June 09, 2006

First Shot in Solo Moto

The Spanish take their motorcycle racing very seriously. As such, the largest motorcycle publication in Spain is a weekly magazine, Solo Moto , that focuses heavily on racing. With such talents as Dani Pedrosa and Sete Gibernau leading the Spanish charge in the MotoGP World Championship (and other Spaniards routinely winning in the smaller categories), it's only natural that the local people look forward to their weekly dose of cool. Other people may have mentioned how commonplace motorcycle racing is here in Spain, and it's true. Whenever something significant happens in the racing community, it often makes front page news and also hits the TV in the evenings. What kind of cool stuff can you expect to find in a magazine like Solo Moto ?

I woke up early on Tuesday morning, in time to verify I'd packed up all my gear, and quickly ran downstairs to meet the rest of my team - who were already in the van and ready to get to breakfast - 15 minutes early! A cappuchino and some cheese and we got on the road towards Firenze, and the airport. Italy's largest bike mag, Moto Sprint (also a weekly), debuts on Tuesdays, so everyone picked up a copy to see the pictures from the past weekend and relive the glorious race. The main group left for Madrid, in order to start preparing for the Spanish National race this weekend in Jerez, but two of us stayed another hour+ in the airport waiting for our flight to BCN. Turns out it was a crowded flight! KRSR, KRJR, Chris Vermulen, Hiro Aoyama, and a host of mechanics and workers from the paddock were also onboard. I had some cool talks with Chris, who lives in Andorra - alongside Gary McCoy, and Hiro and I opted to share a cab back to his apt in BCN. Once there were ran into his brother, Shuuhei, and also 125 KTM rider, Julian Simon, who excitedly started telling me to check out Solo Moto (which coincidently also arrives on Tuesdays). Page 59 - I'm a rockstar, baby! Big ups to Jaime Olivares (photographer) and Manuel Pecino (editor) for making this happen.

I then took Hiro out for a fantastic pizza and lambrusco lunch to say thank you for the help in Le Mans, and later in the week we celebrated again with some Salmon at my favorite little restaurant, Sazzerack. Hiro, and the rest of the boys, are very happy for me, and we arranged to train and celebrate this weekend - but that's another story, and I don't have the photos yet from the fiestas.

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