Running MotoGP races are a team work of many companies. It is not one company that does it all, but the two most important ones are the circuit companies themselves, in this case Misano Circuit , and the other company is Dorna , who organize and promote the MotoGP races.
There are some 200 people who work at Dorna in Spain (Barcelona and Madrid) to make sure that we can enjoy ourselves watching the MotoGP races (and Moto2 and Moto3). It is Dorna who run the TV programs, so when you watch the race at home in whatever country, you can see the race courtesy Dorna.
One job that you never hear of is the job that allows Dorna, the circuit and all other partners to communicate with each other. The job is called Event Manager, and Norma Companys is the head of that department.
She is based in Barcelona, Spain, but as you can guess, she is more on the circuits around the world than at home. Norma is constantly on the phone, talking to all the people that need to be coordinated.
I talked to Norma at the Dorna offices at Misano. Norma is a pretty lady, pleasant, soft spoken and an easy smile. She is used to talking to many different kinds of people, so she had no problem talking to me; her English is perfect, so nothing got lost in the translations.
Here is her interview:
Q: Please explain what an Event Manager does for Dorna.
A: My department, the Events Departments, is the contact with the circuit. We are in charge of the production of the event (ed: MotoGP). We are responsible to arrange everything, for a smooth event.
Q: So you talk to the likes of the Misano circuit about times, who goes where, etc?
A: Yes, We coordinate all the facilities like parking area, security, and the facilities for our company. We receive requests from different departments in Dorna, and then we talk to the circuit.
Q: How long before the actual MotoGP do you start planning your events?
A: It depends on the issues, but sometimes months in advance. If we need to rent certain things, we may need to ask months in advance. Sometimes we need to talk about time schedules 3 to 4 months in advance.
Q: How many people work in your event department?
A: We are not a big department, we are 10 to 12 people. Some are working in Barcelona and travel. In my team we are 5 people and the security department that is included in the Events Department, are 3-4 people.
Norma Companys on the phone
Q: You travel to every race?
Q: What about a social life, you are gone for many weekends? You probably arrive early and leave the following week?
A: Yes, we travel one week before to prepare everything. On Monday (Ed: the week before the race) the circuit is almost empty. We start to build the circuit. As for a private life, sometimes it is difficult. I have my family in Barcelona, but yeah .. sometimes it's hard. It's hard to stay far away from home and sometimes you get a little bit lost. It's difficult to have a routine, because we are just there for a week or two and then we have to go back again.
We have four months in winter when the championship is finished and then you start to adapt again to the city, but then the following year you start again.
Q: How many days per year are you away from home?
A: There are 18 races plus maybe a trip for prospecting, visiting circuits maybe - so 20 weeks per year.
Q: So you are looking forward to Spanish races?
A: Yeah, but I always say it's better to stage a race in Spain but anyway I am away from home. If it's in Jerez I need to take the plane, I have to go to a hotel, so for me it doesn't matter if it's in Italy or Spain.
Q: Final question: do you ride a motorcycle yourself?
A: Yes, I ride. Now I have a scooter in Barcelona because it is the easiest. I used to have a big motorcycle.
Thank you Norma for the interview.