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Hints and advice about planning your MotoGP trip

 

Always wanted to go to a MotoGP but never got around to it? Been to a few but want to move further afield? Worried about going to Brno but you haven't brushed up on your Czech? No worries! Here are our handy tips for planning a trip, based on helping thousands do this (written by our managing director Gordon Howell)

choosing a GP || getting there || flights or tickets? || what do I buy? || families || what to bring || budget

Package or 'DIY'?

We are happy to sell you just tickets and you can make your own way to the event and your own accommodation arrangements (you are still very welcome to join us for our parties and excursions). If you are camping or have friends in the area to stay with, this is usually the best approach. Of course if you are looking to book a hotel, we strongly recommend you consider one of our packages. Yes, if you book a hotel on your own you may pay a little less than our package. But please consider the advantages of coming with us:

If you have problems with the hotel (or circuit) you can turn to us (and we probably speak the local language)
You have 24hr access to our reps and our local 'hotline'
No stress getting to and from track (you drink, we drive)
Our programme to help you plan your weekend
Our souvenirs of the event
And of course you get to come to our parties to meet fellow motoGP fans!
You may save some money going on your own, or you will save stress coming with us. The choice is yours!

The Pole Position Advantages...

MotoGP VIP Village authorised agency
We are at ALL motoGP events - you can rely on us.
Local language reps at most events
Flexible packaging - all tours to meet YOUR specific needs
360° Service: we can provide ALL needs once you arrive at destination
Focus on the whole experience - it's a destination not just a GP
'Planning friendly' reservations - we hold your reservation without payment until you work out the rest of your itinerary. Changes are no bother!
Experience. We have over 1000 beds at our largest event in 2007
Total commitment to customer satisfaction. We love a party and we want everyone to have fun! See what others say about us...
 

1. Choosing a GP

Well you have 18 to choose from! It can be a tough call. I get the question all the time: 'which is the best?' or 'which is your favourite?'

Here are some of the most common influencers:

Date. Let's be honest - if you can only get the first week of September off; San Marino suddenly looks like a very interesting GP! This is probably the most common driver. Plan your dates around the GP; and bear in mind that all our packages are totally flexible: we only insist that you stay the Saturday (Friday in Qatar and Assen) night, and observe the minimum night requirement (usually 3, some 2, very few 4). We can book you for more nights, or add/suggest nights in a nearby destination (Prague for the Brno GP, San Francisco for Laguna Seca for example) based on our expert knowledge of the area.

Destination. We are destination specialists - our firm philosophy is that you are here for BOTH the bikes and the location. So "I've always wanted to visit Malaysia" is a great excuse to pick a weekend on which there happens to be a MotoGP on (ahem, how I ended up in Qatar on my honeymoon!). At all events we add some 'cultural' excursion such as a traditional dinner, wine tasting, tour, to help you get to know the destination a little better and feel you have been somewhere, not just in a hotel, bus and grandstand!

Activities. I have heard it rumoured that sometimes couples go to a GP and one of them perhaps isn't quite so keen as the other... While I can't imagine anyone not wanting to see Friday 125cc warm up practices, if you or part of your party might find that one or two days at the track is sufficient, you might pick an event that supports some of your other favourite activities. We organise some cool things at several events, usually on the Friday (Karting at Brno, Golf in Laguna Seca, 4x4 driving in Qatar, etc). Also note that our favourite charity, Riders for Health, organises some interesting stuff on the Thursday before several events: Day of Champions before Donington and Valencia; the MotoGP experience (you get to meet riders, get a short lesson, and ride the circuit!) at Jerez and several others. We can organise any of these for you.

Circuit. I don't have a favourite circuit. There are some I like best (Brno, Laguna Seca, Catalunya and Phillip Island are the first ones that come to mind) but ALL are interesting and have their unique characteristics and challenges. Whichever circuit you choose, we will help you with advice on best viewing and other tips.

Cost. Cost to attend events varies widely. More on this below, but if you are bringing the whole family, that extra 100 EUR per ticket adds up! See our advice below on travel costs.

For the package + tickets, here is a rough order of events from the cheapest to the dearests based on our standard 3 night 'classic' (or nearest equivalent) package and lower cost grandstand tickets. This is 3 nights B&B plus transfers, guide, and all our services; based on two sharing. Not a quote, but just to give you an idea...

