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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
Le Mans: Prototype Class
 
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US MotoGP

Who's going? I AM!

I'm camping tonight through Sunday at Laguna Seca at the track. I am actually working as a corner worker with the race marshals group to flag.

I'll post pictures when I return.

I spent the weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca near Monterey, CA working the US MotoGP and AMA motorcycle races. MotoGP is the equivalent of Formula 1 racing, international races with lots of racers from Italy and Spain. These motorcycles are extremely powerful, and made with lots of carbon fiber. AMA is the American motorcycle race series. I joined the group USARM (United States Auto Race Marshals) and was able to get paid (what a surprise!) to work the 3 days of practice, qualifying and racing. I was positioned at Turn 10 of the race track directly in the line of where bikes go when off the track. Me, a buddy from work, and a man named Philip from British Columbia (who rode is motorcycle to the race) were stationed behind the wall/fence and tires. There was a 5'x3' hole in the fence that we had to crawl through, then over 2 rows of stacked tires. The side areas of the track offered wide run off areas that are made of pea gravel. The gravel was deep, when running through it your feet sank about 6-8" and the motorcycles sank about the same amount in them.

We got some basic instruction on our responsibilities and duties we were to perform. We learned hand signals, since the bikes are so loud you can hardly hear yourself talk when they are racing. Whistles were also used. Sunglasses to protect your eyes, gloves for your hands, and long sleeves were the gear we wore. Track safety workers are required to wear all white. When a bike went down we jumped through the fence and were already running towards the ride and bike before he had even come to a rest or the dust had settled. Talk about the biggest adrenaline rush ever. When you step through the fence you're in the danger zone, other bikes could run off and hit you. Mind you they are traveling 85-100mph in our section of the track. We carried small pieces of nylon strap that we put through the wheels and dragged it through the gravel. After running out to help with our first crash and returning behind the wall, my hands were shaking and my heart pounding. I felt so full of adrenaline that I thought I was going to throw up. I was hooked.

Friday was practice time and we picked up 2 downed bikes. One of the bikes slid about 100 yards down the track with a shower of sparks and the rider ended up coming to rest on the track as other bikes zoomed past.

On Saturday's MotoGP qualifying we had a rider go down twice in our turn. He had set the fastest lap and then crashed in our turn. We got him up and back to the pits quick enough that he jumped on a backup bike and hit the track again. He ran 2 more laps and kept his pole position with fastest lap time before crashing a second time in the same exact spot. The second crash was a bit worse and the rider was struggling to get to his feet. I was the first to make contact with the rider and he was carried off on a backboard. You can see a clip of his second crash at 0:35 into this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGnNOk9Fn9o#ws

In all I helped pick up and drag out 5 bikes through the gravel and take behind the fence over the weekend

The attached pic shows the crashes and the general direction the bikes went and ended up in our turn.


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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 12:10 PM
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Re: US MotoGP

I am so jealous of you. It's my dream to go one year!

Who's your fav racer?!?!? Mine is Nicky Hayden... I don't care how bad he's doing now, I still love him!


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
Le Mans: Prototype Class
 
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Re: US MotoGP

pictures!

http://tinyurl.com/mzjt45

it was the most awesome experience ever. period. i picked up 5 wrecked/downed bikes in turn 10. 2 ama and 3 motogp bikes. one rider crashed twice in our corner in 3 laps!

[img width=1024 height=768]http://img200.imageshack.us/img200/4555/img1765markedup.jpg[/img]
each # is a bike that crashed and where it landed that i got to run out to and pick up.


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 09:16 AM
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Re: US MotoGP

The pics are pretty cool! My brother and I were at the race last year at Indy. Aside from the nasty weather that shortened the MotoGP and the 250 and then cancelled the 125 is was still a good weekend!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
Le Mans: Prototype Class
 
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Re: US MotoGP

updated OP


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