I'm hardly the strongest bloke in the world, but my power-to-weight ratio is actually pretty good as living in the country and
moving great lumps of timber around the place for winter's logs - usually during the height of the summer - keeps me pretty well
in trim. Arriving in Valencia on the hottest day for us 'non-event-summer' Brits got the pulse going for the impending ride on the back of the tandem rocket.

Timing was a bit tight on getting into Valencia for the two-seater ride on the Thursday before the grand prix, so it was straight into the paddock and, within minutes, into Dr Costa's having the sleeve rolled up and the blood pressure taken. I had an ECG some weeks back and it gave me a very clean bill of health but, with the heat, the rushing around due to the fact that I was to be on this thing within the hour, the pulse was at 92.

Knowing absolutely chuff all about being a quack, I confidently said it was the blood pressure as I looked at the digital read out. I was quite offended when informed it was the pulse rate and promptly tried to tell them that it was really 70. You can imagine the piss-taking then, as Jeremy McWilliams was in there and upped the banter by suggesting I offer the doctors money to bring the figure down.

McWilly continued, ''Of course, when we came here for testing, there was absolutely no grip whatsoever. The hire cars were thrashed around to try and clear the pace of dust.. but don't let that worry you Tobe..'' A large grin followed from the soon-to-do-his-roots Ulsterman. Thanks Jezza. And I thought you were a mate, too...

Into the leathers and all that - you know the score and you don't really want to read about it either so let's skip that, except let me tell you it was 32 degrees under such hot sunshine it is like an arrow of lightening spearing into the top of my slaphead.

I waddle across from the togging up area at the Marlboro Hospitality to the pits for a talk about the ins and outs of what I am about to experience. The talk is a bit 'well this happens and that happens and it'll all be OK,' rather than building you up to a crescendo when you actually get on it. I personally would emphasise a few more points to those who are not racing people and in-tune with what a brick wall is about to hit them in the face, but I only know that looking back on it.

Randy goes out to do two exploratory laps to get the tyres, the bike (and the rider) all up to temperature before stopping for the first passenger of nine that day. Whilst these laps are going on, the banter down the pit-lane was huge, with riders and mechanics winding me up as I walk past open garage doors in the kit. Sete Gibernau and I do a deal where he has to go to the commentary box and I'll do the riding. We just laugh and laugh but everything is cool in my mind. 'No problem, I'm a man' and all that. I arrive to the gap in the pit-wall from where we will do the start and finish for the two laps - standing start to stoppie finish.

At that moment in time, I look up towards the final corner and see Mamola R with passenger one hammering down towards us to complete their first lap. You can barely hear the thing impeding down on you with the Doppler effect, but they shoot past us at 160mph, and all of a sudden the heart really does jump a sprocket.

To see the sheer violence of a GP bike speeding past you at that speed when standing only ten feet away is, I believe, one of the
most enduring visions on anyone's mind. I specifically remember standing on the pit-wall at Shah Alam in '96 - it was my first race as a commentator and with such access to hallowed turf that accompanies it - they shoot past at such a rate it seems to cause a venturi and your ears pop with the change of air pressure. Bloody brilliant.

By now the heart is well and truly racing and I am getting well into this, but still I have no fear as passenger one comes into dock. Number two gets on. No idea who it is - don't care either. Tady [Okada] turns up now and is jesting just as we normally do and, indeed, only looking at photos Julian [Ryder] took after the event, do I remember him helping me get fully togged and zipped up before the off. Another deal is struck for a rider to do the commentating whilst I go on the track.

Pillion two is nearly coming to an end of their run, so helmet and gloves get squeezed on and I get handed the microphone for my
piece to camera which will get shown before the Rio race on Eurosport.

I get on the bike. but inadvertently put my feet on the Randy's pegs rather than mine, which are set very high indeed. Marlboro
Yamaha's Ali Forth (Ali G as we call her) guides my feet in as she realises the brain has gone into 'young boy just about to get
off with his first girlfriend' mode. You just don't care what's going to happen... you just want to do it.

''We're going to do an Abe start!'' yelps Randy over his shoulder. I don't care anymore...really I don't. Just let me get my mitts on
the girl..

First, second, third and the front comes up. Just a surge of power which is impressive, but nothing that you're not psyched up for. Remember when you rode your first BIG bike, you were impressed by the acceleration but it hardly bowls you over. That is not to belittle the YZR, but it's what I am expecting. However.. it is the biggest hindrance of speed known to man which knocks you out.
The brakes.

Through the left-handed Turn One and all of your senses go into hyper action as they analyse the information coming at you at twice the rate. You may remember Richard Noble and Andy Green talking about it after doing 633 and 731mph in their Thrust World Land Speed record cars. Everything is noticed. Every mark on the track, every wobble of the bike, even the brand of the banner into which we would poleaxe if the brakes fail, just everything is there in a snap shot on the brain.

We go into the near 180 degree hairpin which is Turn Two, and you just cannot believe he's going to get it round as he's still on the
brakes as the thing is getting tipped in. I've seen too many front-end moments for my liking and I don't want to be the next. 'We
are going to fall off,' I think, but it just goes around the corner before giving it a handful into the next right where we are off the throttle for quite a while. Why? I think. We are off line by less than three feet from the right hand kerb, but I immediately realise what the score is. Jeremy, Sete and Olivier Jacque have all been to see Randy beforehand to ask him for a 'special Toby lap'. Thanks guys..

I begin to think I'm in for a right trip here. Coming out of the missed apex corner, Randy takes his left hand of the bar for a thumbs up. ''OK?'' he screams, to which I somehow communicate back that I was. I have absolutely no recollection of how I did that, but I can remember him nodding his head in acceptance/agreement before barrelling into the next left.

