Without a doubt, one of the biggest challenges when organizing a GP is transporting all the material from one circuit to the next. Between 350 and 370 tonnes of equipment has to be moved for each Grand Prix, including motorbikes from all three categories, all the teams' material, and Dorna's material that is fundamental for the competition. All of this is packed into 1000 crates, creating quite a considerable load.
Dorna has a fleet of 16 lorries to transport all of this equipment, in addition to 64 team vehicles, 95 hospitality and support vehicles, and 13 motorhomes. It takes five days to set up the paddock, starting on the Sunday before the race and finishing on Thursday.
Each circuit has a specific space for the paddock, which means that it is never the same in any two locations. However, many years of experience mean that the team is able to solve any problems that come up quickly. All this changes for the GPs in America and Asia as we can't transport the material by road. Instead, four Boeing 747 jumbo jets are used.
All the new material is supplied by the partners, who enjoy great exposure thanks to the MotoGP World Championship. These partners play an important role in the organisation and management of a GP — without their help the current level of competition wouldn't be as high. In order to accommodate the requests, Dorna has a department that studies and finds ways of meeting the needs of all the players involved.
Broadly speaking, the way we transport all these materials has not changed much over the past two decades. However, the logistics, assembly, and disassembly of the paddock gets more efficient each year thanks to experience, technological advances, and our suppliers' work to adapt and innovate the materials.
Rather than changing the logistics process, these advances have increased the size of the paddock with more and more sizeable, modern, and sophisticated structures. A team of over 580 people is established to ensure all needs are covered, including permanent Dorna employees and temporary workers hired for the World Championship. Only some of the staff travel to the circuit while the others work from the central offices, although all of them have experienced a GP weekend at some point.
In addition to the paddock, pit boxes, and motorbikes, Dorna takes up to 140 cameras to the event as part of its state-of-the-art audiovisual set-up. There is a team of up to 200 people in the media area who are specifically dedicated to recording and editing video.
Whether you travel to the circuit to see the event live or watch it on the television, remember that organising a GP and managing all the material necessary to make it a reality is only possible thanks to the work of an amazing team of professionals.