The following is from Riders for Health...Race fans in the USA had the chance for an exclusive MotoGP experience yesterday [22nd July 2010] before the Red Bull MotoGP at Laguna Seca, as they raised money for the championship's official non-profit organisation, Riders for Health.
Fifty-three participants took part in the exclusive Day of Stars event, which is organized each year by Riders for Health to raise money for their work. The organization works in seven countries in Africa, ensuring health workers have access to reliable motorcycles and four-wheeled vehicles so they can reach remote towns and communities with lifesaving health care.
The guests had an inside look at the world's premier motorcycle racing championship with a pit lane tour hosted by American grand prix legend, and Riders for Health co-founder, Randy Mamola.
As well as this behind-the-scenes look into MotoGP, the participants took part in a 100 mile motorcycle ride through the spectacular 'Steinbeck' country around the Laguna Seca circuit. On their return, they completed three laps of the famous track, including the legendry Corkscrew turn.
Over lunch, guests enjoyed hearing from Suzuki's Alvaro Bautista, as well as Aleix Espargaró and Mika Kallio from the Pramac Ducati team and Alex de Angelis, who will be standing in for injured Interwetten Honda rider, Hiroshi Aoyama. The stars chatted to the group about their careers and their views on the challenging, but popular, Laguna Seca track.
The day ended with an amazing MotoGP auction, which raised a fantastic $30,590 for the organization. Bidders were able to bid on a Tissot watch signed by Nicky Hayden, which raised $4,000. Casey Stoner, Ben Spies and Randy de Puniet each donated a pair of boots which raised a further $1,700.
The Suzuki MotoGP team raised an incredible sum of $16,500 when they auctioned a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend the US MotoGP weekend as a team member. The package included paddock passes for the whole weekend, plus the chance to watch some of Saturday's sessions from pit-wall and the team's pit-box. And what's more, the winning bidder is set to join the team on the grid for the start of the race on Sunday.
Riders for Health CEO and co-founder, Andrea Coleman said:
'The money we have raised at Day of Stars will have a huge impact on Riders for Health's work in Africa. It will allow us to mobilize more health workers and reach even more men, women and children with lifesaving health care. We would like to thank all the teams and riders who took part, as well as everyone at MotoGP and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for making this event possible. But most of all we would like to thank everyone who came along and helped us to raise so much money.'
Riders for Health trains African health workers in motorcycle riding and maintenance, enabling them to reach even remote villages with the kind of regular, reliable healthcare we take for granted. It also provides them with properly managed vehicles that never break down so they can deliver healthcare day in, day out. Riders have programs in Zimbabwe, the Gambia, Lesotho, Zambia, Nigeria, Kenya and Tanzania.