My first glimpse of the private side of a MotoGP rider was interesting. Tim had gone out to grab the Audi while I was talking to Claudio and when everyone went back to work I stepped outside, to an empty parking lot. Oh, wait--not empty. Nicky was standing there with a few of his gear bags. Imagine a giant slab of asphalt, a building, a MotoGP rider and your humble narrator, who is very good at two things: awkward conversation and slightly less-awkward silence.
But I still managed to state something perfunctory about the 1199 R to which Mr. Hayden replied by picking up his gear bags and walking into the building across from where we both once stood. He then stared out in my direction through the glass. This was the first instance in which I saw the other side of a MotoGP rider. In the paddock, he was all smiles and southern charm. Once outside, he was 'off the clock'. The last thing I believed he wanted was to have his personal time usurped, which I can't blame him for. I was actually relieved when he took off, as it got me off the hook, too! Then Tim showed up and I'm guessing #69 was a little surprised that the car was coming for both him and the abandoned guy in the parking lot.
Before anyone says anything negative--these guys have very little time to themselves and have to cram everything possible (including decompressing) into a short window. Movie stars on the red carpet may love to indulge fans and the Paparazzi. But when they're grabbing a sandwich or going into a restroom on the set, well, different story. Privacy is something we all take for granted and I honestly don't know how these guys can live without it.
After some small talk in the car, a phone call to dad, and no doubt lots of sext messages to reply to....
....we made it to the hotel.