Repsol MotoGP: Inside Pit Lane
When Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso go out on the Jerez track next Friday at 1:55 pm, an atypical week in which the postponement of a Grand Prix and the shipping of all the material across three continents has kept the large MotoGP family on tenterhooks after the eruption of the Eyjafjalla volcano will have been left behind.
Fortunately, the Repsol Honda RC212Vs sporting the numbers 4 and 26, will eventually start up again in the heart of a box that has been given a facelift in this recently inaugurated 200 season.
The times when the teams set up in ramshackle garages in which grease, oil, chains and pistons were the most common objects in the environment of mechanics and their bikes are long gone. In the MotoGP World Championship, the box of a team like the Repsol Honda Team has become little less than an operating theatre, a laboratory in which accuracy, cleanliness and state-of-the-art technology join together to put the fastest bikes in the world on the track.
The professionalisation of the MotoGP World Championship has led to truly luxurious garages being setup and dismantled especially for the event at the eighteen circuits on the World Championship calendar, in which the most modern technology in the world of bikes carries out its magic to put an unparalleled show.
For this reason, the Repsol Honda Team has brought out a new and completely renovated design this season, which integrates a work space for the mechanics, technicians and riders in an environment measured down to the millimetre.
To do this, for the teams each Grand Prix starts two days before the bikes go out on the track – on Wednesdays – when the Repsol Honda Team box starts taking shape, starting with the carpeting and the side panels.
Ten people assemble, piece by piece, the tables, tool boxes, monitors and even the pit lane cabin, where the team follows the progress of the riders on the track and give them the necessary instructions using the board.
Cleanliness and organisation are essential in the box for the meticulous fine tuning task carried out in every race. Nowadays, every millimetre counts, and the engines are only opened in the factories, which was unthinkable in the days when Ángel Nieto’s mechanics even filed the cylinders to win those first titles with the unmistakeable and legendary “R” on the fairing.
Everything runs like clockwork, with extreme thoroughness from the moment the first screw is placed until the tank is filled ready to go out on track. In this respect – refuelling -, this year, the Repsol Honda Team box will use a new refuelling system for the fuel prepared by the Spanish company.
In total, over 18,000 KG of material allow us to see Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso start up from the Repsol Honda Team box race by race, material that, on this occasion arrives in Spain with special follow up due to the uncertainty created in European air space. After the Qatar Grand Prix finished, the teams packed all the material into boxes and it was sent directly to Japan.
Once there, the eruption of the Icelandic volcano and the famous ash cloud that paralysed European air traffic not only forced the Japanese race to be postponed but also put the following race at risk, which will start this weekend at the Jerez Circuit.