Most events will take triples, in certain events (notably Assen, Brno) we can take 4-6 people in some packages, greatly driving down the per-person rates.

Note the star rating and number of nights will of course influence the price. 'Economy' packages provide the least service, 'Special' packages usually include dinners. Since some events are priced in other currencies, we provide a benchmark equivalent in GBP and USD (we can quote and accept payments in EUR, GBP, USD, AUD)

Rnd

Event

Package Pricing currency & Rate When purchased with... (costing) Tickets Total price Total price alternate currencies
11 Brno Economy 2*/2nt EUR 195 Standing / BCDEFG / 3 days €65 €260 £214 / $360
7 Catalunya Beach 4*/3nt EUR 299 Grandstands / Main Grandstand / 3 days €60 €359 £295 / $496
12 Silverstone Economy 3*/2nt GBP 249 Moto3 Paddock Club / Weekend pass / Moto2-3 £499 £748 £748 / $1257
8 Assen Special 5-6 pax EUR 365 Standing / General admission / 2 days €80 €445 £366 / $615
16 Phillip Island Budget 3n AUD 525 Moto2-Moto3 Paddock / Weekend pass AU$830 AU$1355 £756 / $1270
18 Valencia Classic 3*/3nt EUR 415 Grandstands / North (Yellow) / 3 days €95 €510 £420 / $706
2 Texas 3*/3nt Double USD 695 Grandstands / Turn 15 (High Rows 25-36) / 3 days $220 $915 £545 / $916
13 Misano Classic 3*/3nt EUR 455 Standing / Prato 2 / 3 days €130 €585 £481 / $808
9 Sachsenring Classic 4*/3nt EUR 495 Standing / T16 - General Admission / 2 days €95 €590 £485 / $815
1 Qatar Classic 4*/3n EUR 545 Grandstands / Main Grandstand / 3 days €55 €600 £494 / $830
14 Aragon Special 3 nts EUR 495 Grandstands / 1C Gold / 3 days €120 €615 £506 / $850
6 Mugello City Double 3*/3nt EUR 695 Moto3 Paddock Club / Weekend pass / Moto2-3 €599 €1294 £1065 / $1789
17 Sepang City 4*/3nt EUR 495 Hospitality / Club / Weekend €495 €990 £814 / $1368
5 Le Mans Classic 3*/3nt EUR 495 Moto3 Paddock Club / Weekend pass €499 €994 £818 / $1374
15 Motegi Twin 4*/3nt EUR 895 VIP Village / VIP Lounge / Silver & Gold (2 day) €1055 €1950 £1604 / $2695
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Remember - these are just samples; for almost all events we have several packages, some less expensive than those noted above (Brno for example) and some very special all-inclusive packages (Jerez, Assen, Mugello). Most events have a Superior (4*) and Deluxe (5*).

 

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2. Getting there

(see also next question on 'Do I buy flights or tickets first?')

Fly. First, we don't provide flights (although we can book flights for a service charge - usually better for groups of 9 or more) It always proves cheaper and more efficient for you to book flights directly from the web or otherwise. We will be happy to advise you on the best options from your origin.

Here are our own travel hints. Click on the event name for more information and maps.

