Before entering the world of motorcycle racing hospitality, Henk and Janny ran an electrical shop in the north of Holland so Henk applies himself to the technical aspects of setting up the Winston Ten Kate Honda hospitality unit.
The team lends a hand in erecting the substantial awning that surrounds the truck and seats up to 80 team members and guests. Then Frits gets to work.
“I basically spend all day preparing the next meal,” he says, “starting at about 7.00am with breakfast. And because the team likes to eat a lot of salad, there is a lot of chopping and peeling and slicing – and it's all done by hand!”
Frits cooks three meals on each of the five days of an event for the team's 45 members – a total of 675 meals for each championship round. And that's before any guests are considered, a list of whom is provided by Monique Muggen prior to each event.
The guests are looked after by Monique's mother, Janny, who is more than the team's hostess. “We call her Mama-san,” says team manager Ronald ten Kate, “after our rider Fabien Foret used it for the first time after coming back from Japan in 2002.”
“Janny fills a very important role in our team and the family atmosphere is vitally important to our success,” he continues. But Ronald values equally the roles played by the other members of the hospitality team.
“When we decided to introduce hospitality to our racing activities a few years ago,” he adds, “we knew that the most important aspect was the quality of the people running it. We certainly found the right team with Frits, Henk and Janny; and with Monique as part of their family already, it's a good base to start from.
“The whole team sleeps in the paddock,” he concludes, “so the hospitality unit is really like our own living room at home. It's a great place to relax after an often hectic day in the pit box and we hope we recreate that homely atmosphere for our guests, too.”