It’s not often you meet somebody who has found their dream job, but Nik Baines, 32, from Grandstand Motorsports is one such person. In a nutshell, it’s Nik’s job to fly around the world and attend Moto GP races. He doesn’t report on the racing or work for a team, instead he’s a tour guide tasked with providing VIP experiences for race fans at some of the greatest tracks in the world.
It’s a job so many of us would do for free, so Insidebikes sat down with Nik, from Uppingham, to discover how he happened to find himself rubbing shoulders with the likes of Marc Marquez and Cal Crutchlow every other weekend as part of his dream gig.
Nik, you seem to have your dream job. How did it come about?
That is a huge understatement! This job could not be more tailor made for me as I have had a passion for motorcycles since I was an infant. Everything I did as a child was centred around motorsport, my brother and I were fortunate enough to be taken to countless circuits all over the UK when we were younger, instead of football stadiums. My dad has a huge love of the motorcycles and it was instilled in us from such a young age. As a result of this, my brother and I have now been fortunate enough to have both ended up working in the industry. I was working for Yamaha and an opportunity arose from out of the blue to work for Grandstand, which I grabbed with both hands as I knew this was ultimately what I wanted to do. Although I loved working with bikes in the service department of a dealership, the opportunity to travel the world was simply too good an opportunity to turn away.
What is the best part of your job?
I would have to say that the access this job gives me is my favourite part. Being able to be on ‘the other side of the fence’ is without doubt my favourite part of the job and I think a lot of people within the industry take it for granted. As a motorcycle fan myself I still often pinch myself at where I am able to be on a race weekend and are fortunate enough to work with a number of teams in MotoGP, World Superbikes and British Superbikes and, as a result of this, we often get very good access over a race weekend. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to being in the vicinity of someone like Valentino Rossi and I count my blessings all the time. I am technically not supposed to not have as much fun as my clients but this is impossible for me and often my smile is larger than theirs. I hope my passion comes across when I am hosting the guests on a trip, as it is genuinely such a pleasure to answer their questions and ensure they have a truly special time on what for a lot of people is a once in a lifetime trip.
What has been your best experience while working at Moto GP events?
I would have to say the first time Valentino Rossi walked past me in the paddock. Don’t get me wrong, there was no eye contact or ‘Hi Nik’ as he was being mobbed by fans as ever, but at the time just to see genuine greatness that close up was a special moment. Another pinch me moment was to watch from inside the garage in Catalunya last year.
You can follow Nik’s adventures on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/nikb2610/