Moto2: Shoya Tomizawa Passes Away After Moto2 Crash

What Happens When Sad News Must Be Announced

9:05am EST — It was reported during the MotoGP race from Misano that Moto2 rider Shoya Tomizawa had succumbed to injuries sustained during an accident in the Moto2 race earlier in the day.  The Japanese rider crashed directly in the path of Alex de Angelis and Scott Redding coming out of Curvone and onto the back straight, with no rider able to avoid the other.  de Angelis appeared unhurt while both Tomizawa and Redding were taken to the medical center.  Redding was said to be concious and speaking at Clinica Mobile while Tomizawa was flown to the local hospital and said to be in a coma.  He passed away at approximately 2:15pm local time, leaving much of the paddock and fans shocked into silence at the circuit when announced after the race.  The thoughts of everyone who watched go out to the Tomizawa’s family, friends, and team.

MotoGP: Final Thoughts from Indianapolis While the Circus Sets Up in Misano

What Happens When the Show Puts on a Good Show

12:02pm EST — While some would say the premier class race lacked some of the drama it could have had (a hurricane? riders crashing out of the lead?), the third weekend at Indianapolis for MotoGP had plenty of excitement in other ways.  Valentino Rossi, likely returning a mite too early and too weak to save any number of slides, crashed so often he ran out of the Fiat 500 special livery leathers and had to race in his standard set, after which he noted that the heat and humidity this past weekend at Indy was like racing in Sepang.  Jorge Lorenzo did not, as he so often recently has, dominate the race after the first lap and run away with another twenty-five points in his championship drawer, leaving that duty to Spainsh rival Dani Pedrosa.  Importantly for the home crowd, Ben Spies won his first ever MotoGP pole with Nicky Hayden putting two Americans on the front row for the start.  His race was too soon compromised by a lose drain cover and flapping slider that left him to finish in sixth (see pictures from the race through the fence here).  But it was the sadness of the death of Peter Lenz due to injuries sustained on the warm-up lap of the MotoGPRU morning race and the elbows-legs-and-bike-bits flying of two Moto2 starts that will stick with those who attended and watched from home (see the Moto2 pictures and paddock life on Sunday here).

Speaking of attendance, it appeared down from both the inaugural race in 2008 and from last year as well, despite stellar, though hot, weather.  There were few enough fans that one could walk away from a spot on the fence at pit-out/Turn 2 in the middle of the main race and walk right back to the same opening five minutes later, as no one had filled in to take it.  That was certainly not the case during a hurricane in 2008.  Still, die-hard fans were around, going so far as to bid and pay $800 for the hat off Rossi’s head, then signed by him, during the Riders for Health auction (Saturday on-track and paddock pictures available here).

There were any number of other fan activities, from Spies and roommate Roger Lee Hayden, who was a wildcard Moto2 entry for American Honda, in a team managed by (also present) Kevin Schwantz interviewed at the war monument (see Thursday pictures from Indy here) in downtown to James Toseland and his band crash performing both downtown and at the circuit.  Riders were to be found wandering the city (Jorge Lorenzo has a taste for sushi while Spies celebrated his podium with family and entourage at St. Elmo’s Sunday night, likely leaving before his 2011 team’s mechanics and crew sat down to eat, if they don’t go to Ducati with Rossi) and the paddock at the Indy Mile dirt track Saturday.  Hayden did three exhibition laps at the Indiana Sate Fairgrounds after his Ducati contract announcement, with the fastest quick enough to qualify for a front row start to a heat race (pictures from the Indy Mile available here).  Fans were given special treatment Friday with access to the pit lane Friday morning and the ability to watch the teams clean and polish the bikes (pitwalkabout pictures available here), having already set up everything possible and not yet run any laps on the track.

In the end, the Indy race weekend, as all race weekends, gave one a better glimpse of the capabilities of the circuit and the riders that make up the MotoGP circus.  Lorenzo is very good but not perfect.  Pedrosa can run away with a race, if he can keep it together.  A little home race momentum never hurt anybody, until their leathers rip apart.  Come back from injury as soon as you are able, but know when that actually is.  and, Moto2 is officially mad, but everyone knew that already.  For everyone else, it’s past time to be in Misano.  Regular MotoGP race coverage will resume from the sofa in Pennsylvania, and better coverage will occur from the next race attended.

[UPDATE] MotoGP Indy: Images from the Entire Weekend

What Happens When There Are Too Many Pictures, and Too Many Fences

12:00am EST — One disadvantage, should there be any disadvantage, to attending a MotoGP weekend is the sheer volume of things to see, do, and process.  There’s really no complaining to be done, but it does make for slow turnaround on a volunteer MotoGP news website.  As such, the On Any Sunday, These Days pictures have finally been sorted and posted for your viewing pleasure.  Stories from each day and various updates should hold over the interested fan until action begins at Misano on Friday.  See photos from the Indy Museum, downtown events, and some track walks on Thursday; pitwalkabout and afternoon practices on Friday; morning practices, qualifying, and the paddock on Saturday, and warm-up and race action, and a view from the paddock on Sunday.  Also included are some pictures from the track, Turn 1, and the garages from the Indy Mile Saturday night, all through the above links to public albums on my Facebook page.  Most recently added are the pictures from Friday’s pitwalkabout.

MotoGP Indy: Sorting Through the News and Images

What Happens When the Gigantic Car-Racing Fence Takes Over Your Life

4:30pm EST — In the course of returning to the daily grind after attending an international motor racing series, certain things tend to be forgotten.  For example, the idea that food might need to be prepared and family and friends to hear about the weekend.  If only there had been wifi access at the track.  and, so, lovely readers, I have left you lonely and neglected whilst others demanded their just share of attention.  For that, I apologize.  I also apologize for the fact that fencing has taken over nearly every image I took at the event.  Otherwise, the only better end to the weekend of MotoGP and dirt track racing in Indianapolis might have been an American on the top step of the podium.

As a teaser of the news and images to follow, there are some shots of Nicky Hayden doing laps at the Indy Mile, of the bikes on track all weekend, and most fascinating to many readers, many images from inside the paddock.  Expect all this an more to be posted tonight.

MotoGP Indy: Scattered Thoughts and Random Pictures from Indianapolis

What Happens When a Yellow Shirt Says You’re Not Allowed

5:21pm EST — Tomorrow the action starts, but today is a day of media attention and fan shenanigans.  Here in Indy (without a press pass and special access), the only time to see or hear form any riders was around noon at the Indiana war volunteers monument when some of the MotoGPRU riders, Ben Spies, Roger Lee Hayden, Kevin Schwanz, and Kenny Noyes had a meet and greet and faux interview by Ralph Sheehen.  Riders from the public followed the MotoGPRU boys into Monument Circle while those with names more recognizable stood around looking uncomfortable and interacting with fans (not uncomfortably).  Pictures from that event as well as the Indianapolis Speedway museum are available through this link at the On Any Sunday, These Days Facebook page, as well as the VMRonSunday Twitpic account.  For an interesting way to spend some time, MotoGP fan or not, there are some pictures of the museum, as well as of some riders/engineers walking, running, bicycling, and scootering around the circuit.  As a side note, Jorge Lorenzo appears to enjoy sushi, at least according to his dining choice Wednesday night, and women (though not this one) have absolutely no shame in removing his raised hood to give him a kiss.  There’s not much else to say right now, but there will certainly be continued live coverage of the pitwalkabout and first practice on Friday here and through my Twitter account.  Look for minute-by-minute coverage and posted pictures.

Now That Racing News Might Begin Again…

What Happens When There’s Real, Live, On-the-Scene MotoGP Coverage

8:49pm EST — Formula1 returns to the headlines and the circuit when the circus goes racing this weekend at historic Spa-Francorchamps.  Unfortunately, coverage here at On Any Sunday, These Days will be not be as prompt as usual, since the usual F1 focus will be distracted as I head off to the Indianapolis MotoGP race.  Instead, there will be  coverage of the MotoGP weekend here, with live tweets and pictures from the event through my Twitter account and the site Facebook fan page.  To read more about the first Indianapolis Red Bull Grand Prix, check out my first blog post from 2008, and look for ongoing coverage from Indy, starting Wednesday when I arrive.

