Day of Champions
Day of Champions took place on Thursday, before the British MotoGP at Silverstone. MotoGP stars and fans came together to support Riders for Health, raising an incredible £216,249 for our lifesaving work in Africa.
Thousands of MotoGP™ fans flocked to Silverstone on Thursday (29 August) ahead of the British MotoGP to support Riders for Health’s annual fundraising event, Day of Champions, raising an incredible £216,249 for the organisations’ lifesaving work in Africa. The whole MotoGP paddock came together to support the championships’ official charity.
With the British MotoGP taking place later in the season this year, fans at Day of Champions were treated to a day of glorious sunshine at Silverstone.
The gates to the exclusive MotoGP paddock and pit-lane were opened to ticket holders who had the chance to walk among the team hospitality suites and technical trucks, and get a glimpse into garages on the pit-lane as teams prepared for the weekend’s racing. Many lucky fans even had the chance to meet their favourite riders as many of the stars stopped to pose for photographs and sign autographs.
As always, the highlight of the day was the famous Day of Champions MotoGP auction which raised a phenomenal £77,090 as fans bid on 108 lots in five hours.
The crowd 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.
Earlier in the day, an exciting new competition to win a VIP MotoGP weekend to Valencia was launched on stage with a special video featuring some of the stars of MotoGP. The competition is open globally until 14 October and entry is from as little as a £3/€3 donation to Riders for Health at www.prizeo.com/motogp.
There was action away from the stage too. At midday the crowds were treated to a spectacular sight when 150 motorcyclists and their pillions arrived at the circuit on the traditional Day of Champions ride-in.
MotoGP broadcasters Gavin Emmett, Steve Parrish and Matt Roberts all helped to host the infamous ‘Question of Bikes’ quiz. A team of British Superbike riders battled through two rounds of motorcycle racing knowledge to be crowned champions after beating a team of competition winners and a Bridgestone team, who had previously knocked out some famous faces from the MotoGP media.
Motorcycling journalist and broadcaster, Julian Ryder, interviewed riders from Moto3, as well as Moto2 star Pol Espargaro, about their hopes for the weekend. He also chatted to Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team boss Hervé Poncheral about British stars Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith, and to MotoGP Race Director, Mike Webb, about technical development in MotoGP. Popular rock band Sidewinder also returned to Day of Champions to provide fantastic live music throughout the day.
Elsewhere in the Entertainment Zone, the Animal Action Sport Tour impressed the crowds with spectacular trials riding and aerial jumps. And a stunning collection of vintage bikes were on display in the Classic Bike Village.
All of 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 people in remote rural communities with vital health care. Riders for Health mobilises health workers with motorcycles and trains them to ride safely over the rugged terrain and to do daily checks on their motorcycle so that it doesn’t break down leaving vulnerable families isolated.
The MotoGP™ paddock and fans came together in the August sunshine to support Riders for Health in one of the most successful Day of Champions ever, and the highlight of the day was the famous MotoGP auction which raised an incredible £77,090 in just five hours.
Thousands of fans gathered in front of the stage to get up close to their favourite MotoGP stars and bid on the unique signed personal racing memorabilia, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and unique paintings. In total, 108 items were sold to raise money for the lifesaving work of Riders for Health – the official charity of MotoGP – bringing the total amount raised at Day of Champions to £216,249 which will help Riders for Health use reliable motorcycles and ambulances to reach 14 million people in Africa.
The auction was hosted by Riders for Health co-founder and racing legend Randy Mamola, Eurosport duo Julian Ryder and Toby Moody, MotoGP commentator Gavin Emmett and BBC MotoGP presenter Matt Roberts who all quizzed the riders on their thoughts and expectations ahead of Sunday’s race before bidding began.
The item that raised the most during the auction was a Bridgestone racing tyre signed by all of the MotoGP riders who came up on stage, which raised an incredible £4,600.
The nine-time World Champion, Valentino Rossi, raised an incredible £13,250 while on stage, auctioning items including the cap from his head which raised £1,000 and some knee-sliders he produced from his pocket which fetched £1,650. Before Rossi left stage, Riders for Health announced that over the last 10 years, Valentino and his fans have raised an incredible £254,509 to support Riders for Health’s work in Africa.
The most popular item of signed memorabilia from a single rider was a set of framed elbow sliders donated by Moto2 World Champion and current MotoGP championship leader, Marc Marquez. The hardest working elbow sliders in MotoGP raised £3,800 and, in total, Marc raised £10,825.
The auction began with the popular American star, Colin Edwards, who was joined by teammate,Claudio Corti. Edwards raised £600 by auctioning a pair of race boots and, along with knee-sliders and a signed Bridgestone cap, made a total of £1,010. Corti brought the team total to £1,360 by auctioning a pair of boots worn last weekend in Brno for £350.
