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Roving Reporters Dave and Wes Booth hit the German MotoGP,
and top their 2005 season off with a visit to Roby Rolfo's home!
A very relaxed Roby Rolfo shows Wes around his garage.
My summer vacation was planned around visiting the German GP and stopping over to meet up with my East German friend Jeff and his wife Martina. My plans were altered somewhat though when Roby Rolfo invited my two sons Wesley and Joel, along with my missus Janice and myself, over to Italy to join him and his friends for a Summer “Bash” at the restaurant Pizzeria del Pino in the town of Chieri in Northern Italy. Brilliant!!!!! This event was to take place during the racers summer break, so, straight after the German GP we were to motor down to Italy for our rendezvous.
I had booked an Ibis Hotel in Dresden for us to stay in for our time at the race, and although this was an hours drive to the circuit, it provided Jan and Joel a base in which to explore this famous old city whilst Wes and I were at the GP.
We flew to Berlin airport and picked up a rental car for our holiday. I had purchased a Tom Tom sat nav system from eBay to help me navigate across Europe; this really was worth every penny! How did we ever manage before these systems were available?!
By the time we were settled into the hotel it became apparent that we could not make the Friday qualifying and so chilled out in one of the many out door restaurants that abound in this historic town. The weather was perfect and the “steins” of Blonde beer were going down famously. As we strolled back to our hotel later that night the mellow ambiance that was aglow, was replaced by Donner und Blitzen (Thunder and Lightening). First we had to shelter in a door way, then when the time was right……run for it!!!! It’s amazing how fast one can run when you don’t want to get wet!
Breakfast was served from 6am, so Wes and I were able to eat before we left for the track.
We arrived at the circuit around 7.30am; we located our seats in the tribune (Grandstand), had a good nosey around the rest of the public areas and then headed for the paddock. I was concerned whether Chaz would be racing this event, for I had read in the Motor Cycle News that he was still beaten up from crashing on all three days of the Donington GP and that it was doubtful if he was fit enough to ride. My concerns were put to rest, for at this circuit there is a bulletin board on show, which is updated after each practice session. Chaz’s name was down as a
qualifier in the 250’s for the Friday session.
The weather on this Saturday was glorious; all the rain that fell the previous night had dried up and it was becoming a scorcher. I was looking out for Mike Di Meglio to thank him for allowing Wes to sit astride his race bike at Donington and we spotted him in the Kopron Hospitality area. We had a good chat and he offered me his e-mail for me to keep in touch. I wrote this down on an envelope and had it all holiday, now that I am back in the UK I cannot find it… bugger!!!!! ...or words to that effect! Wes and I spectated from  several  different  close  vantage  positions
within the paddock compound this day and were able to take many good pictures of all classes un molested. I contacted Chaz’s mum and arranged to meet up with her during lunch time. We had a great chat and had a good insight into Chaz’s health and aspirations for this home GP for the Aprillia Germany Team. Peter and Chaz appeared and discussions as to the bike/ team set up were lengthy and interesting.
Wes and I are always welcome at the Carrera Hospitality unit and as we were starving, we hurried over to see Lucio and his sister. Of course Wes had his Carrera team shirt on his back and I had the ever faithful NSR World fabric stretched tight across my voluminous girth. We ate a hearty lunch and I looked on in amazement at the tiny portions of pasta that the riders ate.
These boys have to be like Jockeys to compete in today’s ultra competitive GP racing. Roby’s motor home was parked up next to Shakey Bryne’s Winnebago and I was confused by all the fuss and noise that was coming from beside Shakey’s truck. I popped my head around to find out what was happening, loads of blokes had gathered and were pushing and shoving each other. This was odd, for the Moto GP boys were out on track right now. Phew! I soon found out. Shakey is seeing the glamour model Jodie Marsh and she was flaunting herself beside the trucks. Mmm! Nice! Whoa, steady on Dave, you are here to watch the racing, not ogle at “top shelf” girls, control yourself!!!!!!! Lots of self control later, I spoke with Roby and it was confirmed that the dinner would take place on the Tuesday after the race, “sorted!” Wes and I continued to watch the days qualifying and when this was all over we headed out of the circuit and to a rendezvous with Jeff and Martina at there home for dinner.
