Mugello MotoGP Subscriber Notes: The Cream Of MotoGP, Why The Ducati Is Best, Mugello Makes Passing Possible, And The New Marc Marquez

Mugello is a real motorcycle racing track. And on Sunday, it served up a real motorcycle race. After close games of follow-my-leader at Jerez and Le Mans, we had battles, we had passing, we had riders attacking and counterattacking, lining people up to dive underneath, or sweeping out of the slipstream to dive under the rider ahead at Turn 1.

Does this mean MotoGP's overtaking problem has been fixed? Only if we hold an entire season's worth of racing at Mugello and Phillip Island (which doesn't sound like such a terrible idea, to be honest). But it offers hope that when conditions are right, we can see the kind of spectacle which we have come to expect from MotoGP.

Even the atmosphere was good. Sure, the crowd was much thinner on the ground than in previous years – roughly half of what you might expect, making the drive into the track smooth and easy – but they brought the smoke bombs, the passion, the cheering, helped in no small part by the fact that there was an all-Italian front row, and an Italian rider won the Italian Grand Prix on an Italian bike.

It proved a memorable weekend at Mugello, with plenty to think and write about. Starting with these subscriber notes:

  • Bagnaia's victory reinforces the MotoGP hierarchy
  • Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha's Casey Stoner
  • Why the Ducati is the best bike on the MotoGP grid
  • Why overtaking is possible at Mugello, but not Le Mans
  • Marc Marquez' last day of work
  • Pedro Acosta gets it done at last

Pecco Bagnaia's victory was the Italian delivering what he had promised in 2021, until the untimely death of Jason Dupasquier after Moto3 qualifying, and the ill-advised moment of silence on the grid afterward. Last year, Bagnaia had unsurprisingly become distracted by the ceremony, and crashed out of the lead of a race he looked like winning. In 2022, with no distractions, he brought Ducati the win he should have got in 2021.

The way he did so was impressive. He dropped all the way down to eighth on the first lap, but set about working his way forward with a series of superbly timed passes, using the slipstream on the straight to force his way past rider after rider. The key moment was when the factory Ducati rider got past Fabio Quartararo at the start of lap 6. He could put enough space between himself and the reigning champion to allow him to deal with Marco Bezzecchi, then maintain enough of an advantage over Quartararo that the Frenchman could never attack.

It was not a rerun of Jerez, however, where Bagnaia beat Quartararo by getting ahead of him and Quartararo's overheating front tire never allowed him to try to pass. At Mugello, Bagnaia was in control, and Quartararo could just not close the gap sufficiently.

"It was a different situation but a similar result," Quartararo summed up the race afterward. "In Jerez, I knew I could do nothing because we had really similar pace and my front tire was way too hot. Today our pace was really similar but he was faster in one sector, I was faster in another one."

That was evident by the way the lead yoyoed back and forth throughout the race. Quartararo would cut Bagnaia's lead by three tenths, then Bagnaia would find another three tenths and they were back to where they started.

The fact that the podium consisted of riders who started fifth, sixth, and seventh on the grid is a sign that the chaotic opening phase of the 2022 championship is at an end. There are now three, maybe four riders who are a cut above the rest, and capable of performing week in, week out. After a rough start to the season, Pecco Bagnaia is reasserting his dominance in the Ducati camp. Fabio Quartararo is riding out of his skin on the Yamaha, outperforming the other Yamahas by an outrageous amount. And Aleix Espargaro is turning into the model of consistency, scoring his fourth third place in a row, traffic preventing him from doing much better.

The wildcard here is Enea Bastianini. The Gresini rider crashed out of the race at Turn 4, sucked into the corner in Aleix Espargaro's draft. "With Aleix in front, I braked at the same point I braked before, and I went a little bit wide, and I lost the front," the Italian explained. It is part of a wider pattern: Bastianini won at Qatar, then finished eleventh at Mandalika. He won in Texas, then crashed out at Portimão. He won his third race of the season at Le Mans, then crashed out a second time at Mugello. He is still third in the championship, but his deficit has grown to 28 points.

What are top three doing better than anyone else? Starting from pole, Fabio Di Giannantonio got a chance to study them from close quarters, until an underperforming rear tire saw him slide down the field. "They are so precise," the Gresini Ducati rider told me after the race. "When they brake also a bit later, they can also close the line perfectly, they are super smooth on the throttle, super precise on how to use the throttle to get the traction. So it was amazing honestly to be at the front and study these things from really close."

