Here at the Sett, we’re very pleased to introduce a very special guest article from none other than Mr Danny John-Jules, the legend that was the Cat in Red Drawf and Barrington in Maid Marian and her Merry Men. He’s still busy with various TV work including the quite brilliant Motorbike Diaries, but has taken some time out to write about Formula 1 and MotoGP for BadgerGP.com, enjoy folks!
I am currently in Guadeloupe filming a new BBC drama called ‘Death In Paradise’ and I have had real problems watching my regular fixes of F1 and Moto GP. My Mac had gone as pear shaped as a Lewis Hamilton front tyre after one of his infamous lock-ups; I can get Moto GP on ESPN (at the crack of dawn) but no F1. iPlayer isn’t an option outside of the UK, so I’m a bit stuffed! Fortunately one of the actors was going to London for a week so I sent my Mac with him so that the missus could get it repaired.
Meanwhile, I watched Danni Pedrosa fly past World Champion Jorge Lorenzo to win the Portuguese GP despite just having had more metal taken out of his shoulder than the Terminator. These guys are tough. They ride at the same speed as F1 drivers but without the luxury of a state of the art safety capsule that saved the life of Red Bull driver Mark Webber. Yes, the man is a true soldier. He’s been airborne three times in an F1 car and is still alive to talk about it! The aerial manoeuvre that his car performed at the 2010 European GP – when it crashed at 190-mph – would not have looked out of place if performed by Tom Daley from atop an Olympic diving high board.
Finally, my man is back and I watch the Chinese F1 GP. The best drive in the race for me came from Webber, finishing fourth after starting 18th. He drives like he lives: on the edge. Don’t get me wrong, I think Lewis drove an amazing race, but it was more exiting watching Mr Webber carve his way through the field. To negotiate your way through the mire that is F1’s technological minefield you would have to be bioscientechologist. These cars are like aeroplanes – and military ones at that! They’ve got adjustable rear wings – that’s the ‘ology’ they use!
I watched the Turkish GP highlights but was by no means highlighted. I got more exited when I heard that a British 125 Moto GP rider had blown my Pink R1 up doing burn outs with Scott Redding at the Thundersprint show. I’m not happy. But the way Scott dealt with the tragic death of Shoya Tomizawa at the age of 18 was dignified and respectful; his maturity stretched way beyond his age. Good luck to him.
Back to the ‘ology, which I don’t mind when it’s used to make the sport safer, like ABS and HANS systems. The Moto GP Air Bag Suits are here and boy, do those guys need them. The amount of argy bargy going on in the bikes this year is great. It’s like the old Schumacher days in F1!
Valentino Rossi rides like Michael sometimes and the legendary bad blood feuds over the years persisted, with the likes of Max Biaggi, Sete Gibenau, Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo all citing grievances regarding his ‘aggressive’ riding style.
Now my mate Marco ‘The Maverick’ Simoncelli is also getting a lot of stick for being too competitive; he was given a drive through penalty for cutting across Danni Pedrosa at the French GP. I liked him the moment I met him. He’s a massive Hendrix fan and I played him in play once. It had nothing to do with the fact that I was wearing one of his exclusive t-shirts!
I want my racing fair and tough like the old battles of Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe, a level playing field. I don’t by any means think Moto GP is perfect but I do think it’s fairer than F1. I don’t like when racing gets too complicated, like with KERS. In normal speak it goes like this: you press a button and your car gets an extra 80-hp. The only drawback is that it weighs 25 kilos, and in F1 world that’s the equivalent of driving around the circuit with your mother-in-law sitting on the engine. The jury is still out.
But the crazy one is DRS, the ‘La Cage Aux Folles’ of technophobeology. Less drag helps the boys to takeover; it makes the car slip through the air quicker by sucking clean air in (providing no-one is in front of you) and then breaking bad wind out through strategically placed letterboxes. Slipstreaming nowadays must be like driving behind a giant jet-propelled fart. Shakespeare’s Coriolanus wasn’t on a hill sitting on his one horse power ride when he uttered the famous words: “you common cry of curs! Whose breath I hate as reek o’ the rotten fens;” he was galloping behind an F1 car! And, with the new Pirelli tyres, there is so much more debris around on the track nowadays that you sometimes feel like you’re watching one of those old White City Stadium banger races that used to be on the TV show ’World Of Sport’.
Mad Max Mosley says he wants to see the sport more exciting. I bet he does, because Moto GP is whooping it’s derrière! Got to go, Moto GP is on at 6am!
When Danny’s not busy watching MotoGP or writing guest articles for Badger he’s busy with loads of other work, including:
- ‘Motorbike Diaries – Mad In The Med’ On in June , Extreme Sports channel
- Death In Paradise due out Sundays in October
- New Red Dwarf series starts filming in November
- I’m doing a charity ride with Steve keys and Matt Roberts to Valencia for the final MotoGP race. We will be riding the 2 Pink R1’s (see pic!) and Matt will be Riding Jorge Lorenzo’s IOM TT R1. The trip is in aid of Riders For Health – See Twitter; @vivavalencia
- You can also follow Danny on Twitter @dannyjohnjules