Not all the pre-race preparations take place in the pit garages. The paddock at a track capable of supporting an FIM-sanctioned international race resembles a many-layered flash mob of local staff and dignitaries, media reps, international personalities and the curious, who may or may not understand the racing but enjoy the exotic atmosphere.
Pre-race Paddock
WSBK 2013 Miller
Teams unpacked and race machines assembled, the temporary residents of the paddock begin the intense and varied routine that characterizes the two days of practice and qualifying. The pitlane population begins to grow. Riders and mechanics are joined by pitlane marshalls, fire and safety crew, track security, photographers and journalists.
02-MotoAmerica COTA 2016.03.23-32TrailersTower
The paddock morphs from parking lot...
Ronald ten Kate interviewed for sponsor video
...to media stage for teams and their sponsors...
[Sponsors make considerable investments to provide their teams with the highest spec components. In turn, teams provide intense real-life testing, on-track visibility and product endorsement. Ronald ten Kate, principle of Ten Kata Racing for the Honda World Superbike Team, gives a video interview on behalf of sponsor SBS, Scandinavian Brake Systems.]
WSBK 2012 Miller
...press conference...
[Riders kick-off the weekend with a press conference in the decidedly rustic media tent at the former (2012) Miller MotorSports Park, in America's wild west (Utah). Media questions answered, pens are out for the autograph session.]
01-WSBK Miller 2012-0781DalignaBiaggi
... part executive meeting room...
[2012: Max Biaggi (r) and Luigi (Gigi) Dall’Igna (director of Aprillia Factory Works Racing teams) take time to have a quiet discussion away from the bustle of the pit garage. Dall’Igna’s skills as manager, engineer and strategist helped Biaggi win the FIM Superbike World Championship in both 2010 and 2012. Biaggi has also been a four-time 250cc Grand Prix World Champion (1994, ’95, ’96 and ’97) and three times runner-up in the 500cc/MotoGP classes.]
WSBK 2013 Miller
...part rehearsal stage for opening acts...
[WSBK teams take a break to watch Christian Pfeiffer practice for his stunt-riding demonstrations that will entertain race-goers through the weekend. Pfeiffer began his stunt-riding career in 1996 and won four world-championship titles before retiring at the end of 2015].
WSBK 2013 Miller
...a reunion of friends and competitors...
[Paddock citizens have the opportunity to catch up with friends and peers as they attend to the business of preparing the team for the coming competition. It’s a community of people who have worked and traveled together, sometimes on the same team, sometimes for rivals. The camaraderie in and between crews is enhanced with the knowledge that one is competing at the very highest levels of this sport].
02-MotoAmerica 2nd Cut COTA2016.03.23-24-9267GarageNos
... while the public business of the weekend starts as riders make their first laps on the track…