MotoGP™ stars raise nearly £200,000 for Riders for Health
MotoGP™ stars and fans came together at Silverstone yesterday to raise nearly £193,802 (€244,264) to support the life-saving work of the official charity of MotoGP, Riders for Health.
More than 3,500 fans flocked to the Silverstone Circuit, ahead of this weekend’s British MotoGP, to see the stars of MotoGP at Riders for Health’s annual fundraising event, Day of Champions.
The gates to the exclusive MotoGP paddock and pit-lane were opened to ticket holders, who had the chance to glimpse into the garages as teams prepared for the weekend’s racing. Some lucky fans even met their favourite riders, as they stopped to sign autographs and pose for pictures.
As always, the highlight of the day was the famous Day of Champions auction which was kicked-off by Riders for Health co-founder and MotoGP legend Randy Mamola. Once again the stars of the MotoGP paddock were out in force to raise £79,590 (€100,105), as fans bid on 104 lots over five hours.
The crowd were able to see their favourite MotoGP riders as they took to the stage to talk to presenters Nick Harris, Gavin Emmett, Julian Ryder and Matt Roberts about the race weekend ahead, as well as auctioning off their own personal memorabilia and MotoGP experiences.
Some of the most popular auction items of the day were on-stage selfies with MotoGP riders Valentino Rossi, Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo, Scott Redding and Leon Camier which collectively raised £3,500. British Moto2 rider, Gino Rea, also braved the Ice Bucket Challenge live on stage, after raising over £2,000.
All of the money raised from this year’s auction will be matched by the UK government, as part of a brand new Riders for Health appeal launched at Day of Champions. For the next three months, every UK donation made to Riders for Health will be doubled by the UK government, taking this year’s auction total to nearly £160,000.
Away from the Day of Champions stage, there was plenty to entertain the crowds throughout the day. World famous trials rider, Dougie Lampkin, performed some incredible tricks and teamed up with the Tigers Children’s Motorcycle Display Team to help them out with a few of their own stunts.
At midday, 150 motorcyclists arrived at Silverstone as part of the Day of Champions ride-in, led by British MotoGP rider Bradley Smith. After stopping for breakfast en route to Silverstone, the convoy completed two laps of the world famous circuit.
Broadcaster Matt Roberts hosted the infamous ‘Question of Bikes’ quiz where a team of British Superbike riders, including brothers Tarran and Taylor McKenzie, battled through two rounds of motorcycle racing knowledge to be crowned champions after beating a team of competition winners and some famous faces from the MotoGP Paddock.
Motorcycling journalist and TV commentator, Julian Ryder, also interviewed riders from Moto2 and Moto3 about their thoughts on the weekend of racing ahead, while John Price chatted to famous faces from the paddock, including commentator and Riders for Health trustee, Keith Huwen.
Riders for Health co-founder Andrea Coleman said:
‘Every year, MotoGP fans, teams and riders continue to amaze us with their support and generosity at Day of Champions. The money raised at this year’s event really will help us reach millions of people across rural Africa with essential health care, using the one thing that brings us all together - the motorbike.
‘I’d like to thank everyone at Dorna and Silverstone for supporting us year on year, and to the fantastic help from presenters, riders and volunteers who give up their time to make Day of Champions such a success. ’
All of the money raised from Day of Champions will help Riders for Health ensure health workers in Africa have access to reliable, well maintained motorcycles and ambulances so that they can continue to deliver life-saving health care to 14 million people.
More, from a press release issued by Riders For Health:
MotoGP™ riders and fans raise £79,570 at Day of Champions auction
The stars of MotoGP™ came together with the fans of the sport to raise an incredible £79,570 (€100,210) in just five hours at the famous Day of Champions auction.
In total 104 lots were sold, with riders donating helmets, leathers, shirts and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. The amount raised at the auction brings the total money raised at Day of Champions to £193,802 (€244,264).
All the money raised at the Day of Champions auction will be matched by the UK government as part of Riders for Health’s new appeal. This means the auction raised £159,140 and will help Rides for Health use reliable motorcycles to transform access to health care for people in rural communities in Africa.
The most popular single item was a pair of some of the hottest tickets in sport – MotoGP grid passes – which raised £2,700. One fan will find out what it’s like to rub shoulders with MotoGP riders, celebrities and the world’s media just minutes before the start of the race. It was just one of the amazing MotoGP paddock experiences available at the auction.
All of the stars of MotoGP made time to appear on stage and help auction unique pieces of MotoGP memorabilia. The Repsol Honda team mates Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa raised £8,800, while 2010 and 2012 world champion Jorge Lorenzo raised an incredible amount of money, including a unique signed helmet that added £2,100 to the total. Valentino Rossi’s items were as popular as ever, with the nine-time world champion raising £10,975, including the chance to have a selfie taken on stage with the Italian star, which raised £1,700.
Former World Superbike Champion, Colin Edwards, who announced his retirement from MotoGP earlier in the season made a special appearance at Day of Champions, despite not racing this weekend. His auction lots, including the leathers worn in his last season of MotoGP racing, raised over £5,000.
The British stars Bradley Smith, Cal Crutchlow and Scott Redding raised a total of £10,400. Smith’s helmet raised £2,200, Crutchlow auctioned a pair of boots for £1,300 and Redding’s helmet added £1,600. They were followed on stage by fellow Brits Sam Lowes and John McPhee. The auction was closed by Gino Rea who raised £1,800 by auctioning the chance to spend the weekend with the AGT REA Racing team, before completing his own ‘ice bucket challenge’ at the front of the stage.
Hiroshi Aoyama, Leon Camier, Alvaro Bautista and Yonny Hernandez all donated boots to the auction, while German rider Stefan Bradl helped to raise £4,600 when he sold a pair of gloves and two hospitality packaged with his LCR team. Karel Abraham donated a brake pad from his Cardion AB Motoracing MotoGP bike which raised £350, while Aleix Espargaro and Broc Parks helped to raise £300. Hector Barbara, Mike di Meglio, Andrea Iannone and Pol Espargaro all appeared on stage, as fans welcomed riders from the whole grid and together raised funds for Riders for Health’s work.
There were several lots that all riders contributed to, including a racing tyre donated by Bridgestone and signed by all of the riders who came to the Day of Champions stage, which raised £2,000. A replica Mike Hailwood helmet signed by all of the MotoGP stars raised £2,200 when it was auctioned by Hailwood’s son and grandson.
But it wasn’t just signed memorabilia from riders that was on offer. The Day of Champions auction is also the only place you can buy some incredible experiences. The chance to shadow MotoGP photographer, Andrew Northcott, at a European round of MotoGP raised £2,600, while the sale of grid passes for MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 races made an incredible £8,200.
The auction was closed by Riders for Health’s co-founder, Randy Mamola, who thanked all of the teams and riders for taking part, as well as thanking all of the fans who bid on items and the volunteers who made the event possible.
Co-founder of Riders for Health, Andrea Coleman, added ‘The money that we have raised in this auction will make an enormous difference to our work, helping millions of people in remote communities in Africa receive the health care they need. I want to say a huge thank you to all of the teams and riders for donating such fantastic items, and also to the fans who help us raise so much money.’