Sunday, Sunday, Sunday – for most of the MotoGP calendar this is RACE DAY. So too in Brno. Once again, the day dawned clear and sunny, with only a trace of clouds (or was that just from Charity GP the night before??). We were up and out quickly to get on the bus for the track.
Same deal as yesterday, have breakfast, socialize with the other photographer friend we’ve made, make a plan for the day. (Little did I realize THEN that race day is more about watching than photographing. I’ve never been the one with a good camera at the track, I ALWAYS watch. This time is new. I’m learning) Unfortunately, the gods of organization were conspiring, and all of our “best laid plans” for the morning went out the window. On the positive side, there were happy surprises awaiting us.
We’d figured we would spend the morning (during warm-up) out on the service road, shooting. THEN we found out that the PitWalk was earlier than the previous day, so we really didn’t have time to go out on the service road AND do the PitWalk. Ok…watch warm-up, do the “paddock tour” (really just a “herded” walk thru the boring parts of the paddock, but occasionally you can see someone) and be ready for the PitWalk.
As we are signing up for the paddock tour, one of the VIP Village hostesses tells Jack to “pick out THIS gamepiece from the bowl”. (The VIP hospitality group gives away all kinds of stuff to people in the Village. Each morning when you enter you choose a little gamepiece and you might win something – ranging from a MotoGP cap to a Tissot watch). Jack did as he was told, and “won” a chance to watch the start of the 125 race from the Pit Wall! I was soooooo JEALOUS.
As we were trying to figure out what lenses he could bring down with him, the same hostess taps me and points to ANOTHER gamepiece. GUESS WHAT!!??
Yup, our whole day changed!
We went on the paddock tour. A HUGE group of people walk from one end of the paddock to the other, following a girl with a sign. Everyone is supposed to stay together and just look. *We* weren’t important enough (read: didn’t spend enough money on our tickets) to have paddock passes so we get marched thru to gawk.
Jack and I had our cameras, although we didn’t really expect to see anyone. As luck would have it, we did see Randy dePuniet going by on a scooter!
Also, as luck would have it, Jack and I “got lost” in the paddock as we went looking for photo ops. OOOPPPPS! We went wandering off, between some of the trucks, towards the backdoors of the pits. Next thing we knew…the “tour” was gone. Drat!
We spent some time between the trailers and the garage doors, hoping to see *someone* to take pics of. There was not a lot going on – the riders were in their garages, waiting to head out onto the track. The one person I did get a picture of was Marco Melandri, who was injured and subsequently not riding.
When we left the paddock, to do the pitwalk, get lunch and get ready for the 125 race, a VERY germanic DORNA security guy gave us a bunch of hassle about separating from the tour, but eventually deigned to “allowed” us to leave. He tried to make us feel like he was doing us a favor by letting us OUT, since our tour had already left. Yeah! Sure.
The pitwalk was much the same as the previous day with babes and bikes and open garages. I took almost no photos. We had lunch and met up with the DORNA guy who was going to be our “host” on the pitwall for the start of the 125 race!
THIS was exciting. We got back down onto pit lane as the MotoGP warm-up was finishing up. We walked in front of the garages, as riders were coming in and going out for last minute setup adjustments! The photos from pitlane during MotoGP warmup are here, but below is (IMNSHO) my best shot of the weekend.
After MotoGP warm-up, we got to see what we’d gone to pitlane to see – the start of the 125 race! We were at the beginning of the pit wall, not far from the start/finish line. We could see everything! The pics of the grid are not bad, but we were (literally) so close to the racers that the actual race pictures are blurry! I learned a bit from my pictures the previous day, so hopefully these are better!
The rest of the day was primarily spent as a spectator. I took a few shots during the 250 and GP race, but nothing really worth posting. I simply ENJOYED the races. What a concept!