Monday, 23 May 2011

Where'd everybody go?

Ran up to Silverstone yesterday for the Ducati Days Art of Corse and left wondering what you have to do to get a good turnout these days. While people crush and queue to see some pretty mediocre events (just because, I suspect, the going's become a habit) Silverstone felt empty despite a fantastic event.

First thing you notice is the laid back attitude of Silverstone staff, a pleasant change after only previously visiting for big-ticket events. Then you notice a handful of Desmosedicis scattered around the car park in-between the more mundane stuff - like 1198s...then watch those same DS16's howl around the track: the noise is fab, like Brian Blessed gargling with Chianti. I did record some but the camera and computer aren't speaking (yet)

And then the garages: full access to all - hello Jeremy (McWilliams), hello James (Hayden) - plus Matt Roberts, Paul Smart, Maria Costello, and more. Trade stands including Bianchi bicycles (another passion Ducati UK MD Tim Maccabe and I share) and then Tim took Alistair Wager's incredible Supermono out on track: proof he's not just the boss, but a fan like the rest of us. Plus Mick White's fine mini-museum of Ducatis past (special thanks to the owner of the GP125 emailing his offer of the bike via yrs trly) and pro-photographers, Vale's get the idea. If they run the event next year, it's a must do.

I'm off to Lake Como Friday, and then the Giro (so no June teas and cakes, or posting stuff out for a fortnight: sorry I'm not a Blackberry-man and it is just me). Lake Como's a last chance corral type thing: I'm told the Guzzi factory's about to collapse, and despite Piaggo's promise it's just boarded up pending a refit, the fact you can see George Clooney's house from the site makes redevelopment tempting. The end of an era, and proof you can never rest on laurels: which is why it was so good to see Ducati UK pushing ever onward. My pics of the day are here and Ducati's are here

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