Sunday, 25 April 2010



American legend and all-round Good Bloke Kevin Schwantz won a superb inaugural TwitGP in Twitegi today, just holding off @lorenzo99, Valentino Rossi and @nickyhayden69 in a four-way battle to the last corner which left fans screaming at their computers.

5,885 followers packed into cyberspace for the historical event to see @suziperry, back doing what she does best, dashing around the twitgrid in bright sunshine as she introduced the front row of Doohan, Lorenzo and Hayden. @the_prodigy and @stereophonics took turns revving up the crowd and The Prodigy even performed an exclusive of their new single, Smack My Twitch Up.

The lights went out (not literally) and the faithful followers only had to wait seconds for the first incident as Doohan went flying off at tweet one, pretty much the only place he EVER crashed during his actual career. Not so deadpan now, Mick.

Up ahead Pedrosa had made his usual flying start menu, booting up faster than anyone else whilst Rossi was already up to 7th from 10th, tweets flying in his Yamaha’s wake. Side by side with Bautista he braked heavily into turn 4, touching fairings with the Spaniard (who’s got some Bati fans, by the way) but emerging ahead. Surely one of the most impressive overtakes we’ve ever typed.

At this point Race Tweetdecktion announced a type-through penalty for Capirossi for a jump start. After the race the dejected Italian said “It was my fault, I was so excited I just clicked send before I meant to.” His misery was compounded as he was forced to watch Schwantz doing better on his Suzuki than he’s ever done.

Pedrosa was fading fast by now, like a tiny netbook with a disappointing battery life. Lorenzo had assumed the lead ahead of Hayden, Stoner and Spies when Spies sensationally pulled into Twitlane. TwitGP sent @mattnroberts scurrying off to find out what happened and with a twitophone under his nose the Texan Tweeter said “File/exit/sure I’m sure I will try new preferences for race two.” TwitGP left it to his mechanics to explain that this wasn’t @TwitWSBK…

Melandri meanwhile was doing no better on a Mac than he had on PC and was riding like he was on dial-up and it was Schwantz who was the man on the move, showing the kids that you don’t need tractionCTRL to ride fast. He was in 7th by now, bike bucking and weaving under his flying fingers and the epitome of his famous code, “wait till you see God, then press enter.”

At this point Colin “Colin” Colin pulled over to catch the end of a big shiny gun auction on eBay and then Stoner crashed out for no apparent reason. Just like a computer, and just like him. Biaggi and Rossi chose this point take their eternal grudge match to new levels as the Emperor elbowed the Doctor out of the way at the uphill Gardner Esse, earning himself a black Twitflag in the process, which he completely ignored. As usual. Rossi stuck it by him and flicked the Twitter birdie at him – very smooth at 180 words-per-minute. Pedrosa crashed next and was unhurt but couldn’t find the ladder for his high chair, so had to retire.

Schwantz had been towed right up to Lorenzo and Hayden by Rossi and it was two great riders and two great tweeters leading the field into the penultimate lap. Sneaky Schwantz then changed fontz, making it very hard for the others to read his next move, which was a stunning pass past Rossi at Criville. His mousewheel inched onto the grass and his keyboard span sideways but he held it together, to the delight of the madly-tweeting crowd.

Into the last corner they were four abreast and the smart money was on Lorenzo who, as by far the most experienced Tweeter in the group, looked smooth as…butter (his words, not ours.) The Spaniard was ringing the keyboard’s neck but he tweeted wide and for a second it looked like Rossi would take all three in one move! Schwantz’s bike seemed to be trying to floor him, Rossi and Hayden were swapping Microsoft Paint and Lorenzo nearly wi-fisided. The crowd were on their feet as somehow it was Sliding Schwantz who got his nose in front over the line in surely one of the great sporting comebacks of all time!

Lorenzo hung on for second with Rossi third and Hayden fourth. What a race!

Commenting on his emotional victory Schwantz said “Gee, I don’t know how I did that! I didn’t even know what Twitter was until I got the call-up on Tuesday. I’m mighty glad I said yes though, what a race. Right up there with my best ever battles. It took me a bit of time to get used to all the new keys and what they did but today everything came together and I just felt I had Twitter on my side. Thanks to all the fans and TwitGP for a great week.”

ACTUAL Lorenzo, who has surely earned himself an army of new fans this week, said “No way to overtake Mr Brakingman Schwantz…Anyway I was lucky to finish 2nd because I finished the battery just as I was crossing the line.” (He had to illegally piggy-back on a marshall’s broadband to get back to Twit-Ferme.)

Rossi remarked in the podium press conference “I am quite ‘appy about our performance. I like this TwitGP because it doesn’t start till 6pm and I don’t even have to get out of bed to race. I might even buy my own computer for next time. Ciao. Ciao ciao ciao. Ciao.”

Biaggi was unavailable for comment but the Honda Press Officer is looking several years older tonight than he was at the start of the week. A furious Doohan was heard saying “It’s all Rossi’s fault, I know he qualified 10th to keep MY mechanics away from me on the grid.”

That’s it folks! What an amazing Virtual Race! Big thanks to @suziperry, @mattnroberts, @gemmett, @lorenzo99, @nickyhayden69, @TwitGPpr and, last but most definitely NOT LEAST, @TwitGP ‘themselves’!

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