Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 273: Portimão Preview, And Dennis Noyes Tells Tall Tales Of The Early Days

In this special episode of the Paddock Pass Podcast, we have a very special guest. Veteran American journalist Dennis Noyes joins Neil Morrison, Adam Wheeler, and David Emmett to give some insight into how Dorna came to run MotoGP, and how Spain became such an important part of racing. We start off with a preview of Portimão, and ask whether this marks the start of a return to normality for MotoGP, or whether the unique nature of the Algarve International Circuit means we are in for another surprise this weekend.

Then we get into Dennis Noyes' rich history in racing. Dennis has led a colorful and fascinating life, from racing dirt track on four wheels in the Midwest to teaching English in Central America to staring out of the window of his English class in Barcelona and watching the "traffic light grand prix", and figuring out that motorbikes were pretty cool actually.

From there, Dennis takes us on a journey through the history of grand prix motorcycle racing. How it was huge even before Angel Nieto, but Nieto took it to another level. The role the Spanish king Juan Carlos played in promoting racing, the early days of Dorna, and how Bernie Ecclestone and Carmelo Ezpeleta faced off over who would run MotoGP, and why Ecclestone saw Ezpeleta as a worthy adversary.

Dennis is a fantastic story teller, and speaking personally, I have been privileged to know him and hear his stories over the years. This is just a taste of some of the tales he can tell. For Spanish speakers, you can listen to or watch the podcast he does after every MotoGP grand prix, called Cinta Americana (Spanish for duct tape), with Spanish journalists Judit Florensa and Cristian Ramón Marín. I highly recommend also following him on Twitter.

If you don't want to miss out on these episodes as they are released, make sure you follow The Paddock Pass Podcast on Facebook and Twitter, or subscribe to it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Soundcloud. We even have an RSS feed for you. If you do use Apple Podcasts, please rate the show and leave a review, as this helps other MotoGP fans find it.

Make sure to like and subscribe to the Paddock Pass Podcast YouTube channel, where each post-MotoGP show will be posted as a video, for those who like moving images to accompany their podcasts.

Thanks to Fly Racing and Renthal Street for their support for the show.

We also have a Patreon. Paddock Pass Podcast Patreon supporters get exclusive content, including the Paddock Notes show, where we discuss what happened at the end of every day of a MotoGP weekend, and interviews with riders, team managers, and important figures in the sport. Enjoy the show!

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I really enjoyed this episode with Dennis Noyes. He added an extra level of banter, and his stories of the olden days were fascinating as well.

Have always enjoyed the comments of D N , in both English ( or the US version ) and Spanish/Castilliano .

His work on TeleCinco is much missed .

THANK YOU DENNIS! Hugely enjoyed you being around for the Podcast. You're a gem! Loved it.

Sticking this here. Are folks keeping a close eye on the Ducati Cup and chase for the Red seats? In the prev podcast the guys discussed "is Bastiannini sexy enough to take it to the championship?" Several opinions. As usual I favor Neil's. He said that he expects the 2022 bikes to surpass the 2021 over the length of the season favoring others over Lavender. But the 2019 last yr was very second hand and MUCH behind the 2021's...and look what Pink Piranha did late season on that rough ride?

I think Bastiannini is showing ahead of Martin. Yes, what Martin did last year was fantastic. But, the more we see of them, more shows up.

Jorge Martin is a boiling kettle. He feeds it. It then needs mitigating. Hot too the touch, can make a mess. He is fiddling with several pots on the stove. Talent? LOTS!

Bastiannini has a more natural and playful warmth. The slow cooker needn't be fussed with nor hardly minded. Keep tossing stuff in, it will generally come out tasty. There is ease. There are tolerances. Talent? LOTS!

Re-watching MotoGP Unlim. In Martin's garage he is often trying autonomy and separateness from people. His father, who is his "Ucciosistant," comes at him with excessive pseudo coaching monologue. Psych-wise, unless Martin clearly and fully thrives in contentious spite and excessive autonomy struggle AND loves having an invasive self referential father there? Bad dynamic to have in a garage. It doesn't look professional. He is distracted, trying to get left alone where he self fuels an already hot fire in independent reaction. Volatile, too personal. I see a flame out. Keep an extinguisher handy.

Don't forget passports too...happy go lucky copacetic charmer Beast is Italian. The 2021 bike is SO close to the 2022. Heck, two 2022's share his motor. The 2022s will improve and become the better bike, but by how much? And how good is he? My pick.

There's no doubt in my mind that Ducati would take the Italian as a priority but Bastianini may have hit his stride too late. Martin's deal may have already been 99% there just prior. Speculation obviously but you catch my drift.

I would love to! I don't have this track (Forza 6). 

I watch onboards on repeat until I "feel it" and know the turn numbers aloud. Are you doing laps? Tricky track! Blind corners to link. Elev change. Lovely!

The view from just above the car where you see it and the track is my favorite. I seem to get better control seeing the car move since it can't be felt. The car ones are WAY better than the bike ones unfortunately. Just so much easier dynamics I guess? I love my car racing sim! Choosing cars and tracks by mood. Other than that though, nothing but bikes here. (Even tried! Got a Subaru WRX w good suspension and tires...decided to sell in literally a month). Cars are transpo. Bikes are sport and joy. Exception w the racing sim!

Thanks mate, truly appreciated.

I hear that Friday/Saturday is likely to be rained out.. I'll be damned if I'd ever ride Portimao on the limit in the wet. Sunday looking dry - last years data may end up being the golden ticket. Just like every other race so far in 2022, this one is another roll of the dice. Tipping has been a nightmare.

Both Bastianini and Martin are very talented. Both former Moto2 and Moto3 champions respectively, and both age 24 youth on their side. Very tough choice for Ducati to choose who will be Bagnaia's teammate for 2023.

I would personally give them another 4 races then make a decision by the 9th round at Barcelona. Miller would need to go on a purple patch of wins to keep his seat. But I can't see him doing that.

Finally just maybe Ducati will instead sign Quartararo as Bagnaia's teammate. I think Quartararo would be doing much better than Bagnaia and Miller are currently doing on the bike. 

Dennis dominated the room and it was such a great listen. I was stuck on the road for 8hrs solid today on an unscheduled and sudden trip and for one of those hours I didn't give a rats arse about it.

A friend and I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Dennis Noyes and son Kenny (pre-accident) at WSIR in SoCal, many years ago. Great guys, very personable and easy to talk to. Did not know of his long history with DORNA and GPs.

Thanks so much for including him on the Podcast, fantastic stories to flesh out my knowledge of him.

Especially loved the story of the curtain in Eddie Lawson's motorhome being slightly pulled back to reveal Eddie shaking his head "No" to the interview request. Hilarious!

I’m a Californian who has been following GP road racing since the tail end of the Ago era, and have been an avid magazine and then WWW reader all that time, but I first heard of Dennis Noyes quite recently, perhaps on SuperbikePlanet. He is a treasure and I hope to hear or read more from him on MM. By the way, my first two bikes in the early seventies were Bultaco street bikes, a Mercurio and Metralla, and at the time I learned a bit about racing at Montjuich … so it was great to hear more about it from someone who was actually there!