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      05-11-2014, 07:34 AM   #1
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MotoGP: Monster Energy Grand Prix de France (5/18/2014)

"This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an...." Ok, so I don't need to quote Christopher Nolan's Batman movies for you to know that MM93 - Mr. Marc Marquez has been completely unstoppable, dominating the 2014 season.

As we move in to round 5 and head to France, Marc is nearly 30 points ahead of second place in the standings. Second place actually is his teammate Dani Pedrosa.
The Repsol Honda team is killing it while long time favorite (and one of mine as well), Valentino Rossi, is IMPRESSIVELY running THIRD!!

The race will take place on the 18th and will be televised on FS1 at 7:00 EST.
If you can't watch there, try this live stream:


Here is your track info:
MONSTER ENERGY
GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE



Introduction:
Built in 1965 around the existing 24-Hour track, the Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix race circuit lies 5km south of the city of Le Mans and 200km south-west of Paris. The venue has hosted Grand Prix since the late sixties but a serious accident to Spanish rider Alberto Puig in 1995 saw it struck off the calendar until 2000 whilst stringent safety improvements were carried out.


Le Mans is a tight track dominated by first gear corners that place the emphasis on late braking and hard acceleration, whilst rear end traction is also a key area. With the capacity to comfortably accommodate up to 100,000 spectators, the Bugatti circuit also plays host to the 24 hour truck race, the FIA GP2 Championship, French Touring Car and GT races.

Circuit info
Length: 4.185 m / 2.600 miles
Width: 13m
Left corners: 4
Right corners: 9
Longest straight: 674 m / 0.419 miles
Constructed: 1966
Modified: 2008
Laps: 28
Total Distance: 72.8 miles
Pole Position: Left

CURRENT POINTS
1. Marc MARQUEZ 100
2. Dani PEDROSA 72
3. Valentino ROSSI 61
4. Andrea DOVIZIOSO 45
5. Jorge LORENZO 35
6. Stefan BRADL 30
7. Aleix ESPARGARO 30
8. Bradley SMITH 28
9. Andrea IANNONE 25
10. Pol ESPARGARO 25




What might play a factor is the amount of surgeries the riders have undergone in the past week or so. Bradl, Pedrosa, Petrucci and Hayden all underwent hand and/or arm surgery.

Cal might be under pressure from his sponsor to perform well as they share the rider and the track


Getting juiced up for the race!


Here is Lorenzo with Formula 1's Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso






What happens when you race with sponsorship this early? You grow up to be Tito Rabat and Pol Espargaro and race MotoGP. Redbull develops it's talent early


This is cool as well:
Best MotoGP Qualifier to Win BMW M4 Coupe
MotoGP riders are being given a little extra incentive to consistently qualify well with confirmation coming that at the end of the 2014 season, the driver with the most qualifying points will receive a special BMW M4 Coupe.

As you may recall, last year’s MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez walked away with a Frozen Black BMW M6 Coupe after winning the BMW M Award. As it stands, he is currently leading the qualifying race with 100 points compared to Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa both on 62 points.

Importantly, just four MotoGP races have been held this year so the award is still very much up in the air. However, we can imagine a bright red BMW M4 Coupe would perfectly complement Marquez’s M6 from last year!



Track shot:



One thing I like about Monster Energy is their selection of Paddock Girls, as seen with evidence A and B:




Track Records:
Fastest Lap
2008 Dani PEDROSA (SPA) Honda 1'32.647 162.6 km/h
Circuit Record
2011 Dani PEDROSA (SPA) Honda 1'33.617 160.9 km/h
Best Pole
2008 Dani PEDROSA (SPA) Honda 1'32.647 162.6 km/h
Top Speed
2012 Hector BARBERA (SPA)Ducati 309.1 km/h


Ok fine...one more...







or two.




