MotoGP is undoubtedly a team sport, the riders together with their tireless team of mechanics and engineers work to ensure that the bikes make it to the grid. What goes on behind the scenes however, is truly inspiring. The San Carlo Honda Gresini MotoGP riders have the full support of Honda, Castrol and a team of incredible world-class engineers to ensure that they are as competitive as possible.
An Immaculate Work Space
At the top of their game, the Gresini mechanics bring the entire team together through shared passion and the common goal of pushing the limits of MotoGP. To this end, their pit garage is an awe-inspiring space, which acts as an operating theatre for the MotoGP bikes.
An Immaculate Work Space
The 90 square meter pit garage is kitted out with polished tools and spotless work surfaces, bright halogen lights illuminate the space. There are two banks of computers, up to ten mechanics and enough spare parts, tyres, tools and Castrol lubricants to last an entire race weekend.
Fully Stocked With Castrol Products
Each of the four RC212V bikes are safely resting on work stands, amongst booths of Castrol products dotted around the garage. Castrol takes care of all of the Honda Gresini teams oil and lube needs, so the booths are stocked with everything from Castrol engine oil to Castrol racing chain lube.
Castrol Ensures a Race-Ready Team
The pit garage is an open space which enables the mechanics to carry out a range of different tasks. Using Castrol’s race-ready engine oil and fully synthetic brake fluid, they are ready to do anything from changing brake fluid and oil to fork overhauls and engine changes. Before the racing season even begins, all four of the bikes are stripped bare and rebuilt in the pit garage. The bikes are good-as-new by the time they hit the asphalt.
Perfection in Order
To keep the entire team running smoothly under the stressful race conditions, the mechanics rely heavily on a tightly organised system. More important than anything else in MotoGP is the bike. This is the same bike which an entire team work on to ensure its perfection. To meet these exacting standards, everything needs to be clean and ordered.
Trust in the Quality of Workmanship
In its final form, when the bike leaves the garage, the rider needs to have complete confidence in it. The bikes’ performance and safety must be unquestionable. This quality of workmanship begins in the pit garage, with the working conditions of the mechanics.
The Mechanics and Their Tools
For mechanics, their ancillary products and tools are akin to surgical instruments. It is essential that they are kept pristine and they are only of the best quality. The Honda Gresini mechanics have to have access to absolutely every piece of garage equipment imaginable, as well as their own custom tools to work on their own custom built parts.
Castrol: An Essential Part of the Team
While some of the tools the Gresini mechanics have at their disposal may be unrecognisable, most of the Castrol products are well known and easily found by the general public. Everything from Castrol gear oil, silicon spray and fork oil make up the mechanics arsenal.
Identical Pit Garages
In order for the Gresini mechanics to easily move from one pit garage to the next regardless of where in the world they are, all of the pit garages must be identical. For this to happen every tool; set of tyres, Castrol lubricant and pieces of electronic equipment are shipped to every location around the world holding a MotoGP race that season. This duplication minimises time wasted searching for tools, parts and equipment.
Spanner by Spanner, Wrench by Wrench
With the same layout in every Gresini MotoGP pit garage across the world, each bike and bench are laid out in the same manner. At the same time, the mechanics will also have the same tools at hand. The same spanners will be in the same draw, arranged by size while the wrenches will be housed in another drawer. No tool is left out when not in use and order is always maintained.
The pit garage is set up in such a way that the mechanics are able to work on all four of the bikes at any given time and their tools are just a hands reach away. At the end of both work benches, lie air compressors which allow the tyre technicians to inflate the tyres with the utmost precision.
Double the Computing Power
In addition to the plethora of tools, tyres and Castrol lubricants, a computer workstation lies on each side of the pit garage. These complex computers allow the Gresini data engineers to download up to 150 different sets of data for each bike every time they hit the track. Along with the riders feedback the engineering team are able to stitch together a complete understanding of exactly how the bikes are performing; allowing them to make minuscule adjustments. The culmination of this data coupled with the adjustments result in the best possible set-up for the riders.
A Spotless Pit Garage
The most noticeable and possibly defining characteristic of the Gresini MotoGP pit garage is its absolute spotlessness. Despite the constant threat of oil spills, the garage is impeccable. As essential as the organisation of tools and workbenches, the cleanliness of the garage ensures that there is no contamination in the bike engines, fluids or forks. Contamination of the bike may disturb its performance and safety once on the track.
Heading up a successful high-performance MotoGP team is reliant on many facets of racing. An immaculate pit garage, painstaking attention to detail and complete faith in the team are amongst some of the essential details which help the San Carlo Honda Gresini riders push the limits of MotoGP and land them on the podium.