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I found it interesting how poorly the riders without homes performed ie those without guaranteed support for next year.

Mir, Rins and PEspargaro crashed out, Miller and Martin were way back on bikes close to the winner, AMarquez also back (though watching on line who knows what is happening at the back) Fernandez 12 sec behind Gardner.

The only exception was Nakagami who did OK.

There must be great pressure and it must be very unsettling and deflating if your team has decided that you are gone mid season.


to say the least. Something I hadn't included in my predictions for this year's winners and who would have thought that Suzuki would pull out hey?

Oliveira seemed to be coping OK with the news, pretty close to stablemate Brad. Zarco seems to be doing quite fine too.

But indeed Rins, Mir, Miller, something on their minds? Morbidelli, one of my favourites, too.

Is it the distractions of not knowing where you will go, knowing you are out of your team? Potentially that 5% of effort or risk-taking that just doesn't seem worth it? Look where Marc ended up yesterday.

It sure again is a very strange season indeed. I hope for the riders involved some peace will find their way into their minds soon.

PB63 back on form but huge shout to Fabio, where did that come from? What a ride!

You mentioned it in passing, but I'm always interested in attendances as its a good measure of the sport's reach.

Le Mans was very encouraging - very good turnout, possibly in no small measure due to two fast (one very fast) French riders. Very encouraging and their enthusiasm was fantastic.

Diminished attendance at Mugello is a real shame and I'd really hoped the turnout would again be high. I'm going to suggest something contentious but obvious, is this because of 'his' retirement? The spectre looms large (but shall not be spoken). There was of course on screen the unusual spectacle of half empty stands - at Mugello of all places. There are many talented Italians upcoming (and in Bagnia they've already arrived), but unforunately a VR is one in a generation, because his appeal went wider than the sport.

In the UK Silverstone's annually falling attandances can be traced directly back to terrestrial TV losing the rights (with a slight bump when VR was challenging for the title in 2015 / 16). As I predicted at the time - the loss of the casual TV fans would be reflected in fewer people buying tickets to the event. Now the situation is worsened by no UK riders being on the grid. I'll bet the figures this year to be the lowest at Silverstone since it won the event in 2010. Even local interest Sam Lowes is having a bad year (not entirely his fault).

Dorna has done a good job with the sport over recents years with levelling the depth of field, I hope they can address the sports wider appeal the post VR era.


I’m not sure why it seems to not be the done thing to talk about Rossi since he retired; it’s almost as though some shameful episode has passed that no-one wants to revisit. All of which is a bit weird given what he did for the sport and that, for the last 2 or 3 years he wasn’t really in the mix. But anyway, my tuppence worth says the drop in spectators is a combination of a number of factors. It’s VR, and MM, in big measure. One megastar retired and the only other one unable to shine. This has caused a break in continuity, a fracture in the usurper narrative. Outside of ‘our’ circles, who has even heard of Quarty or Bagnaia, let alone the others? It’s a bit like the immediate post-Doohan period, where Criville and then KR Jnr won the title - until Rossi did back to back titles it kind of felt like a piece of the jigsaw was missing. It’s also a covid-connected recession, both in terms of things becoming rapidly more expensive but also a slight slowness about returning to the way things were. I went to Venice a few weeks back for a long weekend, and it was delightfully quiet compared to pre-covid, when before, it could be hell on earth. And it’s also, I think, the worst possible time for MotoGP to start becoming processional again. Yesterday was pretty good, but it still felt more ‘90’s than early 2020’s.

None of which should be a cause for too much despondency. Dorna will have learned a great deal over the last couple of decades and, from my couch, appear to have a good feel for making the show worth watching. A new pecking order, new ‘aliens’, are emerging. Honda and Yamaha will bounce back and, if they don’t, it’ll be a battle between Ducati and Aprilia, with maybe KTM in the mix for good measure.

On a different note, how sad was that MM presser on Saturday. I’ve never been a fan of MM but I could feel his pain all the way from here and felt nothing but enormous sympathy. It’s clearly risky and, personally, I think he may find it very difficult, even with best of outcomes, to re-attain that supremacy, but I hope it goes well for him.

And yes I didn’t want to make the post too long but MM (love him or no) is the biggest name in the sport by a long way and it’s a huge loss for him not to be competitive and worse to not be racing. It was only a few years ago that David was writing that we had probably the best riders ever on the grid at the same time, VR, MM and of course Jorge Lorenzo (and a shout for Dani Pedrosa too). To lose them all within 2 or 3 years is a blow. That’s not the say the upcoming crop aren’t excellent but as you say, no one outside here would have heard of any of them.

