MotoGP™ Basics

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At the circuit

The MotoGP™ paddock is a busy place bristling with personnel from all the teams and technical suppliers from tyres to suspension to racing apparel. Behind the scenes there are hundreds of people who co-ordinate each race-weekend in terms of organisation, safety measures, logistics, television coverage, commercial activities, VIP facilities, and Media. The Clinica Mobile unit also ensures that MotoGP™ has its own dedicated medical service at each round. You can read more about each aspect in the relevant sections.

Every circuit on the MotoGP™ calendar has its own unique atmosphere, features, history and layout - from the flat, floodlit, desert terrain of Losail International in Qatar to the majestic, winding beauty of Mugello in the Tuscan hills of northern Italy. To find out more about each MotoGP™ venue visit our Calendar & Circuits section.

In order to host a Grand Prix each circuit has to have a number of universal facilities and features, which allow the weekend to run smoothly, safely and uniformly - throughout the 19-date MotoGP season.

Those facilities and features are as follows:

TRACK

Pit-boxes/Garages

A workshop or garage in which each team prepares for the practices, qualifying sessions and races. Amongst other things, pit-boxes contain monitoring equipment, tools, spare parts, tyres, replacement bikes and of course several busy team members. The back doors of the pit-boxes lead to the paddock where the teams’ supply trucks are stationed, while the front of the pit-boxes leads directly onto pit lane.

Pit Lane

The pit lane links the garages to the track itself and is adjacent to the start/finish straight, from which it is separated by the pit wall. The riders use the pit lane to leave and return to their pits and are not permitted to travel at more than 60 km/h in this area of the circuit. The pit lane is overlooked by the media and race control facilities and usually by a main grandstand. For safety reasons, traffic is one way in the pit lane, so in order to reach the starting grid the riders must exit from the end of pit lane and lap the track in order to get back to their starting positions.

Pit wall

Team members can cross the pit lane from their garages to stand next to the pit wall, in order to pass on messages to the riders using their pit boards. As the riders come along the start/finish straight they look for their team members, who via the pit board can relay messages such as time differences between riders, numbers of laps completed, lap times or instructions to return to the pits during practice and qualifying. Only six crew members from each team are permitted on the pit wall at any given moment during the race.

Start/finish straight

Adjacent to the pit lane and overlooked by the media facilities, race control and the main grandstand is the start/finish straight, where races commence and conclude. On the start/finish straight a grid is marked out for the riders instructing them where they will start the race. Of course there is also a finishing line marshalled by a race official, who displays the chequered flag as the riders finish the race.

Parc Fermé

This is a cordoned off area located in the pit lane where the podium finishers (first three) in each race are guided after the action concludes on track. Here selected media are given first access to the riders - mainly for live television interviews - immediately after they have secured their podium finishes.

PADDOCK

The paddock sits behind the main circuit complex adjacent to the pits and is the storage and work area for the majority of people who are involved in Grand Prix. As such it normally hosts:

  • - The teams’ service trucks (containing offices and supplies)
  • - Media trucks (containing offices and editing studios for the attending media)
  • - Hospitality units (teams, organisers and sponsors have hospitality facilities in which staff and guests can relax and dine at each Grand Prix)
  • - Motorhomes (where the riders rest, sleep and prepare for action)
  • - Administration offices (Dorna & IRTA offices where the administration and organising of each Grand Prix is co-ordinated)
  • - Tyre suppliers’ fitting areas (Bridgestone and Dunlop have supply trucks and workspaces where they prepare the compounds for each of their teams)
  • - Clinica Mobile (MotoGP™’s travelling hospital is always present in the paddock, while each circuit also has its own permanent medical facility)

MAIN CIRCUIT COMPLEX

Race Direction room

Every race in the MotoGP™ season is monitored and stewarded by a team of officials known as Race Direction (see Governing Bodies section for more information). From their monitoring room, which varies in exact location from track to track, but is usually in the service buildings adjacent to the pit-lane, Race Direction views screens relaying images from every inch of the race track and communicates via radio with the various marshals stationed around the track, to ensure that the rules of Grand Prix road racing are applied correctly and that on-track safety is maintained at all times.

Timekeeping room

The timekeeping department of Dorna Sports (see Governing Bodies section) records the performance of every rider in every class in every free practice, qualifying practice, warm-up session and race, throughout the season, to within one thousandth of a second – from an allocated room at each circuit, usually adjacent to the Race Direction facility. Highly accurate live timing services are provided for media throughout the world by the timekeepers via digital recording equipment on each bike, at stations around the track and via the main control centre in the timekeeping room.

Media Centre

The main circuit complex contains a press room (from which journalists from around the world report on the action), a media manager’s office, an interview room, and a press conference room.

STADIUM or GRANDSTANDS

The best seats at the track for the fans are those looking directly on the the start/finish straight from a covered grandstand, which often also contains corporate boxes for private groups and usually sits opposite the main circuit complex buildings. There are often additional stands offering seating dotted around the track, usually looking onto chicanes or key corners where fans can watch the MotoGP™ stars doing battle at the most crucial overtaking points.

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