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MotoGP Qualifying
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Last night, Tim and I went downtown.  There were many
things going on in Indy.  Besides the thousands of
motorcycles on Meridian Street, GenCon was going on
as well as the Fringe Fest.  The State Fair is underway
and there was a big concert at Banker's Life Stadium.  
It was happening downtown!  Lots of people.   

We headed back to my house about 1:30 a.m. and
found  E.T. sitting there in his car.  

E.T. decided at the last minute to drive down from
Michigan to attend his first motorcycle race.  The
weather was a factor, as the forecast is for PERFECT
WEATHER!  He woke up at 5 a.m., went to work,
competed in a golf tournament and then drove down
here.   By the time we crashed, he had been up for
nearly 24 hours.
None the less, he woke up before me.

We hopped in the Vette, dropped the top
and drove through the city to the speedway.



In this photo is a familiar sight for race
fans who approach the speedway from
downtown along 16th Street.

When you see this bridge, you know you are
almost there!
We parked across the street for $10.

Here is the Speedway Ticket Office.
We began the day by sitting in Stand E,
Section 13.

We arrived around 1 p.m. in time for the
start of qualifying, which led off with the
250cc Moto3 bikes and was followed up
by the big 800-1000cc MotoGP race
machines.
While we had a good view of the track
from Stand E, I wanted to get closer to the
action to feel the speed.  

So we trekked down to the Paddock and
the finish line.

Well worth the trip, the MotoGP bikes
were zipping by at 200 mph and it was
intense, incredible, loud and put a smile
on my face that couldn't be wiped off.

The bikes had different sounds.  One
sounded like an F1 car.  It was awesome!

My little pocket cameras was unable to
capture a photo of them though.  
I haven't been in the paddock in a while
and I do not know when they installed these
electric signs in the ceiling, which are
scattered along the paddock.
Half-way through Moto2 qualifying, we
headed inside the Speedway where we
found a bunch of old bikes parked.

We saw Nortons, Ducatis, Triumphs and
Japanese bikes.
Next, we headed over to the middle of
the infield where the manufacturer's had
display tents set up.


This contraption had people waiting in l
ine to get a chance to ride a sport bike
wheelie.
Here is a shot of Moto2 quallifying along
the inside straight.
Little push bikes for the tikes.
This is Honda's new all-electric scooter -
however it is not available in the U.S. yet.
We saw an interview with MotoGP rider
Stefan Bradl in the Honda tent.
We saw one wreck when a rider flipped
exiting this portion of track, as he was
going to be entering the oval.

We also saw about three riders who
missed the first turn and went through the
grass and onto the oval
We saw nasty wrecks by the MotoGP
riders on the television screens.  
Casey Stoner wiped out, as did Americans
Ben Spies and Nicky Hayden.  

Stoner reportedly tore a ligament and
Hayden got hurt.  Both are doubtful for the
race tomorrow!

Dani Pedrosa qualified on pole with a new
lap record of 1:38.813
This band was really good and it was
tempting to stay here and listen.  But
we decided to cross the bridge and
watch the Harley guys race from the view
hills.

I was surprised to still be able to hear the
band from over there.  They were pretty
loud.
Harley XR1200.  These bikes are fairly
stock.  I think they are like a Sportster
model.  

While they had the biggest engines of all
the race bikes, they were much slower.
We could see on the monitors that there
was a 3-bike crash.  We waited around
for another 20 minutes or so and the race
never restarted, so we left for the bridge.
Over in the traditional Indy 500 garage
area, tents were setup to serve the
Harley XR1200 teams.

There were also motorcycle vendors in
the garages.
A large area with stands in the first turn
area was the Ducati Island.  Fans who
drove their Ducatis could park here.  

I had planned on driving my Ducati today,
but since E.T. didn't want to drive one of
my bikes, we took my Vette to the track
today.

It was beautiful weather for a convertible.
There was a Ducati store tent and I
bought a t-shirt.  The prices for Ducati
stuff is expensive, reminding me of the
prices on the F1 stuff from a few years
ago.
I had big plans for the night which included
partying downtown and then hitting a bar to
see this band that my friend plays in.

However, after we ate some gross food at
Ruby Tuesdays, we chilled back at my house
in front of the TV and watched Game of
Thrones till 2 a.m.
DAN'S PHOTO JOURNALS