2016 MotoGP Austin – It’s Over!

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You know by now that Marquez won – I’ll pretend like I’m a MotoGP guru because I said that would happen yesterday. Thanks to the impressive press team at Dorna and Circuit of the Americas, I have some other interesting tidbits to share with you.

First, we’ll start with race-related info. Total attendance for the weekend was 131,881 – there were 56,258 at the track on race day itself.
Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Crowds

Marquez started from pole in Austin for the fourth consecutive year. Even more impressive, he’s now won his last 10 races in the US – 8 in MotoGP and 2 in Moto2.
Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Marquez

Maverick Vinales came in 4th. I was hoping he’d finish on the podium, which would have made him the first Suzuki rider to place in the top three since Loris Capirossi in 2008 – but that will have to wait.
Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Maverick Vinales

Despite his three position penalty due to his crash in Argentina where he took out his Ducati teammate, Andrea Iannone snuck in on the podium in third place. Here’s the video of last week again because it’s always worth another look (skip to 2:55 for the crash). Remember that Ducati was set to place 2nd and 3rd before Iannone took out himself and his teammate on the penultimate corner!

With all that said, here’s my attempt to bring you along for the trip – these are some of my favorite moments from race day: Sunday, April 10th.

Walking through the parking lot, I noticed several BMWs ‘assigned’ to MotoGP riders. I still don’t know what they’re for – some sort of parade that I missed? If anyone else knows, please leave a comment because I need to know!
Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Andreas Car

Quick game of guess that car – the Ducati affiliation should help…
Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Guess that Car

I thought the Michelin Tweel was still in prototype stage, but I was apparently wrong. This is the first example I had seen in the wild…
Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Michelin Tweel

…and it was on a golf cart:
Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Michelin Tweel Golf Cart

Dunlop brought a whole bunch of tires for minor leagues – remember that Michelin is the exclusive supplier for the big boys of MotoGP!
Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Dunlop Tires

I asked this gentleman (who was rocking an excellent beard) what the yellow paint was for. He said it was to differentiate qualifying tires (which don’t last very long) from race rubber. I didn’t remember that qualifying had already happened until I walked away, so now I’m left wondering why he was working on qualifying tires on race day.
Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Dunlop Qualifying Painting Tires

Pinata time:
Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Pinata Rear

Presented without comment:
Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Marquez is a Dick

This photo brings me joy because it shows a future motorcyclist, and it enrages me because it reminds me that BMW never brought the K1300R to the US.
Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - BMW K1300S Kid

If you knew nothing about motorcycles and showed up only on Sunday, you’d probably think Yamaha was the biggest motorcycle manufacturer in the world – their presence was truly impressive. One aspect of their marketing was a ‘learn to ride’ area where they set up a grass track and helped kids get into motorcycling. Kudos to you, Yamaha.
Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Yamaha Learn to Ride

The coolest Harley-Davidson I’ve seen in several months:
Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Harley XG750

Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Harley XG750 - Tank

BMW and GoPro both had VR setups for fans to enjoy:
Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - BMW VR

We checked out a demo ride featuring Aaron Colton (street freestyle) and Geoff Aaron (trials). Colton is obviously talented but Geoff Aaron stole the show in my mind with his trials demo:
Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Aaron Colton Slide

Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Aaron Colton One Leg Wheelie

Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Geoff Aaron Wheelie Structure

Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Geoff Aaron Barrel Balance

Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Geoff Aaron Barrel Wheelie

He landed at this angle after taking the jump on the left – impressive body and motorcycle control.
Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Geoff Aaron Getting Sideways

Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Geoff Aaron Structure Wheelie

This is what 5 pounds of tire pressure (and a whole lotta skill) will get you:
Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Geoff Aaron Pyramid Wheelie

Looking at this, it’s hard to believe that he basically rode this wall up after the jump.
Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Geoff Aaron Wallride

A fitting end to the stunt show:
Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Geoff Aaron and Aaron COlton Eding

Geico brought one of the crazier custom bikes I’ve seen in a while – note the front wheel and the exhaust pipes!
Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Geico Custom

Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Geico Custom Front Wheel

Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Geico Custom Exhaust

It feels like I see the classic Honda Africa Twin built by Sam Roberts of Ujeni Motors at every motorcycle event I go to, no matter the state. Well done, Sam!
Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Sam Roberts Ujeni Motors Africa Twin

If you saw the race, you’ll know that Rossi crashed out early on Turn 2. If you didn’t see the race, you should consider enrolling in MotoGP’s Video Pass. Somehow, I ended up near pit lane when they brought Rossi’s bike in:
Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Valentino Rossi Bike Damage Left Side

Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Valentino Rossi Bike Damage Rear

Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Valentino Rossi Bike Damage Right Side

Then just a few minutes later, I saw Dovizioso’s bike after that bizarre crash due to Pedrosa’s miscue – the beginning of this race was nuts and it’s a shame that three of the top riders had to retire so early. I was unsuccessful in finding official MotoGP video of this crash, so you’ll just have to settle with this for now:

Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Andrea Dovizioso Bike Damage Left Side

What’s sad is that this is the the closest I was able to get to any of the MotoGP bikes, and it was only because they had the misfortune of crashing out.
Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Andrea Dovizioso Bike Damage No Wing

Ducati crew taking the bike back to pits.
Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Andrea Dovizioso Bike Damage Taking it Back to Pits

Rossi hasn’t won in the US since 2008 in Indianapolis, but he had the most fans of any rider out there.
Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Rossi Fans Everywhere

I saw my first Motus MST in the wild. I’ll have to get my hands on one at some point, but for now here’s a first ride impression from Walter Barlow from last year.
Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Motus MST

After all the racing was over, CotA set up a ‘track walk’ for fans so you could enjoy a different perspective on things:
Bike-urious MotoGP Austin - Track Walk

To close things out, here’s a video from Dorna with the highlights of this race (and plenty of beautifully-shot slow motion):

That’s all for now, but I will share some more photos from the weekend once I’m back home. More in-person MotoGP coverage to come…next year, if MotoGP will still have me! Hope you enjoyed.

I had a little post from each day at MotoGP – did you miss Saturday?

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