Silverstone MotoGP pit move best news for a long time
THE news this week that MotoGP at Silverstone is to revert to the old pits has raised a few eyebrows.
Not two years on since the Wing opened its doors, motorcycle racing's premier series will abandon it this year and instead head back to the National paddock for the British Grand Prix in August.
According to Silverstone, the reason for the move is that customer feedback has revealed two-wheel fans prefer to get closer to the action while also being able to experience the entertainment, retail stands and manufacturer displays.
And Dorna Sports, commercial rights holder for MotoGP is supportive of the move
The fans appear to be split - let's face it, the dyed-in-the-wool two-wheel lovers have never really liked Silverstone anyway, they've always deemed it 'a boring car racing track' so this news probably hasn't gone down too well.
However for me personally, I couldn't be happier.
Now, don't get me wrong, the Wing is pretty impressive. I remember watching it being built and thinking this was going to be something pretty special, and yes, when it opened it was.
In 2011, MotoGP was one of the first events to run from the new complex, and this was my first taste of it.
And I hated it.
Let me explain. The Wing is fantastic. It looks amazing and the pit complex is by far and away much better than anything we've seen so far here in the UK.
The media centre is huge (if not a bit clinical) there's a fantastic cafe with incredible food and it is like being at any of the newer, larger international circuits.
But, and it's a big but for me, getting to it is a complete and utter nightmare. Due to its location, there's no room near it for anything more than the main paddock.
This means there are no car parks so the only way in and out is by bus.
Many of you are thinking 'so?' at this point, but for a small girl (5ft and three quarters of an inch) carrying laptops, cameras and other equipment this is a nightmare, particularly given that as national media at MotoGP, I have to park outside the circuit opposite the old pit complex and walk in.
This is much harder and longer than it was when the old bridge was there. Now you have to hoof it up to the Copse tunnel to get into the infield, and once there, you have to wait for a bus (you've got to find the bus stop first)
My first visit was almost my last after I waited by the designated bus stop only to watch four buses come nowhere near, and was forced to trek even further to find a place to board. Had I not just done a four hour drive I'd have turned around and gone home.
The result is, by the time I get to the wing I'm knackered. I arrive tired and grumpy and then have two more flights of stairs to reach the media centre and by then, I find myself wondering why I do this job!
In fact, it's the only time I don't like motor racing.
Twice a year I do return to the old National pits for British Superbikes and BTCC and yes, it is tired and in need of a few coats of paint here and there but there's something warm and welcoming about it.
And best of all, I'm not ready for a sleep when I get there.
I'm also pretty excited that Copse corner will once again be the first corner of the race.
Perhaps I'm in the minority - but for me fancy media centres and gorgeous grub are all well and good, but the ability to turn up to work and do my job without extra hassles of buses and long, long walks is far more important.
Let's hope the fans think the same when they get there in August.