Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Changes for Laguna Seca MotoGP

Famed motorcycle racing journalist Dennis Noyes has an article at SpeedTV.com about the traffic woes at the opening round of the MotoGP World Championship at Jerez, and it had me thinking back to the MotoGP race at Laguna Seca last year.

First off, securing hotel rooms for MotoGP in 2005 was no easy task and involved booking them in September 2004, the day the race was announced. Once down at Monterey, it was clear that there were a LOT more people there than at the World Superbike races in preceding years. Getting into the track on Saturday morning was very hard work on our bikes, and involved some riding on the shoulder whilst watching out for park rangers and police. If we had been in the 3 mile backup in a car, it would have taken much longer.

Once inside we met up with the other halfof our party who had arrived in a BMW M3. Luckily they came in the "wrong" entrance which was much quicker for cars and we all arrived at the same time.

Our first attempt to get from turn 2 to the vendor area, which involved going over 2 footbridges and walking perhaps 400 yards took 45 minutes. For the rest of the weekend we went the "long way round", out onto the perimeter road and in at turn 5. It was a sign that the number of tickets sold clearly exceeded the capacity of the track in its current form.

On the Sunday we took a shuttle bus, which took 45 minutes and was much easier. My partner didn't want to park her bike on gravel, which is what they do at Laguna, I didn't want to risk a stupid traffic ticket, and our BMW-driving friend didn't want to sit in 3 hours of traffic.

This year, things will be different. Supposedly. The number of tickets available will drop from 53,000 per day to 48,000, and plans are being formed for entrances specifically for motorcycles and shuttle buses. Most cars will have to park off-site. These are all smart moves, and have me changing my mind about skipping the event. It was bad enough last year that I decided to not come back. Now, I'm not so sure. Those bikes were certainly fantastic to watch...

1 comment:

TwoWheelsRule said...

If you make it I will see you there.