Memories from the track: Part two

In the previous blog post I was writing about my MotoGP CzechGP memories from 2013 and 2014. Both were just about seeing or meeting the riders. But since 2015 things have changed and I started to visit the whole Grand Prix weekends. There isn’t anything more amazing in this world than being at the circuit for the whole weekend!

2015: My first ever full Grand Prix weekend

In 2015 lots of things changed. My sister moved to our capital and started to live with her boyfriend. She told me they were thinking about visiting full CzechGP weekend. And that was actually something I had on my mind as well. So we decided to go.

Four days in the town of Grand Prix, four days around circuit, four days completely surrounded by the atmosphere.

We arrived on Thursday. Me, my sister and some other girl friends met before 3 pm at the paddock entrance. It was nice to see them all again.

The paddock event was amazing as always. I already had some experience from 2014 so I already knew where to go and so on. I was also one year older, maybe a bit wiser and less shy. During all the years I have been working on myself and my weakness points a lot and also visiting the circuit, paddock and meeting the people I have something in common with helped me a lot.

Well, I was still shy and unsure but it was really better than in 2014. So here are the best highlights from 2015 from my point of view.

As in 2014, also in 2015 I saw lots of riders from all 3 categories. I just want to pick up meeting the ones it meant the most to me.

As always, the most I was interested in meeting boys from the Ajo team. I was also taking photos of everything with the team logo and so on :-D And I was very happy that I was very lucky again and I met all the riders of the team. Karel Hanika was going there around the paddock quite a lot as it was his home GP. Brad Binder joined the team for 2015. In the previous post I was writing about my memories on him from 2014. So in 2015 I took another picture with him and again he was very nice to us. In that time I was saying he’s the future star and I was surprised that almost no fan was there around him. Just me and my sister came to him to ask for photos and autographs. But later some people saw us and went there too :-D In 2015 I fell in love with Miguel Oliveira. Well, as you can see every year I fall in love with different rider. So, I really wanted to meet him. And it happened. And again, almost no fans around which surprised me. But I took a photo with him and it made me very happy. And yes, Joan Olivé was there again. My sister told me to ask him for a photo again but I said no, in 2014 it was enough. Well, when I was teenager and was watching him on TV racing in 125cc and supporting him I really didn’t think that one day I would meet him so often in MotoGP paddock. Amazing. In 2015 one big moment happened. Me and my friends saw Aki Ajo. He seemed to be pretty busy but my friends asked him for a photo. And he agreed! So we have a photo with Aki Ajo and I am still so happy and proud about it. I admire him a lot so to have a photo with him means so much to me.

I had to take photo of everything with the “Ajo Motorsport” name

In 2015 I saw Johann Zarco again. In that year I didn’t take a photo with him. But do you remember how I was writing that he was sitting there alone in 2014? So in 2015 lots of things changed. Suddenly he was the title contender and lots of people around him asking for photos and autographs. And also he changed a lot or at least to me it looked like it. In 2014 he was so quiet, he seemed so shy. But in 2015 he was nice to everyone, even smiling and looked so relaxed. Compare it to 2014 he really changed a lot and it’s quite a big and great progress.

My friends were in love with Ricky Cardus. I have to admit that in that time I hardly knew who he was. I mean, I knew the name but didn’t know anything more about him. And thanks to my friends I started to support him as well. He is great! Really very nice man. My girl friends really wanted to meet him. So when we saw the pits of his team and that he was there we wanted a photo with him. It was maybe pretty funny as we were literally begging him to come from the box. He really came out to take photos with us and as I already said he was really nice and I started to support him.

The year 2015 also was the “Finnish year” for me. Well, I’ve been interested in Finland and all about it already for a few years. But in 2015 I had Finnish flag and my goal was to ask Mika Kallio and Niklas Ajo to sign it. I didn’t meet Niklas in that year unfortunately but Mika was there. It was the most amazing moment of the day. We saw him from distance so we started to run to catch him. But he was going away. We were sad and thought our chances were over. But suddenly he stopped as he probably saw us and he started to wave at us to come to him! Unbelievable! My racing hero was waving at me to come to him! I carried the Finnish flag in my handbag so I took it out of the handbag and asked him to sign it. When Mika saw Finnish flag he was so happy! Unfortunately I was so shy to say something more. But he did sign it and I took a photo with him and it was the most amazing moment of the day for me.

