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.
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