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WorldSBK Get an Authentic Taste of Jerez

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The stars of WorldSBK have arrived in the sunny south of Spain for Round 12 of the 2016 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship. Taking in the beautiful sights, warm weather and traditional Spanish culture, Jordi Torres (Altha BMW Racing Team) Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team) Michael van der Mark (Honda World Superbike Team) Roman Ramos (Team GOELEVEN) and Leandro Mercado (Aruba.it Racing-Junior Team) gathered at the famous Gonzales Byass Winery for a special tour of the facilities in front of media and fellow tourists.

Gonzales Byass curator Jose Argudo introduced the racing Superstars to the attending media before a quick photo opportunity in the impressive Shelf Winery kicked off the tour fun. The riders were lead through the different cellars where the authenic ‘Taste of Spain’ lies fermenting to perfection. They learnt about different fermenting techniques, the wine regions of the area and the ever-present connections of the iconic brand with the Circuito de Jerez.

Ever the wine connoisseur, Michael van der Mark was full of questions throughout the event, stealing every opportunity to learn more about the rich Spanish sherry making traditions of the Tio Pepe brand.

Then it was on to the ‘Cellar of Fame’ where hundreds of barrels are kept signed and customised by famous visitors. Motorsport compatriots, Jorge Lorenzo (MotoGP), Javier Alonso (F1) and Aryton Senna (F1) were just some of the famous names signed on the barrels. Mr Argudo then announced that the WorldSBK riders would have their own barrel that would display their autographs to future visitors.

Finally Torres, Fores, Ramos, van der Mark and Mercado made it to the last cellar where a tasting barrel was set up. Each rider was given a venencia to pour some of the famous Fino sherry into glasses for the thirsty onlookers. The art of pouring the wine proved difficult for some; an exaggerated performance by Torres proved his inexperience, when he accidentally poured more wine on the ground than in his glass! Though he couldn’t quite work out how to grasp the venencia, Michael van der Mark finally proved to be an expert, surprising everyone, even himself!

The tour ended with riders enjoying their Fino sample before receiving gifts and being invited to make their mark on the WorldSBK barrel to be displayed in the Cellar of Fame.

Then it was on to satisfying the excited fans wanting autographs and photos with their idols in the Plaza de Arenal. Fans lined up around the square for their first taste of WorldSBK ahead of the Gaerne Spanish Round. At 14:30 it was time to head back to the track for final preparations before on-track action begins on Friday 14th of October.