Two or three times a year, the MotoGP paddock is disrupted by Day of Champions, Dia de los Campeones or some other event to raise money for Riders. Teams, riders and organisers give up valuable time from the hectic schedules for a vital cause.
Riders for Health was founded back in 1989 by a group of people from the Grand Prix paddock, including Randy Mamola, Kenny Roberts, Andrea Coleman and Barry Coleman. It is now the charity officially supported by Dorna, the FIM, a number of teams ranging from Ducati to Team KR, and circuits like Donington Park, Sachsenring, Catalunya and Valencia.
The first Day of Champions took place in 1991 with Wayne Rainey and Eddie Lawson, and each year it gets bigger and better.
Only the motorcycle community could do the work of Riders for Health. And because the world is now beginning to understand just how motorcycles save lives in Africa, it shows motorcycling and motorcyclists in the best possible light. It is extremely valuable public relations, and to make this even more useful, Riders is a registered charity in the UK, Spain, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and the USA. It truly reflects the international nature and international goodwill of motorcyclists everywhere.
The money raised at events like Day of Champions is used to train Riders' African staff - as well as health workers and aid workers from other NGOs - to ride safely, maintain their vehicles and manage their fleets so that health services can be delivered in even the most difficult of conditions.
- A health worker with one motorcycle can look after up to 20,000 people.
- A set of MotoGP rider's leathers sold at auction can sponsor a community health nurse for a year ... or buy them a motorcycle.
- Just $200 will provide protective clothing, gloves, boots and a helmet for a nurse.
- A MotoGP racer's helmet can fetch enough money at auction to take care of the health of 300 African children for a whole year.
- For every $6,500 raised at a Riders for Health event, we can supply an Uhuru - a community development vehicle that helps people to reach their nearest clinic in an emergency. When it is not being used as an ambulance, the Uhuru can drive a water pump using its rear wheel.
Meet the stars at the ride-in! - We now have confirmation that Suzuki MotoGP stars John Hopkins and Chris Vermeulen will join Niall Mackenzie at the Victoria Pub in Coalville to help get the 2006 ride-in underway. They will also be interviewed on stage in the pub exclusively for the ride-in crowd.
First auction lots confirmed - The climax of the day will once again be the star-studded auction, where all the top riders auction their unique items of memorabilia. The fantastic lots already confirmed include:
- Leathers from Marco Melandri, Shinya Nakano, Loris Capirossi, Sete Gibernau, Makoto Tamada and James Ellison
- A helmet from John Hopkins
- Boots and gloves from Chris Vermeulen
- Leathers, boots and a helmet from Colin Edwards
- An appearance by Valentino Rossi will most likely be on the cards during Thursday's stage show
Get on track with sidecar champions! - Following the success of last year's sidecar rides (one participant described it as "better than sex"!), you will once again be able to whizz round the track as a sidecar passenger. Taking you round at top speed will be:
- Tim Reeves - World Champion
- Stuart Muldoon - Winner of a world round
- Steve Norbury - 2nd and 3rd places at Isle of Man TT 2005
- Roy Hanks - Finished 3rd at TT
- Dan Morrisey - Up-and-coming world class rider
- Mark Halliday - Top F2 rider
- Richard Holdsworth - Top F2 rider
- Roger Stockton - Top F2 rider
Tickets cost £25 for two laps (£30 for a ride with Tim Reeves), and all participants must be fully equipped with helmet and leathers)
For a timetable of events please click the link below (or copy and paste to your web browser) or see the www.riders.org website.