When most people in the United States think of motorsports, their first thoughts turn to NASCAR, where stock cars that are essentially all the same turn left for three hours straight while bad tattoo-having fans look on. Meanwhile Formula 1 and its motorcycle-riding cousin MotoGP are largely overlooked.
It’s a shame because those races are far more exciting. The elite combination of strategy and performance in F1 and MotoGP is obvious to even a first-time viewer. Fans can find themselves as riveted by a battle for 7th place as they are by the leader. All of the elements that make this type of road course racing were on display in this past weekend’s MotoGP race in Australia. There was much more overtaking than usual, including a pass by Marc Marquez on the final lap to secure the win. A second-place finish by Jorge Lorenzo tightened the battle for the season championship with only two races to go. Also, a rider hit a seagull.
On the first lap, Ducati rider Andrea Iannone came upon an unsuspecting seagull standing in the middle of the track. The bird tried to fly away, but it wasn’t faster than Iannone’s bike and the seagull’s shoulder-pooping days came to an abrupt end. Iannone did not let the bird murder phase him. Even though the faring on his bike was damaged, he managed to finish on the podium in third place.
The incident also provides an excellent opportunity to rewatch this clip of former major league pitcher Randy Johnson obliterating another seagull in a spring training game a few years back.