Tornado! [1996/I]

Even if you've never witnessed the intensity of MotoGP motorcycle racing, Faster will take your breath away. It's a perfect primer for newcomers, offering a comprehensive survey of the fastest sport on two wheels, and it's guaranteed to satisfy hardcore fans with its detailed history, profiles of the top riders from the 2001-02 seasons, highlights of spectacular crashes and unforgettable races, and a veritable feast of the best MotoGP cinematography you're ever likely to see. From front-and-rearview cycle cameras to swooping overhead track coverage, filmmaker Mark Neale immerses the viewer in the MotoGP experience, enhancing the adrenaline-pumping visuals with expert interviews and commentary (and cool, low-key narration by globetrotting cycle-lover Ewan McGregor) that any sportswriter would consider authoritative. Literally and figuratively, a lot of ground gets covered: From Kenny Roberts and the late Barry Sheene discussing their innovative knee-dragging styles and the origins of rear-wheel steering to the colorful rivalry of Max Biaggi and reigning champion Valentino Rossi (including Biaggi's infamous "Elbow Incident" at Suzuka in 2001), Faster never loses sight of the human element that makes this ultra-dangerous sport so fascinating. Track physician "Dr. Costa" is profiled (and offers some eloquently philosophical thoughts about MotoGP riders), along with innovative rider Garry McCoy (plagued by injuries); former champion Wayne Rainey (now paraplegic and active in kart-racing); young prodigy John Hopkins in his rookie season; and several other prominent figures in the world of MotoGP. The bonus disc includes Faster & Faster, a sequel covering the 2003 and 2004 seasons, which saw the rise of the 500cc 4-stroke engine (and speeds in excess of 215 mph), Ducati's dominance and trend-setting removal of engine silencers (to boost power); Rossi's move to Yamaha; the fatal crash of Daijiro Kato; the victories of Sete Gibernau; and the rookie debuts of Neil Hodgson, Ruben Xaus, and Shane Byrne. Through it all, Faster and its sequel serve as the ultimate guide to MotoGP, certain to inspire future champions and armchair fans alike. --Jeff Shannon

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