Josie Smith travelled to last month’s MotoGP at Silverstone, which was won by Álex Rins for Suzuki. Here’s her advice for fans considering the trip to the British MotoGP next year.
Bike fans up and down the country look forward to the British MotoGP and since it was within ‘driving distance’, I thought why not. I’ve been to Silverstone for the British Formula 1 Grand Prix and weekend tickets for MotoGP were a fraction of the price, making it an even easier decision. I was praying for good weather after last year’s fiasco which saw the race cancelled due to heavy rain.
I may have lied slightly about it being ‘driving distance’ because five hours isn’t really that close, but it was easier for me to get to Silverstone than every other race on the calendar. There are plenty of trains into Milton Keynes train station and a shuttle bus running from the station to the circuit all weekend. If you’re going by car, check the weather forecast as the car parks can get really muddy if there’s lots of rain (like last year). Luckily, I was able to hitch a lift to the circuit each morning. Carpooling is a brilliant option if you can find people staying close by or on the same route. Parking passes for the weekend cost about £30 so it depends on your situation if you want to take your car or not.
The closer you stay to the circuit, the more expensive it is. Shocking revelation, I know. I stayed very central in Northampton in a little bed & breakfast, half an hour from the circuit. It had good access to the local shops and restaurants so I could make my own breakfast and take snacks to the circuit (smart huh?). If you want to stay closer then there are many, many places on route as well as the Woodlands Campsite next to the circuit. The facilities at the campsite are pretty good compared to many other campsites at circuits, but it can get very rowdy.
Where to Sit
There are so many great places to watch at Silverstone. I picked Village B because it had an amazing view of Turns 13, 14 and 15 and I got to see a lot of good action. It was one of the Marquez ‘Fan Stands’ but there was a good mixture of fans in there, many of whom had also booked it without realizing it would be full of Marquez fans! Given the unpredictable British weather, I would always suggest spending that little extra on a covered grandstand; rain or shine, you need some shelter from the elements.
Just like the British Formula 1 Grand Prix, your weekend ticket provides roving access on Friday and Saturday, meaning you can wander around and check out the views from different grandstands. I took the opportunity to sit on the National Pit Straight and snap some pictures of the bikes as they left Woodcote and also have a little peak into the garages as the bikes came and went.
What to Bring
Water, snacks, an umbrella, sun lotion, the kitchen sink. Pack it all. Food is pretty expensive at the circuit so I’d always suggest taking a packed lunch and some snacks. Water refill stations are spread out around the circuit, so you can easily refill your empty bottles if you get a bit thirsty. British weather is hit and miss so honestly, take an umbrella and sun lotion. One minute, you’ll be getting a golden glow and the next, you will be resembling Jorge Lorenzo post Jerez 2010; soggy, cold but definitely not as happy. I looked like a little packhorse for the majority of the weekend but after spending £4 for a Cornetto, I realized that bringing my own snacks was far more economical.
When the weather is good, the British MotoGP is a must. The twisty circuit is always entertaining, and the atmosphere is electric (not quite Italian level but who is?) so if you’re a Brit and a bike fan, put it on your list. Move it up your list. Get it done! You will not regret it…unless it rains.