The MCN Race Paddock is a huge new attraction at this years NEC Show, letting you rub shoulders with riders, see the massive transporters and drool over the exotic race bikes they carry.
Teams already confirmed include the Ten Kate Honda squad which took the 2003 World Supersport title and is preparing to run Fireblades in World Superbikes next year, the Proton KR team of GP legend Kenny Roberts with the Proton KR V5 MotoGP bike, and the Triumph ValMoto team which has re-introduced the British manufacturer to factory racing after a 30 year break.
The paddock is also the venue for the Oscars of biking the MCN Awards. They’ll be hosted by Suzi Perry on the Black Horse stage, with awards for the Machine of the Year, the Lifetime Achievement Award, the MCN Man of the Year accolades and many more. You’re guaranteed to see some of the biggest names in motorcycling collecting their prizes.
And there are competitions giving you the chance to get some great prizes. MCN’s ‘Play your bikes right’ could see you walk away with a jacket based on your knowledge of bike prices. The Harris Pit Stop Challenge allows you to get right up close to a Harris WCM GP bike, as you go against the clock to change the rear wheel. Meanwhile the Bridgestone Man of Steel swops technical skills for brute strength. Two Bridgestone tyres will be suspended on each outstretched arm and if you can keep them up, you could be well rewarded.
There’s loads more to see and do in The Paddock, despite the distraction of the MCN Babe Squad handing out goodie bags. Michelin will be displaying its extensive range of tyres, including the Michelin Pilot Power which will replace the current Pilot Sport. The Shark Racing Service truck will also be there. So if you’ve got a Shark lid, you can get it serviced by the same technicians that work with Alex Barros, Olivier Jacque and Jeremy McWilliams. There’s also two new 2004 models for the show the RSX and the RSF-2 Race.
You’ll also be able to see the latest designs from Italian label Alpinestars, with the GPS3 boots, S-Moto supermoto leathers and the Replica racs suit, which is about as close as you can get to the gear worn by riders like Carlos Checa, Garry McCoy and Troy Corser.
The Yamaha R6 Cup truck will be there, with the series leading to a full-time ride in the 2004 Virgin Mobile Yamaha BSB squad for Champion Tommy Hill. If you know a 16-22 year old interested in the challenge for next year, this is the time to find out more.
And Suzuki will be displaying some of its most famous bikes, including the RG500 of Kevin Schwantz, the championship-winning GP bike of Kenny Roberts Jr, and the current four-stroke GSV-R.
The show runs from November 15-23 at the NEC in Birmingham. Advance tickets are now on sale. Adults cost £13 in advance; children (6-16 years) and senior citizens cost £6. You can book in advance on 0870 904 2003
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