I’m in Austin for MotoGP (and a few other things), and the first day of Free Practice is in the books. Here are some quick thoughts from my first day at Circuit of the Americas! Fair warning – I don’t have photo editing software on my travel laptop. Sorry!
2. Marquez crashed in Free Practice. The dude just doesn’t know how to function at 99.8%, and it’s awesome to watch. He was already in possession of the fastest time and was on pace for an even quicker lap when he lowsided on the last corner. Didn’t matter – he pushed his bike back into the pits, then went out and beat his time with a 2:04.034. What a badass. You may remember that last year he took pole at CotA with a record lap that he set on his backup bike, after he had issues with his main bike and had to hop the wall and run down the pits:
Seems like he’s started a trend of swapping his bikes in Austin. Oh, and because there are other riders out there besides Marquez: Andrea Iannone (Ducati) placed second and Maveric Vinales (Suzuki) placed third. Love seeing a variety of manufacturers up at the top!
3. Because I am a Laguna Seca snob, I am loath to admit that Circuit of the Americas is a much, much better track for fans. There are many more opportunities to watch multiple corners at once, and the tower is awesome. I’m a bit stingy, but I think the view from the tower is well worth the $20 charge. The track just needs an iconic corner like the Corkscrew.
5. Quick MotoAmerica tangent: Danny Eslick is back from his suspension. Unfortunately, said suspension prevented him from his bid to become the first rider to win the Daytona 200 three times in a row. He was incredibly nice to me and I hope he does well this weekend.
8. Revival Cycles is brilliant for hosting the Handbuilt Show during MotoGP weekend when passionate motorcyclists from around the world are already in town. More on this later, but it’s well run, very popular, and the bikes are generally fantastic. In addition to the custom bikes that you’d expect to see, there was some well fought flat track racing…
Why wasn’t something like this happening when MotoGP was at Laguna Seca? Or was it, and I just wasn’t cool enough to know about it?
Are you in Austin, too? Drop me a line, I’d love to meet up – I met several of you today and it’s great to put a face to the name! Otherwise, I hope you’re watching this on TV and that you have a great weekend.