Thanks Monster Energy. Now let's have a good grand prix!


more photos will follow....
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      05-11-2014, 07:52 PM   #2
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      05-12-2014, 10:14 AM   #3
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      05-12-2014, 11:18 AM   #4
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Friday 5/16 Schedule:
09.00 - 09.40 Moto3™ Free Practice 1
09.55 - 10.40 MotoGP™ Free Practice 1
10.55 - 11.40 Moto2™ Free Practice 1
13.10 - 13.50 Moto3™ Free Practice 2
14.05 - 14.50 MotoGP™ Free Practice 2
15.05 - 15.50 Moto2™ Free Practice 2
16.05 - 16.45 FIM CEV Repsol - Moto3 Qualifying 1
17.00 - 17.15 Coupe Yamaha YZF-125 R Free Practice
17.25 - 17.40 Coupe Yamaha YZF-125 R Qualifying
17.45 - 20.00 Meeting the Riders
21.00 Concert

Saturday 5/17 Schedule
09.00 - 09.40 Moto3™ Free Practice 3
09.55 - 10.40 MotoGP™ Free Practice 3
10.55 - 11.40 Moto2™ Free Practice 3
11.50 - 12.25 Entertainment
12.35 - 13.15 Moto3™ Qualifying
13.30 - 14.00 MotoGP™ Free Practice 4
14.10 - 14.25 MotoGP™ Qualifying 1
14.35 - 14.50 MotoGP™ Qualifying 2
15.05 - 15.50 Moto2™ Qualifying
16.05 - 16.45 FIM CEV Repsol - Moto3 Qualifying 2
17.10 Coupe Yamaha YZF-12R R Race - 8 laps
17.45 - 20.00 Meeting the Riders
20.00 - Mechanical show

Sunday 5/18 Schedule
08.15 - 08.30 FIM CEV Repsol - Moto3 Warm up
08.40 - 09.00 Moto3™ Warm up
09.10 - 09.30 Moto2™ Warm up
09.40 - 10.00 MotoGP™ Warm up
10.05 - 10.35 Entertainment
11.00 Moto3™ RACE - 24 laps
12.20 Moto2™ RACE - 26 laps
14.00 MotoGP™ RACE - 28 laps
15.30 FIM CEV Repsol - Moto 3 RACE - 17 laps

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      05-12-2014, 01:39 PM   #5
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Here's a couple of "fun facts" and some shots of the 2013 GP in the rain



The Monster Energy Grand Prix of France is not staged on the same circuit as the legendary 24 hour car race. The MotoGP races are held on the 2.600 miles Bugatti circuit at Le Mans which incorporates the same start and finish complex as the 24 hour car track.

Le Mans staged the second shortest Premier class race in the 65 year history of Grand Prix racing. The 2003 MotoGP race was reduced to 13 laps because of rain. Sete Gibernau won the 33.761 miles race by just 0.165s from Valentino Rossi.

The French Grand Prix has been staged at eight different circuits. They are at Albi, Rouen, Reims, Clermont – Ferrand, Paul Ricard, Nogaro, Magny Cours and Le Mans.



*******************************
MotoGP.com:
The MotoGP field returns to France this weekend for the fifth round of 2014. Reigning World Champion Marc Marquez has dominated proceedings so far this year, already making him the 16th most successful rider for race wins in the history of the World Championship.

Based on results from both qualifying and races so far this year, rivals of Marquez are likely to be wondering what can possibly be done to halt the 21-year-old’s charge. He has become the first rider to win the opening quartet of premier class races from pole position since MotoGP legend Giacomo Agostini in 1971 and, amongst other things, is the first rider to clinch five consecutive pole positions since Casey Stoner in 2011. On top of this, one has to look back to Valentino Rossi in 2005 to the last time one rider carried such a points lead after four races, as Marquez now leads by 28.

Jerez also saw Marquez winning at the Andalucian venue for the very first time in the World Championship, meaning there is no longer a single race track on the calendar on which he is yet to claim a victory. Should he also reach the top step of the podium at Le Mans this weekend, the Repsol Honda Team man will become the youngest ever rider to win five consecutive Grands Prix in the premier class; the mantle would be taken away from Englishman Mike Hailwood, who achieved the feat in 1962.

With Dani Pedrosa’s second position in the classification sealing a one-two for Honda, Valentino Rossi leads the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP charge from third place as he continues to use a new chassis, based on improving braking stability. Jorge Lorenzo is now up to fifth place in the standings and intends to work more around the Soft compound tire, while Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso was in the news last week as his management confirmed talks with Suzuki for a possible ride in 2015.

Danilo Petrucci will not be racing in France, as the IodaRacing Project rider recovers from an operation on his right wrist following a heavy accident in the Jerez Warm-Up session. In fact, he was the third MotoGP rider to undergo surgery last week, as both LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl and the aforementioned Pedrosa were treated for arm pump. Both now hope to achieve the highest possible levels of fitness as they head to Le Mans – where 12 months ago Pedrosa was able to claim victory.

