kurt busch rests his case
After a sorely trying offseason under
the threat of battery charges and his
suspension by NASCAR just before the
Daytona 500, pundits wondered whether
Kurt Busch would regain his swagger
even after the legal case evaporated and
his suspension was lifted.
Well, wonder no more...
At Richmond in April, Busch dominated
as strongly as he ever has. He led 291 of
the 400 laps, to lead home Kevin Harvick
and earn a provisional place in the Chase
for the Sprint Cup with his 26th career win.
When you are 36 years old and one of
the most successful motorcycle racers of all
time, with nine world championships (seven
in the premier MotoGP class), it might be
tempting to look backward rather than
ahead. But for Valentino Rossi, the present
is looking as bright as as his golden past.
Rossi signed a new deal with his
Yamaha team last year after an upsurge
in form convinced him to keep racing –
that coming after a tough period in which
“Vale” admitted being unsure he was still
good enough. Yet, four races into 2015,
Rossi had two wins and the MotoGP
points lead, and said his intention was to
continue racing into 2017 and beyond.
“I have a contract for two years and I
hope it’s not the last one,” he said.
Rossi’s resurgence accompanied a
return to form by Yamaha over archrival
Honda. Last year Honda won14 of 18 GPs
– 13 of them, including the first 10 straight,
with Marc Marquez, the undisputed king of
MotoGP the last two seasons. But Rossi and
No distractions of an
double this year for
Busch, who has been
a focused man since
his return to action
teammate Jorge Lorenzo, now armed with
the seamless-shift gearbox they’d long
pleaded for, opened 2015 with a 3-1 win
lead over Marquez, who says a hand injury
(sidebar) isn’t the only thing holding him back.
“We are really strong on one lap, but
over the race distance we are struggling,”
said the Spaniard, who noted his bike’s
lack of performance from its rear tires.
When Marquez and his Honda get
healthy, MotoGP could be set for its own
golden age with three ascendant stars.
It was no real surprise, though, as
Busch had shown impressive form all
year. Prior to his Richmond breakthrough,
he’d led the most laps among winless
drivers, despite missing three races.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling when you
pull deep from within, you go through
troubles and you know when you’re
accused of something and things go
sideways,” Busch said. “Your personal life
doesn’t need to affect your business life
and I’m here in Victory Lane.”
Olivier Beretta (LEFT) won a crash-filled
Long Beach Pirelli World Challenge race that
prompted officials to levy fines on half the field,
Beretta included. The on-track behavior
improved markedly next time out at Barber.
losing his grip?
After crushing the
MotoGP field the last
two years, has Marc
Marquez lost a little
of his magic? After a
tangle with Valentino
Rossi while fighting
for the lead in
Argentina, and a
broken finger in a
Marquez was playing
catch-up – a first.
Valentino Rossi’s MotoGP legend is embellished with another fast start for the veteran
new peaks for vale
Rossi has led the
year in MotoGP
– and of his own