MotoGP 2011: The good old days are here today

All too often you hear people complaining about the state of motorsports. They state that it’s too expensive, there’s no fan community left, the racing is too safe, too boring, etc., wishing for a “simpler time.” They can never nail down the exact “simpler time,” but it existed at some point. Some say it was the ‘20s , or the ‘60s, or ‘80s, and then some just pick one year randomly and stick with that, say 1996. However, if you want to enjoy motorsports at its best from a racing and social angle, there is no better place than the MotoGP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

MotoGP is the major league of motorcycle racing. Here, a who’s who of manufacturers and riders compete with some of the most technologically advanced motorcycles on the planet. However, unlike F1, NASCAR or Indy racing, the bikes are closely related to what you can buy at a dealership. They may not be identical, or the same models, but there is much more similarity than say a Fusion NASCAR car than a stock Fusion on the showroom floor.

But MotoGP is not only about the bikes, but the riders and the community as well. The race brought in bikers from all across the country to Indianapolis. For two days, the main road was closed down to allow motorcyclists to park and socialize. Here you could see large cruisers next to the fastest of superbikes while their owners traded stories. It got a bit rowdy at times, and there was a healthy amount of obnoxious engine revving, but for the most part it was a big party.

Come race day, everybody suits up (albeit with little to no safety gear for some ridiculous reason), and heads to Indianapolis Motor Speedway. You may be familiar with this the track from its most popular event, the Indy 500, but it has a road course as well. Plus, since MotoGP isn’t incredibly popular, you have more freedom to move around and see the various attractions available. It feels much less constricting than an event like the Indy 500, where you are shoulder to shoulder to someone while breathing in the smell of cheap beer and perspiration.

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Entourage 8.6 – The Big Bang

Is it just me or does Vince’s career seem like the least of his concerns at the moment? I thought for sure that his big story arc this season would revolve around yet another comeback, but instead, it appears to be more about him becoming a better person – first in his unselfish decision to write a starring vehicle for Drama, and now in trying to find a meaningful relationship with a woman that isn’t just about sex. So what spurred this sudden moment of self-reflection?

Believe it or not, it was that GQ reporter from last week (as if anyone thought that was the last we were going to see of her), whose interview with Vince pegs him as a bit of a womanizer. You can understand why he would want to do everything in his power to prevent a piece like that from ever running, but I’m a little surprised at his overall reaction. Vince seemed genuinely shocked at her portrayal of him, which makes me think that they either erased his memory “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”-style at the rehab center or he’s even dumber than he looks. Of course, at the rate this season is going, I’m sure that Sophia will eventually fall for Vince’s movie star charm, domesticate his inner wild child, and they’ll go on to live happily ever after.

It might seem crazy to think that Vince could ever adapt to that kind of future, but we’ve certainly seen crazier things happen – like Eric’s recent run of form. In fact, it’s almost as if the two friends have swapped bodies. Eric has been acting completely out of character lately, and after learning that Johnny Galecki might be sleeping with Sloan (isn’t she supposed to be in New York?), he gives Scotty the ultimatum to either dump Galecki as a client or say goodbye to their partnership. I get that Eric is still upset about his break-up with Sloan, but what kind of grown man acts that way? This definitely isn’t Eric’s finest hour, and only the writers are to blame, who have practically ruined one of the show’s most complex characters over the course of only six short episodes.

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Breaking Bad 4.7 – I Just Can’t Seem to Wrap My Mind Around This One Little Thing…

Not being a video game aficionado, I actually had to Google “Rage” to see if it was a real game or something that was created for the show, because it seemed like it could go either way. Indeed, it is a real game, and I have to suspect that there are a lot of people over at id Software giddy at its use within an episode of “Breaking Bad.” I also wonder if, in fact, they’ll manage to find a way to slip a facsimile of Gale Boetticher into some future sequel, given how Jesse found himself seeing Gale’s face as he shot at his onscreen targets. “Mission failed. Restart?” Jesse’s answer is a resounding yes. This bodes poorly, methinks…

