Moto GP San Marino (Misano)
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As a present for my "significant" 2010 birthday, Wee Jim, No.1 Child ( the Canadian one) and The Boy Ben clubbed together to send me on a trip to Italy to watch the San Marino Moto GP at Misano. Ben's not daft though - it was him that suggested it all so that he could "tag along" to look after the old guy. Of course he hated every minute of it - or so he said - but his duty as a good son must be seen to be done!
So, there we were on Thurs 2nd Sept waiting at Manchester Airport for our flight to Milan - exactly two months after we'd been waiting at the same airport for a flight out to Canada to begin our epic bike ride...... How tempus fugits! The plan was to pick up a hire car at Milan and drive the 350 odd Kms down to Misano which would enable us to take in a bit of Italy en route. We decided on a night at Imola - a lovely old town - which would leave us just a short drive down to Tavullia the following day. For those who don't follow MotoGP, Tavullia is motorcycle legend Valentino Rossi's hometown, which being big fans of his we both wanted to visit. It's hardly a town really, more of a small village if you want to be pedantic about it, but nevertheless it's only a stones throw from the San Marino circuit so it would be rude not to go see it
We arrived there around mid morning and as expected the place was getting ready for the weekend's celebrations. Rossi is treated like some kind of deity in Italy at any time but especially so on the weekend of his home GP, tradition has it that the place goes utterly bonkers. There are 46's (Rossi's famous race number) everywhere - the village even has a 46kph speed limit! After spending the morning mooching about the place soaking up the atmosphere we set off for what was to be our B&B for the next 3 nights - an olive farm about 2kms from the Misano circuit. After dropping our gear off and gathering up the camera gear etc we headed over to the circuit for the first practice sessions. The shots at the circuit below were taken over the 3 days there, some were taken at the practice sessions and a few at the race itself - although it was difficult shooting with the manic Italian crowds going mad during the races.
The photos of Tavullia and the other surrounding areas of Misano, plus general picss taken around the track etc are at the end of these web pages. Finally, apologies for the bikes mostly going in the same direction in the shots that follow, but at big race meetings like this, spectator movement is quite restricted so access to the infield where we could have got a different perspective was impossible...........
Pressing 11 on your keyboard will open the screen up to view the photos properly
To my shame I tend not to take too much notice of the small bikes when I watch the Moto GP on TV, but after seeing them live I've got say that they do provide some excellent, close racing - and they do go a lot quicker than they appear to on the telly!
To kick the bike shots off, this is the start of the 125cc race on Sunday morning.
English rider Bradley Smith.
After a poor start & falling back from his pole position Smith moved back up the field to finish fourth in the race.
This shot from Ben shows him being chased by Marc Marquez, the eventual race winner
Bradley's team mate, Nicolas Terol, second place in the race and the championship. Their bikes look so similar that it was
difficult at times looking through the camera viewfinder to tell them apart
A moody shot of the Saturday morning 125 practice session with the low sun reflecting off the track.
I had a Lambretta once - it never looked quite like this though and I doubt if it would ever have overtaken an Aprilia!
Marco Ravaioli / Lambretta Reparto Corse passing the Junior GP FMI, Aprilia of Giovanni Bonati
Moto2 replaced the old 250 class this year. Fielding over 40, 600cc 4 stroke machines on the grid, and with each one of a similar performance it makes for some very close - and manic racing.
Start of the Moto2 race
British rider, Scott Redding
Axel Pons / Pons Racing, Pons Kalex
Yannick Guerra / G22 Holiday Gym, Moriwaki
Richard Cardus / Suter & Joan Olive / PromoHarris
Valentin Debise / WTR San Marino Team, ADV
Andrea Iannone / Speed Up, FTR
Simone Corsi / Motobi
Tony Elias, championship leader and winner of the San Marino Moto2 race riding the Gresini Racing, Moriwaki Honda.
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