Working in the Box: what they don’t show you on TV

4 minutes

During a GP weekend we scrutinise the riders’ every move, but the work of the mechanics and technicians doesn’t have as much visibility. The truth is that the team work tirelessly in the Box from the time they arrive on Wednesday to the end of the day on Sunday — race day.

Working in the Box: what they don’t show you on TV

Ensuring the machine is working at full capacity requires constant attention


If you’ve ever watched a Grand Prix on TV, you’ve probably seen the technicians from Dani and Marc’s team hard at work, doing some things you can easily recognize: changing tires, filling up the gas tank, preparing the bikes before the race, etc. There’s also a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes that you may not be aware of, so we wanted to share it with you.

Assembling and disassembling the parts of a MotoGP bike

When a MotoGP bike arrives for a Grand Prix, certain adjustments are inevitably necessary. After setting up the Box itself, the team’s technicians roll up their sleeves and get to work on the bike. This isn’t just a one-off occurrence: during the GP and depending on how the practices unfold, some pieces may need to be changed due to wear or substituted with other parts that are better suited to the situation.

The teams have a spares centre in the motor home where they can store spares and monitor the parts to ensure they are in good condition. Each time a part needs to be replaced, a technician assigned to the centre looks for the part and takes it to the Box, where it will be installed in the bike.

When a rider falls, the mechanics can build an entire bike in less than two hours. This is possible thanks to the ergonomic design of the machines, which means the majority of the parts that may need to be disassembled, replaced, or adjusted are easily accessible. Another factor that makes this work easier is that some parts come pre-assembled, such as the engine.


Bike maintenance

Ensuring the machine is working at full capacity requires constant attention, mostly because MotoGP bike components are designed to perform well but not to last. One of the team’s mechanics is in charge of taking the rims to the Michelin stand, where the tyres are mounted so the wheels ready for a quick substitution. The team also disassemble the suspension components to confirm that they’re in good condition and make any adjustments the rider needs.

The bikes we see on TV are always shiny because the team has sinks in the rear part of the Box to clean and degrease the pieces.

On top of all that there’s also all the regular maintenance: oil changes; refuelling; changing the filters, chains and sprockets, brake discs, or tyres; and putting on tyre warmers are just some of the daily tasks in the Box. You can learn more about MotoGP bike maintenance in this article!


The electronics of a MotoGP bike

After each session, the mechanics enter the data picked up from the sensors into the computer to evaluate the bike’s performance. They analyse this data before adjusting the bike’s electronics by programming the systems with the ECU. The data engineer leads this process, often working in coordination with the rider. The goal is to be able to have greater control over the systems by using the buttons on the handlebars.

03 Austin 7, 8, 9 y 10 de abril de 2016; circuito COTA, Texas; Motogp; mgp; motogp

Continued support for the rider

In addition to all the work related to assembling, adjusting, and maintaining the bike, the technical team also help the rider plan a strategy for the race. They share information and keep the space orderly and clean to ensure the team can move around comfortably as they work. Last, but not least, the rider’s team is his main source of moral support, and, as we often see after the races, they’re also the first to celebrate the victory!

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