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With the world focussed on sports that where men play with balls, we'd rather focus on one where you need them (at least figuratively). If it doesn't have an engine, it's not here.

When we've looked at The Circuit of the Americas (tweely known by its owners as COTA) in Austin, Texas, we've been a bit disparaging, largely, it has to be said, because there has been so much uncertainty over whether it would ever come into being or whether, if it did, it would be ready in time for its inaugural Formula One race. We didn't expressly say "if a decent track comes out of this mess, I'll eat my hat," but it was strongly implied. Pass the ketchup, please.

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Le Mans, Late May. It's supposed to be summer. It was snowing in England last week. Here, a couple of hundred km south, it's peessing down, as our French friends pronounce it. But we are at the circuit because it's just down the road from the house and it would be a shame to miss the race. No matter how cold, it's heart-warming to see Valentino Rossi up at the front - second place for the first time since he joined Ducati. Perhaps the conditions give us a hint as to what is usually wrong with the bike: going slower and the conditions greasier, Rossi doesn't brake so hard so the bike stays pointing in the right direction. Just a guess.

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As the riders lined up in Valencia for the start of the last race of the 2012 MotoGP season, it was difficult for them to know where to start. And so it is with this final race report of the current campaign as there are more endings than beginnings.

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