no Date Event 2012 Base city Travel hints
-1 02-Feb Sepang Kuala Lumpur Fly to Kulala Lumpur - deluxe hotel is at the airport; superior hotel is easy taxi or we can organise pickup
-2 01-Mar Sepang Kuala Lumpur Fly to Kulala Lumpur - deluxe hotel is at the airport; superior hotel is easy taxi or we can organise pickup
0 25-Mar Jerez Jerez Jerez has direct flights on Monarch and RyanAir from UK; Hapag, Air Berlin and Condor from Germany; we can organise pickup. Consider flights to Seville which gives more options, Malaga is a 2 hour drive. F
0 01-Apr Estoril Cascais Fly to Lisbon, Estoril is about 30 minutes by car. We can organise pickup or just take a taxi
1 08-Apr Qatar Doha Fly to Doha, Qatar Airlines direct, or via Dubai then collect a cheap shuttle. Consider via Cairo then EgyptAir to Doha
2 29-Apr Jerez Jerez Jerez has direct flights on Monarch and RyanAir from UK; Hapag, Air Berlin and Condor from Germany; we can organise pickup. Consider flights to Seville which gives more options, Malaga is a 2 hour drive. F
3 06-May Estoril Cascais Fly to Lisbon, Estoril is about 30 minutes by car. We can organise pickup or just take a taxi
4 20-May Le Mans Le Mans Fly to Paris then take the TGV from CDG airport to Le Mans city. City hotels are a short taxi
5 03-Jun Catalunya Barcelona Fly to Barcelona or Gerona. Our classic, superior and deluxe hotels are all in Barcelona centre and easy taxi or we can pick you up. The Special beach package is closer to Gerona (VERY cheap RyanAir flights!)
6 17-Jun Silverstone Northamptonshire London Luton is the closest international airport although Birmingham is not much further. There are bus and train connections, but all a bit awkward. Suggest car hire or let us know your arrival plans and we can arrange.
7 30-Jun Assen Groningen Either fly to Amsterdam and take train or fly to Groningen. Can also fly to Eindhoven (RyanAir from London) To get to bungalows, take train to Steenwijk (about 2 hours direct train from Schipol Airport). From the train station you can either take a taxi, or ask us to pick you up.
8 08-Jul Sachsenring Chemnitz Fly to either Dresden or Alterberg; or consider Berlin or Prague then train or drive. We are based in Chemnitz centre.
9 15-Jul Mugello Florence Fly to Florence (best) or Pisa for cheap flights. Bologna is about an hour; and consider also Milan, about 3 hr drive. If you are just here for race day, we can helicopter you from Florence airport to circuit!
10 29-Jul Laguna Seca Monterey We are based in Monterey about 2 hrs south of San Francisco. If you fly into Monterey airport we can pick you up. Also consider San Francisco, then take bus, or 'Super Shuttle' shared van, or simply hire a car
11 19-Aug Indianapolis Indianapolis Fly to Indianapolis either direct (rare) or via connection. Hotels are city centre, easy taxi or we can pickup. Consider also Chicago and training down or simply hiring car
12 26-Aug Brno Brno Direct to Brno: RyanAir from London or Cirrus Airlines from Munich. if you fly to Prague, we can send private car or organise bus (or even air transfer!). Czech Airlines from any origin can connect via Prague to Brno. Alternatives are Bratislava or Vienna.
13 16-Sep Misano Riccione Fly direct to Rimini - Ryan Air goes direct from UK and Sweden, TUIfly from Germany, SkyEurope from Prague and others. it is then easy taxi to Riccione. Train station is adjacent to our Superior hotel. Also consider Bologna and take train.
14 30-Sep Aragon Alcañiz fly to either Zaragosa (closest), Rues or Barcelona. Let us know flight details and we will work out best option (possibly consolidating with other customers)
15 14-Oct Motegi Utsunomiya Fly to Tokyo and take bullet train to Utsunomiya where we are based. Taxi to hotel or we can organise pickup
16 21-Oct Sepang Kuala Lumpur Fly to Kulala Lumpur - deluxe hotel is at the airport; superior hotel is easy taxi or we can organise pickup
17 28-Oct Phillip Island Phillip Island Fly to Melbourne. Phillip Island is about 200km south, we can organise private car or shared transfer with other customers. Other possibilities are light aircraft flight, or you can take public bus. Or simply hire a car.
18 11-Nov Valencia Valencia Valencia has a small airport with direct EasyJet and Ryan Air flights amongst others; consider also Barcelona, Alicante or Madrid and then train

For some events we can organise fly-ride! Flying in, show up on that Fireblade! We can even arrange for your bike to be shipped there.

Ride. If I had the time, I'd like to ride to all the European events, and fly-ride to Phillip Island, Laguna Seca and possibly even Qatar. Alas... We are bikers, which is why we always select hotels with secure parking, and can often advise on some good routes and other tips. You will note our maps are designed to fit in a tank bag window!

