Grand prix of catalunya 2014

“I think he can do it.  Will be good for Jack, good for the sport.”

---Guest speaker, Gresini chief mechanic Antonio Jimenez, on the rumour of Jack Miller’s potential jump straight from Moto3 to MotoGP

Catalunya 2009 was one of the most thrilling MotoGP races in history, and it seems that this is one event that you can guarantee excitement!  With the added benefit of being in Barcelona (or on the lovely Costa Brava beaches), it is hard to imagine an event that is more guaranteed to be a great weekend!

This year it was the Moto3 race that raised the goosebumps.  Alex Marquez won his first Grand Prix to thunderous acclaim by his home crowd, with brother Marc Marquez to win the MotoGP shortly thereafter.  Spaniard Esteve “Tito” Rabat also took the Moto2, making another all-Spanish weekend.

We started as usual with our Thursday Happy Hours in our Barcelona Hotel.  Many customers came up to the track Friday where we were greeted by blistering 32 degree sunshine.  Still a great opportunity to roam the circuit, and our team hospitality customers were grateful for the shelter and drinks!

Saturday evening we has our opening dinner at a venue near the circuit.  Our guest speaker was the chief mechanic of Go&Fun Honda Gresini, Antonio Jimenez.  Antonio has been in the paddock for some 33 years and is one of the most experienced veterans in MotoGP.  His frank insights into a range of issues, such as the direction of MotoGP, evolution of the Open Class bikes, rumours of Jack Miller jumping directly to MotoGP and even somewhat controversial subject, such as why Dorna never consults the technicians when making technical rules, all made for a fascinating evening. The QA session threatened never to end!

The temperature didn’t let up on Saturday, but that didn’t stop Alex Marquez from claiming pole position, and Go&Fun Gresini rookie Enea Bastianini taking an incredible 2nd.  He will go on to take 2nd in the race, his first podium in GP and an amazing result from a rookie! One to watch in the future...  We were delighted with our own Brad Binder taking the 4th place on the grid.

Dani Pedrosa surprised us with his MotoGP pole position, but Marquez on 3rd behind Lorenzo was always sure to be a threat.

Saturday night we had a special dinner in the paddock.  We literally had a parade of riders as special guest speakers, and many others dropped in!  Heading up our invited guests was Cal Crutchlow, backed up by appearances from Brad Binder, Jakub Kornfeil, Gino Rea and Sam Lowes. However we also managed to collar Colin Edwards, Randy de Puniet, Michael Laverty, Randy Mamola, Jack Miller, Alex Marquez, Ana Carassco, Nicky Hayden, Mika Kallio, Yonny Hernandez, and Karel Hanika.  Wow.  The food was great as well, and the beer & wine went down a treat. Our MotoGP Night guests moved to Go&Fun Honda Gresini for dinner, and had a chance to meet up with Scott Redding, Alvaro Bautista and the wonder kid Enea Bastianini. We went home happy...

Sunday it cooled off thankfully, although now a threat of rain appeared.  (see video)  The racing brought the brothers Marquez to victory - the first time they have ever both one at the same event.

Sunday evening the beach package customers hit the local pubs - a seemingly endless stretch of Dutch and English-themed places!  In Barcelona we hit one of our favourite Spanish steak houses. Washed down with copious quantities of Rioja, it was a perfect end to a perfect weekend!

BUT it wasn’t over for all! Monday was MotoGP Test Day! A group of 15 of us headed to the track as guests of Go&Fun Honda Gresini for a close look at all the bikes and riders.  Neil Spalding entertained us with his sizzling insights into the issues some of the teams were trying to tackle.  Neil makes the bold, but welcome prediction that Valentino Rossi will beat his teammate Jorge Lorenzo this year.

Several customers remarked that the test day was even better than the race weekend. Improving on perfection?

Catalunya delivers!

(ed. note from Nov 2014 -- it turned out that the winners of the races were the eventual winners of the world championships, Jack Miller DID go straight to MotoGP, and Neil was indeed correct!  We DO call ‘em! :-)

Book next year’s race here.


Motogp heaven.

catalunya circuit, barcelona, spain 13-15 june 2014

Some reasons to go to the Catalunya MotoGP

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

(GH) A tale of two Marquezes


Gordon Howell (GH) Pole Position travel guide

Roberto Bocchiolo (RB) Pole Position travel guide

Laura Porro-Ortiz (LP) Pole Position travel guide

Matt Waugh (MW) Pole Position travel guide

Cormac Ryan Meenan (CRM) Pole Position travel photographer

Special thanks to Antonio Jimenez, Chief Mechanic of team Go&Fun Honda Gresini for sharing his deep insights into the sport.

(GH) At the start of the MotoGP race, there was a sudden threat of rain.  All the teams immediately went into overdrive setting up their second bikes for the wet.  Gresini was first off the mark..  The rain didn't occur in the end but it is amazing how fast they can work!

(GH) Cal Crutchlow joins us briefly Saturday night