Tomorrow we are off to Laguna Seca for this week's MotoGP race, and the excitement is already building up... Last time we were there was two years ago, with my friends Claudio and Felipe living in NY and LA respectively . And it seems like the right amount of time has passed to do it again.
It's a long trip from Santiago, but a week of racing and hanging out with you buddies is totally worth it.
If you like cars or bikes, you probably have been to a few races yourself, or even raced... If you haven't been on a track, you should... whether is Formula 1 or MotoGP racing, or a local club race, it's a fantastic experience that entertains all your senses:
- Hearing: Ahh... the racing Sounds. The loud and high pitched sound of a racing engine passing by is something to admire in itself, but when the orchestra of mechanics start warming up the bikes on friday or saturday prior to practice or qualifying, That Sound is something else, they make a fantastic chorus, much like noise of the tuning of the instruments make prior to a concert.
If you think i'm making this up, two years ago Honda started a few classic race bikes from the 60's just to show how they sound, and there were hundreds around the bikes, listening to a 6 cilinder, 2 stroke, red and chrome 250cc race bike with their jaws dropped.
- Smell: No i'm not talking about the guy sitting next to you on the grandstand who had too many fries with those burgers... but of the smell of burnt racing fuel, mixed with burnt racing oil is something I love (I also love the smell of regular unburnt fuel, and greasy engines, so you may disagree with me on this). I really miss the 2 strokes in this department.
- Sight: The Laguna Seca track is a sight in itself with all that twists and slopes, and watching the bikes go down the corkscrew at about 100 mph is quite amazing, but there is so much to see, that you can't concentrate on one single bit, you look like a broken radar, turning all around. (We have found that a good practice is to record the broadcasts of the 3 days on cable TV and then look at them again, just to look at different angle).
And there is more too see than bikes racing... you have the classic bikes on display, the new bikes from each manufacturer, the wierd customs on display, the red sea of bikes at Ducati island, the paddock girls and promoters, and of course the legendary and current racers.
- Touch: You can touch the new bikes and customs, and a few of the parked ones. I don't advise you to touch anything else without permision, you might get arrested (keep you hands off the paddock girls), and if you want an autograph from a racing legend get in line and ask nicely.
- Taste: Well there's a lot of good tasting food (racing food, the fast kind). But you can find barbecues and beer. Food is specially good at the Ducati island (meatball subs and something else, nothing fancy). Likewise I advise you not to try to taste anything else without permision... not even the new bikes.
Plus, all senses aside, as a friend noted yesterday it's a particularly interesting time in the MotoGP championship to watch, three of four guys have a chance of winning the season and in 2007 the US local racers (who tend to win at laguna which is a difficult and technical track) have had a bad season in general... So anything can happen.
It's racing week !
I'll probably write something more during the week, as the racing progresses.