Last year, the French Grand Prix was affected by inclement weather conditions; perhaps a repeat could be something to prevent the Marquez charge. Considering a quarter of the season will already have gone by the time the checkered flag falls on Sunday afternoon, the rest of the field will certainly be hoping that this is the case…

*************************

Sport.Sky.it:
The track - and the contacts between the 24 of Le Mans and the Grand Prix of France are not lacking. From the runway, which was built in 1966 using the track on which he ran for many years the historic event the automobile . The circuit measures 4185 meters and width 13 . During the years has undergone a number of changes aimed at increasing the security of the races. The last renovation was in 2008. Runway has a very distinctive shape , with long straights ( there is one 674 meters) where the bikes reach up to the maximum speed and sharp turns , which are very solicited brakes and tires. Overall, Le Mans there are 13 curves 4 and 9 on the left to the right.

The pamlarès - In the history of the French GP last decade , was definitely back memories of the 2011 edition . Last year 's victory in the premier class went to Dani Pedrosa, Moto2 and Moto3 Scott Ridding to Maveric Vinales . There are not many, but there are victories Italian . The last was that of Marco Simoncelli in 2009 at 250 . In MotoGP , the success missing since 2008 with Valentino Rossi. Earlier, a top spot on the Bugatti circuit also have centered Marco Melandri (2006) and , in 2001 , the last year of the 500, Max Biaggi.



FIM-live.com:
Jerez also saw Marquez winning at the Andalucian venue for the very first time in the World Championship, meaning there is no longer a single race track on the calendar on which he is yet to claim a victory. Should he also reach the top step of the podium at Le Mans this weekend, the Repsol Honda Team man will become the youngest ever rider to win five consecutive Grands Prix in the premier class; the mantle would be taken away from Englishman Mike Hailwood, who achieved the feat in 1962.

With Dani Pedrosa’s second position in the classification sealing a one-two for Honda, Valentino Rossi leads the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP charge from third place as he continues to use a new chassis, based on improving braking stability. Jorge Lorenzo is now up to fifth place in the standings and intends to work more around the Soft compound tyre, while Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso was in the news last week as his management confirmed talks with Suzuki for a possible ride in 2015.

Danilo Petrucci will not be racing in France, as the IodaRacing Project rider recovers from an operation on his right wrist following a heavy accident in the Jerez Warm-Up session. In fact, he was the third MotoGP™ rider to undergo surgery last week, as both LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl and the aforementioned Pedrosa were treated for arm pump. Both now hope to achieve the highest possible levels of fitness as they head to Le Mans – where 12 months ago Pedrosa was able to claim victory.

Last year, the French Grand Prix was affected by inclement weather conditions; perhaps a repeat could be something to prevent the Marquez charge. Considering a quarter of the season will already have gone by the time the chequered flag falls on Sunday afternoon, the rest of the field will certainly be hoping that this is the case…
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      05-12-2014, 03:33 PM   #6
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Rumor: Dovizioso's 2 year contract is up at the end of the season. He may not renew and instead sign with Suzuki. His struggles with his Ducati and the fact that he talked with Simone Battistella do make it seem likely. We'll see!

Battistella said a few days ago:
“I think it is not going to be a technical situation that is going to convince him to stay. I think it will be a confidence situation between Gigi (Dall’Igna) and Andrea because the time is not there to show him something with the bike. The start of the relationship has been very good but I don’t think there is enough time to see something on track that will work that will make him want to stay.”
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      05-13-2014, 06:28 AM   #7
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Press Conference:
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Supermotard day! Here's Bautista
https://vine.co/v/MgLwTMUl6um

And this old favorite of mine is testing for Aprilia today. Anyone know who these two are??



Helmet collection:

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“We know that Dani, Jorge and Valentino will come back at us hard here" - Marc Marquez.
France MotoGP: Marquez wary of weather, rivals Four races into the 2014 MotoGP season and reigning champion Marc Marquez has trampled the competition by winning every race from pole position, then leading the recent post-race Jerez test.

Already 28 points clear of Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa, Marquez will still be leading the standings no matter what happens this Sunday at Le Mans.

But given his present form, few would bet against Marquez making it five from five in France.

