Hundreds of thousands of MotoGP fans came from all points of the compass to be part of the two-wheel party of the year at the Red Bull Ring. The Red Bull Masters of Dirt FMX Show in the MotoGP Bike City, the ARAS Freestyle Show on the race track and the Hero Walk on the Styrian Green Carpet in front of the Welcome Center – events on the support programme followed in quickfire succession on Sunday. Autographs were signed and yet more selfies were taken on the Green Carpet. At the Hero Walk on the Styrian Green Carpet, Red Bull Ring mascot Bulli Junior grabbed Austrian TV presenter and compere of the show Gabi Hiller by the hand and danced with her. Valentino Rossi was also present at the race weekend– there was no way that this MotoGP legend was going to miss out on the unique atmosphere that prevails every year on the MotoGP weekend at the Red Bull Ring.
There was one particular fan moment at the podium that caught everyone by surprise. When Fabio Wibmer presented the constructors’ trophy to the victorious Ducati and warmly congratulate Francesco ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia, the Italian revealed himself to be a huge fan of the East Tyrolean motorbike magician: “I follow you on Instagram. Cool stunts!” Shortly before these scenes played out on the podium, the gates had opened on the grandstands (KTM, Styria, Red Bull) and in MotoGP Bike City to allow fans to stream onto the track and applaud the victory celebrations from below, as Bagnaia, Brad Binder and Marco Bezzecchi popped the champagne corks.
While the red-white-red national colours were trailed, Alexander Eder provided the musical goosebump moment of the day. With his distinctive voice, the Austrian-born chart-topper literally rocked the national anthem and got the thousands of fans in the perfect mood just before the start of the race. For the 24-year-old, the vocal performance at the Red Bull Ring was an unforgettable experience. “Yes, there are a few people here today after all,” he joked. In MotoGP Bike City, the female line-up of Desperate Brasswives struck a more traditional note; their unique sound certainly proved a hit with the MotoGP fans. A set by Egon7 brought the four-day side event extravaganza to a close.