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Austin Kicks Off MotoGP Weekend!

Wed, 17 Apr 2013


This weekend, the MotoGP circus makes its way to the United States for round two of the world championship, held at the stunning new Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, the first time the track will host a world championship level motorcycle event. Expect to see the world’s fastest racebikes reach speeds over 200 mph on the 1 km (0.62-mile) back straight, and bring ear plugs — these bikes are loud!

Fresh off a 1-2 finish in the season opener in Qatar, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi are looking to carry the momentum to CotA. Meanwhile, Repsol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez, who recently spent three days testing at the circuit, should be strong opposition for the factory Yamaha crew. And don’t forget Cal Crutchlow on the satellite Tech 3 Yamaha M1, as he’s sure to be a threat.

If you’re going to be at the race, or even in the Austin area, there are going to be a host of activities to participate in, not least of which is the Free Kevin Party at the Gypsy lounge. If you’re not aware, 1993 World Champ, Kevin Schwantz, was unceremoniously “removed” from the CotA property during recent testing at the track due to an ongoing spat between he and track management. As loyal fans of the sport and the former champion, the Free Kevin Movement is staging its own protest, if you will. There will be special guests and prizes, with all proceeds benefitting the Marco Simoncelli Foundation. Read more about it below.

As for the on-track action, practice and qualifying takes place all day Friday and Saturday, with the big race on Sunday. You can check out the minute-by-minute schedule at the official Circuit of the Americas web site, here . Below, we’ll do our best to point out the highlights of the upcoming race weekend, including local events you don’t want to miss.



At CotA:

7 p.m. — Zac Brown Band. Join the fellow motorcyclist and Southern rock/country superstar and his band at this brand new outdoor music venue, located right on the CotA campus. Tickets: $37-$67. Austin360 Amphitheater, 9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd., Austin, TX 78617;;

In Austin (and Surrounding Areas):

1-5 pm — Open House. Bring your Sharpie; at 1:15 Ben Spies will take time out of a hectic schedule to meet and greet fans. Ben will be piloting the Ignite Pramac Ducati Desmosedici at the Circuit of the Americas so come wish him good luck and get an autograph. But get in line early, because Elbowz will only have half an hour to spare. Ducati Austin, 812 E. Braker Ln., Austin, TX 78753; (512)236-8822, 5pm – close — Bike Night & Industry Appreciation Party. Ride in and get your motor primed with great food and drinks in the company of fellow MotoGP fans. Industry personnel with credentials receive BOGO drink specials. Zingers Bar & Grill, 12700 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave, TX 78738; (512)524-2434,   6-8 pm — MotoGP Happy Hour with Kevin Schwantz. Texas native and 1993 World Champion — and COTA exile — Kevin Schwantz will be on hand at 6 sharp for a short interview, fan Q&A and autograph session. See the latest Dainese gear and AGV helmets along with Ducati and MV Agusta products while enjoying drinks, refreshments and DJ. Ducati Austin. 6:30-7:30 pm — FSAE Presents: Red Bull MotoGP Engineering Lecture. The Formula Society of Automobile Engineers and Red Bull present a technical lecture from Repsol Honda Team Principal Livio Suppo. MotoGP racer Stefan Bradl will also be present. Free. AT&T Conference Center, Auditorium 204, 1900 University Ave., Austin, TX 78705; (512)404-1900, 7 pm-10 pm — Bike Night. Start the weekend off right at America’s favorite jiggle joint. MotoGP ticket giveaway! Must be 18-plus and present to win. Hooter’s, 425 W. Riverside Dr., Austin, TX 78704; (512)478-9464,



At CotA:

9 am-6:45 pm – Free practice and Rookies Cup qualifying. 2:40-3:40 pm – Pit Lane walk. 4:30-5 pm — Rider autograph session. Grand Plaza. 6:30 pm — Fan track walk. Meet at Main Grandstand east near Tunnel 1.

