230 hours a year on a plane!
The MotoGP World Championship circus continues its journey around the planet over the next couple of weekends as the season enters its final phase. Next Sunday the paddock will be ready to host another race some 17,000km away at the Phillip Island
circuit in Australia, some 22 hours of flight time away from Europe and with an eight-hour time difference.
The tiredness and pressure that the riders have to put up with at this stage of the season is not just limited to the track as they attempt to deal with the dramatic time changes, hours of travel, airport queues and climatic differences between the countries.
Over the course of a season each member of a MotoGP team takes around 50 flights, without including the IRTA tests at the start of the season. Each team covers an average of 110,000km – around eight and a half times around the world – and each member of staff spends between 230 and 250 hours sat on board an aeroplane.
The logistical arrangements of each team falls on the shoulders of one person, who is in charge of making all of the hotel bookings, car rentals and transport of team materials. Fulvia Castelli is the person in question for Team Fortuna Honda.
Alongside the structure of each team, within the MotoGP World Championship paddock there is also a specialised travel agency, Fly Away Sports Travel, which also journeys around the world during the season. The agency has its own office with satellite connection so that it can connect to the Internet from anywhere in the world.
It began in 1994 and currently employs nine people, three of whom regularly travel.
"On occasions we've even bought flight tickets whilst travelling in the car!" says Massimo Bertozzi, who runs the business alongside his wife Daniela.
Travels in numbers:
110,000 - The number of kilometres covered during a season by a MotoGP team – around eight and a half times around the world.
50 - The number of flights taken by a member of a MotoGP team each year.
230 - 250 – The hours spent on an aeroplane by a member of a MotoGP team each year.
17.000 – The number of kilometres a team member must cover to attend the Australian GP.