21st - 23rd April 2017

Texas Grand Prix 2017

We fell in love with Austin from the moment we arrived - come join us to see why everyone raves about it! COTA is just 15 minutes from the airport and 30 from downtown! Renowned as the friendliest city in Texas, this is a great destination. Top VIP with paddock access!

Texas Grand Prix 2018 is published!

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Event video - Texas Grand Prix 2017

Event review - Texas Grand Prix 2017

Another perfect weekend at one of the most exciting circuits in MotoGP!

Austin is a brilliant city, we managed to arrive a day early and stay a day Monday to catch more of it's charms. We wished we could spend more time; if just for the food! What a great place to hold a MotoGP.

We started Thursday with the traditional happy hour in the Hyatt bar. This went on - as tradition dictates - several hours longer than planned. Eventually a group of us, mainly the guests at our classic package in the nearby Super8, rolled out and found an awesome Taco truck for the perfect opening night Austin meal.

Friday we set about exploring the track. One of our groups (local Texans mainly) were guests of our teams LCR Honda and Aprilia Gresini, so we got an opportunity to see their operations and make it trackside to watch the bikes close up. We also managed visits to several Moto2/3 garages including our sponsored Moto2 Team SAG Racing. Early threats of rain never materialised for the MotoGP boys, with Marquez and Vinales splitting the honours. Friday evening a group of us hit an Austin classic - Cooper's BBQ. "It's about the meat!" Messy and lovely.

Saturday we opened our private VIP Village suite, nestled in good company between Repsol Honda and Michelin; just above the Pramac Ducati garage. Brilliant breakfast (tacos!), lunch and snacks throughout, along with a bar well stocked with wine, beer and champagne made this a place that was hard to leave. Of course we only had to step out to our private viewing terrace or head up to the rooftop for more views. Other customers had the run of the track, and it was a great day to explore around the vast COTA. Qualification was dramatic with Marc Marquez pulling out a final lap to put him first on the grid ahead of rival Maverick Vinales, and old favourite Valentino Rossi taking 3rd. We also loved taking in the MotoAmerica races. The atmosphere around this circuit is fantastic, especially on a blazingly beautiful day of perfect temperatures (a little on the chilly side, which we - and the riders - like)

We had two rider guests up to the suite. In the morning it was our sponsored Moto2 rider and Moto3 world champion, Danny Kent. A lovely lad, easy to talk to and honest about his problems on the bike, what it felt like to be crowned the first British champion in many years, and much more. (As a footnote, Danny was not to race on Sunday, citing a pinched nerve in warmup. In fact he and his team had had a falling out and he quit the team Sunday morning. Being such a professional, he didn't even hint at any trouble when he met us in the suite Saturday.)

In the afternoon we were entertained by Moto3 rider Jakub Kornfeil. "Kuba" had been the fastest Mahindra in qualification, but sadly that still placed him 23rd. He gave us some real insights into riding the track, what you have to do on which corners and things to look out for. Fascinating.

Saturday evening we held our welcome dinner (this is normally on Friday but owing to scheduling requirements we moved to Saturday) This took place again at the tantalising Indian restaurant the Clay Pit, in downtown Austin. Plenty of food and drink flowed as the night wore on... Our special guest was MotoGP rookie Sam Lowes, who spent a lot of time with us, talking to individuals, signing autographs and more. He shared with us the experience of stepping up from Moto2 to MotoGP -- far more profound than (what he thought at the time was a big step) from World Supersport to Moto2. He also lets slip that he is a 5 handicap golfer, so think twice before accepting HIS invitation! A brilliant charismatic guy, struggling a bit with the Aprilia but we expect him to come on strong late in the season and of course into 2018.

We were also joined by our "mystery" guest. We often bring in "unknown" people working in the MotoGP world - at European rounds we do this on Thursday at our "Insider's Night". This night it was Olga Budimir who is as close to a "professional" marshal as this volunteer job can get. Doing this job for over a decade all over the world, she offered some amazing insights into the world of marshaling, track prep and related issues. Some very scary stuff here! Spellbinding.

