First trip overseas for a race event and this trip to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya couldn’t have been easier, for anyone considering the trip I’ve included some detail. I was initially concerned about finding a hotel with good public transport links to Barcelona city centre, the airport and the circuit. However I found a hotel very quickly on the Circuit de Barcelona website – NH La Maquinista at Sant Andreu which is about 15 minutes walking distance from the railway and Metro stations. The airport, Barcelona city centre, Sant Andreu and Montmeló are all on the same line and trains are frequent so the hotel was ideal. Arriving at Barcelona El Prat we found that the train terminal is only a very short walk from terminal T2. We purchased a T10 (Zone 2) ticket at the airport station from a ticket vending machine (English language available) but these can also be bought at the entrance to any metro or train station. This ticket entitles you to 10 journeys on the metro and RENFE trains. A zone 1 ticket is all you need for travel from the airport to central Barcelona. However to include travel to Montmeló a Zone 2 ticket is necessary. At a cost of €19.60 (June 2015) its good value and saves time. A word of warning, its important to buy the integrated T10 and not the Rodalies-RENFE only T10. If unsure there is an English speaking inspector at the airport on hand to help.
Arriving at NH La Maquinista we found a comfortable modern hotel the rooms having free wifi, airconditioning and satellite TV with English, French, Italian and Spanish channels. We didn’t opt for breakfast as this is only available from 8.00am at the weekends and we preferred to have an early start. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the hotel was next to La Maquinista open air shopping mall, This was an impressive development with a huge variety of cafes and restaurants on the top floor. I can recommend the Catalan sausages and patatas bravas with local beer we enjoyed in the evenings at The Butipà cafe. Live music added to the atmosphere.
The trains to Montmeló were every 30 minutes and the journey was about 15 minutes. The trains were clean, in good condition, very smooth and came when they were meant to – unlike in the UK. From the station we didn’t have to look for circuit directions we just followed everyone else. Many of the local shops on the route were selling bottles of water and freshly prepared sandwiches at the roadside, a far cheaper option than buying at the circuit. However canned drinks were not allowed through the gates so don’t get caught out like I and many others did.
The walk took around 30 minutes, a shuttle bus was available about halfway into the walk but it just didn’t seem worthwhile and there was plenty to take in. Tickets scanned at the circuit gate we then had to queue for a bag search as canned drinks were not allowed.
As for the races Lorenzo won a slightly dull race with Rossi closing him down for second, with Dani Pedrosa a distant third. The best race of the day was the Moto3 event in which the lead was continually changing. Danny Kent always looked to be in control and sure enough crossed the finish line in front of Enea Bastianini. Moto2 was won by Zarco from Rins and Rabat with Sam Lowes just missing out on a podium spot.