Adam Rosales gives us the lowdown on attending the final race of the MotoGP season, the Valencia GP at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Spain.
- The 2023 Valencia MotoGP is on November 24-26
- Secure your seats in our Valencia MotoGP ticket shop
- Learn more about Circuit Ricardo Tormo
The Ricardo Tormo Circuit is well established as the host of the final MotoGP round each season. It is not always a title decider but it is a fantastic race to attend. Spain has a massive motorcycle culture which leads to heavy Spanish participation in the championship with riders such as Marc Marquez, Joan Mir and Maverick Vinales. The ease of access to the facility, circuit views and affordable pricing lead to full grandstands every year and the parking lots packed with motorcycles make you realize why there are so many Spanish riders in the Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP championships.
Travel to Valencia
Valencia is easily accessible by air, train or driving. Valencia Airport has a wide variety of domestic and international flights and has a subway station that can get you to Xativa Train Station, in the center of Valencia, in about 20 minutes. If traveling from outside of Spain, it’s worth comparing flight prices to bigger airports like Madrid or Barcelona. Trains to Valencia are widely available, less than 3 hours from Madrid or about 3.5 hours from Barcelona. Train tickets can be purchased via Spanish train operator Renfe. Driving to Valencia takes about 3.5 hours from either Madrid or Barcelona.
In 2017, I flew to Madrid and took the train to Valencia. It was really easy to coordinate and get tickets ahead of time for trains. The airports and city centers are well connected, and whilst transfers were required, it was easy to manage.
In 2021, I found a great deal on flights to Madrid via points redemption and drove to Valencia. We had a route planned with some scenic stops we planned on doing in Cuenca and a night at a cava winery called Pago de Tharsys in Requena. It was an easy drive and we did not encounter much traffic on the motorways to Valencia from Madrid.
Getting to Ricardo Tormo Circuit
Ricardo Tormo Circuit is situated on the outskirts of Valencia, near a town called Cheste. There is a train station that is open during major events at the circuit. They don’t necessarily bring more trains into service, which can lead to some long wait times but it is accessible through the weekend. You can see the schedules ahead of time but the journey takes about 50 minutes from Valencia Nord Station.
If you opt for the train, you will encounter some major wait times leaving after the race on Sunday. It will likely take a couple of hours if you stick around to watch the podium ceremony. It’s organized, just a big crowd and like I said, it’s just a normal train service and not a special event train. In 2017, some people I spoke to told me it took them about 4 hours to get back to the center of Valencia after the race by train. That year, my brother and I actually met some very friendly British tourists in the parking lot on the way to the train station who offered us a ride back to Valencia in their rental car. We got lucky and were able to make it back in time to watch the Formula 1 Sao Paulo Grand Prix on TV.
The train situation is also why I decided to rent a car and drive from Madrid in 2021. Parking at the circuit is free for cars and motorcycles. On a normal day, the circuit is about 30 minutes from central Valencia via the A3 motorway, but will take about an hour (minimum) on Sunday morning. Traffic gets heavy as you get near the circuit but police manage the traffic really well and there’s plenty of signage to direct the path to the circuit via multiple motorway exits. It will take about 20-30 minutes of traffic to exit the parking lots after the race but with some patience, it is very easy to manage compared to public transport. The circuit offers motorcycle parking right near the gates; there are tons of motorcycles at this event and it is easy to take advantage of parking right up front.
Ricardo Tormo Circuit is known to be on the smaller side of the circuits on the MotoGP calendar. The circuit is 4km (2.5 mi) in length but what is really unique to this circuit is that the grandstands surround the perimeter of the track like a stadium. You can see most of the track from any grandstand aside from the far opposite end. All the grandstands are named after colors so it’s fairly easy to navigate to your section. In 2017 and 2021 I sat in the Tribuna (Purple) Boxes which are situated above the pit lane garages in the center of the main straight. This section offers some of the best views of the circuit and has TV screens facing the seats from across the track. If you’re in row 1, seeing the riders start/stop at the garages below you is cool to see. You can see the riders preparing up close before throwing their leg over the bike and heading down the pitlane. The paddock is located behind this section which allows you to see many of the riders enter the garages and hospitality areas from above. Merchandise vendors are usually situated behind the yellow sections between the Turn 1-2 area. There is also a stage by Turn 1 which has rider appearances and live music throughout the weekend.
In 2021, I planned this trip for my birthday as well as Valentino Rossi’s final MotoGP Race. There were a lot of Rossi fans wearing his iconic yellow all weekend. My seat allowed me to be up close to all the season-ending burnouts and team celebrations in the pitlane after the race. I was fortunate to be just a few garages over from the massive welcome Valentino had by what seemed like a majority of the paddock waiting outside his garage. His final stand on top of the bike as he waved goodbye is something I’ll never forget. Valentino disappeared into the garage with loud chants and singing ringing through the paddock. I was sitting in Row 1 above the Repsol Honda Garage so I got my face on TV a few times. Some friends sent me pictures of their TVs whenever they saw me, it was pretty funny. I definitely recommend sitting in the Tribuna Boxes over the other sections. The hospitality options seem reasonably priced as well that are situated in a couple of different areas, mainly closer to the podium and starting grid.
Food & Drink
Personal food like sandwiches and snacks are allowed. Drinks in plastic bottles are also allowed in the circuit. Cans, glass and alcohol are not allowed. The circuit also does not sell any alcohol. There are some hospitality tickets that do include beer and wine, but that is the only way to have a drink within the circuit. The beer sold at the vendors in the circuit is 0,0 non-alcoholic. These vendors also have the normal jamon sandwiches (bocadillo), chips, drinks and coffee. All reasonably priced with minimal lines. You can expect a sandwich, chips and drink to cost less than €10. The vendors accept both cash and cards. There is one food vendor in the purple grandstand that had a ticket system but this was the only vendor I encountered like this.
Buying Valencia MotoGP Tickets
3-day Tickets start at around €50 for the Tribuna Blanca and go up to €200 in the Tribuna Boxes in the early phases of ticket sales. There is a discount of about 10% for buying early. Hospitality tickets start at €450 for 3-day depending on the Terrace or Lounge but are also available as single day tickets.
The 3rd largest city in Spain, Valencia has a historic city center with some still visible ruins like the Portal de Quart. I enjoyed staying in the city center near The Central Market of Valencia, there are plenty of food and drink options walking distance. One of my favorite Restaurants was Thai Mongkut. The brewpub Tyris on Tap had some great locally brewed craft beer. The Russafa neighborhood also had some local coffee shops and a craft beer bar called Olhops that were great to visit. Walking around, day or night feels safe. There are typically always people walking around the city center.
We stayed at an Airbnb for 6 days for about €80 per night for a full 2 bedroom apartment. Prices of hotels are also similar, including some areas along the coast. Depending on the weather, you can easily enjoy a beach day or have a meal overlooking the beach at Restaurante Panorama . We also spent a few hours exploring the Oceanografic (Aquarium) which is located near several museums and shopping centers nearby.
You can navigate Valencia easily using public transport, the same tram and subway system connects the airport and city. Valencia has a great Tourist Card available that includes transportation and admission to museums. A 24hr card starts at €13,5 for Adults with 48hr(€18) and 72 hr(€22,5) and child rates are slightly cheaper. Available at VisitValencia.com
- Airbnb – $ 385 (5 nights)
- Flights – $225 Round trip Austin to JFK + 30k Delta Skymiles JFK-MAD
- Rental Car – €255 for 6 Nights + Fuel
- Food Budget – €50 per person per day feels like the upper end of estimates.