I would like to recount an anecdote wherein I had 4-5 days with none other than THE John ‘Dhoom’ Abraham and ace shutterbug Atul Kasbekar in Europe doing what we love best: go watch a motorcycle Grand Prix race, meet the best riders and then shoot the breeze in the evening. Here’s the story:
I once took John with me to a MotoGP race. It was his first time ever at a Grand Prix and we flew together from Delhi to Vienna via Munich. The air hostesses on the flight were dazzled beyond belief and he obliged all of them to get themselves photographed with him! We stayed in Vienna because the Czech Republic Grand Prix was at Brno which was barely an hour’s drive away from the Austrian capital. We spent four glorious days at Brno and of course he being a contracted ambassador for Yamaha India, it was the right thing to do to be with the works Yamaha team and Valentino Rossi, the G.O.A.T. himself!
We had a great time with Vale and John and me and softy ice cream every half an hour! I asked John if he wanted to meet other top MotoGP riders and he said yes. I took him to the Ducati garage and there he met Carlos Checa and Troy Bayliss and then all hell broke loose for one of the Italian PR girls had heard about John during a vacation trip to India and she swooned in delight and begged him to stay in the Ducati hospitality only and not return back to the Yamaha hospitality area! Since every MotoGP team’s PR at the races was packed only with women (the teams are unanimous in their statement that the women were far more efficient in that aspect of the game than their male counterparts and I agree), the word got out and every PR girl from the works Honda team as also the satellite racing teams, ditto for Ducati, Yamaha, Aprilia, etc, were in the Ducati garage and the Italian men just didn’t like their privacy being invaded, not by an Indian actor and certainly not by women from all rival teams for they just got among the Desmosedicis and organised mayhem ruled the roost for the better part of half an hour!
The next day, on Saturday, John and I had to do some interviews with DORNA, the official owners of MotoGP and we barely managed to do this because we were engulfed by so many enthusiasts that it seemed as if John was the greater Yamaha pull than Valentino! The silver lining of the entire trip was witnessing Valentino go out and win the Grand Prix and post that Vale and John exchanged gifts, did the usual PR stuff and then Vale called us both inside his motorhome and showed something that truly made our day, as Indians! He showed us a huge poster of Lord Ganesha which was there in his motorhome and also a large Tee-shirt with Lord Ganesha which he said he was going to wear the next day!
Amazing memories and something we have done more often post that all over the world, our shared passion for motorcycling bringing and a half madcap bawas coming together for more!!