Mika Kallio signing my Finnish flag

As I already mentioned in the previous blog post my friends were big fans of Luis Salom. I also always liked him a lot. I think everybody had to love him, he was always so nice and smiling. For 2015 we created a special birthday present for him. Well, Brno GP was around his birthday day and my friends had this kind of idea. They were the main people in this our project. I just sent them my greetings and a photo. It was an album full of greetings from lots of people and fans. In the paddock we wanted to give it to him. But time was running and we still couldn’t meet him. It was pretty desperate moment. But in the end we were lucky and Luis appeared there. I will never forget the surprise in his eyes and big smile in his face when he realized what we had prepared for him. He was so happy, so grateful, I even can’t describe it by words. Later, he even posted it on his social sites and thanked to all of us. Nobody could know that it was our last time meeting him. He was one of the most amazing people I have met in my life and I will never forget him.

After seeing Stefan Bradl at the autograph session in 2013 but not being able to get closer to him and seeing him only for a short moment in 2014 I really believed that in 2015 my time came. I really believed that I would be finally lucky to meet him. But once again I wasn’t lucky at all. And in that time I was really very sad from it. Well, yes, I saw him, he went around on his scooter but it was so short moment again that I didn’t have any chance to react and maybe shout or something. Actually I tried to wave at him when I realized it’s him on the scooter. He also waved to me and my friends and that was all.

I also saw lots of other riders but this post would be never ending then. Well, for the first time in my life I saw Jorge Lorenzo sitting in his box, Valentino Rossi was going around on his scooter, Dani Pedrosa was walking there. Alex de Angelis was there and almost no fans around, Claudio Corti almost drove into us on his scooter :-D Cal Crutchlow was there as well and he was funny as usual. You can imagine :-D Maverick Viñales appeared there too. In 2015 I started to be his fan but in that time of Czech GP I refused to have a photo with him.

The most beautiful place in the world – the racing paddock

And then it wasn’t over as in the previous years but it was just the beginning. The race weekend was amazing and for me it was great to be there at the circuit for the whole weekend. For the first time I was there for the whole race weekend. Even at World Superbikes we didn’t go for the whole weekend a few years ago. So really my first time there during all the time and I was happy. Nothing could make me happier than this. We settled at the famous Stadium C grandstand. And it was amazing experience for me. In 2015 it was sunny and very hot but I enjoyed that kind of weather. I saw bikes and riders on the track and I was the happiest girl in the world.

On Friday me, my sister and her boyfriend did a walk around some of the grandstands. Well, it was pretty demanding for me, and it was even around +35°C.

It’s amazing to be there

Already on Saturday it was overcrowded there and also the great weather helped it a lot. I was there standing at the grandstand and waving the Finnish flag and I was happy. But I didn’t support only these few Finns who were there. I supported lots of riders and actually I was pretty happy with their results. In all 3 categories there were some riders whose results really made me happy. I was there, sitting in the grass at the grandstand and the life was amazing.

On Saturday we stayed at the circuit to watch the Rookies Cup race. I was waving the Finnish flag to support Patrik Pulkkinen. Yes, already in that time. Fabio Di Giannantonio won the race and some “yellow fans” who were there around us started to sing the italian anthem.

This is how I was supporting Mika Kallio, Niklas Ajo and Patrik Pulkkinen

Race day on Sunday was amazing. Now some years later I can say that the race day in 2015 was the best one I’ve experienced so far. It was raining the whole night from Saturday to Sunday, also thunderstorm was there but the whole Sunday then was dry and it was pretty nice day. We were on the track already for the warm ups in the morning, then some event’s program was scheduled, like the exhibition of some legends and so on.

Race day!

The races were great although the Moto3 one was red flagged because of a multiple crash. But luckily nothing serious happened. Niccolò Antonelli won that race, he was starting from pole position, and it was his first ever victory in his career. I was very happy for him. Enea Bastianini did great race and finished 2nd and Brad Binder was 3rd for the Ajo team. So from my point of view the Moto3 race was great.

The Moto2 race was even better. I wished Johann Zarco to win here. And it really happened. So what followed? Yes of course, his backflip. And just exactly in front of us! Amazing. I was so happy.

