texas MotoGP 19-21 April 2013

“At no time did his hand ever leave the full throttle position. You don’t normally see that...”

--- John Ulrich describing his first experience witnessing a young Kevin Schwantz (from John’s intro to Kevin - see video)

It seems like we have been waiting for this event for years. And it went by in a flash.

Yes, there were a number of niggles; some organisational goofs; some complaints -- but all these will fade when those of us lucky enough to have been at the first MotoGP of Texas look back on this weekend and sigh...

An incredible track. Fantastic facilities. A thoroughly welcoming and vibrant city.  And what GREAT racing!

Starting with our traditional Thursday evening ‘happy hour’ at the lovely Hyatt Regency, we can’t be sure we ever managed to get in some sleep in what turned out to be a non-stop weekend!

Friday night we fulfilled a long-held ambition and secured as our guest speaker the legend and local hero Kevin Schwantz; the man who undoubtedly was ultimately responsible for getting the race and all of us here. He was fascinating & very funny.  We were fortunate enough to also have with us Kevin’s mentor and the “dean” of American road racing, John Ulrich who gave a fascinating look at Kevin’s early career.  We give John our annual “Unsung Heroes” award (see gallery) With superb food and unlimited drink at our venue of the Indian restaurant The Clay Pit, and a auction of cool merchandise raising >$2000 for Riders for Health (Kevin showing off the #34 Kiddiemoto helmet!), a great time was had by all!
Schwantz dinner photosKevin_Schwantz_dinner.html

See the gallery for more pictures, video and story of the evening.

Saturday was a perfect day.  We had a chance to explore the track, and especially go up the amazing and iconic observation tower - from which you can see every inch of the track! This is easily the best viewing platform we know of at any circuit - and well worth the $25 to go up! 

This was to be the weekend of “wonderboy” Marc Marquez, and he got off to the right start with a decisive pole position.  In addition to our usual sponsored rider in MotoGP, Cal Crutchlow, we were proud sponsors of the wildcard team GPTech, riding Mike Barnes (pictured) on the only CRT Suzuki out there.  Alas, Mike (who incidentally is 44 years old - the same as his number!) failed to qualify.  We buy many beers for the team at the pub that night...

Speaking of which, we don’t usually have a programme for Saturday night - being a “low energy” night. But going for a few beers is a good idea, and for the ONE sole customer Phil who joined Gordon for the pub, in addition to meeting up with all the GPTech boys, we also bumped into - Kevin Schwantz! We did not permit him to buy a beer that night and Phil got to drink Kevin’s final bottle! :-)  Sadly (and disgracefully) Kevin isn’t doing a lot this weekend...

Sunday was another cracker of a day.  No rain, perfect temperature, sizzling hot women.  What a great state! :-)

With four races to enjoy, it was sit back and enjoy the show time! Except of course we didn’t.  One of the great things about the VIP here is that you can easily get paddock access (and we pack a few extra paddock passes for our customers).  We were delighted to have as visitors to our hospitality the Moto3 riders Jack Miller, and then later Danny Webb and Brad Binder.
We had open access to the GPTech garage, and of course go to mingle with riders and other fans. Several of our MotoGP Team Experience customers with Honda Gresini were privileged to go to the actual track service road to see some of the action from way up close! (pictured, start of MotoGP from inside Turn 1)

Marquez definitely proved he is ready to fight at the top - a great near race-long duel with his teammate, the veteran Dani Pedrosa ended with Dani making a tiny mistake a rookie Marc making none at all - thus taking a much-deserved maiden victory.  We have started calling him “Lightning McQueen” - can he win the championship as a rookie?  He will certainly try!

We closed the event with our traditional ‘winding down’ dinner, for which we always use local cuisine.  Of course here it HAD to be Tex-Mex, and with bottomless margaritas, beer and food, the Iron Cactus is definitely on my “must return” list!!

Book next year’s race (at 2013 prices) here.



circuit of the americas, Austin, Texas USA 19-21 Apr 2013


Gordon Howell (GH) Pole Position travel guide

Herod Lowery (HL) Pole Position travel guide

Kevin Ellner (KE) Professional photographer

John Ulrich (JU) Speaker, Editor Roadracing World

Special thanks to Kevin Schwantz as our guest speaker and riders Danny Webb, Jack Miller and Brad Binder, and John Ulrich for coming to share their insights with us.

Thanks to or sponsored wildcard team GPTech and team boss Geoff Maloney and rider Mike Barnes for opening their garage to us and sharing their weekend

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

Marc Marquez dumps some well-earned champagne on us...

A truly stunning track

The view from inside Turn 1 (motogp race)

The first ever Texas MotoGP podium!

See Video of Kevin & John talks!Kevin_Schwantz_dinner.html