimate how great it is over here,” he told me. “Have you ever had a night out in Hoboken?” Er, yes I have. The TV cameras will be trained on Manhattan, and I can confirm F1 personnel are excitedly plotting their shopping trips already. It’s going to be difficult for New Jersey to compete for attention, and though the race is being held on their land it will be a New York Grand Prix in all but name. And that’s exactly what Bernie Ecclestone wants. Random is as random does The future of F1 is mapped out 23