I loved the MotoGP race too as we saw the battle between Lorenzo and Márquez and Jorge Lorenzo won and I was very happy. So my favourite riders won in all 3 categories. My first ever full Grand Prix weekend couldn’t finish in a better way.

2016: The show must go on

For 2016 nothing has changed. It was again me, my sister and her boyfriend going for the Czech Grand Prix for the whole weekend and then meeting there some other friends. Not only my Czech girl friends but some other people who I already knew thanks to the social sites. It is always nice to meet people who have the same interests as me. Finally I could say I belonged somewhere.

On Thursday we went to the paddock / pit walk event, as usual. For me it was already the 3rd time in a row there. And the more often I go there the more I love it and the more I miss it when it’s over.

For 2016 I just had only a few dreams or let’s say goals I wanted to happen. And strangely I didn’t care about any other riders, just wanted to meet “the ones”. Now, looking at it back I must admit it’s a pity that I didn’t care more about the others. I really don’t know what was with me on that day.

But some important moments happened. Here they are.

In Moto3 it was mainly about team Ajo for me again. Of course. For sure. And for the first time since I have been visiting Brno GP I didn’t meet all boys from the team. Well, I saw Aki Ajo from distance and he was busy as always. Also Joan Olivé was there so I was happy I could look at him. But I wasn’t lucky to meet Bo Bendsneyder. It was a pity, I was quite sad about it. I already supported him one year earlier in the Rookies Cup and then was very happy when he won the title there and came to Ajo’s team. But who I did meet it was Brad Binder. Yeah, again, for the 3rd year in a row and again I took a photo with him :-D But in that time I really wanted to meet him. Because it was around his birthday and I had had an idea :-D I had wanted to make a birthday gift for him. Some of my friends had taken part in it as well so in Brno I gave him an album with our birthday wishes. It was amazing moment. He was really surprised by it, from his face we could see he didn’t expect anything like that. He was so happy, smiling, still replying “thank you”.

With Brad Binder; in his hand you can see the birthday album we gave to him

And again I also met Johann Zarco. I took a photo with him. He was so nice, after all my previous experience with meeting him I was actually quite surprised about that. I mean he has been always nice but his behaving was a bit different. On that day we met him many times and he smiled at us every time. It was really nice to meet him that often.

With Johann Zarco

Valentino Rossi almost drove into us on his scooter when he was going to the pre-event press conference. My friends wanted Jorge Lorenzo’s autograph, we were waiting at the place where the riders would go to the press conference but the security didn’t let us to go to him although Jorge looked like he would give that few autographs. Again I saw Dani Pedrosa from distance, also Álvaro Bautista or Jack Miller were there. We wanted a photo with Cal Crutchlow but he escaped. Although he said “Yeah in a while”. Well, since that moment we didn’t see him in the paddock. Well, we also met Maverick Viñales and that was the time when I took a photo with him. I still wasn’t sure if I supported him or not but my sister told me that I looked somehow too excited and happy about the photo. So…

My biggest goal that year was to finally meet Stefan Bradl. I was waiting for it already for 4 years so I really hoped that could happen. The paddock event was already over but finally I saw him! I hurried to catch him to ask for a photo and to sign my fan cap. It was very short moment but I was happy. The years of waiting were worth it. Later I was a bit sad that I could have said something to him. But the moment of meeting him was so amazing to me that I was speechless and shy and about to faint :-D

It finally happened – I met Stefan Bradl

Well, on that day I met much more riders and some other people but the three names above were the most important ones for me that year. Actually I had only Stefan on my mind and didn’t care about anybody else.

The race weekend itself was a little bit strange. Friday was affected by light rain. Nothing serious but some drops of rain did fall. My friends hanged the Luis #39 banner on the fence. We never forget him. In the part about 2015 I already explained how much we liked him. And on that Friday I bought Maverick Viñales’ fan T-shirt and actually I surprised myself by that. But there wasn’t any Bradl’s merchandise and I wanted to buy something.

