This story starts with Alex and I in Jerez in 2005.
That year, we were lucky enough to have two passes to the paddock in Jerez for the first time in my life, and I had been waiting years for the opportunity. On Sunday around 8 or 9 in the morning, if I remember correctly, once we went into the paddock we found ourselves in the motorhome area and guess who appeared before us on a small Kawasaki minicross bike? My favorite German MotoGP rider, a big guy carrying two helmets and a backpack on a motorcycle that looked even smaller with him on it. He was the first rider that I had met and I guess it’s just one of those happy coincidences.
So I immediately asked to take a photo with him and he accepted. We enjoyed the WUP (warm up) from the paddock and when we got back to the stands I showed my friends that photo with Alex. Some of them asked who the Kawasaki rider was.
And why take a picture with a German rider?
I always followed the Moto races, ever since I was young. But everyone always asked why I preferred the German drivers like Raudies, Bradl, Waldmann, Oettl, Hofmann, etc. My father now understands why my room was covered with posters and my school notebooks with photos of the drivers, it was destiny.
Idol, friend and more than just a friend.
In 2006, at the Gran Premi de Catalunya I was able to get two more passes for the whole weekend, and that’s when I met Alex again. At the time he was driving for Ducati with Cardoso. We talked for a bit and after the race when we were saying goodbye, I asked for one of his sliders from his suit. I still have it and treasure it to this day. On our way back to Seville, my wife and I came up with the idea of organizing a fan club for Alex in Spain, so we came up with “The Pirates of the Hoff”.
For the IRTA Jerez 2007 we organized our first gathering, with a big flag and his number, 66. We also made t-shirts and we were able to give him one during a photo session. It was really a lot of fun.
The whole year was incredible. Alex helped us out at each Grand Prix and I was able to get to know my idol better. We travelled to Sachsenring and met up with his Official Fan Club. Everything was going great, in fact, until Laguna Seca. That was a difficult time for Alex and his relationship with the team got a bit complicated. It would be his last season as a MotoGP driver.
After that, we wrote e-mails back and forth until one day Alex invited me to join him in Jerez for a test day with Aprilia SBK. Alex was back on a bike that he would spend a lot of time with and working on a great new project for an important team like Aprilia. Whenever he was in Jerez or Portimao he’d call and we’d spend a few days together. I no longer saw him as my idol, the German rider, but as my friend Alex who happened to work for Aprilia. And then he got his opportunity to be in front of the cameras, which I think he does wonderfully. He was back in MotoGP, on the other side of the cameras and whenever I had a chance to go to a race he would organize everything for me.
Each weekend that we spent together was incredible and I had a lot of wonderful experiences by his side. He introduced me to the world of MotoGP and thanks to Alex I met Stefan Bradl and organized The Bradl Gang. That was another fun project that opened more doors and introduced me to more people in the paddock.
I started making designs for other riders, all German of course, like Bradl, Folger, Schrotter and some teams even like LCR and Sic Racing. All of this helped me to create my own brand, Kinicrea. I’m still working on this project, which I couldn’t have started without Alex’s help, without him bringing me to MotoGP, and without the help of another important person, Oscar Haro. Oscar invited me into his box and promoted me and my work to others.
So Alex and I were spending more time together and we became more than just friends, we became brothers.
During one of the test days at Jerez, the bike wasn’t running well and it started to rain so we had some downtime to talk. We had an idea to create a unique place for motorcycles and for the peope who love them. A place where you could also eat well, have a nice coffee, good cocktails and some other services like a shop, helmet detailing, a place to personalize your motorcycle, to hold events, and to enjoy exclusive pieces from the races. We knew that we wanted to do it in Seville, my hometown, and after a few talks I began to look for the right location to make our dream a reality. After over a year and a number of bad leads, I happened to ride my Ducati down Calle Betis and I happened upon the perfect corner. 198 square meters divided in two commercial spaces, with a kitchen and incredible views. Alex flew down to see the place and we agreed that it was the ideal place to build the Garage. That same weekend, we designed the logo for the Garage Moto Cafe. After an afternoon in front of the computer we had our start, a logo and a location, now we just had to work to bring it to life.
After two months of construction and paperwork, in the end we were ready to open the doors to the Garage for the first time. In our first two months we met many people who left with a smile on their faces and a desire to return. Many friends, some of them riders as well, teams and brands have helped us to make this project a reality. A dream from two friends made real.
Now we’ve got keep up the hard work to make the Garage Moto Cafe a reference point in the south of Spain, where everyone can come to have a good time, and a place you won’t want to miss out on if you happen to be in Seville.