Day 5

Races Day 1: Practice and Qualifying

Note: these pictures were taken from seats in the SouthWest Vista - pink ellipse on map below.

When I looked out my motel window Friday morning, it was wet and still raining. I got dressed in my raingear and grabbed my "Casinos of Winnipeg" freebee umbrella. Good thing. There was nothing but rain all day.

Fans were somewhat scarce in the stands...
... but they still crowded the vending areas.
Believe it or not, the rain did not bother me at all. Wearing jeans under my rain pants did. I was BOILING hot all day! Yuck! I felt badly for the racers. Moto GP goes, rain or shine. The following pictures are of the 250 cc riders.
Riders' turns were tentative at first.
They gradually increased their speed despite the rain.
Riders following another got a "spray wash".
Riders kept their distance from one another.
...but many left the track altogether. Luckily, there were no serious crashes. Several riders did leave the track (couldn't complete their turns on the wet track) and some did go down.
Note: these pictures were taken at "Ducati Island" - red ellipse on map below.

When I got tired of sitting in the rain, I visited "Ducati Island", Ducati owners' home away from home. Ducati riders gather and the Ducati organization has displays of Ducs, old and new as well as freebees, contests, etc. This was one of the older, yet pristine models.

This one was a customized Ducati Monster 696. If you look up a picture of the stock model, you'll realize how much work has been done on this baby.
Note: these pictures were taken at the Vendor Marketplace (Indy Garages) - green ellipse on map below.

One of the vendors was Joe Rocket (a Canadian company, BTW). They had several sets of Nicky Hayden's leathers (which they had made for him) on display. This set of leathers displays how important a good set of leathers is. The "glitz" (or silver finish) was been worn right off by an obvious fall but the leathers were otherwise unaffected.

This season's apparel seems to include more things for women like this jacket...
...and this helmet.
These gloves were very cool. (I might even go back for a pair!)
The black dahlia helmet design was VERY nice and they even had a matching jacket.
One booth sold nothing but lights for your bike. They had a couple of "demo" bikes set up to show you how/where you could place them for maximum effect. Nice looking, but I think the safety factor might be a better reason to buy these types of lights.
Yet another ladies' helmet... not saying a guy couldn't buy it if he liked it!
There were lots of things to buy. How about a fancy set of brake disks?
There was a store which sold signed motorcycle memorabilia. This Rossi helmet is SOoooo beautiful and it's signed too... only $2995. Special GP "sale" price. I wish!
You've got to love the helmet Rossi is wearing in this picture.
Note: these pictures were taken from the infield by the dealer displays - yellow ellipse on map below.

Nicky Hayden sloshing through puddles on turn 9.

Casey Stoner
Look at this picture carefully. Did you see that there are two riders?
My favourite rider, Valentino Rossi. He's leaning over farther in this corner than I would even think to in the best of weather conditions.
Hey look! I'm so jealous of Rossi's ability that my bike has turned GREEN with envy!!
Note: these pictures were taken inside the Hall of Fame Museum - blue ellipse shows where the building is on the map below.

Still raining. Boring to get dripped on all day so I decided to take in the Indy Hall of Fame Museum. There were original paintings...

...obviously by the track artist(s). They would have been used for program covers, designs for t-shirts and so on.
There were paintings, drawings or photos of the Hallof Fame inductees.
There were bricks from the brickyard.
Cool trophies abounded...
One of the originals awarded at Indy...
Medals from the motorcycle race which debuted the track...
Some "hardware" not labelled but gorgeous...
...some just having a really neat design...
and some quite recognizable.
There were LOTS of cars! Some old...
...some newer...
Almost all ridden at Indy... this one... which won the 1911 race.
Some ridden by very recognizable names... GO AJ!!!!
...and some by unknowns. (You can do it, BJ!)
Some bikes (or similar) had been ridden at the brickyard. This one (or type) at the track's inception...
...this one (by Nicky Hayden) to re-open the track to motorcycle racing. He drove this CBR around the track at its unveiling as a Moto GP approved site.
Some bikes were on loan, like this Harley Streamliner which established a land/speed record at Utah's Bonneville Flats which to this day has not been beaten (in its classification)./strong>
I had favorite cars because they were unusual...
Whatever your preference of car or bike, the museum offered some good advice.
People are still the most interesting and pleasant part of my experiences in my travels. I met this Italian family who had travelled to Indianapolis to watch Valentino Rossi race. Evidently, they live only 10 miles from his home town so to them, he truly is a hometown favourite. They don't speak much English and I don't speak any Italian, so the conversation was limited. Despite that, we were somehow able to communicate a fair amount to one another. The daughters are Elizabeth and Lucia. The Mom is Sophisita (hopefully that's right) but I can't remember the Dad's name because it was so different than any name I've encountered. I DO know he drives a Kawasaki Z750 and he goes to the races at Mugello although others are too far for him. Not Indy though! I hope they have a wonderful time at the races and that Valentino does REALLY well!
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