The old saying ‘it’s the journey, not the destination,’ did not apply to this trip. I landed in Rome and the drive to Misano was long, stressful and exhausting. Traffic moves fast and lanes don’t really apply. Bikes also lane split, many at a time and on either side of you. You must stay focused, which is pretty easy with all the espresso stops along the way.
GALLERY: MISANO MOTOGP
- Dovi chasing Redding in practice Dovi chasing Redding in practice
- Marquez cornering Marquez cornering
- Petrucci in front of his crowd Petrucci in front of his crowd
- Moto3: Typhoon start Moto3: Typhoon start
- Moto3: Tough conditions for the crowd and riders Moto3: Tough conditions for the crowd and riders
- Mandatory rain lights Mandatory rain lights
- Moto2 start Moto2 start
- MotoGP start MotoGP start
- MotoGP race infront of the lounge MotoGP race infront of the lounge
- Vinales charges Vinales charges
- Commitment Commitment
- Lorenzo’s short lived lead Lorenzo’s short lived lead
- Barbara chases Pirro and Miller Barbara chases Pirro and Miller
- A Espargaro A Espargaro
- Track invasion Track invasion
- Rossi’s garage Rossi’s garage
- Pit lane madness Pit lane madness
- Crutchlow wrapped and ready Crutchlow wrapped and ready
- Dovi, home turf, Saturday Dovi, home turf, Saturday
- All fans were hoping… All fans were hoping…
- Flag to flag scheme Flag to flag scheme
- Sections, timing, strategy Sections, timing, strategy
- Dovi, old fairing Dovi, old fairing
- Lorenzo, new fairing Lorenzo, new fairing
- Pirro Pirro
- Cruchtlow’s finger Cruchtlow’s finger
- Pit lane reflection Pit lane reflection
- Miller’s leg drag Miller’s leg drag
- The fans support their riders The fans support their riders
- Lowes getting low Lowes getting low
- Vinales topped Saturday qualifying Vinales topped Saturday qualifying
- Misano is a definitely family festival Misano is a definitely family festival
- Everyone is happy at this place (Grid girl). Everyone is happy at this place (Grid girl).
- Rossi fans in full colour Rossi fans in full colour
- Moto3: Saturday Moto3: Saturday
- Local Moto3 rider Local Moto3 rider
- Moto3 wheelie Moto3 wheelie
- The ‘other’ fanclub The ‘other’ fanclub
- Aprillia duo, MotoGP, Saturday Aprillia duo, MotoGP, Saturday
- Smith, tight, Saturday Smith, tight, Saturday
- Bautista trying to blend in Bautista trying to blend in
- Marquez, perfect shine on the nine Marquez, perfect shine on the nine
- Pedrosa banked Pedrosa banked
- Pedrosa power wheelie Pedrosa power wheelie
- Marquez on the newly painted track Marquez on the newly painted track
- Marquez Marquez
- Petrucci had a major chance to upset the race Petrucci had a major chance to upset the race
- Lorenzo always looks great in images Lorenzo always looks great in images
- Yamaha sole man Vinales Yamaha sole man Vinales
- Lorenzo’s other side Lorenzo’s other side
- Marquez, elbow down Marquez, elbow down
- Dovi, working the crowd Dovi, working the crowd
- The new paint scheme made amazing opportunities, Moto2 The new paint scheme made amazing opportunities, Moto2
- Moto3 wash out (race) Moto3 wash out (race)
- Moto2 rider sighting lap Moto2 rider sighting lap
My end point was Riccione, a quaint beach town. Unfortunately, many roads were one-way or blocked off. My poor GPS was having difficulty pronouncing the Italian street names, but we managed in the dead of night. Travel tip: Hertz issued me a smart phone loaded with the Hertz app. It was inexpensive, very reliable, acted as a hot spot and allowed unlimited global calls. It is a 'must have' for your next Euro trip.
The Misano MotoGP was more of a festival than a bike race. People from all ages came from all over. The place definitely had a level of surrealism and mystique, for more reasons than one. Saturday’s qualifying was a large turnout, even though Rossi was out. The Rossi fans definitely had a presence, wore his colours and were hoping for an appearance.
Crutchlow cheesed his finger, but carried on without a complaint and with the help of three (to get his glove on). He is determined. Dovi bailed on the fairing design and went 'old school,' but Lorenzo stuck with it with hopes it would help, it didn’t. Pirro was also a wild card Ducati rider and rode impressively. Qualifying had blue skies, great weather and amazing riding. Go to motogp.com for the official results and view the image gallery.
Sunday morning was very early, in hopes of betting the traffic. Fans were out and about by 6:30 am, walking and biking to the track. A beautiful sunrise was quickly washed away by thunder, cooler temperatures, darkness and rain, lots of rain. It rained all day. The Moto3 and Moto2 riders braved the conditions, but it got the best of them. Crashes were everywhere. Luckily nothing serious.
Fan attendance was down, but still very large, despite the terrible conditions. By noon, everyone smelled like a wet dog, but everyone still had a smile. At the start of MotoGP, the rain stopped and the clouds miraculously broke. The MotoGP race was nothing short of amazing. The speed and lean angles that these riders can handle with a water-logged track is nothing short of incredible. There were plenty of crashes, and an Italian-Spanish-Italian battle for top three. Marquez ended up with the win, and you could hear the fans roar with their displeasure.
There was also another ruthless massive fan cheer when Lorenzo high-sided. The traditional track invasion followed , where it was Rossi pandemonium. They were chanting his name and waving flags hoping for a surprise, but nothing transpired. It’s difficult to put into words how patriotic and committed Rossi’s fan base is.
Misano unfortunately had some challenging weather, a non-Italian win and supporters that missed out on their local hero. But the fans seriously enjoyed the smells, sounds and sights of world class motorcycle racing at a world-class venue. If you’re a motorcycle enthusiast, racing fan, MotoGP junky, or just love adventure, give Misano a go. Ciao.