Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Catching up. Part2. Utah. Biaggi, no Spies, and low ABV beer.

As Emily put it.  If she didn't come with me to Miller, she wouldn't have seen me for a month!
After what seemed to be a brief couple of days at home to reconnect with Emily, and to see Thor and Widget, we head off to Miller.  One thing I should note. I am always reminded as to how efficient Southwest Airlines is. Aircraft turnaround, the politeness and willingness of flight attendants and the boarding procedure. It just works. Travelling as much as I do, I wish other airlines would adopt at least some of Southwest's policies.  I travel and awful lot on Delta, and sometimes you have the best crew, and then other times you feel that you shouldn't be asking for something.  I just wish they were consistent.
On the Thursday morning we leave for Salt Lake City.  The race would be run on the Monday due to it being Memorial Day.  An odd choice but there you go. This did create some scheduling problems for most because of the habitual nature of the race weekends.  Everything moved out a day, which felt strange.  Still, John Gardiner always runs a good show at the track, along with Annie and others and so we know that at least we'll be looked after and all will run smoothly.
With time to reacquaint oneself with others in the media room I'm always pleasantly surprised at how friendly everyone is in the WSBK camp.  But it's not only the press room, which in GP is also very friendly, but the the race teams are always very approachable and the unfettered access to the garages is also very different to the those who have access to various garages in MotoGP, in part because they have photo contracts with the teams, but in all fairness I have noticed, and maybe it's because it's just a question of familiarity, access on a personal level, has improved.  Rome wasn't built in a day correct?  I understand that in GP they do not want everyone and anyone just wandering in and out of garages but for most it's just being able to do ones job. 
Anyways, unless you have been to Miller, this track is HUGE.  It takes a full 15 minutes to get around the outside of the track at a good clip.  I was grateful to not only John Canton from Ducati who organised a scooter for me, but also Brian Childree who organised for me to have a larger than pit bike, bike for me to use over the weekend.  Meeting Brian, we had a brief intro into kick starting this punchy little beast, with him telling me to make sure I find "top" before kick starting otherwise it'll bite you.
Well, not long after it did.  It back fired and the kick start dinged my lower shin.  Oh the pain.  Not only that, but I was clowning around in front of Yamaha PR guy Gavin Matheson and the damn thing stalled.  Much to his amusement. 
The race weekend was good, Biaggi would win both Superbike races and the fan turnout for such a huge track was good.  I always have a good time at Miller, and with Graeme (Brown) staying with Emily and I we had a wonderful time.  On Tuesday, I would leave from Salt Lake City to fly onto Bologna.  Emily would fly home without me.
Next, MotoGP Mugello.  Wooosh 

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