texas MotoGP 2014
 
 

“On these bikes it’s kind of boring...”

--- Moto3 rider Brad Binder referring to the titanic back straight on the course on the low powered bikes



Proverbial wild horses weren’t going to stop our return to this brilliant venue.


A smaller group this year - and reflected in the overall attendance sad to say, this is somewhat natural as people want to go to the inaugural round in 2013. But what we lacked in size was more than made up for in fun!


Thursday we started early at the Riders for Health Day of Stars.  I have to encourage everyone who attends Texas to try to get there for Friday and this event!  It starts with a guided tour of the paddock and pits by Randy Mamola. There is lunch and an opportunity to ride the track, finishing with an auction of loads of cool merchandise. In 2015 they hope to add a guided ride through Texas hill country. You can book this with us, we will take you there and back. 


The opening of our tour was the traditional Happy Hours Thursday. Great to meet old and new faces! Several paddock people were on hand.  We ended up staying in the Hyatt bar for dinner.


Friday we got our first day at the track.  Brilliant weather, and for those of us on Team Experience we got into several garages and the service road to see the bikes up VERY close.  Friday evening was a very special dinner with our guest MotoGP rider Yonny Hernandez who told us of his career from childhood, struggling to get any support and recognition - in all of Columbia there is just a single race track!  The sport isn’t televised there and many people have not heard of it.  The dinner was at the superb Clay Pit Indian restaurant - one of the top Indian restaurants in the USA.


Possibly my favourite rider, Colin Edwards, announced his retirement at the end of teh season. He will be missed.


Another perfect day Saturday led to some interesting qualification results. Of course Marc Marquez was going to dominate the weekend as everyone expected; but where was Jorge?  Suddenly the Ducatis are looking good!


We went up the stunning observation tower (locally known as “the mullet”) - if you come to Texas you MUST go up this! 


At the end of the day in the VIP, Moto3 rider Brad Binder joined us, telling us details of riding the track, the Mahindra and more...


Saturday evening most people did their own thing. Customer Jason and I went to a special evening celebrating the life of American racer Tommy Aquino, who died in a training accident earlier this year. Tommy had been one of our guest speakers at Laguna Seca last year, and was well loved.  Colin Edwards was there, and we had a great opportunity for a chat and a beer with him.


Sunday dawned cold and grey, and we feared the weather predictions might prove true.  Fortunately, the rain held off apart from a few srops all day.  The Moto3 race was nail biting, with our friend Jack Miller taking his second win of the season. We were proud that sponsored rider Jakub Kornfeil took a superb 5th place.  The Moto2 race was mayhem at the first corner, with a 6 bike pileup.  Several of the MotoGP Team experience guests were standing right there.  Amongst others who went down was our sponsored rider Sam Lowes. Rookie Sam managed to pick up his bike, get back in the race, and finish a very respectable 16h, just out of the points. Our other Moto2 rider, Gino Rea, had been having a terrible weekend, starting from the back of the grid following his crash in qualification Saturday, and very few sessions thanks to electrical problems.  However he managed to forget all this bad luck, and danced through the first corner wreckage to work his way up the pack eventually to 15th. Sadly he dropped off the pace following a painful arm pump, but he proved that when he and the bike are working well, he can race the pants off it!


The MotoGP race was pretty much a 1-2 fixture for Repsol Honda; the only drama was the fight for 3rd position. Seeing Dovisioso on the Ducati on the podium was special.  our LCR Honda guests were a tiny bit disappointed that Stefan Bradl didn’t make the podium, but 4th is not a bad result!


Sadly Cal Crutchlow crashed out - injured but fortunately not seriously (just very painful)


Although team Go&Fun Honda Gresini had a pretty horrible weekend - with only 1 of 6 riders finishing a race - we were all cheered by the sight of our customer Liz as an umbrella girl for all 3 race starts!


We of course invaded the pit lane to soak up the boy’s champagne. In the closing 30 minutes of the VIP Village we were delighted by the company of Sam Lowes -- a real charmer!

Sunday night a small group of us hit a great Mexican, then off to the Red Bull Riders Party. Many were there, but I was particularly pleased to see Casey Stoner and have the opportunity to tell him we missed him...  There was more, but we can’t tell you about it! :-)


We really enjoyed Austin city and the super track facilities. If you are thinking of 2015, both put the Thursday Day of Stars on the agenda, but also consider joining us and Colin for a few days the previous weekend at the Texas Tornado Boot Camp!  (We organised signed Colin Edwards caps for our package customers)



Book next year’s race (at 2014 prices) here.

 

STAR.

circuit of the americas, Austin, Texas USA 11-13 Apr 2014

Credits:

Gordon Howell (GH) Pole Position travel guide

Kevin Ellner (KE) Professional photographer

Cormac Ryan Meenan (CRM) PPT official photographer


Special thanks to Yonny Hernandez as our guest speaker and riders Brad Binder and Sam Lowes for sharing their experiences with us.

Some reasons to go to the Texas MotoGP

See all our photos from the event! Click here...Texas_Photos.html
See all our photos from the event! Click here...Texas_Photos.html

A truly stunning track

The view from inside Turn 1 (motogp race) See the amazing Turn 1 Moto2 crash sequence

Rossi’s pre-game trance (KE)

Marc Marquez  returns to the top step of the podium...