MotoGP 2023

MotoGP 2023

Way back in 2005, my good friend Andrew Ferguson and I witnessed Nicky Hayden win the MotoGP race at Laguna Seca. What a glorious day it was for both him and Colin Edwards, who placed second ahead of Valentino Rossi.

Hayden rode Honda and the Yamaha bikes were colored yellow and black, celebrating King Kenny Roberts and years of racing in America.  We rode sport touring bikes from northern Oregon to the Monterey peninsula that year.

This year, I rode my 2018 Ducati Multistrada from Tucson, AZ, to Austin, TX. Andrew, with his 17-year-old son AJ, jetted to Austin to again witness the magic of MotoGP racing at Circuit of the Americas (COTA). The event was held on April 14-16.

Andrew and I have been riding bikes together for 30 years and we love racing. Andrew has competitive race laps at Portland International Raceway, and I have about a dozen GNCC and ISDE starts. We call each other during Supercross telecasts and often process the latest GP contest over the phone.

Our hairlines have retreated and our Levi’s sizes shifted out a bit, but true friendship has evolved through personal growth and our motorcycle addictions.

Much has changed in our lives in the 17 years since that last GP adventure. I, for instance, have eight grandchildren. Yikes!

I retired five years ago and now have time to explore more backroads and interstates. I am an Arizona “snowbird” and now ride year-round.

MotoGP friends reunited

When Andrew called in January and told me he and AJ were going to COTA, I hesitated, like all good riders, for milliseconds before saying, “I am in.”

Andrew has tutored his son wisely. First, he introduced AJ to riding dirt bikes and then, a few years later, street bikes. AJ is a beaming owner of a Ducati Monster.

Motorcycle & Gear

2018 Ducati Multistrada Pikes Peak

Helmet:  Klim Kiros Pro
Jacket:  Tourmaster Alpine Trek
Pants:  Tourmaster Alpine Trek
Boots:  TCX Goretex
Gloves:  Alpinestar Drystar

The idea of front row seats to witness racers at 200 mph, dragging knees and elbows inches apart, destroyed my sleep the night I agreed to go. My spousal negotiations contributed to my rest disruption as well.

Did I mention yet that my life partner is hugely supportive of my motorcycle disorder. She is my enabler—thank you, Higher Power!

My route planning included the horrible notion of riding 600 miles of I-10 from Tucson to El Paso, TX, and back. Screw it, this is MotoGP. Besides, my Ducati will make very quick work of I-10.