Inside the life of an MXGP Mechanic: Michele Lavetti

Being a mechanic for a world class team or rider is not an easy task. These are the guys who put in hours upon hours of graft in order to spin the spanners for some of the top riders in the FIM Motocross World Championship.

Towards the end of the 2020 season, we sat down with several mechanics for the top teams in the paddock to learn more about their pre-race rituals, strategies, must-have tools and what a typical day for a mechanic looks like…

MICHELE LAVETTI

IN 2020 MECHANIC FOR: Jago Geerts, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing MX2

IN 2021 MECHANIC FOR: Jago Geerts, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing MX2

NATIONALITY: Italian

 

WHAT ARE THE MUST HAVE ITEMS IN YOUR BACKPACK BEFORE TO TAKE TO THE LINE?

“The most important things are the basic tools, the scoop to clean the mud, some zip ties and some tape… Basically, all the things that you need to have, in order to do the essential things just before or during the race”.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE OR MOST USED TOOL?

“The t-wrench, size 8-10-12mm those are the ones I like and I used the most often to fix the plastics, the exhaust and all the other parts of the bike”.

HOW IMPORTANT IS THE PREPERATION OF THE RACE TRUCK BEFORE THE START OF THE RACES?

“This is really important, because in the truck you always need to have all the parts for the bike. We always have all the spare parts to do the 3 GP’s plus something more, like plastics, chains, sprockets. It is also important to know where all the parts are and to find them as soon as possible during the race weekend”.

YOU USE A LOT OF KEY WORDS ON THE PIT-BOARD, IS THERE A STRATEGY BEHIND THEM?

“There is no specific strategy behind it because it changes from rider to rider; some riders for example need few laps to get into the rhythm and you need to push them only when they are ready. It is up to me to push him when I know he can do it, for example if the rider in front of him is close enough. Basically, the beginning of the season we decided together some keywords and we use them during the year”.

WHAT IS YOUR ‘NORMAL DAY’ ROUTINE VS YOUR ‘RACE DAY’ ROUTINE?

“On race day, we start by checking the bike to make sure everything is ok and after we go ahead with the timetable. Sometimes it can happen that the rider asks for some changes to be made on the bike, so you need to be fast and understand what he really needs and how to do it as soon as possible. Of course, we have a really tight schedule so we need to be super focused and avoid any mistakes – everything must be ready on time”.

“On a normal day, after the races, I start by taking apart the bike completely and checking what must be changed, in case we have some new parts to put in the bike and then after I put the bike back together again and like that it’s ready to go for another GP”.

BEING A MECHANIS IS MORE THAN JUST LOOKING AFTER THE BIKE. WOULD YOU AGREE THAT SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO ALSO SUPPORT YOUR RIDER FROM A PSYCHOLOGICAL SIDE?

“Of course. There must be a good connection between the rider and the mechanic. First of all, the rider must trust you and the work that you do on the bike 100%, like that when he jumps on the bike he’s relaxed and can give his best. Through the years you build the feeling with your rider and like this you can work together properly”.

DO YOU HAVE ANY PRE-RACE RITUALS WITH JAGO?

“We don’t have real rituals, but before the start the way we put the bike on the gate and small things like that do help us both to feel more relaxed and ready for the race”.  

 

In the latest issue of MXGP Magazine, we caught up with a few of the MXGP mechanics to learn more about what it takes to work with some of the best riders in the world! Read the full feature HERE.

Author: 
Infront Moto Racing

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