Before 2018 season will kick off officially, I would like to look back and remember some of the 2017 moments.
Motorsport seasons are full of ups and downs, good results and bad results. And the year 2017 was not an exception. For me as a fan there were some nice moments in 2017 motorbike season and I would like to look at it.
Let’s start with the “queen of motorbikes” – MotoGP. There were some great moments for me as a fan. Of course, the biggest thing for me was Czech GP which I visited personally. Another amazing time, amazing experience, I love visiting paddock for Thursday’s event, meeting some riders, I always feel like I’m home. I love also watching the action on track. All is great. Yeah, the weather was not ideal but this post is not meant to be about it. So let me remember Czech GP only for a short moment. From paddock event’s for me the biggest thing was meeting Niccolò Antonelli. It was just a small moment for a photo but for me it meant a lot. Also meeting Franco Morbidelli was one of the things I will never forget. I took a photo with Maverick Viñales too and I have to say that on that day I probably started to be even bigger fan of him. He was very nice to us, smiling, I was quite surprised how nice boy he was, at least he was nice to us – a group of girls. But I met some other riders and people from racing and every small moment was very unique for me.
When it comes to the race track the biggest thing for me was when Bo Bendsneyder was leading the Moto3 race. I have been a huge fan of Ajo Motorsport so to see a rider of this team in the lead was such a nice moment for me. I was jumping there at the grandstand and shouting and clapping my hands… Nice memories. But I also have some nice memories on the days before Sunday. Already on Friday I was happy when Francesco Bagnaia went to the lead during the free practice. I remember that I started to shout and clap my hands. There was an Italian photographer close to us and he started to shout as well so I didn’t feel that crazy there (because it seemed to me that all the people were just silently watching). On Saturday I was so happy when Maverick Viñales and later also Franco Morbidelli waved to me after the qualification. Well, it wasn’t probably to me but when they did their celebrating lap they waved when I started to wave. Franco was waving almost all the time, but after MotoGP qualifying I started to wave on Maverick and in that moment he started to wave. So I guess it could be that impulse for him. And I was wearing Yamaha t-shirt on that day so…
There were plenty of moments during the whole MotoGP season. Every single victory of Franco Morbidelli in Moto2 was a reason to celebrate. Also the big success of Red Bull KTM Ajo was so amazing for me to see. Especially Miguel Oliveira was doing very well but at the end of the season also Brad Binder finally got well from the injuries and started to improve. Last 3 races of the season were just amazing for me as Franco, Miguel and Brad were on the podium together and I was drying some tears from my eyes. When it comes to Moto2 I also have to mention the French GP where Franco won and Francesco Bagnaia was 2nd and I was so happy for these two. To watch Italian GP was also wonderful as local hero Mattia Pasini won. For me personally Misano GP was quite emotional when Dominique Aegerter won. A few weeks later it was even more emotional when it was announced that he had been disqualified.
Changing it to Moto3 I have to say that for me as a fan it was such a difficult season. My beloved Ajo team had some problems and it was so heart-breaking. But I always, race weekend by race weekend, was ready in front of my TV (or computer screen) with my fingers crossed for them. As I mentioned already, one of the best things was Bo leading Czech GP, in the end it was P4 for him but it was the best season result for him. At the end of the season I was like crying the waterfall when Niccolò Antonelli did wonderful P2 in Motegi.
Let’s move to MotoGP. I think that for me personally the best race of the year 2017 was French GP. The battle between Viñales and Rossi until the end was just breath-taking, at least for me. Yeah, Rossi crashed which was not a very good end of the battle, but my favourite Viñales won. When I talk about Viñales I can’t forget to mention the beginning of the season, he started so well and I was so happy to see all the victories.
Another unforgettable moments were the Dovizioso vs. Márquez battles later during the season. Races in Austria, Japan, Malaysia and Valencia were full of emotions. Also the one in Australia was unique with a big group battling until the chequered flag.
Last year I was a big fan of Tech 3 Yamaha team because Folger and Zarco were my big favourites and they made MotoGP season 2017 much better for me. They both were amazing and I was so happy for them. Unfortunately, it didn’t end well for Folger. I feel so sorry for him.
No WorldSBK personal visit for me, but I tried to watch all race weekends on TV or via VideoPass on their official website. And there were some unforgettable moments for me in all categories.
