I’m just getting ready to head out of Australia and back to the UK after what has been a hectic trio of races.
I’m actually quite glad to see the back of the last three weeks because from a logistics point-of-view it can be a real headache getting everything to the right place at the right time.
The three-week Pacific tour certainly presents lots of challenges, because the armchair fan, and for that matter the guys watching at the circuit, only get to see the garage when we are all built up and ready to go out on track; so they probably don’t realise what goes into making that happen.
When we go on a fly-away – which is a race outside Europe – we don’t have the luxury of our two trucks with their trailer units that carry all the bikes, the equipment, the spares and then also double as the teams’ offices when we have unloaded.
What we have to do is box all the stuff we need for the race – and in this case it was three races – into over 50 flight-crates of various sizes to have them shipped to the next destination.
We carry just over 15,000kgs of equipment with us to make the team function and have everything to hand.
Not only do we have the four bikes (two for each rider), but we also have enough spare parts to probably build about four more GSV-Rs as well as all the tools, wheels, pit-box walls, lighting gantry and everything else that goes into making a MotoGP team function – including the tea and coffee making facilities!
One of the main things is making sure that the boxes are all labelled correctly, with the circuit address and pit-box all properly addressed on each one – we can’t have a million Euros worth of Suzuki GSV-R delivered to the wrong address because we put Japan on the label instead of Malaysia!
Once we have all the boxes packed and ready to go they are collected from wherever we are and join the rest of the MotoGP, Moto2 and 125cc freight to head off to the next destination.
All of it gets shipped together on three cargo Jumbo Jets and is then delivered to the next circuit to await the crew’s arrival to begin work.
To give an idea of what this involves, we finished the race in Malaysia and had to make the bikes ready for transportation and pack down the garage, which took about four hours.
The flight-cases were then collected and flown to Australia before being delivered to Phillip Island on Wednesday morning, just as the boys arrived at the circuit.
The garage was then re-built that morning and they started work on all the bikes in preparation for the weekend and this continued into Thursday so that the GSV-Rs are ready for Alvaro and Loris to go out on track on Friday.
We then had the race weekend before we started the progress of breaking down again to send the freight back to Europe for the next race.
I must admit that it is always a relief to arrive a circuit and find all the boxes there and waiting for us; we’ve had a couple of times when it has arrived late – and with a few extra dents in it – but as yet we haven’t lost anything, which is a tribute to the job the crew does and the shipping companies do to make sure it all gets to the right place at the right time.”
Russell Jordan is in charge of Logistics for the Rizla Suzuki MotoGP team.