“After another really great weekend in Jerez and a positive day of testing on Monday, we are now on our way to Le Mans. You never know what the weather will do there so it is important to start strong from FP1,” said Marquez.

Marquez finished third as a rookie in last year's wet French race, having spent the first part of the grand prix in eighth place before charging up the order in what proved to be the only wet event of 2013.

“Last year we had our first wet race here and I really learned a lot, but this year I hope it will remain dry!” he admitted.

“We know that Dani, Jorge and Valentino will come back at us hard here, but we will work on our own programme - as usual - and fight for victory or at least some important Championship points.”

A wet MotoGP win is one of the few achievements still missing from the young Spaniard's CV - having claimed 10 wins, 13 poles, 13 fastest laps and 20 podiums from just 22 premier-class starts.

Indeed, victory in Jerez means there is no longer a circuit on the current calendar that the 21-year-old has not won on since making his 125cc grand prix debut in 2008.

Nevertheless he can't become complacent: Although a Le Mans winner in the Moto2 class, in addition to the 125 and MotoGP podiums, Marquez has failed to finish in three of his six French Grand Prix appearances

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      05-13-2014, 08:21 AM   #10
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      05-13-2014, 10:07 AM   #11
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Marquez for a 5-for-5!
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      05-13-2014, 02:38 PM   #12
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Supermotard Continues with VR46:



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Marquez for a 5-for-5!
I agree Sedan Clan! This is MM93's game the others are just riding in it.

Off-topic: Do you really know capoeira?
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      05-13-2014, 03:01 PM   #13
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In other news:
As we know Petrucci broke his hand and required surgery so he was going to be out for Le Mans, at least. Italian Luca Scassa was set to replace him but guess what?
Luca was testing in Mugello and dumped his bike, breaking his femor.

So who will ride for Team ART? Nobody knows right now...
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      05-13-2014, 05:44 PM   #14
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Off-topic: Do you really know capoeira?

Yes. I'm an Instrutor (..hoping to make Professor next year). I've been training Capoeira for 12 years and BJJ for two. Do you train?
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      05-13-2014, 10:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Yes. I'm an Instrutor (..hoping to make Professor next year). I've been training Capoeira for 12 years and BJJ for two. Do you train?
I've trained in Kenpo, Japanese Jiu Jitsu, Judo and Capoeira since about 1996
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      05-14-2014, 05:20 AM   #16
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Quote:
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And this old favorite of mine is testing for Aprilia today. Anyone know who these two are??
Bayliss, mad max
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Quote:
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Bayliss, mad max
Yes exactly!




News:
MM93 signed for another 2 years with Repsol Honda (no surprise there)

It is wheelie Wednesday so here is the obligatory photo:





Valentino Rossi
"I am very happy about the weekend in Jerez, unfortunately I wasn’t able to win over Marquez but I managed to win over Pedrosa and Jorge. I am also happy about the test done on the following Monday at the same track. During the test I continued to work on the new chassis and I like it, it helps me especially with the front*tyre. At Le Mans I will have only one new chassis but I am confident that Yamaha will bring me the second chassis as soon as possible. I want to continue the work on this. I made good times during*the test, even the "time attack" was good and so I will try to start from the front row at Le Mans.*It’s a positive*moment for me because I'm pretty fast, I work well in the box and I think we can be very optimistic. We can have a good race".

Jorge Lorenzo
“After the result in Jerez we could analyze the data during the test on Monday and we got some good information. We finished that test day happy with the result and we could figure out where the problem was during the race. We found that with the soft rear tyre we are much more comfortable than the hard one and therefore from now on we will be focused on this compound. We will try to get a more constant bike with the soft tyre and that is why we need to improve the bike and adapt it.*Now we travel to Le Mans, a new track and a new opportunity. The weather will play a big part, usually it is colder and can be tricky like it was with the rain last year. The asphalt can be slippery but I am confident we can manage the circumstances and try to get a good result. Right now I am just thinking race by race and not about the championship. I think I will have a better pace there, I have had some wins in Le Mans and I like the circuit.”
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Rain is a common theme at this track. The question becomes "when will it rain?" and "For how long?" I'm sure we will see some of this action of pit lane bike jumping


If the rain comes down, will the lights come on?


Some other shots






Disneyland Paris today for some fun before the race fun


A long time ago (hours), in a country far, far away....

