Expletive Deleted: A "One Man Killing Machine"
His rivals had no alternative but to, as the popular gaming phrase goes, "suck it".
by Dean F. Adams
Sunday, August 27, 2023
Originally published Wednesday, October 31, 2012'Describe in single words, only the good things that come into your mind about your mother'. (From the Voight-Kampff test)
Watching the video of Casey Stoner throwing the Honda around at Phillip Island last weekend left one drawing parallels to a clip of older video footage. What was this old video footage that Stoner's performance brought to mind? Was it the previous all-conquering Aussie Honda hero, Michael Doohan at Phillip Island, perhaps?
Then it must be the original Australian world champion? Wayne Gardner--ripping on a V4 two-stroke NSR500 at Phillip Island?
Ah, not really.
Seeing Stoner hurl the Honda RC213 around at Phillip Island didn't spark mass reminiscing of any previous Australian riders, or any rider in the history of the sport, frankly.
It reminded one of ... Blade Runner.
Yes, Blade Runner, the 1982 science fiction film made by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford. The movie about a dystopian world awash in 2019 misery and constant acid rain. But it wasn't Ford's role that Stoner mimicked. Instead, Stoner rode his motorcycle like Ford's co-star, Rutger Hauer--in the role of an android psychopath named Roy Batty. With superhuman strength, genius level intelligence and an inability to understand the concept fear, Batty was classified as "Nexus 6" and was basically unstoppable.
Cue the comparisons to Casey Stoner at Phillip Island, minus, of course, the psychopath part.
Nearly one second a lap faster than anyone from the first practice session on, Stoner had superhuman and "inability to understand the concept of fear" down pat. A cold tire crash didn't deter the Australian at all, and by ten o'clock Saturday night Stoner winning the Australian GP was perhaps the most widely accepted foregone conclusion in the history of racing.
His rivals had no alternative but to, as the popular gaming phrase goes, "suck it". Teammate Dani Pedrosa could only watch Stoner pull away from him, even though they were on the same motorcycles. Casey, he said, is "unreachable, on another level". Jorge Lorenzo also approached the subject on bended knee, saying "Casey is really on another planet here. He's riding so comfortably, sliding a lot and (on) full throttle always so it's very difficult to be with him."
Ben Spies said after watching practice from his hospital bed that Stoner did things on a MotoGP bike that made even fellow MotoGP riders scratch their heads in disbelief.
Lorenzo said that before the race that it would be important to "be just behind Casey into the first corner". Consider that phrase. If Lorenzo is considered an "alien" then how does one classify a guy that he hopes to not beat him but simply keep him in sight in turn one?
To me, other than otherworldly, Stoner's performance at Phillip Island looked deeply personal, like something he had wanted to get out of his system for a long time.
I'm sure that it will be just as long for his rivals to get it out of their system as well.
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