I know most people watch the MotoGP races on TV, and even those that go to the circuits don't always see what happens before one of the motorcycle races. I was nicely located in the Visit San Marino VIP stands, overlooking the pits and the start/finish line of the Misano Circuit .
So here is what happens before and after a race, in this case the Moto3 race. There are 26 photos, and they are heavy, especially one that was of the first crash.
NOTE: If you want to click on one of the photos to see a bigger version, please wait until ALL photos have loaded. If not, results are unpredictable.
It all starts about 30 minutes before the actual race:
A Marshall places number on each starting place on the grid. This way the racers know which grid position to go to.
Then the Safety Officer goes around the circuit to ensure that it is safe, no debris lying on the track, and no animals running around.
Then the two safety cars, manned by racer and doctor, get into place. There are also two BMW sports motorcycles but they are for the show.
About 20 minutes before the start, the grid girls arrive in their (skimpy) uniforms.
Their role is to show where each row is. For example above, it's row 1.
Moto3 aren't on the pit lane. They have pits inside the paddock at the other end, so they have to come from pretty far. here they are preparing the bikes using a mobile pit.
Then the Moto3 bikes start arriving through the pit lane. Left is Iwema, right is Fenati.
Iwema and Fenati
15 minutes before the start, the masses arrive; mechanics, umbrella girls (for those Moto3 teams lucky enough to have them), press and officials.
The umbrella girls are moved into position, the way a chess master places its pieces on a board.
The bikes arrive after the sighting lap. Some struggle to find their position and are pushed to it by the mechancis.
The media is there in full force, photo and TV cameras are everywhere.
Some riders gather more press attention than others. Some get ignored, some have 10's of journalist hanging around.
Then a famous guy arrives. Recognize him? That's right, his name is Samuel. I have no idea who the guy in the Yamaha shirt and yellow baseball cap is.... ;-)
Signs go up for the 5, 3 and 1 minute mark. If you are caught on the grid after the 1 minute mark, you get fined.
3 minutes before the start, everyone except the mechanics are sent away. The mechanics start up the motorcycle engines and leave the track.
The TV helicopter is in the air, and has started filming.
After the warm up lap, tires are nice and cozy, a last quick check to see if the rear wheel is still on the bike (Fenati).
.. and they're off. Anyone who forgot his/her ear plugs is deaf by now.
The first corner is taken pretty smoothly, until the last rider....
... looses the front and glides off the track. End of the race for him.. DNFDid Not Finish.
Corner after corner the fight continues. As usual, Moto3 races are the most spectacular.
The crowds love it. Most parts of the San Marino/Misano race circuit are packed.
Broken bikes are brought away by the stewards.
And then the finish flag for the lucky ones who made it all the way.
All the Marshalls and stewards come out to applaud the racers.
And then it's time for the trophies and for everyone to hear the Spanish national anthem, over and over again. BTW, there was only one bottle of champagne, since only on rider had reached the legal drinking age.....
So there you go.. That's a whole Moto3 race.