With such fantastic parking, we didn't need to leave at 5am, however, what we did need, was every bit of water and wind proof clothing we owned. The day didn't dawn bright and sunny, nor was the forecast. Brrr. Go on the bikes? Not this year, thank you.
Having sussed out the grandstand the day before, we realised that this was not numbered seating, so, if we moved, we would (probably) not be able to sit down again. A few other people had done the same, and arrived early, with blankets and picnics to hand. We never though of blankets, but they turned out to be a good idea. It was really windy. My hat even blew off, and I had to run down to the back of the grandstand and retrieve it! Everyone that sat beside us gave up after a short time, to try and find somewhere warmer to watch the racing. Being such hardy bikers, we sat put for the full 6 hours! (A multitude of layers and hot tea helped)
Practice was pretty uneventful, but gave us the chance to chat with the other (fool)hardy fans that were there to watch. After the practice, there was a wonderful tribute to Marco Simoncelli, as the was the first race after his death in Malaysia. There was a great presentastion on the grid, preceded by all of the bikes from all of the categories doing a lap of honour. A huge banner was unfurled (which we couldn't see) and there was a lovely firework display right in front of us. I cried. Although it was a tribute to one person, it represented the spirit of all bikers, (and those that pursue other adventurous sports) and seemed to be a tribute to all those that have been lost. It was very touching.
The racing itself was great, but, as well as no screen, we also had no speaker system in our area. Who on earth put up a grandstand where not only coulnd't you see, but nor could you hear? Rubbish seats! Thank goodness we didn't pay full price for them. To be honest, not being sycophantic, we would rather have paid the extra £20 and had really good grandstand seats. (Maybe next year.)
The main race was a disaster to watch. Four riders fell at the first corner (which we couldn't see) then it was pretty boring for the next 20 minutes. The final few laps were exciting, then the very end was a real thrill, but, as we had no screen or tannoy, we had to wait until we got home before we knew the result. Hilarious. Ah well, we watched it all again later on the telly with our feet up and a roaring fire.