I spent the weekend washing and shining the Ducati. Today she had a service to ensure all was well. Tomorrow I’ll be packing and repacking to ensure I have my bag exactly right. Thursday I’ll be hitting the twisty bits all the way from here to Phillip Island. Friday, the real bikes and their riders will begin to attack one of the best motorcycle race tracks in the world. Sunday, we’ll see who masters the island this year.

Although I’ve gone to the Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne semi-regularly since 1999 this will be my first trip to the MotoGP. It was an impromptu arrangement as a spare slot became available in someone else’s party, so I’ve never actually met any of my travelling companions. The good thing is that there is a type of bond that instantly forms between people who own motorbikes, a shared experience that sets us a little bit apart from most people, so I have no doubt this’ll be a chance to make some new friends.

The other thing that I’m excited about is that compared to the Formula One, where unless you’re a V8 Supercar fan there’s very little worth watching other than the F1 sessions, at the MotoGP there are enough classes racing to ensure that there are almost constantly bikes on the circuit.

On the down side, the weather is looking particularly nasty this weekend. Unsurprisingly, southerly winds at Phillip Island are notorious for chilling you to the bone. This makes the challenge of packing one small bag even more difficult.

I’m hoping to see Casey Stoner take out his third Australian Grand Prix in a row, it would be a fantastic way to silence the doubters who claimed that his mid season hiatus spelt the end of his career. Most of all though, I’m just excited to be going, to share the camaraderie and to finally hear those MotoGP bikes with my own ears.

25 thoughts on “Pilgrimage.

  1. As I mentioned, it’s a shame you won’t be participating in the Barry Sheene Memorial Run, I could have waved excitedly from the front door of my office at you in your leather jacket and manly whiskers (as you and the thousand others cruise by.) The town goes wild for it I tells ya. (The noise kinda pisses me off if I’m trying to run a class, but whadda ya gonna do?)
    Alas and alack ’twas not to be…

  2. So no footpeg scraping for you then eh Dave?

    Be sure to boo Stoner for me, he lost my support a few years back when just before the race he sledged the shit out of Lorenzo when they both in the 250’s. Lorenzo kept his mouth shut and let the results speak for themselves (Lorenzo 1st, Stoner DNF after highsiding early on).

  3. Lee, latte sipping Ducatisti don’t need to have limits imposed on their chardonnay intake. When Japanese motorcycles start to look good they know they’ve had enough.

  4. They’d be reliable if they were made in Japan but “grossly overpriced and prone to breakdowns” apparently = chic in some motorcycling circles (will Dave never bite?)

  5. From what I’ve read about going to Phillp Island for MotoGP, you’d be best served by keeping an eye out for speed traps. Or you could just ride at the speed limit, it’s boring but I’m not scared of the Highway Patrol anymore.

  6. Pretty crap weather today. If I was Dave I would have taken his audi quattro – 4wd versus 1wd, not to mention it comes with a heater.

    Hope everyone in his group is sensible enough on the road and not too caught up in the blokeyness of the whole thing.

    Philip island has to be at least 6 hours on the freeway from Albury. If ridning is better than sex, you would have to be pretty desperate to go at it for that long in this weather.

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