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MotoGP 2007 - The Top of "The Corkscrew"

MotoGP 2007 - The Top of
Copyright ©2007, Tom West ¤ $

Revised with the "fourth rider", behind #12, cloned-out.

This photo is from the Red Bull US Grand Prix that ran July 20-22, 2007 at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California. This is the top of "The Corkscrew", one of the most famous turns in all of motor sports, so named or the tight and twisting nature of the successive turns.

In this case, the rider comes up the hill at approximately 130 mph, slams on the brakes and throws the bike over to the left. He then pulls it back over to the right (shown), then drops approximately 50 feet down thru that same right turn while throwing it left again thru (Wayne) Rainey Curve and onto the straightaway. Whew, that's an E-ticket ride!!

I made a rookie mistake and left the ISO setting at 800 from the night before. Thump! (kicking myself). Photo cropped to level the banner.

Photographer: Tom West ¤ $
Folder: TRWestPhotography
Uploaded: 2007-Aug-21 20:04 EDT
Current Rating: 9.67/3 (Weighted rating: 8.72)
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Copying allowed: No
Camera: Olympus E-1
Lens: Olympus ED 50-200mm f2.8/3.5
Lens Adapter: None
ISO: 800
Aperture: f10
Shutter Speed: 1/2000
Focal Length: 147mm
Flash: No
Tripod/Monopod: No
Critique Level: Honest with Encouragement

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funny how when I opened up this image, my son had just turned on some car racing vid game, and I heard the sounds of engines roaring as I read your notes under the image. An E ticket ride for sure. I like the three bikes, and then the camera (?) on the boom to boot. They make a quirky line in the image that I just like. Actually, I like the image with the home made sound effects, it enhances the thrill of the image.

Kathy Kempson ¤ at 21:05 EDT on 2007-Aug-21 [Reply]


Superb drama, colours, sharpness and composition!

Grant Mundell ¤ at 05:43 EDT on 2007-Aug-22 [Reply]


Hi Kathy and Grant. Thank you for commenting.

Great idea Kathy, a new MFT feature; audio clips to accompany and compliment the posted photos!

Tom West ¤ $ at 09:47 EDT on 2007-Aug-22 [Reply]


thanks for sharing the image of sport i enjoy on tv Tom ... and yes that corksrew cicane is famous and show the most atractive manuver in motor gp. unfortunetly i missed US GP live on tv as it was brodcasted early in the morning. Rainy curve ... ? where is Wayne Rainy now? brgds

gunawan wibisono Win ¤ at 10:58 EDT on 2007-Aug-22 [Reply]


Good one Tom! A good action shot with a nice curvy flow to it! Like the colors very much. These bends are really tricky! I have passed them many times with high powered cars! (On my sons Playstation ;-)

Best regards // Ola

Ola Damberg HoF Win ¤1 at 11:21 EDT on 2007-Aug-22 [Reply]


Looks like some very difficult short turns. You captured the 3 bikes at some interesting points. I think the camera adds a touch to the shot.

Wiliam Wagenaar ¤ $1 at 15:14 EDT on 2007-Aug-22 [Reply]


The high ISO does not hurt much here, and the action is certainly frozen! Sort of wish the bikes were in more close-up view. Perhaps you have some others that will show more of the bike and driver and less of the track? Look forward to more in the series.


E. Edwin Ennor ~ (Eł) HoF Win ¤ $1 at 20:49 EDT on 2007-Aug-22 [Reply]


Exceptional action shot, Tom. The grain that's apparent isn't distracting. Love how you've frozen the action so sharply. It wouldn't have been so sharp if you'd gotten it "right" at ISO 100 as then the speed would have been around 1/250 (assuming the same aperture). So, here's a case of a "goof" working to your advantage.

Anyway, I have one very nit-picky beef... one can see the head and front tire of a fourth bike that's obscured by the middle bike. It looked strange at first and took me a second to realize that it was another rider/bike. It's very minor, but I think the image would be improved slightly if you cloned that bit out.

Overall, though, it's a superb action shot worthy of an HoF rating. Wish I could do this good!

Regards, Chris

Chris O'Neill ¤1 $ at 00:14 EDT on 2007-Aug-23 [Reply]


Gunawan, Ola, Wiliam, Edwin and Chris; Thank you for commenting.

Grant - Thank you for the generous rating.

Gunawan - I'm not sure what Wayne Rainey is up to these days other than he competed in go-cart races, his with hand controls, at MotoGP at Laguna Seca in 2005. He was also part of a Yamaha program at the 2007 MotoGP at Laguna Seca to honor Yamaha champions of the past. For those interested, Wayne Rainy is a former three-time word champion that was on his way to a fourth title when he crashed at Misano in 1993 and was paralyzed from the chest down. He came back to manage a Yamaha team for a few years and then retired from moto-racing entirely, although it sounds like he still has racing in his blood with go-carts.

Ola - This series of turns sounds challenging enough, but to do it in traffic is even more amazing!

Wiliam - I like what the camera, and the track worker, bring to the shot was well.

Edwin - A close-up is there for review! Thank you for the generous rating.

Chris - I agree about the distraction of the obscured rider. But I figured that he was there and I shouldn't change the race by cloning him out. Perhaps I will use "artistic license" and go ahead and remove him. Thank you for the most generous rating.

Tom West ¤ $1 at 12:21 EDT on 2007-Aug-23 [Reply]


Revised with the "fourth rider", behind #12, cloned-out.

Tom West ¤ $1 at 15:07 EDT on 2007-Aug-23 [Reply]