The weekend's epic tussle between Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa at the Circuit de Catalunya ensured the atmosphere was electric inside the paddock, as our man Toby Moody reports in his latest blog…
Stefan Bradl (pictured above) spent his time wisely between Le Mans and Barcelona. He went to the Laguna Seca track being used for the Red Bull US GP on July 29 to learn the ropes. Honda America lent him a Fireblade for the day and those who were passed by the reigning Moto2 world champion on the regular track day reported he was "very polite."
The art of happiness
You usually bump into a few people over the course of a MotoGP weekend who really impress you. In Barcelona, I was stopped by Lluis Costa, who raced in the 250cc category a decade ago for Luis D'Antin's Antenna 3 squad. He's now a helmet and bodywork painter, and even sprays skis. Once a motorbike nut, always a motorbike nut.
Like father, like son
Olivier Jacques was also a guest of FIM over the weekend. The former 250cc world champion hasn't changed a bit and is still as charming as ever. He's been busy renting out self-catering holiday property, but the biggest things on his plate right now are his two young boys.
Said Jacques: "I brought my eldest here but every time I take him into a garage he wants the mechanics to start the bike. I'm getting it at home, too, as he's found where I keep the Yamaha TZ250 I won the title with in 2000. He goes into the garage, takes the covers off, and wants me to start it. I think he's into bikes!"
A tough nut to crack
Frenchman Louis Rossi was the toast of France after his Moto3 win in Le Mans and arrived in Barcelona with his new logo: a tough-looking squirrel.
And speaking of Rossi, Italian TV commentator Guido Meda got rather excited during that Le Mans win. Guido exclaimed, "Rossi C'e!" a total of six times. It means "Rossi's here!", which is something Guido used to say when Valentino Rossi won in MotoGP. He hasn't had a chance to say it since October 2010 and so he took great pleasure in doing it in France.
On your bike, son
Many of the paddock's top fitness guys are cyclists so the place was buzzing when international cyclist and 2012 Giro D'Italia runner up, Joaquin Rodriquez, arrived. He was on hand to give the pole-position watch to Casey Stoner, another keen cyclist.
Cool as ice
The temperature in TV commentary boxes is never quite right and when it's too warm the only one way to cool down your drink is by pinning it to the air conditioning. Eddie Milke of Germany's Sport 1 TV did just that, stealing my idea from a few years ago.
Taking the Mick
Dorna again put up some excellent pictures inside their trackside offices. I spotted what I thought was a picture from the Salzburgring, but it was in fact Mick Doohan at the Nurburgring in 1996. Take a look for yourself and you'll see why I was mistaken.