We should all really hope we see MM back on top form running at the front.

I hope you’re right that Dorna have ‘got this’ if wings and ride height devices are making the races processional again - ditch ‘em. It was bold to go spec ECU, but it worked, I say be bold again as necessary. The last thing the sport needs now is boring races.

I know it risks starting a religious war to muse about the quality of modern riders vs the past champions, but "It was only a few years ago that David was writing that we had probably the best riders ever on the grid at the same time, VR, MM and of course Jorge Lorenzo (and a shout for Dani Pedrosa too)."...I think Mick Doohan, Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey, Kevin Schwanz might have a thing or two to say about that comment.

Now get off my lawn!

I mis-wrote - David said something to the effect of "four of the six best riders in history" so that might include your faves too

I think the VR46 (including Pecco and Franco) riders are a good pull for the Italian fans, maybe need some more success. I was soooooooo willing Bez and Luca to get a double podium. Given the current economic outlook and given there was no chance of a Rossi miracle, the ticket price was maybe a tad high. Looking at the two VR46 bikes...there's every chance of a win this year. They both looked good.

I agree completely that it isn’t just the loss of Rossi, but his foe, Marquez isn’t on form.  While we here are happy with the racers we have, spectators at large need a duel, a spat, a story.  Maybe Fabio can cut the brake lines on Pecco’s rental car.   Racing is entertainment.  The most sophisticated entertainment present complexities, not just the main show.  

Indeed, and while I know some dislike this, heroes and villains, or at least great rivalries, add a bit of drama. I too was hoping the mooneys would pull it off, it would have been good to see the underdogs steal the silver but I’m sure their time will come.

It's clear that what we're seeing in MotoGP right now is the triumph of patience. I have no idea how Aleix Espargaro has borne the criticism that has been slung at him over the years, but his dogged determination to get that Aprilia machine to success is admirable. Great to see him and the factory achieve their potential at last.

Acosta is interesting too - Aki Ajo is such a canny team boss and has handled him admirably. The expectation on such a brilliant young talent can be crippling but Ajo has stressed the need to chill, learn and enjoy this season. Acosta has had space to make the mistakes he needed to. He really is going to be something special.

I hope more teams take note of who is winning right now and how and give riders space and time to discover how to win. There is no doubt some riders have had a long stretch on decent bikes without producing consistently decent results, though... I feel for some of them but others will really have to have a word with themselves if they want to stay in the paddock.

It's clear that what we're seeing in MotoGP right now is the triumph of patience.

What worries me about this is that some factories may never catch up. The Italians have improved every year of the Michelin era and now easily have the best bikes on the grid. Suzuki was 3rd but now they are gone. Honda and Yamaha are completely lost. They used to be on top. But they threw years away relying on talent alone rather than balancing it out with bike development. The only way for them to catch up would be for the Italians to slip, which I don't see happening under current leadership.

Love this,

" Like a block pass. In the first corner you give a lot of throttle, and then in the second part you are slow, but the other rider can do nothing. "

I disagree, I don't think it was PB63's distraction last year, so this year Bastianini distracted him? PB63 is still fickle, in mugello he knew that the straight would make the race easier, after all it was just a matter of accelerating on the straight, which was practically all of his overtakes until he was first, Fabio gave a show of technique, I doubt another driver on the grid do the same as him with the M1.

Does Rossi even attend these races (I guess he was there for the number retirement)? I thought he would feature prominently in the coverage--maybe equivalent time to Gigi's beard-stroking? I think he's made a choice to step back, and--if true--good for him. 

A shame that the "MotoGP Unlimited" didn't really take off. More than a few times now, I've come across people that now watch F1 (even the practices!) who never watched motorsports previously. 

Of course he has a post retirement hobby racing cars so that will rule out many weekends. I also rather hope and suspect he’s generous enough not to turn up and distract the attention, particularly at Mugello, from the current riders.

Of course as he has a team he probably should turn up sometimes!

Loss of Marquez helps blunt the loss of Suzuki and the 2 available factory riders. Really now we are looking for a single seat. Maybe Rins to LCR, replace Taka. Ha!

Interesting that Simon Crafar commented that MotoGP manufacturers were not interested in Canet, despite his obvious talent, as he didn’t “suit their image”. Sad but true and you wonder what he was thinking when he got them.

