Farewell Natty Porch — Here Come MotoGP!

So after a 34-year wait, MotoGP races at Nationals Park on July 28, marking the latest attempt to revive one of the nation’s cycling capitals. You’ll have to wait until early next year for the city’s first Tour de France, an answer to a perennial, well-articulated cry: “Let’s just see how’s yer daydreaming in May/June/July/August,” or “Terrific to see you in October, But here’s to the lawn in October/November/December.” But this summer’s Nats season is over, and it will be the first time in 17 years that the National baseball team will not be taking over the National mall. The city’s parks will be open for fun, but you can also buy race tickets from behind ATMs on Pennsylvania Avenue, as they have been for every major race from 2008 until this year, when MotoGP tried to move into Camden Yards. In the 1940s, Baltimore held some of the first and still most famous of the past-season championship series races, dubbed “championship meetings.” They were built on the same but larger site as the present-day circuit. The Nats share the fence line and the arena with them. But the teams don’t share the bottom line. The original promoter was Abe Epstein of Argosy, who held the races from 1948 to 1974. Despite years of liberal plans to update the racetrack, old-time fans still sing it the same. The day after the race is the biggest competition. But to appreciate it you have to be at the track on race day.

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