Race Day Sunday dawned without a trace of the rain we had been warned of. A bit cold, but perfect track conditions meant we would see some stellar racing. As usual, the day was over before it started, but not before we had experienced some great racing in all three classes. A group of us ended under the podium to witness Marquez's continuing domination of the USA; and Valentino Rossi taking 2nd place, and 1st place in the championship. The third podium was Dani Pedrosa -- a rider we think will be one to beat this year!

But the ride of the race was our sponsored Cal Crutchlow, who overtook Zarco in the last lap on a beautiful pass, and went on to take a sensational 4th - the top independent rider of the race!

We closed the day right with Cal coming up to our suite basking in the glory of his race and adulation of his many fans in our suite! What a way to end a perfect MotoGP weekend!

Sunday night, as is our tradition, we took in a bit of the local culture -- which of course in Texas means Mexican! Stellar margaritas, table made guacamole and a good time for all - especially those who hit the music bars after - sounded a great note to leave the music capital of the world, lovely Austin.


PHOTO CREDITS

All photos have the initials of the photographer in the filename:

JV - John Vanderpool (guide)
GH - Gordon Howell (guide)
NP - Neil Pulbrook (guide)
JH - Jana Hrstkova (company director)
CRM - Cormac Ryan Meenan (official PPT photographer - cormacgp.com)

