After training and qualifying round of the MXGP and MX2 classes and races for the EMX classes the track was repaired and improved Saturday night so that Sunday race day would be a blast!
After Saturday’s events management had decided that the jumps needed to be more spectacular so the ramps had to be higher. And at several point the bikes had completely dug to the bottom of the layer of sand. All was fixed in the night and on Sunday the sun helped make it a glorious race day.
I arrived at the end of the morning. Just in time to see the last bit of MXGP warming up and the EMX 250 race. A good opportunity to check the improvements on the track and shoot some ideas in photography.
The MX2 and MXGP would race in the afternoon and both do two races, taking turns. The MX2 started and for that I made my way to the actual starting line. If you’re mostly used to a starting grid of track-bikes, sat in row upon row, the start of a motocross is quite spectacular. After the racers have made their little starting trench, all bikes stand waiting in one line. And as the race is started sand is kicked back as the motorcycles blast off towards the first corner while the ladies start signs hurry to get out of the way.
Once the first corner is out of the way the race really gets on the way and the riders race over the lumps and humps onto the first ramp than some more lumps and corners and race onto the second ramp in front of the tribune make a big turn and head into the pits-lane and then to the paddock area.
Here the most interesting view is that of a hill which also functions as a tunnel for the audience and a smaller one a bit further on for the VIP’s. Then onto an uneven straight and onwards to the start & finish line for the second lap. After two laps only the first three or so riders still look fairly clean, but rest is hidden in a thick layer of dirt. The race quickly breaks up into a longer line of riders with small fights for places here and there.
I decided to try various locations and shots of the riders, meaning I walked around a lot, tried lots of settings and had to delete an enormous amount of photos as they simply didn’t work in the end. I am however extremely happy that a panorama shot did work. I made sure I included several bikes in it and even a few jumping the ramp so that made a good wide view.
For the MXGP race, for the first race I was at the main tribune, but the second race I got from the start again and after that, walked around a bit more. My main problem is that from a photography point of view, I get bored really quickly after a few shots from one place (10 shots of a jumping motorcycle and I’m done). So I want to vary the shots and therefor walk around a lot.
The event could not have had a better start for a first time on this location. The weather was great and although the event was far from sold out, there was a huge audience anyway and the announcers did a great job enthusing the crowd in between races.
The volunteers kept the track in working order and everything went (as far as I could tell) really smoothly. At least I had a fantastic time and have to thank my dad for arranging the entry-ticket: thanks dad!