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Posts for Tag: Saturday

Motorsport Weekends - 2023 MotoGP of Bharat - Saturday

After an eventful and hectic Friday, it was time for our entourage to prepare for all the action lined up for Saturday! Sadly, despite several attempts, my camera hardware failed and I was restricted to using my Samsung S23 Ultra for the rest of the weekend. Apologies for the lack of photos, but I tried to capture as many memories as possible from the Saturday.

An early morning start allowed us to bypass the traffic that got built up later in the day.

Enroute to the circuit :

The Paddock packing was relatively empty when we arrived and the teams were still gearing up for the day ahead!

The Paddock looks beautiful on Saturday morning :

While there was silence on the track, we decided to head over to the Fan Village to check out everything on offer at the inaugural race.

Walking over to the Fan Village, some stills of the Village, honestly an underwhelming experience :

As the MotoGP Qualifying neared, we decided to head to the grandstand that we had access to to watch all the action!

Views from the KTM Grandstand, a panoramic view of some iconic turns from the circuit :

Q1 underway :

Raul Fernandez and Alex Marquez qualified for Q2 but Marquez had a high-side at turn 5 that injured his ribs. The incident ruled the Spaniard out of the race weekend.

Video Link of Q1 :

Time for the top 12 shoot out in Q2 and the results would decide the grid for both the Sprint and the Race!

Marco Bezzecchi bagged the pole position from Jorge Martin and Francesco Bagnaia. Joan Mir and Marc Marquez qualified P5 and P5 for Repsol Honda respectively.

Returning to the Paddock after an intense qualifying session :

On returning to the Paddock, we had the opportunity to meet more riders :

Darryn Binder, Husqvarna Intact GP, Moto2 :

Raul Fernandez, RNF Aprilia MotoGP :

Around 2 in the afternoon, we got told by our hosts in the Honda Hospitality that we would be on a garage tour soon.

Visiting the Repsol Honda garage was very special for me. As a fan of the team for more than 2 decades, it was an emotional experience. 

The RC213V up-close! It hadn't been the quickest machine, but the bike in its trademark orange livery looked as stunning as ever!

Photos with the Marc Marquez's ride!

We were then escorted to Marcquez's cubicle in the garage and it was such a humbling experience to sit in his seat! A place where several riders and former champions have sat in the past!

Returning to the HRC Hospitality from the garage we could see the skies get overcast :

Meeting more Motorsports Fraternity!

Razlan Razali, Team Principal, RNF Aprilia MotoGP :

Jaume Masia, Leopard Racing, Moto3 :

We decided to stay put during Moto3 qualifying due to rain hitting the circuit. Thankfully, the downpour was not for long, and we were able to walk across to the stands to watch some Moto2 action.

Moto2 Qualifying underway :

Due to the downpour earlier in the day, the FIM and Dorna called for a joint meeting with the riders, and it was unanimously decided to have an extra practice session on wet tyres to enable teams and riders to gather data ( should there be another downpour ).

Stills from the extra Practice session :

With the practice session, it was time for the first-ever Bharat GP Sprint Race!

Video Link of the Formation Lap before the MotoGP Sprint :

Shots from the First ever MotoGP Sprint in Bharat :

Video Link of the MotoGP Sprint Race Start :

The Sprint is done and the riders return to the pit lane after receiving the accolades of the crowds :

Jorge Martin won the Sprint from Francesco Bagnaia & Marc Marquez. Joan Mir crashed out of the Sprint in the other Honda.

As dusk approached, I had the chance to meet some more riders and get selfies and signatures from them!

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing, MotoGP :

Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing, MotoGP :

What an experience ( more entertaining than F1 ) at a MotoGP Saturday! The sprint race concept is much better than the ones witnessed at an F1 event and track activities come thick and fast! 

I also published a Vlog about my Saturday Experience on my YouTube Channel!

Video Link : 

Thank you to Repsol Honda Racing for having us over the weekend and thank you to everyone who made MotoGP of Bharat a reality! The Sunday experience follows shortly!

Paddock Club Diaries - 2023 Belgian GP - Day 2

Saturdays on an F1 weekend are the longest, mainly because of the number of activities lined up for Paddock Club guests. Although Aachen is closer to the circuit than Hasselt, it was still an early start to the Saturday for me. Having left from Aachen at 730 am, my friend and I reached the circuit around 845 am, just in time for Carlos Sainz Jr's visit to the Paddock Club ( more on that later in the post ).

Lets revisit the memories from the Saturday at the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix!

En route to the circuit on Saturday Morning:

As soon as I entered the Paddock Club, I rushed across to reach the Ferrari suite and thankfully, Sainz Jr hadn't arrived yet!

Carlos Sainz Jr visits the guests in the Ferrari F1 Club :

Video Link of Sainz' interview in the Paddock Club :

Shots of the Suite reserved exclusively for the Scuderia Ferrari Team guests in the Paddock Club :

And suddenly the weather changed at Spa-Francorchamps :

Gloomy weather called for some hot breakfast!

Kick Starting the day with some coffee and croissants :

After my coffee, I went downstairs to spend some time in the Paddock but the rain played spoil sport. Nevertheless, I got a selfie with Esteban Ocon from Alpine F1 Team :

Soon enough, it was time for Sprint Qualifying, better known as the Sprint Shootout!

Sprint Shootout gets underway :

Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team during the Sprint Shootout :

Shots from Parc Ferme post Sprint Shootout :

Max Verstappen was the quickest from Oscar Piastri and Carlos Sainz Jr. while Charles Leclerc was P4 in the other Ferrari.

Post the Sprint Shootout, I was hungry & wasted no time in having an early lunch.

Enjoying some lunch, the chocolates were so good!

Post the Sprint Shootout, the guests had the privilege of enjoying an interview with the team's new Sporting Director ( announced on the weekend of the Belgian GP )

The newly-appointed Ferrari Sporting Director, Mr Diego Ioverno briefly joined us in the Ferrari F1 Club :

Video Link of his interview :

The action was relentless as now it was time for the Formula 2 Sprint race on the track!

The F2 cars line up on the gird for the Sprint :

F2 Sprint Race Formation Lap ( Video Link ) :

Due to a car stalled on the grid, the F2 cars had to go around for a second formation lap.

Video Link :

F2 Sprint Race Start ( Video Link ) :

Shots from the F2 Sprint :

Some closeups of Jack Doohan!

& then we had a Safety Car period due to an incident!

Back to flat-out racing!

Celebrations in the Parc Ferme for Enzo Fittipaldi, Theo Pourchaire and Dennis Hauger. Jack Doohan finished a fine P5.

After the F2 Sprint Race, I got some time to spend in the Paddock before the Formula 1 Sprint.

Walking through the paddock, the sun was out again!

Thankfully, I was able to meet more drivers during this time!

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake :

Sophia Floersch, Van Amersfoort Racing, Formula 3 :

Oscar Piastri, McLaren F1 Team :

Lando Norris, McLaren F1 Team :

Jerome d'Ambrosio, Development Driver at Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team :

I made my way back to the Ferrari F1 Club, to prepare and grab myself a vantage spot for the start of the F1 Sprint Race.

The grid being readied for the F1 Sprint :

The mechanics rolling the cars & the drivers into the respective grid slots :

The Ferrari mechanics doing the same :

Building up to the formation lap :

Drivers returning from their loo breaks, game face on!

As the cars got readied on the grid, the heavens opened and a downpour hit the track.

The teams had to bring out their gazebos to cover the cars on the grid. The race start got delayed.

Video Link :

The rain relented and it was time to go racing!