The second Yas Marina Motorbike Event took place as a result of a massive outpour of support and encouragement from those who have experienced Najati Barakat’s first Yas Marina Motorbike Event. He did not disappoint and on May 3rd 2013; Yas Marina Ciruit felt the rumble of 75 bikes tearing down its 5.55kms F1 GP Circuit. The event was managed by bike enthusiasts for bike enthusiasts.
Yas Marina Circuit | Second Motorbike Track Experience
Organizing such an event takes focus, dedication and hours and hours of time. Najati had organized and planned the first event, which was groundbreaking as it was the first of its kind at Yas Marina. The full GP Circuit of Yas Marina was used, which was longer by 2.4kms putting it at 5.55kms. Sessions were decreased from 6 to 5 but times were increased providing a less rushed track time for the riders, while the crowd was divided into 2 groups depending on their experience levels thus spreading out the riders in the field. This provided more stretch room for everyone. Even the pits lay out was re-designed by Najati; providing sofa seating for the riders, keeping in mind that each rider would like a place to sit and rest in between the sessions.
However pulling the event the second time around was not easy since one cannot copy and paste tasks at will. Lots of planning is involved, renting of the track and more importantly the go ahead from the officials at Yas Marina. It’s a daunting task and immense amount of micro managing that goes into organizing these events. Track Attack I had 46 riders on track where Track Attack II saw an astonishing 75 riders. There are so many aspects to follow. The safety, marshals, liaising with Yas Marina, organizing the event dates; the list keeps on going. Najati led his team from start to finish. Brands such as Pirelli saw the enormity and importance of the event and contributed by becoming the main event sponsor gifting out discount vouchers, sunglasses, helmet cases and a free set of tires for the exciting ‘Riders Raffle Draw’. The official contestant’s stickers, Marshal stickers and management badges were all branded with the Pirelli logos. Pirelli also had their famous tire truck on site to assist the riders with all related tire issues.
One can assume that you would need a full-fledged events management company to organize and operate the event with its manpower where each member is assigned individual tasks and deadlines. Such was never the case with Najati. He had to undertake the tasks with the help of his close buddies. The one common interest is their love for motorbikes and track days.
There are many people to thank. Najati Barakat, the Marshalls, the support staff, Pirelli, as each lent a helping hand for a smooth run of the event. The biking community in UAE is a close knitted one. Najati, himself has not taken part by riding as he was managing the event. We are sure that the riders have more than appreciated his contribution.
Arnab : Najati, the task of organizing is monumental but when I reached the venue everything seemed to be moving like clockwork. Pirelli was present with the van and offering support with tire pressures, Red Bull was present with free energy drinks and the support staff was registering the bikes and giving individual tags as well as scrutinizing of the bikes was taking place. The flow and activities are akin to world class events, how did you manage to pull it off with so little manpower and not to mention that you could only dedicate a dew hours away from your daily job.
Najati : Indeed Arnab, initially it is a chaos to plan such an event, the initial support from the interested riders is one of the most important parts in making such an event happen. I salute the riders who paid the early booking fee in order to confirm the event. On the day off I thankfully had a great team on site helping me out (Special thanks to the Track Attack Crew). Pirelli were a key point to this event, their goodies made every rider excited for the “Riders Raffle Draw” which had all sorts of Pirelli goodies including discount vouchers, helmet cases and even a free set of Motorbike tires to be raffled off. I believe it is easier for me to plan such an event, as I am a fellow rider, with such a mindset all that is really required is to imagine what it is a rider would want to experience at such an event and “voilà”!
Arnab : Was replicating the event the second time any easier?
Najati : Planning such events is never easy however I was able to learn from the past event with a lot of feedback from the initial attendees, thankfully mainly positive feedback. After discussing a few of these points with the Track Attack Crew, decisions to change certain processes were adapted quickly. One issue that bothered me with the last event was that each rider was unable to sit down and relax after his/her session unless they brought their own chairs, so we made arrangements with YAS staff to ensure the sofa’s were laid out in such a way that almost each rider had his/her own sofa to rest on once they finished their session. This was just one of the small ways we refined the event further.
Arnab : This was a sequel to the first event Track Attack I which took place on 28.12.2012, what did you do here that was more or better than the first event?
Najati : Well, updates to Track Attack II included: Use of the full F1 GP Circuit 5.55kms compared to Track Attack I which increased the track length by 2.4kms, Larger Riders Raffle Draw thanks to Pirelli, More track time in each session, Sofa seating for nearly each rider, Smoother registration and scrutineering, increased F&B catering with additional options. These are but a few additional features, which were present in Track Attack II.
Arnab : Who helped you out and how?
Najati : Thanks to all the riders who attended, without them such events would not happen. Special thanks to the Track Attack Crew: Hussain AK, Andrea C, Gernot D, Adel AA, Noel E who helped out with Policing, scrutineering and overall helping out riders by giving them riding pointers. Weaam A, Marwa B, Magy K, Cynthia S, Leoni M who helped out with the registration and overall well-being of the riders on the day and Scott D of Scottyboi Images who was our official photographer allowing all riders to obtain pictures of themselves on track giving them memories they will never forget and not to forget CarbonOctane for covering this event as they had done the first one. This crew made the event what it is.
Additional thank you goes out to Pirelli and Mr Raad Haddad for the gifts at the Riders Raffle Draw and the Pirelli support van. Redbull also helped out in giving everyone wings! Last but not least the YAS MARINA Crew: Saeed AM, Nahla R, Aiya M and all the marshals. With such a great support and team these events are bound to succeed.
Arnab : You have a great team and greater friends, but don’t you think its time you take your bike out to Yas Marina as well? You can’t be doing this from the goodness of your heart always. What motivates you?
Najati : Motivation comes from seeing a riders smile after coming back into the pits or the countless positive emails and comments I received after such events. Yes I would love to ride the track myself as I have not gotten a chance to ride the GP Circuit till now. However lets see what the future brings! Track Attack III is planned for the 20th of February 2014.
Images by my better half Samantha Sabah, who was kind enough to sacrifice her Friday plans and tag with me to the venue and take snaps while I mingled with the crowd :
Images by Scott Donnelly :