MOTOLIAM – A hallkë nga MotoGP MachineNovember, 2006

8 Apr 2015 | autor: | Comments Off në MOTOLIAM – A hallkë nga MotoGP MachineNovember, 2006
Ducati Apollo v4

nëntor, 2006

nëntor 28, 2006

Time for a MASSIVE UPGRADE, oh, and Happy Birthday, mua!

2006 është e gjatë. The World Championship has come and gone. Now it’s time to prepare for 2007.

Now it’s time to ROCK-N-ROLL, baby!

Next season promises new 800cc racebikes, new challenges, a new campaign, and I am extremely proud to announce that I will continue my assault on the MotoGP World Tour in 2007 as an integral part of Pramac D’antin Ducati!

I travelled to Madrid on Monday to meet with Luis D’antin and confirm my position for next year, which will see me taking a massive step forward and furthering my knowledge of the international racing business, and in particular, all the details about the new Ducati GP7!

I always want to do my best and help my team to the fullest of my abilities. Last season I worked on

Alex Hofmann’s crew, but next year I will be placed where I can help my team and work for both riders. If you think that doing your all for one rider is cool, just imagine being able to help two riders! In view of wanting to do as much as possible for the team, I will now be taking over the Parts and Logistics Coordinator position, facilitating all our spare parts needs directly through Ducati Corse, and managing them throughout the season at racetracks around the world.

It is an awesome responsibility, but I am sooo hungryand I’m ready for the challenge! I truly believe 2007 is going to be a break-out year for the Pramac D’antin team, and this is why I have chosen to stay with them and once again do my best so that everyone around me can do their best.

I had some other options for the ’07 sezon, but honestly, I love working with my teammates and I can’t think of anything more rewarding than being a critical element in my team’s structure and helping to build a solid foundation for the coming championship series. The job has now blossomed from High Pressure, to Hyper Pressure, because one oversight or mistake could cost us valuable time, para, or worsea race!

I’ll need to be on my game to ensure that my team has Everything they need to get the job done, no matter what. On the lighter side, I will get to know every single piece of the GP7 intimately, and for a lego-fiend like me, I think that’s going to be really fun. I’m sure that it won’t be long before I’m able to visualize the complete bike in my head and rattle off part numbers, codes, and installation/replacement procedures.

At least I hope so!

As I learn more about the current systems, and we develop new computer programs for doing things, I hope to be able to place my team on a higher level of competitiveness than we managed in 2006. It is my goal this season to do my best to raise the levelbecause I want to win races. i sigurt, I had a strong option to move to a squad that has won races, and I’m sure they will win races again, but I wouldn’t have helped build that team. I’m helping to build this team, this family.

It’s my family. In my heart, I’m still a mechanic, megjithëse, and I still look at life as a series of problems that I try to fix. I just make sure that I put my all into living at the maximum, because you never know when the wheel will stop turning. My duties and responsibilities have increased exponentially now, so I’m unsure of what I’ll be able to write about. Moreso, I am not sure I’ll have the time to really do it up like I did last year!

What a complete turnaround from my 30th Birthday in 2005.

I expect to spend some more time in Madrid, 30 minutes outside of the Barajas airport at the Pramac D’antin raceshop! Highly fortified, discrete, and massive.

My birthday present? Talk about practical! An eight language racing dictionary that I will use to help me translate some of the more technical information that comes my way.

Working in the box with the other mechanics last year, I was amazed at how much you can communicate with hand gestures (and finger gesticulations, haha), and some choice words. Për të qenë i sinqertë, I never felt 100% comfortable because sometimes things got pretty complex, and my lack of perfect language comprehension could have been a problem because time is always of the essence at the track. Now, I’ve got a new book to help me improve that much more.

Right On!

I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who has been behind me this year, supporting me with time, encouragement, and supplies throughout my first season in MotoGP. Thank you MotoLola, Evan and Joanne, Brad, Ian, Bob, the members of Barf. all the guys at MotoStrano. and of course, all my teammates from D’antin MotoGP. They say the first year is the hardest, but with everything I’ve got on my plate for 2007, I think it’s only going to get more difficultand that much more rewarding!

I’ve never believed in taking the easy route, and feel that learning from the bottom up is the only way to go to truly understand and master something. Tonight, I’m raising a glass to celebrate my 31st, and also to kick off my new job in the 2007 MotoGP World Championship.

It’s time to get to work. Let’s rock!

MotoStrano. my personal sponsor and supplier of killer clothing, apparel, and luggage. I couldn’t have made it as far as I did without you guys. What can I say?

MotoStrano. with me all the way in MotoGP!

Axio Hardpacks. the best bag I’ve come across! I them use to protect the computers I travel around the world with. Worth it’s weight in gold. Thanks Bob!

The Pramac D’antin Ducati website will be undergoing some significant changes during the off-season, and I’m hoping to change a couple things up on my own website, gjithashtu. Stay tuned.

We’re putting the band back together, so expect to hear all about it when starts up again this off-season.

nëntor 25, 2006

Happy ThanksgivingSazzerack Style, 2006!