You mean we weren't at full speed through those first ones?! Ferrr-criss-ake This is going to be one hell of trip....

Flip flop, flip flop and we're on the back straight and we are not dicking around any more - this is the real deal, these are the fastest things on earth and there are only a handful of people who will ever get a chance to do this, and I am one of them.

A Scooby 'Ru-rroh..' as we charge into the final corner which has a braking area not in a straight line and you know what the bike
is going to try to do.... Exactly - you've been there in a car or, worst of all, on a bike. The back end is bucking around and I feel like Garry McCoy even though the rear is probably only a couple of inches out of line.

Now listen at the back now, this is the impressive bit. We are cranked over at 102mph - whereas Checa is piling in there at 124mph - and I just cannot believe that we are going to stay upright. He's really hard on the brakes and at such an angle, with such a small footprint of front tyre, nothing in the galaxy has prepared me for this battering of the senses. We tuck in and hit the apex. How did he do that? Well, these guys are the best in the world - that's why. Spot on Randolph.

You just don't think that the formula of gravity and grip will allow the bike to stick to the ground at such an acute angle, but it does. Physics take on a frightening level which are comparable to the Space Shuttle.

OK, front straight and we accelerate past the assembled crowd from where we started, and I wait for the sheer pressure of air to
start to push my lid back into my nose as I keep my head around his right shoulder so I can see the corner and feel the speed. My
neck starts to strain against the weight of air trying to rip my head off. 160mph was registered on the data logging trace, which is a mere 14mph down on Checa down the front straight, before I put my head out of the slipstream of my man. In no time we cover 800 odd metres of the home straight before hounding into Turn One at some un-godly rate of knots. Where did the straight go? Are we on the Club circuit?

''The difference is that, with this circuit compared to others, we are coming onto the home straight in first whereas, at Mugello, we
are coming on in third gear and then going up to a much higher top gear,'' Randy said afterwards.

We go into the fiddly turns at two, three and four and, by now, I really do have a sweat on for as we are absolutely putting it on its nose into the what seems like never ending sequence of tight corners. Again, the violence of the brakes is breathtaking. Words just run out in my mind as I take deep strength-enhancing breaths like a weightlifter as I brace up my forearms to stop my weight cannoning into Randy. We fly into a flip-flop kink and I lose sight of where we're going and as my senses have just gone into overdrive. I am frightened for the first time as I don't know if it is left or right.

Arrgh! I didn't want the evil thought of fright creeping in as it will soon spread through me - which it does when approach the final corner for the second time. Things get a bit worrying for a moment as I then begin to think what if I fall off? Doom and gloom
take over as I can feel my eyes growing to the size of swimming pools as the concentration and urge to hold on is at the forefront of my mind. Images spring to mind of Mick [Doohan] and Alex [Criville] battling together when they were desperately late on the brakes for corners, but this time I'm there! The back end is all over the place and now I really do feel as if I'm Garry McCoy. The thought enters my mind 'maybe he is trying a little too hard to impress me and maybe I'm going to be the first one to fall off this thing?' How dare I think such thoughts as he's the one who's won 13 GPs... not me. Amazing.

We accelerate like an Exocet out of the last corner at such a rate we are surely going to do another cheeky lap, but no. The
brakes are grabbed at the last moment and we do a big seamless stoppie to finish. I get off the bike and am immediately in front
of the TV camera, but still the stupid reason that meant I didn't get my feet on the pegs when I got on the bike was still there... I couldn't open the bloody flip-top lid on the helmet to even speak to the camera. That got sorted and you'll see the results, but my hands were by now certainly incapable of threading a needle! They were still shaking an hour later.

It is only then that I feel that my forearms are beginning to hurt after my self-imposed rule of not letting my weight crash into Randy every time the anchor is thrown out. In the long run, it worked, as I let him do his job unimpeded as stories of people nearly pushing him off have emerged from previous circuits. Only one pillion had a complete sense of humour failure, and that was at Estoril when after one lap he gesticulated it was enough. Randy dutifully did the two laps at toddling speed before coming in!

A pillion after me at Valencia was Suzuki hospitality's Rachel Hoe, who was pulled out of the hat from a range of people working in
the GP paddock. She got off it in a state of some shock and later admitted that she thought she was going to be sick. I've seen
that before with people getting out of rally cars after a 125mph yumping run through a Finnish forest but, for the two-seater, people
have to be filtered out in case they are just not up to it, as in a car you just sit there, whereas on the bike.... you know the rest.

I was absolutely knackered as I came down from my adrenaline rush, which had obviously started when I got out of bed at 6am that morning but without me realising that my subconscious was building up to it. For the rest of the day I was telling people, 'I had
a ride on the two-seater...' and realising that I might have been overdoing it as they turned away in boredom and misunderstanding
of such an experience. I thought, 'Shut up Tobe.'

From being pretty cool at the start, I come down from my huge 'trip' and realise that I have just become a part of history in a small kind of way. I don't know what history it is, but one little bit I can talk about when the smart arse Harry Enfield 'Short Bloke' comes in the pub and barks on about things.

I can say three sentences and leave them thinking 'Bullshitter', but I have been lucky enough to have done it and I can only thank Randy Mamola, Lin Jarvis, Wendy Hogg (Yamaha), Geoff Crust, Rupert Williamson, Aled Rees, Ali Forth, Caroline Guillame and Helene Lariviere-Vidal (MYT) for putting up with me persuading them to give me a go.

I am going to report you all to the police for inciting violence. Violence in the queue of people wanting to have a go.


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