Back again?

Wow: 4 months. That's how long it's been since I've posted. I'd love to say my excuse is that I've been extremely busy, but that's just not the case. I'm just kind of lazy.

Lots of good MotoGP action has taken place since my last post about Pedrosa. Jorge Lorenzo has proven himself to be a viable threat to Rossi's title challenge, Stoner has a mystery illness which will keep him off the track for a few races, and Hayden still sucks.

I'd like to focus a bit more on the Ducati debacle. Since before Laguna Seca Stoner's been struggling with an illness that was diagnosed as anaemia (with some stomach inflammation added in for good measure). Stoner (according to Wikipedia) disputes this diagnosis, though I'm not sure why, and has chosen to miss Brno, Indy and Misano in an attempt to recover. Not sure what HE thinks he has, but apparently a break will help him recover. Mika Kallio will move up from the satellite Pramac team for the 3 races, and Michel Fabrizio will come over from the WSBK Xerox Ducati team to fill Kallio's spot. Confused yet?

Other exciting news is the addition of Canadian Adam Roberts to the 250cc grid at the Indianapolis GP. He'll be a wild card entry on a RAT Racing Yamaha TZ250. Roberts currently leads the USGPRU 250cc class with two 1st place finishes and three 2nds. He is also the definding USGPRU series champion. It's perhaps not realistic to expect Roberts to do exceptionally well against such riders as Simoncelli or Bautista, but it's pretty rare for a Canadian to be racing in MotoGP. In fact, I've been trying to find other riders that have done the same, and the best I can come up with are Mike Duff, "D. Lloyd", and Andrea Georgeades in the 1967 Canadian Grand Prix; Miguel Duhamel in 1992 (and kinda-sorta the USGP in 2007), and Yvon Duhamel, Miguel's father. There may be more, and if anybody can fill me in, I'd be more than happy to learn!


Pedrosa may or may not miss Qatar

I may have mentioned in the past that Dani Pedrosa managed to injure himself during a test session in Qatar in early March, and his presence at the first GP of the season was questionable. Well, it's still questionable: Repsol Honda is saying that it'll all depend on how his healing progresses, and they probably won't know until next week. Honda hasn't been doing all that well this season (Dovizioso was the top Honda rider during Jerez testing in 7th place), and this probably won't help their case if Pedrosa is unable to start at Qatar.

In other MotoGP news, Gibernau's shoulder is healing up, and he should be in fine shape for the start of the season. You may recall that he aggravated his shoulder and missed the night-time testing session in Doha.

The 2009 season gets underway in 5 days (April 10-12).

Australian GP finishing fail

So I finally got a chance to watch the Australian Grand Prix (it's been sitting on my desktop for a few days, and I finally got some spare time). I'd start ranting about the influx of .MKV video files that are popping up on various torrent sites, and how Sony hasn't come out with a method to play .MKV files on the PS3, but that's maybe for a different time and a different post.

Overall, the race was fairly exciting, especially with Button & Barichello starting 1-2 in their Mercedes-powered Brawn GP cars. Defending champ Hamilton was way back in 18th after a gearbox failure during qualifying, and Toyota had some shady goings-on with their rear wings which they were penalized for, forcing both drivers to start the race from the pit lane.

Button led from the start of the race through to the finish, and was never REALLY challenged for the lead. Clearly some good tyre choices, and definitely brilliant engineering of the Brawn car. Barichello ended up finishing in 2nd place after a cock-up between Kubica and Vettel on the 2nd to last lap. Kubica came up alongside Vettel for the pass, Vettel failed to brake properly, Kubica didn't give him much room, and then ended up smashing front ends. I just read on the Malaysian Star that Vettel has been penalized 10 positions for the crash, which will have him starting the Petronas Malaysian GP in 13th position.

The above-mentioned crash (and Vettel's subsequent 1/3 lap with a tyre positioned parallel to the road surface) caused the safety car to be called onto the track, which should've locked in the positions for the remainder of the race, as passing is not permitted behind the safety car. I say "should've", because Trulli managed to get by Hamilton, stealing away 3rd position while the safety car was on the track.

