Fast Men & Faster Bikes: the British MotoGP

Only bullfighting, mountain climbing and auto racing are sports, the rest are merely games.

Barnaby Conrad (1922 – 2013)

Silverstone entrance
Silverstone entrance. Photo: Tony Underwood, CC A-SA 2.0

A sports fan’s trip to England wouldn’t be complete without a visit to some hallowed grounds, and Silverstone is to motor racing what Wembley is to football or Twickenham to rugby. The very first Formula 1 event took place at the former RAF airfield in 1950, and over the years many four- and two-wheeled racing series have been hosted at the circuit.

Silverstone is still a mighty challenge even after all the changes since its inception. In addition to the long straights and sweeping corners, its open nature exposes racers to all sorts of wind changes, especially through the high-speed sequences. Staying out of trouble requires lightning quick corrections.

The track is daunting enough to lap quickly on four wheels. Imagine doing the same thing consistently on two wheels like MotoGP riders! That was what I went to the British MotoGP to see.

British MotoGP
Valentino Rossi at Silverstone, during his unsuccessful Ducati stint

[Read on]