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Tuesday, October 21, 2003

The MotoGP Weekend!!

Whilst not a disaster, there were a few "mistakes" made along the way.
Friday

In a huge suprise (not) we were slightly late to Cafe Racer, only to find that Dirty and Dr Rudi were also late. Matt was on time- or early. Dr Rudi needed to do some ( a lot) of catching up... and did so LONG after we should have left. More phaffing about ensued. Finally we all got suited up again, started up and rode off- to the BP on Marine pde.
ZX6- Kawasaki

So finally we head out onto the road to The Island. The usual boring as all hell ride- Cops everywhere, cars, other bikes and so on ensures that you sit on 100 the whole way.

'We Are Family' - Dirty and his sleeping bag... Arrival at out accommodation was hilarious to say the least. Me Waysell and I find ourselves inside the beach house with a room to ourselves, while the boys find themselves outside in the shed- the windowless, Spartan shed on beds about an inch wide. Dirty brought his "gay pride" sleeping bag, which sent Dr Rudi into hysterics. I'm sure Dirty was very warm, comfy and downright gorgeous in his "love cocoon".

We got to the track just in time- for the MotoGP practice to END. I left the bike key in the bike and had to make a mad dash to get it back so was in a right state once trackside. We walked to the bridge to watch the 125's and 250's practice and then headed down to turn one. Stunt rider Matt Mingay came out on his exhaust-less GSXR 1000 and blew us away with some sick stoppies, wheelies, burnouts and other shit. He would continue to do so for the whole event. Dr Rudi encouraged me to learn a few tricks and become a stunt rider- I am I am!!

We walked the entire track that day and got to see many races, practices and one or two harmless prangs. As we went past the MotoGP autograph session Waysell suggested we queue up. I suggested we not do so. "Saturday will be fine" Boy would I regret that little piece of stupidity...

Matt Mingay
The worst accident of the day was in the Aust 125's. Some how, someone clashed coming down the front straight (at around 220 km/h) and they went BANG big style. Two bikes down and the riders well winded. It turned out neither were seriously injured, but the thing about seeing a prang like this is that you don't know that at the time. One rider got up, leant against the armco, then decided that lying on the ground was far more comfortable.

Dirty and I saw the bikes in question in the pits the following day and it was a fine mess. Wheels and forks destroyed- quite amazing that there was not a bone broken...

After a day in the sun, we both got a little sunburnt. We headed into Cowes for a pizza and some (light) beers. Matt spotted Kawasaki's Andrew Pitt and evidently decided that it was as good as any time to make a goose of himself.
Matt about to meet MR PITT!!!
It went a little like this:

Matt: HI!
Andrew Pitt: ... hi
[pause]
Matt: Good luck...!! [smiles]
Andrew Pitt:...err ...thanks
[pause]
[long pause]
[very long pause]
Matt: !?
[exit stage left]

He felt like a right goofball. And provided us with a great laugh. Matched only by this exchange:

Dr Rudi he-ahh!!
Matt:[talking about the bike club he's in] We ride with a leader and a sweeper, that way no one ever gets lost...
Dr Rudi: No one ever?
Matt: No one ever!
Dirty [ashamed] ... I got lost...
[laughing at- not with]

We retired to our abode for a quiet sleep- only to be awoken by our new housemates partying on until 3.30am. Great...
Day Highlights: Finally getting there, watching the MotoGP's for the first time, Matt Mingay stuntrider, the weather.
Lowlights: Late for first MotoGP practice, nasty Aust 125 accident on main straight, not queuing for Bayliss autograph, being woken at 3am.


Saturday

Waysell was all organised and had us up early and off to Cowes to buy items for the day. There were several reasons for this:
  • The food at the track was all shite
  • The price of the food was waaay over the top
  • I had been playing the trouser trumpet all night and made her angry
  • So we bought the little packs of cereal, some milk, apples, rolls and such and went to turn 12 to watch the early MotoGP practice.

    The boys joined us a little later. We went through the AMCN GP expo and Waysell spied three point fold up chairs for $20 a pair.
    Click for fullsize
    We bought 'em and went to turn 1, for what turned out to be the best session of the day. Views of turn 1, southern loop, Honda corner, Siberia and beyond. A super screen right in front of us, and my mobile phone tuned into the on track radio station. Bright sun, few people and a chance for Waysell to get some sleep.

    Matt Mingay came out on his V-Rod Harley and did the biggest burnouts and insane feet- on- the- pillion pegs wheelies up the straight. He returned later to do his 200k's an hour titanium shoes skitching. Insane.

    That evening we returned to Cowes and I managed to catch the end of the panel discussion- how's this for a lineup: Greg Rust, Wayne Gardner, Darryl Beattie, Mick Doohan, Bill Woods(host), Peter Goddard, Ant West and Casey Stoner.

    They chatted about this and that (Barry Sheene too..) and then Casey decided to make a bit of a star of himself...:

    Bill Woods: Well it's Casey Stoner's birthday tomorrow and I can think of no greater present than a win here at Phillip Island... Casey?
    Casey Stoner: Yeah.. Winning here would be great for my birthday. The best thing is... errr. well... my birthday will be around this time every year [pause].. [crowd laughing]


    He's a really good rider, thank God.

    Anyway we were off home again - and once again our new housies went off in the night- crazy party animals!

    Highlights: The weather, Australian Superbike race, Cath Thompson in the Aust 125GP, the Harley wheelie, the chairs!
    Lowlights: None really!


    Sunday

    The early hours of Sunday found me awake listening to the sound of wind and rain and what sounded like hail on the roof. Out in "Club Shed", the boys had been kept awake (or at least woken early) by the sounds of nature.

    It did not look good, inspiring or even interesting.

    Thanks to the party doods we scored more bacon than we could eat and a few eggs. TV on and we watched Bill Woods looking like a drowned rat. Matt had already called it and gone home. We made preparations to do the same.

    Which we did about 1pm. While fuelling up I noticed it brightening towards the west. Waysell was keen to stay (I think it was because she was warm for once!), but we had turned for home.

    So we went. Apart from nearly headbutting a Galah it was pretty uneventful Home in time to watch the main event- in GLORIOUS FRICKIN SUNSHINE!! As Waysell said "We missed the one thing, the one reason we went there...".

    Whilst that pissed me off, it was still nice to watch it while being warm and dry...

    Highlights: Being dry again, bacon, bacon, bacon.
    Lowlights: Missing watching the race in bright sunshine...
    posted by thr at 12:40 pm

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