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.