A minor tangent about volunteering in general.
No matter what your philosophy, I think it’s hard to argue against serving others as being a valuable thing. I’d say it’s part of what we were created to do. We need each other. All of us need help with something at some point in our lives no matter how self-sufficient we seem. Volunteering of any kind is an opportunity to make a difference where you have no obligation. It’s an outward expression of thankfulness for what you have (no matter how little that may be) and an admission that we’re all connected. MotoAmerica isn’t exactly saving lives but motorcycles are something I’m passionate about and I’d love to help the series grow in any way I can. I’d love to see motorcycles viewed as something MORE than just ‘dangerous’ by more of the people in the United States. There seems to be a significant number of people who can’t think of anything when they look at a motorcycle other than “that’s gonna be less safe than a car in an accident”.
MotoAmerica is a young series even though much of it’s core is the previous AMA series that’s been around for a while. This is only it’s 2nd year. Apparently there’s not a ton of money in it yet.. That’s a double-edged sword in that it makes it harder to run the series but it also means that ALL the people involved have a genuine passion for what they’re doing. This also makes volunteers a true need. Every single person I met LOVES motorcycle racing. This is the first time that I’ve ever sat in a room (or Hospitality Tent) where a race was on and I wasn’t the one paying the closest attention.
As a volunteer I met some truly incredible people. Each day I was inevitably missing something or needed something and other volunteers, or even MotoAmerica staff were awesomely generous. Sunscreen, a fan (to dry my sleeping bag after a crazy squall ripped half the rain fly away from the tent and soaked it), a charger, a chair, dinner, an 848 EVO (OH YEAH!!!!), a beer, advice, an ear, tires, perspective, etc…. Wonderful group of people. I don’t know if I got lucky or if this is the norm but I’d gladly ride together with any of the people I met over the weekend.
John (usually behind the camera)
Tracy and his bored out Grom that seriously does 70mph!!
Tracy and his 848 EVO
Me on Tracys 848 after riding it for about 20 minutes outside the track (Tracy, sorry for running it out of gas!! At least I made it back and you didn’t have to come get me on the Grom):
I forgot what it’s like to be on a bike with RAW power. My 899 and Multistrada both had enormous torque and incredible raw grunt. I’d recently managed to fool myself into believing the ZX6 wasn’t far off on power. Amazing what we can make ourselves believe
This bike sounds the bizness obviously and wants to rip your arms out of their sockets at full throttle (which I did give it twice). Ducati’s are definitely ‘special’ and the 848 is no exception. Amazing to me though what Ducati does with the fairings, making them super slim. Makes it harder to really grip the bike for me. Most sportbikes have a good triangle there where the fairings present a wedge that your knees can latch onto. Ducati doesn’t believe in this design style. I’d read about the 1199 being a furnace and I’d experience the 899 being a furnace. The 848 was even hotter. I’m trying to think of words to describe it. I seriously thought my pants might melt or catch on fire on the right hand side.
I don’t know if I’d want to own one again but it was FREAKING FUN TO RIDE!!!
Jason (rides an RSV4 that’s gorgeous!)
Several of the volunteers track side of pit lane with a view towards pit out. Gives you an idea of how close I stood to the track at pit out: