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MotoGP™ stars & eSport finalists trade the apex for aprons

Arriving in Valencia ahead of the Championship decider, competitors prepared a paella cook-off at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo

As the qualifiers of the MotoGP™ eSport Championship for 2017 get ready for the Grand Final, their arrival in Valencia required a break from racing, and instead prepare the region’s most famous dishes – Paella. Exchanging a PlayStation for a pan, the 16 competitors were split into two teams to start a cook-off with the traditional recipe.

#ValenciaGP: Cooking up a storm

Along for the ride to help the eSport gamers re-create such a world-famous dish, was Moto3 star Albert Arenas (Aspar Mahindra Moto3), local Moto2 talents Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) and Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0), plus veteran of the premier class – Karel Abraham (Pull&Bear Aspar Team).

Chopping, slicing and dicing tomatoes, onions, pumpkin, and cuttlefish, eSport competitors were soon into the swing of things. However, knives were not the sharpest tools available to the would-be kitchen hands, with jokes and banter exchanged as the competition heated up, each side attempting to out-fry the other.

With the home advantage, it wasn't surprising that Navarro and Canet had their team off to a great start early on, though, under the guidance of the head chefs, Abraham and Arenas were not far behind. Between the real-life and virtual riders, they also discussed tactics, favourite video games and of course, food, as their lunch simmered track-side. The two teams both managed a grand feast fit for champions and are now ready to tackle the next two days of intense practice and qualification for the main event.

The inaugural MotoGP™ eSport Championship will consist of 10 laps, commencing with LIVE coverage of the Semi-Finals from 17:00 CET on Friday 10 November.