The proof that Friday morning was affected by rain

Saturday also started with a light rain but luckily later in the day it started to be warm and even a little bit sunny. I was so proud during Moto2 FP3 as Lorenzo Baldassarri did some great fast laps. But then he crashed and that was it. Lorenzo had had some shoulder injuries earlier that season so I was afraid he could injure himself again. Thomas Lüthi crashed even twice on that day. In FP3 his motorbike even went above the fence. In qualifying he was lying on the ground and not moving. He had to be taken to the hospital so he didn’t race on Sunday.

Well, I was pretty happy as Brad Binder claimed pole position in Moto3. In Moto2 it was Johann Zarco who won the qualifying so another reason to be happy for me. In MotoGP Marc Márquez took the pole position and in that time it was new track record.

Supporting Stefan Bradl at the grandstand

On that day Sandro Cortese crashed exactly in front of my eyes. You can guess my reaction.

Same as in 2015 also in 2016 me, my sister and her boyfriend stayed there to watch the Rookies Cup race. How amazing it was for me to realize that Patrik Pulkkinen was starting from the front row! Marc García, another big favourite for me, was on pole position. So I was so nervous before the race. Well, Patrik was leading the first lap! For me something amazing and I will never forget it. However, he didn’t finish the race due to some technical problems. At least I could be happy for Marc García who won so then I enjoyed listening to the spanish anthem.

I love the circuit

Sunday was terrible. It was raining. Well, actually it was very heavy rain. In the morning we got stuck in the traffic for 3 (yes, three!!) hours. Normally we went this way in 20 minutes or something. But on that crazy and chaotic Sunday we went this short way 3 hours! And we didn’t go late, we left our accommodation place around 7 am and almost missed the Moto3 race which started at 11 am! The organization was full of chaos and misunderstandings. I wrote really very long post about that journey for my Czech blog back then in 2016. It was crazy experience.

We got to the track just in time for Moto3. It was raining heavily, we were wet although we all had raincoats, everything there was wet. I was scared to see riders racing on that wet track. Lots of my favourites crashed during the race, and yes, also Brad had a crash. It was in the moment when he was leading and I was scared from that fact. Well, it was his only one DNF race of the season (which we couldn’t know in that moment of course). I was sad that our birthday gift didn’t bring him good luck. John McPhee was the surprising winner. I thought Pawi could win the race but he crashed as well and I was very surprised about it.

We were hungry so tried to get to some places with food. Which was very challenging thing as everywhere was water and mud. And of course, I almost fell down on it and my jeans were full of mud. Yeah, typical me :-D But well, we bought some food but missed almost the whole Moto2 race and I was angry and sad because that race was the one I wanted to watch the most. But there were umbrellas everywhere so we hardly saw on the track. And we didn’t want to go closer to the track as we had some food in our hands and it was raining to it. Crazy. Terrible. Since that day I hate rain. And I hate rainy races, not only when I am there but also when I watch it on TV from my home. There isn’t anything worse than races on wet track and in the rain.

Well, Jonas Folger won the Moto2 race and it made me incredibly happy. Last few laps I finally could look at the track so I was keeping my fingers crossed for him.

Rainy race day – not very nice experience to be honest

I expected interesting MotoGP race but it was completely crazy! Lots of things happened during the race and time to time I was just watching with my mouth open. The track was drying so some riders took the risk with switching the bikes. The order in the race was changing and somehow it happened that Cal Crutchlow was on top! I really wanted him to win so I kept my fingers crossed a lot. But I was very nervous because I was afraid he could crash. Well, he didn’t and celebrated a victory! It was so great. Valentino Rossi was second so lots of people there around us were happy. Well, I was clapping when Cal was awarded with the trophy at the podium, others were clapping when they saw Rossi on the TV screen :-D

Me and my sister were very proud about Avintia because they had P4 and P5. We both loved Baz and Barberá and we were so happy and proud of them. Stefan finished on points so it was very good news for me.

At the end of the day even sun started to appear. Yeah, typical. The whole day was so crazy and chaotic. And in the evening when I arrived back to my hometown I was crying because it all was over. Again. I had lots of amazing moments there and as usual time was running so fast and suddenly everything was over and I didn’t want it to be over. The more often I go there the more I miss it when it’s over and the bigger emotions I feel.

But it already started to be like our tradition to visit it so I knew that for 2017 I would be back.

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About Monika

I am a girl who loves motorbikes and writing. These two things are the biggest passion of my life.
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