Last Thursday saw the annual Day of Champions take place at Silverstone ahead of the British GP. The event, now in its twenty-fifth year, runs in support of Riders for Health – the official charity of Moto GP – which provides health workers in Africa with motorcycles and ambulances and support to deliver life-saving health care to millions.
This year’s events raised an impressive £209,394 for the charity, as thousands of fans took advantage of the chance to get a glimpse inside the garages of the GP stars, as they took a stroll down pit-lane.
MotoGP’s stars then took to the main stage for the auction, as they massaged the cash from the crowd, selling personal items and MotoGP experiences to the highest bidder. The auction alone generated a record-breaking £98,000 for the charity, from 117 lots, the rest of the total coming from donations and ticket sales.
Bradley Smith got the ball rolling by donating a motorcycle to Riders for Health in memory of Jeanette Wragg, one of the charity’s founders, who passed away earlier this year. Dorna and the International Road Racing Teams Association (ITRA) also matched this donation later in the day, meaning that two brand new bikes are now heading to Africa to carry health workers into the field.
Amongst the most popular items of the day was a Repsol Honda guitar made for Marc Marquez, and featuring his signature number 93 on the fret-board, which sold for £3000. A set of Dani Pedrosa’s leathers, a selfie on stage with Valentino Rossi and a one-off painting of Kenny Roberts and Barry Sheene, painted by Roberts himself, all drew similar interest.
The auction was only one part of the fun though, with other activities including a ride-in at midday led by Niall Mackenzie and Ross Noble, a display by trails legend Dougie Lampkin, and a show by the Tigers Childrens Motorcycle Display Team.
You can support the charity, too – visit http://www.riders.org/ to find out how.