My first time to Philip Island and what a weekend. Everyday was different and even the cancelling of MotoGP qualifying and the crazy Saturday weather just added to the whole experience.
What a great place to to watch motorcycle racing! I will post my loitering paddock photos and stories later but here are some MotoGP photos from wandering around the track on Friday and the race on Sunday watching at turn 10.
Back in 2017 was my last MotoGP experience and my fourth at Sepang, Malaysia. Splashing out on a VIP pass at Sepang gives you access to paddock unlike events in Europe where the paddock is somewhat more restricted. If it was not for the Paddock access I would not pay the extra for a VIP pass as you do not get that great a view of the actually racing. Paddock access, all day food, drink and air-con are worth it though!
To experience the race any of the grandstands at Turn 1 or the central main grandstand on the opposite side to the start line are a way better places to watch the track. But be prepared to sweat and take a load of fluids to survive the day.
Back in the paddock you can meet almost anyone you want to if you are prepared to wait and stalk them out. Valentino Rossi is obvious the most difficult as he gets swamped and security is of course an issue so is heavily protected. However I still managed to wander past the Yamaha garage just at the right time and to my surprise turned around and was suddenly face to face with the man himself as his entourage left from the garage to the Yamaha hospitality area.
My wife abandons her shy demeanour to hunt out all her favourite MotoGP people as I just tag along as photographer! See her catches below. Alex Rins (she is his number 1 fan), Papa Rins (proud father of Alex), Marc Marquez, Bad boy Romano Fenati, Joan Mir – now MotoGP Suzuki, Johan Zarco – Now Factory KTM and Thai young boy Nakarin Atiraphuvapat in Moto 3.
The vibe is very chill and nobody seems to mind having a camera clicking away at them. Even when we got caught out track side at turn 1 by a Dorna staff member it was all relaxed and we fiend ignorance and headed back to paddock complex.
Check out more photos below. Later in 2019 we head to Philip Island for the Australian MotoGP. Excited already!
Visited Sepang in Malaysia to watch a couple of days testing for the MotoGP teams prior to the 2014 season. For the spectator Sepang has many great spots to watch from. The only section of the circuit I have not yet seen is the section after turn two to before half way. But most of the circuit can be seen from about 3 locations in the main grandstand as you can see from the video.
An unexpected surprise at end of work trip to KL, Malaysia. The MotoGP boys were pre season testing at Sepang. Went early for my flight home and popped by Sepang with Sebastian before check in. The place was empty and was able to snaps some photos.
Great weekend at MotoGP at Sepang in KL, although two of the three races were curtailed by rain and getting back to hotel was tortuous and briefly prompted a promised not to come again but will definitely be back.
Rossi at MotoGP 2012, Sepang, KL
Khairuddin on KTM, Moto3
Lorenzo takes pole at MotoGP 2012 at Sepang, KL, Malaysia
Casey Stoner at MotoGP 2012 at Sepang, KL, Malaysia
Highlight was the young Malaysian rider on the KTM, Khairuddin. Fastest all weekend and lost the lead on the last corner to his team mate Cortese who became world champion. Maybe next year for Malaysia first ever win.
MotoGP was won by Pedroza and a slip (and miraculous save) on last corner by Lorenzo might have just saved his Championship ambitions.
I was in awe all weekend of the talent on display by the skill of controlling these monstrous machines.