Yep, Junior’s new car is going back, as was only inevitable once Skyler stepped into the situation, but just because she’s being sensible about the financial goings-on within the White house doesn’t mean that Walt has to like it. The combination of having to pay an $800 restocking fee for the vehicle and his general annoyance at Skyler telling him not to “tangle” with anyone leaves him so pissed off that he decides to take it for a rapid-fire test drive before returning it, but when he manages to fuck up the car in the middle of a goddamned parking lot, he decides to blow the vehicle to kingdom come. A hysterical scene, to be sure, but with some seriously dark undertones: he’s quite literally got money to burn at this point, and he doesn’t care how wasteful he is with his material possessions.

Fortunately, after a quick trip to Saul Goodman’s office, any major charges against Walt for his big bang have been whittled down to “misdemeanor trash burning, but we see a particularly nasty side of Walt at this point, snapping at Saul, “Just tell me it’s done.” Walt remains convinced that Gus wants him dead, even though Jesse’s told Saul that Gus needs him too much to kill him. Saul refuses to help hook Walt up with a hit man, however, explaining that A) anyone he knows also knows Mike, and B) hiring anyone he doesn’t know is risking someone who might not get the job done, and when it comes to Gus, “just winging that guy is not gonna ameliorate your situation. Not by a damned sight.” Saul’s recommendation: talk to Jesse, who’s the only other person besides Mike who’s actually been around Gus recently.

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First Drive: 2012 Harley Night Rod

Shrines are places so hallowed, so respected, that entering into them sends a chill straight up your spine. They become this way by being attached to events that are legendary and seem almost impossible. Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of these places. For over 100 years, people have challenged the laws of physics to extract even more speed out of the vehicles they raced in. To ride here is to ride along with the many legends that have come before. This weekend, I had a chance to ride in this cathedral of speed as a guest of Harley Davidson.

When one thinks of Harley Davidson, racing is not the first thing to come to mind. However, Harley has a proud past and present in various racing leagues across the country, including its own class in AMA racing for the XR1200. Harley is not just chrome and loud pipes, but a significant part of the racing culture in the U.S. For our trip on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, they chose a bike that can trace its roots back to racing: the newest Harley V-Rod, the Harley Night Rod.

The original V-Rod is not a racer at first glance. It is by all respects a power cruiser. Back in 2001, it was meant to bring the attitude of Harley cruisers into the new millennium. To do this, they started with a brand new, water-cooled motor. And this is where the racing connection is made. The reason is that the motor of the V-Rod was not made specifically for the bike, it was meant for racing in a bespoke superbike. In fact, the motor was even developed with the help of Porsche. However, the racing bike was shelved, so Harley created the V-Rod instead, and as they say, the rest is history. 10 years later, Harley is celebrating the V-rod with two new versions: the Night Rod and the 10th Anniversary edition.

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A good old fashioned premiere party with Lake Bell and Karina Smirnoff

The new comedy, “A Good Old Fashioned Orgy,” celebrated its premiere Thursday night at the Lexington Social House in Hollywood with a Maxim party for all cast and guests. Star and Maxim cover girl Lake Bell arrived in a killer Cushnie Et Ochs black dress paired with Salvatore Ferragamo shoes. Bell went straight to take photos with the giant magazine cover of herself. Also joining her at the event were co-stars Will Forte, Angela Sarafyan, Lindsay Sloane and more.

“Dancing with the Stars” performer Karina Smirnoff joined the party straight from the movie premiere in a floor-length Cynthia Vincent pleaded creme dress — perfect attire for Lexington Social House’s most desired outside patio. The Maxim girls carried an oversized Sobieski bottle and posed for photos with partygoers. Guests enjoyed Sobieski cocktails all night long with movie-themed drinks including The Good Old Fashioned, Ring My Bell and Dirty Martinis.

Check out the trailer for the film below and then read more about “A Good Old Fashioned Orgy” in our September movie preview.

  

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