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On International Women's Day, we want to celebrate the history and experiences of Carolina Micó, working in the MotoGP™ World Championship since 2000 and who, today, holds the role of Head of Carmelo Ezpeleta’s office, CEO of Dorna Sports.
We are taking this opportunity to give her our thanks as she has contributed to making the paddock more accessible for women who have arrived since she began her role and for those who will arrive in the future.
“When I started attending the Grand Prix it was a man's world. We were about twenty women, we knew each other and occasionally organized dinners - she says referring to the end of the 90s and the beginning of the new millennium - We would never have imagined that today in the paddock there could be many women with such different professional positions.”
Carolina works arm in arm with one of the best known and most respected personalities in motorsport globally: Carmelo Ezpeleta.
“When we are in Madrid or at the Grand Prix, the work is different. If we are in Spain, I go to the office every day but now, due to the pandemic, I only go there when necessary and in any case, at the end of the day, I have time to devote to my loved ones and my passions. Instead, when we are at the races, the pace is more sustained and intense. All meetings take place in the same office, so we don't see much of the paddock, the days start at 8 am and never finish before 8 pm. Once in the hotel, we almost always have dinner with the same group of people who are the same people we work with and we relax by sharing the anecdotes we have experienced during the day, even if the phone could always ring at any moment,” she specifies.
Carolina underlines how important it is to pay the utmost attention to every detail when working so directly with a person who holds an important role such as that of CEO of MotoGP™.
"I have to keep many aspects in mind, evaluate every detail and any mistake that could happen to avoid it. In my role it is important not to make mistakes, many times there can be sudden changes, so I am always very careful to avoid inaccuracies because, otherwise, the consequences would be important.”
In the end, however, her praise also arrives, which pushes her to always improve.
“Receiving compliments for a job well done always gives me great satisfaction and the desire to do even better in future activities. Carmelo is deeply passionate about his work and, naturally, he is very demanding, being by his side subjects her to continuous learning, at all times.”
On the other hand, while carrying out a job where concentration and seriousness are a requirement during each hour of the 24 in the day, there is also time for moments to remember.
"In recent years I have had the opportunity to meet personalities from the world of politics, sport and entertainment, all people who, surely, by doing another type of job I would not have been lucky enough to know."
The MotoGP™ World Championship is a world that offers great opportunities but also exciting challenges in each of its seasons.
"We spend most of our time away from home and sometimes we have to deal with moments of despair because we are far from our loved ones, even if after so many years a family is created here; The weight of the years makes itself felt but then, thinking about it, this is a fun job that at the same time is full of adrenaline.”
“It is very intense but in return, it offers experiences that are difficult to find in other jobs. Besides, it's always nice to go home and share the adventures I have around the world with family and friends.”
23 years after her first joining Dorna Sports, Carolina identifies two characteristics as the main travel companions in her professional career.
"Before reaching this role, I had many experiences and when what I wanted didn't arrive immediately I said to myself 'ok, if not today, tomorrow or if I don't get it right here, I'll try in another department. Patience and dedication are what make the difference in work."
When Carolina was a child, growing up in Ontinyent, Valencia, she dreamed of becoming a teacher but that ambition changed over the years, becoming more determined to learn foreign languages and discover the world. And this is how instead of being behind a desk sharing her knowledge with young students, she found herself on countless occasions lining up at airport terminals around the world ready to learn something new through business trips.
Her future began to form as soon as she finished high school, when, after studying advertising and public relations, she flew to Paris to work as an au pair and to perfect her French at the Alliance Française.
After this experience, she returned home for a few months where, working as an administrative officer, Carolina prepared for her next trip: the United States. But when this second experience also came to an end, it was clear that she wanted to be part of a big city like Madrid, Barcelona or moving permanently out of Spain.
“When I returned to Ontinyent, I started sending CVs to various employment agencies. After about ten days I went to Madrid to visit my brother, who was studying in the capital when I was called to do an interview with a company called Dorna to work as a receptionist.”
It was November 1998, Dorna was a young company that had held the television rights of the MotoGP™ World Championship since 1992. Less than a year passed since her first day on the job when Carolina was asked to leave the office reception to join another department: “The offer was made by the then director of events who told me: 'You will travel in MotoGP™ with us'. In the middle of the 2000 season, Carmelo suggested that I follow his commitments more slowly, slowly leaving the other activities I took care of when we were at the circuits.”
Carolina still excitedly remembers the first Grand Prix in which she participated. It was in South Africa, 21 years ago.
"The promoter of the event invited us to take an excursion to her estate and it turned out to be a real safari". From that moment on it has been a succession of discoveries: “I think that I like this job because I can relate to people who come from different countries and this generates cultural shocks that make every trip unforgettable; then I had the opportunity to familiarize myself with other cultures which differ greatly, such as in Japan or with a fascinating one like Australia.”
Being able to visit distant countries has allowed her to discover new flavours, customs and even colours never seen before: "I love Phillip Island, it is a track that I really like because it is close to the sea and then there is a unique atmosphere. The place where the circuit is located, the lights and the air you breathe are what make it a special place for me.”
MotoGP™ tests are not only the riders but also all the people around them and who contribute to the creation of one of the most loved Championships in the world. Carolina is clear that being part of this incredible puzzle is something magical: “you only live once. This is a fun, fast job that at the same time requires a lot of precision even if everything can change from one moment to the next but I think it's worth trying to be part of this circus.”
"Living in the world of competitions at the highest level from the inside, being so close to the drivers, teams, sponsors, collaborators enriches my professional life. For me the most exciting moment of the whole week of a Grand Prix isSunday, when the starting grid is formed, the roar of the engines, the heat of the asphalt and the tension before the lights turn green, it's truly unique.”
It won’t be long before Carolina will be back on track to experience the eagerly anticipated start of the 2021 MotoGP ™ World Championship season at Losail International Circuit.