i loved the little aussie from the first. casey "crasher" stoner always looked to me as a very talented, brainy and bold fellow, with a heart, as the turks say, "as large as a hearth" (*). maybe that braveness earned him the monicker "crasher" but he is obviously better on two wheels as he is in falling off them.
now, unless the sky drops off, casey stoner is the virtual champion of the motorcycle grand prix, or the moto-gp, the greatest event in motorcycling, for 2007. there still are more races to go but the all-time-grand-champion of the hearts, the "doctor", the "mozart of motorcycle" the great valentino rossi who has elevated riding into a visual art, has already caved in, when his yamaha developed transmission trouble this sunday.
i hope that before he retires, hopefully not before some decades later, rossi will recall his pep and bring his art back to the top of the podium. after all, last year he lost to a mediocre american from kentucky because of a machine that kept failing him and ultimately destroying his morale. this year, he lost first to the excellent and frighteningly fast (**) new ducati and than to casey from down under.
i am a fan of stoner, all right, but without the soul that rossi (whom i prefer to all riders out there), and old timers like max biaggi, alex barros, loris capirossi, marco melandri, john "hopper" hopkins etc. bring to the events, watching bike racing will soon become like looking at a porno movie where japanese robots make love in the finnish language.
it is my hope that the fighting spirit that comes with a sly smile in stoner will, as of next year develop into an inimitable style that can mark his deed and keep the art within the trade.
so, congratulations to the winner, he is a crash!
(*) americans would take the expression downward into the ball-park...
(**) doing better than 20 kliks faster than rossi's yamaha.