My 39th birthday was on May 3rd. I am not one to usually celebrate a birthday but with everything that has happened I found myself feeling quite lucky to have made my 39 years and woke with a spring in my step instead of the usual drag of being another year older. I was working, but as it was my first live race back at work I was excited about that too. I began my GP career 12 years ago at the circuit of Jerez when I worked for Sky, so it holds special memories. I was already covering World Superbikes, but GPs were a bit special; the elite paddock, and I had become a part of it. I had to collate as many interviews as I could and I was tasked with finding Mick Doohan, Alex Creville, Alex Barros, Carlos Checa, Max Biaggi, Loris Capirossi and Valentino Rossi. Well I did so and haven’t looked back since.Until this weekend just gone, I found myself in a rather reflective mood as I had my pit pass swiped and I re-entered the GP world. The first person I saw was Loris. He scootered up to me, hugged me and told me how great it was that I was ok and back at work. I had no idea who would know what had happened to me so I was quite surprised at Loris’ greeting. It was typical of him though; he’s such a great guy. So – I was in and I was back!
The weekend was full of its usual twists and turns, the highs being Valentino getting it so right, Stoner on the podium and good runs from DePuniet and Melandri. Also a thrilling win for Bradley Smith in the 125 race and top 8 finishes for both Scott Redding and Danny Webb. The low points covered JT suffering a miserable time with set up and Jorge low-siding out of his home grand prix.
During qualifying Vale couldn’t find a good feeling from the front of the bike so the team decided to change the geometry and effectively make the bike higher for the race, it worked and he found himself flying round the Andalusia track like a scalded cat and swearing like a navvy in our post race interview! I felt for Lorenzo, he really wanted a win but I guess he just pushed a little bit too hard. The conditions were quite gusty on race day but not as strong as for qualifying. The event at Jerez drew an astonishing crowd of circa 140,000 the largest of any motor-sport event this year and yes that does include the illustrious F1: not bad for a minority sport eh! Actually it’s only viewed as a minority sport in our fair (unfair) land as other countries recognise it for what it is, a magnificent sport. The race itself was eventful with action throughout the field, but I think the Spanish fans would have liked a home win.
Then again, Mr Rossi pretty much got away with it!
Charlie and I found a great vantage point, 200 meters above turn 1, dangling from a crane! We filmed a chat and were returned to land, which Charlie was quite pleased about!
Looking forward to Le Mans, not my favourite track, but with three different winners from the first three races, it’s tough to not imagine we could see 4….