We were up, ready and waiting, for the dining room to open at 6am for breakfast on race day. We ate what we could (I don’t have an appetite at 6am!) and set off for the circuit. The traffic was heavy, and as we approached the track we came to a standstill on the motorway. It took us a fair amount of time, but we eventually reached the track and parked our car. The sun was shining and the air was fresh and clean.
The atmosphere in the UK is always heavy and full of moisture, but over on the continent it is different. Wes and I took our seats in the Tribune, this was positioned on the home straight right at the finish line.
As an aside, whilst I remember, I don’t know what it is with Germans, but they appear to be in a fashion time warp. In the late 70s, here in the UK, I can recall footballers wearing micro shorts, having long flowing hair, and sporting moustaches. Well that fashion is still strong here in Germany! Women and men all wear ultra short denim shorts, and where they get them from is anybodies guess! Most men have “Super Mario” style moustaches… uuughh! what a turn off that must be for the ladies! The hair style we call the “mullet” is de-rigeur for the modern German male - and people say that I have a weird dress sense!!!!! I am positively in style! Right let’s get back to the action!
Before the racing commenced, Colin Edwards stopped off at our tribune and was armed with a pump action air cannon. He filled the barrel with (what I assumed to be rolled up tee shirts) and fired several salvos into the spectators. I was unfortunate not to receive any of his free gifts, but this fantastic gesture of his to the crowd has made me think very highly of the man.
The 125 racing, as always was frantic and once again Pasini threw it down the road and lost out on his lead in the championship. Pogialli also “bit the dust” and his stricken machine caused the race to be Red flagged. Just at this time, Simoncelli was moving up through the lead pack to make his assault for the win. Whenever a race is halted due to a Red flag incident, the final positions are calculated from the lap before the stoppage which demoted him back to third. (I bet he was gutted!) Mika Kallio came out the winner, with Tom Luthi being awarded 2nd place.
The Moto GP machines were out next, this format was being used to accommodate TV coverage of some motor car race else where. Although I LOVE the sound of two strokes, the thunderous cacophony of these four strokes has to be heard live to understand the desire to be track side. My interest in this class is for Roby, and as usual he qualified towards the back of the grid. Roby always makes a good start though, and this moved him up to mid pack. As the race unfolded Roby was caught and passed by other riders and eventually finished the race in 14th, scoring 2 points.
Wes and I were positioned right level with the finish line and this is situated at the crest of a rise out of the last corner. As the race wore on I mentioned to Wes that Robby’s clutch must be slipping, for I could here the engine revs rise as he motored on passed us down this straight. After the race I mentioned this to Roby and his reply was astonishing! It was not the clutch or engine that was causing problems, it was the tyres. The tyres that Roby has to use were developed for World Super Bikes and cannot take the abuse that the Desmo Ducati gives them. By half distance every race they are knackered - they just spin and don’t provide enough traction. That is why I assumed his clutch was slipping. Even more bizarre is the fact that Roby ran out of fuel on the very last lap at Laguna Seca USA GP (whilst in a points scoring position), this was caused by the tyre spinning and over revving the motor. The fuel tank size is reduced for this season and the Ducatis are right on the fuel limit at each GP. The WCM team do not encounter this problem because their machines put out less brutal horse power. Dunlop appear pleased with Roby’s input and for each race they are bringing their tyres forward.
The 250 event was Chaz’s race, he was placed mid pack for the first few laps and then started to move slowly forward. He was around the 10th position when he encountered a mechanical problem;  I witnessed him going backwards for two laps, then saw him pull into the box to retire. His problem was a cracked sparkplug which caused his motor to misfire at high revs. Poor old Chaz! This is definitely not his season, another DNF! Wes and I have both signed up to a scheme of donating monies to Chaz for every point that he scores. We are contributing £1.00 per point each, so far I have only paid Chaz £17.00. In real terms this has not cost me anything to fret about, but I would love to owe him £60, £70 or £80ish. if any one would also like to join this scheme, please contact me via e-mail at [email protected]
Well, that just about finishes off the race report... buckle up your seat belt, we have a long drive to Italy…
Coming soon!...