It is a period of civil war. Repsol
motorbikes, striking from a hidden
paddock, have won their 4th victory
against the evil Monster Yamaha Tech.

During the race battle, Rebel Ben Spies managed
to steal secret plans to the FIM - the Federation's
ultimate weapon, a points-leading Star and a
boosted Superbike with enough
power to destroy an entire roster.

...ok thats enough I got carried away again...
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      05-14-2014, 01:43 PM   #19
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While the guys are enjoying Disney, the teams are getting set up and snappin' shots
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MotoGP rider quotes

Repsol Honda rider Marc Marquez:
“After another really great weekend in Jerez and a positive day of testing on Monday, we are now on our way to Le Mans. You never know what the weather will do there so it is important to start strong from FP1. Last year we had our first wet race here and I really learned a lot, but this year I hope it will remain dry! We know that Dani, Jorge and Valentino will come back at us hard here, but we will work on our own programme - as usual - and fight for victory or at least some important championship points.”

Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa:
“I enjoyed the weekend in Jerez, and the battle at the end with Rossi was a lot of fun. After Monday’s test I had a tight feeling in my right forearm. On Tuesday morning I went to see Dr Xavier Mir and he recommended surgery immediately. We took his advice and it seems to be healing up well but I guess I won’t know until I’m back on the bike on Friday for FP1. I won for the first time in Le Mans in MotoGP last year in a very tough race. I enjoy the circuit and we’ve had good results there in the past but we must always pay attention to the weather! The testing in Jerez was useful and we confirmed some feelings, now we must see if they translate to the track this weekend.”

LCR Honda rider Stefan Bradl:
“As everybody knows I had another surgery to treat the arm-pump problem which affected my race in Jerez. The operation was quick and successful and in recent days I’ve made all the treatments required to be fit for Le Mans. Actually I cannot make any prediction because I must see how it goes when I am on track. Anyway, I had the operation at the right time because the season is still long and there’s enough time to recover completely and try to be in the front very soon.”

Drive 7 Aspar Honda rider Nicky Hayden:
“Le Mans has never been a great track for me personally and truthfully it's not my favourite, but when we were kids my dad never let us say we don’t like a track so I never say it! What I can say is that there are some fun corners and great fans. Unfortunately for us at the moment there is a lot of acceleration coming out of slow corners, which is not the strongest point of our bike. Anyway, I need to understand how much my wrist irritation from Jerez has improved and try to keep the progress we made in Spain rolling, go have so fun and go fast!”

Drive 7 Aspar Honda rider Hiroshi Aoyama:
“We have been in good form over the first four races of the season and we have improved the set-up of our bike a lot, especially during the test following the race at Jerez. We found some things that I am looking forward to trying out at Le Mans. It will be a difficult circuit for us with so many straights and slow corners where you need to get the bike stopped. Anyway, we go there full of motivation and determined to maintain our good form from Jerez. Le Mans has a very rich history in motorsport and I love the atmosphere there. Hopefully we can have a good weekend in France and find some consistency in the first part of the race, which is what we lacked in Spain. That's the objective.”

Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini rider Scott Redding:
“Last year in Le Mans I won my first race in the Moto2 class, so I am very happy to return to this circuit. The only concern is related to possible difficult conditions because of the bad weather: I’ve not had the opportunity to ride a MotoGP bike in wet conditions, so this would be a completely new situation for me. Otherwise, if the track will remain dry, I think that it can suit the characteristics of our bike, as long as we can find more grip than we did in Jerez. Like Jerez, Le Mans is quite a narrow and small track, so it will take a little time to adjust the electronic controls and to adapt my riding style, but I think that we learned a lot from this point of view from the Spanish GP weekend, also considering the positive day of testing carried out after the race.”

Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini rider Alvaro Bautista:
“Le Mans is not one of my favourite tracks and probably this is due to the fact that often the bad weather makes it difficult to work properly on the bike during practice. In any case, our goal remains the same we set ourselves before Jerez, that is to collect as many points as possible. It’s difficult, however, to make a prediction, because the weather forecasts predict rain for Sunday. During the test we have carried out the day after the Spanish Grand Prix, we could test several new solutions that have worked well: therefore, we hope that they will prove useful also on this track.”




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      05-15-2014, 06:18 AM   #21
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      05-15-2014, 06:24 AM   #22
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Here are a couple track shots from today, the final day before the 'official' schedule begins


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