The West Honda Pons team members yesterday travelled to South America for the twelfth race of the MotoGP season, which is taking place in the homeland of Alex Barros, the only Brazilian rider competing in the World Championship.

However, this journey requires significant logistical preparation since after the Portuguese Grand Prix the whole team has had to work flat out to get all the equipment ready for transport to Brazil.

The equipment is transported in a freight plane chartered by IRTA. On arrival at the Nelson Piquet Circuit in Rio de Janeiro the West Honda Pons team members face the complicated task of assembling the pitbox and the racing bikes which, like all the other material necessary for these four Grand Prix, is transported in 22 small containers.

Without the trucks or the hospitality centre, life at Grand Prix races outside Europe is very different. The containers contain all the necessary equipment for pitbox assembly and decoration, in addition to all the material needed to set up the bikes. The team, who is eagerly expecting delivery of the new Honda RCV 211 in Motegi, has sent over four NSR 500 bikes for its two riders and all the spare parts necessary for their running, including two replacement engines, 16 fairings, 30 exhaust systems and 30 wheels among other things.

F?lix Rodr?guez, Team and Logistics Coordinator of the West Honda Pons team, has closely overseen preparations for the move. "These are very intensive days for everyone. It is similar to moving house and we do it two or three times a season. We must be careful not to forget anything that we may need once out there, even the most trivial of things."

The equipment left Barcelona on September 11th and when the team members arrive at the circuit tomorrow they will find it already in the pitbox assigned to them by the race organisers.

The role of the Spanish company Press-cargo is of great help for the teams when they have to transport material overseas, as F?lix Rodr?guez agrees. "They take care of everything in terms of transport. They come and collect the containers from the team's technical base and we don't see the equipment again until we arrive at the circuit in Rio".

Preparations for the transport of the team equipment to the final races in the season started from the moment the Portuguese Grand Prix ended, when the material was packed in the containers for transport. "The main problem we have is time. We must work extremely fast as we are working constantly against the clock" explains the Team and Logistics.

In addition to the technical material, the team also has to transport the riders' equipment. Between Loris Capirossi and Alex Barros the West Honda Pons team sends to Brazil eight helmets, ten pairs of gloves, eight leather suits, and ten pairs of boots, all of which the riders need for the four overseas races to come.

Some of the material necessary for the races, however, is shipped out some two months before. This is the case with the 1400 litres of ExxonMobil fuel that the bikes consume, taking into account they use 350 litres per race. In addition 50 litres of Mobil1 lubricants are sent together with the fuel.

A total of 26 team members travel to the race in Brazil, headed by General Manager Sito Pons. The team then returns to Europe before setting out for the three races at Motegi, Sepang and Phillip Island that takes place on consecutive weekends.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that the West Honda Pons team will receive a Honda RCV 211 four-stroke bike for the Pacific Grand Prix and the remaining three races of the season in preparation for next season. This means that the team will have to transport five bikes, another replacement engine, and all the necessary spare parts for the bike to run.

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