He was specifically talking about Japanese manufacturers I think. Pretty rotten idea that tattoos could bypass his ability to do a job. He's struggling to get past whatever it is that keeps him crashing when it counts. I guess it doesn't help to have people suggesting his career options are limited because of how he looks. Lecuona has some tats though and he's riding Honda. Maybe it's the number of or coverage. Never been a big Canet fan but he's fast and talented, never too many of them around.

Quartararo has at least an arm (usually covered in leathers) and a reasonable size one on the back of his neck that is often visible. Canet's tatts are extensive enough to be a statement rather than some decoration.


The pearl clutching over Canet's tattoos is pretty funny. He literally risks his life every weekend riding these bikes. It's none of anyone's business if he wants to cover his body in them. He's already not like any of us and that is likely a similiar extension of his personality that allows himself to operate in such a high-risk occupation. I can see the point about a Japanese manufacture not thinking he is harmonious with their 'corporate image' but these comments are just people's own judgements. Any track day you go to people have tattoos. Any high-risk sport people have tattoos. If someone is prepared to do what these boys do who cares if they have tattoos.

FWIW though I think the leopard print is pretty naff haha

The Japanese and other Asians have long cultural histories with a tattoo style, they tolerate some Western style here and there ones. You can't get access/into some community places with those big tattoo coverings. Cultural norm. 

Look, the same thing happens nearly everywhere. Facial prison style ones exclude you from many positions in the West as well. 

We've got bigger fish to fry. If you haven't seen last Sunday's Moto3 race, go watch! It's berserk.

There are several riders in MotoGP right now with a struggle of heart and spirit. Some will transcend it, some may have just taken "that big downturn." The sport can be brutal. 

June is signing month. Blue Quarty, Honda Mir. Then more. Rule changes and tire changes may be arising. The Championship is hotting up. 

Our universally liked Dovisioso just let us know essentially that he is quitting. He may not even finish the season. I don't think he's done riding though. I wish for him a great Test or Superbike spot. Great guy, fantastic racer. He did it his way, and the hard earned way. Huge respect. How many have battled healthy Marc hammer and tongs in regular conditions and won top step? A couple to a few?

Whatever lack of interest in the Mugello Round by Italians is cause for a look in the mirror or the season on our hands. Italy has cause for joy and pride lately! 

If you want to be a professional motorcycle racer in the premier class, you're seeking a position as a public figure in the marketing department of a major company. A rider's image is literally their business. All they want is a talented rider without any baggage.

It is silly that we discuss neck tattoos when Canet is risking his life to go fast, but it works both ways. It's equally silly that a talented rider on the cusp of working his dream job for a major corporation couldn't control his impulse to tat himself from his collarbone to his earlobes. This could ultimately be the reason he isn't hired. The serious people who bear considerable fiduciary responsibility to shareholders view Canet as an unserious person with poor judgment and impulse control issues.

Winning is the magic elixir that erases all perceived deficiencies. I guess Canet's future is in his hands. 

If you're walking down the street with your buddies and spy a tattoo shop, pop in, and pick a design off the wall, and get it right then, you've exhibited bad impulse control. The amount of time that went into designing and laying out what Canet has, let alone the time spent inking it, definitely doesn't qualify as an impulsive thing.

Now, I'm not saying Aron Canet *doesn't* have poor impulse control. I think crashing into Makar Yurchenko in practice for "getting in [his] way" at Argentina back in 2018 is a better example of that.

I’m all for personal freedom and it’s an obvious statement that it’s his body to do whatever he wants. Even in my local  community I’m seeing more and more body art in places that can’t be covered (eg neck) and can’t help thinking as a 58 year old new grandad that there will surely come a day when that person regrets the (faded) look these give. I see ‘80 photos and think ‘I didn’t wear that did I? What an idiot!’ But I could take it off, chuck it away, whatever. In this media age the look is everything but 30 years down the road, like it or not, we get older-and less cool..! Great racing btw, let’s hope that Mugello learn a lesson re pricing against the current economic climate and pack the place again. I’ve been three times, it’s never been cheap, looked at my ticket from 2004, Poggio Secco grandstand and it was €156 then! These times are much changed, let’s hope the good times return. 

Like the young lady once who had an attractive buttonhole rose tattooed on her breast; it's now a long-stemmed rose. Saw a very young lady with an arm-length gothic image of a woman with a blood-dripping knife. I did wonder if she would feel some regret in 40-50 years time.

