Having been to Melaka for a couple for days and not really done much we retuned to KL for the MotoGP hoping watch Valentino Rossi crowned as MotoGP champion. It was a bit of a rush job as we didn't find out until last night (on the BBC website) it was actually in Malaysia.
Had we known about it a few days ago it could have all been planned easily but at the moment we were literally hours away with no ticket. We were already booked onto a KL bus at 11am but with the race starting at 3pm this wasn't going to be early enough.
Instead we got up just before 7am, waited for the local bus to take us upto the long distance station, got there for about 8am and managed to board the 8.30am to KL at no extra cost. So far so good!
We were in KL for 11am, checked into the same hotel we stayed in previously then practically ran for the tube to the "KL Sentral" where we could hopefully buy tickets, board a bus, grab some food and get to the stadium in time for the race.
We managed to find the ticket office hidden in a corner of the station and tickets were thankfully still available. You could buy a full weekend pass, Friday practice, Saturday and Sunday all for £6 or £15 for the better seats (it was currently Sunday). We opted for the £15 ones even though we'd missed the previous two days entertainment and would do well to arrive in time for the main race today, having said that these premium tickets would have probably been £100+ in the UK just for one day!
We literally ran to the bus section of the station (the station is the main terminus in KL which is a station for the LRT, Mono Rail, KTM, Long distance trains, local buses, and long distance buses). We boarded a coach heading to the circuit of which we were the last two to board and an hour or so later by some miracle we were as the Sepang International Circuit, then home of Malaysian F1 and MotoGP.
Hungry as hell we ran to the food stalls before the MotoGP race started in about two hours. Having had a lucky morning we then queued for an hour and a half for a rubbish, overpriced, pizza in the blazing heat. Not fun. This meant we'd missed the 250cc race and only had the MotoGP left but so long as we watched the MotoGP race it didn't really matter.
We grabbed our seats by the start/finish line and could see the pit crews at the otherside of the track. We sat there buzzing as they started the engines on the worlds best motorbikes, in the home of the motorbike, Asia!
The noise was immense, F1 cars must make you deaf!
The race was great fun, we soon started covering our ears at the engines, four of five at a time roared by. Tom took as many photos as physically possible with the new camera.
Unlike using the TV or radio it was hard work keeping track of exactly what was going on. Even though we were in the main Grandstand we had no access to lap times or even rider positions! There were two big screen which were too far away to read but as the field separated we could see Rossi was in forth, all he needed to become champion.
At the chequered flag Casey Stoner won and the man of the moment Rossi was third and pulled the compulsory wheely and we were buzzing.
The Malaysians were interesting to watch. Much like their football supporters I guess, they loved the experience, loved the merchandise (everyone wearing motorbike shirts), but the atmosphere was lacking the madness of a sport event at home. They obviously all loved Rossi (as do most in the motorbike world) but the crowning of the champion was a little bit of a sombre affair. We're not sure how it appeared on the TV but with a view of the podium we were expecting fireworks, cheering, chanting, the works, but there wasn't any of that.
Soon after the ceremony we left the stadium to catch the bus. Unfortunately we were forced to contend with people pushing into the queue and it was two hours before we got on a coach heading to KL, it didn't matter really, the day was great fun, Rossi champion.