Thanksgiving in Spainjust another Thursday in Barcelona! I actually didn’t realize Thanksgiving was upon us, until someone mentioned it to me on Wednesday. One problem living outside of the U.S. is missing all of the typical holidays, though Spain more than makes up for it by having more holidays than any other country I’ve ever seen.

Come to think of it, August seems like a month long holiday, shumë. I woke up on Thursday, determined to have myself a nice little dinner celebration, and boy, I didn’t disappoint! With a little help from Sazzerack, that is.

If you’re looking for a good meal in Barcelona that won’t break the bank, head on over to the corner of Cansell de Cent and Carrer de Villarroel.

Much like last year. when I spent almost all of my important dates at Sazzerack, I returned once again for my second Thanksgiving in Barcelona. Sazzerack is one of my favorite restaurants, offering a beautiful mix of well prepared meals in various styles. Eastern? Western?

They have you covered, and the decor is wonderful as well. I ordered my meal and while I was waiting for it to be prepared by Mom, one of the waiters screwed up on a drink order, and voila, it became my treat. Desert first?

i sigurt!

WaitaminnitWho’s Mom? The staff of Sazis quite small, and it’s run by a German mother and son duo. He takes care of the front of the house, while Mom oversee’s the kitchen staff and monitors all the food that is served.

She’s also the one responsible for this fantastic French Salad, which had roasted bacon chunks and spiced mushrooms (and they were still hot from the saute pan when I got my saladYUM!).

If you’re going to have a Thanksgiving abroad, do it right and make it something to remember! I looked over the meat dishes, but decided that fish was the way to go. It was a good decision, and the noodles, slightly al dente, complimented the ginger cream sauce on the fish perfectly.

And what better way to wrap up a nice, quiet Thanksgiving? Apple pie ala mode! How awesome is that. It’s the little things that keep me rolling!

Extra special notes this weekMarlboro Ducati’s Mark Elder celebrated the birth of his first child earlier in the week, and his daughter is a joy to behold. Right on, shenjë!

And also, Happy Thanksgiving, Spike! Hope your days in Hawaii are funfilled and stress free.

I hope everyone was able to spend this day with their friends and loved ones, and my best wishes go out to all of you.

nëntor 22, 2006

Things that go Brraaaapp in the night, on Montjuic

Sunday is a beautiful day to go for a walk. In Spain, most of the shops and commercial centres are closed for business, so there really isn’t anything to do but

A) Sit at the beach and drink CAVA

B) Take a hike.

Me? I like taking hikes. I like flying Kites, shumë. And jumping in a lake? You bet! Ne rregull, just kidding on that last one.

I have a particular aversion to stagnant bodies of water, like landbound lakes, and this comes from growing up in the middle of the biggest body of water in the world, the mighty Pacific Ocean. Part of me will always think that lakes are dirty, and you won’t find me fishing in one. ende, I haven’t spent time in any of the Great Lakes in North America, and I know you can surf there (saw it in

Step Into Liquid. ) pavarësisht, I’m a long way from my own beloved waves, so on Sunday I went walking. It wasn’t really my idea, but my old friend, Nacho (henceforth known as Big Nach) called me up and told me to meet him in Plaza Espanya, which is at the base of Montjuic and fairly close to my new apartment.

Montjuic is a beautiful hill which is now home to the Palau Nacional, the National Art Museum of Catalunya. and also some of the Olympic Stadiums. It’s a beautiful area, a nice place to ramble through, and once I met the world’s ugliest dog out here. Montjuic also hosted four Spanish Grand Prix races in the early seventies, and there was a famous 24 hour endurance race that used to take place on the very streets going up and around the hill, sort of like a mini Isle of Man TT.

I strolled on down around 5PM, just in time to catch one of the more spectacular sunsets in my life. Nacho told me to make my way to Palau St. Jordi, which was near the top, so I had some more walking ahead of mejust what my swollen knee wanted, haha.

The plus side was that I had something to get to.

From Plaza Espanya, which is really just a big roundabout with a tall monument in its center, head South West towards the National Museum.

Ducati Apollo v4

When you get to the Museum, turn around and look back at the sleepy city below you. I was lucky. The sun was still shining and a golden brown light poured over the city’s buildings.

I was getting close, just as the daylight was saying goodnight. This is one of my favorite structures in Barcelona, Santiago Calatrava’s giant radio tower.

Just in time for one of the alltime great Sunsets I’ve experienced. All the small lights in the city were sparkling in the haze of dusk. Twinkling, like stars. This picture doesn’t do it justice, but I was struck thinking about how much has happened in the last year, and here I stood, watching over my new city.

It was a special moment.

THe night wore on, and I fiddled with my camera, playing with the night mode settings.

The artsy shot.

And the reason I was herethe Barcelona Supercross! Nacho had invited me out to be a part of the night, and we had fantastic passes to make the night quite memorable. I’ve raced Arenacrosses before (similar to Supercross, but in smaller venues), and there is nothing quite like lining up with a bunch of loud dirtbikes and flying off once the gate drops. It’s a sound that’s burnt into my head, and I absolutely love it.