Imagine a world where people actually worry about what the wallpaper of their meat vessel looks like when they're 70+. If they put too much stock into it they're going to be severely let down with OR without the ink!

I think some tattoos are tasteful and some lack taste. This is the major factor. However, taste is subjective. Luckily we reside in places where taste is not dictated. What a dull world that would be.

I need help to understand Aprilia. and perhaps the rider market more generally.

At Mugello we heard that sanity had prevailed at Aprilia and the stand off with Aleix had been resolved. Thank applicable deity I thought. Then we heard they had re-signed Maverick. Now I appreciate the humanity of the mutterers and the call for respect of the riders in our comments. Mav seems like a really decent human even if lacking of some self awareness in his post race interviews.

I do think though the analytics of his form and the amount of frankly better performed talent in the '...riders looking for new seats' group is such that it's an unfathomable Aprilia chose him. I mean if it was your Mutterer GP team and you had a choice of, say, Rins, Mir, Miller, Oliviera, Gardner, Fernandez (add your own...), would you choose Mav? I agree that there is some notion of potential there but there is a bigger element of magical thinking. Look at the last weekend - qualified 24th, 9.2sec behind pole(!). Finished 12 in the race, but so what - how often does any emptier tank create the whole false dawn narrative for his trajectory. I don't get it. Help me.

It's worth noting that Aprilia stuck with Ianonne until the absolute death. They talk of family. Mav and Aleix are good friends and I guess the atmosphere inside the garage is very good. Also, the potential is there and is very high. Mav has been a rider who, when 'things' are right, is the fastest rider on two wheels. The temptation sits on the question, 'what if we can make things right for him ?' If they can, then the rest will follow...a lot of it. The doubt is that it is not the bike or the team or the atmosphere but it is Mav. I like this Aprilia family.

I think Vinales got lucky on a 2 yr deal. I would have thought 1.

He "has potential for greatness," Aprilia must be excited at having their first "top shelf quality" rider signed. But is he still? Maverick is a bit of a conundrum. 

My take on his Yamaha yrs is gracious, they were a poor fit. Seeing his performance in Black makes me more impressed with Aleix! He is a bit like a Dovi in that he ground out the hard work to thrive. But quite opposite of professor Dovi, A.Espargaro is an emotional lightning rod. A bit ADHD perhaps. Very unlike Pol too. 

It is still a bit early in the year. But Vinales looks a mundane, doesn't he? If they didn't have the Jr Team I would say it was outright detrimental not putting a fast kid on the 2nd bike. I suppose he could get bumped down to Raz's team if he performs poorly, but as we know he handles disappointment and reprimand very poorly. 

I dislike the kid personally but Fernandez is making himself a bargain for a Black signing. Better pick than Mav? Hard choice. Miller? He would do better. Rins? I would prefer him. Oliveira isn't shining brightly, having troubles recommending him. I like him! But something is off. (Mir isn't available for Aprilia I don't think, and if he was they would have gone with him).

They should have done 1 yr. Some good riders are going to want that seat. 

The team mates of 2016...202 points versus 93 points. Remember the first races of 2017 ? The 'dark' days of Yamaha and the one rider who...on a given day...left everyone in the dust at the speed of heat ? Something happened mid way through 2018, for a year and a half before that Mav wasn't Marc Marquez but his results were good and consistent, sometimes amazing. After that the results went up down up down. Too often the terrible opening laps followed by the best race pace on earth. Sympathy for Suzuki maybe. Do you remember how many races...if a few laps longer...Mav was gonna win despite dropping 300 places on the opening lap ? The fastest rider through anything named 'TEST'. It's not what is there to be seen right now that intrigues, it is what everybody suspects was there and should still be there if only they can unlock it. I have no idea if they can do it or even if there is anything other to be found than what is in plain sight. I can understand the attraction though. Come on get back in and engage Maverick !

Plus availability (who knows where everyone wants to go, remember how many riders turned them down)

Plus (probably) price too?

How come it's the same issues that are crippling him from his Yamaha days? Can't qualify and can't ride for nought on a full tank of fuel... Surely he needs to be working on his first 5 laps while everyone else works on race pace.. Shouldve been a 1 yr deal. 

Not only that but also refuses to change his riding style to suit the bikes strengths. He publicly stated what, maybe a fortnight ago that he wouldn't change his style "because that's what got me here in the first place". His lack of self awareness is truly stunning because let's face it, that same style has him hitting T1 swapping paint with Darryn Binder for 22nd every meet. 

