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Nicolas Goyon technician Monster Energy Tech 3 interview.

Nicolas Goyon, Monster Yamaha Tech3 technician; the art of Tech.

Sep 062018

It’s Thursday September 6th in Misano, Italy. 2018 San Marino GP weekend is about to start and we have got the chance to have a chat with Nicolas Goyon the crew chief mechanic of Monster Yamaha Tech3 MotoGP team. Discovering, learning, managing. Welcome to the art of tech with Nicolas Goyon.

"You need to be really accurate. You need to be calm"

Bonjour Nicolas: how long have you been working for the MotoGP?

Over 15 years. I started in 2003. It was actually the first year of proper MotoGP bikes. Four strokes and big engines. Before it was only 2 strokes.

What are you doing as a mechanic, specifically for Monster Yamaha Tech3 MotoGP team?

Right now, I’m the crew chief, so I’m in charge of the setting of the bike of one of our 2 riders. Each rider has 3 mechanics per side. We have one who’s in charge of the tyres and the fuel. Then we have one engine guy, one electrician guy. We also have few technicians working with us. We have some suspension Öhlins technicians, Michelin technicians in charge of the tyres. So, all suppliers are involved. My job is to manage the whole team and to take the main decisions for the setting of the bike.

Who’s your rider?

I’m working with Hafizh Syahrin, #55.

Considering that he joined the team quite recently, how much has he been involved in the process of the development of the bike and along the season is he helping you contributing with information regarding the bike?

We’re actually not involved in any development of any bike. Yamaha is in charge of the development. They give us the bikes that are fully ready. We receive few parts when they’re available and we’re just here for the performance. So, we’re just trying to set up this bike to achieve the best results possible for this specific rider.

What do you think it is needed to become a MotoGP technician?

You need to be really accurate. You need to be calm, because it’s a very stressful environment and sometimes you have some stress, or you have to hurry. You have to stay calm and be in control and you have to avoid all the possible mistakes. For me, It’s not a very complicated job. It’s something quite easy, but you can’t make any mistakes. This is the most difficult part of this job. Technicians have to have all these personal skills. Also, we live all together, so you need to be able to live with a certain number of people in a restricted area for quite a long time.

Do you have young technicians with you, as well as people who have been in the industry for longer?

Of course, yes. Sometimes we teach people how to become technicians. You need a background, of course. We don’t take anybody. Once you have this, as in any other jobs, we have a list of CVs. We see people for interviews. We have a special system. We have a Moto2 team in the lower category. For us it’s like a school. We hire them. They work in Moto2. They do one or 2-year experience and if they have all the qualities required they can be upgraded in MotoGP.

As a technician, do you think it is easier to work in Moto2 instead of MotoGP?

Yes, you have less pressure and the bike is quite easier to understand and to work with. It’s much more basic. MotoGP is the highest level. The Moto2 helps us to understand how the guys work and if they can become MotoGP technicians.

For you, as a chief, what is the feeling during a race weekend? You know that you will be in a certain circuit and will have to manage a lot of things. Are you all the time under pressure on the three days of racing?

No, not really. Obviously, we work with very talented people. So, everybody knows what they have to do. Especially during the preparation day. We organise a few meetings with Yamaha and with the rider, just to know how the weekend is going to go. We prepare and anticipate everything. I give a to-do list to everybody and everyone follows their tasks. The first day is not too stressful. It’s really stressful when the bikes are on track, because we have 45 minutes test and during this time, you have to make some changes and improve the bike. The rider does a couple of laps, comes back to the garage and talks about the problems he faced during the ride and then we have to solve the problems.

Are you analysing data when the rider is on the track?

No, it is not allowed in MotoGP. We record everything. We store all data in a box and when the bike is in, we download the data and analyse them.

So, you have to work in a very short time…

Yes, and this is the most stressful part.

Last question. What is the first thing that you do when you enter the circuit?

We set up the garage. We have a very defined process. Everything is accurately defined, so we get there we prepare the trucks. Everything has to be ready. We always repeat the same things. We have a couple of meetings with Yamaha to prepare the weekend. Then we prepare the bikes and have few meetings with the rider, explaining how the weekend is going to be – the weather, the schedule, the setting - and then on Friday we do the first test.