Who can believe already a year has gone by since we first stepped into Silverstone for the AirAsia MotoGP as Title Sponsors of this infamous race on the two wheels calendar Calendar?! (if you need to get up to speed, read here; http://blog.airasia.com/index.php/the-first-ever-airasia-british-grand-pri)
Having now returned to Malaysia, and our team somewhat recovered from the busy weeks leading up to an even busier weekend, it’s time we can reflect.
Some of the action on ground started 3 weeks before the race itself, when AirAsia took over Westfield shopping centre in West London – with other activities including cooking displays, ‘how to make a Singapore Sling’ and a sushi making session, we also incorporated some of our sports partnerships such as Team Lotus and the British MotoGP.
Lucky (and fast) winners, walked away from our MotoGP Simulator with a pair of tickets to the race, and if you weren’t fast enough, you were still able to get a bit of the action when our young rider Danny Kent (UK) popped by on Saturday for a meet and greet session with fans.
Onto the weekend itself, and our group from KL arrived on Wednesday night ready for some interview sessions with UK Media before the weekend activities at Silverstone kicked off.
With us we were lucky enough to have Kathleen Tan, Regional Head of Commercial, Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of AirAsia Thailand & Maan Hontiveros, CEO of AirAsia Philippines, along with some of our Regional Marketing Managers from Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia with us ready for a taste of their first experience at MotoGP.
It was Saturday of the race and Silverstone welcomed us with some fresh English summer weather. On the program for the day we had Time Keeping & Data Tour – a little behind the scenes peeping for our guests, as well as VIP Village Pitlane walk and a visit to the AirAsia Booth to see one of our Hakka Performances.
Aside from the Hakka we also had Malaysian Cooking Displays, Thai Massages and even a surf simulator!
The treat of the afternoon was having the AirAsia riders visit the booth for a meet and greet and signing session with the fans. Only Jonas Folger (Germany) who was feeling unwell after the race, but apart from that fans lined up to get a glimpse and a signed rider card of Fahmi (Malaysia), Effren Vasquez (Spain), Johan Zarco (France) & Danny Kent (home grown English!).
Sunday was quite frankly a miserable day for the W word (weather)!!! With rain & wind (the worst combination) – everywhere you went there were broken umbrellas, and fans cowering under the grandstand roofs, or diving for any bit of cover they could find.
That only meant for an even more exciting race! With Casey Stoner one of the riders able to stay on his bike through the wet race, he rode to a fantastic victory with Jorge Lorenzo coming in 2nd, and Repsol team mate Andrea Dovizioso in 3rd for the MotoGP contender.
For Moto2, German Stephan Bradly topped the podium, with Brit Bradley Smith coming in 2nd, followed by Michele Piro of Italy.
And for the 125cc (that we are most interested in given that all our riders participate in this category!!)…what a fantastic race it was!
AirAsia and our partners Ajo Motorsport were in for a real treat when the race ended with two of our riders on the podium – Jonas Folger was champion of the race, with fellow Ajo rider Johan Zarco of France coming in second.
A fantastic race for the two riders, and Kathleen Tan and Maan got to celebrate with them in the Garage after the race.
Our other riders; Effren Vasquez, Danny Kent and of course Fahmi came in 5th, 10th, and 18th respectively – but in the tough race conditions we still think they did FAB!
And suddenly, after all the grid girls, booth activities, grid walks & podiums (not to mention the racing itself!) – the day, and the British MotoGP had come to a close, and it was time to go home. It had been a wet and windy day for all, and the 5 hour journey from Silverstone (that’s right – 5 hours! Almost 2 of which were spent in the Car Park not even moving!) – we were all ready for some rest.
Until the next AirAsia MotoGP in 2012, we’ll keep you up to date with how our riders are getting on in the championship, and of course the Malaysia MotoGP is around the corner…big race for us! So stay tuned for your chance to win tickets, meet the riders, and much more!