Wow, we’ve won the MCN Valencia MotoGP competition. We had to put into no more than 30 words why we should spend the weekend at the Valencia MotoGP with the motorcycle tour operator Toursareus. Easy, so I wrote a few words and sent off an e-mail, luckily for me some-body at MCN has the same sense of humour. We won.
The Toursareus clients usually arrange their own flights, and we were able to get Easyjet from Liverpool to Alicante. Better for us, because we were able to use our regional airport, rather than a long drive somewhere else. Friday Next we’re on the way to the hotel on the edge of Valencia. A sort of upmarket businessman’s/woman’s hotel on the outskirts, very conveniently just off the main dual carriageway, and we’ve got excellent directions. Trouble is we left them at home! So we drove straight through the city centre in the Friday evening rush hour.
We tackled crossroads with our lane, seven abreast, turning into two lanes, and nobody slows down! Margaret, my beloved Navigator shouts “It’s not the start of the MotoGP!!!”, - Oh yes it is… We’ve arrived, two very large beers please.
Quite a buzz in the large foyer, lots of guests arriving on bikes as well as us with Toursareus – the hotels full! We catch up with Graham and Jane, the organisers, and get introduced to everybody, we’re all on a high! Actually we’re quieter than usual, we’ve brought British Flu to Spain (only fair really), temperature, headaches, the works.
The rooms are very good, I’d say business-like rather than homely, but larger than I expected, they look new and are spotless, good TV and bath. So it’s an early night…that would be sensible? Or Valencia nightlife….what’s Taxi in Spanish?
Sat. Will we ever learn, but a great night. Spanish aspirins are twice the dose of UK and it’s breakfast time. Continental buffet, so my plates the size of Africa then. And a few rolls for the track! Straight on the coach and in less than 30 mins we’re inside Circuit Ricardo Tormo. No hassle.
A quick look at the merchandise, looks good quality and reasonably priced. We find our stand, what great seats, it’s the Yellow Stand, top row and just after the first turn. Brilliant view. Very exciting practice and qualifying. Stoner’s taking Capirossi round, they’re working out moves and lines. Rossi crashes at our stand, he’s in agony and the bikes in bits. Dani Pedrosa gets pole position and he’s looking serious. The day went so quickly with the noise and excitement, I’d say the stands were 2/3 full today.
We’re whisked back to the hotel, and chat at the bar, which is already doing a brisk trade. So it’s an early night…that would be sensible? Or Valencia nightlife….yes, we now know the Spanish for Taxi? Sun. Oh God is it that time! Breakfast, coach, and we overtake cars and bikes with hardly any delay, a bit more of a wait at the gates but only 15 mins max. not bad for 135,000 spectators – how do they do it? Well the police having guns may help, but the track staff we’re so good-natured and polite – wait ‘till thy get the flu!
We’ve never seen MotoGP 125 racing, but it’s very fast and so skilful, the race just couldn’t have been closer. Bradley Smith rode brilliantly, no way is it an easy class to race in. The 250’s came and went and now it’s the MotoGP.
Doesn’t 800 seem a small capacity. I mean like BMW 800 parallel twins? We see Stoner hurtling down the straight, then Dani, then the rest, Rossi with a broken hand. At Lap 2 Dani’s closing the gap. He looks faster on the straight than Stoner? He’s faster on the corners as well, and Stoner’s now second! Stoner hangs on, I think he’s waiting for the Michelins to wear out. But they don’t and Dani wins. That was a race! Rossi packs in ‘till next year, he almost lost it at the first corner, where we are, in exactly the same way as yesterday.
We leave the stand, and the young men and women, who’ve been giving us pass-outs all weekend, come to shake-hands and wish us goodbye. A small gesture, but really quite touching. Perhaps 20 mins getting out, yes, not 5 hours, how do they do it? A large beer at the hotel, and we’re off to Valencia with Graham and Jane from Toursareus and all our new friends, and the conversation is going to be bikes, racing and round the world biking. Taxi!
We had a really great weekend, it was hassle free once we had met up with Toursareus. The stand was brilliant, the circuit was brilliant. Possibly the best for spectators in the series? We didn’t see any tickets available at the circuit, so book early. The hotel was good and, because of the fans, had plenty of atmosphere, it’s very well placed for the circuit. The tickets, transport and hotel were all arranged by Toursareus, and I think that for a MotoGP weekend, this would be very difficult to organise yourself.
Valencia was great. If we had arrived sooner we’d have done an open top bus tour of the city. We thought the city centre expensive for Spain, but still cheaper than the UK. It’s going to be a very difficult choice whether to go back to Valencia next year, or a different circuit – but next time we must book in plenty of time! Oh, the weather was brilliant!
Muchas gracias MCN,Toursareus, and the Spanish police for letting our Australian mate go after the chandalier incident in that restaurant. Adios. Dave & Margaret Griffin