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.
Source: Riders for Health