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Silverstone Day of Champions brings in nearly £200,000



Bradley Smith on stage with Eurosport's Toby Moody yesterday
Bradley Smith on stage with Eurosport's Toby Moody yesterday

Image by Smartfotos

Thousands of MotoGP fans came to support Riders for Health at Silverstone yesterday (Thursday 9th June) raising an incredible £194,577 [€218,882] at the annual Day of Champions. The whole MotoGP paddock came together to support the lifesaving work of Riders for Health, the official charity of MotoGP.

Riders for Health’s co-founder and 13-time grand prix winner, Randy Mamola, thanked everyone who attended Day of Champions saying: ‘This sport means so much to me, this day means so much to me, and that is because of the fans. We change millions of people’s lives and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.’

The gates to the exclusive paddock were opened to lucky tickets holders who were among the first to see the brand new paddock and pit-lane complex, the Silverstone Wing. Paddock pass holders were able to gain a glimpse into the busy MotoGP garages preparing for the race weekend, while riders were out signing autographs and chatting with fans.

As always, the highlight of the day was the famous Day of Champions auction which raised a phenomenal £63,830 in just four hours. Fans were able to see their favourite MotoGP riders as they took to the stage to give their thoughts about Sunday’s race and auction off signed personal racing memorabilia. MotoGP teams also offered once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to experience behind the scenes of MotoGP, including the chance to step onto the MotoGP grid before the start of Sunday’s race.

Thousands of fans enjoyed the show, which was presented by Riders for Heath’s co-founder Randy Mamola, Toby Moody, Jules Ryder, Matt Roberts, Gavin Emmett and Alex Hofmann. In total 88 items were sold to raise money for the lifesaving work of Riders for Health – the official charity of MotoGP.

Among the fantastic memorabilia and once-in-a-lifetime experiences auctioned by the MotoGP riders were:
• MotoGP Grid passes -- some of the most exclusive passes in sport -- which raised £2,200.
• The chance to shadow MotoGP photographer, Andrew Northcott, getting track-side for one MotoGP raised £2,000.
• Suzuki MotoGP’s VIP package, which included a lap of Silverstone with Alvaro Bautista on his scooter, raised
£3,100, bringing the total raised by Alvaro and Suzuki MotoGP to almost £6,000.
• A weekend’s hospitality with Monster at the Aragon MotoGP and a guided tour of the paddock and pit-boxes
from Randy Mamola raised £3,800, making it one of the most popular items on the day. Paddock passes and
hospitality packages were also donated by LCR Honda MotoGP, Pramac Racing Team and Monster Yamaha Tech 3.
• An incredible piece of artwork by Gigi Soldano of all of the 2011 MotoGP riders raised £2,100.

Colin Edwards got the auction off to a great start selling a set of leathers for £3,300. Riders brought leathers, gloves, shirts and jumpers to sign live on stage. But it was boots that proved to be among of the most popular items with fans, with pairs from Hector Barbara, Ben Spies, Jorge Lorenzo, Marco Simoncelli, Karel Abraham, Toni Elias, Hiroshi Aoyama and Cal Crutchlow making a combined total of £3,875.

Reigning world champion, Jorge Lorenzo delighted fans when he threw t-shirts into the crowd, but not before raising £2,800 in the auction.

Valentino Rossi’s cap from the last two rounds raised an amazing £1,300. The most popular of Rossi’s auction items was the chance for the winning bidder to have a photo with Valentino and it turned into a painting, which sold for £4,700. In total Valentino Rossi’s nine lots raised £13,800

Fan’s favourite Loris Capirossi raised £1,300 by adding a pair of paddock passes from Pramac Racing to a pair of his gloves, while team mate Randy de Puniet auctioned off a pair of signed leathers for £750. Nicky Hayden donated a limited edition Tissot watch, which he signed on stage, raising £850 and Andrea Dovizioso raised £900 when he donated gloves, knee sliders and signed team clothing.

Earlier in the day the crowds were treated to a spectacular sight when 200 motorcycles arrived at the circuit on the traditional Day of Champions ride-in. The convoy, led by three-times British Superbike Champion Niall Mackenzie and British Moto2 star Bradley Smith, then completed three laps of Silverstone circuit.

On the main stage, BBC MotoGP presenter Matt Roberts hosted the infamous Question of Bikes quiz where the crowd helped a team from the public to secure victory over Suzuki MotoGP. Eurosport commentator, Julian Ryder, interviewed up and coming stars of the Moto2 and 125cc championships, while rock band Sidewinder, making their Day of Champions debut, provided fantastic live music throughout the day.

Elsewhere in the Entertainment Zone, 12-times World Trials Champion, Dougie Lampkin, kept the crowds entertained, racing legend John Cooper led a classic bike parade on Stowe circuit and a top stunt team put on an amazing display of high-speed tricks.

The money raised at Day of Champions will enable Riders for Health to get more health workers on the road in Africa so that they can reach 12 million people in isolated communities with vital health care.

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