Jerez

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!

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….

Seville!

After the race weekend in Jerez I spent a couple of relaxing days in Seville. I arrived a little worse for wear as it had been my birthday the day before and so celebrations had taken their toll! I had been out for dinner with a group of friends from the paddock and it was the first time we had socialised since last season so with birthday cakes and vino tinto flying around, the result was as you would expect!

Suzi Perry in Seville

The last time I stayed in Seville I was about 23 years young. I was filming an ice cream commercial for television. Back then I fell in love with the place and always wanted to return. I can’t believe it has taken me so long, but it was as beautiful as I had remembered. I stayed at a fabulous hotel called Casa Imperial, perfectly positioned to visit everywhere. Seville is really quite small so you can view everything by foot, or horse and carriage! The calm surroundings were very welcome after the non stop race weekend; the only sounds were birdsong which always reminds me of growing up at my parent’s house and, the faint tinker of water trickling from the water fountain in the courtyard.
The tapas bars are in abundance in Seville, all beautiful and traditional so it’s not hard to eat well and while away the hours people watching and sightseeing. While I was there we celebrated my boyfriend’s 40th birthday, two bulls under one roof! We don’t have China at home and yes, we can both be stubborn!  It was a lovely few days but now I really must stop drinking and eating!