PLEASE BE AWARE: At all events the police are out in force and looking for bikers. Anywhere in vicinity of event, drive carefully and with the speed limits. And it should go without saying that you should not drink and drive - this means don't get on your bike to the circuit Sunday morning after a hard Saturday night session! (take our bus!)

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3. "Do I buy flights or tickets first?"

A common problem -- you don't want to buy that cheap Ryanair flight to Jerez only to find out that tickets and/or hotels are sold out (and vice-versa)

The commodity in shortest supply is almost always the hotel rooms; so we recommend that you secure your packages and tickets first to establish the "shape" of your holiday. Even if you aren't exactly sure of dates, book the package anyhow, we can shift dates/add nights if you need later. It is only the Saturday night that must remain fixed, and you must obey the minimum night requirement (or at least pay for the minimum!)

Also, bear in mind that if you purchase a ticket and/or package from us (except for last-minute, see below), you may cancel the purchase entirely within 3 days without obligation or cost. This gives you a window to sort out your other travel plans, the other parties, who's going to feed the cat, etc. If we issue a quotation, we can also put on hold for a few days. All this means that you have the peace of mind that when you discover RyanAir wants £2700 for that last seat to Jerez, you can drop the whole idea and watch the race from your local!

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4. What do I buy?

As noted elsewhere, we provide highly flexible packages - everyone has their own needs and special circumstances. We understand this and consider each itinerary tailor-made for you.

Remember the basic equation:

tour = package + tickets + extras

We permit you to choose any ticket with any package (with a very few exceptions) and you can add on (at time of booking or later) any extra excursions, parties, tours, etc we are offering.

We recommend certain tickets with certain packages - mostly because these are the choices that most people go for, and if you don't want to spend hours analysing the circuit it is easiest just to follow our recommendations.

And it goes without saying that our 'extras' are always a blast and well worth it!

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5. Families

A MotoGP can be a great and memorable experience for children (of all ages!).

We are especially sensitive to the needs of families and children. We almost always have "family" hotel rooms permitting 4 or even more in a room; apartment; or at least adjacent rooms. Many circuits offer child discounts. Unfortunately there are many opinions as to what constitutes a 'child' - in our catalogue we state the rule, and will permit you to purchase child tickets when available. However it is your responsibility to ensure that your child meets the proper age requirement. Age is always measured from the date of first entry to the event.

We don't charge for infants/babies (under 2 yrs), but you are advised to let us know if you need a crib or other special facilities.

We try to offer child-friendly 'extras' but you will appreciate that we can't take children on beer tours and other restrictions! Where alcohol is featured as part of an excursion (when isn't it?!) we always offer soft alternatives. Where children are permitted (most), we routinely discount about 25% for children 16 or under.

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6. What to bring?

Apart from your usual travelling gear, some other items you should consider:

Hat/sun block. Most events (we hope!) are in pretty sunny climes, 2 days in an uncovered grandstand can really burn you! We provide our coveted 'Event' ball cap to most package customers; you can also purchase one from us.

Earplugs. Well the 800s aren't as loud as the 990s were, but especially if you are sitting near the pit area, you might find ear defenders useful. We provide these to VIP customers free of charge.

Field glasses. Binoculars or similar can be very handy to catch the detail...

Permanent black marker pen. Especially for VIPs in the paddock, if you catch Melandri walking by and you want his autograph, be prepared!

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7. Budgeting

Finally, here are a few tips about planning your trip budget.

Triple up and save. We offer triple bed rooms in most events (in limited quantity!). Single rooms can be quite dear, hotels rarely offer single rates during premium GP seasons. Putting three (or more) into a room means you save the single supplement, and we also usually discount the package a bit. You can put up to 6 in Assen making this a very good value!

Adjust your dates to flights. You might find that arriving a day early (or late) saves you a lot on the flight. We can accommodate by adding nights / shifting your package.

Book well in advance. Unsurprisingly, our best offers tend to go quickly, and of course flights and fares go up as the cheap seats get snapped up. We can book any event, so go ahead and plan Valencia in December! We also offer Christmas and other 'early bird' discounts; and circuits tend to raise prices closer to the event. Rule of thumb is that you want to book at least 3 months out.

We will always try to help you work within a budget, don't be shy to let us know a target price (overall or per person) and we will make suggestions accordingly.

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