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MotoGP of USA 2005, Laguna Secca
Day three, the hike up the hill to the track and sort out Vantage points.

It was a fairly noisy evening. Someone across the way from us had their Hi-Fi Theatre Surround system set up as their perimeter fence and played some Crappy music loud! for quite a while. They did play some good music as well though. We did get some sleep.

In the morning we got up, started the generator and made breakfast, then checked out the neighbors we had, which had arrived through the night and were still arriving.

The guys next to us were from Arizona, they run a racing school here in Phoenix.

Well time for the hike up the hill. The pictures do not do the hill justice. It is probably only half a mile, but seems more like 2 miles.

We made it to the top after my two rest periods along the way. The good part about this is when we go back its all down hill. :)

The top of the hill puts us on the outside of turn two looking to turn one. So we wonder across the street to see what we could see of the track and if we could get any good pictures from there.

As it was, I'm assuming it was the Dorna officials walking the track checking on the improvements when we arrived at the fence. Then Marco Melandri goes by on a scooter checking the track out.

This is a pretty good place for shots as the riders come through turn one over the crest and then into turn two and then through turn three to four. You can also see them coming off the corkscrew on the far side, but that is really too far away.

From here we decide we would take a walk over the bridge at the Start line and go for a stroll around the paddock and pits.

While walking around this guy asked if he could have his picture taken with me and Dave, he had obviously seen our websites. :) But of course we all know he is Sete. I try to get a quick word with Max, but he is uncooperative (and was all weekend) bordering on obnoxious.

The Telefonica mechanics were cleaning the parts of their Honda bikes. I wanted a picture of the frame for reference, so while the mechanic was stopping people from taking pictures I snapped one from behind. :)

Thursday was a very casual day to walking around the pits. It did not really matter who you were and if the opportunity arose to talk to someone you could take it. Everyone was relaxed and happy to chat. With the exception of Max.

There was not too much to be seen on the back side of the pits, so we decided to see if we could get to the Hot side of them.

As we approached the gate we could see people standing out side the gates, straining their necks to look down pit lane, while security stood each side of the gate. We decided that our pit pass would be good to go so we just walked in as if we know where we were going and were supposed to be there. No one said a thing. It's Thursday, nothing secret is happening and I believe anyone with a pit pass could go there on Thursday, but not after that. The Pit lane would definitely be HOT on Friday with the bikes coming and going, checking set-ups. A quick look up the pit lane and down it towards the Bridge over the front straight.

Most of the Garage doors are open and the mechanics are assembling the bikes. It is amazing! These bikes are stripped down to every item, cleaned examined and put back on the bike or replaced. All the suspension items are being changed. It's a great opportunity to get some nice detail shots for the models, which we took full advantage of. Too many to put here though. But here is the Camel Honda right side engine. Max's Fairing parts. Tamada's left side engine and the right side detail shot worth a million. :) Note the different Carbon clutch cover extending all over the engine case and back to the foot peg.

Some of the teams were further ahead than others on their rebuilds. The Kawaski Nakano's are ready to go, The Fortuna Yamaha team one of Xaus' is just about ready and the other is. Suddenly the silence, as such, is destroyed as the Konica Minolta team fire up their RC211V and it Barks into life! The sound is amazing this close! Some people have their fingers in their ears, NO WAY! I want the full experience of this. You can even feel the exhaust pressure when you stand behind it, and I was ten feet away.

The mechanics keep it on a stand while they run through the gears, up and down while getting the engine up to temperature. They shut it down and wheel it back into the garage, where they check it out for loose bolts leaks etc. I assume, but they close the garage door down part way so we cannot see in.

Back down pit lane we go and see the Ducati doors are open so we get some shots of Checa's bikes have a close look at this picture especially the number 7 on the front. I never noticed before that Checa has his name in it. I always knew about the bull's head, but not the name. Cool!

I also take a couple more pictures of Max's bike nice bit of detail there for all you modelers, free of charge. :)

We head out of the pits and take a wonder around the main paddock where the "Low Life" Super Bikes and Super Sports bikes are based. They are a very friendly bunch of people though. :) The riders are available to chat and sign autographs, the mechanics are friendly and chatty, as long as you speak the same language.

We stopped by the Ducati area and there is a very famous mechanic there, who I chat with and take his picture he is famous for his haircut as you can see He has been in many magazines because of his haircut.

It is great to be able to just take pictures without anyone stopping you. Here are a couple of bare Ducs.

We take a wonder around the infield where all the vendors are setting up.  Not too much to see here yet.  Then take a stroll around the area where all the manufacturers have their stands set up, which is pretty interesting.  Each having a range of bikes from their history in racing, plus the current range of road bikes.

Ah well! Extremely tired from all this walking it's time to head back to camp..........at least it's down hill!  It's still a long hike though and a nice cold drink at the RV is most welcome before dinner.

We are told there will be busses running tomorrow, to take us up the hill and bring us back.

I decide I should have a shower, although the RV is on a slight tilt, I figure it will be fine.  But in keeping with the trip up........while taking the shower the shower door falls off!  I can do nothing but laugh at this stage.

Back to Day 2

Day 4 continues......