week sees Dsve and Wes holders of V.I.P. hospitality passes
for the Oulton round of the 2004 BSB championship, courtessy
of Rizla Suzuki. How ever does he do it?!
Paul Denning’s Rizla Suzuki BSB race team was visiting
Oulton Park for the penultimate round of the championship
and I was fortunate enough to be offered two VIP hospitality
passes for this event. Wes and I were both looking forward
to the race day on Sunday, and we were up bright and early
for the short journey through the Cheshire country side
to the circuit. Of course, we were both sporting our NSR-WORLD
team shirts for this prestigious day, but I was slightly
concerned that we both had HRC logos on display and that
we were being entertained by the Suzuki squad for this event.
Never-the-less, I felt comfortable with myself for I had
brought along our BGP supporters shirts “just in case”.
Get advertising while you can Dave! Ed.
program for the day began at 9:00am with breakfast
being served until 10:00am. I have a weakness
for Pain au Raisin served with black coffee
(I have the physique to prove it!) and my NSR-WORLD
team shirt was filling out quite nicely! The
two guys who ran the coffee area certainly knew
how to make speciality coffees and they were
both entertaining with it.
hospitality area had two large Plasma TV screens
positioned at either end and were able to show
all the races as they happened. If you so wished,
you didn’t even have to leave the marquee
at all throughout the day!
10:00am John Reynolds and Yukio Kagayama (JR and Yuki) made
an appearance for an informal chat and we listened to them
both discuss their intentions for the two races that would
happen later. We also had the opportunity to photograph
these very genuine guys up close. (I even took a photo of
Mrs Kagayama with Wes!)
Yuki and JR were out on track for a practice session we
were given permission to visit the pit garage and also have
access down the pit lane. Whilst we were perusing the assorted
pit garages I noticed the ex 500 Honda rider Tady Okada
in the HM Plant garage. Tady is a great hero of mine and
I eagerly offered him a handshake. Tady is a very quiet
and reserved person and would prefer to be out of the spotlight
rather than be the focus of attention. I am sure that he
was relieved when I left him alone and continued down pit
Yuki and JR were out on track for a practice session
we were given permission to visit the pit garage
and also have access down the pit lane. Whilst
we were perusing the assorted pit garages I noticed
the ex 500 Honda rider Tady Okada in the HM Plant
garage. Tady is a great hero of mine and I eagerly
offered him a handshake. Tady is a very quiet
and reserved person and would prefer to be out
of the spotlight rather than be the focus of attention.
I am sure that he was relieved when I left him
alone and continued down pit lane.
was hoping to bump into James Ellison (the stand
in rider for WCM) and chat to him about his last
corner, last lap crash which put him as DNF at
Brno. James is riding for the Jentin Yamaha squad
in BSB and is leading the privateer class in this
and I found him drinking tea in his pit area and
he spoke of his disappointment at his crashing
out on spilt oil from one of the Ducatis. He is
off to Japan later this week to ride once again
for WCM in the Moto GP at Motegi.
spotted the “Samurai of Slide” Nori Haga, sitting
quietly in a corner, he made it apparent with his body language
that he did not wish to talk with us, he did however let
me photograph him and I thanked him for this gesture.
Wes and I toured the paddock area we heard the familiar
pop, pop, pop of a paddock scooter and I looked around to
see Chaz Davies astride this machine. He stopped for a chat
and informed us that he was up at Oulton today as a spectator
before setting off on the long journey to the Far East on
Wednesday to compete in the 250 GP.
and I headed back to the hospitality marquee, for lunch
was now being served, and as we stepped inside we were accosted
by a very nice Suzuki girl and were asked about our Honda
shirts and that they were not really suitable to be on show
inside the Suzuki area. I had a Denim Bomber jacket with
me which I offered to put on and Wes was loaned a Team Rizla
paddock jacket to wear for the rest of the event. (Sorry
Andy, shit happens) Well,
it was taking the piss a bit, eh?! Ed.
was of the carvery style, you went up to the table and a
chef sliced you as much of the different meats as you wanted,
you then helped yourself to the various salads, pasta dishes
quiches etc. Beer and Wine was available also, and whilst
we ate and drank, we watched the action of the support races
on the big screens.
watched the first of the BSB races from the comfort
of the hospitality lounge, for the weather had turned
quiet cold and had started to rain. This race ended
up as a two-parter due to being halted because of
the inclement weather. It was eventually won by Rizla’s
John Reynolds with Michael Rutter second and Yuki
in third spot. We really wanted to be at the sharp
end for the second race and so made our way onto the
pit lane concourse to spectate from there. Whilst
in pit lane I was distracted from the racing by a
group of very desirable young ladies who were making
there way up pit lane in my direction. (Could all
my dreams really be coming true?). Don't
let the wife har you say that! Ed.
managed to snap their picture with my shaking camera.
The great disappointment for me was they strode passed
without so much as a glance at my masculine physique!!!!!
I had thrown out my chest and pulled my stomach in
……… HEY! I’m not that bad?
Am I? Phew! They were kitted out with handcuffs and
truncheons, God! The mind boggles….. A bucket
of cold water please!
where was I? Ah yes, the racing. Again, this was a thrilling
race with John taking the victory with Michael second and
Yuki once again third. This was the first “double”
victory this yea, the racing has been so close that a different
rider has stood on the top step each race.
the podium celebrations JR and Yuki were scheduled
to visit the hospitality area for an interview with
the team manager Paul Denning. There followed a question
and answer banter with the invited guests.
round off this superb day the two Rizla riders signed
posters and autographed anything that was presented
to them, they were both still in their racing leathers
and although they must have been desperately uncomfortable
in them, they remained cheerful and hospitable through
out this ordeal. Although Yuki’s command of
the English language was very poor, he and John made
great efforts to talk politely to everyone. Wow! That
sure was good PR for the team.
we were leaving we were presented with a Rizla cap
to remind us of this fantastic day. Wes asked Yuki
and John to autograph his and it has not been off
his head since.
still have to pinch myself to make sure that this event
was not a dream and that I was there and “got the
cap! It certainly was a memorable day for both Wes and I
especially as it cost me “bugger all”.
Dear Santa, for next year please, can you arrange…