Moto2 Qatar Race Results: Tomizawa Takes Series First Win in Messy & Action-Packed Race

What Happens When the Class Delievers

3:35pm EST — Shoya Tomizawa was the man in the lead when the checkered flag fell on the first-ever Moto2 class race after carnage hit the packed circuit, with three of the four front-row starters falling before the first lap was complete.  Alex de Angelis and Stefan Bradl came together after a technical issue on de Angelis’ bike, as Julian Simon was forced to retire with clutch problems.  Tomizawa started ninth on the grid (full starting grid here), caught up polesitter Tony Elias and Jules Cluzel to fight for the lead.  Tomizawa took the lead and maintained a three second gap for much of the end of the race while Cluzel and Alex Debon fought for second, with the Spaniard taking the spot from the Frenchman for the flag.  Elias held on the finish fourth.

Inaugural Moto2 Race Results from Qatar (courtesy of the official MotoGP site):
1. 48 Shoya TOMIZAWA, Technomag-CIP
2. 6 Alex DEBON, Aeroport de Castello – Ajo +4.656
3. 16 Jules CLUZEL, Forward Racing +4.789
4. 24 Toni ELIAS, Gresini Racing Moto2 +6.978
5. 44 Roberto ROLFO, Italtrans S.T.R. +7.178
6. 75 Mattia PASINI, JIR Moto2 +11.804
7. 12 Thomas LUTHI, Interwetten Moriwaki Moto2 +11.861
8. 3 Simone CORSI, JIR Moto2 +12.346
9. 2 Gabor TALMACSI, Fimmco Speed Up +13.821
10. 40 Sergio GADEA, Tenerife 40 Pons +20.189
11. 77 Dominique AEGERTER, Technomag-CIP +21.289
12. 25 Alex BALDOLINI, Caretta Technology Race Dept +21.360
13. 10 Fonsi NIETO, Holiday Gym G22 +21.835
14. 17 Karel ABRAHAM, Cardion AB Motoracing +21.973
15. 52 Lukas PESEK, Matteoni CP Racing +26.265
16. 63 Mike DI MEGLIO, Mapfre Aspar Team +26.265
17. 14 Ratthapark WILAIROT, Thai Honda PTT Singha +26.599
18. 9 Kenny NOYES, Jack & Jones by A.Banderas +33.833
19. 29 Andrea IANNONE, Fimmco Speed Up +33.895
20. 71 Claudio CORTI, Forward Racing +40.992
21. 41 Arne TODE, Racing Team Germany +43.119
22. 55 Hector FAUBEL, Marc VDS Racing Team +43.249
23. 45 Scott REDDING, Marc VDS Racing Team +45.397
24. 53 Valentin DEBISE, WTR San Marino Team +46.472
25. 96 Anthony DELHALLE, Qatar Endurance Racing Team +51.157
26. 61 Vladimir IVANOV, Gresini Racing Moto2 +54.252
27. 59 Niccolo CANEPA. RSM Team Scot +54.631
28. 39 Robertino PIETRI, Italtrans S.T.R. +1:15.976
29. 76 Bernat MARTINEZ, Maquinza-SAG Team +1:16.222
30. 88 Yannick GUERRA, Holiday Gym G22 +1:20.651
31. 95 Mashel AL NAIMI, Blusens-STX +1:20.719
32. 5 Joan OLIVE, Jack & Jones by A.Banderas +1:41.990
Not Classified
8 Anthony WEST, MZ Racing Team+12 laps
72 Yuki TAKAHASHI, Tech 3 Racing +13 laps
21 Vladimir LEONOV, Vector Kiefer Racing +13 laps
68 Yonny HERNANDEZ, Blusens-STX +17 laps
80 Axel PONS, Tenerife 40 Pons +17 laps
35 Raffaele DE ROSA, Tech 3 Racing +18 laps
Not finished first lap
15 Alex DE ANGELIS, RSM Team Scot FORCE GP210
60 Julian SIMON, Mapfre Aspar Team RSV
65 Stefan BRADL, Viessmann Kiefer Racing SUTER