More than 155,000 motorsport fans are expected to descend on Northamptonshire over the next five days as the British MotoGP returns to Silverstone Circuit this weekend.
Spectators are already starting to arrive to get the best camping spots before the likes of Valentino Rossi, Cal Crutchlow and world champion Mac Marquez battle it out in round 12 of the MotoGP world championships.
Safety advice has been issued, including the thousands of motorcyclists due to take in the excitement, as well as traffic plans for visitors.
Superintendent Dennis Murray, the event commander for Northamptonshire Police, said: “We had a very successful policing operation at Silverstone in July for the F1 and I’m hoping to have a similarly successful weekend this time around too.”
Motorcyclists are reminded to make sure they wear the right clothing at all times after 35 per cent admitted they have left their protective kit off on a sunny day in an online poll by Highways England.
With most motorcycle accidents taking place in the summer months, the importance of protective kit will be one of the safety messages at the Highways England stand over the weekend.
There will also be information about the Stay Safe, Stay Back tailgating campaign and the campaign highlighting the basics of motorway driving, while Highways England traffic officers will be on hand to share the benefit of their experience and giving advice on what to do if your vehicle breaks down.
Also attending will be representatives from BikeSafe, the DocBike charity and Biker Down initiative.
Highways England head of road safety Richard Leonard said: “Motorcyclists are one of the most vulnerable groups of road users and we are committed to improving the safety on our network for everyone who travels or works on it.
“So we are heading to Silverstone this weekend to take the opportunity to remind motorcyclists, particularly young riders, of the need to wear protective clothing every time they go out on their bike.
“Safety should be the most important factor when getting ready to go for a ride – not the weather.”
Meanwhile, there are traffic arrangements in place to ease congestion with a one-way system on the main A43 on Sunday and extra traffic officers patrolling the area over the three days.
From 12.30pm on Sunday to about 8pm, the A43 northbound will be one-way from Silverstone to the Abthorpe roundabout.
Parking over the weekend is free for motorbikes but there is limited car parking and visitors are advised to book in advance.
Highways England emergency planning officer Jamie Tomlin said: “The British MotoGP always attracts a big crowd so we would advise anyone heading to Silverstone to plan their journeys in advance and make sure they leave plenty of time for the trip.
“We will have traffic officers on hand to deal with any incidents so we can get traffic flowing as quickly as possible and the one-way system on Sunday will help with the high volume of traffic.”
The racing takes place Friday to Sundaywhile today (Thursday) there is the Day of Champions, organised by Two Wheels for Life which raises money for their work in Africa.
Stars of MotoGP take part in a live auction on the day, donating signed leathers, boots, helmets and one-off prints.
There is live entertainment at the end of each day’s racing with Legacy playing on Friday, Clean Banditsupported by Duke on Saturday and Toploader on Sunday.
Last year’s race was cancelled due to heavy rain so fans will be pleased to see the weather looks unlikely to affect proceedings this time.
Northamptonshire Police has been planning the policing operation for months in order to make sure that those attending the race are kept safe and that anyone thinking of using the race weekend as a chance to commit crime is caught.
Specialist assets deployed by Supt Murray over the race weekend include intelligence officers, covert police officers, an ANPR unit and overtly armed officers and dogs, as well as police officers, PCSOs, police staff, specials and volunteers.
“I want to make it clear to anyone looking to use this event as a means to commit crime – the policing operation put in place is as stringent as ever and you will more than likely be caught,” the officer said.
“I recommend racegoers take a look at our crime prevention tips and do all they can to prepare for their visit.
“For security reasons, people entering the circuit will again be subject to extra searches of their bags and their person - security is paramount and event-goers are asked to be patient.
“The public can also help us keep the event safe by being vigilant for anyone or anything which looks out of place or suspicious and reporting it to us on 101 or in an emergency 999.”
You can stay up-to-date by following @NorthantsPolice on Twitter or by ‘liking’ Northamptonshire Police on Facebook. There is also a section on the Northamptonshire Police website dedicated to Silverstone where you will be able to see up-to-date information and advice. For more information, visit http://www.northants.police.uk/simple/page/travelling-silverstone.
To report online terrorist and violent extremist material online got to www.gov.uk/ACT.