Last month I was in Indianapolis to watch the MotoGP races. I normally watch the races on MotoGP.com, but seeing them in person is a much richer experience as you would expect. My tickets let me into the event Friday, Saturday, and Sunday just like last year. You can read about my trip there last year here.
I like to get there early to avoid the crazy traffic later in the day. On both Saturday and Sunday it was pretty empty around 8am. Nice and easy to find a parking spot. Suzuki had the space near turn 2, so all Suzuki owners got free trackside parking. Nice! Sunday was pretty empty except for a nice Vstrom from Canada. I tried not to drool directly onto his bike.
Instead I made my way inside the Suzuki compound to drool on the demo models instead. I like the look of the adventure model, but wouldn’t buy it. I don’t like the bags. I have my own. I don’t need more cluttering up the garage. I thought for sure I would have bought a vstrom by now, but maybe next year.
Suzuki had a pro photographer taking photos of owners and their bikes for free. I really liked how this one of my SV650 turned out. Thanks Suzuki!
The moto midway is inside the track and filled with all kinds of events to keep you busy throughout the day. Lots of shows and vendors are setup. I already posted up the fun I had watching the stunt show.
Yamaha was giving free riding lessons to little kids. It was funny to watch them ride around their little track of hay bales.
In the Yamaha tent they had all their new bikes on display just like Suzuki, Ducati, and Honda. This Super Tenere had an interesting accessory… a winch where the topcase should be. Ride into a swamp and pull yourself out? Seems like it might be a bit hard to balance while using it. hmm.
One of my highlights for the weekend was watching the electric motorcycles. They put in lap times similar to Moto3, and were nearly silent. When they went by, you could hear the chain noise, and the tires rubbing on the track. A very neat experience. I want to ride one!
Here are some Moto3 riders practicing their launches at the end of a warm-up session on the back straight. It was very common after the session had ended for them to stop on the last lap and practice their starts.
This is where my MSF ticket had me sitting. It was a very nice view of turn 1 and the front straight. The shade was also nice. Not a lot of people yet for Moto3.
From the same spot turn 2,3,4 were easily visible. I watched the Moto3 and Moto2 races with the MSF RiderCoaches. We had nearly the whole section reserved.
In between the Moto2 and MotoGP races, I was able to meet up with @Reyzie. We’ve only interacted on Twitter, so it was nice to put a face with the name. Nice meeting you!
For the MotoGP race, I sat with @Todkapuz as I did last year. He had an extra ticket, and the views from the SW Vista are very nice. We had a fun time together on Saturday and Sunday. A shame he has to live so far away in FL.
A pic of MotoGP coming through turn 3 for the first time.
MotoGP riders coming through turn 4 for the first time. Amazing how loud they were as they accelerated into turns 5 and 6.
The races were a great time just like last year. I had fun with all the different events and meeting some new and old friends. I’m looking forward to going again in 2014.
After the races, I went straight back to my bike and prepared to leave to try and beat the mob of traffic out of the city. I was greeted with a new keychain holder stuck into my seat by Suzuki. Thanks! I’ve been using it since. I like it.
I had hoped to hop directly on the freeway near the race track, but the local PD had other ideas. Instead of letting vehicles go directly to the freeway like last year, they refused to let us turn that direction and forced us into the city center. Ugh! My GPS wasn’t very useful since it kept telling me to turn around. For miles, they had the road blocked off. I just kept riding until I recognized a major street. I easily wasted 30 minutes trying to get back to I-74.
I had entered the waypoint for my house into the GPS, and I had intended on riding until I was tired and then stopping for the night. That didn’t happen.
Around 8pm, I had talked to my wife and mentioned to her the GPS thought I could get home before midnight. She was excited and said she’d wait up for me. I took the most direct way home instead of the slow fun route I had originally planned.
Around 10pm, I started getting sleepy and cold. I stopped to put on some more clothes, and to take a quick nap at a rest stop along I-94. After 15 minutes, I was ready to go again. I still thought I could make it. I was wrong.
I-94 across Wisconsin is a dark and relatively cold place at night. The traffic really thins out after midnight as well. My little headlight wasn’t enough, so my speed was reduced until other vehicles caught up to me and there was more light. It was rather scary seeing deer stand right on the side of the road.
The pattern of stopping for a quick nap and to put on more clothes continued all the way home. At the last stop I had already put on everything I had to wear: two pairs of pants, two t-shirts, a long sleeve shirt, and my fleece. The last thing I had was a Suzuki magazine which I opened up and put inside the chest area to cut the cold breeze.
It was in the 90s after all during the day, so I was dressed for heat. The little valleys were quite chilly and damp to ride through. With no sun for warmth it was a cold dark ride. The fact I was so sleepy probably wasn’t helping keep me warm either. A windshield would have been nice.
I arrived home just after 2am CST. I had called my wife hours before and told her not to wait up. I had ridden 665 miles in just over 12 hours. A new record for me most miles in one day beating my previous 613. It was a long, fun day.
Full Flickr Album of 65 pictures here.