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Good for your heart, if not your aroma

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Jennie Gow | 09:22 UK time, Wednesday, 14 April 2010

As I write this, I'm currently sat on a plane somewhere over the Persian Gulf, so my boss Mark Wilkin reliably informs me.

I'm not sure I really need a plane. I could probably fly all the way home on my own steam and adrenaline such is the buzz you get from presenting your first ever MotoGP programme live on the BBC.

What an experience, what a sport, what a life I have suddenly found myself catapulted into - and do you know what? - I think I'm going to love it.

Valentino Rossi in Qatar
The race was won by Valentino Rossi, following Casey Stoner's crash while in the lead

I can't describe how nervous I was before the race. That's the one problem with a night race, I suppose. You literally have ALL day to think about the fact that in X amount of hours time you will be standing in front of a grid full of the world's best bikers preparing to hear the words 'Cue Jennie'. No amount of watching past races, reading biographies and scripting can prepare you for that moment.

Before heading to the track, we decided to grab some dinner. Sounds like quite good preparation for a race night, you may well be thinking - but NO, it really wasn't.

Not only was food about the last thing on my mind at the time, so riddled with nerves was I, but, when I did order, rather foolishly I went for what I thought was going to be a gentle mix of spaghetti, sun-dried tomatoes and olive oil.

However, what actually came out of the kitchen was a delicately cooked mix of spaghetti, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil and enough fried garlic to keep Dracula at bay until I'm grey and wrinkly!

Now if you read my last blog, you'll know that my first meeting with the riders and team managers was a touch on the embarrassing side because I was SO sunburnt. Seriously, I was redder than a squealing lobster in a pot and I was convinced that Valentino Rossi and co would remember be as 'sunburn girl'.

Well, now not only would I be 'sunburn girl' I would now also be 'smelly breath garlic girl' - brilliant! I literally must have eaten a whole pack of chewing gum before the race in the hope that by the time I made it to the grid I wouldn't knock out the top three just with the whiff of my breath!

But when I walked onto the track for the first time on a race night, suddenly all thoughts of garlic were gone as the sound of 17 MotoGP bikes lining up behind me cleared my mind of anything but the camera in front of me and the race that was just about to start.

Jorge Lorenzo before the Qatar GP
Unfortuantely, Jorge Lorenzo had no similar advice regarding Mediterranean food

And what a race it was. I was standing on the pit lane wall watching in awe at the speed and sheer talent of these guys. They are phenomenal and we are in for an amazing season if each race is half as exciting as that.

If you missed any of it, read the full race report on the BBC Sport MotoGP site or watch it all again on the iPlayer.

So now, after weeks of prep for my first MotoGP, five continuous nights of waking up in a cold sweat having dreamt I'd lost my voice and having returned from a country where no alcohol can be consumed in public - even for the podium celebrations - I think I've earned a beer and a sleep.

Oh, and some more chewing gum, too. I think I just heard the woman in the seat in front of me complain about the strange smell of garlic on the plane.

Next stop Japan in two weeks' time.


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