malaysian motogp 2014
 
 

“Max was a very interesting guy to work with...”

---Guest speaker, Pramac Ducati boss Francesco Guidotti, on his years running the Aprilia World SBK team and winning the world championship with Max Biaggi



In 2013, the Malaysian MotoGP was awarded “Best event of the year” by IRTA.  It isn’t hard to see why.  This is one event that just keeps growing.


Sepang also rose in our books to become our second largest event, only after our flagship, home round of Brno. We expect it will continue this rise!


We had 150 VIPs across 3 suites, plus a further 20 Team Experience guests making this the largest VIP event in our history. (See our suite map)


The weekend was nothing short of incredible. Non stop.


Thursday Happy Hours took place at both our KL city centre hotel, the 4* Concorde KL, and our 5* Deluxe hotel near the airport and track, the Sama Sama. We essentially took over the executive lounge of the Sama Sama and chatted with a number of MotoGP personalities. We were delighted by brief appearances of Cal Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi.  A great way to start the weekend!


Friday, a number of customers opted to join Honda Gresini as team guests and enjoyed the paddock and garages.  The rain hit hard in the afternoon, stopping all action.  We were grateful for the shelter! Meanwhile, a weirdly dry day was enjoyed by our customers on the Kuala Lumpur City Tour.


Friday evening we had our welcome dinner. Apart from great food and bottomless beer & wine, we had literally a star-studded lineup of guest speakers.  First up was MotoGP rider Karel Abraham. Karel is a lovely chap, and very well spoken. Apart from being a MotoGP racer, he has passed his Law exams and has a future career as a lawyer should he choose. He also flies helicopters. Racing motorcycles, flying helicopters, and practicing law. This boy craves danger! :-)

Guest heckler Derek Crutchlow helped ask embarassing questions and we played a showreel of top photos from guest ace photographer, Andrew Northcott (who also took a few snaps)

Our main speaker was Pramac chief Francesco Guidotti.  Not a household name (as many of our top speakers), he has had a 25 year career in motorcycle racing management, with two world championships to his credit, including winning the World SBK with Aprilia and Max Biaggi.  He gave us tremendous insight into the world of Ducati, how the factory was supporting the Pramac team, the essential differences between the bikes (almost nothing for Andrea Iannone’s; Yonny Hernandez is running 2013 bike) and his views on MotoGP and his own history. Apart from the Biaggi championship, he was most proud of winning the Daytona 250 in 2002 with Chuck Sorensen, racing a rookie rider Marc Marquez on KTM, and winning the 250cc World Championship with Manuel Poggiali on Aprilia. 

Yonny Hernandez also joined us.  He talked about how difficult it was to rise as a motorcycle racer in Columbia (1 circuit in the country) and his excitement about being given the chance to ride a full factory Ducati in 2015. (His re-signing with Pramac had not yet been announced but he and Francesco were proud to be able to confirm this to us!)

Finally, we welcomed LCR Honda boss Lucio Cecchinello to the stage. Lucio is always entertaining - he was our main guest speaker in 2010.  The main question that our large Australian contingent had for him was “Why Jack Miller?”.  Lucio is confident that Jack will manage the huge leap from Moto3 to MotoGP, and is expecting a fabulously fun year with his two charismatic riders, including Cal Crutchlow.  Derek confirmed how happy Cal and his entourage were to be moving to LCR.


On a personal note, there was one further star - our own Alexander Howell who turned 7 this day.  We celebrated with a cake, a song and some pressies!


Saturday was a perfect day.  We opened our VIP suite atop the garages, with stunning views, bottomless beer (and champagne as it turned out!) and several special guests including Gino Rea and Jakub Kornfeil.  “Kuba” as he is called qualified an awesome 3rd place, putting him on the front row for the 2nd time this year. We are expecting a great Moto3 race!  Gino had his top team sponsors AGT as our guests in the suite this weekend.


We also opened our Pole Position Club - spread across two suites in the Mall side of the circuit.  These lovely air conditioned units were a perfect oasis in the midst of the crowds and humidity in the Mall.  We were honoured to host the title sponsors Pramac, including their CEO.


Saturday night everyone was left to thei own devices.  At the Sama Sama many of us never left the Happy Hours at the executive lounge.  At KL a group hit the famous night life surrounding our hotel in the “Golden Triangle”

 

Rain was predicted for Sunday.  Thankfully it never really materialised apart from a few scattered drops. The racing was incredible; especially the spell-binding Moto3 race.  Jack Miller fought like a titan to keep his title hopes alive in an incident-packed event, ultimately taking 2nd behind Basque rider Efren Vazquez.


The Moto2 race was largely uneventful, apart from the significant result of Tito Rabat clinching the Moto2 World Championship. Joy for the MarcVDS team.  (See video)


Finally the MotoGP rolled around. A sudden threat of rain sent the teams scurrying to prepare the second bikes, but this never materialised.  Marc Marquez fans were rewarded with his 12th victory of the season, and Valentino Rossi strengthened his grip on 2nd place in the tournament with a 2nd podium place (after leading the race for a number of laps). A satisfying result for all!


Sunday night at the Sama Sama we enjoyed the  Happy Hours once again, then it was a night at the pub where we were joined by a number of MotoGP and other riders; notably the MarcVDS Team celebrating their world championship.  Tito’s good friend Marc Marquez joined the party, and we all danced until the early hours (well, the team had to leave to make a 2am flight to Frankfurt.  We don’t know how they made it to the airport...!)  A well deserved victory celebration and a brilliant night out for all!


Bring on Sepang 2015!!



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

 

motogp perfection

sepang circuit, sepang, malaysia 24-26 october 2014

Some reasons to go to the Malaysian MotoGP

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

(AJRN) Our opening dinner with 2 MotoGP riders (Karel Abraham and Yonny Hernandez), 2 Team bosses (Pramac: Francesco Guidotti and LCR Honda Lucio Cecchinello) and about 100 guests. A great night...

Credits:

Gordon Howell (GH) Pole Position travel guide

Roberto Bocchiolo (RB) Pole Position travel guide

Mark Robertson (MR) Pole Position travel guide

Susie Staton (SS) Pole Position travel guide

Neil Pulbrook (NP) Pole Position travel guide

Jana Hrstkova (JH) Pole Position travel director

Andrew Northcott (ARJN) Professional photographer

Cormac Ryan Meenan (CRM) Pole Position travel photographer

and the LCR Honda photographers (LCR)



Special thanks to riders Karel Abraham, Yonny Hernandez, Jakub Kornfeil, Brad Binder and Gino Rea for taking time to join us at one of our functions or VIP suites. Also thanks to Derek Crutchlow (dad of Cal and Ducati pit board) and Fabio Alberti of LCR Honda for entertaining us. Finally our two star speakers Friday night deserve special recognition: Team boss of Pramac Ducati Francesco Guidotti, and Team boss of LCR Honda Lucio Cecchinello. These are all people who make MotoGP happen.

Sunday evening in the bar, the triumphant MarcVDS team celebrates their first World Championship with Tito Rabat. We of course joined in and a great time was had by all! We apologise for the poor sound recording which distorted the melodious voices... :-)

Pole Position guide Mark Robertson joins the local band and plays along with Mustang Sally; much to the amusement of our customers and riders Marc Marquez and Tito Rabat and the MarcVDS team!

Part of our happy VIP crew with rider Jakub Kornfeil

The lovely Sepang terrace & circuit