Silverstone? In September? Really? Well, the race is in September so the questions asked when the
calendar was released standsis that really a good idea? On the evidence of the first two days the
answer has to be yes. Day of Champions on Thursday raised over £216,000 for Riders for Health as all
the top men came to the stage to sell off a variety of kit. Nick Hayden turned up with a lightly
damaged Ducati tail piecehe blamed Dovithat raised £2000. I took the opportunity to ask him an
impertinent question: how come mister nice guy has suddenly become the bloke who follows everyone in
qualifying and punts his team mate into the next county? Wry smile, slow drawl ... "Weeeell, it's kinda
tough this year..." Perfectly timed pause for effect. "Gotta do something to get a lap time..."
The crowd loved it.
Lucio Cecchinello turned up with two paddock passes. He set about charming the crowd: "And you get to
watch a session from the garage.... And you get to go on pit wall... And you get to eat in our
hospitalityItalian food." The final promise did it "And you get to have dinner with me!" Another
two grand spent by a couple of very happy ladies.
Just go to riders.org and see how the money is spent by good people doing good things.
On track Jorge Lorenzo leads, drawing more admiration from Cal Crutchlow. The local favourite tried
both petrol tanks today as he tries to find a way forward. He wasn't happy about spending so much time
in the pits, he wasn't happy about being stung by a wasp, he wasn't happy period. Hopefully the usual
statement about a pissed Crutchlow being a fast Crutchlow will apply.
Brit fans' other great hope for the weekend, Scott Redding, the Moto2 championship leader, finally
announced that he will be a Gresini MotoGP rider next year on one of the new customer racers. It's a
two-year deal, but it doesn't specify what he'll be riding in the second season. That's a cue for
Alvaro Bautista to get nervous.
And all of this in front of a healthy crowd on a balmy late Summers day. Even the Spanish aren't
making jokes about Paradise Island.