When the lights on the starting grid turn green on a Sunday, the motorsport world become captivated for 45 solid minutes as adrenaline levels soar for everyone who watches the most entertaining two wheeled motorsport series on the planet. However, what needs to be undertaken ‘behind the scenes’ to ensure that everything runs efficiently at all of the 19 rounds?
The Tech3 KTM Factory Racing Team aims to shed light on the actions and endeavours that take place before a wheel has even been turned. There is no better way to begin than illustrating the coordination required to move the Tech3 KTM Factory Racing Team from one international race circuit to another, both inside Europe and for ‘flyaway’ Grand Prix’s.
The highly anticipated 2021 MotoGP World Championship season begins with three ‘Flyaway races’, where all of the team’s equipment must be packed into highly robust but light, flight cases and flown to the destination. The organization of the shipments of the team’s crates is facilitated by working in conjunction with DHL who take care of the oversea transportations for MotoGP.
Both, the Tech3 MotoGP and the Moto3 Team, load their motorcycles, wheels, pit box units, spare parts and rider equipment as well as everything else which is necessary, into specifically built flight crates. Each crate suits the exact needs of its content in terms of dimension and safety.
The Red Bull KTM Tech3 Moto3 Team uses 7 flight cases which amount to 2500kg, whereas the Tech3 KTM Factory Racing Team uses 25 with a total of 8200 kg in weight. Generally, it can be said that the larger the team, the higher the number of flight cases, with Factory MotoGP teams potentially using as many as 40-50 and a two rider Moto3 team only requiring 3 cases.
The courier trucks then proceed to collect the fully loaded MotoGP and Moto3 Tech3 cases from the team’s headquarters in southern France, and transfer them to the relevant airport.
The flight cases are then loaded onto specifically assigned planes, which transport the equipment to the country where the racing event is being held. Once grounded, the flight cases are then immediately transferred to the circuit via trucks, where they are deposited and left for the Tech3 team to unpack when they arrive. After the racing has finished, everything is reloaded into the cases and transferred to the airport before flying back via the freight aeroplanes to the next flyaway race.
Other racing products such as race fuel and the tyres that will be used by the Tech3 KTM Factory Racing Team are distributed to the destination by sea and are shipped out two or three months in advance for flyaway races. This kind of organization requires meticulous planning and organizational skills, but thanks to the professionalism of DHL and Dorna, the equipment arrives at the circuit ready for the weekend.
All machinery and items are grouped together as much as possible for the flyaway GP’s of the season. When travelling from one race to another, the Tech3 flight cases are collated together with the additional MotoGP team’s 600 with 200-300 further cases for Dorna, which weight a colossal 320 tonnes in total. The crates are loaded into three specially assigned, freight aeroplanes with one plane for MotoGP, one for Moto2/Moto3 and one for Dorna.
For European races, the Tech3 KTM Factory Racing Team and the Red Bull KTM Tech3 Moto3 Team use their own trucks to transport the motorcycles and race equipment between GP’s. There are six trucks used and owned by Tech3. Eric Laborie and David Liebert drive the first truck and Thomas Rubantel plus Jérôme Poncharal operate the second with both vehicles containing Danilo Petrucci’s and Iker Lecuona’s motorcycles, spares and pit box. In addition, Ayumu Sasaki’s and Deniz Öncü’s Moto3 truck is driven by Pascal Auberoux and Enzo Lencina.
The MotoGP World Championship consists of approximately 160 trucks and if lined up together, they would equal an astonishing 3 kilometres in length. Once the fleet of professional race trucks has arrived at the circuit, the drivers are required to wait for their allotted entrance slot to the paddock. The coordinating of where the trucks will be positioned begins two months prior to their arrival. The first vehicles get parked on Monday. The Tech3 KTM Factory Racing Team’s preparation actually begins on Monday, when the hospitality unit is granted access to the paddock and then set up. Following this, the MotoGP race trucks are permitted to enter the paddock on Tuesday afternoon and the Red Bull KTM Tech3 Moto3 Team as well as the other Moto2 and Moto3 teams are the last to enter the paddock on Wednesday morning. On Wednesday, the crew sets up the pit box, and then works on the bikes until Thursday, which is also the media day, when journalists can interview the riders before the action begins on Friday.
Once the trucks are all parked, the pit boxes have been set up and the immaculate hospitality units are erected, the Paddock is a mesmerizing sight to behold. It is approximately 40,000 meters squared in size and consumes more electricity than an entire village during a Grand Prix weekend. Plus, it holds close to 2000 members of staff for each event, which includes the riders, team staff, journalists, and anybody else who keeps the action on track going.
The transportation, organization and setup are integral to a successful weekend for the Tech3 KTM Factory Racing Team with many factors to consider before the prototype MotoGP machines are even turned on. The coordination and logistics of the team’s equipment is unseen to the public eye but a vital aspect for a MotoGP team.