The racing throughout the night was fantastic, and all of us were treated to a show as David Vuillemin ran away from Nick Wey. There were a few Americans competing that night, including Mike Brown on a Kawasaki, and during the intermission there was a fun FreeStyle jump contest. Americans Wiley Fulmer and Beau Bamburg really impressed me, but ultimately the night belonged to a Spaniard.

It doesn’t matter to me muchif it has two wheels, a motor, and some guys competingI want to be there!

Big ups to Nacho, and Movistar, for the hospitality and the chance to check out something fun.

nëntor 18, 2006

Splat! MotoLiam takes a tumble, and learns something!

Minutes after posting the Ducati Museum photos, I was headed home from Planet Cafe, the internet haven I usually hang out at here in Barcelona. normalisht, this would have been like any other bicycle ride back to my apartment, but this time I made a mistake.

It had been raining off and on that day, and it was something I noted as I put the power to the pedals of my trusty black Haro BMX. My rear tire spun up a couple times from the incredible torque I make when I’m really hustling (haha), but I didn’t mind one bitbecause I like breaking traction! The night air was clean, and the streets were relatively empty, so I was making good time headed down towards the water, via the sidewalks.

I saw the roads were dry, and I was doing my usual sprint, coast, sprint, coast on the bike, making time and hopping off of curbs when I could. përfundimisht, I had to turn right, and I sure chose the wrong place! I ducked under a tree and initiated a fast right sweeper while on the downstroke, or powerstroke of the right pedal, and almost before I could react, I was headed straight for the concrete. It felt like both wheels lost traction, though the rear broke loose first.

I remember holding the bars and twisting my body to try and bring the back end around and back in line, but it was hopeless. I only managed to line myself up more for one of the roughest Belly-flops I’ve ever experienced, arms outspread, legs straight back behind me, and right torso parallel with the ground.

BLAMM-O! Superman I was not!

I hit my ribs and stomach so hard I knocked the wind out of myself something fierce, and it was a few moments before I could pull my arms and legs in to see if they were still attached. I curled up and managed to pick myself up, propping my hands on my knees while bent over, breathing heavily. Uau!

That was really something!, une mendova, and for the first time I can remember, I didn’t immediately rush over and see how the bike was doing. Maybe because this one didn’t have a motor I needed to keep running, or maybe because I don’t normally eat it so hard on the concrete without any gear.

vërtet, I said it. No Gear. Rolling around on the street (sidewalks almost always), I don’t normally put the pads on, because I’m only commuting and not stunnin’. I don’t wear a helmet either, because I haven’t found one that does the trick (but probably because I couldn’t justify the expense, and I don’t have money to spare).

Suffice it to say, I don’t actually own any safety gear anymore, having given it all away when I moved to Europe last year. My fantastic Fox elbow/forearm pads (went through three or four different pairs before I found the ones that worked best with me), my old Bell full face BMX helmet (also great for XR50 racing), and the generic knee-braces I usedall gone now. Which brings me to my next subject.

Yesterday it was revealed that Nicky Hayden rode with a broken/cracked bone in his shoulder during the Valencia GP. He damaged it in his pile-up with Dani Pedrosa in the previous race at Estoril, but kept the injury under wraps so he wouldn’t give title rival, Valentino Rossi, any more ammunition in the mental battle that was to ensue on the track at the final race.

Nicky will miss the final winter pre-season test in Jerez in two weeks because he’s having surgery to fix it, and also correct a collarbone issue (just another plate removal, nothing serious, haha). It’s not really publicized too much when a rider does go down, other than the occasional short blurb about so-and-so falling in practice, or qualifying.

After my most recent wreck, it’s come back into the forefront of my mind that these guys are in great shape, and they take some hard hits without complaint. i sigurt, sometimes they’re forced to sit out, or get surgery, por për pjesën më të madhe, if they’re able to, they’re back out riding as soon as possible. While I’m not comparing myself to a MotoGP athelete, anyone who hits the ground has to make a choice to come back and get on the horse again.

I’ve managed to hit the ground quite a bit, but I always come back, and I went for a long ride earlier this afternoon to shake it off and get the juices flowing in my body again. Torso feels twisted, and I’m definitely having trouble breathing, but you know what? Ishte e mrekullueshme!

I know that my body will be back to normal in a couple weeks, and hopefully the swelling in my left thumb does down so I can type normally again. Nearest I can tell, I was still hanging on to the bars with my left arm when I went boom, and the resulting wrench of the bars out of my hand twisted it. At least my collarbones are fine (for the moment),haha, because I’ve broken both of my clavicles in various activities, the first time before I was even a year old!

In honor of that, and also Nicky’s impending Collarbone surgery, here’s a great song called Collarbone!

Recuperative medicine also includes more moto-based fuel, this time in the form of Smacks! Where else but Spain can you find Superbikes on a cereal box for kids, and the back shows a couple of MV Augusta F4’s. Sweet!

I am now officially on the look out for some quality protective gear.

Ducati Apollo v4

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