MotoGP: A Walk Through The San Marino GP Paddock
File under Racing
Author: Mike Werner
I realize not many people get the chance of seeing a MotoGP motorcycle race up close and personal. Even if you are lucky enough to attend one on the stands, or just sitting on the grass, not many see what goes on in the paddocks. Since I was being hosted by Dorna (the MotoGP organizers) and Visit San Marino , I took the opportunity to make a few photos of what goes on in the paddocks.
The paddocks is where the action is. Well, after the race of course, but there is 24 by 24 hours action going on. The paddock never sleeps, and you not only hear the noise of MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 motorcycles revving up while mechanics feverishly work on the motorcycles, but you also hear thousands of small displacement scooters riding around bringing riders, mechanics, photographers and organizers around the immense paddocks area.
There are thousands of people walking around; many VIPs invited by the teams, or just folks who spent the extra money so that they could be close to their heroes. The smell of oil and gasoline is mixed with the smell of garlic and onions from the food being prepared in the many hospitality tents. It's a wonderful world, and if you get the chance to be in the paddock, grab it with both hands.
So here is a long (27 photos) impression of the paddocks.
Along the other side of the pits is where all the MotoGP and some Moto2 teams have their trucks full of equipment and spare parts. Each team has two riders and therefore two trucks. All trucks have been spaced out to the millimeter.
They are lined up, one after the other. There are so many, you can not see the end. And to think there is not enough space for all teams, since many Moto2 and Moto3 are located inside the paddocks.
Wherever you go, you will see the small scooters parked everywhere. Here the scoots are for the team mechanics and riders.
An aerial view of the team trucks parked against the rear of the pits.
Racing teals need money, so they have if they are lucky sponsors. Once you've got sponsors you need to entertain them and their clients. Which means you need a place to serve meals and to have the sponsor and their clients rub shoulders with the starts: the racers. To do that, most teams have hospitality tents, consisting usually of two trucks with in between the tent.
It's quite a set up, and the two trucks are used as offices and kitchen. (click here to read more about the kitchen ).
The most impressive hospitality tent is that of Ducati. It has a second floor, and with the red and futuristic build, it looks like straight out of a sci-fi movie.
Honda Grisini Go & Fun
This is where I found Alex de Angelis for his interview. Click here to read De Angelis interview .
NGM Forward Racing
And this is where I interview the Umbrella Girl, Elena Iankovskaia. Click here to read Elena's interview .
AB Moto Racing
Even the mobile medical clinic of the famous Dr Costa has a hospitality tent. Click here to read the interview I did with Dr. Berardi Eraldo - Chief Medical Center Misano Circuit
Clinica Mobile (Dr. Costa)
And these are the offices of Dorna. Click here to read the interview of Norma, the Dorna Event Manager .
The Other Pits
As I said, only the MotoGP folks and some Moto2 racers have their pits in the main pit lane. All the others are located inside the paddock area.
Their pits are tents, located next to each other. There are 2 long rows of tents.
Here you can see the young racers zooming around on their scooters.
...or riding their race bike towards or away from the circuit. The distance can be quite long, but luckily they don't have to do tire changes like in F1.
These are the Red Bull Rookie Cup mechanics and their mobile pits. No tents for them just a chariot. But you got to start somewhere...
Red Bull Rookies Cup
For the racers who don't want to sleep in a hotel, tent or in the pits, there is always the luxury motorhome.
Guess which rider has the mobile home with the big sun logo??? See all the people waiting to get a glimpse..?
Valentino Rossi's home away from home
TV presenters everywhere you turn. Some live, so recording. This one is recording since she must have redone their take 10 times.
All those scooters running up and down the paddocks at high speeds can be dangerous. I was almost knocked down by this famous MotoGP racer. Well, at least he spoke to me. I will always remember his wise words to me: "Get out of the way before I run you over!"....
So that was a quick tour of a MotoGP paddock. You will have seen the pits on TV, so need to show you that. I hope you enjoyed the tour. Don't forget to tip your guide on the way out... ;-)