First of all I would like to say that the brand new category World Supersport 300 is pretty cool and I liked this series since the first moment I saw it. Great racing, great talents. I think that the biggest highlight – and not only for me – was the Coppola vs. García title battle at the end of the season. I liked them both so much and I wanted them both to take the title. So when it all was decided I had so many different emotions. All the races in that category were amazing, it’s hard to pick up just one or two. I was happy to see Scott Deroue winning at the beginning of the season, then also Mika Pérez – another my favourite – won. And for sure, one of the biggest moments of the season not only for me but for the whole motorsport family was the race in Portugal and victory of Ana Carrasco who became the first lady to win a World Championship race.
In Superstock 1000 category I think that the Rinaldi’s title was the best highlight of the seaason for me. I really supported him a lot and wished him the title. So in the end I was happy that he did it. For me personally was also great to see Jeremy Guarnoni to win his home French GP, it was wonderful. And also the Markus Reiterberger’s comeback to this racing world was nice to see. He won the last race of the season by huge margin and I was so happy and quite emotional.
When it comes to the main World Superbike category, I even don’t know if there were any nice moments for me. Because from my own point of view, it all went from bad to worse. Markus Reiterberger left the championship after just a few race weekends, my beloved Red Bull Honda team had lots of troubles, then Nicky Hayden had that tragic accident, later Stefan Bradl got injured and skipped the last part of the season. Randy Krummenacher also got injured and didn’t finish the season. So for me and my favourite riders and teams it was such a hard season. Thanks god at least my other favourites Leon Camier and Lorenzo Savadori had some nice results. Unfortunately they also had some DNFs and it usually happened in races where they were doing so well. So for me it was more bitter than sweet season and I was so happy when the season 2017 ended.
But I have some nice memories on the World Supersport category. Federico Caricasulo won two races during the season and I was so happy for him. Riders from my favourite Kallio Racing team was doing great job and first highlight of the year came in Germany where Sheridan Morais achieved the first ever victory for him and for the team. But the most amazing day was the 1st October where Niki Tuuli won the race in France and he started from pole position. When it really happened and he won, I was crying. But it wasn’t the only “crying moment” for me on that day. The 1st October was one of the best days for me as motorsport fan.
I also tried to follow the British Superbike Championship, at least the main BSB category and sometimes also the Supersport category. And it happened that on that day – 1st October – my another favourite Finn won. Eemeli Lahti won the Supersport race, first victory for him. Earlier that day Niki Tuuli took his first ever victory in the World Championship so it was very emotional day for me. I remember supporting them since the very first moment I saw their names, I remember how they were team mates in Superstock 600 category in 2015. And two years later they both took their first victories on the same day. It was just one of the best moments of the whole season for me. It was so great, I was very emotional.
Apart from that, there were some nice races in the Superbike category. For me personally was amazing to see Luke Mossey and Jake Dixon on the top step on the podium. Also I was always happy to see Josh Brookes on the winners’ rostrum.
I must not forget to mention the amazing victory of Arthur Sissis. When he joined the Championship I tried to follow his steps. It’s hard to explain but he is somehow very special person to me, I have been supporting him since he was in Rookies Cup, later when he was in Red Bull KTM Ajo, then Mahindra. Just very special rider for me. So to see him back on track was a big thing for me. During the season he tried Supersport category and also Superstock 600. And it happened that in Superstock 600 he took an amazing victory. It was in May at Oulton Park and I had some intuitive feelings that I should have tried to find some internet video stream for it. I did and Arthur won. I think I don’t have to tell you how much I was crying. Wonderful moment.
I also started to watch the FIM CEV Championship a lot. In 2016 I watched that only occasionally and mainly at the end of the season but since 2017 I really wanted to focus on this Championhip as well. The most I got interested in Moto3 category and I started to like Dennis Foggia immediatelly. He showed some great racing skillsdis and I was impressed and thought this could be future MotoGP star. Well, he won the title, it was great and I was very happy for him. He deserved that so much. But I also discovered some more talented riders there – Jaume Masia, Alonso López, Vicente Pérez, Jeremy Alcoba, Aaron Polanco, Makar Yurchenko and some others.
The Moto2 category was also very interesting and for me it was quite hard to follow because I supported almost all of them there so when it came to some bike to bike battles on track I was not sure who I was cheering on more. Title battle between Granado and Cardus was really interesting to watch but I liked them both and wanted them both to win it.
At the beginning of the season I really didn’t pay big attention to the Talent Cup but how the season was going I saw there were some nice battles and some good riders, future stars. So I started to watch that as well. Towards the end of the season I started to be fan of Meikon Kawakami (I knew him already from the Red Bull Rookies Cup) who did some good results which made me happy. Finnish rider Peetu Paavilainen had very difficult season with some injuires but he also scored some podium finishes and I was so happy.
So these were the biggest highlights for me during 2017. Let’s start to focus on 2018. I am very curious what it will bring to us.