In Austin (and Surrounding Areas):

3 – 11 pm — Austin Sport Bike Hype. Meet-and-greet, photos and autograph session with Jason Britton, “The World’s Greatest Stunt Rider” at 4; stunt shows at 6 and-9pm. Bikini’s Sports Bar, 6901 N. IH 35, Austin, TX.; (512)454-2247, 6 pm-midnight — The One Motorcycle Show & “21 Helmets” Exhibit. Motorcycles, art, music and design converge. Customs by Revival Cycles of Austin, Deus Ex Machina, Roland Sands and more. The 21 Helmets exhibit spotlights the work of 21 Austin artists when helmets become the canvas. Music, beer and food add to the fun. Free. 1100 East 5th Street (between San Marcos and Waller Streets), Austin, TX 78702. 7 pm-2 am — AF1 Racing MotoGP Party. Drinks, finger food galore, and beautiful AF1 Racing umbrella girls. Open to the public. Vespa Austin, 304 E. Cesar Chavez St., Austin, TX 78701; (512)482-8377, 8 pm-2 am —  Motos y Musica. Featuring live salsa and latin club music DJ, and Mexican cuisine from El Sol y La Luna. Reserved motorcycle parking. La Zona Rosa, 612 W. 4th St.., Austin, TX 78701;



At CotA:

9 am-3:50 pm – Free practice and early qualifying rounds. 11:50 am – 12:25pm — Pit Lane Walk 4:30 pm — Rookies Cup Race 1 8:40 am, 9:40 am, 11:30 am, 12:20 pm and 1 pm — E3 MotoX Jumping Show. Grand Plaza 11:40 am, 3:50 pm — The Bright Light Social Hour – Live music at the Austin360 Amphitheater. 11:40 am, 3:50 pm — Black Pistol Fire. Live music at the Trackside East Stage, east of the Main Grandstand.

In Austin (and Surrounding Areas):

Noon-Midnight — The One Motorcycle Show & “21 Helmets” Exhibit. For details, see Friday. 1100 East 5th Street (between San Marcos and Waller Streets), Austin, TX 78702. 3-11 pm — Austin Sport Bike Hype + Jason Britton. For details, see Friday. Show times 5 and 11pm. Bikini’s Sports Bar, 6901 N. IH 35, Austin, TX.; (512)454-2247, 8 pm-2 am — Motorcycles and Music. Tonight, The Red Club presents soul/rock band Vallejo, along with BBQ by Blue OX, live performance by Frisky Business Burlesque, and DJ Big Rich. Reserved motorcycle parking. La Zona Rosa, 612 W. 4th St., Austin, Texas 78701 5 pm-2 am — MotoGP Models & Music Party. Three Platinum VIP lounges with dedicated bars and table attendants to provide five-star service. Roial, 120 W. 5th St., Austin, TX 78701; 7:30 pm – midnight — Bikers & Beauties with Colin Edwards. The MotoGP superstar and two-time World Superbike Champion joins current AMA stars and past champions and guest DJ AMA superbike Star Ben Thompson. Door prizes include one entry for Colin Edwards’ Texas Tornado Boot Camp Dirt Wars. Plus, a silent auction of signed MotoGP and AMA memorabilia to benefit the Airfence Fund. Geisha Room, 422 Congress St.,  Austin, TX.



At CotA:

8:40-10am – Warm-Ups. 10:05am — Red Bull aerial display. Skies above Circuit 10:05-10:35am — Pit Lane Walk 10:20-10:35am — MotoGP Riders Parade Lap 10:25am — Red Bull stunt rider Aaron Colton. On track. 11am — Moto3 Race (18 laps) 1:30pm — Red Bull Air Force Skydive. Skies above COTA. 12:20pm — Moto2 Race (19 laps) 1:51pm — National Anthem 2pm — Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas (21 laps)

In Austin (and Surrounding Areas):

7am — Ducati Austin’s Red Snake Ride to COTA. A race day tradition comes to Austin Texas! Across the globe, whenever Ducati’s appear in international competition, the loyal and the faithful ride to the races together as-one. The Group ride is known as the RED SNAKE RIDE. You must have a Ducati parking pass (from the Ducati Grandstand package) and a Ducati to park in the reserved Ducati lot. NO exceptions. Ducati Austin.

1-6pm — MotoGP Watch Party in support of Kevin Schwantz. Join up Kevin’s fans at this Moto GP viewing party in support of Kevin and the Marco Simoncelli Foundation. Door prizes ,parking lot show. “Watch the race with riders, not suits!” Gypsy Lounge, 1504 E. 6th St., Austin, TX 78702; (512)243-6118.

By Jon Langston

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