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Silverstone. Here in the bunker we ache for Silverstone because the Ed lets us go to the circuit. In fact, we cry thinking how great it’s going to be. He gets us passes and stuff, and he lets us mingle with the real journalists and that one from (publication title redacted, don’t you have enough fun insulting all the riders??? – Ed) too.
So, we went. And that’s it really. It rained on Sunday. A lot. We spent Saturday salivating at the thought of lap records on the new surface that had cost the circuit so much money (Somewhere in excess of 50p apparently). Our dreams and fantasies were snuffed by a cataclysmic downpour, the like of which hadn’t ever been seen in England on an August Bank Holiday. No, really.
Every time we go to Silverstone, the air hangs heavy. Not with the ghosts and memories of service men and women from World War 2, but with the frankly risible excuse for food the franchise vendors extort money for. Embarrassed? Too bloody right we should be. People from all over the world pay their good, hard-earned cash for this crap? And these people (nine times out of ten – not you Germany) come from countries with amazing food and amazing cultures. Hang your heads low organisers.
The other thing about Silverstone is the sheer massive, openness of the place. Good grief it’s big. And flat. Flatter than a bottle of champagne left open overnight in Lorenzo’s motorhome …though he’s not been opening many of them this season.
Did we mention how much it rained by the way? It wasn’t so much the clouds just hung overhead, it was more like Silverstone was sat inside the cloud. Or to be more accurate, was sat under water. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem. Normally everyone would get wet. Except James Toseland. Somehow he repels water just like he repels charisma. Anyway, rain and water on the track shouldn’t cause any issues apart from making it all a bit slower, and obviously a lot damper. But as Tito Rabbit and Mat Oxley were about to find out, Silverstone, asphalt and rain just don’t mix.
First off during Saturday’s QP, poor ol’ Tito fell at Stowe. That’s bad enough after hitting vMax down Hangar Straight. The only consolation was that in the wet he’d be going a little slower than in the dry. But then Frankly Morbid-deli ploughed into the standing (and walking away from the accident) Tito. The resulting carnage was a leg broken in six places and an immense amount of pain. By now organisers were entering the twilight zone of twitchy bum time. And as ever Knee-jerkitis set in. All races were pushed back on Sunday to allow the rain to pass.
Ok we all thought, we’ll be going home later than normal. Then Sunday came. And verily it did rain. And rain hard. And not move away. Nothing stirred with the exception of Loris Capirossi in the BMW M5. Now here in the bunker, we all love Loris, and the chance to spend time in a superfast car driven by a near-god would be too good to miss. Except in the wet. Even Loris struggled to keep the four wheeled behemoth on the wet, shiny black stuff. Around and around he went, but the track didn’t get any drier and the clouds moved not a jot. Down in pitlane we hunkered and then wandered, then drunk enough coffee to release the bowels of a constipated elephant. Hardly a soul appeared to talk to us. Ne’ry a security person appeared to stop us. So, we went to see Brains in the Moto3 SIC team garage. Top man too! Walking along pitlane was possibly the eeriest thing we’ve done since coming face to face with Alex Rins on a dark night down in Tilbury Docks. And all morning, more and more speculation flew around. Race on Monday? Race at night. Race next week? And even “shall we do it again next year?” How we laughed!
It was dull, it was dank, it was frighteningly lonely …and that was just BT Sport’s coverage. Not a single piece of litter drifted past, submerged and soggy. No tumble weed. No hope. Kerrist it was depressing. Could we reflect on how nice the hotel was the night before? No. Even that was pants; an English coaching pub in a quintessential Northampton village. That had a Spanish restaurant without any of the great things about Spanish cuisine. We nearly looked how far away a KFC was. Maybe that pub/hotel had set the scene for the whole weekend; it promised so much and delivered nada.
The speculation that our Ed absolutely doesn’t want us to mention included quarries, aggregate, aliens, getting laid, lumps and even bumps. All too much for us mere bunker-dwellers.
The rain continued to fall, and we got fed-up, so at 2:00 in the afternoon we went home. By then everyone and their wet dog had decided no one was to blame and everyone was to blame. Talk of investigations and reports satisfied no one, and as we sit here between Christmas and New Year, not one fact seems to have appeared to explain any of it. Welcome to Brexit Britain, where even the rain gets pissed off. And the poor, poor spectators.
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