All of those practice starts from pit lane and wishy washy comments to the media mean nothing when he's not prepared to do whatever it takes to be competitive early-race.

He's a stunned mullet in front of the cameras these days as well. The minute Fabio sees himself on screen he makes sure his finely waxed chest is front and centre and he uses the screen like a mirror. He can't hide how impressed he is with himself. Marc refuses to acknowledge that he even saw the camera flick over. Maverick goes pale and blank and seems to act like he thinks he is supposed to act. He really seems to struggle after Yamaha sent him packing.

Perhaps the team atmosphere down in the garage can help him get back on pace but given what we've seen these last few years I doubt it. I wouldn't even wildcard him in my efforts to beat Shrink in the tipping.

^ ho ho HOOAH! Thanks for funnies. An ouchy chortle. Mav is an odd duck, isn't he? When I was younger, I was in love with the idea of being in love and enamored with the story in my head of having a girlfriend that fit the story in my head. She was a bitter bitch with stomach ulcers but I stuck with her like a beaten dog. 

Reality is preferable to story and romanticized hopes.

Regardless, it's nice to see this manufacturer do what they do, good on them.

One week it's a problem with the way Ducati treat their riders. Next it's problem when Aprilia treat their riders differently.

Ducati Corse shit me to tears and always have. My favourite brand yet my most detested racing division.

How do you reckon Aprilia would go if both guys were fighting for podiums and in the championship hunt? I wonder if they'd be so chummy then? It should stay pretty chill with Maverick at the back and 2yr contracts just inked.

Hey Shrink,

I think you live in America now, were you born here or is English a second language?

Cheers Rob,

Family is Scottish from the Highlands, mostly in BC Canada now. I was born on the W coast of USA (now in Portland Oregon), and perhaps notably to an engineer father with autism and a really weird upbringing. For a few reasons we also stuck with interacting of culturally similar people growing up, my parents' only social circle was a progressive congregationalist church of a Scottish protestant tradition. My English got...more odd still perhaps via immersion in first deconstructive post modern and non western psychotherapy processes then formally studying and practicing Tibetan Buddhism. Concepts and language are consistently getting transformative (see, even THAT one sentence is super weird and asking to be reckoned with, right? Funny). Worse still, all these comments here are stream of consciousness tippity-typed into a wee phone text box w one finger then hitting Save. Sincere apologies that is reads oddly. No apologies for reflective intentional use of language to evolve awareness though! Doing the best I can. Thanks for both hanging in there with it or skip-scrolling past with ease.

Where are you Rob?


There is no other. I personally would never skip a musing from Shrink, even if I have to read it three times and then realise that I still don't understand it. Seriously, along with David's great reporting, your blend of mysticism, good humour (sp.) (yes, I'm a Kiwi), plain common sense and knowledge are an important part of why I subscribe. You and all the mutterers are valued and appreciated. Keep 'em coming. 

^ And you do too one and only KiwiRob! You are we Motomutterers. Nice to see you.

Have a bike, team or rider you have been a fan of? Who would you put next to Pecco for 2023? 

Dry race Sunday. Not sure of temps exactly, but the rubber going down and some bike sorting could bring a couple riders up forward by Sunday afternoon, eh? 

But no-one Canet's age is in charge of PR for anything, let alone a major international company. Personally, as an old guy, I think that stuff is pretty cheezy at best. Showing my age, maybe, but wtf?

The only PR that Canet is worried about is Pussy Rations. 

the 21st century disappears we're right back to the 80s with "pussy rations". Do you drive a Ford Escort XR3?

I couldn't afford one. I drive a '79 Chrysler Sigma Scorpion but do rock an XR3 neck tattoo. 

And I thought I had vintage stuff with a 2011 Mazda 3, 2010 F150, 2009 BMW R1200R, 2004 MX-5 Mazdaspeed, 1988 Honda Hawk, and 1985 Honda 150 Elite scooter.

That's an awesome collection mate! I simply refuse to move on from 2011/12 as all of my daily driver/riders are from that era. A Ranger, a Rex and the Multi. There is a strange magnetism towards the Desert X or Norden though.. I am mildly concerned about where this may end up.

I would *really* like to venture back and get another '84 Ford XE Fairmont Ghia.

David, Can't find any info on the site about purchasing photos. I'd like to contact the photographer of the first photo of the notes.  Use my email, if that's convenient.