Sunday, July 1, 2007

MotoGP in Assen

Yesterday, I went with some friends from ESTEC to the motoGP races in Assen. Mostly, our group was composed of Italians and Spanish, together with one Indian and a Portuguese.

We agreed to meet at 6am next to the main mill in Leiden to go to Assen, in the north of the country and 220 km far from Leiden. It was hard to wake up at 5.30, but watching the motorbike races was well worth it! I went out a bit before 6 and ran into Gioacchino and Maurizio in the street.

Together we went to the windmill and Marco was already there with his car. The others arrived in less than 5 minutes. 11 people willing to watch the races are not difficult to get together even at 6am in the morning. Hehe...

We started our road trip to Assen at around 6.10 am, not bad for a group composed of mediterranean people... During the 4 hours it took to arrive at the circuit and park the cars, we had time to discover new aspects of Dutch culture, see nice motorbikes, drive with motorbikes all around in the highway, suffer from long traffic jams once we were near the circuit...

Understanding Dutch: It was 6.40 and the fuel station was closed until 7. The interesting point was the shop assistant was already there waiting for it to be 7 o'clock to open the door. There were 3 angry motorbikers who needed some fuel, but the guy didn't seem to care too much. Of course, one of the angry guys kicked a fuel pump as a symbol of protest (typical Dutch response to hostile environments)

Finally, we made it to Assen and approached the circuit in the middle of the intense noise of motoGP 800cc motorbikes. And it was just the warming-up! Impressive! We looked for our seats and waited for the beginning of the 125cc race. There were some "crazy-rider shows" in the meanwhile.

Enrico, the guy in the office next door was just next to us! Notice how many people there were!

In 125cc, Passini (Italian) won clearly, but it was a nice race because Hector Faubel (Spanish, current leader of the 125cc championship) got the 2nd position in the last meters! Gadea (Spanish) had been second all the race but could not keep that position and ended up in the 4th place.

In 250cc, Jorge Lorenzo won clearly and performed another of his controversial end-of-race shows. Last weekend in England, in the rainy and badly conditioned Donnington circuit, he couldn't finish the race because he was too aggressive and ended out of the circuit track. The usually caustic and sensationalist brittish press said he was getting nervous in the championship and he was not so good. As a reply to those comments, Jorge Lorenzo won the race yesterday and performed his show. He went to the paddock and had a lime blossom tea (una tila, para los españoles) with a guy wearing his same outfit. With that lime blossom tea, he won't get nervous... hehe... what a strong personality!

Finally, it was time for the motoGP race and Dutch people clearly showed their preferences. Everybody was supporting Valentino Rossi! Everytime Rossi overtook somebody or passed along our position, everybody clapped and shouted (of course, in an inaffective way, nothing to do with the passion in the South) ;-) Valentino's race was incredible. He started in the 11th position and overtook everybody to end up winning the race. He is currently the best and proved it yesterday once again. Pedrosa could finish 4th thanks to some improvements in the performance of his Honda and a nice progression (he started in the 9th position). It is a pitty, Honda made so many mistakes in the design of the motorbike for this year... I hope they fix them soon and Dani can fight Rossi in some race!

Valentino and Stoner, a few laps before Rossi overtook Stoner

At the end of the race, there were other shows and races but we decided to leave. Even leaving early, it took 4 hours to get 50 km away from the circuit!! We left at 3.30 and arrived at Leiden at 11 pm!! In the middle of our trip back and tired of the traffic jam, we stopped in Zwolle, a city nobody knew, and took a nice dinner in an Italian restaurant. Without any doubt that helped us become cheerful again and recover some of the lost energy!

It was a long and intense day which will be difficult to forget!

1 comment:

JorgeSS said...

A great day Alvaro! Humm! I haven't seen any mention to the bridges and verges full of people looking at ... THE TRAFFIC or to parents throwing their children to the canals or to Mr Domino. I have some material for my blog ... he he he!