The release of the 2006 official - unless F1 changes its mind again - MotoGP calendar made many think, 'just where has 2005 gone'?
It seems like yesterday Valentino Rossi and Sete Gibernau were involved in their own private arm wrestling contest on the last bend of the first race of the year at Jerez. But that was now seven long months of highs, lows and plenty of travel, ago.
It's been another amazing season dominated by a certain Valentino Rossi, who chases his 12th grand prix victory of the season before the end of season party on the beach in Valencia.
So what has the last seven months on the road been like for half a dozen vital components to the success of the travelling MotoGP show? Here are some highs and lows…
Organisers and promoters:
- Spreading the MotoGP word to new countries such as China and Turkey and the re-emergence of America as a grand prix venue. Also the two wins by Ducati in Japan and Malaysia to break the Japanese domination and the maiden grand prix wins by Nicky Hayden and Marco Melandri, surely the MotoGP future if and when Valentino Rossi retires.
- The loss of a couple of major sponsors and a terrestrial broadcaster. The sport could be in for a tough time unless new sponsors are persuaded to support to the second biggest Motorsport Championship in the World.
The International Racing Teams Association (IRTA):
- Getting through all the logistics to actual arrive and race at new venues and away from their European basses for the last five races. Those last five races have ensured a massive operation involving three cargo jumbo jets to reach destinations in different continents on time. Despite plenty of moaning and groaning, everybody and everything arrived on time which is an enormous credit to all involved.
- The 2005 calendar which involved so much travel in the last six weeks. Hopefully the 2006 calendar looks a lot easier…
- Getting through practice, qualifying and race without any serious accidents at Laguna Seca. Not having to come in to pit lane to change bikes when the rain arrives. Good communication between riders and organisers about safety, resulting in no major accidents. The chance to race through turn 11 in Turkey, the newest and fastest bend in MotoGP.