Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sepang - MotoGP 2008

Made the move around 6+ in the morning when the guys arrived but not before one of them asked if they can smoke in the car. I refrained myself from doing that even when I was smoking. Trying their luck I guess.

Topped up my car a bit for the 3/4 tank rule and then to Woodlands Center to convert some cash to RM. Topping up was all for nothing as the two customs officers manning the station were sleeping. Traffic on both sides were practically smooth. Then it was straight to the highways where we stopped at the first R&R for breakfast.

While the guys were taking their smoke break after the breakfast, I met with my future relatives to be. What a coincidence. Lucky I was behaving.

Then it was straight to Sepang. Yan was v-com so he stayed awake to accompany me while the Burn sailed to dreamland and Wan to King(diamond)dom come.

It was quite a jam as we reached the toll booth near Sepang. As I did not top up my T&G card earlier, I asked if it can be topped up even though I knew it was not at a 'Tambah Nilai' (top up) booth. Not surprising that the answer was no although it baffles me that they still deduct from what balance was left in my card while I paid the rest in cash. They can deduct but they cannot top up?

It was slow reaching the track with the jam and all. Parking rates still RM5 but the parking lot looked like some plantation. We saw a van stuck in the mud and it was scary to think the same were to happen to Axela if it rained later on. This is one of the things I feel SIC really need to work on.

Queue for the tickets was not that long but super slow and being under the hot sun just made it worse. The sleepyheads queued, kind of a punishment while Yan and I continued our TC session. Lucky us.

This year there's more booth with more varieties of bikes and of course anything that got to do with bikes. Bought a cute Kawa T-shirt for makcik.

There was BMW for one even though they don't race in MotoGP. Their booth had a lounge with drinks for owners who were specially invited. Membership has it privileges I guess.

The 125cc race was ongoing when the rest cam whored with the bikes on display while I just looked around with what was on display and what was on the display .

When we finally got to the grandstand facing the starting grid, the 250cc race was about to start so we just stood there till the bikes past the first corner. I never liked the sound of two strokes. It's like a loud mosquito flying all around.

We then went to the opposite stand, which is a common thing to do hear after each start, as there's more to see over there. Burn tried to prove he is the best sports photographer there is by trying to get pictures of the bikes zooming by. Considering his came and the venue, he made pretty good attempts.

A couple of their friends came later on and joined us. The more the merrier.

After the race, we went to get some drinks before we pushed ourselves through the crowd to find some seats on the stairs for the MotoGP race. It's worth it to get cramped up together with BO all around and knowing you are possibly in between someone else's crotch.

The sound of MotoGP machines are just music to the ears. The start is always the part to look forward to when all the machines on the grid screamed at the same time and the floor you're standing on vibrates to the tune of the noise. This is something you can never experience on the TV.

Once the bikes sped off to the first corner, which was like in a split second, and seeing all bikes past through safely, we ourselves raced to the opposite stand as did many other spectators. Again, the stairs were the only place we can find. Considering the crowd this time, it's a gift. The K1 grandstand was practically full. That kind of give an indication of how the numbers are rising every year.

This time Burn knows where he and his camera stood. Still his persistence is commendable in the face of futility.

A few laps later, it's pretty obvious Rossi was going to win. He was simply mind screwing Pedrosa, tailing him all the way, looking for the spot to do it. Then Rossi overtook for the lead right in front of our eyes! Awesome.

After the race ended, during the victory lap, 3 drunken f***ers climbed over the fence and tried to stop Rossi. Lucky he managed to avoid hitting them or worst injuring himself considering it was on the straights with only walls on both sides of the track. They tried to escape and the crowd was angry and so were the marshalls who stopped them from fleeing. I'm sure the 3 will wake up sober with body aches later. We were like a couple of kay poh kids who kept going back to see the commotion and at the same time shouting like everyone else. Police came after a while and apprehended them.

As expected the queue to leave the 'carpark' was super long. Smart me thought that I could beat the queue by going to the front by cutting through some perpendicular lanes, which I did, only to realise that I was at the very lane where the van got stuck earlier and the same thing almost happened to us! I realised the 3 guys berat dosa so I asked to them alight and walla, Axela worked her magic.

Lucky for a pakcik who showed us the way, we almost waited for eternity behind a bus that was actually parked on the roads.

Tank was empty so it needed topping up. It was expected that the station nearby would be packed but not that packed! Since it is a pay-first-then-pump system, even the queue pay was horrendous! Realising we might have to wait for eternity, I asked an attendant who was a bangla if there are any other stations nearby and he can only answer with 'Aku tak tahu' (I don't know) to all my questions, obviously not able to understand a word of malay except for "Aku tak tahu".

I approached a local and in no time we were pumping at another station nearby. From there, the signs were pretty ok and we were on the highway soon after, avoiding all the jam. Turns out ok I guess.

We stopped at the first R&R for lunch we badly needed. That was when I realised I just finish a rally with Axela. She was never this dirty.

Again, the place was packed. Lots of food but everyone had almost the same thing. I was still hungry so I told the guys we're heading to A&W later on at Ayer Keroh Jejantas. Topped up my T&G card before that.

When we got to Ayer Keroh, we were back in the car as soon as we got off because it was packed! Some customers even ate outside the restaurant. If not because I can't stand queues, it would have been a good opportunity to bag one of those mugs home.

Not giving up, I decided we will stop by one at UTM near Skudai. Burn took over the v-com duty and good boy did not sleep to accompany me.

It rained a little along the way although I hope it was heavier. At least it would clean Axela a little but considering my tyres, a heavy rain could be dangerous so I guess orang atas thought of me. Syukur nothing happened throughout the journey.

Found my Awie Unplugged and we sang along the way to some good old tunes like Bernafas Dalam Lumpur. Nostalgic moments.

When we reached the toll at Johor, I saw an empty lane which states 'Tunai'. Since it was empty, I decided to switch. At the toll, I tapped my T&G card that I topped up earlier. That was when the Abang there said "Tunai aje" and realisation arised to how useless my 3 passengers were for not reminding me before I switched lanes!

We reached A&W UTM and Jojo si manis served Yan while I was served by another staff. Lucky Yan (muahahaha). Everyone had the same thing, again! Float, coney dog and curly fries. Yummy!

On the way back, we stopped by Mobil for the last pump and the guys got an attendant to clean Axela a little. I never got my car cleaned by an attendant ever so tipping them is naturally foreign to me. Wan came to the rescue. Terima kasih.

Jam on both sides of the causeway was not so bad and we're back at my carpark around 10+. A tiring but worthwhile trip. Thanks guys for the company and Axela for not failing me. And not forgetting makcik for the prayers.

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