Mugello MotoGP

While we are here in Italy, I wanted to try and get to one of the MotoGP races on the European circuit.
While checking the race schedule, I realised that Mugello was only around 30kms to the north-east of Florence and (supposedly) quite easy to reach by train.
Based on this, I bought two tickets online for Lyn & I (Lyn's being cheaper as she is a woman - a bit sexist on behalf of the Italians, but in this case we were prepared to accept it!).
The tickets had to be couriered out and I was very wary of this based on previous experience, but one of Lyn's printmaking friends (Julia) said we could send them to her parents shop and this worked very well. Phase #1 completed OK!
May 31st rolled around and it was a glorious day.
We got to the Firenze SMN station (main station) and the first train to the MotoGP (unscheduled and unpublicised) had already gone.
The next scheduled train (only 3 carriages - go figure!) was almost ready to leave and it was totally packed to the gunnels with people hanging out of the doors trying to get on. In the end, the security guys had to move people away from the doors so they could close and then that train left.
We had already decided to wait another 20 minutes and this was a good call as we managed to even get a seat on the next train to Borgo San Lorenzo where we were supposed to catch a free (and publicised) shuttle bus to the racetrack.
Phase #2 completed OK!
We got to Borgo San Lorenzo (which is a very pretty town in the foothills of the Apennines) to find that the shuttle buses to the race-track were not running. Reason - the buses do not run on Sunday (which also happens to be race-day)!
The official Mugello MotoGP website said that shuttle buses would run, but the station master at Borgo San Lorenzo said that they weren't. She then said that if we went to the next station (San Piero A Sieve), she thought that there might be shuttle-buses running - but she wasn't sure!
Most of the people had already decided to walk to the track (much further than they were told - it was a good 5.5kms, so we found out later), but we decided to risk going to the next station as it would still be around the same distance if we had to walk it.

We bought another train ticket and went to San Piero A Sieve - alas, no shuttle buses, but there was a small (taxi) bus we could catch at EU10/person. By now, we had had enough messing around, so we took the bus (along with 35 other people crammed in) and we were actually dropped right at the race-track entry-point, so we had made a good call.
You would have to call Phase #3 a marginal pass (on the behalf of the officials), but a bonus for us as we were dropped so close to where we wanted to be!
We later found out that people were still arriving on foot from the trains after the first Moto3 race had finished and even as the Moto2 race was running!

The next battle was getting into the race-track as all the people entering were being funnelled through two entry races where all alcohol was being being confiscated and tickets scanned and checked.
One Of The Entry Points!
Confiscated Alcohol!
You Aint' Getting Mine!
Once we were in the track, we decided to find a place as soon as possible and stay there, as there were hordes of people at the race and we could not afford to get separated.
In the end we found a really good spot quite quickly, at the top left of "Rossi Hill" against the Armco railing.
We set up our camp-chairs (the best EU30 I have spent so far!) and put up the EU5 umbrella (which I had had to buy the week before when it poured with rain while I was in the city). This was a last minute idea of Lyn's that was spot-on as the sun was quite fierce.
We had taken lunch (bread, cheese, ham, fruit & biscuits) and cold drinks (frozen bottles of iced-tea and water), so we were set for the day.
We gave ourselves a big "Pass" for Phase #4!

Southern End Of Track
Middle Part Of The Circuit
Looking North
From here, we had a good view of the southern part of the track (even though we were quite high up) and a grandstand view of all the goings on around us (almost as entertaining as the actual racing).

The actual racing was very good in all three classes and the spot was right above one of the chicanes where there were some spills (but no injuries).

Just below us, there were a group of guys who had built a scaffold platform and then outfitted it with Klaxon horns, other car horns and a seriously big stereo pumping out really bad, heavy-base music.
Every time something exciting happened (or they just got excited), all the horns would blast, and between races, the music was played at full volume - at least they were having fun!
I had no idea you could cram so many people onto such a small scaffold!

Between races, I went to the very top of "Rossi Hill" where they were selling merchandise and saw a couple of sights that made me think that it might not have been that great if you had been camping for the weekend.
Hmm...... I think that quite a few beers were drunk over the few days of the race meeting!
Yamaha FZ1000 Engine With Megaphone
(Note the red line for injecting petrol in to the hot exhaust system - Nice!)
The Other Exhaust System - Better Tune?
(Check Out The Singe Marks On The Ground All Around The Engine)
All The Empty Alcohol Bottles (Beer & Spirits) Spelt "Valentino Rossi"
- I kid you not!
In the main MotoGP race, the favourite was Valentino Rossi because (a) he is doing very well this year and (b) this is his "hometown" track.
He qualified 8th on the grid and then proceeded to slowly reel in all the front-runners before finishing third behind Jorge Lorenzo (1st) who cleared out from the start and Andrea Iannone (2nd) who really ran a good race. Despite his age, Rossi still shows why he is such a good and respected racer.
Rossi Chasing Iannone Down The Main Straight - Last Lap!
At the end of the MotoGP race, of course everyone went wild because Valentino made the podium, so the obligatory flares and fly-waving ensued, before people started pouring on to the track to see the presentation at the podium.

This was our cue to leave and try to beat the crowd out of the gates. It still took us over 1/2hr to get back onto the road outside the track.
We decided that we did not have a chance in hell of getting some kind of transport back to the train this side of Christmas, so we decided to walk back to Borgo San Lorenzo following a huge group of people away from the track. This crowd slowly dwindled as they reached the carparks and so there were not that many people left on the road by the time we finally got to the train station.
It was quite a nice walk, but the heat took it's toll and by the time we got back to Borgo San Lorenzo, we were both exhausted and extremely hot.

Once again, the gods seemed to be smiling on us, as there was train waiting to leave and I still had time to grab a couple of ice-cold bottles of water (and a Coke for the sugar) before it left for Florence.
The trip back to Florence was uneventful and we finally got home about 7pm.
It was a good day, but offset by the really bad organisation of the transport to and from the track.
The Mugello track itself is pretty impressive with changes in gradient all around the track that makes it very interesting, but spectator facilities at the track were very basic and the toilet facilities pretty bad.
Would I go again - I don't think so, but it was worth going for the racing itself, which, I suppose is why you go.

1 comment:

  1. Quite a day out. Bit of a bugger about the transport to and from the track. I wonder what it's like to go by public transport to Philip Island?