Alanf’s blog…
Scattered thoughts

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

What a rush…

Author: site admin
Category: AMA Superbikes

“I still think that riding motorcycles is much, much more than a sport; pretty close to religion.”
– Keith Code

This past weekend was the American debut of a documentary film made in Canada about multi-time AMA champ Miguel Duhamel. The film Adrenaline Rush, as with many other religious functions, was shown this past Sunday on SpeedTV.

Miguel Duhamel winning the 2002 Daytona 200

The primary focus of the film was the 2003 AMA series, the year in which Miguel won his 41st AMA Supersport race at Brainerd. As if winning 41 of anything isn’t impressive enough that race win emphasized what a determined racer Duhamel is since a crash at Infinion Raceway six weeks earlier had broken his left collarbone in three places. The fix for the shattered collarbone was to insert a pin to strengthen the bone while it healed. The pin didn’t stay in place and by mid-season was protruding out of the bone enough to pierce the skin. After an attempt to hammer the pin back into place failed, Duhamel just taped foam over the pin, took antibiotics to prevent an infection and raced anyway. Taken as a second chapter to his stunning 1999 Daytona victory after a crash at Loudon the previous season left him with a crushed left femur, the collarbone stories shows just how much Duhamel wants to race and to win. Looking at his record: 32 career Superbike wins, 5 Daytona 200 victories, 41 Supersport wins, 9 Formula Xtreme wins, 1 Superstock win, the 1995 Superbike championship, five Supersport titles (1991, 1993, 1995, 1996 and 1997) and his being the 2004 Formula Xtreme champ shows just how successful he’s been.

This is basically the story that is told in the biographical film. There are home movies of a young Miguel riding mini-bikes with his siblings, race footage from many of the key races in 2003 and 2004, interviews with family members and friends and one-on-one interviews with Miguel himself. Some of the film footage, like the post race film from Barber in 2004 where he was taken out in a multi-bike accident with Ben Bostrom, shows the less glamorous side of Miguel. It clearly shows how he tried to force a red flag after the crash in an attempt to get back into the race. While this is understandable from the viewpoint of a racer, its of questionable ethical value when considering those still in the race. This film clip also shows how that very personal decision on Duhamel’s part affects both his girlfriend and mother who were watching the race.

Ultimately, these personal glimpses are what really make the documentary a decent film. Duhamel’s personality is entertaining and getting this view into the man behind the visor makes many of the trials and tribulations that much more human. Finally, I doubt a film about a less charismatic rider would be nearly as enjoyable to watch, and it would be very difficult to find a rider that has experienced as many highs and as many lows as Miguel has during the course of his career. Both of these factors make him the perfect candidate for such a film. While this isn’t the greatest motorcycle documentary ever made, that honor is still held by On Any Sunday, it offers some great insight into motorcycle road racing in particular and into one of the AMA’s greatest in particular.

For the moment, a trailer for the movie is available online. Check the SpeedTV program schedule to see if the program will be broadcast again.

[image from the Daytona International Speedway web site.]

3 Comments so far

April 27th, 2005 at 1:43 pm

If riding motorcycles is a religion, does that make Daimler the motorcycle god?


May 5th, 2005 at 3:58 pm

Nah, Eddie Lawson is god (there is some arguement as to who qualifies as the twelve apostles). :-)


May 6th, 2005 at 6:17 pm

Does anyone know the name and singer of the song that Duhamel’s “Adrenline Rush” begins with. It repeats the line “when your pushing this far” but I can’t seem to hunt the title down.

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