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MotoGP of USA 2007, Laguna Secca
Part 3. Bikes get fired up.........Friday, July 20th

It's much cooler this year by about 20 degrees F. Last year it was so hot 4 people died.

Still having trouble with the refrigerator; it is running on the propane, but keeps kicking off and the “check” light comes on. Check what??? We got propane.

I decide to try out the portable showers about 50 yards away. It’s still fairly early about 7:30am. The showers are all being used when I arrive, but it’s only a short wait and it’s my turn. The showers are small and the trailer they are in has not been leveled, so the one I’m in as at the end….the LOWER end. ;) all the water from the other showers runs to mine, so even with mine not running I’m standing in flowing water.

But the shower is great! Hot water and Cold water! J I feel so much better after it.

I get back to the trailer, where Dave has risen from his “hole-in-the-wall” bed. I decide I’m going to try to get online again………..now it won’t even connect! This SUCKS!

8:45am and we head of to get Coffee and check out souvenirs in the Big tent infield before first practice.

As we walk up to the Brazilian stand one of the women looks at us past the customer she is serving; and with a big smile on her face says “We have coffee for you this morning”. J I’m happy!

I have another sausage sandwich, but they used a different sausage today and put two of them in it. Unfortunately they are not as good. L Oh well!

Next door the girls are dressed to sell the Bratwurst, and enjoying it. J Well at least one of them.

We head off to the infield, as there is not much point of going to the Pits if we can’t get in. L

As we near the Souvenir tent, there are these two beautiful girls walking towards us, and as usual I have to have a picture. J This year the girls are fewer and not so willing to have their picture taken; they want money first! These ones are selling the 50 year anniversary coins for Laguna Seca and US MotoGP 2007. They want $10.00! Then they will let me take their picture. ;) After taking the FIRST picture of them holding the coins, I give them one of my business cards. “Mac’s Modeling, LLC.” is right on top. “Are you an agent?” they both ask. No, but I could be. ;) “Well you better take some more pictures of us without …………..….the coins”.

The Big Souvenir tent was packed, so we decided not to buy anything now, but I saw this little display which amused me.

We decide to go to turn 5 first for pictures. On the way we pass by the Kawasaki stand and Dave takes some pictures of Randy de Puniet’s show bike. MotoGP practice has started so off we go.

These are some of the shots I took at turn 5 over the fence. "Wild Card" Hayden

Collin Casey & Kurtis   Carlos

Then a couple from across the road, Randy   Nicky

Marco Casey Rossi The Red on the Ducati is amazing! The pictures don't show it, but when the sun shines on it, it is like a bright Candy/Pearl Red.

Then some from the infield across the bridge between turns 5 and 6.
Marco Roger gets a welcome to MotoGP from Rossi   and one of my personal favorite pictures, Alex

We walk up the hill to turn 6 to take some shots and find out practice has been Red Flagged for an incident in the Corkscrew with Alex Hoffman. So we continue to walk up to the top of the Corkscrew, by the time we get there practice has resumed. I think this picture shows why Rossi does not like the Corkscrew very much. Nicky We stick around to take some photos at the top, Collin   Then I try some different shots, Carlos between the trees.
Nicky & Randy Chris Miguel  

and John To see ALL the pictures from Friday click here. Then head down the hill back to the paddock.

As we stroll around the end of the pit lane, it is obvious someone made a mistake yesterday, as they are letting people in today. J But man is it packed! It looked like the paparazzi were in town. All the cameras in the air trying to take pictures of someone and hope they got it.  We work our way through the crowd and run into a Ducati Pramac team “Pit Babe”, which of course I have to have her picture, and Dave takes one of me with her. I say “I guess I should have taken off my Yamaha hat first.” She says “Don’t worry about it, I like Nicky Hayden.”

We carry on to the top end of the pits, by turn 11.  There we find Dani Pedrosa’s wheel mechanic, Johnny. We met him here last year. Another mechanic is there from the Konica Minolta team, again same guy from last year. He is a bit of a comedian. ;) Kept saying “I speak no English” In an Italian accent. ;) Last year he said he was Johnny’s brother. J

Johnny is from the North of England, on the coast, about 1 hour from Manchester. I asked him if he managed to get home much during the season.  He said he “gets home every week these days, so it’s great!” He used to live in Spain and Italy before, and says that was a bit tough. Much better now! He also drives the truck, in England and Europe, for the team. He thinks the trucks in the USA are way too big to drive. I don’t see it myself; I think they are about the same size, but he insists they are longer.

Most of the mechanics are quite sociable if you are polite. They are happy to chat with you, while continuing doing their job. If it’s something they cannot do while chatting they will let you know.

Time to grab some lunch and relax before going around the track for more pictures of the second practice.

As we work our way back through the Pits we see Kenny Roberts Jr.  in the back of his pits. I don’t know why he is not riding if he is here.

Collin Edwards has got his T-shirt gun out again this year (and it works now).  There is a huge crowd trying to get a T-shirt. No chance of getting through this sea of people until he runs out of shirts. So I snap a some pictures as we wonder around

Hopper, and here's Johnny again with Dani on the left. (That just does not look right!)   We get to the infield, where we catch up with the Repsol Girls.   .......Oh my God! Do you see the “water wings on her!” At least her face won’t hit the floor if she fell face down. ;) The umbrella Girls are not as good as last year. This was the best we found.
We get around to the Yamaha stand where they have just about completed their Autograph session of “Weekend of Champions”.            

We head back towards the paddock and I take some pictures at turn 3. There are two rows of chain link fence to shoot through I decide to use full zoom and manual focus for better shots Just for reference the picture far right is one I took at turn 3 in 1988. No fence to worry about then. No Curb, No run-off, No Airbag fences, No safety and not many "incidents".

We then go over the bridge on the main straight and I shoot a couple of pictures as the riders crest the hill at turn 1 proving it is a turn.   

I take more pictures as we make our way to turn 2, from  the hillside.  It's a great spot for viewing as well.

The next set are from over the fence at turn 2.

 Would you believe it……….I filled the flash card in my camera! That’s when I found out I had left my 1MB card at home and only had the 256 card in the camera. Duh! (Again for ALL Friday pictures, click here.)

Dave has been taking pictures of Randy de Puniet's crashed bike which is right in front of us. You can see those on the bottom half of the show bike page.

After the practice was over we went back to our trailer, made a list of what we needed in town. Our neighbor Mark asked if we could get him some ice and more Modelo especial. And off we went.

The Police are manning the exits today and appear to be having fun, with us anyway. ;)

We arrive in town and go to Walgreens. I find a 2MB flash card, a flash card reader (it reads 19 different types) and a set of speakers for my laptop. Dave finds some liquorish and I spot some Dark chocolate Milky Way bars J.  We are set.

Then of course we go to the Happy Dragon for dinner. Always good and our favorite, Kim is there to serve us.

We get back to the trailer and I set up the laptop with the speakers so we can watch a DVD. Deadwood series 2, last couple of episodes. J

I plug in the card reader and download all the pictures from the 256 flashcard and Dave’s card. Then I make sure I put the 2MB card in my camera. Get this...........I somehow do have the 1MB card and put that in the Camera, thinking it is the new 2MB card. (found that out days after I got home) Duh!  I don't remember drinking that much. ;)

I sit back with a beer and watch the programs, while Dave lays on his bed to read, but falls asleep almost immediately.



 To Part 4.....   Quick links  Part 1Part 2Part 5 Race Day