Forty-one years after the release of On Any Sunday, one of the most famous motorcycle documentaries of all time, comes the release of FASTEST. The film is a sequel to director Mark Neale’s Faster and follows Valentino Rossi in his quest for his tenth world title, begging the question, “Who’s fastest now?”
As you’d expect from a documentary focused around the world’s top-tier racers, FASTEST is a fast-paced film that comes out of the gate full throttle. In the opening scene, Neale recaps the last-lap battle between Rossi and Lorenzo at the ’09 Catalunya GP, using rider interviews, reporter incite and unedited grandstand footage to gain your attention. The remainder of the film is focused primarily on the 2010 MotoGP season, but puts emphasis on more than just the racing. There’s talk about Rossi’s switch to Yamaha in 2004, training injuries, crashes and the surprising performance of the MotoGP rookies.
In comparison to Faster, which looked into the MotoGP series as more of a whole, FASTEST is noticeably centered on Rossi and Lorenzo. There’s a lot of input from Rossi’s fan club for instance, plus insight from the Italian’s mother and father, leading the film to seem pro-Rossi. Technical info like suspension setup, frame flex and electronics are touched on briefly, but were topics we were hoping to get more of as the film went on.
Despite Lorenzo and Rossi being the focal point of the story, there’s some commenting from other riders. Casey Stoner talks about the illness that plagued him during the 2009 season, while the late Marco Simoncelli talks about his aggressive riding style and famous on-track battles in the support classes. Our favorite quote of the film comes from Colin Edwards however, who at one point says a cold tire crash is, “Like when you walk through the front door and someone hits you in the face with a bat.” Leave it to the Texan to add some comic relief to a documentary like this.
In its closing stages the film touches on Rossi’s move to Ducati, but footage is limited to the Italian’s first laps of testing aboard the bike. Those who know how the 2011 season unfolded will recognize that there is an even bigger story to be told at this point, but will embrace reliving the last of Rossi’s recent accomplishments. The film is around 110 minutes in its entirety and comes packed with nearly an hour of extra footage, meaning it’s long enough to keep you entertained for a night. At $29.95, that’s one cheap date! SR
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