Saturday is race day. That’s the day everyone looks forward to: the riders, the race teams, the manufacturers, the sponsors, and of course the fans. And when the fans get to the pits on race day, they see immaculate race bikes under colorful tents next to shiny team trucks. They see hospitality areas filled with VIPs, the team’s friends and family, and their favorite racers at the front of long autograph lines. What they don’t see is all that happens behind the scenes to get ready for race day.
What racers do to prepare themselves for race day has been studied for years. The crew chiefs, mechanics, technicians, and truck drivers, on the other hand, don’t get so much attention. They may not be the “talent” of the racing crew, but they’re hardworking and dedicated—and absolutely essential to any team that wants to compete at the highest level. Here’s a look at what happens after the fireworks have gone off and the champagne has been cleaned up—what a team does in the lonely days between races of Monster Energy AMA Supercross.
Most factory teams have a dedicated race and practice mechanic for each rider, but Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull KTM is a bit leaner in that department, so some of their wrenches serve double duty. The team started as a 250SX West Region and outdoors-only team, and being based in Southern California, they originally required everyone to live and train locally. Each rider had their own mechanic that would service everything. As the team has grown and expanded to both regions, and with most elite athletes primarily training in the Southeast, the riders have been allowed to be bicoastal and train at their desired facilities.