Where do i begin, I guess it can be fair to say this was the best weekend of the season so far. Can i start by saying thanks to Dorna and well done to Silverstone for you putting on an amazing Grand Prix. From Friday morning the whole signing on and arrival was smooth and effortless as expected from a huge venue like Silverstone.
So begins my 2019 British Moto GP, I arrived in time for FP1 which the excitement of the first hot lap from a Moto GP is always a special moment, The speed sound and the unbelievable talent of the top riders in the world is always a site to see, For the first practice session of the day i was on the inside of Copes corner, A long fast sweeping right hander for people who haven’t visited Silverstone before, For the Moto GP this is turn one. Every lap more and more commitment and more and more rear tyre slides, The smile lasts for the full 45 minute session. Below is a small gallery of images from FP1 shot on the Fuji XT2.
As you can see the its pretty simple to capture the speed of Cal Crutchlow, Maverick Vinalez and Pol Espargaro as the get on the power to head down towards the amazing Maggotts and Beckets section of the circuit.
The circuit was in amazing condition with the new surface and the bikes were handling it remarkably well and topping the time sheets on the Petronas Yamaha SRT was Fabio Quarteraro going under the lap record in the first session of the day.
After a long session it was time to cool off from the heat in the media centre and get some images sorted for my publications, No time to really rest i grabbed a monster energy drink and got on a photographer shuttle down to the Silverstone wing for FP2 which was amazing to have the whole place to myself and a deserted pit lane to walk round. Session starting i realised that i club corner was a fast loud and close place to capture these guys at full speed and lean, As the images below show its just mind blowing the angles some of the bikes get to on the Silverstone tarmac.
Stunning place to shoot Moto Gp bikes with huge variation in the area from low grass to fast pace with high lean angle. By the end of FP2 Fabio Quartararo once again topped the timing sheets with another incredible lap time. Not what anyone was expecting from the beginning of the weekend to see the Satellite team topping the timing sheets.
That brought day 1 to a close and what a way to end the day which for me had begun at 3:30am and by the time i was at my hotel it was 8pm so a very long day and it was worth every minute.
DAY 2 - QUALIFYING DAY
Waking up to a beautiful sunrise in the heart of the UK brought a huge smile to my face. i knew the day ahead was going to be amazing and i was not disappointed in any way. A stunning morning arriving at the circuit to a nice fresh coffee always makes me smile and FP3 was fast approaching, One of the best places to see the overall ability of a Moto GP bike is at the luffield complex opposite the BRDC building, The images are always spectacular and 2019 didn’t disappoint.
Things can get very arty at that part of the circuit and there was a close incident with Maverick Vinalez as he out braked himself and went straight into the gravel trap but keeping the bike on 2 wheels he managed to continue setting some really fast laptimes after the initial run off. Once again though it was that man Fabio Quartararo who topped the timing sheets and giving himself massive confidence as the all important FP4 and Qualifying approached.
After the morning sessions i opted to rest and have some lunch (VERY EXPENSIVE SILVERSTONE!!!!) a sandwich cost me over £5 not impressed. I was hungry and very warm with temps of around 29 degrees meant i needed a week earned monster energy drink to refuel for FP4 and Qualifying.
This is where things got interesting, FP4 was about to begin and i was informed by a source i could go into pitlane for practice sessions (I was Miss Informed) I decided Pitlane was where i wanted to go as i had never shot a session in the pits and to see the riders up close was a massive privilege but was a bit spoiled when i was approached by more than necessary security staff shepherding me out of the pit lane, All i needed was 1 guy to ask me to leave and i would have respected his choice, I told him i had been miss informed and i was leaving but to have 3 other guys follow me to the gate was a but intimidating if i am honest i have many years experience in the business and never have i had that happen. Anyway not to dampen my mood i went to grab a shuttle to where i wanted to go not to ruin FP4 with 20 minutes remaining before Qualifying, I asked the driver if he could take me in which he couldn’t as he was the media shuttle and not the Photographer shuttle (I KNOW RIGHT) I opted for the media room to cool off from the last 15 minutes and get ready for Qualifying which was fast approaching.
The build up to qualifying had started and excitement and electricity was growing i decided Pit entrance was my next place and this is one of theist places on the circuit, Its mega fast and pretty personal as the riders are on top of you every lap. Not a place for the faint of heart as its pretty intimidating when there staring into your eyes at over 150mph
For the first time of the weekend there was a change at the top of the timings, Marc Marques gets his 60th career pole position and Valentino Rossi gets himself back on the front row followed closely by Jack Miller on the Pramac Ducati which was a mega end to a very exciting qualifying session. The day ended with the press conference which is one of my favourite times of the weekend, To listen to the guys speak about there day is an amazing pleasure and even after 4 years of covering the event its still one of the best parts of the weekend.
DAY 3 - RACE DAY - SCORTCHING!!!!!!!
Waking up on raceday was a great feeling, Sunshine and some amazing racing ahead for the day. I got to the circuit nice and early and walked passed the crowds to get to the empty media centre by myself for some breakfast and a frack Lillys coffee :), I arrived before a few of the other guys i know ( Jacob Ebrey and Greg Toth) which is always good to have other guys there to have a chat and a laugh with.
The afternoon ticked passed and it was time, Out i went into 32 degrees of summer sun to shoot the Moto3 race which was excellent to watch, Unfortunately John McPhee ended his weekend in 7th place overall after a strong start sitting in third for a while but was just out paces by the guys around him by the end of the race.
Its 13:00 and ITS TIME, Standing infant of the #VR46 grandstand on turn 1 the GP has arrived on the grid and the crowd was like a football crown, Supporting cheering and whistling, BOOOOM!!! A flurry of sound and there off and it went manic from there. Alex Rins has a bobble into turn 1 causing Fabio Quartararo to check up causing him to high side and Dovizioso flys over the top of him in a horrific fiery accident.
The race would have been insane had these two guys not crashed out, There two of the most reliable guys on the Moto GP grid and it left a gap between Marques, Rins in first and second to Rossi in third (Eventually finishing 4th) but as your all aware the winner by 0.013 was Alex Rins in the Ecstar Team Suzuki which was a mind blowing end to a spectacular weekend.
To sum up my weekend i was incredibly humbled but the weekend, It was one of the best weekends i have had trackside and i met and spoke to some great guys over the weekend. The journey home was a great time to reflect and i am hoping to keep the momentum of this season going and grow CMC-Images bigger and hopefully it will be a move into a job opportunity for me.
Thank you for taking the time to read my Blog post and please follow my social media by clicking on the buttons below and liking my work, As a small growing business it really means the world to hear your nice comments and support for my work. Its what keeps me going and makes me want to get better with every event i attend. Until next event people, Bye for now :)
2019 BRITISH GP WINNER
#42 Alex Rins on the Ecstar Team Suzuki Moto GP