MotoGP Sunday

This is the fifth of five posts, scroll down to read posts 4-1.

People always recommend saving the best for last — sorry not this time. This final post about the Texas trip is probably the least interesting of all five.

handbuiltSaturday night Russ and I went to the Handbuilt motorcycle show near downtown Austin. What an eclectic collection of motorcycles! There were old-school Harley choppers, perfectly restored classics, customized new motorcycles (a turbocharged Motus V-4 for example), and more. It was noisy, crowded, and not well lit enough to get really good photos. Here’s one example of the diversity: a Honda CB350 engine in a monocoque aluminum chassis circa 1975.

I didn’t have any signing duties on Sunday, which was great for me as the schedule had races all day starting with Moto3 at 11:00 am, followed by Moto2, MotoGP and finishing with the second MotoAmerica Superbike race. Contrary to predictions it was dry the entire day, yay. We watched different races from different areas of the track. No spoilers in what follows.

We viewed Moto3 from the grassy bank near Ducati Island with a good view of the final two turns, and an excellent view of a jumbo-tron screen and audio to follow the rest of the action. It was an atypical Moto3 race, a bit different from all the Moto3 from last year and the initial Qatar race this year.

We went to our grandstand seats, described in an earlier post, to watch the Moto2 and MotoGP races. From there we could see a lot of the track, although some of it was very distant, and there was a viewing screen a bit off to the left of our position, so we could tell what was going on in the parts we couldn’t see. It was a fun race to watch with the podium positions undecided until the very last few laps.

COTA towerUp in the tower. I’m 2nd from right, watching the racing through the clear floor. Russ is the guy in the black hat and shirt. It’s an open air space with a clear 4-foot railing at the edge. Photo by Dee Ritter.

After the MotoGP race we bought tickets to go up in the big tower, and we watched the 2nd Superbike race from that lofty position, some 800 feet about the track. You can see a lot of the race if you’re willing to move side to side. Worth doing at least once.

Unsubstantiated rumors — I saw some criticism of MotoAmerica because there was no live TV coverage of the Austin race. Things like, “First round of a new series and they couldn’t get live TV? Bad start.” From what we heard at the track, from a couple of sources, was that Dorna insisted on it. It seems Dorna didn’t allow anything that might diminish the impact of the MotoGP races. From the tower we could see that the MotoAmerica team tents were set up in an area behind the pit garages, where they could not be seen unless you had a paddock pass. If anyone reading this can confirm or contradict these rumors please add a comment to this post, In the meantime, folks should ease up on MotoAmerica for now and see how they do on round two.

That finished out Texas trip. It was, I think, a successful book launch and fun visit with the added plus of seeing some good racing. We arrived home to Oregon happy and completely exhausted. I ended up sleeping all night, most of the next day, and all night again. I’m caught up now.


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