MotoGP: Riders Try Their Hands At Baseball In Texas

MotoGP: Riders Try Their Hands At Baseball In Texas

© 2022, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By Dorna:

“I threw a bit of a wild one!”: riders switch bikes for baseball in Texas

Aleix Espargaro, Martin, Gardner and the paddock’s home heroes head for Round Rock

Thursday, 07 April 2022

The Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas is almost ready for lights out, but ahead of track action MotoGP™ headed north to Round Rock to switch bikes for baseball.

Argentina GP winner Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) was joined by Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) and Remy Gardner (Tech3 KTM Factory Racing) at the event, as well as a veritable flotilla of home heroes as Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team), Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) and new rookie on the block Sean Dylan Kelly (American Racing) repped for the home team.

After some practice on the field and some tips from the Round Rock Express, the first pitch got the game underway and the riders settled in to soak in the American flavour. And, of course, they got to meet the Round Rock Express mascot Spike as the home team took on the El Paso Chihuahuas.

Next on the agenda is Thursday’s Press Conferences and media, before track action starts on Friday morning at the stunning Circuit of the Americas. Don’t miss it!

QUOTES

 

Aleix Espargaro. Photo courtesy Dorna.
Aleix Espargaro. Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Aleix Espargaro: “I’m feeling good, still dreaming! Last week has been unbelievable, not just for the victory but all weekend, leading, pole position… I’m very happy now, trying to keep my feet on the ground but enjoying the moment because it was historic. I can’t wait to go back out at COTA and try to keep the momentum.

“This has been completely new for me, I’ve never been in a baseball stadium, it’s really beautiful. The sport isn’t easy to understand because it’s completely new! But it’s nice to be here, the atmosphere is super American style and it’s great to discover a new sport… but I think I’ll keep riding my bike, it’s pretty hard to catch the ball!”

 

Jorge Martin. Photo courtesy Dorna.
Jorge Martin. Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Jorge Martin: “I’m super excited to be here at the game, it’s my first time ever and we’re coming from a great result. I’m enjoying my time here in the US, we always have fun and I’m looking forward to starting practice.

“This last result was great for the team, for me, for my confidence towards the next weekend. Last year here I was super competitive, almost on the podium, I won in Moto3… I’m looking forward to start and I think the goal will be the podium.”

 

Remy Gardner. Photo courtesy Dorna.
Remy Gardner. Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Remy Gardner: “In Texas last year we were quite fast, I had a crash and it ended up being the worst race of the year! But we were quite fast so hopefully we can carry that speed onto the big bike this year.

“To play, baseball is really fun. I used to play when I was a kid in Australia, I think it’s part of like physical education in school. I was fully into it, I liked it and played it for 10, 11 years. I’ve got a baseball bat at home so I might pitch a few!”

 

Joe Roberts. Photo courtesy Dorna.
Joe Roberts. Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Joe Roberts: “Baseball is sick, it’s really cool. I used to play Little League up at the park near my house, Coach Pitch for all the people back home who know. It’s really fun, and I’ve been playing baseball back home with friends of the last few months so I had a bit of practice, but er… I threw a bit of a wild one there!

“COTA for me, I’ve never quite had that weekend where I can walk away thinking it was an awesome weekend. It’s awesome with the fans, family, the whole vibe with everyone here but in terms of results I’ve never had a result I’m super proud of at COTA. It’s a tricky track, very unique, different from other places we go to and easy to make mistakes. It is a cool, unique environment and I’m looking forward to it. It’s not been quite the start we wanted to the year but I feel we’re starting to get a handle on why that is, and we’ll try to start to turn it around this weekend.”

 

Cameron Beaubier (left) and Sean Dylan Kelly (right). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Cameron Beaubier (left) and Sean Dylan Kelly (right). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Cameron Beaubier: “I’ve never played baseball before, sorry I know that’s pretty un-American! But it’s so nice to be back stateside, and this year it’s cool, with MotoAmerica racing as well and my brother races in Superstock, so I’m able to see him, my family, my old team…

“Last year here was a really good step for me, it gave me confidence I could run with these guys. Got to put in the hard work on Friday and Saturday and see where we are on Sunday, but I’m really looking forward to getting back on track and seeing how it goes.”

Sean Dylan Kelly: “I’m so excited! It’s amazing, to be back on home soil. It’s special for me and my team, American Racing, and for my family and everyone who’s supported me. It’s really cool and also my first pre-event… lots going on! Let’s get the excitement rolling into the weekend.

“I’ve never baseball played myself but my best friend growing up was really big into baseball, still is, and he lived two doors down so I was always around baseball with the family and going to his games to support. But I do want to grab these fans and bring them to MotoGP and tell them to watch that. It’s cooler!”

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