Marco! Marco! Marco!

We met Marco Simoncelli in July of 2010 when he came to the D-Store in San Francisco as a promotional appearance for the USGP Race at Laguna Seca. We began to take notice of Marco, or SicWitIt as Anthony called him, when he was in the 250GP class. He was aggressive and courageous, something we always admired in a rider.

I remember, in 2009, when he rode at Imola on the RSV, thinking he’d give the MotoGP guys a headache when he arrived.

Then in 2010, when he made his debut, I remember him getting his bell rung at a Sepang test and Rossi saying that he needed “to be more quiet on the bike”. That year was tough for us, always having been Rossi fans, but Marco brought us hope.

This year, from a Rossi-fan point of view, has been terrible, but lucky for us, Marco was always there to bring us joy. I remember thinking that once Rossi retired, we’d have Marco to cheer for. Sure, Marco’s riding was not as “refined” as Rossi’s, but they shared  charisma and bravado… he was definitely not a rider you wanted behind you on the last lap. He made racing exciting.

During that meeting, Anthony asked Marco “how do you fit all of your hair in your helmet?”. Marco responded, “it’s easier when it’s wet…”

That was the closest we ever got to Marco. This year, the D-Store held no such event and at the track we never got lucky enough to see him not surrounded by others.

As you can see, we never “really” knew him, yet somehow, we’re going to miss him a lot.

We’re home…

We’re back from our trip to Spain. Overall, the trip was a success. Though Anthony was not picked for next year’s rookies cup, there were many other positives we could not have found unless we had gone there.

Anthony is not a “fast learner” and we were really concerned about this. The selection process took place at a kart track he’d never seen. Originally we were under the impression the selection process would take place at the Aragon “main” circuit, but this turned out to be incorrect. We spent time reviewing video of the “main” circuit, to at least become familiar with it and it turned out to not matter.

The other factor was the bike. The biggest bike Anthony’s rides on a kart track is his NSR65. His RS125 has only ever been ridden on a “real” track. So ridding a 125cc on a kart track was a new challenge for him.

Yet Anthony rode well both days. On the first day he got 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the afternoon. His pace was “ok”, but not as fast as the kids familiar with the circuit.

On the second day, which consisted of the same amount of track time as the first, both of his sessions were red-flagged due to accidents. One kid suffered an injury which required a trip to the hospital (I believe a broken hand/wrist), and the others suffered no injuries.

However, even with these disruptions to his concentration, he improved his pace and got closer to the fastest “local” kids.

He didn’t crash, he improved lap after lap, carried himself well and made a bunch of new friends. Most importantly, he was on track with European riders. It’s always been very important for us to figure out where Anthony’s pace is when compared to other kids. We need to improve here, but we’re on a good trajectory.

The selection process does not provide feedback as to “why”. From our perspective, this is something that should improve, as it leaves a void.

Back from Las Vegas…

We are back from Las Vegas. It was a good and tough weekend. In fact, until Friday, it was one of the toughest weekends we’ve ever had. Anthony had two low-sides during Friday’s trackday, the most he’s ever had in one-single-day.

The bike was “ok”, though pretty rashed and with broken pegs, but we were mainly worried about Anthony. The idea was to use the race for preparation for Spain, but it was turning into a nightmare.

Anthony recovered pretty well on the final sessions of the trackday and he got ready for Sunday.

The first race on Sunday was the 125GP race. He and his main competition had a great race for the win. Anthony fought well and was able to take the checker flag in first place.

The second race, the Formula 2 race, was a little tougher. He had to contend against modified SV650s and RS450s. Anthony did his best, but all he could do was 4th.

We’re very excited about Spain and the Rookies Cup Tryouts coming soon. He cannot wait.