Saturday, 10 May 2014

Moto GP, Termas De Rio Hondo, Argentina

The first ever GP I have not had to fly too, the first ever GP I have taken my bike too, the first ever GP in Termas De Rio Hondo WOH HOH.

Thursday Night

Arriving in town it was plain to see they were not well organised for the onslaught, bikers everywhere and traffic jammed for km.

Like all the other rides we took to the walking lane over the bridge which was only just wide enough for Dan to sneak through with a coupla anxious moments thrown in.

Parking up to collect our tickets there was a cool lineup of bike but the most photographed was Maya, Loulou and Nar (Ours, Saras and Dans bike)

People liked the dirty, scrubby, stickered and obviously travelled bikes, lots of people having their photos taken with us .... really neat the respect you get from these fello petrolheads.

This was also our meeting point with Trevor, we found him ok.

Finally organised it became apparent road rules were a non event with the Police allowing bikes a free run of footpaths, shoulders (on either side) and space to cut in.

Arriving at camp was the next dilemma with little to no organisation, turns out our camp we had paid for was not even marked out, no power or lighting as promised mayhem so we were getting used to this.

Happy to have our tickets tho

We found a flattish spot with a tree so everyone set up, Ellen found some empanadas so that was tea.

The place was alive with people putting up tents, music playing and generally gearing up for the 3 day event.

Friday, Setup and Practice

Hearing the Moto 3 boys out (250 4 stroke) pulled the hackles of your hair up stirring that wee heart pounding moment you get from the roar.

Making our way over our stand was the OPPOSITE side to where we were camping, a good 2 km plus walk, I was going to head over to the pits and catch up with Jorge, Marc & Valentino and give them some pointers but they seemed to be doing ok.

Happy chappy

Now, I have not been to a GP for 5- 6 years ish, I had forgotten how fast these boys actually went and the first time the big boys came around the corner and onto our straight the noise, smell and blindingly fast speed see my heart racing, my hands sweating and I got a sandfly in both my eyes which made them water.

That OMG, WTF, WOW, GEZZ, CRIKKY, WHOA moment had came with no disappointment and I found myself yelling like all the mad Argentinians.

Valentino Rossi is undoubtedly “The Man” to Argentinians, every time he went past the crowd went mental with electrifying screams of support.

Marc Marquez, well what can a man say other than that man can ride, he is the new Valentino without dispute, I still love watching Jorge Lorenzo as he is simply butter smooth and I would love to see him on Marc Marquez’s Honda.

We are all great riders with our talent that we have which is staying alive and enjoying it, these guys do this at warp factor 2 riding the knife edge.

Saturday, more set up and practice

Lap times coming down 10 seconds over the practice laps as they find their own line and their own settings, interesting the Moto2 (600 4 cyl 4 stroke) boys shutoff was pretty much the EXACT same point every lap showing the likeness of each bike, the only differing factor was he who had the biggest bollies on the brakes.

Sunday, race day .... the crowd x 3 of Friday and Saturday.

With good weather on the go and the boys putting up some very fast times it was sizing up to be a great race.

Front row was Lorenzo, Marquez and Pedrosa ...... hmm interesting into the first bend.

Although Lorenzo lead most of the race it was although Marquez was just on a Sunday ride then just passed effortlessly and smoothly. I wasn’t too long and Pedrosa could smell a podium with the Honda having an obvious advantage on this circuit, Lorenzo and Rossi unable to fend off the Hondas.

Marquez 1st, Pedrosa 2nd and Lorenzo 3rd, Rossi 4th was the order of the day so the famous four up top.

During the practice sessions we were treated to some aircraft activity including three jets and a stunt plane performing outstanding Ariel stunts.

Not many chica calientes (hot girls) running around ... at least at our cheap seats.

The Whole Event

During the weeks leading up to the event we had organised to meet several other travellers to camp and catch up.

This was excellent and there was 1 or 20 bottles of red laid down their life producing good times and lots stories and inter-manufacture haggling.

And the perfect product holder

We also met Steve on a XC800 sporting the English flag so like true mates we dressed his bike in Argentinian flags which was taken in good spirits, Mike was also there on his 1200 Explorer.

Again, good people, good booze, good food, good place, good times.

The line up

The end, away we set in our different directions to resume travelling.

Dan, Sara, Ellen and I headed to Antofagasta for more desert treats.

Some general shots

My hairy arm was there

The race start

Big boys at it



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