Picture gallery - Texas Grand Prix 2017

Glorious sunset over lovely Austin The classic Texas BBQ! we Cal Crutchlow Thursday press conference Maverick and Cal Cal cracks a joke CRM-BA1X8566 Alex and Gordon check out the new VIP suite These boots weren CRM-BA1X8685 CRM-BA1X8716 Our private VIP suite Alex helps set up our VIP suite Thursday trsack walk. GH-P1070342 GH-P1070348 The gorgeous pool at the Hyatt Happy Hours at the Hyatt Thursday evening Some of us hit an epic taco stand for dinner! NP-img_8983 GH-P1070365 Marquez is always approachable! NP-img_9006 A demon on this track! CRM-BA1X8789 Alex Rins tries out CRM-BA1X9201 CRM-BA1X9356 GH-P1070367 GH-P1070369 GH-P1070376 GH-P1070382 We meet Darryn Binder (with his new haircut!) Trackside on this lovely circuit Tony is happoy with the scooter we arranged for him! Danilo Petrucci GH-P1070393 Loris Baz heads off track Lovely riverside setting with great view to downtown skyline And yes!  There is a Starbucks! Visiting the Aprilia garage We do too! With Sam Lowes GH-P1070398 Jakub Kornfeil comes in from practice The iconic Tower GH-P1070400 The drive up to turn 1 Texas never seems to be Lorenzo Get yer knee down The epic Turn 1 Friday night at the classic Texas BBQ JH-img_2806 Our hotel on the skyline Dovi is on wrong bit of track NP-img_9057 CRM-BA1X1056 Marc Marquez has a bad moment CRM-BA1X1121 Karel Abraham was looking good in practice, but crashed in the race Trackside for our VIP "Team Experience" customers NP-img_9068 Faster scooter in COTA Pit lane walk Young Scooters Danny Kent is a guest in our suite Danny Kent joins us Saturday in the suite Our VIP suite JV-TexasMotogp2017_31 JH-img_2845 GH-P1070406 GH-P1070410 NP-img_9083 Paddock show Jonas Folger has his race face on JV-TexasMotogp2017_35 Ah, cowgirls. JV-TexasMotogp2017_40 JV-TexasMotogp2017_45 GH-P1070414 GH-P1070419 Saturday MotoGP QP2 - Rossi puts it on front row But Marquez does pole "Kuba" Kornfeil joins us to tell us a bit about the circuit GH-P1070446 GH-P1070451 Jakub and Alex welcome you to our suite! JH-img_2856 JV-TexasMotogp2017_54 Saturday night with Sam Lowes and scrumtious Indian food JV-TexasMotogp2017_58 NP-img_9114 Saturdaynight dinner with Sam Lowes JV-TexasMotogp2017_77 JV-TexasMotogp2017_82 Sam and kids JV-TexasMotogp2017_85 JV-TexasMotogp2017_87 GH-P1070457 NP-img_9125 Special guest Olga Budimir on marshalling Sunday morning COTA Sunday - the VIP before the storm Olga at her marshalling station on Turn 1 GH-P1070478 Ramdy and Dakota Mamola GH-P1070488 GH-P1070489 Sam Lowes Mrs Rossi?  Am guessing not... JH-img_2902 KTM girls! Karel Abraham and Alvaro Bautista for the parade lap JH-img_2925 JH-img_2935 GH-P1070494 Pit Lane walk On the pit lane walk Two of our sponsored Moto3 riders Darryn Bunder & John McPhee JV-TexasMotogp2017_104 JV-TexasMotogp2017_107 Our third Moto3 dier Jakub Kornfeil GH-P1070496 Jana and Alex enjoy perfect race day conditions!  Champagne goes down well! Isaac Vinales from our sponsored Moto2 Team SAG Tetsu Nagashima from SAG GH-P1070499 JV-TexasMotogp2017_127 Come to a MotoGP, SBK or Isle of Man.  Bring the kids! JV-TexasMotogp2017_132 JH-img_2955 JH-img_2956 JH-img_2957 NP-img_9150 Platinum customer Mark parades out to the MotoGP grid! GH-P1070503 Our private VIP terrace MotoGP start grid forms up We are just above Scott Redding GH-P1070510 our platinum guests with Aprilia view from the garage CRM-BA1X3490 Sam Lowes GH-P1070514 JV-TexasMotogp2017_155 JV-TexasMotogp2017_170 JV-TexasMotogp2017_172 JV-TexasMotogp2017_173 JV-TexasMotogp2017_181 CRM-BA1X3916 GH-P1070515 JV-TexasMotogp2017_194 GH-P1070516 Marquez streaks home to the win.  He has never lost in the USA JV-TexasMotogp2017_203 CRM-BA1X4534 JV-TexasMotogp2017_206 NP-img_9214 JV-TexasMotogp2017_208 JV-TexasMotogp2017_215 CRM-BA1X4725 CRM-BA1X4788 A brilliant 4th and top independent team finish for Cal Crutchlow JV-TexasMotogp2017_216 ...and it GH-P1070533 GH-P1070534 GH-P1070537 GH-P1070545 GH-P1070555 JV-TexasMotogp2017_223 GH-P1070567 GH-P1070584 GH-P1070582 Marquez squooshes Honda boss Nakamoto GH-P1070593 GH-P1070612 GH-P1070618 JV-TexasMotogp2017_226 JV-TexasMotogp2017_229 GH-P1070625 The obligatory selfie GH-P1070664 Happoy to be here! GH-P1070669 And our own selfie! Meanwhile the kids keep busy... JH-img_2976 A post-race scoot around the circuit for Alex 2 too many wheels for THIS paddock 1 too many wheels... ah, perfect! GH-P1070701 Cal Crutchlow joins us at the end of the day JV-TexasMotogp2017_234 GH-P1070714 NP-img_9271 Cal Crutchlow visits our VIP suite GH-P1070718 GH-P1070721 GH-P1070722 GH-P1070724 We say thanks to our bartender Lawrence Sunset at the "Bat Bridge" - not too many bats this time Closing dinner at a graet Mexican in the heart of the 5th street music quarter We even get our own checkin queues! Saying goodbye to Austin - the Hope outdoor graffitti gallery Yes, Austin is both. GH-P1070512