As well as items from riders, fans donated thousands of pounds for a series of MotoGP VIP experiences. Team hospitality packages, grid passes for Sunday, track days, F1 factory tours and the chance to shadow MotoGP photographer Andrew Northcott were all auctioned. With a pair of the hottest tickets in motorsport, MotoGP grid passes, raising an amazing £3,900.
The British riders received a great reception from their home fans. Moto2 championship leader, Scott Redding, auctioned a helmet for £800, a cast of his handprint for £750 and the cap he wore to the stage for £240. Michael Laverty raised £425 by auctioning boots and gloves, while Danny Kent added £570 by donating a pair of boots alongside a photo montage. Gino Rea raised £820 with the sale of a range of memorabilia.
But it was the two leading British MotoGP stars, Bradley Smith and Cal Crutchlow who brought the show to a close. Smith auctioned a helmet for £1,600 and a set of leathers for £900. In total the young Oxfordshire rider made £3,600. Crutchlow kept fans at the stage right until the last lot, as he raised a fantastic £7,225. The nine items auctioned by Cal included a set of leathers worn during his podium ride in Mugello selling for £2,600, and the bottle of Champagne from his podium at Le Mans raising £500.
Jorge Lorenzo raised £3,700 by helping to auction a set of MotoGP grid passes, as well as a team shirt and original signed artwork. Fellow championship contender, Dani Pedrosa auctioned a pair of boots for £750 and raised £1,650 in total.
Nicky Hayden was one of the most popular riders of the evening, as he helped raise £8,550 while he was on stage. A limited edition Tissot watch fetched £1,600, while a unique piece of factory Ducati MotoGP bike bodywork made £1,800. Nicky also helped to auction the item that raised the most money during the evening, a signed Bridgestone tyre.
Nicky’s Ducati teammate, Andrea Dovizioso also auctioned his own piece of Ducati bodywork for £650, while an Italian flag signed by all the Italian riders added £425 to his total.
German rider, Stefan Bradl donated a pair of gloves which sold for £550, with the former Moto2 world champion raising £1,100 in total. Stefan was joined on stage by LCR Honda MotoGP team boss, Lucio Cecchinello as they auctioned a pair of paddock passes and weekend hospitality with their team for £2,000. Lucio thanked all of the bidders, saying ‘What Riders are doing in Africa is very important, and it wouldn’t be possible without your support’.
The ever popular French rider, Randy de Puniet, auctioned a pair of leathers for £450 in a combined total of £600. While Alvaro Bautista, who visited Riders for Health’s work in 2011 with the organisation’s Experience Africa ride in Zambia, was able to add £1,210 by auctioning gloves, boots, and artwork.
Yonny Hernandez raised £400, Hector Barbera raised £180 and Bryan Staring added £75 as they all auctioned off a collection of gloves, boots, knee sliders and signed flags. Leading CRT rider, Aleix Espargaro auctioned a pair of leathers for £700 and a Spanish flag, signed by all the Spanish riders, for £500. Lukas Pesek raised £400, including a unique piece of MotoGP bike bodywork for £350, while teammate Danilo Petrucci raised £340. Michele Pirro raised £475 by auctioning a pair of boots and leathers, while Andrea Iannone raised £175 by donated a pair of kneesliders.
The first Day of Champions in 1990 was started by Riders co-founders, Andrea and Barry Coleman, on the suggestion of American motorcycle racing legend and three times World Champion Kenny Roberts.
It took place as a special event at Brands Hatch because Roberts was able to use his unique influence to persuade the great racers of the day, such as Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey and John Kocinski to take part. They were joined, of course, by Riders’ co-founder, Randy Mamola who has played a crucial part in the event ever since. The idea for Day of Champions grew out of the motorcycling paddock when Andrea and Barry, along with Riders' events manager Jeanette Wragg and a number of committed volunteers, began fundraising for children in developing countries.
As Day of Champions grew, it moved to Donington Park until we followed the MotoGP calendar to Silverstone in 2010. Day of Champions is hugely successful and now attracts over 4,000 visitors, making it one of the UK's largest outdoor fundraising events and a highlight of the British racing calendar.
The event raises hundreds of thousands of pounds every year to support Riders’ lifesaving work in Africa. Without the success of this event, and the support of the motorcycle community, we would not be able to provide access to health care for over 12 million people.
The famous Day of Champions ride-in was a spectacular sight as 150 motorcyclists and their pillions arrived at Silverstone in a convoy in their bright yellow Riders for Health bibs.
The ride-in was led by British Superbike Champion, Niall Mackenzie and British MotoGP hopeful Bradley Smith.
After stopping for coffee and bacon butties at the Super Sausage Café on the A5 near Towcester, the procession rode on to Silverstone where they took to the track to complete two laps of the famous circuit.
Chris Murray, who runs the cafe with his wife Gail, said: 'I reckon there was about 150 of them. We got to ride round the track twice. It was brilliant.'