Events

Trackside at the Valencia MotoGP

Friday morning we were up at 3:30 a.m. to get ourselves to the Valencia MotoGP before 8 a.m. As I said in yesterday’s post we were not our usual organized selves so having to get up and out the door so early added to the, “Did we pack that or remember that?” And let’s face it…that is too damn early to be up!

When we got out to the car we went to squeegee the windows and there was a bit of frost on the windshield. Brrrrrr! More slushy than frozen but really?! So, off we went in the dark. It is a 3 hour drive to the Circuit Ricardo Tormo. It was cold and windy along the way especially over the pass where a gust of wind pushed the car into the other lane. Not really a fun drive and I was only the passenger.

We arrived at the credentials office just before 8 a.m. and after a couple of phones calls got our credentials by 8:15 a.m. Fifteen minutes earlier than the office was due to open. Then off to the DORNA office to get started. We were there to demonstrate a track lighting system called Alitrax. One of the many things Bob is doing in his (ha ha ha) semi-retirement is introducing the lighting system to the European market. Alitrax started in Australia and then to the United States. Bob had the lighting system installed at two of his tracks there. Anyway, Bob is representing the company here in Europe. The light is an LED system that replicates the flags that the marshals wave.

Our place to demonstrate the light for the MotoGP class was Turn 4 next to the corner worker’s station. Not a bad place to view practice from wouldn’t you say?

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Testing the light before the demonstration.

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I walked down in between turns 3 and 4 to get a view from of the light as Bob displayed it for DORNA before practice started on Friday. You can see the green light being displayed in the corner.

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I was able to get some other shots from our vantage point.

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Once we finished on Friday afternoon we headed to the hotel and collapsed. It was a long day.

Saturday we were back out there for all of the MotoGP class practice sessions and there through some of the others as we had to be set up and ready to go.

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We got back to the hotel even earlier on Saturday afternoon and watched qualifying on TV. I know that may sound crazy to some of you. Why didn’t we stay at the track? Well, unless you are sitting in front of a big screen you are missing out on so much of the action. We had spent enough time standing out in the sun and wind and were ready to relax. Oh…and another reason to escape early…to beat the traffic. They had a great crowd on Saturday and there is no way we wanted to be sitting in traffic for hours after a long day.

Sunday, we had to be at the track dark and early.  I would say bright and early, but it was still dark when we arrived at 6:40 a.m. Sure am glad we got there when we did because the traffic getting in was backed up by 7 a.m.

Our demonstration for Sunday consisted of just the track inspection at 7:50 a.m.

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Between Turns 3 and 4.

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It is a very nice facility and I enjoyed getting these early morning shots before the crowds arrived.

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We finished our demonstration. Packed up the car. Dropped off the extra access passes and headed for home. “What? You didn’t stay for the races?”, I hear you ask. Nope! As we left the circuit the line of traffic was about 5 km long! Last race of the season. World championship being decided and oh yes…Spain is crazy about motorcycle racing.

We had a 3 hour drive home and couldn’t wait to get there. It was a gorgeous day which made for a pretty drive. Especially since it was dark on the drive over. We got home just after the Moto3 race finished. Unloaded the car and were sitting with our feet up by the time the Moto2 race started. Perfect timing. The MotoGP race was absolutely insane and a thrill to watch. Great to see Marc Marquez win his fourth MotoGP title. The other plus to being home watching it on TV…we could enjoy a glass of wine or two while we watched. And to top off the afternoon…we had the F1 race from Brazil on at 5 p.m.

What a crazy weekend it was which, had followed a crazy busy week. It was great to work together again. We make a great team.

Bob had Monday at home and then he left for the Professional Motorsport Show in Cologne, Germany for 5 days. As always when he is away I make myself an insane to-do list that is not humanly possible to complete. But I plan do to as much as I can and be happy with what gets checked off the list and not focus on the things that don’t.

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