FIA looked into it, found that Trulli did, in fact, pass Hamilton while the safety car was out, and awarded the 3rd position to Hamilton. But then, further investigating led FIA to find that Hamilton lied to them during their original investigation: he told them that Trulli just flew by him, whereas he actually braked to let him by. Radio communication logs show that the McLaren Mercedes pit told Hamilton to slow to let Trulli pass, but the lying is what maddened the big wigs. So in the end, Hamilton was disqualified and received no points, McLaren received no builder points, and Trulli ended up in 3rd after all.

Essentially the only thing that worked out well in the race was Button's win. The rest of the top 3 was decided by crashes, penalties, and governors ... and nobody wants that.

Malaysian Grand Prix is this weekend, and perhaps I'll have a more timely commentary.


BMW Z2 - a mini, electric Z4?

Word on the street is, BMW will launch a few iterations of the Z2 come Q2 2012. Apparently there will be a coupe version and a roadster, which will be available as petrol-burning (4cyl I6, 204hp), hybrid or all-electric. The concept will be (allegedly) unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show, though there are some concept drawings at Autobild.

I like the idea of a Z2, and I suppose I theoretically like the idea of hybrid and/or electric versions of any car ... but I'll have to see how the pricing looks before I get too excited. I have my heart set on the rumored 1er hatchbacks (E81/E87 versions) that may or may not be coming to North America for the 2011 model year. There are also rumours about a 115i and a 116i coming ... which may or may not be right up my alley!


MotoGP Countdown - 20 Days to Qatar

As the Okanagan sun comes out, and the snow starts to melt, I start to look forward to the motorcycle season. And what better way to celebrate the motorcycle season than watching MotoGP? The first race of the season (Qatar) is April 12, and I can't wait to see if Rossi will be able to retain his title. And now, a preview of the upcoming season:

- Monster Energy Drinks has signed on as a co-sponsor of the Tech3 Yamaha satellite team, bringing them one step closer to being lame and Americanized. I blame Colin Edwards.
- Sete's back, racing with "Grupo Francisco Hernando" on a Duc. Weird.
- Nicky Hayden is racing for Marlboro Ducati ... looks like I can no longer cheer for the manufacturer.
- Mika Kallio and Niccolo Canepa are racing for the Pramac Duc satellite team
- "The odds makers" are putting Rossi at 1.90:1 to win the Championship again this year (which would be his 9th World Championship and 7th in the premiere class). Stoner is 3.0:1, and Pedrosa at 8.0:1. For what it's worth, these odds are stolen from a BWin banner ad ...

There you have it ... not a lot of news, really, but I'll be sure to start updating more frequently as more interesting news becomes available. Before you know it, we'll be in Qatar and the 2009 season will be underway!


Google Latitude: privacy concern, or straight up awesomeness?

So I recently installed Latitude on my computer (my Blackberry doesn't actually have a data connection, and they've not yet come out with a version for the iTouch or java phones yet), and I personally think it to be pretty rad. The unfortunate part of it all is that only 1 person in the entirety of my address book has it installed. So essentially, I can see where I am at all times. Not so handy.

I'm not sure if the small following is due to a lack of awareness, or concerns over the privacy implications of having others know your whereabouts. I'm personally not overly concerned: I try to not go places I'd be embarassed about, and if I were to have to, say, go shopping at LuLu Lemon, I'd simply turn off the tracking feature. The accuracy seems a bit off as well (oh noes! Ypu can tell I'm within 4km of my house!) But I suppose there is a creepy stalkerish feel to it all.

I feel this is one more step forward in the technification of our lives. Location awareness fascinates me: I want my photos to know where they were taken, I want to know where I parked my car, and I want to track where I've traveled. Being cognizant of our time and place is not only cool, but also helpful: I see you're 2 towns over, I don't waste a phonecall asking you for coffee.

I'm sure there are more advancements in the workings, and I for one look forward to them!


Welcome back!

So I've decided to get this blog started again, thanks to the advent of useful technology and some free time. Now that school and certification exams are finished, I have more time on my hands than I have in the past 7 years of my life. Which means that you, kind reader, benefit! The technology to which I refer is a handy little iPhone App called "BlogWriter". It allows me to type blog entries from the comfort of ... wherever I want! Meaning I don't have to commit to sitting at a computer for extended periods of time, and I don't have to waste company time.

Expect much more to come in the near future!