Tandem Trips

The Kentucky Kid

Posted in Motorsports by Me on April 7, 2009

Nicky HaydenI’ve mentioned that I am going to this year’s Moto GP in Indianapolis in August, and this week I decided that I’m rooting for Nicky Hayden (more here).

One reason is that he is from the United States. His new stars and stripes livery mesh well with the reinvigorated patriotism surging through the country lately (a much healthier, more productive, and more genuine patriotism than the kind we had in 2001, I think), so I see him as a symbol of our national potential; a kind of flag bearer for the Americans that can’t quite get what they need even though they put in more than 100%.

This alludes to my second reason. Hayden is the underdog. Even though he won the championship in 2006 for Repsol Honda he get’s a lot of flak for not repeating that performance, even though repeat championships are actually fairly rare in MotoGP. He should be praised and lauded for that achievement rather than criticized, as he so often is, for not having repeated that feat, but the constant criticism has put a black cloud over him and made the experts write him off. Granted his performance last year was mixed, with several finishes in the top 5 and several not even in the top 10, but I’m hoping to see him rise above it all and prove that he can bring it.

The fact that he’s riding a Ducati Desmosedici GP9 helps, too. That bike looks like a killer ride and I think it could bring him good things. It looks great in American colors and it sort of resonates with me as a partly-Italian American.

The last reason, and probably the most telling about me as a person, is that I don’t think either Valentino Rossi nor  Casey Stoner deserve to win the championship. Rossi has become a prick, as evidence by his poor sportsmanship and gloating antics at the end of last season, and Stoner is sloppy (although if Stoner can get his act together this season maybe he will deserve it). While you may say this means Hayden is just my default fill-in for a Rossi-less/Stoner-less podium, it is really more telling of what I think of Hayden’s character, despite his questionable facial hair and god-awful helmet scheme. If you don’t believe me watch The Doctor, the Tornado & the Kentucky Kid.



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