It's That Time Of Year Again

Howard WortonContributor IOctober 21, 2009

PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 18: Valentino Rossi of Italy rides the #46 Fiat Yamaha Team Yamaha during the Australian MotoGP, which is round 15 of the MotoGP World Championship, at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on October 18, 2009 in Phillip Island, Australia.  (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

It's mid-october, which means that the Motogp season is coming to a conclusion for another year. For those of you who are not au-fait with Motogp, let me explain. It is the world championship for prototype motorcycle racing, taking place over 17 rounds on 4 continents. The bikes have a 800cc engine capacity limit and are festooned with a whole load of electronic rider aides in order to makes the 250bhp bikes more user friendly.

Ducati, Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki contribute towards a (smaller than usual) grid of 17 bikes. The riders are superstars over much of the sporting world: Valentino Rossi(Yamaha, 8 times champion, pictured), Casey Stoner(Ducati, 2007 Champion), Jorge Lorenzo(Yamaha, 3 x Champion in smaller classes) and Dani Pedrosa(Honda, 3 x Champion in smaller classes). There are American racers too - Nicky Hayden won the title on a Honda in 2006, Colin Edwards is a 2 time World Superbike(Production-based championship) Champ and next season Ben Spies will join the Yamaha Tech3 team. Ben is seen as a champion-in-waiting and the next-big-thing in Motogp.

This season has seen second-year Spaniard challenge his teammate Valentino Rossi, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest racers in the history of the sport, for the 2009 crown. With 2 races left, the first at Sepang in Malaysia on Sunday and last at Valencia in Spain, Rossi holds a 38 point lead over his young rival. With 25 points for a win, Rossi is looking almost certain to retain the championship.

There is so much to write about regarding Motogp that I can only scratch the surface here. It can be fantastic entertainment, with much close action and overtaking the like of which is unheard of in 4 wheeled racing