Aaah, yes, meet MotoGP Riders… The eternal, never-fading, ever-lingering question is here again. But this time, I am ready. Again, I embrace it with perpetual docility and welcome it with benevolent acquiescence as it flashes from my computer screen in all its glory. If there was ever a Queen of all the hospitality-themed questions, well, here it is. “Do I get to see the MotoGP riders with a VIP Pass?”. Read more about The ABC of MotoGP Hospitality
Do I get to meet the riders with a MotoGP Pass?
Meet and greet in MotoGP is of great interest by fans and motorsports passionate. Let’s get this out of the way outright. If you ever get into the MotoGP Paddock (via a Pass Paddock or MotoGP VIP Village), you may stumble into some of the riders. It can happen. Most of the times you’ll get a quick glimpse of them as they zoom on their scooters, or spot their heads behind the trucks as they enter the garage. At lunch, they’ll swiftly head from their motorhomes towards the hospitality truck, while after the racing they’ll dash back to their mobile homes on their mopeds. Yes, this can happen. Timing (and luck) is the name of the game here.
Again, this may happen to you or this may not. Copious are the unlucky who could not spot a single MotoGP rider all day, witnessing only a pair of lesser-known Moto3 rascals blazing through the paddock on electric bikes at par-sound speed.
The lesson here is: if you want to buy a VIP Pass MotoGP or MotoGP hospitality based on the sole hope of bumping into your favorite rider inside the paddock, don’t. If you want to meet Valentino Rossi, or Cal Crutchlow, or Marc Marquez and are willing to pay a grand in order to do so, think twice.
Rarely they’ll stop for a quick selfie, or to sign an autograph. And not because they are some selfish, arrogant gasbags (actually, all of them are really nice and enjoyable lads), but because they need to be focused on the racing, and because they simply have a very tight schedule to look after during the weekend and they can’t stop at every fan they see.
Television had us believe the paddock is some sort of amusement park, a zoo where riders walk freely and meet-and-greet opportunities are aplenty. It is not. Rather, think of the paddock as the area where the magic happens, where performance is made, where the focus is key and where teams work in pristine, perfectly-organized fashion.
How to meet MotoGP Riders
If you want to meet the MotoGP riders, we suggest to do so outside of the paddock and away from the racing weekend. When they are are the track, the lads are focusing on the performance and the competition: there’s just too much at stake to be toying around or to stop at every selfie request.
Bike expos, sponsor days, team meet-and-greets and other activities and sponsor activations are a better environment to catch out beloved heroes. So, if it’s an opportunity you’re looking for, the best thing to do is to follow your rider’s team and all sponsors on social media and be on the lookout for special events and photo-ops. Sponsors are always happy to invite famous riders and members of staff at the exhibitions they attend or the events they are throwing. Almost every rider, for example, attends EICMA in Milan, one of Europe’s most famous bike shows.
A number of clients, finally, ask if a VIP Pass would give them the chance to see their heroes in the flesh. While the VIP pass is a superb ticket -the best MotoGP can offer- it is not built to have you bump into the riders. Access to the paddock is limited to 30-40 minutes for VIP pass holders and visits can only happen once per day.
Don’t buy a VIP Village ticket if your only purpose is to meet your local hero in person. Very likely, you won’t. Instead, buy a VIP Village ticket if you want to experience a MotoGP weekend like never before, watching the race from exclusive venues, enjoying gourmet food and VIP services and stepping foot in the pit lane with once-in-a-lifetime pit lane walks. This, truly, is the stuff of dreams.